Ham Bone Soup was a recipe I found in a great cookbook given to my by my brother-in-law, Ron, and his wife, Cathy, many years ago. I was use left-over ham bones to make the broth, just like my Mother taught me. This particular recipe was a favorite of the entire family and I was sad when my cookbook and this recipe disappeared from my kitchen.
Many years later, my sister-in-law, Betty, found the recipe copied down by my late Mother-in-Law on a recipe card and gave it to me. God bless them! It was great to make the soup again, although I substituted Quinoa pasta for regular pasta. I cook the pasta separately and add to the soup when ready to serve, otherwise the pasta tends to fall apart.
Without the pasta added, the soup freezes well.
HAM BONE SOUP
3 quarts water
1 ham bone
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package (10 oz.) frozen whole corn
1 package (10 oz.) frozen lima beans
1 16 oz. can black-eyed peas
1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 cup macaroni or pasta of choice
salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, combine water and ham bone and simmer for 1-2 hours.
Add carrots, celery, onion, corn, lima beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Cook until vegetables are cooked through, about a hour.
Gardening is an adventure. This year, I planted several greens including Radicchio. Turns out the Radicchio was really Swiss Chard. Bonus! Growing up our neighbor, Lucille, always made a Swiss Chard and egg dish and I so wish I had the recipe. As a substitute I found this recipe and have enjoyed several breakfasts, warming a piece in the microwave each morning.
I quickly realized that I started with too large of a pan for the frittata so transferred the cooked ingredients to my Mother’s favorite pie pan where I added the Parmesan and then broiled the frittata.
BACON SWISS CHARD FRITTATA
6 strips bacon, sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, wash thoroughly, stems removed, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 pound russet potatoes, cooked, cut in chunks
salt and black pepper to taste
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the bacon in a large skillet, over medium heat until crisp. Remove and drain all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to med-low, and add the Swiss chard. Don’t worry about crowding the pan, as the chard will quickly wilt down.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the greens are completely wilted. Add the garlic and pepper flakes; sauté for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and mix into the greens.
Pour in the eggs, and cook stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs begin to set. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and finish cooking the frittata under a preheated broiler, about 8 inches from the heat, for 4-5 minutes, or until the top is browned and the eggs are set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving in wedges.
The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a day of family gatherings, neighborhood parades and parties, and fireworks. Hopefully we all take a moment to remember the true meaning of the holiday, celebrating our countries independence from Great Britain in 1776.
This year I was invited celebrate the 4th of July with a Barbeque on July 2 and decided to try this Flag Cake I have seen many times, but have never made. It is easy, although not on my diet, beautiful and delicious. Perhaps a new tradition for our family?
4th of July Cake
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix (Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 box strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 box (4 serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/3 cup cold milk
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 9×13″ cake. Cool completely in the pan for about an hour.
Pierce cooled cake with rok at 1/2 inch intervals. In a medium bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water. Carefully pour mixture over entire surface of the cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until serving time.
In a large bowl, mix pudding mix and milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Arrange strawberries and blueberries on top of cake to look like a flag. Serve in immediate future.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator, loosely covered.
My Czech roots are precious to me and this week I enjoyed a hearty stock of Sauerkraut Soup. This recipe was one of two recipes my Mother made and she was given this recipe by our dear Bohemian friend, Blanche.
I understand that many families serve a Sauerkraut Soup as a traditional Christmas Eve meal but I enjoy it anytime!
After the rich, sweet treats of the holidays, the hearty sauerkraut soup was a welcome change allowing me to walk down memory lane once again.
1 pint sauerkraut (add extra caraway seed if desired)
1 cup finely diced ham
1 quart cooked and drained diced potatoes
1 quart Milk (more or less)
1 egg yolk
1 heaping tablespoon of flour
salt and pepper
dill weed garnish (optional)
Put enough water on sauerkraut to simmer slowly with ham.
When tender, pour milk over and a chunk of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
Break egg yolk into small bowl and whisk.
Add flour and mix together.
Drop small pieces of the dough into the soup until cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
Add cooked, drained potatoes to the soup.
Heat until low boil. Serve or cool to serve next day. The flavor is even better the next day!
Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake) brings back fond memories of our elderly Iowa friends, the Butlers. Growing up, Anna would bake Julekake, Kringla, and Lefse to share with friends. She would brew a strong cup of coffee for adults and children to enjoy with the seasonal treats. A cup of hot coffee with a toasted slice of Julekake and butter, at Anna’s oak table was the best. Today, I sit at the same oak table in my dining area thinking of the wonderful stories and memories created in that small farm-house so many years ago.
