Eight Greats

Seasoned Cooking turns eight this month and we're celebrating by offering a look back over the years at eight great recipes from each of the years we've been online. (Of course, there are a lot more great articles and recipes here -- check the archives for a taste!) Throughout the years, we've come to learn a lot from each other and enjoy great food all the while. I hope it's been a great adventure for you as a reader of this magazine. We've had a great time doing it and we plan to make it even better in the coming years. Thank you to those that have read and supported the magazine over the past eight years and a very special thank you to the writers that have helped to fill these pages. And now, a look back at eight greats ...


In November 1998, Seasoned Cooking took it's first crack at tackling Thanksgiving and all of the holidays that follow it. We featured special menus including all of the trimmings and much more. Among those recipes featured, a creamy Cappuccino Pie recipe shared by Royce Smith in the Momma Gert's Place: The Soul Food Connection stood out. It's a dessert to be loved by everyone and the flavors are truly outstanding. Here, now, is a great from 1998:

Cappuccino Pie

  • 5 egg yolks (save 3 whites for meringue)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant cappuccino mix
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients to form custard.

Pour into 9 inch pie shell.

Bake for thirty five to forty minutes.

Cappuccino Pie Meringue
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon brandy

Combine ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread over hot pie and place in oven until it becomes light gold in color.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


In October 1999, Seasoned Cooking was getting in the Halloween spirit and no one took on that challenge more than Victoria Smith. In her Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals column, she was taking a look at pumpkins and how they can be enjoyed in so much more than pie. One recipe in particular, for waffles, garnered praise from many readers. Here, now, is a great from 1999:

Pumpkin Nut Waffles

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs separated (or an equivalent amount of Egg Beaters)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (try soy milk)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans

Sift together dry ingredients. Beat egg yolks. Combine with milk, shortening, and pumpkin. Add to dry ingredients. Beat egg whites stiff.

Fold into batter. (If you use the egg substitute, just skip the separation steps). Pour onto hot waffle iron. Sprinkle with a few chopped nuts and bake.

These are good!!!

  • Yields: Makes about 8 waffles
  • Preparation Time: Less than half an hour


In December 2000, Seasoned Cooking was getting festive and ready for all of the holiday entertaining in the works. In the Phil's International Flair column, Philip Gantt was sharing a recipe that combines quick cooking with elegant results, a trademark characteristic of his since he joined the writing staff at Seasoned Cooking's inception. His Savory Seafood Stuffed Chicken Breasts took a cue from the French with a simple chicken breast filled with a fantastic stuffing that makes it a perfect dish for entertaining. Here, now, is a great from 2000:

Savory Seafood Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • 4 whole chicken breasts (boneless, or boned is okay)
  • 2 large scallops
  • 4 oz. imitation crab meat
  • Seasoned flour
  • 1 tsp. summer savory, dried
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 diced scallion for garnish
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay

Prepare the chicken breasts as follows: open the breast with a paring knife or with your hands. Sprinkle the savory upon the scallop and crab and stuff it into the opening of the breast. Coat the entire breast with seasoned flour (a salt and pepper seasoning is fine).

Melt the butter in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add the garlic, stir into the butter for flavor and then add the chicken breasts. Simmer covered for approximately 15 minutes per side to assure that the heat penetrates adequately. Check frequently. When the breasts are browned on one side, turn them over with tongs to brown the other side. Add 1/4 cup chardonnay during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking and cover.

When done, remove the chicken breasts to a serving plate and prepare the sauce as follows: To the pan drippings, add the remaining wine to the skillet and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour to thicken. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup cream or milk stirring constantly until a gravy consistency is obtained. Spoon the hot gravy over the chicken breasts and garnish with diced scallion.

Serve promptly and enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes


In February 2001, Seasoned Cooking was helping everyone stay warm. In her Home Cookin' column, Patty Waage was sharing a recipe to warm us all ... heart and soul. It takes us back to the good old days when Grandma could fix everything with her comfort food. Here, now, is a great from 2001:

Grandma's Potato Soup

  • 5 or 6 large potatoes -- cut up and peeled if you like
  • 1 medium onion -- diced
  • 1 can of pet milk (Evaporated Milk) or regular milk to taste
  • 1 T. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut up the potatoes and onion, then boil as if you would for mashed potatoes -- about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, add one can of pet milk. If you don't have pet milk, use enough regular milk to generously cover the potatoes, but drain the potatoes before adding the milk. Add the butter and simmer until the milk is warm and the butter is melted -- about 15 minutes.

