Let's build this recipe box together! E-mail me your recipes [with or without photos] at and please feel free to share any anecdotes or stories that might make them special to you! Share the good stuff, that's what I say!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aunt J's Maaaagical Cookies (Michelle Paduganan Lopez)

Big Congratulations go out to Michelle for submitting the 2011 Killer Christmas Cookie Winner!
2 Sticks of Butter (Soft)
2 C. Sugar
2 C. Brown Sugar
4tsp. Baking Soda
6 Eggs
6 C. Oatmeal
28 oz Peanut Butter
1 Can of Honey Peanuts
1 Bag of Mini Chocolate Chips
1 Bag of Chunky Choc Chips
1 Bag of Milk Choc Chips.

Mix Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar together until smooth. Add Baking Soda, Eggs, Oatmeal and Peanut Butter. Then you finally get to add all your Chocolate Chips. I highly recommend you use a mixer for this recipe, unless you have some really strong arms.

Preheat your oven to 350. Place parchment paper on your cookie sheets. I use a small ice cream scooper to make these cookies. This gives them a much nicer shape.

Bake cookies for 10-12 Min. Let them cool and Enjoy.

Michelle Paduganan Lopez

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DOUBLE HAPPINESS MEATLOAF ( Michael Patrick McKinley )

From the October edition of Stacey's Hot Dish

I've never been a kethcup on meatloaf kinda guy...

When Stacey told me he was planning to "skew Asian" for the October edition of The Dish, I scratched my head for just about a minute. I've been having a life-long affair with Asian cuisine, but a signature dish of my own to share with you? I didn't think I had one.Then I remembered my meatloaf. This is a recipe that's been evolving over time, but started as a simple turkey meatloaf about 15 years ago. You know, the kind with Lipton's Onion Soup Mix . Only one night on it's way into the oven, I realized I had no BBQ sauce to glaze the top of it with, and I don't do ketchup with meatloaf. Meat pies however, are another story! I digress...
I foraged through the fridge to see what I could substitute for that sweet-salty, caramelizing factor I'd be missing without the BBQ sauce. Then suddenly, there it was. Like a cartoon style light bulb moment, the jar of Hoisin sauce imprisoned in the door compartment beckoned to me to set it free, and slather it across my ordinary turkey loaf. The result was sensational, and I haven't seen Sweet Baby Ray since!

Of course you can bake this in a loaf pan, but why? When you plate these little lovelies, streak each plate with additional hoisin sauce, then place 2 on each plate [one sitting on its butt, the other playfully tilted on it's side], and sprinkle with some chopped cilantro leaves. To me, meatloaf is a very Autumnal meal, so I love to serve it with baked hard squash that's on the naturally sweet side, like Buttercup or Hubbard, and finish the meal with roasted Brussel sprouts.

Make these for your next dinner party, and your guests will not only be impressed by this Asian inspired twist on an American comfort food classic, but your clever presentation too!

1 1/2 lbs Ground Turkey
1 1/2 lbs Ground Pork
2 eggs
1 tablespoon fat
1 small sweet potato, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno
2 tablespoon minced dried onion
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
6 scallions sliced very thin
1/2 cup minced water chestnuts
1 1/2 cups panko flakes
hoisin sauce

Preheat oven to 375

Saute minced jalapeno and sweet potato in melted fat [I like to use butter or bacon fat] just until the potato starts to soften. Meanwhile, place all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except hoisin). Add sauteed potatoes and jalapenos, and mix with hands until all elements are fully incorporated. Pack mixture into the compartments of a 12-count muffin tin, mounding up over the top of the fill line. [The "meatloaves" will shrink as they cook, and release fats and juices.] Liberally smear the crowns with hoisin sauce, and bake for approximately 30 minutes. They should shrink away from the sides of the pan and the tops should caramelize.

Let them rest for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges to ensure easy release, and remove from tins.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crookneck Squash Double Feature (Michael Patrick McKinley)

From the July Edition of Stacey's Hot Dish....

When the Summer Squash start arriving, they just keep coming!
I can clearly remember the bounty of Zucchini [both green and yellow] and Crookneck that was provided by my father and stepmother's garden. The zucchini ended up in a few sweet dishes, like quick breads and jam. Yes I said jam, and it was delicious! The crooknecks were a main ingredient in this tomatoey-rich sauce/relish Muriel and her sister Gloria created and canned year after year, called Harvest Special. She also made these dynamite quick dill pickle coins out of them.

