M.J. O'Shea's Top 5 Dishes

Thursday May 17, 2018


I write about cooks and chefs all the time, so it’s not too surprising that one of my favorite things to do is cook! I’m always experimenting. Here are my favorite things to make and eat. Some are newer recipes, some have been around since I was a little girl….some have even shown up in my books. They aren’t in any special order — every day I might have a different favorite among them :)

1. My Grandma’s Spinach Salad — I know… salad. I’m serious, though. The salad is spinach, bacon, parmesan, and slivered almonds. It has a lemon/dill dressing and it tastes like summer to me. I don’t know where the recipe for this salad came from originally, but it’s a family classic. We used to have this salad in a big yellow bowl by the side of the pool at my grandma’s house. I have the bowl now, and my mom and I make this salad all the time still.

2.  Apple Cake — Another family classic that I don’t know the origin of. My mom makes it for basically every family birthday. It’s my favorite cake in the world by far

3. Salmon Salad — This is one of my recipes. It’s like an elevated tuna salad full of healthy brain-food fats and I eat it most days! Canned wild salmon, apple chunks, carrots, green onions, home made olive oil mayo, and seasonings. Sometimes I add a bit of balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious :)

4.  Eggplant Parm — I think this is something that a lot of families have their own recipe for. Ours has slowly changed over time. I use a combo of cheeses plus homemade béchamel (white sauce), tomato sauce, and pesto to give mine as much flavor as possible. But I love eggplant anyway. I could eat it plain. I use a mandoline slicer on the eggplant, which is faster but a bit dangerous haha. I’ve gotten a finger slice or two in the past.

5.  Garlic Mushroom Pasta — This one is more recent, but it’s delicious. There’s an Italian restaurant in my city that has the best creamy garlic mushroom sauce. I’ve spent a while trying to replicate it, but never was quite successful. I ended up with something that tastes completely different but I like it just as much. It’s not exactly low carb, but it’s great on a cold rainy day. And we have a lot of those here!

I’d love to hear from other people. What are some of your favorite recipes to make and eat??