Bringing Back Biscuit Donuts

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through the pantry taking note of the things Mr. Hines bought at the grocery store: corn, green beans, tomato paste, Rotel, black beans… I smiled as I wondered what he had in mind for those seemingly random ingredients. Then, I opened the fridge to see Coke and Dr. […]

“Better Than Mom’s” French Toast

It was about 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I was on my last stop. I’d been running errands, and shopping, all day. I was tired, my sprained ankle was hurting, and I just wanted to get home. As I hurried down the aisle towards a cash register the french bread caught my eye. […]

4 Hearty Soup Recipes You Need to Try

There are some recipes that are meant for sharing. The kind that make the perfect dinner on a cold winter night. The kind that I’d cook for you if you were coming over. So, I’m pulling four of our favorite soup recipes out the archives to share with you today…like these chicken and dumplings that have […]

My Copycat Olive Garden Salad

I used to make every salad the same, no matter what we were eating for dinner. Some lettuce. Definitely tomatoes. Possibly red onion. My salads were certainly nothing fancy.   But as my confidence grew in the kitchen, I started experimenting with making different types of salads. Last Fall I created the Farmer’s Market Chopped […]

My Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This summer’s menu has been very light…fish tacos, sandwiches, hamburgers… but the other night, we needed some good old comfort food.  And in my mind, macaroni and cheese = the perfect comfort food. I still enjoy the occasional blue box, but when I’m craving macaroni and cheese, I want my homemade macaroni and cheese.   […]

How to Make a Cuban Sandwich

  A few months ago, we went to see the movie Chef.  It was an endearing story of a man who is a chef but was forced to quit the restaurant and start a food truck.  His estranged son came along for the ride, watching and learning as his dad made sandwiches.     Their […]

warm spinach salad

  Thinking back on it fills me with contentedness;     my parents working alongside me to make the warm spinach salad; Dad helping me drain off the hot bacon grease, making sure to reserve just enough for the warm vinaigrette dressing, As I called out the measurements, Dad held the tablespoon or teaspoon while […]

Shrimp Boil Recipe

I love shrimp.   I like it fried. I like it steamed. I like it grilled. I like it sautéed. But most of all, I like it boiled. In fact, I love boiled shrimp so much that my friends threw me a shrimp boil for my 40th birthday. That labor of love ( they boiled […]

3 Ingredient Guacamole Recipe

We love guacamole at the Hines house.   In fact, we eat it at least once a week. I confess that I went through a phase of buying ready-made guacamole at the store.   But, I got over it. And  hearing Mr. Hines say “I love that we make our own guacamole,” was all the motivation I […]

Five 15 Minute Meals

Today, I’m taking the stress out of dinner time by sharing 5 meals that are not only simple to prepare but are ready in 15 minutes or less.   My daughter and I love this recipe for Tilapia Scappoline. ~Suggested Sides: roasted asparagus and a salad.   Fish tacos are a fun way to eat fish […]

bloody mary steak recipe

I hadn’t planned on having steak this week until I tasted a sample of the Bloody Mary Steak at the grocery store. The next thing I knew I was buying bloody mary mix, steak seasoning and a couple of rib eyes. Grilling would have been my first choice for cooking the steaks, but the weather didn’t […]

tilapia scaloppine

I love capers. I eat them in my Greek Salad and love them in white wine sauce. White wine sauce…it sounds so gourmet.     Cooking meals like tilapia scaloppine make me feel so grown up, sophisticated even.   But it’s not a sophisticated recipe.  In fact, this tilapia recipe is really simple to make. Every […]

chicken thighs with sauteed onions and wilted baby spinach

Yesterday on Facebook, Anna VosKamp asked fans to name three things they were grateful for right then in that very moment.   One of my three things was knowing what I was cooking for dinner. Can I get an amen? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my house never feels more like home […]

pasta e fagioli: an Olive Garden copykat recipe

The house is quiet but the whirring of the dishwasher. You’d never know that just an hour earlier, the house was full of activity; laughter, conversation, and the hushed whispers of cousins sharing secrets.   At one point in the evening,  I confided in my dad, “I love these get togethers.” “Family is what it’s all about,” […]

Easy Enchilada Dinner

    Yesterday as I wandered aimlessly around the grocery store, I bought the ingredients for enchiladas, at my daughter’s request.     It’s a family favorite that I’ve shared here before, but today you get the printable version.  And there a few variations from the original recipe. Serve this dish with a side of […]

My Prize Winning Chili Recipe

My husband and I disagree.  He says foods like chili, taco soup and chicken and dumplings should be served year round. I say they are seasonal foods, best enjoyed during the cooler months.   Much to Mr. Hines’ dismay, I hold out and wait til the first cool front before I cook a warm, hearty […]

tomato basil chicken with spaghetti squash

tomato basil chicken, chicken recipes

I love spaghetti squash!  Who knew? I’d seen it around on blogs and Pinterest. I’d heard about how good it is. Curiosity won, and I found myself buying a spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago.  I love shopping at local farmer’s markets.  It somehow binds me together with the farmers and […]

Madell’s Blueberry Cobbler

It’s been nine or ten years since I took my then preschooler blueberry pickin’. We’d get up early, put on some old clothes that could handle the inevitable blueberry stains, and make the thirty minute drive to Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm.  We turned down the dirt driveway, scrambled out of the car, and made our way […]

the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had

I don’t think I’ve ever told you that  a few years ago, I was diagnosed with an insensitivity to gluten. People often ask, “what is gluten?” It is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is also used as a thickener in sauces and soups. I had been craving warm cookies and milk,  when […]

