Archives for easy

Fresh Cucumber Salsa

We have purchased a share from a local CSA for the past five years (Farmer Dave’s).  For the first year or two, we did the “half” share, but now that everyone is “growing up” we do a full share and I won’t lie–it’s a full time job keeping everything from going bad before we use it!  While I love the concept of farm to table meals and encouraging my kids to eat their veggies–one is WAY better at it than the other–it does take a concerted effort to keep creative when you are looking at 6 cucumbers, 4 giant zucchinis

Dover Pound Cake

I’ve noted this in my very first post on this site (Full Transparency) and it bears repeating.  When I post a recipe it’s because I just made it, or when I did make it, I took a quick snapshot of it before we devoured it.  This is no exception.  I’ve made this recipe twice of late, and both times it got eaten so quickly, that I wasn’t able to do a posed photo.  Actually, this photo is of me holding my portion that I’m about to down, as my uncle Rod took a quick shot from his phone and then

Date Cake

One of my mom’s favorites was date cake, which I always avoided.  Growing up, dates seemed nasty–like in the same category as raisins (just giant ones at that).  But man, was I missing out.  I didn’t make this recipe until I was married to my husband who is originally from Pakistan and LOVES dates!  Seriously, he can’t get enough of them.  So this has become one of the frequently requested recipes from all of our Muslim friends, especially at Ramadan, which we are celebrating right now.  While it’s definitely in keeping with Southeast Asian cuisine, it’s 100% Midwestern! At Ramadan

Thousand Dollar Fudge

Last year I made this fudge for my chocolate swap in February–like my cookie swap in December!  These are not remotely dairy free or low anything.  But the recipe is easy peasy and a huge hit.  This is typically a “holiday” recipe in December, but you can see how you can change it up for any holiday–or for a random Tuesday in April!  You can make them without a “topping” or you can add crushed candy canes, toffee pieces or white chocolate chips…as a variation.

Valentine’s Round Up

While my husband will tell you that every day is Valentine’s Day, I would beg to differ!  That aside, I do enjoy having fun with the kids for Valentine’s and this year with 60″ of snow and still counting, it’s the only thing keeping us sane!  So here are some of my favorite Valentine’s ideas, crafts and goodies.  Enjoy! These were Zain’s Valentine’s from first grade with bouncy balls…Valentine, You Make My Heart Bounce!  It’s safe to say, they were a huge hit all round.  Here is a link to a free printable of the card.  I used clear cello

White Chocolate Party Mix

This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to a sugar high that I have in my bag of tricks!  It is incredibly addictive and absolutely a party pleaser with it’s mix of salty and sweet.  You can easily swap out the cereals (Cheerios and Corn Chex) for other favorites like Golden Grahams, Honeycomb, Honey Nut Cheerios, etc.  Have fun with it!  It’s absolute party crack–enjoy it!

The Secret Carrot Cake Recipe

My mom had a successful custom baking and catering company in Storm Lake Iowa after she closed our Bed & Breakfast in Alta (my hometown).  When someone wanted to serve a “homemade” pie for company, they would bring their pie plate to my mom’s house and she would bake a pie on their behalf in their bake ware.  She even did an entire Thanksgiving dinner that way one year.  When we published our cookbooks, we were in essence giving away “the secret” recipes, which could’ve hurt her business, but instead everyone used the cookbooks as a menu for what she