My Dad’s mother immigrated from Russia as a young woman.  She never learned to read or write English, so none of her recipes were written down.  My Aunt Millie took the time as an adult to watch her and measure  the ingredients.  They are both deceased, but the recipes live on.

1 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

3 tsp. baking powder

Pinch salt

1/3 cup poppy seeds

3 cups flour

Beat eggs, sugar and oil.  Mix in all dry ingredients, add vanilla and mix well.  Make 2″ balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten lightly.  Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


This recipe is from Greg’s mother, Anna, a great baker.

1 Cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 Cups sugar

2 eggs

3 1/2 Cups flour

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp white vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar till well mixed.  Add other ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate dough at least 3 hours, better if overnight.  Roll out dough about 1/2 cup at a time.  I roll them on a cloth pie crust mat.  The thinner the cookies, the crispier they come out.  The trick is to find a happy medium between thin and manageability of the dough.  I use cookie cutters that do not have small extensions to them-just makes it harder to have it all hold together.  Cut with cookie cutters and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They can be decorated with colored sprinkles, if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes till lightly browned.  Let cool a couple of minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

Excellent Stuffing

There are as many variations on dressing/stuffing as there are cooks.  Here is my version, that I adapted from a Thanksgiving long ago on Maui.  The original recipe called for Hawaiian chili peppers, not readily available-so I use chili powder with great results.  This is a dressing with a little more zip and complexity of flavor than many, but takes advantage of store bought stuffing mix.  This can be doubled.

1  16 oz. bag of Pepperidge Farms Herb seasoned stuffing (not cornbread)

1 large chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 stick butter/margarine

2 1/2 cups low salt canned chicken broth

dash pepper

1/8 tsp. apple pie spice or cinnamon

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chili powder to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (washed)

Melt butter/margarine in large sauce pan.  Add chopped onion and celery.  Cook on med-low heat till translucent.  Add pepper, apple pie spice and chili powder saute together till vegetables are evenly coated and begin to brown.  Add dry stuffing mix and stir.  Pour chicken broth over stuffing and stir.  Add chopped parsley, and stir.  Let sit to allow the stuffing to absorb the liquid.  May be served like this, but I transfer it to an oven-proof bowl and dot with extra butter/ margarine and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to get a crusty top.  Serve with gravy.

Cranberry Sauce with Chambord

Here is a recipe for the best and most expensive cranberry sauce ever!  The raves will make it all worth while.

1  12 oz . package of fresh cranberries (picked through for bad ones)

1 cup sugar

1 cup Chambord or Chateau Monet raspberry liqueur

Heat liqueur and sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Stir till sugar dissolves.  Add cranberries and bring to a boil stirring frequently.  You will begin to hear cranberries pop open, turn down heat to med-high to avoid boiling over.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Leaving the cranberries in the sauce pan, mash about 1/3 of the berries to release the juice, using a potato masher or large fork,   Stir and let sit to solidify.  Refridgerate and serve cold.

Coconut Pumpkin Bread


  • 1  1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1  1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree ( NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1  1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix together sugars, oil, and eggs. Mix in pumpkin. Add flour, salt, soda, and spice, and then water. Stir together until just moistened. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Crisp Almond Chicken

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup honey


Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Dip chicken in flour and shake off excess. Set aside. Combine the egg, soy sauce and pepper in a shallow dish; set aside. In another shallow dish combine ground almonds and sliced almonds. Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat and in almond mixture, pressing so the coating adheres to both sides. Brown chicken on both sides in oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear when cut with a knife. Remove chicken; set aside. Combine pineapple juice, lime juice and cornstarch. Add mixture to skillet. Add honey.

Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Serve chicken with sauce.

Ultimate Banana Bread

1 1/2 Tbs. milk/soymilk

1 tsp. lemon juice

3 ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter/ margarine, softened

2 Cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts, dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a large loaf pan or bundt pan

Combine milk and lemon to sour

Mash bananas in a large bowl.  Add eggs, sugar and softened butter.  Stir till smooth-can use mixer or food processor.  Add milk/lemon mixture. Combine dry ingrediants and add to batter.  Stir in chopped nuts and/or fruit.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan and bake for 1 hour a@ 350.  Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.