Mom’s Cookbook

Kapusta Soup

Kapusta is the short name for what is a traditional Ukrainian/Polish cabbage soup made with a pork stock and sweet pork meat, cabbage, sauerkraut, onion, caraway seed and tomatoes. I use a little tomato sauce and some chopped, skinned whole tomatoes to make my soup stand out.

3-4 lbs  pork ribs (I use a chunky type rib labeled “country ribs”)

1 large white or Spanish onion (sliced)

½ c butter

1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 lb fresh sauerkraut with juice (the bagged sour kraut)

1 med cabbage, shredded

2 each 15 oz cans of whole tomatoes (cut into ½” cubes)

1 tbsp. caraway seeds

1 tsp salt

4 lbs russet potatoes (peeled and cubed (1/2”)

Nice dark pumpernickel rye bread

Use a large sauté pan on medium heat. Place ribs, covered with water almost to the top. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about an hour. Remove any fat foam that forms with your slotted spoon. When finished cooking remove from heat and place the pan with ribs and stock aside

In a 12” skillet, place butter on a medium high flame and add sliced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent (about 10 min with stirring)

Reduce heat on skillet to low stir in the flour and sauté for 3 minutes. This will create a nice roux for thickening the soup.  Turn off heat and set aside.

Once cooked, remove ribs from the pot and let cool. Save the liquid in the pot.

Back to the pork stock and pot. Add the sauerkraut and juice, shredded cabbage, cubed whole tomatoes, caraway seeds, salt and the onion roux mixture.

Reach in pot of warm pork stock and grab the pork bones one by one. Shake the meat off into the pot and place the pork bone to the side (discard when cool)

Place back on a medium heat and cook until cabbage is tender, about 40 minutes.

Lastly, in a separate pot place potatoes, cook on medium heat until tender (about 15 min).  Drain potatoes and set aside to side to be added to the soup as a finish and filler

Serve with dark pumpernickel bread as a Ukrainian might serve the soup and as I have had it from my grandma in the past. What a great meal and filling soup.

Ukrainian Style Red Cabbage and Apple Soup

I happen to have a really great cooking Mom that is way better in the kitchen when she wants to show her stuff than I will ever be…with the exception of speed (she be slower than molasses in winter at food prep ). Way way way back when her mother was alive (my grandmother) Mom cooked a lot of her ethnic foods. Her family is from the Ukraine region of the planet and Mom is the first generation of US-born children. I love some of the foods she used to make….her cabbage soups were excellent. Today with her changes in tastes it is rare to hear of her making Red Cabbage soup but I will pull out her recipe. It is awesome. I will not place the apple cider vinegar in my soup and will not make it a sweet-sour type soup but you can add the 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and make it like my Mom. Also, I am using a cran-raisin in place of the regular raisin since I have these at home and want to purpose them. In the traditional recipe, my Mom uses raisins. Let’s make a Ukrainian like Red Cabbage soup from my Mom’s really old cooking notes.



Place butter in a 4-quart sauce or stock pan on Med Hi heat

Add red cabbage and onion to melted heating butter and saute until tender

Add raisins or cran-raisins

Add apple and continue to saute until apple is starting to take on colors of cabbage

Add beef stock bring to a low boil and reduce to simmer

Add celery seed, black pepper, brown sugar, salt, and apple juice

If you are using Apple Cider Vinegar to make this sweet and sour….wait until the last 10 min of cooking to add vinegar (this will give the soup a nice kick)

Simmer 30 min until cabbage is nice and tender and serve hot with sour cream and a nice crusty bread


I like this soup…it is filling and a great winter type soup.


Ukrainian Halushka

I have read many concepts of this awesome old world Slavic dish called “halushka”. In my planet, as taught by my Grandma Shpak, the dish is a basic bow tie noodle dish with buttery sauteed onion and cottage cheese as the sauce.  It is highly fattening and very delicious. I love to make this in the fall or colder weather where hearty meals are sought. Here is my recipe as I have been taught. I will add some history as found in the Wikipedia for your learning and reading pleasure. Let’s Make Some Halushka

History of    Halushka

If you think about the farming area of the Ukraine and Russia. From that region, which holds so many simple and hearty meal concepts, we still look for great menu items.

War has been fought over and around that region for centuries due to its fertile and productive ability to keep food on the tables of the many. My grand parents were of that land and escaped in the early 1900’s. They brought to the United States their talents to work hard and survive in either the farming or urban community. My mom and her sisters pass forward these awesome meal recipes for us to test and contemplate.

