This is a basic ratio. Play around with ingredients as you like. For a goopier marinade, up the ketchup amount, or even add a tiny bit of mayo. For a more citrusy taste, splash a bit more grapefruit juice. You know the drill. 

Below is the amount I use for about 1 ½ to two lbs. I don’t eat red meat, so I’m not sure about how long you can let that red stuff sit in marinade, but I let my chicken or fish marinate stew in these lovely juices for up to two hours. Probably could go even go longer. 

BONUS: Save the marinade after you take the meat/chicken/fish out of it, and when you’re at the final stages of cooking, scoop out the minced ginger and smooshes of garlic and a touch of marinade and drizzle over the top of cooking meat for some extra, final sizzle. 

WARNING: Do not heave any marinated food at anyone at any time, regardless of their politics or promiscuity. You’ll have quite a mess to clean up if you do. 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp(s) ketchup
  • 1-2 pressed cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsps minced candied ginger
  • A splash of grapefruit juice
  • Juice of a ½ to 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Optional: 1 tsp mayonnaise

BobaLoo’s Bean Dip
Susan Delgado


  • 2 cans Rosarita Black Refried Bean (Regular can be used but Black taste better)
  • Velveeta “original” liquid gold cheese 1 lbs. package
  • Pace Picante Salsa (HOT)
  • Pico Pica (HOT)


Heat the 2 cans of beans over low heat and once warm start to add the cheese (cut into small cubes to melt quicker). With 2 cans of beans, it will take about ½ of the 1 lbs. block of Velveeta (plus or minus to taste). Once the cheese is blended add the Picante start with ½ cup then add to taste. Blend the salsa in then taste, it no spicy enough then add some Pico Pica salsa to taste.

Ashley’s comments are normally, more cheese and make it hotter, but test early and let it blend well before adding more of any ingredient.

Total time is about an hour.


Chicken Vignettes
Al Kratz

12 servings

  1. Douse liberally with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
  2. Cook over fire, about 5 minutes a side, turn frequently and make sure burn is distributed. Should see some separation from the bone.
  3. Optional addition: Liberally brush barbeque or buffalo sauce over the creole rub.
  4. Let cool and eat with lots of ranch for dipping and cold beer for drinking.

Salmon Rilletes with a Dash of Nostalgia
Lisa Ferranti


  • 1 cup chardonnay
  • 1 medium minced shallot
  • 1 lb boneless skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced chives
  • 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 baguette sliced and toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread a layer of foil on a baking sheet. Place salmon fillet on foil; salt and pepper on both sides. Slice 1 lemon into ¼-½ in slices. Place slices of lemon on top of the salmon then place another sheet of foil over top of the salmon and crimp edges of both sheets of foil together around the edges.
  3. Bake salmon for 20 minutes until easy to flake with a fork.
  4. While salmon is baking, combine the chardonnay and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has reached a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce until almost no liquid remains, and shallots have taken on some of the color of the wine.
  5. Allow salmon to cool until you can handle it. Then place salmon in a bowl and shred the salmon with a fork.
  6. Once salmon is shredded, add the shallot mixture, mayonnaise, juice of ½ of the second lemon, chives, and salt and pepper and mix until combined.
  7. Chill mixture for at least 2 hours.

Serve with toasted baguette or crackers.

Adapted from bon appétit

There were seven Stoller girls and they all made Chopped Chicken Liver, but no two used the exact same recipe. This is a combination of Rosie and Libby’s recipe with my two cents thrown in.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium Vidalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)
  1. Put the eggs in cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Cool rapidly in ice water and peel.
  2. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet. Sauté the onions over a high heat for 5 minutes, until they start to turn brown.
  3. Add the chicken livers to the sauteed onions and cook for 5 minutes tossing them. (don’t overcook).
  4. Chop together the livers, hard-boiled eggs (sliced or quartered), and the sauteed onions using an old-fashioned manual chopper or a food processor until of even consistency (but not pureed).
  5. Season with salt and pepper and (optional) add a tablespoon of chicken fat.
  6. Serve with your choice of crackers and listen to your company kvell.

Sudha Balagopal


  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • black tea: a teaspoon if using loose leaf (adjust for strength) or tea bags.

Any combination or all of the spices listed below:

  • ginger (Fresh, about ¼ inch piece, crushed)
  • a small stick of cinnamon
  • ¼ inch or so
  • two cloves
  • one pod of cardamom
  • one or two peppercorns
  • sugar, white or brown, to taste.


  1. In a pot, bring water to boil with the spices and the tea leaves. When it comes to a boil, add milk. Lower to a simmer for a minute. Take pot off the stove and place a lid on the steeping tea.
  2. Strain and enjoy. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger it will get. Sweeten to taste.



  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Cowboy Skillet
Jenn Balch

Serves 2

At the Cowboy Café in Sheridan, Wyoming, my cowboy colleagues tell me we can’t discuss business over breakfast. Over in the corner is the ‘Table of Knowledge,’ the old-timers who meet every day to gossip. Anything we say while in the café will quickly become community news, fodder for the small-town rumor mill.

When a cast iron skillet full of elk sausage, crisp potatoes, charred peppers and melted cheese appears in front of me, I can think of nothing else but enjoying my meal. Rumor has it that the chef is French, or at least trained in France. The culinary quality certainly supports the rumor.  I’m neither a cowboy nor a chef, but I have worked alongside both. Over sips of strong coffee (or unlabeled whiskey), I’ve picked up many good stories and a few good recipes. I’ve modified the one below to match my personal preferences.


  • 2 links of buffalo or spicy elk sausage (or any local sausage)
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • ½ of an onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ lb sweet peppers
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (crumbled into pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Dice the potatoes and boil in salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. While the potatoes cook, chop the kale, onion and garlic. Slice the peppers into thin rings and the sausage links into small medallions.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, heat half the olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Then remove the kale and set aside.
  5. Add the rest of the olive oil to the same skillet then add the potatoes and sausage. Cook for 3 minutes without stirring. Add the onion, garlic and peppers; season with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 2 minutes (stirring if necessary).
  6. Turn off the stove and stir the kale back into the skillet. Sprinkle evenly with the shredded Swiss and cheddar cheeses pieces.
  7. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes. Top with the hot sauce and serve straight from the skillet.

Best served with rural gossip.

New-Woman Breakfast
Sophie Hall

 “With its complex, smoky flavor, New Woman is just as delicious melted into your favorite dish as it is on a cheese plate.” —Beecher’s Handmade Cheese


  • cast-iron skillet, chosen-family heirloom


  • stick of butter, held with purpose
  • two eggs, the last left in the tray
  • “New Woman” cheese, heaping portions


  • Clunk the heaviest skillet on the front-right burner. Consciously choose the front-right, even if there was another time when back-left was most natural. Or sometimes, back right—the front ones you were once used to offering only dim heat. If you find yourself stretching your arm further back than necessary, remind yourself: you can rely on the sources of warmth closest to you.
  • Trust that the cast-iron has been cleaned in the necessary way.
  • As it heats, introduce a fresh stick of butter from the box in the fridge. Ignore those already unpeeled; bring the waxed paper of this new one down halfway and glide the edge along the smooth base of the pan, the same way your partner has before demonstrated to you the years-worn softness of this very pan handed down from their grandmother. Watch as the glue stick motion leaves little bubbles of butter, with the heat somewhere just below medium, letting it melt but not brown. Perfect the motion and heat in time; the more often you butter pans this way, remember all the first times you let that thin layer of preparation burn. Remind yourself: many firsts will be burns.
  • Crack two eggs into a Beatles mug that you are unsure of its origins or how it ended up in your possession. Question the mug, but do not interrogate. Take a fork to the eggs and the insides of the mug as violently as possible without true harm, containing the clanging in your cupped palm. Lose yourself, for a moment, in the thrashing wind-chime sound.
  • After the eggs have thoroughly coalesced into one shade of yellow, scour the liquid with the fork, straining it, pulling strands of yolk-white up to the light to inspect. Dangle any remaining veinlike lumps into the garbage disposal. Remind yourself: these choices are yours.

Omi’s Waffeln (from Lina Rohrer’s kitchen)
Mary Rohrer-Dann


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (heaping)
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • ½ pt sour cream, yogurt, or crème fraiche
  • ¾ cup milk at room temp
  • Salt
  • vanilla extract to taste


  1. Cream butter with sugar and egg yolks with vanilla til light & fluffy.
  2. Add flour, sour cream, & milk gradually on low speed or by hand with whisk.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold gently into mixture.
  4. Ladle ½ cup to ¾ cup batter per waffle, depending on waffle iron, bake to a rich golden brown.

Freeze any leftovers (ha!) and reheat in toaster oven.

Sunday Morning Pancakes
Timothy Boudreau

This recipe is something that’s typically improvised, dependent on whatever we might have in the house. My apologies that it’s not more exact.

I hope you enjoy!

Makes 8-10 pancakes (or so)


  • About 1 ½ cups of any combination of
  • steel cut oats
  • flax seed
  • farro
  • rolled oats
  • almonds
  • pecans
  • walnuts

(balance ingredients to your taste; feel free to use other nuts, seeds or grains)

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
  • about 1 cup of fat free Greek yogurt (you may use apple sauce or butter instead)
  • 2 eggs
  • vanilla extract to taste
  • about 1 cup almond milk


  1. Grind nuts/seeds/grains in food processor into flour-like consistency.
  2. Stir in rest of dry ingredients.
  3. Add yogurt, eggs, vanilla and enough almond milk to produce your preferred pancake batter thickness.
  4. Pour with ¼-cup measuring cup on preheated frying pan or griddle. Use ½-cup if you prefer bigger pancakes!
  5. Cook until bubbles form on top and underside is firm and golden before flipping.

Michelle Ross

This is one of my family’s absolute favorite breakfast dishes, and it’s so quick and easy.

