Tag Archives: “All-American” Cuisine

“All-American Cuisine” includes recipes that are broad in appeal and are made in kitchens across the United States. Apple pie, meatloaf, and baby back ribs are some of the dishes you will find here.

Twice Baked Potatoes


Twice baked potatoes were a delicious treat my mother made for dinner when I was growing up. Mom used her father’s recipe, but this recipe from my maternal great-grandmother seems very similar. Mom added melted cheddar cheese to her potatoes. Twice baked potatoes are very filling, so they can be an entree or side dish depending on how hungry you are.


  • Large white baking potatoes (1 potato per serving), or if very large, 1 potato per 2 servings
  • Butter or margarine to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk as needed


  • Scrub potatoes and bake until soft when pinched (about 1 hour at 400 degrees, depending on size).
  • Cut off top of potatoes (at least 1/4 inch) and carefully scoop out insides.
  • Add considerable amount of butter or margarine and salt and mash until bumps are gone. Add milk as needed, but keep on the dry side.
  • Heap mashed potatoes into shells (skins).
  • Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  • Re-bake for 30 minutes.

Chef’s Tips:

  • A slicer is very helpful for mashing potatoes.
  • These can be made well in advance.
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Potatoes, Potatoes


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“Eggs Fantastic” Casserole

Aunt Jaymie
Original Source:  Gatherings Cookbook, by The Junior League

“Eggs Fantastic” is Aunt Jaymie’s family holiday breakfast. Not the healthiest meal in the world, but everything in moderation, right? After all, the holidays only come once a year. You won’t need to eat lunch after this.

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:


  • 12 eggs
  • 1/ 3 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound bulk sausage, any type
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ pound cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ pound Swiss cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salsa


  • Beat eggs & sour cream.  Pour into buttered 13 x 9 casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until eggs are set.
  • Saute sausage, onions & mushrooms.  Season with salt & pepper.  Drain fat.  Spread meat mixture over eggs & top with grated cheeses.  Bake at 325 degrees until cheese melts & casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve with salsa.

Aunt Jaymie’s Tips:
Bake the egg base the night before, sauté the sausage & grate the cheeses.  (Skip the onion & mushrooms). Then it’s quick to put together and bake.




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Spare BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Jill Miller

Jill is an old family friend who used to own and operate a bakery with her husband Lou in Kennybunk, Maine. Whenever we see them in August at Moody Beach (which often coincides with my birthday), I ask Jill to make me her famous baby back ribs because they are SO delicious! They take a while to cook, but not much preparation time is needed.


Preparation Time:
Cooking Time: 3 hours


  • Pork Baby Back Ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Allspice
  • BBQ sauce (best brand is: Old Masterpiece Original)


  • Sprinkle ribs with seasonings to taste.
  • BBQ ribs for ~5 mins. on each side.
  • Cover with BBQ sauce.
  • Put in pan.
  • Cover w/ foil.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for about 3 hours.
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Entrees, Meat, Pork


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Rib-Eye Steak


This is a very simple recipe and tastes best if you use a grill, although a skillet may also be used. It is fantastic! (Even my picky little brother thinks so). Dad always uses 100% organic/farm raised beef which can be easily found at your local Whole Foods.


Total Preparation Time: 8 hours (Enough time to marinate overnight)
Active Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Varies depending on how you like your steak cooked


  • 2 full size rib-eye steaks
  • Ginger/teriyaki sauce (Dad uses the Whole Foods brand)
  • Italian seasoning (may be substituted for oregano, tarragon, and marjoram)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare a marinade of ginger teriyaki sauce (enough to lavishly cover both sides of steak).
  • Generously sprinkle your seasoning on both sides of the steak.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Marinate overnight.
  • When ready to cook, use inside/outside grill or skillet. Cook to desired perfection.

