Recipes A – D

I’m trying to limit this swarm of recipes to some I have actually used, and to others I am still assuring myself that I will someday try. Someday. It looks as if I only make desserts, but those are what we need real recipes for, not for everyday stews and staple entrees. I will add more recipes, and perhaps emphasize healthier options in time. For now, just reading these pages may clog the arteries, and contribute to our (just one or two) extra pounds … so don’t say you weren’t warned! – LLF


** Recipes A Through D **


Almond Cheesecake

Angel Cheesecake

Apple Crisp

Apricot Stack Cake

Baked Corn

Basil Recipes

Bavarian Cream Variations


Best Oatmeal Cookies

Black Raspberry Crumble

Black Raspberry Pie

Blackberry Pie Variants

Brandied Fruit Bars

Bread Pudding

Butter-Pecan Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Caraway Puffs

Carrot Cake

Cauliflower-Caraway Soup

Cheesecake, in progress

Cheesecake New York Style

Chicken-Barley Soup

Chicken Casserole with Rice …

Chicken Italienne


Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Noodles

Chipotle’s Chicken Marinade

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Cream Pie, working version

Chocolate Pudding

Cocoa Brownies, Modified

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cookies

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

Company Carrots

Cranberry-Bran Bread

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cream Cheese Frosting

Creamy Peppercorn Dressing

Custard Pie

Dill Dip


Laughter is brightest where the food is best. –Irish proverb


Almond Cheesecake 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar pinch salt 4 eggs 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup toasted natural almonds, chopped coarsely* graham cracker crumbs to coat baking pan In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, salt and sugar to combine well. Add eggs singly, beating well after each. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla; beat till smooth. Stir in toasted nuts and combine well. Butter a 9-inch round cake or springform pan very well; coat pan with graham cracker crumbs, shaking out excess crumbs. This may use 1/2 cup crumbs or so. A conventional graham-cracker crust can be used, but this is rich enough, and not as sweet as some cheesecakes. It’s more messy to remove pieces from the pan without the crust–but who cares? Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees about 55 to 60 minutes, until just set. A water bath might be helpful, but I never mind if the top cracks a bit. Cool in pan on rack. This makes a rather dry, crumbly cheesecake, so whipped cream might be nice with it. But I always just wolfed it down straight. * Claybourne used toasted chopped hazelnuts.

–adapted from a recipe Craig Claybourne prepared on Tom Snyder’s late-night NBC show circa 1975 +++++++++++++++++++++++++

Angel Cheesecake

crust – 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons butter, softened filling – 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel, grated 5 egg yolks 5 egg whites 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar about 2 cups macerated, sweetened fruit, optional Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan, or 9-inch square cake pan. For the filling, gradually beat 1/2 cup sugar into the creamed cheese; add vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add the sour cream, and blend in the egg yolks. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites and lemon juice to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat to stiff but not dry peaks. Fold the cheese mixture into the egg whites, and pour batter into the pan.

Bake at 325 degrees about 55 to 60 minutes, or until almost set. Cool completely before serving, topped with thickened cherries or strawberries, if desired. –from Better Homes and Gardens 1960s Cheese cookbook



Apple Crisp

3 pounds tart apples 1 cup unbleached flour 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, chilled, cut in small chunks Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch [square] baking dish. Peel, core and slice apples into small chunks; pile them into the prepared dish. Mix about 2 teaspoons flour into the apples. Combine the remaining flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; blend well. Add the butter and blend to a crumbly meal consistency. Spoon this topping evenly over the apples, packing it down lightly. Bake the crisp about 30 minutes, until the top is crunchy and the apples are tender and bubbly. Serve warm. –from American Home Cooking

NOTE – I once had a similar recipe [called English Apple Pie?] which included oatmeal in the topping, I believe, so I may try adding some. I think it also had some sugar mixed with the apples. I may not bother peeling the fruit, either. – LLF ++++++++++++++++++++


Apricot Stack Cake 3 cups dried apricots (chopped, perhaps?) 1/3 cup sugar 2 cups water 1/2 cup shortening, softened (I’d try butter) 7/8 cup sugar 2 large eggs 1 – 1/2 tablespoons milk 1 – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 – 1/2 teaspoon hot water 3 cups flour, sifted 1 – 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup sugar (I’d use powdered sugar for this.) For the filling — in a 2-quart saucepan, combine the apricots, 1/3 cup sugar and2 cups water. Bring this to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Puree the fruit in batches in a food processor; keep it warm in a covered bowl. For the cake — In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and 7/8 cup sugar. Add the eggs singly, beating well to combine. Stir together the next 6 items; add this to the creamed mixture. Gradually stir in the flour, till well blended. (You may have to do that part with your hands, I’d guess.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces; form them into balls, and roll each ball out to a 9-inch circle on a well-floured surface. Bake these on well-greased cookie sheets for 8-9 minutes at 400 degrees F. to a pale golden color. On a serving plate, alternate cake layers and filling, using 1/2 cup filling between each layer.* Let the cake stand overnight. If you like, top the cake with the cream whipped with 1/4 cup sugar. [How about warming it slightly, and serving with ice cream?] * The recipe doesn’t say to cool the cake layers before filling–so maybe you don’t, or not completely?

–from Gourmet, June 1989 “Picnics Past”



Baked Corn


2 cups cooked or canned corn*

1/2 cup minced onion

1/4 cup minced bell pepper, optional

1/4 cup minced celery, optional

1/4 cup shredded carrot, optional

1 small minced pimento pepper, optional

2 eggs, beaten well

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon flour, or about 7? crushed saltine crackers

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 – 1/4 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. [If you use the optional vegetables, you might blanche them first, and it may help to warm the milk some before adding it.] Bake in a well-greased 6-cup dish, for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the filling bubbles. Serves 6 as a side dish.

* My mother insists on white creamed corn for this recipe, and always uses cracker crumbs rather than flour. –LLF, November 2016

–from The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (1943), page 432


Basil Recipes


Basil Olive Oil

enough green basil sprigs (with flowers is okay, but with no woody stems) to fill a 1-quart jar 2/3 full, loosely packed

4 cups olive oil (good enough and light enough for salad dressings)

Rinse, shake, and pat the basil dry; then bruise it lightly with a wooden spoon. Place basil in a 1-quart glass jar with a non-metallic lid. Add olive oil: seal the jar and let it stand in a cool, dark place for a month.

Strain the oil into a glass pitcher, then pour it into very clean glass jars, and seal the jars tightly. Oil keeps in a cool spot for up to 6 months.


Opal Basil Vinegar

For the first steeping –

enough opal basil (with flowers but no woody stems) to make about 4 cups, loosely packed

4 cups rice [wine?] vinegar

For the second steeping –

3 fresh opal basil sprigs, to taste

1 cup dry white wine

To prepare the first steeping, rinse, shake to dry, and lightly bruise the basil, and pack it loosely into a 6-cup glass jar with a non-metallic lid. Add the vinegar and let it stand covered in a cool, dark place for 2 days. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, tamp down the basil, and let it stand as before for 12 days. Strain the vinegar into a glass pitcher and prepare the second steeping.

