The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

Mother's Day Weekend


We spent Mother’s Day weekend camping with another family at Pleasant Hill. It was enjoyable to be around their larger family of mostly boys. Courtney, who likes to play in the dirt with the best of ‘em, had a ball keeping up with the boys and making new friends with a girl camping across the way.

Lots of good food was to be had also... pie iron pizzas, pie iron pies, sausage egg sandwiches, potatoes fried over the fire in a cast iron skillet (Sadie’s specialty), and a big pot of chili that simmered all day over the fire.

This morning, as I write this after seeing the kids off to school, I am thankful for good friends, a good family, and good times spent with these folks.

Have a happy week everyone!


Cast-Iron Sugar Snap Peas

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed and rinsed

3 or 4 sliced scallions or green onions

Salt and pepper


Lemon juice

Fresh mint leaves if available

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (not too hot as olive oil tends to smoke). Add sugar peas and onions; mix well. Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Cook 4 to 5 minutes then reduce heat. Add lemon juice and mint. Continue to cook, if needed, until beans are done, but still firm and not mushy. Serve hot.


Dandelion Cookies

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oats

1/4 cup dandelion petals (remove yellow flower petals from green; use petals only)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together oil and honey. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, oats and flower petals. Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on each cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes.


Black Bean Dip

2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro, separate liquid from tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Separate liquid from tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Place 3/4 cup tomatoes, black beans, garlic, cumin, salt, and 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from the tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and garnish with remaining tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.


Chicken and Rice Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. crushed garlic

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

2 stalks celery, diced, plus a few leaves

7 or 8 chicken tenderloins, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tsp. dried thyme or 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

2 tsp. curry paste

2 (32-oz.) cans chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup instant rice

Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Sauté until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken and stir until golden brown. Add thyme and curry paste; stir in broth. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer gently 30 minutes. Bring back to a boil and add rice. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes.


Oven Grilled Cheese

2 slices American cheese

2 sliced bread


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place on a cookie sheet butter side down. Place your favorite brand of American sliced cheese (or any other kind you prefer). Place other piece of bread on top, butter side up. Bake for approximately 6 minutes. Take out of oven and flip. Bake additional 2-3 minutes until done. Makes 1 grilled cheese sandwich.


Lazy Day Beef & Veggie Soup

2 1/2 lbs. stew beef, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 (14 oz.) cans beef broth

1 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onions, undrained

1 cup water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 cups mixed vegetables, fresh, frozen, or canned

1 cup uncooked ditalini or other small pasta

Shredded Italian blend cheese, optional

Combine beef, broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, water, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper in a 4 or 5-quart slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or on low about 8 hours. Try not to stir mixture while cooking; leave lid on. An hour before serving, stir in mixed vegetables and pasta. Cover and cook 1 hour or until vegetables and pasta are tender. Stir well before serving. Top with cheese, if desired.


French Dip Sandwiches

1 packet onion soup mix

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. boneless rump roast, trimmed

1 loaf French bread

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Combine onion soup mix and broth in crock pot. Add roast; cook on low 8 hours. Remove roast and shred. Slice French bread in half lengthwise. Layer beef then cheese. Wrap in foil, bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Slice and serve with au jus for dipping.


Cornbread Salad

2 (15 oz.) cans whole-kernel corn, drained

1 (15-oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 or 2 tomatoes, diced

1 chopped onion, preferably a sweet one

1/2 (16 oz.) bottle zesty Italian dressing

1/2 cup bacon bits

2 (8.5-oz.) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix plus ingredients for making

Combine everything except cornbread mix in a bowl and refrigerate. Make the cornbread using directions on label to prepare as muffins. Cool and crumble cornbread. Just before serving, combine cornbread with refrigerated mixture. Serve immediately or cornbread will get soggy.


Green Chile Cheese Grits

4 cups water

1 cup grits or 4 packets instant grits

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter

2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chiles or to taste

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese or mixed Mexican-style shredded cheese, divided

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add grits and salt. Cook until thick, stirring occasionally. Add butter and stir to melt. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients, except cheese. Mix well. Stir in half the cheese. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch or 10x10-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle reserved cheese evenly over top and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour.


Patriotic Pie

1 1/2 cups boiling water, divided

1 small box (3 oz.) Jell-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

1 cup ice cubes, divided

1 Graham Cracker Crust

1 small box (3 oz.) Jello-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin {or any red flavor}

1 cup thawed Cool Whip whipped topping

Add 3/4 cup boiling water to blue Jello, stir until dissolved about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup ice cubes, stir until ice is completely melted. Pour into crust, refrigerate 5-10 minutes or until set but not firm. Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup boiling water with red Jello, using the same directions as for the blue Jello. Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool until slightly thickened. Spread Cool Whip over blue layer. Carefully pour red Jello on top of Cool Whip. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. Garnish with Cool Whip and fresh berries.


Strawberry Cream Pie

1 graham cracker crust store bought (larger extra serving size) or homemade

2/3 cup boiling water

1 package (4 oz. serving size) strawberry gelatin

1/2 cup cold water + enough ice cubes to make 1 cup

1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed

1 cup wtrawberries, chopped

Strawberries for decoration, if desired

Stir boiling water into gelatin mix in large bowl, stir at least 2 minutes until gelatin is dissolved. Add ice cubes to cold water to make 1 cup, stir into gelatin mixture. Stir until thickened, remove any unmelted ice cubes Add whipped topping with a whisk until well blended. Stir in chopped strawberries. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes. Spoon filling into crust, chill for 6 hours or overnight. Decorate as desired.


Cream Wafer Cookies

Submitted by Clara Mast, Ashland, Ohio

2 cups margarine

8 eggs, beaten

4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups cream

6 tsp. Soda (in a lil hot water)

11 cups flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

Add 1 cup cocoa and 10 cups flour for chocolate.

Mix and put through cookie press. Bake at 350 degrees. Do not over bake.


Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Submitted by Clara Mast, Ashland, Ohio

1 1/2 cups butter

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. soda

1 cup oatmeal

3 cups rice crispy

2 cups coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

6 cups flour

Mix and bake at 350 degrees.


Chocolate Cake

Submitted by Annette Burkholder, Shelby, Ohio

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup Wesson oil

3 eggs

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

The batter will be very thin.


Moist Chocolate Whoppie Pies

Submitted by Annette Burkholder, Shelby, Ohio

4 cups flour

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup Wesson oil

1 cup water

4 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla in a cup, fill up to remainder of way with milk

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. vinegar

Mix well in order given and bake at 350 degrees.

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