Behind Every Recipe Lies a Story...

Growing up in a home where having dinner around the table together each evening was one of the most important times of the day, I quickly grew to love cooking. My mother always made a place for me beside her, and she taught me everything from baking, to canning and freezing the produce from our garden, to cooking large holiday feasts.

My goal when serving a meal to my family is for them to fully experience and enjoy every layer of flavor and texture. and I attain that by cooking from the heart.  Food has always brought our family together, and because I have many children and grandchildren, I have so many

opportunities to show them love, whether it's a favorite food, favorite dish, favorite style of cooking, or even something as small as an extra dash of cinnamon added to a dessert.

What better than to love someone with a bowl of delicious comfort food made especially for them?

It is my wish that you would enjoy these recipes as my family has, and that they might become some of your favorites as well!

Sending happiness, hopes, and heavenly helpings!



An ongoing series of informational entries

Pork Chowder

August 30, 2014

I admit it...I am anxiously awaiting fall! I've been looking forward to crisp autumn air, bonfires, hot spiced cider, cooking pumpkins to get ready for holiday baking, walking through the fallen leaves, and the beautiful colors that come with the season. As the clouds rolled in and the wind rose this afternoon, the rain began to fall and the temperature dropped to the mid-sixties, I was transported to fall and I started thinking about homemade soup.

I make many kinds of soups and stews during the colder months of the year, including potato, cheddar broccoli, Italian sausage, pot roast stew, chicken noodle, Mexican tortilla, and beef stroganoff. This time I wanted something a little different...something hearty, creamy, and smooth. I decided to try something new and my recipe for pork chowder was born. This is definitely a flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs, tummy warming soup that will go a long way to please your family or a crowd. We served ours with warm cornbread, which ties together nicely with the corn in the soup, but it could easily be served with rolls, French bread, or any of your personal favorite breads.

Pork Chowder


1 lb. boneless pork loin, cooked and cubed

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

8 cups chicken broth

1 medium sweet onion, diced and sautéed

2 stalks celery, diced and sautéed

2 carrots, julienned

4 large potatoes, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups whole kernel sweet corn, frozen

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 - 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 Tbsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 dash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups instant potato flakes


1. Season the boneless pork loin with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. cracked black pepper. Sear each side of the meat on medium-high heat in a small amount of olive oil. Remove and place on a greased baking pan. Cover and bake for 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until done. Once done, remove fat and cube the meat.

2. Once the meat is removed from the pan it was seared in, add the onion and celery to the hot pan and sauté them until the onion becomes translucent.

3. To a stockpot, add chicken broth, sautéed onion and celery, carrots, potatoes, garlic, corn, butter, milk, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and meat.

4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Using a potato masher, thoroughly mash in the pot, effectively mashing the potatoes.

6. Add the instant potatoes, which will thicken the chowder.

7. Serve with your favorite bread or salad and enjoy!

Sending happiness, hopes, and heavenly helpings!

Italian Sausage Soup

September 11, 2014

There are times when I want a warm, comforting soup that is loaded with deep flavors of creamy Italian goodness. That is when I make Italian sausage soup. It is worth the effort when you sit down to a bowl of steamy deliciousness on a cold evening.

Italian Sausage Soup


1 pkg. Italian sausage or Kielbasa, sliced

1 med onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

4 cups beef broth

8 c. water

1 lg. can red beans

1 grated carrot

2 lg. cans whole tomatoes

Pepper to taste

1 Tbs. onion powder

2 tsp. basil

2 tsp. parsley flakes

1 pinch oregano

2 cups grated zucchini

1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream

4-6 cups al dente egg noodles


Brown sausage with onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Transfer to a large pot and add all ingredients, except cream cheese and pasta. Bring to a boil and let simmer on med. to low heat for 30 min. Stir frequently. In separate pan, cook pasta and drain. In a small bowl mix softened cream cheese with evaporated milk or heavy cream until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture to soup and mix well. Add pasta, stir, and let simmer for 10 more minutes.

Sending happiness, hopes, and heavenly helpings!

Crisp Bean Burritos

August 24, 2016

Have you ever craved a crisp bean burrito from a certain restaurant? Now you can have them anytime and they are so simple!


10 flour tortillas

1-16 oz. can refried beans

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Mix together refried beans, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper. Lay out a flour tortilla. Make a line of refried beans horizontally across the tortilla closest to you from left to right. Add cheese on top of the beans. Roll the tortilla as tightly as possible. Do the same for all of your tortillas so that you have an even amount of the bean mixture and cheese in each tortilla. Fry your burritos in 350 degree oil until golden brown. Place fried burritos on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

*Serve with salsa, taco sauce, guacamole, sour cream, or any other condiment you prefer. Enjoy!!

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

December 16, 2015

My family loves oatmeal scotchies, but not just any oatmeal scotchy recipe will do! We prefer them to be full of spice and goodness. That is why I combined an oatmeal spice cookie recipe with the original oatmeal scotchy recipe, and we now enjoy pure butterscotch bliss in a cookie! Enjoy!!

