Oven Baked Pancake

This tastes as good as it looks, and it’s a beauty!


  • Butter (enough to melt and cover bottom of pan)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1-2 Tbls sugar
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Melt butter in ovenproof frying pan on stovetop. (you can also use an oven-safe casserole pan; melt butter in oven if so)  Remove from heat when butter is melted but pan/dish is still warm.
  3. In large bowl, beat eggs.
  4. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan/dish and bake until pancake poofs up and is lightly golden around edges, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. My kids made a fruit puree to go on top and it was delish.  Also try maple syrup or powdered sugar or jam.


Popovers — you’ll need a little more than an hour, and if you don’t have a popover tray, a muffin tray will do

  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and grease the pan.

Beat the eggs slightly and add the remaining ingredients — LET SIT FOR 15 MINUTES.  This matters. I don’t know why, but it does.

Fill the cups 3/4 fill (this recipe will make 6 popovers or about 12 muffin-sized popovers)

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees.

Bake another 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Smile at the miraculous pop.  Or conversely, remark at how your pancake-flavored disks sure are neat.

Serve with butter and jam.

Not too sweet from-scratch pudding

Dark Chocolate Pudding*

  • 6 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa
  2. Add milk and stir until smooth
  3. Cook mixture over medium heat until pudding begins to boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Once it boils, lower heat to a gentle simmer, and continue stirring for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla
  6. Allow to set 2 hours — serve either warm or cold.

*adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

Chocolate Nutty Swirl Cake

Or, the cake formerly known as Yeast Cake


This is my Grandmother’s cake, updated and renamed because, really, who wants to eat something called Yeast Cake? Sounds like some kind of home remedy for something that should not be discussed on a recipe page.



  • 1 Tbls of Yeast, dissolved in 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups of ground walnuts
  • Unsweetened cocoa for sprinkling
  • Canola oil (or other mild flavored oil) for sprinkling

To Do:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 5-10 minutes
  2. Warm the milk over low heat and melt the butter in it.  Don’t let milk get too hot.
  3. Mix together flour, sugar and salt
  4. Beat eggs lightly, then add to the flour mixture.
  5. Add the milk/butter mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Blend with wooden spoon until it starts to come together.  Make an indentation in the center and pour in the yeast water.
  7. Mix, adding more flour if dough seems too sticky.
  8. Cover loosely and let rise for 2 hours, or let it rise in the fridge overnight.

Once dough has risen:

  1. Punch down the dough and knead a little bit, no more than a minute or two.  Roll it out into approximately an 18” square.
  2. Sprinkle the ground nuts over the entire surface of the dough.
  3. Sprinkle cocoa powder to cover the nuts – not thick, but covered
  4. Sprinkle sugar sparingly over the entire surface.
  5. Drizzle oil, kind of like a Jackson Pollock. About 4-5 Tbls total should do the trick
  6. Once the surface is covered, roll the dough along the longer side to form a tube, applying a little extra oil if needed to get the edges of the tube to stick together.
  7. Bring the ends together to make a circle.
  8. Put the whole thing into a kugelhopf form (round pan with a hole in the middle) and allow to rise 1/2 hour more.


Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Note: as soon as I devour the current cake I will make another, and try to stop and photograph the process. The resulting pictures will be smeared with chocolate, but will show that it’s not as complex as it sounds. Really.

Carmelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

I may not be Southern, but somehow Thanksgiving and Cornbread stuffing have always gone together in my mind.  Here’s how I do it–

  • 1 pan of cornbread*  (*I use the recipe on the back of the cornmeal package, but whatever the recipe I always add a heaping TBLS of sour cream to the batter.)
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 cup or so of dried apples, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 chicken stock
  • 3 Tbls dried sage
  • salt+pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the cornbread into smallish pieces and spread out on a baking sheet to dry out. Here in Colorado it takes no time as any moisture is sucked out of anything in minutes.  If you live anywhere less desert-like, put the baking sheet in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes to achieve the same results.

Melt the butter in a medium pan.  Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

Crumble dried-out cornbread into a bowl.  Add the onions, apples, sage and salt and pepper.

In separate bowl whisk together the egg, cream and chicken stock.  Pour over the cornbread and stir. together.

Put into a buttered 9X13 baking dish.

Bake 30 minutes until hot and crusty on top.

Cranberry Orange and Apple Relish

Cranberry sauce in a can is gross.  I don’t care what you’re used to, it is time to grow up and make your own.  There are many reasons–

  1. Kids love the cool popping sounds that the berries make as they explode juice all over the stove top
  2. It’s better, that’s why
  3. All the cool kids are doing it.

Glad you’re on board.  Here’s how it’s done:

  • 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup port
  • 1 12oz bag of cranberries (not dried)
  • 1 apple, finely chopped

Grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the orange into a medium sized pot.

Add the port.

Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice and port.

Stir in cranberries, zest and apple.  Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, or until the popping has stopped and the mixture becomes thick.

Remove 1/2 the mixture and blend it until it forms a smooth jelly.  Add back into the pot.

