Tag Archives: dinner

Potato Soup with Milk and Honey Bread

March in New England is a fickle beast.

Temperatures in the 60’s with sunshine one week and 18 inches of wet, heavy snow the next, (great book reading weather!)

I just finished a great little novel by Jenna Woginrich. The $4.99 ebook is called Birchthorn.  It’s suspenseful with great characters and plot twists. There’s a scene in it where one of the characters, Eli, has a pot of potato soup on the stove.

Now, I have potato soup on the brain.

Since every great soup has to have a great accompaniment, we will start with bread.

Milk, honey and a little butter are warmed and yeast is added.

This mixture is combined with flour and salt.

While Marcy sleeps next to the radiator, I work the dough in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

It’s then covered with a towel and placed in a warm place to rise.

Next, potatoes are peeled and cubed.

We add just enough water to cover the spuds and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Then, comes the bacon…


A post shared by Jodi Rhodes (@homemadeandwholesome) on

Listen to those three halved pieces of glorious bacon sizzle.

Every potato soup needs a gorgeous little purple onion.

After an hour, the dough has risen and we are ready to knead.

It only takes a few flicks of the wrist to get a smooth soft ball of dough.

That ball of dough is placed in a cast iron skillet and allowed to rise again while the oven comes up to 350 degrees.

Once the potatoes are done, they are lightly mashed along with the water that didn’t evaporate.

A couple tablespoons of butter, the bacon-fat-sauteed chopped onion and that glorious bacon  are added to the pot of potatoes.

All that’s left to do is add a little more salt and pepper and place the pot over low heat, stirring every now and then.

A warm loaf fresh out of the oven.

And a hearty meal.

Take that March, you fickle beast.

Petite Milk and Honey Bread

  • Servings: makes 1 small loaf
  • Print

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)

Place milk, butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup and heat for 90 seconds. Sprinkle yeast over top and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Stir flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Pour milk and honey mixture over top and mix with a wooden spoon and fully combined.

Place a tea towel over top of the bowl and let rise until double in size, about an hour.

Once risen, on a floured surface, knead dough until smooth, about a minute.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the ball of dough in a cast iron skillet and make a cross on top to let the fairies escape. Place the tea towel over top to let the dough rest while the oven comes up to temperature.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Slice/ break and serve.

Potato Soup

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • sharp cheddar for serving (optional)

Place peeled and cubed potatoes into a medium sized pot and cover with water just to the top of the potatoes. Add some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn burner down to medium-high and let simmer until soft.

Meanwhile, cook bacon slices in a skillet until crispy. Cut into pieces. Place diced onion into bacon grease left in the skillet. Saute on medium-low until translucent.

Mash cooked potatoes with remaining water, leaving some chunks. Add milk, butter, bacon and onions to the pot. Stir to combine and place back on the burner set to low, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like.

Serve with shredded cheddar and warm bread.



Minestrone Soup


The sun was shining this morning when we set out for the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT.

Three Red Trees, a school of natural living was holding a wildlife tracking class there. About a dozen people showed up for the monthly class, some with no knowledge of tracking while others held impressive qualifications.

We bundled up and set out to find signs and tracks of the amazing wildlife that surrounds us. We saw squirrel, bobcat, rabbit, raccoon and red fox tracks, all within a half mile or so.


Tracking is more than just following tracks, it’s as if you are interpreting for the earth.


We needed something warm and hearty once we returned home. Minestrone Soup was just the ticket.


Minestrone Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • handful of fresh green beans, chopped
  • handful of kale, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups pasta of your choice
  • parmesan cheese and crackers (optional)

Pour olive oil into a large pot over medium heat. Place onions and garlic in the pot and cook 2 minutes.

Add celery, carrots, zucchini, kale and the can of tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up into small pieces with your fingers.

Add stocks and seasonings. Let soup cook on medium high heat until it comes to a boil.

Cook 15 minutes to allow carrots to become tender. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes or until al dente.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with crackers. Enjoy :)


Inspired Chili

Like so many families, my parents divorced before I was old enough to remember them as a couple. The same holds true for my grandparents. My Gram remarried before I was old enough to know that “Grandpa” wasn’t my mother’s father. Of course, as I got older I was told this but he was and always will be, Grandpa.

