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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

[Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]   [Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes

(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·->Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Issue 34<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯)

September 4, 2002
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site, so you are getting a "sneak peek" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes. Spike's comments are in []Brackets[].

Shalom, from 
Spike the Grate & Jamie the Webmistress



[] This information came from one of the newsletters I receive: ]

Pick the right potato for salad. Red Bliss, Yukon Gold, White Eastern (sometimes called all-purpose white) California White or Fingerlings are all good choices for potato salad. They remain firm enough to cut into slices or cubes after being cooked. The baking potatoes, such as Russets or Idaho's, tend to be too fluffy when cooked. Potato salads work best with low or medium starch potatoes.

It is preferable not to peel potatoes before cooking for salad. The skin retains the shape and the nutrients. If you do peel them before cooking, put them in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.

Peeling the potatoes after cooking is a matter of choice. Some people prefer the texture and color contrast of the skin, others find the skin unappealing aesthetically.

Cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. If you select potatoes of the same size, they will cook uniformly. To test for doneness, pierce with the tip of a knife, as using a fork lets too much water into the potato.

If you wish to cook and peel them a day ahead, drain the potatoes, peel them as soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut them into the desired shape and put them in a colander. Pour one cup of white vinegar over the cut-up potatoes, shake gently to drain, and refrigerate them in a covered container.

Visit for more on Barbara and her book. []Another good piece of information came from another newsletter: []



Kaylin is the owner of the site named (and linked) at the bottom of this  message. A subscriber to her newsletter asked how to season cast iron pots. Her reply follows:

”Note from Kaylin: To season cast iron cookware, first remove the wax coating the manufacturer has placed on it to protect it, or for used cookware, remove the burned on grease and rust. Wax may be removed by scraping and then scrubbing with hot water & steel wool. To remove rust, use steel wool, or buff the pan with a fine wire wheel in an electric drill. Crusted rust can be dissolved by soaking the piece in a 50% solution of white vinegar and water for a few hours. Don't leave it more than overnight without checking it. This solution will eventually eat the iron! 

Now you are ready to season the piece. Put the pan in the oven to warm it. Remove it and apply shortening (such as Crisco brand). Some people prefer lard or bacon fat. Put it in the oven at 225 degrees for half an hour. Remove it and wipe it almost dry. You don't want any pooling of the shortening. Place it back in the oven for another half hour. The initial seasoning should be accomplished at this point. However, typical of cast iron cookware, the more you use it (and don't abuse), the better it will be. It is generally recommended that you cook fatty foods in the pan the first few times you use it, as this adds to the seasoning process. I have also seasoned my cookware using my outdoor barbecue grill on low heat for about an hour. 

After cooking in the pan, DO NOT use a detergent to clean it - this will destroy the seasoning and will soak into the porous metal, giving your food a nice soapy taste. Put hot water in the pan and bring it to a boil. 

CAUTION: Do not put cold water in a hot pan! Let the pan soak for several minutes, then wipe it out with a paper towel. If something sticks, scrape it with a spoon to dislodge it. Do not use a Brillo pad or steel wool to scour it! An abrasive pad cuts into the seasoned surface. Then, reheat the pan and apply a fine coating of shorting, oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Do not apply enough to run. Just enough to wet the surface with a fine layer. For Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipes to use with your Dutch ovens, go to:

[] Spike speaks: I have ruined three lovely Revere Ware non-stick fry pans and have not known how or why, since I have always been so careful with my non-stick pots and pans. The woman in the Revere Ware store told me that they are guaranteed for five years and to bring them back if I have the receipts. 

Well, of course I don’t. I did, this time, read every English word on the pan insert, and I learned that even the plastic (orange and yellow) scouring pads damage the non-stick surface; don’t put it into the dishwasher because the detergent is too harsh for it; and do season it from time to time, with veggie oil. Just don’t put it into the oven. Get the pan warm under very hot water, apply about 1/2 tsp veggie oil, wipe with paper towel (not too seriously), and leave it. After using the pan, you can then probably (the insert says) get it clean enough by wiping with a paper towel. If not, then use hot water and a cloth. Maybe my new fry pan will last longer than I will… I never use cast iron because I can’t lift it! []



Serves 6

2 pounds red or brown all-purpose potatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups Emmenthaler, Gruyère or other good quality-Swiss cheese, cut in 
1/4-inch cubes
2 cups diced celery
Green-leaf lettuce leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted


1 cup mayonnaise, homemade (page xx) or high-quality purchased
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cover the potatoes with cold water, bring to the boil and boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Test with the tip of a knife for doneness. Drain in a colander.

When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar, salt and pepper and let cool. Add the cheese and celery to the potatoes. Toss gently.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the dressing to the potato mixture and stir gently but thoroughly.

Line a bowl with the lettuce leaves. Pile the potato mixture on the greens and sprinkle with the walnuts. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Serve chilled.


[] Here is an article and four recipes I found in the Modesto (California) Bee this morning. Since it is published in a newspaper, I figure it is fair game. I call the following type of recipes “Guy Food” because the stuff is easy to prepare and guys seem to like it. Incidentally, if you know any bachelors, you may want to consider making a gift of a casserole dish for the next gift-giving occasion. [] 

August 28, 2002 Posted: 06:10:08 AM PDT

When it comes to cooking, I am apparently, considered the last person capable of doing it. I will not argue. Unless it's a TV dinner, something in a can or wrapper (preferably one that says "McDonald's" or "Taco Bell" on it) or one of those Bowl Appetit things, chances are I will mess it up. What's sad is, I worked in restaurants for six years, but I guess I spent more time behind the bar than in the kitchen.

