Homemade “Store Bought” Salsa

  • 1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 small handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 t salt or to taste
  • 1 t red wine vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 T tomato paste or to taste
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes broken up with hands and drained (save the juice in case needed later, not Italian style)
  • lime juice to taste
  1. In a food processor pulse onion, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add whole tomatoes and pulse again until desired consistency.
  3. Add lime juice and more salt if desired to taste.


Greek Burgers

  • .5 t paprika
  • .5 t dried parsley
  • .5 t ground pepper
  • .5 t salt
  • .5 t garlic powder
  • .5 t onion powder
  • 1 T softened butter, optional if using lean meat like turkey
  • 1 lb ground lamb, beef, or turkey
  1. Mix spices together in a bowl.
  2. Blend in softened butter if using.
  3. Add ground meat and mix thoroughly.
  4. Form into patties.
  5. Grill.

Rotisserie Chicken

This could be done in an oven too.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 C kosher Salt
  • 1/2 C white or brown sugar or combo
  • 1 t whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  1. Remove giblets from chicken, rinse chicken with cold water.
  2. To make the brine, dissolve 1/2 C kosher salt and 1/2 C sugar in 1 C very hot water.
  3. Add the bay leaves and the peppercorns.
  4. Pour the brine in a pot or bowl large enough to hold the chicken and add enough ice or cold water to cool the brine to warm, but not hot.
  5. Place chicken in pot with brine and add more cold water to just cover chicken. Give it a little stir to blend the brine and the cold water.
  6. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  7. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to make the seasoned butter.
  8. Get a fire going or preheat grill and set up the rotisserie in a charcoal or gas grill. Use a lot o charcoal if using charcoal.
  9. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  10. Thoroughly coat the chicken inside and out with the seasoned butter.
  11. Tie up the legs and wings.
  12. Rotisserie chicken until internal temp is greater than 165° in the thickest part of the thigh. 1-1/2 to 2 hours depending on the temp of the grill.


Pickled Onions

  • 1/3 C white vinegar
  • 1/3 C apple vinegar
  • 1 T water
  • 3/4 T sugar
  • 1 T kosher or sea salt
  • 1 medium or 2 small red onion sliced very thin (use mandoline)
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced, seeds and membrane removed if it’s a hot one (optional)
  1. Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a 1 small bowl. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar.
  2. Stuff sliced onion and jalapeño into a jar and add the vinegar mixture.
  3. Shake well to distribute liquid.
  4. Leave on counter overnight then store in refrigerator.


Instant Pot Jambalaya

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1/4-in.-thick rounds
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 2-1/2 t Cajun seasoning divided
  • 1 chopped medium yellow onion
  • 1 chopped large celery stalk
  • 1 chopped small green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped small red bell pepper
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 C uncooked long-grain rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 t thyme
  • 1 pound medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  1. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Time, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat 5 to 8 minutes. Add oil, and stir in smoked sausage. Cook sausage, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  2. Add chicken to cooker, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  3. Add onion, celery, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to cooker, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  5. Add broth, diced tomatoes, rice, bay leaves, thyme, sausage, chicken, and remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, stirring well to combine ingredients.
  6. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 7 minutes.
  7. Toss shrimp with salt and black pepper in a medium bowl.
  8. When cooking has stopped, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). Remove lid from cooker, and stir in shrimp. Return lid to cooker, and let stand until shrimp are pink and have cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Lloyd’s Pizza Dough

  • 266 gm warm water
  • 3/8 tsp dry active yeast
  • 200 mg 00 flour
  • 200 mg all purpose flour
  • 6 gm salt (heaping 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
  1. Dissolve water and yeast in a glass measuring cup.
  2. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add water/yeast mixture and thoroughly combine with heavy spoon or a wet hand.
  4. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 min.
  5. Kneed dough in bowl until smooth and silky.
  6. Cover and put in refrigerate overnight.
  7. At 10 am or earlier kneed again.
  8. Cover and leave rise on counter.
  9. At 4 pm place dough on floured surface.
  10. Divide in two and form into 2 balls.
  11. Place in oiled container covered.

If using grill:

  1. Place stones on grill and preheat with top closed until grill is really hot.
  2. At 6 pm shape into pizza on pizza screen or parchment paper and add toppings.
  3. Cook for about 3 min.

New England Clam Chowder

This recipe uses a slow cooker but it could be done equally well on the stove.

  • 1/3 salt pork, cut into small cubes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 6.5 oz cans chopped clam in clam juice
  • 2 8 oz bottles clam juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 t black pepper
  • 1-1/2 C half-and-half
  • 2 T cornstarch
  1. Saute salt pork in a frying pan until cooked through and slightly brown.
  2. Add onion and saute until onion is softened and translucent.
  3. Add all ingredient EXCEPT half-and-half and cornstarch to slow cooker and cook covered for 6 hours.
  4. Whisk together half-and-half and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  5. Slowly add and stir in half-and-half/cornstarch mixture to the slow cooker.
  6. Continue cooking for another 1/2 hour or so until the chowder is thickened.

