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.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Tortilla Casserole

3/4 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1-2 tsp. chili powder, optional
1 1/4 c. salsa
2 c. frozen corn, thawed
3 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
about 1/4 c. chopped cilantro, optional
about 1/4 c. chopped green onions, optional

Brown meat with onions and peppers in large skillet. Drain grease. Stir in chili powder, cook for 1 minute longer. Add salsa and corn; mix well. Simmer 5 minutes. Spread 1 c. meat sauce onto bottom of 8 x 8 inch pan; top with layers of 1 tortilla, about 1/2 c. meat sauce, sour cream and about 1/2 c. cheese. cover with 1 tortilla, about 1 c. remaining meat sauce, about 1/2 c. cheese; top with remaining tortilla and meat sauce. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes or until casserole is heated through. Top with remaining cheese and cilantro and green onions, if desired.

Bake 25 minutes or until casserole is heated through. top with remaining cheese, bake uncovered 5 minutes or until melted.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Farmer's Casserole

This casserole from my cookbook, is great to serve at a brunch or for dinner. It can also be frozen.

6 c. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1 c. cooked diced ham
¼ c. chopped green onion
4 beaten eggs
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. salt.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 13x9 pan. Arrange potatoes in bottom. Layer cheese, ham and onion. Combine remainder of ingredients. Pour over all. Bake 350˚ uncovered 40-45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. OR: Cover well and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw. Then bake as directed.

Eggs have always been a “good thing”.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hot Cranberry Punch

This punch recipe, which is in my cookbook, is a comforting drink to serve on a cold day.

1 bottle (2 qt.) cranberry juice
6 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
Pour about half of the juice in a pan with the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Simmer 45 minutes. Strain. Discard cinnamon and cloves.

Add the following:
1 c. sugar
4 c. orange juice
1 c. lemon juice
remainder of the bottle of cranberry juice

Warm to dissolve sugar.

Note: This can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, kept refrigerated and heated as needed.

Did you know that cranberry plants can live 150 years?


This Italian-type bread is a great gift during the Christmas season.

1 c. mixed dried fruit: cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.
½ c. limoncello liqueur
1 c. quick oats
½ c. vanilla yogurt
½ c. oil
¾ c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. grated fresh orange rind
1 c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375˚. In a small saucepan, bring dried fruit and liqueur to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix oats and yogurt. Set aside 5 minutes.

Mix together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, set aside.

Add oil, sugar, egg, orange rind to yogurt mixture along with fruit and liqueur. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined—don’t over-mix. Divide mixture between 2-small (about 7 ½ x 3 ½ inch bread pans). Bake 375˚ about 30 minutes, until pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on wire rack.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.—Jewish prayer said before meals.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Meaning of The 12 Days of Christmas

I enjoy learning the history of food, songs and traditions. If you haven't seen this yet, enjoy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Meaning Behind The Song

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.
The Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may sound silly and contrived to many of us. But it actually had its origins in religious symbolism - and with a serious purpose.
It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact.
The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved. Each element is a code word for a religious truth.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

If you think Jesus being symbolized as a partridge in a pear tree sounds blasphemous, remember:
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so." (Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:34)
The "true love" in the song refers to God Himself.
The "me" receiving the gifts is every Christian.
So that "silly" song we sing at Christmas time has more meaning than we thought.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

On my very first post way back in May, I wrote about the 7 F's. Frugal is one of them! This cookie is definitely an inexpensive, yet lovely cookie to make and give for Christmas.

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
1 c. peanut butter (I like creamy-style best)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
about 1/2 pound chocolate coating

Cream butter, shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs; beat well. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate dough about 1 hour.

Form into balls about the size of a walnut. Flatten with a fork dipped in flour or use the "waffle" pattern on a meat tenderizer to flatten. Bake 350 for about 15 minutes. Cool on pan about 5 minutes; finish cooling on wire rack.

