July Fourth Junk Food YUM!

A plate of Fairy Bread. 
There are certain days that I am without doubt going to consume lots of junk food: hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, brownies, sodas.  The menu on July Fourth would not be complete without junk food.  This year I am adding two Aussie junk foods to the menu.  My Aussie friend Jeanette is currently vacationing in Australia, and she recently shared a link entitled 9 Australian Junk Foods That Are All National Treasures For the children or adults who crave sugar I'm making Fairy Bread.

Fairy Bread needs only three ingredients:  white bread (I broke down and bought some potato bread which is almost white), butter, and sprinkles.  Apparently, the bread must be white for this truly to be called Fairy Bread.  This reminds me of something I sometimes made as a kid.  I would spread white bread (the only kind we had, probably Sunbeam or Bost) with butter or margarine or Crisco (ewuh!!) and then sprinkle with white sugar.  I'm not sure my Mama knew I did this, but I called it my sugar and butter sandwich.
Lavish soft butter on white bread. 
Add sprinkles.
Cut into triangles. *

But I digress. The Fairy Bread name apparently comes from a Robert Louis Stevenson poem:    
                                                   Fairy Bread
COME up here, O dusty feet! 
  Here is fairy bread to eat. 
Here in my retiring room, 
  Children, you may dine

This year I'm making Sausage Sizzlers another Aussie junk food instead of the requisite hot dogs.  Afterall, I need to use the remaining loaf of white bread.  
Brown cooked sausages in frying pan. 

Place sausage on a piece of white bread.  Add condiments. 

Ready to serve.  

Of course there will be baked beans, slaw, potato salad, watermelon, canteloupe, and brownies.  Lemonade, sweet tea, and sodas to drink. One of my favorite junk food days.

* It is a good idea to freeze the Fairy Bread until ready to serve.  In this hot weather, it will thaw very quickly.  

Cooking Aboard the Viking Ship Alsvin

The Viking Cruise Ship the Alsvin.

On the Viking Cities of Light Cruise another passenger Kathy and I had the honor of cooking with the Chef in a demonstration on how to make  Ofenschlupfer, a bread pudding from southern Germany.  It is layered with apples and  raisins and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  It is best enjoyed straight from the oven and topped with ice cream or custard sauce.
The Executive Chef and Pastry Chef. 

We enjoyed a serving right out of the oven that had been previously cooked.

As a souvenir Kathy and I were each given our Chef's Hat signed by both the Pastry Chef and the Executive Chef.  Fun !!!
Signed Chef's Hat, a wonderful memento of our trip. 
Here's the recipe:

Raiding the Freezer and the Pantry

Danish bars using ingredients I had on hand.
I've been trying to use things that are in the freezer and the pantry, so this afternoon I noticed a package of Puff Pastry, and I thought oh I'll make something with that.  In the pantry a can of cherry pie filling was just what I needed to make Danish bars.  And yes I had cream cheese in the fridge.

It's possible to find almost any recipe online when you indicate the ingredients you want to use, and I found just the one I needed.

  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry dough, thawed
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup canned  Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry into a 12×9″ rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, yielding 2 4-½” strips. Cut those two strips crosswise into thirds, to yield six 4×4 ½” pieces.

With a knife, score ½” border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make pricks into the dough within the border of each piece. This will help keep the middle of each piece from rising.

In a bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into the middle of each piece of dough and spread around evenly, ensuring the mixture stays within the borders.

In the middle of the cream cheese, add 4 or 5 cherries.

Bake for 20 minutes, on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet half way through baking. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Cut into six rectangles. 

Prick center so that area won't rise. 
Fill the pricked area with cream cheese mixture and top with cherries. 
Out of the oven. 
Ready to eat with a bit of confectioner's sugar sifted on top. 

These will be perfect for breakfast, but I must admit, I had one for a snack almost as soon as they came out of the oven.  They are good!