This dish is also known as a puff pancake. The recipe is based upon one by recipegirl. I was recently gifted a non-stick cast iron Dutch oven. The lid is multi-use and may be used as a skillet. If you do not have a cast-iron skillet, or one that is bake-proof, then a 9×13″ baking dish should work fine.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (I use extra large)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh berries
  • Syrup or powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put your skillet into oven as it’s heating.

In a blender or food processor, mix together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.

Remove the skillet from oven and place butter into it. Return to oven until butter has melted.

Pour batter over melted butter. Sprinkle berries over the top of the batter. Place the skillet back into the oven for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or with syrup, however you like it.

Serves 4

I’ve been making my own ricotta lately because it’s easy and has so few ingredients. I also like the taste very much better than store bought. Why is it different? I do not know. I’ve used it in lasagne, cake, and as a condiment for pancakes and crackers.

  • Ingredients: Yield apx. 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar

Stir the milk and cream together in a saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring almost to boiling. This is very important, it has to be hot enough. Remove from heat and pour in the vinegar. Give two swirls through the pan with a spoon and then let it sit until cooled to room temperature. The milk will curdle–that’s good.

Using cheesecloth or a jelly bag or some type of fine-mesh strainer, pour the mixture through. This will mostly be whey. I save the whey to feed my sourdough, but you can discard it or search Google to find more uses. Once the remaining cheese is a dryness that seems good (overnight), either use it or place it into a covered dish and pop into the refrigerator for later. I don’t know how long it will last. Seems like the longest I’ve kept it is around ten days.

Notes: You can read a lot about this not working with pasteurized milk, but I’ve had no problem. I didn’t let it get hot enough one time and I stirred it too much, so it didn’t separate into milk solids and whey properly. I re-heated the whey the next day and as soon as it got hot it separated before my eyes. So, that was a learning experience.

People joke about holiday fruit cakes and I get that. But there are people who genuinely enjoy them, my father, my husband, and myself being three of them. I inherited my mother-in-law’s recipe box when she passed away on Good Friday 1991. I think I had actually started making these fruit cakes prior to that, but I really didn’t get into the swing of it, realizing that the brandy was key, until just a few years ago. In 2019 I made two batches and sent my dad a couple different loaves, soaked in brandy. Soaked. My husband and I took a loaf out of the freezer last month, and oh my, it was the best ever! So, here we go, this is what you do . . .

  • Ingredients
  • 3 oz. candied diced lemon peel
  • 3 oz. candied diced orange peel
  • 1/4 # candied chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 # candied diced citron
  • 1/2 # chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 # candied cherries, halved
  • 1/2 # raisins
  • 1/4 # rough chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 # rough chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup flour, for dredging
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 eggs, well beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup orange or grape juice
  • Apx. 3 cups brandy

In a very large bowl (mine is 32 cups), dredge fruit and nuts in 1/4 cup flour and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare three 3-1/2 x 7-1/2″ loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper, allowing at least a 1/2″ overhang on all sides of pans. Heat 2 cups water to boiling in another pan.

In a separate bowl (I use a stand mixer) cream sugar and shortening. Add honey, then eggs, and beat well. Sift remaining dry ingredients and stir in alternately with fruit juice — beat thoroughly. Pour batter over floured fruit in the very large bowl and mix well.

Dollop the batter evenly into the pans, but do not flatten the batter down. Place pan with boiling water in the oven and also place loaves into oven. If you have the shelf space, put the boiling water pan on a rack beneath the loaves. Mine gets all crowded in there together on the same rack. No problem. The loaves do NOT go into the water. Bake at 250 degrees F for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Wrap each loaf in a cloth. Place the loaves into a shallow pan with sides (9 X 13″ Pyrex baking dish works great). Pour apx. 3 cups brandy (half of a 1.75 L bottle) evenly over the loaves in the baking pan, a bit at a time. Let sit, uncovered, for a couple days. Unwrap, slice and serve, or place into plastic freezer bags, cloth and all, and pop into the freezer. Thaw, unwrap, slice and serve. My, oh, my is that ever a rich dessert!