Muriel and Gloria were in constant competition with each other, entering their amazing dishes, canned and baked goods into both county and state fairs, battling it out for a plenitude of well deserved blue ribbons. God I wish I had those recipes!

All summer squash are extremely prolific. In the height of the season [beginning NOW], if you don't know someone who's trying to pawn off a bushel or a bag onto you, then check out your local farmers market. When I was at mine the other day, they were 4 for $1.00, and ORGANIC. Super economical, wonderfully delish, and good for ya too! So whether you are sitting more than you know what to do with, or if you just been passing them by unsure of what to make with are two of my favorite recipes for Summer garden staple!

Crookneck and Coconut Cream Soup w/ Chorizo Meatballs


1/4 lb. ground pork
1/4 lb. ground beef
1 lb. chorizo ( beef or pork )
1 16oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
2 eggs
1 cup plain breadcrumbs

Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well combined. Make 1 inch balls and bake on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until a little crunch crust forms, about 25 minutes. Cool and reserve.


Combine the following in a large pot over low heat:
4 cups stock: vegetable, chicken, shrimp, or a combination
1 19 oz can coconut cream ( not milk )
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
salt and white pepper to taste

On your trusty Webber or a stovetop grill until cooked and with char :
4 to 5 medium crookneck squash slice in half moons
2 medium sweet onions, medium-sliced
1 small-diced red bell pepper
[Toss veggies with a little olive oil before grilling]

When broth is hot, added grilled vegetables plus:
3 ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked and kernels sliced off the cob
Ladle into bowls, and place 3 meatballs in each. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Crookneck & Custard Casserole 


8 medium crookneck squash, sliced into 1/2 thick rounds (2 lbs)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup milk or half &half
1 small onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
2 cups coarse breadcrumbs, preferably seasoned
2 cups shredded white cheddar or Gruyere
6 strips bacon cooked crisp and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9x13 ovenproof casserole. To a large pot of boiling water, add squash and cook until barely wilted, about 3 minutes.

With a whisk, incorporate milk, eggs, butter, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked squash and thoroughly combine. Transfer to casserole and sprinkle over crumbs, cheese, and bacon. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and crunchy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Molasess Ice Cream ( Michael Patrick McKinley )

From the May Edition of Stacey's Hot Dish
POTLUCK  with Michael Patrick McKinley

Have you ever wandered into the kitchen just before midnight with an insatiable sweet tooth? Only to find when you arrived that there was nothing to appease it? Well that's exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. And I mean there was NOTHING. Not even chewing gum.

Then I spied it. A half full jar of Molasses. Without hesitation I grabbed a spoon and stuck it right into the the intense flavor dissolved on my palette, my senses writhed with joy ( okay maybe that's a little much ) and my desire was satisfied. I just LOVE moolasses.

So the inspiration came to me. For my first article, for my new monthly column here at Stacey's Hot Dish. It's called POTLUCK [thanks for the moniker Joe!] and you gentle readers can expect exactly that- anything I feel like bringing! I'm really thrilled and honored that Stacey has asked me to contribute to this exciting new reinvention of his blog.

Back to my molasses epiphany. What would I try to create? It came instantly [you know, like its supposed to in an epiphany]. Molasses Ice Cream. I mulled around how I would do it. Should I substitute molasses for the sugar in an egg-based custard style ice cream? After a bit of rumination, it occurred to me that I probably wasn't the first person to think of molasses ice cream. Sure enough, 30 seconds into a Google search and I had about 100 recipes to choose from. Only as I started to review them, I realized that the lion's share of them were all the same. It's an egg-less, 4 ingredient concoction that seems to have originated in Gourmet Magazine [RIP Gourmet, we miss you]. Who am I to reinvent that wheel?

Just below you'll find the recipe, and my eventual double-dip. Pun intended. Don't forget that the wonderfully complex and robust qualities of this byproduct of sugar refining is a delicious additive in savory cooking as well. Add it to marinades and glazes, salad dressings...and it always pairs beautifully with pork. By all means, experiment! Oh and by the way. This recipe turned out to be a killer winner, and became an outrageously drop-dead-delicious thing of mouth watering beauty when I paired it up with a prized family recipe of my own...


