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Kielbasa Kapusta

Here's a recipe I tried one night for a Polish Dinner I made for our family. Serve with Potato and Cheese Pierogi or Mashed Potatoes.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sweet yellow onions, chopped
2 pounds kielbasa, 3-inch slices
32 oz. sauerkraut, drained
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add onions and kielbasa and cook until onions are translucent and kielbasa has browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add sauerkraut, crushed tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 12-15 minutes. Serves 4-6.

German Cabbage

Here's a tangy, delicious dish to serve your family, especially good with pork or corned beef. Enjoy!

3 slices bacon
1/2 head medium cabbage, shredded
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon celery seed
salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet, cook bacon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Crumble into small pieces. Set aside. In remaining fat drippings, saute onion, and green pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage.

In small bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, and water, stirring well until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cabbage and stir ingredients. Sprinkle with celery seed, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until cabbage is tender for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Before serving, sprinkle crumbled bacon over top. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pumpkin Recipes

It's October and time to get out your pumpkin recipes.
Here are a few of our favorites to make for your family!

Red Cabbage with Apples

Here's a delicious recipe that my mother-in-law makes. It's the perfect accompaniment to any German fare. Enjoy! 

2 pounds red cabbage, coarsely shredded
2/3 cups red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 medium Jonathan apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 cup water
3 tablespoons dry red wine
3 tablespoons red currant jelly (or grape jelly)
salt and pepper

Place cabbage in large bowl and sprinkle with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Set aside. In large saute pan, melt bacon fat and saute apples and onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, bay leaf, cloves, and water. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours, keeping it moist with extra water if needed. When the cabbage is done, there should be no liquid left in the pan. Just before serving, remove bay leaf and cloves and stir in wine and jelly. Taste to season with salt and pepper. Serves 6-8. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


Here is a neat recipe to make for St. Patrick's Day or Octoberfest, with a substitution of sausage for the usual hamburger. I like to serve this with Country Potato Soup.

1/2 head medium cabbage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound sausage, browned and drained

5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
2 packages dry yeast
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs

In large skillet, brown sausage. Shred the cabbage as you would for slaw. Add cabbage, onion, water, salt and pepper to cooked sausage; simmer until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.

For dough, in large bowl combine 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt just till butter starts to melt (115-120 degrees). Add to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix until combined. Stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic for 5-7 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double, for 1 hour.

Punch down and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each into 4" square. Spoon 1/3 - 1/2 cup meat mixture in center of each. Bring corners together and pinch edges tight. Place on greased cookie sheet, pinched side down. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. These may be wrapped in foil and frozen. Serves 12.
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Deborah Raney's Family Favorite Apple Crisp

Deborah Raney’s thirty-plus books have garnered multiple industry awards, including the RITA, the Carol, the HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title, continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences, and serves on the executive board of the 2,600-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb’s novels—for life in the friendly city of Wichita. They have four children and seven precious grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at

Deborah's Latest Book Release - Reason to Breathe

Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love’s plan all along. . . 

At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuck—until her father’s protégé, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical. 

To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she’s still reeling over her father’s hasty engagement to a younger woman? Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences. Purchase the book HERE.

Deborah's Family Favorite Apple Crisp

4 cups (about 3-4 medium) apples, peeled and sliced thin

Mix and pour over apples: 
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Crumble Topping: 
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, diced 

Mix topping together with pastry blender or fork till crumbly.
Place apples in greased baking dish (either 6x10 or a 10-inch quiche pan). Sprinkle topping evenly over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Spiced Speculaas

Here's a delicious cookie that is nearly identical to those windmill cookies you can buy in the store. Only better. Try them. One of my favorite cookies and perfect to serve with hot tea.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons speculaas spice (to make your own, see below.)
1/2 teaspoon koster salt
1 egg

In small bowl, combine flours and baking soda. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla, spice, salt, and egg. Mix until well blended. Carefully stir in flour mixture. Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours. 

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one half of the dough at a time and roll 1/8" thick. Press each cookie using a springerle cookie mold, cutting out each cookie, one at a time. (To prevent dough from sticking to molds, brush mold with powdered sugar each time you press, and then press down hard enough to create a good impression.) Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to help retain the design. 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on pans. Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size of molds.

Speculaas Spice:
6 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground aniseed
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

In small bowl, combine all spices and mix well. Store in a cool, dry container. Makes almost 4 tablespoons.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's a recipe I like to make that have two of my favorite ingredients in them--chocolate and peanut butter. Yum!

2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. peanut butter chips
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake to 8-10 minutes until centers are set. Makes 4 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Time for Soup

Now that autumn has officially arrived, it's time to get out my soup pot to start making delicious soups for our family. There are so many soup recipes to choose from, but here are our Top Twelve Favorites. Enjoy! 

Szarlotka (Polish Berry Pie)

 Here is a Polish dessert very similar to a cobbler. You may substitute the blueberries for mixed berries or apples.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
9 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
18 oz. fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, add flour, sugar, baking powder. Mix until combined. Add slices of butter, pulsing just until crumbs form. Add eggs and pulse again just until mixed. Do not over mix. 

In a medium bowl, lightly mix together blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon.

In a 9-inch springform pan, press 2/3 batter to cover the bottom and sides. Add blueberry mixture on top of the batter. Crumble remaining 1/3 batter over blueberries. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes until crust is lightly browned and dough is cooked in the center. Serve with whipped topping or ice-cream. Serves 8-10.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.