Share / Discuss

Recipe Corner

Most of us have memories of being around a dinner table sharing great food with great company. Some of us may even have memories about sharing mediocre food but still with great company. A few of us could have memories of food gone very wrong yet still shared with great company.

The bottom line here is that the feelings of warmth and closeness, while gathering around a dinner table, are what motivate us to toast and dine with cheese and wine. We are happy to share with you all the recipes that have been thoughtfully shared with us. 

Many of these recipes do not come to us just words on a page. They have a story, a memory, and even an emotion-evoking reaction. There is so much more involved than just a written recipe.

• Dreamy Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

• Edward’s Famous Brownies

• Annie’s Cheesecake

• Pflaumen Kuchen (Cinnamon-Sugar Plum Cake)

• World’s Best Lasagna

• Pork Tenderloin "Carnitas"

• Crock Pot Roast Beef

• Butternut Squash, Sage, Barley Stew


Paul Lum Taylor ’70

Paul Lum Taylor ’70 sent in a classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. Many of us, I am sure, have been touched by the warm goodness of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. As Paul says, “My mother, Patricia Lum Taylor ’44, made very delicious Toll House cookies when I was growing up.” Because of his love of these cookies, Paul was known by his siblings as the “Cookie Monster” in their house. Paul has carried the loving memory of his family enjoying these cookies and the desire to give the recipe and sentimental story for others to share.


Dreamy Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies





1) Mix butter and sugars well.

2) Add eggs and beat well; add vanilla and water, mixing well.

3) Add dry ingredients, mix well, then stir in chips.

4) Bake at 350-375 degrees until done (7-8 minutes) on a greased cookie sheet, about 8 at a time. (I don’t grease the sheet anymore – I use parchment paper.)

5) Cool each batch on a cooling rack.

To make them chewy: Take each batch from the cooling rack while they are still slightly warm (maybe cool a batch for under 5 minutes), then place them in layers (waxed paper in between layers) in a sealed container to keep them moist.

To save some for later, wrap cookies in aluminum foil, tightly seal the foil, and freeze them; thaw them out in the foil to enjoy another day.



Verdenal Hoag Johnson ’45 and Edward Johnson NV

Another familiar sweet treat was sent in by Verdenal Hoag Johnson ’45. Verdi and her husband, Edward, enjoy what is referred to as Edward’s Famous Brownies. When asked to share this special recipe with us, Verdi graciously responded that the most important ingredients needed to make these brownies was a box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker brownie mix.


Edward’s Famous Brownies



1) Have two boxes of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker brownie mix. 

2) Pour one into a medium bowl. 

3) Add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/2 cup water according to the directions on the box. 

4) Mix well. Pour batter into greased 9-by-9 pan. 

5) Take second box and pour into same bowl. Add directed ingredients and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. 

6) Put two pans in preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for 40 minutes. 

7) When cool, cut into 4-by-4-inch squares and ENJOY!



David Newman ’76

David Newman ’76’s recipe came by its name in an interesting way that makes him and his then-girlfriend, now wife, Annie Crane ’78, smile. David says he “arrived at Swarthmore in the fall of 1972 with a springform pan and a hand mixer,” and became famous for making this scrumptious cheesecake a couple of times a year. Even though this recipe was named after his housekeeper Annie, who taught him how to make the recipe, John Futterman ’77 thought it was named after Annie Crane. He asked Annie to make “her” cheesecake—which she had never made before—for a physics party. She did—and it was a big hit.


Annie’s Cheesecake





1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Beat softened cream cheese until soft. Add sour cream, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice, in order, beating well after each. Beat to death!!

3) While beating, make crust: Crumble graham crackers. Mix with butter and cinnamon, and press into springform pan.

4) Pour filling into prepared pie crust.

5) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Do not peek. Cool very slowly, at least 30 minutes in oven (do not open oven door) and 30 minutes out of oven.

6) Mix remaining ingredients, pour on cake, and bake at 450 for 7 minutes. Cool slowly and completely.

7) Just before serving, add topping.



