Some Good Recipes

TASTY, EASY RECIPES.. maybe you’ll find one you like!

Updated: 2006 through 2017 by Amanda

Alan Alda’s Pasta With Tomatoes & Parmesan 6 Oct 2006

Alan Alda taught Martha Stewart how to make this. It’s delicious! The easiest pasta dish you will ever cook. You don’t even boil the pasta. Worth the exorbitant price of the Parmesano-Reggiano. (Makes 6+ helpings depending on serving size.)

  • 3/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne (or similar sized) pasta
  • Two 28-ounce cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained (I use one of each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesano-Reggiano cheese (I use 3/4+ cup because I love this cheese)

1. Pour the oil into a 2½-quart (or larger) baking/casserole dish or bowl. Add the dry pasta and stir until well coated. Let stand for 20 minutes or longer. (I add some chopped onion and/or minced garlic to this pasta & oil mixture but the original recipe has no onion or garlic in it. I also add basil and/or oregano if I have them/it.)

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Add the canned tomatoes to the pasta/oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or a fitted pot lid. Bake and stir every 15 to 20 minutes (then re-cover). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes for al dente, or until the pasta is done to your taste. (I like softer, less chewy pasta. I dislike dense chewy pasta. So I cook my dry pasta a little longer.)

4. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the cheese, and stir together. Serve & enjoy.

Perfect Roast Beef 4 Nov 2006

Basic, infallible, very easy; slow-roasted in the oven. Will not dry out. Use any beef cut you like. A boneless eye round roast works great. These directions also make the perfect boneless pork loin roast.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place a thawed or fresh roast in an open roasting pan. No seasoning is necessary; this slow cooking method enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Believe it or not, meat has great natural flavor!

Then place into preheated oven. Roast at 500°F for five (5) minutes per pound. Then TURN OFF the oven WITHOUT OPENING the oven door for 2 hours. For example, a 4 lb. roast should be baked for 20 minutes at preheated 500°F. Then turn off the oven, don’t open the door, & let the roast remain inside the hot oven for 2 hours. Again, DON’T OPEN the oven door until after 2 hours. Then remove the roast, slice, and serve, no resting of the roast is necessary.

Delicious served cold: After roasting, cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate. To serve, slice thinly against the grain. This slow-roasting recipe produces tender sliced roast beef (or pork) for making delicious deli-style steak sandwiches, Dagwoods, grinders, cheese steaks, hoagies, subs, chef salads, etc etc.

(adapted from the Pass the Plate recipe collection from the Episcopal Churchwomen in New Bern NC)

Roasted Tomato Sauce (oven or grill, very easy, fun to make) 6 Oct 2006

Roasted tomatoes make the BEST sauce. After roasting you can mash them, puree them, or freeze them in their chunky state and decide what to do with them later. Add whatever you like: sweet or hot peppers, mushrooms, different herbs and seasonings, etc, etc. It’s hard to mess up this recipe unless you forget the timer and burn some tomatoes. Even then it still comes out pretty good, just remove anything scorched/burnt.

  • Around 2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled if desired, halved, then quartered (or cut into 1-inch cubes). Scoop out the seeds for best flavor. Should measure around 4 cups or so.
  • If using cherry tomatoes, remove the stems and halve each one but don’t worry about the tiny seeds.
  • 1 chopped Walla Walla or Vidalia (or similar) large sweet onion in 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil (or 1/4 c. dry basil)
  • 8 or 10 cloves of whole garlic, peeled
  • About 1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the tomatoes as desired. I cut them in half & scoop out the seeds before chopping. This only takes a few minutes. I never peel them.

1. Place the chopped tomatoes in a large roasting pan, jelly-roll pan, cake pan, or any baking sheet with sides. Add the onion, basil and garlic, distribute evenly. You can crowd the vegetables, but don’t go beyond one layer. Lightly drizzle olive oil over everything, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roast in a preheated 350 to 400F degree oven (the hotter the oven, the shorter the roasting time) until the prepared tomatoes turn a deep golden brown – from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on oven temperature and size of the chopped pieces. I usually roast everything at 350F for around 30 minutes give or take. Just check it now & then to avoid overcooking, scorching or burning.

OR: You can also roast the vegetables over indirect heat on the grill, with the cover on.

When done (by either cooking method) the tomato mixture will have browned, collapsed and look wrinkled.

3. Remove pan from the oven or grill & let cool for a few minutes. Then with a spatula, scrape, stir, and blend the roasted tomato mixture together to incorporate all.

4. Pour into a large bowl or stew pot and mash everything together, or puree in a blender, food processor or food mill. Should make about 2 1/2 cups smooth sauce, or around 3 to 4 cups chunky sauce.