Melt chocolate over double boiler. Dip half of the cookie; dry on wire racks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Story of the Snowflake

At this time of year, I get out my snowflake cookie cutter. After packaging the cookies in cellophane bags, I attach copies of the following, printed on pretty paper.

The Story of the SNOWFLAKE

It was 1885, that Wilson Bentley succeeded
in photographing individual snowflakes.
His bellows camera was fitted with a
microscope lens to capture the breathtaking
designs. As his curiosity grew, wonder set in,
as each one was different.

Each snowflake is special, no two are alike.
Snowflakes can be a reminder of just how
special you are, for God only made one of you!

“I praise You, because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; your works are
wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Cut-out cookies always seem to be the favorite for children and adults! I have a gazillion cookie cutters—and all colors of sanding sugar and sprinkles. For Easter, I make carrot-shaped cookies. In winter, snowflake cookies. In fall, apple, leaf, and pumpkin shaped cookies. For St. Patrick’s Day...

l c. real butter, softened
l c. powdered sugar
l egg
l ½ tsp. almond extract
l tsp. vanilla
l tsp. salt
2 ½ c. flour
powdered sugar for rolling

Cream butter and powdered sugar. Add egg, flavorings and mix well. Add flour and salt; mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Roll out ¼” to l/8" thick on powdered sugar covered board, cut as desired. Place on greased sheets. For best results, bake on parchment paper. Bake 350˚ 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Frost when cool.

1 c. powdered sugar
small pinch salt
milk to desired consistency
Mix frosting ingredients together. Frost cookies. Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, as desired.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Italian Stew

This is one of my man's favorite recipes!

¾ pound Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 c. low-sodium beef broth
1 can (14 oz.) stewed tomatoes, cut up
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
9 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 T. fresh parsley, or 1 T. dried
Grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese for topping each bowl

In a large soup kettle, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain. Add garlic. Cook and stir for 1 minute.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover and cook about 10 more minutes or until veggies are almost done.

Stir in frozen tortellini and zucchini. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Stir in parsley.

Top each bowl with cheese.
Learn how to make Christmas gifts from your kitchen! Taken from "Real Milwaukee" segment. Enjoy!

Today I was on the "Real Milwaukee" show! I showed how to make home-made food gifts--you know, the kind that always fit!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Gift Idea

This Christmas, how about giving a gift that is always the correct size and you don't have to remember to ask for a gift receipt at the register? It is something that everyone can use--and it's a gift that is economical and from the "heart"! I recommend making a gift basket, filled with your homemade mixes and add finishing touches like candles or Christmas decor. In this basket, I've added recipes from "Recipes for a Full-Filled Life" cookbook. They take almost no time to assemble and are always appreciated.
On the left side of the basket, I've got Cranberry Hootycreek Cookie Mix. Just that alone would make a nice gift--attach the recipe with a pretty ribbon or raffia. Then I've added "Dinner in a Bag" and a Chili Mix--both would be great time-savers on a busy day. has more ideas for gift mixes. Have fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sausage Corn Chowder

Enjoy this hearty chowder with a loaf of crusty bread on a cold day.

1/2 pound pork sausage
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
4 c. water
5-6 red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2" cubes
3 tsp. Better than Bouillon* chicken flavor or 3 bouillon cubes
1 c. frozen corn
1 can (15 oz.) cream-style corn
3 T. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. milk
In a large saucepan, cook sausage, onion and celery over medium heat; drain
Stir in the water, potatoes and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Add corn; simmer 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir into the sausage mixture.
Serves 4
*Look for "Better than Bouillon" in the soup aisle of the grocery store. It has a better flavor and fewer "chemicals" than regular bouillon cubes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Streusel Coffee Cake Mix

This makes a wonderful gift: In an 8 x 8 pan, add a pretty Christmas towel, a few mugs, a box of tea and this Coffee Cake Mix.

This will make 3 mixes.

