The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

A Wife Who Can't Cook



I fear, based on a quote sent in this week from Esther Garber of Ashland, that she has been talking with my family. Submitted by Ms. Garber:

There is one more thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t - and that is a wife who can’t cook and will.”

I can only think of my recent adventures in the kitchen with pumpkin mac n cheese and my family who hated it.

One more tidbit to add on to that gourd-ish pasta. One of the girls had a softball game in Savannah that evening and my mom was driving from Suffield to watch. We pulled into the lot and I revealed that I had brought some of the pumpkin macaroni for my mom to try. Courtney looked at me incredulously and called, “You are going to do that to Grandma?!” Yes, mam.

The following week I asked my mom how she liked it. She replied, only as a mother could, that she felt it surely must have marinated and gotten stronger overnight, so no, she didn’t care for it.

Eric didn’t skip a beat in replying to his mother-in-law. “Nope, Carolyn, it tasted that bad from the get go.”


Anyway... November will be here before we know it. Dear readers, would you please send in your favorite recipes to make for Thanksgiving? I’d love to see the dishes that grace your table.

Apple Mallow Yam Yums

Submitted by Esther Garber, Ashland, Ohio

2 apples, sliced

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 (17 oz.) can yams, dried

1/4 cup butter

2 cups miniature marshmallows

Toss apples and nuts with combined cinnamon and brown sugar. In a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, alternate layers of the apple mixture with yams. Dot with butter. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over yams and apples. Broil until lightly browned.

Pigs in a Blanket

Submitted by Esther Garber, Ashland, Ohio

8 wieners

3 thin strips American cheese

8 crescent rolls

Slit wieners to within 1/2” of ends and insert strips of cheese. Place each on a crescent roll dough triangle. Wrap dough over wiener and place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Yankee Franks and Noodles

Submitted by Esther Garber, Ashland, Ohio

1 lb. hot dogs

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 Tbsp. basil or oregano

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 cups wide noodles

2 Tbsp. parsley

Brown hotdogs and onions in butter. Stir in remaining ingredients and put in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Kindergarten Cookies

Submitted by Esther Garber, Ashland, Ohio

1 small child

5-6 years of tender loving care

2 lbs. patience

2 cups (heaping) good manners

4 tsp. safety rules

1 tsp. humor

10 sticky fingers

Generous pinch of reading time

1 cup responsibility

If dough is wiggly, add a few extra hugs until desired consistency is obtained. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes for proper discipline. Place in desired world with interest. Set goals that will give child a feeling of accomplishment. Will produce creative, enthusiastic, capable child. Caution, I will crumble easily. Must be reassured often.

Skillet Sweet Potato Casserole

Submitted by Hazel Nolt, Jeromesville, Ohio

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 pkg. taco seasoning

1 tsp. turmeric

2 cups cubed sweet potatoes

1 package frozen green beans, thawed

1 onion, sliced thinly

Salt and pepper

Brown meat and add seasonings. Layer sweet potatoes, green beans, and onion on op. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Garbage Fries

Submitted by Hazel Nolt, Jeromesville, Ohio

French Fries:

Cut 4 large potatoes into French fry strips. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees-375 degrees for 1 hour or until crispy.

Sloppy Jo:

Brown 1 lb. ground beef and add your favorite barbeque sauce.

Cheese Sauce:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

1 tsp. salt

2 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar or Velveeta)

Melt butter and stir in flour until thick and bubbly. Whisk in milk and salt and continue whisking until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. To serve, layer fries, sloppy jo, and cheese sauce on plates. Top with chopped onion, pepper, and tomato and sour cream if desired.

Slow Cooked Chili

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (16 ounces each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (16 ounces each) light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut up

1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies

4 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Chicken Tater Bake

2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/4 cup butter, cubed

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas and carrots, thawed

1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots

In a large saucepan, combine the soup, milk and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Remove from the heat; stir in the chicken, peas and carrots, and 1 cup cheese. Transfer to two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. Top with Tater Tots. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Bake the remaining casserole at 400 degrees until bubbling, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. To use frozen casserole: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until heated through.

Best Ever Beans and Sausage

1-1/2 pounds bulk spicy pork sausage

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (31 ounces) pork and beans

1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1-1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp. ground mustard

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add green pepper and onion; sauté until tender. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover. Bake 20-30 minutes longer or until bubbly.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce

1 cup ranch salad dressing

3 cans (4-1/2 ounces each) chunk white chicken, drained and shredded

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Thinly sliced green onions, optional

Corn or tortilla chips

Celery sticks

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, hot pepper sauce and salad dressing. Stir in chicken. Spread into an ungreased 11x7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until heated through. If desired, sprinkle with green onions. Serve with chips and celery sticks.

Eggs Florentine

Potluck Casserole

1 lb. bulk pork sausage

2 Tbsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

12 large eggs

2 cups 2% milk

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain and transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. In same skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in spinach. Spoon vegetable mixture over sausage. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk until blended; pour egg mixture over vegetables. Sprinkle with cheeses and paprika. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until the center is set and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Caramel Apple Crisp

3 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup cold butter, cubed

8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples

1 package (14 ounces) caramels, halved

1 cup apple cider, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer half of each of the following: apples, caramels and remaining oat mixture. Repeat layers. Drizzle 1/2 cup cider over top. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Drizzle with remaining cider; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until apples are tender.

Breakfast Sausage Bread

2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen white bread dough, thawed

1/2 lb. mild pork sausage

1/2 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage

1-1/2 cups diced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 large eggs, divided use

2-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp. garlic powder

Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook sausage, mushrooms and onion over medium-high heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles. Drain. Transfer to a bowl; cool. Stir in two eggs, cheese and seasonings. Roll each loaf of dough into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Spread half of the sausage mixture over each rectangle to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seams to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk remaining egg. Brush over tops. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Freeze option: Securely wrap and freeze cooled loaves in foil and place in resealable plastic freezer bags. To use, place foil-wrapped loaf on a baking sheet and reheat in a 450 degrees oven 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Carefully remove foil; return to oven a few minutes longer until crust is crisp.

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