Serving Suggestion:
Dad usually serves this dish with baked sweet potatoes and broccoli. He also recommends a glass or two of red wine, preferably cabaret.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Beef, Entrees, Meat


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I challenge you to find a better meatloaf recipe. Grandmama’s meatloaf was my favorite dinner growing up. She always made it for me when I came to visit her and Grandfather at St. Clair (their farm), and Aunt Jaymie did the same whenever I came to Richmond during my school breaks in college. Even after Aunt Jaymie started working at Merill Lynch, she was never too busy to make sure there was meatloaf waiting for me in the fridge. Mom usually substituted ground turkey for ground beef, so this can also be a turkey loaf depending on your dietary preferences. Perfect comfort food for a cold winter evening.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 ½ hours


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sage
  • 1 stack saltine crackers (in the big box of individually wrapped stacks of square crackers)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups milk to moisten


  • Mix all ingredients with spoon or fork.
  • As you add the milk, work it with your hands. It should be quite moist, but not dripping.
  • Press into greased loaf pan or casserole dish and bake for 1 ½ hours at 350.
  • Makes 6-8 servings.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve with mashed potatoes (I prefer sweet potatoes) and a steamed vegetable or green salad. If you aren’t in the mood for potatoes, try risotto or brown rice.

Chef’s Tip:
If you are cooking this for a family dinner (at least 3-4 people), I suggest doubling the recipe as Grandmama usually did. If you are making it for one person, follow the recipe as is and you will have dinner to last you for the week!


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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Beef, Entrees, Meat



Pumpkin Pie


Original Source: The Perfect Hostess Cookbook, by Mildred O. Knopf

A traditional dessert during the holidays, you can also serve pumpkin pie any time in the fall or winter. This is Dad’s favorite pie that I make. One Thanksgiving, he ate half of a pumpkin pie all by himself. The secret is in the molasses and brandy!

In my experience, this recipe yields enough batter for two pies, although Grandmama’s recipe does not say so. Try it for yourself and buy (or make) two pie crusts in case you have extra.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients: *

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 deep dish 9 inch pie shells
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups pumpkin **
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. brandy (optional)

*Cut recipe in half if only making one pie.

**Be sure to use a measuring cup. Do not trust the number of ounces listed on the can of pumpkin. Always buy one more can of pumpkin than you think you need, as pumpkin is often sold by weight, not by volume. If you have extra pumpkin left over, cover it with saran wrap and refrigerate. You can save it for another pie!


  • Mix: sugar, flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add and blend well: pumpkin, molasses, and butter
  • Beat: eggs
  • Add: milk and brandy
  • Pour into pie crust and bake for 40 minutes at 425 degrees or until knife comes out clean.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve with fresh whipped cream if desired.

Chef’s Tip:
If your pie comes out with a pudding-like consistency, do not worry! Simply refrigerate it over night and it should be ready to eat in the morning.


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Apple Pie


You can’t go wrong with this apple pie recipe which Grandmama got from “Aunt Babe.” While apple pie is traditionally an autumn dessert, you can serve it any time of year as this is the ultimate all-American pie.

When I was eight years old, Grandmama taught me how to make apple pie. Back then, we lived in Cambridge, MA. Mom was in bed recovering from an operation and Grandmama stayed at our house to take care of me and my brother Gabe while Mom got back on her feet. She sat with me at the kitchen table and showed me how to carefully arrange the apples which I did “all by myself!” Of course she made her own crust, which I am not as good about doing. Every day Grandmama stayed with us, she tucked a note in my lunch box on a paper napkin with a smiley face that said “I love you. Have a good day at school!”

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes 

Ingredients:Apple pie


  • 2 deep dish 9 inch pie crusts
  • 6-7 large cooking apples*

* When using store bought crusts, I’ve only needed 3-4 apples because these crusts are not very deep. Grandmama suggests only using Granny Smith apples, but I like to mix them with other varieties (i.e. Macintosh, Fugi, and/or Gala) for a different flavor.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 level Tbsp. flour


  • Put half of filling over unbaked bottom crust and pour the rest over top of the sliced apples.
  • Dot with 2 Tbsp. butter and cover with the top crust.
  • Pierce top crust with a sharp fork or knife to let steam out as it bakes.
  • Put in pre-heated 450 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Turn down to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes more.
  • The pie is done when juice bubbles on top.

Serving Suggestion:
For apple pie ala-mode, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Chef’s Tip:

When sealing the top and bottom crusts, use your index finger to press them together. You can use the tongsof a fork to reinforce the seal. Be sure to not fill the bottom crust too high with apples. Otherwise, the filling will spill in the oven. (Unfortunately, I am speaking from experience). If your apples won’t fit, it’s best to save them for a second pie.

Apple pie


Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Desserts, Holiday Desserts, Pies


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