Tag Archives: wholesome

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.



Orange and Autumn Olive Pancakes


Autumn Olive (Elaegnus umbellata) is ubiquitous. Right now in New England the branches are heavy with speckled red berries.


The fruit is tart like a cranberry and what pairs well with cranberries? Orange.


For us, pancakes always start with flour, salt and baking powder.


The juice of an orange is combined with milk and added to an egg and a couple tablespoons of melted butter.


The batter comes together studded with red berries and orange zest.


This recipe makes four good sized pancakes that are packed with bright flavor.


Enjoy with a little pure maple syrup.

Orange and Autumn Olive Pancakes

  • Servings: makes 4 pancakes
  • Print

This recipe is easily doubled.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 medium sized orange
  • milk
  • 1/4 cup autumn olive berries

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl combine egg and melted butter. Zest the orange and set aside. Squeeze orange into a 1 cup measuring cup and add milk to make 1 cup of liquid. Pour into egg and butter mixture and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold in the berries and the zest.

Pour about a half cup of batter into a cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Cook both sides until lightly browned and serve with pure maple syrup.


Apple Season


Here in New England, September is apple picking time.


Out of all the fruits in this world, I like apples best.


We chose a sunny day to go to the orchard to pick our share of Macs.

Now, what to make?

My usual would be the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie, always a favorite.

Then there’s the traditional Apple Crisp, you can’t go wrong with that.

Maybe I could turn the apples into Spiced Apple Braid Bread.

I made Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake last week and it was gone in just one day.

If I had some puff pastry in the freezer, I could make a Caramel Apple Tart.

Or I could start the day with a German Apple Pancake!

An easy cake to make: Apple Butterscotch Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Biscuits are easy to make and delicious.

I could go with Oatmeal Apple Cookies but I’m thinking more along the lines of Baked Apple Donuts.

(If you click on a link, it will bring you to the original post, complete with pictures and instructions.)

If you have an apple recipe worth sharing, please leave a comment!

xo Jodi

Oatmeal Apple Cookies


Even though fall is a more than a month away, I’m getting my taste buds ready.

Here we are combining hearty oats with crunchy apple bits and warm cinnamon spice.


If you have an apple in your fridge, it’s a sure sign that you are destined to make these cookies.

Let’s do it.

The dry ingredients are tossed into a bowl and the apple is finely chopped.


We add a bit of apple sauce to bump up the flavor and add some moisture. Once it’s tossed all together, rounded spoonfuls of dough are placed on a cookie sheet and baked for about 12 minutes.


The texture is soft; the flavor is fall, the cinnamon and nutmeg spices will warm you from within.

Oatmeal Apple Cookies

  • Servings: makes about 20 cookies
  • Print

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 small to medium apple, cored and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix oats, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk melted butter, egg, vanilla and apple sauce until blended. Add to the dry ingredients and mix util fully incorporated. Fold in the apple. Drop by rounded spoonfuls to a cookie sheet and bake 11-13 minutes or until set. Let cool on the pan for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.


Mulberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake


Mulberry (Morus rubra) is a deciduous tree that grows wild here in New England. If you’re walking along and you see the ground covered in what looks like black berries, look up.


The trees can grow up to 70 feet tall.


The blackberry-like fruit is ripe for picking in early summer and varies in flavor from tree to tree.


The berries of the red mulberry tree start out white, turn pink then red and finally to a purple color. Make sure to only harvest the ripe fruit.


We foraged the berries that would have otherwise fallen to the ground.


The question was, what to make with these beauties?


Since we had some rhubarb fresh from the garden, we decided on crumb cake.


A cup each of rhubarb and mulberries…


folded into a cake batter…


Sprinkled with a crumb topping and baked to perfection.


Slice and enjoy!


Mulberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

  • Servings: makes 12 bars
  • Print


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • pinch of salt


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup mulberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 baking pan. Prepare crumb topping by placing all the ingredients into a bowl and stirring until crumbly.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder and add to the creamed butter mixture. Fold in chopped rhubarb and mulberries.

