Hasenpfeffer is also known as braised rabbit in spiced red wine sauce, but the literal translation is “peppered hare.”

Hasenpfeffer ingredients

We made this dish often when we were first married. That was more than 40 years ago, and rabbit was not as hard to find as it is today. We found some at […]


Crouton’s Cafeteria Chili Mac

Ditalini put me in charge of the kitchen last night, so I decided to indulge myself in some good old comfort food. We’ve both been away, things have been hectic and disorganized, and a simple one-dish hot meal seemed like just the thing. Remember the chili mac they served you in the school cafeteria? Here’s […]


Third Rule of Cooking Club

Pull your own weight. We come to cook, not just to eat.

Last night we tried something different. At earlier meetings, members prepared their assigned parts of the meal at home. Once we gathered at the host’s house we sat right down to eat.

Ditalini and I hosted this meeting, and we decided we’d have […]


deMenthe Thanksgiving 2013

We were all here for Thanksgiving: Crouton & Ditalini, our son Baguette, daughter-in-law Truffle, and grandson Pesce, along with our daughter Escargot and her boyfriend. Underfoot, of course, were Mortadella & Ubriaco, along with Baguette’s dog. Our poor old cat spent the day hiding in a closet.

What a great feast we had! Relishes, turkey […]



It’s time to address comfort food, and what could be more comforting than meatloaf?

Neufchatel’s meatloaf with broccolini

My mother used to make a simple, basic meatloaf. We all loved it. Ditalini makes meatloaf too, but hers is fancier: she puts a roll of mozzarella cheese wrapped in sliced ham into the center of […]


Ditalini’s Crockpot Beef Enchiladas

Here’s an easy beef enchilada recipe Ditalini picked up from her friend Cherie, with slight modifications to make it her own.


3 lb chuck roast 2 16 oz jars pepperocinis, with juice 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced beef broth or bouillon (as necessary) corn tortillas 1 can red enchilada sauce cheddar cheese, shredded


Put […]


Ditalini’s Potato & Cheese Casserole

Ditalini made this casserole for our neighborhood 4th of July brunch last year, and everyone loved it. She made it again this year, but it was not the only potato & cheese casserole at the brunch: several neighbors prepared variations of it, so there was plenty to go around. Call me prejudiced, but Ditalini’s was […]


Ditalini’s Chicken Tajine w/Harissa, Artichokes, & Grapes

Ditalini’s branching out. Last night she decided to use our tajine pot for the first time, preparing a recipe she adapted from a tajine cookbook: Chicken Tajine with Harissa, Artichokes, and Grapes. To make the recipe she first had to prepare a pepper paste called harissa, and I include both recipes here, the harissa and […]


Crouton’s Scalloped Potatoes

What to do with that leftover Easter ham? Ummm . . . scalloped potatoes!


5-6 medium potatoes (the red-skinned ones are the prettiest) 5-6 scallions 1/2 cup diced ham 1 can Campbell’s Creme of Mushroom soup (the white kind) 1/2 cup milk 1 tbsp butter 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar […]


Ditalini’s Chicken Tajine (Rotten Chicken)

The proper name is Chicken Tajine, but Ditalini has always called it Rotten Chicken, and that’s what kids and company ask for when they want a special dinner. We call it that because it’s prepared with preserved lemons, which soften the meat to the point where the chicken literally falls apart when cooked. Which is […]