Sunday, November 27, 2005


As I believe I have mentioned before, for 25 years, Bill Knapp's was my family's favorite restaurant. I recently came across a number of recipes online, purporting to be from Knapp's. Quite frankly, I was dubious of a couple of them. So I used my kids as guinea pigs and fixed these for Thanksgiving dinner. I was very pleasantly surprised! They were a big hit! These recipes are in fact the real deal! So I am sharing them with you.


1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
2 cps Milk
1/2 cp Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cp Flour
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp instant Chicken Bullion granules
6 oz American Cheese

Night before, boil potatoes until easily pierced with fork, approx. 1/2 hour. Chill thoroughly. Next day, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2" cubes. Set aside. Melt Butter in a large sauce pan, add Salt and Flour and blend. Gradually stir in Milk and cook, stirring, till thickened. Add Paprika, Pepper, Bullion and Cheese. Cook, stirring, till cheese melts. Stir in Potatoes. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake, uncovered at 350 for about 1/2 hour, or until top start to get brown and bubbly.

Note: If you double this recipe, it fits nicely in a greased 9 x 13 pan. You can also divide this into individual cassolettes and bake, which is how Knapp's served it.

posted by Mark



8 tsp Sugar
3 cups Bisquick
1 cup Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
2 Tbl Lemon Juice

In a large mixing bowl, stir together Bisquick and Sugar, just to combine. Set aside. Pour remaining ingredients into blender and blend on high about 30 sec, or until smooth and completely combined.* Add blender contents to Bisquick and stir with a heavy spoon until all particles are moistened, and dough begins to pull away from the bowl. Turn out onto a board floured with Bisquick. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 min.

Gently pat dough down to about 3/4 of an inch thickness. Dip a biscuit cutter or juice glass in Bisquick and cut biscuits. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Cover with damp linen or paper towel (never terry cloth, it leaves lint!), and let rise slightly, 30 to 45 min.

Bake at 450 about 15 min, or until tops golden brown. Brush tops with butter. I guarantee these are the lightest, fluffiest Biscuits you will ever find! Makes about 15 biscuits.

* You can also use a hand mixer on high speed for a couple of minutes.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mom's Meatloaf

1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 lbs ground beef
2 tbls chopped onion
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce

Combine egg and milk; add bread crumbs and soak 10 minutes.

Add beef, onion, salt and pepper; mix lightly. Do not pack.

Place in a loaf pan or shape into a loaf on a shallow baking pan. Spread ketchup or chili sauce on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

MEATLOAF (Heavenly Midwestern Comfort Food)

Is there anything more hopelessly midwestern than meatloaf? Or any greater comfort food? Here are a couple of excellent loaves, and Barb is searching for our Mom's, so there may be a third one here soon!


3 lbs Ground Beef
3 cps Bread Crumbs
2 pkgs Mrs. Grass' Onion Soup Mix
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 cp Milk
your favorite Meatloaf topping ( I use about a 50/50 mix of tomato paste and Heinz 57)

Unless you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you're gonna have to get your hands messy. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Form into a loaf and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 80 min (that's one hour and twenty minutes for those of you in Crawford TX). Remove foil and bake about 25 min. Add topping, bake for 15 min.


4 slices White Bread
2 lbs Ground Round
1 cp Water
2 med Eggs
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix (4 serving size)

1 6oz can V-8 Juice

In food processor or blender, process bread into soft crumbs, one slice at a time. Combine crumbs with beef, eggs, water, and soup mix. Beat with an electric mixer till fairly smooth. Drop mixture into a greased 9x5x3 Pyrex loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Carefully pour V-8 Juice around edges of meatloaf and bake 45 min longer. Brush Catsup on top and bake 5 min to glaze!

These are really great with Barb's FAT POTATOES or Jessiccarabbit's CHEESY TATERS

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Biscuits and gravy have become a family tradition for Holiday breakfasts at our house. However, my sons are not content to keep this as just a special holiday treat. About once every couple of months I get a phone call requesting this recipe, so I am posting it where everyone can easily find it!

The biscuit recipe was adapted from the late Jeff Smith's book THE FRUGAL GOURMET COOKS AMERICAN. It is my favorite biscuit recipe!

2 1/4 cp Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cp Shortening
1 cp Buttermilk

Sift together Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Cut in Shortening with a pastry blender until the texture of coarse corn meal. Using a fork, stir in Buttermilk. Do not over mix. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 3 or 4 times only. Gently pat out to about 1" thick. Cut into circles with a floured biscuit cutter or glass (I often just dip a chef's knife in flour and cut into 3" squares).

