Here's the lowdown:
This page has been up for quite a while, and it started as a resource for us to look for something to make for dinner. I copy and pasted stuff that looked good to try. Much was good, and some sucked as well.
I decided to make an official Daymented Recipes page with Tried And Trues, since many people ask us for our recipes, but I still kept some that I haven't tried yet. I have attempted to credit others when I remember where I found the recipes.
If you make a recipe from here, please let me know what you thought!


Soft and yummy and my favorite since I was little. Do not overestimate. A small handful with milk will fill you up!
5 cups uncooked oatmeal (not instant, silly)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut (try to get the real stuff, not the sugared stuff)
Mix those together.
Heat the following in a pan:
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar (you can totally half this amount, in our opinion)
1/2 cup honey
Pour liquid over mixture and toss well. Spread on oiled cookie sheet and bake 30 minutes at 350. Stir well every ten minutes.

Another favorite since grade school. Mom got this from some collaborative cookbook and Sean still makes it on weekends quite often....
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
nutmeg (we just use a teeny amount of cinnamon)

juice of a lemon half.
Preheat your oven to 425. In a 9 inch pie pan, melt butter. Mix flour, eggs, and milk in a blender (or a shaker?). Pour over melted butter carefully. There's tons of butter. Do not stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Serve with sprinkled lemon and shaken powdered sugar on top.

I think this is from the same cookbook. We had this for breakfast when we had guests over. These days, I don't eat bacon, but I remember I used to love this stuff.
14 slices good bacon
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tomatoes, sliced
5-6 big square slices colby or cheddar cheese (it called for American cheese slices - don't do it!)
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, paprika (?)
Fry bacon, drain and crumble. unroll dough; form crust in a 9" pie pan. Sprinkle bacon over "crust" and top with tomato slices. Place cheese slices over all. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. in a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream, flour, and seasonings; blend thoroughly. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour mixture over cheese layer. bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. It looks a bit bland on top - dress it up somehow. I have faith in you.

(Haven't tried yet)
From my Canadian Immigration Group

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted butter
Heat oven to 375.
Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter until creamy. Add buttermilk, vanilla and egg and beat until blended. Add flour mixture, stirring only until moistened.
In a small bowl combine ingredients for the topping until crumbly.
Fill muffin cups with half of the batter; sprinkle on half of the topping. Repeat with remaining batter and topping.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

(Haven't tried yet)
From my Canadian Immigration Group

2 1/3 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
Mix all but berries and nuts. Beat 50 strokes by hand. Stir in berries and nuts.
Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.


In a very large bowl (or in a large mixer), combine:
One large bag of frozen hash browns (I did shreds, but I'm sure you can do the cubes too)
Some salt + pepper
2-3 eggs
a can of Cheddar Cheese soup
a can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions
a handful of chopped green onions & chopped garlic
a softened stick of butter
(and later)
those canned French's crispy onions
(that you put on top of green bean casserole)
Mix well (except for the French's onions), pour into a 9 x 13 dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake uncovered at 350º for 45 minutes. Then top with a handful of those crispy onions and cook for 5 minutes more. Let stand to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

We are trying to copy the French Toast served at the Rosebud on Pike during their brunch. It needs fresh berries or berry yogurt or something. Something else.
8  1½" thick slices of good french bread (soft)
4 eggs
1 cup half & half
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tub whipped cream cheese
Desired preserves
Powdered sugar for powdering
Beat together eggs, half & half, sugar, and cinnamon. Make a slice in top of bread slices to stuff. Mix one part preserves with two parts whipped cream cheese and spoon into the bread slices. Coat with egg mixture, fry in butter or oil. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with berries or fruit.

Great for Bridal Showers
Wheel or big wedge of brie
Roll of goat cheese
Small jar of good raspberry or blackberry preserves
Bunch of fruit
Good bread
Remove rind from brie and place in casserole dish. Plop goat cheese around it. Scoop preserves on top. Bake until bubbly. Serve with a big spoon and toasted or fresh-baked bread or mini-bagels, and some good fruit (peaches, bananas, kiwi, grapes, berries, etc.)

E (Haven't tried yet)
2 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons salt
6 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Vidalia onions or leeks, white and green parts only, thinly sliced and washed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1. Heat oven to 400° with rack in center. In a medium saucepan over high heat, cover potatoes with 4 cups water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
2. Slightly beat eggs with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, until just beginning to smoke. Add potatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add onions, and continue to cook until wilted and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add eggs, sprinkle with chives, and swirl pan to distribute evenly. Transfer to oven.
3. Bake until center is set and sides are puffy and golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature if eggs brown too quickly. Do not overcook, or eggs will get tough. Let cool slightly before slicing into small wedges.

BAKED FRENCH TOAST (Haven't tried yet)
1 loaf white bread, sliced
8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped nuts
Generously grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Fill pan with bread slices to within 1/2 inch of top. Blend together eggs, milk, half-and-half, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Combine topping ingredients and set aside until time to bake toast. Spread topping over toast. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes until puffed and golden. If top browns too quickly, cover with foil.


(Pictured right is a double batch)
A can or jar of artichoke hearts, chop up
A frozen box of spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella
About 4 oz. feta, crumbled (I use more)
1/2 cup chopped red pepper (I omit)
1/3 cup mayo
1 chopped garlic clove (I use more)
salt & pepper if desired
2 packages/tubes of those Pillsbury cresent rolls
1 egg white
2 T. shredded parmesan
Defrost spinach, drain (press out extra water). Stir/mix artichoke hearts through salt & pepper.
Brush outer dough with egg white, sprinkle with parmesan.


Or ring!
I use a Pampered Chef cooking stone, but you can also use a large cookie sheet or pizza pan. You don't need oil, although I suppose you can use that oil spray if you like.
Once you have your dough formation, pile the goo where it needs to go and lightly cover with dough, pinching and gathering as needed. Pictured above is a ring on the outside, then a blob smashed in the center with a ring of outside points only, all being pulled in. With the leftover triangle, I rolled it out and cut a heart to cover the center points. I baked it all together and it puffs quite nicely, so during baking it all joined together. (Thanks, Laura!)

