edible adventures from the centre of the universe

29 May 2006

Review: Cool Hand of a Girl

When you live in a mid-gentrification neighborhood like the Junction, brown paper in storefront windows, "For Rent" signs, or any other indication that a new business is opening are constant sources of nervous anticipation - Will it be something cool, or just another crappy junk shop? A couple of weeks ago, a new cafe opened in the area that definitely fits into the former category, and not by name only.

Cool Hand of a Girl (2804 Dundas Street W) is a new organic cafe located just east of Keele on Dundas; Dave and I headed down there this past weekend to check it out. My first impression was that this coffee shop is really cute: it occupies a small space, and the tables and chairs are a mish-mash of fun retro furniture. The walls are currently bare except for a cool black and white art installation on one wall - I expect more art will be added soon, making the space feel less "plain" than it does now.

Stepping up to the counter to order, Dave and I had a look at the short blackboard menu on the wall. Cool Hand of a Girl serves a small selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts along with its organic coffees and herbal teas - I decided on the tamari-balsamic baked tofu sandwich, and Dave opted for an avocado, cheddar, and chutney sandwich with a side house salad. We also ordered some of the house-made iced tea - ginger green tea for me, and hibiscus, rosehip, mint tea for Dave.

We grabbed a seat to wait for our food, and sipped at our ice teas. Wow - All I can say is that these were the best tasting glasses of iced tea that I have ever experienced. Perfectly sweetened, each tea was a refreshing blend of complex flavours. Mine had a nice bite from the ginger, and Dave's had a slight fruity flavour that was offset by the soothing mint. I could drink these iced teas all day long.

Once our minds were thoroughly blown by the iced tea, our sandwiches arrived. Served on fresh, lightly- toasted multigrain, mine was host to a huge slab of marinated, baked tofu, fresh greens, tomato, and mayo. The tofu tasted divine, with a slight undertone of cinnamon or allspice, and the mayo provided a perfect creamy foil. Dave agreed that the mayo was "fluffy," with almost a whipped texture, and I suspect that it is house-made. I was in sandwich heaven.

Dave similarly enjoyed his sandwich, and the bite he gave me proved it to be a tasty combo of creamy avocado and sharp cheddar, with a subtle touch of chutney. He also shared his side salad with me, which was amazing and definitely unique. The salad contained a healthy dose of sunflower seeds, fresh herbs, cabbage, shredded carrots, tiny cherry tomatoes, and fresh greens in a beautiful, complicated vinaigrette.

Thoroughly impressed with this new addition to our neighborhood, we decided to try some of the homemade banana cake for dessert. It was kind of dry, but the addition of dates and chocolate chips made for an interesting finish to our meal. While the cake came up a little short, there were lots of other desserts on display for us to try next time we visit.

The service at Cool Hand of a Girl is friendly and very attentive for a place where you order at the counter - two glasses of water with lemons were brought out with our dessert, without us having to ask for them. Currently, this cafe does not serve breakfast or dinner (they close at 4), but I hope they expand their menu soon - I'd love to see what tasty and imaginitive dishes they'd come up with. I highly recommend Cool Hand of Girl, and I can only hope that it's an indication of things to come in the Junction.

9 farm trucks out of 10


28 May 2006

Heck Yes!

Go Oil!

*Thanks to Ladysir for the hot fu manchu pennant.
It will serve me well during the effing Stanley Cup Finals.

26 May 2006

A Tale of Two Tuna Melts (and a Recipe)

As a child, I hated tuna. So. Much. I was not a fan of seafood in general, but tuna was always the absolute worst. My mom's attempts to make it appealing were usually followed by a refusal to eat, tears, and sometimes screaming. Needless to say, tuna was not served very often.

Last year I decided to end a 9 year hiatus from meat by adding seafood to my diet. With Dave coaching me through some delicious halibut- and prawn-centric meals, my childhood seafood hatred was quickly converted to an appreciation for les fruits de la mer. However, I still clung to the belief that tuna was up to no good, and refused to give in to its evil ways.

Eventually, I found myself at Subway with Dave and he convinced me to try a bite of his tuna sub. It was...yummy! I was amazed that its flavour no longer induced tantrums, and proceeded to eat half of Dave's sandwich. Tuna-phobia conquered!