Forgive the vague amounts. I rarely measure when I cook; I eyeball ingredients.

Serves about 4


  • ¼ to ⅓ cup white onion
  • 1 4-oz can diced Hatch chilis
  • ¼-½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • A few cloves of garlic
  • 8-12 eggs
  • about ¼ cup almond milk (or whatever kind of milk you prefer)
  • a few (or many) handfuls of tortilla chips
  • ½-1 cup of salsa (homemade is always preferable)
  • cilantro
  • ½-1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste (not too much salt, though, because the chips are already loaded with it)


  1. Chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in heated oil in a cast-iron pan for about 5 minutes.
  3. While onion and garlic are cooking, whisk eggs with a little bit of milk. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Also, chop tomatoes.
  5. Add Hatch chilis and tomatoes to the onions and cook for another minute or so.
  6. Add eggs to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring routinely.
  7. Stir in tortilla chips.
  8. Stir in salsa.
  9. Stir in cheese.
  10. Remove from heat and top with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream as desired.

Mithai Granola
Anu Pohani

The below recipe is an American/South-Asian amalgam, like me. Also—healthy, vegan, and delicious.


  • ⅓  cup oil (rapeseed, sunflower, walnut are awesome, but in a pinch I’ve used the normal vegetable oil. No effect on flavour, lower in omega-3s)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (feel free to substitute agave)
  • 5 cardamom pods, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 2 Tbsp seeds (I use a sunflower-flaxseed-pumpkin seed mix)
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • Raisins (to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to a low setting, 275°F.
  2. In a larger bowl mix the nuts, seeds, oats and coconut. In a separate small bowl mix together oil, spices, and syrup until emulsified. Add the wet to the dry and toss with your hands so that everything is well coated.
  3. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking tray. Put in the oven for 7 minutes. Take out the baking tray and give it a little stir around to make sure nothing is burning, catching etc. Put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes depending on how toasty you like it.
  4. Take the tray out of the oven and let cool. Add raisins to taste. Store in an airtight container. Serve with your favourite accompaniment. I like vanilla yogurt.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Chilli Chicken Ramen
Yin F Lim

Note on recipe:I began to build my own ramen during one of the Covid lockdowns, when I learnt to appreciate the therapeutic value of multi-process cooking. Making the different elements of this chilli chicken ramen dish, adapted from a recipe* by Ken Yamada of London’s Tonkotsu ramen house, keeps me calm and focused when I’m feeling frazzled. There’s a fair amount of work – and time – involved but it’s really worth the effort, especially the chilli oil which goes well with a bowl of instant ramen too, or anything else!

Serves 6

Preparation: 35 mins
Cooking time: 3 hours and 25 mins



  • 150 ml dashi
  • 10 g salt
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar


  • 1.5 kg whole chicken
  • 50 g ginger, chopped
  • 4 salad onions, cut into several pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped


  • 60 ml sesame oil
  • 140 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 salad onion, finely sliced
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped


  • 10 g Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese seven-spice mix)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 20 ml soy sauce
  • 25 g white miso

Serve with


  1. Make the base (A):  Place the dashi in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until it is reduced by half. Add the rest of the base ingredients to the pan. Return to the heat and stir. Once the salt has dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a small container. Leave to cool.
  2.  Make the stock (B): Put the chicken in a deep stock pot and cover with cold water. Once you’ve added the rest of the stock ingredients, turn up the heat slowly. When the stock is boiling, turn the heat down to allow the chicken to poach gently for 3 hours, uncovered. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, allow it to cool down, then shred the meat off the bones into bite-sized pieces. With a sieve, strain the stock into a pot and set aside for later.
  4. Make the chilli oil: In a bowl, mix the paste ingredients (D) until smooth and set aside. Add the chilli oil ingredients (C) to a small saucepan and place this over a low heat. Slowly bring up the temperature, keeping a close eye not to burn the garlic and onions. Once this reaches 130°C (this should take 10-15 mins; use a sugar thermometer), take the pan off the heat. Allow about 1 min for the oil to cool to 120°C, then add the paste to the oil and mix together. Once this has cooled to room temperature, transfer the chilli oil to a sterilised container.

Building your bowl of ramen

  1. Heat up the chicken stock to boiling, then turn down to a simmer.
  2. Cook your vegetables of choice in a pan of hot water for 1-2 mins, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain.
  3. Cook your noodles of choice according to the instructions on the pack.
  4. Mix 6 Tbsp. sediment from the chilli oil with the shredded chicken.

To assemble your ramen:

  1. Add 2 tsp of the ramen base in your bowl.
  2. pour over 350 ml hot chicken stock.
  3. Add the noodles.
  4. Add the toppings: chilli chicken, marinated eggs (cut in half) and vegetables.
  5. Add the salad onions and drizzle over the chilli oil; about 1 tsp or more if you like!

Cook’s Notes:

* To further minimise stress, I’ve taken Ken Yamada’s tip to make the stock (Step 2) and chilli oil (Step 4) the day before

* Note on saké: If you, like me, don’t have a handy bottle lying around, substitute with mirin, Chinese Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry.

Adapted from Waitrose & Partners Food magazine, Nov 2020 Issue


  • 1 father (absent, phone call every Saturday morning at 9:00)
  • 1 large pot
  • It’s best with beans, he tells you, but even those aren’t necessary
  • Anything else you can lay your hands on


  1. Reach into the back of the pantry. Reach so far the lip of the near-empty shelf bites your armpits. When your fingers connect, pray it’s anything but fruit cocktail.
  2. Crank the broken can opener and pour the green beans into the large pot. The taste of metal will cook out if you add enough of whatever you find in the spice cabinet.
  3. Condiments are good, your father says. Ketchup, hot sauce, mustard. Swish water around the scraped-out bottle of barbecue sauce; swish until it’s brown and the bottle sides are clean and tip the brown water in.
  4. Isn’t there always something in the corner of the freezer tasting like ice? Check again. Maybe you missed it last time.
  5. Heat everything you can find until it boils, bubbles pooling like a fly’s eyes at the center of the pot.
  6. Ignore the recipe if the shelf is empty, if the freezer is cleaned out, if the refrigerator door is full of your stepdad’s beer and nothing else. Survival doesn’t need a recipe. What matters most is that you cook the chili until it coats the back of the spoon, that when you lick the spoon clean, it tastes like something you can stomach. That’s all you have to do, after all: find some way of keeping it down

Shrimp Okra Gumbo & Summers in South Louisiana
Gay Degani

Imagine the kind of heat that sticks cotton shirts wet against your skin. Consider the rich mossy odor of peaty soil mixed with the smell of oil from barges moving along the intracoastal canal. Picture galvanized tubs filled with ice from the big freezer chest in the garage, chilling down fat green watermelons under an ancient fig tree. Notice the white clapboard house, the screened-in porch, the three cement steps cracking away from the foundation. Walk up those steps and onto the porch and give the wicker rocking chair a push so it whispers “hello.” Smile as you catch the smell of shrimp okra gumbo simmering on the kitchen stove.

You walk into the house, into a heat hotter than outside. Grandma is at the counter shredding coconuts, wearing a flower-print dress and a flour sack apron. Her thick stockings are rolled down to clunky shoes, her curly, blue-dyed hair almost tamed by a hairnet. She turns her damp face toward you and grins. “How you do?”

You say, “Can I have a soda?”

“Help yourself darlin’.”

Her yellow kitchen is small, so the ice box is in the breakfast room, on the other side of the swinging door. You push it. Go in. Cooler here. You wipe the sweat from your forehead and realize you’re almost as tall as the ice box, but, of course, it’s not very tall. You yank it open to grab a Nehi, then thrust your head inside, close your eyes. You let the cool air and steady hum wash over you. It’s the most enjoyable moment of a day full of enjoyable moments. And soon the cousins will come, bringing shrimp and crawfish, jambalaya, and maybe even a pecan pie to set next to grandma’s coconut cake.

Shrimp Okra Gumbo*

  • 1 lb of raw peeled shrimp
  • 1 ½ lb of fresh okra, sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • 2-3 Tbsp of flour
  • 1 qt of water

Start with a Roux:

  1. Melt of butter and 2 shortening in a saucepan.
  2. When hot, sprinkle in 2 or 3 Tbsp. of flour (this is up to you).
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir constantly until the mixture turns amber.


  1. Add onions, and stir until the onions become almost clear.
  2. Add okra and shrimp and stir to coat with roux.
  3. Add tomato.
  4. Add cold water a little at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition.
  5. Add remaining liquid and seasonings and bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Salt and pepper again to taste
Serve over rice with hot French bread

*This is how I learned to make it, but there are other recipes out there.

Minnesota Creamy Wild Rice Soup
Anne Panning

This recipe is from my mom, Barb Panning, who gave me a handwritten family recipe book, written in her beautiful cursive, when I got married in 1992. It’s stained and falling apart and the recipes are in no order whatsoever, but to this day it’s the one thing I’d run and grab if my house ever caught on fire. She used to make this soup on Christmas Eve, and I make it whenever I crave something cozy and familiar. My mom died several years ago when she was just 61 years old, so this cookbook is a tender treasure. I loved how she wrote little editorials on the recipes, such as “your Aunt Sandy gave me this one but I don’t use as much garlic—makes my stomach too urpsy!).


  • 4 Tbsp butter1 large onion, minced
  • ½ cup flour
  • 8 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • ⅔ cup finely grated carrots
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • (optional) 1 small package of instant mashed potatoes for extra thickening


  1. Cook the wild rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in soup pot; sauté onions until tender and translucent.
  3. Blend in flour, then gradually add chicken broth, using a whisk to mix it up.
  4. Stir constantly, until mixture thickens slightly.
  5. Stir in wild rice and salt; simmer about 5 minutes.
  6. Blend in the half-and-half, then add ham, carrots, and almonds.
  7. Simmer until ham, carrots, and almonds are warm.

