Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…October 6, 2010

Outside my Window…the leaves are beginning to change color, while the ferns are especially lush and green. I notice lots of wild mushrooms springing up in the lawn, and the late blackberries along the roadside are still edible.

I am thinking…of the blessings of sufficient food and clothing, and adequate shelter. I am also sad to think of those who do not have these blessings.

From the learning rooms…I’m very much looking forward to reading a book by Barbara Coloroso entitled The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. This book is of special interest to me because I work in a middle school setting, and want the best for all the students.

I am thankful for…a happy home.

From the kitchen…I want to make Apple Dumplings again soon.

I am wearing…cozy clothing. It’s sweater weather here.

I am reading…(just finished reading) another excellent book by Georgette Heyer: The Nonesuch.

I am hoping…friends and family who are ill will feel better soon.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…my youngest son and his friend doing their homework at the dining room table.

Around the house…is green, green grass. Our recent rains have really contributed to this lush, fresh look.

One of my favorite things…is connecting with friends and family on Facebook. The result? A neglected blog.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I plan to bake sweet rolls on Saturday for a friend’s belated birthday gift. I’m also trying to stay more on-track with preparing nutritious meals for the family. So, I plan to spend more time in the kitchen.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Our youngest son, Seth

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Very easy, cheesy soup

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Cheese and Potato Soup with Corn

(This recipe is taken from The Starving Students Vegetarian Cookbook by Dede Hall.)


2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth

1 medium onion, chopped (or ¼ cup dehydrated onion)

1 14.75-ounce can cream style corn

2 cups instant mashed potatoes (such as Betty Crocker)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 cups milk (I use canned milk.)

Salt and pepper, to taste


In large saucepan, add vegetable broth, chopped onion, and creamed corn. Cook at medium heat just until soup starts to boil.

Turn heat to low, cover pan, and cook 5 minutes. Turn heat off.

Stir in potatoes until well blended. Then add cheese, milk, and salt and pepper.

Cook over lowest heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and soup is rich and creamy.

This recipe makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Friday, August 13th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…August 13, 2010

Outside my Window…nighttime, summer, cooling down to 68 degrees, sweet blackberry dreams.

I am thinking…of our three youngest children who are on a train to California to visit Grampa and Gramma. It’s a 23-hour trip. Hope they’re not too saddle-sore from so much sitting. They told me this morning that the train is a double-decker, and they are sitting on top.

From the learning rooms…I finished reading Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina. One of the rules that has me worried is: The brain doesn’t pay attention to boring things. Does that mean that poor students who are mainly interested in watching TV and playing games are doomed to mediocrity? School work certainly doesn’t interest them. I’ll have to cogitate on this.

I am thankful for…the guidance of God’s Word. I’m thinking especially of attitudes here, and being genuine from the inside-out. Still plenty of learning and growing needed here.

From the kitchen…Eskimo Blueberry Upside-down Cake

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

5 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 quart blueberries (or, try other berry varieties!)

1 cup sugar

Whipping cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one egg at a time, then add the salt, flour baking powder, milk and vanilla, mixing with mixer until creamy. Pour into greased (extra large) sheet cake pan.

Distribute berries over batter, and sprinkle remaining one cup sugar over all. Bake for one hour. Cool and serve with whipping cream.

I am wearing…clothing that was too warm for this hot day, but I was too lazy to change into something cooler once the morning warmed up. No problem. It’s pajama time.

I am reading…Barren Corn by Georgette Heyer. I just checked the book out today, so have nothing to report yet. I do enjoy this author very much, though.

I am hoping…for good weather for the Northwest Washington Fair, which begins on Monday.

I am creating…Well, I actually sewed something, a rare occurrence. Daughter Rebecca found a pattern from my teen years and requested that I make it for her. The picture follows. It’s one of those tent dresses from the 1960s!

I am hearing…a quiet house. I miss our traveling children, including daughter Kayla who is due home from her summer in Europe soon.

Around the house…The little veggie garden has been doing well. Latest offerings have been green beans and zucchini. The cauliflower was excellent, but the broccoli looks sparse.

