Browsing: Entrees

Pizza Bianco


I am fascinated by the variety of pizzas in the world.  Indeed, referring to pizza is like referring to a sandwich.  I suppose the variations are endless.  Here’s an excerpt from my favourite food read from over the summer:  “Keeping the Feast” by Paula Butturini.

She writes: “And every Easter Sunday, a totally different sort of pizza, one meant to break the long Lenten fast, appeared on our breakfast table.  It had a double crust like a calzone, but it was flatter and wider, shaped like a foot-long strudel.  My grandmother called it “pizza gain”, and Anglicized version of pizza chine (KEE-nah), which in itself is dialect for pizza ripena, filled pizza.  “Pizza gain” was stuffed with many of the foods that we could not eat during the forty-day Lenten fast: proscuitto crudo, dried sausage slices, fresh runny cheese, and hard grated cheese all mixed together with endless fresh eggs from cousin Josephine’s farm.  We would cut into them on Easter morning and on every subsequent morning until they were gone, a treat so rich that two slim slices would make a meal.  I loved the Russell Stover’s pecan-studded caramel egg that my grandmother arranged to have appear in my Easter basket every year, but I would have traded that egg away in a heartbeat for a whole “pizza gain” of my own.”

We are fond of a pizza variety that doesn’t really taste like pizza at all.  I call it Pizza Bianca because it is made with entirely white ingredients:  Alfredo sauce, chicken, roasted garlic, grated mozzarella and crumbled feta cheese.  I assemble these things on top of a homemade pizza crust, not really caring how thinly I’ve rolled out the dough. 


It makes a great “stand around in the kitchen while eating your supper” dish.  I made it this past weekend when we called upon the Daughter #3 (daughter-in-law)’s folks to help with a painting project at the new house.  In fact, they virtually handled the entire project by themsleves.  As my dear Dad used to say “many hands make light work”.

Kath’s quote: “My idea of feng shui is to have them arrange the pepperoni in a circle on my pizza.”-Unknown

Italian Pie


Perhaps the food with the potential to hold the most love is… pie.  D and I sing a silly song about pie that goes like this:  “gonna make a pie from heaven above, gonna be filled with (butterscotch) love”.  In the song, butterscotch can be changed to any ingredient and in this case it would be sausage and spinach and ricotta cheese.

When I am writing here, I refer to the beau of Daughter #2 as the Frenchman.  I know that he is proficient in the kitchen because he whips up amazing things at our place with whatever ingredients he can muster up in the fridge.

This dinner was an invitation to see his newly shared house.  We had set the date more than a week in advance and I think that he used the entire time to plan the evening.  This meant calling his Mom back home for a family recipe, taking the bus to shop and borrowing pans and bowls from our place. 

The meal itself was absolutely wonderful and you could literally taste the love and attention that was baked into the main course pie.  Here is his Mom’s recipe.  It was in my email “in” box even before I had arrived home. 

Italian Pie

The crust:

5 c of flour

¾ c of butter

pinch of salt

1 egg

½ c of sour cream or plain yogurt

½ T of  lemon juice

1 t of sugar

Mix flour, butter and salt together.  Add the egg, the sour cream, lemon juice and sugar. Delicately mix together and add warm water until a ball can be formed. Make sure you don’t work the dough to much or it will become hard when it bakes. Roll out.  Makes enough for the bottom, sides and lid.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix 5 eggs, 500 gr of Ricotta cheese, 1 c of Mozarella cheese and 1 c of Parmesan cheese.  Take the skin off of 3-4 Italian sausages, break apart and brown in pan. Cool and add to mix. Add 1 cup of defrosted and drained frozen spinach, and 1 c of Italian ham like Prosciutto. Add the mix in the pie crust and place the upper crust on top. Put of a bit of yellow egg on lid and Parmesan. Bake for 1 hour. 

He even sent extra pie home with us to feed Daughter #3 who is under the weather.  Yes, he’s a keeper.

Kath’s quote:  “Pie, pie, gonna make a pie, gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle.” -from The Waitress

Weight Watcher’s Garden Vegetable Soup-Guest Blogger: Sister #3


When I was a Weight Watcher I was thrilled to discover this awesome soup was worth 0 points, so I could eat it whenever I was hungry. Here are some of the great things this soup has going for it.