Since then, I have found myself turning to tuna regularly because it's so versatile. My parents gave me a great cookbook for Christmas that is indispensible in this regard: Joie Warner's Take a Tin of Tuna - this book has loads of great tuna recipes, from breakfasts to sandwiches to entrees. Who knew canned tuna could do so much?

One of my favorite things since "discovering" tuna has been tuna melts. This past month, I tried the tuna melts at two different Toronto restaurants. The first was at the Duke of York - Paul, Alex, Dave, and I headed there for some grub after seeing "Art School Confidential" a few weeks ago. The tuna melt was heralded as being served on a "pretzel bun" on the menu, which is what convinced me to order it.

When my meal arrived, I found that all of the tuna was on only one half of the pretzel-shaped bun. I put some yellow mustard on the other half, and squished the two together like a sandwich. The pretzel bun was lightly toasted, which was a nice touch, and had a definite chewy pretzely texture. The tuna was kind of plain, combined only with mayo, but the cheddar cheese on top was nicely melted and had lots of flavour. The sandwich was rounded out with some tomato and red onion, and was served with a good portion of amazing french fries - perfectly crisp on the outside, and fluffy (they seemed almost hollow) on the inside. I would definitely order another tuna melt at the Duke of York.

The second tuna melt I had this month was at Mel's Montreal Delicatessen. It was served open-faced on untoasted rye bread, and had some red onion mixed in with the tuna and mayo. The cheddar cheese on top was nice and melty, but I really wish the bread had been toasted before the tuna was added - it was a touch soggy. The fries served with the melt were pretty standard. Mel's makes an okay tuna melt - it's definitely comfort food - but there is room for improvement.

On the heels of these two experiences, I decided to make my own tuna melt version at home. I picked up some fresh Ace Bakery focaccia buns from the grocery store, as well as some artichoke hearts, lemons, and goat cheese with the aim of making a tangy dish. I also threw in some fresh parsley to add a sharp herby bite and some red onion, which always pairs nicely with tuna and adds some crunchy texture.

This recipe is really easy to make, and got two thumbs up from Dave. Toasting the buns before adding the tuna is a critical step, so warm up your broiler and bust out the can opener!

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Heart Tuna Melt
1 can solid tuna in water, drained and rinsed
1/2 of a small jar marinated artichoke hearts, coarsley chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 crusty buns (calabrese works well), halved
a little butter or margarine
3 oz goat cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1. Gently combine tuna, artichoke hearts, onion, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, and mayo in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spread a small amount of butter or margarine on each bun half, and place onto a baking sheet, cut-side up. Put the baking sheet under the broiler just until the buns begin to brown.
3. Remove the buns from the oven, and spoon 1/4 of the tuna mixture onto each half. Crumble the goat cheese over the tuna, and return the baking sheet to the oven. Broil until goat cheese begins to brown slightly.
4. Remove the melts from the oven, grind some fresh pepper on top, and serve immediately.

(this recipe serves two)

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22 May 2006

Impromptu Baked Ziti

To celebrate our friend Paul's birthday this past weekend, Dave and I decided to have a few people over for dinner. Somehow (read: while distracted by the Oilers' improbable playoff run), we managed to leave the small problem of deciding what to serve until the last possible minute. Damn you, Roloson, and your shiny, shiny mask!

So, with four hours until our guests were set to arrive, we decided to serve some sort of baked pasta dish - the quicker and easier, the better. Although I had no prior experience with Baked Ziti, I had a feeling that it would be pretty simple to throw together. This suspicion was confirmed with a quick look at a few recipes, summarized thusly: throw pasta in a pan with meat and sauce (and sometimes ricotta), smother with cheese and bake until yummy.

I decided to use my standby Smoky Marinara Sauce recipe (originally from Cooking Light magazine), but add spinach for a change. I thought ricotta would be a nice touch, so I threw it in with some fresh herbs. Since Paul is a meat-eater, but I'm not, I added spicy sausage to one ziti, and roasted zucchini to the other. With caesar salad and garlic bread, we were set!