My grandparents did a lot for us grandkids growing up. They took us to all the children’s theme parks in New Hampshire, like Storyland, Santa’s Village and Clark’s Trading Post.  They brought us for twist ice cream cones with rainbow jimmies at Dairy Queen in the summertime.

For Easter one year, they bought me my first bicycle. A purple Cabbage Patch Kids bike with training wheels. Grandpa taught me how to ride it.

In the picture you can see his truck in the driveway with a plate that says “I’d rather be dancing.” They used to love to go dancing. They liked going to the casino and playing the slot machines. Grandpa used to take Gram for Sunday drives to Maine to see the light houses.

My Gram made most of the meals but Grandpa had his chili. He made great chili. I once asked him for his recipe. I make mine with his in mind.

He was also the designated homefries maker for breakfast on the weekends. Now, everytime I make homefries, I’m striving to make them as tasty as he always did.

He was a heavy smoker for nearly fifty years and now has COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for him, is the occurance of chronic bronchitis in which the airways of the lungs become narrowed. He is on oxygen therapy full time. He has had some tough days and my Gram is always there taking care of him. There is no cure and he is tired a lot of the time. That is one of the symptoms along with shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, excess mucous production and a persistant cough. He isn’t able to do a lot of the things that you and I probably take for granted. He still has that smile that lights up his eyes though. I love you Grandpa and I’ll always be your “turkey”.

In honor of your great chili Grandpa, I’m sharing my recipe, which was inspired by yours.

This chili can be made in the crockpot or stove top. I’ve been using my crockpot a lot lately. It’s such a great invention :)

Start by browning a half pound of ground turkey. Add 2-3 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp black pepper and a shake or two of red pepper flakes.

Place the browned, seasoned ground turkey in your pot. Now just pile in a small onion, half a green pepper, large can of diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of good quality homemade style salsa, a can of black beans and a can of red kidney beans.

If you’re using a crockpot, place it on high for 4 hours and stir every hour or so. If you’re using a pot on the stove, simmer for 2 hours on medium heat, stirring every so often. If you like your chili spicy, add a few drops of tabasco sauce.

You could serve it straight up or with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Thomas likes his with saltine crackers. However you choose to eat it, I’m sure it will become a staple, especially in the winter months. Enjoy :)

Chicken Soup with Rice

My boy has gotten his first cold of the season. With the beginning of school a few weeks ago, I knew it wouldn’t be long before the sniffles and coughing started. One thing that is comforting when we’re sick is a steaming bowl of chicken soup. I make this particular recipe regularly in the winter as it’s an easy and nourishing meal in just one dish. Sometimes I make it in the crockpot and other times on the stove top. With just six ingredients, you might even have them all in your pantry right now. Cooked chicken, carrots, onion, celery, stock and rice.

This book here, Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak is the inspiration for the soup. He authored over twenty books and illustrated maybe four times that. He has received a number of honors, including the Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. He has received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the National Medal of Arts, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. He died this year at the age of 83.

The ingredients:

  • (2) 32oz. cartons of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything in a crockpot and heat on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours. You could alternately place everything in a pot and cook on the stove top for a couple hours.

Where does your protein come from?

macaroni and cheese with beans

Last weekend while we were trying to stay dry during our camping trip, we found ourselves perusing the aisles of a cyber cafe/book shop. Thomas found a book by an author he knew of. The book was called The Search by Tom Brown Jr. He has authored 10 books about his philosophy and 7 field guides. He is a naturalist (I love that term) and outdoorsman. His backyard while growing up was the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. From the ages of 8 to 18, he was taught how to track, hunt, fish, build and survive off the land as the Indians had for thousands of years by is boyhood friend’s grandfather, Stalking Wolf, an Apache Indian.

Thomas read this book in a day and really enjoyed it, so now I am. It is very interesting to me. It has magnified my dream of having a bit of land with a small cabin, a large garden, orchards and peacefulness away from the worrying, fretful, and accumulating society that we live in. Life has become too manufactured and marketed.

I’ve been studying wild edible plants and how to use the resources around us before going out and buying something off of a shelf. I’m reading up on canning and preservation of food. One thing I know for sure, if I had to kill an animal for meat, I would most likely become a vegetarian.

