Truffle Dusted Spaghetti Squash Noodles

I am always in search for new flavors to incorporate into my cooking. Truffle dust can be found at almost any grocery store in the seasoning aisle. I love it because it adds great umami flavor to these spaghetti squash noodles that will have you going back for seconds!


1 medium spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ salt

1/8 black pepper

¼ truffle dust


Preheat oven to 425F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Slice your squash in half. Using a spoon scrape out seeds.

Evenly drizzle olive oil over the halves of the squash and then evenly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the squash halves on the lined baking sheet with the cut side down.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from oven and let cool. Scrape the flesh with a fork to remove “noodles” and place in a medium bowl.

In a smaller bowl add a serving of “noodles”, sprinkle with truffle dust and enjoy.


Baked Apples on a bed of Oats and Honey

You may notice that this recipe calls for three types of flour. I have a slight obsession with incorporating different types of flour into my cooking. You may use plain white flour but I encourage you to try a new flour if you haven’t done so.


2/3 cups old fashioned oats

2/3 cups ground old fashioned oats

2/3 cups spelt flour

2/3 cups flour

2 eggs

1 tablespoon coconut oil – melted

2 tablespoons honey – melted

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups apple sauce (no sugar added)

1 apple peeled, cored and diced

¼ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl mix oats, ground oats, flours, 1/2 cup applesauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey and eggs together. Place in a lightly greased pie pan covering the bottom of the pan evenly. Next pour apple sauce in an even layer.

Wipe out bowl and add the diced apples, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla. Mixing well add this over the applesauce evenly spreading the apples over top. Finish by sprinkling cinnamon. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve and Enjoy. This pairs wonderfully with vanilla ice cream.

Elk, Ricotta and Tomato Stuffed Shells

Okay…. I have a few food weakness and pasta is definitely towards the top of the list! This pan of yummy-ness will have you going back for seconds! You can get creative and add in other vegetables which is especially handy when the garden is bountiful with produce.


1 pound cooked elk sausage

½ cup over/sun dried tomatoes

3 cups milk

2 tablespoons flour

1 large Roma tomato, diced

2 cups spinach torn

20 large pasta shells

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups ricotta cheese

½ cup mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

¼ white pepper

Dash black pepper


Preheat over to 350F.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in shells. Cook until shells are soft 10 -15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium skillet brown the elk sausage and oven dried tomatoes 10-15 minutes.

In a small sauce pan heat milk and butter slowly. When sauce begins to slightly bubble whisk in flour, salt and white pepper. Add in diced tomatoes and stir frequently. Increase heat to medium low for about 10 minutes. Sauce will begin to thicken. Once you have your desired sauce density remove from heat.

In a medium bowl mix cooked browned elk and oven dried tomatoes, ricotta, spinach and red pepper flakes. Mix well and spoon mixture into cooked shells. Place shells in a grease 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top then pour the sauce over top and garnish with black pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy 🙂

Wheat and Garbanzo Bread

This recipe was inspired from the easy no knead artisan bread recipe that I have been using forever. I wanted a new taste for our bread so I thought why not add Garbanzo flour? It was pure magic! I first tasted Garbanzo flour when I worked as an intern for the Pea and Lentil Council in Moscow, Idaho. I am very thankful for the internship experience because it opened my world to the diversity of legumes and how great they are for cooking.


2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup Garbanzo flour

½ teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 – 1 ½ cups warm water


In a large bowl, stir together flours, salt and yeast. Pour the warm water and gently stir everything together. Cover the large bowl with plastic wrap and let it set 8 – 24 hours at room temperature. The dough will rise and “bubble” on the surface. This is when it is ready for baking.

Place the dutch oven in the oven while it is preheating to 450F. Leave in for another 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from large bowl and place on a well floured surface. It will be sticky so flour your hands and form your dough into a round.

Place your round of dough in the dutch oven, cover with lid and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the lid and take a peek at the bread. Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes if you desire a more rich golden brown crust.

Once you are satisfied with the crust color, remove dutch oven from oven and carefully remove bread.

Slice with a bread knife and cover with fresh butter and your favorite jam and enjoy!



Elk Spanakopita

This is a savory dish perfect for any occasion. Spanakopita originates from Greece and is traditionally made without meat and uses spinach as the main green. I really love the addition of meat to it this traditional dish. The substitution of kale in place of spinach is really nice because kale is a green I have available in my garden almost year round.


1 pound ground elk sausage

3 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

20 sheets phyllo dough, 1 package in the box

1 cup finely diced onion

1 cup finely diced leeks

2 shallots, diced finely

3 cups loosely packed finely torn kale with stems removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat parsley

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

½ cup grated Parmesan

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven 350F.

Grease a 13 ½ by 8 ¾ baking pan and set aside.

In a large skillet on medium heat cook the elk sausage for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions, leeks, shallots and kale. Cook on medium heat for 10 – 13 minutes until softened. Add the parsley, dill and salt and pepper cook an addition 2 – 3 minutes until all ingredients are combined.

Transfer mixture to bowl with elk and combine. I used a cup of cooked ground elk but you are more than welcome to use more than 1 cup. Add in 2 beaten eggs, Parmesan and feta cheeses. Mix well until combined.

