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Sausage-Meatball Vegetable Soup

1 pound lean ground sausage

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 green onions with tops

1 quart vegetable broth

3/4 cup thinly sliced celery

3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots

1/2 small head cabbage, shredded

2 tomatoes, peeled, cut in eighths

1 (48-ounce) can tomato juice

1/2 cup rice

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish

Blend sausage with egg, salt and pepper. Cut green onions into 1/2-inch lengths; set aside. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil. Shape sausage mixture into 1-inch balls. Drop them into broth along with green onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato juice, rice, bay leaf and basil. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Stir in soy sauce. Top each serving with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.

Chicken Pot Pie

(This delicious pot pie is baked in a large baking dish, topped with doughnut-shaped biscuits. Chicken and broth can be prepared a day ahead to save time.)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 broiler-fryers (2-1/2-pounds each), quartered

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6-1/4 cups water

4 celery stalks, sliced

2 medium-size onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

Baking Powder Biscuits (recipe below)

Combine 1/2 cup of the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake chicken in seasoned flour until well coated; shake off excess. Brown chicken, a few pieces at a time, in vegetable oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add 6 cups of the water, celery, onion and parsley. Lower heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to a large bowl to cool. Strain vegetables from broth, if you wish; reserve vegetables to add to pie. Skim fat from broth. Return broth to pot; place over medium heat. Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with remaining 1/4 cup water in small bowl to form a thick paste. Spoon small amount of hot broth into flour mixture until smooth. Stir into hot broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat, discarding skin and bones. Cut chicken into large chunks. Stir into the thickened broth along with the reserved vegetables from the broth, if using, and half the package of frozen peas. Pour into 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare Baking Powder Biscuits.

Top chicken mixture with biscuits. Sprinkle top with remaining peas. Bake for 45 minutes until pie is bubbly-hot and biscuits are golden.

To make baking powder biscuits:

Sift together 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup grated carrots. Cut in 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add 2/3 cup milk; stir lightly until soft dough is formed. Do not overmix. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, about 2 minutes. Roll out 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds with floured doughnut cutter. You should have about 10 biscuits. Yield: 10 servings.

Meat Loaf with Dill Pickle Sauce

(Great served with herbed mashed potatoes below.)

1 pound lean ground round or chuck

1/2 pound lean ground pork

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (1 slice)

1 medium-size onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1/4 cup dill pickle juice

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup chopped dill pickle

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine beef, pork, bread crumbs, onion, pickle juice, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix lightly until blended. Shape into a 9x4-inch loaf in a shallow baking pan. Combine catsup, dill pickle, water, sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl; pour over meat loaf. Bake at 350°, basting often with pan juices for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Herbed Mashed Potatoes
with Sour Cream

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons thyme

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon each, dried sage and rosemary

Sour cream

Parsley sprigs, for garnish

In large saucepot, bring potatoes and enough water to cover to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to saucepot. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat milk over low heat. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes, adding warm milk, butter, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in herbs. When ready to serve, spoon potatoes onto plate and make a spoon-sized dip in the center of the potatoes. Add a dollop of sour cream in the center. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

German Beer Coffee Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each, allspice and cloves

2 cups chopped dates

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 sticks butter or margarine, softened

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups beer

Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Rum-butter spread (recipe follows: optional)

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and cloves; set aside. Combine dates and nuts; stir in small amount of flour mixture to coat; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with beer, blending well after each addition. Stir in dates and nuts. Pour into well-greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake in preheated 350° oven 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes, then turn out on rack to cool completely. Wrap in foil; let stand 24 hours before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar through a strainer. Serve with Rum-Butter Spread, if desired. (Cake keeps well at room temperature.) Yield: 18 servings.

To make rum-butter spread: Whip 1 stick softened butter or margarine with 2 tablespoons rum until light and fluffy. Spread on coffee cake slices before serving.

Grandma’s Custard Pie

1 unbaked pie shell

3 large eggs

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

2-2/3 cups of milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly, then add sugar, salt, nutmeg, and milk. Beat well and gently pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife test comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before serving. Sprinkle the top of pie with freshly ground nutmeg. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would like to hear from you. Please email me at Please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email!

Web Bonus Recipe!

Unstuffed Cabbage

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 small head cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tomato, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 potato, chopped

1/2 cup spicy vegetable juice

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. salt

1 cup rice

1/2 cup chopped parsley

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, pepper and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add cabbage, tomato, potato, vegetable juice, bay leaf and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes or until cabbage is tender and liquid is reduced. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Serve rice topped with cabbage. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.