Thankfully, the proteins we require are also readily available in plant form. Beans are a great source of protein. Take this macaroni and cheese with beans for instance. I made it last night. It’s super easy and delicious. We all had two servings.

Macaroni and Cheese with Garbanzo Beans (Recipe adapted from Deceptively Delicious)

  • 1 1/2 cups pasta of your choice (I used shells)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup canned beans, such as garbanzo, navy or white beans; rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded chedder cheese
  • 1/8 tsp each of garlic salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Combine milk and beans in a blender or food processor until pureed.

Add bean mixture to a medium heated pot and stir until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cheese and cook until melted and creamy.

Stir in salt and pepper. Stir in pasta and enjoy!

Four-Cheese Chicken

My amazing husband is a jujutsuka; which is to say he practices traditional japanese jujitsu. He has been training for years and is testing for his brown belt this coming weekend. Leading up to that day, I want to provide him with the best nutrition to fuel his body. He will surely need it. It will take all he’s got to complete it and I know he will do great. We have been by each other’s side for more than half of my life and I probably know him better than he knows himself. I know he likes this chicken dish and it’s packed with protein and iron. It’s also a great source of calcium. Using low-fat cheese means fewer calories for those of us watching our waistlines.

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cooked spinach
  • 4 chicken cutlets (4 oz each), pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tsp butter

For the Sauce

  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Mix well.

Drain spinach well. Spread 1/4 cup of spinach over cutlet. Spread cheese mixture over the spinach. Starting with the short end, tightly roll up cutlets, jelly-roll style.

In a medium nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add cutlets; cook turning frequently, until browned, about 2 minutes.

Place in a baking dish.

To prepare sauce, in a small bowl, stir together milk, broth, and cornstarch. Melt butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add milk mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Pour over cutlets.

Bake until browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Serve chicken immediately.


Recipe from Healthy Meals in Minutes

Calories: 310        Carbohydrates: 7 g          Protein: 40 g         Fat: 12g



We have been using ground bison in place of ground beef for some time now. Bison is a highly nutrient dense food due to it’s proportion of protein, fat, minerals and fatty acids to its caloric value. Grass-fed bison spend their lives on grass as they always have and they aren’t subjected to questionable drugs, chemicals or hormones like the factory farming of cattle and pigs. Ground bison has a higher protein value and is leaner than ground beef. Check out this comparison.

The recipe I’m sharing today is one that I make pretty regularly. There are so many varieties of lasagna; this one is a traditional type made with pasta, meat, cheese and tomato sauce. As with most recipes, this one was mastered through many years of tweaks and modifications.

Bison and Vegetable Lasagna

1/2 lb. ground bison

9 lasagna noodles

16 oz. part skim ricotta cheese

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg

24 oz. your choice pasta sauce (I use Rinaldi Mushroom and Pepper)

1/4 of a medium zucchini, diced (contains vitamins A, C and K, manganese, magnesium, potassium, folate and phenols)

4 slices of an eggplant, diced (contains fiber, manganese, cancer fighting phytochemicals)

2-3 mushrooms, diced (contains vitamins C, B6 and B12, which boost the immune system)

1/4 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

handful of spinach leaves (contains iron, vitamins A, B6, C and K, lutein, zea-xanthin and beta-carotene, folate, potassium, manganese and omega 3 fatty acids!)

Pinch of italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and black pepper

Begin by boiling the water for pasta. Cook according to the package. Brown the ground bison. Dice up your vegetables.

Add the vegetables to the bison.

Add the tomato sauce to the mix and cook on low. Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg (helps to bind the ingredients), parmesan and seasonings and whisk until the mixture is fluffy.

Layer 3 sheets of pasta in a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon half the ricotta mixture evenly on top of pasta. Add half the meat/veggie mixture on top of the cheese.

Repeat with remainder of pasta, cheese and meat/veggie mixtures.

Spread mozzarella evenly over the last pasta layer.

I cut about an inch off of the last three sheets because you will get those crunchy pasta pieces that no one seems to like.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil carefully (the melty cheese tends to stick to the foil) and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.

 Serves 12.

