Saturday, November 10, 2018

Greek Style Bolognese Sauce

© Can Stock Photo / NikiLitov
This Bolognese sauce is slightly sweet and totally delicious. Best of all, it's economical and takes less than thirty minutes to prepare. (Rosie would have liked that.) It's a great dish to serve to guests, especially when you don't have much time to cook. The leftover sauce also freezes well. 



1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 medium onion, chopped
I pound extra lean ground beef
3 tablespoons Greek seasoning blend
2 14.5 oz cans Italian style diced tomatoes*
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon lemon zest
crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet or saute´pan for about 1 to 3 minutes over medium heat. Add onions, ground beef and Greek seasoning. Cook until beef is crumbled and no longer pink. Stir in canned tomatoes and cook until sauce begins to simmer. Add lemon zest, black pepper and 1/2 of the mint.  Serve over spaghetti or linguine. Top with feta cheese and remaining mint leaves.

* Plain diced tomatoes can also be used. Add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for each can.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pot Roast - Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Food

© Can Stock Photo / bhofack2

Pot roast was a family favorite when I was growing up, and I think just about every kid's mom made pot roast. It's  one of those good, old-fashioned American comfort foods. It requires very little prep time, and just about anyone, regardless of their cooking skill, can whip up a pot roast. Modern cooks have a few more options, such as using a crock pot instead of a roasting pan, and there are a few other variations you can use as well.

My mother never wrote down her pot roast recipe. Some dishes are so basic they really don't require one. This is how I make a pot roast. No doubt it's similar to the way the rest of you make your pot roast too.

I start by putting my roast in the roasting pan, and then adding chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes. (Red potatoes work very well). Then, depending on your preferences, you can add celery, shallots, corn, squash, or lima beans, whatever vegetable you like. One time I even tried adding broccoli. It tasted okay, but broccoli doesn't always smell so nice when it's cooking, and it left a strong odor in my kitchen. Season the mixture with season salt and pepper. You can also use celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley, whatever your favorite seasonings happen to be.

I prefer having my pot roast well done, so if I'm baking it in the oven I set the thermostat to 350F and roast it for about 15 minutes per pound. However, I usually make my pot roast in the crock pot, so I'll start it in the morning and cook it on low all day. Whichever method you choose, be sure to add about a half cup of water or beef broth to your mixture before you begin roasting. That way the roast will stay moist and not get too dry.

Here's another tip: the leftover roast can be used to make tacos. Place it in an iron skillet, add a little water and some taco seasoning blend, and break up the meat with a spoon as it's heating.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Rosie's Recipe -- Stuffed Hamburger on Onion Slices

Another delicious recipe from the pages of Rosie's Riveting Recipes

During Rosie's day beef was in very short supply, so any recipe that helped make scarce beef go further was helpful and appreciated. This recipe is similar to a meatloaf and it's still delicious today. 


1 pound hamburger
1 tablespoon melted margarine*
1 tablespoon ketchup
4 slices bread
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper

Divide hamburger into six equal servings. Roll or pat out as thin as possible. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make dressing by combining bread, milk, ketchup with 1 tablespoon melted margarine.  Place a spoonful on each square. Bring edges of meat up over the dressing, pat into shape, being sure all dressing is covered. Fry in hot margarine in skillet. When brown on both sides, add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook over low heat 8 to 10 minutes. Serve on raw onion slices.

*Butter may be used in place of margarine.

Modern adaptation. Caramelize the onion slices in a separate pan. Serve on a hamburger bun or an onion roll.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Story of Rosie's Book Cover

Cover photo by Rob Resetar
I don't know who said not to judge a book by it's cover, but as a book publisher, I must respectfully disagree. A successful book needs a compelling cover.

During World War II, the U.S. government produced hundreds of posters to help keep up morale at home. They depicted everything from rationing to scrap drives to civil defense. All are in the public domain, and I included a number of them in Rosie's Riveting Recipes. I also chose this one for the cover of my original WW2 ration cookbook, Anna's Kitchen, as it illustrated food rationing perfectly. 

