Easy Split Peasy!

So it’s the holiday season. This means food, food means leftovers, and quite often involves ham. With ham and about ten bucks you can make soup that will last you for a week.



Split pea and ham soup is delicious, incredibly filling, and very easy to make. All you need are a handful of ingredients and you can whip this up in an afternoon.

You will need:

Ham, cut into small cubes. The more ham, the better. Also, if you have a ham bone, save it. It’s going into the pot.

Split peas. You can buy them in bags. I usually get about three to five average-sized bags of them. You can have more or less, depending on the amount of ham you have.

An onion.

A carrot.

Four or five dried bay leaves.

Salt and pepper.

That’s all you need! Rinse the peas, then throw all of this into the pot, along with your ham bone, and add water until it’s about 80% full. Stir it thoroughly (the peas will clump into a dense mass if you don’t, and may burn), then heat it over a low heat until it’s just a bit below boiling. You’re aiming for about 200 to 210 degrees. Then, making sure to stir it every 10 – 15 minutes, let it cook for four or five hours until the peas have gone to mush.

And…that’s that! Don’t let it boil, and you can cook it on a lower heat if you let the peas soak overnight in some water. Once it’s done, serve it with some nice, crusty bread, and enjoy!

This works great as leftovers. Just scoop some into a microwave-safe container and heat until hot, or put it back in the pot and reheat it slowly. Either way, yum!

Adventures in Cooking – Yogurt

I have done what people first learned how to do only several thousand years ago. I…have made yogurt!



How, you might ask, does one make yogurt? Must one be Turkish? Or be a hippie? Or some weird hipster trying to live “off the grid”?

No, one only needs a rice cooker, milk, yogurt culture, heat, and time.

The total prep was about five minutes. It then spent about 12 hours total cooking, cooling, and then cooking some more. It was kind of fascinating to watch.

And now…I have yogurt. How does it taste?

Well, it’s plain yogurt, so…yeah. It takes like that. I added some blackberry jam and some blackberries to it, along with a couple spoons of sugar, and that helped. But it was a little more watery than I would have liked. Next time, I’ll cook it for longer, which I am told will help.

Still, as a first go, not bad! Not bad at all.

A Pavlova for You

My signature dessert at parties has, of late, become the pavlova. It’s a wonderful dessert with origins in New Zealand. I’ve often had people ask me how to make one. So check this video, which is where I learned how, and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!


And one word of advice: in the pavlova base, don’t use powdered sugar. It just…doesn’t work.

Some Cooking Stuff

Yep, still got company. So here’s a nice recipe from my great-grandmother. It’s for a dish she called frickadillies but are apparently called frickadellen elsewhere. They are very tasty (I made some the other night), and go well with a side of green beans and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Meatballs in mushroom sauce. Good way to stretch hamburger.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs – beaten
2 slices of bread – cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 can cream mushroom soup
1/2 can water
1/2 cup flour

Combine ground beef, eggs, milk, salt and bread cubes. Spoon
mixture the size of a large walnut and dip in flour. Brown in a
little oil in a skillet. Put in a baking dish. Mix soup, water and
pepper; pour over the meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25
minutes, or simmer ina covered skillet.

Number Of Servings:feeds a family of 4-6

Preparation Time:30 minutes

Shepherd’s Pie

Mmmm... pie...

Mmmm... pie...

I haven’t ever had shepherd’s pie (apparently also called cottage pie), before, but it looks tasty and I’ve heard good things about it. So being who I am, and having had great success with other food requests (still looking for a peanut butter recipe, btw), I thought I’d put out a request for a shepherd’s pie recipe! Anyone out there have any good ideas for how to make one of these fine things? Also appreciated: advice on what to serve with it.

Peanut Butter Time!



I love peanut butter, but I’ve never had homemade. Given how successful my spaghetti recipe request was on here, I thought I’d put out a request for anyone who might have a good way to make homemade peanut butter!

Keep in mind, the only peanuts I’ll have access to are what I can get at places like Wal-Mart and Safeway. Actually, it will specifically be either Wal-Mart or Safeway, cause they’re what’s near to my house. 🙂 So I won’t be able to get any fancy stuff.

Anyhow, all suggestions and recipes are welcome!

Tasty Homemade Bread

Here’s the recipe my grandmother used to use for making bread. She had six children to feed and found this was a great way to help do it! Enjoy!

Yields four loaves of tasty bread!

You will need:

4 cups of warm (not hot!), water
2 Tablespoons of yeast
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of powdered milk
2 Tablespoons of salt
12 cups of unbleached flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water for five minutes
Mix in the oil, sugar and milk
Let stand for five minutes
Add in the salt and half the flour
Stir well
Add the rest of the flour gradually
Knead thoroughly
Cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour (putting it on top of an oven set to a very low temp can be a good place, but don’t make it too hot, or you’ll kill the yeast)
Punch it down and knead again
Let it rise for another hour (still covered and in a warm place)
Divide into fourths
Form into loaves (roll them out with a rolling pin, then roll it up and fold the outsides in, so that it forms a loaf shape)
Put each loaf into a greased loaf pan
Let rise for another half hour
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

This bread is wonderful served warm with some butter! Toasting it is great, too. Also goes well with soup and such. Let me know if you try it!