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Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

There are several baked goods that I make that always come out perfectly and are always loved by those I serve them to. I have no interest in trying another recipe for pecan tassies, and sticky toffee pudding, for example. I love the recipes I have and can't imagine one better. Yesterday, when I was making lemon meringue pie, I was tempted to try another recipe other than the one I usually make, and at the last minute, I went with the tried and true. It's funny because I am completely open to trying many different kinds of recipes. Do you have a recipe for something that you feel is the best in its class and that you go back to time and time again despite many available other recipes.

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  1. My meatballs. No CH'er or TV chef is going to convince me to change how I make them. Not ever! They are distinctly mine.

    10 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      Ha, ha! I feel that way about MY meatballs too -- and my sauce!

      1. re: roxlet

        My sauce isn't perfected yet. I mean, it's tasty, but not really special, so to speak. Any tips?

      2. re: monavano

        I would love to hear the recipe for this :)... been looking for some great meatball recipes

          1. re: darrentran87

            My meatballs are supremely simple and wonderfully delicious. For each pound of meat (I usually do 85-90% lean) finely chop one clove of garlic and about 10 good sized leaves of Italian parsley. Add one egg, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese, and enough unseasoned breadcrumbs to keep the whole thing together. Start with 1/4 cup and see how that works -- they shouldn't be wet. Form into meatballs, but don't squeeze them to death, and fry in a little olive oil. That's it, easy as can be

            1. re: roxlet

              I heard a really good tip on Chef At Home once regarding the "breadcrumb theory" and how they dry out the meat mixture. Contrary to popular belief, it's the egg that binds not the breadcrumb. If you want your meatballs extra moist, try soaking some plain white bread in some milk and add that to the mixture. Tried and true.

              1. re: levanty

                I have never used a panade in making my meatballs, though I know some do. I guess that I am stuck with making them the way my mother did.

                1. re: levanty

                  when i was a kid, and my mom made cabbage and meatballs, she used rice in the meatballs, no bread crumbs...

              1. My chocolate layer cake. It's from an old Better Homes & Gardens Pies and Cakes cookbook, and it's called "Mother's Best Fudge Cake." I think my husband would leave me if I tried another recipe! He requests (demands?) this cake every year for his birthday and for his Veterans' Day meal. The icing is just as special as the cake, although I learned years ago not to mention to anyone that the secret to its creaminess is the egg yolk. I had a guest or two freak out over that, but I've made this recipe for decades and we've never had any ill effects.

                14 Replies
                1. re: marisold

                  Would you be willing to share this? I am still trying to find that perfect chocolate frosting and I love chocolate cake. Pretty please? :)

                  Oops just saw the frosting recipe below. Can you still post the cake recipe?

                  1. re: marisold

                    marisold, would you mind posting the recipe for your chocolate cake? I would love to have a recipe like that in my repertoire. Thanks!

                    1. re: marisold

                      @ marisold...would you please share your chocolate layer cake recipe??

                      1. re: aminaomer

                        oh yes, please do! I just got a request for a chocolate cake for sunday's BBQ - i had been looking forward to making breadcrumb's suggested chocolate pudding - that will have to wait for another day - and probably sooner than later as I started salivating while making the shopping list for the pudding!

                      2. re: marisold

                        I'm really confused. I just made this recipe and the cake layers are much lighter than I would have expected for a cake with "fudge" in the name...the batter was the color of chocolate milk and the cakes are sort of the color of really dark (but not burnt) toast. I am a very careful and precise baker and I triple-checked the amounts, but I measured everything correctly. Is this the color it's supposed to be? I don't mind so long as it TASTES fudgy...?

                        1. re: Psyche1226

                          It could be because its an older recipe. I've got one here for Nut Tree's original fudge cake; it came out about as you described, with a light chocolate flavor. When I saw that the cake was going to turn out so light--I added a little cinnamon and some cardamon to change the direction. It went over bigger than the chocolate one generally does.

                          Good luck!

                          1. re: Charlotte313

                            Could be; I just don't understand how anyone could call it fudgy, unless fudge was only mildly chocolatey in the 60's... :D Also, marisold described it as a "deep chocolate cake" and said that the lighter chocolate frosting went well with it for that very reason...

                            1. re: Psyche1226

                              It's really only since Maida Heatter's first book in the 70's that chocolate desserts became super chocolaty. It was a relatively expensive ingredient.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Yes...I understand this. However that still does not explain why the original poster, making the cake in the present, still refers to it as a deep chocolate cake.

                        2. re: marisold

                          Would you be kind enough to share your recipe for "mother's best fudge cake" recipe. I tried online and wasn't sure which one you were referring to.

                          1. re: Seema96

                            MOTHER'S BEST FUDGE CAKE
                            ("Better Homes and Gardens" Pies & Cakes Cookbook, 1966)
                            2/3 c. sugar
                            1/2 c. milk
                            1 slightly beaten egg
                            3 (1 oz.) sq. unsweetened
                            1/2 c. shortening
                            1 c. sugar
                            1 tsp. vanilla
                            2 eggs
                            2 c. sifted cake flour
                            1 tsp. soda
                            1/2 tsp. salt
                            1 c. milk

                            In saucepan, combine sugar, milk, egg and unsweetened

                            Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate
                            melts and mixture comes just to boiling. Cool.

                            Gradually, add 1 cup sugar to shortening, creaming until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add remaining eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.

                            Sift together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, beating just until smooth after each addition. Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture

                            Bake in 2 greased and lightly floured 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.

                            Cool; frost and fill with chocolate frosting. Decorate with chocolate curls.

                            1. re: BlackAnemone

                              This sounds very good. Look how much less sugar there is in it than would be the case with a cake recipe today.

                          2. re: marisold

                            I have a chocolate cake recipe that I once used for cupcakes, and paired them with an egg yolk butter cream. Everyone raved, especially about the icing, and I was afraid to mention the egg yolk, too. Is the frosting from Fannie Farmer? The only time I'm cautious about it is if I know pregnant women are going to eat the cake. It really is extra delicious.

                          3. Hi all,

                            My Fudgey Brownies. Hershey's Easy-Does-It recipe. From an ad in a 1982 women's magazine.

                            Marisold - is that frosting, by chance, Chocolate Satin Frosting? If it is, definitely a winner. Absolutely delicious!


                            6 Replies
                            1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                              In the BH&G cookbook it's just called "chocolate frosting"--it only has one 1-oz. square of unsweetened chocolate, so it's a wonderful contrast to the deep chocolate cake. The addition of the egg yolk makes it sooooooo light and creamy!

                              1. re: marisold

                                That frosting sounds so unusual. Would you mind sharing?

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Cream 6 tablespoons softened butter with half a box of powdered sugar. Add one egg yolk, a one-ounce square of unsweetened chocolate that you've melted and cooled a bit, and a teaspoon and a half of vanilla extract. (I usually add just a bit of almond extract, too.) Add the rest of the box of powdered sugar along with enough cream or half and half to make it spreadable. This will frost a two-layer cake.

                                  1. re: marisold

                                    That sounds great!

                                    Not too much chocolate in it. The one I mentioned has 3 1/2 squares to 3 cups sugar.


                                    1. re: marisold

                                      How much is in a box of powdered sugar? It comes in different size bags where I live, not boxes.

                                      1. re: FrenchSoda

                                        a box is usually a US pound - 16 ounces (imperial)

                              2. My focaccia recipe, altho' I do tweak it from time to time.

                                1. My no-fail, best-ever, crisp on the edges and soft in the middle peanut butter cookies.
                                  My sweet and sour meatballs.
                                  My Halushka. I would not, could not change it.
                                  My Kreplach.
                                  My Challah, which is really my gramma's.
                                  My incredibly easy trash curry which tastes authentic and is delicious. Okay, that one I play with a lot but the base recipe is the same.

                                  42 Replies
                                  1. re: mamachef

                                    Oh, I've been looking for a PB cookie like that, care to share?

                                    1. re: ChrisKC

                                      Of course you can have the recipe! Why else are we here?
                                      1/2 c. butter or margarine (IMO margarine provides a better result here)
                                      1/2 c. peanut butter
                                      1/2 c. white sugar
                                      3/4 c. brown sugar
                                      1 egg
                                      1 t. vanilla
                                      1&1/4 c. ap flour
                                      1/2 t. salt - 1 t. if pb is unsalted variety
                                      1/2 t. baking powder
                                      1/2 t. baking soda
                                      I actually use my food processor for these, but of course a bowl works just as well. Oven 350.
                                      Cream margarine and pb, cream in sugars. Add egg and vanilla; blend well. Add
                                      flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and blend well. Refrigerate one hour. Roll into one-inch balls; roll balls in sugar and flatten onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 10 minutes; don't overbake.
                                      Like I said, these make a delicious, crispy edged cookie. Some people like a denser texture, although I swear by these, but in the event that you prefer a "sandier" cookie:
                                      Oven 350
                                      Thoroughly cream 1 c. peanut butter with 1 c. granulated sugar. Blend in one egg. Mixture will be a little oily-looking and crumbly. Make balls; flatten onto foil-lined cookie sheets and bake about 6 minutes, maybe 7. These are best when they look underdone.
                                      But as I said, the first recipe gets my top recommend. I hope you enjoy it.

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        Thank you, I may even try these this weekend.

                                        1. re: mamachef

                                          You think the crappy reduced fat Skippy M bought in a moment of madness would work in these?

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            You know, I think it prolly would; and I'd add a tablespoonful of molasses or golden syrup for a little depth and moisture in that case. And I think you should, too! : )

                                            1. re: mamachef

                                              WTH not! Must do (just wish it'd use up the whole dang jar).

                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                I'd add a tablespoonful of molasses or golden syrup
                                                my PB cookies wouldn't be complete without molasses!

                                            2. re: mamachef

                                              i love peanut butter cookies! thanks for sharing, miss mamachef!

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Oh, you are so welcome! I hope you like them, they come together in no time flat and even I can't wreck 'em. ; )

                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                I did make these this weekend and I loved the texture. The sandy ones are what I was used to and I wanted something different. They had a very nice but tender chew to them. I did use butter because that;s what I had. Thanks again, this is my new pb cookie recipe!

                                                1. re: ChrisKC

                                                  I am so glad you enjoyed them Chris! I make a batch just about every single weekend.

                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                  They sound delicious! All of those ingredients are in my cupboard - trying them this week - thanks so much for sharing @mamachef!

                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                    mamachef, these are amazing! Absolutely the best PB cookie I have ever had. I love how the edges are so crisp but the middle is nice and chewy. I've had a hard time making these in the past (I dunno, seemed too dry and sandy), but I kept trying because they're hubby's favorite. His coworkers bring him ones from the bakery because mine weren't right! So, thank you again. I can see myself making these every weekend also.

                                                3. re: mamachef

                                                  I would also like to see that PB cookie recipe. Very much. I used to love the Better Homes & Gardens recipe, but my tastes must have changed.

                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                    mamachef - I'd love to try the s/s meatballs and do you serve as an app or entree?

                                                    1. re: flfoodie2

                                                      I am so sorry it took me so long to get back to you; it's been a busy couple of days. It's fairly late Fri. and I'm going to hit the hay, but I am one helluvan early riser so I'll meet you in the morning with the recipe - which by the way, I have served both ways, but we prefer as an entree.