Coffee Cake mix:
4 1/2 c. flour
2 1/4 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt

Streusel mix:
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine the coffee cake ingredients. Mix well; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. Mix well; set aside.
In a quart zip measure 2 c. coffee cake mix.
In a sandwich zip measure 3/4 c. streusel mix.
Attach the following directions to each mix. Use within 4 months.


In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix,
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil

Mix well-but don't over mix.
Pour into greased 8-inch
square baking pan.
Combine streusel mix
and 1 T. melted butter; sprinkle
over batter. Bake 350 for 25-30
minutes or until a toothpick inserted
near the center comes out clean.
Serve warm.
Use by: (4 months)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grandma's Chex Mix

This really is MY Grandma's recipe. It's at least 40 years old! I like it the best of all the many varieties of this recipe that are out there.

1 1/2 gallons of Chex or Crispex of your choice
1-2 c. pretzel sticks, broken
about 1 pound nuts of your choice (I like cashews, almonds and pecans)
Mix the above in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix:
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. oil
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
1 1/2 t. seasoned salt

Shake well. Pour over Chex mixture. Stir to coat. Pour into 2 or 3, 13 x 9" pans. Bake in a preheated 250 oven for 1-1/2 hours, stirring every half hour. Transfer from pans to paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

This makes a great gift for Christmas. Simply package in jars or cellophane bags, tied with ribbon or raffia.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Snack Mix

This makes a great table favor at Thanksgiving!

2 c. Bugles corn snacks
2 c. "tiny twists" pretzels
1 c. candy corn or corn nuts
1 c. dried fruit
1 c. salted or dry roasted peanuts

Mix all ingredients together and place desired amount in cellophane bags tied with ribbon or raffia and attach a copy of the following:

Every ingredient in this mix is symbolic:
Bugles represent a cornucopia, the horn of plenty.
Pretzels represent hands folded in thanks and prayer.
Candy corn reminds us that one winter, the Pilgrims were each allotted only 5 kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce.
Dried fruit reminds us that Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest.
Peanuts represent the potential of a bountiful harvest for the next year, if seeds are planted and well tended.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taste of Home Cooking School

Last night at the fair grounds in West Bend, I had a booth at the Taste of Home Cooking School. With the assistance of my sister and my daughter, I gave out samples of Rocky Road Fudge (page 155 in my cookbook) and Buttermints (page 152). With 1000 mostly women present, I had LOTS of samples. I have to say, that our booth was the most colorful one there! "Recipes for a Full-Filled Life" was very well received!

Book Signing at the Library

I've been asked to do a book signing at the West Bend Library on Tuesday Nov. 30th at 7pm in the story room. Along with samples(!), I'll tell a little about my life and why I decided to add yet another cookbook to the market! "Recipes for a Full-Filled Life" will be available for sale that night. Please join me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

This bread is best made with Chinese Five Spices. Find it in the oriental section of your grocery store.

3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spices or cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 c. oil
2/3 c. water
1 c. chopped walnuts


2 T. melted butter
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spices or cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients together; mix well; set aside. Combine sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil and water; mix well. Add walnuts. Add to dry ingredients and stir only until incorporated. Bake in 2 greased bread pans (9x5-inch) for 45-60 minutes, or until tests done with toothpick. Leave in pan 10 minutes; remove.

For topping, brush tops of bread with butter. Combine sugar and Chinese Five Spices and sprinkle over butter. Continue cooling on wire racks.
Optional: Serve this bread with whipped butter: In mixer, beat 1 pound softened real butter for about a minute. Slowly add 3/4 c. oil (sunflower, corn, or light-tasting olive oil). Continue to beat on high for about 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 4

What lessons can we learn from the Pilgrims? Many--and it all comes back to faith. In the book of Hebrews, it states: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." The Pilgrims sailed to America because of their faith. They wrote the Mayflower Compact based on God's Word and signed it by faith. They persevered in the harsh climate because of their faith. They befriended the native Americans because of their faith. Their uncompromising belief in God and His Word became the cornerstone of the colony and in turn of the new nation. The choice of the Pilgrims is clear: believe God in all circumstances.

