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 my mother used to buy Stouffer’s Chicken Divan. It was awesome. I’m not sure if they still make it or not, however, I’ve tweaked a couple of Campbell’s Soup recipes to come up with my own version, and I think I’ve come pretty close. It’s easy to prepare, and tasty. Best of all, it uses ingredients most of us probably already have. Enjoy.

Gayle Martin

CHICKEN DIVAN

(inspired by Campbell’s Soup recipes)

  • 2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (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 package directions. Clean chicken breasts thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Saute in a skillet until they are cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.

In a 2-quart casserole dish stir milk, melted butter, and cream of mushroom soup. Add pepper and canned mushrooms, if desired. Add broccoli, cooked noodles and cooked chicken, mix well. Top with generous layer of grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 350F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top layer is brown and sauce is bubbling.

 

 

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Beef Chop Suey

from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
© Can Stock Photo / Dusan

The following recipe is based on a historic Heart Chop Suey recipe included in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. However, I used regular beef instead of beef heart as many people may find organ meat less than palatable, and because beef heart may be difficult to find. I used stew meat, but I think chuck steak, flank steak or other cheaper cuts of beef would also work nicely. The end result was a tasty, easy-to-prepare meal that was both healthy and delicious, and somehow I think Rosie would approve.

BEEF CHOP SUEY

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck steak
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 coarsely chopped green pepper
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups water (or 2 cups of beef broth, omitting bouillon cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups boiled rice

Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes and dust with flour. Place meat and onion in heavy frying pan and brown in butter or margarine. Add celery, carrots, green pepper and bouillon cubes and 2 cups water. (Beef or chicken stock can be used in place of water and bouillon cubes.) Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1/2 hours. Add seasonings and sauce. Serve with boiled rice or fried Chinese Noodles. Yields 6-8 servings.

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Ham and Sweet Potatoes

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook

I once had a friend who loved sweet potatoes. I mean seriously loved them. So much so that she would have done nothing short of grabbing a steak knife and telling you to back off if you got too close to her sweet potatoes. Now that’s a food devotion. However, she wasn’t much of a cook, and when I began testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I passed this one along to her. It’s easy to prepare, even for those who are, “kitchen challenged.” It’s also a nice dish for those who wax nostalgic for holiday meals over the course of the year.

Gayle Martin

HAM WITH SWEET POTATOES

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced ham or shoulder
  • 3 cups raw, sliced sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Cut the ham or shoulder into pieces for serving. If the meat is very salty, parboil it in water and drain. Brown the meat lightly on both sides and arrange the pieces to cover the bottom of a baking dish. Spread the sliced sweet potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with sugar. Add hot water to melted margarine and pour over the sweet potatoes and meat. Cover the dish and bake slowly until the meat and sweet potatoes are tender, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally with the gravy. Toward the last, remove the lid and let the top brown well. Yields 6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Heat oven to 350F. Butter may be used instead of margarine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately one hour, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally as directed in the original recipe. After baking for one hour remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have browned. Turkey ham may also be used, and the sugar can be decreased to one teaspoon.

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Alex’s Macaroni and Cheese

© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

When I’m not in the kitchen I write romance novels under the pen name Marina Martindale. So far, each novel has included a scene where my characters enjoy a home cooked meal, and I include the recipe in the back of the book.

In my second novel, The Deception, leading man Alex has just been reunited with Carrie, his long-lost childhood friend. When he comes to her apartment to prepare dinner for her, he makes his mother’s macaroni and cheese; their favorite childhood dish.

They say art imitates life, and macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite childhood dishes too. Problem was, I had no family recipe, and, ding, ding, ding, I’d been buying the prepackaged mac and cheese dinners for years. I confess. It was a bad habit I picked up back when I was a starving college student, and the time had come to break it. So I compiled several different recipes, did some test runs and tweaks, and soon came up with a mac and cheese recipe that was absolutely delicious. No wonder Alex and Carrie loved it. You will too.

Gayle Martin

ALEX’S MACARONI & CHEESE

  • 2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 1/2  cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend
  • (or 2 1/2 cups cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350F and cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. While pasta is cooking whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add seasonings. Set aside. Chop two tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Chill in refrigerator until needed. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, blend thoroughly and set aside.

Layer half of the cooked and drained macaroni, butter and cheese into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining macaroni, butter and cheese. Pour in the milk mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown.

If desired, ham or sausage may be added. Low-fat milk, sour cream and cheeses may also be used. Penne pasta may also be used instead of elbow macaroni.

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Hungarian Goulash

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook

© Can Stock Photo / fanfo

This historic recipe is great for using up leftovers, and while it includes potatoes as an option, I personally wouldn’t consider it a real goulash without the potatoes, or a can of tomatoes for that matter. If you have any leftover vegetables in the refrigerator you can certainly toss them in as well. Some people like to use ground beef and add pasta instead of potatoes, but that would be more of an American Goulash.

Gayle Martin

Hungarian Goulash

2 lbs beef chuck, neck or flank meat
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or drippings
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon caraway seed (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
paprika

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Let onion brown in butter, then add meat and let it brown lightly. Add caraway seed, marjoram, salt, chopped garlic and enough paprika to create a noticeable red color. Add 1 cup water, cover and simmer for 2  1/2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Whole potatoes may be added to the goulash 1/2 hour before done. Some goulash recipes call for the addition of tomatoes. Strained tomatoes may be substituted for water in this recipe. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Serve over noodles or your favorite pasta.

