What's Cooking - 2007

The Holidays are coming and no one has time to mess with a bunch of extra cooking. Here’s an easy recipe that freezes so well you’ll want to double the batch for after the chaos.

December’s Choice

• Stuffed Peppers
• Boiled Potatoes
• Salad
• Fresh Bakery Rye Bread
• Chardonnay Wine

Stuffed Peppers

6 lg. Green Peppers
1 c cooked barley
1 bottle Italian Dressing
¼ c. grated Swiss Cheese
½ c. chopped onion
2 T. chopped parsley
1 ½ lb. Ground beef
2 eggs, well beaten
½ c. bread crumbs
8 oz tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Parboil peppers in water. Drain upside down on paper towels.

In large skillet, heat ¼ cup Italian dressing and sauté onion until transparent. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Add meat and remaining ingredients, mixing frequently to blend well.

Stuff peppers, but do not pack tight, and place in a baking dish lightly sprayed with Pam.

In smaller bowl, combine remaining dressing with tomato sauce. Pour over peppers then cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes to an hour.

Boiled Potatoes

Red potatoes
Bay leaf
Canned or fresh chicken stock

Pour about 2 inches of chicken stock into a pot. Peel potatoes, rinse and cut into quarters before adding to the pot. Pour in enough water to cover potatoes one inch. Add bay leaf and cook until fork tender.

When done, remove bay leaf and drain well. Add butter and mix with a wooden spoon to coat the potatoes. Keep in pot until ready to serve.

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Tomatoes cut in eights
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Your favorite bottled dressing

Toss everything but the dressing together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Our friend Marsha Caldwell has come up with a recipe that certainly fits an erotica writer’s web site! Pasta Puntanesca which translates to Whore’s Spaghetti. LOL


November’s Choice

• Pasta Puntanesca – Whore’s Spaghetti
• Salad
• Italian Bread
• Olive Oil for dipping the bread
• Chianti Wine


¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
5 14.5oz can Italian plum tomatoes drained & roughly chopped
1 tbs. capers
1 can medium black olives, pitted & chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 teas dried basil
1 teas dried oregano
1/8 teas fresh ground pepper

# Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the garlic, stir, 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, capers, olives, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and black pepper, return to low heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Taste the sauce and add pepper if needed.

Reduce the heat to very low, simmer another 15 minutes.


1# spaghetti
1 teas fresh parsley
Grated parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water until al dente; drain.

Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, sprinkle on the fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Feta cheese
Fried bacon crumbled
Tomatoes cut in eights
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar

Toss everything but oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge chill until ready to serve.

Add the oil and vinegar just before serving. Toss well.

Save some oil for dipping the bread!

Barb Zorzi came up with this delicious menu. Not only is it healthy, it’s scrumptious! Believe me, I do not like fish at all. Barb cajoled and bribed me until I prepared it. Studs and I are hooked!

October’s Choice

• Salmon on the Grill
• Rice
• Grilled Veggies
• Chardonnay Wine

Salmon on the Grill

1 salmon filet per person
1 bottle Italian salad dressing – I prefer the low or no fat type
1 fresh lime

Set the salmon in a plastic bag. Pour in enough salad dressing to cover the filets. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the fish. Seal the bag and gently move it around to mix in the juice. Insert the salmon bag into a glass or aluminum bowl just large enough to hold the marinade in place.

Heat grill to medium. Spray Pam onto a doubled sheet of aluminum foil. Lay the prepared foil on the grill then add the fish. Grill 7 minutes each side. Turn once. Scrape off the silver skin before you serve the salmon.

Grilled Veggies

Yellow & Red Peppers
And anything else that strikes your fancy!

Slice all the veggies into thin to medium pieces. Making one package per person, Pam aluminum foil then layer veggies onto foil. Season with pepper and several pats of butter or margarine. Seal tight.

Grill 25-30 minutes on medium.