Same as the breakfast cheese dish, but for night-time. I bring this to almost every party I go to.
One round or a large wedge of brie
One roll of goat cheese
10 peeled garlic cloves
Crunchy toast crackers (garlic flavored are good)
Peel rind off of brie, place in casserole. Plop the goat cheese around it, then top with garlic cloves cut in halves or thirds. Bake until bubbly. Serve with bread/crackers. Good with chopped fruit on the side, too.

Aunt Alene taught us this one, and I serve it at all of my parties. It looks gross and disappears in seconds. You can substitute vegetarian chili, but it will be a bit drier. If you make two batches, one meaty and one vegetarian, serve with separate bowls of salsa so as not to contaminate salsa with meat juices.
1 box/package of Philly Cream Cheese (NOT low-fat!)
1 can of chili with beans
Spread cream cheese on the bottom of a casserole dish, top with chili. Bake until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa (see below).

People will love you if you make this salsa. Seriously. You can obtain lovers with this stuff.

Maybe 4 big or 5 medium tomatoes
A medium onion (purple is pretty)
A bunch of cilantro, cleaned WELL (clean with a salad spinner if you have one), remove the stems and rip the leaves
One tomatillo (that "paper wrapped" green tomato)
One jalapeno, de-veined and de-seeded
A red pepper if you like pepper (I don't)
A couple chopped cloves of garlic, if you like
A capful of white distilled vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Juice of one lime
Sean adds a dash of vegetable oil, but I don't know why.
Chop and mix. Scoop out some and blend in the blender if you wish, and mix back in. Refrigerate for a while to soak up and kinda coagulate.
*Have leftover salsa? The next morning, toss chopped potatoes in oil and seasoning. Microwave until soft. Spread on greased cookie sheet with onion and any other veggies and bake until fabulous. Serve with fried eggs and leftover salsa.

I think we made this up for my bridal shower in 1994. Wherever it comes from, I still love it!
In a large punch bowl - plop scoops of a half gallon of vanilla ice cream. Cover carefully (it gets foamy!) with a chilled bottle of sweet champagne, then two liters of raspberry ginger ale (or 2 liters of Raspberry New York Seltzer). It's pink and bubbly and alcoholic, and that's all you need. Bring extra ingredients to make more in an hour.

1 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger root
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 large round of brie
In saucepan, combine all ingredients except for brie. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil one minute. Remove cinnamon stick, cover, refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Place brie on microwave safe serving dish (be sure not to puncture the rind in any way) and zap on high for 2-3 minutes or until warm. Remove from oven. Top with cold blueberry sauce. Serve with crackers, bread, etc.

COFFEE PECAN BRIE (Haven't tried yet)
1 pound shelled pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Kahlua
1 pound round of Brie cheese, room temperature
assorted cocktail crackers
Place Brie on large plate with lip that comes up a bit. Coarsely chop the pecans and place them in the oven to toast lightly. Place brown sugar and Kahlua in large frying pan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly (brown and on the verge of caramelizing). Add toasted pecans, bring back to a boil, and remove from heat. Pour mixture over Brie. Heat for 10 seconds in microwave or for approximately 30 seconds in a 300º oven. (This step breaks down the Brie to where it's just short of runny and blends wonderfully with the sauce). Serve with crackers.

A lot like the thing we made for the Gilbert Grape Party.... the cheese should be cold, so it can be sliced; the glaze will warm it when poured on top.
1 eight-ounce wheel Camembert or Brie cheese, cold
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large Bosc pear, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
8 walnut halves
1. Slice cheese wheel in half crosswise; set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced pear, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in brandy, and cook 1 minute more. Add rosemary, and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and spread pear mixture over bottom half of reserved sliced cheese wheel, reserving 2 tablespoons mixture for garnish. Transfer cheese to serving plate.
2. Return skillet to stove, and heat balsamic vinegar and honey until simmering. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. Pour half the glaze over cheese and reserved pear mixture; top with remaining half of cheese wheel and pears. Drizzle with remaining glaze, and garnish with walnut halves and rosemary. Serve immediately.

[Speaking of salad, if anyone can send me the recipe for House Wedge Salad from the Ram restaurant, I'd love ya!]
My Mom made this when we visited her one summer and it was wonderful and summery!

1 pt. raspberries
2 qt. torn spinach
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c. walnuts
Reserve 1/2 c. raspberries for dressing. Arrange spinach on individual plates. Sprinkle on raspberries, onions, mushrooms, and walnuts.
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. reserved raspberries
1/4 c. white wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until well blended. (Can also add the juice drained from the frozen raspberries.)

Sean made this for me recently when I got my wisdom teeth pulled. I kept eating it even though I was totally full. It just tasted SO good! From Recipe Source.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cups finely chopped shallots
2 pounds white mushrooms -- thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup cream sherry
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth -- reserving 1/2 cup (it called for chicken broth)
1/2 cup milk
ground nutmeg to taste -- about 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large saucepan melt butter with the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, thyme leaves, salt and pepper, cooking until all of the liquid rendered from the mushrooms evaporates. Add the Sherry and cook until evaporated. Remove a 1/2 cup of the
cooked mushrooms and reserve. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 3 cups of the broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. In a blender puree the soup in batches until smooth.
Return soup to saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk in the milk. Add reserved broth to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Lower heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of the sour cream. Keep soup warm but do not simmer or boil. Serve soup garnished with reserved cooked mushrooms and a dollop of the remaining sour cream. (Sean just mixed these all in - I was on drugs - I didn't care.)


We had an emergency Thanksgiving dinner last year and I threw every cheese I had in a bowl (not including cheddar) and topped it with pecans and brown sugar, then baked it and served it with crackers. I think it was cream cheese with some bleu cheese and maybe goat cheese too? I dunno. But it worked.