Eleanor Baginski

Eleanor shares a delicious cake from her hometown in southern Germany. She has childhood memories of having this special cake topped with seasonal plums as a special token of her mother’s love. Pflaumen Kuchen was quite a treat for children, especially during the World War II years, and continues to be a traditional favorite. Eleanor writes, “The recipe is a simpler and quicker version of my mother's recipe, but just as delicious. P.S. Also good with sliced fresh peaches!”


Pflaumen Kuchen (Cinnamon-Sugar Plum Cake)

dessert cake




1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9-inch springform pan. 

2) Whisk first three ingredients in small bowl to blend. 

3) Using electric mixer, beat softened butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, the lemon juice, and the lemon peel, beating until blended after each addition. 

4) Beat in flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan.

5) Press plum wedges into batter in circles, spacing slightly apart. Mix remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over plums.

6) Bake until cake is browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cut around cake; release pan sides.  

7) Serve cake warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.



Carolyn Saufley

Carolyn Saufley was in the mood for a great lasagna and discovered this recipe, which she says is a tried-and-true favorite—“I made it and everyone loved it so I share the recipe with everyone!” Cheesy layers of melted mozzarella and morsels of sausage and beef blended this deliciously do look like it could draw a crowd. Plus, you can also easily swap out the meat with vegetables to make this lasagna vegetarian-friendly but equally delicious.


World’s Best Lasagna





1) In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well-browned.

2) Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.

3) Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

4) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.

5) In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

6) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

7) To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

8) Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: To prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

9) Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes before serving.



Joel Price ’00

Joel Price ’00 shares this recipe he’s used to “feed many happy people many times.” He creatively makes his version healthier by using pork tenderloin, and the resulting tacos are lower in fat but still pack a bunch of flavor. He also says they “make for utilitarian leftovers, too; you can serve them again with tortillas, over rice, pasta … and your home will smell great as they cook.” Yum!


Pork Tenderloin “Carnitas”

pork tortillas




1) Remove silver skin from pork and place in slow cooker.

2) Add half of the oil to the slow cooker to line the vessel.

3) Add water and squeeze juice from orange and lime onto pork; add citrus rinds.

4) Quarter onion and garlic; add to slow cooker.

5) Add jalapenos to slow cooker.

6) Cover pork with half of the seasonings above and flip pork over to cover with the other half of seasonings.

7) Cook on low or high until desired internal temperature is reached (on high, it takes 2-2 1/2 hours).

8) Shred pork with 2 forks or tongs and remove citrus rinds.

9) Put a small amount of olive oil into a frying pan, heat, and brown the meat before serving.

10) Serve as desired (corn tortilla, lettuce, sour cream, cilantro).



Jen Moore

Jen Moore shares a slow-cooker meal that warms the soul. As she put it, “This dish is warm and brothy and lifts my spirits.”  Jen was kind enough to share a heartwarming story of how, one harsh winter, she cooked up this pot roast and brought it to the hospital where her partner worked. She served the hospital staff some tender roast beef with some rolls to give then some home-cooked goodness to help carry them through the long day. This pot roast is part of Jen’s regular rotation of slow-cooker meals. Can’t beat taste and convenience!


Crock Pot Roast Beef

Pot roast




1) Dump it all in the Crock Pot. Set to low for 8 hours. Dig in!



Betsy Durning

Betsy Durning shares a favorite recipe of butternut squash stew. Having two vegetarian daughters, this stew was a great addition at Thanksgiving. “I love to make it in the fall when I have a bonfire,” she says. What a great and nutritious way to take the edge off a cold day. You could also serve it chilled to enjoy during the summer!


Butternut Squash, Sage, Barley Stew





1) In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add shallots and stir frequently for 4-6 minutes until golden brown.

2) Add garlic and squash; season with salt and pepper.

3) Stir in barley until well-coated with oil. Add broth and 1/2 cup water.

4) Add chopped sage and bring to a boil.

5) Reduce to a simmer and cover for 35 minutes until barley and squash are tender.

6) Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

7) Serve immediately with Brie.


Have another recipe? We'd love to hear about it! Please email us!