Sunday, May 27, 2012


2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c chopped onion
5 cloves garlic
1 c diced celery
1 c cubed carrot
2 t salt
4 t black pepper
2 t oregano
1 t basil
1 c chopped green pepper
3 1/2 c stock
2 c tomato puree
2 c chick peas
1 c chopped zucchini
3 T red wine
1 c chopped tomato
1/2 c dry pasta
3/4 c parsley

In stock pot, saute onion and garlic in oil until onions are translucent. Mix in celery, carrot, and 1 t salt. Add pepper, oregano, and basil and cook covered 5-8 minutes. Add green pepper, stock, tomato puree, chick peas, red wine, and zucchini, and simmer covered 15 minutes. Add tomato and 1 t salt, and keep on low heat. 10 minutes before serving, add pasta and bring to a boil until soft. Serve topped with parsley. Optional: top with parmesan cheese.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sour Cream Cheesecake

This is my dad's favorite kind of "cake" :)

2 c graham cracker crumbs
6 T melted butter
1 t cinnamon

Mix together. Press into deep pie pan. Chill.

Layer 1:
2 eggs
3/4 lb soft cream cheese
1/4 honey
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 375F. Beat eggs well, then combine all. Pour into crust. Bake 20 minutes. Dust top with cinnamon. Cool to room temperature.

Layer 2:
1 1/2 c thick sour cream
2T honey
1/2 t vanilla

Heat oven to 425F. Combine all. Pour over cake. Bake 5-10 minutes to glaze. Cool to room temperature, then chill at least 6 hours.

Date or Raisin Filled Cookies

These cookies are good but kind of labor intensive, so I've only made them once or twice. You end up with a little (ok kinda big for a cookie) pocket full of raisin jam, like a sweet pirogi or something.

1/2 c water
2 c dates or raisins
1/2 c sugar
1 T vanilla

2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c sour milk

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grind water and dates/raisins. Add sugar and vanilla. Optional: add walnuts. Cook 5-10 minutes until thick as jam. Remove from heat, keep covered. 
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine butter, sugar, egg, and milk. Alternate adding wet and dry to form soft dough. Roll dough thin. For each cookie, cut two large circles. Spoon jam into center of one circle and cover with second. Seal edges, slit top. Bake 15 minutes.

Giant Macaroons

I always thought that macaroons were one of Grandma's cookies, but apparently not. They are still really good. The bottom gets all gooey-melty-carmelized, the coconut on top gets a little crispy at the ends, and the middle stays soft. Topping them with melted chocolate just adds to the goodness.

Apparently the real origin of this is, my mom bought some macaroons at a bake sale at the grocery store one day, and when she went back the next day they were all sold out. She asked the person running the table, who told the lady who had made them, who wrote my mom a letter with the recipe. She had two sons and I was in the grade between them, but this was back before I was in preschool even. I'd never seen it before, but I found while going through my mom's recipes on Mother's Day and I think it's totally cute.

14 oz shredded coconut
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Combine all ingredients until well blended. Drop onto cookie sheets with an ice cream scoop or large spoon. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden at edges. Remove and cool on wire racks. Optional: While baking, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Dip the top of cooled macaroons into the chocolate.

Instant Cocoa

2 cups dry milk
dash salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup non-dairy creamer powder

Combine well. To prep, add 4 T to 1 cup hot water and mix to dissolve.

Zucchini Crab Cakes

I have two versions of this, one is Bettie's and one is my mom's. Both are basically zucchini shaped into a platform for transporting Old Bay to your mouth. Here are the ingredient lists exactly as written.

Grandma's ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 T mayo
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
vegetable oil

Mom's ingredients:
2 1/2 cups zucchini (grated, salted & squeezed)
1 egg
2 T melted butter
1 1/8 c dry bread crumbs
1/4 c minced onion
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
vegetable oil

Combine everything except flour and oil. Form into 6 patties. Coat with flour and fry in oil.
Formed patties can be frozen before cooking.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pie Crust

Bettie labeled this "Perfect Pie Crusts" but I can't really promise that, because my mom never quite got them to work and I've never tried, so I can't tell you what the secret is. Good luck!