1/2 pound bow tie noodles cooked until tender (strained and rinsed)

1 large onion diced

24 oz large curd cottage cheese

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Saute onion in butter on med heat until the onion is just beginning to brown

Add cottage cheese and toss until the cottage cheese is beginning to melt into the onion and butter

Place drained bow tie noodles in a bowl and top with onion and cheese mix

add salt and pepper to taste


Thanks Mom and Grandma for this great recipe. I have made this over and over in my life and it still is a favorite during the cold weather season. Share it with your family. I pass the recipe forward.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I have deep roots in Ukrainian cooking. My mom, Mildred Shpak Gosselin, was born in the US from two Ukrainian immigrants. Grandma could hardly speak English and Grandpa was well versed. They lived in NYC their whole lives and for the most part, the daughters, Julie, Millie (my mom) and Patty had passed forward some of the old world recipes. These recipes I find to be more than history. They are foundations of time that should be preserved for others to follow.

Mom’s family had 12 children. Most have passed along but Mary, Patty and Mom are still holding up the name. I am that next generation of adopters of the Ukrainian cooking. This is wonderful, simple food that was passed forward to me through my mom. I have asked her to share the stuffed cabbage roll recipe (we know as golumpkis) that she uses.  I will assure you it is scribed in the exact fashion that the girls have prepared it for almost 100 years. It is true that my grand parents arrived in the early 1900’s into a then part of NYC that was Polish and Ukrainian. Today, the area in NYC has changed to other ethnic people and the old world Europeans are all but moved along. I will miss the wonderful breads and foods that you could buy in that area. That too has dwindled to almost gone.

I have been making “Golumpki’s” for a long time but have always prepared it by winging my cooking knowledge into the formula. I want this “old world” perfect for you to test in your home. Mom..will you help us cook stuffed cabbage?

History of the Golumpki

Chef Gosselin Family Recipe

1 head of cabbage (cored, boiled and leaved gently separated ) see instructions

30 oz of canned tomato sauce (my Mom uses V8 Juice)

1/2  tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1  1/2 pound ground beef

2 tsp minced garlic

1 large sized onion chopped finely

1 tbsp canola oil

2 cup cooked rice

1 tbsp sugar

5 strips of bacon


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Cabbage Preparation

The key to this adventure is to core the cabbage and gently boil that cabbage in a salted water solution to help remove the whole cabbage leaves or what I will call cabbage shells. I use my tongs and some guile to gently pull the leaves off the hot head of cooking cabbage and as I get a leaf to come off the head I will transfer it to a stainless bowl. I gather about 8 leaves per pound of chop meat to give you a rough estimate of the ratio.


Meat Filling Preparation

Saute onion using the canola oil until onion has sweated clear.

Mix onion and rice together with sugar, salt, pepper and about 6 oz of tomato sauce or Mom’s V8 Juice idea.

NOTE: My Mom states that the V8 Juice makes for a better taste. I did not use V8 Juice in my latest preparation of this recipe but will try it in the future. My goal was to honor my Grandma with an original recipe.

Mix in the raw ground beef and blend well.


Golumpki Preparation

Stuffing a cabbage shell that it will hold together in the cooking pot is not too difficult. I added some photos to this recipe to help you along. You take the cabbage shell and place a spoonful into the shell. See my photo. The core side of the cabbage shell is used to hug the meat filling and you tuck in the edges of the leaf and fold up the outer leaf edge over the core side. Continue making the golumpkis until you are out of meat filling mix. If necessary you can pin your cabbages together with a tooth pick. I have been lucky to have performed the preparation many times and have a good idea on how much portion of meat stuffing could properly fit in the cabbage shell and still hold together properly during cooking.

NOTE: I have looked at some other recipes and noticed that other cooks are placing egg into the meat stuffing to make the texture more like a meatloaf inside the leaf. I did not do this and have never needed to do this to my stuffed cabbage. I like the texture of the meat and rice as I  cut into the cooked golumpkis. They are juicy and flakey to the fork. But keep in mind you can indeed do many different tweaks to this recipe. The stuffing is your unique space to experiment if you want to add cheese or other veggies and seasonings… make it so. I like my golumpkis in the old world plain fashion.