                                                      1. re: flfoodie2

                                                        Hi flfoodie2: famous last words. Some days I rise earlier than others. Ok, so these; I start them in the morning and let them either sit in the sauce all day and then re-heat, or just dump into the crockpot to let them simmer on slow once they're browned and in the sauce. Make the sauce first and have it at a simmer. Please read to end of recipe before starting re: thickening.
                                                        1 onion, half sliced and half small dice, divided
                                                        1 green pepper, ditto, divided
                                                        2 large cloves garlic, minced and divided
                                                        1 tb. oil, any kind
                                                        1 can diced tomatoes in juice
                                                        1 can best-quality tomato sauce
                                                        1/2 c. dark brown sugar (though any sugar will work, but if you use white add a tb. molasses)
                                                        1/4 c. lemon juice, fresh preferred (cider vinegar will work also; lemon juice is better.)
                                                        1/2 t. salt, good grind pepper
                                                        healthy dash each: ginger, allspice, cloves
                                                        Saute the veg, reserving diced for use in meatballs. Mix rest of sauce ingredients; bring to a slow boil and then to a simmer in v. large saucepan or baking dish.
                                                        1&1/2 lbs. ground sirloin
                                                        sauteed vegies (reserved diced onion, garlic and pepper)
                                                        1/2 t. salt
                                                        1/2 c. breadcrumbs, oatmeal, crushed crackers: whatever binder you have on hand
                                                        2 eggs
                                                        1/4 c. ketchup
                                                        1/2 c. flour on plate
                                                        2 t. oil
                                                        Gently mix meatball ingredients - you should get about 20 decent-sized from this quantity. Roll them in flour and brown them very well in med. hot oil. This gives a better flavor and prevents them from falling apart in the sauce, although it doesn't prevent absorption of sauce. When meatballs are brown you can:
                                                        Put them in the sauce and simmer, stovetop, for up to 6 hours, veryveryveryvery low heat.
                                                        Put them in a 350 oven for 2-3 hours
                                                        Put them in a 200 oven for 8-9 hours
                                                        Put them into a low crockpot all day
                                                        Put them into a high crockpot 4-5 hours
                                                        Taste for salt/pepper and sweet/sour ratio. When this needs thickening, I usually crush in a few gingersnap cookies for flavor and thickening; you can also add a handful of raisins to the sauce which is very nice. We like this best with egg noodles or spaetzle, buttered w/ dill weed, and a pretty plain green vegie, although when my husband's not around I can get away with serving this with steamed shredded cabbage dressed with a little vinegar, caraway, and sour cream. Yum on a plate. The longer you cook them, that much better they'll be. Also fantastic frozen, or chilled and reheated; one of those "next day" dishes.I hope you like it.

                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          Love your various cooking modes and timing. You got it going on, seriously.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            mamachef..thanks so much for the great detailed recipe, looking forward to making it!

                                                            1. re: flfoodie2


                                                              I can't wait to try your meatballs. Thank you for the very detailed recipe, I have been searching for a go-to meatball recipe, I am hoping this one will be it.

                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                          Mamachef-How about your halushak recipe please?

                                                          1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                                            Of course, SIMI! And Happy Purim, and first Official Day of Spring to you!
                                                            1 med. head white cabbage, cored and shredded very finely
                                                            3/4 lb. butter (margarine if Kashrut is of concern), divided
                                                            2 lg. white onions, thinly sliced
                                                            kosher salt, fresh-ground black pepper
                                                            1 lb. med. egg noodles, fresh if possible
                                                            2 c. sour cream, smetana, or IMO; yogurt works too but for this, the richer the better
                                                            Poppyseeds, lightly toasted in small skillet and set aside
                                                            In huge skillet, melt half the butter and saute onions until just soft. Add cabbage to skillet and cook over med-low heat for roughly 45 minutes, until almost meltingly soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook egg noodles until just toothy in boiling salted water; drain well, and add to skillet. Turn heat up; add more butter as necessary and saute until light brown. Toss with sour cream; top with poppyseeds or toasted breadcrumbs. Serves 6-8 generously and is best with a lean braise of some type, or roasted chicken.

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              mamachef - thank you for the fond memory throwback to my Hungarian grandmother - I have copied your recipe and look forward to trying it.

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                Thanks. I am drooling already. When I get around to making this I will respond back.

                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                  Oh, I make a dish like this with just cabbage, butter and rice noodles. But poppy seeds, onions sour cream and breadcrumbs would make this all the more addicting. Soon on the menu, I'm sure.

                                                                  Once I start running again in the morning, I mean. Which is *soon*. ;)

                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                    a little running inspiration for you:

                                                                    in the meantime, you could just cut back on the butter & use low-fat sour cream or yogurt ;)

                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                      "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow......" - which is REALLY when I'm going to start exercising routinely. You betcha!

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        So funny you said that, I've had that song stuck in my head ever since this rainy weather rolled in. You know, the rainy weather that makes a run seem like a bad idea, and every pasta dish that involves cream and cheese seem like a fantastic one?

                                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                                  Mamachef, I'd love to know your recipes for challah and kreplach. Thanks!

                                                                  1. re: jns7

                                                                    Here's the Kreplach, jns7: Challah to follow shortly. Hope you enjoy. If you're running late you can purchase pre-made Won Ton wrappers if you want, for the kreplach pasta.
                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                    1/2 t. salt
                                                                    1 T. oil
                                                                    3/4 to 1 c. flour, sifted
                                                                    1 c. finely minced cooked chicken
                                                                    2T. chopped Fresh parsley
                                                                    1/2 T. minced fresh ginger
                                                                    1 small onion, peeled and chopped finely
                                                                    1 T. melted butter or margarine
                                                                    1/2 t. salt
                                                                    pinch ground pepper
                                                                    4 c. good chicken stock, preferably w/ vegetables cooked in it and strained.
                                                                    Combine eggs with salt and oil. Gradually add enough flour to make firm dough. Set aside. Combine chicken and 1 T. chopped parsley. Add onion, butter, salt, pepper and ginger. Roll out dough to 1/16" thick and cut into 2-inch squares. Place meat filling in center of each square. Fold each square in half diagonally, and use a fork to crimp edges. Leave pasta to dry on a floured cloth for an hour. Bring stock to boil in lg. saucepan. Add filled pasta and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes. Serve soup garnished with remaining chopped parsley.
                                                                    1/2 t. salt

                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      I can't wait to try this. I've always been a bit intimidated by the notion of making kreplach, but now that I've looked at your recipe it doesn't seem so scary after all. I'm looking forward to your challah recipe, too.

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        Hmmm. Ravioli by any other name... Sounds delicious, mamachef!!

                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                        I'd love to see your challah recipe. I'm just starting to bake my own bread and I love challah. Thank you!

                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                          Mamachef, I would love to have your trash curry recipe, if you can stand to post another one. Maybe you need to write your own cookbook!

                                                                          1. re: Kiyah

                                                                            Hi Kiyah, no problem. Food is love, it's here to be shared. :)

                                                                            Trash Curry (Aka Hara Curry, by my kids) to serve 2-3 (big appetites)

                                                                            Start steaming 2 c. raw rice - I'm assuming short-grain and allowing 20 minutes.


                                                                            1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed 1-2"

                                                                            1 Tb. high-quality curry powder, divided

                                                                            3/4 t. salt

                                                                            1/2 t. pepper

                                                                            1/2 chopped onion, any kind

                                                                            1 T. oil, whatever kind

                                                                            1 Can coconut milk, unsweetened, well stirred (13 1/2 ozs. - Chaokachi's a good brand)

                                                                            2 T. tomato paste

                                                                            1 bag baby spinach

                                                                            1 cup chopped tomato

                                                                            While rice steams, sprinkle the chicken with 2 t. curry, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute chicken and onion in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in coco milk and tomato paste and remaining curry powder, and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Add spinach and tomato; cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Serve with rice. If you've kicked ass and have the time and the ingredients, chop some cilantro and wedge some limes to serve alongside with hot sauce. Or don't. It's still delicious.

                                                                            This dish can be played with in so many ways. If it sounds like too much coconut, you can sub in half chicken broth. I have frequently added smashed garlic and minced fresh ginger, and sauteed bell peppers and a hot chile with the onions and chicken, and I've used prawns in place of the chicken, setting them aside when done and letting liquid reduce, then re-adding to just heat. I've also used browned chicken thighs, and simmered longer. There are myriad garnishes. But the reason I love this recipe is that we really love curry, and on a busy night when everyone's starving, this so fits the bill without having to grind spices, go out, or go insane from wanting it.

                                                                            I also like to serve this with a tangy raita.

                                                                            Hope you like.

                                                                          2. re: mamachef

                                                                            Sadly, I don't know what halushka, kreplach and challah is/are (challah is a bread, right?).......



                                                                            1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                                                                              Halushka is a saute'ed green cabbage and noodles dish common to central Europe. Kreplach are small dumplings filled with ground meat, potatoes and veggies and served in chicken broth or chicken soup. Those foods are all staples of delis.

                                                                              You're correct that challah is a eggy and slightly sweet bread usually baked on Friday afternoon for the Jewish holiday day of Saturday.

                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                              Mama chef: Is challah hard to make? do you think I should do a test run before the night I wanna serve it?

                                                                              1. re: drewb123

                                                                                I'm not mama chef, but I'd say that if you have baked bread before, challah shouldn't be too hard to make. One thing thatni wouldnwatch out for is the bread browning too quickly since most recipes for challah contain a fair amount of sugar. Other than that, it's an egg bread that someone who has baked bread before shouldn't have much trouble with.

                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  i will never forget ..... i was a newlywed - many moons ago - and was so excited to have our dearest friends over for dinner - and for some reason I attempted to make a challah - it was so dense that if i had dropped it, the joke still till today, is that it would have broke a toe!

                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                    Too much eggs and butter and not enough yeast to lift those ingredients would definitely give you a toe breaker!

                                                                            3. ^^
                                                                              Ah, that reminds me of another "ME" recipe...my stuffed cabbage (golabki). I've worked so hard on tweaking it over the years that by now, it's by far more mine than Mom's.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                Love golabki. Yummmmm. Do you do anything different, unusual, special, that you'd care to share, or is it a private kinda thing? : )

                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                  Of course I'll share! That's what we CH'er do!
                                                                                  Let's see, Mom's recipe was very basic...ground meat, rice, s&p stuffed into cabbage. My twist include
                                                                                  *sauteing finely chopped (food processor) green bell pepper, garlic and onion in butter before adding to the ground meat (I generally go with meatloaf mix, but have used just beef at times)
                                                                                  *using savoy cabbage, never going back!
                                                                                  *giving the tomato-based sauce more dimension with a hint of vinegar and brown sugar to give a sweet and sour taste. It's a far cry from Mom's can of Campbell's tomato soup and ketchup, not that there's anything wrong with taking help from a can now and then. Mine is just...fresher.
                                                                                  *lastly, I've learned to really apply the principles of braising these little stuffed pigeons (that's what the name means). I had been making golabki for several years and they just weren't right--they were not soft, or succulent. They were just "meh". Then, one day, as I was standing in a Polish luncheonette ordering golabki, did I realize that the reason Syrinka's golabki were so, so good was because she plucked each one out of a steam tray. Aha! I'd been baking my golabki for 45min to an hour in order to cook the meat, but I failed to realize that the cabbage needed some TLC with low and slow cooking--braising basically.
                                                                                  So now, I braise low for at least 2 hours, sometimes 3, and I get tender, wonderful little pigeons!

