Greek Style Shepherd’s Pie – Lactose & Wheat Free


Ground meat – beef & pork
1 – 2 onions, chopped
Salt & pepper
Oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic powder, dash of red wine vinegar, several dashes liquid aminos (soy sauce), and 2-3 tblsp. sugar.
1 can tomato sauce
1-2 cans tomato paste
Olive oil

Over medium heat, add several tablespoons of olive to a pan. Add onions & meat, saute until done. Add spices & tomato ingredients until flavored and thickened to your taste.


Steam at least two bunches asparagus. Remove from heat as soon as it turns bright green.

*Better next time note: cut asparagus into 1 1/2 inch sections before beginning to layer your dish.

Boil 2  – 3 lbs. of potatoes till tender. (Peel before boiling, or squeeze skin off after they are cooked and cooled). Slice, lengthwise, 1/2 of the cooked potatoes.
For the other half, use 1/4 cup chicken broth and nutmilk to mash to the desired consistency.
Add salt, garlic powder and nutmeg to taste.


Slice thin, lengthwise. No precooking required.
*Note: while baking the zucchini will create a liquid. This can be soaked up, like gravy, with the mashed potatoes while eating, OR potatoes can line the bottom of the pan in order to soak up the liquid.

Pan Layering:

Coat bottom of oven safe baking dish with olive oil. Add the juice of one fresh lemon and 2-3 drops of liquid smoke. Use a fork to mix and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Add asparagus (or potatoes as noted above), then a layer of zucchini slices, meat mixture, another layer of potatoes, and zucchini slices. Top with mashed potatoes.

*Note: Dollop mashed potatoes across the surface, use moistened fingers to spread.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove covering for last 15 minutes.


Pickle Soup

picke-soup-photoWeird but good.  When I first read this recipe, I thought, Pickles? That’s sounds yucky.

‘Kitchen therapy’ and weird were just what was needed one morning when I had emotional child-rearing issues weighing on my mind.


Items marked with a * are my additions to the original recipe.


5 dill pickles, grated

4 tsp. butter (1 tsp. for saute pan & the remainder for the soup pot)

4 cups water

1 large carrot, chopped (* 6 small carrots)

2 celery stalks (* 3 stalks)

1 parsley root (* 2 parsnips substituted ), chopped

1 leek, chopped (* skipped)

1 potato, peeled & chopped

*1 tblsp. salt



sour cream

fresh, chopped dill


Over low heat, saute grated dill pickles in 1 tblsp. butter for 20 minutes. (This removes some of the ‘bite’ from the pickle giving it more of a mild vinegar flavor that adds interest to the soup.)

In a soup pot, combine water, remaining butter and chopped vegetables. Over medium heat, simmer till tender.

Add grated dill pickles, bring to boil & remove from heat.


Potato Omelet – a Basque Staple


What are the flavors that instantaneously transport you back to an elemental time where nothing exists but THAT sensation and the  ‘Y-U-M-M-M’ resonating through your body like waves of the most delicious sound?

The smell of fresh whey, cream at the top of certain brands of yogurt and this potato omelet (with these herbs) are a few of mine.

While on a trip to the Spanish Basque Country (2015), our hosts at a charming inn taught several of us how to prepare this recipe. Also known in as tortilla de patata or “homlet” this is a ‘go to’ meal for a variety of occasions from appetizers to picnic fare to a main dish or for a snack on the run.

Approximately 14 small potatoes – peeled & cubed
1/2 large onion – chopped
6 cloves garlic – chopped
6 eggs – beaten

3/4 cup olive oil


1/4 cup olive oil

Optional Spices:

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp.

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. turmeric

Place all chopped vegetables into a bowl. Heat 3/4 cup olive oil over medium heat until the oil begins to look ‘wavery.’  Pour vegetables in pan.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are mostly done.

Pour mixture into a large bowl to let oil gather at the bottom and until it cools. Drain excess oil.

Combine eggs, salt and herbs in a bowl and mix well. Pour over vegetables and mix.

Heat remaining 1/4 cup of oil in the pan until oil is ‘wavery’ again. Pour in egg and vegetable mixture. Let it cook over medium heat until the edges start to look brown.