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Layer some cabbage leaves from left over cabbage or from that which you shredded in your attempt to remove them from the outer cabbage head layers in the bottom of your cooking pot. This will protect the golumpkis and help prevent burning of the cooking golumpkis. (Great tip from my Mom)


Transfer all the prepared golumpkis to a deep covered  cooking pot that you have placed a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pot along with the 5 strips of bacon. Place some of the sauce on top of every golumpki layer that you stack in the pot. Add the golumpkis until all are in the pot and place the remaining tomato sauce on top. (see the photo). Cook on low heat until all golumpkis are tender and cooked through the center (about 1 hour) or place in 350F oven in the covered pot for the same amount of time.



Notes and Additions

I like my golumpki filling to have  dried basil and some oregano in addition to the above family recipe. Often I leave out the bacon as it is not part of my usual menu but for this preparation I am using bacon as it is part of the family recipe.


Thank you Grand Ma Shpak… you were a great cook and I miss that attention to detail that you placed in every meal. I am eating a sample of my stuffed cabbage. They are very good and I think a little catsup as used in our childhood might be my pleasure of the moment as a condiment.

The Pierogi


Grandma and Grandpa Shpak both hailed from Ukraine. They arrived in America in the early 1900s as turmoil in Europe drove thousands to seek safety elsewhere. My Mom learned to make pierogies from the master herself. grandma hardly spoke English but she could easily put you in your place in her kitchen. Her recipes are slowly becoming traditions in my home. I will share it with you.

The pierogi is a very traditional Slavic dish. They are labor-intensive…so make enough to freeze and serve over several week periods. I will make both potato and kraut filling….and go outside tradition and make a Ruben pierogi with a dark pumpernickel dough….I have been dreaming this up for several years and finally have time and the cajones to make a splash on this Slavic planet.

Potato Filling
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

kraut filling
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained, rinsed, and minced

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg
1 (8 ounces) container sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

kraut filling
melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the drained sauerkraut and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove to a plate to cool.

mashed filling
melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir into the mashed potatoes, and season with salt and white pepper.

beat together the eggs and sour cream until smooth. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder; stir into the sour cream mixture until dough comes together. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until firm and smooth.
I use a mixer with a dough hook…cause I am lazy. Mom did it by hand (her problem not mine) I will place my dough in a covered bowl and refrigerate a bit after preparing ….it rolls out easier.

Divide the dough in half, then roll out one half to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds using a biscuit cutter (I use a drinking glass as my cutter ).
Place a small spoonful of the mashed potato filling into the center of each round. Moisten the edges with water, fold over, and press together with a fork to seal. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough and the sauerkraut filling.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pierogies and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until pierogi float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Allow cooked pierogies to cool a bit and you can eat as you have boiled them….OR fry them with butter and chopped onion for a more savory munch. I have watched them served with gravy….dipped in different sauces or just plated right after boiling. Either way, you choose to serve them, they are great. I will lay my pierogies on wax paper and place them in freezer bags to make them easy to use later when I am taking them from the freezer to the pan. I like mine fried with chopped onion and butter. Served with a touch of sour cream.

Cream of Turkey Mushroom Soup

Growing up with my Mom has offered some exciting and fantastic menus and recipes that can often amaze my dinner guests. I have really loved the traditional soups that Mom made where she took what seemed like scraps and made them taste so good. I will always love her age-old recipe for Cream of Turkey Mushroom Soup… Let’s Make Some!


2 turkey legs (frozen or fresh)

Note: Turkey Legs are seasonal in my area. If they are out in the supermarkets I am always out of luck until the holidays.

32 oz white mushrooms (rinsed and chopped)

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped onion

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried parsley

1 cup of pearled barley

Heavy cream or half and half


I am going to go through the recipe using my crockpot. I love my 8 qt (Hamilton Beach) crockpot and if they would sponsor me I might tell you a bit more about it (smiling).

Place the two fresh or frozen turkey legs into your crockpot and bring the level of water up to cover the turkey legs plus an inch. Cover and cook on low until the turkey is ready to fall off the bone. Remove turkey legs and set aside in a covered bowl to allow to cool.

Place the remaining ingredients (EXCEPT the Mushrooms) into the crockpot and continue on low until the veggies are tender. Adjust the level of the stock in the crockpot so you have a good amount of broth compared to veggies. When the veggies are tender, taste, and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are dark in color and tender to the bite

Shred the turkey and remove all the sinew and ligaments from the legs. Place the now separated turkey meat into your seasoned stock.