Beef skirt steak, tenderized (usually comes rolled up), or flank steak chopped into small cubes
OR solid white fish** (we use halibut)
Olive oil
A big bunch of cilantro
Sharp cheddar cheese
a few limes
4 tomatoes
an onion
3-4 fresh jalapenos
Jar of pickled jalapeno slices (i.e. pizza jalapenos)

a bunch of green onions
a few cloves of garlic, more if desired
white vinegar
white corn tortillas
a can of refried beans (We like La Costena)
Rice (if you want it - we make a batch and freeze it into 2-3 portions)
** Garlic sauce for the fish - if you can find it

Make marinate: Place chopped meat or fish in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, a handful of ripped cilantro leaves, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, salt and pepper, and squeeze of a lime. **If you have the garlic sauce for the fish, add it now, or after the fish is cooked. However much you want. Stir and let sit.
Make pico de gallo: Cut tomatoes and squeeze the the gel-stuff and seeds out. Chop small. Add chopped onion (not the green onion), one de-seeded de-pithed jalapeno (chopped very small), chopped garlic if you wish, many leaves (not stems) of cilantro, small splash of white vinegar, and squeeze of other lime. Let sit.
Saute the meat or fish until cooked through, adding lime juice if desired, remove. Saute the bunch of green onions (whole, with just the very bottom of the white removed), and you can also fry a couple whole jalapenos. Cook them a long time until they are dark and soft, and they won't be spicy. Then fry the tortillas in olive oil, adding more oil if necessary, until almost crispy. Place on a plate between paper towels. Figure three per person if you have sides as well.
Heat refried beans in microwave or in sauce pan. Shred cheese. Chop avocado or radish if desired. Serve. Sometimes I make guacamole with a smashed avocado, a spoon of the pico we made, cumin, salt and pepper.

Serve with:
(pictured above with the beans)
Bring oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 baking dish - microwave 1 stick (1/2 c.) of butter and two 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave until mostly melted, stir. Keep stirring till smooth-ish. Add to baking dish with 5 drained cans of corn and a big handful of tiny chopped jalapenos (I use some from a jar, some fresh, maybe a handful of jarred finely chopped, and one whole fresh also finely chopped) and stir well. Bake 40ish minutes or until baked through and it looks "set".
For just 2-4 people, use a 1/4 c. butter, 1 block of cream cheese, and three cans of corn with 1/2 jala and a small handful of jarred jala, in a smaller casserole dish. If you substitute frozen corn, you'll need to add quite a bit of salt.
One other thing I want to add about this casserole - toddlers LOVE IT. Yep - even kinda spicy (although most of the heat cooks off in the oven) but STILL! Color me surprised. Don't hesitate to give it to your 12 month old +. They may ask for more and more.

As seen here.
I mix one can of refried beans with a huge dollop of mayo and another huge dollop of sour cream, plus half a packet of taco seasoning mix (you know, those little envelopes). Top with two chopped avocados. Top with a layer of shredded cheddar. Top with a layer of Sean's salsa, then a layer of chopped green onions. Add black olives if you wanna.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Are you sick? Come here....
About 3 carrots
4-5 celery stalks
Head of garlic
Medium onion
5 cans broth - chicken or veggie
A box of Matzoh Ball Mix (not Matzoh Mix, not Matzoh Ball Soup Mix)
Cayenne Pepper

Follow package instructions for making matzoh balls - you just add egg and oil to a packet of mix, stir well with a fork, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute chopped carrots, celery, onion, and LOADS of garlic in a splash of broth, until cooked. Add the rest of all the broth and bring to a boil. By now the matzoh ball mix should be ready - roll the mix into little balls (I do ping-pong size) and drop them into the broth once it's boiling (your hands will be very greasy). Cover and cook I believe 15-20 minutes, lightly stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add salt and pepper and cayenne. Taste. Can you feel it? Then add more cayenne. Keep adding cayenne until you feel it when you exhale. The cayenne cools your blood, which makes it an excellent ingredient for this soup. It's cleansing, healthy, and warm, and it brings great results.

[The cucumbers are important.]
Fish (3/4 pound per person) - they used halibut and I used salmon.
1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced in thin rings
6 strands green onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large florets broccoli, trimmed and chopped
1/2 c. Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce (or other excellent teriyaki sauce)
Cooked white rice (1/2 c. uncooked, per person) *not minute rice!
1/2 cucumber
Salt & pepper to season

Sweat the sweet onion, green onion and garlic in olive oil, about 3 minutes. Put pieces of fish in baking pan, season with salt & pepper, cover with sauté mix (including the oil) and teriyaki sauce. Bake until cooked (depends on what kind of fish you use). Serve over rice and broccoli, garnish with chopped cucumber.
Seattleites: Soy Vay is sold at Larry's, Central Market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's.

A very prep-heavy and SO yummy recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine. It's quite sweet.
This recipe is how we discovered that Jon does not like brussels sprouts.

1 tsp. salt
16 oz. fettuccine (we use linguine or spaghetti instead, fettuccine was too big)
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. butter
2 oz. walnuts
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 tsp. fresh garlic
1 lb. brussels sprouts, leaves separated (this takes forever, so sit down for TV with a big bowl for the leaves, a small bowl for cores and outer leaves, and a small paring knife)
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. sage, finely chopped*
1/4 tsp. thyme, finely chopped*
Freshly grated (real) parmesan for serving
* do yourself a favor and try to find fresh thyme and sage!

Preheat oven to 350°. Boil pasta till cooked. Drain, transfer to medium bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of butter, cover and keep warm.
Spread walnuts on baking sheet and toast lightly, about 10 minutes. Chop coarsely, set aside.
Place 1/2 butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter begins to brown and is fragrant, about 8 minutes. Strain, discarding solids (?), into a small glass bowl, set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add brussels sprouts leaves, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs, continue cooking until leaves are bright green and tender and onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pasta to skillet, drizzle with brown butter. Toss to combine, cook to warm through. Garnish with walnuts and parmesan.
** It got bitter when re-heated in the microwave the next day - so make sure to pig out so there's no leftovers.

