The Skinny:

My name is Beth and I like to cook. It's as simple as that. I'm just a gal who likes to experiment and create my own versions of dishes we all know and love--ones that make you go back for seconds, because the first helping just wasn't enough.

You can go here to learn even more about me.

Contributors:

Michelle is my sister. My family is full of good cooks, and she just happens to be one of them. She lives in Texas with her husband, Chris, and her two crazy kids, Michael and Hope. (It needs to be noted that Hope has expressed on numerous occasions, that she wants credit for Michelle's photos, since she is the one that takes them. So, I'm giving her credit.)

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PostHeaderIcon Huber's Orchard, Winery & Vineyard

A couple weekends ago, we went with Jake's family to the Huber Winery & Orchard. I had never been, not to any orchard, and Jake wanted something to do with his family that would get us all together and be fun.

There were tons of people there.



But, even better, there was tons of fresh produce, jarred food, ice cream, cheeses and whatnot.



I went completely out of control and started buying tons of stuff for ourselves, and for everyone around me.



It was completely ridiculous. However, I am so glad that I did. I mean, really... Ever had fried peas? If not, stay away. They are completely addictive. And, I don't even really like peas. Green bean chips? Pumpkin butter? Sweet potato pecan butter? Geez. Vidalia Onion mustard? It was like I was in a whole other world. And, anything I bought someone else, we got one of. We weren't there 15 minutes, and me and Jake had to take a trip to the car, to put our 47 bags in the trunk.

But, the best thing we bought there was fresh apple cider. 2 gallons. Do you know how much we have left? Like next to none. I asked Jake if we could go get some more, and he laughed. But, I totally wasn't kidding. I was drinking it in the morning, and at night. He was drinking it warm. I was drinking it cold, on ice.

We enjoyed pumpkin pecan ice cream.



Which we made everyone try. Well, Jake's grandmother didn't. She doesn't like pumpkin? Who knew. We freaked some young girl out at the buffet line with our odd sense of humor. Poor thing. And, we had ice cream that sat out the entire night, in bags, not on ice, that never melted. I refused to believe it was real. I, of course, was the first to get my dessert, and declared
that this was a blasphemy! And, each time another one opened their ice cream, they were amazed. This place is totally from the future, or something.

And, when we got home, we made biscuits. For all the different "butters" we had gotten.



Pumpkin butter.





Sweet Potato Pecan butter.





And, when we were done, we ate peas. And, drank apple cider. We eat well, huh? But, I am in love.

You should visit their website for location and fun recipe ideas.

PostHeaderIcon Retro Recipes - Harvest Pumpkin Soup

There are certain things that we know for sure. It's Fall, which ultimately means pumpkins are in abundance. Because it's Fall, the weather is cooling down. What's the best thing for that? Soup. What's even better? Pumpkin soup. I found this recipe in a book published by Bear Wallow Books, in 1981, which I believe was gotten from DollyWood. I mean, I know was gotten from DollyWood, since there's a sticker on the front that says so.


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I have been at a loss for recipe ideas. I seem to have hit a slight stump. That would be what the lack of posting was last week. I know that I'll come out of it, but it definitely doesn't make for an interesting website, that's for sure. I hope to have things flowing again this week. As, only a few ideas have popped into my head.

I haven't made this. But, if you think it looks like something you'd want to make, you might could snap a couple photos and send them to me at the e-mail under Contacts. Full credit will be given for your hard work.

P.S. Happy Halloween to all of you!

PostHeaderIcon Retro Recipes - Chess Pie

We've been gone all weekend, visiting Jake's family. I mean, yeah, we're back. Did either of us get all the things we wanted accomplished? Of course not. We had this very discussion on our trip down there. However, a few weeks ago, I sat down and pick out several Retro Recipes and set them aside, specifically for times like these. And, what makes this even more ironic, to me at least, is that the first time I had ever heard of Chess Pie was from Jake's dad. Whom we just saw.

There is no date on this cook book. But, I know two things:

1. It's called Favorite Recipes from the South Shore Ward.
2. It was my grandmother's, so I assume it has some age to it.

