Category Archives: Recipes

Delicious Edamame Hummus


I love edamame (soybeans). In fact, I am specifically attracted to restaurant dishes that feature edamame. But other than tossing them into Chinese dishes and salads, I don’t use them much at home. Fortunately, the soybean promotion folks sent an entire booklet full of soybean recipes to the newspaper where I work sometimes and my publisher passed them onto me.

This hummus recipe was one of those in the booklet, and it is delicious! I know, it sounds weird and it looks a little weird (green mush anyone?). But it has a great, fresh flavor with just a hint of Mexican spice.

The best part of the dish is its fancy flavor without the fancy cost. The main ingredient, edamame, can be found relatively easily in the frozen veggie section of most grocery stores for just a couple of bucks. I found the particular bag I used for this batch on clearance for just $1.49!


  • 2 c. edamame, cooked according to package directions
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive, soybean or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic


Blend it all together until it is mostly pureed but still has a little bit of texture. How’s that for easy?

Serve chilled with crackers or other crunchy, scoopy things. With the fiber and protein the edamame provides, the hummus makes a great lunch or hearty snack.

Oh, and the little fingers in that picture above? Those belong to my kiddo who is quite the fan of Ritz crackers but refuses to try the hummus 🙂

Rhubarb Cake


If you think this photo looks a little odd, you might be right. I cut a small hole in the middle to test for doneness and we started cutting slices from there…which should go to show you how yummy this cake is!

This is the first year I’ve had a rhubarb harvest, incidentally, and I discovered something about rhubarb from a local veggie farmer who also has several rhubarb plants. Not all rhubarb plants turn red when they’re ripe. Mine appears to be one of those that stays green even when it’s ready, I guess.

Anyway…on to the recipe, which I adapted from one published by Penzey’s Spices. (Although I disagree with some of the company’s stands on social issues, I find that Penzey’s is one of the best places to get low-cost, high-quality spices.)


  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter, cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped rhubarb
  • For Topping: 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar, butter, egg, yogurt and vanilla together in a large bowl. Stir in baking soda and flour, mix well. Fold in the rhubarb.

Spread the batter in a greased 9×13 pan.

Combine the topping sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the cake batter. It will probably seem like there is too much topping for the size of the cake, but trust me, it’s right. The sugary topping forms a crust of sorts that is very yummy.


Bake 30-35 minutes. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

Cantaloupe Sherbet


This may be the easiest recipe I’ve ever made in my ice cream maker, and it’s delicious, too! Summer in a bowl…and it tastes great with Biscoff cookies, which are my favorites.


  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 T honey


Slice the melon into chunks, minus the seeds and rind, of course. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into an ice cream maker and mix until solid. That’s it!

Tip: Cut and freeze melon chunks when they are in season so you can make this in the off-season, too!





Tortilla-free Quesadillas


Now that my family is eating a low-carb diet, we shy away from meals that involve tortillas, bread, rice, etc. But that cuts out most Mexican food, so I created the tortilla-free quesadilla. I think I may like it even better than normal quesadillas!


  • shredded cheese (a Colby or cheddar mix works best)
  • fajita chicken or beef, cooked and chopped


Mound 1/4 to 1/2 c. of cheese in a non-stick pan. Keep the mound as close together as you can since it will spread out as the cheese melts. Sprinkle about 1/8 c. of chicken onto the mound and top with another 1/4 to 1/2 c. of cheese.

Cook over medium heat until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt, bubble and form a crust, about 5-7 minutes. (Note: if you get impatient and don’t cook it long enough, it will fall apart when you flip it. So don’t get in a hurry!)

When the quesadilla is cooked enough that the cheese doesn’t run all over the place when you pick up the edge with a spatula, carefully flip it over. Cook for 2-3 minutes more.

The quesadilla will be melted through and flexible. I recommend placing it on a paper towel to let the grease drain, then rolling it into a burrito shape.

Top with sour cream, salsa or your other favorite quesadilla toppings.

Cream Cheese “Pancakes”

cream cheese pancakes1

Since my family is on a low-carb diet this year (yes, it works!), we’re trying some recipes that are a little different from scrambled eggs and bacon every morning. These pancakes have a little less than one carb each, plus they taste good and satisfy the cake-y craving I get some mornings. (Although, I must admit that I’d have them with syrup instead of applesauce if my diet allowed it!)


  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • vanilla or cinnamon (optional)


Mix the cream cheese and eggs in a blender until smooth. The batter will resemble a crepe consistency but a little thinner.

Pour 1/8-1/4 c. batter on a greased, preheated griddle. The cakes spread very thin so don’t overdo it on the batter.

When the cake is browned on the griddle side (texture changes on the non-griddle side just like flour-based cakes), flip and finish cooking on the other side.

