Lindsay Longford


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Pumpkin-Cornmeal Pancakes

  • 1 package (7 1/2 oz.) cornbread muffin mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Combine muffin mix, milk, pumpkin and butter in medium bowl. Stir until smooth. (I use a whisk)

In large frying pan or griddle, heat a thin film of oil until hot. Drop by spoonsful to make "silver dollar" sized pancakes.
Serve at room temp with a dollop of creme fraiche (or sour cream) and crumbled crisp bacon.

This recipe was given to me from a dear friend, Gail Towle, who made it in a class she taught at William Sonoma. When I brought it to our Windy City RWA holiday party, it went quickly. So, Lindsay, here's the recipe you requested!

Italian Triangles

This quick and easy recipe comes from my friend Camille Salerno, with whom I taught many years at Morton West High School. Camille, being Italian, is a quintessential hostess, 'abondanza' being the key word! She used to serve these whenever she had the teachers over. With the no-fat, low fat craze, this appetizer fell out of favor.

Now, however, with The Atkins Diet all the rage, I thought this oculd be posted!

Camille Salerno's Italian Triangles

1/2 to 1 lb of thinly sliced Italian sausage, the kind that's about 4 or 5 inches in diameter, but have the deli counter slice it so that it will be thin enough

1 lb of softened cream cheese

Spread each slice of the meat w/ cream cheese, alternating and stacking until you have about 8 slices high for each one. Chill thoroughly.

Then slice the rounds into triangles...and serve! Could it be any easier? They're very tasty. You could play around w/flavors and kinds of meat, too, if you chose. The recipe makes a lot of these little hors d'oeuvres, a good thing!

Soups and Salads

Peanut Butter Cookies for Dummies

This recipe came to me from my darling friend Joan, with whom I have Lucy and Ethel adventures whenever we go shopping! We're a laugh riot, let me tell you!

I can't believe this recipe actually works, but I'm assured it does. Joan got it from a friend who got it from a fundraiser--so...good luck!

Peanut Butter Cookies for Dummies

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • (no flour)

325 degrees 14-16-ish minutes

Drop by tsp on baking paper (?) - flatten with fork (as per usual PB recipes) sprinkle with sugar. LET COOL COMPLETELY OR COOKIES CRUMBLE INTO ICE CREAM TOPPING!)

(Apparently this looks like mud before baking, but the cookies actually somehow turn out.)


Lindsay and I were friends back in high school and college; I was even in her wedding -- in the formal picture, I'm the one with her flowers turned backwards! When I was young it was a treat to go to Ybor City in Tampa, and eat in the fabulous Cuban restaurants. This Salsa reminds me of that Cuban food.

Mango-Jicama Salsa

  • 8 oz. canned pineapple tidbits with juice
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced jicama
  • 1 medium mango, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tab. lime juice

Mix all ingredients; cover and refrigerate. Great with grilled fish or chicken; also, sprinkle a bit on the common green salad for a real kick.

Spelt and Barley Soup

This is such an easy, quick recipe, and if you have, as I do, vegetarians in your household, it serves as a delicious meal for them and for the rest of the family w/the addition of a nice salad and some warm bread.

2 large cans of vegetable (or chicken, if you're not doing the soup vegetarian style) stock

Lots of sliced, diced, and chopped vegetables such as carrots, onions, various kinds of mushrooms

2 C of spelt, soaked for 30 min first in warm water

Whatever spices your taste craves: salt, pepper, even a hint of red pepper flakes for heat, rosemary, and the juice from a lemon--or two! This is the fun part because you can just flavor it as you like!

Combine and cook at a low simmer until the vegetables are soft. If you add the barley, as I do, for flavor and texture, add them before the vegetables are soft.

Then break out the salad and bread, even a nice white wine adn enjoy!

CreativeFest Fruit Delight

Fruit Salad

This is so low-no fat, delicious--and SO easy! But of course!

Because it's easy and pretty, I've served it every year for our CreativeFest Writers' Get Together.

Check out what fruits look especially yummy at your market. I usually like to pick fruits of different colors so that layered into a glass bowl, the effect is really lovely.

I clean and dry and then layer alternately the following fruits usually:

  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries,
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

And then I add sliced bananas--but I do that just before serving as they go brown so fast.

When everything is slice and layered, I completely cover the top with Dannon's White Chocolate w/Raspberry Light Yogurt, spreading it so that it forms an airless seal.