One of my favorite things…is playing word games such as Lexulous on Facebook instead of blogging. Maybe since it’s so terribly quiet here tonight, I’m finally settling down to writing a blog post.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I hope to help on the clean-up crew for the food booth our school Music Booster’s has at the NW WA Fair.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Cell phone pic. Pixels. But cute dress, no?

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

An Easy Appetizer

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

This traditional Southern pastry is cheesy and spicy. Yum!

Cheese Straws (from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper.

Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick, and cut into strips ¼ inch wide and 4 to 6 inches in length. Place the strips on ungreased cookie sheets ½ inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Cool completely, and store in airtight containers. “Cheese straws improve as the flavors mellow, so make them a day before serving, if possible,” state the cookbook authors.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…July 6, 2010

Outside my Window…a temperate summer evening, after one of the first warm days of the season. It’s only about 62 degrees outside, but feels balmy compared to the cool, damp weather we’ve been experiencing.

I am thinking…summer school session begins next week already! How quickly these vacation days are flying by.

From the learning rooms…I ordered the book Brain Rules by John Medina, but have not yet started reading it.

I am thankful for…an enjoyable visit recently with our two oldest sons. We belatedly celebrated Mitch’s 24th, since we were in California visiting my husband’s folks on the actual date. Fun times!

From the kitchen…What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a barbeque? My new favorite marinade for steak is this easy recipe from Betty Crocker:

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon chopped ginger root

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon sugar

I am wearing…short sleeved floral print top, jeans and flip-flops.

I am reading…Emma by Jane Austen. Emma is not such a likeable girl for much of the book, and I find myself growing quite tired of her matchmaking schemes. Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma is more likeable than the Emma of the book, I think. I’m trying to be patient, though, and give the original Emma a chance to speak for herself.

I am hoping…the blogging friend Rick, Debra and I visited on our way to see Grampa and Gramma will take us up on our offer of hospitality and come to visit.

I am creating…my first blog post in a long time.

I am hearing…owls hooting outside. Love that lonely sound.

Around the house…the vibrant green of Pacific Northwest foliage was almost electric today as SUN was shining through the leaves. Ah, beautiful summer!

One of my favorite things…is being useful and happy right here and now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I want to go to the farmers’ market in Bellingham tomorrow when Deb and I go into town for an appointment. I’m after rhubarb and strawberries. You can just imagine what I want them for.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Daughter Rebecca before her high school graduation ceremony!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 30, 2010

Outside my Window…evening dews and damps: a typical Pacific Northwest spring night.

I am thinking…that maybe I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been tired of hearing myself talk. Well, I feel selfish just reading others’ blogs and not blogging for such a long time, so here is a post!

From the learning rooms…Daughter Rebecca successfully presented her senior project paper this evening to a panel of judges from the community. It was based upon research she did for her medical tech prep class at the hospital.

I am thankful for…another birthday for daughter Debra on Monday. Happy 20th, Deb! We had a quiet celebration here at home, which brings me to the next entry.

From the kitchen…It’s our custom to have the birthday person choose a favorite meal and cake. Debra chose lentil soup for dinner, and then German Chocolate Cake for dessert. Here’s the soup recipe:

Lentil Soup
(modified from Lentil and Sausage Soup Recipe found at

1 pound lentils, washed and drained

12 cups vegetable broth

4 cups sliced leeks

3 cups chopped carrots

3 cups chopped celery

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Early in the day, or the day before you wish to serve the soup:

Place washed lentils in the broth and bring to a boil. After boiling for a few minutes, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for an hour.

Later in the day:

Cook the lentils about an hour until tender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and simmer until the lentils are as done as you like them.

We like this soup with shredded cheddar cheese and saltine crackers.

I am wearing…still need to wear a sweater and warm leggings, but warmer days will come.

I am reading…just finished reading a favorite Georgette Heyer historical novel, Devil’s Cub. She excels in her character studies, and fills her books with such characters!

