Food and recipes may very well be the most universal connection we have to each other, on the face of the earth! It connects us to our past… the memories we have growing up, the people we care about, and the traditions we pass on to the next generation. My recipes are tried and true and have all received the seal of approval from friends and family. I hope you enjoy them, share them, and maybe start your own traditions by passing them onto the next generation!

8 c. diced rhubarb

5 c. water

2 c. sugar

3 c. cold water

1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate

1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemon juice concentrate1 qt. ginger ale or 7-Up, chilled

1 qt. fresh or frozen strawberries (optional)

In kettle, simmer rhubarb and water until rhubarb is soft. Cool; strain. Measure 4 cups juice and return to kettle with the sugar. Heat to dissolve sugar. Chill. Add 3 c. water, the orange and lemon (or pineapple) juices. Just before serving, add ginger ale and strawberries, if desired. Pour over ice.

*use more or less sugar as desired

*for added color, add a few drops of red food coloring

1/2 C. Chopped Onion ‐ Finely chopped

1/2 C. Green Pepper ‐ Finely Chopped

2 T. Real Butter

1 Can Cream of Mushroom soup

2/3 C. Milk

8 oz Cream cheese

15 lasagna noodles ‐ cooked

16 oz Small curd cottage cheese

2 1/2 C. Cubed Cooked Chicken (white and dark meat best)

3 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese (sharp and mild cheddar cheese)

3 C. Grated Parmesan 



Sautee Onions, Pepper, and butter on low for around 20 minutes. Add soup and milk.


Boil Noodles


Spray 9X13 pan with Pam, layer 3 times in this order:

1. light mixture of sauce

2. cooked noodles (5 of them)

3. cottage cheese

4. Cream Cheese

5. sprinkle chicken

6. Sauce

7. Cheeses (sharp and mild)

8. Repeat 2 more times

9. Top off with Parmesan cheese


Cover with foil and cook at 350 for one hour. Remove foil half way through. Let set before serving...

This can be made up the night before and set in the refrigerator. More cooking time is required.

Potato and leek soup is a traditional Irish comfort food. Served with buttered brown soda bread, it is a delicious warm treat for fall.

2 large leeks 
• 1 to 1 and 1/4 pounds of potatoes (3 medium) 
• 1/2 large onion 
• 1 oz butter 
• 2 thyme sprigs (fresh) 
• 2 bay leaves 
• 4 cups vegetable stock 
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) 
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 

• 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped chives (to garnish) 
• 1 to 2 tablespoon bacon bits (to garnish) 


• Chop the leeks. Wash them in a bowl of water, allowing the grit to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Lift the sliced leeks into a colander to drain. Rinse well and pat dry before using.
• Dice the potatoes and onion.
• Melt the butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add the leeks, potatoes and onions, stirring to coat them in melted butter. Turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and allow the vegetables to 'sweat' for 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to prevent burning.
• Add the vegetable broth, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper.
• Turn up the heat and bring to simmering point. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until vegetables are tender.
• Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches using a food processor or blender.
• Add the heavy whipping cream and stir into the soup. I use a half cup, but if you really like creamy soup, use up to 1 cup of cream. 
• Serve hot in soup bowls. Garnish with bacon bits and chives if desired.


This chocolate cake is an easy, perfect, fudgy treat to enjoy with your Valentine this holiday season! Serve with hot caramel sauce and pecans or whipped cream.

• 2 cups white sugar
• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup boiling water

Spray crock of a large slow cooker with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the boiling water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the cake batter into the prepared slow cooker. Set slow cooker to "low" and cook until cake has no wet spots on top and has pulled away from the sides of the crock, about 3 hours. Turn off slow cooker and allow cake to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Tater tot hotdish has been around since the beginning of time, right? Yet, it is one of our family is just so darn good, so I thought I would share our favorite Minnesota recipe for it. Enjoy. We made this big roaster of it just the other night. (By the way, you can substitute other vegetables if you prefer something else over corn.)

• 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 pinch black pepper
• 1 tablespoon basil
• Garlic powder to taste
• 1 large bag of frozen corn
• 1 package (32 ounces) tater tots, thawed
• 1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
• 1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of celery soup
• 1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of chicken OR cream of cheese soup
• 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook ground beef with onion, salt and pepper, basil and garlic; drain and spread into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish or casserole. Layer frozen corn on top of this. If you use the cream of chicken soup, you can "cheese up" your recipe by adding a layer of cheese slices here, or shredded cheese, to cover the surface layer of corn. Add tater tots on top. In a seperate bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup and cream of chicken soup together with 2 cans of milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk smooth and pour mix over dish. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. 

This hearty dish has all the great taste of traditional enchiladas — cumin, chiles, and sour cream — without all of the fuss. It's a fast and easy favorite.

• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 cans (4 ounces each) diced green chile peppers, not drained
• 1-1/2 cups sour cream
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 12 6-inch corn tortillas
• 2 cans (10 ounces each) enchilada sauce
• 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion until meat is cooked through, breaking up meat as it cooks; drain off fat. Stir chili powder and cumin into meat mixture; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir pinto beans and undrained chile peppers into meat mixture; set aside. Stir together sour cream, flour, and garlic powder; set aside. Place half of the tortillas in the prepared baking dish, cutting to fit and overlapping as necessary. Top with half of the meat mixture, half of the sour cream mixture and half of the enchilada sauce; repeat layers. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. If desired, garnish with chopped tomato and sliced green onion.

This oven french toast is an easy breakfast dish on a cold winter morning! Serve with juice and your guests are set for the day.

• 3 beaten eggs
• 1-1/2 cups milk
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 8 slices 1-inch thick french bread
• 3 tablespoons butter
• Cinnamon and sugar mixture
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix first four ingredients. Melt butter and pour evenly on bottom of cookie sheet. Soak 8 pieces of bread, one at a time, in the mixture and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn bread over and sprinkle with mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and maple syrup.



With cool autumn days on their way, this combination of apples and pumpkins make it a perfect treat for breakfast or dessert. Enjoy!

• 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 cups tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until muffins are done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes about 18 muffins.

In celebration of September and a wonderful crop of tomatoes, here is our family's favorite salsa recipe. Enjoy!

• 3 quarts diced tomatoes
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 tablespoons garlic powder
• 2 medium green peppers, chopped
• 1 cup vinegar
• 18 ounces tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 4 tablespoons parlsey flakes
• 4 tablespoons chili powder

Cook 1 hour. Process in hot water bath for 20 minutes. Go to town, buy some corn chips or nachoes. Open them. Open the salsa. Eat and eat and eat. YUM! YUM! Repeat as often as hungry!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe! This is the first time I've ever written down the recipe and officially named it! (This is a large batch of chili and will require a 14-quart kettle or larger) • 2 pounds lean hamburger • 1 large finely chopped onion • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots • 2 cups thinly sliced celery • 10 cups water • 1 can (15.5 ounces) dark red kidney beans with liquid • 1 can (28 ounces) Bush's Country Style baked beans • 1 can (16 ounces) Bush's chili beans • 2 cans (15 ounces each) Hunt's seasoned diced tomato sauce • 2 cans (29 ounces each) Hunt's tomato sauce • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste • 2 cans (28 ounces each) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies • 1 cup ketchup • 3 tablespoons chili powder • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin • 1 tablespoon dried oregano • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 1 tablespoon garlic powder Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Drain off the fat. Add all remaining ingredients into a large kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. (Hint: To reduce cooking time, I steam celery and carrots to a partially cooked stage before adding them to the pot.) Serve with your favorite garnishes: shredded cheese, raw chopped onion, sour cream and Frito corn chips!


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