Mary’s G-o-o-o-d Stuff

I got this recipe from a recipe exchange that I belonged to in the late 2000s, but unfortunately I did not make a note of who submitted the recipe. If you know where this recipe came from, please let me know.

Servings: 6

2 Tbsp water
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz green chile, chopped
2 cups water
8 oz uncooked short pasta (shells, rotini, farfalle, penne, etc.)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup sour cream

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp water in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
  2. Add sausage, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove cover and let water evaporate, browning sausage lightly. Drain off fat.
  3. Add onion & garlic and cook 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add tomatoes, chiles and water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add pasta and spices. Return to a boil, turn heat to low.
  6. Cover and cook until pasta is al dente. Mixture should be loose, but not too soupy.
  7. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.
  • I use bulk Italian sausage. If you use links you will need to remove the casings.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • You can substitute 2 – 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with chiles (e.g., Ro-Tel) for the canned tomatoes and the chiles.
  • You can substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream.


Vi’s Fruitcake

This recipe was developed by my friend Judy Begley Trimarchi’s mother, Violet (Vi) Begley.

Don’t be afraid!

Yes, it’s fruitcake, but not the kind of fruitcake that your parents warned you about. This cake is full of raisins, dates, and walnuts with some candied fruit, held together by a moist spice cake flavored with molasses, apple jelly, coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.

Try it, you will be surprised! When I was first offered a piece of this fruitcake, I was reluctant to try it, but I quickly changed my mind and ate two more pieces.

Servings: 48 cupcakes

1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
¾ cup brewed coffee
½ cup apple jelly
½ cup molasses
1 lb raisins
½ lb currants
½ lb dates, chopped
½ lb nuts, coarsely chopped
1 lb candied fruit

  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & spices.
  4. Stir in flour mixture alternately with liquids (coffee, jelly & molasses) until well combined.
  5. Stir in fruit and nuts.
  6. Pour into greased and floured loaf pans or lined cupcake pans, filling almost to the top.
  7. Bake at 300℉ until a toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes about 25 minutes, 2″x 4″ loaf about 45-50 minutes.
  • You can substitute other dried fruit for any of those listed. This year we used dried pineapple & dried cherries instead of the candied fruit – yum!
  • You can substitute another mild-flavored jelly if you prefer.

Beau Monde Seasoning

My mom used to keep this seasoning, made by Spice Islands, on hand.  I used to put it on everything. It is a versatile mixture of spices that can be used to perk up the flavor of beef, pork, poultry, seafood, vegetables, soups, salads and eggs. Beau Monde is often used with homemade dips, salad dressings and sauces.

This recipe is found on many different sites online.

1 Tbsp ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp ground bay leaf
1 Tbsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp ground white pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp celery seed

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  2. Pour into a tightly closed jar and store in a cool, dry place.

Hot Buttered Rum

from Dennis via Judy Begley Trimarchi

2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup salted butter
pinch of salt
3 sticks cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves
1/2 whole nutmeg
8 cups water
2 cups light rum
whipped cream
grated nutmeg


  1. Combine sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, cloves, whole nutmeg and water in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. Add rum.
  4. Serve in warm mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Judy says, “When I first moved to Virginia from Arizona in 1981, I was fresh out of college.  My boss, Dennis, must have answered 10,000 questions as I learned how to apply the vague book learning of the university to the practical, specific needs of the lab where I was hired.  He may have wanted to run for cover when he saw me coming, but he never did.  One Christmas, he and his wife hosted our entire crew for a wonderful party that included this fantastic Hot Buttered Rum.  Dennis was taken from us by cancer over 10 years ago, but I will never lose everything he taught me.  Enjoy this fabulous beverage when you entertain your friends and family!”

Rice Pudding

adapted by Alycia Davis from several cookbook recipes

1 cup uncooked rice (or 3 cups cooked)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cans water (only 1/2-1 can if rice is already cooked)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Mix all ingredients in oven proof bowl.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 min or until top is lightly browned.
  3. Serve hot or cold.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.
  • You could try another dried fruit instead of raisins.

Aunt Louise’s Zucchini Relish

from my husband’s great aunt, Louise Cooper Purinton

5 cups chopped unpeeled zucchini (2-3 large)
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 med)
1/2  red bell pepper *
1 1/2  Tbsp salt
1 1/8  cups vinegar
2 1/2  cups sugar
1 1/2  tsp pepper
1 1/2  tsp mustard seed
1 1/2  tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp celery seed
1/2  tsp nutmeg


  1. Grind vegetables to pickle relish consistency. Add salt. Put in large bowl & cover with water. Let stand overnight.
  2. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  3. Place in large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Pack into jars & seal. Process for 5-10 minutes in boiling water bath.
  5. Makes about 4 pints.
  • Variations:
    • substitute carrot for bell pepper – it’s mostly there for the color
    • substitute cucumber or other veggies for zucchini (total 5 cups veggies)
    • substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar
    • substitute garam masala for turmeric (will be sweeter & a little spicier)
    • substitute saffron or annatto (achiote) for turmeric if you only want the color

A Salad to Make You Famous

adapted from The Quarter of Six Cookbook

12 oz can white meat chicken
(or 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped)
broth from canned chicken
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup strawberry halves
1 lg banana, sliced
1 avocado, cubed
¼ cup milk
¾ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp vanilla
generous dash each of nutmeg & cinnamon


  1. Mix chicken broth (if not using canned, add a little water if necessary to thin the dressing), milk, yogurt, vanilla & spices.
  2. Gently toss fruit & chicken.
  3. Serve with dressing on the side.
  • The original recipe called for buttermilk that I never have on hand, so I replaced it with ½ milk and ½ yogurt – this works in other recipes also.

Roasted Turnips with Parmesan

Adapted from

2 lb turnips (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drizzle turnips with oil. Place  on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Mix cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over turnips.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  5. Arrange turnips in a single layer and roast until golden on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
These did not get crispy, but they are very tasty.