And so summery, too!

CreativeFest Low Fat Chicken Salad

For the past 5 years, my writing buddies, Jennifer Greene, Cathie Linz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Suzette Van, and sometimes Margaret Watson and Jenny Crusie, have gotten together for several days of "CreativeFest."

We work on writing projects, talk about the writing process, and just generally enrich our souls with writer stuff that no one else understands.

On the day I do the luncheon, I serve this salad. It's a tradition! Low Fat Chicken Salad and...are you ready for this??? Coca Cola Chocolate Cake! Sinful. But it's okay because of the...low fat chicken salad.

You know, kind of like "calories eaten standing up don't count"?

Lindsay Longford's CreativeFEst Chicken Salad is as follows:

Poach half a chicken breast per person and one or two extra for left overs for about 30 minutes or so, checking to make sure they're not overcooked and dry. (I poach in chicken broth either in a pot or in a covered dish in the microwave.)

Cool in the broth overnight.

Cut into cubes the next day.
Add red grapes, chopped up celery (including the small green leaves), pineapple--or any kind of fruit you choose for a salad with a fruit-themed taste.

If you prefer, you can make it a crunchy, vegetable chicken salad by using peas, onions, water chestnusts and so on instead of the fruit.

Add a "joiner" made of no-fat, plain yogurt and mix it in well with all the fruit and celery. Add salt to taste.

Let it rest in the refrigerator for a while.

Just before serving, add in chopped pecans. Being southern, I, of course, have to have the pecans! But you could use any nuts--almonds and peanuts have terrific health benefits, so you might want to use them instead.

This is really a forgiving kind of salad in that you can kitchen sink it--you know, add whatever seems tasty!

Enjoy! And think of me and my friends working hard on our writing while we're enjoying it!

My husband spent 30 years in the Navy, so my recipes are memories of places and friends. Some of our best times were spent in South Texas, Beeville and Corpus Christi, so Tex-Mex is one of our favorites.

King Ranch Chicken

  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chile powder
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, grated*
  • 1 can (10 oz.) tomatoes and green chilies

Simmer chicken until tender. Bone and dice; save the stock.

Main Dishes (Meat)


I got this recipe from my best friend. Even though I've made it myself for years, it'll always be known as Sandie's Brisket. I'm not a good cook but this recipe comes out great every time!

  • 6 lbs. brisket
  • 1/2 - 3/4 bottle ketchup
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 1 red onion (med.) chopped
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix ingredients together and pour over meat.

Cover with foil Bake at 325 to 350 for 2 -1/2 hours Slice meat when cold.

Main Dishes (Vegetarian)

Spinach-Tomato Pie

My dear friend Jan's daughter sent her this recipe. I remember the night Laura was born. Jan had brought three-year-old Michael, my son's best friend, over while Jan and her husband went to the hospital for Laura's birth.

Laura, a beautiful baby and beautiful young woman, is vegetarian and loves to cook. But I'll always remember the night she was born. The bons of friendship are symbolized sometimes by the flavors of the foods we cook, aren't they?

Here's tLaura's recipe!

Spinach-tomato pie

  • 1 10-oz. can refigerated pizza crust (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tbs. minced shallots
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded low-fat monterey jack cheese
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 and coat 9-inch pie plate w/cooking spray.
  2.  shape dough into 4-inch circle; cover w/kitchen towel; let stand 5 minutes. roll into 11-inch circle and lightly floured surface. fit into
    pie plate, and flute rim.
  3. mix spinach, sour cream, and shallots in mixing bowl. in separate bowl, whisk together milk, salt, pepper, egg whites, and egg. stir 1/3 cup milk mixture into spinach mixture. spoon spinach mixture into bottom of prepared crust. add layer of tomatoes, and top w/cheese. pour remaining milk mixture over cheese. place pie plate on baking sheet.
  4. bake 45 minutes, or until set. let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    (I added artichoke hearts to this recipe.)

Lorraine's New Quiche

For Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) soy margarine
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tempeh bacon OR
  • 8 ounces of sliced soy protein sausages
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 pound extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup grated soy mozzarella

To make the crust, combine flour and salt in food processor. Cut the margarine into small pieces and add to the flour. Pulse the mixture until crumbly. Add the water slowly, pulsing until the mixture forms a ball. Roll out on a floured board into a circle large enough to line a 9-inch pie pan. Place dough in pan, fitting against sides and bottom and crimp the edge of the dough.