Live to be 100

The food pyramid has become a plate. As you can see, half of the plate is made up of fruits and vegetables. So at every meal our plate should contain at least half fruits and vegetables.

I try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into just about everything I make. In some dishes, I try to “sneak” them in. I will dice them very small and my family has no idea about the vegetables that they have just consumed. I will also puree certain vegetables and incorporate them into meals. They add that certain thing that makes you go “hmm”.

One meal that I haven’t been stealthy with the vegetables is my “Live to be 100 Mac and Cheese”. My son has made numerous remarks about wanting everyone to live to be 100. I can’t say that this will guarantee that to happen, but eating your share of vegetables will definately help to keep your heart and circulatory system running smoothly. Vegetables are naturally fat and cholesterol free and they contain cancer fighting phytochemicals.

I have stopped buying as much processed, boxed and overpackaged foods as possible. I know it takes a little longer to prepare things from scratch but it is worth it to me. It turns out to be less expensive, healthier and it makes me feel better about my position on this plant.

Even back in 400 BC Hippocrates said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

Live to be 100 Mac and Cheese

8 oz. your choice of pasta

I use Piccolini Carrots and Squash pasta. It contains 1 full serving of vegetables per 100 g portion.

3 Tbs butter

3 Tbs flour

2 cups milk

salt and pepper

2 cups shredded chedder cheese

1 cup broccoli, chopped (good source of vitamin C and calcium)

Broccoli picked fresh from my first ever garden..yay!

1 cup cauliflower, chopped (high in dietary fiber and folate)

Cook pasta according to package. Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter in pan and stir in flour until combined. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring continuously over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Add cheese and stir until incorporated. Combine pasta, vegetables and cheese in a 8×8 baking dish.

You can top it with bread crumbs if you like. My son literally loathes the texture of crunchy things next to soft things. I don’t know, maybe he’ll grow out of that?!

You could add carrots (loaded with beta carotene) and peas (contains folate and fiber) or whatever vegetables your family prefers.  Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Homemade Chicken Pie {made with love}

chicken pieMy son has had some trepidation about the launch of this blog. His biggest gripe, “You can’t just give all your best recipes away for free!” I let him in on a little secret, the reason they taste so superior to him is because of the love I bake right into them, especially for him. He seemed to accept this theory of mine. I explained to him that recipes are all over the internet and that anyone can find just about anything they are searching for. But when he saw the title of this post, his exact words were, “How dare you?!”  I hope he will feel nostalgic about his momma’s cooking when he is older :)

When my husband and I were just starting out, I would make the Bisquick recipe for chicken pot pie. I think it’s still right on the back of the box. We always liked the idea of a balanced meal in one dish. Over the years I have tried many chicken pot pie recipes but this is THE one. I make this probably three times per month. It is and will always be one of my “signature dishes.” I hope it becomes one of your family’s favorites as well.

I cooked a whole chicken yesterday and used about 2 and half cups for this pie. You could cook up some chicken breasts or use one of those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. Turkey also works well.

Homemade Chicken Pie

2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped

1 1/2 cups potatoes, chopped

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1/4 cup frozen peas

2 pie crusts

1 cup chicken broth

2/3 cup skim milk

4 Tbs. butter

4 Tbs. all-purpose flour

salt & pepper

In a saucepan, boil potatoes and carrots.


In a frying pan, saute the celery and onion in a small amount of olive oil.

While the vegetables are cooking, line a pie plate with a pie crust. You can make one from scratch or use a ready made crust.

Add the chicken to the dish and drain the carrots and potatoes. Add them and the celery and onion when they have become transparent, then add the frozen peas.

In the same pan that the celery and onion were sauteed in, melt the butter. Add the all-purpose flour and stir to make a rue.

Let this cook for just a minute. Add the chicken broth and the milk. Stir this mixture until it thickens. Pour this over the contents of the pie plate and season with salt and pepper.

Cover with the remaining pie crust. Flute the edges and pierce the top to let the steam escape. Bake at 400F for 50-60 minutes until it becomes golden brown.

Homemade Chicken Pie

The pie should serve 3 8 people. One 8 person serving contains 380 calories, 39 g carbohydrates, 8 g saturated fat, 18 g protein and 2 g fiber.