Craft service table recipes have become a regular source of cooking fun for Mary Cassidy and Blayzey Rose.
Their favorites are Craft Table Southwestern Egg Rolls and Craft Table Spinach Artichoke Dip.
These recipes are called craft table recipes, because Cassidy and Rose make them for events, especially the musicians and crew that work and play at the Porchfest event on Eberly Avenue in Bowling Green.
It’s movie industry terminology, but applies for the same reasons. Basically the musicians and volunteers are at the site all day, assembling, disassembling or actually performing. Leaving to get a good hot meal is not practical.
It’s called a craft services table because the cast and crew of a movie set have a craft, they might be working with costumes, lighting, set building or any number of other professions.
Both recipes make food that is easy to grab when someone is on the go.
The two are best friends and often cook together.
“I am good moral support and I did shopping,” Rose said. “I am also the taste tester.”
Cassidy doesn’t really use measurements, but goes by taste.
The original recipe for the Craft Table Southwestern Egg Rolls was one that came from Cassidy’s sister Patty. They discovered them at a restaurant and came up with the recipe herself, through trial and error, but Mary’s made several changes over the years.
Patty would make the egg rolls for family vacations to South Bend and tailgate parties, then warm them up on a grill.
Since she doesn’t know who might be eating from the table, Cassidy keeps the food on the lower end of the spicy side. The spiciness can be added later.
“It goes to waste if it’s too spicy,” Cassidy said. “I’ve also been experimenting with an air fryer for the egg rolls, but it’s an expensive error. I don’t have it nailed down yet.”
Cassidy uses only one tablespoon of garlic, while her sister would use as much as three minced cloves. With the cheeses, she will use pepper jack cheese, to add some spiciness.
Cassidy loves green onions in the Craft Table Spinach Artichoke Dip, but they quit using green onions when they were the source of a health scare at one of the big fast food chains.
“A lot of people get freaked out about green onions these days. I will often use a yellow onion,” Cassidy said.
Regardless, she washes the green onions for more than five minutes. As both a cook and server at Pagliai’s on South Main Street, she’s well versed in good cooking habits.
With the spinach, in either recipe, she will sometimes use the equivalent in fresh spinach. However, she finds that the quality of spinach she buys at Aldi’s is very good.
The two women met while working at Pagliai’s. Cassidy has worked there longer than Rose, and loves the atmosphere.
She said she really misses George Nicholson, the owner who opened the business in 1967 and served the community for 52 years, until his passing.
She named one of her dogs after George, George Finnegan.
“I missed George after he died. I talked to Robin, his wife, and she said that she thought he would love that,” Cassidy said.
Her other dog has a longer name, but goes by Mortimer. Her friends who live on the Eberly Avenue contributed to the dog’s full name: Mortimer Joseph James Francis Finnegan Seamus O’Reilly Cassidy.
They are both shelter dogs and constantly with her.
Porchfest this year is June 3 and Cassidy is one of the original porch hosts. The porch hosts have a band play on their porch during the Saturday event.
“I just think the community development is really good. I like to see the happy people enjoying each other’s company,” Cassidy said.
Rose was the original Eberly Avenue event performer. During the pandemic shutdown, Cassidy convinced her to combine her high school flag twirling with skating on her roller blades, to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” Now she does the flag twirling with the Bowling Green State University Samba Band, and they will the Porchfest event marching down Eberly.
Craft Table Southwestern Egg Rolls
Craft Table Southwestern Egg Rolls from Mary Cassidy and Blayzey Rose. Roger LaPointe | Sentinel-Tribune
1 bunch green onions, diced
1 each of red, yellow and green peppers, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can corn, drained
1 package egg roll wrappers
4-6 cups shredded cheese (Monterrey jack, cheddar, pepper jack)
1-3 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, diced
1 frozen 10-ounce bag spinach, thawed and drained
Salt and pepper to season
Saute garlic, onions and peppers together in a large pot for a few minutes. Add black beans, corn and seasonings. Cook until heated through, approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese. Follow the egg roll wrapper instructions on the package and place about 3-5 tablespoons of filling on the corner of the egg roll wrapper. Wrap as instructed.
Fry egg roll in vegetable oil on medium high, until medium-dark golden brown. Should take 6-8 minutes.
Optional ingredients include cooked and shredded chicken or beef, frozen spinach or cilantro. Serve with southwestern ranch dip, but because both Rose and Cassidy work at Pagliai’s in Bowling Green, they typically use their house ranch dressing.
Craft Table Spinach Artichoke Dip
Mary Cassidy and Blayzey Rose’s Craft Table Spinach Artichoke Dip. Roger LaPointe | Sentinel-Tribune
2 blocks 8-ounce cream cheese
2 tubs 16-ounce sour cream
4-6 cups of Italian blend shredded cheese
1-2 jars or cans 14-ounce artichokes
2 frozen 10 ounce bags spinach, thawed and drained
Cook all ingredients together in a slow cooker on medium for an hour. It is ready to eat, but then put on low, for up to three hours. Serve with corn chips.