Cook the barley in a pot according to the instructions. the barley will swell up and look like a small white navy bean.


Plating Instructions

Ladle a healthy amount of turkey mushroom soup into your bowl and add a couple of spoons of cooked barley. Pour some heavy cream or half and half into your soup and stir (do not fear the white color). Take a nice piece of the Chef Gosselin baguette to your table and have a taste of Cream of Turkey Mushroom Soup the way my Mom used to make it. It is warm and filling. I have made this soup regularly in my 35 years of cooking.

Mom’s Special Chinese BBQ Sauce

My Mom collects recipes from her friends and from magazines and just about any source that excites her. She has created several notebooks filled with recipes that she has compiled and used over the years. This Chinese BBQ Sauce is titled “Tony Lynn’s Recipe for Chinese Barbeque Sauce”

1/2 cup Sherry

3/4 cup Hoisin Sauce

2/3 cup Soy Sauce

1 1/2 tsp McCormack Chinese 5 Spice Powder

1/2 cup Sugar

1. tsp salt

4 cloves of finely minced garlic

2 tsp black bean paste

Combine all ingredients in a jar

Place lid on the jar and shake to mix

Let sit in the refrigerator for several hours. Use generously to marinate pork, chicken, or beef before grilling or baking. Great in stir fry and on rice. 

Thanks Mom 

Corn Fritters

Mom has noted this great recipe in her personal cookbook. Her notes indicate that she found this on the American Test Kitchen. I just made these in my own test kitchen and find them very good indeed. Let’s Make some Corn Fritters.

2 ea boiled ears of corn (cooled and kernels cut off the corn cob)

3 tbsp cornmeal

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg (beaten)

pinch cayenne pepper powder

1 chopped shallot

2 cups canola oil

Corn preparation

Place the corn kernels on a sheet of parchment paper. Use a spatula to crush the corn kernels. Place the crushed kernels and the liquid that came from the kernel in a mixing bowl.

Add all the other ingredients into mixing bowl with corn

mix together to make a batter.

Place canola oil in 10″ skillet and heat on medium until 350F

Spoon batter into hot oil to form a 1 1/2 inch fritter 

Allow fritter to fry until golden on all sides. Flip fritter as necessary.

Remove and drain onto a plate covered with a paper towel





Red Kidney Bean Salad (Ashgrove Inn)

My Mom was good friends with my boss and his family from the Ashgrove Inn. Adelaida Desidoro gave my mom her recipe for the Red Kidney Bean salad that was on the salad bar at the Ashgrove Inn. I was a young dishwasher at that point in time and this was the restaurant where I grew into the culinary arts. 

1 can red kidney beans (drained)

3 stalks celery (chopped)

1 medium sized onion (chopped)

1 tbsp. dried oregano

I /2 cup mayonnaise

Place all the ingredients in mixing bowl and combine gently using a mixing spoon until all ingredients are well coated. Place aside in the refrigerated covered until chilled. 



Irish Soda Bread

There are those recipes that you turn to over and over as is the Irish Soda Bread. My Mom loves this recipe so much that you are assured that it will be served if you visit her home. She bakes it regularly and gives it to my brother, who lives close to her home. Let’s Make some of this great tasting Irish Soda Bread.

4 cups all-purpose bread

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup raisins

2 cups Buttermilk

1/3 cup melted butter (use the microwave to melt butter on low power level)

Place all dried  ingredients in a mixing bowl

Stir gently with a mixing spoon to create a uniform mixture

Add buttermilk and continue mixing until a rough dough is created

Preheat Oven to 375F degrees

Place a sheet of baking parchment paper on a baking sheet pan

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and baste the top of the dough with the melted butter

Bake at 375F degrees for 35 min and check dough …add time appropriately until dough is golden brown. 50 Min is the usual test kitchen baking time. 

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 min. Enjoy!

Lance’s Oatmeal Cookies

If there is one thing I can say about my family…. every person in the inner circle can cook like a professional. All of my brothers have worked in the food industry. My youngest brother (my favorite) is a very good chef. Here is the Oatmeal Cookie formula that he coined as one of his specialty baked goods. I loved his cookies and am proud to say that my Mom collected the recipe in her book. Let’s Make Lance’s Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup sifted flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup soffened margarine

1 egg (beaten)

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup whole oats

1/2 cup raisins

Using your mixer with the bread hook. Cream the sugar and margarine. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on slow as to blend a nice coarse cookie dough. 

