Tomato pie

I used Vivian Howard’s recipe for tomato pie as a starting point. I don’t make my own crust and I have modified it a little bit.  Thyme is too subtle a flavor and I can’t taste it with all the other stuff.  So, I leave it out.

Filling and topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and cut into julienne with the grain
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 ½ pounds tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice,
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup picked basil leaves  (3 Tbsp dried)

¼ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup grated Fontina
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Blind-bake your crust for for 2/3 of the time required by your crust recipe (or box directions) until it is slightly underdone.

In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat the oil and add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook the onions over medium-low heat till they are deeply caramelized. This will take about 40 minutes. If your onions get away from you and burn a little, add ¼ cup of water to the pan, scrape up the over-browned bits, and keep going, In the end, you’ll have a scant ⅓ cup caramelized onions.

Toss the tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar. Set them over a colander and let them drain while you get everything else ready, at least 30 minutes.

Once all the individual components are done, stir together the onions, the tomatoes, the salt and sugar, black pepper and basil. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Fontina, and Parmesan.

Spoon the filling into your blind-baked crust and crown it with mayo-and-cheese topping. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 – 45 minutes at 325ºF until the top is a nice golden brown. Let cool a while (30 minutes?) before you serve it.


If you want to, you can freeze fresh-from-your-garden tomatoes in a gallon bag, cut in quarters.  Thaw them and drain them and continue from there.  Whichever way you prepare the tomatoes, get them as dry as you can before you put them in the crust.


Cheesey Chicken

I got this recipe from my first mother-in-law.

Place a couple of boneless chicken breasts (or 4 thighs or a breast and 2 thighs) in the bottom of a casserole dish. Combine 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese with 1 large can of cream of mushroom soup or 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 small can of cream of chicken soup. Bake at 350ºF for an hour. Serve over rice.

Frankly, I liked the sauce that came out of that over the rice better than I liked the chicken. Maybe I should try just combining COM with cheese and see what happens.

Cheater’s Chicken Pot Pie

This is a recipe from my meat-eating days.  It is wonderful for people who don’t think they can cook and can’t really afford to eat out all the time.

Look by the whomp biscuits in the refrigerated section of your grocery and get a box of pie crusts. They come 2 in a box. Get some boneless chicken (2 breasts, 1 breast and 2 thighs, 4 thighs, whatever variation appeals to your taste buds.) 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. (if you don’t like COM, use cream of chicken) 1 can of either mixed vegetables or peas. (Or a cup of frozen) That’s one of those whichever-you-prefer things. I liked peas with mushrooms or peas with pearl onions.

Put one crust in a pie pan. Start the oven preheating to 350ºF. Cut the raw chicken into bite sized pieces. Drain the vegetables and mix all the chicken, veg and soup together and dump it into the pie crust. Put the second crust on top and pinch the edges together. (That’s why you want that kind of crust instead of the frozen ones.) Cut a couple of vent holes in the top. Put the pie pan on a cookie sheet to catch any leaks.

Bake it for an hour or until the entire top is golden brown. (Depending on your weather that can be plus or minus 10 or 15 minutes.) Let it sit for about 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven.

Even if it isn’t perfectly beautiful, it is tasty and filling.

My friend, Tiffany, gave me this variation:

In the absence of the pie crusts which Kitty mentioned, you can make Chicken Pot Pie the way I do it. Get all the ingredients mentioned in her recipe and put them in a deep baking dish.

Then, place the following ingredients in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 stick margarine

Stir together in the mixing bowl, then pour the mixture over the other stuff in the baking dish (but don’t stir again after pouring it over).

After baking at 350ºF for 50-minutes-to-one-hour, you will have a pot pie with a soft, biscuit-like topping instead of a flaky crust! :ello_smiley:

Oh, and if you only have “plain”/”all-purpose” flour instead of self-rising, just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a couple of generous pinches of salt.

Broccoli Casserole

  •  1 pkg. chopped broccoli
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp minced onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Cook broccoli. Beat up the two eggs, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Add broccoli, mix and place in a greased casserole dish,

Top with cracker crumbs and butter,

Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes.

From Mary Jo Cunningham

Spinach lasagna

  • Box of dried lasagna noodles
  • olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and very well drained
  • 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 16 oz tomato sauce

Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil.  Set aside to cool while combining ricotta, mozzarella, herbs, eggs and spinach.  Add onion/mushroom mixture.

Spread @ 1/2 c tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Then, add a layer of pasta noodles.  Spread a layer of the cheese mixture.  Layer more pasta sheets.  Spread the remaining cheese mixture.  Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the entire thing.

350ºF for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Allow to cool for a while before serving.

This is a work in progress.

Russian Vegetable Pie

A recipe Hali shared from the “Vegetarian Epicure” by Anna Thomas:

Pastry for a two-crust nine-inch pie

1 small head cabbage, shredded (3-4 cups, it should cook down to half that)

1 onion, chopped small or shredded

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Marjoram



3 tbsp butter

4 oz softened cream cheese

4 to 5 hard-cooked eggs, sliced


Line a pie pan with half the rolled out pastry, and spread with the cream cheese.

Arrange the egg slices in an even layer on top. Sprinkle with chopped dill.

Put in fridge while you: Melt 2 tbsp butter in large skillet. Add onion and cabbage and saute until soft/wilted and significantly reduced in volume. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Remove from pan into bowl or something.

Melt 1 tbsp of butter in skillet and saute mushrooms.

Take pie pan out of fridge and put cabbage in, and then mushrooms on top.

Cover with the rest of the crust and bake at 400º for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350º and bake another 20-25 minutes, until crust in light brown.

Let it set for a while.  It falls apart if you rush it.


1 lb. pasta (half cooked)

2 chopped onions

½ lb. chopped mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1½ lb. lean meat

1½ c. shredded mozzarella

1 c, bread crumbs

1 egg, slightly beaten

1½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. pepper

3-4 c. tomato sauce

1 c. grated Parmesan


Cook onions and garlic in olive oil.  Wilt in mushrooms.

Combine with meat, bread crumbs, mozzarella, egg and seasonings.

Stuff the shells with the mixture.

Put a little tomoato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish to keep pasta from sticking.  Layer in stuffed pasta.  Pour tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle on Parmesan

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.


I prefer to use large shells instead of manicotti.  I find it easier to fill and easier to adjust portion sizes.


The original recipe came from The New York Times Cookbook