Ellen, You are awesome!

Carol Schmertzler SiegelSeptember 13, 2005

Ellen (Compumom) sent me "traveling the cuisine's of the world!" and what an awesome trip it is! The UPS guy did his usual ring and run, could it be he's petrified of my two big dogs that freak out when the bell rings? I always get to the door to see him running for the truck! There was a big box by the door waiting for me! I ripped the box open. There was an envelope with the words..."OPEN LAST" highlighted in yellow! I'm the kind of person who reads the last pages of a book first, I was so tempted but I did as I was instructed and opened the envelope last!

Everything was wrapped so nice in colorful tissue paper. To start there was a newspaper from California, with an article in the sports section about the Brooklyn Dodgers (YAY, Brooklyn!) I will read the rest of the paper, but I did enjoy the article about Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers! I didn't know what to grab first, but the first thing opened was Pocky. Thin chocolate covered cookie sticks from Japan. We ate the Pocky biscuits while we opened the rest of the gifts! HOLY COW! Lots of spices from Penzey's, Seasoned salt, Turkish oregano, Sandwich Sprinkle seasoning, Country French Vinaigrette seasoning, Greek Seasoning, Sate seasoning, and YUM, Chinese cinnamon! We opened all of them to sniff, WOW! I used the Sandwich Sprinkle on some baby Yukon Gold potatoes I roasted for dinner tonight and it was soooooo good! Ellen said the Sprinkle is also good in egg salad, I will try that, too!

Continuing on the travels, Ellen included tastes from around the world and she sent a cookbook, Thai the Essence of Asian Cooking! It's got beautiful pictures of the dishes and I skimmed through it and there is a lot of recipes I would like to try! Stir-fried Pineapple with Ginger sounds good, Roast Lime Chicken with Sweet Potatoes was another. More tastes included Garlic Oil, Toasted Sesame Oil and Hot Chili Oil. There was Plum Spring Roll Sauce, I used some of it on grilled chicken wings we had for dinner tonight. I love the plum sauce. Delicious!

Ellen sent a package of carved wooden toothpicks from Japan that are really pretty, and the cutest toothpick holder from the Galapagos Islands that looks like little turtles and a honey stick with a little bee on top! Tomorrow for breakfast we're having waffles with Hawaiian Surfboard Pineapple syrup. I tasted it, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast! There is also the cutest utensil holder with a chef holding a cake, it's perfect in my kitchen, white and blue! A set of napkins in the prettiest shade of blue, just perfect, along with a towel and potholder set in blue, yellow and white. It all matches my kitchen perfectly! and that's not all, Ellen, you must have known that I have burned myself plenty this summer, pulling things from the oven at camp, while being distracted by groups of kids. Well, no more, Ellen sent an oven glove. How cool, it's a glove and it's not clunky like an oven mitt, I won't be burning myself any more!

I loved everything in this package, Ellen you are the greatest swapper, Jessy is a terrific spy, and the thing that made me laugh was the Silly String! My absolute favorite party favor and Jessy is a riot for telling you about that! and I am going to a Bar Mitzvah in October and I will bring it along, they won't know what hit them! You brought such a big smile to my face and I am absolutely thrilled with all my surprises, thank you so much for such an amazing package!


I forgot to mention, the envelope that said "Open Last" was a lovely note from Ellen that described my package and told me about herself. I will think of you often, Ellen, as I am using my wonderful treats! Thanks, again :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Traveling the Cuisines of the World with Ellen...

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What? No martini glasses? LOLOL Well, I suppose you DO have enough of those....

Makayla LOVES Pocky, I'm sure your kids did too. Your kids did get to try that? (snicker)

I love the color of those blue napkins....


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 2:16AM
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Carol, sounds like you got some fabulous stuff!!! Personally, I love the Penzey's spices...This sounds vaguely similar to another swap package that hasn't been received yet...