If you don't have a springform pan, use a pie pan, but you will have a lot of leftover filling. Cope.
Bring this to a party if you really want to show off. Sean made this for Amy's Dad when he got home from the hospital, and he makes it for me when I whine. From Recipe Source.
1 1/2 c Flour
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, -grated
3/4 c Shortening
3 tb Water (more as needed)
15 1/2 oz Salmon (1 large can) or Tuna - or 1 lb. baked, fresh Salmon or Tuna
1 lg Onion, diced
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 tb Butter
2 c Sour cream
4 Eggs
1 1/2 c Gruyere cheese, -shredded
1 t Dill weed
1/4 ts Salt
Preheat oven to 375. Make parmesan crust: Combine flour and parmesan cheese. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles size of small peas. Sprinkle with about 2 T water. Form into a dough, adding more water as needed. Press into an 8-inch springform pan. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Make filling: Saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft. Beat sour cream and eggs until blended. Drain salmon and break into bite-size pieces. Stir into sour cream mixture along with vegetables, about 1 cup gruyere, crumbled dill weed and salt. Pour into baked crust; top with remaining gruyere. Bake at 375 for 65 to 70 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Remove sides of pan and serve.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cream
handful chopped onion and/or chopped (seeded) fresh jalapeno
A couple chopped garlic cloves
1 lb. tub fresh salsa (not that store-bought crap in a jar)
Crumbled feta cheese
A batch of rice

Saute onions in oil or butter for a bit, then add chicken (and chopped jalapeno) and saute until cooked through.
Add the cream, the tub of salsa, and the handful of crumbled feta. Cover and simmer until heated. If it's too thin, remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium while stirring. (Once you pour it over the rice it will be fine.)
This turned out to be surprisingly sweet! We would like to try this in the crockpot next time, so the chicken falls apart and mixes evenly with the sauce. It could also be baked which would make it thicker. Maybe with tortilla chips crumbled on top. With the rice baked right in. Hmmmm. I'll keep you posted.

1 medium spanish/sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
2 peppers (yellow/red/orange/whatever)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. hot sauce (like La Tapatio)
1 large can of tomatoes (chopped or whole)
3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
1 tsp. sage
3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar (optional)
Parmesan for garnishing
Salt & Pepper
Pasta of your choice (ziti is good)

Heat oil in large sauté pan, add chopped onion and thinly sliced garlic and sauté for about a minute and a half, then add chopped peppers, continue to sauté about 4-5 minutes. Add tomatos (chop them if you got whole), season with salt and pepper, add sage. Bring back up to a boil, add whipping cream and hot sauce. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, then add cheddar. Toss with pasta, garnish with parmesan. Sean served this with fried sausage, which he fried first, removed, and used the "juices" to start this recipe.

[Comfort food at it's finest.]
1/2 an onion
A couple chopped cloves of garlic
Some butter
12 oz. can chunk light tuna, drained
Can of Cream of Asparagus (or celery, or mushroom) soup
Cream or Milk
1/2 a small bag of frozen peas
Bag of wide egg noodles
A small can of those French's Fried Onions
4 oz. sour cream (1/2 of a small container)
Saute chopped onion and garlic in butter until soft. Cook and drain noodles. Warm peas in the microwave for a couple minutes (they don't have to be fully cooked). Mix everything into a large casserole except 1/2 the can of French's Fried Onions. Add milk or cream as needed (it gets much thicker as it bakes) and loads of salt and pepper. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350°. Sprinkle the remaining half a can of fried onions and cook uncovered another 5-8 minutes.

[When I was finally finished, I drew a heart on my plate with my finger - it was that good.]
Two filets of tilapia (or any other fish, really)
A big fat bunch of thin asparagus, woody stems cut off
2 tbsp. olive oil
Small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1/2 cup white wine
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt & pepper
small lemon
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, sweat onion & garlic in olive oil (about three minutes). Lay asparagus on top of all (do not stir). Add white wine, salt and pepper, and cover for about 5 minutes (depends on thickness of asparagus). Carefully remove asparagus from skillet and place in covered baking dish and top with 1 tbsp. butter - put in 350° oven. Remove all other stuff from skillet and set aside (including any liquid).
Put remaining tbsp. of butter in frying pan and add fish filets, season with salt & pepper and squeezed 1/2 of lemon. Cook two minutes on each side (longer if you are using a thicker fish - just searing). Remove fish, place on top of asparagus in oven, squeeze with remaining half of lemon.
Put onion and garlic (and juices) back into pan that you just cooked the fish in. Add whipping cream, season with salt & pepper, stir until thickened 3-4 minutes.
Serve asparagus across plate, fish on top, and sauce over that. Garlic bread would be good, too.

1 large bag of frozen chopped spinach
2 cans diced tomatoes (I use one with basil and oregano and another with onions and garlic)
1 medium onion, chopped
Feta cheese - about 8 ounces
about 1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
a bit of olive oil
16 ounces pasta - like ziti or some other large, sturdy pasta shape
A small wedge of fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Begin boiling water for pasta.
In a large skillet, saute chopped onion in olive oil.
Put spinach in a microwave-safe dish and heat until you can press out most of the water (this was about five minutes at 80% power for me - much easier if you remember ahead of time to put frozen bag of spinach in the fridge that morning, then just heat and press out water.)
Once onions are soft, add tomatoes and spinach, stir gently, and turn to medium low.
Drain pasta when cooked, scatter half in a 9x13 dish. Add half the veggie goop, half the crumbled/chunked up feta, and a splash of cream. Add salt and pepper. Stir.
Repeat with the second half of ingredients.
Cover all with a coating of grated parmesan. Lightly cover with foil, (remove during last few minutes to give cheese on top a bit of a "crust").
Bake about 30 minutes.

With no formal training, I started making batches of lasagna as gifts. It's quite easy, which is why people liked it so much. Sometimes gourmet cooking gets lost in the translation, when all we want is some grub.