NOTE: If you like your soup thicker and creamier (we do), add some instant mashed potatoes at the end, then increase heat and stirs until it thickens to how you like it.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: This makes a very large pot of soup! Even with our family of 4 big eaters, we definitely have leftovers, so feel free to halve the recipe if you want to.

Images courtesy of Anne Panning

Veggie Lentil Soup
Renuka Raghavan

Having lived in New England for almost a decade now, my family and I have come to appreciate the versatility and flavor aggregation in soups and stews. One of my favorite weekday dinners consists of fresh baked naan and a big bowl of my Veggie Lentil Soup. This soup is adjustable according to the vegetables you have on hand or what is currently in season. The spice mix ensures a hearty, warm filling.

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced fine
  • 2 celery ribs, diced fine
  • 2 medium carrots, diced fine (feel free to substitute 10 oz of mirepoix mix, if you have that on hand)
  • 1 Russet potato, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup or 6 oz spinach, roughly chopped
  • lemon wedges
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, potato, and zucchini, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and just starting to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. In a mortar and pestle, crush garlic cloves and fresh ginger into a pulp. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic/ginger pulp to the pot, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, ensuring the spices are cooked in the oil. Toss in ½ cup cilantro and cook for 1 minute.

2. Stir in broth, water, and lentils; increase heat to high. Once you notice it boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot with the lid, and gently simmer until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and orzo and simmer, partially covered, for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach and continue to cook, partially covered, until orzo is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Off heat, add remaining ¼ cup cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Ball Curry or ‘Bad Word’ Curry
Savera Zachariah

Ball curry is a dish made by the Anglo Indian(AI) community in India. This is eaten with yellow/coconut rice and devil’s(mother-in-law’s tongue) chutney, and is a Sunday special in many AI homes. Growing up in a neighbourhood with friends from different communities, food was always shared and all festivals celebrated with fervour. My mom adapted this recipe to suit our Malayalee palate, with coconut milk(first, second and third extract from freshly grated coconut) being a key ingredient. We eat it with plain rice.

As teenagers, the name ‘ball’ curry would send us into fits of giggles. I am guessing the adults replaced the name to a sanitised ‘bad word’ curry. When I tried spaghetti and meatballs for the first time in my life, I was like: “This is good ol’ balls!” Of course, seasoned differently.


  • 500 gm minced beef
  • 1 Tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

For the balls

  • white onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
  • ginger – 1 inch, finely chopped
  • garlic – 4-5 pods, finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chilies, finely chopped (reduce for less heat)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • coriander leaves – a few, chopped fine
  • pepper -a pinch
  • salt to taste

For the curry

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ inch stick cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • curry leaves – a sprig or two
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp ( reduce for less heat) Kashmiri chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut cream (thin) diluted with water
  • ½ cup coconut cream (thick)
  • 2 green chilies, slit vertically
  • 1 medium potato, chopped into 4 pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or vegetable oil

For the seasoning

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 1 tsp onion, finely chopped


To prepare the meatballs

Fry the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies lightly till the onions are translucent. Add to the mince. Add the garam masala and the coriander leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and make lime sized balls. The balls should not be rolled too tight. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To prepare the curry

Heat a pan. Pour in the oil. Fry the onions till light brown. Add a sprig of curry leaf. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. Keep aside.  Add the cinnamon, cardamon and the cloves. Make sure the spices don’t burn. Mix the coriander, chili, turmeric and cumin powder with a little water and pour in the pan. Cook this on a low flame and keep adding a little water so as not to burn the powders and spices. Add the chopped tomato and green chilies, and fry till the tomatoes soften. Mix everything and fry till the oil separates from the masala. Now add the thin coconut milk. Season with salt. When the curry is bubbling, add the meat balls and the potatoes. Let it simmer till cooked. Take the pan off the stove and pour in the thick coconut milk. Mix thoroughly.

To season the curry

In a pan, pour the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the chopped onion and the curry leaves. When the onions are light brown, tip the contents into the curry and cover the curry with a lid to trap the smell and flavor.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain rice or naans or rotis.


  • Make sure the curry is bubbling when the balls are added, as this will ensure that the balls don’t break up in the curry.
  • If short of time, use store-bought meatballs. Make sure the meatballs are only seasoned with pepper and salt.
  • Spinach leaves and cubed turnips can also be added, for a more wholesome and nutritionally rich curry.

Carne Guisada~Puerto Rican Beef Stew
Lugo-Trebble Style
John Lugo-Trebble

I consider myself very much a citizen of the world in that I have lived in four different countries and on both coastlines of the US. In that respect, I’m someone who has had to adjust to having and not having certain ingredients available when I want them or even need them. Carne Guisada is what reminds me of home and my mother. When I need a hug from her, I know it’s time to make this dish. I should say that this isn’t exactly my mother’s dish, but her version is different from what she grew up eating. The dish has evolved in our family because we have migrated, and leaving “home” is something that seems to be in our blood as Puerto Ricans.

So a few things to know, this dish is usually made in a Dutch Oven or cast iron pot. If you use one of these vessels, remember to first sear the meat and then add subsequent ingredients to the Dutch oven or pot to cook on a low flame. The whole point of this dish is to let the aromas spread through your home like open arms.

I use a slow cooker because I will defend them till my last breath, and so this version has been modified for that use. Trust me; if you put this together and turn it on overnight, you will awaken ravenous. If you put it on in the morning and sit down to work, your senses will awaken as the dish cooks throughout the day.

I call these three ingredients the Holy Trinity of Puerto Rican food, and although you can skip the sazón(it doesn’t agree with everyone), I urge you not to ignore the Adoboand not the Sofrito. In the US, you can buy these ingredients over the counter. I never buy store-bought Sofrito, so here is my recipe, which has been modified as there are certain ingredients that are hard to come by here where I live in the UK.



  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped (if you can find Cubanelle peppers, use 1 of these and only 1 green red bell pepper, make sure they are seeded and chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 aji dulce pepper, seeded and chopped (sweet orange/yellow peppers are a good substitution)
  • 1 ½ cup of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 ½ cup of chopped culantro leaves (if you can’t find culantro, then add the same of cilantro)
  • 9-10 cloves of garlic (I measure garlic with my heart, as should you)
  • 1 large white chopped onion (If you can get Spanish onions, they are the best for this)
  • 2 plum or vine tomatoes, chopped
  • A handful of oregano, chopped 
  • Spanish olive oil to help everything come together in the blender.


I use a blender, so I add ingredients one or two at a time until they are all combined. You can use a food processor as well. As ingredients are blended, you pour a little olive oil directly into the blender to help all the ingredients come together. I prefer my sofrito to be pulsed, so it is not watery but not entirely chunky like a dip. If yours is still too chunky, you can add some water to help dilute it. 

The great thing about this is that it makes so much that you can freeze it for up to a year if you want. A common freezing technique is pouring the mixture into ice cube trays, so you have the perfect size serving to use when you cook.

This is best made at least a day before, so the flavours can really come together.

Carne Guisada  a la Lugo-Trebble


  • 1 Tbsp of Spanish olive oil (you can use any olive oil, but I think Spanish brings out the best flavour in this dish).
  • 2 lb of chuck beef or braising beef cut into cubes (you want a cheaper cut as it will absorb the flavour, and the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be)
  • 2-3 shakes of adobo seasoning (it comes in a plastic container)
  • ¼ packet of sazón seasoning (if you desire it)
  • 1 crushed powdered cube of vegetable bouillon 
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce (a small tin will do) or passata (I would recommend watering it down a little if you will be using the latter).
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp of mixed herbs (Italian herbs can work as well)
  • 10 pimento-stuffed Spanish olives (they come in jars in brine)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, minced (depending on your taste buds, as sofrito is loaded with garlic)
  • 1 carrot, sliced thickly 
  • 2-3 decent size potatoes, cubed
  • 1-2 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 16-32 fl oz (or ½- 1 litre) of beef stock (I say this amount because it is a visual judgement. You want the stock combined with other liquids to cover the meat nicely, but it shouldn’t necessarily drown it)
  • A decent size glass of red wine (I tend to use a Rioja if one is open, but if not, something like a Merlot or a decent house wine will do).
  • Salt/Pepper to taste. 


  1. In a bowl, combine the Adobo, sazón & sofrito with the meat. You want to leave a little bit of fat on the meat because this will cook beautifully and fall off with the touch of a fork.
  2. Make sure the meat is covered in the seasoning. If you want to leave this in the fridge overnight to marinate, it will be gorgeous. Just make sure you take it out at least a half-hour before you go to cook it. Personally, I only do that half the time. Most of the time, I just combine it all together and let it sit while I prepare the slow cooker.
  3. Your choice: you can seal the meat before transferring it to the slow cooker—I don’t, as having done it before, it hasn’t made a difference to the dish in my experience. If you do seal it, then use the olive oil and seal it on a low-medium flame as you don’t want to cook it.
  4. Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil and then potatoes and carrots.
  5. Transfer meat and layer on top of the potatoes and carrots.
  6. Combine the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker apart from the beef stock.
  7. Pour beef stock into the slow cooker, careful to cover the meat but not drown it by having the liquid reach the rim of the slow cooker.
  8. Add some salt and pepper and stir.
  9. Cook on low setting for a minimum 6-8 hours. I would check it after 6 hours to ensure the beef is tender. Bear in mind that when you open a slow cooker, you add 20 minutes to the cooking time, so try and only do this 1-2 times max. The gravy will not be thick; it’s not meant to be. Here if necessary, season with salt & pepper to taste.
  10. Once the meat is tender to your satisfaction, it’s ready.

I normally serve this with rice and kidney beans or just white rice. If you’re feeling healthy, some brown rice. I’d recommend checking out some Puerto Rican or Cuban rice and bean recipes as they would make ideal compliments to this dish.