Despite the thrown-together nature of this meal, it turned out great. This recipe makes a tonne of food, but it can be easily frozen so you have a prepared dish next time you're entertaining unexpectedly (or expectedly, if you're a procrastinator like me). This recipe may also be halved if you aren't feeding an army, and you don't need a buttload of pasta in your freezer. Enjoy!

Baked Ziti
2 lbs dry ziti pasta
475 g container of light ricotta
2 tbsp chopped italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
3 1/2 cups grated mozarella
6 spicy italian sausages (or 4 medium zucchinis*)
1 batch smoky spinach marinara (recipe follows)
salt & pepper to taste

1.Grease two 9x13 inch baking pans and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make smoky spinach marinara sauce. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Saute sausages until cooked through. Remove sausages from pan and slice into rounds. Set aside until ready to use.
*To make a vegetarian version of this ziti, slice zucchinis into rounds 1/4 inch thich. Toss slices with a small amount of olive oil and salt/pepper, and roast on a baking sheet in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes (until they start to brown). Set aside until ready to use.
4. Mix together the ricotta, parsley, basil, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/2 cup mozarella in small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.
5. Boil the pasta in lots of salted water until al dente. Drain well.
6. These instructions are to assemble one of the zitis - repeat these instructions in the second pan once the first has been assembled: Cover the bottom of the baking pan with a small amount of marinara sauce. Place 1/4 of the cooked pasta into the pan, on top of the sauce. Dot the pasta with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella over the ricotta. On top of the ricotta and mozarella, spread 1/2 of the sausage (or zucchini). Place 1/4 of the cooked pasta on top of the sausage/zucchini, and cover the pasta with about 1/2 of the remaining marinara. Finish the pan with 1/4 cup parmesan and 1 cup mozarella.
7. Optional: At this point, you may want to freeze one (or both) of the zitis. To do so, cover the baking pan in plastic wrap and then tin foil. Freeze on a flat surface to avoid a huge mess. Once you are ready to bake your frozen ziti, let it completely defrost in the fridge overnight before proceeding to step #8.
8. Toss your ziti into the 375 degree oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cheese on top gets nice and golden (previously frozen ziti may need a little longer). Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Each pan will feed about 6 people (this recipe feeds 12 total).

Smoky Marinara Sauce with Spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley
4 cups chopped spinach leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
28 oz can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen brand, found in the organic section of the supermarket)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until it begins to turn golden.
2. Pour both cans of tomatoes into saucepan. Add water, parsley, basil, oregano, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Add spinach to sauce and stir to combine. Cook just until spinach wilts, and then remove from heat.

This sauce is very versatile, and is great on all kinds of pasta dishes.


18 May 2006

Eating Ottawa

While Dave and my dad went fishing up North this past weekend, my mom and I headed to Canada's capital city to check out its main attractions: tulips, museums, and political bureaucracy. While each of these were in ample supply, I was pleased to discover that Ottawa also sports a great selection of quality restaurants. Not to mention a giant baby head (more on that later).

We arrived in Ottawa late Thursday night and quickly crashed in our beds. Waking up the next morning, we were greeted by pouring rain and strong winds outside. Fantastic! We armed ourselves with a raincoat (mom) and an umbrella (me), and braved the weather to walk to a nearby place that had been recommended to me for breakfast: The Scone Witch.

The Scone Witch (388 Albert St) is located inside of an old house in downtown Ottawa. Stepping inside, we were immediately hit with the delicious smell of fresh-baked scones. The space is not large, with only 5 tables or so, and its cosiness was enhanced by the blustery weather outside. We headed toward the back to have a look at the chalk-board menu.

Going beyond scones with butter or jam, the Scone Witch also serves a number of breakfast and lunch sandwiches ("sconewitches"), larger meals ("mealwitches"), and brunch on the weekends. All menu items are made on, or accompanied by, scones of course. I opted for a Cheezy Eggwitch on a herb 'n' onion scone, while my mom ordered an herb n' onion scone with cheese and bacon.

