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Category Archives: vegetables

Scalloped Creamed Potatoes


Scalloped Creamed Potatoes is a comfort food my family has made for decades. The recipe comes from The New Antoinette Pope School Cook Book and was a professional cooking school in Chicago where my mom took classes during the 40s and 50s.

It’s a favorite to make a double batch for during the holidays when we have a group of 8 or more and want to have enough for at least 2 meals. The recipe uses Velveeta cheese because it melts so well. The original used American cheese. The Antoinette Pope School Cook Book was published in 1948, and again in 1953, 1961 and 1973. Velveeta was prolific then!

Here is a single recipe using a deep 1 and a 1/2 quart or 2 quart deep casserole. To make a double recipe just do that and use 5 pounds of potatoes. I prefer yellow.  Also use 2 casseroles  Below I used a 2 and 1/2 quart & a 1 and 1/2 quart



2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds peeled yellow or red potatoes, sliced very thin with a mandolin

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, optional

1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin with a mandolin (more or less onion as you like)

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed for quick melting

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 and 1/4 cups hot milk

1 teaspoon salt

  • before peeling the potatoes, make the cheese sauce
  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • in a medium saucepan melt the butter
  • whisk in the flour and simmer a few minutes
  • slowly whisk in the hot milk and bring to a simmer.
  • add the salt
  • whisk and simmer 5 minutes
  • add the Velveeta and whisk till smooth
  • remove from heat, cover and set aside
  • butter your casserole(s)
  • peel and slice the potatoes and onion
  • layer some potatoes on the bottom of the casserole
  • sprinkle with salt and pepper is the original recipe, but I skip this step
  • layer some onion rings as desired
  • layer some cheese sauce
  • continue layers ending with a generous amount of cheese sauce on top
  • cover casserole and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  • lower temperature to 300 degrees and remove cover.
  • bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender
  • if sauce begins to boil over, place a baking sheet or piece of foil under the casserole
  • the top should be well browned. If not, place it under the broiler a few minutes
  • for a double recipe increase the baking time about 15 minutes

My Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe is very similar. It uses the same cheese sauce and the recipe comes from the same cookbook! Look above under Recipes, then Sides for Baked Macaroni and Cheese.


Brussels Sprout Salad with Watermelon Radish, Walnuts and Cranberries

Brussels Sprout Salad with Watermelon Radish, Walnuts and Cranberries

Brussels sprouts are quartered and lightly roasted. The bright red watermelon radishes are sliced thin. Also add coarsely chopped walnuts and quartered dried cranberries. Then toss with olive oil and champagne vinegar. So colorful and delish!

Raw Beet Slaw with Fennel, Tart Apple and Parsley

This was beautifully prepared by one of our dinner club friends, Steve Kin, for our get together last night. It’s a Better Homes and Gardens recipe and is sweet, tart and fresh! We all loved it, except the beet-haters 🙂

Raw Beet Slaw

Raw Beet Slaw

Use a mandolin if at all possible. And protect your fingers with the hand guard too.

In a small bowl combine:

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon or orange zest

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium bowl toss together:

2 medium beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored and cut into matchsticks

1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into matchsticks

1 cup firmly packed roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss. Chill up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Thank you to Steve and Mary Kin for hosting our Dinner Club this week and especially for assigning me this recipe! I have made it 3 times this week! I hope to make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas too. The red and green colors are so festive!

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2014. I only increased the quantities because I could not find small fennel bulbs and I wanted a larger quantity to take to a party. You can easily cut this recipe into thirds, but we ate dinner size portions of this with a small piece of meat on the side. It does not keep well, so use it within 1 day for best appearance. It gets a little wilted.

The key is to use a mandolin slicer to thinly slice the fennel, celery and shallots. Be careful of your fingers. Always use the protective handle.

Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Shallots, Pomegranate, Lime Juice, Olive Oil

Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Shallots, Pomegranate, Lime Juice, Olive Oil

A Mandolin Slicer set on the thinnest blade

A Mandolin Slicer set on the thinnest blade

Slicing the fennel with the protective handle in place on the fennel bulb

Slicing the fennel with the protective handle in place on the fennel bulb

Slicing the celery 3 half stalks at a time

Slicing the celery 3 half stalks at a time


Coarsely Chopped Celery Leaves

Coarsely Chopped Celery Leaves

Coarsely Chopped Parsley

Coarsely Chopped Parsley

Pomegranate Sliced in Half and Then Broken into Quarters

Pomegranate Sliced in Half and Then Broken into Quarters


Sliced and Chopped Vegetables Ready for the Marinade

Sliced and Chopped Vegetables Ready for the Marinade

Completed Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Completed Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

3 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

9 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (most of the leaves are on the inner celery stalks or the celery hearts)

Seeds from 1 whole pomegranate (slice in half and then break into quarters to easily pop out the seeds)

1/2 cup FRESH lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Place the mandolin slicer over a large mixing bowl and thinly slice the fennel, celery and shallots directly into the bowl.
  • Add the coarsely chopped parsley and celery leaves, and the pomegranate seeds
  • In a small bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix lightly and pour over the vegetables. Toss with large mixing spoons.
  • Serve as a side dish or as the main course for a light salad lunch.

Roasted Asparagus and Lettuce Salad with Poached Egg

Roasted Asparagus and Romaine Salad with Poached Egg

Roasted Asparagus and Romaine Salad with Poached Egg

Tonight I made a light dinner in honor of the first days of Spring. The temperature this morning was 5 degrees F, but I am trying to think WARM weather. The longer days and sunshine helps.

I love poached and soft boiled eggs. The French seem to use them often as a topping on their foods. I’ve eaten them on salads, toasted breads, cooked vegetables and on quickly cooked stews at home and in Paris and Corsica! Pretend you are in France enjoying the warmth and ambiance and give this recipe a try! It’s a very quick lunch or dinner that is special enough for company! It only takes 30 minutes 🙂

The original recipe is from Cooking Light May 2013. You can find the recipe there also. Today I used romaine because I could not find arugula at the grocery store. Choose your favorite lettuce variety. The arugula is more French. I also substituted cilantro for the tarragon because I had cilantro in the house. I did not add the toasted bread. If I had not eaten two pieces of bread at lunch, I would have added the bread to this salad tonight 🙂

Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or other fresh herb ( I used cilantro today)

5-ounces baby arugula or other lettuce variety

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

4 large eggs

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place asparagus on a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Toss gently to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.
  • Place in a large bowl: remaining 7 teaspoons oil,1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, shallots, lemon juice and tarragon. Whisk together.
  • Add arugula and toss. Divide salad onto 4 dinner plates.
  • Top salad with roasted asparagus.
  • Add water to a large skillet, filling 2/3 full. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar.
  • Break each egg into a custard cup and pour gently into water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 3 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. The yolk should be runny, but the egg white should be white, not clear.
  • With a slotted spoon remove each egg and place one on each salad. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  • Voila!

Kale Tahini Lemon Salad

Kale Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

kale tahini lemon salad2

Kale Salad with Dressing

Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that can be baked, roasted, sautéed and stir fried.  It can be tough and bitter when eaten as a salad. Massaging the kale breaks down the cellulose structure, turning it silky and a darker green color. After thoroughly rinsing the kale I shake it and then wrap it in paper towels. Massaging is like drying it really well. Spend a few minutes at it and you’ll have a softer leaf. Remove the stems and cut the kale into thin strips and its ready to go!

I love this salad dressing combination! Just whisk it together in a small bowl and then toss it with the prepared kale.