Chicken Piccata
Samantha Vargas

This recipe is my dad’s favorite. To quote him, he could “drink the sauce.”

*makes 2 servings*


  • 4 chicken cutlets with salt and pepper & pound thin with a mallet. Dust with flour.


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Put cutlets to the side.


  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • Stir until garlic is brown and wine is reduced for approximately 2 minutes.


  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • sauteed chicken cutlets
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until combined. Remove and plate the chicken cutlets.


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • fresh lemon slices
  • Once the butter melts, pour the sauce over the chicken cutlets.


  • fresh parsley
  • sprinkle with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Franks and Beans for Two
Francine Witte


  • four hot dogs,
  • can of baked beans
  • mustard
  • brown sugar


Cut each frank into 7 or 8 slices. This is important if you are eating this with your partner so that you can count out the number of franks when you go to serve it. You don’t want to have this kind of thing come up in the divorce hearings. (She always cheated me on the franks, kind of thing) Also important to remember how many slices the franks came out to. Put the franks into a big pan. Non-stick or not, no biggie. Cover with a can of Baked Beans. I like the ones with pork in it, but that’s personal. If you are cooking, you get dibs on eating the pork yourself when you go to serve. That’s a rule. Add a big Tbsp. of brown mustard. Stir in. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar, trying not to hum the Stones tune as you do. I’m sorry, I realize I just put that in your head. Mix. Cover and put on a low heat for about five minutes. Let it be a little bubbly. Mix again and count out half the franks. You didn’t forget the count, did you? If so, it’s in your favor, so no big deal. So yes, literally pull the franks out first with the spoon, we aren’t going for third-degree burns here. Once the franks are evenly distributed, add half the beans. Now, you might want to taste to make sure. That comes out of their half, not yours.


Julie Zuckerman

This recipe comes from my mother, and I make it all year long. Find more recipes (including a full Passover cookbook) on my website here.

  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and chill for an hour or two. Bring a pot of water to boil, and with a bit of oil on your hands, mold into small balls that can be dropped into the boiling water. Cook for about 30 minutes until the balls seem light and fluffy. (Notes: 1. Add a bit of chicken soup or soup mix to the water; 2. The balls should be somewhere in size between golf balls and tennis balls.)

Irish Stew
Kathryn Crowley


  • forty shades of green (anything, vegetables will do nicely)
  • a litre of rainwater (easy to collect daily)
  • one generous helping of (dead) spring lamb (when alive, usually the cause of traffic jams)
  • seasoning (depending of mood of cook, choose between a sprinkling of humour or a dollop of 800 years of oppression)


  1. Throw it all into the pot, mix and leave to simmer.
  2. Sip some creamy Guinness (a pint of the plain stuff) while contemplating life, love, luck and laughter.
  3. When friends drop in, dig in

Prawn Do-Pyaza
Mandira Pattnaik

The word ‘Do-Pyaza’ literally means ‘double usage of onion’. Any ‘Do-pyaza’ recipe calls for two forms of onion to be cooked with other spices/ingredients. In this Prawn Dopiaza recipe, first thinly sliced onion is fried directly in moderately hot oil to caramelize the onion, and then, onion paste is added gradually along with other spices.


  • 250 g Medium-sized prawns, de-veined and cleaned
  • 2 Tbsp onion, pasted
  • ½ cup onions thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 large Tomato
  • 1.5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1.5 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Mustard oil
  • 1¼ cup Warm water


  1. Marinate prawns with ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp chilli powder & salt and set aside for ½ hour.
  2. Heat oil. Fry prawns for 2 minutes sliding into oil one at a time. Don’t overcook the prawns.
  3. Once done remove prawns from oil and set aside until needed.
  4. Add thinly sliced onion into the wok and fry for 30 secs to 1 min or until onion is translucent.
  5. Add onion paste, ginger-garlic paste and fry for 1 min on medium flame.
  6. Add finely chopped tomato and all dry spices except Garam Masala powder and fry until masala releases oil.
  7. Add ¼ cup of warm water to dilute the masala a second time, stir on medium flame until the masala is thick again & oil gets separated from the masala.
  8. Pour 1 cup warm water and bring it to boil.
  9. Now add fried prawns into the gravy.
  10. Cover & Cook for 4-5 mins on medium-low flame.
  11. Now add garam masala powder.
  12. Switch off flame, cover and let it stand for 5 mins.

Serve with steamed rice.

Marissa Walker

(makes 8 servings)


  • 1 pkg bacon (375g)
  • 1 pkg Arborio rice (750g)
  • 1 pkg chicken broth (900ml-1Liter)
  • 1 Very large Vidalia onion (or two small yellow onions)
  • 6 cloves of garlic pressed and/or minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 qt cherry or baby tomatoes
  • ½ cup butter
  • Several handfuls of baby spinach
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg


Chop Bacon into small pieces to start and begin cooking on low heat in extra large and very deep pan. The goal is to cook without browning the bacon. It should take about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in another pot, heat up the broth and water on low. When the bacon looks mostly cooked, add in finely minced onion and allow to cook until transparent and soft. (if you find the pan getting dry, you can add a little water) Once onions are soft, add in garlic and butter. Stir for about one minute or until the butter is completely liquid, then add the entire package of Arborio rice. As soon as you have added the rice, scoop 3-ladles worth of the watered-down broth into the pan and stir. Turn up to medium heat. Each time the mixture starts to bubble, stir. Add one ladle of broth mixture at a time each time the rice starts to seem dry. Keep adding the broth one ladle at a time-this part takes a while, and Arborio rice does take a goodly amount more time than other varieties to cook. However, I can promise that if you take the time, you will get a truly lovely creamy texture. When the broth mixture is about half used, add nutmeg. I use a heaping tsp. worth, but you can season to taste. Add a little salt and ground black pepper. Test the rice; when it seems almost cooked, add the tomatoes—cut in halves. Stir and continue to add broth. When the rice is basically finished, add the spinach. I like to add mine without the stems-you can choose if the texture bothers you. At this point, all the broth should be included. If you have run out of broth and the rice is still not done, it is okay to add more water. Check the texture and flavor, add more nutmeg, salt, or pepper as needed.

Serve on its own or with a nice chicken or turkey breast.

Optional garnish of cheese on top. (I use finely shredded sheep cheese, but use what you like best, sharp cheeses like Parmesan go well with this dish.)


Roasted Chicken Shawarma With Savory Red Wine Tomato-Olive Sauce
Mandy White

Note 1: this recipe is quite simple to prepare but yields sophisticated appearance and flavor. It’s perfect for an at-home meal served family-style and with an elevated presentation, ideal for company—a great excuse to break out your fun serving pieces or a reason to procure some. 

Note 2: the spice measurements in this recipe are geared toward a typical American palate. I tend to tweak the amounts I add (except for the cinnamon), adding more spice to the marinade to produce a deeper, more complex flavor in the chicken. The first time you marinate and cook this chicken, I recommend following this recipe as outlined below, then customizing it to your palate and taste in subsequent preparations. 

Marinade + chicken: 

  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced 
  • ½ cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp., divided
  • 6 (at least) cloves of garlic, smashed. Measure this to taste. You measure garlic with your heart, not with a measuring spoon 
  • 1 tsp coarse salt (I use Normandy grey salt – kosher works, too. Any coarse salt, really)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black or rainbow peppercorns 
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika (regular works, too, but smoked: *chef’s kiss*)
  • ½ tsp turmeric 
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • red pepper flakes to taste (read: I use lots)
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed. Breasts work, too, but the thigh meat in this preparation is beyond divine. 
  • 1 red onion, quartered and separated
  • ***Assorted toppings, dips, and carbohydrates:
    (see preparation note 12 below before grocery shopping for this recipe)

Tomato olive sauce

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 small cans sliced black olives
  • ½ thinly sliced red onion
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • ground pepper 


  1. In a 13×9 glass baking dish (mine is Pyrex – what one typically bakes brownies in), whisk together lemon juice and zest, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add chicken, cover, and refrigerate from 1-12 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the more flavorful it will be.
  3. Upon taking the chicken from the refrigerator, turn the oven to 425° F. Drizzle the Tbsp. olive oil onto a large sheet pan. 
  4. Add the quartered and separated onion to the chicken marinade, toss a couple of times, then discard marinade and spread chicken and onion onto the oiled sheet pan. 
  5. When the oven reaches 425°, place the sheet pan onto the center rack and roast for 30-40 minutes. 
  6. As the chicken and onion roast, mix the crushed tomatoes, black olives, and onion together in a small saucepan with a healthy glug of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Glug. Glug glug. 
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and allow the mixture to continue to bubble on low until the chicken in the oven is cooked through.
  8. When the chicken has 5 minutes left to go, begin to heat olive oil in a large saucepan until sizzling. 
  9. When the chicken and onion have finished cooking, pull the sheet pan from the oven, transfer the thighs to the large saucepan in batches, and sear until the edges are crispy. This should only take a few seconds per side. No one wants burnt chicken. Not after you’ve come all this way. 
  10. Arrange seared and roasted chicken thighs on a large serving platter, and slice into bits. 
  11. Place a bowl on the platter and pour the tomato olive sauce into it so that people can serve themselves and determine how much they would like. Do not pour over the chicken unless you’re sure everyone wants to eat their meal that way. This is not the time for any control issues to manifest. 
  12. Here’s where you can get creative and have some fun- add hummus with a swirl of good olive oil, tzatziki, toasted pita bread, crumbled feta, diced cucumbers, sweet peppers, falafel, fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives…really, anything that feels like it would complete the feast for you. I fry freshly mixed falafel dough in peanut oil for a fluffy and crunchy treat, and the rest of the cast of supporting culinary characters revolves around what I have on hand. This is a great time to clean out the refrigerator and use the bits and bobs loitering in the back of your appliance. 
  13. You can store leftovers for three days, but;
  14. You won’t have leftovers, and;
  15. You really won’t. 

