Black Magic Cupcakes

Happy Halloween, everyone!! It's the best time of year for fans of the paranormal like me. In honor of the sp00ooo0OOky holiday, I've written about a local haunted history legend and my experiences. If you hate ghost stories and local lore, skip down to the recipe for the 1979 Black Magic Cupcakes I made for … Continue reading Black Magic Cupcakes


Homemade Sauerkraut

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of learning how to make sauerkraut along with a dozen other students at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library for the 'Kraut it out loud' sauerkraut making class. Historically, sauerkraut has been an important source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and good-gut bacteria for those in Central and … Continue reading Homemade Sauerkraut

1964 Applemint Ripple Ice Cream

One of my favorite fall activities is visiting the local apple orchards and sipping on cider and binging on doughnuts. Apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and local farms have become so much more than the fare they sell. They're community gathering places where kids can safely explore some green space, folks can learn about small-scale farming, … Continue reading 1964 Applemint Ripple Ice Cream

1980 Microwave Taco Salad

Oh boy, microwave cooking. I use my microwave for one thing: Microwave popcorn (can't shake the habit, and I don't wanna). So when I was instructed to put a pound of ground beef and an entire onion in the microwave, I shuddered. The microwave oven was created in 1947, but didn't become affordable and popular … Continue reading 1980 Microwave Taco Salad

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

It wasn't until I heard of Beth Howard that I even considered making a homemade pie. Talk of Iowa first introduced me to Beth Howard and her cookbook. Across the airwaves Beth told me that I, that anyone, could make a pie! She spoke of her second book, Ms. American Pie, a no-fuss cookbook that takes all … Continue reading Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Knobby Apple Cake

This past weekend was Apfelfest (Apple Fest) in the Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies, which is now the most fabulously kitschy tourist destination in Iowa, used to be a German communal settlement until the 1930s. My soon-to-be mother in law owns a coffee shop in the colonies that served up some delicious apple coffee coke for the … Continue reading Knobby Apple Cake