To make the filling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the tempeh bacon (or soy protein sausage) and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until bacon (susage) is browned and mushroom are cooked. Set aside. Place the tofu in a food processor with the salt, nutmeg and cayenne and blend until smooth and creamy. Combine the tofu mixture with the onion mixture and fold in the soy cheese. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes or until crust is browned and the filling is firm. Cool for several minutes before slicing. Makes six slices.

When I make this I only use the mushrooms when I'm using the soy sausages. It's a matter of what you like.
The recipe really only called for the bacon. The sausages and mushrooms were my idea. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Dump and Go Ziti

This is my favorite fast meal, casual party meal because it's so no-stress and so fast! I even hosted a very informal , spur of the moment writers' get together for the first Survivor conclusion! And, truly, this is a survivor recipe! Ready?

  • 1 lb ziti
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce or the equivalent of 32 oz.
  • 1 or 2 eggs--I use organic, but that's because I've gotten weird about chickens and eggs
  • 1 lb cottage cheese--or ricotta--I prefer the low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 lb mozzarella (or as much as you like! Again, I use skim milk, low fat mozzarella

Cook the ziti as you would any pasta.

In a separate bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, some black pepper.

Drain the ziti. Layer it in a 9x11 dish, pour the sauce and then the cottage cheese mixture gently on top. Carefully stir.

Top w/the sprinkled mozzarella. BAke for 45 min at 350 degrees.

Honest to pete, this recipe is fool proof. You can add almost anything to it you want--so long as the item is soft or has already been cooked. Sometimes, however, I stir in spinach, either fresh or well-drained defrosted frozen, into the cottage cheese mixture.


Corn Pudding

  • 2 cans cream corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package of Jiffy brand corn muffin mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large oven proof mixing bowl with Pam or another non-stick spray. Combine corn and milk in the large oven safe mixing bowl. Beat eggs slightly in a seperate bowl and add to corn and milk. Dump Jiffy corn muffin mix in and stir well. Mixture will be slightly lumpy like cornbread but very thin. Cut stick of butter or margarine into 5 pieces. Poke a piece into the mixture at quarter intervals. Poke the fifth piece into the middle. Bake for about an hour, checking at 45 minutes. Corn pudding will be done when it has risen and the middle looks like custard. Don't overcook or it will be dry. The pudding will fall a bit after it is cool.

Pineapple Souffle

This recipe came to me from Jan Renaud. a friend who's become one small step away from family. Our boys grew up together, and, in fact, her son Mike, who has a CD out with his band, helped design this web site. My son changed the name of it, though, to what you see here. It's Rob's favorite recipe of all time! I made it for him and his friends in Prague this Christmas, and it was a touch of home, family, and friends.

Jan's Scalloped Pineapple Casserole 6-8 servings

  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, room temp
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 20 oz can CRUSHED pineapple, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 C firmly packed, cubed white bread (about 5 slices or so)

Preheat hoven to 350 degrees. Butter 1 1/2 qt baking dish. (I prefer deep rather than shallow--keeps it nice and moist.)
Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently stir in pineapple. Blend in lemon and nutmeg. Fold in bread cubes. Spoon into buttered dish. I often cover w/foil for part of the baking time, but you don't have to. Bake until top is lightly golden, about 50 min. Serve hot!

Can be mixed ahead and baked before serving. Reheats beautifully in microwave.

Breads, Rolls, and Pastries


This recipe is from the August 2004 issue of Midwest Living magazine, page 180. These sweet/tart biscuits are fabulous!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 8-ounce carton lemon or orange yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon or orange peel
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • Lemon Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter to form coarse crumbs. Make well in center of mixture.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the egg, yogurt and peel. Add to flour mixture and stir till moistened. Fold in berries.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or till golden. Remove to wire rack. Drizzle glaze over warm biscuits. Serve warm. Makes 12. 
    Lemon Glaze: In a medium mixing bowl, mix 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel or orange peel, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice for a drizzle.

Banana Walnut Bread

Here is a recipe for Banana Walnut Bread from one of my readers. Carol's into vegetarian, low-fat cooking, so I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.

She's a very creative user of tofu, which I adore, so here's Carol's recipe--and I thank her for it!

