Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Connie Brockway GuestBlog: Hot Dish Contest? You Betcha

Wicked smart with an insanely devious sense of the ironic, Connie Brockway is a former Mrs. Minnesota who wowed judges with her flaming baton routine performed to the University of Minnesota Pep Band's rendition of "The Theme from Titanic."

OK. I just wrote that because she likes to rib Lisa Kleypas and me about being old queens. But the first part's true, and nowhere more evident than in her debut contemporary, "Hot Dish," out Nov. 7th.

I wanted not to like it cause, as you know we dig her historicals here and want her to write more of those men like Harry and Kit who are dynamic men, dynamic in all ways. Anywayz, "Hot Dish" is tremendously good, and Connie's a lot of fun, so give her a big Bella buongiorno...
Minnesotans are a subtle people. While others exchange opinions and views through in-your-face methods like ...talking, we here in the heartland use abstract and arcane methods of communicating. Like cooking.

Take “hot dish.” At first glance “hot dish,” that quintessential Minnesota answer to the Italian bravado called Lasagna, that upstart bit of Greek culinary nonsense termed moussaka, and the French affectation entitled Cassoulet, is simply a hearty, easy to produce sort of casserole.

Legend has it that “hot dish” was created by a never-to-be named --because that would be self-aggrandizement and therefore *wrong*(it was Hildie Osterland)-- over-worked woman preparing food in the Good Sam Lutheran Church basement for the Dahlquist funeral.

She was just setting out the jello mold when one of her Circle Sisters called with the completely unacceptable excuse that she was “a little under the weather” and therefore incapable of bringing the promised Swedish meatballs to the church.

The unnamed woman (Hildie) fell to her knees- no, not in prayer but to scrounge around the bottom shelf of the basement kitchens food stores, seeking inspiration. Inspiration came in the form of a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, a bag of elbow macaroni and a freezer full of raw hamburger patties left over from the Boy Scout Jamboree. A bag of potato chips and five pounds of shredded American cheese later, “hot dish” was born.

Since then, a thousand hot dish recipes have been created on the spur of the moment by frugal, practical and phlegmatic Minnesotans. How does this have anything to do with communicating? Well, at their best hot dishes are delicious, nourishing, comforting and familiar. The worst are perfunctory, unappetizing, and filled with empty calories.

Get it? “Hot Dishes” are a metaphor for life. That’s right. And if you don’t believe me you need to watch more Ingmar Bergman movies. At least they are in my very very soon (November 7th) to be released contemporary entitled, you guessed it, HOT DISH!

So, in honor of the very very soon to be released HOT DISH, I’m challenging you to

Submit your favorite hot dish recipes today, which will be judged by a panel of authentic Lutheran Basement Church Ladies based on the following criteria:

1> Must include three of the four following ingredients: noodles, canned soup, processed cheese, ground or canned meat.

2> Originality—but
not too original. We’re talking Minnesota hot dish here, not Iowa.

The winner will be announced Nov. 1 on my site where you can also see a trailer of HOT DISH. The prize? A Minnesota casserole in which to bake your own hot dishes and an autographed copy of my book, HOT DISH.

Thanks for reading!

Connie Brockway and


Keira Soleore said...

I'm stealing my dad's recipe and posting it up here. And he can't complain, because he would just blush to be quoted on a romance site.

-Ground hamburger
-Elbow macaroni (cooked, drained)
-White Onions
-Can of Mushroom soup
-Frozen veggies (corn, beans, etc.)

In a pan, heat some oil. Fry thinly sliced onions until soft. Add hamburger and cook thoroughly. Alternate layers of onion and meat with layers of pasta and frozen veggies in a casserole dish. Mix the can of mushroom soup, half a can of milk, and some salt, and pour over everything in the dish.

And now for the super-secret original ingredient--sprinkle some curry powder.

Top with grated cheddar cheese. Hey, I'm from Wisconsin. We used real cheese, not the processed variety.

Cover with foil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Stacy~ said...

Welcome Connie! It's great to have another Minnesotan visiting that actually stayed there. I look forward to reading this book. My favorite was your Scottish series, McLairens Isle. I loved Fia and Thomas, though I also adored Ash Merrick and his Rhiannon. Ahhhh, good stuff...