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New England Turnovers

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes Cookbook
Copyright Can Stock Photo/ ajafoto

Seafood was just as popular in Rosie’s day as it is today, and this historic recipe is yummy and delicious. However, as noted below, those who don’t feel comfortable making pastry from scratch should be able to get good results using frozen pie crusts. Butter can also be used in place of margarine.

Gayle Martin

NEW ENGLAND TURNOVERS

Turnover Filling

  • 1 4 oz. package shredded codfish
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons enriched all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk

Freshen codfish as directed on package. Melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and seasoning and stir until smooth. Add milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Add freshened codfish and mix well

Pastry

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Sift flour and salt together 3 times. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until consistency of coarse meal. Add water and toss lightly with a fork until all particles are moistened. Roll out on lightly floured board into an 8 x 22-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares.  Heap turnover filling into each square. Fold squares in half. Press edges together with fork dipped in flour. Prick top to allow steam to escape. Bake in hot oven (425• F) 15 minutes. Yield:  6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Fish can be freshened by placing it in a bowl of cold salt water for about 15 minutes. However, if using individually frozen pieces of uncooked fish, this step may not be necessary. Frozen pie shells or pastry can also be used, and any leftover filling can be served as a delicious topping over the turnovers.

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Turkey and Stuffing Casserole

© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

Post-holiday leftovers are great, and, just like in Rosie’s time, we don’t want them going to waste. However, they can also take up a lot of space in your refrigerator, so here’s a delicious recipe to combine your holiday leftovers into a single casserole dish, saving space in the fridge.

Gayle Martin

 

TURKEY AND STUFFING CASSEROLE

• Vegetable Cooking Spray

• 1 can cream of mushroom soup

• 1 1/2 cups milk, chicken broth or water

• 1 package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot combination, thawed, (or other leftover vegetables)

• 2 cups cubed leftover turkey

• 3 to 4 cups leftover stuffing

• 1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce (optional)

• 2 tablespoons butter, melted

• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400F and spray nonstick cooking spray into a 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Stir soup and liquid in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add vegetables, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, if desired, and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into baking dish. Melt butter in the microwave and add the breadcrumbs, stirring until they are moistened. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the turkey mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.

Note: If you’re short on stuffing slice bread into small cubes and add to stuffing. If you prefer a creamier casserole, add more broth or milk.

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Quick Impromptu Spaghetti and Meatballs

© Can Stock Photo / pstudio66

I usually make my spaghetti sauce from scratch, but every once in awhile I’ll get a hankering for spaghetti and meatballs and I simply don’t have the time to prepare my signature sauce. That’s when I have to get creative, and I’ve came up with a tasty alternative. It takes about thirty minutes to prepare, and it’s delicious.

Gayle Martin

QUICK IMPROMPTU SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1  pound extra lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes*
  • 2 small (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • splash of red wine
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced**
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pasta

Blend bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, black pepper, egg and ground beef together in a large mixing bowl and knead until well blended. Break off small pieces of meat mixture and roll into 1-inch diameter meatballs. Place meatballs on a plate. Pour olive oil in a large, deep skillet or saute pan. Turn stove on medium and heat the oil for about two minutes. Add meatballs, onions and garlic and stir frequently but very gently until meatballs are browned on all sides.

Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of red wine. Blend well, being careful not to break the meatballs. Once sauce starts to bubble reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If sauce is too thick add a little more wine or a small amount of water.) While sauce is simmering prepare your favorite pasta according to package directions. Yields approximately 24 meatballs.

*If using plain canned tomatoes add two teaspoons Italian seasoning to sauce.

**1 teaspoon of garlic powder may be substituted for fresh garlic.

 

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Celery Stuffed Spareribs

© Can Stock Photo / sadakko
from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook

 

Presenting another delicious recipe from Rosie’s day that still tastes great today. I tested the recipe with white bread, as it was popular in Rosie’s time, but I’m sure it would taste just as good with whole wheat or multigrain bread, or whatever bread you may happen to have.

Gayle Martin

CELERY STUFFED SPARERIBS

  • 1 side spareribs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup diced salt pork or bacon fat
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups soft bread cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Fry the salt pork until crisp, then remove the pieces. Cook the onions in the fat for a few minutes, add the crisp salt pork, celery and bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the spareribs over the dressing in baking pan, sprinkle the outside with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and rub with flour. Place pan in 350• F oven uncovered and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Modern adaptation: Sliced bacon can be substituted for salt pork. (Bacon fat is another name for bacon grease.) Chop 4 to 6 slices of bacon and fry in a skillet or frying pan. Add onions and continue preparing the dressing as instructed in the original recipe. To help keep the dressing from getting too dry add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Once the spareribs are placed in the baking dish decrease salt to 1 teaspoon, or, for more zing, use 1 teaspoon of celery salt. Bake as directed in the original recipe.

 

 

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Lemon Chicken Linguine

© Can Stock Photo/ Max Payne

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but somehow it got into my collection. I tried it last night and OMG! It’s delicious. It’s also easy to prepare and it uses ingredients most of us probably have in our pantries. And did I mention that it’s delicious?

Gayle Martin

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 pound cooked, seasoned chicken cut into cubes
  • 1 16 oz package linguine
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

Heat lightly salted water to a boil and cook linguine for about ten minutes, or to package directions.

Heat butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic until tender but not browned. Add milk, oregano and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat back down to medium and cook for about five minutes. Whisk chicken stock and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to sauce. Add chicken. Cook until sauce thickens, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley and cook for one to two minutes. Add drained pasta to sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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