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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jun 29, 2012

OBX Dogs

This visit to Corolla, NC found us shopping for our dog more than us.  To that end, we found Outer Barks.  This shop is in the Scarborough Lane Shoppes in Duck.  From breed specific items to dog friendly treats and bandannas, it is a dog lovers paradise.  They even have a 'Yappy Hour' that you can take your dog to play with other visiting dog as well as the resident pooch.   Customer service is excellent, as well.  We purchased bandannas and the owner gave us a card and said we could call them and exchange them if they did not fit our dog.  If you find yourself in the Outer Banks, stop by.  No trip planned?  Visit them at

Jun 27, 2012

Grilled Potatoes with Smoked Salmon

This appetizer is great for a barbecue.  Per cook the potatoes and set aside until you are ready for them.   Grill them as indicated and top as instructed.   They don't last long, in my experience.

    18 baby red potatoes         1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream

    1 Tbl Olive Oil                  4 Ounce Smoked Salmon

    1/2 Tsp Salt                       2 Tbl Fresh Dill

    1/2 Tsp Black Pepper    

Cut potatos in half and cook until just soft.  Meanwhile, prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium.  Transfer potatoes to jelly-roll pan. Brush potatoes all over with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place potatoes on hot grill grate and grill until charred on both sides.  Arrange potato halves, rounded sides down, on serving plate. Divide sour cream among potatoes.  Cut salmon and divide evenly among the potatoes.

Corolla Horse and Kayak Tours

This morning, we took a wonderful three hour Jeep/kayak tour.  Starting with a jeep ride up sandy highway 12, weaving through the dunes, we found horses, osprey hatchling and a yellow-bellied slider.  We then suited up and took tandem kayaks through the channels on the sound side of the outer banks - with a brief foray into a VERY rough sound.  While paddling, we saw many more groups of horses, some young and some in the water.  While we have no pictures from the kayak trip, we do have some from the dunes that I will share when my friend shares them with me.

Don't let the comment on the rogh sound stop you from going.  We happened to have a very windy day and we were given the option of rescheduling.  However, the boats were flat bottom for stability and we were told that we could limit our time in the sound, so we went.  Once in the kayaks, we were given the option to avoid the sound all together.  We opted not to avoid it and the biggest thing I can say is I got a little more wet than I would have ona calm sound.

So, the next time you are in the Outer Banks, go to Outer Banks Tours in Corolla.  If your lucky, you'll have our guide, Schwinn (sorry if it is spelled wrong.). Get more information on this tours and their others at

Jun 25, 2012

Glazed Pork Chops Over Stuffing

The chops I used were 1 inch thick, so I cooked them a little longer.  Since this meant we only had two chops, Hubby and I shared one at each of the two meals we had from this recipe.

    3/4 Cup Chicken Stock                  2 Cups Corn Bread Stuffing

    1/8 Tsp Ground Red Pepper          12 Ounce Boneless Pork Chops

    2 Cups Frozen Corn                      2 Tbl Brown Sugar

    1/2 Tsp Onion Powder                  2 Tsp Spicy Mustard

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix broth, pepper, corn and onion powder in saucepan. Heat to a boil. Remove from heat. Add stuffing. Mix lightly.  Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon stuffing into dish. Top with chops. Mix sugar and

mustard and spread over chops.  Bake for 45 minutes or until 150 degrees.

4 servings - Per Serving: 421 Cal (39% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 21 g Protein; 19 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 8 g 

Mono Fat; 44 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 9 g Sugar; 49 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 804 mg Sodium

Jun 24, 2012

Week 25 - 54.52

Chugging right along, skirting the Wisconsin/Minnesota border.   While not crossing into Minnesota quite yet, I can see the Frontenac STate Park in Minnesota.  From the Minnesota state parks Website,

Located on the Mississippi River, Frontenac is a birdwatcher's paradise. It's one of the best spots in the country to view birds migrating in the spring and fall. More than 260 species of birds have been recorded here. No wonder: Lake Pepin's diverse habitats -- bluffland, prairie, floodplain forest and upland hardwood forest -- attract numerous warblers, hawks, waterfowl and shorebirds. Hikers and skiers enjoy spectacular views of this beautifully wooded river valley. Fishing, swimming and boat tours are all available nearby.

Best time to contact the park:

Summer: Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Fall & Winter: Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Monday - Friday, office hours will vary. Please leave a message.

Jun 23, 2012

Snazzy Lemonade

For those of you waiting on the creamed corn recipe, I apologize, but it will have to wait as I am traveling and did not bring it along.  That is also the reason I have been lax in posting these last two days.  In honor of summer, here is a jazzed up, citrusy lemonade.  I guarantee this did not come from my mothers recipe stash.