1. Most importantly, it is delicious!
2. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and only another 20 minutes to cook.
3. It contains things I almost always have in my cupboard and fridge. 
4. It’s full of nutritious veggies.
5. If I am missing any of the veggies, I can substitute with another or leave it out all together and it still turns out great.
6. It only has 61 calories a cup.

Garden Vegetable Soup
3 cups beef broth
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cooking onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup green beans (I use frozen)
1/2 cup chopped zuchini
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Spray pot with non stick cooking spray saute onions carrots and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add broth, Tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano and Salt & Pepper to taste.
Simmer for a about 10 – 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender then add the zucchini and simmer for another 5 or so minutes.  Enjoy!

Kath’s quote: “An old-fashioned vegetable soup, without any enhancement, is a more powerful anticarcinogen than any known medicine.”-James Duke

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Two Wifesavers-Politically Incorrect Breakfasts


I tried to go back and reference the first time I heard the term “wife-saver”.  It was from my much-loved “Best of Bridge” cookbook series.  And I say tried because these cook books have been used so thoroughly over the years, that the front cover of this one (which would have included the date of publishing) is long gone.  Suffice it to say, that it was when my kids were babies and my oldest just turned 26. 

So we can safely establish that roles have changed.  But in this particular case the adage is an accurate one.  Sister #2 holds down one of those all-consuming jobs that makes weekends at the cottage particularly precious.  A time when she can sleep in, walk with the dogs, read, nap and rejuvenate for the weekdays ahead.  And so it is, that on weekends (especially long weekends), when she is assigned to the preparation of breakfasts for a gang, she dips into her “wife-saving” repertoire.

Don’t know what this was called, but it was satisfying and delicious.  Some of our gang took left over squares that they could eat on the run without reheating.

8 hash brown patties

2 cups of shaved ham (or chunks of leftover baked ham)

1 c milk

1/2 t dry mustard

4 c grated cheddar

7 eggs

1/2 t salt

Assemble a double layer of hash brown patties in appropriately sized pan.  Place ham on top.  Mix all other ingredients together and pour over top.  Cover and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Prepare for a sweet fix with this dish.  Don’t know the official name for it either but describe it as a “Pecan Carmel French Toast”.

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c butter

2 T corn syrup

1 c pecans, loosely chopped

12 slices of multi-grain bread

6 eggs

1 1/2 c milk

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t salt

Caramel sauce

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c butter

1 T corn syrup

To make this decadent dish even more so-we browned up split pork sausages to serve alongside

Combine sugar, butter, syrup.  Cook on med heat until sugar dissolves and it thickens.  Pour 1/2 sauce into 9 x 13 baking dish.  Place 6 slices of bread on top and then pecans.  Repeat.  Mix eggs, milk, spices.  Pour over bread.  Cover and refidgerate,  Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Make caramel sauce and pour over at table or when serving. 

Kath’s quote: “Often has the affectionate wife caused her husband a sleepless night and severe distress, which, had an enemy inflicted, she would scarcely have forgiven — because she has prepared for him food which did not agree with his constitution or habits.”-Sarah Josepha Hale, ‘The Good Housekeeper’

Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes


There are times when for the sake of variety, I change up a favourite dish.  Other times, when I run out of a certain ingredient that I do so.  On this day it was for both reasons.  Besides, being an “inventive cook” means switching things up every once in a while.  There are recipes that my family will not tolerate my messing with (my chicken enchiladas for example), but everyone seemed pleased with this new twist on a classic.

I took these and a dish of “regular” scalloped potatoes (with cheese and onion) to a Easter dinner this spring.  Looks gorgeous to have one scoop of each on a dinner plate alongside a classically baked ham.

2 garlic cloves minced

2 1/2 c half & half cream

6 potatoes

2 T flour

3 c grated Gruyere

S & P to taste

Stir garlic into cream and set aside.  Slice potatoes into paper-thin rounds and toss with flour.  I leave the peel on for nutritional purposes and an extra bit of colour.  Arrange them in a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese and pour 1/2 of the cream mixture over top.  Sprinkle with S & P.  Repeat layers.  Cover and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.  Remove cover and continue baking for 1/2 hour or until potatoes are tender. 

Kath’s quote:  “People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding fresh lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand that there must be a reason for this.”-Fran Lebowitz

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