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Around the campuses and in our homes, staff interested in TEA have been enjoying pot luck meals. Many of us like to cook, and almost all of us like to eat. It turns out that we have many wonderful recipes to swap and share. As we continue to collect them, we can share them here in our online Jumbo Gumbo Recipe Box.

Our recipes sometimes say something about our heritage. They sometimes say something about our beliefs. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they tell a story. No matter what, the dishes that we describe in our recipes share one thing: we like to eat them with friends.

The Jumbo Gumbo Recipe Box is a place for everybody. If you’re a member of the Tufts staff, faculty, or student body, or you just live in the neighborhood, we’d love to share one of your favorite recipes with the rest of the university community. Simply email your recipe to tea.info@teawork.org.

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Cheesecake Tarts from Linda

Check out Linda Casey's recipe below.
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Cheesecake Tarts
Linda Casey, Economics Department, Tufts

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½  cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix cream cheese, eggs, ½ cup sugar and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix crushed graham crackers with butter and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  4. Line a muffin tin with a dozen muffin cups. Put a heaping tablespoon of cracker mixture in each cup, then flatten with the bottom of a small glass.
  5. Add cream cheese mixture to each cup, then top with cherries.  
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool and then refrigerate.
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Charlene’s Jasmine Rice with Chicken Breast and Snap Peas

Check out Charlene Charles' recipes and interview below: A Taste of Trinidad
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A Taste of Trinidad:
Recipes and Interview with Charlene Charles
Charlene Charles, Grants Coordinator, Chemistry, Tufts

Growing up, I was a very picky eater. There were only a few things that I liked – mostly spaghetti with ground beef, and mac and cheese. My father got so frustrated he told me I had to learn to cook the things I liked. So he taught me how to cook. My father was a flambé chef at a hotel, and my uncle was the head chef.

My grandmother was a huge baker, but I did not inherit that gene! She baked without a recipe – how did she do it? Baking is chemistry – a little too much and it turns out too heavy, or something.

No. No one in my family uses recipes. You just know what ingredients you like and what tastes good, and they should taste good together! And if you’re not sure, just add garlic, because garlic makes everything taste good.

(Charlene does give general instructions for her chicken and scallop dishes -- see full interview for recipes.)

Yes – ketchup! I put ketchup in almost all my sauces.

I grew up in Trinidad, and in Trinidad everybody cooks a lot. Plus people eat a lot of fruit. Growing up, we had mango trees in our yard, so I ate lots and lots of mangoes. Now I bring them in to share with my co-workers.

Oh, that’s a tough question!...Read more of the interview, and check out Charlene's delicious recipes here!

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Pizzelle from Madeline

Staff member Madeline Amico has worked at Tufts for over 30 years! Check out her delicious recipe for pizzelle (Italian waffle cookies) below.
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Pizzelle
Madeline Amico, Staff Assistant, Psychology, Tufts

Combine:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp extract anise, lemon, or vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar

When the batter is all mixed, pour it into your pizzelle maker, following its instructions. I like to sprinkle the cooked pizzelle with confectioner’s sugar. They make a beautiful addition to any holiday cookie display!

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Chickpea and Tomato Salad from Andrea
(Photo by © Lynn Wiles, Lynn Wiles, Depts of Anthropology and of Religion, Tufts)

Check out Andrea Caceres' recipe below, or read what she and her co-worker Justin have to say about starting a union at Tufts on the TEA Photos and Stories Page.
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Chickpea and Tomato Salad
Andrea Caceres, Nutrition and Vision Lab, Tufts

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • a hand-full of basil leaves
  • some extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (quality depends on taste)
Instructions
  1. Chop tomatoes into small pieces.
  2. Rip basil leaves into small pieces.
  3. Mix in tomatoes and basil leaves with chickpeas.
  4. Add some olive oil and salt.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Eat on a nice winter day.

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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Fionna's Pumpkin Cookies
(Photo by © Lynn Wiles, Lynn Wiles, Depts of Anthropology and of Religion, Tufts)

Check out Fionna's autumnal cookie recipe below!

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Fionna's Pumpkin Cookies
Fionna Lafferty, TEA

These cookies have become quite popular on both the Medford and Boston campuses. Makes about 18, or less if you like bigger cookies.

COOKIES:

  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Cream shortening, white sugar and pumpkin.
  2. Add eggs and mix well.
  3. Sift together the baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and flour. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  4. Drop from spoon to cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Frosting is optional, but recommended!

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  1. Cook butter, milk, and brown sugar until dissolved.
  2. Cool and add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Spread over warm cookies.

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies from Chantal

Check out Chantal Hardy's recipe below, or read what she has to say about starting a union at Tufts on the TEA Photos and Stories page.
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Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Chantal Hardy, English Department, Tufts

recipeIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 c + 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) all vegetable margarine
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (more if you like the bite!)
  • 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp boiling water
  • 7 oz. dark chocolate chips (or just use the whole bag!!!)
Instructions:
  1. In medium bowl, mix flour, dry spices, and cocoa.
  2. In mixer, beat margarine and fresh ginger. Add brown sugar, then molasses.
  3. In small bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water.
  4. Beat half of flour mixture into margarine mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining flour mixture.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips
  6. (optional: makes dough easier to handle and produces a firmer cookie, but can be skipped if necessary) Turn dough out of bowl onto plastic wrap, pat to 1 inch thickness, seal, chill for 2 hours.
  7. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll cookie dough into 1 1/2" balls, rolling each ball in the sugar before placing it on baking sheet. Bake at 350 until surface just cracks.