    2 Ounce Whiskey    5 Ounce Lemonade

    1 Ounce Triple Sec    

Mix in a shaker, shake and pour over ice.

Jun 20, 2012

Baked Corn - Dorothy Thomas

The last family Father's Day recipe is a baked corn casserole.  Made with creamed corn, butter, eggs and other agreements, it bakes to sweet corn goodness.  The recipe calls for a large can of  cream corn.  However, if you have a freezer full of home frozen corn, as I do, you can make your own.  That recipe will follow.  I used large eggs and 1% milk.

1 large can of cream corn
2 tbl sugar
1 tbl corn starch
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 stick butter, melted
3 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350!degrees.  Mix all ingredients, adding stiffly beaten egg whites last.  Place buttered dish in a pan of warm water and bake for 40 to 60 minutes.  Stir once while baking, about 25 minutes after placing in oven as whites tend to brown too fast.  Casserole should firm up to a custard like consistency.  

Jun 19, 2012

PA Dutch Potato Filling - Dorothy Thomas

Although I have never before put egg into filling, it worked quite well.  Due to an allergy, I made this without the onion and it was still quite good.  I used a large egg, panel bread crumbs and Herbs de Provence (instead of the poultry seasoning).  I baked a 350 for 20  - 30 minutes.

10 medium potatoes
2 tbl butter
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (about 3 slices - not too dry)
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 stalks celery, chopped fine
A few sprigs of parsley, chopped fine
1 tbl light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp poultry seasoning 

Cook the potatoes unto soft.  Add butter and eggs and mash.  Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Put in a buttered dish and brown in a moderate oven.  Can also be used to stuff a bird.

Jun 18, 2012

Ham Loaf - Dorothy Thomas

My mother-in-law was nice enough to share her mother's recipes,  so I made three of them and invited my in-laws to dinner.  The first one, ham loaf, reminds me of my niece as it is similar to the ham balls we have ordered the last few times we had dinner together.  This is the recipe that will require you to have access to a way to bring meat.  For the smoked ham, I purchased 3 Hatfield Smoked ham steaks.  For the pork, I purchased stew meat.  I did to want the ground sausage from the meat case as it was not just pork - it also has salt and pepper.  I used Panko bread crumbs, 1% milk and a large egg.  I was okay using a lower fat milk as I was using the higher fat stew meat.  Even though the recipe calls for soft, the panko bread crumbs worked well.  You may use any vinegar of your choice.  Apple cider vinegar is traditional, I used red wine vinegar.

1 1/2 lb smoked ham      SAUCE
1/2 lb ground pork            1/4 cup vinegar
1 cup soft bread crumbs                1/2 cup water
1 cup milk             1 cup brown sugar
1 egg          1 tsp prepared mustard

Mix ground ham, ground pork, bread crumbs, milk and egg.  Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours.  Combine sauce ingredients and baste every 15 minutes.

The recipe does not list a pan size.  I used a loaf pan and pressed the mixture firmly into the pan.  For this size pan, 350 was required for the time given. If using this size pan, you can halve the sauce mix.  This would also do nicely in a small cake pan.

Jun 17, 2012

Week 24 - 44.65

This week puts me about 8 miles from the Minnesota border, which I will be paralleling for some time.  I have found Eureka Maple Woods State Natural Area in Monroe County, Wisconsin.  No camping is available at this site, but you can hike, fish and cross country ski.  Pets are allowed, but you should review the rules at  A pdf map of this natural area can be found at and is found below.

Jun 16, 2012

Meat prep - grinding

As I look through old recipes and start making them, I am finding references to ground meats that are not always found in today's markets. For example, my grandmother-in law's ham loaf calls for ground smoked ham and ground pork (not sausage - pork). You can find bulk sausage - ground pork with, many times, just salt and pepper added, but that isn't what was called for - you will be adding your own salt and pepper. So, what to do? The way I see it, you have 4 options:

1. Don't make the recipe - but that defeats our purpose of keeping them alive, doesn't it?

2. Find a butcher who will grind for you. I called my local grocer and they can only grind beef in their grinders.

3. Find a friend who has a grinder and ask to use it.

4. Purchase a grinder. I went with option 4 a several times.

Hubby hunts and, when he is successful, we process the meat. We purchased a small grinder/stuffer and it worked, but SLOWLY.  It died, it was replaced with a similar model, then hubby was VERY successful and I didn't want to get half way through the process just to have it die, so I went to Bass Pro Shops and sought professional help (no comments from the peanut gallery - you know who you are!). I came home with this:

This grinds, stuffs multiple sizes, can run for extended periods of time and has convenient options, such as a foot pedal. It processed ground venison, made bologna and even stuffed small breakfast sausage casings like a champion. I highly recommend it. The did have two smaller and one larger, as well, depending on your needs. Bass Pro had exceptional customer service, as well. Not only are they dog friendly, when I had everything unpacked, there was no knife. Instead of making me return the entire thing, they pulled a replacement blade off the shelf and sent me on my way.