Uh, yeah. I left the recipes behind when I left Minnesota. Connie, you're bringing up some (scary) memories for me, since hot dishes were very, very popular up on the Iron Range. One of the staples of our diet LOL

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yum, keira! I think it's great that it's your dad's recipe. He can be proud to know his recipe may go on to fuel many hungry romance readers and writers in the future. I know I'm hungry; up early to write.

Hot Dish. It's not just for church dinner any more.

Buongiorno, Connie! Welcome, and thanks for visiting RBtheBlog! I'm looking forward to reading all these great recipes today, and to just Talkin' Connie Brockway...

Now that I'm a Minnesotan -- well, not a real one, cause I've only lived here a couple years -- I really need to get my hot dish recipe file in order. So today's kinda a public service to transplaned Midwesterners like me. :)

So thanks for dropping by.

***Oh, does Kitty Kuttlestone have a favorite hot dish? ***

Rach said...

Good morning Connie and Bellas! I have the day off and am planning on visiting my favorite place most of the day--especially with hot dish recipes in the works ;o).

My favorite recipe: 1 pound ground beef, 1 diced med. yellow onion--browned with the beef. 1 pkg. egg noodles, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 carton sour cream. Mix the sour cream and soup together, then combine with the noodles, and ground beef. Bake at 375 until bubbly.

Sorry, no processed cheese here.

Keira Soleore said...

Michelle, right after I posted here, I went downstairs to my grocery list and added the ingredients on it. And when I returned to the study, I read your post and couldn't help chuckling. Those early morning cravings...

Keira Soleore said...

Hmm. Kitty Kuttlestone's recipe, if I may be so bold as to suggest, might possibly include a shot of vodka in the casserole and a tall on-the-rocks for Kitty, er, I mean, the cook, of course.

Tam said...

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Tuna or Chicken Casserole

1 bag of Egg Noodles (med. or wide) COOKED
2 cans of Tuna or Chicken DRAINED
2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup or Cream Chicken Soup
8 oz. - 1 lb. GRADED Cheddar Cheese (depending how much you like)

Optional: frozen veg.~Corn, Peas, Broccoli, Cauliflower...etc.

You can do either... In a Casserole dish...
Layer starting with the noodles, tuna/chicken, soup, veg. if you are adding them then the cheese last. and repeat. Make sure your last layer is cheese. Sprinkle a little water on top.
If you want you can do what I do sometimes...
Mix it all in a bowl leaving enough cheese for the top. Then I will put it all in the casserole dish after it is mixed, add the cheese to the top & sprinkle a little water on top.

Bake @ 350° for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese starts to get turning golden brown.

krissyinva said...

Here is my hot dish, it is so simple
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 (5 ounce) cans chunk chicken
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
I add a little pepper as well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the macaroni, chicken, cheese, milk, soup, mushrooms and onion. Mix together and pour mixture evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Good point, keira. I just assumed her hot dish had something to do with a Minnesota Viking, but the cocktail's always a given with Ms K, i'n it?

Hmmm, I'll bet Kitty could tell us the perfect beverage to accompany each of today's hot dish offerings...

Hi, Tam, loves me some bubblin cheese!

rache! Sour cream: gure, undadulterated, evil dairy genius! Brilliant!

Stace, our MN ex-pat. Sure you don't gots a hot dish recipe (or reh-ceep, as my paternal grandmother used to call them) tucked away somewheres? Perhaps in your official Minnesota Timberwolves team long underwaar?

Glad you're talkin Connie books. I'm ashamed to say I've only read one Mc's Isle. As you know, I'm a big Rose Hunters fan, Kit being my favorite damaged Celt hero.

What is it about those CB historicals that are so awesome?

(OK, I'll plug how great your contemporary, Hot Dish, is, too, Connie, but you know I love the historicals. Isn't it frustrating? Sort of like never being able to get past the whole Miss America thing...) :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK. I know I don't count, but, here's the New England equivalent of hot dish,

Auntie Auntie's Turkey Pie

Turkey filling:
1-2 roasted breasts, cut into small pieces
1 bag mixed veggies
1 can chicken broth

Layer above in pyrex dish

Topping mixture:
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 c buttermilk (or milk w/1/2T vinegar allowed to stand 5 min)
1 stick melted butter

Pour topping mixture over turkey mixture. Bake one hour at 350.

