Friday, September 30, 2011

Dessert: Torta Sbrisolona

This is a mature dessert and we preferred it as a bread. However, it was in the cakes section of A Cook's Guide to Grains by Jenni Muir. By mature, I mean the that kids were not fond of it. It had a certain level of crunchy due to the coarse cornmeal that the kids could not tolerate. They both are losing teeth, as kids are wont to do.
Torta Sbrisolona


2 cups plain wheat flour
2/3 cup coarse yellow cornmeal (coarse produced crunchy bits, a medium grind may be better)
2/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup caster sugar or baker's sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
sifted icing or powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 10 in round or square cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain wheat flour, the two cornmeals, plus the almonds, sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs. Give it a brief stir, then quickly finish working the dry ingredients into the wet using your hands to give a solid, pastry-like dough. Do not knead the dough; work it until it only just comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface over a little but leave it dimpled as this will enhance the crumbly texture. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is just starting to brown. Leave the cake to cool in the pan. Dust with sifted icing sugar and break into chunks to serve.

Other details:

  • Serves 4-6 (way more of us were able to contentedly eat this)
  • This cake is traditionally smashed in the center to be devoured in crumbling chunks with sticky wines or grappa.
  • Hazelnuts are sometimes used in place of, or in conjunction with, the almonds.
  • For extra shortness (to make more like a shortbread, which this highly resembles), replace half the butter with the same quantity of lard.
  • You can use only finely ground cornmeal. The texture of your cornmeal with influence the cake. My kids did not like the crunchiness of the cake with a coarse cornmeal.
  • Be careful that the cake is not too thick. It should be about 1 – 1 1/2 inches deep in the pan. If it is thicker, the cake will become scone-like. You can shape the excess into balls and bake as cookies. The cookies only need about 20 minutes to bake.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Side dish: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip

'Tis the season for pumpkin! I adore pumpkin. During the upcoming months, I will post many a pumpkin recipe. To start, here is a "side." To be fair, I would not have this as a side at a meal. I tend to eat this with nice, tart granny smith apples. This dip is good on anything you would spread peanut butter on. I discovered this spread last fall, but I do not recall the source.


1 cup canned pumpkin
¾ to 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Enjoy this dip with apples or pear slices or on saltine crackers.
Other details: 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Entree: Teriyaki Pork Roast

Fall is coming. It arrived here the week after Labor Day. Cooler weather means slow-cooker aka crock pot.  One of my projects in this digitization of recipes is going through recipes in my recipe box that were not on my previously prepared recipe cards. These recipes must be made and cleared past the judges. This recipe was one of those.


3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 boneless pork loin roast (about 3 pounds), halved
7-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water


  1. In a greased 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first seven ingredients. Add roast and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
  2. Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with meat.
Other Details:
  • 8 servings. 
  • Prep: 10 min. 
  • Cook: 7 hours + 10 min.
  • Nutritional Analysis from original recipe card: One serving (prepared with light soy sauce) equals 292 calories, 212 mg sodium, 101 mg cholesterol, 9 gm carbohydrate, 36 gm protein, 12 gm fat, trace fiber. 
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 4-1/2 lean meat, 1/2 starch
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Dessert: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

What do you do when you have to provide cookies and only have whole wheat flour? Find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that uses only whole wheat flour. At some point several years ago, I was to provide cookies for a child's class and I found this recipe somewhere on the internet.


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pkg (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups) (using mini-chips is even better!)

  1. Heat oven to 375o.  
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg in large bowl.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).  Stir in chocolate chip cookies.  
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2” apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.  
  4. Bake 8-10 min or until light brown (centers will be soft.) 
  5. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet.  Cool on wire rack.

Other Details:

  • Prep: 10 min 
  • Total: 20 min
  • Makes 3 dozen.  
  • 150 Cal./cookie
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Side dish: Sweetcorn Fritters

I suppose corn fritters could also be filed under bread, but once something is fried, it seems more like a side. These were a big hit at my house the night I made them. I made the recipe out of the book A Cook's Guide to Grains by Jenni Muir.