Use your favorite brand of rice, adding packaged chicken broth in place of the water. Save some of the red or yellow pepper from the veggies and toss into the rice at the beginning.

Cook per package directions.

September’s Choice

• Linguine with Artichokes and Leeks
• Tossed Salad
• French Bread
• Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad
• Soave White Wine – it’s from the Veneto region of Italy and perfect for this meal

Linguine with Artichokes and Leeks

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned
6 marinated artichoke hearts with stems (from a specialty food shop), or two 12-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts in oil, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons kosher salt less will not disturb the flavors
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Halve the leeks lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces. Halve the artichokes lengthwise. Wash well to remove any sand grains.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the leeks, and cook until soft but not browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove the leeks from skillet and set aside.

Increase heat to medium and add the artichokes. Cook about 3 minutes per side.

Return the leeks to skillet and toss to mix. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Cook the linguine according to the package directions, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the vegetables to the linguine and toss with half the Parmesan. Add some of the pasta water to moisten, if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Zucchini peeled and sliced
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Sweet or red onion rings
Tomatoes cut in eights
Hard boiled eggs quartered
And anything else that strikes your fancy, especially black olive and pepperoncini

Toss everything together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge chill until ready to serve.

Use bottled dressings or opt for one of the flavored oils on the previous menus.

Pistachio Fluff Fruit Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (3 oz) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 large bananas, sliced
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (15.25 oz) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

Dump instant pudding into a large mixing bowl, add pineapple, and mix well. Mix in nondairy whipped topping. Stir in bananas, marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Last month wasn’t one of my better times on this earth. I apologize for not updating the site. To make up for it we have a mouthwatering menu from Darlene Gervase. Wait until you wrap your lips around a forkful of these savory dishes. You’ll swear the gods have prepared it.

August’s Choice

• Hungry Italian Peppers
• Angel Hair Pasta
• Tossed Salad
• French Bread or Garlic if you’re not kissing anyone
• My Mom’s Pistachio Cake
• Dark Red Zinfandel – Gnarly Head Zinfandel has a nice aftertaste

Hungry Italian Peppers

1lb. Sweet Italian sausage
6 Hungarian hot peppers (the yellow waxy looking ones) or Melrose peppers
½ cup Olive oil
Fresh pressed Garlic
Asiago cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean the peppers and stuff with the Italian sausage. If you have extra sausage, roll it into balls and fit in around the peppers. Lay the peppers into a lightly Pam sprayed 8.5 x 11 inch pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the herbs. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain well. Slide the peppers to the side of their dish and add the pasta. Toss the pasta in the pan juices. Transfer to a serving platter. Shave the Asiago cheese over the top. Darlene told me its downright pretty and she’s absolutely right!

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Zucchini peeled and sliced
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Sweet or red onion rings
Hard boiled eggs quartered
Tomatoes cut in eights
And anything else that strikes your fancy, especially black olive and pepperoncini

Toss everything together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge chill until ready to serve.

Use bottled dressings or opt for one of the flavored oils on the previous menus.

My Mom’s Pistachio Cake

1 package white box cake
2 pkgs instant pistachio pudding – reserve ½ of one pkg for frosting
5 eggs
½ cup milk (heavy whipping cream is great if you don’t mind the calories)
½ cup water
½ cup oil (you can substitute apple sauce for the oil if watching cholesterol)
1 tsp almond extract (optional, just as good without it)

Mix together and pour into buttered and floured pan – I use a Bundt because I fill up the middle with the extra frosting.

350 for 50 min – check for doneness

My Mom’s Butter Crème Frosting

I start the paste as soon as I put the cake in the oven because it has to be COOL

Following is the recipe for one portion of frosting, which is enough for the cake, but I double this recipe and fill the middle of the cake with the frosting because my family loves it

2 TBSP Flour and ½ cup milk (again, try it at least once with heavy whipping cream). Warm the milk/cream on the stove and whisk the flour slowly until paste. VERY IMPORTANT TO THOROUGHLY COOL before adding the butter/sugar mixture.

