SirsiDynix Social: Progressive Dinner

Food, Drink, and Fun!

Three veterans of SirsiDynix are hosting a progressive dinner, including an appetizer, cocktail, main course, and karaoke.


Appetizer: Baked Artichoke Dip

Join host Berit Nelson (Chief Product Officer, SirsiDynix) for the appetizer course! Recipe:

  • One 14 oz (415 ml) can of artichoke hearts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of finely grated parmesan, or more if you like
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Breadcrumbs such as Panko (optional)
  • Triscuits, pita chips, or other cracker or chip you like.

Preheat oven to 350.

In an oven-safe serving dish, combine artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese along with optional cayenne. Mix well. Sprinkle a tiny bit of cayenne on top (if you like) and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top (if you like).

Place dish in oven; cook for 30 minutes or until top is browned.  

Serve with crackers. Enjoy!


Cocktail: COSUGI Manhattan

By Rick Branham, Vice President of Pre-Sales Solutions & Academic Library Initiatives

Did you know that COSUGI is a real word and not just an acronym? Well it is … kind of. Kosugi (written 小杉) means "small Japanese cedar". Too bad it’s not a towering, majestic Japanese cedar. At any rate, I took inspiration from COSUGI’s namesake to create a version of the classic cocktail, the Manhattan. We’re infusing some pine flavors using Zirbenz, a pink liqueur is made from freshly picked Arolla Stone Pine fruit from the Austrian Alps. The pinecones are picked when they are young and have a pine/floral flavor with a slight minty taste. Instead of Bourbon or Rye Whiskey, we’re using Japanese whiskey—paying further homage to that little Japanese tree. 

If you can’t find Zirbenz or Japanese Whiskey (or if you don’t want to shell out big bucks for them when you do find them), I’m giving you some substitutions that will work great on any budget. Come join me while we mix up this cocktail. I’ll even throw down some interesting cocktail trivia while we’re at it!



  • 1.5 oz (45 ml) Japanese Whiskey (Substitute Rye Whiskey or Bourbon)
  • 1.5 oz (45 ml) Cocchi Vermouth di Torino (or another sweet vermouth)
  • 1 bar spoon (1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml) Zirbenz, or substitute the Zirbenz with Rosemary simple syrup; recipe at the end


  • Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir until properly diluted (20-30 seconds).
  • Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a grapefruit peel twist.

Rosemary Simple Syrup (substitution for Zirbenz)


  • 2 large sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ cup (120 ml) granulated sugar (I like to use Stevia or Splenda instead. If you use granulated Stevia, 3 Tbsp granulated Stevia = ½ c granulated sugar)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water


  • Place rosemary on cutting board and gently hit sprigs with back of knife to release their flavor and aroma.
  • Transfer rosemary to small saucepot; stir in sugar and water. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
  • Remove and discard rosemary sprigs. Transfer syrup to jar or container and refrigerate until completely cool, or up to 5 days. Makes about 2/3 cup syrup.


Main course: Pasta Puttanesca

Join host Lisa Witteman (Library Relations Manager, SirsiDynix) for the main course! Recipe based on the Pasta Puttanesca recipe in Eat This -- It'll Make You Feel Better: Mamma's Italian home cooking and other favorites of family and friends, by Dom DeLuise

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • Two 28-oz. (825 ml) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes (Discard the juice from one can and use the juice from the second can.)
  • One 6 oz (180 ml) jar pitted whole kalamata olives, drained and halved. Or substitute a full 14 oz (400 ml) can of California black olives.
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) capers, drained
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 pound (500 g.) dried linguine, or penne, prepared
  • Baked chicken breasts, sliced for serving (optional)

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook garlic in the oil over medium heat until soft and golden brown. Add the tomatoes, and break them up. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add olives, capers, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring gently until sauce has slightly thickened. Near the end of the cooking time, taste for salt. Add salt as needed and the fresh basil.

Delicious on one pound penne or linguine, cooked al dente. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

If desired, plate with slices of baked boneless chicken breast, topped with a little sauce.



No COSUGI would be complete without karaoke! Whether it be Journey or Lady Gaga we want to hear you sing! What makes this even better is you get to do it out of the comfort of your own home or with co-workers at work! If you are interested in participating please reach out to to sign up for your song. Not interested in participating? That’s okay! Come watch as your fellow peers and SirsiDynix staff belt out their favorite songs.