Cool dough (covered) in refrigerator 1-2 hours

Heat oven to 375F degrees

Remove dough and form 1 inch round cookie balls and place on parchment covered baking tray

Bake 10 -12 minutes

Remove from oven and allow to cool

Enjoy … my brother Lance can really make a great cookie.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is a classic holiday recipe. My Mom certainly put on a show during the several holiday’s that she cooked a full table. This is a great keeper for your recipe book.


6 normal sized sweet potatoes

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup half and half

1/2 cup melted butter


1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. flour

1/4 cup butter

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut


Peel and cut potatoes in big chunks; boil until tender

Place all ingredients in the potato list in a mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients and use an electric mixer, mix well until smooth.

Grease a casserole dish/pan and place the potato mix in the greased pan.

Combine all ingredients for the topping, except coconut and chopped nuts. Cut the butter, flour, and brown sugar using a pastry cutter.

Spoon over sugar mix over potatoes.

Sprinkle the nuts and coconut over the sugar mix.

Bake at 350F for approximately 35 min or when the coconut starts to brown.

This is a nice side dish for a full course holiday meal. It goes great with Turkey, Ham, Roast or Pork. I hope you like this as much as I have. Thanks Mom!


Creamy Cucumber Salad (My Mom’s Style)

You will never read about a childhood recipe that my mother made was in any way terrible. She was a great cook. Lately, in her dotage I must state that the kitchen is not where she wants to be AND she modified her once delicious recipes to  be ehhhh less attractive. This classic cucumber salad is made with sour cream and I love this over any summer salad side you can offer. It is easy to make, not expensive and is a great crowd pleaser. Let’s make my Mother’s recipe…handed to her by her mother….Classic Cucumber Salad!

3 medium cucumbers (skin on thinly sliced)

1 red onion (peeled and thinly sliced)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp maynonaise

pinch salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp chopped dill weed

In a large bowl whisk sour cream, salt, sugar, black pepper, vinegar and mayonnaise.  Add sliced onion and cucumbers and toss well (gently) as to coat the veggies. Sprinkle with the fresh chopped dill. COVER and chill for 2 hours. Serve cold….

Broccoli Salad

I do like a nice broccoli salad. My mom used to make this recipe on a regular basis. I do not believe that she makes it any longer. As she got older and no one was eating around her table she stopped making salads like this. I will not let the recipe die off…it is delicious and I make it occasionally. 

1/2 cup raisins (soaked)

1/2 pound bacon (fried, cooled, and diced)

1 medium red onion (diced)

3 1/2 cups broccoli florets (blanched)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Soaking Raisins

Pour enough hot water over the raisins to cover them and let them sit for 10-15 minutes, then drain and use.

Blanching Broccoli

Heat a pot of water until it boils. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and allow the broccoli to remain in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Remove from water and run cool water over the florets.

Making the salad

Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix ingredients with a spoon and cover bowl.

Place bowl in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to chill. 

Serve with crusty bread or croutons. 


Maryland Crab Cakes

1 ea. pound of lump crabmeat

4 oz. bay scallops (pureed in food processor)

2 oz. heavy cream

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1/2 Cup Bread crumbs (to the side)

4 tbsp. chopped chives

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp celery salt

1 1/2 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl except crabmeat.

Mix well

gently fold in crabmeat

Form cakes from the mixture

Dredge the cakes in the extra bread crumbs

Place canola oil in a medium sized frying pan.

Heat oil on Med until 350F degrees

Fry the crab cakes on each side until golden brown

Remove cakes from oil after they are completely cooked and place on a paper towel until drained. 

Serve hot with a little tarter sauce, catsup or sour cream?



Pizza Primavera

1 pound Chef Gosselin Pizza Dough (

1/4 cup asparagus tips

1/4 cup diced zucchini

1/4 cup blanched broccoli florets

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

1/2 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Blanch all vegetables in boiling water or steam is an oriental steamer for 5 min.

Drain boiling water from vegetables and rinse with ice water to cool

Allow vegetables to drain well

Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil

Coat veggies with some of the olive oil

Coat dough with remaining olive oil

sprinkle salt and pepper over the coated dough

spread parmesan cheese over dough

spread vegetables over dough

Spread cheeses over dough in layers evenly

Bake in 400F degree preheated oven.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheeses are browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 min

Slice as desired and serve hot to warm.