Rinse, shake dry and loosely pack the fresh basil sprigs into the 6-cup jar. Add the wine and strained vinegar and let the jar stand as above for 2 days, then stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, tamp down the basil, and

let it stand, again, covered in a cool dark place for 12 days more. Strain vinegar and keep in sealed glass jars for up to 6 months. Makes about 5 cups.


Basil Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 cup Opal Basil Vinegar

2/3 cup Basil Olive Oil

1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and spun dry

In a blender, combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and salt to taste. Add the oil and basil and blend till emulsified. Serve with tomatoes or seafood. Makes about 1 cup dressing.


Lemon-Basil Butter

1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest

In a pan of boiling water, blanch the basil for 2 seconds, then drain and pat it dry. Place the basil in a processor with the butter, lemon zest and salt to taste, then blend till the mixture is smooth.

Let the butter stand for 1 hour, covered well in a cool place, or chill it overnight, before serving with vegetables, meat or fish. Makes about 2/3 cup.


Basil-Sunflower Seed Pesto

4 cups coarsely-chopped fresh basil leaves

1 cup raw sunflower seeds (hulls removed)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 garlic cloves, crushed

In a blender in batches, or in a food processor, blend all the ingredients with salt to taste until well-mixed, and as smooth a paste as desired. Put the pesto in a small bowl, and press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent its discoloration. It keeps for 2 weeks, covered and chilled, and this makes about 1 – 1/2 cups.

To use: for each pound of dried pasta, in a warm serving bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of pesto with 2/3 cup of hot pasta cooking water. Toss with the drained pasta, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

–from Gourmet August 1990, “The Last Touch: Basil”



Bavarian Cream Variations


2 tablespoons (2 packages) unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cool milk (coffee or fruit juice for some variants)

1 – 2/3 cups milk, kept separate, heated

1 cup sugar

8 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla (or more)

5 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup heavy cream

In a small cup or bowl, sprinkle gelatin into 1/2 cup of cool milk or other liquid and set aside. While gently heating 1 – 2/3 cups milk in the microwave or a saucepan, beat the sugar and egg yolks in a large saucepan with an electric mixer until they look pale and thick. With the mixer on low speed, very slowly add hot milk to the egg yolks [since you don’t want to curdle the egg]; blend well.

Cook the egg yolk mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the custard will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, and keep stirring to cool the mixture somewhat. Gently stir the gelatin over low heat to dissolve. Add gelatin to warm yolk mix; strain custard, stir in vanilla and set aside.

In a clean bowl, and using clean beaters for the mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy; stir in the salt and cream of tartar and beat to stiff peaks. Fold whites into the still-warm custard.

In yet another bowl over a pan of ice, beat heavy cream till it doubles its volume and just holds its shape. Place the custard over the ice and stir until it is cool, then fold in whipped cream. Chill in a large mold or individual dishes. Makes about 2 quarts. This would also be good pie filling, making 2 9-inch pies; use baked and cooled pastry or graham cracker crust.


Almond or Hazelnut Variation –

Toast 1 – 1/2 cups nuts in a shallow pan about 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring nuts occasionally, to a light brown. Puree nuts in a blender or processor with 1 cup very hot milk; let this steep at least 1 hour, then strain the nut milk, and use as part of the milk for the custard.


Berry or Orange Variation –

Dissolve the gelatin in 1 cup strained fruit juice. Decrease milk for custard to 1 – 1/4 cups, and add grated zest of 2 oranges to the milk.


Chocolate Variation –

Dissolve gelatin in cooled coffee if desired. Use just 2/3 cup sugar; heat just 1 – 1/3 cups milk, and add 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate to hot milk, stirring to melt the chocolate.


Vanilla Variation –

Follow the basic recipe, adding 1 teaspoon additional vanilla.

–from Julia Child’s The French Chef, if memory serves

Note: This recipe has to be at least close to one used at a now-forgotten restaurant near Grayling, Michigan, which I had the good fortune to taste one June in the mid-1970’s. With fresh local strawberries, it made a fabulous pie, in a buttery graham cracker crust, garnished with whole berries. I can still taste it… Sadly, having found the very easy Hershey’s Chocolate Mousse recipe [given separately], I deeply doubt I’ll ever go to this much trouble making a dessert again. But I’m sure it’s yummy! – LLF, April 2012





Prep Time 30 Minutes . Cook Time 30 Minutes

Ready in 3 Hours . Makes 10 servings

2 – 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 – 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup evaporated milk

7 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup shortening

1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil. If beignets do not pop up to the surface, the oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels. Shake confectioners’ sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm.

–from Allrecipes, Submitted by Regina ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Copyright © 2003



Best Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vannilla

1 – 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 to 5 cups quick-cooking (1-minute) oatmeal

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1/2 cup raisins, optional

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, blending well. Sift together the next 5 ingredients, and gradually add them to the creamed mixture. Gradually stir in the desired amount of oatmeal, then nuts or raisins, if desired; chill the dough at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, or drop by teaspoonfuls, 1 to 2 inches apart on well-greased cookie sheets. [Cookies should be placed farther apart if the lesser amount of oatmeal is used, as they will spread more.] Bake in upper third of the oven, until the cookies have puffed up slightly, and the edges are just brown. Be careful not to overbake them. Let cookies stand on sheets until they’re firm enough to handle, then cool on racks. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

–from Helen M. Sempsrott, circa 1965


A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do. –P.J. O’Rourke



Black Raspberry Crumble


berry filling –

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 to 2 – 1/2 tablespoons flour

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

4 cups black raspberries, rinsed and drained on paper towels

In a large bowl, combine sugars, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon and salt till well blended. Add the berries, and toss them gently until well-coated with the sugar mixture. If they seem very juicy, sprinkle in up to 1 – 1/2 teaspoons more flour and mix it in gently. Spread berries evenly in a lightly-buttered 8-inch square glass pan. Top with the Streussel mixture given below.

streussel –

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cold butter, cut in bits

2/3 cup rolled oats (or oatmeal)

To make the streussel, sift together flour and salt, and blend with cold butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and oats, and toss to combine well. Sprinkle streussel evenly over raspberries, and bake in the middle of a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, until topping is brown and the berries are bubbly. Cool on a rack at least 10 minutes, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

–from Gourmet, June 1983, “Black Raspberry Memories”



Black Raspberry Pie


Pastry dough –

2 – 1/4 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold lard, in bits

1/2 cup cold butter, cut in bits

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Blend in lard and butter till mixture resembles coarse meal. Add enough ice water to allow dough to hold together, which will depend on how much moisture is in the flour and shortenings; start with 4 tablespoons water, adding more as necessary. Divide dough in half, gently forming each into a ball; flatten each slightly, wrap them in waxed paper, and chill dough for 45 minutes before rolling out crusts.

Berry filling –

1 cup granulated sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 – 1/2 cups black raspberries, rinsed and drained on paper towels

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter, cut in bits

In a large bowl, combine sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and grated lemon peel. Add the berries and lemon juice, and toss gently to coat them with the sugar mixture. If they seem very juicy, add up to 1 tablespoon more flour and mix it in gently but thoroughly.