3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. molasses
2 c. half & half

Blend the cream cheese, brown sugar, and molasses in a food processor until creamy and completely incorporated. With the motor running, slowly pour in the half and half until combined. Pour into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers directions.

It will have a "soft serve" appearance at this stage. Turn out into an airtight container [or fancy pink bowl] and freeze until hard.

It should be scoopable in a couple of hours. Enjoy a dish now, or take it one more, decedent step further...

The epiphany grew more detailed. What if I made a short batch of my family's heirloom ginger-molasses cookies, and turned them into ice cream sandwiches? OH be still my molasses-loving heart....You'll want to HALF the recipe below, go ahead and use 2 eggs.


1 1/2 cups shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup robust molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
6 cups all purpose flour

Cream together shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add spices and extracts, then molasses. Dissolve baking soda in water and stir in. Add the flour, one cup at a time. USE A STURDY METAL SPOON, OR MAKE IN A STAND MIXER. The 5th or 6th cup of flour will be the end of a wooden spoon!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out grapefruit sized balls of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Rose's daughter, my Grandmother, always said to me "Don't be afraid to roll them out nice and thick!" I like to use simple, broad shapes for my cutters. Space 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Yes, they bake quick and all ovens calibrate a little differently, so watch the first couple of trays carefully, and scope out the bottoms just to make sure. They will puff up and turn a paler shade of brown when they are close. Remove cookies promptly to cool on racks, or on brown paper bags. When cool, stack like shapes together and store in an airtight container until ready to frost.

HELPFUL TIP: If they over bake (and become too crunchy when cooled) throw a few slices of soft bread in the container and let them sit with the cookies overnight- that should soften them up!

NOTE: For either the ice cream or the cookie recipe, you can use light or dark brown sugar, and mild or robust molasses. I happened to have used dark brown sugar, and robust molasses, but I was going for intensity, and depth of flavor. You know your taste buds better than anyone.

Create accordingly.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chile Relleno Casserole ( Kari King )

My friend Carol's sister Kari King sent me this wonderful and easy recipe to share with you all! This dish is definitely "a taste of home" for me, and I'm thinking of making it this coming Sunday. Happy Easter to the entire King Family!

P.S.- Please remember that if you want to share a recipe, all you have to do is email it to me: I'll get it up here!

Chile Relleno Casserole

1 pint or 2 cups - half and half
6 - eggs
1/3 cup - flour
1 - 12oz can whole green chilies preferably Hatch
8oz grated jack cheese
8oz grated mild cheddar cheese
1 - 7.75 oz can of El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat half and half, flour and eggs until smooth.

Split chilies lengthwise into two half's do not rinse, just remove the seeds.
Place chilies in a colander.

Mix grated cheeses together in a bowl Layer chilies and cheese in a 9" x 13" Glass Baking Dish sprayed with cooking spray and layer until all the chilies and cheese are gone.

Pour egg, half and half, with flour mixture gently over top of layers and then the can of spicy tomato sauce over the final layer which should be cheese. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes Remove from oven.  Insert a knife in the center of casserole. If the egg mixture is not thoroughly cooked, cook for an additional 15 minutes.

This wonderful recipe has been a family favorite and rises up in the oven like a beautiful souffle. I have brought this to many a potluck dinner and every bit of it gets eaten and the compliments I have received over the years have been many.
From my family to yours...enjoy!
Kari King-Californian

Thursday, December 17, 2009



1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup + 1/2 cup flour
1cup golden raisins
1cup chopped, pitted dates
1cup dried cranberries
1cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1teaspoon vanilla
1tablespoon brandy
1teaspoon oranges zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a separate bowl, toss fruit with 1/2 cup flour to coat.

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs [one at a time], then vanilla and brandy. Add zests. Whisk together dry ingredients and spices, then mix into the wet. Stir in fruit and nuts.
Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Remove cookies promptly to cooling racks. When cookies are still warm, brush lightly with glaze.
GLAZE: Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons brandy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


1 pie shell, unbaked
2-3 c. rhubarb, cut up

CUSTARD: 3 egg yolks, beaten, 1/2 c. milk, 1 tbsp. cornstarch , 1 tbsp. flour , 1/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 c. sugar

MERINGUE: 6 egg whites 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar, 12 tblsp. sugar, 1 tblsp.vanilla.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not UNDER BEAT.