It is delicious!

Grandma’s Potato Soup

My Grandma was from the region surrounding Chernobyl, Ukraine. Her family lived simply and cultivated the farming land. Simple soups and hard work were a daily way of living. She baked fresh bread from grains that she ground and made wonderful simple soups like this potato soup. I give you a recipe that my Mother collected from her mother. Enjoy….it is very good. 

5 large potatoes

5 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp pickling spice

1 large onion (cut finely)

1 stick butter

4 tbsp flour

Cut all potatoes into 1/2 cubes

Place in deep sautee pot and add water

Bring water to boil

add salt, pepper, parsley, and pickling spice to water and potatoes

In a frying pan, saute onions in butter with garlic

When onions have browned, add flour

Create a nice dark roux in with the onions and butter

Add the onions and roux to the potatoes and water mix

Stir until fully incorporated and thickened. 

Server with crusty bread, topped with grated cheese and chopped scallions.


Individual 5 Layer Taco Dip

Mom makes a tasty 5-Layer taco dip. A nice party favorite, I have suggested a little change in the presentation for the COVID issue. Create individual taco cups in place of a big self-service bowl. This will offer a safer snacking environment and help clean up. The use of short mason jars or plastic wide-mouthed cups makes it easy to create nice single-serve dip bowls.

1 can refried beans

1 can chopped green chilies

2 ea avocados (mashed with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp lemon juice)

1 pkg taco mix (or use the Chef Gosselin homemade Taco mix)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 medium-sized Spanish onion (chopped)

1 can diced tomatoes (drained and squeezed to remove the dripping juice)

1 can sliced black olives

1 pkg shredded Mexican cheese

Remove the refried beans from the can

Use your kitchen mixer or masher to whip the refried beans so that they are easier to work with and more presentable

Place several tablespoons of whipped refried beans in your service cups

Drain the green chiles and add a layer of chilies over the refried beans in your cups

Add a layer of mashed avocado mix to the cups

Mix the taco mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a small bowl, and add a layer of the taco seasoning mix to your cups.

Mix the chopped onion, tomatoes, and olives in a small bowl and add a layer of the onion mix to the cups

Add a layer of Mexican cheese to the top to form the final layer. 

Speckled Southern White Gravy

5 pieces of salt pork

1/2 can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Salt to taste

In a medium sized frying pan place the salted pork

Fry pork on medium heat until crisp

Add evaporated milk and water

Add pepper and then salt to taste

Stir and thicken

Pour gravy directly over the foods that you have selected to decorate. 

This is a great Southern breakfast recipe


Pistachio Salad

9 oz container Cool Whip

1 box Instant Pistachio Pudding

1 (20oz) can crushed pineapples (do not drain)

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

1 cup mini marshmallows

In a medium sized mixing bowl place crushed pineapple and its juice and the pistachio pudding mix. 

Whip the pineapples and pudding until well incorporated.

Add and fold in the Cool Whip

Add marshmallows and nuts

Fold in the marshmallows and nuts.

Chill until thickened and serve cold. 

This is a delicious and easy to make fruit salad mix.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mom is an experimenter. I never would think that she might play with CousCous. Here is a salad that one of her friends makes and she must have liked the taste. I have not yet made this in my test kitchen but I bought the ingredients to try it out.

1 cup Cous Cous

1 1/2 cup boiling water

3 tbsp Lemon juice

15 oz can Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1 1/4 cup red and yellow bell peppers (diced)

1/2 cup red seedless grapes (quartered)

1/2 cup large leaf Basil (chopped finely)

1/2 cup parsley (chopped finely)

2 ea garlic cloves (minced)

1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil

1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Place the CousCous in a metal bowl and add the boiling water

Cover the CousCous and let sit for 20 min

Fluff the Cous Cous with a fork

Add all remaining ingredients to the CousCous and gently toss to incorporate the items well.

Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for 2 hours

Serve cold. 

Fennel Slaw

1 pound cabbage (chopped in small bites)

1 fennel bulb (chopped in small bites)

1 red delicious apple (chopped in small bites) 

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried mustard

1 tbsp Honey

12 small red onion (chopped in small bites)

2 tsp fresh tarragon (chopped)


Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss well.

Chill covered for about 2 hours to allow flavors to mix.

Enjoy…..serve cold