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and heat about 7 min. Remove to stove top and melt 2 Tbls Shortening in the skillet (I use butter flavored Crisco). Place biscuits in skillet, then quickly turn each biscuit over. Return to oven, and bake until golden brown, around 10 min. You may have to do in two batches.

If you don't have a large cast iron skillet, you can bake these on a greased cookie sheet on 425 for about 15 min. Brush the tops with butter.

2 lbs good quality Whole Hog Sausage (Purnell or Tennessee Pride work very well)
9 Tbls Flour
6 cps Whole Milk (heated almost to boiling)

In a heavy cast roaster or Dutch oven, break up sausage and brown over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain, reserving 6 Tbls of fat*. Heat fat over medium heat, and stir in flour. Cook, stirring, until flour takes on the texture and color of peanut butter. Whisk in milk, and return sausage to pan. Liberally grind pepper over top. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

* If using a premium sausage like Jimmy Deans or Bob Evans, you may have to add some butter or shortening, to make it to 6T of fat.

posted by Mark

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Before they closed their doors in 2002, Bill Knapp's Restaurants were a 54 year tradition in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. They were famous for their Birthday celebrations (you got 1 % off your bill for every year you lived!), their fabulous cakes, out of this world biscuits, au gratin potatoes, and good honest home cooking. They had the best fried chicken I have ever had anywhere. Mom and Dad loved the steaks. The ex and my daughter always got the Chicken Fricassee or the meatloaf. They had a very loyal clientele, and when they finally closed the doors on their last 26 restaurants in 2002, there were legions of disappointed people. My son and daughter-in -law still talk about how much they miss Knapps.

Awrey Bakery in Detroit still makes the cakes and markets them under the Bill Knapp's name. They are available at Meijer stores.

The following recipe is for my Dad's favorite:


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Melt butter in boiling water. Add orange rind, orange juice, sugar,
vanilla and beaten egg and blend.
Sift dry ingredients over orange mixture. Add nuts.
Stir just until flour is damp. Batter will be lumpy.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

posted by Mark

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Even though my Mom's family was English, I never had this dish until about 25 years ago, when a small tavern specializing in traditional English food opened in Commerce MI. The tavern is appropriately named BUBBLE AND SQUEAK, and it is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere!


2 1/2 cps shredded Cabbage (about 1 lb)
3 Tbl Bacon drippings or Butter
1 med Onion, chopped
2 cps coarsely mashed Potatoes (about 1 lb)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 lb thinly sliced cooked Roast Beef or Corned Beef

Plunge Cabbage in a pan of boiling salted water, cook 5 mins,, thoroughly drain in colander.
Heat a heavy 10" skillet over medium heat. Melt drippings, add Onions, and cook till soft. About 5 min. Lightly press on cabbage with the back of your spatula to remove any remaining moisture, and add to the onions. Stir in potatoes, salt and pepper. Press mixture down lightly with spatula. Lower heat to med. low. Top with slices of meat. Cook, covered, about 15 min. Do not stir. Remove cover, and cook 10 - 15 min, till bottom is nicely browned. If you listen, closely, you should hear how the dish got it's name! While dish is cooking, prepare sauce.


2 Tbls Butter
2 Tbls minced Onion
2 Tbls Flour
1 cp Beef stock
1 Tbl White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbl English style Mustard
1/2 tsp prepared Horseradish
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

In a 1 1/2 qt. sauce pan, melt Butter over med heat. Add onion, stirring constantly, until soft but not brown. Stir in flour and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add stock all at once and whisk until smooth. Stir in all remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 min.

Invert skillet contents onto plate. Cut Bubble and Squeak into wedges, and serve with sauce. Serves 6


I like this served with Corned Beef at FIDDLER'S HEARTH here in South Bend.

2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into eights
2 tsp Salt (divided)
4 slices Irish Bacon (if unavailable, use American)
4 cps shredded Cabbage
1 1/2 cp Green Onions or Leeks, finely chopped (if using Leeks, use white part only)
1/3 cp Milk
1/4 cp butter (melted)
1/8 tsp Pepper

In medium sauce pan, bring 1/2" water to boil. Add Potatoes, 1 tsp Salt, cover, and cook 15 - 20 mins, till fork tender. Drain thoroughly.

Meantime, in large, heavy skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain, reserving drippings. In the reserved drippings, saute Cabbage and Onions, with 1/2 tsp salt, until soft and translucent. Covering pan helps vegetables cook faster.

In a large bowl, beat together potatoes , milk, remaining salt, and pepper until light and fluffy. Fold in Cabbage, Onions and crumbled Bacon. Make a well in the middle and pour in melted Butter. This goes really well with Corned Beef and Wow Wow Sauce!

posted by Mark