Family Recipes

My sister recently gifted my Mom with a lifetime membership to a family cookbook site online. In reality, the gift is for our whole family. Yesterday, she sent my user name and password. It was the perfect day to receive it. I am “under the weather” with a cold. Playing on a cookbook site was just the right “medicine” to keep my spirits up.

I love to read through recipes and cookbooks. I have a large collection. I try to imagine how they would taste. I love to look at the pictures. I think about cooking for my family, wondering if they would like it.

Recipes are such a joy to share and to receive. Although, it is getting easier to just print off the directions from the internet, there is something nice about receiving a handwritten recipe card. I love seeing recipes written out by my family members in their own handwriting. The one in the picture is from my Grandma.

Recipes mark time like a diary. The first recipes written in my name were for a church cookbook from the early 70’s. My Mom let each of us kids choose a couple of favorites to enter in our names. My choices were Chewy Gooies and Sugar cookies. As I got older,  high school friends and college roommates shared their favorites with me. I have the recipe cards I received for my wedding shower. Recipes from neighbors. Recipes from co-workers. I believe I have at least one from every place I have worked. Nurses love potlucks! And certainly from every church I attended.  The recipe received, helps you also to remember the occasion. The birthdays, holidays and special meals where you shared not only food but memories together. The likes and dislikes of your children as they grew older. It is like a little photo of the day, and the recipe is the picture captured.

Hopefully, I will keep pace with adding recipes to the site once I am feeling better. And thank you to my sister for such a great idea and gift for Mom (and the rest of us).


Happy Hepatica

After a long winter, I was ready to see those first signs of spring life in the forest.  My husband and I drove north to walk along the Namekagon River. This happy Hepatica plant was waiting to greet us as we stepped from the car. What a pretty little plant to usher spring growth to the woods!

Birdseed Wreath

Our adventures in feeding birds started with a gift from my husband’s brother and his wife. A star made out of birdseed. We hung it outside our picture window and it didn’t take us long to get hooked. After the star was consumed, I spent time on Pinterest to learn how to make my own seed creation. From there I have worked to make just the right combination of ingredients to attract our feathered friends.

I found the perfect mold for a wreath is the Tupperware Jel-Ring mold. The two piece mold lets you dry the wreath completely without worrying about the wreath developing mildew before it is completely dry.


I formed a wire structure (14 gauge) to fit inside the mold before filling it with the birdseed mixture. The seed clings to it and the birds are able to hold on to the wire as they nip away at the remaining seeds. I attached an additional length of wire to make a hook to hang the wreath from. Once you make your wire structure you can use it over and over again.

Directions for Birdseed Wreath:

Add to a large bowl:

  • 4 cups Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 cups Fruit and Nut Seed Mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Toss together until evenly coated.

Heat 3/4 cup of water until boiling in a glass measuring cup.

Slowly add while stirring:

  • 1 package Plain Knox Gelatin

Continue to stir until completely dissolved.

Then mix in:

  • 1/4 corn syrup

Pour into birdseed/flour mixture and stir until coated. Press mixture into mold.


Allow to dry for 24 hours. Carefully un-mold wreath, (it will still be damp). Set the wreath back on the inner part of the mold.

Allow to dry another 24 hours. Completely un-mold and allow to dry an additional 24 hours before hanging outdoors. Happy Birdwatching!


Wild Rice Cranberry Bread

Wild Rice Cranberry bread adds a wonderful compliment of tangy sweetness and texture to any sandwich, fresh or grilled. It also makes great toast. I prepare the wild rice ahead of time and then freeze in one cup containers. A quick thaw in the microwave and I am ready to make bread.

Wild Rice Cranberry Bread (using bread machine to process dough)

Makes two loaves.

Add ingredients in order to bread machine:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast

Set bread maker on dough cycle. Start machine. Check to make sure all ingredients have incorporated nicely and that dough is not too dry or sticky.

After dough cycle is complete, gently turn dough out onto a cutting board. Remove paddle from dough, punch down to remove air and shape into two loaves. Place each loaf into a greased, 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan. Set, covered, in a warm place to proof until dough has doubled in sized (about an hour). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto rack to cool before slicing.








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