Roast Turkey

Directions for an 18 lb brined turkey.

  1. Remove all oven racks except for one. Set this rack in the next-to-the-lowest position. Preheat the oven to 500°.
  2. Rinse turkey with cold water and then pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Loosely pack turkey with a combination of herbs, carrots, celery, and onion. Keep packing loose. (NOTE: skip the herbs.)
  4. Truss or don’t truss. Not trussing can make the breast meat juicier because the legs can cook faster untrussed.
  5. Cut a piece of foil big enough to cover the turkey’s breast. Mold piece to breast. Remove foil, then grease with soft butter.
  6. Thoroughly rub softened butter all over turkey with your hands to get a nice, even coating.
  7. Add about an inch of hot water to roasting pan.
  8. Place turkey, breast side up, on a V-shaped rack set inside the roasting pan.
  9. Place turkey in oven, neck end first and breast up. Roast turkey until nicely browned, 30–40 minutes.
  10. Apply foil to breast of turkey. Insert thermometer probe directly through foil into deepest part of breast or use an instant read thermometer after 1½ hours, but don’t pierce the skin too much.
  11. Periodically check to see that there’s a little moister in the bottom of the pan.
  12. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and return turkey to oven, foil securely in place. Do not open oven to baste turkey.
  13. Roast until probe registers 165° for breast and 180° for thigh, 2–2½ hours.
  14. Cover turkey with foil and let rest 30 minutes. Turkey will continue to cook a bit.
  15. Save pan drippings for gravy.
  16. Carve turkey.

Captain Dave’s Chicken Curry

You might want to try substituting already ground spices for the whole spices if you don’t whole ones on hand.

  • 2 lbs chicken cut into large chunks
  • 1-1/2 T tumeric
  • 1 T ground coriander seed
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 1 t whole cumin
  • 3/4 t black peppercorns
  • 1″ piece cinnamon bark
  • 1/2 t fenugreek
  • 2 T canola oil, ghee, or butter
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 whole hunan chiles or other small hot dried chiles
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3/4″ piece peeled ginger finely chopped
  • 14 oz. coconut milk
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 7 medium potatoes cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 T flour
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a food processor or spice grinder, blend the spices (tumeric, coriander seeds, garam masala, cumin, peppercorns, cinnamon, and fenugreek.
  2. In a big pot, heat the oil, ghee, or butter
  3. Lightly sauté the onion, chiles, ginger until well softened but not brown,
  4. When softened add the garlic and sauté a bit.
  5. Add the spice mixture cooking for a minute or two stirring constantly.
  6. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes to lightly brown the chicken.
  7. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the potatoes and cook on low for about an hour or until everything is nicely cooked.
  9. Thicken with the flour mixed with 1/4 cup of the juice.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.

Brazilian Slow Cooker Black Beans

Original recipe http://cafejohnsonia.com/2013/02/how-to-slow-cooker-black-beans.html

  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 onion, not chopped or sliced
  • 1 or 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tsp salt
  1. Rinse the beans a few times.
  2. Place black beans, onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaf in a slow cooker. Add water.
  3. Cook on high for about 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  4. Test for doneness.
  5. Add the salt, stir gently and let cook, or sit with heat off for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf, garlic cloves, and onion before using, if desired.
  7. Add more salt if necessary.

Whole Wheat Bread

From http://www.food.com/recipe/wholesome-homemade-honey-whole-wheat-bread-32607, but modified a bit. The original makes 4 loaves, I half it to 2  loaves. I use a stand mixer with the dough hook instead of kneading it by hand.


  • 1 envelopes yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 1⁄4 cup butter, softened
  • 1⁄8 cup molasses
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cups white flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, molasses, honey and salt and mix well.
  3. Add yeast mixture and then gradually add flours.
  4. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth.
  5. Place in buttered bowl and let rise until double.
  6. Punch down and let rest for a few minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 2 parts and shape into loaves.
  8. Place in greased bread pans and let rise for about an hour.
  9. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes.

Turkey Chili

The original recipe is from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/72508/the-best-vegetarian-chili-in-the-world/

  1. Brown the ground turkey in some olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Remove the browned turkey.
  3. In the same pot heat some more olive oil if needed. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Return the browned turkey to the pot with the vegetables.
  5. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

Tater Knots

  • 3/4 stick melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • a sprinkle of onion powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Butter 12 cups of a muffin pan with some of the melted butter.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs then whisk in the yogurt or sour cream.
  4. Mix in both cheeses and onion powder.
  5. Season potatoes with salt and pepper if needed. Add them to the bowl and mix well.
  6. Spoon them into the pan filling the cups just to the top or a little below. About 1/4 cup in each muffin cup.
  7. Bake 25 – 35 minutes until they pull away from the sides of the cup and are golden brown all over.
  8. Remove from oven and let them cool 5 minutes in pan.