In the grease pan lay 10 sheets of phyllo dough and cover with elk and vegetable mixture. For the remaining 10 sheets work with 1 sheet of phyllo dough at a time. Lay a sheet on top, using remaining olive oil, brush the single sheet and repeat. Once the last sheet has been place, beat the last egg and milk in a small bowl and brush over the top. Using a knife cut evenly spaced squares. Bake in oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from oven let cool for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy!

Butternut Squash Bowl

Butternut squash bowls are fun to make and have endless possibilities! Usually I make these in the winter because we have butternut squash from the garden stored for use throughout the fall and winter. And if we don’t receive heavy snow the kale supply in the garden lasts almost into spring! Creative alternatives I have used are Long Grain & Wild Herb and Butter Farmhouse Rice, diced apples, sliced cherry tomatoes or diced cheddar cheese. I hope you enjoy this recipe and trying some other creative ideas.


1 medium butternut squash

2 large kale leafs, stems removed

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 cups water

1 chicken breast, diced

2 tablespoons provolone cheese, diced into small pieces

1 tablespoon butter

¼ teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

Sundried Tomato vinaigrette dressing or any of your favorite dressings J


Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Line baking sheet with tin foil and place the two halves upside down. Bake for 45 minutes at 400F. After squash is cooked, remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes and dice squash into inch size pieces.

In a medium saucepan bring two cups water to a boil and add rice. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Once rice is fully cooked add diced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and cover once more.

Add butter to medium cast iron pan and cook on medium heat until chicken is fully cooked.

Now is the fun part… building the bowl! Add as much of each ingredient as you want to complete your perfect bowl. I really like to load mine with kale and squash!

Pacific Northwest Shepherd’s Pie

Pacific Northwest Shepherd’s Pie is by far one of my favorite recipes that I have created so far. The ingredients in this dish blend beautifully together and the elk is by far the stand out flavor which I love! The garnish of paprika polishes this classic dish and the final touch of homemade gravy will ensure there are no leftovers 🙂


Potato Topping

6 large red potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup milk

dash of pepper

Elk and Vegetable Filling

1 pound ground elk hamburger

1 handful fresh green beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 large carrot, diced into ½ inch pieces

6 mushrooms, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 large yellow onion, diced

½ cup red chief lentils

½ cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup dry red wine

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Dash of paprika for garnishing


Preheat oven to 400F.

Potato topping – In a large pot fill halfway with water and bring to a boil and turn heat to medium. Add the diced potatoes and boil until soft. Remove from heat, drain and transfer to large bowl. Mash and add butter, garlic salt, minced garlic, milk & dash of pepper.

Elk and Vegetable filling – Using the same large pot that the potatoes were cooked in add elk hamburger and cook over medium heat until elk is evenly browned. Add garlic, onions, green beans, carrots and olive oil. Cook on medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes. Add in broth, wine, cornstarch, seasonings and cook for another 10 minutes; stirring frequently.

Transfer elk and vegetable mixture to a lightly greased pie plate. Then spoon on potato topping and garnish with a few dashes of paprika.

Cook for 25 minutes at 400F or until potatoes are golden brown on edges.

Remove from oven and serve and enjoy.

For an extra touch mix up your favorite gravy and pour over pie 🙂

Cowboy Coffee Cake

During the winter months my Finland heritage prevails because I find myself drinking coffee all day long. Some times I have a little left in the pot and wonder what could I do with this? Well I have found the perfect way to use this precious substance in a fun and tasty way and that is by making coffee frosting!



1 cup (2 sticks butter) – room temperature

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup rice flour

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon salt

Coffee Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese – softened

4 tablespoons butter – room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup brewed coffee – cold

½ teaspoon coffee grounds for garnishing


Preheat oven to 350F.

Cake – Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.

Using a mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add in the flours. Mix until combined careful not over mix.

Add mixture to prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool and remove from loaf pan.

Coffee Frosting – Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the vanilla and slowly add in the powdered sugar. When well combined add in the cold coffee and mix until combined. Pour mixture over cake and garnish with coffee grounds.


Poorman Potatoes

This recipe is perfect for those last few potatoes you have laying around. These are so easy to make and your family will love this tasty treat for supper! The onion powder and chives give this dish a great flavor and the crunchy Ritz cracker crust is almost impossible to pass up. We enjoyed this side dish with pork chops and covered them in homemade gravy!


4 red potatoes, sliced thinly (1/4 inch)

2 cups milk

20 Ritz crackers, crumbled

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

2 teaspoon dried chives

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon white pepper


Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. When butter is melted add in milk and bring to a slight boil, or until frothy. Add in flour and whisk until flour has blended with mixture. Add in one tablespoon of cream cheese at a time until all 3 tablespoons have been added to the mixture. Add in ½ salt and stir on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.

Slice red potatoes and place in medium bowl. Add in chives, onion powder, remaining salt, white pepper and mix together. Spray non-stick or butter an 8×8 baking dish and add in seasoned potatoes. Slowly poor the white sauce mixture from saucepan over seasoned potatoes.

Add Ritz crackers to a plastic bag and crunch the crackers until they are a fine crumbly consistency. In medium bowl that the potatoes were in place remaining 1 tablespoon butter and melt butter in microwave. Add crackers to melted butter and mix well. Transfer butter crackers to the top of the seasoned potatoes and white sauce.

Bake for 1 hour, serve and enjoy!