Ruth’s Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie (“Bot Boi”)
Patrice Boyer Claeys

In the Amish and German-settled part of eastern Pennsylvania, chicken pot pie does not come with a top crust and a thick sauce. Rather, it is a brothy stew made in a pot with rustic noodles cut in freeform shapes. This dinner was always a treat in my family. My sister and I loved cutting the pot pie noodles and carefully dropping them into the steaming pot. A local expression, “Get to know vat goot is,” certainly applies to this comfort food!

  • 1 4-pound whole chicken or equivalent cut-up parts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 boiling potatoes
  • water to cover the chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • fistful of parsley, chopped
  • dough
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • 1⁄2 egg shell full of milk
  1. Make the dough by mixing together the flour, baking powder and a large pinch of salt. Knead in the butter to make a coarse meal. Add the egg and milk and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Flour a board and rolling pin and roll the dough until it’s very thin. Cut it into square and triangle pieces of about 1 ½ to 2 inches. Allow the noodles to dry a bit while you cook the chicken.
  2. Put the chicken in a large pot with the onion, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Cover everything with water. Bring to a boil and boil gently until the chicken is cooked and ready to fall off the bones, about an hour. Remove the chicken to a plate, discarding the onion and bay leaf but keeping the stock. While the chicken cools, peel and slice the potatoes into thin rounds. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat the chicken stock until it boils rapidly. In 2 batches, alternate layers of the dough (1 piece at a time or it will clump), chicken and potatoes into the boiling broth. Cook on medium/low heat for about 30 minutes or until the noodles are slightly puffed and cooked through. If it needs more liquid, add chicken broth or reconstituted bouillon cubes as desired. Taste for seasonings. Add peas and boil for a few more minutes, until they are cooked through. Serve with chopped parsley.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Jen Schneider

The recipe I share is an example of the wonderful flavors that often emerge when two unlike concepts or states of being, for example, sweet and sour, unite to create something new, novel, distinct, and unique. Whether on a sheet of paper, a paper napkin, or an antique platter, it’s often when the dissimilar meet that the most memorable experiences emerge.

My recipe was passed down to me by my grandmother. Through food and her favorite dishes, she remains both a strong presence and source of nourishment. I keep her recipe in an over-stocked, cluttered kitchen cabinet. Handwritten in red ink on a sheet of stained and folded 8 ½ by 11 loose-leaf paper, secured in the middle of a paperback cookbook. I could type and save the recipe on my computer, but I don’t. The handwriting warms like a home-cooked meal. The dish is full of seasoning and simultaneously perfect for any occasion.


  • 3 lb ground beef & veal
  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • matzo meal to hold together

Form into balls & put into sauce & cook 2-2½ hours


  • 2 bottles ketchup, regular size
  • 2 bottles ginger ale, regular size

Sweet and Sour Spring Pasta
Erin Conway

I always have frozen kale in the freezer when spring arrives. This recipe is a blend of intentional winter preserves from a prolific plant and the tradition of rhubarb on a farm as the first nutrients of spring.


  • 1 gal freezer bag of kale (representative of nutritional value my mother craved and her family’s immigrational path).
  • 4 cups of rhubarb chopped (my father, maintaining both traditions and the traditional definitions of farmer before agribusiness claimed the word).
  • 3 medium onions chopped (the most practical and easy to store).
  • mustard powder and honey to taste (the flavor combination a high school friend taught me and one of the first recipes I ever wrote on a card for my own recipe box).
  • Pasta of your choice.

Tomato Rasam
Hema Nataraju

This is my Mom’s recipe. It hasn’t been passed down generations like many comfort food recipes are. My Mom lost her mother when she was only eight. So, she doesn’t remember much about her mother. But every time Mom makes rasam, she muses with great longing, “I’ve heard my mother used to make the most delicious rasam.”

And I say, “Mine does too!”

It really is delicious, and for me, it’s much more than that. It’s home.


  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped into cubes
  • ½-1 cup of toor dal, cooked with a pinch of turmeric
  • A golf ball sized ball of tamarind soaked in hot water for about 30 minutes. You can also use tamarind paste.
  • 3 Tbsp (ish) of rasam powder. MTR brand comes closest to my mother’s homemade powder.
  • 1 Tbsp (ish) jaggery
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • Fresh coriander/ cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • For the tempering:
  • 1-2 tsp of ghee
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 tsps of mustard seeds


  1. First get the toor dal going. Wash it and soak it in water for about 15 minutes. It makes for a mashier texture after it’s cooked. You don’t want your dal to be al dente. After soaking, drain the dal, add fresh water to it, a pinch of turmeric and cook it in a pressure cooker for 6-7 whistles. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can boil it on the stovetop.
  2. Chop up your tomatoes into cubes. Transfer to a soup pot. Add water and let it come to a boil. When you don’t smell raw tomatoes anymore, add 3-4 spoons of rasam powder, and salt, and mix. Let it boil until you cannot smell the raw spices of the rasam powder. Add the tamarind water at this point and a little knob of jaggery to cut through the sourness of the tamarind. Once again, let it boil until you cannot smell raw tamarind anymore.
  3. Now get the dal out of the pressure cooker, mash it with the bottom of your ladle until it’s mushy. Add it to the rasam. Mix and add salt. Now add a couple of cups of water to thin it out. The consistency should be that of a thin, almost watery soup. Adjust salt and let it come to a rolling boil. When it does, add 5-7 torn curry leaves. Turn off the heat and add chopped coriander/cilantro.

For the tempering

Heat a small pan and add 1-2 teaspoons of ghee. Add a dash of asafoetida and about two teaspoons of mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, take off the heat and carefully, bit-by-bit, lower this into the hot rasam. It will hiss like crazy, but be brave!

Serve piping hot with steamed white or brown rice and some potato chips or appalam/papadums on the side.

Yukhneh (Lebanese Meat and Vegetable Stew)
Kathryn Silver-Hajo

This recipe entry is dedicated to my mother-in-law Alia Zayyat (1925-2022) who died a few months before publication. It is in her and her daughter’s kitchens that I learned first-hand the delights of Lebanese cooking—a diverse, healthful, colorful and sumptuous cuisine. Alia was a remarkable woman—beloved by thousands in her southern seaport city of Tyre (Lebanon) and far beyond. She was a nurse-midwife extraordinaire who delivered thousands of babies in South Lebanon. She was the first woman from Tyre to pursue degrees abroad (nursing in Salt, Jordan and midwifery in Jerusalem), the first woman to drive in her city. She raised two daughters and four sons, managed the construction of the building they all grew up in, and put all six of them through college. She founded and led a women’s rights and relief organization, and even ran for Mayor of Tyre! I am deeply honored to have known Alia, to have her as my mother-in-law, to have learned from her and shared her love of food and entertaining as we cultivated our relationship—one that grew gradually, but ultimately proved to be a deep and enduring bond.

The secret to Lebanese recipes is no one really uses a recipe! The cuisine is generally passed down and around through word of mouth and in the kitchen. For such a small country there is remarkable variation from region to region and even family to family. On these pages I’ve attempted to capture the way the Zayyat/Hajo family does yukhneh so others will have a starting point to work from, experiment with, and enjoy.

The wonderful thing about this tomato-based Lebanese stew is that it’s highly versatile. I’ve written up a basic recipe using green beans and either lamb, beef, or chicken chunks. Other vegetables to try instead of green beans: peas and carrots, yellow potatoes, okra, or gigante beans (soaked overnight and cooked until soft—my personal favorite.) These are all traditional variations. My niece, Alia (named for her grandmother, Alia Zayyat), is an amazing vegan cook and she swears by reconstituted soy chunks as an excellent substitute for meat in yukhneh. For other delightful vegan versions, simply delete meat and increase vegetables, or substitute chunks of potatoes for meat.

The savory soul of this recipe rests on two exquisite ingredient mixes: the heavenly duo of lightly sauteed garlic and cilantro and Lebanese seven-spice mix which can be assembled in your kitchen using spices readily available in most markets. (See recipe below)

Serves 6

  • 2 lb of fresh green beans or Romano beans washed, dried, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces (frozen beans are fine too)
  • 1.5-2 lb of boneless lamb, beef, or chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3-4 large fresh, very ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 large can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp 7-spice mix** or allspice and cinnamon, if not available
  • salt, according to taste
  • 2 Tbsp or so good olive oil (doesn’t have to be ultra-fancy)
  • half a large bunch of cilantro, washed, dried well, and chopped finely
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, mashed or pressed
  • Optional: 2-3 tsp tomato paste to thicken, richen the sauce if desired


  1. Sauté the onions in two Tbsp or so of olive oil for about five minutes in a deep 6-8 quart pot over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add meat chunks to nicely brown them over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in spices and a Tbsp or so salt while onions and meat are cooking to co-mingle the flavors.
  2. Add beans and sauté for another five minutes or so to very slightly soften them.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and ½ of the cilantro, stir well, cover and lower heat to simmer gently until the vegetables are softened but not mushy, adjusting the salt and spices to taste.
  4. If you like a thicker, richer sauce, add tomato paste and stir well.
  5. Heat a very small pan over medium-low flame and gently sauté garlic and remaining cilantro together in a tsp of olive oil, stirring constantly until lightly browned. Stir into the stew and allow to simmer a minute or two more.

Put a serving of Lebanese rice* into individual plates or bowls, pour some stew over it and serve. Sahtayn! This is the Arabic version of “Bon Appetit” and literally means “two healths!”

