Back to Blog
Love those one dish meals!
I am always on the lookout for a new recipe to try. The all-in-one, easy kind are the best! I was browsing through the latest Taste of Home magazine and saw one that caught my eye. I love roasted veggies so this one called out to me, I made it today for lunch and I will definitely make it again. I did make some minor changes. I didn’t have squash and didn’t want to make a trip to the store so I used what I had. I think sweet potatoes would be good, too. I used the onion, carrots, and parsnips for the veggies, and I drizzled them with a little olive oil before putting the chicken on top. I also scattered some fresh sage leaves over them. The sage grows right outside my kitchen door. The recipe didn’t call for any herbs, but I couldn’t resist, I would also like to try thyme or rosemary, but that’s up to you. Here is the recipe as written:
Maple-Roasted Chicken and Acorn Squash:
1 medium acorn squash
4 medium carrots, cut lengthwise and cut in chunks
1 medium onion,cut in wedges
6 bone-in chicken thighs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees (that’s the temp I used throughout the roasting). Cut acorn squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half into 1/2 inch slices, discard ends. Place squash, carrots and onion in greased 13x9 inch baking pan (I lined the pan with tin foil), top with chicken thighs skin side down, roast 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, drizzle with the maple syrup, sprinkle with salt and pepper, continue roasting another 30-35 minutes until a thermometer reads 170-175 degrees, until top of chicken is nice and brown and veggies are fork tender. Have a great week!
Back to Blog
Cool weather calls for soup!
I love soup! There is nothing more comforting to warm one up on a cool fall day than a steaming bowl of homemade soup! Once your get the ingredients assembled in the soup kettle, your meal is pretty much done. Then you can curl up with a book until meal time!
Lentils are high in protein and good for you, so some years ago I tried a lentil soup. We didn’t care for it so I decided I didn’t like lentils. It turns out I just didn’t have the right recipe!
I belong to a book club with my church and and as a group we were reading a book entitled, “Eating with Joy.” Each chapter includes a recipe, so when my turn came to read a chapter and give a review, I decided to cook the recipe from that chapter and share with my friends. The recipe happened to be for lentil soup. The author stated that with so many people in our world hungry, we should try to cook some of meals more simply. This soup is about as simple and inexpensive as recipes get...and it’s good! Be sure to follow all the rinsing of the lentils as the recipe calls for. That must be what makes the difference.
Simple lentil soup:
1 lb lentils
1/4 cup olive oil - no substitutes
1-2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 quart cold water
2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
juice from 1 lemon
Start by rinsing and soaking one pound of lentils in fresh water to cover. Soak at least 1 hour, then drain and rinse again. Cover with fresh water, bring to boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat a soup pot over medium heat and cover the bottom with the olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly; add the cooked, drained lentils and cumin. Stir for 1 minute more, then add a quart or so of cold water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 45 minutes, adding salt and fresh black pepper. Stir in lemon juice and taste to adjust for saltiness and acidity. Remove from heat; you can drizzle in a bit more olive oil. Serve in bowls with some hearty bread.
I made the recipe exactly as printed. I was tempted to use chicken broth instead of the water but I didn’t and we really enjoyed it and I have made it several times! Enjoy our beautiful fall weather!
Back to Blog
I recently lost my Aunt Dorothy. She was 93 and lived a good life always on the home farm which she loved. My Aunt Dorothy was one of those people who lived her religion. She hosted many family reunions on the farm and loved to entertain family. Because of her, I love to cook. From the time I was very young she was my mentor in the kitchen. She kept our Norwegian heritage alive by cooking Lutefisk and Lefse every Christmas Eve along with goodies such as kringler, krumkake, fattigman and Komla. I make some of these goodies for my own family. She was adored by her family and will be missed.
Today I am sharing a bar recipe I received from my Aunt Dorothy. If she knew I was coming to visit she had them made to go with coffee. When I read the recipe I had to smile. She called them “ Two dollar bars”. You know its an old recipe - nowadays they more accurately could be called “ Ten dollar bars”. I hope you like them too.
Two Dollar Bars:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup quick oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 bag caramels (approx. 32)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Mix together the above ingredients and pat 1/2 of the mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, meanwhile melt 32 caramels with one can sweetened condensed milk, cool. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips over crust then pour caramel over chips and sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top. Bake another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Back to Blog
One of my favorite berries are blueberries and they are so good for you, too. You can use either fresh or frozen in this recipe. If you use frozen, don’t thaw them first.
There is a delicious blueberry sauce that you can make and serve with the cake. I don’t always make the sauce. Sometimes I serve a slice of the pound cake with a dollop of whipped topping for dessert. It makes two loaves so you can tuck one into the freezer and have a quick dessert on hand for that unexpected company!
Blueberry Pound Cake:
1 cup butter (no substitutes) softened
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, beat in extracts. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon into two greased and waxed paper-lined 9 inch x 5 in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks until cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cranberry juice concentrate
6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
In a saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch and cranberry juice concentrate until smooth, add blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm or cold over slices of the pound cake.
Back to Blog
A recipe for those garden veggies!
In one of my diet cook books, this one by Suzanne Somers, I found a recipe for ratatouille. I liked it so well I made it several times and then forgot about it until last year when my garden lover son gave me three eggplants. I mentioned to a friend that I didn’t know what to do with them and she said, “Well, have you ever heard of ratatouille?” I then remembered this recipe! What a perfect way to use the eggplants, along with zucchini and bell peppers. This dish keeps a long time in the refrigerator. I like it as a side dish, over pasta or rice, or even a spoonful on a cracker.
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) peeled tomatoes, with juice
4 bell peppers, julienned
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup of the oil and the onion; sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Quarter the tomatoes, reserving any juice, set aside. Layer the bottom of the skillet with the peppers, salt and pepper and 1/4 of the onion-garlic mixture. Then layer with the eggplant, more salt and pepper another 1/4 of the onion-garlic mixture. Repeat layers using the zucchini, then the tomatoes in place of the eggplant, finally topping with the remaining onion-garlic mixture. Pour in the reserved tomato juice and top with the last of the onion-garlic mixture. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 35-45 minutes, Uncover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes to reduce the liquid. This can be served either hot or cold. Have a great week!