Governor Bradford once wrote these words that should stir our hearts to greater levels of thankfulness for all we possess and enjoy: "We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship." Psalm 105:5 "Remember His wonders which He has done; His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth."

The following year there was a severe drought. The colonists prayed and fasted, and the Lord sent the rain. Enough corn was harvested for the next year and even extra to trade. God performed another miracle. Another Thanksgiving was shared with the Indians. The Indians recognized the hand of God in ending the drought. Legend has it that there were 5 kernels of corn at each plate so no one would forget God's loving care.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 3

Spring came. The Pilgrims met Samoset who learned how to speak English from fishermen. Then they met the famous Indian, Squanto. He was a true God-send--God had an amazing plan for him. The journal entry reads: He was "a special instrument sent of God for our good". Prior to this, Squanto was a sold as a slave and taken to Europe for 10 years. A Spanish monk told him about Jesus. During the time he was in Europe, a plague wiped out his tribe in America. God had saved him from the plague. Other Indians were superstitious of the cleared land, which was a welcomed gift to the Pilgrims.

Upon returning to America, Squanto was not only a translator, but also provided invaluable practical knowledge. He taught the Pilgrims how to use fish "cleanings" for fertilizer, how to grow pumpkins, make maple syrup, trap beavers and stalk deer. He taught them what herbs to use for medicine. Squanto lived with the Pilgrims until his death. The Pilgrims remembered the words of Psalm 105:1-2, 5: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonders which He has done, uttered by His mouth."

Another Indian, Chief Massasoit, was treated with respect and the love of Christ by the Pilgrims. He was very sick and the Lord healed him through a Pilgrim's medicine. This resulted in a peace treaty which lasted 50 years.

In October 1621, the First Thanksgiving was declared by Pilgrim Governor Bradford. 90 Indians came, bringing deer and turkeys. Other menu items were: venison, goose, lobster, eel, oysters, clam chowder, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, radishes, dried fruits, pies made from rehydrated fruits, ground corn made into hoecakes (thin slices of bread baked on a fire on the end of a hoe). The Indians brought a special treat--POPCORN--and added maple syrrup to make popcorn balls. The event lasted 3 days. There were games, shooting with bows/arrows and guns and all the boys raced and played.

Before the feasting began, they prayed! Even though half died that first year, the people were grateful--being grateful is a choice. It's not a feeling dependent on our circumstances, as we clearly see in the Pilgrims' lives. They believed that God was in control. They responded to the circumstances of their lives with a perspective that said, "God has allowed this for our good".

In November 1621, more colonists arrived, so the rations were cut in half. This was known as the "starving time". It is said that each person was only allowed 5 kernels of corn per day. They had a choice--they could either give in to bitterness and despair or they could trust Jesus. They chose Jesus---no one starved!---to be concluded!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 2

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower left England for a 9 week journey to the New World. 102 Pilgrims plus crew, most were in their 20s and 30s; a few in their 50s, lived in an area the size of a volleyball court. The menu was terrible, but there was no cooking! Food consisted of brine soaked beef, pork and stale, hard biscuits full of insects. The rats on board ate the same menu. There were many suffering from sea sickness. There were no sanitary toilets, and no fresh air. The hatches had to be closed due to the storms. When the storms came, they prayed. They did not complain; they trusted God. They had an attitude of gratitude. There were 2 deaths during the trip. One was a mocking sailor who died of a mysterious disease. And the other was a servant who refused to drink the lemon juice, used to prevent scurvy. Upon arrival at Cape Cod, the journal entry read: "Being thus past the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles...they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies...what could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace?" Shouting for joy and falling to their knees to pray, they read Psalm 100: "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations."

The Pilgrims arrived on a Saturday and the men left the ship with muskets and axes to explore and get firewood. But God already provided--they found 36 ears of corn buried in a large iron pot. The harder things got, the more they prayed and trusted God. On Sunday, they observed the Lord's day. There would be no work and no exploring.