Spicy Oatmeal Scotchies

Makes 3 dozen


½ cup butter, softened

½ cup butter flavored shortening

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 pkg. butterscotch chips

½ cup chopped nuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add oats, butterscotch chips, and nuts (optional). Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets and placing on wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Baking Powder Biscuits

August 22, 2016

Baking powder biscuits are a favorite at our table. They can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, are quick and easy to make, and are simply delicious!

Baking Powder Biscuits


1 TBSP. salt

3 TBSP. baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups shortening

6 cups flour

2 1/4 cups cold milk or water


Add salt, baking powder, sugar, shortening, and flour to a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until it is in small, fine pieces. Add milk OR water and mix well. On a lightly floured surface, pat out the dough to about 3/4" thick. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or glass and place on an ungreased baking pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Bread

July 3, 2014

So many people have asked for my pumpkin bread recipe. Not only is it moist and delicious, it makes wonderful bread, muffins, and bundt cakes, and can be given as a gift, sold at a bake sale, or enjoyed with a cup of coffee! This is a sure hit during the holidays and is good any day! The wait is over! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread - Makes 3 large loaves


1-15oz can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 TBSP. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger


Grease and flour three large loaf pans. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Add raisins if desired. Divide the batter between the three prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until done. Remove loaves from pans and place on tray.


1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 TBSP. ground cinnamon


Mix the topping ingredients well in a small bowl. Using a meat fork, poke holes all over the top of the loaf. Glaze liberally with the topping using a pastry brush.


If you would like to make this bread into a bundt cake, omit the topping and glaze with your favorite cream cheese icing recipe. Cream cheese frosting can also be piped onto pumpkin muffins!


Warm pumpkin bread is delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!

Happy baking!

White Bread

February 25, 2014

Do you have a 'Go-To' bread recipe you use when you want to bake? I would like to share mine. I've used this recipe for years, with a few tweaks here and there. Not only do I use this to bake bread and rolls, I use it for pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, Hawaiian sweet bread, and garlic cheese bread. The list goes on and on with a little imagination. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family and I do!

White Bread

3 cups warm milk

3 TBSP. active dry yeast

3/4 cup sugar

1 TBSP. salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

3 eggs, beaten

8 + cups white flour


Mix warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Let set for 10 minutes or until foamy. Then add salt, butter and beaten eggs. Stir. Add 8 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add additional flour as needed and knead until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat. Cover with cloth, place in a warm area, and allow to rise until doubled. (About 1 hour) Punch down dough and divide into three equal parts. Shape into loaves and place in three 8 1/4 x 4 1/2 greased bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. The loaves may need to be covered with foil the last few minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. After removing from the oven, remove from pans to a wire rack and brush tops with butter.

*For pizza dough: Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parsley to the dry ingredients and finish making dough as directed. After the first rise, separate into four equal parts and roll out to make pizza crust. Top with your preference of pizza toppings and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

*For cinnamon rolls: Add 1 large box French vanilla pudding mix to the dry ingredients. After the first rise, roll dough out to make a large rectangle and brush on melted butter. Then sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, and raisins according to your preference. Roll tightly from one side and using a thread, slice the roll into 24 equal parts. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. These cinnamon rolls are very large and usually only fit 6 per 9x13 pan. Top with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

*For Hawaiian sweet bread: Replace the water in the recipe with pineapple juice, warming it in the microwave for approximately 1 minute until warm before adding sugar and yeast. Increase the sugar to 1 cup. After rising, the dough may be formed into rounds. Brush beaten egg on top of the rounds before baking to create a crusty sheen.

*For garlic cheese bread: Add garlic cloves and/or garlic powder and grated cheese to the dough, according to preference. Sprinkle cheese on top before baking. Parmesan is great in and on this as well.

The possibilities for this recipe are endless just by using your own creativity. For example, if you want to make hoagie rolls (sandwich rolls), divide the dough into 12 equal parts and form into rolls. For smaller hoagies, simply divide into more, smaller sections. This recipe also makes wonderful dinner rolls! It makes 36 rolls or 3 - 9x13 pans.

Jalapeno Pepper Jam

April 11, 2014

My family enjoys spicy food, and jalapeno peppers are no exception. A family favorite is jalapeno jam. It is delicious with jalapeno poppers, on crackers with cream cheese, as a dip with tortilla chips, on tacos...on just about anything! I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Jalapeno Jam


2 large green bell peppers

20 jalapeno peppers, seeded

3 cups apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

12 cups white granulated sugar

12 drops green food coloring

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. butter

2 boxes pectin

4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped with seeds


Combine the green bell peppers and 20 seeded jalapeno peppers in the container of a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped. This can be done in batches, if the peppers do not fit. Transfer the peppers to a large saucepan, and stir in the cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the salt and sugar until dissolved. Add green food coloring and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down), add butter and boil for one minute, then stir in the pectin.

Stir in the remaining four chopped jalapeno peppers, and ladle into sterile jelly jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Immediately wipe rims with damp cloth, place seal on jar and tightly screw on ring, backing up 1/4 turn. Place jar upside down on a towel. Let set for 6-8 hours until completely cool. Jam should be thick. Turn right side up. Jars should be sealed. Refrigerate jam after seal is broken.

*Makes 12 jelly jars or 6 pints