Jun 15, 2012

Ham, green beans and potatoes

Since mother's day, I have been posting recipes supplied by my mother and collecting family recipes from others in order to share them here so we all can enjoy them. While talking to friends, I realized how many recipes were lost because it was a pinch of this and a dash of that and nobody took the time to write a base to start from. My brother, through a comment made to his wife, reinforced the fact that our mother did the same thing just by the virtue that she never made something the same way twice. Hubby gets frustrated because I don't either, but at least I come by it honestly. In an effort to save frustration and, more recently, to save old favorites, this blog was started. This paragraph has now come full circle and we can get on to the recipe - ham, green beans and potatoes. Similar to the Chicken pot pie recipe (, this is just a guide. Purchase enough ham, potatoes and canned green beans for the number of people you want to feed. You can use home canned beans if you have them. Cut the ham into cubes and put in a slow cooker. Cut the potatoes into cubes and add to the slow cooker (you may peel them, if you must.) Open the beans and pour over everything in the slow cooker. Cook on low for several hours, until the potatoes are soft. Salt is not necessary, it will come from the ham and beans. Mom would sometimes use canned potatoes or, if she was inside to monitor the stove, use a dutch oven on top of the stove instead of a slow cooker. Other options? Cubed turnips, sliced cabbage, a little caraway seed. Play with it, or just use
the old stand by.

Jun 14, 2012

Chicken Salad

I learned a version of this recipe at the beach last year.  'Version' as we made it a couple of times, different both times and no measuring.  This time, I made it at home and I measured it so I could have a definite list of what is needed.  Will I ever follow this exactly again?  Probably not.  For example, next time I will probably also stir in 1/2 cup of diced granny smith apple.  Serves 6.

  1 Lb Chicken Breast                                                                1/2 Cup Mayo
  1/2 Cup Seedless Red Grapes                                                  2 Tbl Mustard
  1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds                                                      

Cook chicken, cut into chunks and cool completely.  Cut grapes into quarters and add to chicken along with the almonds.  Stir  together mayo and mustard, add to chicken.

Per Serving: 195 Cal (46% from Fat, 37% from Protein, 17% from Carb); 18 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 8  g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 26 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 178 mg Sodium

Jun 13, 2012

Caribbean Chopped Chicken

I wanted to make Caribbean burgers, but I didn't want a lot of filler to hold the patties together, so I went with just chopped sandwich filling. Think sloppy joe with no sauce. This worked quite well on a bun or on a salad. 1 lb ground chicken 1 cup diced pineapple 1/2 cup diced pepper 1 1/2 tbl diced pepper Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Heat a cast iron or non stick skillet and cook the mixture until cooked completely, stirring often.

Jun 12, 2012

Easy Penuche Icing - Kathleen Ronk

This recipe has a fudge like consistency and has a nice caramel flavor.  It goes well on the fudge cake posted yesterday.

  1/2 Cup Butter                                                                         1 3/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar,
  1 Cup Brown Sugar                                                                 -Sifted
  1/4 Cup Milk                                                                          

Melt butter in sauce pan, stir in brown sugar.  Boil and stir over low heat for 2 minutes.  Stir in milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring  constantly.  Cool to luke warm.  Gradually add confectioner sugar.  Beat until thick enough to spread.

From Wikipedia, "Penuche (Italian: panucci) is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk,[1] using no flavorings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge.[2] It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.[1] It is primarily a regional food, found in New England and some places in the Southern United States, though in the latter it goes by different names, usually "brown sugar fudge candy". 


Penuche is also used as a boiled icing flavor. Once very popular in Hawaii, its name was localized as panocha or panuche. Panocha is said to come from the Spanish word for raw sugar (but also Spanish slang for "vulva").[3] Hawaiian cooks often reminisce about both panocha fudge and icing. As an icing, it was common as topping for prune cake.[4] Other names for penuche include "noochie" and creamy praline fudge."

Jun 11, 2012

Fudge Cake - Kathleen Ronk

This makes a very nice cake.  The ingredients are just as I copied them from Mom's recipe, but I used the following specifics.  Salted butter, Large egg, Unsweetened chocolate, Cake flour and 1% milk.  All purpose flour can be used, it just won't raise as much.  A higher fat content milk will provide a slightly moister cake.  Chop the chocolate before putting it in the double boiler to soften - it will go faster.