Yield: 3 Loaves

I ate this for the first time at a local German restaurant a few years ago. I’ve made it myself several times since then. The recipe I was using online ceased to exist, so I switched to this one from Kimberly Killebrew. I think I like it better anyway. Thinking about making this the first couple times seems a rather daunting prospect, but it’s much easier to do than you would think. I believe you could use wild game instead of beef steak, as long as the piece was sliced thin enough. You’re going to need toothpicks, lots of toothpicks. This is easily a gluten-free dinner if you use a corn-starch thickener instead of flour and serve it over something like polenta or potatoes.

When I last made this, I only made 4 beef rolls (instead of 8), but the full complement of gravy. That’s to say just make the number of rolls for the number of people you’re serving. After you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand what I’m getting at. And the rouladen are SO tender, you don’t even need a knife!

  • Rouladen Ingredients
  • 8 slices beef steak (like round steak), about 4×6″ size, pounded thin
  • Spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 slices dill pickle
  • Sliced onion
  • Gravy Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • Cornstarch or flour to make a slurry
  • Cream, optional

Spread each piece of meat with mustard and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. At the smallest end of the meat, lay a slice of bacon, pickle, and onion. Roll the meat up from that smallest end to the largest end. Secure with several toothpicks.

Heat the butter and oil in an oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven and sear the meat rolls on all sides. Remove to a plate. In that same skillet, saute the onions until they are translucent. You may need more butter or oil. Stir in the garlic and saute another thirty seconds or so. Add the carrots and celery and saute another five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pour red wine into the skillet with the vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Nestle the meat rolls in the liquid, cover the skillet, and place into the preheated 325 degree F oven for about 90 minutes. Remove the rouladen from the sauce to a plate.

Thicken the gravy by making a slurry of cornstarch (see note below) and water (or broth) OR a slurry of flour and water (or broth). Either way works just fine. Many cooks will either strain out the vegetables or puree them to make a smooth sauce. I don’t care about that, so I don’t bother with it. Vegetable lumps it is! You can stir in cream if you want a creamier gravy.

Once your gravy is done to your liking, pluck the toothpicks from the rouladen. They should stay in place without the picks. Return the rouladen to the gravy, turning so that they’re coated on all sides and heat through.

You can serve with spaetzle, polenta, mashed potatoes, or just use your imagination. This is easily a gluten-free dish.

Note: A slurry is taking a cold liquid and stirring in either corn starch or flour until smooth, then slowly pouring the concoction into a thin gravy and stirring over heat until the gravy thickens. A two-to-one ratio of corn starch to cold water (or broth) is a good way to start. I never measure it anymore, just make sure the corn starch dissolves, then start pouring the mix into the gravy. If it gets too thick, then I add more broth to the gravy. If it doesn’t thicken enough, I add more slurry to the gravy. I do the same with flour.

You can make this dish without using an oven, all on the stovetop. I haven’t tried it, but it would work just fine.

I don’t own a meat mallet so I do the best I can with the edge of a saucer to pound the meat without putting holes in it. Again, once you’ve done this a few times you’ll see how it works any which way, it’s not at all fussy. The flavors here are really rich.

My daughter said she makes this when she’s craving junk food, but wants to eat healthy. It’s a salad after all. Hahaha. This recipe is like many other taco salads, except it uses Catalina Dressing. There is just enough piquant flavor in it to offset the salty-savory taco flavors. This salad is a meal unto itself. Enjoy!

  • Ingredients: (amounts depend upon number of people served)
  • Ground beef, bison, caribou or moose
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix (or 3 Tbsp. of recipe found here) per pound of ground meat
  • 1/2 cup water per pound of ground meat
  • Lettuce (romaine holds up best, but any kind will do)
  • Tortilla chips (I use Tostitos Scoops, but be creative!)
  • Grated cheese (your favorite taco type)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped avocado (optional)
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sliced bell pepper or mini sweet peppers
  • Additional ideas include: sliced jalapenos, mild chiles, corn kernels, black beans
  • Catalina dressing (you may need a good amount of this)

In a frying pan over medium high heat, brown the ground meat. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the meat and stir well. Stir in water. Let the meat simmer until the water has evaporated. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.

