Need "interesting" recipes

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us once again, and once again, I don’t have any idea what to bring to the family get-together. I don’t have any specialties when it comes to cooking, and our family’s needs are amply met by the contributions of the aunts and cousins and whatnot, so in the past few years I have tried to provide something of a “conversation piece”. A few years ago it was a gelatin dish which utilized as a main ingredient the most vile substance known to man.* Last year I brought a “cat litter cake”, made with cookie crumbs and strategically placed Tootsie Rolls. It’s gotten to where the family expects me to bring the entertainment, and I don’t have any good ideas. (Tofu?) So I turn to you guys. It doesn’t have to be disgusting, in fact, I would consider it a plus if it were edible. Just…different. Have any odd ideas?
*Circus peanuts.

This may not be weird enough, but one year I brought a Wild Mushroom Tart to my family’s Thanksgiving, and another year I brought chile sweet potato fries, vaguely similar to Whipped Chipotle Sweet Potatoes.



1 c sugar
2 T cocoa
1/3 c self rising flour
1 T butter
¼ c milk
1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients except milk. Add milk. Heat stirring frequently until thick. Serve over just about anything, best on pound cake and vanilla ice cream.

Or from my brother’s ouvre - recipe is as he wrote it…


1 c sugar
½ c light corn syrup
1 T water
1 c pecans or any nut you like
1 T butter
1 T baking soda
1 T vanilla

Mix sugar, syrup and water in a microwave safe dish. It gets sticky as all hell so make sure you stir it good. Heat on high for 4 minutes. Fold in your nuts. Heat on high for 4½ minutes. Stir in warm butter and vanilla. Allow butter to completely dissolve.
Stir in soda (watch it – it foams!). Pour out onto a greased cookie sheet – spreading it at thin as you can. Work Fast!! Or you will have a big lump. Allow brittle to cool; then break into pieces.

I make hot pepper whipped cream for roasted vegetables at Thanksgiving.

A brick of Spam cut into the likeness of Grommet (saw this at the state fair this year). If you don’t know who Grommet is, then you’re out of luck.

I recommend any of the recipes from my favorite cook book

Still available and still cheap!

For once, you’ll have a dish that is normal in appearance and utterly delicious. But, imagine your relatives’ reactions when they learn what they’ve just eaten!

Baked sausages in marmalade.

Seriously; you need some good pork sausages and a jar of dark, bitter orange marmalade, find an ovenproof dish that is just big enough for the sausages to fit in a single layer, spread the marmalade on top of them and bake it all in a medium oven.

Baked Billy-Bumbler. :smiley:

I’m just kidding!!!

Try Alton Brown’s Stuffed Jalapenos.


I immediately thought of a Haslet of Fruits. Haslet is an Old French word for entrails. The dish involves threading together various fruits, dipping the string in a batter, and baking. It comes out looking like a pile of cooked intestines, but is a delicious dessert.

I googled for a recipe, and found this listing of several medieval illusion foods. Maybe you’ll like one of those better (though it is poorly formatted and hard to read–it’s a e-mail list archive, I think, and parts of it are in Middle English, usually followed by a translation into a modern recipe). The Eggs in Lent seem interesting.

Fried cheesecake.

Smashed Potato Soup

Only 4 WW points per serving.

3 1/2 cups nonfat milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon canola oil or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)

  1. Beat 1/2 cup of the milk and flour with a wire whisk until smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat.
  3. Cook onion in oil about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  4. Increase heat to high; stir in remaining 3 cups milk.
  5. Stir in potatoes, salt, black pepper and red pepper.
  6. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  7. Simmer uncovered 15 to 16 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.
  8. Beat in flour mixture with wire whisk.
  9. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened; remove from heat.
  10. Beat potato mixture with wire whisk until potatoes are slightly mashed.
  11. Stir in cheese, sour cream and green onions.

6 servings
37 minutes ( 10 mins prep time, 27 mins cook time )

Banofee Pie (Scotland)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 bananas, sliced
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and ginger until well blended. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Cool in refrigerator.

Use one of the following three methods to prepare the toffee:

Oven Method
Pour sweetened condensed milk into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in larger shallow pan. Fill larger pan with hot water. Bake at 425 degrees F for 1 hour or until thick and caramel-colored. Beat until smooth.

Stovetop Method
Pour sweetened condensed milk into top of double boiler; place over boiling water. Simmer over low heat for 1 to 1/2 hours or until thick and caramel-colored, stirring occasionally. Beat until smooth.

Microwave Method
Pour sweetened condensed milk into a 2-quart glass measuring cup. Cook on 50% power (medium) 4 minutes, stirring briskly every 2 minutes until smooth. Cook on 30% power (medium-low) 20 to 25 minutes or until very thick and caramel-colored, stirring briskly every 4 minutes during the first 16 minutes and every 2 minutes during the last 4 to 10 minutes.

Pour toffee into pie crust. Allow to cool.

Slice bananas over toffee.

Whip the cream stiff, then spoon it on top of bananas. Refrigerate before serving.

Chocolate Covered Garlic:

From The Garlic Book by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille

24 medium garlic cloves
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup sugar
a 2-inch piece of lemon rind, yellow part only
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (Lindt or Baker’s is good)

Peel the garlic and remove the root end.
Bring the garlic, wine, sugar, and lemon rind to a simmer in a small, heavy noncorrosive saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When garlic is tender, cool the cloves on a plate covered with a piece of waxed paper. The cloves will be very sticky.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Cover another plate with waxed paper.
Stick a toothpick in a clove of garlic. Hold it over the edge of the pan and with a small spoon, cover the garlic lightly with the melted chocolate. Place the coated garlic clove on the waxed paper to cool and harden. Do remaining cloves.
Store chocolate-covered garlic in a covered container in a cool place. Do not refrigerate. Best eaten with 24-48 hours.

I’ve made this and I thought it came out really good but some people just loathe it. The garlic cloves end up mushy and sweet, and the chocolate is a great complement to the flavor IMHO. Especially good served with red wine or maybe port.

My wife makes a dirt cake every Halloween.

It’s essentially chocolate pudding with crumbled up oreos on top. Then a few well placed gummy worms crawling out makes it oh so appitizing.

They sell a pliable plastic mold that looks like a human brain. How about some neon color gelatin with edible stuff suspended in it:jellybeans, bubble gum, chocolate chips, go wild with it.

In one of the Penn & Teller books, they tell how to make a gelatin heart that bleeds when you cut into it. You can find it here (bottom of page).

Chocolate lasagna is an easy and good dessert. Use any standard vegetarian lasagna recipe, but add cocoa powder and sugar to taste (and dried fruit if you like) to the ricotta cheese mixture and no tomato sauce. Put some chopped up chocolate (or chocolate gravy above) on it about 10 minutes before it’s done.

You’ve already done the cat litter theme, but on the off chance that is something you’d like to continue…

I have seen a fairly simple casserole of brown rice, cream of mushroom soup, and small sausages that looked quite convincing. The crowning touch was to purchase a new plastic scoop in the pet aisle for serving.

Another option would be sushi. It doesn’t have to be raw fish, and leaves lots of room for creative expression. Pick up a sushi book to get ideas of how to make rolls that look like various plants, etc.

New Orleans king cake is not that strange, but maybe strange enough, and very tasty. It is a coffee cake with purple, yellow and green sugar on top, with a little plastic baby embedded under one of the slices. Whoever gets the baby gets a wish, or has to bring the cake next year.

I once made a birds-nest dessert. This involved buying frozen phyllo dough, cutting it into long, 1/2 inch wide strips, stirring them up into a birds-nest type mess, and baking. Then the nest was filled with a fruit mixture, but you could elaborate with candy eggs and peeps, for example.