Ginny’s Pepparkakka




Oven 375 F


1 c butter

1 ½ c sugar

1 Tbsp corn syrup

1 egg


Cream together.

2 tsp baking soda

3 c flour

3 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

2 tsp cloves

Add and mix well, scrape sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Form into two logs, approximately 1 ½ inches thick. Wrap with wax paper and refrigerate for at least one hour.



Cut into thin (a little less than ¼ inch) slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven 7-9 minutes.


Delicious Swedish gingersnaps! This is one of my favorite memories of baking Christmas cookies with my dear friend, Ginny, while Brittany and Sampson patrolled the kitchen for crumbs.

Pumpkin Pie




Oven 425 F – 350 F

Serves 8

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 cup evaporated milk

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves


Blend well.

2 eggs

Beat in a small bowl and add to the mix. Blend on med-high for 2 minutes.


Single pie crust

Pour into an unbaked single crust pie shell. Cover the edge of the crust with a long strip of foil. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 F for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the pumpkin is set. Insert a knife in the center; the pumpkin is done when the knife comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Cover the pie tightly with wax paper and plastic wrap. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to one week.


Whipped Cream

Serve with whipped cream.


My favorite breakfast is pumpkin pie on the day after Thanksgiving!

Rum Cake with Eggnog Frosting



Oven 350 F

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup canola oil


Beat together on high speed for a minute.

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup dark rum (Myers)


Add the rest and mix on slow speed until blended. Scrape the bowl and mix again until blended.


Generously grease and flour a tube pan or bundt pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes until done. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a plastic spatula. Turn over onto a plate and remove from pan.


¼ cup dark rum

Sprinkle the rum over the top of the warm cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Eggnog Frosting:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups Dominos powdered sugar

Soften the butter in the microwave 10 seconds on defrost mode. Don’t let it melt. Blend butter and powdered sugar with a mixer until it forms a pebbly texture.


2 Tbsp dark rum
¼ cup eggnog  
Approx. 2 cups additional powdered sugar


Add the rum and half of the eggnog. Blend well. Alternate adding powdered sugar and eggnog until the frosting reaches the right consistency to spread. Frost the cake and enjoy!

Sugar Cookie Cut-outs


  Oven 375 F
Yields: 8 dozen cookies
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Beat together on high speed.

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cream of tartar

Sift together, add and mix.

4 cups flour Add the rest of the flour and mix gently. 


1-2 cups additional flour for rolling Sprinkle ¼ cup flour on the counter. Place half of the cookie dough, sprinkle with flour and knead a few times, sprinkling flour until dough is not sticky.  Dust the rolling pin with flour and roll out to about 3/16” thickness. Rub the cutters in flour and cut out the cookies. Gather up the scraps to re-roll. Place on a cool, lightly greased sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes until edges are light brown. 


¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups Domino’s powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
Beat together on high.
Additional powdered sugar and milk
Food coloring
Add milk or sugar as needed to spreading consistency. Separate into separate bowls and add 2 drops of food coloring to each bowl.Frost the cookies when they are cool. Be sure to leave a blue pony for Santa, that is his favorite cut-out! 


Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup   


Serves 8

1 large sweet onion

6 stalks celery

2 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp Provence or Italian Herb mix

¼ cup olive oil


Chop the onion and celery into ½” bits. Add to a large pot with the herbs and oil. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Move most of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside, leaving ½ cup of the onion mixture in the pan.


4 half chicken breasts with bone and skin

3 cups water


Add the chicken and water to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to med-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Save the broth in the pot.


2 cans (14 oz) Swansons chicken broth


2 cups chopped carrots

4 medium potatoes

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


Any fresh or frozen veggies such as chopped green beans, broccoli, corn, peas

  Barley option:

Cook separately one cup of pearl barley and three cups of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes until tender. Add to the soup just before serving.

Peel and chop the carrots and potatoes. Add canned broth and the veggies to the pot. Bring to a boil on med-high heat. Turn down to low heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the cooked chicken. Cut the chicken into 1” chunks. Add the chicken to the pot.


Add the onion & celery mixture from above. Salt and pepper.


At this point, you could refrigerate the soup overnight if you are making a day ahead.


Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes just until the potatoes & veggies are tender. Don’t overcook.


