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Ham hock & Bean soupI grew up with bowls of ham hocks and beans, a classic stick to your ribs comfort food that doesn’t break the bank. My guess, given that my mother grew up poor on a southern Idaho farm and my father grew up poor on a middle of Montana farm, is that this was a dish they had in common (and trust me, they didn’t have all that much in common – wink). They divorced when I was 4, but this dish was a staple with both parents for my entire childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

PoachedPearFinishedwatermarkI got this recipe from a friend some 25 years ago, while working at a photo lab in Boulder Colorado. It is still one of my go-to recipes for a simple elegant dessert. Got a half bottle of left over wine sitting around? Try these. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Thin cornmeal pancakesAfter my dad (1995) and step-mother (1999) passed away, I spent some time cleaning out the house I grew up in, and found a cache of recipes my father had clipped from various newspapers over the years. My step-mom tended to be the meat and potatoes cook of the house, but my father loved to bake. (I just used his Kitchen-Aid standing mixer today). I kept the recipes that sounded interesting, scanned them, and I’ve worked my way through most of them over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Cranberry Ambrosia MoldThere are certain foods from my childhood that I tend to refer to as “food porn”. You know, those foods that you KNOW aren’t really healthy, and are pretty much nothing like how you eat now, but that when put in front of you, you eat until you can’t see straight. You have no resistance. The combination of sugar, fat, and nostalgia are irresistible. Read the rest of this entry »

PeasI like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie, eschewing any recipe that includes a can of cream of “fill in the blank” soup as part of its ingredient list. But lately, I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with all mayonnaise based salads, be they broccoli, carrot, cabbage, or in this case, pea. Sometimes those church ladies are simply onto something. Read the rest of this entry »

Dandelion w/o flowersI’ve been learning about edible weeds for a long long time. I have a used copy of “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” that I bought almost 30 years ago. But there is one problem. I never actually get around to eating the wild plants. I know you CAN eat them, but I almost never do. And if the situation ever became more critical (I NEEDED to know how to prepare and eat them) I’d be flying by the seat of my pants and challenging my palate while already dealing with a stressful situation. Not a good combination. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20151003_181626watermarkOver the years, I’ve tried to find a “go to” recipe for most vegetables. A recipe that takes the vegetable from “I should eat this, its healthy” to “is there any more in the pan” status. Cabbage was a tough one for me. Cabbage is inexpensive. It shows up on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15 List“. That is, vegetables that, even when conventionally grown, don’t have much pesticide residue. And, partially because it’s in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower and kale (the Brassica’s) its super healthy. Full of fiber, nutrition, and anti-oxidants. But, if cooked wrong, it can also be stinky and unappetizing. So, a few years ago, I was searching for cooked cabbage recipes that were not just good, but something I would look forward to. Read the rest of this entry »

StackedEnchiladaCasserole2

OK, so getting it out of the pan intact is a challenge. But it all tastes good.

I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe. Probably an old subscription to Cooking Light or Eating Well. All I know is that it is super easy, super adaptable, inexpensive to make, relatively healthy and very satisfying to eat. It comes together in minutes, unlike traditional enchiladas, with all that messy rolling. If I had to pick just seven dinners to make once a week for the next year, this would probably be one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Carrots. Healthy, nutritious and cheap.

I recently ran across an article in my Facebook feed, about a reporter taking the “Food Stamp” challenge. He attempted to eat only what he could purchase with the “average” food stamp allotment for an able bodied adult with no dependents, which is $29.69 a week. I had a bit of a rant about it on my personal Facebook page, pointing out that SNAP (the new name for food stamps) stands for SUPPLEMENTAL Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s not meant to be your sole source of nutrition if you are an able bodied adult. I also pointed out that the reporter had made some poor food choices, such as prewashed salad greens and nutritionally empty white bread. I proudly claimed that while it would be tight, I could certainly do much better nutritionally, and that I could ABSOLUTELY feed myself for $30 a week. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20141123_124614watermarkThis wonderful and simple recipe was sent to me by my friend Lauri. It’s originally from Ortega, and calls for their 4 oz canned chilies. Since I roast and freeze my own chilies, I just use those. This makes a great breakfast (the leftovers are great for work the next day), and we’ve been known to have it for dinner when we are awash in eggs or in a hurry. Prep time is really fast, and its on the table in less than an hour. It’s also a great change of pace from the “all things turkey” after the Thanksgiving week-long leftover fest. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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