To freeze: ladle the sauce into freezer containers or freezer bags, leave about 1-inch head space. Let cool completely, then seal and freeze.

Crock Pot Navy Beans 6 Oct 2006

Almost no work involved. The easiest most delicious beans. Start the night before. Makes 8+ helpings, depending on serving size. Great with cornbread and your favorite grilled sausage.


4 c. dry navy beans (pick over and rinse thoroughly)
8 c. water
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. molasses
1/2 lb. of your favorite bacon or other cured/smoked meat, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. ketchup
1 minced onion (or more, depending on your taste/type of onion)
1/2 tsp. pepper (or more, if you like pepper like I do)

1. Mix everything together in a crock pot and bake all night on low.

2. In the morning open the pot and stir the beans. Add a cup or so of water, or more if the beans seem dry or too thick. Stir together and replace the lid.

3. Ready by noon or earlier, depending on when you started cooking the previous night.

As for me, I usually cook the beans on low for around 6 hrs, then stir in a cup of water, re-cover, and let it go for another hour or so on low. Smoked bacon or some other smoked meat is great for flavoring, or if you have a ham bone left over from a pork roast use that. If you keep Kosher, use a smoked or cured kosher sausage to add flavor, or a roasted veal/lamb/beefsteak bone (remove before serving).
My Tip: slow cookers with the heating element on the bottom will probably need more water added than those with the wrap-around heating element around the sides.

Grilled Venison with Cranberry Chutney Dressing 12 Nov 2006

A tasty treat from the North Country where I grew up (never mind how long ago).

If you don’t have a grill, use the broiler in your oven.
Makes 4 helpings (double everything for 8)


Soak (4) eight-ounce venison steaks or similar prime venison cuts in milk for 12 to 24 hours in the fridge (the longer the better). “Old school” venison lovers pound the steaks or prime cuts to tenderize before soaking.


Saves time and tastes best if you prepare this dressing the night before, after the venison starts marinating in the milk. Combine the following ingredients in a four-quart bowl and mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Major Grey’s chutney¹
1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of wet mustard (I use Dijon)
1 teaspoon curry powder (or 5 spice Chinese is also good)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(This chutney dressing mixture tastes great with anything: game, poultry, beef, pork, salmon, or whatever.)

• Rinse the milk-marinated venison steaks, then pat dry with a paper towel.
• Brush steaks all over with olive oil (or melted bacon fat if you’re an “old school” venison lover)
• Pat, sprinkle, or dredge the venison steaks (all sides) with enough dry mustard to coat the meat
• Then sprinkle the steaks all over with freshly ground pepper
• Grill (or broil) venison steaks to desired doneness, to your taste. (For wild game I cook mine to medium or medium well. I never cook “wild” game rare or medium rare unless it’s farm-raised.)

• Remove steaks from heat and quickly brush with 1/4 cup melted butter (or pour the melted butter over the hot steaks if you prefer), then sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.
• Serve the chilled chutney dressing on top or on the side of each steak. Garnish with fresh cranberries and chopped parsley, if you have them.

¹Major Grey’s is a delicious type or style of mango chutney, not a brand. Use any brand of Major Grey’s chutney, or make your own (it’s fun to make). Major Grey’s is a delicious old favorite up in the North Country, served with any kind of meat or salmon. If you haven’t tried it before, now is a good time to start.

(recipe adapted from Chef Manning at the Jefferson County Children’s Home)

Best Pan-Fried Chicken 6 Oct 2006

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
    (or 3 lbs. of chicken parts, bone in)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 1 cup dry potato flakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or your favorite seasoning combo for chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. In a shallow dish or bowl (or a big food storage bag), pour buttermilk (or regular milk) and add chicken pieces. Cover (or seal the bag) and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. (Discard buttermilk or milk after marinating.)

2. Mix the potato flakes, flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and store until you are ready to cook the chicken. Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in this potato flake/flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil until hot (350° to 375°). Fry chicken over medium heat until golden brown and juices run clear. Turn pieces when necessary to cook evenly. Smaller pieces cook faster, so turn and remove them first.

Notes: You can substitute bread crumbs for flakes, although potato flakes give the coating a nice light puffy texture. Electric skillets work great to maintain frying temps.

Baked Honey Almond Chicken 6 Oct 2006

Makes 6 servings

6 bone-in chicken parts (OR 3 split cornish hens)

1/2 cup butter (or olive oil)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Arrange chicken parts in a baking dish, set aside. Now make the sauce..
2. Melt butter (or heat olive oil) in a skillet over medium heat, and cook onion 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in honey, almonds, and lemon juice, and continue cooking until heated through. Pour over the chicken, coating each piece.
3. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking another 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.