Cream 1 stick butter with ½ cup white sugar – Cream this for a long time, until it is light and sugar seems melted – the longer you mix the better it tastes – I start this after I’ve done the paste

Add the flour paste to the sugar/butter mix and thoroughly mix. Then add the reserved pudding and 1 tsp vanilla. You can add a couple of drops of green food coloring if you like, but I like the pale color.

From the recipes of My Mom, Jean Kosco, Darlene Gervase

Hallelujah! The sun is shining and the temperature is climbing so all is right with the world. This month we have a scrumptious menu from talented Marsha Caldwell. The woman sure knows how to please a man’s tummy. I think Studs is in love with her!

June’s Choice

• Sautéed Scallops on Pasta
• Tossed Salad
• French Bread
• Crisp White Wine – Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Sautéed Scallops in Pasta

Japanese Scallops frozen food section – Trader Joe’s are excellent
Pasta of your choice
Olive oil
White wine

Cook your pasta al dente. Be careful not to overcook it. While it’s cooking begin you scallops.

Heat about ¼ cup olive oil into a frying pan. When the oil starts to warm add 2 tablespoons of soft butter. Quickly sauté the scallops, adding a splash or two of white wine and cook until done. Remove the scallops from the frying pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Toss the cooked pasta in the juices in the frying pan and coat thoroughly. Turn the pasta onto your dinner plates then top with the scallops. You can garnish with chopped fresh parsley for color.

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Zucchini peeled and sliced
Cucumber peeled and sliced
Sweet or red onion rings
Hard boiled eggs quartered
Tomatoes cut in eights
And anything else that strikes your fancy

Toss everything together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge chill until ready to serve.

Use bottled dressings or opt for one of the flavored oils on the previous menus.

VOILA – a wonderful dinner.
Bon Appétit!

Our weather has gone nuts in the Midwest, but I refuse to not believe summer is just around the corner. So again this month we have a menu geared for outdoor cooking, but also works great indoors.

May’s Choice

• Glazed Carrots
• Baked Potatoes
• Grilled Steaks
• Dry Red Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon

Glazed Carrots

1# cello wrapped pre-cleaned carrots
1 stick butter
Canned or boxed chicken stock
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbs. Sugar
Mint leaves if you like that flavor

In a Teflon type pan melt the butter and add the sugar. Add the carrots and enough chicken stock to come half way up the carrots. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Shake the pan periodically to move the carrots around. Cook until carrots are fork tender. If the glaze hasn’t reduced enough, lift the carrots to the serving dish and drape with foil. Bring the frying pan to a boil and cook until the glaze is reduced. Be careful here because the butter and sugar can burn easily. If it does, it’s very bitter.

Add the glaze to the carrots. Grind pepper to your taste on top then sprinkle with a few chopped mint leaves.

This freezes well for a future meal. If you freeze, do not add the mint leaves.

Baked Potatoes

1 baking potato per person
Bay leaf for each potato
Olive oil
Kosher or rock salt

Preheat the oven to 375°. Wash the potatoes under cool running water. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub the skins with a small amount of olive oil. Slit across the top large enough to fit in a bay leaf. Roll in the salt and wrap in aluminum foil.

Bake for about 45 minutes, depends on the size of the potato. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If the potato is cooked enough the pick will slide in easily.

If you use an outdoor grill wrap the potatoes in two sections of foil to prevent burning.

Either way, set them onto of a warm stove or inside a 200° oven to keep warm until ready to serve.

Grilled Steaks

1 Steak of your choice per person
Fresh ground black pepper
Worcestershire sauce

Heat your outdoor grill to medium. Sprinkle a few drops of Worcestershire sauce on each side of the steak and spread out with your fingers. Grind your quantity preference of fresh pepper on one side. Grill for 3 minutes each side for rare, 4 for medium rare, 5 for well done. Turn only once.