So warm, so comforting, so turkey-y.

ev said...

I love casserols. they make life som much easier, even if they are not the healthiest things going. Tough beans.

While I was sick last weekend, I made my favorite dish. (I also managed to eat most of it.)

1 box elbows
1 lb ground beef
1 onion ( I prefer red ones)
1 large can diced or stewed tomatoes (store bought or homemade)
Velveeta (to taste)or cheddar cheese works too
Grated Parmasean Cheese (I like the canned kind)

While Mac is boiling, brown onions and beef. Drain. layer with cooked Mac in a casserole dish, stir in tomatoes (juice and all)and the velveeta. top with grated cheese. bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I don't measure when I cook, so everything is always by eye. I keep the juice in so when you are warming the leftovers up, they don't dry out. I also don't know how to cook small portions, so I always make a big one, even for home. We won't get into the size of the lasagna pan I use.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Way back in February when I started RBtheBlog to go along with Romance: B(u)y the Book sites, I wrote this.

Connie Brockway Said What?

So, I'm at this meeting of my chapter of Romance Writers of America. And Connie Brockway says she's decided to stop writing traditional romance cause she's sick of writing sex.

Uh, Connie? Some of us aren't sick of reading the sex you write, OK?

Some of us, in fact, reflect fondly upon a scene from "My Seduction," one of our favorite romances of all flippin time, in which rough, strapping, earnest-as-a-Boy Scout Kit MacNeill woos the heroine thusly:

"I will have you on your back and I will have you against the wall and I will take you on your knees. I will hear you sob and plead for my touch, and then you will plead again, and I will have you again."

Go ahead, Connie. Spread your little creative wings; I know the new book'll be wonderful. And when I'm no longer bitter, I shall buy you a cocktail at the RWA conference and toast Kit MacNeill, one of the most noble BiMBiAWs (Big Men, Big in All Ways) of all romance.

I can't believe "Hot Dish" is finally out!

Helen Brenna said...

Does Hamburger Helper count?

Hi, Connie. Can't wait to read HOT DISH!

Anonymous said...

Oh fer gawd's sake, you don't need Brockway's pitiful attempts at writing good sex. She got all the best stuff from me, anyway. Maybe I should write a book... hm.

Lemme see, hot dishes.

OKay here's my favorite recipe for a hot dish.

1 round bed
satin sheets (black bur red will do in a pinch)
velvet ropes
a gallon of whip cream
a pinch of hot pepper
Hugh Jackman

Take one Hugh Jackman and spread him--- What's that, Michelle? Crap. What a priss. Okay, fine. YOU guys figure it out.

Kitty Kuttlestone

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Connie!! I'm so excited you are here today.

LOL, Kitty!! I would like to try your recipe...

Hot dish for the busy woman:

2 cups dry rice
1lb ground beef
1/2 medium onion (diced)
1 can cream of celery
1 bag frozen broccoli
8 oz shredded favorite cheese (I prefer colby)

Cook the rice. Brown ground beef and onion together. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Put in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes (15 if you thaw broccoli first).
It is good with cream of chicken, too, but my daughter is allergic to chicken so we always use celery.

It's quick and yummy.

Manda Collins said...

Yay! I picked a great day to have the morning off. But, alas, I have no hot dish to contribute. Now if you wanted my Papaw's famous hush puppy recipe, it'd be another story.

But just cause I don't know the Hot Dish, doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to Connie's new book. Pretty much I've decided that Connie could write back of the cereal box copy and it would be wonderfully witty and compelling.

Hey Bellas! Hey Connie! Hey Michelle!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, you guys!

Thanks for having me Romance: By the Blog, Michelle. I'm very eager to see the recipes you guys come up with. I have had some of the vilest hotdishes in the world and some of the best. The vilest are so much more fun to talk about though, aren't they. So let me tell you about --oh lord, I can't name names, suffice to say she's a sweetheart,but in no respect whatsoever a cook. Anyway, at Thanksgiving one year she decided to make Creamed Onion Hotdish.

The recipe called for a pound of pearl onions and then basically gave a more involved and specific recipe for a white sauce.