Place cake batter into prepared baking pan and cover with crumb topping.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Strawberry Skillet Cake


A beautiful day deserves a beautiful dessert.


This is Raspberry Skillet Cake‘s half sister.


Butter and sugar are creamed and strawberries are diced.




Dry ingredients are added and we have ourselves a cake batter.


Diced strawberries are folded in.


The batter is spread into the prepared cast-iron skillet and baked for 35-40 minutes.


Strawberry Skillet Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.

Cream butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and strawberry puree. Mix until well incorporated.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture and mix until well combined.

Fold in strawberries and spread into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Sweet Potato Spice Sheet Cake


I had a helper in the kitchen today. She didn’t get her hands dirty but she lent the emotional support baking sometimes requires :)


Sweet potato gives this cake flavor and texture. It also boosts the vitamin A content as well as beta-carotene.

Start by creaming the butter. It’s always a good idea to cream the butter before you add the sugar.


Eggs and vanilla are added to the mix.


Flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg comprise the dry ingredients.


One medium sweet potato yields about 3/4 of a cup.


Fragrantly spiced flour is mixed using one of Thomas’ beautiful handmade spoons.


The flour mixture and the sweet potato puree are alternately added to the creamed mixture.


The batter is spread into a greased 9×9 square pan.


After about 25 minutes in the oven, the baked cake is flecked with spice and orange sweet potato.


Top with frosting made with maple syrup.


Enjoy :)

Sweet Potato Spice Sheet Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan.

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated into the butter mixture. Mix in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix to combine. Alternately add the flour mixture and the sweet potato into the creamed mixture until a stiff batter is formed.

Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add more or less maple syrup and confectioners sugar as required.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.


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 :)


Butternut Squash Cake


The birds are singing, the sky is vibrantly blue, snow is still blanketing the ground but the sun is out. The calendar says spring is 20 days away. Soon little crocus petals will be sprouting out of the cold cracked soil. But in the mean time, let’s just enjoy winter squash.

Butternut squash can really be swapped for pumpkin in most recipes and it has more vitamin A than pumpkin. To begin, you should have about a cup of mashed or pureed butternut squash. I like to slice a fresh heavy squash lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down until soft, about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Scrape the flesh out once it has cooled and mash with a fork.

Assemble your ingredients.




Appreciate the beauty in everyday things…


…even in the messes made.


Once the batter is in place, go ahead and blanket it with streusel.


After the cake has cooled, slice into twelve pieces and notice the flecks of spice and orange butternut strewn throughout.


Enjoy :)

Butternut Squash Cake

  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch square pan. Combine all topping ingredients and using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix until crumbly. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Add butternut squash and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until all flour is incorporated. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. 


Orange Oat Bread


An orange nestled at the toe of the Christmas stocking is a well loved tradition in our family. I welcome the juxtaposition of a warm climate citrus fruit and the usual snowy winter weather of Christmas in New England. It’s a proper treat.

This year I am using my Christmas orange in a hardy bread filled with oats.

The recipe utilizes a Christmas gift, my new food processor, and a stand mixer. Of course, you could use a blender and hand held mixer or just good ole’ elbow grease and a wooden spoon to get the desired consistency for this nutritious and tasty bread.


The large dark orange color of this fruit hints to the dark orange flavor contained inside.


We make the most of this orange by consuming all but the white pith.


Add a bit of sugar and warm winter sunshine…


Process until coarsely chopped before adding the remainder of the wet ingredients.



Mix wet with the dry and you will get an orange dappled batter ready for the oven.


About an hour later you will have a nice crust on the outside and robust texture on the inside.


Orange Oat Bread

  • 1 large Christmas orange
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, baking soda and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10″ loaf pan.

Remove the zest of the orange using a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pith. Place in the bowl of a food processor. Remove the peel and as much as the connective strands and place orange segments into the bowl of the food processor. Add sugar and process until coarsely chopped. Add the eggs, melted butter and milk. Blend until somewhat smooth.

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until blended. Pour orange mixture into the bowl slowly while the mixer is on low. Beat until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before turning out and slicing. Enjoy!