Recipes from My Inkwell

    Welcome to Recipes from My Inkwell. Here, I have shared the source of each entry and food related memories. I would love to read your own recipe related stories. Please send through the comment box below.

 Venison Swiss Steak  -   Sausage and Potato Pie

 Texas Sheet Cake  -   Meatloaf  -   Pig Out  - 

 Bean and Beef Casserole  -   Steak Cosmopolitan  - 

 No-Bake Cookies  -   Cabbage Rolls   -   Banana Bread


We eat a lot of venison, and through the years I’ve discovered several recipes specific for deer meat. My husband mixes the venison burger with regular beef burger so that it isn’t as dry. I much prefer this to straight beef. This recipe I found in a newspaper and takes regular cut steaks. Of course, this would also work with beef round steak.


I always tenderize the meat and try to let it sit a few hours before cooking. Place steaks in a bag of flour, garlic, dried onion, and pepper. Brown floured pieces in olive oil. Place in slow cooker and cover with slices of onion (mushrooms optional). Cover with 1 or 2 jars of beef gravy. Cook all day and serve with mashed potatoes. Instead of slow cooker, you can bake in oven at 300-325 degrees for 2-3 hours. It doesn’t take much flour, maybe a quarter cup or so, and I just sprinkle in the spices, no measuring.

The scents and tastes of food can stir memories of our childhoods or years providing for our own families. I’d love to see your stories. If you’d like to share, contact me below.

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This one came from an English pen friend many years ago. It is one of my husband’s favorites. Since I don’t care for mushrooms, I heat them separate for Richard. Probably like most cooks, I often adjust a recipe a bit to suit our tastes. I tend to add a little more pepper, less salt, and extra cheese.


1 ½ Lb. potatoes, 1 onion, sliced, fresh or canned mushrooms, 1 oz. oleo, ¼ pint beef stock, ¼ pint milk, salt and pepper to taste, 1 oz. flour, 1 Lb. sliced, cooked sausages, 4 oz. grated cheese, 1 oz. oleo, 1 tsp. mustard, a little milk for potatoes.

While potatoes are cooking, fry onion and mushrooms in oleo for 3-4 minutes, stir in flour, then milk and beef stock. Boil, stirring for 1 minute. Add cooked sausages and seasonings and heat through. Turn into 2-pint deep pie dish (or casserole). Mash potatoes with cheese, oleo, and milk. Spread over gravy and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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I couldn’t have asked for a better family to marry into. Right from the start they welcomed this shy, awkward teenager. It was amazing how I felt an instant kinship, especially with my husband’s mother and youngest sister. I loved hanging out in their kitchens while one or the other was preparing a meal. No, they didn’t need help, but we sure could visit.

This recipe came from my oldest sister-in-law. It took longer for us to connect, but she was a wonderful person who at one time, took in a whole family after their house burned. Not easy when she already had a large family and crowded home.


Bring to boil: 2 sticks oleo, 1 cup water, 4 TBS. sifted cocoa. Remove from heat and add: 2 cups sifted flour, 2 cups sugar, ½ tsp. salt. Beat in 2 eggs, ½ cup sour cream(milk), 1 tsp. soda. Spread on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mix frosting while baking.

Bring to boil: 1 stick oleo, 4 TBS. sifted cocoa, 6 TBS. milk. Remove from heat and add: 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix well, frost warm/cool cake, then scatter 1 cup finely chopped nuts on top.

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Growing up our meals were plain, but good and abundant. We were farm kids until I turned twelve. All seven of us, five kids and parents, loved to eat. One time my mom decided to try something different. It was a Spanish rice dish, I believe, but my 3 brothers and I raised a fuss and refused to eat it. Poor mom. She’d tried to do something special for us and we had her in tears. I sure felt bad later, but at the time was just as hateful as the boys.

This is mom’s meatloaf. I can eat other’s recipes, but still far prefer this one. Mom sometimes spread ketchup on top. A few years ago, I found this sauce recipe which I will include. It adds a bit of tang to the dish.


Mix together with hands: 1 LB. ground beef (or venison), ½ cup uncooked oatmeal, ½ cup milk, 1 egg, ¾ tsp. salt and dash of pepper, ½ tsp. mustard, and ½ onion, chopped. Put into bread loaf sized pan.

Mix topping: 1/3 cup ketchup, 1 TBS. packed brown sugar, 1 TBS. mustard.

Spread on meat and bake at 350 degrees approximately 1 hour.

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-   PIG OUT  -

I received this one from a long-ago pen pal; the first pudding layered dessert I encountered. It’s yummy for a family and is a great dish to share at a larger gathering.


Blend 1 cup flour, ½ cup chopped nuts, 1 stick softened oleo. Press into 9X13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Blend 1-8 oz. crème cheese (softened), 1 cup sugar, ½ container of cool whip. Spread over crust.