This is for a big 9x13 deep pan of lasagna (i.e. a large cake pan)

1 lb. hamburger* (not extra lean - you want some grease)
A box of lasagne noodles (I like the no-boil ones)
A big tub of ricotta
A couple big balls of fresh mozzarella (if possible, or just one brand name ball of mozzarella)
An egg
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Block of parmesan cheese (NOT the green can o'cheese)
1 onion
1 head garlic - chop up half to all of garlic - depends how you like it (save a few cloves for the garlic bread though)
2 jars of "Old World Style" Ragu Traditional Sauce (the cheap kind that's been around forever)
A good loaf of bread (we use Como)
the above mentioned garlic & parmesan
half a stick of softened butter

*you can also substitute some of the hamburger with italian sausage, if you like that kind of thing.

The hamburger, onion, garlic & sauce
Boil lasagna noodles if they are the kind that you have to boil.
Fry a pound of hamburger until no longer pink, with chopped onion and garlic in there with the meat. Don't worry about any oil - once the hamburger starts frying you'll have plenty of oil! After meat is browned and onion is cooked, dump the jar of plain ole Ragu sauce over it. Simmer for a while.
Fluff up the bin of ricotta with the egg and italian seasoning. Use a mixer if you have one and beat on high until the ricotta is really fluffy. You can also add parsley, garlic powder, whatever if you like.
Shred or slice mozzarella (I use one of those handy egg slicers). Layer in the order that the box of lasagna noodles says. Do a couple layers of everything. Add leftover marinara (possibly the whole jar if you like it saucy - consider it dries out a bit in the oven) and a crapload of shredded real parmesan cheese on top - NOT the green canned stuff.

A small amount of sauce then noodles

Then the ricotta...then the meat

Then the mozzarella and shredded parmesan

Repeat all those steps, then noodles, sauce, parm
Bake lasagna for 30 minutes with foil on top. Remove foil, add garlic bread to oven, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

THE GARLIC BREAD: If you buy that pre-made garlic bread, SHAME ON YOU. You can do this.
Sean softens half a stick of butter with some crushed/pressed garlic cloves as well as a chopped clove of garlic (for some big pieces), and shreds some parm into it, then slices a loaf of Como bread.
He smears this mixture on one side of each slice, presses them together in a bundle of foil a slight bit open at the top, and bakes on the top shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes.

[Use the cilantro-ginger sauce as both a marinade and a serving sauce.]
1 clove garlic
1/2 small jalapeno pepper
1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 one-and-one-half-pound halibut fillet, skin removed and cut into 4 equal pieces
Combine garlic, jalapeno pepper, ginger, lime juice, and cilantro in the jar of a blender. Cover blender, and remove the stopper. Turn on blender, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until mixture is bright green and smooth. Season cilantro sauce to taste with salt and black pepper.
Season both sides of fillets with salt and black pepper. Brush the top of each fillet with 1 tablespoon cilantro sauce.
Fill a large high-sided skillet with 1 inch water. Set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Set a steamer basket in the skillet, and arrange fillets in basket. Cover, and steam until fish has just cooked through but
is still moist, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove fish from steamer, drizzle with additional cilantro sauce, and serve.

Sean made this and it's surprisingly sweet. And creamy. Serve with veggies, or you'll be feeling the five cheeses, if you know what I mean....
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1 pound imported conchiglie rigate (shells)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup canned pureed tomatoes
1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (1 1/2 ounces), plus more for garnish
1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup very thinly sliced scallion, for garnish

Heat oven to 500°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add
pasta, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander.
While pasta is cooking, place cream, tomatoes, cheeses, salt, and basil in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture, and toss to combine.
Divide among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups in capacity). Dot with butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pecorino Romano and scallions. Serve

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup shredded basil leaves
1 cup unblanched almonds, roughly chopped
Flesh of 2 medium avocados, mashed
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 lb linguine
In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and salt to taste, cover the frying pan and cook gently until soft.
In a food processor, combine the onion mixture, basil, almonds, avocados and pepper. While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and the lemon juice. Process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Warm the sauce just prior to using and stir into the hot pasta.
Garnish with a few roughly chopped, unblanched almonds.

(Cambozola, Stilton, Roquefort, or Gorgonzola)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon fruity olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3/4 pound broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (reserve stems for another use)
Combine garlic, crushed red pepper, olive oil, butter, blue cheese, Romano cheese, and pepper in pasta serving bowl. Set aside to warm to room temperature or, preferably, place the bowl (be sure it's heatproof) over the pasta pot to warm the ingredients and melt the butter while heating the water. Once the water comes to a boil, remove bowl and set aside. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost al dente. Add broccoli florets and cook until broccoli is tender but still bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drain pasta and broccoli well, immediately add to sauce in bowl, and toss. Serve at once with extra Romano cheese. RECOMMENDED PASTA: 12 ounces fusilli or penne rigate

Spaghetti or thin spaghetti (12 ounces)
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil (if you want to get fancy, use walnut oil)
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, optional
Put the spaghetti on to cook. Place the walnuts, thyme, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth texture. Slowly pour in the oil. When the spaghetti is almost done, scoop up 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and pour into the walnut mixture, blending to a smooth sauce. Drain the spaghetti. In a warm serving bowl, toss the spaghetti with the sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and toss again. You can sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top for garnish.

4 salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each (or any fish fillet)
1 bunch leeks, sliced thin and well washed
Dry white wine
Olive oil
1 bunch chervil or other fresh herb, chopped
Unsalted butter, melted
1. Heat oven to 350°. Fold a 24-inch sheet of parchment paper in half, and cut out a heart shape about 3 inches larger than fish fillet. Place the fillet near the fold, and place a handful of leeks next to it. Drizzle the fish with wine and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chervil.
2. Brush edges of parchment paper with melted butter, fold paper to enclose fish, and make small overlapping folds to seal the edges, starting at curve of heart. Be sure each fold overlaps the one before it so that there are no gaps. Brush the outside of the package with melted butter. Repeat with rest of fillets.
3. Put packages on a baking sheet, and bake until paper is puffed and brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

CHICKEN MARSALA (Haven't tried yet)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry
In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

1 pound mushrooms, cut in halves or quarters depending on size
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry Marsala
1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or veggie stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 pound penne
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan or dutch oven, toss the mushrooms with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes; some liquid will remain in the pan. Transfer the pan to the top of the stove. Stir in the garlic and Marsala. Simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and tomato paste and simmer until about 1/4 cup of liquid remains, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the butter and remove from the heat. 3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce and the parsley.

