straight to my heart

Joel fired up the grill for our first BBQ of the season…..look what he made for me! It was so good! Salmon marinated in ginger sesame dressing, cheese filled peppers, grilled veggies and orzo. It made my heart happy…. all of the love….and the omega 3.

lets celebrate!

So this Sunday I had over some friends to celebrate the birthday of my wonderful, beautiful friend Heidi. It was a great time! The seven of us lingered over dinner and drinks and then had a great time playing games. People left with sleepy faces and full bellies… gauge of a good time.

We had Meatloaf, Potatoes with Onions and Sour Dressing, Lettuce Salad, Sour Cream Cornbread, and Spice Cake with Cream Cheese icing. Yum. The only thing left was a few slices of cake….although according to the recipe, the Meatloaf should have served 12 people. Hey, when its good, its good!

A little extra onion makes everything better!

Beating the eggs for the meatloaf….

Caught in eating action!

Birthday cake and birthday flowers.

meat loaf

Meat Loaf

Recipe submitted by Mrs J. R. Diller, Hesston, Kan.

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1 cup milk or tomato juice

1 medium onion, minced

1 or 2 eggs beaten

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

6 strips bacon

Soak bread crumbs in milk and add beaten egg.

Add meat, onion and seasoning. Form into a loaf (do not pack) and place in a baking dish; then put strips of bacon on top of loaf.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Serves 6.


Another variation may be made by removing baked hamburger loaf from pan and placing it in a broiler pan. Spread with catsup and place under broiler for several minutes.

This variation submitted by Mrs Pearl Schmidt, Greensburg, Kan.


This was super good! It was probably in part by the awesome grass fed beef from Country Meadows Farms at Central Market. Also, there was bacon on top….. I mean really, how can that ever go bad?

I did change a few things; I added about 3 times the amount of salt and pepper called for as well as some garlic salt and an extra onion.

I doubled the recipe and used 2 eggs total. My bread crumbs were made from 14 grain bread from Rics Bread

Lastly, use the catsup, just do it, it makes it wonderful!

The birthday girl later told me she doesn’t even really like meat loaf…….she loved this!

potatoes with onions and sour dressing

Potatoes with Onions and Sour Dressing

Recipe submitted by Catherine J. Miller, Grantville, Md.

4 cups diced raw potatoes

1 cup sliced onion

2 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp vinegar

2Tbsp fat

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

Cook potatoes in enough water to barley cover. When they are nearly done, melt fat in a separate pan and fry the onions until light brown.

Blend sugar and flour with milk and cream to make a paste.

When the potatoes are soft add the fried onions.

Then add the paste and vinegar and cook until it thickens.

There should not be more then 1/2 cup water on the potatoes when milk paste is added.

Serves 8.


These potatoes were awesome! I was being distracted by a chocolate milk and Kahlua concoction I had just made, and ended up not following the directions exactly. I think it was probably for the best!

Instead of putting the onions into the potatoes, I drained the potatoes and dumped them into the skillet with the fried onions. I think they got thicker this way (obviously less liquid) and were more like mashed potatoes.

I fried the onions in lard which I think added to the flavor and I added a spoonful of sour cream into the mix. So darn tasty! Oh, and this recipe does not serve 8 people….. unless the people are children or are not hungry…….

sour cream corn bread

Sour Cream Corn Bread

An Old Recipe

Recipe submitted by Mrs John Saltzman, Shickley, Neb.

3/4 cup corn meal

1 cup flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp cream of tarter

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg, well beaten

2 Tbsp melted butter

1 cup thick sour cream

4 Tbsp milk

Sift flour and corn meal; measure and add soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar. Sift again.

Add beaten egg, cream, milk and melted shortening.

Beat thoroughly. Pour into greased pan 9 inches square.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.


If you like cornbread, this one is a keeper. My cornbread always seems to get dry and is never as tasty as I think it will be. Not this cornbread. Moist and so good, just sweet enough and with a hint of tang from the sour cream.

I did add about 1 1/2 Tbsp extra sugar and 1 Tbsp extra butter…..I was worried because of my prior corn bread experiences. Although I am sure it didn’t hurt, I probably didn’t even need to add the extra butter and sugar. I will definitely be making this again, so maybe I will make it both ways and compare. I will keep you posted.

This is one of those times where we ate the final product without a picture….whoops. It was warm, out of the oven and calling our names…..what more can I say?

spice cake

Spice Cake

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Lloyd Eberly, Salem, Ohio; Mrs. E. M. Glick, Parksburg, Pa.; Elizabeth M. Batterman, Hanover, Pa

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp each of cloves and nutmeg

3/4 cup of sweet milk and

2 tsp baking powder


1 cup buttermilk or sour milk and

1 tsp soda

Cream shortening.

Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat until light.

Sift flour: measure and add salt, spices, and baking powder or soda. Sift again.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Pour into greased layer pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 2 (9 inch) layers.


Ok. So I am having a bit of trouble with these Mennonite cakes! It is starting to be very frustrating…… They always come out dry. Nobody likes a dry cake. ( Well, it could not have been that bad because everyone ate a piece and some folks had two…..) I think it’s because I always use butter for the shortening. Next time, I am going to use oil and see what happens.

This cake had a great flavor and was perfect with cream cheese icing. It’s a combo my Mom would make often and I think I need to talk to her or my sister about how to keep it moist. Other than being dry, this cake was really good!

I doubled the amount of spices and think it was a good amount. If you are going to use the cream cheese icing recipe, you should double it so there is enough for the layers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe submitted by Mrs. C. R. Eby, Hagerstown, Md.

2 packages of cream cheese (6 ounces)

2/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

Cream the cheese until soft. Sift sugar and add it gradually. Stir until smooth.

Add lemon juice and blend together.

Spread on cake.

This is especially good on spice cake.

And again, no finished product. I was very excited about eating…….but trust me, you should make this one….it would be awesome on carrot cake!

my joy

I hadn’t had a group meal for a few weeks and it was so nice to have people in the house. It always amazes me how much joy and energy I get from having others into my home.

I recently visited my grandma High after not spending much time with her for most of my life (see post- molasses in the afternoon under My Menno Musings). She talked to me about the many, many weddings and church events she has cooked for in the past. It bought her joy to work and provide, and be a blessing to others. We talked about being productive and using our hands. It was eye opening to me…..that I could have more in common with her then I ever thought. I came away with a better understanding of her….. and a better understanding of myself…..more later…

summer is here!

Working in my garden today made me so excited for summer veggies! It inspired this salad of romaine, celery, carrots,almonds, dried cranberries and blue cheese. Let the planting begin!