Chicken Cassoulet

This recipe is from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-cassoulet. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Bake a lot longer than the recipe calls for.

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces chicken kielbasa or better sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook in batches, turning occasionally, 10 minutes or until well browned. Remove chicken to a plate, and set aside.
  2. Add sausage to skillet, and cook, turning often, for 6 minutes or until sausage is well browned. Remove from skillet.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, and add onion, celery, and carrot to skillet. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add tomato, next 3 ingredients, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to mix well. Add chicken and sausage. Spoon into a 13- x 9-inch (4-quart) casserole dish.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or combine breadcrumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; stir to mix well. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle mixture over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and crumbs are lightly browned. This could take much longer.

Pizza Sauce 2

Makes enough for one medium pizza.

  1. Heat the sauce in a small sauce pan.
  2. In a bowl, crush the plum tomatoes with your hands.
  3. Squeeze out most the liquid.
  4. Add to the tomato sauce.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Heat through.

* about 1 cup, might need more.

Isabel’s Scalloped Potatoes

Serves about 8

  • 3 T flour
  • 1-1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground pepper
  • 2 C scalded milk (almost but not boiling)
  • 4 lbs. russet potatoes sliced thin
  • 1 C grated cheddar cheese (maybe more)
  • 4 T butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Butter a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
  4. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the cheese.
  6. Do steps and 3 and 4 again.
  7. Layer the last 1/3 of the potatoes and the rest of the flour mixture.
  8. Dot with slices of the butter.
  9. Add the hot milk.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
  11. Remove foil cover and top with remaining cheese. Add extra cheese if you want to.
  12. Bake uncovered until potatoes are cooked through, the cheese is a little browned and most of the liquid is gone, perhaps another 30 or 45 minutes.

Make Ahead Latkes on the Grill

Makes about 24 latkes. This is for a Weber gas grill.

  • 5 lb russet potatoes
  • 8  eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 C minced onion (optional)
  • 1-1/2 t baking powder
  • 2-4 t salt
  • white pepper to taste
  • 9 T matzo meal
  • Vegetable, peanut or other mild oil for frying.
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks.
  2. Grate potatoes with food processor.
  3. Cover grated potatoes with very cold water in a large bowl and allow to soak at least 15 minutes up to 1 hour.
  4. Combine dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, white pepper, and matzo meal in a bowl.
  5. Grate onion if using.
  6. Remove grates from grill, then preheat grill to high.
  7. After soaking time, drain potatoes and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  8. Place 2 cast iron pans directly on flavorizer bars and add oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Begin heating oil to quite hot but not scorching.
  9. Add all ingredients into a very large bowl, or split between 2 large bowls, and mix thoroughly with hands.
  10. When the oil is hot, fry the laktes in batches.

These can be frozen and reheated later. Let the the latkes cool in a single layer on baking sheets. Freeze in the freezer when cool. When the latkes are frozen solid, carefully transfer to aluminum baking pans, cover, and return to freezer. When ready to serve, heat for about 15-20 minutes on baking sheets in a 425° preheated oven until crispy and golden brown.


An easy to prepare quiche. Serves four.

1 9″ pie crust, refrigerated pre-made from the grocery store works great
2 C coarsely chopped fresh spinach
3/4 C coarsely chopped ham
3/4 C grated cheddar
Hefty sprinkle of grated parmesean
6 large eggs
1 C half and half
salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450º.
  2. Line a glass pie plate with crust. Fold extra, overhanging dough under to give the crust a nice edge and decorate rim with your fingers or a fork.
  3. Bake crust for 4-5 minutes until it’s a little drier and slightly bubbly to pre-bake the bottom so it’s cooked when the quiche is done.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. It can be warm, but not hot.
  5. Lightly saute spinach in a little olive oil. Allow to cool.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 375º.
  7. Add filling to crust. First ham, then spinach, then cheese.
  8. Blend eggs, cream, and a dash of salt and pepper in a blender or by hand.
  9. Carefully pour egg mixture over cheese, spinach and ham.
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes. The very center of the quiche should jiggle slightly.
  11. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Try other fillings, but they should be cooked and not watery.


Makes 2 Margaritas

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pieces of fresh lime
  • 3 oz Tequilla
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz Cointreau (not Triple Sec)
  • 1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
  1. Pour some salt into a container wide enough to fit the glasses. A small plate works.
  2. Wet rim of 2 glasses with lime or a damp paper towel and dip in salt to coat rim.
  3. Combine Tequilla, lime juice, Cointreau and Rose’s Lime Juice in a cocktail shaker partly filled with ice. Shake well.
  4. Add some ice to the 2 salt-rimmed glasses.
  5. Strain Margarita mixture into the 2 glasses.
  6. Garnish with 2 lime pieces. An orange piece of orange would be nice too.