Salmon baked in foil with honey and cayenne pepper. Add some crushed red pepper, too. Serve with broccoli bleu cheese casserole and good bread and you have my favorite meal.

BAKED TOMATO & CHEESE PASTA (Haven't tried yet)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1 pound imported conchiglie rigate (shells)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup canned pureed tomatoes
1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (1 1/2 ounces), plus more for garnish
1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese ( 1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup very thinly sliced scallion, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 500°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander.
2. While pasta is cooking, place cream, tomatoes, cheeses, salt, and basil in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture, and toss to combine.
3. Divide among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups in capacity). Dot with butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pecorino Romano and scallions. Serve immediately.

(Cleaning: Before cooking, sprinkle shells with cornmeal, and soak for twenty minutes in lukewarm water. The shellfish will expel most of their ingested sand.)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
2 cups dry white wine
4 pounds mussels (about 48), scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves, and wine. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.
2. Add mussels, and cover. Cook, shaking pan often, until mussels open, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that fail to open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a large bowl, reserving liquid in pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parsley over the mussels.
3. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme. Return liquid to low heat; stir in crème fraîche and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Cook just until warm again, and pour over mussels. Serve hot.

I'm picky, so here's how I make tuna salad:
A can of flake tuna
A big glob of Hellman's mayo
A chopped celery stick
A handful of chopped sweet onions
A handful of chopped walnuts.
I put this mix in a toasted pita and I'm happy. And it makes Jon hum. Mmmmm.


THIS is THE casserole I always talk about in my journal. I love it. Serve with the honey cayenne salmon that I mentioned above.
Stolen from, who deserve many props. Click the link to see a picture of the casserole!
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup crushed Ritz cracker crumbs
6 more Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Steam or boil broccoli florets until just cooked, about 2-3 minutes; drain well. In a large saucepan melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour. Add cream cheese, blue cheese and milk. Stir over heat until smooth. Stir in broccoli.
Mix 6 Tbsp. melted butter with cracker crumbs until well combined. Stir in 1 cup of cracker mixture into broccoli mixture. Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with remaining cracker crumbs. Return to oven and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

1 head cauliflower, about 6 cups florets
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 1½-quart gratin baking dish with cooking spray and reserve. Break cauliflower into florets and boil until totally tender, about 5 minutes. Florets should be "mashable" but not mushy. Drain well, transfer to a food processor with the cream, sour cream, butter, Dijon, salt and pepper. Process until mixture is a smooth, thick puree. Pulse in ½ cup of the grated Gruyere. Transfer mixture to gratin baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Sprinkle with chives to garnish.

I usually make this for Wednesday night West Wing episodes.
Two cans of Del Monte cut green beans, drained
One can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper (I use more)
1 1/3 cups French's french fried onions
In a casserole, mix soup, pepper, and milk; then add green beans and all but 2/3 cup of the onions. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, then sprinkle on remaining onions and bake another 5 minutes. The recipe says this serves six. HAHAHAHA! They haven't seen me in front of the TV.


A few cups of cooked white rice
A can of black beans
A whole bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed
Sauteed onion, shallots, and garlic
A cup or two of cooked frozen corn
Juice of a small lime
Toss together with salt and pepper to taste, serve with chopped tomato and avocado on top. Great for a packed lunch.

Becoming a tradition for Thanksgiving. I use the yellow sweet potatoes and not the orange ones. I find that the orange ones are too dense and wet and the yellow ones are more fluffy like regular potatoes.
This is a very sweet casserole - almost like a dessert!

4-5 cups peeled, cooked, and mashed yellow sweet potatoes
1/2 c. melted butter
1/3 c. milk
1/2 white sugar*
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. brown sugar*
1/2 cup flour
1/3 c. butter
1 c. chopped pecans
*Both sugar amounts can be lessened if you don't want it too sweet. Like maybe 1/3 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 350
°. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup melted butter, milk, white sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Spread into baking dish.
In a small bowl mix brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry cutter (or a fork if you don't have one) cut in butter until it's all crumbly, then stir in the pecans. Sprinkle over top of the potatoes.
Bake 25-30 minutes.

4 medium baking potatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Malt vinegar (optional)
Olive-oil cooking spray
1. Heat oven to 400°. Place a heavy baking sheet in the oven. Scrub and rinse potatoes well, and then cut them lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide fries. Place fries in a medium bowl, and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. When baking sheet is hot, about 15 minutes, remove from oven, and spray with olive-oil cooking spray. Place prepared potatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Return to oven, and bake until potatoes are golden on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Turn potatoes over, and continue cooking until golden all over, another 15 minutes. Serve immediately, with malt vinegar, if desired.

4 whole heads garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 Idaho baking potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Using a sharp knife, score each head of garlic 1 inch from top, and peel away top inch of skin. Scrub the potatoes well, dry them, and prick each several times with a fork.
2. Heat oven to 425°. Rub heads of garlic lightly with olive oil, and wrap them loosely in aluminum foil. Bake garlic and potatoes until garlic is very soft and potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. Serve each potato with a head of garlic; squeeze roasted garlic from skin, and mix it into baked potato along with salt, pepper, and olive oil as desired.

2 acorn squash (or butternut)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Cut squash in half through the stem end, and remove seeds. Cut each half into three wedges, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. Place wedges in a large roasting pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Toss squash with honey mixture. Roast squash, turning occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.

2 large leeks, white part only
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 large green apples, such as Granny Smith, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1. Split leeks in half lengthwise, and trim the bottoms, leaving a little of the root end intact so they stay together. Wash well, and dry. Cut leeks into thin strips about 2 inches long.
2. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon butter. Add leeks, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.
3. Melt remaining teaspoon butter, and add apple slices. Turn heat to high, and cook until apples are lightly browned and soft, about 3 minutes. Return leeks to pan, and toss together to combine. Serve immediately.

