Secret Recipe Page ❤️

Ann Fulton

By Ann Fulton

Jump to recipe
If you've found this page, congratulations! You've found an ever-growing treasure trove of reader favorite recipes that is a little bit like a well-used community cookbook!

Welcome to an ever-growing treasure trove of reader favorite recipes that I hope will become an online version of a well-used, time-honored community cookbook. 

 

I recently discovered that a local cafe I’ve long enjoyed has a “secret menu.” How did I not know about this? (Clearly it was a well-kept secret!) And what have I been missing?

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of secrets. But in this case, I approve!

There’s something fun about a discovery that has been flying under the radar.

This page evolved from an email recipe exchange intended to provide a bright spot amidst the many long, often lonely days of COVID quarantine. At first, I shared all the recipes. The concept of a recipe exchange, however, was the goal. I’m not the only one with delicious recipes, of course. Plus, an exchange offers more engagement and an opportunity to hear the voices and stories of someone besides me. (Regular readers who have found their way here are likely saying, “Phew!” 😂)

Several recipes are waiting in the wings with the hopes that this page will be updated weekly, or at least regularly. Precise timing will ultimately depend on how many people participate. I will add each new recipe to the top of the page, so you can scroll down to see earlier entries. All recipes will be provided in a convenient, printable format.

Submissions of family favorite recipes, whether time-honored or new favorites, are most definitely welcome-and encouraged. If you know the original source, feel free to mention. Photos are a bonus. So is a brief backstory. I love to give credit, but if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, that works, too! 

Please feel welcome to contact me directly and/or comment below if you have a recipe to share or would like to provide feedback or ask questions. Fellow readers always appreciate feedback if you cook one or more of the recipes-and I do, too!

A note of clarification: when you comment on a recipe post for the first time, I have to click on it from my end for the comment to appear (it’s a spam control feature of the site). You will be asked for your email but that will not be visible, nor do I share emails with anyone. If you would like to receive email links to my new recipes, you may do that through the sign up box on this site, or ask me to do it for you. 

Now on to the reader recipes. I hope you enjoy! 

 

 

 

Spinach & Swiss Cheese Quiche

A prepared piecrust meets frozen spinach and a handful of refrigerator staples in this speedy quiche that's brimming with flavor. For an easy dinner that satisfies all year round, pair the quiche with a tossed salad or cup of soup. Makes a lovely brunch, too.

When Nancy Bradley forwarded the following quiche recipe to me a month or so ago, she was just starting her annual winter stay in sunny Florida and had already made the dish twice. She commented that the easy meal is truly a favorite and one of only a handful of hand-written recipes she brings to Florida every year.

The third time Nancy whipped up the quiche, she kindly took a photo. She apologized for not capturing the whole quiche, mentioning that she and her husband Jeff had devoured part of it before the thought occurred to her. I consider that a sign of a great recipe, of course, and actually think you can see a little more of what’s inside the quiche when it’s cut. A win-win!

Nancy relies on this quick-to-assemble quiche all year round, and usually pairs it with a tossed salad or soup.

Spinach & Swiss Cheese Quiche
Yield: 6 servings
A prepared piecrust meets frozen spinach and a handful of refrigerator staples in this speedy quiche that's brimming with flavor. For an easy meal that satisfies all year round, Nancy pairs the quiche with a tossed salad or cup of soup. Would make a lovely brunch, too.
Ingredients
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (from a 15-ounce package)
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 to 6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉. Fit the pie crust into a 9″ pie plate and crimp edges.
  2. In medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread spinach over the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the spinach, and then sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake the quiche at 375℉ for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325℉ and continue to bake 20 more minutes, or until puffed and the crust is browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Irish Oatmeal Cookies

 Buttery with the perfect amount of crunch, these hearty cookies have stood the test of time and can be enjoyed in the morning with a cup of tea or as dessert with a glass of milk.

In head-to-head competition, chocolate chip cookies often win the popular vote, but there’s something inherently special about a warmly spiced, slightly chewy oatmeal cookie. Meghan Meyers kindly shared her family’s recipe for Irish Oatmeal Cookies, which her mother would make every year around St. Patrick’s Day.

Meghan noted that her maiden name is O’Shaughnessy and her parents got married on St. Patrick’s Day, so this was a festive time of year for her family. And what better way to celebrate than with these tried-and-true these cookies, which Meghan describes as buttery with the perfect amount of crunch. The addition of walnuts and raisins lend a certain heartiness Meghan says, and she loves them as much in the morning with a cup of tea as she does for dessert with a glass of milk.  

