Girl Power…

Layered Vegetable Cheesecake entree

September in the late 80s in Louisville, Kentucky was always a combination of very warm or rather coolish days as it asked, “Am I still summer or becoming fall?”

This early fall Thoroughbroad luncheon was an opportunity to enjoy the last of the veggies in the garden, the beginnings of pumpkin season approaching, and fruity wines on a cool patio. We would enjoy all three this afternoon at Kristen’s house.

We now remember the 80s for some unique events and discoveries. Here are a few to set the mood:

In 88 the first global warming warning was announced.

In 89 the Berlin Wall fell.

The Macintosh computer was unveiled, Phil Donahue & Oprah both had famous talk shows, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman on the Supreme Court and Sally Ride was the first female astronaut.

Martina, Borg, and McEnroe were some of the sports stars along with Tyson & Spinks, Larry Bird & Magic Johnson…at that time Louisville was only considered a basketball town, and very few people watched football in Kentucky.

MTV was on 24/7 and Miami Vice was the first TV show to use current music of the day while Dallas ran 13 seasons and the big talk of the town was “Who Shot J.R.?

Magnum PI, the Cosby Show, Cheers, and Hill Street Blues were huge hits. M.A.S.H. garnered over 123 million viewers in its final episode and the remote control became an item all had to get.

It was a pre-cable era, pre-cell phone, and pre-social media time. Socializing was done over the dinner table at your’s or a friend’s home. If you were at a restaurant, someone you knew would stop and say hi…everyone talked on the home phone or face to face, no texting, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter back then. Arcade games were the big hit with PacMan and Donkey Kong and you went to Blockbuster to rent a movie or game. Aerobics came into play along with the cassette player and Walkman which played Madonna, Michael Jackson, or the musical styles of Dire Straits. Big hair and Spandex along with neon clothing and high-waist jeans were the fashion and Spielberg and Lucas were the big names in film.

You get the feel of the times we enjoyed back then, but, now for the food at Kristen’s. She entertained us with a welcoming pineapple Sangria with large chunks of lemon, pineapple, and orange as a kabob to serve as a stirrer. They were just the thing to get the stories started. The recipe follows and makes 2 ½ quarts, but I am sure we each drank that much ourselves, it was that good.

Our special luncheon entrée was a layered vegetable cheesecake made the day before so that the flavors would marry each other. It was served by the slice with a lovely cucumber-dill sauce along with pumpkin muffins right out of the oven. We ate and drank until we thought we would pop when she served dessert. We enjoyed an almond chocolate mousse in parfait glasses.

Over this delicious day out we listened as Scarlett spoke about her husband’s predicament. He was experiencing severe disorientation, manic episodes, difficulty staying awake, and a lot of confusion. At that time we did not realize it would stop her from attending luncheons in the future. She was going to have to be available for doctor’s appointments, tests in Louisville and Nashville, and possibly Mayo Clinic to determine what was going on. It would be 2 ½ years later that at Mayo they stated it was a mental health issue. The Thoroughbroads provided support that day and many more days over the years. Scarlett eventually took over his job to provide income and allow for his long-term disability insurance to come into effect so that he would be taken care of.

The memory of the friendship of these women, the dishes they enjoyed over each other’s highs and lows, and the support, and encouragement have never been forgotten. Time moves on and our lives change. We take on new careers, we move from town to town, and we even may remarry, but some long-standing friendships can last a lifetime. Robyn and Scarlett are great examples of that as they continue this blog with the intent to turn it into a book. Girl power remains and flourishes if you feed the soul with a tribe of women who bring good food, great company, adult beverages, and their own stories to the table.

Women friends just flat our rock! Be a good friend to another. Someone out there needs it and will never forget it.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup warm water

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

¾ tsp cloves

¾ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

11/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup veg oil

1 ¾ cup flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Soak raisins in water 5 min. Combine next 7 ingredients and beat in raisins and water

 In large bowl combine dry ingredients make a well and pour in wet ingredient mix.  Mix well fill muffin tins that have been sprayed with Pam 2/3rds full of mixture. Bake at 400 for 20-15 min.

Layered Veggie Cheesecake

1 ½ cups dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup melted butter

2 8oz packs of softened cream cheese

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1 8oz carton of sour cream

¼ cup minced onion

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¾ cup shredded carrots

¾ cup diced green pepper

¾ cup diced red sweet peppers

Cucumber Dill Sauce

1 8oz carton plain yogurt

1 /3 cup Mayo

½ cup unpeeled cucumber chopped

¼ tsp salt

1/3 tsp dried dill weed Combine cover and chill yields 1 ½ cups

Combine breadcrumbs and butter and press on bottom and 1 inch up sides of a spring form pan. Set aside.

Beat cheese at high speed until fluffy, add eggs one at a time and beat well, add flour and the next 4 ingredients beat until blended.

Pour ¼ of sour cream mix into pan, sprinkle with carrots top with 1/3 mix and sprinkle with green peppers Top with half remaining mix and sprinkle with red peppers then top with remaining mix. Bake at 300 for 1 hour until set turn off oven and partially open door of oven and leave the cheesecake in for 1 hour, then remove let cool cover it and chill in refrigerator. Serve with sauce above. Serves 6-8

Almond Chocolate Mousse

1 cup heavy cream

 4 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels

 ¼ cup Amaretto

2 egg whites room temp.

Whip cream until peaking and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Over low heat melt chocolate remove and blend in Amaretto, then beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into chocolate then pour egg chocolate mix into the whipped cream Blend and spoon into parfait glasses chill and garnish with toasted almonds and a little of the amaretto flavored whipped cream.

Pineapple Sangria

1 20 oz can pineapple chunks un-drained

1 apple unpeeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 lemon sliced and quartered

1 750 milliliter of Burgundy wine

 1 46 oz can pineapple juice ¼ cup brandy

¼ cup sugar

Drain pineapple reserving juice, skewer apple, and pineapple, lemon and orange chunks onto skewers

Combine reserved pineapple juice, Burgundy and all remaining ingredients into container add the skewered fruit and chill at least 1 hour. Serve over ice with a kabob skewer..yields 2 ½ quarts.

Almond Chocolate Mousse