This, it seems, makes me the perfect candidate to review "A Man, a Can, a Plan" (St. Martin's Press, $15.95), a cookbook issued by the editors of Men's Health magazine. The book is like "Cooking for Dummies" --  again, that would be me. Each of the 50 recipes, which are neatly divided into foodie categories such as ham, chicken, fish, chili, veggies and -- yea! -- beer, involves the way-difficult task of opening a canned good. Despite this, people around me remained convinced that I would not be able to cook any of the meals therein -- and if I did, they would not be edible. Co-worker-and-now-ex-friend: "You can't even cook a hot dog." My fault -- I told her about the time I put one in the microwave and it blew up. But she didn't have to say it in front of the cute girl who works in advertising. And, finally, my very encouraging mother: "You mean, you're going to write a cooking story? You better read it back to me to make sure it makes sense." Thank you, everyone, for your support. 

Border Patrol Casserole

This the book's first recipe, so I figure it's the easiest. Looks easy. Mix ham chunks, beans, salsa and cheese. Cook, then eat. A cinch, I think. Then I come across a horrible phrase: "casserole dish." Cooks aside, what guy has a casserole dish in his bachelor pad? Stereo with two big speakers? Check.Clean sheets? Maybe somewhere.But definitely no casserole dish. Luckily, I have a female neighbor, which means I have easy access to a casserole dish. Hey, I think to myself when she hands it over, this thing's kinda heavy.

Directions say to "dump" everything into the dish. That's funny that the writers are using lowest-common-denominator words like "dump" to attract guys. 

Throw on some chips and oregano and bake for 30 minutes and I'm done. No oregano, but I do have some leftover Tostitos; 30 minutes later, I dig in and, well, it isn't bad. 

Mexi-Can Pie

Beer bash! This is one of a handful of the book's beer recipes and, another plus, the directions are real short. Can't say that I've really seen or tasted anything like this before -- biscuits floating in chili -- but that's not to say it's bad, just ... interesting. Maybe that's why we're supposed to put beer in it, so we get so drunk that we really don't know how nasty it is.

You mix the chili, beer and chilies into -- oh, gotta go next door again -- a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

I also recommend the Drunken Corn, if only for the book's simple, to-the-point instructions: "Dump the corn and half of the beer into a saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes, while drinking the other half of the beer."

'50s-Style Creamed Chicken

I am on a roll -- but I do have a hard time at the store, trying to figure out where they keep the 10-ounce cans of chunk chicken breast, drained and flaked. And I never do find the "No Yolks" noodles the book recommends, but the dude behind the counter says regular egg noodles should be OK.

Tell ya what: This is easy. Cook some onions and the chicken over medium heat, stir in the soup and let that baby simmer -- I even figured out what that meant! -- for 10 minutes. Cook up the noodles, throw 'em together and, if you wanna get all Reata on yourself, throw on some parsley.

I so rock.

Tuna Taters

I'm a big fan of broccoli, potatoes and tuna, so, unlike a lot of the stuff in this book, this recipe sounded pretty good.

Bad sign, No. 1: The first sentence of the directions -- "Wash the potatoes and stab 'em with a fork a few times." 

Bad sign, No. 2: Hot tuna. Not the bad '60s band, but what you basically end up with: Nuked tuna on a nuked tater, with cheese and broccoli slopped all over it. Hmmm, somehow, what I end up with doesn't look nearly as appetizing as the picture. It kinda looks like something I should report to the Health Department.

I take a deep breath, give my will one last lookover and dig in, anyway. Let me tell you, broccoli, cheese, potatoes and tuna, nuked on high for a minute and a half, does not taste right. Men like me may have problems cooking, and dealing with women, and saving money, and controlling road rage, but we can usually tell when something tastes like yak.

Sometimes, guys just don't need a can or a plan. The phone number for Domino's will suit us just fine.


Makes 2 servings

2 large baking potatoes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed
1 (6-ounce) can low-sodium chunk white tuna
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon chili powder

Wash potatoes and stab 'em with a fork a few times. Nuke them on high for 8 minutes. Dump the broccoli in a bowl and nuke it for 4 minutes. Mix in the tuna. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh. Plop 1/2 of the tuna-broccoli mixture onto each spud. Sprinkle each with 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the chili powder. Nuke on high for 1 1/2 minutes.


Makes 6 servings 

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (10-ounce) can chunk chicken breast, drained and flaked
1 (11-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 (6-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup fat-free sour cream 
1 (12-ounce) bag egg noodles, cooked accordingly to package directions

Cook onion in oil in large skillet over medium heat, until tender. Dump in chicken and stir. Cook for one minute. Stir in soup and mushrooms. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream over low heat. Heat through and serve over cooked noodles.


6 servings

2 cans (5 ounces each) chunk lean ham, drained
2 cans (15 ounces each) barbecue baked beans
1/2 (16-ounce) jar chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups baked tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dump the ham, beans and salsa into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Smother with the chips, cheese and oregano. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese melts and the casserole is heated through.


Makes 5 servings

2 cans (15 ounces each) low-fat turkey chili with beans
1 (12-ounce) can beer
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped mild green chilies
5 reduced-fat refrigerator biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump chili, beer and chilies into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Top with the biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


[] I see that almost all recipes for pasta involve cooking the pasta in boiling, salted water. Some of them suggest a teaspoon of oil to prevent the pot boiling over onto the cook-top. My partner has high blood pressure, and I seldom put salt into anything during the preparation/cooking periods. I never salt the water when I cook pasta; I never salt the water for cooking potatoes – or anything else.

Most of us keep salt at the table, and those who want it are welcome to use it.

Avoiding salt in the cooking water doesn’t seem to make any difference to the substance being cooked, and if it helps you or your loved one, that is “Grate.”[]


Shalom, from 
Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress


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