the way to a man's heart

What's for dinner?

Sometimes I am asked to share a recipe.  Problem is that I will read different ways of doing something and then tweak it to suit our family.  Very rarely do I ever follow a recipe to the letter.

Here are two recipes to share.

Spicy tuna cakes

My changes were, first - I doubled the recipe.  I did not change much.  I used butter, lime and dried cilantro.  And I did use paper liners.  They turned out good and tasty.  Filed in the keeper box.  When we put the left overs away we put a paper towel in the bottom of the container.  They were a little wet.

Indonesian meat and potato fritters

Again, our own touch.  We used a combination of elk, beef and our pork sausage.  I did not have tapioca starch so I used arrowroot, until I ran out.  Then I used a combination of coconut flour and almond meal.  I would make sure I have the tapioca next time.  The coconut and almond was a heavier breading.  The arrowroot was much better.  And we will add more spice next time.  

Having the mashed potato in the meatballs is a great idea.  They are kind of light and creamy.  I don't think they are going to hang around the fridge for very long.

I will try to remember to share recipes with you more often.  


Sweet Potatoes

This is a recipe for the sweet potatoes that we serve here at the Dog and Duck Yard.  It is a recipe that I was told was served in the White House long ago.  I have been making them for 20 years.  Enjoy.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
heat oven to 350  -greased casserole
cook for 20-25 minutes - until set
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup melted butter
mix together sprinkle on top bake 15-20 minutes
and yes, for those of you that had this at church today I tweaked the recipe.  I used squash, less sugar and butter, oats instead of flour, and mixed it all together.


I like to make my own salsa.  I claim it as my own but it was shown to me years ago by a good friend's grandmother.  Thank you Nana.  In California they used all fresh ingredients but living in Germany all those years I had to tweak it to use canned items.  When you can get fresh ingredients and good tomatoes, by all means, make it fresh.  Here is the basics, adjust to your own taste.  Joe likes to get slap happy with the peppers on occasion.  It is a matter of tasting as you work and keep in mind it will get hotter as it ages.  You never know the heat level of the peppers especially when it is pepper season, they can be warm.


The easiest way to tell you….


Green onion



Diced tomatoes

Green chiles


Lime or lemon and salt


1 bunch, 2 bunch, 1 large – this time of year use sweet, good handful, 3 -28 oz. cans, 2 large cans(4oz. can), almost the whole jar, all the juice and a tsp of salt.  Does that make sense?  It is good for about a week and I freeze the leftovers for chili or stew.  If you are making for people that don’t eat hot you need more tomatoes and if they eat hot you use less – something like that!  Don’t forget to chop all your frustrations away and add the major ingredient of love.





Halloween Candy

can be put to good use after all.  I usually put some of the candy away to fill pockets when we are skiing.  I found a new way to use up candy today.  I hid candy in some of the trash and things in the yard that needed to be taken care of before the snow tomorrow.  Granted the dogs were following me so the kids had to move a little faster if they wanted to beat the dogs to the candy.  The dogs really wanted the peanut MM's.

I wonder if I hid candy in the clothes, would they get put away any faster?

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie

from Tim’s Sister Joan

You will need a two crust pie crust.  Make it a lattice type top to let the steam out.

3 cup rhubarb

1 ½ cup sugar

3 Tbsp flour

1 beaten egg

1 Tbsp butter

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 cup cream

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and 375 degrees for 30 min or until bubbly.

We need more fruitcakes in this world

so says Jimmy Buffet.

This is the recipe from my Dad's Grandmother for her fruitcake.  Yes, it is that time of year.  My Dad says it is the best fruitcake.

Grandma Daugherty’s Fruit Cake

Pre-heat oven to 290°.  Generously grease and flour 2 tube pans.

1 blue box & 1 red box of raisins (about 1lb each, white and red raisins)

4 cups sugar

4 cups water

1 cup shortening

Mix above ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer 3 minutes, then cool to lukewarm.  Cut into mixture:

1 to 1½ lbs candied pineapple (about 8 slices)

1 to 1½ lbs candied cherries

1lb dates

1 whole orange peal

½ lemon peel

Sift together:

4 cups flours

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1½ tsp ground cloves

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

To raisin and fruit mixture add:

4 cups pecans – coarsely chopped

2 cups walnuts – whole (not chopped) (Brazil nuts or English walnuts may be substituted)

Stir thoroughly.