Ellen, as usual, you did a great job picking things out for your partner...(Ellen sent me my first swap package.)


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 8:22AM
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I've never heard of or tasted a Pocky! Sounds good though!

I love this package. Good Job Ellen!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:02AM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

LOL, Annie, the kids got a little taste of the Pocky. They must have, they're all gone! hmmmmmmmm, martini's and silly string could be dangerous, you know!

I knew what Pocky was only because it was mentioned in a thread a while back. Pencil thin cookies (the package says biscuits, I guess in Japan that means cookie?)dipped in chocolate. They were really nice cookies, addictive! The cappuccino chocolate bar from Germany was good, too :)

Ellen, thanks, again, I'm enjoying all your gifts!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:22AM
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Oh I love that theme! The little turtle toothpick holder is adorable--& those spices-Wow!! Silly string huh?-that sounds like a dangerous thing to mix with a martini Carol.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:31AM
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What? No beef stew recipe from Robin? I had nothing to do with the silly string. Honest.

(cross forum inside joke)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Wonderful package. My son loves Pocky. I had never heard of it until he brought some home one day.

Love the turtle toothpicks. So cute!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Beautiful job, Ellen. It all looks fun and tasty. But curiosity is killing me about the Ritter Sport that I spied in the photo. What flavor is it? Not that they make a bad flavor, mind you. Just that inquiring taste buds want to know. :o)


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 1:58PM
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Carol, Great gifts...I like sandwich sprinkle in egg salad too.
Ellen, Fabulous theme.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 2:17PM
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Travelling the word with your tastebuds -- what a neat idea! Wonderful box; the honey dipper is really cute.

Nice job!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 4:17PM
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Love Pockies. The turtles are adorable, also the bee. My kitchen colors are blue, yellow and white so everything would look great in MY kitchen. But I MUST know what silly string is.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 6:37PM
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LOL, Janet, I should go out and take a pic of the ceiling of my front porch!!! There is petrified silly string up there which we really must get off before we repaint - Will sprayed it up there a couple years ago, and by the time we went to take it down, it wouldn't come...

"I must know what silly string is..." We MUST send her some silly string, everyone, LOL!

Did you see the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks? It's the can of stuff that they pretended to spray out of their noses when they sneezed...


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 7:15PM
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Those California girls really know how to pack a swap package. I got a selection of salad seasonings from Penzey's in a swap and they were awesome. Very nice, Ellen. Carol have fun with all the great stuff!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 7:30PM
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Very nice. Love your theme Ellen. The toothpicks and holder are so cute.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 7:32PM
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Great swap box. Ellen, you do it up right!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 12:19AM
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Carol, I'm so glad it all made it there safely and in one piece. I was worried about the chef and the various bottles. Glad to hear you're happy and let me know how you like the sate seasoning. I bought it too and need to figure out ways to use it! It was fun ordering from Penzey's--one for you and one for me etc! Enjoy it all and use it in good health. Oh yes, one more thing. I expect photos of you with the silly string!

BTW Karen, the Ritter bar was Cappucino!
Jessy- just couldn't find a worthy T&T beef stew recipe...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 1:45AM
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The secret to great sate is high heat cooking. This makes the flavor of the spices, especially the coriander, much more delicious. The recipe works equally well for sirloin steak or chicken breasts. Serve the sates with one or both dipping saucessee the recipes below. Serves four with bread or rice and salad as a meal, or makes enough appetizers for a dozen people.

* 2 TB. water
* 2 lbs. boned lamb (shoulder or leg works well)
* 3 TB. soy sauce
* 3 TB. peanut or vegetable oil
* 2 TB. rice vinegar
* 30 wooden skewers

Combine SATE SEASONING and water in a medium sized bowl. Set aside to give the flavors time to develop. Trim meat of excess fat and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Add meat and remaining ingredients to bowl, mixing well. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. Before starting the coals, place skewers in water to soak. Stack charcoal 2 deep across bottom of grill. After lighting the coals, thread about 5-6 pieces of meat onto each skewer. Once the coals are very hot, grill sate in batches, 3-5 minutes per side. The sate should be crispy brown on the first side before turning. High heat cooking is the key to producing the most delicious sate. DonÂt be afraid to fan the coals into a high heat frenzy before putting the sate on the grill.

