Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola

Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola
Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola


1 c. wild, raw honey
1/3 c. safflower oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5-6 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 c. wheat germ
2 c. roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. walnuts or cashews
1/2 c. brown sugar (opt.)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 c. golden raisins or other dried fruits

Preheat oven to 300º and line 2 large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.

Mix together dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and brown sugar. If pumpkin seeds are salted, you may prefer to reduce or omit additional salt.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey (you can use virtually any honey in this recipe), safflower oil and salt. Stir until warm and well blended. Honey mixture should be warm enough to pour freely. Add vanilla and stir again. Pour warm honey mixture over oat mixture and stir until well coated.

Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheets and bake, stirring at 15 minute intervals until toasted and golden in color. Watch closely to prevent burning.

Remove from oven and let cool until barely warm. Then stir in chocolate morsels so they melt slightly. Oats and nuts will stick to the soft chocolate, forming crunchy chunks. Cool mixture completely, then add dried fruit and store in airtight containers or zipper lock bags.

Sprinkle this granola into yogurt, onto salads, eat as a breakfast cereal, or by the handful as an on-the-go snack. One handful is approximately a 1/4 cup serving.

Optional additions: Banana chips or toasted coconut. Slivered almonds or sunflower seeds can be substituted for pumpkin seeds.

Makes 12 cups, 270 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Omitting the brown sugar and increasing the quantity of rolled oats will help reduce the calories per serving.


Tomato Pie


Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie

Adapted from a recipe found at simply recipes dot com:

1, 9-inch pie shell
½ large onion, chopped and sautéed until translucent
8 Roma tomatoes, skins removed, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons flour
½ cup basil leaves, chopped
2 cups grated cheese, cojack or a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella
¾ cup mayonnaise (try yogurt for a lower fat option)
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or other brand) hot chili sauce
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pie shell for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Lightly saute the chopped onion until translucent and cool. Set aside.

Drop tomatoes into a pot of boiling water. Then place in cold water to cool. Peel away skins. Halve tomatoes and squeeze out seeds and excess water using a clean towel or paper towels. Chop. You should have about 3 cups of chopped tomatoes. Toss with 2 T flour.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with onions, then add basil followed by tomatoes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.

State Fair Funnel Cakes

State Fair Funnel Cakes
State Fair Funnel Cakes

Make your own funnel cakes all year long.

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You’ll need:
A funnel with ½-inch hole
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture beating until smooth. Test batter to see if it flows evenly through funnel. If too thick add milk, if to thin add flour.

Pour about 2 cups cooking oil (about 1-inch deep) in an 8 inch skillet and heat to about 360-375 degrees. Cover funnel tip with finger and add about 1/2 cup of batter to funnel. Uncover funnel tip and release into hot oil in spiral patterns. Cook one at a time, frying until deep golden (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Flip and fry other side (about 1 or 2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately in paper towel to outstretched hands.

Sylvia’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


2 sheets pie crust (homemade or store bought)
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into chunks
1/3 cup minute tapioca
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix strawberries, rhubarb, dry tapioca, sugar and orange peel in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. (Sylvia sometimes uses a little flour and water when making this pie, especially when she uses canned or frozen rhubarb, which is juicier than fresh.)

Meanwhile, line a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with one crust. Fill with fruit mixture and dot with a little butter.

For the top crust, Sylvia does not completely seal the top because the juices are too likely to boil over even with slits cut in crust. She cuts a circle and makes pie-shaped wedges, arranging them loosely around the top. She also puts some slits in the wedges.

Sprinkle top with cinnamon and some sugar. Place a sheet of foil or a tray below pie (it will bubble and drip) and bake 50-60 minutes. Cool before serving.

Baked Beans by Nadia

Baked Beans
Baked Beans


This is Nadia’s recipe for quick and easy baked beans that only take a little over an hour to prepare start to finish. She adds brown sugar because in her words, “Mom always does that, and her beans are great.”

6-8 thick slices old-fashioned bacon
1 large can (30 oz.) pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup ketchup (up to 1/3 cup depending on your preference)
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
Pepper and salt

Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces and brown in a deep-sided pot. When bacon is browned, add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, cook 5 minutes and add beans (with liquid). Stir in ketchup, mustard, molasses and brown sugar. Add pepper and dried onion flakes. (Add salt to taste near the end of cooking time only if needed. Bacon is salty enough.) Simmer 5 minutes, transfer to oven-proof dish and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until it gets a little thicker and browns around the edges of the dish. (You’ll need to double this recipe if you plan to take it anywhere.) Makes 6-7 1/2 cup servings.

Variation: use browned, sliced sausages or loose-meat hamburger and make a hearty, meaty, bean dish. When the beans are done, top with Cojack cheese, turn oven to broil, put the beans under broiler 2-3 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Sun-Drenched Cod

Sun-Drenched Cod
Sun-Drenched Cod


This is one of Nadia’s favorites: Sun-Drenched Cod. It was submitted it to the Red Hat Society Cookbook a few years ago, and they published it along with photos of the group, the Merry Mad Hatters (now defunct). The recipe lives on:

4 cod fillets
1 Tablespoon minced fresh kale leaf
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon grated orange (or lemon) zest
Orange or lemon slices and kale leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in a 2×10-inch round baking dish (or a 11×7-inch oblong) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper and salt.

In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter along with chopped kale leaf until tender; spoon over fish. Combine juices and orange zest; drizzle over fish. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Makes 4 servings, about 155 calories per serving.

Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries
Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

VANILLA DREAM CAKE with Strawberries

1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/4 cup shortening 1-2/3 cups sugar4 eggs (room temp)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pkg. frozen strawberries with juice, thawed

1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a lighter yellow color; this is an important step, as the job of the mixer is to incorporate air into the butter mixture so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.) Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. (Again, the times will vary, and butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (The batter should be smooth and bits of flour should be well incorporated; to rid batter of lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour into a liberally greased and floured loaf pan. The bottom has a tendency to stick, so if you have a piece of parchment or waxed paper cut it to fit the bottom of the dish. Lay it in the greased bottom and grease the top of the paper too. It will help the loaf come out of the pan.

4. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Note from Nadia: This one of my favorite cake recipes. It’s dense, fine texture makes it especially good to use as for strawberry shortcake and in trifles. This version uses a little milk, but classic pound cake does not. I like this better because the texture “crumb” is superior to others I’ve tried. Roughly 200 per slice (approx. 60g).

Variation: Add a tablespoon of grated lemon peel, or 1-1/2 tsp. lemon extract to make lemon pound cake.