As must as I love this poster, I wanted Rosie's Riveting Recipes to have a different look. Now we've all seen the famous, "We Can Do It," poster. It's a wonderful piece of art, but it's been used so much that it's become a cliche. I choose a different poster, and the following was the original cover art.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't quite right. Thankfully, I live in Tuscon, Arizona, home of the Pima Air and Space Museum. My good friend, Rob Resetar, needed to shoot some photos to include in the Rosie's Recipes book trailer he was working on. Another friend, Sheryl Ann McKinley, had played Rosie in the video, so the three of us met at the museum and Rob shot photos of Sheryl Ann in front of a few WW2 era airplanes. He also needed a copy of the book cover, so I emailed the above cover to him after the photo shoot. Rob didn't think the cover was right either. His response was, "Let's use one my photos for the cover." The result is what you see today. A unique image that illustrates the story perfectly.

Thank goodness for caring friends, and kudos to Rob and Sheryl Ann. It takes a team to produce a book, and I'm grateful to both for their help.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
My mother gave me this recipe many years ago. It was one she acquired after my father retired and they joined an Airstream Club. Potluck dinners were a common practice at their rallies, and this recipe soon became a family favorite as well. Over the years I too have taken it to many a potluck. It's always gone over well, and sometimes I'll fix it at home just because I like it. It's quick, easy to prepare and delicious.


   4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped*
   1 bag restaurant style tortilla chips
   1 small can diced green chilies
   1  cup corn
   1 15 oz. can of black beans
   2 cans cream of chicken soup
   1 can cream of mushroom soup
   1/2 cup chicken broth or water
   2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
   breadcrumbs (optional)

Generously coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Fill bottom of the pan with broken tortilla chips -- about 1/4 inch thick. Add chopped chicken breasts, green chilies, corn and black beans. Blend soups together with chicken broth in a medium sized mixing bowl and pour over top. (If a thinner sauce is desired add more liquid.) Cover top layer with cheese and add bread crumbs, if desired. Bake at 350F for 35 to 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Variations: For those who like it hot -- use jalapeno or chipotle peppers instead of green chili peppers.

*2 cans chicken - 9.75 oz size may be used instead of fresh chicken

Friday, September 28, 2018

Rosie's Recipe -- Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Fall is in the air, there's nothing like a bowl of homemade soup on a crisp autumn  day. It warms the heart and the soul. This historic recipe, courtesy of Rosie's Riveting Recipes is easy to prepare and totally delicious.



   3/4 to 1 lb hamburger
   1/3 cup chopped onion
   2 cups canned or cooked tomatoes
   2 cups potato cubes
   2 medium-diced carrots
   1/3 cup diced celery
   2 teaspoons salt
   1/4 cup rice
   1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown meat and onion lightly in 2 tablespoons fat or drippings, add all rest of ingredients in large kettle, add 1 1/2 quarts water and simmer slowly 3/4 to 1 hour. Serve with toast or crackers as the main dish for lunch or supper. Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation:  To give the soup more zing use chicken stock instead of water, and add 1 teaspoon cumin. A 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes works nicely. Cooking oil can be used for fat or drippings if using lean group beef. Additional fat or oil may not be necessary if using regular ground beef.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chicken Divan

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

I'm not a big fan of frozen dinners, but back when I was in high school my mother used to buy Stouffer's Chicken Divan, and it was awesome. I don't know if they still make it or not, but I've tweaked a couple of Campbell's Soup recipes to come up with my own version, and I think it comes pretty close. It's easy to prepare, and tasty. Best of all, it uses ingredients that most of us probably already have. 



(inspired by Campbell's Soup recipes)

   2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
   2 cans cream of mushroom soup* 
   1/2 cup milk
   3 tablespoons butter (divided and melted)
   1/4 teaspoon black pepper
   1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli (thawed)
   2 cups cooked noodles
   1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese blend
   1 small can fresh mushrooms (optional)
   2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs

Chop broccoli, (if using fresh), and prepare noodles according to the package directions. Clean chicken breasts thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Saute in a skillet until cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.

In a 2-quart casserole dish stir milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter and cream of mushroom soup. Add pepper and canned mushrooms, if desired. Add broccoli, cooked noodles and cooked chicken, mix well. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, add breadcrumbs and mix until breadcrumbs are moistened. Top chicken mixture with generous layer of grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 350F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top layer is brown and sauce is bubbling.

* One can of cream and mushroom soup, and one can of cream of chicken soup can also be used.