Place a large plate over the pan and carefully flip omelet onto plate. (Wipe up any excess oil…in order to reduce the risk of fire!) Gently slide omelet back into the pan to finish cooking on this side.  When done, slide onto a cutting board and top with your toppings of choice.

cassy will

Topping Ideas:

Cheese, salsa, plain yogurt, pizza sauce, fried eggs, sprouts, nuts or chutney.



basque table

A biographical tale about the most famous Spanish cheese.

Leek & Potato Soup

potato leek soup

1 cup leeks – chopped – sautéd in 2 tblsp. bacon drippings
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tblsp. catsup
2 cups potatoes – chopped
1 small onion – chopped
1 stalk celery – chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley – chopped

salt & pepper to taste
sprinkle of paprika

1/2 to 1 cup lemon roux

to water add, leeks, bay leaf & catsup – simmer for 20 minutes
add remaining ingredients – bring to boil – reduce heat once potatoes are done.

add roux or other cream sauce

top with home made croutons & a splash of cilantro sauce

Cucumbers & Cream – Grandma’s

peel and soak in salt water enough cucumbers and onions for your meal for at least 1/2 hour
(if in a hurry eliminate above)ed george

Rinse with fresh water and drain.

Cream Sauce:

Mix in a bowl
mayonnaise to dress the cucumbers
add equal amounts of
sugar about 1 tblsp. ea.

(onion powder or onion salt can be substituted for fresh onion)

combine all – the sauce should be  about the thickness of pancake syrup or less – if it needs thinning, just add milk until the correct consistency is achieved –  serve over mashed potatoes

jon taking out curlers

family picnic with fishing

grandma erik

Grandma’s Potato Salad

Potato Saladpotato salad

Potatoes (pull done ones out of the pot as it’s boiling – peel when cool)
Eggs (hard boiled for 12 minutes then chopped)
Dried Onions (soaked for 5 minutes)
Green Onions (chopped)
1 – Cucumber (peeled & chopped)
Sweet Pickles (chopped) or Sweet Relish
Dill Pickles (chopped)
Black Olives (chopped)
Celery (chopped)


1/2 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise (full fat)
2 tsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Milk

Combine all into a bowl. Blend dressing and mix all together.

Salt & Pepper to taste


Always a staple at family gatherings – Grandma’s potato salad.  When working to reproduce the recipe ‘just like she did,’ I finally figured out the dehydrated onions and both the dill and sweet pickles combine to make those flavors that everyone thinks about in anticipation of the first bite.

…the potato salad in a wine glass…my silly ‘toast’ to Grandma…

The bowl in the image above came from Grandma’s kitchen. Whenever I pick one up to use it, my mind is filled with all of the wonderful things that were created in it throughout the years.

Grandma’s Kliskis

Grate 3 large potatoes, or put chunks of potato in blender with a little milk, add 1 or 2 eggs, add milk if you haven’t done it with the blender, a little salt, then start adding flour with a sturdy spoon until mixture is quite stiff.

Have a kettle of water boiling. Drop into boiling water, dough about the size of a teaspoon. Have a large spoonful of dough igrandma & grandpan one hand & drop the small pieces in with the other. They are done when they come to the top & should be scooped out with a spoon with holes in it & put to drain in a colander.

Fry bacon bits & then fry kliskis in with the bacon after it has been browned. Keep stirring until the kliskis are browned to suit taste.

Sauerkraut & Pork

In a crock pot, combine sauerkraut and cut up pieces of pork (with fat and bones). Let it simmer all day until the meat is tender.  The kliskis are served on top of the sauerkraut & pork.

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

Betty’s words

sauerkraut salt


Lisa (eldest granddaughter): When I first pulled out all of my recipes (3×5 cards) that were from my Grandma, I realized that I only had one written in her own handwriting….this one.  (The recipe above her writing.)

What I also realized is that I spent a lot of time perched on a chair in Grandma’s ‘office,’ [a corner of her kitchen table where all of her pencils, pens, cards and notepads lived] writing in my childish hand what she dictated while she worked away on something else.

It was usually a special occasion when Grandma would make this.  In our family, you know you’re loved when someone makes Kliskis for you.