In November, the Mayflower Compact was drawn up. Men entered a covenant to create a society based on Biblical principles. be continued

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 1

The story of the first Thanksgiving is so incredible. Hope you enjoy!

Thanksgiving is unique: distinctly Christian and exclusively American. It celebrates: FAITH, FAMILY AND FREEDOM.

Even though historical accounts vary, the story of the first Thanksgiving cannot be told without first talking about Jamestown settlement. The purpose for this voyage to the New World was to find GOLD! God was not a priority. Captain John Smith was a dishonest man. There were 1200 settlers in 1619; only 200 were alive a year later. Their menu was cats, dogs, mice, roots of trees and bushes, they gnawed leather and boiled and ate book covers. The people who settled Jamestown considered themselves good Christians. However, they did not seek God's guidance. They did not ask His forgiveness, so they did not receive His blessings. But the next group of settlers knew better than to start a new life without Christ. They trusted God, and it made a big difference.

Led by William Bradford, Separatists left England to go to Holland for religious freedom. After 10 years, they decided to go to America but only after they spent a day in fasting and prayer for the journey ahead. They read the verse in Ezra 8:21: "Then I proclaimed a fast...that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions."

They had a great hope and inward zeal of laying a good foundation for the advancing of the kingdom of Christ to the remote parts of the world--much different goals than Jamestown colony! Pastor Robinson encouraged and prayed for the Pilgrims before they left. They had a feast and sang Psalms. Many left children and family behind because of the possible hardships and vigorous ocean voyage. One of the voyagers said: "We refreshed ourselves, after our tears, with the singing of Psalms..."---to be continued!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cranberry Relish

The cranberry is Wisconsin's No. 1 fruit crop in both value and acreage. The cranberry industry supports about 7,200 jobs across the state. This simple recipe is one of my favorites.

1 c. water
1 c. sugar
3 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat. Add cranberries. Simmer 10 minutes. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.
Did you know that there are only 3 fruits native to North America that are commercially grown? They are cranberries, blueberries and concord grapes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Equipment Review: Microplane Zester/Grater

The Microplane grater is a great tool. It's modeled after a rasp--a tool used in wood working. The Microplane is great for grating hard cheese, like Parmesan, for coconut or for zesting citrus. It works best if used "up-side-down" as you can see the amount of zest, and you can better control the grater and avoid getting any of the white (pith) bitter part of the citrus.

Lemon Curd

Use this lemon curd as a filling for a cake, as a topping on a cheesecake or just served with fresh fruit. It's very yummy!

3 large eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 T. fresh grated lemon peel

In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, butter and peel. Cook over simmering water until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Cool. Cover and refrigerate; use within 5 days.

If you don't have a double boiler, simply use a bowl that will sit on top of a saucepan. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. The heat of the steam will cook the curd.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grandma's Apple Kuchen

This recipe really is from my Grandma! It is not in my cookbook, and it really is one of my favorites (what was I thinking to not include it?) Honey in this kuchen brings out the great flavor in the apples.

1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/8 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Mix together the above and pat on sides and bottom of a greased 9" x 9" pan. (Note: if you only have an 8" x 8" pan, just toss some of the mixture.)

Add about 7 c. peeled and sliced apples.
3/4 c. honey
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. water

Mix honey, flour and water together and pour over apples. Sprinkle with lots of cinnamon. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 1 1/2-2 hours. You may need to cover with foil part of the time to fully cook apples. Serves: about 9

Did you know there are 7,000 varieties of apples in the world? Apple seeds were brought to America from Europe. The crab apple is one of a few varieties of apple that is native to North America.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fox 6 TV show

I helped with a segment about apples on Fox 6 today. The Apple Dip recipe (following) is not in my cookbook--and it's a good one--enjoy!!

You can watch the segment HERE.

Apple Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. crushed salted peanuts

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Cut apples into wedges and dip into apple dip.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

The aroma of this casserole will help welcome the cooler days ahead.