Serve the soup as is, or over noodles or pasta. Don’t add pasta to the pot because it does not hold up well for left-overs.


Use the left-overs to make Three Day Soup!


Our traditional Christmas eve dinner features this simple soup over Spaetzle.


Spaetzle Maker<< Spaetzle Maker


Yields about 5 cups Spaetzle


2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

½ cup warm water


Combine all ingredients and beat with a spoon to form a thick batter.


Place at least 2 quarts of water in a large pot and bring to a hard boil. Lay the spaetzle maker horizontally over the pan, resting on the edges.  Fill the well half full with batter and move it back and forth.  Work quickly to run small batches of dough through the spaetzle maker directly into the boiling water. Stir the boiling noodles with a wooden spoon. Boil hard for about 5 minutes until done. To test for doneness, remove a large noodle and taste it. It should be almost dryish on the inside. Immediately drain the noodles into a colander and rinse with a little cold water. Pour the drained noodles back into the warm pot and serve immediately. 


While living in southern Germany, the Swabian “national noodle”, spaetzle fast became our favorite local dish. Our German language tutor taught me the traditional way to scrape the noodles off a cutting board directly into the boiling water. Now, I usually use a spaetzle maker, which forces the soft dough through holes, forming noodles as it hits the water.

Walnut Cookies

Walnut Cookies


Oven 350 F

Yields 4 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

¾ cup sugar


Beat well until fluffy.

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla


Add and beat well.

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt


Sift together. Mix in gently by hand.

2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Mix in the walnuts. Roll into 1 “ balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, flatten the cookies with the bottomof a drinking glass. Bake 7 to 8 minutes until they start to turn golden.

1 cup powdered sugar

Pour the sugar into a plastic bag. Turn the hot cookies into the powdered sugar to coat and remove to a wire rack to cool.


Turkey Breast with Gravy



Oven 325 F

1 whole or half turkey breast with bone

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp Provence or Italian herb mix

Rinse the turkey breast with cold water. Place in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs.


Fold up the foil over the turkey and seal tightly all around. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake a whole turkey breast at 325 F for 2 ½ hours. Bake a half breast for about 2 hours. Insert a meat thermometer directly through the foil to test for doneness.


Remove from the oven and let stand without opening the foil for 15 minutes.


For the gravy:

Swanson’s chicken broth (if needed)

¼ cup flour

½ cup hot water

1 tsp salt

Pinch of pepper

Open one end of the foil and pour the broth into a medium saucepan. If you have less than 3 cups of broth, add chicken broth.


Place the hot water in a tall drinking glass. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a fork until smooth. Add more water if needed to the consistency of a milkshake.


Bring the broth to a full boil. Add the salt & pepper. Use a wire whisk to quickly mix the gravy while slowly adding the flour paste. Keep mixing fast until the gravy comes to a boil, then turn off the heat.


Sticky Buns



Oven 350 F

Yields 2 dozen

1 ½ cups warm water

  ½ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ cup shortening




Mix ingredients in a large bowl with a mixer. Make sure the warm water is less than 115 F or it will kill the yeast.
2 pkgs yeast

  ½ cup warm water




In a separate small bowl or cup, mix the water and yeast with a fork until dissolved. Add to the batter. 
1 egg  Add to batter and mix well.  


5 cups flour

Add half the flour and mix well with the mixer.  Add the rest of the flour and mix well. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for about one hour.


¼ cup flour Sprinkle the flour on the countertop in a 12” circle. Turn out the dough onto the flour.  Knead the dough 12 times. Form the dough into 2” balls. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool.


Buttercream icing: 

 ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

2 cups Domino’s powdered sugar

½  tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp milk

A little warm water




Soften the butter in the microwave on the defrost setting, but don’t let it melt.  Mix all ingredients with the mixer.  Add a few drops of warm water at a time and mix well to thin the icing to the spreading consistency.

Frost the buns and serve. Make sure you have enough for seconds for everyone!

Granny’s Jello

1 large (6 oz) pkg Strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water


Dissolve the Jello in boiling water.

1 ½ cups vanilla ice cream


Add the ice cream. Beat vigorously with a wire whip to blend well. Pour into a Jello mold or medium bowl. Chill overnight. Dip the mold in hot water for 10 seconds to release and turn over on to a plate.

Granny Hehn’s  pink Jello was always a favorite of the kids.