Simple Banana Smoothie Recipe

You go down the aisles with the little gun, scanning everyday dishes, silverware, stemware, pots and pans, utensils, a toaster, and a blender. Because that’s what people do.  They register for blenders…and quesadilla makers and omelet flippers. And then, someone actually buys you the blender off of your registry, and you thank them as you wonder, […]

The “Kitchen Sink” Recipe

Beck’s Prime was just around the corner from our last house, and we frequented it so much that as soon as we walked in the door, the manager would call out an order for chips and queso. We would enjoy sipping our sodas and munching on the chips while we waited for our main entree, […]

pasta cobb salad

  A Mother’s Day luncheon seemed like the perfect time to make my favorite salad.   I first found the recipe for this Pasta Cobb Salad in a circular ad for Skinner in the summer of ’99, and  it’s been a family favorite ever since. This flavorful dish is always a hit at luncheons, showers, […]

a simple side dish- spanish rice

latin food, side dish, mexican food, recipe

My go to meals weren’t quite hitting the spot when Mr. Hines and I were newlyweds.  So, I asked my Mother-in-Law to jot down some of her recipes for me. Lately, I’ve been using her Spanish Rice recipe that she penned all those years ago.  It is a big hit with family and friends alike. […]

a southern favorite: traditional deviled eggs

Whether you’re getting ready for a Spring bbq or Easter brunch, these deviled eggs are sure to be a crowd pleaser.       See you in class, Mrs. Hines

Creole Sausage with Rice and Beans

creole sausage with red beans and rice slow cooker recipe:

  It was a dinner disaster.  Okay, not quite a disaster, but definitely disappointing. I was really looking forward to having my favorite slow-cooker recipe, and I was so proud of myself for preparing a hot, home-cooked meal after having been on a cooking hiatus the past couple of weeks. It was dinner time, I […]

the perfect baked potato

recipe, home cooked, side dish, meal planning

    “So, this is pretty much a normal day for y’all?”  Our friend asked.  To which my husband replied,  “there’s not a normal day around here.” But, setting up a miniature photography studio on the kitchen island while cooking is my normal.  I wasn’t going to let another opportunity to share the perfect baked […]

yes, you can boil an egg

perfect boiled eggs, best method for boiling eggs

I had an unconscious smile across my face as I rinsed the remnants of egg yolk and paprika sprinkles off of the deviled egg tray and loaded it into the dishwasher, recalling the fond memories that were made just a little while before: Friends gathered around in the kitchen, all leaned over ballots checking off […]

15-minute meal – fajitas and frijoles

quick dinner ideas, meals under 30 minutes, meal planning

You’ve got a meal plan and everything on hand, but you lack the energy to make it happen. Do you ever have those nights? I did last night. I was just too dang tired to cook, but it was 5:30 p.m., and I needed to figure something out, quick. I was about to give in […]

Ray’s country style pork ribs

“These are the best ribs I’ve ever had.” “These ribs are really good.” “I’m going to get some more ribs.” Hearing those words were like music to my cook’s heart.   I cannot take all of the credit though.  The recipe comes from my friend’s Dad who is a caterer. So without further ado, here’s […]

5 Uses for Slotted Spoons

spoon rest, cookbook, kitchen, kitchen utensils, food prep

It was 4:30 in the afternoon when I remembered that I was responsible for providing dinner for the youth group at church tonight. Unfortunately, the pantry was a bit bare, so anything I decided on would mean a trip to the grocery store. Fortunately, my husband took the post-it note onto which I had hurriedly […]

borracho style bean soup

mexican food, beans, cook, recipe, dinner, side dish, comfort food

When my family gathers around the table for dinner, the conversation inevitably leads to opening up a family restaurant. We’d call it The Kuritz Cafe and the menu would feature each of our “signature” dishes: Bubba’s brisket, Kathy’s Cajun dumplings, Tina’s cherry pie, and my sister-in-law’s borracho bean soup. borracho bean soup Recipe Type: soup Cuisine: […]

the perfect side dish: roasted asparagus

cook, recipe, kitchen, roasted vegetables, asaparagus, meal, side dish

 You kind of have to ease into being a vegetable eater.  Start out with corn on the cob, the zinfandel of vegetables if you will. Once you’ve acquired the taste, you move on to green beans.  Of course, they must be cooked with the two most necessary ingredients in any dish: bacon and buttah. Now […]

homemade taco seasoning

Mr. Hines and I had so much fun hosting the eighth grade boys from our church youth group this weekend. One of my responsibilities was to provide breakfast and dinner on Saturday. Homecooked meals are hospitality at its best! It felt so good to get in the kitchen. If you’ve been following me for any […]

what’s all the buzz about?

Good Monday morning friends! There’s a new feeling in the air. Have you noticed? There must be something magic in that old black hat they found…. or is it the smell of cinnamon wafting by? or perhaps it’s the anticipation of what Mary’s got cookin’. Or just maybe, the excitement is because today is the […]

how to keep water from boiling over

I usually just blow on the water when it starts to foam and rise up.  But who wants to stand at the stove and wait around to blow? So, this past Saturday, as I stood watch over the spaghetti noodles, I remembered a tip that I pinned on Pinterest.   I scrambled for my wooden […]