Dinner · Family Recipes · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Halsted Street Spaghetti

My Grandma C wrote down this recipe in 2010 (so says the notecard). I’m writing down the recipe as is…. but would probably use mozzarella cheese instead of american for this 🙂  Definitely more of an American recipe than an Italian one too. Given the name Halsted St, this is from Chicago… but not sure if this was served in their restaurant or not.  I’ll have to ask!

Halsted Street Spaghetti Bake

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


1 lb spaghetti, cooked and rinsed in cold water
2 cans of tomatoes with juice
2 chopped green peppers
2 chopped onions
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon pepper
(1 cup?) Grated or sliced American cheese
(1 cup?) Milk


Boil a large pot of salted water, add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and since the spaghetti in cold water.

Begin by doing a small dice on the onion and pepper. Saute the peppers and onions in the butter, about 10 minutes until soft. Mix all ingredients in a bowl: spaghetti, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and pepper. Fill ingredients in a 9×13 inch pan. Add milk when you can see it in the pan (but not too much… you can always add more if its dry). Top with grated or sliced cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and spaghetti is hot (guessing 10-15 minutes?)


Dinner · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Au Gratin Potatoes

Another recipe from my grandparent’s supper club Murphy’s. And wow…. thats a lot of cheese 🙂 As someone who adds extra veggies to everything I’m cooking to make it healthier, I winced a little when I re-read this. But let me tell you: THIS IS DELICIOUS! This is still a family favorite for us, my dad will make a huge pan for ‘special occasions.’ I believe I had it last when Brett came to the cottage for the first time and met my dad and brother. We pulled out all the stops 🙂

Also, judging from the recipe, this makes a TON of servings (it was a restaurant recipe, so they probably made this daily).  It can be halved or quartered… or eighthed 🙂

Au Gratin Potatoes

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time:


8lb potatoes
1 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 gallon milk
3 lbs american cheese, grated
1 lb parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon paprika


Boil potatoes, skin and cool. Once cool grate the potatoes with a regular cheese grater. In a pan over medium heat: melt butter, add flour and blend slowly. And 1/2 of the milk and all of the cheese. When cheese is melted add salt and remaining milk. Add grated potatoes until a medium custard consistency. Put in individual casserole dishes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and paprika on top. Bake in hot over or broiler until bubbly all over.

For Entertaining · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Vegetarian

Aligot (aka The Creamiest, Cheesiest Mashed Potatoes in All the Land!)

Another great classic French recipe! Pretty much what malty cheesy potato dreams are made of. Traditional French aligot uses a special cheese that has to be 24-48 hours fresh from a region in franch… but since that doesn’t get imported into America, fresh mozzarella packed in water will do!


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes


2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
2 cloves garlic
14 oz fresh mozzarella


Cube and bring potatoes to a boil until tender. One finished, pass through a ricer to make a smooth puree.
Bring the potatoes back to a pot, and on low heat, add the creme fraiche, stir in whole garlic cloves, and add the mozzarella cheese. Heat for 15 minutes, stirring in a figure 8 pattern until smooth and melty, serve HOT!

Dinner · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Lunch · Recipe · Sides · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

Soupe Au Pistou

Probably one of the best soups I’ve ever made!  A French summer harvest soup featuring fresh picked zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes! And also features basil (which we grow a lot of!) in the pistou/pesto. We always have dried beans around too, so this recipe is great because it utilizes a few different kinds. Excellent for lunch as well!  This was a huuuge hit with Brett!  Would probably add carrots next time.

And its super fun to mix the pistou in one spoonful at a time 🙂


Soupe Au Pistou

Prep time: 30 minutes (plus soaking overnight)
Cook time: 3 hours


The Soup
1/2 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
1/2 coup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight
2 lbs zucchini
2 lbs green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces
2-3 waxy potatoes
1 cup elbow macaroni (or other desired pasta shape)

1.5 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 large bunch basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup grated gruyere or parm (optional)


For the Soup
Bring the cannelloni and cranberry beans to a boil and skim foam off top. Simmer and cook for about 2 hours until the beans are tender. Dice the zucchini and the potatoes into a small dice (1.5 inches) and add to the pot with the beans. Add green beans as well. Simmer until the zucchini disintegrates (about an hour). Mash a few pieces of zucchini and potatoes against the side of the pot for thickness. Add macaroni, taste and season.

For the Pistou
In a food processor: peel and seed tomatoes and blend into a sauce. Set aside, and rinse out the processor bowl.
Add roughly chopped garlic, basil, and olive oil. Blend until smooth, then add the tomatoes and blend again.

Before serving, the soup, stir in the pistou into the soup pot.

If desired (but not vegan) can serve with parmesan or gruyere cheese at the table.