Cook’s Notes

•	If using beef, go for something better than stew beef so it will be tender
        with minimal cooking
•	Romano beans are best but hard to find. If you spy them at a farmer’s 
        market, grab ‘em!
•	Frozen green beans also work fine and don’t require prep.
•	Thicker green beans work better than French beans.
•	Choosing fresh tomatoes or canned is subjective. Fresh will be lighter. 
        Canned will yield a richer, heartier sauce. A little tomato paste will 
        thicken the sauce if you so desire.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

*Lebanese Rice
Kathryn Silver-Hajo

Crush 1-2 “nests” of uncooked bird’s nest pasta (or angel hair nest pasta) in your fist. The pieces should be about ¼-½-inch long. Or break up regular angel hair pasta into ¼-½-inch pieces.

Over medium-low heat, gently sauté the pasta in 1 Tbsp of oil until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Stir in 2 cups of Basmati or other long-grained white rice. Add 3 cups broth or water. I like to use chicken broth but vegetable broth or water is fine, too. Add a little salt. Raise flame to bring to a boil, then lower heat, so it is barely simmering, cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes until all water is absorbed.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

**Lebanese 7-spice mixture (use dried, ground spices)
Kathryn Silver-Hajo

For a small amount

1 tsp allspice, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp coriander, a shake or two of cardamom, a shake of cumin or cloves. (There are many variations! Use the spices you love.) You will have a little left over.

If you want to keep a bunch on hand, here’s a big recipe

¼-½ cup allspice, ¼ cup cinnamon, ½ oz nutmeg, ½ oz ginger, ½ oz coriander, 1 tsp cardamom, ¼-½ tsp cumin or ¼ tsp cloves.

Turkey And Green Chili Enchiladas
Patricia and Trinidad Bidar


  • 2 ½ cups roasted turkey, shredded
  • ½ cup onion, sauteed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced and sauteed with the onion
  • 1-4 oz can diced green chiles (we use Ortega)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1-19 oz can green enchilada sauce (we use Las Palmas)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup jack cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Small can sliced black olives


  1. In a large bowl, mix shredded turkey, sauteed onion and garlic, and green chiles. Set aside.
  2. POUR ½ cup enchilada sauce in bottom of 13″x 9″ greased baking dish. Set aside.
  3. POUR remaining enchilada sauce in a frying pan. Heat to simmer.
  4. DIP One tortilla in the simmering sauce, leave in for 10 seconds.
    Remove and place approximately ⅛th of the turkey mixture in center. Add some jack cheese. Roll tortilla and place seam down in greased 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas in dish. Sprinkle with cheese and sliced black olives.
  5. COVER and bake at 400° F for 20 minutes or until bubbly in center. Serve with sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce (we use Tapatio).

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Country Style Corn Bread
Elinor Ann Walker

My essay considers the often rigid opinions concerning the “right way” to make cornbread and its role in the traditional, southern Thanksgiving dish called dressing. It argues for looser interpretations that avoid a binary approach to recipes—among other things—and how recipes themselves as narratives can adapt over time yet preserve intention. Playing metaphorically on context and “cast iron” rules, I tell some family stories, confess my own departure from traditions, and, along the way, explain how I learned to make dressing and its role in our found-family gatherings, themselves influenced by the pandemic.

(One recipe makes one 8-inch cast iron skillet—though a 9-inch also will work—or about 16 corn sticks)

  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal (I prefer yellow)
  • ¼-⅓ cup of melted shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups buttermilk (preferably not low-fat; can also use slightly less regular milk or non-dairy alternative)


  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Grease cast iron skillet generously with oil, shortening, lard, or bacon grease. Place in oven to pre-heat.
  2. Measure corn meal into mixing bowl. Add shortening, egg, and buttermilk. Stir well to combine (I use a wooden spoon).
  3. With a thick potholder or oven mitt, carefully remove cast iron skillet from pre-heated oven. Place on heat-proof surface. Its surface should shimmer with heat. Drop a bit of batter into the skillet if worried about whether it’s hot enough. If hot enough, the batter will sizzle vigorously and instantly. Then, pour rest of batter carefully into skillet, using a spoon or spatula to spread to edges and smooth the top. If using corn stick molds, they should be greased and pre-heated the same way. Fill the molds only about two-thirds full.
  4. Return skillet to oven (it will still be hot; use an oven mitt to handle) and bake 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown.
  5. Carefully remove from oven and let cool five or ten minutes on a wire rack. Invert cornbread onto a plate or cutting board to completely cool.

Cut into wedges and enjoy—or use crumbs for another dish such as dressing or stuffing.

Image courtesy of Elinor Ann Walker

Squash Dressing
Elinor Ann Walker

My essay considers the often rigid opinions concerning the “right way” to make cornbread and its role in the traditional, southern Thanksgiving dish called dressing. It argues for looser interpretations that avoid a binary approach to recipes—among other things—and how recipes themselves as narratives can adapt over time yet preserve intention. Playing metaphorically on context and “cast iron” rules, I tell some family stories, confess my own departure from traditions, and, along the way, explain how I learned to make dressing and its role in our found-family gatherings, themselves influenced by the pandemic.

(not the same as Thanksgiving dressing—this is a summer variation, when squash is in season)


  • 2 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 2 cups cooked yellow squash (the fresher, the better), drained and mashed
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of good butter (unsalted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix all ingredients together and place in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Bake for one hour or until brown.

Image courtesy of Elinor Ann Walker

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Libby’s Freezer Jam
Hillary Leftwich

Memaw—Libby—speaks to me within the recipes I inherited and the food she loved during war. During gardening out of necessity, jarring, pickling, and bomb-shelter preparedness. We are no longer in war, at least not with another country, but we are still fighting dark times. Food can act as a binding to bring us together. This is why I’m sharing Libby’s Freezer Jam. Eat, share, freeze for a later date.


  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 4 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 package Sure-Jell


  1. Mash berries or put thru a blender. Put sugar in and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Boil Sure-Jell in ¾ cups of water.
  3. Boil mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in fruit, then stir 3 minutes until granules dissolve.
  5. Pour in jars or plastic tubs and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Then to freezer.
Archival photo of Mary Elizabeth Irwin courtesy of Hillary Leftwich

Tomato Jam
Mikki Aronoff

Condiments rule my fridge and cupboards. Here’s a recipe for one, purloined from Mark Bittman. It’s delicious, easier than pie, and keeps in the fridge indefinitely. Notes with an * are mine.

Throw in a pot and cook for 2 hours:

  • 2 lb plum or Roma tomatoes
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh peeled ginger (from 1-inch knob)*
  • 1 tsp kosher salt** 
  • ½ tsp ground cumin***
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes


*Believe me, you don’t need to peel it
**Any ol’ salt
***Always better if you toast cumin seeds first and then grind them up. If you’re a fan of coriander seeds, as I am, you can sub or add those.
****If you prefer an onion-y jam, amping up the savory, sauté a red onion before adding all the other ingredients. No recipe should be written in stone. Play!

Here’s what I do with it and what you can do with it as well: Toast a thick slice of artisan bread (sourdough rye’s my favorite) and spread the tomato jam over it. Toss some arugula with a very light vinegar/oil dressing and throw some on top. S&P if you’re so inclined. If you have a ripe avocado, scoop some out in service of this open-face sandwich. This is a pick-up-with-a-hand-and-shove-in-your-mouth treat, or knife and fork if you have company. Would this go on a biscuit? Why not.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Italian Cold Seafood Salad
Paul Beckman

  • 1 lb mussels
  • 1 lb calamari
  • 1 ½ lb large shrimp
  • 1 lb large scallops
  • diced celery and red peppers
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 fresh lemons


  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ⅛-¼ cup fine sugar
  1. Boil water w/white wine and 2 lemon or lime halves.
  2. When it comes to a boil put in calamari without tentacles for ½ min.
  3. When it returns to boil add scallops for 2 min.
  4. Add shrimp for 3 min.
  5. Add mussels until they open (about 1 min) toss out any mussels that don’t open.
  6. Add tentacles for 20 seconds.
  7. Drain.
  8. Slice calamari into thin rings.
  9. Quarter scallops.
  10. Cut shrimp into 3rds or quarters depending on size.
  11. Add mussels.
  12. Toss with dressing, celery, and peppers.
  13. Place over bed of mixed colorful greens and refrigerate.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium vedalia onions diced
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste—then add two more turns of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken fat (optional but worth it)

Apricot Custard Tart
Emily Luchetti

This tart has all the elements of a perfect dessert: Flaky, from the buttery crust, creamy, from the custard, and bright, from the fresh apricots. Like all tarts, this is best served the day it is made.

Serves 8

Tart Crust

  • 1 9-9 ½-inch tart pan
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 3-4 Tbsp ice cold water
  1. Combine the sugar, flour and salt. Cut in the butter until it is the size of small peas. Slowly add the water, adding just enough to make the dough come together. Press the dough into a flat disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough into a circle and line the tart shell with the dough. Refrigerate the tart shells for at least one hour or up to a couple of days.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with rice or beans. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the rice and the parchment paper and continue to bake until the bottom is lightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Set aside.

Apricot Custard

  • ¾ lb (about 5) ripe apricots
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  1. Halve and pit the apricots, then cut into slices ¾ inch thick. Arrange the apricot slices in the tart crust in a decorative pattern. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and cream until blended. Stir in the flour and salt. Carefully pour the cream mixture over the apricots. Sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top.
  3. Bake until the custard is almost completely set, about 35 minutes. Let the tart cool until it is cool enough to handle, then remove the pan sides and place on a platter. Serve the tart slightly warm or at room temperature.
A family favorite from my late Great Aunt Henrietta ('Yette'). Banana bread is ubiquitous in cafes these days, but I've yet to find another that compares!