1 ear sweetcorn
1/2 cup plain wheat flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika (we choose cayenne pepper)
a large pinch of salt
1 egg
4 tbsp milk
2 oz cheddar cheese, finely diced
4 tbsp finely sliced spring onions
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley (we used parsley)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh chilli (I didn't have any)
a little olive or vegetable oil for frying
freshly ground pepper

  1. Using a large kitchen knife, cut the corn kernels from the ears of corn. Scrape the ears with the back of the knife to squeeze out as much of the kernels and 'milk' as possible. Set aside
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. In a small jug, whisk together the egg and milk and pour into the dry ingredients, stirring to make a very thick batter. Mix in the sweetcorn, cheese, spring onions, coriander or pasley, chilli and some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a little oil in large, heavy frying pan. Working on two or three fritters at a time, add large spoonfuls of the mixture ot the pan and fry until the top is set and the bottom is golden. Flip over to brown on the other side, then remove from the pan and set aside in a warm place while you cook the remaining mixture. Serve hot, warm or cold.

Other Details:
  • Makes 4 - 6 
  • You can swap the added ingredients to the basic batter by measuring 4 tbsp of whatever chopped ingredients you desire. Suggestions: parsnip, chorizo, ham, red bell pepper, broccoli stems, cooked wild rice.
  • The mixture can be cooked into tiny pancakes to serve as canapes with smoked hams and fish, or guacamole and salsa.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Entree: Falafel

We make falafel the entree and serve pita and hummus with it. We did not like falafel so much when we had it at a Greek restaurant, but homemade is delicious!


1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2+ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2+ tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour (half whole wheat and half all-purpose)
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Tahini sauce
Pita bread

  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained. (We prefer dried chickpeas.)
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
  5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.

Other Details:

  • Makes: about 20 balls 
  • Nutrition info is per ball 
  • The original recipe is from Epicurious, but we tweaked it a bit.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Breakfast: Daily Granola adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast

This summer, I discovered tasty granola at a farmer's market. It was a little pricey. So I learned to make my own. I made granola once a week for a few months. Only a few made the cut. This recipe came from a suggestion in the comments of a friend's status update on her facebook page. That's right - I got it from a friend of a friend.
Daily Granola

Dry ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
2 to 3 cups raw almonds or pecan halves, or a mixture
1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
¾ cup sesame seeds
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup maple syrup or agave
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower

  1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and stir well.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Set a timer to go off every ten minutes while the granola bakes, so you can rotate the pans and give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pans from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and set aside to cool. The finished granola may still feel slightly soft when it comes out of the oven, but it will crisp as it cools. 
  4. Scoop cooled granola into to a large zipper-lock plastic bag or other airtight container.
  5. Store in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Other Details:
  • Yield: about 10 cups
  • Nutrition information per half cup. 
  • Original Recipe
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  • Original recipe called for honey instead of maple syrup. I tested with maple syrup 12/31/12 and it's still good. I know some people like agave so that could work too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dessert: Buckeye Balls

In time for college football season, we bring you Buckeye Balls. My daughter made these for her 5th grade project for the "State Fair" where students represented an assigned state. Her state? Ohio.

4 (16 ounce) jars peanut butter
3 1/2 (16 ounce) packages confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, melted
3 (12 ounce) packages semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

1. Blend together the peanut butter, sugar and melted butter. Allow to chill in refrigerator.
2. Roll into 1 inch round balls and return to refrigerator.
3. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate and shortening. Whisk together
until smooth.
4. With a toothpick inserted in the balls, dip them into the chocolate so they look like
buckeyes. Place on waxed paper and allow to set in refrigerator.

Other Details

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Entree: Baked Potato Soup

We eat soups as our primary meal. Most of the soups we make are hearty enough to be the main course. In addition, many of the sides I post (salads, in particular) will also work as entree. This is why baked potato soup is posted as an entree.
Baked potato soup in the pot.

Baked potato soup in the bowl.