Add flour mixture a cup or so at a time and stir into fruit mixture until batter is thick enough to mound on a spoon.  Spoon into tube pans.  Add flour if necessary, but batter should not have to be stirred after spooning into pan.  It should settle slowly.

Bake approximately 2½ hours, or until cake pulls away from the sides and cake tester comes out clean.



Edited to add - pour brandy over the cakes and wrap, seal.  Do this a few times before you serve. see comments.  Karen



Oct. 25 -  talked with my Mom today.  She said it could be true about Grandma Daugherty not giving a complete recipe!  She said the cake was crumbly last year but tasted right. (that could be the altitude) My husband, Tim, says they probably used bourbon instead of brandy to soak the cakes??  Any of the older crowd remember?

sharing recipes

One thing that has been interesting about this blog world is how nice most of the people are.  I know that there are those who want to snap and growl but I am thankful for the ones that are willing to share their knowledge and wisdom, or experience with the rest of us.

The homeschool blog world is a vast sea of experiences and grace, freely given.  The goat world too.  I could never begin to keep up with some of these Ladies in their talent of writing.  It is their generosity in sharing their experiences and wisdom, and sometimes admitting their mistakes, that impress me. 

And they are friendly when you email them and ask questions!  They don't even know you and they give you a moment of their time.

Here is the white fruitcake we made last year on the first Sunday in Advent.  It was very good and A Gypsy Caravan was willing to share the recipe.  Again.  Thank you.

There's no place like The Dog and Duck Yard

There may be many Dog and Duck Pubs or Inns.  There is even a Dog and Duck Barbecue in Texas but they could not hold a candle to The Dog and Duck Yard!  We had awesome live music, great weather, tasty beer and brats that can not be found any where else.  Best of all we had our friends and family to spend a Sunday afternoon with.

We hosted an end of summer party.  We made bratwurst from our piggy, stuffed them ourselves and then stuffed ourselves eating them.  We had hamburgers, sauerkraut, potato salad, Chinese Chicken salad, pasta, cookies, brownies and all kinds of goodies.  And we had kids!  It is so nice to have all the kids, big and little, running around this place.

There is no place I would rather have been then right here in our home yesterday.  I love it when we are able to get together with friends and family and just enjoy life.  Life is Good.  God has blessed us all richly.  Thank you all for joining us.

The weather was great, we all stayed outside so clean up was easy this morning.  One thing I almost left for a little while - all the little hand prints on the back door.  The sound of laughter and conversations lingers in the air.  The sound of one little boy's giggling as he put rocks in the dump truck and dumped them out was still with us as we put the truck away.  "Benny and the Jets" running through our brains early this morning.  All of the sounds, sights, smells and taste that weave a tapestry of our lives in our memories.

I am still wondering if a certain young adult was really afraid of sitting near me or was it just a ploy to make me get up and move my chair so we could share the blanket.  :~)

As I unplugged the lights last night it started to sprinkle.  Thank you, Lord, for saying goodnight.

Dinner trail

I was looking for a recipe for Pozole and found this site.  Rolly was kind enough to allow me to link his site here and to share with other homeschoolers.  I think he has done a great job on his site with the pictures and the stories.  I wish I could be in Dona Martha's kitchen.  Bless you, Rolly, for sharing.  Enjoy your time in Mexico.

our cookies

Our Cookies

This is the cookie we have been working on for a little while.  There is always some kind of tweaking going on.  We use fresh ground soft wheat most of the time.  What kind of raisins, dried fruit, nuts or chips we use depends on what we have in the house.  I am partial to hazel nuts.  The raisins, dries cranberries or fruit I use will be simmered for five minutes to get them plump.  My dad likes them.  That in itself is a feat!  Don’t tell him he is eating whole wheat!!!

1 C. shortening

½ c. butter

2-3 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

1 ½ c. sugar

1 ½ c. brown sugar

Cream together.

Mix dry ingredients together.

3 c. oats

4 c. flour (520 gram or there abouts)

2 tsp. soda

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp of fresh ground nutmeg

Mix with the creamed ingredients and add

1 c simmered raisins, drained

2c. chocolate chip

1 ½ - 2 c nuts

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so.

If you refrigerate the dough before baking it will not spread so far.  If you are using store flour you may need a little less because the fresh ground flour is different.

We use an ice cream scoop to measure them out.  Max says if you make an ‘L’ shape on the cookie sheet it is easier to know where to place the balls of dough.