Remove the steaks and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit on top of the warm stove for at least five minutes. This will draw the juices back into the meat and will also cook the steak to the right doneness.

If you use the oven broiler, follow the same cooking times.

I’m a month behind in recipes and I sincerely apologize. The time goes faster with each passing year. Since it’s almost time for summer, I thought a picnic menu might put us all in the mood. The meat will work on the stove or on the grill. Have fun with it!

April’s Choice

• Tomato & Cucumber Salad
• Jane’s Potato Salad
• Greg’s Deviled Eggs
• Sautéed Mushrooms
• Hamburgers Sloane Style
• Crisp White Wine – Chardonnay

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Peeled cucumbers quartered and sliced
Tomatoes cut in eighths
Some onion sliced thin
Balsamic Vinegar

Put the cucumber into a glass or ceramic bowl then sprinkle with about ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and toss. Add the tomatoes, onion, and toss again. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of Basil and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use. This is very good if made the day before.

Jane’s Potato Salad

1 Red Potato per person
Hard boiled eggs 1 for every 4 potatoes

Boil the potatoes in their jackets until just fork tender. Drain and allow to cool. Scrape the skins off. Slice in half lengthwise then widthwise. Slice into the eating size pieces.

While the potatoes are cooking boil the eggs then peel under a slow stream of cool water. Cut in half then into eating size pieces. Set aside with plastic wrap or a paper towel over them to eliminate them drying out.

Chop fine one stalk celery for every seven potatoes. Put in large mixing bowl.

Chop fine ½ onion for every eight potatoes. Put in mixing bowl with the celery. Scale these two ingredients down or up to match the number of potatoes used. Grind in a healthy quantity of fresh pepper. Add to that several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise then stir together.

Add the cooled, boiled potatoes and mix well. Check for dryness. The salad should be moist but not swimming in mayo. Add the sliced eggs and stir again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Greg’s Deviled Eggs

Yellow mustard
Pickle relish

Place the eggs in boiling water. Cover and turn off the heat allow to sit for 10 minutes. Peel under a slow stream of cool water. Pat dry. Slice in half lengthwise. Set whites onto a platter, hollow side up.

Scoop yolks into a mixing bowl. Add mayo until moist then add a small amount of yellow mustard, pickle relish and pepper. Your mixture should be a bit thinner than paste.

Scrap yolk mixture into a Ziploc bag. Clip one end at the bottom then squeeze into the hollows of the whites. Dust with paprika. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Baby Portobello mushrooms
Onion sliced thin
Olive oil
Dry Vermouth or White Wine

Clean the mushrooms under slow running cool water. Set aside onto paper towels to dry. This can be done early in the day.

In a small frying pan combine a small amount of olive oil and butter or margarine. When the solid has melted add the sliced onion. Sauté for a few minutes but don’t let the onion brown.

I prefer to slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise. They cook better. Add them to the frying pan and sauté for a few minutes until well coated with the oil mixture. Pour over about 2 tablespoons of vermouth or wine onto the mushrooms then cook a few more minutes. These can be served hot or room temp, but not cold.

Hamburgers Sloane Style

Ground Sirloin about ½ pound per adult
Worcestershire Sauce
1 egg per 1 ½ meat
chives snipped, fresh or jarred

Beat the egg slightly in a small bowl. Combine the meat, Worcestershire Sauce, and handful of chives into a large mixing bowl. When the mixture is well combined, break off clumps of the meat and form patties. Set them onto waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to grill outside or on the stove.

Cook turning once on a medium to low flame until they are done to your preference.

Use any type roll that suits your fancy and dress with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato and the mushrooms. You can also add cheese for the topping. If you do then lay it over the burger about two minutes before the end of the cooking time.

