• IMG_0615.JPG5 ounces frozen spinach (thawed/squeezed dry/chopped)       2 eggs (beaten)                                               1/2 C Parmesan cheese (divided)            1/2 C ricotta                                                    3/4 C flour (+ additional seasoning) 2 C Chicken Stock.                                 1 T butter                                                   Combine spinach, eggs, ricotta and 1/4 C Parmesan in a large bowl. With wet hands, form 1 T of  the mixture into a ball or an oval. Repeat with remaining mixture. Lightly coat each with flour (+) and place on pan or tray – makes 14-20 dumplings. Bring stock & butter to a simmer (keep warm). In a large stockpot filled with an inch or two of water (so that the water is shallow), bring water to a simmer. Add dumplings carefully & simmer until they float (may want to divide into 2 batches, so they are not too crowded) about 3 or 4 minutes. Gently remove from water & serve in the stock/butter topped w parm.
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Hummus Stuffed Mini Peppers

5 oz chick peas (1/3 of a can)

1/8 C fresh parsley or cilantro

6/8 miniature peppers

1 T each water and cider vinegar

dash of salt

1/4 t cumin seeds (optional)

If using cumin seeds, toast in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until aromatic. Transfer to food processor with garbanzo beans (chick peas), half of parsley, one or two of the pepper halves, water, vinegar & salt. Pulse until blended. Slice peppers lengthwise & spoon mixture into halves. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Refrigerate until serving. I like to top with chopped jalapeños, but they are not as pretty.  Adapted from Taste of Home.



Cold Brew

Adapted from a recipe by Andrew Nadeau (aka my future Son-in-Law). Coarse grind  fresh beans and use filtered water, for best results: Gently stir 1/3 cup of ground coffee beans into 18 ounces of water. Cover and let the refrigerator do the work. Wait 18-24 hours and voila! Cold brew concentrate – to be diluted, as desired. Strain into container through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Results vary depending upon coffee beans. We added 4 ounces of water because it is a medium roast Columbian bean.    IMG_2816.JPG

Bacon Jam 🥓

Sauté onions and smashed garlic.
Add coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar and vinegar.
Cook on high in crockpot until syrupy.
Using an immersion blender (or food processor), coarsely chop.
Enjoy with your favorite bacon lover!

Celebrate the month of love with some home cooked Bacon Jam – adapted from Martha Stewart 

      12 ounces bacon (cooked crisp, save 1 1/2 teaspoons of fat)
      1 yellow onion, diced small
      1 – 2 cloves garlic
      1/4 C cider vinegar
      1/4 C packed dark brown sugar
      1/8 C pure maple syrup
      3/8  brewed coffee

Saute’ onion and garlic in bacon fat until translucent (~ 6 min.) Add remaining ingredients (except bacon). Bring to a boil (~ 2 min.) Add bacon. Transfer to slow cooker. Set on high and cook 2 – 4 hours until liquid is syrupy. Coarsely chop using an immersion blender or food processor. Cool. Refrigerate up to 4 weeks in an airtight container. Makes one cup.

Beer Bread

This a is a wonderful, yet simple, recipe that makes a great “homey” gift to give or receive (thanks to Judy Wint for the recipe/gift!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or lightly grease a 9X5 loaf pan. Mix 2 C flour, 1 C whole wheat flour, 1 t salt,  4 1/2 t baking powder & 12 oz beer, just until moistened. Transfer to loaf pan and brush with 2 T butter. Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Bubble Tea

Buy large tapioca pearls at any Asian Grocery. Slowly add 1/2 cup pearls to pot with 5 cups of boiling water. Stir lightly until all pearls float to top of water surface. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Keeping cover on, turn off heat and keep on hot burner to simmer another 2-3 minutes. Remove lid (pearls will “pull down” to the bottom of the pot.) Scoop pearls from pot and shock in a bowl of ice water for 20 SECONDS. Place in prepared sweet tea of your choosing. I like mango tea lightly sweetened with honey. Make sure you have a fat straw, so you can suck pearls with tea. Enjoy!

Kefir Heart Cookies



Modified from my Grandma Preston’s recipe, these Valentines are soft inside with a slightly crunchy, yet tender “crust”. Since she fed hungry farmers on a daily basis, she had simple yet pleasing recipes for a crowd.

1 1/2 C sugar.

1 C shortening (she used Crisco).

1 C kefir (can also use milk).

1 egg.

1 t baking soda.

1 t baking powder.

1 t nutmeg.

1/2 t salt.

3 C flour (plus extra for rolling out) Cream sugar & shortening. Add egg & milk. Combine with dry ingredients.

Prepare surface with flour (to roll out cookies). Sprinkle with extra flour and roll out dough to about 1/8th inch thick.

Cut out your cookies. Place on ungreased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, about 3/4″ away from each other. Bake 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool on pan before removing.

They should be barely golden brown on the bottom. (I flipped the darkest one over, to show you that they shouldn’t be any darker than this.) Enjoy plain or frost, as desired.