Maple Nut Ice Cream 3 Oct 2012

New England custard style ice cream, easy to make with a mixer. No ice cream maker necessary.

3 eggs, separated
1 c. maple syrup (light, medium, or dark amber, or whatever grade you prefer)
1/2 t. salt
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 c. nutmeats (optional but toasted chopped walnuts are traditional)

Beat egg yolks until thick, about 2 min. at high speed. Add syrup to egg yolks while beating at medium speed, about 1 minute. Transfer to top of double boiler and cook until it forms a soft custard, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside to cool. Beat egg whites and salt together in clean dry bowl at high speed until stiff, about 2 minutes. Then in separate bowl, beat cream at high speed until stiffly whipped, about 2 minutes. Fold together the whipped cream and egg whites, then fold in the custard and nutmeats. Pour into a deep tray or cake pan and freeze for 90 minutes or almost firm. Transfer to a mixer bowl and beat again for two or three minutes at medium speed. Return to freezer until frozen firm. Serves 6 to 8.

(From Grandma’s recipe file dated 1946 when she bought an electric mixer.)

Montgomery Pie (makes 2 pies) 3 Oct 2012

Makes delicious sweet, mildly lemony layered pies. Extra delicious when served with whipped cream.

Start with 2 unbaked pie shells, then

1. Mix these thoroughly to form the syrup then divide evenly into the 2 pie shells:

the juice & zest from 1 large or 2 small lemons
1/2 c. molasses
1 c. water
1/2 c. cane sugar
1 egg
1/2 T. flour

2. To make the cake top, mix these together, divide evenly, & pour over the liquid ingredients in each of the two pie shells:

3/4 c. cane sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour

Bake at 350°F (for glass pie pans) or at 375°F (metal pans) for 35 to 45 min. or until golden.

(From Grandma’s recipe file dated “July 1955”)

Easy Low-fat Diet Cola Cake 6 Oct 2006

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 12-ounce can of diet Coke
(that’s it, just diet Coke and cake mix)

Use any brand cake mix, add the diet Coke and mix together. Bake according to the package directions (preheat oven, grease & flour the pan, etc).

When cooled, sprinkle the cake with confectioners sugar, or top with diet Cool Whip. Or use any topping you like, fruit preserves, orange marmalade, frozen yogurt, ice cream, etc.

diet Sprite/White Cake Mix
diet Cherry Coke/Cherry Cake Mix
(or go crazy and try your own combination)

Blueberry French-Toast Casserole 6 Oct 2006

From NEWSDAY - Easy to prepare ahead.

12 slices dry white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups), divided
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Blueberry syrup or maple syrup, for serving

To dry the bread slices: arrange slices in a single layer on a wire rack, cover loosely and let stand overnight. Or cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes, spread in a large baking pan and bake, uncovered, in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dry, stirring twice; cool.

Place half of the bread over the bottom of a well-buttered, 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle and distribute cream cheese and blueberries evenly over bread cubes. Top with remaining bread.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Then beat in milk and syrup until blended. Carefully pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.

Bake, covered, in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and topping is puffed and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with additional syrup.

Yield: 8 to 10 helpings

Grilled Peaches 6 Oct 2006

If you can’t find Greek or Greek-style yogurt, strain plain whole-milk yogurt through cheesecloth or a coffee filter for an hour or two, then proceed with the recipe. These peaches are also delicious served with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

1 cup Greek or Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon of your favorite honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
4 peaches, pitted, cut into halves
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Combine yogurt, honey and mint and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. (Or use a grill pan on the stove).

Brush peach halves with melted butter. Mix sugar and cardamom and turn peach halves in the mixture until coated. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the peaches with your fingers. Grill peaches 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks form and peaches are softened. Allow to cool slightly, then serve topped with yogurt. Serves 4 (2 halves per person).

Apple Pan Goody 6 Oct 2006

6 medium-sized tart apples, peeled and sliced (green Granny Smith apples from the supermarket taste great in this)
3/4 to 1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, currants, chopped dried apricots or any other dried fruits or a happy combination thereof)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups orange juice
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Maple or blueberry syrup or honey, optional for serving

In a large skillet, sauté apples, cranberries/dried fruit, brown sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in the butter until apples begin to soften, about 6 to 10 bubbly minutes. Then transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.

In a blender, combine the eggs, orange juice, flour and salt; cover and process until smooth. Pour over apple mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and remaining cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with syrup or honey, if desired.

Yield: 8 helpings.

Zucchini Pie 6 Oct 2006

This pie is delicious. Even people who hate veggies love this pie. Perfect in the summer and through the fall when your local fresh zucchini is abundant and bountiful. You’ll need one bottom pie shell/crust.