2 c flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1 t salt
1 scant cup Crisco
1 1/2 t vinegar
1 egg
1/2 c water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl with fork. Add Crisco and mix with fork until crumbly. In a small bowl, beat together water, egg, and vinegar until foamy. Combine with the dry ingredients, stirring with fork until it forms a ball. Break in half and wrap each ball in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes, then roll out. Makes 2 crusts. Double batch makes 5 crusts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


These are tasty! From Laurel's Kitchen.

1 medium potato, cooked & mashed
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
1 large bunch parsley or coriander
2 T oil
4 c (2 cans) ground chick peas
1/4 c sesame seed meal
1 T yogurt
1/8 t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne
1 t paprika
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F. Sauté onions in oil until soft. Stir in parsley/coriander and cook briefly. Add to ground chick peas. Mix well with potato, sesame seed meal, yogurt, spices, and lemon juice. Form into balls or patties using 2T each. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes on each side.

Makes 30. 65 cal & <2 g fat each.

Taco Bake

1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c shredded lettuce
1 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rise or dry yeast
1 T sugar
2 t finely chopped onion
3/4 t salt
1/3 c warm water (120-130F)
2 T oil
1/2 c crushed corn chips
 Mexican Beans (replaces 1 lb taco-seasoned ground beef)

Preheat oven to 375F. In medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, onion, and salt. Mix well. Add warm water and oil. Mix by hand until almost smooth. Stir in corn chips and enough remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Spread in well-greased 10-inch pie dish, forming a ridge around the edge. Cover, let rise in a warm place 10 minutes for quick-rise yeast or 20 minutes for active dry yeast. Spread beans over dough. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until edges of dough are crisp and light golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

1/2 lb firm tofu
1 T oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4 t garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t basil
1 c tomato sauce
2 or 3 English muffins

Mash tofu to crumbly, drain if needed. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes. Add tofu, salt, and herbs and stir for a few minutes until most of the moisture from the tofu has evaporated. Add tomato sauce, mix and simmer on medium low until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Split and toast English muffins, cover each slice with Sloppy Joe. Optional: top with mozzarella or parmesan and broil to toast cheese.


This one is on the back of the Swedish Nuts and Baked Apples.

2  8-oz packages cream cheese
1 egg
3/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t lemon juice
2 packages crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350F, or 325F if using a Pyrex pan. Mix together cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. In 10x13" pan, lay out one package of crescent dough. Spread the filling evenly over it. Cover with the other package of crescents. Bake 20 minutes. Optional: Drizzle with glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Baked Apples

This is written on the same card as Swedish Nuts and Danish, which is titled "from Amy to me & to you". It's like a self-contained, crustless apple pie. One of many of Grandma's recipes that could either be dessert or breakfast, depending on your mood.

1/3 c walnuts
4 T water
4 apples
1/2 c sugar
2 T flour
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c butter

Core and peel apples - do not slice. Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon well. Melt butter. Roll apples in butter, then in sugar to coat them. Place apples in cups or baking dish. Sprinkle walnuts and 1 T water on each apple. Microwave 1 1/2 to 3 minutes, or bake 35-40 minutes at 350F.

4 servings. Per serving: 374 cal, 18.2g fat (7.9g sat. fat, 30.5mg chol.), 55.4g carbs (5.6g fiber, 44.4g sugar), 2.5g protien

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 1/4 c mashed banana
1/4 c yogurt
1/4-1/2 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light & creamy. Beat in egg. In another bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, salt. In 3rd bowl, mix together banana and yogurt. Alternate adding flour and banana to butter. Stir just enough to combine well. Fold in walnuts. Pour into loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.

Fruited Grain Salad

This is a neat salad from Moosewood, originally introduced to us by one of the Liberal Luncheon crew.

1 c raw wheat berries
1 c pearl barley
1 c short grain brown rice
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice
3 T light oil
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c golden raisins
3/4 c minced chives or scallions
6-7 large mint leaves, minced
4-5 ripe plums, sliced (or grapes, peaches, etc.)
1-2 tart apples, diced

Soak wheat berries about 30 minutes. Wash barley several times, then cook with rice and 4 1/4 c water (boil, cover, simmer 35 minutes). Drain wheat berries, then cook with 2 1/2 c water (boil, cover, simmer 1 hour - 1:15). Combine warm grains. Add everything except fruit. Cover and chill. Add fruit just before serving.

Gado Gado

This is a Moosewood recipe for a spicy peanut sauce, that I mostly remember eating over plain brown rice. It's something along the lines of the sauce that Noodles & Co. puts on the Indonesian Peanut Sauté dish, but a bit creamier and more ginger than heat.

1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1-2 t grated fresh ginger
1 c peanut butter
1 T honey
1/4 t cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 T cider vinegar
3 c water
1/2 - 1 t salt
dash tamari

Cook onion, garlic, bay leaf, and ginger in sauce pan to soften onion. Add everything else. Simmer on low heat 30 minutes. Serve over grains, cooked veggies, tofu.

Note: A quick search for "Moosewood Gado Gado" comes up with a no-cook sauce that gets blended in the food processor. It uses 1 cup of peanut butter but only 1 1/2 cup of water, but it's hard to say which comes out thicker, since this one gets simmered down.

Pasta Salad

10 oz tri-color pasta twists
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
1 small bottle McCormick's Salad Supreme Seasoning
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can sliced black olives
1 can sliced mushrooms

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, rinse in cold water to cool. Combine everything. Chill overnight, stirring occasionally.


2 pkg fresh fettucine (1 plain, 1 green) OR 1 lb dry mixed fettucine
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 pints light cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
salt & pepper

Cook pasta as directed. Melt butter in a pan. Slowly add cream. Stir and heat to hot but not boiling. Add cheese, salt & pepper to taste. Stir until hot & thick. If it curdles, add more butter. Toss with fettucine and serve.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that we make for Christmas morning and that sort of thing.

3 lb small red or white potatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
2 T (6 cloves) minced garlic
2 T minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut potatoes in halves or quarters and toss with all ingredients except parsley. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and bake 1 hour or until brown and crisp. Turn twice while baking to ensure even browning. Toss cooked potatoes with parsley and serve.

Mom's suggestions:
Skip the parsley,
Cut the garlic in half and you will still have plenty (crush instead of mince)
Use a healthy douse of tamari instead of the salt (and 1  1/2 teaspoons of salt sounds like a lot anyway)
Add one or two large-chopped onions
Add/substitute any other veges you feel like having: carrots are good; cauliflower cooks down very soft, but is yummy!; bell peppers if you like them; sweet potato;firm tofu chunks;  it even makes eggplant yummy. (I don't think that broccoli or asparagus work so well for this.)
Reheats beautifully!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Swedish Nuts

These are seriously addictive, and apparently originally came from my mom's cousin's daughter, aka Cousin Amy. It's on the same recipe card as Baked Apples and Danish.

1/2 cup butter
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300F. Melt the butter in a 9x13" pan. Beat the egg white until stiff. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Fold in pecan halves. Spread mixture over melted butter in pan. Toast 30 minutes.

Apple Breakfast

For Mother's Day yesterday, I raided my mom's recipe book and found some of my grandma's original recipe cards.

3 medium apples, peeled cored sliced
sprinkle of nutmeg
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 t sugar - white or brown
1 batch of pancake batter (1 cup mix, 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, 1 t oil)

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter an 8 or 9" square Pyrex dish. Put in sliced apples, add sugar and spice. Microwave 4 minutes. Pour pancake batter over the apples. Bake 15 minutes at 375/400. Serve hot with syrup and butter. Serves 4.

A note on the back says, "I buy generic pancake mix. Raises nicely." My mom said she uses whole wheat pancake mix, but it does not raise quite so well.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nana's Cookies

Also known, by sticklers for precision, as Betty Crocker's Vanilla Cookies, these are the cookies my husband used to make when his nana, Louise, babysat him. One day when we were dating, he called her up to get the recipe, and at our wedding shower she gave us a copy of the page from her Betty Crocker cookbook, which you can just barely see at the back of my photo. We make them every now and then, but he usually ends up eating all the dough before we can actually make it into cookies.

1 3/4 c sifted flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1 egg
2 T milk
1 t vanilla

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Cut butter into flour mix to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Stir in egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix well with clean hands. Form into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll dough to 1/8" thick and cut out. Place cookies 1" apart on sheet. Bake 7 minutes. Cool on racks.

Pumpkin Roll

My recipe card says it came from my aunt Robin, which almost certainly means it came from Bettie originally. Pumpkin roll is nice and moist, and depending on which way you roll it, you either get about 12 big slices that we usually end up cutting in half for serving, or about 25 little slices.

 img via: Very Best Baking

3 eggs
1 c sugar
3/4 c flour
2/3 c canned pumpkin
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
2 T butter
1/2 c chopped walnuts

Plus about 1/4 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 10x15 inch jelly roll sheet. Line w/ waxed or parchment paper and grease again. Mix batter ingredients & pour into pan evenly. Bake 15 minutes. Mix filling ingredients. After baking, sprinkle liberally with extra powdered sugar. Invert onto a clean dishtowel. Peel off waxed paper and spread filling evenly. Roll up and store wrapped in towel in refrigerator. Slice and serve.

Chai Tea

Yeah, yeah, "chai" actually means "tea," but you know what I mean, right? Masala chai. Sweet, milky, spiced tea. Ten times better than that weird syrup they use at Starbucks.

2 c milk
2 1/2 c water
1/3 c sugar
3 cardamom pods, crushed
6 bags Indian black tea

Combine milk, water, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the tea bags. Boil 2-3 minutes, watching carefully so the milk doesn't make it boil over. Turn off heat. Cover and let steep 2-3 minutes. Be sure to strain out the cardamom pods before serving.

Tofu Stir Fry

This one is more of a guide than a proper recipe, so it's kind of vague on things like... ingredients. And times... And temperatures... It's what I wrote down when I realized I didn't actually know how to make a proper stir fry (as opposed to a pile of undercooked vegetables covered with squishy crumbled tofu bits, which I have totally mastered) and asked my dad. Really the only other detail I can add is that you should use extra firm, non-silken tofu, like Nasoya, as it will hold up better.

Bean Soup

This is a simple crock-pot soup that I made for Father's Day last year. We were meeting up for a winery tour in the morning, and then everyone came to my house for lunch, so I needed something that could take care of itself for a while. The times below are how our day went, but I'm sure it would be fine with cooking longer in part 1 and shorter in part 2.

2 c mixed dried bean
2 potatoes, cubed
2 quarts water
1 c uncooked macaroni
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ green chilis
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt, pepper, basil, oregano

Part One: Rinse the beans. Put beans, potato pieces, and water in crock pot. Cook on High for 3 hours.
Part Two: Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until onions are soft. Add the onion and garlic, tomatoes, and macaroni noodles to the crock pot. Salt and spice to taste. (It needs more salt than I expected - canned beans have a lot of salt, while dry beans have none.) Cook on High for 1 hour.

Quick Pizza Dough

This makes dough for one 9" pizza. It tends to be kind of sticky, so have some extra flour for your hands.

img via: Simply Recipes

1 package (2 1/4 t) yeast
1 cup warm water
1 t sugar
1 t salt
2 T oil
2 1/2 c flour
sauce, cheese, pizza toppings

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Then add the sugar, salt, oil, and flour. Beat 20 strokes, then set aside to raise for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a baking sheet or pizza stone and stretch into shape. Add your toppings and bake for 20 minutes.

Tofu Baked Ziti

This casserole basically substitutes tofu for ricotta cheese for way fewer calories, and you'd never notice if you didn't know what was in it.

12 oz uncooked ziti
28 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10.5 oz firm silken tofu
1 egg white
10 oz frozen spinach block
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Boil water and cook ziti according to package. Puree together all other ingredients except ziti, sauce, and mozzarella. Mix the cooked ziti into the tofu/spinach mess. Divide the mixture into 3 parts. Pour 1/4 of the sauce (about a cup) into a casserole dish, then 1/3 of the ziti/tofu/spinach. Continue layering, ending with the rest of the sauce. Top with mozzarella. Bake covered for 45 minutes.