Fran’s Favorites: My first cookbook

By Fran DeWine

I have been so busy traveling around the state in these final days leading up to the election. We decided to visit all 88 counties one more time, so I’m seeing all sorts of new and special people and places. From the Wayne National Forest hilltops in Monroe County, to the Ohio River in Marietta, and on to Cleveland, Canton, and Youngstown — what a beautiful and diverse state we have!

And of course everywhere I go, I pass out my cookbooks! Last week I had the opportunity to be on live TV in Cleveland and share the story of my cookbook. Most of you here in Greene County know the story and have at least one or two of them!

When Mike ran for Greene County Prosecutor, we knocked on nearly every door in the county. I was pretty shy. And I didn’t think people liked opening their door, especially at dinner time. So I told Mike if he ever decided to run again, I was going to give people something to make them smile, and something they would keep longer than his literature!

So I went home and picked out my favorite recipes — the ones with spots on them because I made them all the time — favorites from our mothers and grandmothers and friends. I tried to type them up but they just didn’t look very good. My friend Josie Inslee suggested I hand-print them, put a border around them, and let my children do the illustrations. That was my first cookbook!

I had fun sharing this story and all 14 editions of my cookbook with Jen Picciano on WOIO Channel 19! So for fun I thought I would pick out a couple of recipes from my very first cookbook and share them with you.

Mike’s Favorite Chicken Pie

Stew chicken with an onion and piece of celery. Bone chicken. Separate fat and broth.

Pastry top: Prepare 1 recipe of your favorite pastry. Roll 1/4” thick. Cut out shape of top of casserole. Prick and bake on cookie sheet.


6 T butter or chicken fat

6 T flour

Mix together. Stir until bubbly.

2 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 can evaporated milk

Add. Cook and stir until thickened.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add 2-3 cups chopped chicken. Put in casserole. Heat in oven at 350 until bubbly. Add crust to top when ready to serve.

Edith Bunker’s Manicotti

4 eggs

1 cup water

1 cup flour

Mix together (can use blender).

Grease crepe pan (or any well-seasoned 6-7” skillet). Wipe out. Heat pan. Pour in small amount of mixture. When surface is dry (not brown) turn out. Makes about 12 crepes.


1 lb. ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

Salt, pepper

Mix together.

Put some filling into each crepe. Roll up. Turn ends under. Place in casserole. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce. Can add Italian sausage. Heat in oven at 350 until bubbly.

By Fran DeWine