Split Pea Soup

from my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner

2 cups dried split green peas, rinsed
2 cups chopped carrots (not necessary to peel them)
2 cups chopped celery (don’t forget the leaves)
1 head cauliflower, chopped

  1. Add all ingredients in a large pot, pour over enough water or broth to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook until peas are tender, about an hour. As long as you cook on low with a lid, it is difficult to overcook this.
  3. When peas are tender, the soup will be a bit chunky – you can blend with an immersion blender or regular blender to a consistency of your liking.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder – or any other seasoning you like.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese, sliced green onions, chopped ham or bacon… it’s very versatile.
  • You can substitute 16 oz frozen cauliflower.
  • You can also pour everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • I like to add a bay leaf, dried thyme (1+ tsp), and a pinch of cayenne while cooking – these are the seasonings used at Pea Soup Andersen’s.
  • I don’t usually salt & pepper while cooking – some folks don’t want salt & my daughter Alycia does not like pepper.  I like smoked salt & fresh-ground pepper on mine.
  • If the soup is too thick, add water or broth. 


Amish Friendship Bread Starter

This recipe was passed along to me years ago by a friend at work. I have also been given a new starter by my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, after mine expired in the refrigerator from neglect.

This is a sourdough starter and can be used for other sourdough recipes also.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Mix flour & sugar. Stir in milk. Pour into a gallon zipper bag several times.

Growing the Starter

Do not refrigerate. When air gets in the bag, let it out – this will also allow new yeast spores to get in. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment – this is what we want it to do.

Day 2 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 5 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6 – Feed the starter: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag several times to combine.
Day 7 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 8 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 9 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10 – Pour the batter into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

  1. Pour 1 cup starter each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Keep one for yourself and give three starters with instructions to friends.
  2. Use the remaining batter to make Amish Friendship Bread.
  • For a successful fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.)
  • After fermenting for 10 days, you can freeze this starter for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

Southwest Egg Rolls

from Marissa Davis Hefner

1 avocado, mashed
1/2 cup ranch dressing
2 chicken breast halves, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp taco seasoning (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp minced green onions
1 can corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp diced canned jalapeno peppers (optional)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2  cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
oil for frying


  1. Combine avocado & ranch dressing.  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken, sprinkle with taco seasoning, and cook until done.
  3. Add salt, green onion, jalapeno, corn, cilantro, beans and spinach.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in cheese.  Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Set egg roll wrapper in front of you, with the corner pointing towards you.  Spoon about 2 Tbsp filling onto the center of each egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner up, then each side.  Use your finger or pastry brush to lightly dab water onto the top corner, then finish rolling up.
  6. Preheat 4-6 cups of oil to 375 degrees.
  7. Deep fry the egg rolls in the hot oil for 3-5 minutes (or until golden brown) and remove to paper towels or a rack to drain for about 2 minutes.
  8. Serve with avocado sauce.
  • This recipe is similar to Chili’s egg rolls, which are a family favorite.  I prefer egg roll wrappers, but feel free to use flour tortillas instead; just remember to increase the frying time.
  • Filling is also good for enchiladas or an enchilada casserole, layered with corn tortillas and green enchilada sauce.

Taco Seasoning Mix

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner
from Bill Echols on Allrecipes.com

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  • You can double, triple (or more) and store for later use.
  • Depending on how spicy you and your family like your dishes, use as little or as much as you want.

Ham & Spinach Quiche

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner
from Linda on Allrecipes.com

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4-6 oz ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
2 – 9″ unbaked pie shells (not deep dish)


  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in milk, 1 cup cheese, salt, mustard and paprika.
  2. Saute onions until tender, add spinach and ham, cook a few minutes longer.  Let cool.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese onto each pie shell, bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  4. Combine egg mixture with onion mixture, pour into pie shells.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean.
  • This can also be made in muffin cups with no crust.

Corn, Green Chile & Ham Chowder

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner from Judy Callaway’s Clam Chowder

10 red potatoes, unpeeled, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups ham, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup green chile, chopped
1/2 cup butter
16 oz lowfat cream cheese
1 quart fat-free half & half
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place potatoes and onions in large pot.  Cover with water.  Boil until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until corn is done and soup is heated through.
  • You can thicken the soup with cornstarch if desired – I don’t think this is needed.
  • You may want more or less chile depending on your palate and the heat of the chiles you are using.

Crockpot Carnitas

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner from Erin Parker on Allrecipes.com

bowl of shredded Carnitas
1 lg onion, cut in half & sliced
1-4 fresh jalapenos (or other med heat chiles), sliced
4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast or tenderloin, well-trimmed
3 Tbsp Carnitas Seasoning
1/2 bunch cilantro (do not chop)
2 cups water or chicken broth


  1. Place onion & chiles in crockpot.
  2. Coat meat with seasoning.  Place in crockpot.
  3. Add cilantro.
  4. Pour water or broth around the meat.
  5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  6. Remove cilantro.
  7. Shred pork & mix with onions & chiles.
  8. Serve on flour or corn tortillas with salsa, diced onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice.
Marissa likes to add a few splashes of liquid smoke – I have not tried this.


Carnitas Seasoning

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner from Erin Parker on Allrecipes.com

1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp crumbled dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Store in airtight jar.
  3. This batch makes enough to season 8 pounds of pork roast. You can double, triple (or more) and store for later use.
Marissa tripled all of the ingredients, except the cinnamon and left out the bay leaf from Erin’s recipe. I decreased the amount of salt.

Mocha Silk Pie

adapted from The Pioneer Woman | Ree Drummond

My daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, found this recipe for us & my daughter, Alycia Davis has modified it slightly.


1 cup pecans, toasted & finely chopped
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 oz semisweet chocolate, grated
2 Tbsp Kahlua


1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp Kahlua
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs


  1. Crust: combine pecans, brown sugar, and chocolate. Stir with a fork, then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. Do not bake. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
  2. In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until stirable (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, instant coffee, and Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 ½ minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed. Add vanilla. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.
  4. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 5 minutes after each egg.The sugar should be completely dissolved – no granules left.
  5. Pour filling into the pie crust.
  6. Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer).
  7. Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate.
For a nuttier flavor, we decided to toast the pecans. For a stronger mocha flavor, we increased the instant coffee granules (and changed to espresso powder) and Kahlua in the filling.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner from Jodi T. on Allrecipes.com

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (not ground chile)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I use unsalted)
1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained (I use unsalted)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup minced red onion or grated yellow onion

In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, chili powder.

In a medium bowl, stir together beans, corn, onion and cilantro. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with cilantro.

Excellent as a dip with tortilla chips, also.