1 ½ lb baking potatoes
¼ lb butter
2 cups yellow onion –diced
1/3 cups flour
5 cups water
¼ cup chicken base
1 cup instant potato flakes
¾ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
salt and white pepper to taste

  1. Bake baking potatoes. Allow to fully cool. Remove skin & cut potatoes into 1/2” cubes. Set aside. (The baking can be done a day in advance to reduce total cook time on the day.)
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions & sauté over low heat for 10 min or until onions are translucent. Don’t allow onions to burn. 
  3. Add flour to onions & butter and cook 4-5 min, stirring well until flour is absorbed. 
  4. In a separate container, combine water, chicken base, potato flakes & seasonings. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps. Add slowly to onions mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps form. Increase to medium heat & continue cooking until the soup begins to gently simmer. Add milk & cream, stirring until smooth & lightly thickened. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil. Soup should just simmer lightly. 
  5. Add cubed baked potatoes & corn, and stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat & serve with grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, & bacon pieces.

Other Details:

  • This recipe was inspired by Houlihan's baked potato soup. The husband had the soup on a trip to Boston and then found the recipe on copykat recipes. We've adapted it.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Breakfast: Alton Brown's Granola

I went on a recent granola kick. I do sometimes eat granola for breakfast, but I'll admit that granola is mostly a snack food in our house. Alton's Granola is the best one I've made so far - but that could be my technique is improved. Our major tweak was not to include dried fruit. Cardinal rule: raisins ruin everything. I could try dried cranberries, which we do like, but we opted out this time.


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (or substitute dried cranberries, dried cherries, or dried blueberries)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  4. (A tip: put your sheets in top 3rd and bottom 3rd of oven. Every 15 minutes when you stir, switch pans in their positions.)
  5. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. 
  6. Add raisins (if you so choose) and mix until evenly distributed.
Other Details:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • The nutrition guide at right is per serving. Honestly, we eat more like 1/4 cup when we eat granola - probably about 1/4 of a serving. This is when I wish I had a bomb calorimeter to estimate my own per real serving Calories.
  • Original Recipe
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Roehrich Tidbits

Who are the cooks in this family? This is the family recipe codex because we all cook. The youngest child mostly assists at this point, but the older child spent the summer learning how to cook by making dinner once per week for us.

What type of recipes will be found here? Our cooking preferences have changed over time.

  • Both parents have brought recipes from childhood. 
  • When the kids were little, quick and easy were the goal, so several quick and easy recipes will be posted. 
  • I have preferred to bake, finding baking to be more my forte for a long period of time (pretty much pre-2010). Baking is not only desserts, though, so some of the baked main dishes are from my earlier repertoire. 
  • The husband also likes to cook and make breads. 
  • Even with the above, who makes what is not categorized or straight-forward. 
  • As the children have grown, jobs have changed, and how we spend our time changes. We grew to trying things a little more complicated and time-consuming, so there are definitely some intermediate (possibly advanced) recipes here.
  • As our awareness of proper nutrition has expanded, we started using things like wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour. Some of our recipes reflect that change.
  • In recent months, I have been on a whole grains kick, which includes more than just whole wheat flour. In the upcoming months, more of these whole grain recipes will show up mixed in with the more standard recipes.
  • We also try to not eat meat at every dinner. Meatless Mondays was something we participated in years ago, and now we always have at least one dinner without meat. Included are some vegetarian recipes and some vegetarian-ready recipes were simply leaving out the meat will provide a meatless meal (the soups posted come to mind). 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dessert: S'mores

To make up for last night's post (or non-post), I'm posting a photo-ful dessert. And because summer officially just ended, here's one last hurrah for a summer dessert. Yes, I know everybody already knows how to make s'mores. But, a part of the digitalization of my recipe box was to include recipes my kids could make and reference.
Ingredients - although we recommend the normal-size marshmallows 

Toast marshmallows - this is over a fire in a fire pit. 

A S'more - This is with the JumboMallow. This is an adult's hand. Granted, not the largest adult hand (mine), but that s'more does not fit well into the mouth. In addition, others have found that while the exterior toasts, the inside never gets cooked properly. 