C hill for about an hour, and serve cool or at room temperature.

Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

  • 15 lb turkey — I went for the natural one at Whole Foods, which was going for 99 cents/pound.  They even defrosted it for me and kept it chilled until I needed it.
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider
  • 10 dried sage leaves, or a few Tablespoons of dried sage

Prop the turkey up on a counter somewhere and take a good look.  A good look inside.  Typically the neck will be tucked into one end. Remove it and save it for my father.  He insists that it’s the best part.

Now peek into the business end of the turkey.  Reach in– there will be a baggie of giblets.  Do not cook the bag inside the turkey (I have. I don’t suggest it.)  Remove it and set aside for gravy making.

Melt the butter–until it’s mushy but not liquid.  Add the crumbled sage and the cider to the butter.

Roll up your sleeves.  Massage the butter combination into the turkey, all over, even a little on the inside.

Chop the apple, the onion and the lemon in big chunks and throw them into the roasting pan.

Place the turkey, breast side up, into the roasting pan, uncovered.

Roast at 425 for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 375.  At this point if the turkey is brown enough already, create a little tent of tin foil to cover the turkey loosely.

Begin checking with a meat thermometer after 3 1/2 or 4 hours.  Our 15 pound turkey, cooked at altitude, took 4 1/2 hours to cook.

Cheater’s Gravy (Make-It-Ahead)

I cheat.  Not only do I make my gravy ahead of time but I make my turkey gravy from chicken parts.  Which leaves you with two choices: You can go out and slander my name all over this turkey lovin’ country, or you can do what I do: cheat.

Welcome aboard.  Here’s how it’s done.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of chicken parts (4-6 wings or thighs or drumsticks)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 Tbls butter, optional
  • 1/4 cup apple cider, optional
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock
  • Pepper — a couple teaspoons or to taste
  • 3-4 Tbls Sage
  • 2-4 Tbls flour or more

Heat oven to 400.

Put wings in a single layer in a roasting pan. Scatter chopped onions around and on top and Roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is cooked.

Remove chicken parts and onion chunks from the pan and put them into a large soup pot.  Add 4 cups of stock, pepper and sage and apple cider.

Into the still hot roasting pan, add 1 cup of water, which will hiss and start to boil. Scrape at all the dark stuff (this is where the good flavor comes from) so it mixes into the water.  Add to the pot.  You can repeat this step, with a little bit of water at a time, to get at all the good, baked on stuff.

Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for another hour or so.  The house will start to smell divine at this point.

Remove the meat and save for another day.

Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing against the onions and bits to get all the liquid out.

At this point you can put it in the fridge, which makes the fat solidify at the top of the container.  You can easily remove the fat and throw it away before finishing the gravy on game day.

Heat the strained broth in the saucepan.  Remove about 1/4 cup of the broth and put it in a bowl with a couple TBLS of flour.  Whisk together until all lumps disappear and add to the pot.  Continue to do this until it reaches the thickness you like.  Keep it simmering stove top, stir occasionally.

At the very end, you can add a couple TBLS of butter into the gravy and whisk it in as it melts. This makes it shiny and pretty and tasty. I totally forgot this step this year and no one seemed to miss it at all.

Crusty homemade bread


  • 3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons yeast (less at altitude.  I use 1 1/4) T)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 6 ½ cups of all purpose flour


This makes enough for about 4 loaves. The dough can be refrigerated and used as you go, so you can have fresh bread for dinner anytime.

  1. In a large bowl of very large tupperwear add the water, yeast and salt.
  2. Mix in the flour, using a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together and is uniformly damp without dry patches.
  3. Cover loosely and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Baking Time—

  1. Dip your hands in flour, and generously dust your work surface with flour.
  2. Pull off a chunk of dough—about a softball size makes 2 medium sized baguettes, or a nice round loaf.
  3. Manipulate the dough into the shape you want, incorporate enough of the flour so the dough is not sticky.
  4. Put it on a baking sheet, dusted with corn meal or another granular flour.  Let it rise another 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 , with an empty broiler tray on the lowest oven rack. ***NEVER USE A GLASS CASSEROLE INSTEAD OF A METAL BOILER TRAY.  YOU WILL END UP WITH THIS NOT-SO-TASTY RECIPE INSTEAD!
  6. Put the bread in the oven, and pour one cup of water into the boiler tray.  Let bake for about 20 minutes—less for thin baguettes, more for thick round loaves.

Oven Baked French Fries

These go fast, so make much much more than you imagine your children could ever eat.

We’ve made these with every kind of potato–purple, fingerling, russet, new, red, you name it.  Each type has a slightly different baking time though, so you might want to bake them separately if you’re doing different types together.


  • Potatoes
  • Peanut Oil (substitute canola if allergies are an issue)
  • Salt

To do:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Slice potatoes into fry-like shapes and put into a large bowl
  • Coat with oil and toss to make sure all the potatoes are covered
  • Put on baking sheet in a single row, sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until crispy and just brown. Check after 15 minutes, particularly if your fries are sliced thin.