In June of 1992, we moved from Indianapolis to Muncie, very sad to leave neighbors who we loved dearly. We soon learned that we had moved into another neighborhood of amazing people. That summer there was a neighborhood 4th of July parade/picnic, and I made these cookies. They are so cute on a plate, and pretty tasty to eat!!!
Kids can help add the food coloring to the dough and icing, cut out the shapes, put the chocolate chip “seeds” on the cookie, and roll the crescents in the green icing “rind”. This recipe comes from Southern Living magazine.
Ricotta cheese mixed with chocolate chips and whipped cream make this fluffy filling! YES! This delicious pie was shared by Pati Jinich, host of Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS, and author of, most recently, the cookbook Mexican Today.
Yeah, I know. It’s just mashed potatoes. But I’ve messed them up a time or two. I no longer have starchy mashed potatoes, so I’ve learned a few things!
Fill a pan that will fit the number of potatoes you need, about half way up with water. Peel and wash your Idaho potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch cubes and put them into water. This will keep them from darkening.
Cook on medium heat until you can easily insert a knife into them. Don’t overcook them.
I sometimes will start the potatoes a few hours before we are going to eat, and cook them half way and then let them sit in the water. When I’m ready to proceed, I turn the heat back on and finish their cooking.
When the potatoes are tender, drain the water and add salt, milk, and butter.
Some people add cream. Some don’t add ANY milk/cream, but just butter.
For my 6 medium potatoes, I added about 3 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and about 1/2 cup of milk. Then I took a potato masher and mashed until it was a smooth consistency. If you need to add more milk to make them smoother/creamier, do it a little bit at a time. You can always add more, you can’t take away.
Another trick is to make the potatoes a couple of hours ahead, keep covered, then microwave when you are ready to serve.
This recipe has morphed over time and I have no idea where it originated. I know my mom made meat loaf and so some of the ingredients and process probably came from her. I’ve had people who don’t like meat loaf tell me they liked mine.
In a big bowl I added 2 lbs of meat. You can use ground beef or chuck. I had a mix of beef and pork in these pictures. I’ve never tried ground turkey.
Add an egg for every pound of meat, so two eggs.
Add about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs. I don’t use store-bought crumbs because when I want to make meat loaf, I usually don’t have any fresh crumbs on hand. So I take about 4 slices of bread, cube them up, whir them in small batches in a blender, and then throw them in. If I’m feeling it, I’ll toast the crumbs in a pan on very low heat or put in a low oven. But many times I’ll throw them in fresh.
I then added a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and then about 3 teaspoons of fennel seeds. My husband and I love fennel.
Then you just put your hands in there and squeeze it up until all ingredients are mixed.
Shape it into a loaf. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll shape it into two loaves so they’ll cook faster. I like to use this broiler-type pan so that the drippings can drip through to the bottom.
Almost 75% of the time I don’t use bacon on top, but for this one, I put a couple of slices of bacon on top, then slathered it with ketchup.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for…LOL a long time. I depend on a thermometer to tell me when it’s done. For two pounds of meat and formed into one loaf, this one took about an hour and twenty minutes.
EVERY time I have meat loaf my husband says, “Don’t let your meat loaf.” EVERY time.
This dish is inspired by my father’s Sicilian heritage and my husband’s Italian heritage. I put fennel in most all of my Italian tomato-based foods. My dad LOVED fennel seeds in his Italian food and it turns out that my husband grew to love them, too. I remember many meals at the Bartolomeo house, and one of them was when Grandpa Tony would cook Italian sausage on the grill.
Put water on to cook pasta. In a saute/fry pan, add fennel seeds, sliced onions and peppers, and saute in olive oil for a few minutes. (pictured is one small onion and one green pepper)
As they’re cooking, cook or brown your Italian sausage links. I put mine on the grill on high heat for about ten minutes, then on indirect heat for about 10. (Other ways to cook sausage? In a fry pan or boil in water and then put in pan for a couple of minutes to brown)
Add marinara to the grilled onions and peppers. You can make your own or use good jarred sauce. I used Trader Joe’s marinara, about 3/4 of a jar.
Put your pasta in the boiling water. I used linguine because it’s what was on hand. You could use spaghetti, fettuccini, penne, etc.
Cook marinara, peppers, and onions on simmer and when your sausages have cooked almost done, add them to the pan. Cover and let simmer and the sausages will finish cooking in the tomato sauce.
When the pasta is *al dente, take the sausages out of the sauce onto a plate. Add the pasta to the sauce, mixing well. If the sauce is not loose enough, add some pasta water. (Many times I take my pasta out using a pasta fork rather than dumping it all through a colander.) Add the sausages on top, cover and let cook on very low heat for a couple of minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.
*al dente—The great opera soprano Beverly Sills, commented in an interview, that she had dinner with the famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. She said he cooked pasta for her, and to test if it was al dente, threw a strand against the wall. If it stuck, it was perfect! Tenor show-offs!
There’s a lot that can be said about the DAR-Daughter’s of the American Revolution! In 1939, opera singer Marian Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform in DAR Constitution Hall because of her race. Thankfully that policy has been changed dramatically. Read about it HERE.
This DAR cookbook highlighted an amazing place in Paris, KY, Duncan Tavern.
My Aunt Alma was the curator and cook there for many, many years. The cookbook is full of southern favorites and was one of my mom’s most-used sources for recipes!