I have lots of time to cook in the winter (especially when the store is closed), but the simple basics seem to my family's favorites.

Marilyn's Pie Crust

Pie Crust Recipe

Combine with fork:
4 cups flour
1 3/4 Crisco shortening
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp.salt

Mix together then add to dry mixture:
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. vinegar

Chill dough before rolling out.
For most pies baking time is 425 for 15 minutes, then lower temp to 350 and bake an additional hour.

Red Lentil Soup
Since I have switched to red lentils, from brown lentils, my son has declared this his favorite soup. Although I don't recognize a difference in taste, red lentils are much more appealing to the eye in this recipe. Red lentils are high in protein. They are more expensive, and harder to find in our neck of the woods. Molly Bea's in Chesterton has them in bulk, check them out.

I serve this soup with a nice green salad (although not local or in season), warm whole wheat corn bread and finish off the dinner with a tropical smoothie (maybe that's why this is Tracy's favorite dinner).

1 onion, diced
2T. Cumin
1 clove garlic, minced

Sautee in olive oil until onions are soft.

4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup red lentils

Bring to a boil and simmer softly until lentils are soft about 25 minutes.

Puree 1/2 the lentils and return to the pan. Stir in 2 T. Cream of Coconut. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Tropical Smoothie

Blend 1 cup of frozen fresh fruit with a splash of orange juice (or yogurt for a creamer version) and 1 T. Cream of Coconut.  Serve in a wine or martini glass. For an extra special night top with whipped topping and a cherry.

Spring Recipes

Asparagus Soup

2 ½ pounds Johnson's Homegrown Asparagus, diced
1 onion diced
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 cups vegetable broth
1 peeled potato cooked (can microwave while cooking soup)
½ cup half and half

Sautee butter, oil, onion, garlic and asparagus about 5 minutes. Add 3 Tablespoons of flour and stir well. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Puree ½ of asparagus mixture and 1 cooked potato. Add back to pan, turn off heat, add half & half, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Marilyn's pumpernickel bread.

Rhubarb Red Raspberry Crisp

1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. rolled oats
1 c. flour
½ cup melted margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups Rhubarb and Red Raspberry


Mix together, it will be crumbly. Press ½ into a 9 x 9 pan, cover with 4 cups Rhubarb/Raspberry (may use any substitutions or combinations - rhubarb raspberry, rhubarb cherry, rhubarb strawberry)

1 c. sugar
2 T. corn starch
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Cook together until clear. Pour over Fruit.

Add remaining crumbly mixture.
Bake about 1 hour at 350.

Rhubarb Coffeecake

1 c. pecans
½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Sift together
2 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Cream together ¼ c. butter and 1 ½ c. sugar until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs one at a time. Beat well after each. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, Stir in flour mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in 1 pound fresh Rhubarb cut into small pieces and 1 c. sour cream.

Sprinkle 1/3 nut mixture on bottom of 10" bundt pan, spread ½ batter over nuts, sprinkle 1/3 nut mixture and top with remaining batter and top with remaining nut mixture.
Bake 50 minutes at 350 until toothpick comes out clean.

Summer Recipes

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder is made with fresh ears of corn from Johnson's Produce Market.  Try this soup  with Marilyn's Bakery Pumpernickel bread toasted and topped with brie.

           3  oz  butter
           1  cup onion, diced
           1  & 1/2 cup celery, diced
           1  & 1/2 cup carrots, diced
           1  T. garlic, creamed
           4   ears
           1   gallon vegetable stock
           1   red and green pepper
           1   cup flour and butter
           2-3 potatoes, diced

Shuck and wash 4 ears of fresh corn.  Put them in a pot and add enough water to boil the ears.  Boil then drain and run under cold water.  Sautee butter in a pot.  Add onions.  When onions are clear, add celery, red and green peppers, garlic and carrots.  Add vegetable stock to pot once vegetables are tender.     Add diced potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender.  Cut corn off cob with a knife.  Add to pot.

Beet Soup

            6-8  Beets, fresh
            1/4  cup flour
            6     cups vegetable stock
            1     T. lemon juice
            1     cup sour cream (optional)

Boil beets until they are tender.  Drain and run under cold water.  When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin with your fingers.  (It should rub right off.)  Then grate the beets.  Put them in a pot and stir in the flour.  Whisk in the vegetable stock.  Bring it to a boil and add lemon juice.  If desired, stir in the sour cream.


Quinoa and Butternut Squash with a Peanut Tofu Topper

This is one of my favorite fall dishes.  I have pleased even my most carnivorous friends with this dish.  Quinoa is a high protein South American grain.  When roasted quinoa has a wonderful nutty aroma.

            2 ½ cups quinoa
            1      onion, diced
             ¼    stick butter (or any oil)
            2 T. olive oil
            1      butternut squash, diced raw
            4      stalks celery
            3+    cups stock 

Wash the quinoa until the water runs clean.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 325° until dry and toasted, stir occasionally.  In a soup pot, heat butter and oil . Sautee diced onion, diced celery until soft.  Add roasted quinoa and squash until coated.  Add boiling stock and bay leaf.  Simmer about 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Cran-Apple Walnut Pie

             4    Tbs. flour
             3/4 cup sugar
             1    tsp. cinnamon
             1  pinch salt
             6-7 cups sliced apples (Use a combination of Granny Smith, Macintosh, and Yellow Delicious.)
             1    cup walnuts
             2   tsp. lemon juice
            1  cup cranberries, chopped

Mix together flour, sugar, and cinnamon with the apples and cranberries, walnuts, and lemon juice.  Put mixture into a pie shell and top with a lattice crust.  Brush with egg wash or water and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

For the tofu and peanut sauce:

            4 T.   soy sauce
            4 T.   cooking sherry
            2       minced garlic
            2  T.  rice wine vinegar
            1  package extra firm tofu cubed

Marinade the tofu cubes for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.  Bake tofu at 350°  for 10 - 12 minutes flip and 10 minutes more. 

For the sauce:
             ½ c. boiling water
             1 T. minced garlic
             2 T. soy sauce
             2 heaping T. natural peanut butter
             1 T. coconut cream
Heat the water, soy sauce and garlic. Stir in the peanut butter.  Turn off the heat and add the cream of coconut.  Pour over tofu and top on the quinoa.