Clever, huh?


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I have not made this. Although, it is getting dangerously close to what I like to call "pie season", or you know, the holidays. The time of year when I make more pies than any other time of year. However, if this looks like something you'd like to make, please snap a couple of photos and send to me at the e-mail under Contacts. Full credit for all your hard work, will, of course, be given.

PostHeaderIcon Broccoli Stuffed Shells

I should not tell you, what I am about to tell you. But, I would totally want someone to give me the heads up. The marinara sauce for this is good, but you may have one you like better. It’s basic, but tasty. So, if you make nothing else from this, you must make this filling. It’s ridiculously good. So good, I wanted to eat just that with a spoon. So good, we had like 10 shells left after dinner, when I woke up the next morning, they were all gone. Jake had eaten every last one of them. I wish this wasn’t true, because I had wanted some more for lunch. But, Jake beat me to it. It’s like a game with leftovers. Especially the ones we like. See who can eat them first. Don’t feel bad for me, I would have done it to him too.

You could easily turn this into ravioli. Or, just a topping for bread, and, then toast it in the oven.

Ingredients:

Marinara Sauce

¼ of an onion, chopped
2 – 14.5 ounce cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Pasta and Filling

4 cups broccoli florets
½ orange pepper, diced
¼ of an onion, chopped
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup Ricotta cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream or half & half
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ - 12 ounce package of giant shells

OR:


PostHeaderIcon Beef with Buttered Dill Noodles

When I was younger, my dad use to make cube steaks with gravy. And, I loved it. After we were done eating, we would take slices of white bread and cover them in beef gravy and devour them. I've made that a couple times for Jake, years ago. He remembers it, because I asked him about it. And, while this isn't that, it was inspired by it.

I will tell you that I don't keep a lot of bread at our house. Because we eat half a loaf and then the rest goes bad, if I don't make bread crumbs. But, as of lately, I haven't even been picking it up. However, this was so good, I was using hamburger buns to get all the gravy up. That's just sad, but so true. And, Jake didn't even make fun of me for it. I think he was jealous there wasn't one for him.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoon butter
1.34 pounds of Top Round Steak (or there abouts)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ - 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 ½ teaspoons Better than Bouillon Beef Base
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups water
Extra Wide Egg Noodles

OR:


PostHeaderIcon Retro Recipes - Coke Salad

I don't drink a lot of sodas. Like hardly ever, really. It's just not my thing. But, I do know, that there are quite a few recipes that use sodas in them. However, I was particularly intrigued by the fact that this was a salad using Coke. That, I had never seen. The combination of cherries and coke, just makes me think of Cherry Coke, and how could that be bad?

This is from a recipe book published in 1983 by the Friends of Montpelier, entitled Montpelier Manson. It's located in Maryland.


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I really liked looking at this one, because, despite the fact that it's clearly a copy, these all look like hand-written recipes.


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I have not made this. I could like 100 reasons why I haven't, but I won't. Instead, if this sounds like something you'd want to make, and do, snap a couple photos and send to me at the e-mail addressed under Contacts. Full credit will be given for all your hard work.

PostHeaderIcon Spiced Pecans

I am, and always have been, a fan of restaurants that have seasonal menus. Despite this, I am always disappointed when I find something that I really like, and then they take it away. You know, for a different season. Those statements are so contradictory in nature. But, I sticking to it. Only this time, I couldn't let it go. I fell in love. With a salad.

I know that you are wondering what all this has to do with spiced pecans. Well, they were on the salad. It was called "Texi-Cali Salad." Not the best name, I know. I won't pretend to know why they came up with that name. But, it doesn't matter to me. Something about the combination of ingredients just got me hooked. So, in order to try and duplicate it (which is one of the reasons Jake told me he keeps me around), I needed to come up with a recipe for spiced pecans. And, here we are today. So, after this we make the pecans (which are totally good, all on their own), I've included the recipe for the salad. It's like 2 for 1. I like you that much.

Ingredients:

6 ounces pecan halves
1 Tablespoon oil (one of your choice)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
Salt

OR: