From Anna Thomas’ book The Vegetarian Epicure Book 1 and a versatile, attractive dish. Can be baked as described in a standard pie plate, or enlarged to party proportions using a spring-form pan. My friend, Janette first served me this dish.
Pastry: *
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. softened cream cheese
3 tsp. butter
Combine pastry ingredients, mix with hand, roll out 2/3 of the dough and line a 9” pie plate. Chill till ready, reserve rest for top.
*Double this if using a spring-form pan-my usual way.

3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced thick
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
4 oz. cream cheese
4-5 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
To taste: dill, basil, marjoram, tarragon, salt, ground pepper

Heat 2 T. butter in a large skillet, add onion and cabbage; stir till cabbage is wilted and onion translucent. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 T. butter and sauté mushrooms lightly. Drain off liquid from mushrooms.

ASSEMBLE: Spread softened cream cheese evenly in bottom of pie shell. Place egg slices evenly on top. Sprinkle with dill. Evenly distribute cabbage/onion mixture over egg and sprinkle with a combination of the rest of the herbs. Spread mushrooms on top and cover with rest of pie crust. Press to close and poke air vents in top.Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until crust in golden.

If you serve this with a tomato soup, salad and bread you have a hearty meal that can be made ahead of time. Pie can be served at room temperature.

October 2005
Asiago and Sage Scalloped Potatoes

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 med. onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
course salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (approx. 3 oz.),
preferably aged
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp. finely shredded fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 lbs. medium Idaho potatoes,
peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/8” thick*
*Use a mandoline for this for even slices

Preheat the oven to 400°. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onions and cook over high heat, stirring, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, nutmeg, 1 tbsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. In medium bowl, toss the cheese with the bread crumbs, olive oil, 1/2 tbsp. sage, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Remove bay leaves from the onion mixture and stir in the remaining 2 tbsp. sage. Put the sliced potatoes in a large bowl, add the onion mixture and toss gently. Spread half the potatoes and liquid in a 2 qt. nonreactive baking dish and sprinkle 2/3 cup of the cheese bread crumbs over the top. Cover with the remaining potatoes and press firmly to pack them down. Spoon the remaining liquid over the potatoes and cover with the remaining bread crumbs. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden; if they brown too quickly, loosly cover the dish with foil. Serves 8.

September 2005
Lu's Coffee Cake

When my neighbor, Lu, first served this, I was sure she had bought it at a bakery.

1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix

Crumb Topping:
2 sticks butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
Confectioner's sugar

Grease and flour a cookie sheet. Set oven temperature and make cake mix according to package directions. Pour into pan, distribute evenly, bang out bubbles. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all topping ingredients in a food processor. Process till butter has been evenly incorporated and mixture starts to hold "crumb" shape. If you overdo it, let it cool so butter hardens and then break up with a fork. Remove cake after first 15 minutes, spread crumbs evenly over entire surface and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, sift confectioner's sugar on top.

August 2005

Tastes best after a few hours of refrigeration, or overnight. Moisture from cheese has a chance to be absorbed by the cake.

1 frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake-thawed, any size;
or use homemade cake
Ricotta cheese
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sugar –Splenda will be fine
Slivered almonds to garnish

Slice cake into three equal pieces lengthwise. Measure enough ricotta to spread three layers about 1/2 " thick (between cake pieces and on top) and add about 1 T. of chips per cup of ricotta. Mix well and add sugar to taste - not too much. Spread mixture evenly, but not on sides. Frost top layer and decorate with almonds.

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July 2005
The Bride Serves Chicken Crepes

The title of this recipe is the reason I originally clipped it from McCalls Magazine in 1969. Yikes! It taught me how to make crepes and the rest is quite easy.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 1/2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

1/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sherry
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed chicken broth, undiluted
2 cups light cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup grated natural Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.
Filling: Heat butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms, onion; sauté until onion is golden brown - about 10 minutes. Add chicken, wine, salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until no liquid remains in skillet. Remove from heat.

Sauce: In medium saucepan, blend flour with sherry. Stir in broth, light cream, salt and pepper. Over medium heat, bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring once or twice, 2 minutes. Add half of sauce to chicken filling; stir until well blended. Set filling and rest of sauce aside. Place 1/4 cup filling on each crêpe then roll up. Arrange, seam side down, single layer in buttered 3 qt. shallow baking dish. Pour rest of sauce over crêpes, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

2/3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3 tbsp. cooled melted butter, margarine, or salad oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
Salad oil

In medium bowl, combine 2/3 cup flour, the eggs, 2 tbsp. butter, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/2 cup milk. Beat with rotary beater until smooth. Beat in remaining milk until well blended. Refrigerate the batter, covered, several hours overnight.

To cook: Slowly heat a 7" skillet until a drop of water sizzles and rolls off. Remove skillet from heat; brush lightly with salad oil. Pour in about 2 tbsp. batter, rotating pan quickly so batter will completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned; turn, and brown other side. Turn out onto wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, to make 15 crêpes

The first crepe is often sacrificed to the pan. Just make sure you get all the scraps out before you begin the next one. It will go smoothly thereafter. Usually.

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June 2005
Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

6 oz. portabella mushroom caps
2 cups fresh spinach
3 sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
fresh grated parmesan
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
tobasco sauce
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. lemon juice, fresh

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
minced parsley or snipped chives
1/4 cup olive oil

Measure mustard into bowl. Whisk in vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and herbs. Continue to whisk mixture while slowly dribbling in oil until mixture thickens. Adjust seasonings. Marinate mushrooms in vinaigrette 4-6 hours. Grill mushrooms 6-8 minutes (each side if large). Set aside. Put small amount of oil in large frying pan and sauté onion and garlic. Add spinach, tomatoes and lemon juice and sautes until spinach wilts (3-4 min.). Sprinkle with tabasco. Salt and pepper. Place cooled mushrooms on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with parmesan. Top with spinach mix. Sprinkle with parmesan again. Broil till bubbly. Serves 6.

No grill? Use a broiler! When I make this for less than 6, I still use same vinaigrette proportions - don't make yourself nuts by trying to divide it. Same goes for filling - mound it up!

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May 2005
Chicken Enchiladas

A wonderful friend, Ellen Pollock Cluck, would make these for us when we lived in the same apartment house in Flushing! So easy, so good.

12 flour tortillas
3 chicken breasts cooked, boned and cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 large sour cream
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced chilies
1 large white cheese, grated (monterey jack)

In saucepan gently heat soup, sour cream, onion and chilis.
Stir in chicken pieces. Now it gets a little messy. I usually wear latex gloves. Dip tortillas into sauce to moisten. On a flat surface, place about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the chicken/sauce mixture and roll up. Place seam down in baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over all the rolled enchiladas. Bake in a preheated oven (350) till bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Grate some extra cheese and garnish the top. Serve with a mexican rice dish and a salad

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April 2005
Strawberry Bavarian Cream

This quick setting dessert is perfect when you have to make something at the last minute. Pinky loves this one. Have all ingredients measured and ready. This assembles in seconds.

1 block ( about 10 oz.) frozen strawberries, sweetened
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup hot milk
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream

Cut package of frozen berries into 1" cubes. Put lemon juice, gelatin and hot milk into blender container. Cover and blend on high speed while you count to 40. With blades spinning, remove inner cap on cover; add the egg yolks and then the cream. Then quickly begin to add the frozen strawberry cubes, one at a time. As the mixture begins to set make sure the strawberries all reach the blades (push down carefully with a rubber spatula). That's it! Pour into dessert dishes and refrigerate.

Garnish with fresh strawberries and/or whipped cream and fresh mint leaf

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March 2005
Cauliflower Ham Chowder

I’ve had this recipe a long time. It’s so easy and tastes great.

2 cup sliced cauliflower
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup light cream
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 cup diced cooked ham

In a large saucepan, cook cauliflower, covered, in chicken broth till almost tender, about 10 minutes. (Do not drain.) In mixing bowl, gradually stir cream into potato soup. Blend water, cornstarch and pepper; stir into potato soup mixture. Pour over cauliflower; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in ham; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 5 to 6.

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February 2005
Salsa Corn Chowder

All those great Mexican flavors in a creamy soup.

1 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 16oz. pkg. quality frozen sweet corn, thawed
2 cups salsa
1 13 3/4oz. can of Chicken broth
1 4oz. jar of chopped pimento
1 cup milk
1 8oz. container of soft cream cheese

Sauté onions in butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Add corn, salsa, broth and pimento. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Gradually add 1/4 cup of hot mixture to cream cheese in a small bowl, stirring until well blended. Add cream cheese mix and milk to saucepan, stirring until blended. Cook until thoroughly heated. Do not boil. Top each serving with a sprig of cilantro. Serves 6 to 8.

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January 2005
Chocolate Mousse

From one of my favorite magazines now out of print, The Pleasures of Cooking. It’s incredibly rich, if using individual serving dishes, a pretty demi-tasse cup would be perfect.

6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup water
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbsp. strong coffee (or 1 tsp. instant coffee
dissolved in 2tbsp. hot water)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Place chocolate pieces in food processor. Pulse, then process for 1 minute or until chocolate is finely chopped. Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar into water and bring to a boil. With machine running, pour mixture into chocolate and process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and let stand. Separate eggs. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm. Then add remaining 1/2 cup sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form. To cooled chocolate mixture add egg yolks, coffee and vanilla. Pulse mixture and scrape down sides. Add 1/4 of the egg whites and pulse until well mixed. Add remaining egg whites all at once. Pulse only until chocolate mixture starts to cover the egg whites. If large clumps of egg whites remain, fold them in with a spatula. It does not matter if mixture has streaks of egg white. Spoon mixture into 9 individual 1/2 cup serving dishes or a 1 1/2 quart serving dish. Refrigerate several hours until firm. Serves 8 to 10.

Garnish as you will. Walnut halves or raspberries are good choices.)

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