Fill pie shell to level with cut rhubarb. Mix together all custard ingredients and pour over rhubarb. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until rhubarb is tender. When custard is set, spread meringue around edge of pie and return to oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Junie's Mac & Cheese ( Michael Mckinley )

In certain circles this is known as "crack and cheese". Make it once, you'll know why!
The recipe makes allot, so you can half it if you want...but I always freeze some.
I like to serve it with warm cornbread...

1lb bacon
1 1/4 lbs. sharp cheddar, grated
1 1/4 lbs colby or longhorn, grated
2 med. onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 32 0z. can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 48 oz box elbow macaroni

Chop raw bacon into 1inch pieces, and render in a frying pan until bacon is crispy.
Drain bacon and reserve. Pour off half of the bacon fat, and add onions. Saute over medium heat until onions start to become translucent, then add bell pepper pieces until they begin to soften. Boil macaroni per instructions, then drain. Stir in all ingredients [including reserved bacon], and turn into a 9x11 baking pan, or an oven-proof casserole dish.
Bake at 350 for approx. 40 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and gets crusty on top.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo ( Robert Cleve )

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

“The Quick Version”

1 lb of diced chicken breast
1 lb of diced Andouille Sausage (or your favorite Smoked Sausage)
2 tbs of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 medium yellow onion
2 green bell peppers
2 bay leaves
4 ribs of celery
¼ cup + 1 tbs of all purpose flour
½ tsp of Cayenne pepper
1 quart chicken stock
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup Okra

2 cups White Rice

Begin with a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Brown ½ the chicken and ½ the sausage in 2 tbs of oil, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and brown the other ½ of each remembering to salt and pepper. Set aside.
In the renderings add your onion, peppers, bay leaves and celery. Sauté until translucent. Add the flour and cook for at least 2 minutes.
Add warmed chicken broth a little at a time until incorporated with the vegetable and flour mixture. Bring to a simmering boil.
Prepare your rice based on package instructions in a separate pan.

Add the chicken and sausage, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, and okra to vegetable and broth mixture. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls over rice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mimi's Potato Chip Cookies ( Mimi Marcucci )

Mimi attributes this recipe to her Aunt Katy, but to a slew of 'Marties', they're Mimi's Potato Chip Cookies! Mix by hand, or in a food processor, but be sure to leave nice sized pieces of chips.

1lb. butter
1 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
3 c. flour
Mix well, then stir in 1 cup crushed potato chips

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool, and dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Billie's Chili ( Stacey Abillie )

This is the chili that I grew-up with. It is a little different than what most people are used to, but my mother is from the mid-west and this is how they do it there! I have made this chili for many people over the years, and I must say there has been a myriad of strange reactions to this unusually soupy concoction. Make no mistake about it… they, in the end are all won over. Believe me your friends and family will be begging you to make that “spaghetti-soup” stuff! Making large portions is great for this recipe, because it freezes well and it always tastes better the next day. As a matter of fact, I sometimes make it Thursday night before I go to bed when having a gang of friends over on Friday – get the picture? This to me, is the very foundation of my comfort food repertoire.

This recipe is for a large pot, and it simply goes like this…

3lbs. ground chuck or sirloin (I prefer using lean cuts of meat)
3 large can of tomatoes (stewed, broken-up or diced)
3 can of kidney beans (dark, red or a combination of both)
3 medium to large onion
1- 1 ½ box (es) spaghetti
4-6 tbs. Chili powder (I use hot chili powder)
4-6 Garlic Cloves
Olive oil

Start a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti. Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil in a very large stock pot (I use a tamale pot which I bought from a Mexican grocery store). Add ground meat, chili powder, and pepper when onions start to soften, and brown. Do not add salt, because there will be enough when you add the pasta later. Be careful not to break up the meat too small. While meat is browning add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water and fully cook the spaghetti. DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA. When the pasta is finished cooking turn off the heat and let it sit until adding to the big pot. You will want to cook the spaghetti a little more than al dente, because it will continue to absorb liquid as all of the ingredients come together. Add tomatoes and beans to the meat, and simmer. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour the pasta - water and all into the big pot and continue to simmer. At this time, add salt to taste. Serve with oyster crackers or a loaf of fresh bread and butter. Enjoy!!! Please let me know how this works for you.