Based on Jane Brody’s Good Food Cookbook. Note: this can be prepared without the cheeses and pasta, and then frozen. Make a note on freezer bag to add the cheddar cheese, pasta and Parmesan.

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

½ pound mushrooms, sliced

olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups low fat milk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 whole roasted peppers, chopped

2 cups turkey (about ½ pound), cut into small cubes (or chicken)

½ pound pasta cooked al dente and drained (spaghetti is more traditional,  but we like to use bowtie)

¼ cup grated Parmesan


In large saucepan over medium heat, sauté carrots and celery in olive oil until tender. Remove, and sauté mushrooms.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and simmer, stirring it, until it has thickened somewhat.

Add the cheddar cheese, fresh pepper and roasted peppers to the sauce, and mix well.  Stir in the turkey and pasta. Pour the mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with Parmesan.

Bake the casserole, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until it is heated through.



From The Silver Palette Cookbook, with a slight nod to cholesterol. They are sometimes called Dutch Baby.


2 tablespoons butter (we use Kate’s Homemade Butter)

1/2 cup milk (1% percent)

1/4 cup white flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 eggs



Mix milk, flour and eggs to form batter.

Melt butter in a cast iron frying pan in a 475 degree oven.

Add batter to melted butter. Cook for approximately 10 minutes (should be lightly browned and puffy, like a popover).

Remove from oven and add jam to half the Bismarck. Fold in half and cut in two. Serves two.



This recipe is from an old Williams-Sonoma cookbook called Muffins & Quick Breads. I have made a couple of modifications to the original: replacing 1/2 cup of the white flour with whole wheat, and using canola oil instead of butter (which we try to do whenever possible).


1 + 1/2 cups white flour (I prefer Arrowhead Mils organic flour)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup sugar (Florida Crystals organic sugar)

2 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk (if I have buttermilk I use it; makes the muffins even lighter)

1/2 cup canola oil (Spectrum organic)

2 eggs

1+ cup blueberries (if frozen, let thaw before adding them, and drain off most of the liquid—you can drink the juice)


Grease the top of a 12-cup muffin tin and place paper muffin cups in each (if the paper cups are high, you don’t really need to grease the tin).

Combine dry ingredients and mix well with whisk. In separate bowl, beat the two eggs lightly and add milk and oil. Mix and then add to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Add the blueberries, again stirring just until they are just mixed in.

Spoon into the muffin tins and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes. Remove from muffin tin.



My mother made these sweet potatoes for every Thanksgiving (they are a family favorite), and from time to time throughout the year. They are a bit like dessert.


7-8 pounds sweet potatoes

1-1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup water

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves

4+ cinnamon sticks

Boil potatoes until tender. Peel and slice into wedges (not too big, not too small). Place in butter baking dish (we use a roasting pan because it is the only one big, and deep, enough).

Mix the brown sugar, water, butter and spices (except for cinnamon sticks) in pan until melted and thicker. Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes, stir, add cinnamon sticks.

Cook in preheated 400 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, stirring the potatoes from time to time.



This recipe, with slight modification, is from a wonderful cookbook now out of print: Bentley Farm Cookbook, by Virginia Bentley. The cookbook is not only filled with great recipes we have made over and over, but Mrs. Bentley shares her philosophy on cooking and food, and a bit on housekeeping. (At the end you will find “About Entertaining” and “Dinner for Diplomats.”) The recipes themselves have really detailed information that allow you to understand what the end result should be, before you even start. I will never forget “An apple pie containing bits of core is a desecration.” But that’s for another day. This shortcake recipe can’t be beat, and because I love it with fresh strawberries or fresh peaches, we get to enjoy it in June and August.


2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 heaping tablespoon sugar

nutmeg (this is optional, but adds a nice flavor. I use whole nutmeg and give it a few grinds. If you are using pre-ground, add 1/2 teaspoon or so…you can always adjust next time)

1/3 cup canola oil

3/4 cup milk (I use buttermilk when I have it; it makes the biscuits light and fluffy)


Mix dry ingredients (I use a whisk, a great tip, I think from Gourmet). Mix oil and milk and then add to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to combine everything. Do not over-stir. Place on greased cookie sheet in preheated 450 degree oven for 10+ minutes (depending on your oven).

Serve them warm (not piping hot) with vanilla ice cream and either sliced strawberries or sliced peaches, whichever is in season. I cut enough to heap over the bowls. With peaches, about one per person. Strawberries, maybe a cup or so per person. Mrs. Bentley got eight shortcake biscuits from this recipe. I can’t seem to get more than seven.



To be enjoyed when the power comes back on…or any time a delicious drink is called for! I use a regular shot glass for measurement and put martini glasses in the freezer to chill while I am mixing the drinks.


1 shot fresh squeezed lime juice

1 shot POM Pomegranate juice

4 shots Knudsen Organic Cranberry-Pomegranate juice (the kind of juice is key–make sure it is 100% juice)

1 shot Cointreau

3 shots good vodka (I use Russian Standard or Grey Goose if I have it; otherwise Absolut or Stolichnaya)


Place in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour into chilled glasses. Makes 2 drinks.



(Adapted from Judy Gorman’s Vegetable Cookbook)

I start with this ratio of ingredients, and then increase, depending on how many vegetables I want to use up.


2 one-inch slices of French bread

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I leave the skins on; I use a variety of heirloom tomatoes which tend to have delicate skin: Rose de Berne, Cosmonaut, Cherokee Purple, Garden Peach, Striped German, Amish Paste and Jaune Flamee. This mix is so flavorful and sweet, it gives the soup all its flavor.)

3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

1-2 cucumbers, coarsely chopped; my cucumbers have very few seeds so I don’t remove them

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper


Rip bread and combine in food processor with oil, vinegar and cumin until smooth.

Add vegetables and use pulse button on processor; mixture should be crunchy, not pulverized. I usually have far too many ingredients, so I process a bit at a time, then empty into a bowl; the entire batch will be stirred together in the end.

Once all processed ingredients are in bowl, stir to combine and add lime juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cool.



(Adapted from Judy Gorman’s Vegetable Cookbook)

These are so good they are almost dessert. Kids love them!


5 cucumbers


1/2 cup rice vinegar (I use Seasoned)

3/4 cup sugar

Fresh dill sprigs (optional)


Slice cucumbers thinly (use a Mandoline if you have one). Put in flat Pyrex dish or a bowl. Salt lightly and toss to coat. Let sit for 1-2 hours.

Mix vinegar and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves (I usually let this mixture stand while I wait for the cucumbers; don’t leave a metal spoon in the mixture though!)

Rinse salt and excess liquid from cucumbers. Pour vinegar and sugar mixture over the cucumbers. If you have fresh dill sprigs, add. Cover and put in refrigerator for several hours, stirring occasionally. The cucumbers will last for a few days (although they usually get devoured quickly).


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  1. My grandmother made a similar cucumber salad. Instead of dill, she used a little mustard mixed in. My mom made a bit last week so I had my last summer’s taste!


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