4-5 peeled potatoes, sliced into 1/4" slices
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. cubed cooked ham
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into the bottom of a buttered 8" x 8" pan. Top with onion, ham, and remaining potatoes.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in flour. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Cover with parchment paper, then tightly with foil. Bake in preheated 400 oven about 1 1/2 hours until potatoes are tender. Remove parchment and foil; top with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese. Serves 4

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome to Fort Wilderness!

This weekend I helped cook for a Ladies' retreat at Fort Wilderness, Christian camp in northern Wisconsin. It is one of the best places on this side of heaven! The atmosphere is beautiful, and the food is beautiful and delicious! You can check out and see that there are family, youth and adult year-round camps.

The banquet meal for the ladies was fabulous: Mixed greens and fresh strawberry salad with poppy seed vinaigrette and caramelized almonds, beef filet with a rosemary, herb and EVOO rub--topped with Gorgonzola butter, grilled mixed veggies and cranberry rice medley. Dessert was a layered ice cream pie with lady fingers. By now your mouth must be watering! I didn't take the time to take a lot of photos, since I was assisting with the cooking!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fried Rice

Here's a quick recipe that can be changed to suit your family's likes and whatever leftovers you have on hand. You can add cooked, chopped chicken, beef or pork. You can use any leftover veggie in place of the peas.

4-5 strips bacon, cut in pieces
1 small onion, diced
2-3 c. leftover cooked rice--it must have been refrigerated until cold--freshly made rice won't work
3/4 c. frozen peas
2 eggs, beaten

Partly cook bacon, add chopped onions and continue cooking until done. Drain all grease except for about 1 tablespoon. Add rice and peas and stir until heated through. Add eggs; cook and stir for an additional 4 minutes or until eggs are done.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Field Trip!

This weekend I visited Armstrong Apples, in Armstrong, Wisconsin which is near Campbellsport. They not only had great apples, fudge, pies, caramel apples, fresh cider and honey, but it was a great place for a family fun day! You will find a playset and games, and you can pick your own apples. They are open daily through the end of November. See for map and more info.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rocky Road Fudge

1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 bag (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips
1 bag (12 oz.) butterscotch chips
1 c. creamy peanut butter
3 or 4 chopped Skor or Heath candy bars OR 2/3 c. Heath Toffee Bits
2 c. mini marshmallows

In a large pan combine chips and peanut butter. Melt on stove top on very low heat; stirring often. When melted, stir in candy bars and marshmallows. Spread onto wax paper lined 13 x 9 pan. Chill partially. Before totally hardened, cut into desired size pieces. Store in covered container in refrigerator.
There's nothing more strenuous than having to push the thought of chocolate to the back of your mind.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cobb Salad

As a self-professed Foodie, I like studying the history of how certain recipes come to be.

The Cobb Salad started back in the 1930's in California when the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant, Bob Cobb and a friend were looking for a late-night snack. Bob looked in the fridge and pulled out left-overs. He chose a bed of mixed greens, tomatoes, cold cooked chicken, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and bacon. The salad was so good, that the next day the friend came in for lunch and requested the Cobb Salad. And so the salad was born. Since then more than 4 million Cobb salads have been sold at Brown Derby restaurants.
The beauty of this salad is how it is arranged in a bowl. Feel free to add whatever veggies you like--just keep it colorful! You can serve the salad with a vinaigrette, French or Ranch dressing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Five Star Granola

8 c. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. raw wheat germ
1 1/2 c. oat bran
1 1/2 c. finely chopped almonds
1 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. honey
1 c. coconut oil (or corn oil)
1 heaping T. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
raisins or dried cranberries, optional

Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine oats, wheat germ, oat bran, and nuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil and cinnamon in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar; stir in vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Divide the mixture evenly between the two sheets.

Bake until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Turn oven off but continue to stir often as it burns easily. (It gets crisper as it cools). Cool, then stir in raisins or cranberries, if desired. Store in airtight container.
Parents perform many important functions, including eating what's left in a cereal box.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Parmesan Chicken with a side of Rice and Quinoa

A simple and quick recipe; it bakes in only 20 minutes.

