A Plethora of Recipes

Since our Bringing Food to Life issue was all about food, we knew we had to “beef” up (pun intended 🙂 our recipes section. In order to do this, we added 7 delicious recipes from a variety of people. Some of these recipes even have interesting anecdotes or memories behind the recipe. We encourage everyone to try making one of these tasty concoctions during A and L “virtual” movie night which will take place on August 7 at 7:00 PM!

Sejal Mehta’s Egg Salad Crackers Topped with Extra Crispy Cracked Pepper Bacon 

*Makes 4 servings

I’m from New York. The egg salad sandwiches from the deli, across from the Queens Criminal Courthouse, where I worked, were my favorite. This recipe is especially delicious if you use farm fresh eggs where you have practically had a conversation with chickens and good quality extra crispy cracked pepper bacon  because “everything tastes better with bacon.”


  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika 
  • cracked pepper water crackers
  • 5 pieces of cracked pepper bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place egg in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
  2. Place the chopped eggs in a bowl, and stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and green onion. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. 
  3. Stir and serve on cracked pepper water crackers and top with a piece or crumbles of extra crispy cracked pepper bacon.

Sheri Castle’s Zesty Black Bean Soup with Lots of Lime

*Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Frontera brand liquid Guacamole seasoning mix (regular or spicy) or bottled salsa verde

Serve with: Lime Cream (recipe follows)

Suggested toppings: diced avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cheese, a bottle of hot sauce and excellent chips


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano and salt, and cook for 1 minute while stirring.
  3. Add the beans with their liquid and 2 cups of the stock.
  4. Simmer over low heat until the flavors blend, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer thicker soup, crush some of the beans with the side of a large spoon. If you prefer thinner soup, add the remaining stock.
  5. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and Frontera mix.
  6. Check the seasoning and serve warm garnished with Lime Cream and your favorite toppings.

Lime Cream Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  2. Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  3. 1 to 2 tablespoons green hot sauce (such as Tabasco and Chihoula)
  4. Kosher salt, to taste

©2021. Sheri Castle. Used with express written permission of the author.

Jamie DeMent’s Tomato and Fresh Herb Pie

*Makes 4-6 servings

“My tu-MAY-ta pie is to DIE for” is a statement I heard from almost every woman I knew growing up. And most of those women made their tomato pies with mayonnaise. They mixed tomatoes, cheese, and mayonnaise, then baked it into a jiggly mess. I wanted to create a tomato pie that is simple, fresh, and less greasy because it is mayo-free. This is my take on a Southern favorite. 


  • 1 unbaked pie crust 
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes (different varieties and colors)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ pound of fresh mozzarella sliced into 1-inch strips
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Blind bake the pie crust first. Press the crust evenly into a 9-inch pan and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill the psn with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust begins to turn slightly golden around the edges-around 10 minutes. Remove pie crust from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  3. Once the crust is cool, slice the tomatoes evenly and arrange them in the pie crust in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs on top of the tomatoes, then arrange the slices of cheese on top.
  4. Bake the tart for 30 minutes-until the tomatoes are tender and the cheese is just starting to bubble. Let the pie cool completely. When ready to serve, season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

©2021. Jamie DeMent. Used with express written permission of the author.

Jamie DeMent’s Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

*Makes 4 pints

You can’t turn all tomatoes into sauce! This is a fun way to preserve those sweet cherry tomatoes. I always use a mix of colors so the jars look pretty on the shelf, and that also makes things more fun when you are plating them later. This same recipe can be used for full-size ripe and green tomatoes. Just cut them into 1″chunks and directly substitute.


  • 4 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 8 small sprigs fresh oregano


  1. Get your boiling-water bath canning equipment ready and have your jars sterilized and ready.
  2. Poke a small hole all the way through each tomato or slice bigger ones in half.
  3. In a large stainless steel pot over high heat, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Evenly distribute the tomatoes, garlic, peppercorns, and oregano among hot, sterilized jars. Pack the tomatoes in closely but don’t squish them.
  5. Carefully ladle or pour the hot brine to cover the tomatoes in the jars completely, leaving an inch of headspace. Gently tap the jars to remove air bubbles.
  6. Wipe the rim of each jar carefully with a clean towel to ensure a good seal, and carefully place the lids and rims on.

©2021. Jamie DeMent. Used with express written permission of the author.

Zucchini Casserole

*This was inspired by Provence (French) cuisine and given to us by Rob Craig.


  1. 6 medium to large zucchini
  2. 1 six-inch package goat cheese
  3. herbes de provence
  4. A bag/box of parmesan cheese
  5. 1 cup of Japanese-style bread crumbs
  6. olive oil
  7. salt
  8. pepper
  9. a baking pan large enough to hold the zucchini


  1. Slice the zucchini into thin slices (a kitchen mandolin is good, or a food processor with the slicing blade)
  2. Spread a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of your pan
  3. Cover the bottom of the pan with zucchini slices, 2 or 3 thick
  4. Spread crumbles of goat cheese on the zucchini, using 1/4 or 1/3 of the cheese
  5. Salt and pepper lightly, and generously put on herbs de provence
  6. Repeat making additional layers until the zucchini and cheese is used up
  7. On the top cover liberally with parmesan, then with enough Japanese-style breadcrumbs to prevent burning
  8. Cook in the oven at 375° for 45 minutes

Chicken and Veggies with Rice or Pasta

*Recipe by Teena


  • 1 chicken breast (you can also make this with tuna or cooked shrimp)
  • 3 celery sticks (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of warmed milk


  1. Make sure the chicken is cooked beforehand and sliced into small pieces.
  2. Saute the chopped celery, onions and mushrooms in a skillet in 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus 2 tablespoons of butter.  There should be about 2-3 cups of vegetables altogether.
  3. When all is cooked and the onions are soft, add 1/4 cup of flour to the pan. Stir it around to coat the veggies and cook for about 1 minute at least.
  4. Add 2 cups of warm milk, slowly, while stirring. Simmer for at least one minute (this makes the sauce).
  5. Add the meat. Simmer for another minute and serve over rice or pasta.

Peanut Sauce

*Recipe given to us by Lumina Kemp


  • 1 cup unsalted peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut cream/milk
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • About 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • ½ to ⅓ an onion, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander


    1. Stir in a bowl then simmer till fully combined and heat on the stove.
    1. Add garlic, ginger, onion and spices to pan and heat on medium-low.
    2. Add sugar and lemon juice and mix.
    3. Add coconut cream/milk, peanut butter, chopped peanuts and water and mix so the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan.
    4. Once simmering, add soy sauce.
  3. Serve with veggies, rice or your favorite savory food!