My recommendations:

  • ginger rootDefinitely plan to refrigerate the recipe as mentioned in step 6—the dough is very, very sticky otherwise.
  • Bake time:  Longer than recommended.  I think I ended up baking them 15-20 minutes; when I took them out too early (when the surface just cracks” as instructed) they ended up flat and goopy.
  • 1 tbsp ginger is fine, but I highly recommend extra for a great flavor and an extra kick!

Enjoy!

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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Nicole's Orange Chicken
Nicole Cottam, Behavioral Services Coordinator, Foster Hospital, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts

Here's my recipe for orange chicken (or orange tofu for those of us who are vegetarians). I dig recipes that are 5 ingredients or less.

Whisk together:

  • 1/4 cup of teriyaki marinade
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. of honey
  • 2 tbsp. of vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of orange.peel slice

Use as a marinade or toss it in the frying pan for a stir fry.

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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Anne's Pilgrim Pies (Pumpkin Whoopie Pies)
Anne Belinsky, Department of Philosophy, Tufts

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling/Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a half cup at a time, blending each time until smooth.
  2. Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, using a moist finger or the back of a spoon to slightly flatten each mound. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar a half cup at a time until the frosting is spreadable.
  4. To assemble the pies, turn half of the cookies bottom side up and spread a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on each one. Top them with the remaining cookies (turned right side up).

Makes 10 to 14 Pilgrim Pies. I make mine smaller and get about 20-24, they are filling. Enjoy!

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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Rum Balls
Justin Wheeler, Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts

Check out Justin's recipe below, or read what he and his co-worker Andrea have to say about starting a union at Tufts on the TEA Photos and Stories Page.

Ingredients:
  • 2.5 cups crushed vanilla wafers (I used Nilla Wafers)
  • 1.5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup crumbled walnuts or pecans
  • .5 cup rum
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp baking cocoa
Instructions:
  1. Crumble the vanilla wafers and set aside. Shoot for smaller uniform crumbs (it will sort of do this on it's own if you crumble them by hand), but some larger bits are ok
  2. Sift together 1 cup of confectioners sugar with the cocoa in the main mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate prep bowl, combine the rum and corn syrup (whisk with a fork for a few seconds).
  4. Add the rum / corn syrup mixture into the main bowl that has the sugar in it. Mix well.
  5. Add in the crumbled vanilla wafers and nuts. Mix it all together. It should have a cookie dough like consistency.
  6. Shape batter into walnut sized balls. Dredge each ball with the remaining .5 cup of confectioners sugar.

Makes 16 to 24 balls. That's pretty much the basic recipe. They are ready to eat after coating with sugar, but they harden up and are easier to handle if you put them all in a plastic container and refrigerate them overnight. Using honey instead of corn syrup will probably add another layer of complexity to the flavor. You could also toss in some shaved coconut... just kind of eyeball it. For the rum, the safest bet would be to use some sort of spiced rum like Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. A nice smooth bourbon like Maker's Mark would also work nice instead. That's the fun thing with this recipe... there is a lot of room for customization.

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

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A Well-Rounded Tuna Sandwich from Tom

Check out Tom-Souers' recipe below, or read what he has to say about starting a union at Tufts on the TEA Photos and Stories Page.
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A Well-Rounded Tuna Sandwich
Tom-Souers, Tisch-Library, Tufts

can of tunaIngredients:

  • Tuna [solid white albacore; 6 oz. cylindrical can, if you can still get that size in this era of tuna can downsizing]
  • Mayonnaise [the real thing, not some substitute]
  • Bread [whole wheat]

Instructions:

  1. At 5:55pm, just before the start of the local tv news, open the can of tuna with a standard can opener.
  2. Drain the tuna by pressing the lid against the can's contents and inverting the can.
  3. Put the tuna in a circular bowl, and break it [the tuna, not the bowl] up into small pieces with a fork.
  4. Add 3.1416 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  5. Mix the tuna and mayonnaise with the fork.
  6. Put half of the tuna on a slice of bread.
  7. Put the other slice of bread on top of the tuna, thus completing the sandwich-making per se.
  8. Circular bowlPut the rest of the tuna into a closed and tightly sealed circular container.
  9. Put the container in the refrigerator so as to preserve the tuna for tomorrow's sandwich.
  10. Put today's sandwich into a plastic baggie, then a lunch bag, and take it to work for lunch.
  11. Repeat the cycle every other day, using the refrigerated tuna on intervening days, but skip step 10 on weekends!

Click here for a printer friendly version of the recipe.

recipe

The Jumbo Gumbo Recipe Box is a place for everybody. If you’re a member of the Tufts staff, faculty, or student body, or you just live in the neighborhood, we’d love to share one of your favorite recipes with the rest of the university community. Simply email your recipe to tea.info@teawork.org.

Check out photos and stories from Tufts staff and community members who support TEA or from like-minded unions in NEOP:

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