Serves: 4 for a meal, 12 for appetizers.

Prep. time: 20 minutes.

Cooking time: 6-10 minutes

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.

* 1/4 Cup soy sauce
* 2 thinly sliced shallots (2 TB. minced dry SHALLOTS)
* 2 tsp. brown sugar
* 1 tsp. lime juice (the juice of 1/2 lime)

Spicy Ginger dipping sauce

* 1/4 tsp. GINGER, powdered
* 1 TB. water
* 1 TB. soy sauce
* 3/4 Cup of your favorite hot sauce

In a small bowl mix water, ginger and garlic, let stand 10 minutes so flavor can develop. Add soy sauce and hot sauce, mix. Great for chicken wings or sate.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 2:06AM
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Great gift box, Ellen. Are you sure it didn't get rerouted from me to Carol by accident???

Honestly, I hope you enjoy every bit of it, Carol! I hope we hear about lots of food you cook with the spices and some great Thai meals.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 9:45AM
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Carol - I was rereading this and laughed out loud at your UPS man - ring and run. I must have the same UPS man. Only mine does the drop and dash. I think he is terrified of Sadie. If you remember Sadie from my Typo pictures, there is a greater chance of getting licked to death then bitten.

The recipes using the Sate Seasoning sounds wonderful. Maybe I need to buy some. . . .

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 2:54PM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Doris, I once had a mailman who changed his route because of my old dog, Charlie, a german shepherd mutt. he used to love to sit in the bay window, and when he saw the poor mailman, he'd flip out and start barking at the window. The mailman thought one day the dog would actually go through the window to get him so he had his route switched!
Sadie looks like a sweetheart, I love the pictures of her with Typo! My friend has a Golden, a not so gentle giant, who knocks me over (I'm 6 foot) every time I walk in the door he kills me with love and kisses!

Thanks for the recipe, Ellen, you know you forced me to clear out the spice cabinet to make room, found some wooden skewers. Sate is in the near future! I'll report back!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:13PM
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Great package! Love all the penzey's spices -- I've never tried the sandwich seasoning, but I'm definitely going to pick some up next time I'm there. The ove-glove is cool too. I bought one on a whim at the drug store while I was waiting for them to fill my prescription (that's their plan, isn't it?). My 15 yo son LOVES it and won't use a regular pot holder anymore.

I think it's SOP for those UPS guys to drop & run. Our guy (don't know if it's the same one every time because I never get a really good look at him) drops the package, gives a sharp knock on the door, and runs. We don't have any dogs, so I think he's just in a hurry to get moving! LOL.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:25PM
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May, you are correct. They are paid some part of their salary based on how much they deliver. They don't dawdle!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:33PM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

We're having the Sate for dinner tonight, I have some beef cubes marinating in it now for dinner on the grill tonight, using Ellen's recipe above! I can't wait for dinner...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:51PM
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Oh good, let me know how you like it. It came from the Penzey's website. Dan is not around for dinner this week until the weekend but I've got some boneless lamb chops in the freezer waiting to make it!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 6:55PM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Ellen, I made them and they were delicious. I didn't use lamb, the kids wouldn't eat it, so I cut up chunks of filet mignon that I had and marinated it for about 3 hours. I used two skewers each so it wouldn't flop off the sticks. Put veggies on the skewer so all I had to do was serve it with some rice pilaf. Whole family loved it, even picky Jodie. Forgot to put onions on the skewer and next time, the kids want pineapple on it, too! I'm definitely making it again! Thanks, Ellen, the sate is a keeper! Let me know how you like it!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 8:27PM
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