Category Archives: recipes

Tomato Basil Yumminess

I’m terrible with using the cherry tomatoes in my garden.  Terrible.  But I can’t resist planting them.  I love having cherry tomatoes in my garden as I typically go out and eat them right off the vine when I’m weeding.  Then once the regular tomatoes start producing the poor cherry tomatoes are forgotten and left behind.  Please tell I’m not the only one to do that.

Well a couple weeks ago Kayla and I were in Decorah and stopped at Oneota Coop.  It’s a very nice health food grocery that we both enjoy stopping by.  In their taste testing case they had some cherry tomatoes that were sliced in half.  The sign said, the ingredients were tomatoes, basil and salt.  Hmm.  I thought I’d give them a try.  I loved it.  Well how easy of a recipe is that??

So I went home and made some….


How simple but oh so tasty.  Yep…no recipe.

I cut up the tomatoes and basil and sprinkled them generously with salt.  It taste just like what we had at the store.  With only three ingredients, I expected it to but still was pleasantly surprised.

The happy news…. Continue reading

Pizza @ Jo’s

I’ve been known for my pizza.  Seriously, we rarely ever go out for pizza.  If we do it’s either:
-at the theater and we’re really more there to see the movie
-we get Casey’s (gas station) pizza for convenience

I learned early on to make pizza.  I think it was actually one of the first foods that we quit going out of eat to have as we felt I made it as good as the restaurants.  The funny thing is, it’s even better now than it was back then…and we all thought it was good then.

Kramer LOVED deep dish pizza…the deeper the better.  Me, I’ve grown to liking a medium crust that is still soft so, the last time I made pizza, I made a medium crust….Then I tried to mimic the pizza we last had at the theater….a “Big Kahuna”.

I made my crust then added pizza sauce…not a lot.  We don’t like really saucy pizza.  Then I added a complete layer of shaved ham.  Then bacon pieces…then pineapple.


The cheese for the top was this….


After that I put a really thin layer of shredded mozzarella.

After that one was done…I made a cheeseburger pizza.  This one was BBQ sauce on the bottom, then hamburger and bacon, then chopped pickles, then the same cheese and mozzarella.

So how did we like them???? Continue reading

When a Vegetarian Visits

Our daughter Kayla is a vegetarian.  When she first told us, Hubby and I were shocked.  For goodness sakes, we lived on a farm.  As part of Hubby’s job he raised cattle for meat.  Growing up, Kayla’s highschool job was milking cows for a neighbor.  We treat the cattle well…our neighbors treated their cattle well.  We just didn’t “get it”.  Admittedly, we were both a little “old school”.

For me, I went into a panic.  How was I going to feed her?  We are a meat and potatoes family.  How was I going to make something for her but still make things for the other kids?  I was flustered and worried how I could possibly be the mom that fixes the favorites and have vegetarian options too.

Time (a few years) have passed.  I’ve calmed down.  I’ve talked to Kayla and taken time to think it all through.  Kayla is really good about not being too picky when she’s here which helps too.  She tries to stay true to herself without making me feel bad if I don’t “make it completely right”.

Nowadays, I make chili with no meat…then have a bowl of meat on the side.  People just add meat who want meat when they scoop up their chili.  I do the same with spaghetti.  I do the same with fajitas.  If make brats or hamburger we buy a vegetarian option for Kayla.  It’s all gotten to be so much less of a worry.  The longer we do it, the easier it gets.

I don’t object to her food choices at all…I just didn’t know how to “be a good cook” for a vegetarian and as a mom cooking is one of the ways I love my kids.  It’s what my son Buck calls “a whole thing”.  If you’re a mom who purposely makes your kids’ favorite foods and enjoys cooking, I’m sure you can understand.  I felt like if I couldn’t cook “right” for her, I wasn’t being a good mom and loving her like she deserved.  (Oh my…how dramatic I am over food…but like I said, if you’re “that” mom, you get it!)

Kayla sometimes helps me out by bringing something we all can eat that she prepared.  One day she brought Big Mac salad.


Rather than putting hamburger in the salad, she cooked up lentils and spiced them.  She put all the ingredients in the canning jar and brought with a bag of lettuce.  PERFECT.  We all had some!  I’m sure kidney beans would have worked well too.

Anyway….I thought I’d share another recipe that I’ve tried when Kayla comes and has been a success.

I love ring macaroni.  When I was in the grocery store the other day I grabbed some.

I ended up making this…. Continue reading

The Search is Over: Corn Meal Muffins

You might remember me saying that I have a person come in from the Fayette County Food and Fitness Initiative.  She focuses on teaching the kids the Farm to Table Concept.  Each month she has a different food that she focuses on.  Last month it was corn.

As part of the program a “Teacher’s Basket” comes to me with a listing of activities I can do with the kids and some food products related to the topic.  Last month I got cornmeal.  That prompted me to try yet again to find a decent cornmeal muffin recipe.

I’ve tried and tried and tried.  I love the cornmeal muffins from Famous Daves.  I really love them.  They aren’t dry at all.  So many cornmeal muffins are dry and hard to choke down without a big drink of water.  I’ve tried the “Famous Dave knock off” recipes and they taste too much like cake.

So in an effort to find the perfect recipe, I went to Google and unlike mine and Google’s last attempts, this attempt was a complete success.  Even Kramer said I can make them again and again.  That impressed me…he’s not been a fan of cornmeal muffins in the past so if I can get him to like them, I’m in business!!

You can find the recipe HERE

The best part of all of this was the surprise that they were good.  Truly I have tried so many times I had given up.  I really only tried the recipe because I was given the cornmeal and didn’t want to waste it.  I really didn’t have any hope that I’d love the muffins…I had already tried making them so many times before. Here’s how they look…. Continue reading