In a VERY large bowl layer the vegetable ingredients in proportions that seem good to you. Add the ground meat. Toss the salad with the Catalina Dressing. Serve.

This does not save very well, so it’s best not to overdo it thinking you’ll just finish it off the next day. I mean, we do that, but by then the tortilla chips are soggy and the lettuce is wilted. Don’t be us, be you.

I buy pre-made Catalina Dressing, but you could Google how to make your own and it might be healthier to do so.

Well, well, well! Look what I made! I’m so pleased. All credit must be given to Andrea Slonecker over at Food & Wine whose video on this made all the difference. These probably look like croissants, but they’re not, these are bread. The bread dough is rich in eggs and butter. Please review Andrea’s video and make sure you have enough eggs (5) prior to starting.

  • Dough Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk, heated to between 100 and 115 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup butter (4 oz. or 1 stick)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Streusel Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Egg Wash Ingredients
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • A Variety of Jelly or Jam or Pie Filling

Dough: I used a stand mixer. Stir together 1 cup flour, yeast, and sugar. Stir in warm milk and let sit until bubbles form across the top of the mixture. While you’re waiting for that to happen, in a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, egg yolks, and salt. Stir the butter-egg mixture into the activated yeast mixture. Mix well. One cup at a time, stir in the remaining 2 cups flour. Let it knead on low speed for about 4 minutes, only adding flour if absolutely necessary if the dough is still tacky. Add as little flour as possible, it’s supposed to be a very soft dough. Once the dough is smooth, cover and set aside to rise until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Streusel: While the dough is rising, in a very small bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, and flour. Set it aside so that once the butter cools and firms up you can break the mixture into a crumbly mixture to sprinkle on top of the Kolaches. For now, just set it aside to cool down.

Dough again: Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into a dozen equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball. Place the dough balls onto the prepared sheet pan, cover with a damp cloth, and let them rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Filling: While the dough balls are doing their rise . . . In a food processor or mixer, stir together all the ingredients (cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg yolk, and lemon zest) until smooth. I used a food processor and it worked well. Set aside.

Egg Wash: In a very small bowl mix together the large egg yolk and milk.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once the dough balls have nearly doubled in size, using several fingers, make a well in the center of each dough ball about 2″ in diameter. This is where watching the video comes in handy. She really dug a spread-out center in each dough ball. Make sure not to pierce the bottoms.

Once each dough ball has a well, use a pastry brush to brush the sides of the dough balls with the egg wash.

Place one tablespoon of cream cheese filling into each well and leave an imprint for the jam filling to go next.

Place one tablespoon of jelly, jam, or whatever kind of filling you’re using into each cream cheese well.

Break up the firmed streusel topping and sprinkle it across the tops of the Kolaches.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or so. Mine took quite a bit longer than that. I waited until the edges were a dark brown.

Enjoy! These are beautiful and delicious. They weren’t hard to make.

Notes: I used bread flour, but I wonder if all-purpose would have been better. This dough is like challah or brioche, so it’s supposed to be soft. I always use salted butter, but I don’t think it matters. I used my stand mixer for the dough and my food processor for the cream cheese filling. I use extra-large eggs and I think that’s one reason it took longer to bake, because my Kolaches had more liquid. I also didn’t spread mine out as much as Andrea did in the video which I think also contributed to the longer bake time, mine were thicker. Andrea didn’t put cream cheese into all of hers, she just put jam into a few of them. It still worked great. I am so, so pleased that these turned out. I love it when I have all the ingredients on hand and it goes according to plan.

I made this with a little of this and a little of that. It turned out awesome, so I’ll be wanting to make this again.

  • Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 11 oz. can tomato puree (you could try same amount of passata or homemade puree)
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 lb. mixed fresh shellfish, shells removed (weight after shells removed)
  • 1/4 lb. white fish
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Crusty bread, optional

Swazz some olive oil around in a large pot. Stir in garlic and spices and stir fry until garlic is cooked, but not browned. Stir in wine and let it simmer for awhile. Stir in the tomato puree. Stir in enough stock to give a consistency that you like. Don’t forget the fish will lose some of its water into the pot and make everything a bit runnier than now, so a bit thicker than you like will be best. Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes. Stir in shellfish and white fish. Squeeze lemon juice into the pot. Remove from heat once the fish is cooked through. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 3-4.

