Category Archives: recipes

Recipes Shared

After I shared my recipe for Iowa Sugar Cookies,
this came up in the comments.

Donna T wrote:
“Thanks for sharing your recipes Jo! I have known several people who absolutely will not share their recipes! One person was my husband’s aunt. She was the best cook and baker. She has since passed away and all her recipes too!”

Oh my…I thought about this and I just couldn’t let this one sit.  I have such fond memories as a child asking my aunt for a recipe.  Here’s the story….

My dad’s side of the family got together every August and had a picnic at Pilot Knob state park in Iowa.  It was a potluck affair.  All my aunts would pull out the stops and bring their best portable food recipes.  It was a great picnic banquet of delicious food.  My Aunt Esther, my dad’s sister, was the wife of a banker and while my mom brought farm hearty fair like scalloped potatoes and ham, Aunt Esther always brought something that I hadn’t heard of.

You all are going to chuckle but …. Continue reading

Update on my Freezer Challenge and Peach Upside Down Cake

I told you I’ve been working on my freezer challenge.  I’m trying as hard as I can to use up things in my freezer.  Since Kramer, my husband, passed away, I don’t feel the need to have two freezers running anymore.  I also don’t want to end up with a freezer full of items that are freezer burned..so, It’s time to use it all up.

I was pretty sneaky when the kids were home at Christmas time.  We planned to have fajitas.  I went to the freezer to see what I could use up.  There was a pack of round steak-perfect.  There were two chicken breast-perfect.  We’ll have combination fajitas.  Perfect.  Okay…what else.  Hmm.  I was feeding a bunch.  I needed more meat.  Look.  There was a beef heart. I thought maybe I could sneak it by them.  The spices would maybe disguise the “heart” taste.  Hmm.  Did I dare?  YES I DID!!  I am taking this freezer challenge seriously.

But how would I hide that I was using that.  Here’s what I did.  As fast as I could when no one was around I chopped up the beef heart. Then equally as fast I sliced up the round steak and chicken.  I left them on top.

In another pan I fried up two packages of chorizo (I find this at Wal-mart and highly recommend it)  I hardly spice fajitas anymore as the chorizo has the spice we need.  The chorizo is really reddish colored so as soon as that was cooked, I added it to the other meat.  Anyone looking into the pan wouldn’t see the different coloring of the beef heart.  (Aren’t I tricky??)

I added a partial package of shrimp too….I’m working so hard on my challenge!!  The more things out the better!!

No one said a thing about the meat.  I was told it was tasty.  I just smiled.  So moral of the story, if you are eating here during this freezer challenge, all bets are off….I can’t guarantee what you’ll be eating.  I did throw out the liver though.  I like liver but only about four times a year…we had tons as other people knew we’d eat liver and gave theirs, after they butchered, to us.

To balance off my hiding of the liver I did treat them all to a new recipe, Peach Upside Down Cake.  It was good.

I belong to a Facebook Group called Recipes Amish and more.  I like the group and have gotten several recipes there.  I think the recipes are a little more “down home” in style without fancy ingredients.

The minute I saw this recipe posted, I knew I’d make it.  I could use up a bag of frozen peaches from the freezer.


I doubled it and make it in a cake pan.  It was yummy and I got good reviews over it.

So that’s the update on the freezer challenge.  A bog reader sent me a recipe for a blueberry pound cake.  I’ll be trying that soon.

My Tried and True Blueberry Muffin Recipe

I love blueberries and blueberry muffins have been a long time favorite of mine.  When the kids were growing up and I was doing childcare the second time around (Yes, I’ve done childcare 3 times) this became my go to recipe.  To this day, it’s still my favorite of all the recipes I’ve tried.

The recipe isn’t fancy at all…just a tried and true recipe with ingredients I always have on hand.  That’s my favorite recipes.


The batter is a super thick batter that always leaves me wondering if I forgot an egg or the butter.  Then I always remind myself, nope.  It’s just this recipe.


Here’s the recipe…. Continue reading

Iowa Sugar Cookies

A long time ago I made a goal to slowly conquer some recipes.  You know how it goes..there is a taste or flavor you had one time and you want to find the recipe and replicate it.  You might try recipe after recipe until you find the “right” one and once you do, you don’t ever look for another recipe of that variety.  That has been so true for me.  I feel as though I have conquered the following cookie recipes.  (Clink the link to get the recipe)

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Soft Ginger Cookie
Monster Cookie
Waffle Cookie
Rice Krispie Cookie

One I didn’t have was a sugar cookie recipe…but no worries, I found the perfect recipe.

I like when my recipes are not only tasty but also look good.  Don’t these look perfectly cracked?

Here’s the recipe: Continue reading