Glass of iced tea

The Best Sweet Tea Ever

It may sound silly, but after thirty years of making sweet tea, I think I’ve finally found the secret. I’m even willing to share! Fill a two-quart saucepan almost full of filtered water. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add 10 tagless black tea bags or one iced tea sized bag. Cover and let tea steep for … Read More

Authentic Czech-Slovak Gluten-Free Goulash

My mother’s family is Bohemian. My great-aunt Mary Skiba came over on the boat. We lived in a tight knit community where most of the neighbors shared our heritage. Growing up, I didn’t know that we ate different than others. When we went to church on Easter to have our food blessed, most people had the same items in their … Read More

Pot of homemade brine for meat

Pendergrass Brine Recipe

We’ve recently started brining our pork, chicken, and turkey. It adds a whole new level of juicy goodness to these easy-to-dry out meats!

Photo of Cold Cuban Bean Salad in a bowl

Cuban Cold Bean Salad

One of the most refreshing (and protein-rich!) summer salads I make is this Cuban Cold Bean Salad. It’s easy! The hardest part comes in chopping all the veggies, but just turn up your radio and jam out while you do. Cuban Cold Bean Salad 3 cans of beans rinsed and drained (we always use black beans, then we vary on the … Read More

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Super easy! Vanilla extract. 2 vanilla beans cut in half then sliced open lengthwise plus a half pint of vodka. Let sit for 2 months in a cool dark place.    

Pickling Spice Recipe

No additives. No preservatives. No MSG.   Nothing but real food and goodness. I’ve tweaked this recipe to my version of perfection! Pickling Spice 2 cinnamon sticks (crushed) 5 bay leaves 6 tablespoons mustard seed 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon whole cloves 1 teaspoon mace 1 teaspoon dill seed 1 teaspoon ground ginger 6 teaspoons … Read More

Four clear containers of fresh basil pesto in a row, next to a bundle of fresh basil

She {hearts} Fresh Basil Pesto

  Nothing compares to the intense flavor of fresh basil. If you plan things well, you can carry that fresh summer flavor through the winter by freezing homemade pesto. Once you try this, you’ll never go back to buying pesto. My basil plants were started by seed indoors early in the spring and transplanted to the garden. The secret to … Read More

Spicy Spices

We cook a lot You probably already know that though. and I’m sick of how cruddy the spice cabinet looks We buy bulk from a local spice store: Molly Bea’s Ingredients (so inexpensive compared to the McChain store) Not wanting to spend mega-bucks on spice containers (ugly spice containers) the beautiful herbs and spices just sat. Ugly. Until inspiration struck! … Read More

Freezing Sweet Corn on the Cob

Freezing sweet corn on the cob is so simple. 1. Shuck it (take the husks & silks off) 2. Blanch it (Boil it for 6 minutes) 3. Cool it (in ice water) 3. Freeze it (in Ziplocs) That’s it. At $2.00/dozen, I’m freezing about 10 dozen on the cob and 5 dozen off the cob. $30 for a year’s worth … Read More