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The Starella Sisters cook glamorous cocktails and fancy hors d'oeuvres / Marti's Music Kitchen Season 2 Episode 4

By MARTI MENDENHALL // On this episode of Marti’s Music Kitchen, we are cooking with Portland’s Glamour Girls, The Starella Sisters. Glam cocktails & hors d’ouevers. Classy is back!

Welcome to Marti’s Music Kitchen, the Fun Music and Food Podcast, where anything can happen! Today, we’re putting on a show with Portland’s dancing glamour girls, The Starella Sisters. They’re a vintage dance troupe that specializes in dance styles harking back to the Golden Era of Hollywood and beyond.

“We just want a chance to dress up,” says Sanjna Starella. “When you’re a mother of young children, and you’re a worker, and you’re stuck in these roles that are not very glamorous….. We do have a need for drama. We Love it. We love it!”

We’re getting a behind-the-scenes look with these glamorous ladies, cooking up some of their back-stage food favorites, and the drinks that go with them. We’ll also talk about their love for the glitz and glamour from bygone eras where nightclubs, shimmering ball gowns, big band music prevailed.  How did these “sisters” get their name, and why is Halloween their favorite time of year? Put on your dancing shoes, come with me, and let’s find out! 

Summertime in a Glass

Approx 1.5 oz Limoncello

Approx 1.5 oz Vodka

Sparkling lemon or lime water

Muddled mint, mixed frozen berries, and limes


Muddle the berries and mint in the bottom of your clear glass. Mix the Limoncello, vodka and sparkling water and adjust the taste as needed. Garnish with a mint sprig, drink and enjoy!


Mai Tai

1 oz. fresh lime juice

½ oz. Curacao

¼ oz. Orgeat syrup

¼ oz. simple syrup

1 oz. dark Jamaican Rum

1 oz. amber Martinique Rum (can sub Myer’s legend 10 yr)

1 oz. Cuban Rum

6 drops Pernod (⅛ tsp)

Dash angostura bitters

Garnish: mint sprigs, umbrella, skewered pineapple and cherry, pineapple leaves


Shake ingredients with plenty of crushed ice. Pour un-strained into double old-fashioned glass or your favorite tiki cup. Sink your spent lime into the drink. Garnish with a mint sprig, umbrella, skewered pineapple and cherry.


 The Best Smoked Salmon Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg softened cream cheese

6 oz. smoked salmon, chopped

¼ cup capers, or to taste

2 T. chopped green onion (optional)

1 ½ tsp. Chopped fresh dill

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 drops hot pepper sauce

1 squeezed fresh lemon

 Process cream cheese in a food processor to soften completely; add salmon, capers, green onion, dill, cream, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and lemon juice. Process the mixture again until creamy and smooth.


“Victory Dip”  Here is the link to the recipe and info for the wartime.



Savory Shrimp


Sesame rice crackers

1 English cucumber sliced in rounds

Dice :

1/2 lb precooked jumbo shrimp

1 green onion

1 stalk of celery

Mix above ingredients with: 4 heaping tablespoons mayo, dill pickle relish and cayenne pepper to taste.

Place cucumber slice on cracker and heap shrimp mixture on top. Garnish as you please.


Showboat Deviled Eggs

Kristen Starella's deviled egg recipe was inspired by Radar restaurant Chef Jonathan Berube and Lily Tollefsen. She would like to give them a special shout-out for creating the best deviled eggs she's ever eaten and for generously telling her what appears to be their entire recipe. For our show, she has revealed only one element of it; when to add the mustard.  

Hard-boil, then cool eggs in ice water. (I love my Dash egg cooker.) (For easy-peeling eggs: use less-than-fresh ones, and keep in water before cracking.) Halve egg whites; put yolks in food processor. 

Add the following.

Terribly imprecise measurements for 12 whole eggs

2 Tb Edmond Fallot Dijon mustard

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp curry powder

Couple grinds fresh pepper

1-2 dashes cayenne pepper

(Can add minced kaffir lime leaves or dill)

Pulse gingerly until in small crumbles.

Then add (again, this is typically eyeballed):

3 heaping spoonfuls Best Foods mayonnaise

1 tsp dill pickle juice

1 dash fish sauce

1 drop liquid smoke (Drip onto spoon first!)

1-2 squeezes lemon juice

Pulse again cautiously until just combined. Separation may occur with too heavy a hand.

Taste. If it’s bland, add more! Salt if needed - celery salt is nicer.

Spoon mixture into a zipper bag, seal, and mash more if needed, until smooth. Clip a corner and squeeze yolks into egg white halves.  Garnish with any of the following:  Capers, Dill, Minced onions crisp-fried with avocado oil.

My favorite tip for cutting raw onions: make someone wearing contact lenses do it.

There is a secret ingredient that I will only reveal in my last remaining breaths, should I be so fortunate to die with loved ones surrounding me.


Watermelon with Fig-Balsamic Vinegar

That’s it! But the ingredients are key... Hermiston watermelon and Third Street Oil and Vinegar’s Fig- and peach-infused balsamic vinegars are what make this dish truly sublime.

Instagram handle: @thestarellasisters  and @MartiMendenhall



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