For best results, use extra-ripe bananas. They are sweeter.

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. Sift the flours, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

Place the bananas, soy milk, oil, sugar, tofu, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chopped nuts. Fill the pan with the batter and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan before slicing.

Milly Pocic's Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe was given to us by a wonderful woman who was there when we first learned our son was entering our lives. Milly is no longer with us, but I make this bread every Christmas in honor of her and that memory. I made it this year in Prague--but without all the ingredients! Who knew there was no vanilla or butter extract in the Czech Republic!

  • 3 C. flour 2 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt 3 T. poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/8 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp butter extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract 3 eggs

Combine all dry ingredients. Combine liquid ingredients.
Make a well in dry ingredients. Pour liquid in and stir.
Grease and flour 2 9x5 1/2 in loaf pans.
Pour batter into pans and top w/ 2 tsp sugar.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hr to 1 hr and 15 min.
It will be brown on top and not gooey in the center--but don't let it overcook!

We have also given these loaves as Christmas gifts to neighbors. So far no one's ever thrown one back at us!

Cakes, Cookies, and Desserts

Lemon Cake

My wonderful friend Julie brought this cake to CreativeFest '04. It is TO DIE for, truly delish!

Every time I have lemons now, I think of the great fun and inspiration the CreativeFest brings to my writing.

Julie's Lemon Cake
(This is my version of a cake I saw the Barefoot Contessa make)

  • lemon zest from 4 or 5 lemons
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (I think it adds to the buttery flavor. Yum.)
  • Syrup-glaze
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoon butter

Bake at 350 degrees. Grease and flour (2) 8" loaf pans (That’s 1 to keep and 1 to share!)

Cream the butter and sugar until it lightens in color. Add the eggs slowly, then the zest. (No tasting yet!)

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Mix the liquid stuff (lemon juice, buttermilk, extracts) in a container with a pour spout. It makes the next step easier. (I use my big glass measuring cup.)

Alternate adding wet and dry to the fluffy sugar. End with dry ingredients–it makes the batter smoother. Divide the batter into the two loaf pans and smooth it flat. (Oops! Is there batter left on the spatula? Better lick that clean before you put it in the dishwasher. You wouldn’t want to clog the machine.)

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour and enjoy the scent of lemons, sugar and butter wafting through your home. No tasting yet! The cakes need to cool at least 10 minutes or they will mush and crumble when you try to take them out of the pans.

While you’re standing around drooling, make the syrup glaze! Melt the sugar, water and lemon juice over low heat. Bring it to a simmer, and watch it reduce and thicken. (You baking know-it-alls probably recognize we are making a simple syrup with lemon juice for extra zing.) Plop the butter in a tablespoon at a time.

Spoon the syrup over the cakes. Poke some small holes to let the liquid seep into the cake. (Use a toothpick or a kabob stick. No fingers!) Don’t try to sauce the cakes while they are in the pan. The syrup gets hard and sticky fast. You'll have to scoop and scrape the cake to serve it. Not a fabulous presentation. (Although no one in my household complained.)

Dust with powdered sugar just before you serve it. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie

This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, which is my favorite source of new recipes. They have a semi-monthly magazine and they also publish cookbooks which are compilations of their recipes. If you like to cook, check them out. They're awesome!

  • Key Lime Pie
  • LIme Filling
  • 4 tsp. grated zest plus 1/2 cup strained juice from 3 to 4 limes.
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk.

Graham Cracker crust

  • 11 full-sized graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs (11/4 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. For the filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about two minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.
  2. For the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in bowl.. Add butter, stir until well-blended. Scrape mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. Pour lime filling into crust: bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15-17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 3 hours.

I serve it with sweetened whipped cream.

Pudding Cake

  • 1 cake mix
  • 2 packages of pudding mix
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip

Bake cake according to directions on the box in a 9 x 13 pan. Allow cake to cool to touch. Take a large wooden spoon and using the handle poke holes into the cake. Don't worry about making the rows even, just get in there and give it a good poke all over. Pour pudding over cake saving about 1/2 cup for topping. Make sure there aren't any air holes in the pudding/cake combination. Mix remaining pudding and about 2 cups of Cool Whip and use as frosting. This cake gets better with age, so you can make it a day ahead if you like. Be sure to put it in the fridge to store it. You can use sugar-free pudding to save calories and sugar.