Mix 1 box instant vanilla pudding with 1 ½ cup milk. Layer over 2nd layer.

Mix 1 box instant chocolate pudding with 1 ½ cup milk. Layer.
Top with remainder of cool whip and more nuts. Refrigerate.
Note: I refrigerate for awhile between layers to let them set.

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Received this one from an acquaintance who’d brought it to a dance luncheon. It’s far too much for two people but great for a dish to pass. I made it for our visiting nephews. They enjoyed it so much Ed took a copy home, and years later made it for his son’s wedding reception.


½ Lb. diced bacon
1 Lb. lean ground beef or venison, chopped onion.
1 15oz. can kidney beans
1 15oz can lima or black beans
1 16oz pork and beans (I use 28 oz. bush beans)
½ cup ketchup, 2 TBS. mustard, 2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce, ¾ c. packed brown sugar
3 TBS. Molasses, ½ tsp garlic salt, ½ tsp. chili powder

Rinse and drain kidney and lima (or black) beans. Fry bacon, ground meat, and onion until meat is browned and onion translucent. Drain. In a large, greased casserole dish combine meat mixture with all the beans. In a separate bowl, blend the remaining ingredients. Stir sauce into bean and beef mixture. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the cover and bake 15 minutes more. *for those watching sugar intake, this is very sweet.

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Growing up I was a picky eater and had not experienced many meals that weren’t cooked at home by either mom or one of us two girls. While dating my husband, we often dined at his parent’s house. His mom served many dishes I would have turned my nose up at just because of the look of them, but to be polite, I tasted them. Wow, I couldn’t believe how good they were! This is another favorite from my Mother-In-law. I believe Bea clipped this from a magazine several years after my marriage. By then I had several of her recipes in my file box. Our youngest daughter prefers it over rice, but hubby and I prefer potatoes. Either works well.

1 Lb. round steak (sliced in thin chunks)
3 TBS. vegetable oil
1 C. sliced onions
2 C. sliced carrots
2 C. beef broth (made with 2-3 bouillon cubes)
1 (4 Oz.) can mushrooms (I heat on side for hubby)
½ Tsp. salt
¼ Tsp. each of garlic and pepper
1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. sliced celery
2 TBS. cornstarch

Sauté steak in oil until brown, add onions, cook 2 minutes. Add carrots, broth, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer 10 minutes. Add celery, cook 10 minutes more. Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup water. Stir into mixture, cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

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I must have been between 8 and 10 years old when someone gave my mom this recipe for No Bake Cookies. What a wonder for this farm kid, cookies you didn’t bake! Yummy. We five, along with our parents, ate them as fast as mom could make them.

Because these are so easy to make, it’s a great one to teach your children. Daughter number one was so proud of herself when she made them by herself for a party for her third-grade class.

Boil for 1 minute; 1 stick oleo, ½ cup milk, 1/3 cup cocoa, 2 cups sugar. Take off heat and add ½ cup peanut butter (I use chunky), 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 3 cups oatmeal. Stir until mixed and drop by teaspoonful on waxed paper. Refrigerate until set. Notes: I use less salt, ¼- 1/2 tsp. To add the oatmeal, I begin with 2 ½ cups and add little at a time, stirring in until right consistency, thick enough to set but not too dry.

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I dedicate this one to the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for, Beatrice Ockert Weidner. Bea expanded my culinary tastes with dishes I’d never eaten.

8 LG. Cabbage leaves
1 can tomato soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
¼ c. chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper

Cook cabbage in salted water a few minutes to soften. Drain. Mix 2 TBS, tomato soup with remaining ingredients. Divide meat mixture among cabbage leaves, fold in sides and roll up. Secure with toothpicks, if needed. Place rolls seam side down in a skillet. Pour remainder of soup over. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Stir now and then, spooning sauce over rolls. Serves 4.

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I dedicate this one to my mother, Marie Kellogg Brown Bowling, who taught her sons as well as her daughters to cook. Sons, so they could fend for themselves if they were on their own, but if they were home, of course the girls were supposed to cook for them😊.

My eldest daughter and I consider ourselves Banana Bread ‘snobs’ as my mother’s recipe is the only one we will eat. I once checked my mother-in-law’s recipe, a fabulous cook who also taught me much, to see the difference. Her recipe was basically the same. The only deviation appeared to be that she baked hers in smaller pans. My mother, myself, and my children use full-sized bread pans and do not allow it to bake until brown.

One loaf: Cream ¼ cup soft shortening with ¾ cup sugar. Beat in 1 egg. Add 2/3 cup mashed bananas (approx. 2), and 3 TBS sour milk. Sift together 2 cups flour, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp soda, and ¼ tsp salt. Add into other ingredients and mix well. If desired, add chopped walnuts and pour into well-greased, dusted with flour bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Check with toothpick in center. The bread will probably take longer to bake through but watch closely, checking every 5-10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. The top should be just slightly brown.

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