German Peppernuts

Tonight we went over to a friend’s house to share in their family tradition of making peppernuts. They had made the dough already, and the kids rolled it into snakes. These are tasty little cookies, and even more delicious dipped in apple cider (or whatever hot drink you have handy).


  • 1 1/2 cups dark Karo syrup
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 1/2 cups flour


Bring Karo syrup and sugars just to a boil; then add anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice (the original directions from our friend’s grandmother say to add the spices one at a time and stir after each spice; not sure why, and there didn’t seem to be any harm done by adding all the spices at once). Stir in shortening and sour cream. Cool mixture enough to add the beaten eggs. Blend well together. Add baking soda and baking powder. Pour the mixture, while still warm, over the flour and stir until well blended.

Chill the dough.

Roll dough on a floured surface into long snakes. Cut snake into thumb-size portions and put onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.



Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Works really well when served with a pork tenderloin.

Ingredients (For Apples)

  • 6 cups tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions (For Apples)

  • Combine apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in large pan or Dutch oven.
  • Cover and cook at medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Mash apples slightly if you want to.
  • Cover and keep warm.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This was recently prepared at one of my company’s lunches and is a great autumn dish.


  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub minced garlic into the pork.
  3. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and thyme.
  4. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the tenderloin and rub it into all sides. Make sure you cover all sides.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tenderloin.
  6. Fill roasting pan with about 1 inch of warm water.
  7. Place pork tenderloin in roasting pan.
  8. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes per pound or until tenderloin reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Pork will still be a bit pink at this temperature. If you want it more well-done, cook to an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees.
  9. Remove pork from oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Transfer to cutting board and slice into smaller pieces.

Tandoori Chicken

I found this one on Instagram, and I don’t want to lose it. It’s a keeper — easy, easy and tasty.

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (I used garam masala, and it was great)
1/2-1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (our family likes it on the less-spicy side)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (I use regular, as I don’t care for smoked, but that’s personal preference)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I didn’t have this; I’m sure it would only add)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 14-ounce can (or 1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

chicken (original recipe calls for 9 thighs; I used 4 leg quarters)

1. Whisk together all ingredients (except chicken) and place in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Add chicken and massage marinade into chicken. Place the mixture in the fridge to marinate for 6 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. On the stovetop, heat a cast iron skillet (or oven safe skillet) on medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of olive or coconut oil. Brown the chicken, skin side down, for approximately 5 minutes or until the chicken in a nice golden brown.
4. Turn the chicken over, skin side up. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken.
5. Bake chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. (Mine took about 40 minutes, but the original recipe said 20, so…)

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash & Wild Rice Soup

Emeril did right on this one, that’s for sure. DEE-LISH.


1 medium butternut squash, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup wild rice
3/4 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, then season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, cool completely, then peel. In a blender, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and 1/2 cup of the chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and reason with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Kale Chips

I have tried kale chips before with no success, but Missy at Prairie Whole Farm (aka “Joie’s farm”) let me in on a couple secrets: dry kale, oven at 275. It works. These are crazy addictive.


  • kale, destemmed and torn into pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 275.
  2. Brush kale leaves with olive oil (or you can mix it in a bowl — leaves should be lightly coated on both sides).
  3. Spread in single layer (or close to a single layer) on a baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle generously with salt (and sparingly with cheese if you’re using it).
  5. Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake 15 more minutes.

Meal Planning: Whole 30 Week 4


Meal 1: Egg Foo Young-ish

Meal 2: Grilled hamburgers

Meal 3: Potluck at church (I’ll be bringing some fruit; we will probably eat what we can at the picnic and scrounge when we get home)


Meal 2: Asian Meatballs

Meal 3: Beef with Broccoli


Meal 2: Roast Beef Roll-ups and berries

Meal 3: Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken


Meal 3: Cobb Salad


Meal 2: Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice

Meal 3: Grilled pork chops


Meal 3: Basil Chicken


Meal 2: Salami and fruit picnic

Meal 3: Kabobs on the grill


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