6 cups of peeled, quartered, thinly sliced zucchini but not too thin, maybe ¼ inch (about 2 or so pounds of zucchini)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 unbaked bottom pie shell (as noted above)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Make the filling first: In a medium (3 qt.) saucepan over medium heat, combine zucchini, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir to mix and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup lemon juice until smooth. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Then make the topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the chopped nuts. Divide mixture into 2 halves.

Now assemble & bake the pie: Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Top with half of the streusel topping. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling bubbles. Remove from oven. Sprinkle the remaining streusel topping over the pie. Turn on the broiler. Place pie under the broiler (not TOO close) for 1 or 2 minutes, or until topping has lightly browned. If your oven door has no window, crack open the door to keep an eye on the pie.

Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled. Like most pies, best served the same day or within a day of baking. Serves 6 to 8.

(Adapted from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook by Nancy Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman)

Fried Apples 19 Oct 2006

A basic recipe for fried apples which you can serve with just about anything at any time. Makes around 6 helpings.

8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

1. Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan or deep skillet and add remainder of ingredients.
2. Sauté or simmer until apples are tender, about 15-25 minutes.

Serve over pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Or serve as a side dish with poultry, pork, lamb, or beef. Or serve over ice cream and/or under whipped cream for dessert. Also tastes and looks great as the filling and/or topping for a baked layer cake, instead of the usual frosting (refrigerate the leftovers, if any).

Renee’s Easy Bread (or Whatever) Pudding 3 Sep 2014

This is entirely Renee’s recipe from Portland Maine. Makes a great bread pudding using not just bread! Great way to turn stale or dried out muffins, doughnuts, cookies, cake, or other baked goods into a delicious baked pudding.

1 quart milk (4 c.)
3 eggs beaten (don’t go crazy just whisk with a fork)
1/3 c. or little more or less sugar, depending¹
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins (optional, or use other dried fruits or grapenuts cereal)
About 2 cups diced or cut bread, buttered or not (or use muffins, cake, donuts, bagels, cookies, whatever)

Use less bread for more custardy pudding, use more bread for thicker pudding. Denser bread makes thicker less custardy pudding.

Crack three eggs into a big bowl. Whisk with a fork or whisk (or use a mixer but you don’t have to, fork whisking is best). Add sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Whisk together. Add milk, and whisk again. Fold in raisins and bread, stir together.

Grease casserole dish with butter. Pour milk-bread mixture into it. Shake cinnamon sugar on top. Bake at 350-375° for about 1 to 1½ hours.

Test doneness by inserting knife through center. If it comes out mostly dry it is done. Great warm or cold, with of course, a little or a LOT of whipped cream!

Do not be afraid to fool around with this recipe. If you don’t have bread, use muffins, donuts, cookies or cakes. The denser the baked goods, the less custard you’ll get. If you don’t have nutmeg, use cinnamon or allspice or whatever. Large eggs are called for but it doesn’t matter, just throw in an extra egg or two if they are small. Throw in some grated apple, and presto apple bread pudding. Instead of bread, you can include Grapenuts cereal, and presto you have Grapenut custard. Think about it, then do it.

In other words lighten up and play around a little, you can get so many great flavors from one simple recipe.

Healthier Variation:
Use egg beaters (2 ounces per egg) and 2 percent milk. Sweeten with Splenda. Go light and taste as you add so you don’t get that after taste bite. Compensate with a little extra spice or vanilla.

¹Amanda’s Note: When using sweet muffins, donuts, cake, etc. instead of regular bread, use less sugar.

Perfect Peanut Brittle 4 Nov 2006

Very easy to make. No candy thermometers needed! Makes a great treat. Nice to give out at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or for any other occasion; excellent old-fashioned bake sale delicacy; everybody loves this old-time homemade brittle.

1 pound skinless peanuts (raw, or roasted salted, it doesn’t matter)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted peanuts)
1 teaspoon baking soda

First butter a large baking or cookie sheet. I use my trusty jelly roll pan.

Mix all ingredients, except baking soda, in an electric skillet. You can also use a large fry pan on the stove but an electric skillet works perfectly. Turn heat to high to cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. When candy turns a light golden brown, turn off the heat (or remove skillet from burner), stir in baking soda (it will foam up but don’t worry keep stirring) then turn onto a large buttered cookie or baking sheet. Spread out, cool completely, then break into pieces.

Note: Also delicious if made with other types of nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds, mixed nuts, or whatever. You can adapt this basic recipe and use different nuts, seeds, and flavorings. Some people stir in a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract before adding the baking soda but it’s completely optional.

(adapted from the Merrymeeting Merry Eating recipe collection from the Regional Memorial Hospital in Brunswick Maine)