Meghan commented that her family always made the cookies with quick oats as the recipe stipulates, but not instant oats, which may not provide the same texture. For a slightly heartier texture, rolled (or old-fashioned) oats would likely work well if that’s what you have on hand. Meghan said her mom’s recipe contained a note that a small amount of steel cut oats could be substituted for the quick oats (no more than one-quarter of the total quantity), but that she has never done that herself.

Meghan is currently on the Lancaster Junior League’s Run4Luck committee, helping to plan what will again be a virtual race this year. The upside of the virtual race it that anyone can participate from anywhere—and you don’t have to “race.” In fact, there’s a 2-mile walk option as well as a kids fun run along with team walk and run options. For added flexibility, participants may log their miles anytime between Saturday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

For more details or to register, click on THIS LINK. Please feel free to also share the information with friends, neighbors, children, grandchildren, and co-workers. A little fresh air will do us all well, and the more people who participate, the more money the organization will raise to support projects in our community. Donations may also be made through the link, and as an added bonus, anyone who registers by February 27th will receive a long sleeve performance t-shirt and race bag. I have my race t-shirt from the first year the event was run (in 1996), and it’s still a favorite!

Irish Oatmeal Cookies
Buttery with the perfect amount of crunch, these hearty cookies have stood the test of time and can be enjoyed in the morning with a cup of tea or as dessert with a glass of milk.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (284g) softened butter
  • ½ cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (96g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 cup McCann’s® Quick Cooking Rolled Irish Oats (not instant oats; may use another brand that you may have on hand)
  • ¾ cup (115g/4oz) raisins
  • ½ cup (60g/2oz) chopped walnuts*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the quick oats, raisins, and walnuts.
  5. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°F. Cool for 1 minute before removing to a wire cooling rack.

*While Meg and her family always use walnuts in these cookies and enjoy the heartiness they provide, you may omit them (or even use pecans) if preferred.

Notes
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Seafood Chowder

Studded with a satisfying combination of shellfish and potatoes, this hearty chowder comes together easily with a little help from the pantry and freezer.

The fabulously talented Cathy Ketterman is to thank for the following chowder recipe. A committed volunteer, Cathy also happens to be a gifted quilter. (I’ve had the privilege of seeing her work and it’s beautiful!)

The recipe was originally shared with Cathy by a friend and talented cook, and the hearty soup has become a favorite with Cathy and her husband.

Studded with potatoes and a quartet of shellfish, a warming bowlful is easy to pull together. Cathy likes to use canned tiny shrimp (which she drains), canned crabmeat, and frozen bay scallops. She appreciates that she can keep these items in her pantry for last-minute cooking, which she self-depricatingly mentions is how she “meal plans.” (I consider it smart planning!)

As always, if you try any of the recipes, please come back and comment at the bottom of this page. I made the Rice Krispie Cheese Wafers, one recipe down, sharing some with friends, and they were an all-around hit. I’ve also received several messages from friends who have prepared the chicken and rice chowder another recipe down. That feedback has been equally glowing!  ✨

Seafood Chowder
Yield: 4-6 servings
Studded with a satisfying combination of shellfish and potatoes, this hearty chowder comes together easily with a little help from the pantry and freezer.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups nonfat milk, divided use
  • 1 (8-ounce) container fat free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (10.5-ounce) cans low sodium condensed cream of mushroom (or celery) soup
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1½ cup potatoes, diced (a waxy potato will work better than a russet here)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon each black pepper and cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • ½ pound bay scallops (may use frozen and thawed)
  • ½ pound crabmeat
  • 1 (6.5-ounce) can clams, drained and chopped
  • 1 bottle clam juice, to thin (optional)
Instructions

Place ½ cup milk, cream cheese, and garlic in pot over low heat. Cook and stir until blended.

Mix in soup, green onions, potatoes, parsley, and remaining milk.

Season to taste with black pepper and cayenne.

Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. DO NOT BOIL.

Mix in seafood. Cook until seafood is opaque. Thin with clam juice, as desired, and enjoy!

A few more things...

May start by rendering 3 strips of bacon (chopped) and add ¾ cup chopped celery.

May add small kernel white corn-canned, frozen, or fresh.

Regular milk, cream cheese, and soup may be used, if preferred.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for 2-3 days. Gently reheat prior to serving.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Rice Krispie Cheese Wafers

Cheesy, buttery, delightfully crisp wafers are easy to make a freeze well. A perfect pre-dinner nibble with a glass of wine, the tasty little bites are also a fun project for little helpers in the kitchen! 

Rice Krispie Cheese Wafers
Yield: 40-50 wafers (recipe is easy to cut in half)
Cheesy, buttery, delightfully crisp wafers are easy to make a freeze well. A perfect pre-dinner nibble with a glass of wine, the tasty little bites are also a fun project for little helpers in the kitchen!
Ingredients
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheese
  • 4 drops (or more) Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325℉.