Now, I swear I'm not making this up. The casserole came to the table looking like she'd upended a pail of wallpaper glue over somethings roughly the size and shape of tennis balls.

Not to be disuaded by looks alone (plus, let's face it, we're Minnesotans, we've all *had* bad hot dish) we each took a portion and dug in. And dug in. And failed to dig in. Because the sweetheart had thought "pearl" onions referred to some esoteric fancy-schmancy variety, not the size and...wait for it.... she hadn't PEELED THEM, EITHER becasue it didn't say to in the recipe.

I'll be checking back later to see what you all have come up with! And talk books. So ask some questions, I'm here to answer them.


Rach said...

LOL Kitty and Connie!

Manda, hushpuppies are good. I'll take the recipe even if it's not hot dish. =)

Connie, I cannot *wait* to get my hands on HOT DISH!!!

BTW, everyone, the recipes are looking mighty yummy! =)

Unknown said...

Hi Connie,

Okay, here is my hot dish (although it would be hard to top Kitty's lol):

Cheesy Chicken Casserole


6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (3oz.) jar dried beef, shredded or chopped

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 (8oz.) container sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Spray large casserole with Pam. Sprinkle dried beef on bottom of casserole. Place chicken on top of dried beef. Mix soup and sour cream, pour over chicken. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 275 degrees for 2.5 hours.

After reading all these recipes, I'm ready to eat now. :) I would like to try that Hugh one, but the main ingredient is hard to come by lol!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I just love your historicals, Connie! As You Desire is my all time favorite romance. I read the Romantic Times review of Hot Dish and they really loved it so I'm going to get it as soon as it comes out. I do read some contemporary books like SEP and Jennifer Crusie. Is Hot Dish anything like theirs?

Here's my hot dish recipe:

4 boned, skinless chicken breasts baked in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes, cooled and cut into chunks

1 bag of broccolli florets, cooked as per package instructions and drained

1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water
1 tsp curry
1 tsp lemon juice
1 c. mayo (NOT salad dressing!)

1 c. garlic salad croutons
1/4 c. melted butter

layer chicken then broccoli on bottom of casserole

mix remaining ingredients except for croutons and butter, spread over top

toss croutons in butter, sprinkle them on top

Bake 350 1/2 hour or until bubbly

Anonymous said...

LOL, Connie! Love the "legend" of hot dish. I'm a fellow Minnesotan who moved to the south and am about to move back to Minnesota again. Yeah!

A friend of mine got a pre-release copy of Hot Dish and knowing I was from Minnesota lent it to me after she finished it. You nailed Minnesotas small towns! I laughed so hard I was in tears during one particular scene (wolf). I would love to have an autographed copy for myself (my friend took hers back, the brat)


1 # egg noodles
1 can cream cheddar cheese soup
1 can milk
1 small onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 # browned hamburger
1 package tater tots, frozen

cook tater tots in oven
layer on bottom of casserole. Top with hamburger. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top. Bake in 350 oven 40 minutes. Remove. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Return to oven for five minutes

PS I came over because of your squawk news letter email this morning but you had the wrong address!


Vivi Anna said...

Here's my HOT DISH ,all the way from Alberta Canada, we call this:


1 pound of hamburger
1 can of mushroom soup
1 can of tomato soup
3 cups of noodles
some shredded cheese
some chopped red onions

Cook hamburger with red onions, add in mushroom soup, add in tomato soup, add in a can of water, mix well.

Boil noodles.

Add them together. Stir really really good. Then sprinkle with shredded cheese.


J Perry Stone said...

My hotdish doesn't qualify because it only has one of the 4 requirements.

That said, Connie, is there ANYTHING in your book, HOT DISH, that could be autobiographical? I mean, you're from MN....what parts in the book are parts from your life???? (and I ask this respectfully, and not in a creepy stalker kind of way:) )

do the characters go to places you frequent?

J Perry Stone said...

Hi Michelle. Great space.

J Perry Stone said...

Also Connie, did you struggle at first with a modern voice. Of course you speak in it all the time, but how difficult was it to write in it when you've been working in the restrained style of the 19th century?

ev said...

Michelle- got my prize in the mail today!! yeah!! Now I can start on the first book.


CrystalGB said...

