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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekend Cooking: A Visit Back Home

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food. 

 Every year we go back home to the Finger Lakes region and rent a house on Owasco Lake. We spend the week with family and friends and share good food and fun.
The view  of the house from the lake
Our first stop is always Wegmans grocery store, which is one thing I miss about living in Manhattan. We stock up on our favorites, including salt potatoes which are difficult to find in NYC,
and always grab a big package of hamburgers and Hoffman hot dogs (white and red) for the grill. We really miss being able to grill outside every night in the summer!

I always try to combine favorite foods with a new recipe to try out on everyone. This year, I made Mary Alice's Hoagie Dip, which is always a crowd favorite. (Actually, I made two batches this year and they both disappeared.) We also had SoCal Fajita Dip and my son's girlfriend put together a beautiful Antipasti Platter.
Antipasti platter

Cook's Illustrated's Baked Ziti was a popular entree, and we had enough for two days worth, plus some leftovers. I paired that with Balsamic Roasted Potato Salad, and some friends brought a delicious homemade pizza and a huge pan of roasted vegetables that we fought over the next day.

For dessert, we had Pretzel Jello Dessert, Peanut Butter Crack Brownies, and a friend made delicious chocolate chips cookies with her secret ingredient (a package of vanilla pudding).

The biggest hit of the week though was a new recipe- Chicken Spiedies served on a roll. I found this recipe on Pinterest from Mel's Kitchen Cafe , and everyone went crazy over it. People were clamoring for it so much, I had to make it again two days later.

I've made spiedies with the bottled marinade several times, but making it with your own marinade made a huge difference. Several people who had them asked for the recipe and made it themselves already.

I marinated the chicken, but left the boneless chicken breasts whole to grill, instead of threading cubes of them them on skewers. (The purists will not like this, but it worked well for our crowd.)  When they came off the grill, I sliced them and put it in a bowl. People grabbed a roll, piled on the sliced chicken and topped it with the homemade sauce.

As usual, I put together a Pinterest Board with all the week's recipes for everyone who asked for them and I am sharing the board here.

We had a wonderful time and look forward to returning again next year. if you have any summer recipes you like to share with me, send them along in the comments section. I'm always looking for new ones to add to the collection.


  1. You always cook the best sounding meals! It sounds like your trip was a huge success.

    I've heard so much about Wegman's, I'm dying to go in one.

  2. What a glorious week! Sounds like you all had a great time around the table & grill. I would miss Wegmans too if I moved out of their area.

  3. Coming back to say -- what a great idea to do the pinterest board.

    1. Everyone asks for recipes, and Pinterest is a great way to do share with everyone.

  4. I felt like I was right there with you as you described it. But now wanting some of that great food you described. Will check it on Pinterest. I miss hoagies.

    1. It's funny the foods that you miss from back home, isn't it?

  5. I want one of those chicken spiedie sandwiches now - yum!!

    We spent over a month in Florida last winter. It was glorious, but I was happy to get home to Wegmans :-)

  6. Mmmmm. My husband just visited a Wegman's for the first time last weekend and we got some great gluten-free hamburger and hotdog rolls there that we haven't seen in our local supermarket. I posted about a family vacation today, too. We weren't able to cook where we were, but we've done some home cooking before and after our trip. Nothing beats the grill and fresh corn on the cob in the summer!

  7. Lovely house and food. Cheers from Carole's' Chatter

  8. I just moved to VA and the selling point for the condo we ended up renting was the fact that a Wegman's was being built around the corner. It's going to open in early 2015 and I am counting down the days. We had a Wegman's in my college town in central VA, but when we moved to Queens the closest one was in NJ and it was tragic. Though we did learn to love Fairway!

    I've only been to the Finger Lakes once, but it was such a great trip. I hope I'll get a chance to go back one day. Those sandwiches look so good. I'll have to bookmark the recipe. This sounds like such a lovely family vacation. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Sounds wonderful! I am from Rochester and love the Finger Lakes region :) In fact, we spent a night at the campground at Cayuga Lake State Park a few weeks ago on the way home to visit my dad.

    And Wegmans! So funny, because they have expanded down around here - not close enough to us but with several locations about an hour away in PA. I think it's hilarious when friends tell me about "this great new store"!

    Hoffman hot dogs?? I;ve never heard of those - we always stop at Wegmans when we visit Rochester for Zweigles - yum! No one outside of western NY knows about white hots!

    Sounds like a great trip with family and some great food!


    Book By Book

  10. This looks like the perfect vacation spot. I am going to check out the chicken recipe.