Serve with syrup, applesauce or powdered sugar.

cream cheese pancakes2


Caramel Corn


The most amazing caramel corn in the world is at Chicago-based Garrett’s Popcorn, but I don’t get through Chicago very often so I was so happy to find this great recipe from The Popcorn Board. It has the same great almost-burnt, deep caramel flavor I love about Garrett’s.

Give it a try–it’s not too difficult and it’s delicious! I like it so much I made several batches to hand out as Christmas gifts this year.


  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder


Pop your popcorn first and remove any unpopped kernels. I recommend using an air popper or stove-top popper rather than microwave popcorn since the flavor is cleaner.

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Stir to combine as it melts.


Once the mixture comes to a full boil, let it boil for five minutes. If you are at a high altitude, you’ll have to boil it for longer, about seven to eight minutes. The goal is to get the caramel as close to burning as possible without actually burning it. You should notice the mixture darkening a bit.


Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking powder. The caramel will foam a bit.

Pour the caramel over the corn or add the corn into the caramel pot. Mix well.

Spread the corn onto a baking sheet to cool. Once cooled, break into pieces and enjoy.


Dehydrated Marshmallows

While we were on our trip to Indiana last week, we discovered an Amish store that sells big bags of the dehydrated marshmallows that come in cereal. You know — the best part of Lucky Charms.

All in a bag by themselves without any of the useless cereal. Yum!

That got me to thinking…why can’t I do that myself with regular store-bought mallows and a food dehydrator?

As it turns out, I can! They’re not quite the same, but they’re pretty darn close. Definitely close enough when my alternative is ordering online or traveling halfway across the country to an Amish store.

It’s a simple process: spread a bag of mallows onto the trays of a food dehydrator, set at 135 degrees or so for about four hours. Done!

Don’t expect a big visual change, though. Here are my mallows before:

mallows before

And here they are after being dehydrated to a crisp:

mallows after

Pretty much the same. Yummy, though, and perhaps a great trick to play on someone who is expecting a soft, fluffy mallow and gets a crispy one.

I’d be these things will keep forever, along with mustard and spam and other things that never expire. I doubt they’ll last that long around here, though!


Grandma’s Peach Cobbler


There are few things more summery than biting into a fresh peach…juice dripping down your chin. Yum!

Around here, Palisade peaches are the absolute best peach available. But they come from the western slope of Colorado and don’t tend to make it this far east without some careful logistical planning–which I didn’t do this year–so I’m stuck with “southern” peaches from Walmart or Dillons.

The good news is that these peaches of mysterious origin make lovely peach cobbler. Plus, they’re on sale at Walmart for 35 cents a pound!

This is my grandma’s peach cobbler recipe, one of many I inherited when my grandpa died. It is delicious and ridiculously simple to make. Enjoy!


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 3/4 c. peaches, sliced (with or without skins)
  • dash of salt


Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

Put the stick of butter into a 9×9 baking dish and place in the oven until melted. (Melting in the oven is not essential, and you could melt the butter in the microwave or some other way. But why dirty another dish? Plus, the butter browns a bit in the oven which adds a very yummy note to the cobbler.)


Mix all other ingredients (except peaches) in a bowl. Pour over the melted butter. Do not mix with the butter!


Scatter peaches over the top. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of sugar over the peaches.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done in the middle.

And, if you’re curious about whether it’s done, you might need to taste a spoonful or two from the middle 🙂 For scientific purposes only, of course.






Menus for the Week of September 9th


I didn’t get a menu posted last week, did I? Honestly, I completely forgot about meal planning while we were out of town, and I ended up scribbling a menu on the back of a paper scrap while we were driving home. (Please tell me someone else has done this, too?!)

We’re adding a new feature to the menus this week–a “fend-for-yourself” Sunday afternoon–to see how we like it. This gives me a bit of a break and also allows us to use up the odds and ends that hang around in the pantry or freezer.

Anyway, here’s what my family will be eating this week:

Monday: dinner out 🙂

Tuesday: chili mac with fresh canned tomatoes

Wednesday: chicken and broccoli rice, veggies

Thursday: spaghetti, veggies, homemade Italian rolls

Friday: Cajun beans and rice with sausage (I don’t have a recipe for this yet…any ideas?)

Saturday: (B) inside-out muffins; (L) bean and cheese nachos; (D) turkey shepherd’s pie

Sunday: (B) oatmeal; (L) and (D) FFY (fend-for-yourself)

My menus are linked up at

Do you have menu plans for the week? Post them in the comments…

Menus for the Week of Aug 26th


Here’s what my family will be eating this week:

Monday: finger food smorgasbord (aka-freezer cleanout day!)

Tuesday: honey mustard ham, rice, peas

Wednesday: Gem City Hog Roast

Thursday: Brewster Hot Dog and Watermelon Feed

Friday-Sunday: family visit

My menus are linked up at

Do you have menu plans for the week? Post them in the comments…