My hot dish:

1 pound of ground beef(cooked and drained
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 bag egg noddles (cooked and drained)
1 bag of hashbrown potatoes
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together hamburger and soup. Layer meat mixture, egg noodles, hashbrowns. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Steamed brocolli makes a nice addition to this dish.

joelle said...

1 cup pasta shells
1 cup diced stew meat
1 cup cut green beans
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can tomato soup
1 c. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350, Saute onion in olive oil, then add pepper and green beans. Then add m eat and brown. Transfer to a casserole pan and pour soup over the contents and then add the cheese. Cover and Bake for 20 minutes.

pearl said...

1 lb, minced meat
2 eggs
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 onion diced
1 celery diced
1 green pepper diced
1 can tomato soup
1/4 tsp italian seasoning
8 oz. spaghetti

Mix first 4 ingredients into small balls. Brown meatballs and vegetables in oil in a pan. Add remaining ingredients, to meatballs, except for spaghetti,
Prepare spaghetti. Add meatballs and tomato soup. Mix well. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

sharon said...

olive oil
cauliflower - 5 florets
2 carrots
ground beef
1 can peas
1 can yellow beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup rotini pasta
Brown meat.
Put olive oil on the bottom of the casserole. Add half of the sliced cauliflower, and carrots. Then add meat, drained canned vegetables and soup and pasta. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

ellie said...

1 pkg. macaroni and cheese dinner
diced stir fry meat
1 can tomato soup
1 hard cooked egg - sliced
soda crackers

Brown meat
Cook the mac and cheese dinner
Combine meat, mac and cheese, throw in egg and soup. Place in a buttered caserole. Broil until crispy and then top with crackers.

alissa said...

baked cauliflower

1 large cauliflower
1/2 c. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 lb. grated cheese
1 can mushroom soup
Ground beef - cooked and browned

Break up cauliflower and cook in water. Place half of the crumbs, dots of butter and cheese in the bottom of a greased casserole. Add cauliflower and meat. then soup. Top with remaining crumbs and cheese. Bake 350 for 25 minutes.

Karen B said...

I grew up in Duluth MN and loved eating "hot dish" dinner at my friends homes, or at church dinners, because my mom didn't make them.

German Beef Bake:
1 lb hamburger
1 large onion, chopped
coarse grind pepper
Med head cabbage, chopped
1 can tomato soup

Brown 1st 3. Layer 1/2 cabbage, 1/2 meat, repeat. Top with soup. Cover. 1&1/2 hour at 350 or crockpot. All ingredients can be adjusted to your taste. Some add canned tomatoes - or potatos - or noodles - or cheese on top. Tastes fantastic but does tend to smell up the house...

Anonymous said...

Oh, these look intriguing! Those Lutheran Church ladies will have ahrd time choosing (!)

Stacy-- You can run, but you can't hide. Some day, somewhere, hot dish will walk back through your door (your mom will probably be carrying it!)

Michelle-- you've only read the ONE McCLairen's Isle? Get thy butt to the nearest bookstore! As for not counting as a Minnesotan, Minnesotan, my dear, is a state of mind. Purportedly a rather bland state of mind, but peaceful. Very peaceful.

Helen Brenna, you should KNOW better. Absolutely not. Unless you embellish it, then, of course!

Julie, thanks for the welcome and do NOT encourage Kitty.

Mandacoll-- Bless you. I really think you ought to look into getting yourself cloned.

Tobie-- Thank you! AYD is probably my own personal fave. As to whether my contemporaries are like SEP or JC. Both. Absolutely. No one could tell the difference. They actually ghosted this one... Okay, they didn't and I am the worst person to judge what my writing is similar to so I;m ducking that question. MICHELLE???

Jaynie, welcome back home! And I'm so glad you liked HOT DISH. I had fun with the wolf (g)

Vivi anna-- Canada/Minnesota. Potatoes/Potatoes. AT least, that's how you all used to feel (sob). It drove us NUTS when they closed the borders to anyone without a passport. Where are we suppose to go to get our MacIntosh candy?

JPerryStone!! Yeah! Is HOT DISH autobiographical? Not in the least. There are, however, a few characters in the book lossley based on some real characters I know and at least one tiny incident that actually occurred when I was living in a small town in Minnesota.
And my husband is from a small town in northern Minnesota that grew to know very well, so some of the places there are based on places in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The next book, SKINNY DIPPING, will have more city settings and there I really do name a lot of real places.