                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                    I love it! <Tender, wonderful little pigeons.> Sweet little yumbirds!
                                                                                    That's the kind of recipe I just love; completely playworthy and flexible. I tend towards a sweet/sour version as well, really close to sweet and sour meatball sauce. Anyway, the recipe looks awesome and is now tucked into the files, so thank you!

                                                                              2. My lasagna - my meat sauce recipe was given to me by the Milanese grandmother (she never left Italy) of a dear friend of mine, as well as the instructions for making her northern Italian lasagna.

                                                                                My chocolate chip cookies are heavily based on the Toll House Cookie recipe, but I'm famous for them.

                                                                                My roasted chicken technique -- Turned Roasted Chicken from the 98 Joy -- but it comes out perfect every single time.

                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  I would love the recipe for the lasagna. Would you share? I use to have a recipe my mother gave me 20 years ago but lost it during our last move. I admit I now buy it frozen.
                                                                                  What I am good at, and would not change is my ham and lentil soup and my Chicken Tikka Misala with rice and Naan. My husband and boys would disown me if I changed my yorkshire puddings from the Joy of Cooking. The twist I put on it is to make it in a muffin tin and use butter instead of the fat from the roast. The men in my family are pie people. I have to make 2 blueberry pies so they can take some home with them.

                                                                                  1. re: 02putt

                                                                                    Would you please share your receipe for your ham and lentil soup and Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan?

                                                                                    1. re: KellBell

                                                                                      Of course I'll share. I am not permitted to reproduce the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe (do to copyright) but here is the link. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chicken-...

                                                                                      Of note, I use very little salt (to taste) and not 4 and 3 tsps called for (way to salty
                                                                                      )I double the sauce ingredients
                                                                                      I use light cream instead of heavy cream
                                                                                      I use a mixture of fresh chopped parsley and mint instead of cilantro. (I think cilantro tastes like soap)
                                                                                      We love spicy food so I increase the hot pepper and cayenne.

                                                                                      For the naan I use the ones from the grocery store and put it in a non stick frying pan with melted butter until hot. Drain a bit on paper towels and serve warm.

                                                                                      The Ham and Lentil Soup is a meal in is self. "Stick to your ribs food my father would say) All you need is a loaf of crusty bread.
                                                                                      Be prepared to make this this when you have a day at home. Actually, it is better the second day. Left overs can be frozen.

                                                                                      2 or 3 smoked ham hocks
                                                                                      1 bag red lentils rinsed and picked through (454 grams or 1 pound)
                                                                                      3 onions grated
                                                                                      2 large carrots grated
                                                                                      2 stalks celery finely diced
                                                                                      3 potatoes peeled and grated
                                                                                      1 cinnamon stick
                                                                                      1 bay leaf

                                                                                      4 1/2 cups beef broth
                                                                                      4 1/2 cups chicken broth
                                                                                      1 cups vegetable broth
                                                                                      (or any combination I tend to use more chicken)

                                                                                      Gently boil ham hocks in water to cover for about 2 hours. Remove, discard liquid and let cool then pull away meat from bones using latex gloves and discard bones or give it to you dog for a treat!

                                                                                      Put meat and all other ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours stirring often being careful not to let lentils stick to the bottom of the pot. Add more grated potato and carrot or liquid. Return to a simmer for 1 hour. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Do this at the end as the ham hocks are salty by themselves and the salt intensifies as it simmers.

                                                                                      To serve you put it in soup bowls or for special occasions serve in bread bowls.

                                                                                      (sorry for the sort of instructions but it was my mom's recipe that was handed down from her mother and I do it from memory) The reason I do not use the liquid from the ham hocks is I find it to oily but my mom did. Hope you enjoy!

                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    My chocolate chip cookies are also mostly Toll House recipe, but with the addition of some strong coffee, orange rind, and raisins, as well as walnuts. I also cook them until they're pretty brown, so they're crisp when they cool. I love them, "purists" who like the flat bland cookies don't much like them. Oh, well.

                                                                                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                      sot, I add chopped dates to my "toll house" recipe and dial the sugars back. I love them this way and many purists in my cookie jar ask me what the magic ingredient is. I prefer a chewy cookie (save the teeth) but I love the combo you've riff'd with java, o rind, raisins & nuts.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                        i adore dates!

                                                                                        do you have a great date bar recipe with a cookie-crumb type base, then a light date filling, then with a quasi-streusel/crumb topping? i used to have them at a bakery in florida, and i've never seen them since.

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          I'm sure I do alkapal! I'll be back :)

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                            oooh, goody ! i'd be really grateful!

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              Date Bar Crumb Squares for alkapal

                                                                                              16 ounces chopped dates
                                                                                              1 cup chopped almonds
                                                                                              1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                              1 cup apple juice
                                                                                              2 1/2 cups flour
                                                                                              1 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                              1/3 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                              2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                              1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                              1 stick butter, softened
                                                                                              1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                              1 large egg

                                                                                              In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates, nuts, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.

                                                                                              Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9x13x3-inch baking pan or spray with baking spray.

                                                                                              In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, butter, 1 teaspoon extract, and egg. Mix until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture and pat the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spoon date mixture evenly over the crust and spread gently to cover. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 cup of crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                HillJ, aren't you the sweetest thing! thank you thank you thank you! i have some dates that have been cryovac'd <how do you spell that? i guess it is not really a verb!> for a long time, and they need to get used!

                                                                                                "git in ma belly, you date bar!"

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  Consider it an early bday present :)

                                                                                                  I still owe ya for the 1001 links you post on CH.

                                                                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  HillJ, i already copied, pasted, saved and printed that recipe -- and it sounds like it might just be the ONE! thanks again. i'll let you know.

                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                    I'll be looking for your review!

                                                                                        2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                          Those sound great. I only like really crisp cookies. Soft? Gooey? Nope.

                                                                                        3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          The choc. chip cookie recipe I use, since I found it, there is no other - it is the best I have ever made! So quick too, you can have cookies in under 30 minutes...

                                                                                          My Mexican lasagna recipe also counts!

                                                                                        4. macaroni & cheese and cheesecake. The recipes I use always come out great..

                                                                                          26 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                            When I read your question Roxlet, baking immediately came to mind.

                                                                                            I tend to have a really open mind when it comes to cooking and while we definitely have our T&T favourites, I always feel there's room for improvement and, sometimes our tastes just change over time and something that worked for years just appeals less . . . or I get sick of it as I tend to prefer not to repeat dishes. (drives mr bc crazy!!)

                                                                                            When it comes to baking though, I have many recipes I've made for years and years and while I'll always look to add new recipes to my repertoire, I tend to just add them to our list of favourites. Some that come to mind are:

                                                                                            Date Squares
                                                                                            Chocolate Chunk Cookies
                                                                                            Lemon Curd
                                                                                            Apple Pie
                                                                                            Lemon Loaf
                                                                                            Dundee Cake
                                                                                            Nanaimo Bars
                                                                                            White Chocolate Cranberry Cake
                                                                                            Oat Scones

                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                Closer to a pound cake than a quick bread for sure roxlet but, not a full pound of butter.

                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                  Where is the recipe from? Want to share?

                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                      This was very good! I skipped the nuts, too. Love how easy this recipe is.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                        Glad you enjoyed it CM, it is super-simple isn't it? My sweet golden retriever loves lemon and he sits in front of the oven whenever I bake this!

                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          I actually made it at work during a slow serving shift (the kitchen staff indulged me). Everyone really liked it...I "floured" the pan with sugar instead.

                                                                                                          One suggestion was to mix some whisky, perhaps "American Honey," into the lemon glaze for a twist. Think of it as "hot toddy" cake.

                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                        hi - wondering if I am missing something - I copied this recipe from the link - thank you - but it states "prick crust with fork and pour drizzle over loaf" Whaaaatt??

                                                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                          Hi smilingal, you'll see the Drizzle ingredients at the very bottom of the "ingredients" list.

                                                                                                          Once the loaf has cooled you puncture the top of the loaf w a fork or you can use a bamboo skewer then you pour the drizzle over top so it is absorbed into the loaf and becomes even "zestier"

                                                                                                          I hope that helps.

                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            thanks so much - I hadn't noticed that in the ingredients - just did a "copy and paste" - too quickly I guess. Sounds good and easy - looking forward to trying this!

                                                                                                            1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                              Enjoy! btw, I never add the nuts. We love it just straight up lemon!

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                to nuts --- or not to nuts --- that is the question --- I happen to like nuts - but I also love the pureness of lemon. We shall see - I will probably go the naked way the first time.

                                                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                  Wow, naked!! . . . be sure to get photos!! ; )

                                                                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                  C'mon you, spill that recipe for the white chocolate cranberry cake. I am the proud owner of an unbroached kilo of white chocolate.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Mmm, I wish I lived near by and could "borrow" a little bt!! ; )

                                                                                                    Here you go:

                                                                                                    SUE’S WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CAKE


                                                                                                    1 cup unsalted butter
                                                                                                    1 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                    1/2 cup white sugar
                                                                                                    4 large eggs
                                                                                                    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
                                                                                                    1 tablespoon orange zest – freshly grated on microplane
                                                                                                    2 cups AP flour
                                                                                                    2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups cranberries -- fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
                                                                                                    6 oz white chocolate, chopped or 1 cup white chocolate chips
                                                                                                    white chocolate curls (use potato peeler to create)


                                                                                                    3oz white chocolate or 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
                                                                                                    2 tablespoons orange juice

                                                                                                    Using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars together. Add eggs then orange juice and zest; beat well.

                                                                                                    Add flour and baking powder; beat well.

                                                                                                    Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Be careful not to crush berries.

                                                                                                    Use spatula to spread batter evenly in a greased and floured 10" bundt pan.

                                                                                                    Bake in a 350° oven for approx 60 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.

                                                                                                    Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn onto cooling rack.

                                                                                                    For Glaze:

                                                                                                    Melt chocolate and juice over low heat. Stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle with white chocolate curls.


                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                      Wow, thanks, it looks great and I have everything I need for it in the house. Must make.

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        Great, I hope you enjoy it bt, it's one of my most requested recipes.

                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          Making it this weekend. Where did you get it?

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              Haha missed that one. But which Sue? Under what circumstances? Recipe pedigree sought.

                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          When I was a quite young, one of my Mom’s close friends always used to serve this amazing cranberry orange cake with tea. I absolutely adored it and have been playing with all sorts of recipes in an attempt to replicate it since then. I’ve made endless cakes and loaves but none ever seem to compare.

                                                                                                          About 10 years ago this lady returned to the Toronto area and invited us for lunch. As you can imagine, I could hardly wait!

                                                                                                          So, my first disappointment came when I found she wasn’t serving it and worse, she couldn’t even remember it!! So, my quest and experimentation continues! Over the years I’ve played w all sorts of variations on the theme. What I’ve shared here is my “Christmas” version.

                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            Aha! That would be disappointing. I've had things like that happen to me (most notably, my father towards the end not remembering he used to call toast strips for boiled eggs "soldiers").
                                                                                                            What are your other variations?