8 oz. medium pasta shells
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
6 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled; 1 ounce reserved
Freshly ground black pepper
1 slice stale bread, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until just tender following the package's directions. Meanwhile, combine the cream, sherry (if using), and 5 oz. of the gorgonzola in a medium saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until the cheese is almost melted, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta when done, return it to its pot, and add the cheese sauce. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 min. Add pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and nuts and sprinkle the topping over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 1 oz. gorgonzola. If you like, brown the casserole under a broiler very close to the flame until crunchy and browned, about 2 minutes.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small leeks, white parts only, washed well, thinly sliced crosswise
1 pound parsnips , peeled, roughly chopped (if parsnips are very large, cut out the core before cooking them)
1 pound Idaho potatoes , peeled, roughly chopped
1/2 cup milk
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add parsnips, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes more. Add potatoes and 3 cups cold water; bring to a
boil. Cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until parsnips and potatoes are very tender and begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes.
2. Drain in a colander. Press hot parsnips and potatoes through a ricer back into saucepan over low heat. (Alternatively, mash by hand.) Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the milk, and combine well. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and quartered
3 1/2 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan of cold salted water. Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Warm milk in a small saucepan. Drain potatoes, and return to the pan. Add warm milk, butter, salt, and pepper.
2. Mash the mixture with a potato masher until all the liquid is incorporated and the butter has melted. Transfer mixture to a metal mixing bowl. Cover with aluminum foil; set over double boiler to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions, and sauté, stirring often, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

I haven't figured out the equivalent to the boil-in-a-bag rice, which is what the recipe called for, so we just use that crappy rice. Grrrr. This was a recipe from Central Market.
2  15 oz. cans Cream of Celery soup
2 cups sour cream
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
2  7 oz. cans Ortega chopped greens chiles
3 cups shredded cheddar
3 bags Uncle Ben's boil in the bag rice (or equivalent minute rice)
Mix soup, sour cream, celery, onions, green chiles and 1 ½ cups of cheddar. Add rice and mix well. Pour into buttered 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. 30 minutes at 350°.

I make this at Truly's because she usually has the ingredients.
Fry some garlic cloves and chopped onion in a small amount of butter. Add a dollop of mustard and a big splash of beer. Add a can of tomato soup - like Progresso Hearty Tomato - not that sweet creamy Campbell's crap. Once it's all heated up, add tons of cheddar and stir until it all melts. Season with loads of black pepper and cayenne pepper until it makes you go WHOOOO when you take a slurp of it. Serve with a crunchy piece of buttered toast.

1 cup white wine
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoon chopped shallots
4 cups heavy cream
4 ounces Brie, rind removed
4 ounces Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Reduce wine, garlic, and shallots by 1/2, add cream, and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat, add the Brie and mustard, and mix until smooth. Keep warm until needed.


I make these all the time. They are simple and cute and people love them. They are also great politically correct Valentine's cookies (as opposed to those little hearts that say "Squeeze Me"). Kinda difficult to pack and mail, though. You can't stack them.
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
2 T. milk
a bag of Hershey's Hugs (no nuts!)

Cream shortening and sugars. Add egg, vanilla, and milk. Add dry ingredients.
The Hugs should be unwrapped ahead of time. You put them on AFTER they come out of the oven.
Roll the dough in a 1"ish ball and set on cookie sheet (ungreased - the peanut butter provides tons of grease). Don't roll in sugar like some recipes, or they will be too sugary. Bake 350 for ten minutes. They flatten somewhat. Take out of the oven and carefully slide them onto foil, while your assistant squishes one unwrapped hug into the center of each cookie. Do not squish too much or they will crumble! The hugs melt, so let them cool a bit to re-coagulate and keep their kiss shape. Make a double batch and pass them out. Trust me.

Also Demon Bars, or Garbage Cookies. A Snyder Christmas tradition. Six heavenly yet evil ingredients.
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips (I use half milk chocolate chips, half semi-sweet, so it's not too rich)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can Eagle Borden sweetened condensed milk (do not substitute!)
Melt the butter in a 9x9 glass square pan, or equivalent, like a small brownie pan. Layer each ingredient evenly, in order listed. Don't let the milk pool too much in the edges or it's difficult to cut in slices. 350 for 30 minutes. It's much better fully cooled, so put it in the fridge so you can eat it sooner!

This took numerous attempts. Sean can't get Dad's brand Oatmeal Cookies in the States, and it was important. Now he says these are better, but that's just to sweet-talk me into making some.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
tiny pinch of ground cloves
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups ground oats (I use Quaker quick-cooking)

Cream together first four ingredients, add eggs and vanilla. Mix flour through soda and stir into dough - then add ground oatmeal and stir to incorporate. Roll into 1" balls on a greased cookie sheet or on a silpat. Leave plenty of space because they spread out flat. Cook, uh, ten minutes? I dunno - with my oven it's keep looking until they are golden. You can tell. I keep the oven at 325-350°ish. They get crunchy as soon as they cool. Sometimes I add raisins but not too many.

Phenomenal for breakfast.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 T. Baking soda
1 dash salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. white sugar
3/4 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed*
2/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
* Whenever you have bananas that are too ripe to eat, put them in the freezer. Once you need them just let them thaw, then peel - they will be goopy.
  Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 8" round pans (if making cake). In a small bowl whisk together flour, soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts.
Pour into cake pans or cupcake papers 3/4 full.
Bake for 30 minutes for the cake. For the cupcakes I would start checking them at 20 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make:
Bourbon Frosting
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 8-oz. box of cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 airline bottle of Bourbon
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar and Bourbon. If the amount of booze scares you, add less, or add bourbon flavoring.

Once the cakes or cupcakes cool, frost them. The cake (stacked) is pretty heavy and dense, so don't expect a tall fluffy cake. Stays moist for days if covered properly.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups ground graham crackers
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Make crust: Mix together melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in 9x13 pan with fork to cover bottom evenly.
Press down to form crust.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
While crust is baking, make filling: beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice on high until whipped.
Pour over crust.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Cool completely.
Make topping: mix sour cream, sugar, and vanilla well.
Pour on top of cheesecake.
Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.
Cool 6-8 hours or overnight.

