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Susquehanna Life

Cooking at Home: 25 Years: Our Best Recipes

Nov 21, 2018 07:00AM ● By Emma Eldridge

Through the years, we’ve shared some delicious recipes with you from home kitchens and restaurants. Since our inception, some restaurants have gone out of business or been sold; some chefs, sadly, have passed away; others have moved on to new endeavors; and some are still in business! We reprise some of our readers’ favorite recipes and their creators—just in time for the holidays—to commemorate our 25-year history.

Winter 1995

Chicken Nikolai

By George Filak, Executive Chef, The French Manor


  • 4-8 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (pound between wax paper until uniformly thin)

  • Mix together the following and season the fleshy side of the chicken breasts:

  • 1/8 tsp whole leaf thyme

  • 1/8 tsp granulated garlic

  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

  • Dust fleshy side of breasts sparingly with flour

  • 2 cups cooked spinach, cleaned and branched—drain well and cool

  • Lay spinach on inside of seasoned breasts – ½ cup on each breast)

  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes

  • 1 cup grated part skim mozzarella cheese (placed on top of spinach – 1/8 cup to each breast)

Roll each breast tightly with skin left on outside. Season top of breasts with salt, pepper and paprika. Place in casserole dish on top of sliced mushrooms of your choice.  Add 1 ½ cups thickened chicken stock. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Each rolled breast should be firm to the touch. Place mushrooms on plate. Slice each breast on a slight angle and fan out over mushrooms. Strain sauce and pour over chicken.

Winter 1996

Baked Artichoke Dip

By Sheila Mix, McCarty House


  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • ½ cup each sour cream and mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

  • 1 14-16 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, well drained

Thoroughly mix all ingredients until smooth.

Pour ingredients into an ovenproof fish and bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned and bubbling, approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Summer 1997

Grilled Bass with Bacon/Parmesan Cheese Sauce

By Jim Lupia, “Pleasures of the Palate,” WRVV


  • 6 bass filets

  • ½ lb. bacon, fried and crumbled

  • 1 stick butter

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

  • Freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cream and bring to a boil; reduce by half. Stir in the cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Place fish on a grill using a grill screen. Grill over medium heat. Remove from heat and spoon a small amount of sauce over each filet.

Fall 2000

Pumpkin Muffins

By Denny Hummer, The Muffin Man


  • 6 cups sugar

  • 9 cups flour

  • 4 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 3 tsp salt

  • 3 tsp baking soda

  • 1 ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 1 ½ tsp cloves

  • 9 eggs

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 ½ cups sunflower oil

  • 4 ½ cups cooked pumpkin

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Fold together. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 325-350 degrees in paper baking cups inserted in corresponding-sized muffin tins, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the deepest section of the muffin.

Spring 2004

Pesto, Extra Garlic

By The Commonwealth Cook


  • ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaved parsley leaves

  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

  • 2 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

  • ½ tsp fresh lemon zest

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, process all ingredients except olive oil and blend until herbs are finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add olive oil and process until pesto is smooth. (Can be made up to 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate, but bring to room temperature before using.) Makes about ½ cup.

Pair this pesto with roasted new potatoes.

Winter 2008

Blackened Cajun Salmon with Carmelized Onions and Apples

By Emma Renninger and Hannah Britton, Emma’s Food for Life


  • 4 4 to 6 oz portions salmon, skin on

  • 2 T Cajun seasoning

  • 4 servings whole wheat linguini, cooked

  • 1 medium tomato, diced

  • 4 tomatillo, diced

  • 1 T onion, minced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ½ small jalapeno pepper, minced

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 T butter

  • ¼ cup sliced onion

  • 1 apple, sliced

Mix together tomato, tomatillo, onion, garlic, pepper, lime and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt butter in saute pan. Add onion and saute for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple and saute until onion is softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until extremely hot. (This will be very smoky, so make sure to have proper ventilation.) Pat salmon portions dry, coat with Cajun seasoning mix and place in pan, skin side up. Allow to blacken for approximately three minutes. Remove from pan and peel off skin.

Meanwhile, heat pasta and tomato mixture in saucepan, just until heated through.

To serve, divide pasta and tomato mixture among 4 bowls. Add the salmon fillets, and top with apple and onion mixture.

Winter 2009

Pork Tournados McIntosh

The Powerhouse Eatery


  • 6 oz pork loin, sliced ¼-inch thick (2-3 pieces), lightly flour

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

  • ½ Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced

  • ¼ cup walnut or pecan pieces

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, loose not packed

  • ¼ cup Apple Jack Brandy

  • 2/3 cup demi-glace

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock

Heat oil in skillet. Arrange pork in skillet and brown both sides (approximately 1 minute on each side). Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Reduce to medium heat until sauce is thick and pork is done. Add more chicken stock. Enjoy.

Summer 2012

Pan-Fried Catfish

By Mary Syrett


  • 2 pounds catfish fillets

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 slightly beaten eggs

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • Cooking oil for frying

  • Lemon Wedges

Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Mix the flour with salt and pepper, spread mixture on wax paper. Put eggs in a bowl and cornmeal on another piece of wax paper. Dust each filet in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Dip a fillet into the egg and let excess run off. Then dip in the cornmeal. Warm a good-size platter in the oven. In a large skillet, heat ¼-inch of cooking oil. When you feel the heat rising from the oil, add the fish and brown on each side. Place on a paper towel to drain, then transfer to a warm platter and continue frying fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.

Winter 2014

Moravian Sugar Cake

From The Landis Valley Cookbook


  • 1 cup mashed potatoes

  • ¼ lb butter

  • 1 cup scalded milk

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 package yeast

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 4-5 cups flour

Mix potatoes, milk, salt, sugar, butter and milk. Let sit until lukewarm. Add eggs and yeast. Blend in enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead and place in greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours. Punch down and place in three greased 9-inch cake pans. Let rise, then punch full of holes. Fill the holes with butter and brown sugar, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve warm.

Summer 2016

Jenn K’s Salmon Salad

By Jenn Kurian, Wild for Salmon


  • 2 lb wild-caught sockeye salmon

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 medium tart apple, chopped into small pieces

  • ½ cup raisins, craisins or dried cranberries

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Season salmon to taste with olive oil, pepper and salt.

Broil skin-side down for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Mix other ingredients together. Once salmon is cool, flake salmon into a large bowl and mix with remaining ingredients.

Winter 2017

Grandmom Weber’s Heavy Butter Cookies

By Terri Ranck Foster


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter, preferably unsalted, room temperature

  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 cup milk, room temperature

  • 8 cups, more or less, all-purpose flour

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Beat in the nutmeg. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk. Add to creamed mixture, alternating with flour. (Start with less flour and gradually add more until dough is the consistency for rolling, keeping in mind it will stiffen further when it chills.) Chill dough in several batches.

Preheat oven to 375° F. When the dough is well chilled, remove from refrigerator, one batch at a time. It might need to soften slightly before rolling. Roll to thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut out with medium cookie cutters. Place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Cookies taste best when stored for several days before serving. Yields about 10 dozen cookies.

Susquehanna Life magazine has not tested these recipes and disclaims any responsibility for the outcome of their preparation.

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