                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              Hi! I was just passing through and saw your post. I used to make a cranberry orange bread that was much more like a cake; I was famous for it! I bet you anything that..the reason your friend doesn't remember it is bacause--the recipe comes off of the Ocean Spray Cranberry bag. I've made this recipe dozens of times for friends..and am known for it.

                                                                                                              Hope this helps!

                                                                                                              1. re: Charlotte313

                                                                                                                Thanks Charlotte, I'll do some googling and see if I can find something! Just last week my Mom sent me yet another recipe clipping in the mail but it wasn't "the one"!! Thanks again!

                                                                                                                1. re: Charlotte313

                                                                                                                  charlotte -- the friend "can't remember" the recipe 'cause it is off the bag -- good one!

                                                                                                                  it is right on the ocean spray site as a "classic" -- http://www.oceanspray.com/Recipes/Cor...

                                                                                                    2. Yeah, my Eggplant Parmigana which consistently gets raves. And my Chili whose recipe is requested every time I serve it.

                                                                                                      Both staples for many, many years.

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                        Can you share your parm recipe? I would like to rave about it myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                                                          It is originally from Anna Thomas "Vegetarian Epicure". I modified it a bit and cannot remember if it was volume I or II.

                                                                                                          My library is packed as I am remodeling but here it is [somewhat] from my sometimes faulty memory.

                                                                                                          1. Thickly slice eggplant. [sometimes I use 2].

                                                                                                          2. Salt and drain slices.

                                                                                                          3. Wash and dry slices, pressing water out with paper towels.

                                                                                                          4. Importantly each slice gets 3 coatings.

                                                                                                          a. Lightly flour and shake off.

                                                                                                          b. Dip in beaten egg.

                                                                                                          c. Dip in flour again. Place on rack until used.

                                                                                                          5. Brown slices until golden. Set on rack.

                                                                                                          6. I have a lovely French Pullivuyt crustware baker that adds to the appeal ..

                                                                                                          7. You favorite Italian tomato sauce thinly on bottom of baker.

                                                                                                          8. Layer each slice in a circular pattern.

                                                                                                          9. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese [you chose how thick] beside each eggplant piece.

                                                                                                          10. You may also add a basil chiffonade between each eggplant wedge.

                                                                                                          11. Add a thin layer of sauce between layers.

                                                                                                          12. Keep adding in circular rotation.

                                                                                                          13. I always do at least 3 layers for my Pullivuyt baker.

                                                                                                          I think its appeal comes from the 3 layers of "breading". But do look up the Vegetarian Epicure book. There is also an Artichoke, Egg and Cheese app that is also a standard.

                                                                                                          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                            Thank you! I don't have a Pullivuyt baker. But I'll give it a shot anyway.

                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                              Oh, importantly, one needs to quarter the slices after salting and drying. Or less if they are smaller.

                                                                                                              Otherwise proceed. =:o)

                                                                                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                Noted. And I'll cruise the book, also.

                                                                                                            2. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                              That sounds delicious. I like the technique of your layers, sounds perfect for company. Thanks for posting the recipe.

                                                                                                          2. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                            eggplant parm and chili are two recipes that I also won't change.

                                                                                                            both might not be the real thing or traditional, but everyone always loves both.

                                                                                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                              Would you be willing to share your chili recipe? Thank you

                                                                                                            2. My Spaghetti sauce (gravy), learned from my almost 98 yr. old MIL from Calabria (3-24-13).

                                                                                                              My Rotissarie Chicken Soup with broccoli rabe and orzo.

                                                                                                              "The" chocolate Cloud Cake from Nigella, it's heavenly, with whipped cream. After I discovered this cake, I don't want another. It's that good. That's all I can think of for now.

                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                You got me with the name chocolate cloud. Went out in search of the recipe which is on Nigella's site http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/c... Do you add the cointreau and/or orange zest or just leave it as just chocolate (which would be my inclination)?

                                                                                                                1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                  I followed the recipe verbatum, orange zest and cointreau...... Nigella has it perfectly. I wouldn't change a thing.
                                                                                                                  Also, check out the recipe video on youtube, it shows how easy she does it. Oh my goodness, so amazing.

                                                                                                                2. re: mcel215


                                                                                                                  I would love to see your MIL's Calabrian gravy recipe - and your soup - it sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                  1. re: jns7

                                                                                                                    Hi jns,

                                                                                                                    I have my recipe for the gravy on FB right now, if you email me I'll give you the link. I'm putting together a blog, just for my kids mostly. I plan to add the gravy this weekend. I'll give you the link to that also. I have a step by step pictorial, or I'd give it to you here. My email address is on my profile here at chowhound.

                                                                                                                    The soup is basically one that I started a few years back. I buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco and remove the breast meat (freeze it for other uses). Then put the chicken in a 6 qt. staub and fill 3/4 of the way with cold water. Add 1 large onion cut in half, a whole garlic head cut in half, so you expose the cloves. Add two large carrots and celery stalks, also cut in half. Bring to a simmer and add a couple of bay leaves, along with some black peppercorns and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. Let simmer on low for two hours. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the excess fat, take out the chicken and veggies and strain. I pick through the meat to use for my soup (some say no, but I don't like waste). For the soup, I saute 1 chopped onion, 3 - 4 chopped carrots, 3 celery stalks and a pinch of salt for a few minutes in the same Staub I have cleaned out from making the stock. Add the chicken stock and simmer about 1/2 hour, until vegetables are tender. Chop up the tender part of a bunch of broccoli rabe and put it in the hot soup, stir and the lid on and shut the stove off. I make a 1 cup of orzo or other small pasta and set aside. When the soup has sat to cook the broccoli rabe long enough, about 20-30, it's ready to adjust the flavors and serve. At this point, I add a little salt and pepper and the chicken that I picked off of the carcass of the chicken. Be careful with this because the rotisserie has lots of salt in in.
                                                                                                                    When ready to serve, place a heaping tablespoon of orzo in the bottom of a bowl, ladle your soup in and top with fresh parmasean.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                      mcel1215 - Re gravy, What is FB? Likewise, don't understand your instructions. Eager to know.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jns7

                                                                                                                          My instructions? Sorry, can you be more specific? And I added a link to my new blog on my profile. It's in the infant stages, but will update more and put my MIL's gravy on there this weekend.

                                                                                                                          BTW, she is 98 years young today. ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                            happy birthday to her! tell her we are enjoying her kitchen wisdom.

                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                              If you could see her in the kitchen in her day, she was inspiring.
                                                                                                                              Just one little story for you. She used to get the little Welch's grape jelly glasses and use one to cut her hand made ravioli. When a Holiday was near, the entire week would be the week to prep those raviolis. Large sheets of pasta would be on top of her little kitchen table, while she cut each one individually with that little glass. Literally, hundreds of ravs.... with 5 sons, spouses and grandchildren coming over, she never wanted anyone to leave without sending an extra dish home. Amazing woman, amazing cook. I know at 98, she won't be here too much longer...... aaahh. Thanks alapal for letting me tell my tale today. Happy Birthday Rose, many happy memories. :)

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                Happy birthday, Rose...

                                                                                                                                mcel, it's obvious how much you love her (and how much she loves you and her boys). Lucky, lucky you.

                                                                                                                            2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                              A VERY happy birthday to Rose, mcel!

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                Thanks everyone, it's very sweet of you. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                  Mcel, your blog is so great!!! Hope your mom had a very happy birthday...how nice that you've been able to obtain all of her cooking knowledge and talents through the years, too!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                    i'd love to read your blog, but i don't see the link anywhere on your CH profile...?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                      i know! mcel, why did you take your link away?

                                                                                                                        2. There probably aren't too many different versions of squid with potatoes or portobello mushroom bourguignon, but the recipes I have for these two dishes are perfect. Wouldn't change a thing. Quick shout-out to ChristinaMason, who threw me the link for the latter recipe.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                                                                            Is that the Smitten Kitchen bourguignon (which is delicious), small H, or do I have something even better in store for me?

                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                              The very same. I was just looking for a way to use up some crappy red wine, and I got this astonishingly fine recipe, which elevates all of its ingredients. Even the crappy red wine.

                                                                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                I really was pleasantly surprised. And, I am certain, my wine was even crappier. It still was a win.

                                                                                                                                Here's a link, if anyone is interested. And, though she usually has beautiful photographs of her dishes, this one does not really do it justice. Frankly, the ratio of noodle to stew is a bit chintzy. And where's the crusty bread? If you are going to leave out the beef, then a slice of crusty bread really needs to be placed, at an angle, at the side of the bowl. Preferably, with a slight glisten of butter, as hopeful as the early morning sun, spread ever so delicately over the pocked slice.


                                                                                                                                (Pocked isn't very appetizing, is it. Sorry, got carried away.)

                                                                                                                          2. My chipotle mac and cheese (dislike all other mac and cheese), my mother's lemon bars, which are perfect, and that unbelievable CI pie crust with the vodka. Really, I hate those people for coming up with that. I have gone thru an entire bottle of vodka, which I don't even drink, on pie crusts alone, and every other pie crust I taste pales in comparison.

                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                Mind sharing your mom's recipe for lemon bars? We LOVE lemon bars!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LauraGrace

                                                                                                                                    Lemon Bars---please note: these are not the gooey kind you usually find, so if you like those, you'll hate these! These have a crunchy, buttery crust and a fairly thin layer of very lemony goo. Most people I have served these to prefer them over the gooey kind.

                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 350.
                                                                                                                                    Mix together:
                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup butter, at room temp
                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 cup ap flour
                                                                                                                                    1/3 cup powdered sugar
                                                                                                                                    pinch of salt (don't use if butter is salted)

                                                                                                                                    Pat into ungreased 13x9 (yes!) pan. It will be thin and you'll think I'm crazy, but just do it. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to turn golden.

                                                                                                                                    While crust is baking, mix together:
                                                                                                                                    3 large eggs
                                                                                                                                    1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, depending on sourness of lemons
                                                                                                                                    3 tbsp flour
                                                                                                                                    1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
                                                                                                                                    grated zest of one lemon

                                                                                                                                    Taste mixture. If it's not lemony enough, grate a little zest from another lemon into it. Pour onto hot crust as soon as you remove it from the oven. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until set. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

                                                                                                                                    Note: if you need bars to be perfect, line pan with parchment first. When bars are done, let cool in parchment, then lift parchment out and cut on cutting board. I find I need to add a few minutes to the baking time when using parchment.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                      OMG Isolda, you have just described the lemon bar of my DREAMS. I had these once - I thought it was a Midwestern baking fantsy, because I never until now saw anything that resonated so perfectly. This is THEM. The Holy Grail of lemon bars. And I have Meyer lemons. I'm in lemon-infused heaven. THANK YOUTHANK YOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU
                                                                                                                                      Happy. : )

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                        I love any recipe that includes the instructions "just do it" :) I'm not a dessert person but these sound great - and I have Meyer lemons also.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                          Well, then I hope these taste as delicious to you as they do to me!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                    I second Isolda on the CI pie crust - it's THE ONE. I also LOVE the CI Key Lime bars and see no reason to ever look for another recipe.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                      Me too on the CI crust recipe, I think out of 100+ tries I only ever had 1 or 2 I was happy with until this came along.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        I can't wait to look up and try that CI crust recipe - I am hoping it is on line.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                            GHG - thanks so much for posting - I've printed it out! and Buttertart - thanks for the words of advice! I am generally a stickler for following a recipe as written till tried.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                            You will be thrilled. Follow the instructions meticulously, the first couple of times I didn't (too hurry hurry rush rush that I am and dedicated recipe second-guesser/amender).

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                        I could go for that chipotle mac and cheese recipe if you would share that too :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                                          It's this: http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/no...

                                                                                                                                          You don't have to use the Beecher's cheese they call for in the recipe, although it is fantastic and you can order it online from their Seattle store. I have successfully used Cabot sharp cheddar and even plain old Trader Joe's pre-grated sharp cheddar. You must use the higher amount of chipotle pepper powder. I always double the recipe and use whole wheat penne just to sneak some whole grains into my husband and kids.

                                                                                                                                          Oh, and this is delicious served over steamed cauliflower or fresh arugula. Sounds weird, but try it!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                            THIS WAS THE BEST MAC & CHZ EVER!!!!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING!

                                                                                                                                      3. Pretty much my recipes that are written in stone are all baked goods: Challah, Jewish Rye, my basic Brownie recipe (although I do use different chocolates and also different "stuff" swirled inside), Coconut Pound Cake, Lemon Coconut Squares, Chocolate Mousse.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                          Would you share your Challah recipe? Every one I've tried is lacking that eggy pull apart goodness.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Floridagirl

                                                                                                                                            I would love that Challah recipe too :)

                                                                                                                                        2. Beef and Guinness Pie from Epicurious. I use it as a beef stew recipe and since I discovered it, I haven't even wanted to try another beef stew recipe. I always have brined green peppercorns on hand just because of this recipe. Many of my family and friends have also converted to this recipe.

                                                                                                                                          1. Top of the Quaker Oats canister recipe for oatmeal cookies.

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                                                                                                                Agreed! No better recipe I've come across!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                                                                                                                  Thirded. They are perfect, and it's easy to make them crunchy, unlike other oatmeal cookies.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                                                                                                                      My favorite too. Easy to bake and they freeze very well.

                                                                                                                                                      I save the lids from the empty Quaker Oats boxes and give them to people who ask for the recipe!


                                                                                                                                                    2. For me....
                                                                                                                                                      Lemon Bars - the recipe my grandma typed up and sent to me when I was 8.
                                                                                                                                                      Brownies - discovered circa 1976
                                                                                                                                                      Chocolate chip cookies - Mrs. Field's knock-off recipe, that yields itself to many variations
                                                                                                                                                      Fudge Cake - from a 1945 cook-book
                                                                                                                                                      Pumpkin Pie - Joy of Cooking - the variation using sour cream
                                                                                                                                                      And then there are all those Christmas cookies I make year after year.....

                                                                                                                                                      1. For baking, yes. I stick with the tried and true: my grandmother's fruit pies, a cousin's babka, the New York cheesecake from Cook's Illustrated.

                                                                                                                                                        For savory dishes, I never quite make the same thing twice. Otherwise, what's the fun?

                                                                                                                                                        1. The things I wouldn't change mainly because I perfected them
                                                                                                                                                          pizza and dough
                                                                                                                                                          beef bourguignon
                                                                                                                                                          chicken piccata
                                                                                                                                                          bbq shrimp -new orleans style
                                                                                                                                                          biscuits and gravy
                                                                                                                                                          chile rellenos
                                                                                                                                                          scones, blue berry muffins and tall quiche
                                                                                                                                                          carrot cake
                                                                                                                                                          sweet potato pie
                                                                                                                                                          sugar cookies
                                                                                                                                                          snicker doodles

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                            Would you be willing ti share your BBQ shrimp recipe?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jibe

                                                                                                                                                              I'll share mine. I use Paul Prudhomme's recipe. I cut the salt and butter in half, and use Bloody Mary Mix (homemade or not) in place of the stock. I also use a bit more than called for because we eat about four pounds of crusty bread with it, instead of rice. Here's one link on the web.


                                                                                                                                                          2. Totally random but my banana chocolate chip bread is delicious...and even better 2-3 days later. It's the most requested item on our breakfast in bed menu and I've had it published in countless places. Other than that, my recipes work well for ME...but are constantly tweaked and reworked because my appetite bores too easily no matter how well an indiv. recipe works out.

                                                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                              Would you be willing to publish the bread recipe *here*? Or drop a link?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                Here's one incarnation! Mini choc chips are delightful and adding the chips to the dry ingredients prevents "sinkers"...give it a go onceadaylily!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                  That looks *beautiful*. I've never added buttermilk to banana bread. I'll pick up some bananas tomorrow and paper bag 'em . . . so that I can make this all the sooner. I'm looking forward to trying this.

                                                                                                                                                                  And if that is your blog, I'm really enjoying it.

                                                                                                                                                                  "And though the words may not make their way in literal format to your mouth, “we should get bananas” stirs in your subconscious. You don’t really know why you should get bananas, you just know you should." This made me laugh. Every time I pass the bananas, I feel that hypnotic, slightly bleary, voice in my head, " . . . baannaannaas" as if I am being compelled.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                    My pleasure, onceadaylily! Enjoy it!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh and I'm not the owner of that linked blog, the gal who runs Tastespotting is. I'm just a diehard contributor. My published recipes appear mostly in B&B magazines and cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                        HillJ, have you substituted a standard loaf pan for the three minis with this recipe? All I have is a 4.75"x8.75", which looks to be closer to a one pound pan than a pound and a half (it has shorter sides than my last loaf pan).

                                                                                                                                                                        My bananas are *finally* ready. (And why is it when you buy bananas to eat as is, they go bad overnight, but when you buy them to use in breads and puddings, they stay green forever?)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                          Ah the mystery of (food) life, too funny!
                                                                                                                                                                          I have not sub'd pans on this specific recipe. Are you ready to take one for the team? I wouldn't change temps or change the recipe but I would recommend keeping a close eye on the baking time. Btwn the bananas, buttermilk, oil and the chips you have a moist, gooey batter there.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm making this tonight. I'll follow your recommendations, and just babysit it, with toothpicks at the ready.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                              great! I look forward to reading your review! Hopefully :) you'll enjoy it!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                So, it really was too much batter for the single loaf pan (at least it was for mine, with its shortened sides). And that mistake was entirely mine. I could see that it was too much as I was pouring it in, and *why* I didn't withhold a third of the batter to make muffins with, I don't know. I took it out of the oven at the fifty minute mark. The center still wasn't done, but the sides were starting to brown too much to keep going.

                                                                                                                                                                                BUT the ends and sides of the loaf are *perfect* (it really was just the very middle that stayed a bit mushy). We shared a large slice before we went to bed last night. I'll definitely make this again, but plan on only using two thirds of the batter for the bread itself. The only change I made, aside from the pan used: I only used two thirds a cup of the chocolate chips, and added a half cup of walnuts. This is really a wonderful recipe HillJ. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                  love the idea of the mini size yielding three - I am going to buy some of those disposable pans - knowing that I can freeze two and bring them to each of my kids at some point is even greater inspiration than our own indulgence!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                    onceadaylily, I'm sorry the first time didn't yield the best results but when you make it again, half the entire recipe rather than work with the amount of batter the linked recipe yields. I like it with walnuts too!

                                                                                                                                                                                    However, I don't like what happens to banana bread once it's been frozen and defrosted. So, smilingal, I wouldn't recommend doing it. The batter, even baked gets gooey when defrosted.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                      The results were still pretty fantastic, and I satisfied the curiosity of anyone wondering if the conversion would work. Half would be a nice solution. I threw the muffin idea out there simply because I didn't want to try to do the one-third-less math. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I hear ya and I'm very glad you enjoyed the recipe enough to give it a try. You never know how a recommendation is going to go. But, I would try half the batter next time for a better, fully baked, enjoyable bread. Thanks for reporting back!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                        oh shucks, because I know my banana bread/cake does freeze well - oh well - either we will have to eat them all - or wait till I know I will be visiting them! :)
                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                          smilingal, it's this particular version of banana bread, very moist and rich ingredient list along with ripened bananas, the defrosted bread is not the same enjoyable experience.

                                                                                                                                                                2. My Italian meatballs
                                                                                                                                                                  Cabbage rolls
                                                                                                                                                                  Pork & sauerkraut, my grandmothers' recipe
                                                                                                                                                                  Wedding meatloaf, named that because if you make it for a man he will propose
                                                                                                                                                                  Lemon squares from Cooks Illustrated but I add a layer of raspberry preserves
                                                                                                                                                                  Perfect chocolate frosting from Chocolate Cake Doctor cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                  A dish I call disappearing pork

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Floridagirl

                                                                                                                                                                    Would you mind sharing your two pork recipes? The Pork & Sauerkraut and the Disappearing Pork. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. For the "afternoon tea" type of scone, rather than the heartier American coffee-house style, I have no need to look beyond the cream scones I make, which are wonderfully light and tender, and so simple. And the almond paste shortbread that my family makes at the holidays (but is great any time of year) is pretty much my ideal for a buttery almond cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. Oatmeal cookies
                                                                                                                                                                        Lemon curd
                                                                                                                                                                        Gingerbread loaf - which i've just tweaked over the years starting with Gramercy Tavern... it's close but still personalized
                                                                                                                                                                        Broccoli Pie
                                                                                                                                                                        Salmon Croquettes - i use almond meal instead of flour or bread crumbs, and frankly i like mine much better than the ones my mom made... ssh don't tell her... well, actually you can, as she prefers mine now too ;)
                                                                                                                                                                        salted peanut butter cookies - crispy edges, chewy, yet velvety interior
                                                                                                                                                                        Salted Brown sugar cookie - these got invented when i was baking somewhere with limited ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                        ...and a few other baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                          Salted Brown Sugar Cookies? I am a salty sweet treat lover! Mind sharing?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoDenise

                                                                                                                                                                            Seconded! If you see this Emme, and are willing to share, they sound really good.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                            Would you please share your gingerbread loaf, salmon croquettes, and broccoli pie recipes?
                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. PB cookies
                                                                                                                                                                            black bean dip
                                                                                                                                                                            ginger cake

                                                                                                                                                                            i'm sure there are more but those are the first that come to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi can you please share your recipe for the ginger cake?
                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KellBell

                                                                                                                                                                                hi KellBell, i'm sorry for the delay - just catching up on this thread now. here you go!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. My mother's butter tarts
                                                                                                                                                                              For a simple chocolate cake, my second cousin by marriage Clara's one (she was a fantastic baker)
                                                                                                                                                                              My mother's 1 part sugar to 2 parts salted butter to 4 parts flour or "Helen Gustafson's shortbread" from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book (please! get this book if you don't have it and you bake, it's fabulous)
                                                                                                                                                                              Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies (have occasionally fooled around on him but always come back)
                                                                                                                                                                              There are others but these are staples.

                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add: Clara's Christmas cake, a medium unspiced fruitcake.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Family cornbread recipe (2 eggs, plenty of bacon grease and NO sugar)
                                                                                                                                                                                Pound Cake (recipe from a Louisiana jr. league cookbook calls it Bishop's cake)
                                                                                                                                                                                Pecan pie (from Dear Abby)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yes... finally -- a popover recipe that has them pop so high they look like they're going to pop right out of the pan. I've been experimenting with popovers since Lassie was a pup, with varying degrees of success and lots of failures (mostly due to popovers sticking to the pan) along the way. The two things to which I attribute my string of recent successes are (1) a great, non-stick popover pan and (2) a convection oven. No more experimenting for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                  44 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, give! What's the recipe???

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                      Would love this recipe Cindy? Can you share it? I do have a nonstick popover pan, and a convection oven.... just sayin'.... I don't know why, I expected you to say something like you use bubble water..hm.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope... nothing like that. I use a popover tin that I bought at W-S. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... You really need to be certain that your oven is preheated. Here's the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Best-Ever Popovers

                                                                                                                                                                                          These directions are for a convection oven. I use the “True Convection” setting on my oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 large eggs at room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup milk - whole milk is good, but I’ve used 2% and that works fine
                                                                                                                                                                                          3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup sifted all-purpose flour - sift first, then measure
                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                          Cooking spray such as Pam

                                                                                                                                                                                          Preheat oven for at least 15 minutes to 450°. If you have an automatic adjusting convection oven, this will bring the temp. down to 425°; otherwise preheat to 425°

                                                                                                                                                                                          Lightly coat cups in popover pan with cooking spray. Preheat sprayed pan for 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Put eggs in medium bowl. Beat at low speed until blended. Add milk and melted butter and beat until blended. Add flour and salt and beat at medium speed until blended.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pour batter into preheated popover pan. The spray might be smoking by now. Don’t worry about that. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 375°. Check the popovers. Quickly stick a small sharp knife into the top of any popovers that have not split to let out steam. Any that are already open on the top can be left as they are. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the popovers are dark golden on the outside. Remove from the tin and serve immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                            Those are gorgeous! Don't have a convection oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                              They'll still be good with a traditional oven -- only not quite so puffy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              (Edit) They'll also need to bake a little longer. Leave them at the higher temp for about 30-35 minutes, then at the lower temp for another 10-15.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gotta get the popover pan first. Finally! A kitchenware purchase that my husband could get behind 100% because he loves popovers and I don't make them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We have two popover pans, and neither one seems to do the trick 100%. Since he's not reading this, I'll say that this is baking and one thing it would be better if it were left to me rather than the DH. But they're always a part of Xmas dinner , and usually half stuck to the pans -- even the non stick one. I read that custard cups actually work as well, or maybe better. I should try making them for breakfast some morning, just to see...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        What about Wilton cake release as the grease?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are cooks, and there are bakers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have great success with heavy-duty muffin pans sprayed with Pam. I don't pre-heat the muffin pans, but i do make sure the oven is pre-heated.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cindy - stupid question - must one use a popover pan? I see that roxlet mentioned custard cups - I don't know what those are but I do have those little ramekins if those are like custard cups - I guess not cupcake pans huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                                  you can use a standard muffin pan for popovers, the base of the popovers just won't be as tall as they typically are in a popover pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Over the years, I've tried a number of different pans and cups -- everything from a "standard" muffin tin, to Pyrex ramekins to disposable aluminum foil cups. I will tell you that in MY experience, nothing has worked as well -- as consistently well -- as the non-stick popover tin I presently use. My biggest problem with the other tins and cups, no matter how well I greased them, was sticking. I've never had a sticking problem with this particular popover tin. My next biggest problem was VERY uneven "popping." That was a particular problem with a standard muffin tin, and I think that was due to the fact that the cups are closer together than they are in the popover pan, and the heat from the oven can't circulate around the cups as well. Also, even when they did pop, they never got as big as they do with the popover tin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really believe I've finally got the right combination of ingredients, equipment and technique (preheating the pan, for example, is very important -- the popovers begin to inflate the moment the batter hits the pan.). It took years and years of trial and error, and disappointing results, but now I've got the "formula" and I'm not going to tweak it any further.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh thank you! I'll be making these very soon and will report back to you. These look gorgeous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crunchy and crispy without
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eggy and bready and doughy within
                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I ate all the popovers I wanted to eat,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      My gawd it would just be a sin.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      : )
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also I'd need to buy a new house just for my butt, but that's neither here nor there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cute! :-) I remember seeing a post on one of these boards once that asked what to do with leftover popovers. I remember thinking (and maybe even posting) that "leftover popovers" must certainly be an oxymoron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          CindyJ, have you tried a cheese popover with this recipe and if so how did you alter the recipe to work in the cheese?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            if you can't work cheese into Cindy's recipe, try this one from Laurent Tourondel:


                                                                                                                                                                                                            they're DIVINE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks ghg! I was reminded of the BLT Steak recipe for popovers and wondered how CindyJ's recipe might defer. I've followed a number of recipes over the years for popovers and never really enjoyed plain popovers..a cheese version on the other hand I love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just looked at that recipe and I'm intrigued. I'm tempted to try that sprinkling of gruyere next time I'm making popovers. I'm just a bit curious about the amount of batter that recipe makes; it almost seems too much for 12 popovers. Have you tried that particular recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh YUM. I think it would be delicious. I wonder about proportions. Have you got a great gougere recipe, Cindy J? Same thing, only developed with the addition of cheese corrected for.......and the best thing in the world with a salad, or soup, or even left over and stuffed with chicken salad...(same-day leftovers, though; they don't hold up well much past that.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh....leftover popovers or gougeres stuffed with chicken salad? you thing you! delicious. i love chicken salad on a croissant, too. have you tried that chicken salad made with soy sauce and curry powder in the mayo-based dressing? it'll knock your socks off (or leggings...<ahem>). sounds weird -- tastes divine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .. or "regal"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken Salad Fit for a Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup mayonnaise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 teaspoons lemon juice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon curry powder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 teaspoons soy sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups cooked chicken, cut in chunks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 pound seedless grapes, halved

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup chopped celery

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    some people add in some pineapple chunks -- or serve it in a pineapple half...or both. i'm not crazy about the pineapple addition myself, but even with the pineapple, i'll still chow down on this salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    many chicken salad recipes: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alka, that's a beautiful chicken salad recipe! I think in place of the pineapple (too much liquid; too sweet for me) I might add just a few currants or a very few chunks of diced mango. But even with the pineapple, I could eat a bowl of this to my head. Burp. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, I might have tasted a version with white raisins? Maybe not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gee willickers, that combo is magical -- the soy, curry & mayo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I make walnut prawns with a very similar sauce at the end. I bet it would work beautifully to use as a dip for almond-crusted chicken tenders too, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh you wicked girl! YES!!! YES!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            or a dip for fried shrimp (maybe with a little sriracha or chile-garlic sauce thrown in)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooh white raisins, that would really be nice. Or cut-up dried apricots?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trust miss tartaletta to insert apricots. and you know what? i'll bet that they would be even better than raisins, because they have a little tartness to them <ooh ooh, i just got my own pun ;-))>. and boy howdy, wouldn't that be beau-ti-ful, too?!! one party chicken salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm cracking up because this thread was all about NOT changing recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, well, you know how tangential us foodies are! : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me beaucoup tangential - and diehard recipe tinkerer / paraphraser. HOW COME posts I haven't read are showing read again? Didn't see alka's until I saw yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I confess my ignorance. I don't think I ever knew what a gougere was until just now, when I read your post. So it's a stuffed popover? Hmmmm... how about stuffing it with a chocolate ganache?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Babe, no; it's not stuffed. Gruyere's incorporated into the batter itself rather than added in at the end, but what that cheese does to the hot, eggy, melty insides is just almost indescribeable. (sp?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So no - no choccy in these, unless you've got a special affinity for cheese with your chocolate. For stuffing with ganache, you'd just want a plain Pate Choux, or creampuff dough, which is super easy, a pretty much no-fail stovetop puff pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That I never ever made until last summer! What was I thinking!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pate Choux? Or gougeres? 'Cause, either way, talk about a simple, crowd-pleasing appetizer/snack/cocktail munchie! It's a true go-to, and now I must have some of them to stuff with chicken salad per our pal Alka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pate a choux. My mom didn't like it and my MIL is a whiz at it and the only time hers ever failed was when I helped her with it of course. Once burned twice shy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef challenged me to a gateau St-Honoré last year and so I hadda do it. Lead pipe cinch (the pate a choux part, anyway, the cake is just a matter of assembly once you have the feuilleté and the choux ready - and the creme patissiere - and the caramel - and the St Honoré tip for your pastry bag...was worth it however).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since then have made gougeres, etc. V good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No... I've never tried cheese in my popovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here you go, honey: best recipe I've found for these bad boys.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 c. water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 stick butter (don't use marg. for these, please)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1&1/2 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1&1/2 c. AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup diced Gruyere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 c. finely grated Gruyere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oven: preheat 375
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Combine water, butter and 1 t. salt in a saucepan; bring to boil until butter melts. Remove pan from heat; let cool 5 minutes. Now add your flour and mix well. Return pan to heat and stir over high until mixture pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from heat again, and one by one incorporate eggs well. Add diced cheese, remaining salt and pepper, stirring well. You are not going to blow this dough by stirring well. Drop by rounded tbs. onto a well-buttered baking sheet. Smooth top and sides with a knife; sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in batches, for 25 minutes per; till puffed and golden.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now eat them. All.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MMmmmmm... I think I've gained a couple of pounds just looking at your recipe. I can't wait to try it. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You eat them the next day after warming them in the toaster oven, silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The first thing that came to mind was my ginger cookie recipe. Every time I make it, people tell me it's the best cookie they've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm really curious about your ginger cookie recipe, aching. For years I had one that everyone loved -- it was made with Crisco and stayed fairly soft. Then, this year, I made the one from Alice Medrich's new cookie book, and my DH said that it was the best cookie I ever made, so I'm definitely curious about yours!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What makes my recipe so good is the fresh ginger and orange zest - yum! And the turbinado sugar. Here it is (adapted from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                GINGER QUAKES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2½ cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 t. baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 T. ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 t. ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 large egg, at room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/3 cup dark molasses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 T. fresh ginger, finely minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 t. orange zest, finely grated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                turbinado sugar, for coating