I am hoping…to work out in the garden again soon. Weeding of the flower beds has been done a couple of times, but now Rebecca and I want to plant a few things, such as some lavender and something daisy-ish.

I am creating…or plan to ‘create’ a large batch of cinnamon rolls to take to church Sunday morning for our church breakfast.

I am hearing…my husband on the phone to one of our oldest sons. It’s a blessing that they stay in touch.

Around the house…The lawn has been mowed once already this spring. Things are looking greener every day.

One of my favorite things…is being with my family at home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow evening I serve as a judge of Senior Project presentations at the high school. April 1st is my birthday (no joke!) and daughters Rebecca and Lydia have plans to help me with extra housecleaning as a present. I love it! Friday we have a church service, and the Lord’s Supper.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is daughter Laura and her husband Darren with their three little ones, Diederick, Carly and Koen. Deeder was being a little grump, but, oh, well!

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Day Book

Monday, January 4th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 4, 2010

Outside my Window…is typical Pacific Northwest winter weather: rain. It’s not too terribly cold – 38 degrees – and there’s a wonderful freshness to the air, mixed with the aroma of wood smoke.

I am thinking…this is my first post for the New Year and the new decade. I wish you a Happy and blessed New Year! We stayed up late playing games as a family, and then ran outside to shout, “Happy New Year!” at the proper moment.

From the learning rooms…I want to brush up on world geography. The sixth graders with whom I work are my inspiration; some of them are excelling at this.

I am thankful for…another year to be alive, in the company of my loving family and friends. I want to spend the year well, to God’s glory.

From the kitchen…I have a new favorite cookbook, Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook
by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Here is the most recent recipe we enjoyed from it:

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour (I used white because I didn’t have whole wheat.)

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice


Combine in a large bowl.


1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

1 cup milk

¼ cup butter


Combine in large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is warm. Add to flour mixture. Beat with mixer set on low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is all moistened, 1 to 2 minutes.


1 large egg, beaten


Add and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.


2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour


Stir in enough flour by hand to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 to 9 minutes (or 5 minutes if your mixer has a dough hook). Place in greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and divide it in half. Roll each half of dough on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.


2 Tablespoons butter, melted


Brush each circle with 1 Tablespoon butter. Cut into 12 wedges and tightly roll up each wedge from wide end to point. Place crescent rolls, point-side down, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


I am wearing…dark red sweater top with striped collar and cuffs, black long-ish skirt, and black leggings. Cozy attire.

I am reading…Venetia by Georgette Heyer. This may be my favorite historical fiction (Regency period) piece by this author, to-date.

I am hoping…to write blog posts more frequently, while still keeping a focus on good meals and baking on the home-front.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the hum of the computer. The children are quietly going about their business (studying, showering, reading) upstairs.

Around the house…It’s soggy outside, and the river waters have risen. Everything is looky pretty squishy.

One of my favorite things…is quiet time at home at the end of a busy day. I want to read a bit more of that book I mentioned earlier, in just a little bit.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We are waiting for our van to be repaired. The gas pump (which is located inside the gas tank) went out while some of the children were driving on a busy highway. Thankfully, they were able to pull over safely, the tow truck came, and we transported them safely to their destination. What makes gas pumps go out, I wonder? Bad gas, possibly? This is the second time this has happened.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is granddaughter Claire, who is 4 1/2 months old.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Friday, November 13th, 2009


My blogging friend Tamy and her friend Joy are hostessing the 2nd Annual Bread Roundup. If you would like to participate, too, please click on the link to go to Tamy’s or Joy’s blog for the details.


This recipe is for 6 loaves of bread, and requires a large capacity mixer equipped with a dough hook.

Combine the following ingredients in the mixer bowl, using the dough hook attachment:

11 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup gluten flour (optional, but this helps the dough to be more elastic and rise better)

2 Tablespoons dry yeast

2 Tablespoons salt

Add liquids:

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup honey

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

9 cups hot (but not too hot) tap water

Mix for 3 minutes. Let sponge for 10 minutes.