On a lightly-floured surface, roll out one ball of pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Carefully transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan, and trim crust flush with the edge of the pan. Roll out the remaining ball of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Spread berries evenly in the pan, and dot them with bits of butter. Drape second crust over berries, and trim top, leaving a 1-inch overhang; tuck this under the bottom edge, and crimp the edges together to seal them. Make several vent slits in the top crust, and brush the top with milk and a sprinkle of sugar if desired. place pie pan on a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees; Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake 40 to 50 minutes more, until crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Cool on a rack.

–from Gourmet, June 1983, “Black Raspberry Memories”



Blackberry Pie Variants

Update – What I seem to get is blackberry soup so far; it tastes all right, but you could drink it through a straw, almost — and I used nearly 1/2 cup flour. Next time, I’ll try the following: pastry dough –

3 cups flour

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup icewater

1/4 teaspoon salt

berry filling –

4 cups blackberries, fresh or thawed frozen ones, rinsed and drained

1 – 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 to 2 teaspoons lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold butter, cut in bits

milk or cream to brush top crust

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

Prepare crusts and filling as usual. After cutting steam vents in the top crust, brush the crust with milk or cream, and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake in the lower third of a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly. Allow pie to cool, and pray you can eat it with a fork, not a soup ladle. – LLF, December 2012


[Most recipes here seem similar, some using flour for thickening, some using tapioca, which would be less opaque, showing off the berries a bit more, probably. Cornstarch seems not to be used, perhaps because its thickening power decreases with acidic ingredients. Some add a dash of cinnamon, though you wouldn’t want to overdo that, even for us cinnamon lovers. – LLF] Blackberry Pie III pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie 4 cups fresh blackberries 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour * 1 cup white sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut in bits Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).** Roll out and line a 9 inch pie pan with half the pastry. Save remaining pastry for top crust, and chill both while preparing the blackberries. Combine berries, flour, sugar, and lemon juice. Spoon into pie shell, and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, and slash in several places to allow steam to vent. Brush the crust with milk, and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Place pie pan on a cookie sheet, and bake in the lower third of the oven, for 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. *One person, who tried this with wild berries, mentioned that this made a very runny filling. If your berries seem juicy after thawing and rinsing, you might need to drain them on paper towels, or add a bit mor flour. ** Another note mentioned that the crust edges burned quickly at 450 degrees, which does sound high, so you might do the first part at 400 or 425. [Here’s one using more flour, more sugar, and no lemon juice. It’s also baked at a lower temperature.] Brigid’s Blackberry Pie PREP TIME 15 Minutes . COOK TIME 1 Hour 1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie 4 cups fresh blackberries 1 – 1/2 cups white sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut in bits Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a 9 inch deep dish pie pan with one of the crusts. Place the blackberries in a large bowl. Stir together the sugar, flour, and salt. Sprinkle over the berries, and toss to coat. Pour berries into the pie crust and dot filling with butter. Place the other pie crust over the top, and secure to the bottom crust by pressing with a fork, or fluting with your fingers. Cut a design in the top crust with a sharp knife to vent steam. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the top crust is browned. Let cool to almost room temperature before serving to allow the filling to set. [Here’s one using tapioca, and far less sugar than the others. This baking time given seems pretty short to me for such a hefty pie.] Blackberry Pie IV PREP TIME 10 Minutes . COOK TIME 30 Minutes 4 cups blackberries, rinsed and drained well 1/2 cup white sugar 3 tablespoons instant tapioca 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in bits 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Roll out and line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust,and have the second one rolled and ready. In a large mixing bowl, combine blackberries, sugar and tapioca, being careful not to damage the berries. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Top with pats of butter. Cover with top crust, seal and crimp edges, then cut slits in the top for steam vents. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.* * This baking time sounds far too short, even to bake the crust. Perhaps the juices don’t need to bubble when you use tapioca, I don’t know, but you still don’t want raw pastry dough. –from, December 2006



Brandied Fruit Bars

1 – 1/2 pounds (3 firmly-packed cups) dried fruit 1/2 cup brandy or dark rum 7 ounces (2 cups) pecan halves 1 cup sifted unbleached flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs 1 cup sugar Use any variety or combination dried fruit–they must not be too dry. Slice larger fruit to pieces 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide. Macerate fruits in leakproof jar, placing this in a wide bowl to catch drips, and add rum or brandy; let stand, turning jar occasionally, at least 3 hours. Before baking, adjust oven rack to center, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 by 13 by 2 inch pan by molding aluminum foil to line the pan, then dampeningg the pan before placing foil inside. Melt butter in pan in the oven, then brush to coat the foil as well as possible. Let stand until cool and set; coat with fine dry bread crumbs, shaking out excess crumbs. Toast the pecans in a shallow pan in the oven, shaking the pan a few times, for about 10 minutes, just until they are very hot and smell toasted. Set aside to cool. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. With electric mixer, beat the eggs just to mix. Add the sugar and beat to mix. Add sifted ingredients, and beat only to mix. Remove bowl from the mixer, and add fruit (with any unabsorbed liquid) and the nuts, using a large rubber or wooden spatula to combine them. Turn batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes, reversing pan once, until top is richly browned and springs back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and let stand until cool.

Cover pan with a cookie sheet, and flip; remove pan, and carefully peel off the foil. Cover with another cookie sheet, and flip to right cake. Before cutting this into bars, chill it well, even freeze it first, and use a serrated french bread knife. Makes 32 bars. –from Maida Heatter’s…Cookie Book



Bread Pudding


2 beaten eggs

2/3 cup granulated sugar*

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 – 1/2 cups bread crumbs**

1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Combine eggs, sugar, milk, salt, butter and vanilla; add the bread crumbs and mix well. If using, stir in nuts. Turn into a well-greased 4 to 6-cup? baking pan. [I think my mother lets this mixture soak while the oven heats.] Bake in moderate 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, till firm. Serve slightly warm or chilled.

* Mom uses half brown sugar. – LLF

** My mother lightly toasts or dries the bread, though it’s not specified in the recipe. – LLF

–from The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (1943)


Ah, cookie dough — the sushi of desserts. –Curmudgeon



Butter-Pecan Cookies


1 cup softened butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

pecan halves

colored sugar – red and green for christmas

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy; stir in vanilla to blend. Sift together flour and salt, and add this gradually to the creamed mixture, combining well. Chill dough at least 1 hour.