1 graham cracker, broken into halves
1 Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars (1.55 oz) unwrapped and broken into halves
1-2 marshmallows


  1. Indoors S'Mores: Place 1 graham cracker half on a paper towel; top it with a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar half and a marshmallow. Microwave at HIGH (100%) for 10 to 15 seconds or just enough until the marshmallow begins to puff. (Alternatively, roast over gas stove.) Immediately top it with a second graham cracker half; gently press together. Serve immediately. Repeat for each serving.
  2. Outdoors S'Mores: Place half of a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar onto a graham cracker half. Carefully toast a marshmallow over a grill or campfire (supervise kids if they are doing this part of the recipe). After the marshmallow is toasted, place it on top of the chocolate bar half. Top it with the second graham cracker half and gently press it together. Serve immediately. Repeat for each serving. 
Other Details:

  • This is for 1 s'more. Yes, Hershey's is named specifically. I do try to use generic foods without brand endorsement. However, Hershey's work so well for s'mores. I'm not sure I've ever tried a different chocolate bar for s'mores. I appreciate comments with other suggested chocolate bars. 
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Side dish: No photos oh no!

It looks like I need to make some sides and take photographs. I have a whole list of sides I'll be posting, but I won't post without a photo and I haven't photographed any of the sides I've made. But here's a preview of some of the sides you will see:

Heart Healthy Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Twice-Baked Potatoes with Pepperjack Cheese and Bacon
Original Green Bean Casserole
Summer Pasta Salad
Blueberry Salad
and more....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Entree: Mediterranean Steak and Pasta

During this past summer, I tried a Mediterranean-style diet, which I thoroughly enjoy. This recipe I got from the Baker's in Omaha (Kroger recipe book). These aren't published online and I got it quite awhile ago, so I cannot reference it. The entire family enjoyed this all-in-one dish. (I'm really proud of this photo. I do take all the photos posted on this blog.)


4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. Beef top sirloin, cubed OR sausage OR chicken
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch long thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Fresh oregano
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaved, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 oz. Rotini pasta, cooked and drained
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, shaved


  1. In large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add meat and brown, stirring to cook quickly, for about 3 minutes. Remove meat from pan, drain and set aside. 
  2. Using same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and saute onion and bell pepper for about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano and basil, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sugar, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in rotini and meat, heat through. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Other Details:
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Serves 4 
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bread: Corn Bread Muffins

I first had these corn bread muffins several years ago from a bake sale. I knew the person who made them, and she kindly gave me the recipe. Unfortunately, I don't recall who it was so I don't have an attribution for the recipe.


1 pkg Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 pkg yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375o.
  2. Blend the mixes, eggs, milk, water, and oil.  Beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into lined muffin/cupcake pans.  
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.

Other Details:
  • Makes about 24 muffins.
  • (Original recipe said made 20, but I never have been able to get all the batter into only 20 muffin cups.)
  • Approximately 175 Calories per muffin. 
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Breakfast: Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

We discovered these pancakes one night when our usual pancake maker (my husband) was unable to do the cooking and I needed to find a quick and easy pancake recipe. Indeed, this is a quick and easy recipe. We always double the recipe, and so the doubled recipe is given below.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Other Details:

  • Prep Time: 5 Min
  • Cook Time: 15 Min 
  • Ready In: 20 Min  
  • Makes 16 Pancakes 
  • Calories/pancake: 158
  • Original recipe
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Another food blog?

Yes, I am aware there are tons upon tons of excellent food blogs out there. This blog is to help me with my digitization of my recipe box. In addition, I get asked for recipes often enough that sharing here may be easier for the friends and family who have seen me post food photos on my facebook and twitter accounts.

I will be going through the Roehrich Family Recipe Codex. In general, the format will be to have a photo of the food, a source of the original recipe, and the recipe itself (many of which we tweak). If I get more ambitious, I may do as more talented cooks do and photograph stages of cooking. Or, if I can convince the husband, I would like to do a video blog.

What I hope to do is post 5 recipes per week. By the weekend, one could theoretically have the skeleton of a full meal. Rest assured, every recipe has passed the Roehrich family taste testing. To get an idea of what it takes to pass our family's taste testing, read my yelp reviews of various restaurants at You can see how picky we are about burgers and what the adults think is delicious when the husband and I go out on lunch dates

To conclude, I will give the first rule about food I live by: Raisins ruin everything.