JPerry another good question! Honest, I didn't have too much of a problem making the transition. It was freeing to suddenly be able tpo make all these allusions and similes and pop references that I couldn't before. Like "She emerged from the crowd, stomping toward them with her signature runway walk, an odd, sexy jackhammer jolt of foot, heel, hip."

Keep those recipes and questions coming!

robynl said...

This is an old family favorite.
4 oz. macaroni
1 pound hamburger
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tin kernel corn
processed cheese slices
1-10 oz. tin Tomatoe Soup
Cook macaroni till tender. Saute onion in butter. Fry hamburger till brown.
Mix macaroni, hamburger, onion and corn. Season with salt and pepper and put in a greased casserole dish. Pour tin of soup over this and top with cheese slices. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Minna said...

This one is from Finland:
Cabbage Rolls

(for four - five persons)

- 1 large white cabbage
- water, salt 1 tsp/1 l

- 400 g of lean minced pork or beef
- 1 onion
- 1 dl cabbage cooking liquid
- 2 dl chopped cabbage
- 2 dl boiled rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp marjoram

- 1-2 tblsp syrup
- butter or margarine
- Cabbage cooking water for basting

- 3 dl pan juice
- 2 tblsp flour
- a little cream

Cut the stalk off the cabbage and cook the cabbage in salted water until the leaves are soft. You can carefully loosen the outer leaves as they soften. Lift the cooked cabbage onto a large plate to drain. Loosen the leaves one by one and chop the small inner leaves for the filling.

Finely chop the onion and fry in small amount of oil until translucent but not brown. Combine the meat, rice, chopped cabbage and seasonings into a smooth mixture. If the mixture is too thick, add some more of the cabbage cooking water.

Flatten the cabbage leaves. Lift a good tablespoonful of filling onto the leaf and roll it up tucking the edges round the mixture.

Place the rolls side by side in a baking dish, pour syrup and a little fat over them.

Bake the rolls for 1 hour at 200 °C. Half way turn the rolls over and baste them every now and then with the cabbage water.

Strain the pan juices and thicken with flour mixed with water. Add a little cream.

Serve the cabbage rolls with boiled potatoes and lingonberry purée.

Minna said...

I forgot to add these:

dl decilitre
l litre
tsp teaspoon
tblsp tablespoon
g grams

1 kilogram = 1000 g = 2 lbs 3 oz
100 g = 3.5 oz
1 litre = 10 dl = (more than) 2 pints
1 decilitre = (less than) ½ cup

susanna in KY said...

Hmmm... I think people in KY must be suspicious of noodles. Didn't have many casseroles with them, growing up, other than the tuna casserole staple. With us, it was all potatoes. Occasionally rice. The usual pot luck included pots of mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans, along with several big pans of chicken and dumplings, fried chicken and beef roast (cooked with cream of mushroom soup and Lipton's Dry Onion Soup). Plus cornbread, lots of cornbread. And a few plates of sliced fresh from the garden tomatoes and cucumbers. Occasionally ladies would bring something they found in Southern Living, but we were skeptical.

The closest would be what we call Green Rice Casserole, still one of my favorites. It only has 2 of the 4 - unless you allow rice as a noodle substitute. Easiest recipe in the world and deserves points for having Cheez Whiz:

Green Rice Casserole

3 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked broccoli
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 8-oz jar Cheez Whiz
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper

Saute the onions and green pepper until soft. Mix all ingredients together well, pour into a 13x9" casserole dish, bake at 350 until the middle bubbles, about 30 min. This freezes beautifully. And makes great leftovers.

J Perry Stone said...

connie said: "She emerged from the crowd, stomping toward them with her signature runway walk, an odd, sexy jackhammer jolt of foot, heel, hip."

Well if your name on the cover wasn't enough to get my butt to the bookstore, THAT certainly was.

Minna said...

Oh, yes! 200C is 392F.

Julie in Ohio said...

Connie said " NOT encourage Kitty."

Ah, shucks. I was hoping she'd share her recipe for her fav mixed drink. I hear she knows all the best ones.

santasmbslt said...