1 Tablespoon tahini

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons lower sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower Mash with Roasted Chicken and Steamed Broccoli


Cauliflower can be cooked alone, as I did  here, or with other white vegetables such as potato, parsnip, or turnip. Cauliflower is a low carb replacement for mashed potatoes. I serve Cauliflower Mash with Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf and with Coconut Curry (Chicken (seen below) or Fish) and with Roasted Chicken (seen above)

Coconut Curry Chicken Over Cauliflower Mash with Steamed Broccolini

Coconut Curry Chicken Over Cauliflower Mash with Steamed Broccolini

  • Wash an entire head of cauliflower.
  • With a paring knife cut away from the core, using as much of the cauliflower as you can and even the core chopped in smaller pieces.
  • Place the large cauliflower pieces into 1 inch of boiling water and cover.
  • Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain well and mash.
  • With a stick blender puree, adding 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream.

Lemony Brown Rice and Fresh Corn Salad


Grand daughter enjoying her first corn on the cob 🙂

This is a recipe I made up this weekend because the fresh corn on the cob we purchased was not very sweet. I did not think it would taste good in the salad I usually make slicing the corn kernels off the cobs of leftover corn on the cob. I love short grained brown rice which I try to keep ready to eat in the frig. You can prepare it in many fashions, but the simpliest is to combine in a saucepan:

2 cups short grain brown rice

5 cups water

Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes or until tender.

To make the Lemony Salad, combine in a large bowl in equal or a larger portion of rice:

3 cups Brown Rice

3 cups Fresh Corn off the Cob that has been blanched ( My method for preparing corn on the cob is to bring a large pot of corn that is 1/2 filled with water, covered, to a boil. Turn off the heat and let set, covered, 10 minutes.) Drain. Cool and use a sharp knife to slice off the cob close to the core.

For the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Fold marinade into rice and corn mix. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Russian Salad/Olivier Salad/Salade a la Russe

Light mayonnaise dressing

Light mayonnaise dressing

Potates and other vegetables

Potates and other vegetables

This is the most popular salad in the world! It is made throughout Europe and the Middle East and has a long history, originating in Moscow at the Hermitage Restaurant in 1864. My family in Minsk, Byelorussia served this to us in 1970 for lunch and dinner, 2 days in a row. It is a salad made for special occassions and for celebrations and picnics. You may also add tuna, bologna, calamari, shrimp, anchovies, or ham. My dressing is a lighter version of the original French mayonnaise.

2 pounds white potatoes, unpeeled and washed

½ pound carrots, peeled, cooked firm, diced

1 cup frozen peas

5 scallions, sliced thin

4 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 cup diced kosher dill pickles (Bubbies brand if possible)

1 cup diced roasted red pepper

1/2 – 1 cup chopped green Spanish olives stuffed with pimento, drained

½ cup Hellmann’s light mayonnaise

½ cup Greek plain yogurt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they slightly give to a fork prick.
  • Drain and cool potatoes. Peel and then chop into tiny pieces, about ¼ inch
  • In a very large bowl combine potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickles and red pepper. All should be chopped to about the same ¼ inch size.
  • Add the green onion and peas.
  • In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
  • Add this dressing to the vegetables and mix with a big spoon.
  • You may also add cooked shrimp, marinated calamari or bologna!
  • Makes 24-1/3 cup servings.

Rapini Marinade Salad

Rapini served with Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini

Rapini served with Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini

Fresh Rapini/Broccoli Rabe

Fresh Rapini/Broccoli Rabe

Bright green rapini with garlic slices

Bright green rapini with garlic slices

Rapini Marinade Salad

1 bunch Rapini/Broccoli Rabe

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-2 Tablespoons thick aged balsamic vinegar

Sheeps milk cheese, shavings, optional

Crusty bread, optional

  • Prepare a large container of ice and water and set aside.
  • Cut off any discolored stem ends and wash rapini in water.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop rapini in.
  • Keep rapini in the hot water for 1 minute (blanch). Drain immediately and place rappini in ice water bath. Rapini should be crisp tender and bright green color.
  • After rapini is chilled, drain well and wrap in paper towels to soak up extra water.
  • Place in a container and toss in garlic. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  • Toss, cover and refrigerate.
  • May be served as long stalks or cut into 2 inch pieces. Serve cold or room temperature
  • Also may be served on a slice of toasted crusty bread. Drizzle balsamic. Top with large shavings of sheeps milk cheese.