The snow is blowing and I’m freezing here in Northwest Indiana. Honestly, the last thing I want to do is cook, very unusual for me. I have decided to make my life easy, so tonight Studs can dine on:

February’s Choice

• Warm Belgian Endive and Pine Nut Salad
• Almost Homemade Pizza
• Dry Red Wine – Ruffino Chianti

Warm Belgian Endive and Pine Nut Salad

1 tbs. Dijon mustard
pepper to taste
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
4 heads Belgian endive
1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil slowly until you have an almost creamy consistency. Taste and season with pepper. Set aside.

Cut endive heads crosswise into rings. Remove the hard end of the stems and discard. Rinse in a colander, shaking to separate the slices into rings. Set aside to drain.

In a large dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts. Stir constantly so that they do not burn. Once the pine nuts are golden, throw in the endive rings. Once it has warmed just slightly, pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Reduce the heat slightly if the endive is wilting too quickly. You want to maintain some crispness and texture.

If you have guests to impress, throw in the parsley. The sharp green flecks will brighten the dish and enhance the flavor, but the salad is in no way lacking without. Serve immediately. It is best served directly from the pan to the plate. If is put in a bowl, the dressing will settle at the bottom and be difficult to toss again without damaging the endive.

Almost Homemade Pizza

1 (12 inch) pre-baked Italian bread pizza crust. I prefer Boboli
1 cup pizza sauce
1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella
½ lb. Italian sausage, pinched into dine sized pieces
Fresh Parmesan or Romano to grate over the top
Mushrooms, peppers or what ever else you enjoy can be added

Preheat the oven to the temperature recommended on the crust package. Lay the crust onto a baking sheet of appropriate size. Spread the sauce over the crust. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Lay your other sausage etc. on top. Cover the pie with the remaining mozzarella then grate some fresh Parmesan or Romano over that.

Bake according to the crust package directions or until the sausage is no longer pink and the cheese is melted.

The pizza makes a great leftover lunch, but the salad will turn bitter and limp.

Studs and I are big Chicago Bears fans and tailgate at all the home games. It’s a lot of fun and we meet some interesting people who are happy to share their recipes as they flip and sip over an open grill. Here at Sloane Central we’ve tested them all. If you doubt it, just check out my rear next time you see me waddle down the street.

The menu below works fantastic on a grill and great on the stove!

January’s Choice

• Marinated Pork Chops
• Roasted Potatoes
• Tossed Salad
• Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil
• Dry White Wine – Pinot Grigio

Marinated Pork Chops

Pork chops preferably with the bone
Olive oil
Green pepper seeded and cut in strips
Red pepper seeded and cut in strips
Sliced onion
Several cloves of fresh garlic pressed

Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl. Make sure the chops are buried in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days.

Heat a frying pan until a few water drops sprinkled on it hop around the pan and evaporate quickly. Add the pork chops and brown on each side. Lower the heat to moderate. Add the peppers and onions. Cover the pan and fry until fork tender.

Roasted Potatoes

New or small red potatoes unpeeled
Olive oil
Kosher, rock or sea salt

The amounts of the ingredients are left up to your taste, but don’t be sparing if you want great flavor.

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes under cool water and pat dry. Pour a medium amount of olive oil into a ceramic or glass baking dish that will allow you to turn the potatoes easily. Drown them in the salt of your choice. Roast in the oven, turning frequently until a toothpick can be easily inserted.

Fresh Tossed Salad

Select at least two different types of lettuce. Clean out your fridge by throwing in cut up radishes, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, and anything else that strikes your fancy. Toss it all together then refrigerate, covered with a wet paper towel, until serving time.

Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil

A good quality olive oil
Sprigs of fresh rosemary

Fill a glass bottle with the olive oil. Slip several sprigs of rosemary into the bottle. Be sure the herb is completely covered with the oil. Store out of the sun for three days. Remove the herbs and the flavored oil is good for two months.

This works well with all herbs and/or garlic.

Sit back and enjoy this scrumptious meal. It won’t freeze at all. The best you can do is eat the chops and potatoes no more than two days later as lunch or a leftover dinner.