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   Hostas haven't been our only interest over the 20+ years we've been together. Our interest in home cooking started when we got together. Neither of us had any idea what a food budget was and it didn't sound appealing. What we decided to do was to buy whatever meat was on sale and figure out what to make from it. We didn't go to culinary school or have any pretensions of cheffiness, but we did sign up for America's Test Kitchen's magazines. We both grew up with really good cooks in our families, and some of their recipes are included. Our tastes are pretty much ordinary middle American and the recipes pretty much reflect that. We decided to put them here for anybody who'd like them, and we hope you enjoy any you try.

-Carol and Bill, HostaLibrarians
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Entrees

Soups and Sauces

Our Breakfast Scramble
Cashew Chicken
Bill's Fiesta Chili
Bill's Chili Grande
Pork, Apple, & Stuffing
Chinese Lemon Chicken
Rich Beef and Noodle
Pork & Sesame Noodles
Beef Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas
Tab Pot Roast
Pork n' Torts 
Butter Chicken
Chicken Fajita Casserole
Loaded Baked Ziti
Chiles Rellenos 2 Ways
Loaded Hamburger Steak
Cabbage and Brats
Pecan Crusted Pork Cutlets
Pork and Root Veg  Stew 
Real Shepherd's Pie (sort of)
Our White Vegetable Lasagna
Pepper Steak
Carol's Hearty Gardener Dinner 
Carol's Sauerkraut Goulash
Chicken Alfredo Primavera
Oven Baked Swiss Steak
Microwave Stuffed Peppers
Perfect Rib Roast
Chicken, Mushrooms, & Grapes
Chicken Apple Fricassee
Ham Turnovers w Mush. Gravy
Mandarin Orange Beef
Garlic Rigatoni with Sausage
Chicken Fried Steak
Meatball Tortorella
Our French Onion 
Carol's Corn Chowder
Our Italian Sausage Tortellini
Ham, Cheese, & Asparagus
Chicken and Slicks 
Our Stuffed Pepper Soup
Carol's Taco Soup
Creamy Onion with Mushrooms
Creamy Chicken and Pepper
Carol's Gazpacho
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Bacon Mustard Sauce
Mrs. Exley's Mayonnaise
Shedd's Sauce (copycat)
Bourbon Rib Glaze (copycat)
Lime Sour Cream Sauce

Sandwiches

Sides

Desserts / Odds & Ends

Bill's Italian Hoagie
Campfire Burgers
Best Ham Sandwich
Grilled Cheese & Tomato
Real Philly Cheesesteak
Meatball Deluxe Sandwich
Philly Roast Pork 
French Burger
Italian Beef Sandwich
Bell Pepper Roast Beef 
Our Patty Melt
Pork and Onion
Lemon Grilled Sausage 
Reuben Bowls
Asian Steak Wrap
Chicken and Turkey Salads
Sausage and Peppers
Carol's Creamed Spinach
Bill's Boston Beans
Tomato Cheese Pie
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Fresh Corn Souffle
Muffin's Spanish Rice
Beef y Fondant Potatoes
Orange Ginger Roast Carrots
Green Beans and Peppers
Carol's Deviled Eggs
Carol's Creamed Corn
Black Lantern Salad
Reet's Beets
Brashear Family Potato Salad
Spinach Squares
Beans with a Twist (copycat)
Wilted Lettuce/ Bacon Dressing 
Bill's Barbecue Beans
Baked Onion Dip
Balsamic Onion Spread
Irish Soda Bread
Irish Apple Cobbler
Bill's Dense Creamy Cheesecake
Bourbon Peach Cake
Our Peach Melba
Lillian's Lime Pie
Microwave Flan
Pears in Orange Sauce
Rita's Pineapple Cheese Ball
Apple, Custard, & Walnut Pie
Our Lemon Blueberry Cake
Choc. Orange Tapioca Pudding
Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Notes

The amounts on ingredients in our recipes are balanced for best flavor to our taste.  Trying to reduce salt, sugars, fats, etc. will throw the balance off and they may not be as flavorful.. Please try them as is first. If altering keep the balance in mind, especially with sweet, sour, and salty. 

Tasting and checking for doneness is an important part of getting things to come out right. The two things that make a dish come out right are proper cooking and flavor, and both are up to the taste of the person cooking. 

Brining chicken and pork makes them juicier and more tender.  Use 1/4 cup salt to 1qt water for 1 hour.  Rinse extra salt off when done.

Cook white meat chicken to max 160F, and dark to 175F and no further. Cook pork to 150F. Using an instant - read thermometer will get meats perfectly cooked every time.  

 

Some of our Favorite Equipment

Vacuum Sealers - A must for households with one or two people.  Food frozen in these bags stays fresh for months.  Never any freezer burn. We always cook more so we can save some for quick defrost dinners.

Modern Tabletop Ovens - We hardly ever use the main oven. The Breville we have does everything a big oven does and much more. 

Instant Read Thermometers - No more questions about how done meat is, and great for everything else that is best cooked to a certain temperature. We recommend the Javelin from Lavatools.

Sous Vide Cooker - Allows long temperature controlled cooking. Great for roast pork and brisket. Great for getting anything cooked to a perfect temperature every time. 

Spatulas - For the regular type we like the ones from DiOro. Fish spatulas are really useful too.

Oxo makes a lot of good quality products at reasonable prices. Same goes for Victorinox knives.

Some of the ingredients used above

Martin's Potato Buns Kentucky Legend partial hams
Koops Dijon mustard Wishbone Robusto salad dressing
bacon dressing Old Neighborhood shaved beef
Heinz Sweet Pickle Relish sodium citrate (for cheese soups & sauces)
Campari brand tomatoes in winter StoneRidge 4 and 5 year cheddars
Korean barbecue sauce Barilla Cheese Tortellini and other pasta
Lard - Morrell is least porky - FatWorks most Sclafani Italian imported Provolone
Perdue tenders, boneless thighs, Oven Stuffers Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked pork sausage patties