Good Pie

Good Pie
3 egg whites beaten
1 cup sugar
1tsp Vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 cup graham crackers crumbs
1 cup pecans chopped
½ tsp baking powder

Beat egg whites until stiff then add salt, sugar (slowly), and vanilla. Fold in or beat at low speed graham cracker crumbs, pecans and baking soda.  Bake for 25 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Last weekend the Normal Hill Gang gathered at Barking Dog Ranch.  Another Saturday, another opportunity to share good food and wine with good friends.  I’m reasonably positive my lovely wife has made this pie for the gang not just once but several times.  But everyone raved about the pie as if they never had it before.  As promised I put this recipe on my blog.

While researching a cooking method for sirloin tip roast I opened a 1947 copyright version of Irma Bombeck’s Joy of Cooking.  There are several copies in the house and this copy belonged to my mother-in-law Beverly.  On the inside front cover I found this pie recipe handwritten neatly.  It was the kind of place you put a recipe you don’t want to lose.  We figured the recipe was probably written in the book sometime in the fifties.

So here you go.  My modern day version of the inside cover of a treasured cookbook.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  But as I write this I realize why everyone loved the pie.

It was the pumpkin ice cream.  Not vanilla, nor whipped cream.  Pumpkin ice cream and Good Pie.  YUM.


Chicken Meatloaf

Chicken Meatloaf

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 green pepper, seeded, small dice

1 carrot small dice

1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 pound ground chicken and 1 pound bulk Italian chicken sausage
2 eggs
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs moistened with a little milk
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions, carrot and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
  3. When the vegetables are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together.  Start with the Panko and moisten with milk.  (Any milk will do. I used 2%).  Beat in the eggs next.  Add the meats and toss everything else in the pool.  Blend well with your hands.
  4. Form the meat mixture into 2 loaf (brain) shapes on an oiled oven tray or baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.


At one of the local stores I kept seeing ground chicken on sale.  There were also packages of bulk Italian seasoned chicken sausage.  It was fairly obvious that the plain chicken was a combination of white and dark meat while the sausage looked to be more dark meat.  I bought a pound of each with absolutely no idea what to make.

A little voice in my head said “Meatloaf, stupid”.

So I thought why not?

You’ll notice the seasonings are nearly identical to my Italian Meatloaf.  But you will discover using chicken and Italian chicken sausage gives this meatloaf an entirely different flavor profile.  The Italian Meatloaf is tasty.  This Chicken Meatloaf is YUMMY.


Remember, I hated meatloaf as a kid.

Confused by Beef

Confused by beef?  Don’t feel bad.  I get confused constantly in the meat aisle.  For example, I came across a Top Blade Roast this past week and immediately got confused.  Top Blade Roast?  Not a clue what it was.  But the roast was on sale so I bought it.  Now what do I do with it?  After some determined internet research I learned Top Blade is Chuck.

Pot roast.

During the course of my research I stumbled upon a great website run by a guy named Meathead.

Yes, Meathead.

Check it out and learn what a Denver Steak is.



Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China?

That’s a pretty disturbing thought for anyone who’s followed the slew of stories regarding food safety failures in China in recent years. As we’ve on The Salt, this year alone, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and — perhaps most disconcerting for U.S. consumers — there was an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus among live fowl in fresh meat markets.

via Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It’ll Soon Be Hard To Know : The Salt : NPR.

North Carolina Researchers Find Formaldehyde in Imported Fish | Food Poisoning Bulletin.

The second link is not about nuggets.  Watch your fish too.


1 garlic clove
1 15 oz can organic chickpeas, drained, rinsed
Salt to taste
1/4 cup organic tahini (sesame paste)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, drop the garlic and process until minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the hummus is smoothly pureed.  Serve with fresh whole wheat pita bread wedges.
I’ve been making hummus since my college days.  There was a graduate student from the Middle East whose name I’ve forgotten that had a room down the hall from me in the dorm.  What makes this memory so unforgettable was the introduction of hummus to my taste buds.   Love from the first bite.  Like I said, I’ve been making hummus for a long time.  This hummus recipe was one of our appetizers at this weekend’s gathering of exquisite friends.  Before I get off point let me share my hummus tips.
I never thought there would be a big difference between organic and regular tahini/canned chickpeas.  I was wrong.  Use organic chickpeas and you’ll never go back to the private label brands ever again.  Raw garlic is pretty garlicky.  Use one clove.  Any more fresh garlic than a single clove and you will no longer have gatherings with your exquisite friends.  Most hummus recipes call for a lot more tahini than a 1/4 cup.  Go ahead and use more tahini if you prefer but I’ve found out that a little tahini (like raw garlic) goes a long way.  I happen to like my hummus lemony.  One lemon is usually what your exquisite friends will tolerate without forcing them to abruptly depart mumbling something under their lemony breath.   Go easy with the salt but use enough extra virgin olive oil to create the consistency of hummus you prefer.
And that’s it.  We like to spread our spread thinly on a large serving plate, drizzle with more EVO and sprinkle a little paprika and parsley on top.