Add, 1 cup at a time:

10 cups white flour (or whole wheat, for a delicious but heavier bread)

Knead by machine 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl of dough with a dish towel and let rise until doubled. Stir the dough down and shape into 6 loaves. Place in greased bread pans and let rise until almost doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn loaves out of pans to cool on rack.

This is a genuine Taron family recipe. Rick and I developed this recipe about 20 years ago, experimenting with other favorite recipes, until we came up with a whole wheat bread that isn’t crumbly. It makes great sandwiches, and even better toast.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, August 17th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…August 17, 2009

Outside my Window…Today was one of those gorgeous, late summer days that are warm, but not uncomfortably so. Now, at 10pm, there’s an autumn chill and dampness to the air. I noticed wispy swirls of clouds when we took the old doggy for a walk this evening.

I am thinking…that this has been an eventful summer.

From the learning rooms…I’m continuing to learn more about health and nutrition.

I am thankful for…the safe birth of our granddaughter Claire Renee, born to daughter Sarah and her husband Justin just this past Saturday.

From the kitchen…I went all-out this evening and prepared a time-consuming but scrumptious entrée: Three Cheese Teaser.

I am wearing…an olive-green denim skirt and cream colored peasant blouse.

I am reading…Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, This fascinating book examines the original diets of populations which had/have good dental and overall health. It makes sense to me that we should glean wisdom from previous generations. I’ve noticed that the author uses current large-scale scientific studies to substantiate her points thus far.

I am hoping…to go visit my husband’s dad and mom in Inverness, CA this week. Look this locale up on Google Earth, and check out some of the sights, such as Drake’s Bay and the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. Folks have posted some great photos and videos of this beautiful area.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…one of the Google Earth videos of the wind blowing in Pt.Reyes. I was once told that this is the windiest place on the west coast of the U.S.

Around the house…My husband and youngest son did some major brush clean-up around the yard today. The bonfire embers are still glowing.

One of my favorite things…is having the time and energy to serve my family a special meal.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We plan to leave on a jet plane on Wednesday. When we return, it will just be in time for the first day of school.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Sarah and Claire

Our daughter Laura snapped this picture of her sister Sarah and Sarah’s brand new baby daughter, Claire.

happy family

Laura also took this picture of Sarah and her husband Justin with little Claire.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Three Cheese Teaser

Monday, August 17th, 2009

THREE CHEESE TEASER (Recipe of Lynn Hersman, from The Lynden Tribune’s My Favorite Recipe Cookbook, 1988.)

Sauce Ingredients:

½ Tablespoon butter

½ cup finely chopped onions

1 clove minced garlic

14 ounces stewed tomatoes, undrained

3 ounces tomato paste

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

½ teaspoon dried basil leaves

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Sauté onions and garlic in butter in a large sauce pan. Add remaining ingredients and ¾ cup water. Crush tomatoes with a fork. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Keep covered and stir occasionally.

Pasta Ingredients:

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup water

½ cup plus 3 Tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour

dash of salt

Beat all ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer just until smooth. Let mixture rest at least 30 minutes. Slowly heat an 8″ non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 3 Tablespoons batter and quickly rotate the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Keep heating just until the top appears dry, but not brown. Gently lift out of pan and cool on a wire rack. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Now, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Filling Ingredients:

¾ pound low-fat cottage cheese

1 heaping cup low-fat mozzarella in small cubes

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients. Mix to blend well. Spread a large ¼ cup of filling down the center of each pasta piece, and roll up.

Final assembly:

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 large mushrooms, sliced

Divide sauce into two equal portions. Pour ¾ cup of sauce into a 12″x8″x2″ baking dish. Arrange 8 rolled pasta pieces seam side down in the dish. Place remaining rolls on top of bottom layer (4 to 5 on top layer). Use remaining sauce to cover the rolls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, arrange mushrooms attractively on top. Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 8-10.

This is what I made for a special dinner tonight. It was, admittedly, time-consuming to prepare, but SO delicious! I served this entrée with Chop Salad, which is a simple fresh salad of cubed cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. The only thing that could have made this dinner better would have been hot, crusty French bread.