After seating ourselves near the large front window, our breakfasts arrived without delay. My Cheezy Eggwitch was presented beautifully, with the tall, flaky scone overflowing with fluffy scrambled eggs surrounded by some mixed greens and fresh fruit in a light honey-mustard dressing. My mom's dish, a halved scone smothered in white cheddar cheese and crisp slices of bacon, was also served with greens and fruit. We quickly attacked.

The Eggwitch was delicious - shredded white cheddar mixed in with light-as-air eggs, all grounded by the flavourful savoury scone. My mom similarly enjoyed her breakfast, and we both cleaned our plates. The Scone Witch was, by far, my favourite find in Ottawa - I highly recommend it.

With a warm breakfast in our bellies, my mom and I again set out into the rain and headed toward the parliament buildings. While the buildings are beautiful and all, my main motivation for checking out parliament hill was the "cat parliament" that Dave had told me about. In the 1970s, this miniature cat sanctuary was established by Irene Desormeaux to house and feed stray cats in the area. Unfortunately, the crappy weather kept the cats inside on the day that we visited, and the only wildlife to be seen was a couple of squirrels eating all of the cat food.

Feeling extra-soggy, we continued our walk toward Byward Market so that we could meet one of my mom's college friends for lunch. I was a little dissapointed in Byward Market - I was expecting something like Kensington but, in actuality, the market is extremely "yuppie." After exploring for a while, we headed into Wasabi for lunch.

The decor in Wasabi (41 Clarence St) is soothing, with a soft yellow on the walls and dim lighting. Our attentive and extremely friendly waitress quickly brought us some warm green tea, which really hit the spot on this rainy day. After my mom's friend Heather had joined us, we dove into the long menu.

Wasabi has an extensive selection of the usual Japanese offerings (sushi, maki, udon, etc.), and a nice array of well-priced lunch specials. I was craving maki, so I ordered a shrimp tempura roll and a couple of pieces of tamago (egg) sushi. My mom ordered an udon lunch special with tempura shrimp, and Heather a beef teriyaki bento box.

After a brief wait and a couple of tea refills, our food arrived. My inside-out roll was stuffed with tempura shrimp, avocado, very thinly julienned cucmber, and mayo. The tamago was presented as a generous slice of omelet on a small amount of rice. The maki was smaller and sliced more thinly than I'm used to, but tasted delicious. The tamago was sweet with a great texture. My only regret was that I hadn't ordered more maki, considering the small size of the roll.

My mom's soup came in a huge bowl (more than she could eat), with plenty of vegetables, udon, and fishcakes in a flavourful broth. The soup was served with shrimp tempura on the side, in a perfectly crispy and extremely light batter, as well as a small side salad in a sesame-ginger dressing that was one of the best I've had in a Japanese restaurant. Heather also raved about her beef teriyaki.

Although their rolls are on the small side, the service and food quality at Wasabi definitely makes up for it. This place is worth checking out.

Once we had finished lunch, we said goodbye to Heather and decided to hoof it to the National Art Gallery. I love art galleries, and this one did not dissapoint. It has a great selection of Canadian artists' works, as well as a large contemporary gallery that contains a lot of beautiful pieces. This is where we came across the giant baby head, which looked extremely realistic despite being over ten feet tall. Creepy.

Once we were finished at the gallery, we headed back into the market to grab some dinner and find a pub where we could watch the Oilers game. After some indecision and much walking, we settled on Indian food at Haveli for dinner.

Haveli (39 Clarence St) is decorated as most other higher-end Indian restaurants are, with a prevalance of fabrics and ornate woodwork. A unique element of this restaurant is the tandoor room, which is surrounded by glass so that you can watch things like naan be cooked in the tandoor while you eat. My mom and I were seated near to the tandoor, and it was fun to get this behind-the-scenes show.

After a quick perusal of the large menu, we decided on Jheenga Tandoori (tandoori garlic shrimp), Kabli Channa (chickpeas), basmati rice, naan, and raita to cool things down. We sipped on Kingfisher beer while we waited for our food.

The restaurant was quite packed, so I wasn't surprised that our food took a while to arrive. However, I was surprised that they completely forgot our naan. It took us nearly 15 minutes to flag down our waiter, who then only brought out one peice of naan for us (we had ordered two).

Despite this setback, the food was delicious. The shrimp had a tangy, garlicky flavour that was matched well with the charred taste from the tandoor. The channa was extremely flavourful and spiced nicely. The naan, once it arrived, was hot from the tanoor and perfectly crisp on the outside while fluffy on the inside. It was some of the best naan I've had.

The portions at Haveli are generous, and we could not finish all of our food. Once we were stuffed, we ran into yet another problem with the service as our waiter would not stop by to give us the bill (we had not seen him since he dropped off the naan - we had not had a water refill all night). I will never understand restaurants that will not give you your bill once you finish eating. Do they want you to move in? We noticed that the girls at the table next to us had a similar problem when they actually had to put on their jackets and stand beside the table before the waitress would bring them their bill. What the hell?

While the food at Haveli is great, the service is atrocious. I would not recommend this restaurant on this basis alone. I'm sure that Ottawa has other Indian restaurants that are just as tasty, but actually show some courtesy toward their customers.

After we had escaped Haveli, we ran down the block (it had begun raining hard again) to the Heart and Crown pub to watch the Oilers punch San Jose in the junk. Not surprisingly, the game was on with no sound and pints were overpriced. Even worse, an agressively mediocre nouveau-Celtic band (think Great Big Sea) started their set halfway through the second period. The only thing that kept me from leaving when they started to massacre "Ring of Fire" was Samsonov's beauty penalty box breakaway. GO OIL!

The next morning, we woke up to no rain and a lot of wind. After breakfast at the Scone Witch (this time, I picked up a half-dozen to take back to TO with me - yum!), we took a cab over the river to Hull so that we could check out the Museum of Civilization. This attraction dissapointed both of us, as it was not so much a museum of civilization as it was a museum of Canadian history. However, we both found the exhibition on Petra interesting.

Following the museum, we battled the wind on our way back over the bridge to Ottawa and headed up Rideau to one of my mom's old haunts, Nate's Delicatessen.

Nate's (316 Rideau St) specializes in smoked meat, and the first thing that you encounter when you enter the place is a large deli area where you can buy salads, smoked meat, and other prepared foods. If you head past the deli, you come upon a large seating area that is straight out of the '70s. We sat ourselves in a booth near the front window, and were promptly brought menus and drinks by our friendly waiter.

The menu at Nate's is surprisingly large, with a good selection of sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, smoked fish, and other deli fare. My mom ordered a smoked meat platter, and I went for the veggie dog platter with sauerkraut (our waiter: "What's sauerkraut?" - pause - "A pissed off nazi." *rimshot*).

Our food came quickly, and my hot dog was nicely charred on the outside (just the way I like it). It came with french fries, a pickle, and a curiously green coleslaw with a sweet vinegar dressing. The sauerkraut was served on the side, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had been warmed up for me. My mom's smoked meat sandwich also came with coleslaw, a pickle, and fries.

After piling the sauerkraut on my dog and smothering it in mustard, I dug in. The hot dog was nicely cooked, and the bun had been toasted perfectly - yum! The fries were alright, if pretty standard, and the coleslaw was tasty. It was nice to be served coleslaw that wasn't 80% mayonnaise. My mom also deemed her smoked meat sandwich "delicious." Nate's was a great place to have lunch, and I would definitely go there again.

After Nate's, we headed back into Byward Market to catch the Lucky Ron show at Chateau Lafayette. Surrounded by Lucky Ron fans drinking out of giant bottles of beer, this show was another highlight of the trip. We had a blast.

After the show, we walked downtown to catch a movie at one of the few cinemas in Ottawa proper. We saw "Thank you for Smoking," which was hilarious, and then headed back to the hotel to order a pizza. We decided on Pavarazzi Pizza based on its "Best in Ottawa" stamp in the Yellow Pages.

The menu for Pavarazzi (491 Somerset West) features a selection of "gourmet" pizzas, as well as the usual traditional and "build your own" pizzas, pasta, salads, and panzerotti. The gourmet pizza selection has a lot of very tempting offerings, and we finally decided on a large "Love of Cheese" pizza (basil pesto, four cheeses, red onion, and chopped tomato) on a herb crust, with spicy sauce.

