Talk about perfect timing! Local schooner chef and captain Annie Mahle earned a reputation for her innovative use of local organic produce she prepared and served aboard the schooner J&E Riggin she and her husband owned and sailed out of Rockland for many years.

Now, she’s published another cookbook based on those and other experiences preparing haute cuisine and humble home-cooked favorites.

“the tiny kitchen cookbook” — yes the title is all in lower case, and that departure from the norm gives you just a hint at how this well-timed cookbook approaches mealtimes. A good deal of this book concentrates on tools and techniques, kitchen (or galley) organization, provisioning and storing foods.

Whether you cook on a boat or at a camp, or like many are doing these days — in an RV or at a campsite or even a college dorm room — this is the book for you. Actually, no matter where you prepare meals, this creative book will help make that process more streamlined and efficient. Tasty, too.

Don’t expect a rehashing of beanie-weenie. Rather, you’ll discover Mahle’s seasonable approach to all that garden produce that probably is crowding our counters this time of year.

For example, the entire first part of the book deals with: tools and workspace; meal planning; and (the) creative kitchen. Getting down to brass tacks, the second part features “recipes for the small kitchen.”

Choices include: snacks and appetizers; small meals; the salad; dinner in a bowl (my favorites!); in the skillet; in the pot; from the oven or toaster oven; and rounding out with dessert in a mug and more.

“And whether your heart glows at the thought of organizing a space or you just want to make good food in your little kitchen, it doesn’t really matter. Either way you’ve got to get organized,” Mahle writes. “That means being organized about how things get done, but also about what gets stored where.”

Full-page color photographs help illustrate the text and, of course, show off savory and sweet recipes within.

In this book, Mahle tackles topics such as dealing with leftovers (creatively, you can be certain); entertaining; cleaning up and even recycling. The J&E Riggin’s galley operated an efficient recycling system, including compost materials that eventually found their way in the family’s garden in Rockland.

As you read the expansive texts on the various topics, it is clear the author has plenty of experience to back up her advice.

But how about we let the recipes themselves speak for this unique approach to cooking?

Here is one recipe from the “the tiny kitchen cookbook,” which feature produce from our gardens. You’ll note that visual appeal is an important component of all combos the book presents, no doubt a factor that doubly-pleased all those schooner passengers as they tucked into Mahle’s specialties. Many of the recipes offer variations and other suggestions as well.

“Roasted red bell pepper halves with linguica and feta

“While the happy colors of red peppers and yellow tomatoes pop against the white feta, this dish allows for endless variations. Try fennel sausage topped with Parmesan cheese or prosciutto topped with chevre. The feta is salty and so is the sausage, but even no, a little dusting of salt on the tomatoes makes the whole dish sing.

“Serves 2”


“2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed

“5 ounces linguica sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

“4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 4 pieces

“6 golden (or red) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

“2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

“Pinch of kosher salt”


“Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

“Place the pepper halves on a roasting pan or pie plate, cut side facing up. Fill the pepper halves with sausage. Place a feta slice on top of the sausage, followed by the tomato halves. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle sparingly with salt.

“Roast for one hour and 10 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and beginning to brown on the edges.”

“the tiny kitchen cookbook” is from Workman Publishing, and the paperback book contains 50 of the author’s favorite recipes. I bet you are or know someone for whom this book is the perfectly delicious solution to their cooking challenges.

Lynette L. Walther is the GardenComm Gold medal winner for writing and a five-time recipient of the GardenComm Silver Medal of Achievement, the National Garden Bureau’s Exemplary Journalism Award. She is a member of GardenComm and the National Garden Bureau. Her gardens are in Camden.

“the tiny kitchen cookbook” is by Annie Mahle. It offers thoroughly delicious advice and recipes for challenging little kitchens.