One way to serve the soup would be in a cup or bowl in the traditional manner. One variation that my family likes is to spoon it over the cornbread. My grandma always served this soup with toast and butter or jam. Oyster crackers, saltines, just about any kind of cracker, or rolls would also be good with this, as it is a basic soup. Sometimes, for a little embellishment, I've added shredded cheese to the bowls as I serve the soup. Ham chunks or bacon bits would also add a bit more flavor. For a little more color, you might want to add some broccoli or green and red peppers. Chives might be tasty but I have not tried them myself. Bread bowls could also possibly be used to serve this soup in, letting the soup soak into the bread just a little, although I think that they might get a bit too soggy.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes


In May 2002, Seasoned Cooking was helping cooks everywhere try new and fascinating cuisines from around the world. In that spirit, regular contributor Chris Schaefer was sharing a special feature on dim sum, including a bevy of great recipes. Here, now, is a great from 2002:

Chinese Egg Custard Tarts

For the Tart Pastry:
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. lard
  • 1 egg
  • 6 T. sugar
  • 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
For the Egg Custard Filling:
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3 extra large egg yolks
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. half and half
  • 1 c. sugar

Cream the butter with the lard. Add the egg and sugar. Beat well. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time. The dough will be mealy. Work quickly with your hands to gather the dough into a ball. Knead it lightly so that the mixture adheres. You may chill it at this point while making the filling.

To make the Egg Custard Filling: Be sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Beat the whole eggs at low speed with the egg yolks well. Do not over beat. Add the sugar, then milk, then half and half. Let the mixture rest 10-15 minutes. Skim the foam from the mixture.

Separate the dough into 24 ball. Press each into a 2 1/2 inch tart shell to an even layer across the bottom and all the way up the sides. Fill the shell with the filling almost to the top. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the tarts on a cookie sheet and bake them for 45 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Loosen slightly by inserting a toothpick along the sides. The tart shell should unmold easily.

It is important that the ingredients for the filling be at room temperature and beaten over a bowl of warm water. Cold ingredients will cause the filling to separate during baking. By skimming off the foam, the custard will have a golden, creamy appearance with a velvety smooth texture which is a most unique and delightful gastronomic treat! Do not bake at high heat, as this will cause the custard to bubble up like a balloon and burst.

  • Yields: 24 tarts
  • Preparation Time: About 2 hours


In January 2003, Seasoned Cooking was teaching cooks about tools to make their lives easier. To aid in that goal, I offered a great recipe for ribs that takes advantage of a slow cooker. The result is tender ribs in a sauce that's deceptively simple ... perfect for the theme of the Rush Hour column. Here, now, is a great from 2003:

Cranberry Pork Ribs

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork loin backribs
  • 2 tsp. course salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 c. spicy BBQ sauce -- pick your favorite variety
  • Hot sauce -- optional

Rub the ribs vigorously with the salt and black pepper.

In a bowl, combine the cranberry and BBQ sauces and mix until well combined. Taste and add hot sauce to suit your tastes.

Place an even layer of the ribs in the bottom of a large crockpot. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the top. Repeat the process until all of the ribs are in the crockpot. Finish with a layer of sauce. (Reserve any leftover sauce for another use.) Cover the crockpot and cook on the LOW setting for at least 7 hours or until the ribs are tender.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 8 hours


In July 2004, Seasoned Cooking was offering you ways to cook and eat outdoors. Regular Ingredient SpotLight columnist J. Sinclair joined in the fun by sharing a fun feature devoted to grilling and eating outdoors. Among her recipes, one featuring salmon and a tangy relish got especially rave reviews. Here, now, is a great from 2003:

Salmon with Tomato-Ginger Relish

  • 4 salmon steaks, 6 oz. each
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce

Place the salmon steaks in a glass dish. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the salmon with the olive oil and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Combine the plum and yellow tomatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the remaining ingredients (basil through soy sauce) in a bowl.

Place the salmon on an oiled grill over a medium flame. Grill, brushing with oil and turning once, just until the fish begins to flake when tested with a fork, allowing approximately 10 minutes cooking time per inch thickness of the fish. To serve, divide the tomato relish on 4 plates and place the hot fish on top.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes


In April 2005, Seasoned Cooking was finding new ways to have fun. Rossana Tarantini was showing her hand by offering great finger food to be enjoyed while playing cards with friends. Many of her recipes became fast favorites, but a special fondness was saved for the warm, creamy dip below. Here, now, is a great from 2005:

Baked Vegetable Dip

  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and steamed till soft, diced
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (make sure these are not the marinated ones), diced
  • 1 container spreadable cream cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. cayenne (or more to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups grated asiago cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix everything together reserving ¼ cup of the asiago and all of the parmesan. Pour into a baking dish and top with the reserved cheeses. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot with pita crisps or tortilla chips.

Make pita crisps by cutting pitas into triangle wedges, brushing lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a dash of cayenne and bake until golden and crisp.

  • Yields: About 6 cups
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes
And that brings us to today and all of the great recipes, ideas, hints, tips and wisdom that is yet to be shared in future issues of Seasoned Cooking. Thanks again for helping to make it a great place to enjoy the art of cooking on the Internet.

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