It took a while for the pizza to arrive (about an hour), and we watched the Sens buy the farm in the meantime. Fortunately, the pie was still piping hot when it arrived at our hotel room. Biting into my first slice, I found that the basil pesto mixed beautifully with the spicy tomato sauce (which did have some kick), and the crust was soft and delicious (nothing at all like Pizza Pizza). The cheese was plentiful and gooey, and the tomato and onion cut the richness nicely. This pizza was fantastic.

The prices are a little higher than your usual pizza place, but this is definitely a case where you are paying for higher quality. Despite the slow delivery, I would absolutely recommend Pavarazzi.

The next morning, Dave and my Dad picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Manx Pub for brunch. After a fifteen-minute wait in line, we were seated at one of the few tables in this small, cosy spot. The brunch menu at the Manx (370 Elgin St) is relatively small, but offers several unique dishes alongside eggs benedict and the usual eggs-and-bacon breakfast. After receiving our drinks (they serve fresh juice here - my mom ordered a strawberry, orange, banana mixture that was great), we ordered spicy curry tofu scramble for me, eggs benedict for my mom, goat cheese, artichoke, and roasted red pepper omelet for Dave, and eggs and bacon for my dad. Our food did not take too long to arrive, despite how busy the place was, and our server brought along some of the house hot sauce for us to try.

My curry tofu scramble was tucked inside of a grilled tortilla along with some fresh veggies (peppers, zucchini, tomato, and mushrooms), was covered in the house hot sauce (a green sauce that is not too spicy), and accompanied by a mound of lumpy mashed potatoes. The scramble was fantastic - lots of curry flavour - and the hot sauce added a nice touch of heat. The potatoes (which come with almost all brunch dishes) had a nice creamy-lumpy contrast going on, and were really tasty. Dave's omelet was absolutely stuffed with goat cheese - the Manx does not serve small portions. Dave, my dad, and my mom all thoroughly enjoyed their brunches as well, and we were full for nearly the entire trip back to TO.

Long story short: Ottawa is delicious.

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03 May 2006

Recipe for Disaster: Ham-and-Egg Towers

This beauty comes from the Soup and Sandwiches Cookbook put out by Family Circle magazine in 1972. Whoever first came up with the idea to make a sandwich look like a cake is an effing evil genius. Can you imagine your surprise as you bite into a slice of angel-food, only to find that it tastes like mayonnaisey ham and egg salad? The Family Circle caption to the above photo reads, "Reward the first person who realizes that Ham-and-Egg Towers is not angel food cake, but a delicious combination of ham and egg between white bread slices." I think that this "reward" would be met with a punch in the face.

I like that the recipe includes instructions on how to make "dill-pickle wheels." In the '70s, garnish was everything - no matter how vile the dish, the inclusion of a radish rose meant it was the height of culinary fashion. I think the aim here is to enhance the sandwich's cake disguise, along with the cream cheese-parsley "icing." This is the Fletch of sandwiches.

When Dave and I went to Sweden last year we learned that this horror is fairly commonplace in Scandinavia. In fact, we spotted the elusive beast on a buffet table near Goteborg, but neither of us were brave enough to try it. Here's the recipe, so you can avoid trying it too.

Ham-and-Egg Towers

6 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ground cooked ham
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
6 tbsp light cream
12 slices round white bread
1/2 cup chopped parsley

1. Mix chopped eggs, celery, mayo, mustard, and salt in a bowl.
2. Blend ground ham, half of one package of cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cream until smooth in a small bowl. Place remaining cream cheese and cream in a separate bowl; set aside for step 4.
3. Spread egg-salad mixture on 6 slices of the bread, and ham on 4 slices. Stack slices, alternating egg with ham, in 2 piles of 5 each; top with remaining bread slices.
4. Blend cream cheese and cream in bowl until smooth. Spread mixture over each sandwich stack to frost completely. Pat parsley on tops and sides to cover. Chill several hours.
5. When ready to serve, cut each stack into quarters with a very sharp knife. garnish with dill-pickle wheels and serve with radish roses. To make dill-pickle wheels, shave thin strips from medium sized dill pickles with a vegetable parer. Roll strips, then bunch 3 together; wrap another strip around all to hold them in place.

Serves 8 sad cowpokes