Chili Stack (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Chili Stack is an out-of-the-ordinary savory pancake main dish with the flair of the American Southwest.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it before or since.  Adapted from the 1949 Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Chili Stack is  a meal of thin cornmeal pancakes and a smooth, spicy chili.  The pancakes and chili are……

Thai Chicken Pizza alla Shandi (Oregon, 2006, adapted)

Thai Chicken Pizza alla Shandi is a protein-heavy, vaguely Asian, sweet and sticky weeknight pizza.   The recipe comes to my by way of Recipes from the Heart, a 2006 community cookbook from the church congregation my family attended.  The recipe was submitted by a woman who has since moved and with whom our family was……

Beef and Noodles Italiano (Missouri, 1964, adapted)

Beef and Noodles Italiano is a hearty two-pot-one-meal pasta dish with vaguely Italian sensibilities.  Adapted from a 1964 community cookbook published by the St. Louis Symphony, Beef and Noodle sItaliano has a little bit of a fancy company vibe to it, in keeping with the mildly patrician sensibilities of the rest of the book.  The……

Instant Pot Chicken and Black Bean Soup (California, 2006, adapted)

Instant Pot Chicken and Black Bean Soup is a simply prepared soup with Mexican sensibilities suitable for a cool weeknight.  The recipe is one of many lovely soups in a 2006 cookbook from the Mother Teresa Maternity Home in Placerville, California.  The home serves as a women’s shelter with a special emphasis on housing women……

Chicken with Fresh Pears Stir-Fry (adapted from Sunset Wok Cook Book (1989))

Chicken with Fresh Pears is an enjoyable summertime stir-fry perfect for weeknights.  If you’re looking for traditional Chinese cuisine look elsewhere.  This dish, along with many others in Sunset Wok Cook Book (1989), falls squarely in the old school Americanized stir-fry tradition.   Stir-frying is an ingenious technique that works well with almost any set……

Cheese Grits with Tomato Gravy (adapted from The Black Family Reunion Cookbook, 1991)

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (1991) is a glorious cookbook compiled by the National Council of Negro Women.   The recipes honor NCNW’s founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, and commemorate the organization’s annual Black Family Reunion Celebration, which honors “the historic strengths and values of the Black Family.”  The recipes are peppered with stories of Ms…….

Tomato Beef Chow Yuk with Pea Pods (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

I’m fortunate to live in an area with a large Asian population and have ready access to high-quality traditional Chinese food.  And I occasionally like to tell myself that I’m somehow fancy or cultured because I can distinguish regional cuisines or appreciate cold, spiced jellyfish, but I also have a soft spot in my heart……

Salmon Pot Pie (Tennessee, 1996, adapted)

Salmon Pot Pie comes to us by way of a promotional cookbook offered by a Southern real estate company.  Since their founding in 1977 Crye-Leike has published more than two dozen cookbooks to give away to employees, friends, and clients.  This particular recipe comes from Volume XVI, titled Cherished Southern Recipes and published in 1996. ……