Ciao everyone! I know I'm late to the blog but I've had a busy, busy day! The only hot dish I know of is my Tuna Casserole with Cream of Mushroom soup and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Delish!

The other "Hot Dish" I know of is Connie Brockway's "Hot Dish" which I am reading right now...hence one reason for my busy, busy day!
Oh, and may I just say, it ROCKS!!!!!

Keira Soleore said...

Connie, I know this is rather late, but I've been meaning to ask you these questions all day but couldn't find the time to do so.

1. What made you decide to move from historicals to contemps? Was it a change in your reading interests or an event (a series of events) that led to the change?

2. Do you think you will continue to write historicals once in a while? I love them so much, that I must admit, I was sad to hear you "moving on" from my love. Heh.

3. Did you find that your writing voice changed significantly right at the start of Hot Dish, or did it change gradually as you progressed through the story?

Thanks, Connie.

And thank you, Michelle, for this fun blog!! I'm headed to the grocery store tomorrow with my list. Yum!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi Bellas! I was gone most of yesterday and blogger wouldn't let me comment last night! grrr.

First, Tobie asked if Connie's contemps are anything like Crusie or SEP, and Connie lobbed that at me; Connie is so so humble. cough cough.

Now, my little thang is that I never compare authors when I write about them cause I want their feature to be special and specific to them. But I know readers like to know what to expect and feel comfortable reading a writer they know may be similar in style to another they love. (I often look for blurbs on novels from writers I like when I'm buying novels in my spare reading)

Connie's contemporary is her own animal, because she's such a great writer and put so much effort, I think, into making a contemp every bit as great as what we're used to from her.

Let me put it this way: If "Hot Dish" were the first Brockway one had ever read, one would never, in a million years, expect that Connie'd written historicals.

HD is driven and funny and modern, not evocotive of anyone but Connie Brockway.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Grazie mille, Connie, for this awesome funny GuestBlog and contest! I can't wait to find out who the nice genUine Lutheran church ladies choose as the winner. I have my personal pick at this point, but, of course, my opinions don't stand. And not just cause I'm Catholic and from the East coast. I think our realm back East was more bingo at the rectory.

Anyhoo, I can't say enough good things about Connie's "Hot Dish," but I will be featuring it next a week from tomorrow. santa's right, it's one that you'll have a tough time putting down. (Darn those Squawkers and their great books!!!!) [shakes fist a la Scarlett (o'hara, not johannsen).

So, Connie. Tanks again, youbetcha, etc., etc. We'll look forward to posting the winner of the HOT DISH Hot Dish contest here at RBtheBlog after you announce it at

So, when are you gonna be writing your next historical....?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for having me, Michelle! I have dutifully given the recipes to my staff of Lutheran Church ladies who are already hard at work with pyrex casseroles and a grocery cart full of soup cans. Check in to my website: on NOVEMBER 1st to see whose recipe is award the WET NOODLE (and a casserole and an ARC!)

Now about those historicals, KEIRA.

I switched from historicals to mainstream mostly becasue I had stories to tell that was best served in a contemporary setting. My heroines are not young women just discovering their sexuality (although forty is the new thirty...or is it fifty? Maybe thiry is the new forty? I forget) They are women who have lived, acheived certain goals, had realtionships both successful and unsuccessful and now find themsselves, for wahtever reason, at a point in their lives where they are forced (by me) to stop and look around and ask themselves, "Is this really what I want for myself? Is this really who I wanted to become?"

Now that sounds very serious, but the fun of writing contemporaries is you can take these very real questions and shine a funny, acidic, wry light on them, draw the reader in and have her say to herself, "hey, that's me!" and laugh. In a historical, we slip into another's skin, comofrtable in knowing that whatever happens to her (inclusing terror, kidnappings, great sex, great dresses) is nothing like our own lives.

Question Two: I am writing another historical romance. I'm writing a third of "The List" along with Eloisa James and Julia Quinn. It's Eloisa's baby and I promise it will be delicious. A regency about a man who writes up a list of "suitable candidates" for the position of his wife and then goes and interviews them. Sexy, unexpected and loads of fun!

Question Three: How quickly did I adopt a contemporary voice. Pretty darn fast. I still find myself using some more historical terms, but those are pretty easy to spot.