Tag Archives: potluck

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under comfort food, Grains

Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad (Bobby Flay)

We had this recently at a potluck dinner at Aunt Weezie’s in Washington; her friend Kent brought it, and it was delicious, served at room temperature.

  • 16 new potatoes, about 3 to 4 lbs, cooked, drained and sliced 1/2-inch thick

  • 1 ½ cups prepared mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle pepper purée
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare potatoes and set aside.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except the potatoes, in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Place warm potatoes in a large bowl and pour the mixture over potatoes and mix well. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

Read more at Food Network

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Filed under Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Orzo-kale-feta Salad

Use any orzo or firm rice, along with any dark green tender greens.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained well, and cooled (may substitute with brown rice)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped (OR baby spinach or baby kale, chopped) 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, only if using large kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • The zest and juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or 1-2 small cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. IF using large kale: cut leaves away from the stalks and coarsely chop; discard stems. Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes. Put the kale into a large salad bowl.
  3. IF you’re using baby spinach or baby kale:  do not cook it! Just put the chopped, raw leaves into a large salad bowl.
  4. Gently mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale.
  5. Pour salad dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.

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Filed under food, Grains, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Betty’s Couscous Salad

Betty didn’t specify how much couscous to cook , or how much feta to add for her delicious version of this salad, so I just wing it…


  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, or shake up in a jar.


  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into small pieces
  • red onion, sliced (to taste)
  • black olives, to taste
  • feta cheese, crumbled or cut up
  1. Cook the couscous, stir, and set aside to cool (follow the directions on the box); whole wheat is my preference.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss.
  4. Add the couscous to the vegetables, toss.  Just before serving, gently stir in the feta cheese.

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Filed under food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Oriental Cabbage Slaw

This is a recipe from one of the LaLeche League cookbooks that I have found so useful for the past 19 years; they are excellent for recipes that use whole, non-processed foods, and are easy and quick to prepare.

  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup crushed oriental noodles
  • 2 T butter
    • ¼ cup oil
    • ¾ cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
    • ¼ cup water
    • 2 t soy sauce
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar

    • 1 large, or 2 small heads Napa oriental cabbage
    • 5 green onions
    • 1 or 2 small carrots, shredded

    Toast sesame seeds, almonds and noodles in butter in skillet. Cool and set aside. Combine oil, vinegar, water, soy sauce, and brown sugar in bowl; whisk well. Shred cabbage and thinly chop green onions, including stalks and onion tops. Mix them with the carrots in a salad bowl. Add dressing; toss gently. Let stand for 20 minutes. Top with toasted noodle mixture just before serving.

    Yield: 12 servings

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    Filed under food, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

    Jan’s Broccoli Salad

    Serves six to twelve people.


    For the Salad:

    • 3 Large Broccoli stems with florets (or combination of broccoli and cauliflower)
    • 1 lb. bacon fried crisp and crumbled up very small (or use just a few slices rather than a whole pound!)
    • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (I prefer cranberries)
    • 1/2 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
    • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • a big handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese 

    Peel broccoli stems and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut up the florets into ~1cm square pieces, and add to the stems with the bacon, raisins, almonds, red onion, and cheese (if using). Toss with following dressing:
    Creamy Cider Dressing:

    • 1 cup mayonnaise (the real stuff tastes best)
    • 3 Tbsp sugar, or less if preferred
    • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

    Mix the dressing ingredients together with a whisk.

    Add the dressing to the broccoli mixture, and allow to mellow for a while before serving. Keeps well for one day.

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    Filed under Salads