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In 1994 Anya came to stay with us. She was from Nizhni Tagil, a steel city in western Siberia, a couple of hours from Ekaterinburg (called Sverdlovsk at the time.) I was an exchange teacher with her mother three years earlier.
Anya, 17, had learned the art of tray painting at the tray museum in her city. Here, she majored in art at college, then with her own persistence and doggedness she began her faux painting business, first in our home town where she became known for her hand-painted Christmas balls which we took to craft shows and every December a show here in the house.
The photo shows her free-hand painting — a segment of a medallion that encircles our dining room chandelier.
My friend Karen gave me this recipe years ago and it is still a favorite appetizer. There are a lot of variations on it, including crockpot recipes, but this is my favorite one. All you need is a bowl to mix it in and a quiche dish or other oven-proof dish to bake it in. You can seriously lighten it by using fat free or light cheese, cream cheese and sour cream.
Hot Reuben Dip
1/2 lb. corned beef, chopped
1/2 lb. swiss cheese, grated
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1 16-oz. can sauerkraut, drained
Mix and put into quiche pan. Bake 30 minutes.
Serve with rye triscuits or other crackers