Kringla is an annual tradition with Julekake only every few years. Kneading bread dough is hard for me so I’ve included, along with the traditional recipe, my version for the bread machine. This year I borrowed daughter Sarah’s Kitchen Aid mixer to make the traditional recipe, which I split into two parts to accommodate the smaller size of the mixer.
NORWEGIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD
This is the original Christmas bread recipe from Norwegian family friend, Anna Butler
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup chopped citron or candied pineapple
3 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup butter
2 cups raisins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
2 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom
10 to 11 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Scald milk and then add butter, salt and sugar. Cool to lukewarm. Add to yeast mixture and add 1/2 flour and eggs. Beat well.
Add fruit and cardamom and remaining flour to make light dough. Knead and place in a greased bowl. Let rise until light.
Knead and let it rise again.
Shape into 5 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise 1 hour or until light. Brush tops with egg yolk mixture of beaten egg yolk and water.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. After removing from oven, brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
NORWEGIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD (ADAPTED FOR THE BREAD MACHINE)
This is a conversion of the original Christmas bread recipe from Anna Butler
1/6 cup lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk (cooled to lukewarm)
1/3 stick melted margarine
1 small beaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/6 teaspoon cardamom
3 to 3.3 cups flour
1 package yeast
2/3 cup raisins
1/6 cup citron
Place ingredients in bread machine in the order given but put raisins and citron aside.
Start bread dough in knead mode and add raisins/citron when your bread machine prompts for add-ins.
Peach season has come to an end but there is time (and peaches) for one more fresh Peach Crisp. Pal, Maribeth gave me a ‘colorado classique’ cookbook a while back and we both have enjoyed the terrific recipes. She made the peach cobbler from the cookbook for my birthday last month and it was delicious. Today I made it and had the same wonderful results. Since it has peaches and oatmeal…it is also the breakfast of this champion!
Fresh Peach Crisp
4 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oats
1 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place peach slices in a greased 13x9x2″ baking pan. Sprinkle with salt.
Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar and oats together. Add softened butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches and pat down.
Bake 50-60 minutes.
Serve plain or with rich vanilla ice cream.
Recipe from ‘colorado classique a collection of fresh recipes from the rockies’.
It seems my world truly revolves around food, as it does for my daughters! Our oldest daughter, Megan, was married last year; we asked bridal shower guests to share a favorite recipe to insert in a cookbook. This year daughter, Sarah, is also engaged and we did the same for her shower. I photocopied hand-written recipes of Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, and other family members no longer with us. We also asked each guest to write a note the bride inside the cookbook.
As favors, we gave each guest a copy of three of Megan’s favorite dip/spread recipes which we also served at her shower.
The dips shared were Cheesy Apple Spread (today’s post), Hot Wing Dip, and Peach Salsa. They are all family favorites. The Cheesy Apple Spread recipe has been in my recipe box for at least 30 years. Younger daughter, Sarah, loves this dip as well and prepared the dip for the shower. Cheesy Apple Spread is truly an oldie but still a goodie!
CHEESY APPLE SPREAD
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped apple
Blend together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add shredded cheese and chopped apple. Chill until ready to serve with Ritz or other favorite crackers.
Once upon a time, a little girl named Cathy sat in her Mother’s kitchen in rural Iowa, watching her Mother make amazing dinners every night with items from the garden or raised on their farm. The smell of baking bread, when walking through the door after school, is forever engrained in my memory. My Mother would tell stories about the food she was preparing and memories of her childhood and my Grandmother’s cooking.
I come from a long line of great cooks who cooked from the heart. A pinch of this. A pinch of that. My Mother was one of six children raised in a 5 room home. Grandma Susie cooked all of her meals over a wood cookstove with all water coming from a water pump. Just think what she could do with today’s conveniences.
Recipes and sharing of recipes is truly a gift for our families. It brings us together to create memories and traditions. Even in the hustle bustle of career and family commitments, this is a tradition I hold dear.
After several years, I compiled a cookbook for my family and close friends including my favorite recipes and short memories of many dishes. Little did I know that my daughters would cherish these comments. The picture below is the cover of my cookbook and captures daughters Megan and Sarah helping to make a cake when they were little girls. They loved to be a part of the process, especially when it came to a dessert and licking the bowl.
In addition, I started a family Christmas newsletter several years ago that always included a special recipe. Friends and family have commented each year about how much they look forward to the newsletter and have adopted recipes shared as some of their favorites.
After retiring last year from a corporate sales leadership position, my daughters encouraged me to take my stories and recipes to the web. I hope that you will join me on this journey and become an active part of this website and discussion. What stories can you recall from wonderful aromas and occasions in your family? What stories and traditions is your family weaving?