For each cookie, roll about a tablespoon of dough between your palms to form a 1-inch ball, and roll each in colored sugar to coat well. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets, and center a nice pecan half on each cookie. Bake in the upper third of your oven, at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until the edges are firm, but try not to brown the bottoms. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

–from Mary Alice Sedam, circa 1960

NOTE – I tried these again after a lapse of many years, and can’t seem to get the proportions to work. The cookies spread out too much, and get too thin now. I understand they’ve learned to incorporate more water into butter these days, so suspect that’s the problem. Adding more flour does not seem to help, as this makes the cookies tough. Next time, I may try a little cornstarch. – LLF, May 2012



Candy Cane Cookies


1/2 cup powdered sugar

dash salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 – 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla [white would be great]

red food coloring, the amount depends on how concentrated it is – add sparingly

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend sugar, salt and butter. Gradually stir in the flour and mix well; divide the dough. Add vanilla to one portion of dough, red food color to the other, and peppermint extract if desired. Let the doughs rest at least 15 minutes at room temperature. Roll about 2 teaspoon portions of each color into 6 to 8 inch long “strings”, being careful that they don’t break. Twist white and red ropes together and crook one end to resemble a candy cane. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake cookies about 8 to 10 minutes in the upper third of a 325 degree oven; cookies should firm up, and the bottoms will brown slightly, but you don’t want the tops to brown. I forget how many cookies to expect from this recipe, perhaps 18 canes.

–from Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies book, 1960’s edition

NOTE – Rather than divide the dough, I find it simpler to divide the ingredients, and just mix the doughs in separate bowls, and I have often doubled the recipe. Apparently, I need to rework this now, with today’s watery butter causing the cookies to spread too much. I’ll try adding a tablespoon or so of cornstarch and hope that helps. If not, move on! Just cut out cane shapes from regular sugar cookie dough, and make the stripes with colored sugar or frosting. This is too tedious, and butter is too expensive, if these won’t look like they should. – LLF, May 2012


Caraway Puffs

1 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup cottage cheese

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 teaspoons dried onion

1 cup additional flour

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and yeast. Heat the next 5 ingredients until the butter melts. Combine with the flour mixture, and beat at low speed with a mixer just to blend well, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg, caraway seeds and onions, and beat for 3 minutes on high speed. Mix in the last 1 cup of flour by hand. [It might not hurt to knead the dough briefly.]

Place the dough in a large well-greased bowl, turning it so it all gets coated with butter or oil. Cover the dough, and let it rise in a warm place till double in volume, about 1 – 1/2 hours.

Divide the dough into 16 to 18 pieces; place these in well-buttered muffin tins and let the rolls rise for 40 minutes more. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes, till lightly browned. Cool slightly on racks and serve warm. Any leftovers should be cooled completely, then stored in airtight containers at room temperature (for a few days) or frozen.

–from Marty Coleman, of the Vision Center, 1979


Carrot Cake 1 – 1/2 cups cooking oil 2 – 1/2 cups sugar 4 egg yolks 5 tablespoons water 2 – 1/2 cups sifted flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 – 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 – 1/2 cups grated raw carrot* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional 4 egg whites

pinch of cream of tartar With an electric mixer, beat oil and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, which takes several minutes. Add the egg yolks individually, beating well after each. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and combine well. Sift together the dry ingredients, then gradually stir them by hand into the sugar mixture, blending well. Add the grated carrot, and walnuts if used; combine well.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold these into the batter, retaining as much volume as possible. Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured large tube pan.**

Bake in the center of a 325 degree oven 50-60 minutes, turning frequently, until it tests done. Cool cake completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting, listed separately. Decorate if desired with walnut halves. –from Western Star desserts cookbook, circa 1971 * I don’t measure the carrots, and suspect it’s usually more than this amount. A processor won’t shred carrots as finely as an old reliable box grater, but my knuckles don’t miss the abuse. Never fear, the cooking gods are sure to exact their pound of flesh somewhere else.

** With a really good nonstick pan, such greasing and flouring may be unnecessary. Once I borrowed my neighbor’s teflon pan … and … the cake split and fell out onto the counter when I turned it upside down to cool. Luckily, I could fit the halves back together, and no one even guessed once the frosting was on. – LLF, November 2010


Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson


Cauliflower-Caraway Soup

1 cup cauliflower florets for garnish

1 pound cauliflower, sliced thin

2 onions, sliced

5 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons caraway seed, ground fine

3 cups canned chicken broth, maybe more

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Blanch the cauliflower florets for 3 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, cook the onions in 4 tablespoons butter over low heat, stirring often, until they are softened but not browned. Add the broth, caraway seed and sliced cauliflower. Bring to a boil, and cook over moderately low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender.

Puree the soup and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Reheat the soup, stirring gently, over moderately low heat. If desired, it can be thinned with extra broth. Garnish with the reserved cauliflower florets and minced parsly on top. For more color, you may cook the diced tomato with 1 tablespoon butter for 5 minutes and use this as an additional garnish.

–from Gourmet, October 1984



Cheesecake – in progress


2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons melted butter

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 – 1/2 cups sugar

6 eggs, beaten well

1 pint sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla powder [for extract, add 1 more tablespoon flour]

2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. Bake crust 5 minutes; remove pan from oven, reduce heat to 325 degrees and place a water bath on lower oven rack.

With an electric mixer, beat softened cream cheese with sugar until thoroughly smooth; mix in sour cream and vanilla, then add beaten eggs and blend; add flour to combine.

Pour filling into pan, and bake for about 65 minutes or to just about set. Turn off the heat; leave the pan in the oven with the door ajar for up to 30 minutes more. Chill cheesecake thoroughly before serving.

–LLF, February 2012



Cheesecake New York Style


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 – 1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, cut in small pieces and close to room temperature

2 tablespoons melted butter

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 4 tablespoons butter. Use this to line the bottome and sides of an 8 or 9 inch springform pan, patting the crust down firmly.

In a large blender, combine sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla; blend for 1 minute. Add cream cheese and blend till smooth. Pour in 2 tablespoons melted butter and blend a few seconds more, then pour the filling into the prepared baking pan.

Bake in the lower third of the oven at 325 degrees F. for 45 minutes. Remove the cake, then reset the oven to broil. Put cake back in the oven [in the same position?] and broil just till some brown spots appear on the top. Cool the cake on a rack to room temperature, then chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 12.

–from The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors

Note: this doesn’t specify when you unlatch and remove the sides of your pan, but probably after chilling it. No toppings or garnishes are suggested, as it’s customarily served plain, but hey, this is Ohio, and we can suit ourselves. – LLF



Chicken-Barley Soup

2 to 3 quarts well-skimmed chicken broth, thinned with water, etc. * 2 to 3 cups chopped celery 3 to 4 cups sliced carrots 3 to 4 cups sliced onion 1 to 2 cups diced bell pepper 2 cups canned or frozen green beans about 1 to 1 – 1/4 cups barley, or brown rice** 2 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced 2 to 3 tablespoons dried parsley 2 to 3 bay leaves 2 to 3 teaspoons fennel seed 2 teaspoons dried thyme 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano up to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot sauce pinch mace or nutmeg 2 cups canned or frozen corn 2 cups canned or frozen peas 2 cups pureed cooke spinach – canned is fine, optional 1 to 2 pounds cooked chicken or turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces 2 to 3 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, optional prepared mustard to taste, spicy brown by preference marjoram, pepper, salt to taste 1/2 to 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional In a very large kettle, cook the first 18 ingredients over low to medium heat until the vegetables are tender, and the barley is cooked, about 45-55 minutes once the liquid starts boiling. If you prefer the barley to have more texture, add it only after the kettle has boiled for 10-15 minutes, which I generally do if I remember. Barley is more forgiving than rice, so the timing is not too critical. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat 5-10 minutes, to make sure everything is hot. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. This can make anywhere from 5 to 8 quarts of soup, which can either be rather thin, or quite stew-like, depending on how much barley is used. Barley can absorb nearly 4 times its own volume of broth, so reduce the amount called for if making a very small batch, or skimping on the liquid. * Any liquid from draining canned vegetables can make up part of the cooking broth. I generally stew the chicken for this soup, then use its broth in this recipe, but canned broth is also fine here. ** Brown rice would be fine in this soup, but it has a more distinct flavor than barley, and the barley adds a sense of richness somehow, almost as if there were lots of fat in the dish. –LLF, circa 2000



Chicken Casserole with Rice and Cheese – [a.k.a Chicken “Glop”]

2 to 3 cups chicken broth 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown rice* 1 14-ounce can green beans, including liquid ** 1 to 2 medium carrots, sliced 1 to 2 ribs celery, sliced 1 to 2 large onions, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 to 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning – which is usually parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, plus a pinch of basil, marjoram or tarragon, with perhaps a smidgen of cayenne 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper small pinch of nutmeg or mace, optional 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, optional 2 to 2 – 1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped 1 11-ounce can cream of mushroom soup *** 1 small onion, chopped, microwaved about 1 minute 8 to 12 ounces cheese, coarsely grated – cheddar, colby, monterey jack or swiss are fine In a 2 or 3 quart saucepan, bring the broth, rice and veggies to a boil, then cook for about 35 to 40 minutes on low heat. Spoon enough of this mixture into a 2 to 2 – 1/2 quart casserole for a good layer — just be careful not to include much of the broth if it comes out soupy — a skimmer works well for this step. Next, add the chopped chicken in a covering layer, then spread the mushroom soup, and sprinkle with the blanched onion. Top with enough cheese to thoroughly cover the casserole. Bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the filling bubbles and the cheese melts, and browns slightly if desired. * With brown rice, I tend to use a ratio of 4 parts cooking liquid to 1 part rice, more or less. If you prefer white rice, cook the vegetables about 20 minutes before adding the rice, and you could use about 1/2 cup less broth. You could probably use barley, with similar cooking time and broth as for brown rice. ** About 2 cups frozen green beans would be fine, just add an extra 1/3 cup broth or water. *** Cream of celery or cream of chicken soup would also work, I just like mushroom soup with green beans. –LLF, circa 1992


Chicken Italienne


8 to 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast [about 4 good-sized pieces]

3 ounces mozarella cheese, in 4 thin slices, at room temperature

about 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

about 1/2 cup flour for dredging

salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil, to coat large skillet

about 1/2 pound (2 cups) raw carrots, julienned

6 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced thin

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 to 2 cups water, chicken broth or white wine for braising liquid

4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced, including some green tops

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced [optional]

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper and pound them flat [okay, to 1/4 to 1/3 inch thickness) with something heavy, such as a meat mallet or saucepan. In a shallow bowl, combine flour and seasonings. Place a slice of cheese on each chicken fillet and spread cheese with a bit of mustard. Roll up chicken and cheese, and dredge each piece in the flour.

Place the oil in a large deep skillet and heat to medium high; when the oil starts to sizzle a bit. Brown chicken for about 5 minutes, turning it often with tongs or a spatula. Carefully move the chicken to a plate. Place the carrots, mushrooms, celery and onion in the skillet, toss to coat with oil, and saute about 5 to 8 minutes on medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add cooking liquid and reduce heat to medium. Arrange the chicken rolls on top of the vegetables, cover the skillet and cook about 10 to 15 minutes, till meat is done and cheese is melted. Remove chicken to a clean serving plate. Check vegetables for seasoning, and place them in a serving dish; stir in green onion, parsley and water chestnuts. Serves two, with pasta, rice or garlic bread.

–from Julia Child, as prepared on some television talk show I can’t remember, circa 1973 – LLF





1 – 1/2 pounds dried pinto beans *

pinch baking soda

2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil

1 to 2 ribs celery, sliced

2 to 3 medium carrots, sliced

1/2 to 1 cup red or green bell pepper, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large chipotle chile (a dried, smoked jallapeno – a hottish pepper)

1 ancho chile (a dried poblano – a mild pepper)

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil

1 to 2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 to 2 teaspoons fennel seed

1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 to 2 teaspoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled fine

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground allspice

1 to 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes [Italian style, with green chiles, or a can of each]

1 14-ounce can beef broth, optional

1/2 to 1 cup ketchup

1 to 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

1 to 1 – 1/2 teaspoons beef boullion powder, optional

salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste

3 to 4 large onions, chopped

1 tablespoon butter or oil

sprinkle of salt

2 large onions, sliced thin

sprinkle of salt

1 to 1 – 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

ground pepper, italian seasoning, cumin seed, fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In a 6-quart pressure cooker** or other heavy covered kettle, bring the dried beans slowly to a boil, using at least 2 quarts cold water in the kettle. Once boiling, immediately add the pinch of baking soda, and remove the kettle from the heat; allow the kettle to cool to room temperature, adding more cold water as needed as the beans swell. Rinse beans in a large colander at least once.

Place beans back in the kettle with the next group of ingredients (oil through allspice), and enough cold water to cover the beans by an inch or more. WARNING!!! if you use a pressure cooker,take care not to fill the kettle much beyond the halfway mark, and be sure you add oil to the kettle, as this helps keep the beans from foaming up, which can clog the valves of your pressure cooker, an extremely not-good thing! That is what can cause the scary, kitchen-splattering blow-ups you hear of, which prompt the warnings never to do dried beans in a pressure cooker. Well, I’ve done so for years now with no problems, and that’s how all my aunts prepared beans. It is just critically important not to over-fill your pot, and to have a little oil in it when cooking beans. Unless you enjoy scraping down your entire kitchen, and like replacing pressure cookers often. In which case, I recommend professional counseling.

The initial cooking time will vary somewhat, depending on the type of beans you use, and how long they have been in storage. Navy beans will be tender in 45 minutes, counted from the time the kettle comes up to full pressure. Pintos, kidney beans and most others will need slightly longer to cook, say 55 to 65 minutes.

When you can open the pressure cooker, add the third group of ingredients (tomatoes, broth, ketchup, et cetera), and allow soup to simmer while you prepare the next items. In a covered casserole, microwave the onions and butter about 8 to 9 minutes, until very soft and caramelized; add them to the soup kettle. Brown the meat, onions and seasonings about 15 minutes in a covered skillet; break up the meat as needed, then stir into the kettle. Adjust the seasonings, and let the soup stand a bit to combine flavors.

* Any dried beans will work, I just like pintos. I even know folks who make chili with green beans, and it’s all right. But I think limas would taste weird in chili – they aren’t much good in anything else!

** If you can get beans to cook properly in a regular kettle, great! I just can’t any more, they will not get tender no matter how long they cook; I wonder if they now process them differently. They will need to cook twice as long in a regular pot,or perhaps more, and you could wait to add the other veggies until about the last hour of cooking. Canned beans would be fine, too, you’d just use less salt.