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium-high until creamy, about 2 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Add the egg and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Add the molasses, fresh ginger, and orange zest and mix until blended.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Place the turbinado sugar in a shallow dish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Roll each ball in the sugar, coating it completely.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Arrange the balls on a baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are set and the tops are cracked but the centers are still soft.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Makes 60 cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I haven't seen Alice Medrich's new book - is her recipe similar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No. Medrich's recipe calls for ground ginger, grated fresh ginger and cristalized ginger. I made it leaving out the grated ginger and it was sufficiently gingery for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I think the fresh ginger is quite magical!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The thing that keeps coming to mind when I see this thread is Hazan's carbonara. Every single ingredient is important and irreplaceable. I never change a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I NEVER follow recipes, but that one gets made verbatim a few times a year in a triple or quadruple batch, then frozen in four-serving-size bags. Had it last night. It never disappoints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've have to check that one out. I've only made her green lasagna which another that I'd never change. Can't imagine going back to the ricotta clogged one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A pie crust recipe from a 1978 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. Used for apple and pumpkin pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Macaroni & cheese from the back of the Mueller's elbow noodle box, with a few minor tweaks from me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They had cookbooks in 1978??? ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How is the pie crust recipe special?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not like the CI vodka one. I don't know what makes it "special" - it seems to be a basic pie crust recipe, but it's just always worked for me. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And YES, they had cookbooks back in the dark ages of 1978. :-P This, in fact, was my first cookbook that Mom gave me. Still use the apple pie recipe, still use the chili recipe (with a few minor tweaks yet again).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In 1978 I probably had about 25 cookbooks (a lot of which my mom had given me) already! Pulling your leg...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I knew you were. Hence the tongue sticking out at you above. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I seem to have left my sense of humor at home today! souschef caught me out too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, dear bt....... SNAP OUT OF IT!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Said in my best Cher voice, 'kay? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love that movie, and boy did I need that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Guacamole. There's nothing particularly special about the recipe, save the "secret" ingredient I learned from my mother (mayonnaise), but to me it's exactly what guacamole should taste like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, the Batali recipe for Bolognese. I did a cook-off between Mario and Marcella a while back and Mario was the winner - and I now feel no need to try another recipe, ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Interesting question. When I think of the ones that I go back to time and time again they include my recipes for:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Brisket (easy and more of a barbecue taste)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Toffee Pound Cake (really yummy and get asked for it all the time)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chocolate Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apple pie (with a crumb topping and a lattice over top!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Will happily share recipes with those interested!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SERIOUSLY Toffee pound cake, please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Toffee and me are justlikethis. Likethis all over my hips and thighs, that is! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ruth’s Toffee Pound Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ¾ teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 packages (1.4 ounces each) milk chocolate English toffee (Original Heath English Toffee bar), chopped, about 2 cups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            16 tablespoons unsalted butter, such as Land O Lakes, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 tablespoons solid shortening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 cups superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 large eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            About 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat the inside of a 10-inch fluted tube pan with solid shortening and dust the greased surfaces with all-purpose flour. Set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Toss the chopped toffee with 1½ tablespoons of the sifted mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Cream the butter and shortening in the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. Add the sugar in three additions, beating well after each portion is added. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl frequently to keep the batter even-textured. Blend in the vanilla extract.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. On low speed, alternately add the sifted ingredients in three additions with the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Stir in the chopped toffee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Shake the pan gently from side to side once or twice to level the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Bake the cake for 55 minutes or until risen, golden on top and set. The baked cake will pull away slightly from the side of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in the cake may withdraw with a few moist crumbs, but without any liquidy streaks of unbaked batter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then invert onto another cooling rack. Cool completely. Before slicing and serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar, if you wish, I do!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The recipe actually says to lightly coat the inside of the pan with solid shortening. Actually, I had trouble getting this to release from a bundt pan so I spray the pan with PAM or an equivalent now and it works better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That looks stupendous. You should try the Wilton cake release or its homemade version, equal parts of oil, flour, and solid shortening beaten together (do a small amount at a time, it's rather messy to make) - works very well on Bundt pans and anything else with indentations etc (like madeleine pans).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here is a photo of my Thanksgiving treats and the toffee pound cake is included!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rjlebed - LOVE your table - and of course the goodies on it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Smilingal! The selection of goodies grows annually because noone lets me get rid of any and I get bored!! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What a beautiful, saliva-provoking table, rjlebed! I for one am impressed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SERIOUSLY looks wonderful - thanks, rjlebed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, that Toffee Pound Cake sounds amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Please share your brisket recipe! I would love to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KellBell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is SOOO easy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat the oven to 325

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mix together the following ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Cup Cider Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Cup Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Cup Barbecue Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Line a roasting pan with enough foil to put the brisket and other ingredients into it and be able to seal it all up together. I actually put together two pieces of heavy duty foil so that it is extra wide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Place the brisket (about 4-5 pounds) on the foil in the pan. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top of the brisket. Pour the liquid ingredients over the brisket and close up the foil with the liquid and meat together. Be very careful not to poke any holes in the foil. The key to this coming out well is to keep the liquid in the foil with the meat. Check it after an hour and confirm that there is no liquid seeping out of the foil packet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cook for a total of 4 hours. Open the foil during the last half hour or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Remove the meat from the liquid and wrap in foil. Place the liquid in a container in the fridge overnight. In the morning slice the meat on the bias. Remove the fat from the liquid. Place the meat in a pan, overlapping. Pour the liquid over the meat and put back in the fridge for a few hours. Reheat in the oven about 45 minutes at 350 to heat through. Enjoy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! I have been wanting to make a brisket so I am excited to try this soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. i have alot of go-to and frequently requested dishes, but unless im baking something i ALWAYS go by how i feel that day. so i dont really have recipes for any of these but my family always wants me to make:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pizza Party (just did this tonight! honey wheat pizza crusts, breakfast pizza, veggie pizza, margarita pizza, bbq chicken, and roasted garlic, mushroom, and spinach cream with ricotta blobs)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mushroom pasta noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Braised Short rib pasta sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken in Mole sauce with corn tortillas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Margarita pizza?? That sounds like an idea I could get behind. What is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lol, I didn't put 2 and 2 together. Margherita pizza I know - I just really had some fantasy involving pizza and tequila. Oh well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, you can still live out a pizza/tequila fantasy; it just won't be on one plate is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ah but wait! california pizza kitchen makes a chicken tequila fettuccine http://www.copykat.com/2009/02/03/cal...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              make the sauce, maybe thicken it a bit more, spread on pizza crust (perhaps a cornmeal based one), top with shredded mozzarella and jack cheeses, bake and garnish with cilantro, coarse salt and wedges of lime! voila, chicken tequila margarita pizza!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. If whole goose were cheaper, I "might", & I say MIGHT be tempted to try other recipes. But Julia Child's recipe for "Steam-Roasted Goose with Port Wine Gravy" has served us so fabulously for so many years at Christmas, that frankly, I really can't imagine trying anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it ain't broke - particularly for an important holiday - don't fix it!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Smitten Kitchen's pizza dough recipe is stellar. Comes out perfectly everytime, and really, I'm usually a terrible baker!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm going to add Thomas Keller's recipe for stuffed pork roast from Ad Hoc at Home, man- that one was a winner last night! I don't think I've had a recipe come together so perfectly, the first time, following all the steps (including actually listening to the listed cooking time!) The brine made for an incredibly tender and flavorful roast, the stuffing was delicious and stayed together in the roast, and the cook time produced a perfectly medium, slightly pink. moist roast. This one is a definite keeper- a pleasantly uncomplicated recipe from TK, loved it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Maida Heatter's "Santa Fe Brownie" made with cream cheese. Best possible use of chocolate on earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. What a fabulous thread. Thanks to all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lemons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lemons, I so agree this thread is jam-packed with gems! I just added the OP to my favorites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks all!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. the only recipe i dont mess with is the cucumber salad that my grandmother would make in the summer...(which does take 2 days to make )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                since she died i am the only one in the family who still makes it as far as i know...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                getting the flavor right always brings me back to summers as a kid...and memories of my grandparents/family in happier times...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                now that all us grandkids are scattered all over the place...we all dont get together like that anymore...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love heritage recipes! Would you share the cucumber salad recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    actually.. i think i posted it on here already...ill have to find where i put it..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      found it.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      slice peeled cucumbers very thin (i use a mandolin) layer them in a bowl covering each layer in kosher salt..let them sit over night or a day...drain the water and gently squeeze any remaining water from the cucumber slices...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      then mix heavy cream and vinegar and sugar together in a bowl..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i use a small pint of heavy cream and usually a tablespoon or two of vinegar and a couple of spoons of sugar... i have a copy of my grandmothers recipe somewhere in my books if u want exact amounts...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but now i just do it by taste until it tastes like hers did...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      then u mix the cucumbers and cream mix and then let that sit over night again
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and re mix again before serving...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your recipe sounds very much like the way I make my cucumber salad. I learned to make this from my mother-in-law. I add a bunch of chopped fresh dill too. You piqued my interest when you said that it took two days to make... I thought I was the only one who sliced the cukes, salted them, and put them in layers to drain for a few hours. Its quite the process as you know. One time I tried to make a "quick" version, thinking maybe I was overestimating the importance of leaving them alone for a few hours. The salad was nowhere near as good and way too liquidy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: schmoopy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          my grandma said at least 12 hours if not overnite...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          so i usually do them a day ahead and just let them sit...then i do the next step with the vinegar/cream/sugar mix...they usually taste even better on the third day
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (if i dont eat them all)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: srsone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is very different than other cucumber salads I've made. Thanks srsone, I'll wait for the fresh summer cucumbers to try this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My mac and cheese and chocolate chip cookies. I don't know the chocolate chip cookie one off the top of my head (will look it up and post it later if anyone is interested...it's perfectly chewy and gooey and delicious, it's basically everything I want in a chocolate chip cookie), but the mac and cheese one I have been making for almost 20 years. It's one of the first recipes I ever found and cooked all by myself (in the early days of the internet).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Super super easy. Cook a pound of pasta (I prefer shells or cavatappi). While it's cooking, mix together a can of evaporated milk, one egg, a shot of worceshire, black pepper, a couple of hits of tabasco (it doesn't make it spicy, just brings out the flavor), and a bit of mustard (like maybe just over a tsp). You're not making a cheese sauce, just mix it in a bowl. I usually use a mix of cheddar and monterey jack, but also made a version with dill havarti that was a HUGE hit. About four cups of cheese, doesn't have to be shredded, just cubed or sliced, whatever, it will melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, put it back in the pot and add about a tablespoon of butter and mix it. Then add the liquid mixture and about half of the cheese. Stir it continually over
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    low-medium heat. Add the rest of the cheese when the time is right. Keep stirring. Sample it, add more cheese if you want to. It's done when it gets very creamy (about 15 minutes or so) and the sauce really clings to the pasta. this recipe is more about technique than anything, I think. The egg helps bind the cheese/evaporated milk to the pasta in such a great way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sometimes I serve as is, othertimes I put some panko and parm on top and put under the broiler. I don't like to bake it, just broil for crispiness on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My vegetable lasagna. I make it with broccoli, spinach, asparagus, carrots, and garlic, all lightly sauteed. Layered with a small amount of classic bechamel, parmeggiano reggiano, and a generous layer of fresh mozzarella on top. Bake lasagnas only in enameled cast iron, and never ever cover with aluminum or anything else. The way I see my friends and family scarf it down, I don't think I could serve them any other vegetable lasagna anytime soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. As I was posting this on the cheesecake thread, I realize that I have no interest in another cheesecake recipe. This one is from a 1945 issue of Gourmet magazine, and is said to have been one of the magazine's most requested recipes. Zwiback seem to be very tough to find these days, so I usually use graham crackers though I prefer zwiback when available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FOR THE CRUST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 18 pieces zwieback, crushed fine (about 1 cup)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits, and softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FOR THE FILLING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • A 1-inch length of vanilla bean, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 3 large eggs, separated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 1 cup sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • ACCOMPANIMENTS: thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish if desired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MAKE THE CRUST:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • In a bowl stir together the zwieback, the butter, and the sugar until the mixture is combined well and press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MAKE THE FILLING:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the sugar and the cream cheese until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the flour, a pinch of salt, the vanilla bean, and the egg yolks, beaten lightly, and combine the mixture well. Stir in the sour cream. In a bowl beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks and fold them into the cream cheese mixture gently but thoroughly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pour the filling into the prepared pan and run a rubber spatula through the filling in a circle about 1 inch in from the rim to help the cake rise evenly. Bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350° F. oven for 1 hour, turn off the oven, and let the cake stand in the oven for 30 minutes. (The cake will be puffed but will sink as it cools.) Let the cake cool completely, or until it is set, in the pan on a rack. (For a slightly firmer consistency, let the cake cool completely and chill it, covered, overnight.) Remove the cake from the pan and garnish it with the lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Buttermilk biscuits (Edna Lewis/Scott Peacock), buttermilk pancakes (the moms), and cornbread (the moms). That's about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But now that I think about it, I have tweaked even these over the years, so who knows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Care to share the moms, or would she whup you good for sharing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sure thing. I live far enough away these days to be out of whupping range.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I always think I must just love them because of childhood associations and whatnot, but then friends have always gone zonkers over them. Maybe just because they're not familiar with things that were staples in our household or they're not used to hot breakfast from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mom’s buttermilk pancakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ½ teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 tablespoons butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Put butter in saucepan and melt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Beat egg and buttermilk together and add to melted butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Mix dry ingredients and add to buttermilk mixture with a few quick strokes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Melt just a little butter and wipe out with paper towel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. Add pancakes, flipping after you start to see bubbles. First batch is never great, have read this is often the case for pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When they're done right, they should be deeply browned---not tan---soft, and the surface should be covered with lots of tiny holes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EDIT: I also often work one very ripe banana into the batter. Not only is the flavor great, it seems to really help with the texture. If I spy a 'naner about to go bad, I'll often toss it in the freezer for the next batch of pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mom's Cornbread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Note that my mother uses four tablespoons of sugar, but that is a bit much for even me. Yes, a peculiar stripe of cornbread police will go zonkers, but this is the cornbread you will find all over Chicago's South Side, eaten out of hand, dipped in collard green liquor, scooping up brothy black-eyed peas, and sandwiched around a sliced of ham. These days you might call it downright presidential. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the peak season I sometimes add a handful or two of freshly shucked corn. Note also that the salt ratio assumes unsalted butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup corn meal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 or 3 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 eggs, plus buttermilk to fill 1 cup measuring cup twice (that is, break an egg into a measuring cup, fill with buttermilk. Repeat. Strange, I know, but it seems blasphemous to mess with something like that).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 tablespoons butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set cast iron pan in the oven about 10 minutes prior to using it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Mix dry ingredients together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Break egg into measuring cup, whisk with fork, top off with buttermilk, and pour into a bowl. Repeat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. Melt butter in the skillet, swirling it around to coat the sides, and add to wet ingredients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. Mix wet and dry well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes---until top is brown and a knife or toothpick comes out reasonably dry. Turn out onto serving plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks to you and your mom! sounds yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love the buttermilk bath for the eggs. I'll try this soon . . . but if I do egg-buttermilk and then again egg-buttermilk in a *two* cup measuring cup without removing the first batch, am I going to hear a knock at *my* door for a whuppin'? I'm doing it that way anyway. Probably. Most likely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oadl, long time no chat. I would just avoid answering that knock. In fact, turn off the lights and move to a room with no windows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks very much, I'm delighted to have the cornbread recipe since I'm never all that thrilled with my own. The egg and buttermilk in measuring cup 2 x is so utterly "Mom", I can see mine insisting on the same thing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Re the pancakes, my MIL often adds sliced banana (or blueberries) to hers while the first side is cooking. Heap tasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad no EIPs will be whupped because of the sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My pleasure. Lemme know how they turn out for you! Again, they're just standard staples, nothing fancy-shmancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made the pancakes for houseguests this morning, and they were great! I added the mashed banana you suggested, along with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger. A few also got a sprinkling of chocolate chips. The buttermilk gives these great flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would love to see your biscuit recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. roxlet, which is your preferred lemon meringue pie recipe, may I ask? I think that'll be Easter dessert this year, haven't had/made one in ages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is adapted from from Ken Haedrich's book called "Pie," a wonderful book for us pie makers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lemon Meringue Pie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fully bake a piecrust in a 91/2" deep dish pie plate. I use the large Pyrex exclusively for this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11/3 cups granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/8 teaspoon of salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2" pieces

