Recipes and Stories for a Full, Filled Life

John 10:10 - Jesus said, "I came that they (you and me) may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, til it overflows.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. creamy or chunk peanut butter
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ c. quick or old-fashioned oats
1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
⅛ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350º.  In mixer bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter and sugars; blend in eggs and vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Shape dough to form 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet; flatten with fork (or use the “waffle” side of a meat tenderizer) dipped in sugar to form crisscross pattern.  Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack.

Optional:  Melt about 4 ounces of chocolate and dip the top half of each cookie.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

New Cookbook for Children and Beginners Now Available!

New cookbook for kids and beginners now available! 
Just in time for Christmas!

“Cooking with Baka”
 by Diane Fechter

Who or what is “Baka”?  Baka* is the name that my oldest granddaughter gave me when she was learning to talk.  The name stuck!  As a young mom, my 3 children always helped in the kitchen.  Now as married adults, they are awesome cooks!  These days I enjoy cooking with my grandchildren.  This cookbook includes some of our culinary creations.  It also contains inspirational encouragement, fun quips, photos and quotes.

In the title, Cooking with Baka, a key word is “with”.  Little ones can learn so much when “with” an adult.  Cooking is no exception.  If you’re a mom, grandma, auntie etc. you can build special memories in the kitchen.  It’s not just making a memory, it’s intentionally being a memory!  Most recipes will need the help of an adult or older child.  Each recipe contains steps that an adult needs to help with, such as using sharp knives and stirring on the cooktop.  Cooking with a child can open up doors of communication.  It can also help with reading and math skills.  Lessons can be learned in science and creativity.  Cooking is a life-skill that is fun.  Make memories that you and your child will treasure in the years to come. 

At the beginning of each section, there is a short introduction.  This will give helpful tips and encouragement, as well as general cooking instructions.   Cooking with Baka is great for beginner cooks…but contains great recipes for everyone!

*Not knowing until recently, “Baka” is the Serbian word for “Grandma”.  My super-intelligent granddaughter must have known that!

Diane also has two other cookbooks available:
 “Recipes for a Full-Filled Life” and “Celebrating the Seasons”.

All three books are available for $10 each or $13 each if shipped.

To order, send check made out to:
 Diane Fechter 3557 Jansen Dr. North, West Bend, WI  53090

For pick up orders email:

or call 262-338-0205.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Year Blessing Basket

This is a great last-minute gift for a person who is hard to shop for--or who has everything!  The items are taken from the classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".  Include the movie in a basket along with the other items and  attach this card.


A symbolic gift and blessing  to you for
the New Year!  
Bread, so your house will never know hunger. 
Salt, so that life will always have flavor.  
Special drink, so there will always be joy. 
Sugar, that sweetness touches even your
worst of days. 
Candles, that you may always find your
way back home.

I pray that you may enjoy good health
and that all may go well with you, even
as your soul is getting along well.  3 John 2

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Beans are a great source of fiber and protein.

1 pound dry navy beans
3 qt. water
2 c. celery, chopped
2 c. carrots, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 meaty ham bone
¼ tsp. pepper
salt to taste

Sort and wash beans.  Combine beans and water in a large Dutch oven.  Let stand overnight.  Add ham bone.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 1½ -2 hours.  (At this point, remove the ham bone from the pot, and cut the meat off the bone,  discard any fat; refrigerate the meat.   Place the bone back in the pot, and add the meat back to the pot when ready to serve.  This will preserve the flavor of the meat.)  Add veggies and cook another 1 ½ hour or until beans and veggies are tender.   Return meat to soup.  Salt to taste.  Garnish with parsley.  Serves 8

Left-over gourds

I didn't want to toss the gourds out!  So I painted them with Elmer's glue and glittered them.  Beautiful!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Apple Pizza

This is a fun recipe to do with children!

Pastry for single-crust pie—homemade or store bought
4-5 large baking apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
½ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 T. cold butter cut into small pieces

Roll pastry to fit a greased 12-inch pizza pan, having dough go up on sides of pan.  Bake in a preheated 400º oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Arrange apples in a circular pattern to completely cover pastry.  Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over apples.  Drop butter over top.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender.  Cut into wedges; serve warm.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dill Dip

After tasting many brands of mayonnaise, Hellmann’s Light is my favorite. 

1 c. sour cream
1 c. real mayo
2 T. dry minced onion
1 T. dried parsley flakes
2 T. or more fresh dill weed (or 1-2 T. dried)
1 ½ tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Serve with raw veggies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Harvest!

Dear friends shared their garden bounty in this lovely basket!  Beautiful and delicious!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A friend shared his bounty cucumber and kohlrabi crop with me--and his secret recipe!  Yum!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ham and Cheese Casserole

This recipe can be cut in half and baked in a 8 x 8 pan. 

4 c. (about 3 crowns) fresh broccoli florets, steamed until tender
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 c. chopped cooked ham
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained, optional
4 c. rotini, cooked and drained
1 c. mayonnaise
½ c. diced red pepper
½ c. milk
½ c. Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. melted butter

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, 2 c. of cheese, ham, mushrooms, rotini, mayo, red pepper and milk.  Spoon into a greased 13 x 9 pan.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 c. cheese.  Combine butter and bread crumbs; sprinkle on top.  Bake in a preheated 350º oven, uncovered for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  8-10 servings.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


 These bars are super easy to make.  I like to wrap individually for picnics or lunches.  See the picture on the following videos.

3 c. quick cooking oats
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 c. coconut
1 c. sliced almonds or chopped pecans
1 c. mini chocolate chips
½ c. dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Grease a 13 x 9 pan.  In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until until well-blended.  (It may be helpful to use your hands)  Press into prepared pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want bars.  (Lightly browned just around the edges will yield a moist, chewy bar).  Let cool 5 minutes; cut into squares; cool completely before serving.

2nd segment