NOTE – I know, I know, who needs a recipe for chili, of all things? Well, it could be time for that Alzheimer’s test; I just remembered that I didn’t add ketchup to today’s batch, explaining why it didn’t taste quite right. I may not need a recipe exactly, but apparently it’s time for an ingredients checklist! – LLF, November 2012



Chinese Almond Cookies


2 – 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup coolish butter, cut into bits

1 egg, beaten lightly

1 teaspoon almond extract

about 1/3 cup blanched almond halves

Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and combine well. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter and blend till the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg and extract and mix well. Gather up the dough with your fingers and pat it into a ball.

On a lightly-floured surface, gently roll the dough out to just under 1/4 inch thick, and cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets, topping each with an almond half. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes; cool on racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

–from Better Homes & Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1960’s edition

Note: Instead of rolling out these cookies, I just formed dough into 1-inch balls with my hands, then rolled each in granulated sugar, and topped them with natural almonds. But I don’t recall the baking time, just till the edges browned, and I don’t think I got so many cookies per batch. – LLF, January 2017


I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven’t yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food? –Bill Bryson ++++++++++++

Chinese Noodles


3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs

9 tablespoons cold water, approximately

1 teaspoon Chinese/oriental sesame oil, or corn oil

1/2 cup cornstarch for dusting, approximate

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Make a deep crater or “well” in the center of the flour. Lightly beat the eggs with 9 tablespoons water, and pour this liquid into your flour well. With a wooden spoon, stir slowly from the center to incorporate the flour. Then mix vigorously to form a firm dough, gradually adding a bit more water if needed.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead it for about 10 minutes, until the dough is firm, smooth and elastic. Coat the dough with oil; seal it in plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, up to 3 hours. The dough may also be wrapped and chilled overnight.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and cover remaining portions with a damp cloth while you process the first piece of dough. Dust dough on both sides with cornstarch; flatten to a 1/4 inch rectangle, then pass this through the widest setting of a pasta machine. Fold emerging dough in thirds, dust with cornstarch again, rotate dough 90 degrees and pass through the rollers again. Repeat this process 2 or 3 more times at the same setting on your machine, until the dough is smooth and unwrinkled. Redust and refold the dough and keep running it through, gradually lowering the setting till it comes out about 1/8 inch thick, or even 1/16 inch.

Spread the dough to dry on toweling for about 7 to 8 minutes per side. Noodles should be cut when dough is slightly firm but still supple. Dust dough with cornstarch again, then run through the 1/8 inch cutter of your machine. Cut noodles in half (for the customary 15-inch length you chopsticks show-offs so enjoy twirling), then toss them on a cornstarch-dusted surface to coat, and spread on towel-lined trays to dry for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking, stirring them occasionally. Repeat this whole process with each portion of dough. They may be left uncovered for an hour before cooking, but to keep longer than this, cover them with a towel or plastic and chill up to a day or so. To hold still longer, dry them thoroughly or freeze for up to 1 month.

To cook, gradually add noodles to 4 quarts of boiling water. reduce the heat to simmer and separate the noodles. If fresh, 1-16-inch noodles cook in 10 seconds from the time the water returns to simmer. Naturally, older or drier noodles will take longer. Drain noodles when almost cooked through, then sauce and serve as desired.

–from Barbara Troppe, Chinese Cooking

Note: Those who use pasta machines really love them, but to me this sounds like more work than just hand-kneading the dough a few times and rolling it out on your counter. True, I may never get noodles thin enough to cook in 10 seconds … but at this point I really don’t care, and I suspect the total time commitment is pretty much the same, with or without the machine. – LLF, January 2017



Chipotle’s Chicken Marinade

Recipe #1 (UPDATED: 7/20/10) Submitted by Ramya Maddela All Purpose Chipotlesque Marinade (EDITED)

1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (discard chipotle pepper, skim out seeds)

1 teaspoon black pepper 2 teaspoons cumin powder 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped 6 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons salt 1 red onion, quartered 1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable/olive) 1 whole boneless, skinless naturally raised chicken (about 3 lbs, thighs work well too)

Soak dry chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds. Add chilies with remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Stab chicken with fork to let the marinade soak in. If you’re marinating overnight, you won’t need to stab it too much. If you’re marinating for an hour, stab it all over! Spread marinade over chicken, refrigerate for one hour or up to overnight. After marinating, grill on medium high on an indoor grill where the chicken can be pressed flat. If using a skillet, heat oil to medium high. Place a foil-wrapped brick on top of chicken to press it flat. If using an outdoor grill, use charcoal to make it ultra delicious. Place foil wrapped bricks to press chicken flat. You can also make this on a Panini grill on medium high heat. Place something heavy on top to weigh it down.

*Using naturally raised chicken makes the biggest difference and can be found at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or any other store that specializes in natural foods. If you can’t get boneless whole chicken, de-bone a whole chicken yourself (yuck), or get boneless thigh meat, or just leave the bones in! Chipotle places emphasis on good wholesome meat that has been fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones and antibiotics. You just will not have the same taste using typical grocery store chicken that was raised with antibiotics and hormones in their factory farms. [Please don’t sue me…. I’m just reiterating what Chipotle values. You should watch Food Inc. If you don’t believe me, prepare it with your regular chicken breast. Then prepare this with naturally raised chicken or Amish chicken (vegetarian fed, no antibiotics or hormones). If you can’t taste the difference, you may be deficient in taste receptors).]

*This works for steak too. Chipotle uses 50% naturally raised beef (they’re working on getting it up to 100%) so make sure you use naturally raised, free range, grass fed beef as well!

*If you’re lazy, throw all the ingredients into a crockpot (bones included), cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 4 to 6. You will have meat that falls off the bone because it’s so tender and the consistency is similar to a stew! You can add 2 cups water or a low sodium stock to keep it from drying out.


Recipe #2 1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 teaspoons cumin powder 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped 6 cloves garlic 1/2 red onion, quartered 1/4 cup vegetable oil 4 chicken breasts (6 ounces each)

Soak dry chilies overnight in water, until soft. Remove seeds. Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth. Spread mixture over chicken, or other meats and refrigerate at least one hour, up to 24 hours. After marinating, heat grill to about 400 degrees F, or if cooking inside, heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high heat. Salt meat to taste (optional), and grill lightly, turning only once, until done. 4 minutes per side of chicken. Recipe will make four burritos. –Recipe source Google Answers



Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon water 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 – 1/2 to 3 cups flour 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips, chilled 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars; beat in the eggs and stir in water and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together and gradually mix into the creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in the chips until well distributed; gently add chopped nuts if desired. Chill the dough at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On greased baking sheets, drop rounded teaspoons of dough at least 1 inch apart. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges are firm and the cookies are lightly browned. Let cookies stand a minute before cooling on racks. Yields about 5 dozen cookies. –from Nestle’s Toll House morsels bag, circa 1965


Since chocolate comes from cocoa … which is a tree … that makes chocolate salad! Doesn’t it? –Curmudgeon


Chocolate Cream Pie, working version 3/4 to 1 cup sugar 5 tablespoons cornstarch 5 to 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, optional 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 – 1/2 cups milk 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, optional 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, in bits 1 baked 9-inch pie shell Toppings –

1 8-ounce tub cool whip* 1 to 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, shaved, optional, 5-6 Oreo cookies, crushed, optional In a 2-quart saucepan, combine dry ingredients, removing all possible lumps. Gradually, add milk and chocolate syrup to taste. Add butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Let filling cool somewhat, then spoon into baked and cooled pie shell. When filling is fully cooled, cover with whipped topping, and shaved chocolate or crushed Oreos if desired. * For real whipped cream, beat 1 cup heavy cream with a dash of salt to firm peaks, beating in 1 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar if desired. –LLF, April 2005



Chocolate Pudding


1 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, optional

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter, optional

In a large saucepan, stir together the dry ingredients. Gradually add the milk and mix well. Add the butter if desired, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens and comes to a boil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, still stirring; remove from the heat and cool slightly before spooning into individual dishes. Makes about 6 servings.

