I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

"Russian Tea"

I'm really not sure where the name comes from, since there is no tea in it, but my brother (who lived in Ukraine for a while) said they do make something similar over there, so perhaps it really is  Russian!
We make this when we have sore throats. It's soothing and has some immune-boosting properties and it just tastes good!
The original recipe had sugar, but I've substituted honey, as well as increasing the lemon and orange juices...so my version is not as sweet but is more healthy. I have included both here for you, depending on whether you are looking for something healthy or just a sweet treat.

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups lemon juice
4 cups orange juice
6 cups water
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
In a large saucepan (4+ qt), combine the 2 c water with the sugar, and boil for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

(my version)
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
6+ cups orange juice (I usually put in an entire can, reconstituted)
4ish c water (the water + orange juice should be 10 cups, give or take)
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp almond extract
You can dissolve and boil the honey and water first, or you can just dump everything in at once and bring it to a nice simmer. Honey will dissolve much faster and more easily than sugar does. ☺

Serve warm or cold.


This is a food that came down from my grandma, who serves it as breakfast. When I first saw it I was a little scared of it, it just seemed weird. But I tried it, and you know, it is pretty awesome. I swear it's southern, though my family isn't from the south so I don't know how we got it. But it's yummy!

1 c yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 lb pork sausage (can be raw, or cooked to drain the grease off--I always cook it)
1 can evaporated milk
1 onion chopped up fine
1 carrot chopped up fine

(Cook and drain sausage. Set aside.) Put cornmeal in a saucepan. Pour water over cornmeal, mix, and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Add milk, meat, and veggies. Add salt and pepper. Cook slowly until really thick, stir often or constantly to prevent burning.

Pour into loaf pan that's been rinsed in cold water (glass pan is best). Don't grease the pan, just get it very cold in the water. Then chill the scrapple in the pan for 2 or more hours (overnight is best).

Slice off pieces about 3/4-1" thick, dip in flour, and fry until golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Conference Weekend Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls from scratch are time-consuming. They are super awesome, but time consuming. With the understanding that you'll be in the kitchen for a couple of hours, I totally recommend these.
 Twice a year a general churchwide conference is streamed on internet, and there is a two-hour session on Saturday morning (and several more over the weekend as well). During the Saturday morning session one day a few years ago, I thought "hey, I've gotta stay in this room for the next two hours, might as well cook something..." and so I did. And now it is a tradition that during Saturday morning conference, I make cinnamon rolls.
I usually make a massive batch, and freeze some,  and then I have easy rolls ready for another day a couple of weeks later. 

CINNAMON ROLLS makes 20ish rolls, depending how big you make them
(I usually triple this, and freeze about one batch worth)

1 1/4 c warm water
3 Tbs yeast
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
Mix in a bowl until dissolved. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place for 15 minutes.

2 beaten eggs
1 tsp salt
5 1/4 c flour
Mix and add to above. Knead for 5 minutes.

Roll out with a rolling pin. (If you make a double or triple batch, you'll have to do half at a time.) Spread about 1/3c melted butter (per batch) over it and sprinkle with a ton of cinnamon and sugar. Roll up dough into a log. Slice and place into pans (I prefer to use a cake pan instead of a cookie sheet--it keeps the edges soft when the touch the edges and each other), let rest and rise for about 10 minutes, then bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.
(If you're going to freeze some, cut them, but don't let them rise--place them on a large pan with spaces between them, and put them into the freezer. After about an hour, when they are fully frozen, take them out and put them in a large container or bag to store in the freezer.)


Here is my method for cutting cinnamon rolls. I've seen other people use scissors, and if you've got a method that works for you go for it, but this is what I do. Cut a piece of thread or dental floss that's about 20 inches long.

Lay it flat against the counter, and gently slide it under the end of the long roll.

Bring the thread up and cross it over and pull it snugly across itself to cut the dough.



CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (I double this to go with the triple batch of rolls)
4 oz cream cheese (soft)
1/4 c butter (soft)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add vanilla and mix. Blend in powdered sugar.
(if you want to save a portion of this to freeze with some rolls, put it in a ziplock baggie and just stick it in the freezer...when you're ready to use it, just squeeze it around in the bag a bit, and then cut off a little corner of the bag and use it to pipe the frosting onto the warm rolls.)

And with that frosting, we always end up with a few of these
thanks kids
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