3/4 c. mayo
1/3 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
about 2T. Italian dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425. Combine mayo and cheese. Arrange chicken on lightly greased pan. Evenly top with mayo mixture; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes or until done (165 degrees).
When making rice, try adding quinoa! Add 1/4 c. quinoa and 3/4 c. rice to
2 c. water, 1 t. salt and 1 T. butter in a medium saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
About 20 years ago, Quinoa (keen-wa) was reintroduced to the world. It originated from the Incas of South America. Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein. About the size of a sesame seed, it comes in red and white.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fun and Frugal

I love plates and bowls like some people like shoes and purses! This old oak record cabinet was painted white and decorated with gaudy flowered wall paper when I bought it for $4.00 at a rummage sale. I cleaned, stripped, stained and varnished it. What a great re-purposed plate and bowl cabinet it now makes!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Purple Cole Slaw

Cabbage is in season--make this great coleslaw with red or white cabbage.

Red cabbage is really a beautiful purple! Red cabbage has more nutrients than white. Purple-I mean red- cabbage is a great way to add color and crunch to a meal.

1 head shredded red cabbage, remove outer leaves of cabbage, as they may be tough
1 c. real mayo
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. white vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine mayo, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir into cabbage.

Road Trip

Not too long ago, I discovered Penzey's Spices (where have I been?!) It's a fun store, it smells simply delicious there! The spices are top quality. Each of their spices is in a jar for you to smell. There are gift boxes. You can also do mail order. Check it out:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

It's still summer!--Here's a cool and fast dessert.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

At one time, I had 3 teens at home. So there were always ice cream pies in my freezer for them---and their friends!

1 pail (5 qt.) vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 container (16 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 c. chunky peanut butter

Combine ice cream, topping and peanut butter. Spoon into prepared pans (see crust recipe following) and freeze overnight. After frozen hard, cover well with plastic wrap and foil. Best if used in 1 month--but they probably won't last that long!

Graham Cracker Crust

1 sleeve (1/3 of a box) of graham crackers, crushed
2 T. melted butter
2 T. sugar

Combine crust ingredients and pat on bottom and sides of 4 or 5 buttered 9" pie pans.

Taste of Home "Cooks Who Care"

Here's a video that was shot at my home during an "Apples of Gold" segment that we were teaching. (Our class is featured after about 1 minute). Enjoy!!

Recent Television Segment on Fox6 Wakeup News

I thought you might enjoy the recent segment I did on Fox6 Wakeup News. We discussed summer salads and fruity drinks.....and my new cookbook!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Passion

I am passionate about cooking! I've been cooking for family and friends for over 30 years. Our 3 children are grown and moved away, so I've been experimenting more these days. My husband lovingly calls himself the "test rat". It is a position that many have applied for, but since he's my best friend, he got the job!

For many years I've shared, and have had others share with me various recipes and tips. This blog was created to give you recipes and a chance to ask questions and give comments. Periodically, I'll include stories about my life as a Christian woman, wife, mom and grandma. If you're a "foodie" like I am, then you should enjoy this blog!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blueberry Custard Pie


8 oz. sour cream
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 T. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries


3 T. flour
2 T. sugar
3 T. real butter

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 400. Beat together sour cream, 3/4 c. sugar, egg, 2 T. flour, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries into sour cream mixture. Spoon filling into unbaked pie crust.

Bake for 25 minutes. (Cover edge of pie with foil for the first 15 minutes to prevent excess browning)

Meanwhile, prepare topping: In a small bowl, combine 3T. flour and 2 T. sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. After the filling has baked 25 minutes, sprinkle the topping over the top of the pie.

Continue baking until topping is light golden, about 15 minutes.

This pie is best when baked, cooled, covered and refrigerated overnight and eaten the next day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 7 "F's"!


This blog will give you info and insight into these areas. And--I'd like your comments as well. Stay tuned!