Cook the Book: Meatloaf


This is my mom’s recipe.  As a little girl I loved the leftover meatloaf sandwiches more than the meal itself.

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs
1 cup tomato juice or 2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix it all up, pat it into a greased loaf pan and pop it into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.  Let it cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8

Cook the Book: Newfi Bread

Newfi Bread

This recipe is a favorite on many vessels in the windjammer fleet.
2 tablespoons (2 packages) dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon salt
8 cups white all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup molasses

Combine the yeast, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Stir in all the remaining ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup water. Add more water if needed. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Oil the bowl and the top of the dough, cover, and place in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 3 loaf pans. Punch down the dough, form three loaves and place them in the loaf pans. Cover and allow to rise again until nearly doubled. Place the pans in the oven, throw a cup of water over hot stones set in a pan in the bottom of the oven (or toss 3 to 4 ice cubes into a pan in the bottom of the oven) to generate steam and quickly close the oven door. Bake until deep brown (around 45 minutes).

Cook the Book: French Toast

French Toast

I will use almost any leftover bread for this recipe.  This is a good example of leftovers being better the second time around.

1 egg per person
1/2 cup milk per person
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4  teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4  teaspoon rum – if it’s for grown ups
Butter for the skillet
3 slices day-old Crusty Peasant or French bread per person

Combine all of the ingredients except the butter and bread.  Mix well. Heat the butter on a griddle or skillet over medium heat. While the pan is heating, soak the bread slices in the batter (be sure both sides are coated) and immediately place the slices on the heated skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, flip the bread, and continue to cook until the other side is brown. Set the toast aside on a plate in a warm oven and continue cooking until all the bread is gone.


I often make a special French Toast with cream cheese and jam in the center of two slices of bread.  Here are my favorite combinations

Cranberry Bread


Cream cheese

Pumpkin bread

Cream cheese

French bread

Raspberry jam

Cream cheese

Cook the Book: Beef Ragu with Fennel & Orange

Beef Ragu with Fennel and Orange

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds stew beef
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced fennel
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
½ green pepper, diced
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fennel seed
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Zest of one orange
2 cups red wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Toss the beef, flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a bowl so the beef is coated with the flour. Place the beef in the pot and cook until browned. Add the onions, fennel, carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, spices, salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the orange zest, red wine and tomatoes.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Serve with polenta

Cook the Book: Roasted 5-Herb Chicken

Roasted 5-Herb Chicken  

If you are in a hurry, you can cut the chicken through the breastbone and lay it flat on a cookie pan.  It will reduce the cooking time by about 45 minutes.

1 whole roaster chicken
2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°.  Rub the chicken outside and inside with the herbs, salt, pepper, paprika, and oil. Bake for 1 1/2hours or until the legs feel loose in the joint. Serve with mashed potatoes

Serves 4-6


Lemon Garlic Chicken

Follow the instructions above and stuff the chicken with one whole lemon cut in half and two heads of garlic.  If you’re roasting it the quick way, place the chicken on top of the lemon and garlic, then roast.

Cook the Book: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

From A Taste of the Taber Cookbook

Sour Cream Coffee Cake photo by Frank M. Chillemi

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the yogurt, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan and cut into squares.

Makes 9 servings.

Cook the Book: Roasted Pine Nut & Eggplant Sauce

Roasted Pine Nut and Eggplant Sauce

1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded (or 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes)
3/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts

Place the eggplant in a strainer and lightly sprinkle with salt.  Set aside to drain excess liquid for up to an hour.  Heat a large pot over medium heat; and add the olive oil and onions and cook until translucent. Add the eggplant, garlic, salt and pepper and brown the eggplant. Add the remaining ingredients except the pine nuts.  Simmer for 30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering place the pine nuts in a sauté pan and roast them over medium heat until they are golden brown, stirring often.  This takes about 5 minutes. When you are ready to serve, either stir in the pine nuts or sprinkle them on top. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Serves 4-6.

Cook the Book: Zucchini and Genoa Salami Deep Dish Pizza

Zucchini and Genoa Salami Deep Dish Pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini, roughly chopped
2 summer squash, roughly chopped
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound Genoa salami, cut in medium-thick slices
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

1 Crusty Peasant Bread dough recipe.  You can also use the pre-made bread dough you can find in most grocery stores – you’ll need 2 bags.

Olive oil to brush over the crust
Dried basil, Italian seasoning, oregano – whatever you like – to sprinkle on the crust

Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, summer squash, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Divide the dough roughly in half; make one part slightly larger than the other. Either roll or use your hands to stretch the larger piece until it’s big enough to overlap over the sides of the baking pan by about 1 inchSpread half of the Parmesan cheese evenly over the dough. Add layers (in order) of half each of the salami, mozzarella, ricotta, zucchini and summer squash.  When you transfer the squash to the pizza, use a slotted spoon to drain the excess liquid.  Repeat. Stretch the remaining half of the dough out enough to overlap the top of the pan, then pinch the two layers of dough together neatly. Brush the crust with the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs. Preheat oven to 350°. Let the pizza rest and rise for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown (about an hour).  Cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 8-12.

Cook the Book: Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins    

I use this recipe as a base for many different kinds of muffins.  It’s very forgiving and tasty too. Using Maine blueberries is always a favorite of our passengers.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup milk
11/3 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease (or line with muffin papers) muffin pans.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Add oil, egg, and milk. Stir until just mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries; then fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed in the center.

I also make pumpkin, honey and walnut muffins with this recipe.  Reduce the milk to 1/3 cup; add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin with the other liquid ingredients, then stir in 3/4cup chopped walnuts instead of the blueberries.

Other favorite variations: replace the blueberries with

Dried cranberries
Dried apricots
Chocolate chips

Makes 12 muffins

Photo by Elizabeth Poisson.

Cook the Book: Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease two loaf pans.  In a large bowl thoroughly mix the oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla extract.  Add all the remaining ingredients except the nuts. Mix well. Stir in the nuts. Divide into the greased loaf pans. Bake about one hour, until the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan.

Makes 1 loaf.