  • 1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sour milk (make milk sour by adding 1 tsp. vinegar and stir well)
  • 1 cup banana pulp (2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter (or margarine) and add sugar gradually.  Add eggs and vanilla then beat until fluffy. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour milk and banana pulp, beating well after each addition.  Bake in greased and floured 8x8 cake pan in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. While cake is baking, heat butter and vanilla for frosting then add powdered sugar. Add milk until desired consistently (at least 1 Tbsp). Pour over cake immediately after removing from oven.

Apricot Jelly Cookies
Jan Elman Stout

This recipe is a family favorite. It calls for apricot jelly, but you can use any flavor jelly you like. If you stick with apricot, just be sure not to eat any seeds


  • ¼ lb butter
  • ⅓ cup sifted sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • apricot jelly


  1. Mix all ingredients together—except for the apricot jelly—and roll into 1 to 2-inch balls. 
  2. Press your thumb down on the center of the dough ball and fill it with apricot jelly.
  3. Bake in a 350°F oven for approximately 12-15 minutes until light or golden brown. 

Aunt Chris’s Famous Yeast Thumbprint Cookies
Terry Kirts

My great aunt Chris was not a good cook. Of the dishes she brought to holiday dinners and family gatherings, none were as criminal as her asparagus casserole, concocted from canned asparagus, cream of mushroom soup, boiled eggs, and breadcrumbs that typically came out scorched from the oven. At one of the last Christmas meals he attended, my grandfather, well into Parkinson’s and blinded by cataracts was offered some of the casserole, but he refused. To my grandmother’s insistence, he barked, “I never liked it anyhow!” My brother tells the story every year.

Once, on a sleet-streaked day in mid-December when I quarreled with my mother about something insignificant, I ran away from home, of a fashion, and dropped in unannounced at Aunt Chris’ house, which invariably smelled like mildew from the swollen windows and the vinegar she cleaned her house with. She was wrapped in her usual cardigan sweater, the balls of tissues wadded inside the sleeves. A one-room schoolteacher who breathed in the sulfur of chalk dust, she suffered from what she compared to the black lung of coal miners.

And what was she making for her lunch? Spaghetti, sauced with ketchup and the spice packet from a Chef Boyardee pizza kit, which contained the vile, sharp whole fennel I despised. Just seeing the mess in the rusted saucepan sent me home to reconcile with my mother and her bubbling skillet of fried chicken.

All culinary sins were forgiven, however, when Chris made her famous yeast cookies, a full-day affair requiring the slow softening of butter on a cool porch and resulted in the most buttery, earthy, chewy around the edge cookies she sent off to happy neighbors in tins lined with waxed paper. I have never succeeded in making a batch as good as hers, but I cherish all the afternoons I made them with her, pressing and then pressing again, to her satisfaction, my thumb into the balls of dough and scooping out preserves into the little well, just enough so it would not bubble over onto the ancient, blackened baking sheets. Would that I could taste one of them, still warm, today.

(Makes approximately four dozen cookies)

  • 2 packages (¼ oz) active-dry yeast
  • ⅔ cups warm water
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, just below room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup quick-cook rolled oats
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped dates, optional
  • Additional granulated sugar to roll cookies in
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 4-oz package candied red or green cherries


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and salt).
  4. Add oats and coconut and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add yeast mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Chill several hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Form into balls about one inch in diameter. Roll balls in sugar and flatten slightly with thumb, making sure dough does not crack at edges.
  9. Fill each cookie with small dollop of preserves and top with half of a candied cherry.
  10. Bake on parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheets for 15-20 minutes or until just starting to brown around the edges and lightly golden on top.
  11. Cool on sheet about five minutes, then transfer to baking rack and cool until just warm.

Serve with tea.

Black Forrest Birthday Cake
Riham Adly

Mother was never into baking but both my parents always preferred a store-bought Black Forrest birthday cake.


  • vegetable oil
  • 300 g dark chocolate
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 250 g full-fat soured cream
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • 460 g jar cherries in kirsch
  • 700 g biscuits.
  • 50 g caster sugar


  1. Lightly oil a 20 x 25cm springform cake tin, line with cling film, then lightly oil again. Set aside.
  2. Put 200g chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool for 10 min. Whisk together the double cream, soured cream, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until soft but spoonable (it should be quite loose at this stage but will firm up in the fridge later). Transfer half the mixture to a second bowl, then fold in the melted chocolate.
  3. Tip half the cherries and all the kirsch into a saucepan. Chop the remaining cherries and set aside. Line the bottom of the prepared tin with a layer of bourbon biscuits, then spoon over half the chocolate cream, half the chopped cherries, and half the vanilla cream. Repeat with a second layer of biscuits and the remaining chocolate cream, chopped cherries and vanilla cream. Cover and chill overnight.
  4. Tip the caster sugar into the saucepan with the remaining whole cherries and kirsch. Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat, bring to the boil and continue cooking on a high heat for 8-10 mins, or until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Leave to cool completely.
  5. Carefully remove the cake from the tin, and peel away the cling film. Leave at room temperature for 30 mins to soften slightly.
  6. Roughly chop the remaining dark chocolate.
  7. Spoon the cooled cherries and syrup over the cake, and scatter over the chocolate.

Cut into 12 squares to serve. Will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to three days.

Carrot Apple Bundt Cake
aspen kobie


  • 3 Tbsp ground chia
  • 3 Tbsp whole psyllium
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup rice milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup almond flour (packed)
  • ½ cup sorghum flour (can be substituted with corn or millet flour)
  • ¼ cup teff flour (can be substituted with corn or millet flour)
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½  tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 apples chopped
  • ¼ to ½ cup raisins


  1. 1 Tbsp powdered sugar (completely optional—this is purely for decorative purposes).
  2. Grind chia seeds in a clean coffee grinder or high powered blender.
  3. Combine chia and psyllium.
  4. Stir in liquids.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in wet ingredients.
  7. add apples, carrots, and raisins.
  8. Spoon into an oiled bundt pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until it springs back when touched.
  10. Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over the cake for decoration (optional).
  11. Adjust your cooking time to slightly less for muffins and slightly longer for a loaf. The spring back test never fails!

Cranberry Fluff
Heidi Nieling

Image courtesy of Heidi Neiling

Frosted Cookie Cake Pops
Amy Cipolla Barnes


  • one container grocery store (Lofthouse) frosted sugar cookies
  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • 1 bag of candy melts
  • sprinkles


  • cake pop/lollipop sticks
  • cookie sheet
  • waxed paper


Put the cookies and the cream cheese in your mixing bowl. Mix until it becomes a dough. Roll cookie/cream cheese mixture into cake pop sized balls. Put sticks into balls. Melt candy melts in the microwave. Dip cake and cover cake balls with melted candy melts. Roll in sprinkles. Put on a waxed cookie sheet. Let sit. And voila, you have cake pops, maybe not worthy of a pink box but they can do in a pinch.

Gâteau espagnol aux amandes
(also called Tarta de Santiago)
Kristin Bonilla


  1. 1½ cup almond flour
  2. 6 large eggs separated
  3. 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  4. zest of two medium oranges
  5. 1 Tbsp orange juice
  6. ¼ tsp almond extract
  7. ½ cup sliced almonds
  8. powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 11 inch tart pan, or use a gluten-free cooking spray (Springform works too).
  2. Separate egg yolks and whites into separate bowls.
  3. Beat egg yolks with granulated sugar until it resembles a pale smooth cream. This is best done with an electric mixer. Mix in the orange zest, orange juice, and almond extract. Add the almond flour and mix well.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form (make sure you use clean beaters) and then fold the egg whites into the cake batter. It will look like it’s never going to incorporate–it’s a thick batter and a lot of egg white, but I promise it will!
  5. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Pull the cake out when it firms up and let cool before removing from the pan.
  6. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the cake. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

Grandma’s Rugala
Lori Sambol Brody

Every Jewish grandmother has a rugala recipe. This was my grandmothers, with some edits by my sister.


  • ½ lb cream cheese
  • ½ lb butter
  • 2⅓ cup flour (Grandma had 2)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • for the filling: raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. Or, cocoa and sugar. Or nuts. Or jam/jelly. My favorite is apricot jam.


  1. Leave cream cheese and butter out until soft. Mix well. Gradually add flour and sugar. Form ball. Divide in 4 or 5 pieces, wrap up and freeze overnight.
  2. Take out when ready to use and let soften. Mix filling of choice. Roll out into a circle and then cut in triangles. Add filling and roll to the shape of a crescent/horn. Rub on cold water. Cook at 350° on cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Melissa Llanes Brownlee

I would love to give everyone all of my favorite Hawaiian food recipes that I am able to make when I am not in Hawai’i, but today, I am gifting you the deliciousness that is Haupia, a usually firm pudding made from coconut milk. In Hawai’i, I would make it from fresh (frozen) coconut milk but not everyone has access to that, not even me.

Cook Time: about10 minutes
Refrigerate: about 2 hours
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 squares


  • 8” or 9” non-stick pan
  • 2.5-qt sauce pan
  • whisk
  • knife
  • cutting board


  • 1 can full fat coconut milk about 14 oz (don’t use coconut milk in the carton).
  • 5 Tbsp cornstarch or less (less cornstarch, less firm)
  • 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water (or milk if you want it to be richer)


  1. Prep an 8×8 inch (9×9) pan. Pour coconut milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Then, add the water. Whisk until completely combined.
  2. When the coconut milk just starts to simmer, add the sugar/cornstarch mixture and whisk. Keep whisking until the coconut milk thickens and starts looking slightly translucent. This can take about 10 minutes. When you bring up your whisk, the haupia should flow off and you should see the trace of it for a few seconds before it disappears.
  3. Pour the mixture into the 8×8 (9×9) pan and allow to cool on the counter before refrigerating. Refrigerate until solid and completely cooled for about 2 hours. If you want it to firm up more quickly, you can put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  4. If you used the full 5 tablespoons, you should be able to pull the sides away from the pan and invert the whole thing onto a cutting board. If it’s too soft, just cut it in the pan.
  5. Cut into 2-inch pieces (16 pieces total) and enjoy!