Notes: I happen to have a case of canned tomato puree. It is not tomato paste and it is not tomato sauce. It’s a different kind of thing and you will have to make a serious adjustment if you don’t have it. Don’t know, can’t help you, sorry.

I bought a pound of fresh mixed shellfish at a local fish mart. Everything was already shelled. I think the mix was sold especially for making stew. There were squid rings, surimi, small shrimp, bay scallops, clams, mussels, and other things I probably missed. This recipe would work well with shellfish still in the shells, too, just adjust the amounts.

My brother has recently gifted us several pounds of ground moose, so that’s what I used, but ground bison or ground beef will work just as well. I’m basing my recipe on fivehearthome.com‘s. This is a really quick week-night dinner for busy people.

  • Ingredients
  • A bit of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or other as mentioned above)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Butter
  • Toppings as desired (sliced cheese, sliced dill pickles, coleslaw, etc.)

Swazz a bit of olive oil around a skillet and heat it. Saute onion and green bell pepper until onion is transparent. Remove the onion and green bell pepper to a bowl and set aside. Into the skillet, put the ground meat. Let it brown. About half way to brown, add the garlic. Drain off any fat accumulation. If using lean meat this will not be necessary.

In a bowl add the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to taste. Stir well. Stir in the onions and green peppers. Stir the sauce into the ground meat and garlic in skillet. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about ten minutes.

Butter the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. Dollop the ground beef mixture onto the prepared buns. Add your favorite toppings. Chow down!

FYI: we used Dill Pickle Chips as one of the topping options. You can find the recipe here. These dill chips are also awesome on hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches or sliders. Yum!

This recipe is based upon one found in The Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook by Lois Levine (Macmillan Co, 1968). I had this cookbook from my teenage years, but didn’t really use it A LOT until I had kids. The gender role assumptions are hilarious to read now, but the recipes are very good. We have made this dessert regularly since 1998. It is super simple to make. (More better photos next time!)

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (Gluten-Free Graham Crackers work well, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pie filling

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until set. Cool. Top each with 1 Tbsp. of your favorite pie filling.

You can remove the paper liners before adding the pie filling or have your guests remove them after serving. These are very easy to transport while in the paper liners.

This is an easy “throw it in the oven and forget about it dish.” The recipe comes from a cookbook of my mother’s. I think it’s called Main Dishes and it was compiled by the US Parent-Teacher Association, but the cover is missing so I can’t be sure of the title. It seems like we had one cookbook for main dishes and a different one for something else, desserts? Anyway, it was probably published in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It’s 382 pages, so there’s every kind of hot dish imaginable, whole sections on Beef Stews and Ground Beef Dishes, many of them just slightly different from each other. This cookbook came in very handy when we ate ground moose regularly. I would just comb through until I found a recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 potatoes, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or caribou, moose, elk, or bison–I’ve used them all)
  • 15 oz. can Pork and Beans
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or tomato sauce or vegetable juice or 12-oz can V-8–I’ve used them all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish (I use my Dutch Oven) with non-stick spray or grease. Place a layer of sliced potatoes, salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of sliced onions. Add ground beef (just sprinkle it around on top), then the Pork and Beans. Add another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, and sliced onions. Pour tomato juice over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours. Yield: 4 servings

This recipe calls for a small can of “Pork and Beans” and I’ve always bought Van Camps, but Van Camps’ ingredient list warns there’s a potential for soy. This may be a problem for some. I looked up how to make Pork and Beans myself and it’s essentially a soupy version of my “Ranch Beans” recipe, using small white beans and no chili powder. I haven’t tried that yet in this recipe because I’m all about easy with this dish. I love to eat Potato-Bean Casserole liberally enhanced with pickled sliced jalapeno peppers.

I’ve got one of those fancy ovens that you can set it to come on and then turn off at specific times. I can’t tell you how many times I put this in the oven with partially frozen meat, set the oven to come on and then cook for two hours, and arrived home from soccer practice to have a wonderful meal all ready for hungry people to eat. Press the easy button!