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 egg whites at room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Big pinch of salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium sized saucepan, whisking to mix. Add the water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the egg yolks, whisking the mixture well. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking virtually nonstop until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook, whisking nonstop, for another 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Put through a sieve, then immediately pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate up to 1 day if you're not adding the meringue right away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just before serving, preheat the broiler and make the meringue by beating the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium high speed until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar and salt and then gradually add the superfine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until the whites are thick and glossy but not dry. Add the vanilla and beat briefly. Mound the meringue over the filling, spreading it so it is domed in the center and touching the crust all the way around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Place the pie under the broiler. Don't walk away -- this will take a very short amount of time. Serve immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rox - I usually refrigerate my meringue pies prior to serving, thinking that it needs to set up - how does it cut if it is served direct from the broiler? I am looking forward to trying yours this summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's only in the broiler for a matter of a couple of minutes, so it cuts just fine. For me, I have problems when I refrigerate the pie with the meringue. I find that it starts to deflate and can get a little less airy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. - really easy chili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - less easy chili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - the way I dress a salad (not "salad dressing")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Bolognese (based on Marcella's recipe)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - homemade pasta (from Giuliano Bugialli's first book)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - lasagne Bolognese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - chicken salad, three kinds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - potato salad, two kinds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - chicken en saor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - roasted fish and veg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - cornbread, from the back of the Indian Head cornmeal bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken en saor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tell me more....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Three components:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1) Liquid marinade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Dry marinade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Prepped boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCBs)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweat red onions in EVOO, add red wine vinegar, and cook until onions are good and soft. I put a lid on it at first, then when onions are soft, I take off the lid and let the onion-vinegar mixture reduce a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chop up, or puree in cuisinart, parsley and garlic. Put in a bowl with raisins and salted pistachios (pignoli are more traditional, but they're so expensive now, and I don't really like them).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Clean BSCBs of all white matter, including tendon in tender, then pound, dip in seasoned flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pan fry your BSCBs, and when all are done, layer them with the wet and dry marinades. Just put a little of the marinades in the bottom of the pan at first, then the chicken, then alternate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like to let it sit at room temp for several hours, but food sanitation-wise, you shouldn't let it sit more than two hours before refrigerating. I only refrigerate when I make it a day ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As far as quantities go, I usually buy a medium sized pack of kosher BSCBs, and use 1/4 c. olive oil, one large red onion, a cup of RWV. One bunch of parsley, 4-6 cloves of garlic, a handful or two of raisins, and a handful of pistachios. Panko bread crumbs work well, but so do every other kind. I sometimes skip the initial dredging in flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sorry I can't be more specific about amounts. I've never used a printed recipe. Someone showed me how to make this 20 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never met anyone who didn't like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is more typically done with fish, and originates in the ghetto in Venice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I saw a restaurant item recently that used a splash of prosecco. Not cooked, just a little bit added with the wet marinade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for sharing your recipe Jay, it is going on my must try list for next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope you like it as much as I do. E-mail me (see profile) if you have any questions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yummilicous marinaded flank steak mmmmmmmmmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Would you please share your pecan tassies,sticky toffee pudding and lemon meringue pie recipes???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. @ roxlet....Can you please share these recipes??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aminaomer


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For the cake
8 ounces (225g/generous 1 cup) chopped dates

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ pint (300ml/1¼ cups) brewed tea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 ozs. (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 ozs. (170g/scant 1 cup) castor (superfine) sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 eggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 ozs. (225g/scant 1½ cups) self-rising flour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 rounded teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 teaspoon vanilla essence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 teaspoon Espresso coffee or 2-3 teaspoons instant espresso
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hot toffee sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 ozs. (100g/1 stick) butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 ozs. (170g/3/4 cup) dark brown sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 ozs. (110g/generous ½ cup) granulated sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 ozs (285g/3/4 cup) golden syrup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 fl. ozs. (225 ml/1 cup) heavy cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8-inch (20.5cm) spring form tin with removable base.
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Brush the cake tin with oil, flour, then put oiled parchment on the base.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the sifted flour. Add the baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee to the date tea and stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 1-1½ hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cream and vanilla. Put back on the heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
To serve, pour some hot sauce around the cake and pour some additional sauce over the top. Put the remainder in a sauceboat, and serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pecan Tassies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 3 ounce pack of cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 stick butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All ingredients should be at room temperature. Mix throughly together and chill until firm. Pinch the dough off in one inch pieces (I have determined that the weight of each piece is .46 ounce, which assures that I am not short at the end) and push the dough with your thumb until it covers the bottom and sides of of a mini muffin tin. Set aside and mix filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 egg beaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon soft butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2/3 cup chopped pecans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mix the butter with the brown sugar and then mix all the rest of the ingredients. Fill each tin 3/4 full. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. Cool on a rack and use a sharp knife around the edge to remove the tassies. This recipe makes 24, but I always double it. The tassies freeze very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lemon Meringue Pie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fully bake a piecrust in a 91/2" deep dish pie plate. I use the Pyrex exclusively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                11/3 cups granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/8 teaspoon of salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2" pieces

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 egg whites at room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big pinch of salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium sized saucepan, whisking to mix. Add the water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the egg yolks, whisking the mixture well. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking virtually nonstop until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook, whisking nonstop, for another 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Put through a sieve, then immediately pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate up to 1 day if you're not adding the meringue right away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just before serving, preheat the broiler and make the meringue by beating the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium high speed until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar and salt and then gradually add the superfine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until the whites are thick and glossy but not dry. Add the vanilla and beat briefly. Mound the meringue over the filling, spreading it so it is domed in the center and touching the crust all the way around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Brown under the broiler, but don't walk away. It will be done in minutes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Nick Stellino's Tiramisu recipe. He is a big bag of wind on his shows but that recipe is a winner. Other recipes call for cocoa powder, for example. His calls for grated chocolate. I will use no other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you please share that recipe....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aminaomer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Neither of those are the recipe I use. The 2nd one calls for 1 1/2 cups of coffee liqueur!! (Hello, want some dessert with your booze?!) Wow, that is a prime example of not trusting what you read on the web.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The recipe I use is on page 132 of his 'Cucina Amore' cookbook. Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Roasted tomato soup. Super easy and I wouldn't change a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: master815k

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      master815k, recipe please for the tomato soup! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry! Just saw the reply! Here it is!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My whole family loves it, including my 3 boys. You don't even need the cream!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. love this thread... just joined - will be back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Great thread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A few of mine:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Baked Oatmeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Grilled Romaine Salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .....with Candied Pecans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Basil Pesto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Funwithfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funwithfood: would love to see your baked oatmeal recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: stymie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A treasured recipe at the Funwithfood household......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Baked Oatmeal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 large eggs, room temperature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon kosher salt, (or 1/2 tsp reg.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 1/3 cup whole milk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup heavy cream (or half & half), to pour over each serving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Berry compote or, (or add a bit of water to some jelly and warm in micro)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fresh Berries, if desired

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 2-quart souffle (or two 1 quart baking dishes) with a non-stick coating. <