Category Archives: recipes

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

Chocolate Cookies

While Kramer has been having chemo and radiation, I’ve turned into the cookie maker.  I often make some to leave for the childcare kids for snack when I’m not there.  We often pack a couple and take them with to snack on the way back from treatment.  I’m doing my best to keep Kramer eating as they say it’s really easy for chemo patients to lose weight.

When all of our kids were living at home I didn’t often make cookies.  I made bars instead as the kids ate the cookies WAY to quickly.  That put me out of the habit of making cookies but lately I’ve been on a cookie kick.

As much as I love my Monster Cookies and my Chocolate Chip Cookies, I wanted to make something different.  I pulled out one of my favorite old church cookbooks and saw this recipe.  I saw I had wrote “Good” by it so that was the recipe I made…and they were good.
I followed the recipe exactly and here’s how they looked…. Continue reading

My Tagless Garage Sale Find

A post from Kelli–

A few weeks ago, before Dad passed away, I heard about a tagless garage sale that a group was going to sponsor in the next town over.  The parents of the middle school students had gotten together and decided to put on a tagless garage sale and vendor show as a fundraiser for the student’s trip to Washington D.C and I was thrilled to contribute.  They had tons of vendors with clothing, jewelry, and all kinds of goodies.  But me?  I was going for the tagless garage sale.

I found a few clothing items and some other odds and ends, but this was one of my favorite finds!

Looks like a regular old cookbook right?  Well this cookbook was created and such by yours truly!  Me!

After high school, I went to Upper Iowa.  After 5 1/2 years, I ended up graduating with a degree in Secondary Education and able to teach social studies and business, as well as Management and Marketing degrees.  I did a marketing internship with mom and ended up doing my Management Internship at the daycare center I worked at.  As part of a fundraiser, we made a cookbook and I was responsible for getting the recipes together and submitted.

Here you can see my name–Kelli Kramer–if you look really close!

I also shared some of mom’s recipes–We love these hot dog meatballs!  Here’s the link for them

It’s always fun going through and seeing what kinds of recipes people have added in.  As great as Pinterest is, sometimes there’s nothing better than a paper cookbook and some old church recipes.  I especially like flipping through them and seeing who submitted them.  I’ve made friends with a few ladies at the nursing home and like to try their recipes and report back to them.

It looks like I even “borrowed” one of Kalissa’s recipes here–Cheesecake!  Who doesn’t love cheesecake?  Actually Jason doesn’t….which may be his most unredeeming quality…You can see the link better here

I found mom’s Smores Brownies too–See?? Continue reading