In a large bowl mix the butter and cheese until well blended.

Add the tabasco, flour, and Rice Krispies.

Mix with your hands until all ingredients are blended.

Rolls into balls (approximately 1 inch in diameter), pressing down to flatten somewhat, and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. (Tips: You could also use a fork that has been dipped in water to flatten the balls directly on the cookie sheet. When using hands to roll, wetting them or lightly coating with oil will help prevent sticking.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Check a few minutes early as all ovens vary. Once cool, store the crisps in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

The cheese crisps freeze well and are wonderful to serve to large and small gatherings. Reheat at 325℉ for 10 minutes.

Note from Ann: I made these recently with great results and added a level ½ teaspoon each cayenne pepper (omitting the Tabasco) and kosher salt. Could start with ¼ cayenne for flavor without perceptible heat. Update: I tried with a cup for cup gluten-free substitute, and while the wafers seemed crumbly when I removed them from the oven, they were less so once fully cooled and the final result was good. If preparing a GF batch again, I might increase the cheese slightly to provide a hint more binding.  

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

These crispy, cheesy wafers come from the recipe box of Louise Ulrich, who has long enjoyed the tasty bites as a light appetizer, which can be served warm or at room temperature. The recipe would be easy to cut in half, but the wafers freeze well and, as Louise says, are great to take out of the freezer when in a pinch!

Louise mentioned that she recently made a batch with her 3-year-old granddaughter. As they were mixing the ingredients (Rice Krispies are her granddaughter’s favorite), she asked if there was egg in it. Louise said no, “and within a nanosecond she scooped a handful and put it in her mouth!” 

As another fun aside, when my husband and I were little, we both attended Camp Van Dor, the fabulous day camp ran for decades by Louise’s parents. Louise and her sister were counselors, and my husband and I have wonderful memories of learning how to swim, shoot archery, and play new games. I can still sing the camp song!

Years later, my husband’s sister babysat Louise’s daughter, Kate. And then when my husband and I had our boys, Kate was our babysitter. Over the past year, this story came full circle when my younger son started babysitting for Kate’s daughter-Louise’s granddaughter who just made this recipe with her! 

Cheesy, buttery, delightfully crisp wafers are easy to make a freeze well. A perfect pre-dinner nibble with a glass of wine, the tasty little bites are also a fun project for little helpers in the kitchen!

 

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Chowder

If your recipe box lacks a soul-warming chowder that's filling yet light and loaded with nourishing ingredients, your search is over! The following recipe double easily, freezes well, and offers an ideal meal to share with a sick friend or new parent.

This recipe was thoughtfully contributed by Anne Besterman, who said she first enjoyed the satisfying soup at a friend’s house about 10 years ago…and knew immediately that she needed the recipe!  

It quickly became her family’s very favorite soup, and she always has some in the freezer to take to sick friends, new neighbors, and anyone who may appreciate the unexpected gift of dinner.

Anne mentioned that people always request the recipe, so you know it’s a keeper! She thinks the original recipe may have originated in the pages of Cooking Light magazine, although she’s not sure.

Over the years, the recipe has also proven to be adaptable, and Anne has noted some of the tweaks she occasionally makes. She also included a photo of her latest batch!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Chowder
Yield: 8-10 servings
If your recipe box lacks a soul-warming chowder that's filling yet light and loaded with nourishing ingredients, your search is over! The following recipe doubles easily, freezes well, and offers an ideal meal to share with a sick friend or new parent.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup shredded or diced carrots
  • 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) package Uncle Ben’s wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup snipped chives (can use freeze-dried)
Instructions

In a large pan, sauté onion, carrots and celery in butter until tender.

Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add broth.

Stir in chicken, rice, salt and pepper.

Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.

Cook 3-5 minutes longer.  Stir in the milk and the chives.

Serve – BON APPETIT!

Notes

This is the basic recipe, although adjustments are easily made:
Double the recipe
Add extra carrots and celery
Use Costco rotisserie chicken (1 whole chicken for double recipe)
For even more richness, use regular (not fat-free) evaporated milk or even half and half or cream
Add corn – frozen, canned, or fresh

Adapted From: The kitchen of Anne Besterman
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. AvatarLena Hohenadel

    Thank you! I’m always on the lookout for new soup recipes. There’s nothing like a homemade soup with fresh bread!

    Reply
  2. AvatarMarie LeFever

    Absolutely loved the chicken and wild rice chowder! So happy that Anne Besterman shared it with us.

    I too am always looking for hearty soup recipes during the winter months!

    Reply
    1. AnnAnn Post author

      I’m so happy you enjoyed and appreciate your comment, Marie. It’s a gift when people share their time-honored recipes, and you can’t beat a good soup this time of year!

      Reply