1 box devils food chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
== glaze ==
Handful of powdered sugar
Peppermint extract/flavoring
Crushed candy canes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a Bundt pan (mix some cocoa with the flour so it doesn't leave a white coating on the cake. [Thanks, Martha]).
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, water, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate
chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour (check it after 55 min.). Allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix about one cup of powdered sugar with half of a small capful of peppermint extract, then mix in just barely some hot water. Stir stir stir. If it's too thick, add another couple drops of water. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if you got `em.

Chunks of Angel Food Cake in Chocolate Mousse.
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips
2 T. warm water
1 T. sugar
4 separated eggs
1/2 T. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 c. heavy cream
2 to 3 t. powdered sugar
1 angel food cake, broken into pieces.
Melt chocolate chips, add water, sugar, beaten egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Let mixture cool. Really. Let it cool.
Stiffly beat egg whites, whipped heavy cream and powdered sugar, then fold into cooled chocolate mixture. Place 1/2 of the cake pieces in the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan (glass if you have it). Pour 1/3 of chocolate goo over it. Add remaining cake pieces and remaining goo. Chill 24 hours. It could use a garnish of some sort since it's a ploppy grayish chocolate color. Maybe some strawberries? I dunno.... I'll leave that up to you.

Another one of my Snyder Christmas favorites. These pack and send well in baggies.
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 c. cream
1 T. butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
4 cups pecan halves.
Melt and stir sugar, cream, butter, cinnamon and salt, bring to a boil and cook one minute more to make sure all is melted. Add vanilla and pecans and stir to coat well. Cool on cookie sheet. Break into chunks.

Susan and I made these constantly for years. It was probably the first thing we ever "made"
You can make any sized batch you want.

Start with a bowl and put in a bunch of peanut butter and some honey. Add Rice Krispies, mini chocolate chips, wheat germ, maybe oatmeal. You can figure it out. Roll into balls and freeze. You could also slice up a banana and coat it with this stuff and freeze that.

Jon and I made these and Rum Balls for New Years Eve, and decided that it should remain a yearly tradition.
1 c finely crushed Nilla Wafers
1 c powdered sugar
2 tb cocoa
1 c finely chopped pecans
2 tb corn syrup
1/2 c Bourbon

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add corn syrup and bourbon and mix well. If too moist add a few cookie crumbs, if too dry add a little more bourbon. Shape into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. (We just used freezer baggies)

1 c powdered sugar
2 tb cocoa
2 1/2 c finely crushed Nilla Wafers
1 c finely chopped pecans
2 ts vanilla
3 tb light corn syrup
3 tb Rum
1/4 ts almond extract
Some sugar

Sift cocoa and powdered sugar together and combine with cookie crumbs and pecans. Add corn syrup, rum and flavorings. Roll into 1" balls, and then roll in granulated sugar (so they look different than the Bourbon Balls). Store in airtight container.

Jon and I made this and it took forever. It was good though.
=== Streusel ===
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
=== Cake ===
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup almond paste
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk
6 large egg whites, room temperature
=== Glaze ===
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
For Streusel: Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until well blended. Set aside.
For Cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Mix flour and baking powder in small bowl. Finely grind almonds in processor. Using electric mixer, beat butter and almond paste in large bowl until blended. Gradually beat in 1 1/3 cups sugar. Continue beating until fluffy. Beat in extract. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with milk. Mix in ground almonds. Using electric mixer fitted with clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl to medium peaks. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold meringue into batter in 2 additions. Transfer half of batter to prepared Bundt pan. Sprinkle streusel over. Spoon remaining batter over. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack and cool completely. (Cake can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
For Glaze: Stir powdered sugar, whipping cream and instant espresso powder in small bowl until well blended. Drizzle glaze over cake, allowing excess to run down sides. Sprinkle cake with sliced almonds.

COCONUT BONBONS (Haven't tried yet)
12 chocolate wafer cookies
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 pints coconut sorbet
12 whole almonds
26 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1. Set a wire rack over a baking pan. Arrange the wafers, top sides down, on rack, spaced evenly apart. Place 2 teaspoons shredded coconut in the center of each wafer. Using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop, scoop a ball of coconut sorbet onto each wafer. Place an almond on top of each scoop of sorbet. Transfer pan to freezer for 20 minutes.
2. In a double boiler, or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Melt chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat. Let cool slightly.
3. Remove baking pan from freezer. Generously ladle melted chocolate over the bonbons, covering entirely. Return the baking pan to the freezer for 30 minutes more or overnight. Serve.

3 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups pecans
Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs; add vanilla. Add next five ingredients until blended. Stir in chips, oats, coconut and pecans. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup banana, mashed
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add almond flavoring. Sift together dry ingredients. Add alternately with the bananas. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Dip in chocolate?
NOTE: These are like cake, not cookies. And not very sweet. Kinda like banana muffin tops. Or as Manuel put it, pre-sliced banana bread.

4 ounces shortcrust pastry
8 ounces low fat cheese, such as ricotta
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, well beaten
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces walnuts, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch flan dish with the pastry and bake blind for 10 minutes. While pastry is cooking, mix the cheese with the honey. Add eggs, lemon juice and half the cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Cover the pastry base with walnuts and pour the mixture on top. Cook for 30 minutes in a preheated moderate oven at 375 degrees. Make sure the mixture is set and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon on top

(Originally by Gale Gand, then I tweaked it)
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the flour, cornstarch, and pepper, and mix just until combined. Get one of those little half-sheet cookie sheets and it's a lot better and thicker - plunk the dough into the cookie sheet and press down. I also cut parchment paper for the bottom of the pan, but that's your business. Another thing I do - cut it into squares before cooking - so it will cut a lot better when it's done (it gets crumbly). Then poke it with a fork everywhere. Cook for about 20 minutes - keep checking it after that. Should be golden on the edges.