–LLF, July 2013

Note – After reading a recipe that specified heating milk (to about 125 degrees? before adding dry ingredients, I tried it with this one, on a really rushed day. Frankly, I expected extra lumps, since I’ve always understood that cornstarch must be mixed with cold liquid, lest the heavens fall. But so far, so good! If anything, I find fewer lumps doing it this way. It also goes faster, as I can assemble and mix the dry ingredients while the milk heats, and lazy soul that I am, I also appreciate not having to stand and stir for so long. Result — we have pudding more often now. Who knew?



Cocoa Brownies, Modified 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, optional pinch salt 1/2 cup butter, softened* 1 – 1/4 cups sugar* 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional Sift dry ingredients together, or at least blend them thoroughly,in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar till fluffy; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each; stir in vanilla and combine well. Gradually stir in dry ingredients and blend reasonably well; stir in walnuts if used. Pour and scrape batter into a well-buttered 9-inch square pan, smoothing and leveling the top as well as you can.

Bake for 20-25 minutes in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven, or till tester comes out with moist crumbs attached, and the edges pull away from the pan. Cool thoroughly in the cake pan before cutting brownies–if you have that much self-restraint. –from Gourmet, October 1984, “Brownies”

* The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup butter and 1 – 1/2 cups sugar, which seems very sweet, and a baking time of 25-30 minutes. These seem moist enough without more shortening, though you might add 1/4 cup applesauce, and use the longer baking time. – LLF, circa 2004



Coconut Cake


3 – 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 – 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon mace

3/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon finely-grated fresh lemon zest

2 – 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 – 1/2 cups milk

8 large egg whites, at room temperature

about 8 cups Fluffy White Frosting [given in a separate recipe]

4 cups firmly-packed grated fresh coconut (1 nut), or use 5 3 – 1/2-ounce cans sweetened coconut, which can be “unsweetened” as described below *

Line the bottoms of 3 well-greased 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper or parchment paper, and generously grease the paper. Dust the pans with flour, shaking out any excess flour.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and mace into a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the shortening, then add vanilla, lemon extract and lemon zest. Add 2 cups sugar, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with a mixer until they are frothy. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar a tablespoon at a time, and beat to soft peaks. Gently fold the eggwhites into the batter, and divide it among the baking pans, carefully smoothing the tops.

Bake in the upper half of a 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes, then shift all the pans and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until a wire cake tester comes out clean, with no crumbs attached. Cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes, then loosen the cake edges with a knife and invert pans onto racks. Carefully remove waxed paper and let layers cool completely on the racks.

Arrange a cake layer on a plate, and spread with 1 – 1/2 cups frosting. Do the same with the remaining layers. Spread the sides with the remaining frosting, and cover the top and sides of the cake with coconut, pressing it in gently so it will adhere. If made a day ahead, keep the cake covered and chilled.

–from Gourmet, July 1986 “Alice Vinegar’s Fourth of July”

* [Finally found this bit] – to unsweeten this amount of sweetened flaked coconut, stir together 1 – 1/2 cups milk and 1 – 1/2 cups water in a large shallow bowl, and soak the coconut in it for 2 hours. Drain it in a fine strainer, and pat it to just moist in paper towels.

What a chore. However, back in the day, it was rare to find commercially-prepared unsweetened coconut, but that should be no real problem now. Of course, fresh coconut is no doubt best if you can find good ones. My guess is it’s a job grating it though. It sounds like a nice cake, and as I recall the article, even Humphrey Bogart liked it. – LLF, January 2017



Coconut Cookies

2 cups brown sugar 1 cup butter 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, optional – otherwise, add extra vanilla 3 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, about 7 ounces Cream together butter and sugar; beat in eggs to mix well; stir in extracts and combine well. Stir next 3 ingredients to mix well, and gradually add them to the creamed mixture; blend well. A bit more flour may be needed to keep dough from being too sticky. Stir in coconut gradually, and mix well. Chill dough at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Form dough into 1.5 inch balls (about 2 tablespoons dough) and place them 2 inches apart on well-greased baking sheets. Bake in the upper third of your oven until cookie tops firm, and edges start to brown. Let cool slightly on sheets before carefully removing to racks. This makes about 5 dozen cookies –LLF circa 1992



Coconut Cream Pie

For filling – 1/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 5 tablespoons cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 cup heavy cream* 2 cups milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or coconut extract 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1 9-inch baked deep-dish pie shell Combine first 4 items in a heavy saucepan, and thoroughly de-lump sugar and cornstarch. Add the heavy cream and blend well. Stir in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Cook 1-2 minutes more, still stirring.

Remove from the heat; stir in the extract and coconut; combine well. Let filling cool to room temperature before spooning into baked pie shell. Chill pie for 1 hour before topping and serving. For topping –

1 cup heavy cream pinch of salt 3/8 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, optional about 3/4 cup toasted shredded coconut** In a small bowl, whip heavy cream and salt until it forms soft peaks. Graddually add powdered sugar and beat to firm peaks. Stir in vanilla and spread topping over chilled pie filling. Cover this with toasted coconut, completely coating cream. Chill pie slightly before serving. * For the cholesterol conscious, substitute an extra 1 cup milk for the cream. And frozen whipped topping is fine for the top, though it can seem a little too sweet to me. ** Place shredded coconut in a shallow baking pan and toast in a 375 degree oven 5-8 minutes? until it just starts to brown–do not leave it too long, as it burns readily. Cool in pan on rack before placing over whipped cream. –LLF circa 1990



Coconut Macaroons


3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

2 cups flaked coconut

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla *

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with salt and vanilla until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and beat till the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold in the coconut and blend gently but well. Drop batter by tablespoonsful onto greased baking sheets or parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees F. about 20 minutes, or until tops are firm and lightly browned.