I used a 9 x 13 cake pan that was greased and floured.

  1/2 Cup Butter                                                                3/4 Cup Milk
  1 Cup Sugar                                                                    1/4 Tsp Salt
  1 Egg                                                                              2 Tsp Baking Powder
  2 Squares Chocolate                                                       1 Tsp Vanilla
  2 Cup Flour                                                                   

Mix and cream butter until very light, add sugar gradually.  Add egg.  Soften chocolate over hot water and add.  When mixture is perfectly smooth.  Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla, beating until smooth after each addition.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Jun 10, 2012

Week 23 - 54.19

Almost a record week this week - and no half marathon.  This week takes me to Richland Center, Wisconsin.  Thanks to a Dike project that helps protect the city from flooding, there is a significant recreation trail.  From the Richland Center website, "The recreational / bike trail follows the old railroad bed along the Pine River from Gotham to Richland Center and terminates at the North end of the City at Krouskop Park by progress on the river dike.  Through the winter months, parts of the trail are used by snowmobiles.  It gives access to the restored Railroad Depot at the corner of Seminary Street and Orange Street (US Hwy 14).  It also allows passage through an arboretum and the future restored Savannah prairies at the site of the old mill dam.  The dam, removed to allow a free flowing river, now is the site of riffles where anglers fish and canoeists can continue their down river journey."

Jun 9, 2012

Historical Novel

For the summer reading program, I had to pick a historical novel.  I'll admit, not my favorite category, so I picked it first to get it out of the way.  I found "To Dance With Kings" by Rosalind Laker.  I started it and I was hooked.  I read this book in 4 days.  Set in France, starting ins 1664, it covers 5 generations of women as they weave their way through fan making, business starting and the nobility of France - mainly Versailles.  An overview of the Bourbon Kings and their nobility, beginning with the view of a woman who has her house overrun by uninvited guests.  While she gives birth.  One of those visitors starts a path of destiny that puts her young daughter to a path of greatness.  The 'promise' made by the young nobleman, paired with the instruction in the family business provided by her mother, gives young Marguerite an excellent path that leads to self sufficiency.  An ugly twist of fate takes away her first love and leads to the next generation of fan makers and the fates that await her.  Find this book, enjoy this book.  You will be glad you did and, if your reading lists asks for you to read a book recommended by a friend, you now have a recommendation.

Jun 7, 2012

Dutch Mush - Grammy Ronk

Yesterday's mush was a corn meal based mush, similar to polenta.  The Ronk version is flour based.  Please note, no measure of flour was provided in the original recipe.  I usually use 3/4 to 1 cup.  This can also be made with milk and served hot with spices instead of over eggs.

  1 Pint Water, Salted                                      1 Tbl Shortening, Or More

Boil water.  Stir in flour until real smooth.  Boil until real thick.
Beat 6 or 7 eggs and pour over mush in skillet.  Cook until breaks up in balls and looks like scrambled eggs.

Jun 6, 2012

Mush One - Low family

While going through mom's recipes, I found two Mush Recipes.  This one came from my mother's side of the family.  Tomorrow, you get the Ronk version.

Mush is a concoction of water and corn meal that can be used as a side dish or served with milk as a breakfast food.  It is very similar in taste and texture to polenta.  When served as I side dish, I will top with cheese and possibly stir in some spices complimentary to the meal being served.

  1 Cup Water, Cold                                       3 Cups Water, Boiling
  1 Cup Corn Meal                                         1 Tsp Salt

Mix cold water and corn meal.  Stir in boiling water and salt.  Cover and cook 30 minutes in double boiler, stirring occasionally.

Jun 5, 2012

Bean and Turkey Burritos

This is a different recipe for burritos that makes a very nice change.  If you don't want to use tortillas, you can roll the filling up in a lettuce leaf.

  1 Lb Ground Turkey                                                                16 Ounce Nonfat Refried Beans
  4 Ounce Green Chilies                                                             8 Lettuce Leaves
  1 Pkg Low Sodium Taco Seasoning                                         8 Slices Cheddar Cheese
  8 8-Inch Wheat Tortillas                                                           

In medium bowl combine turkey, chilies,and seasoning mix. Cook in a medium to large size skillet until cooked through - stirring to break up as cooking.  Add beans to pan and heat through.  Heat tortillas to package directions.  Put 1 lettuce leaf and 1 slice  cheese on each tortilla.  Divide turkey mixture among tortillas.  Roll and enjoy.