Judy D’Isa’s Fudge
Margaret D’Isa

Image of Judy D’Isa’s recipe cards courtesy of Maggie D’Isa

Georgiana Nelsen

For most Midwesterners, measuring cups and spoons are merely suggestions, not instructions. Nevertheless, church cookbooks reflect the heritage of a community, and often include several variations of the same thing. Here is my Mother-in-law’s Norwegian Kringla (adjusted by me to actually work as written) (I’m sure she didn’t INTEND to leave anything out!). There are seven different recipes for Kringla in her church cookbook. Served at holidays, sometimes frosted, usually buttered.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3½ cup flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt


Cream 1 cup of sugar with ⅓ cup of butter. Dissolve 2 tsp. baking soda in the 1 cup of Buttermilk, whisk together 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour with 4 level tsp. baking powder

Combine with

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Chill dough overnight!

Quickly roll heaping teaspoons of dough onto floured board into pencil thin pieces about 6 inches long (warm dough will fall apart.). Form each roll into a figure 8 (Or infinity if you prefer!) Bake at 350° on lower rack for 5-6 minutes, then brown under broiler until LIGHT brown. Don’t over bake.

Libby Recupero’s Vinegar Cake
Jolene McIlwain

This recipe for “Vinegar Cake” is one we use in my family for our birthday cakes, celebrating long life and sweetness, sometimes conjuring up barking by my long-gone-from-this-world family dog, Zorro, a black Labrador retriever who loved to sing along to “Happy Birthday” (or at least give a final “woof” at the end of the song). My Mom, Libby Recupero, tells me it’s the recipe from a friend named Ruthie, who brought the cake to the funeral of my Mom’s dear nephew, who’d died of crib death, just months old. Ruthie used a chocolate icing that was the best Mom ever ate, but as her handwritten note suggests, we use a white, fluffy “Gob Icing” to make it our own special treat.

Image of Libby Recupero’s recipe card courtesy of Jolene McIlwain

Mom’s Wine Nut Sponge Cake
Jo Goren

Image courtesy of Jo Goren
Image of Jo Goren & her mother courtesy of Jo Goren

Mrs. B’s Cherry Chocolate Cake
Georgia Bellas

My mother has baked this particular cake as long as I can remember, but she adds chocolate chips to the batter, makes it with a cream cheese frosting dyed pink, and decorates it with more chocolate chips. She also spoons out as much of the cherry pie filling as possible to hand mix into the batter with the chocolate chips after beating so that the cherries remain whole. Three of us four grown-up daughters still request this cake for our birthdays. She found the cake recipe on the side of the box but doesn’t remember where she got the frosting recipe. She used to also frost Christmas cookies shaped like trees and bells and candy canes (I can still picture the colorful plastic cookie cutters), but she stopped baking those cookies a long time ago and now just occasionally makes the frosting, a little dish for each of us.

Image of Mrs. B’s archival newspaper recipe
courtesy of Georgia Bellas

Mrs. B’s Coveted Cream Cheese Frosting
Georgia Bellas

  • approx. 4 oz cream cheese (½ package), softened
  • 1 lb confectionary sugar (you might not need all of it)
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Soften cream cheese to almost liquid texture. Add in some of sugar, mix, add first Tbsp. milk, vanilla. Mix in rest of sugar gradually. Add second Tbsp. milk as necessary. Total amount of milk and sugar will depend. You are looking for a smooth, spreadable consistency that isn’t too thick or too drippy. Refrigerate.

Optional (not really): Carefully mix in 2-3 drops red food coloring.* Add additional drops one at a time as necessary to achieve your desired pinky pink.

*Although I don’t recommend red food coloring and personally would suggest beet juice or some natural alternative, I absolutely eat this frosting and have great nostalgia for its particular pinkness, which somehow my mother manages to replicate perfectly every time.

Alex Reece Abbott

I don’t remember ever seeing either of my grandmothers use a recipe. I suspect this recipe was either handed down or inspired by a traditional kitchen stand-by, like the recipe book from a baking powder manufacturer (e.g. Edmonds Cookery Book, New Revised Edition, 1992). You’d find a copy in most New Zealand kitchens, and it has constantly remained in print, evolving over more than a hundred years.

Pikelets are bite-sized, about 8cm or 3 ½” across (or less) when cooked. Best eaten warm, slathered with butter and/or homemade jam, or lemon curd, or drizzled with honey or golden syrup—and served with strong tea. Enjoy!


(makes 8-10)

  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp of caster sugar or golden syrup
  • ¾ cup of milk (approx.)
  • vanilla to taste

Sift flour into a bowl. In another bowl, beat egg and sugar until thick. Add vanilla to your taste and add this mix with milk to the beaten ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Drop tablespoons of batter on a medium heat greased griddle or a non-stick frying pan. Turn pikelets over when bubbles start to burst on top surface. Cook (maybe another minute) until golden.

Pumpkin Bread
Chelsea Stickle

Since my story includes a recipe, I thought I’d share this recipe for pumpkin bread with you. It was given to me by my kindergarten teacher, and I’ve made it every Thanksgiving since. Though now I add chocolate. There’s no measurement for that. You’ll know when you’ve added enough!

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Beat 1st six ingredients together until combined. Add rest of ingredients one at a time in order. Pour and bake.

Bake at 350 degrees for ~20 minutes for muffins. Mini loaf pans 40-45 minutes. 9x5x3 for 60 minutes. Bake ~30 minutes for two cake rounds.

Eva M. Schlesinger


  • 6 oz dark chocolate with raspberry bits (I recommend Chocolove and Amano)
  • ½ cup butter
  • All fruit raspberry jam
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla 
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter. Allow to cool. 
  3. Beat eggs and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla, a little at a time. Continue beating until it is thoroughly mixed. Remove bowl from mixer and, with a spatula, add the melted chocolate and butter, folding it in. Before the mixture becomes 100 % chocolate brown, add the flour, combining it with the other ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into a buttered 9x13inch pan. Put pan on rack (for Slanted Schnitten, adjust the rack so that one end tilts downward). Bake for 25 minutes (or until brownies test done). Cool slightly. Top with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Yields 18-24 brownies.

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking and From Manna To Mousse

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Michael Harper


  • 500 g of rhubarb
  • 250 g of ripe strawberries
  • about 50g sugar (can be a lot more, depending on taste and sweetness of fruits)
  • 300 g of all-purpose flour
  • 150 g of butter
  • 1 free range egg
  • 150 g of caster sugar


  1. Wash the rhubarb, peel it and cut into roughly 4cm (2 inch) pieces.
  2. Put the sugar in a pot on the stove on maximum heat. Allow it to dissolve, then wait until it starts caramelizing. (Don’t put your finger in or try tasting the caramel. It is significantly hotter than boiling water) Add the rhubarb quickly once the sugar is a golden brown color—you don’t want it to become too dark because that will make it bitter. Once the Rhubarb is in, stir with a wooden spoon. It will draw a lot of water. Don’t worry if there’s caramel sticking to the cooking spoon or the pots bottom; it will dissolve in the process.
  3. Allow the mixture to bubble up once, then reduce heat to about a third of the range. Boil for about five minutes or until the rhubarb chunks have dissolved into a stringy, light green pulp. Turn of the heat and set aside.
  4. Wash the strawberries and cut into big pieces – halves, quarters, sixths. Mix into the warm rhubarb pulp. Add sugar to taste if necessary. Upon baking the mixture usually loses a little sweetness.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C or 350°F.
  6. Combine flour, sugar, and butter at room temperature. Add flakes and egg in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt. 
  7. Using your hands, rub the ingredients together, applying slight pressure. You should end up with a crumbly dough without too big of chunks. Don’t worry if there is some extra powdery flour.
  8. Mix sugar.
  9. Place the fruit mixture in a large diameter tart dish or any other oven-proof dish with plenty of space.
  10. Cover the pulp with the short crust dough crumbles – the layer shouldn’t be thicker than .5-1 inch.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes (watch closely, might be less depending on thickness) or until the crumbles are dark golden brown, but not burnt.

Best served hot. Ideally with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
Michaella Thornton

4 pints | prep time: 30 minutes | total time: 12 hours 30 minutes (it will make your home smell incredible)


  • 6½-7 lb apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and/or bourbon


  1. Place peeled and chopped apples into the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Sprinkle sugar and spice mixture over the apples and gently stir to combine. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract, breaking up any large chunks of apples that remain. Cover and cook for an additional 2 hours. You could also sub bourbon for vanilla too for an extra oomph.
  3. Remove slow-cooker cover and use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could puree in the apple butter in batches in a food processor or regular blender. If you want the apple butter thicker, you can continue to cook it on low with the lid of the slow cooker slightly ajar so that steam can escape.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool, then spoon into 8-ounce jars (or smaller) and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Alternatively, freeze for up to one year.

Note: This apple butter recipe is not meant for long-term storage. If you are interested in a recipe meant for canning, please refer to Elise Bauer’s recipe here.

Adapted from Michelle of Brown-Eyed Baker

Vegan Spice-Cake for The Diary of Anne Frank
(for those in the cast who are vegan)
Valerie Fox

  • Refine your gingerbread fairy tale recipe. Over 10 years make it at least a 100x. You have the time (had the time).
  • Work out how much molasses to add. None is mentioned in Cook’s. Molasses—slow and fraught. We use up a lot in our house. There was always a small jar of it on my grandmother’s kitchen table.
  • For the vegan part, work out added amounts of baking powder and baking soda, in the absence of eggs. Work out how much apple sauce and vegetable oil, in the absence of butter. Instead of milk-milk, use any other kind.
  • Add wishes for peace (1944, 2022), with confectioners sugar, as a decoration.
  • Hide these words in the pages of a book.
  • Try to eat on stage.