–from Gourmet, sometime in the 1980’s

* I’m reading that a common problem with these is excessive moisture, which will make the cookies weep or get soggy in the middle. Using vanilla powder, or making vanilla sugar (by keeping a vanilla bean in the sugar for a week), rather than vanilla extract might help a bit. And you could try unsweetened coconut, as many recipes are too sweet, and too much sugar contributes to the moisture issue. You might also add a little cornstarch … but I wonder if it might add some bitterness? . Or try the alternate recipe below, though personally I hate, loathe and despise working with sweetened condensed milk! Life’s too short — in my house, folks may have to make do with my pedestrian Coconut Cookies. – LLF, January 2017



Coconut Macaroons II


1 14-ounce bag sweetened flaked coconut, about 5 – 1/3 cups *

7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk **

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, milk and vanilla and set aside. In a clean bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the coconut mixture with a large rubber spatula.

Using 2 spoons, mound heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets, with cookies about an inch apart. Bake near the center of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes, until the tops and edges are golden. Let cookies cool on the sheets a few minutes, then transfer them to racks to cool completely. Makes about 26 cookies, which keep well at room temperature in a tightly-closed container for about a week.

–from Once Upon A Chef, January 2017

* If firmly packed, I get about 4 cups coconut from this size bag. And it’s a lot of coconut for so few cookies. – LLF

** Naturally, they don’t sell sweetened condensed milk in 7/8 cup cans. And it’s fun, fun, fun to measure it. Are we sure we really like coconut well enough for all this? – LLF


Coconut-Pecan Frosting 1 cup evaporated milk 1 cup sugar 3 egg yolks 1/2 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 – 1/3 cups flaked coconut 1 cup chopped pecans Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly so the egg yolks won’t curdle, until the mixture thickens, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the nuts and coconut, and beat until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Use to frost layers of German Chocolate Cake, which is in a separate recipe. –from recipe on Baker’s Sweet German Chocolate 4-ounce package, circa 1957



Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread


3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup cooking oil

3 eggs

1 – 1/2 cups water

1 15-ounce can cooked pumpkin – about 2 cups

3 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt *

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.** In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs, and beat to mix well. Stir in water and pumpkin and combine well. In another bowl, stir or sift the dry ingredients together; then gradually add these to the pumpkin mixture and combine reasonably well.

Divide batter between 3 well-greased (nominally) 1-pound metal coffee cans, or 3 9-x-5-inch bread pans. Do not fill pans more than halfway, as these will rise above the pan tops, especially in the coffee cans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until centers are set. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes before carefully removing them to cool completely on racks.

* I note this lists no salt, so I’ve added a bit … though if you eat the bread with salted butter it may be fine.

** Most recipes call for a lower oven temperature, so I may try 350 — or start it at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for the duration.

–from, August 2014

NOTE – My mother had a similar recipe for years, on a much-folded sheet of paper that looked like an early Xerox copy, obtained long ago from one of her work mates I always thought. But somehow, we both let it get away from us, and this recipe looks very much as I half-remember it. Most pumpkin bread recipes don’t include water, which I think makes the bread considerably lighter. I’ll probably adjust the spices — this sounds heavy on the clove to me. I’d guess my mother also added vanilla, as it’s one of her favorite things. But this looks close enough, yay! –LLF


Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie. –Terri Guillemets



Company Carrots


2 – 1/2 pounds carrots 1/2 cup mayonaise 1 pound chopped or minced onion [this seems like a lot] 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish salt and pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon dill seed, optional 1/2 cup saltines, crushed fine 2 tablespoons margarine or cooking oil 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley paprika for garnish In a large saucepan, cook trimmed whole carrots in salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. [They could be microwaved, but with this quantity, it might not save much time.] Drain them, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Cut carrots lengthwise, and arrange in a 9-inch square baking dish, and set aside. Combine the reserved cooking liquid and next 6 ingredients, and pour this over the carrots. This sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the dish, dot it with margarine, sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown and bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.

–from Helen M. Sempsrott, circa 1977



Cranberry-Bran Bread 3 cups flour, unbleached or all-purpose 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons baking powder 1 – 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon soda 3 cups bran flakes, or slightly more 3/4 cups oatmeal 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped, or dried, soaked to make this amount 1 – 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 – 1/4 cups water–part of liquid could be orange juice 3/4 cup applesauce 4 – 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil 1 tablespoon dried orange peel 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon each ginger and allspice 3 eggs, beaten well 3/4 teaspoon vanilla Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine ingredients from bran flakes to spices. Stir over low heat just until the cereals soften, and sugar mostly dissolves, but don’t let it get too warm. Stir in eggs and vanilla, and blend well. Pour this whole mess into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix well. Pour batter into 2 well-greased loaf pans. Bake loaves in preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30-35 minutes more, till loaves test done. Let breads cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to racks. Cool completely. To keep more than a day or so, wrap bread and keep chilled, perhaps on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Bread freezes very well. –LLF, January 1999



Cranberry-Orange Relish


2 12-ounce bags fresh cranberries 1 to 2 navel oranges, unpeeled 1 to 1 – 1/2 cups sugar dash salt

Rinse the fruit well and pick out any squishy berries. Process [using the regular food processor blade] in batches to the desired consistency–I like a few chunks, so it doesn’t take that long, and you can pack the hopper pretty full with the berries. Cut oranges into about 1-inch chunks, before running about 3/4 of an orange in a batch–these also process quickly. Add the salt and 1 c. sugar; mix well, then gradually add more sugar as needed. Serve as a nice counterpoint to rich holiday dinners.

–LLF, December 2007



Cream Cheese Frosting


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups sifted powdered sugar, more or less

Combine softened chream cheese and butter and blend well, by hand or at very low speed with a mixer. Stir in vanilla, then gradually add enough powdered sugar to spread smoothly without being so soft it runs off the cake readily. This will frost a 9 by 13-inch cake, or one baked in a tube pan. Be sure the cake has thoroughly cooled, and if possible chill the frosting a bit before spreading it on the cake.

–from Western Star desserts cookbook, circa 1971


To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist. The problem is entirely the same in both cases: to know how much oil one must mix with one’s vinegar. –Oscar Wilde



Creamy Peppercorn Dressing


2 tablespoons Spice House creamy peppercorn dressing mix

2 tablespoons warm water

1 – 1/3 cups sour cream

2/3 cup mayonaise

1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, optional

Combine seasoning mix with warm water and let stand a few minutes. Add sour cream and mayonaise, and mix well. If desired, thin with vinegar and stir well. Makes about 2 cups dressing.

–from Spice House Creamy Peppercorn Dressing package



Custard Pie


3 eggs, beaten lightly

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups milk

1teaspoon vanilla

nutmeg to garnish

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Beat eggs and sugar together; add salt, milk and vanilla and combine well. Pour custard into the unbaked pie crust. Bake in the middle of a 425 degrees * oven for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned, and custard tests done in the center.

* This seems a really high oven temperature for eggs, but that’s what the recipe says. – LLF

–from The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (1943)



Dill Dip


1 cup sour cream, mayonaise, or plain yogurt *

4 teaspoons Spice House Dill Dip seasoning

Combine sour cream and seasonings; stir well, and let stand for several minutes before serving. This makes a great dip for veggies or chips.

* You could combine these to suit your taste, of course.

–from Spice House Dill Dip mix package


Recipe: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don’t own, to make a dish the dog wouldn’t eat. –Author Unknown



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