Category: Recipes from the Kitchen of Sharlene Habermeyer

I love these cookies! I got the recipe from my friend Janene Zimmerman many years ago.  They are wonderful to make around holiday time–because the cranberries and glaze frosting make them very festive-looking. I hope this recipe becomes one of your family’s favorite! Here are two different pictures–you can either drizzle the frosting or completely frost these cookies.

orange cranberry cookies  Cranberry cookie 1


1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 tsp. grated orange peel

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 egg

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp. soda

½ tsp. salt

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

½ cup chopped nuts



Heat oven to 375 degrees

Grease cookie sheets.

In large bowl, beat the sugars, butter, orange peel, orange juice and egg. Stir in flour, soda, and salt. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Drop dough by small spoonfuls onto to cookie sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes until edges are slightly brown

Cool and then glaze with frosting mixture.



1 ½ cups powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice—mix and frost cookies


Sharlene 2014


These Nachos are great for any occasion, but they are extra fun to make around different holidays–such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl Sunday, etc.  My family loves them and they do not think Christmas Eve or the Super Bowl is complete without them. They are tasty and although considered an appetizer, they are filling enough to include with the main dish. The filling can be made a day ahead as well as the fried tortillas. If you do make them in advance, make certain you put the fried tortillas in a plastic bag and the filling in the fridge. These are so good, there are usually no leftovers. They are a little labor intensive, but definitely worth it!




8 corn tortillas

Vegetable Oil for frying

2 Tablespoons butter

1 can (17 oz) refried beans

2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 cans (4 oz., each) diced green chilies (mild)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 cup Jack Cheese, shredded


Directions for the Tortillas:

Cut the tortillas into quarters.

Place on the kitchen drain and allow to dry out overnight.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom by ¼ inch.

Heat until hot (about 400 degrees) and fry tortillas in batches, turning with tongs until crisp

They will cook very fast!

Drain on paper towels.


Directions for the topping:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Melt the butter in a saucepan

Stir in the beans, 1 cup Cheddar cheese, the green onions, garlic, and chilies

Cook, stirring until the mixture is heated through and the cheese is melted

Season to taste with the salt & pepper


Directions for both tortilla and topping:

Spread each tortilla wedge with some of the bean mixture

Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar and Jack cheeses

Place them on a baking sheet

Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Serve hot



Sharlene 2014

I love oatmeal cookies, but I like everything–including the kitchen sink (as they say)– in them. These are amazing oatmeal cookies–moist, flavorful, and delicious. I like to make oatmeal cookies during the fall, in fact, I think the words autumn and oatmeal cookies are synonymous.

I do not like flat oatmeal cookies and I found that after you make the dough, if you put the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour and preferably overnight–they will be plump, moist and have the perfect amount of crunch to them! So, here is the recipe for the very best oatmeal cookies you have ever tasted! And–try putting in the walnuts, the raisins and the apples (and even dates, if you want)–you won’t be sorry–I promise!

Oatmeal cookies


½ pound (2 sticks) butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

1 cup raisins (optional)

3/4 cup chopped dates (optional)

1 cup walnuts (optional)

1 cup shredded apples (optional—but I like these in the cookies because it makes them very soft and adds a wonderful texture and flavor)



  1. Heat over to 350 degrees
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mix well and add to mixture
  5. Stir in oats, raisins, nuts, dates and apples
  6. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown
  9. Leave 1 minute on cookie sheet: remove to wire rack



Sharlene 2014

Here are the recipes that go with the children’s books I discussed in two earlier blogs. They are fun to make and add a special reading/eating experience for your children.

Pasta Fajioli Soup (Book: Stone Soup)

pasta fagioli


3 tsp. oil

2 lbs ground beef

12 oz. onion chopped (1 ½ cups)

14 oz carrots diced (2 cups)

14 oz. celery diced (2 cups)

48 oz. cans tomatoes, diced

2 cups red kidney beans

2 cups white kidney beans

88 oz. beef stock

3 tsp. oregano

2 ½ tsp pepper

2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley

1 ½ tsp. Tabasco sauce

48 oz. spaghetti sauce

1 package of shell macaroni


Sauté beef in oil

Add onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes

Simmer 10 minutes.

Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot

Add the beef stock, oregano, pepper, parsley, Tabasco sauce, spaghetti sauce and the package of shell macaroni

Simmer until tender about 45 minutes

Yields: 9 quarts soup


Finger Jell-O (Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

Finger Jello   Hungry Caterpillar


5 boxes of 3 oz. Jell-O in various colors

7 pkgs. Knox gelatin

1 can sweetened condensed milk


Dissolve 2 envelopes Knox gelatin and 1 cup boiling water in glass dish

Drizzle in 1 can sweetened condensed milk

You will be using ½ cup of this mixture between the colored Jell-O layers

Set aside this mixture in warm place so that it won’t set-up. (I usually put mine in the oven on the lowest setting)

Next, take 1 pkg. Jello, 1 pkg Knox gelatin, and 1 cup boiling water: mix until dissolved.

Pour the jello mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan

Put in the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes or until slightly sticky.

Take out of fridge and, evenly pour ½ cup of the white mixture over the Jell-O

Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until slightly sticky.

Next, repeat the process: use a colored Jell-O layer, then a white layer.

Continue this process until you have used the all 5 boxes of Jell-O

The last layer will be a colored Jell-O.

When the Jell-O is fully set, you can use cookie cutters of various shapes and press them into the Jell-O–this is a really fun recipe!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie)

Chocolate Chip cookies   If you Give a mouse a cookie


1 ½ Cups White Sugar

2 Cups Brown Sugar

1 lb. Butter (four sticks)

3 Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla

6 Cups Flour (Use the brand, “Wheat Montana” you can get this at Wal-Mart—it is not a GMO)

1 ¼ Tablespoons Salt

1 ¼ Tablespoons Baking Soda

2 12 oz. pkgs. Chocolate Chips

Chopped walnuts, as desired


  1. Mix together the white and brown sugars.
  2. Add the butter and cream until fluffy.
  3. Blend in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Mix well but do not over beat.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop and drop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes (Blueberries for Sal)

Blueberry Pancakes  Blueberries for Sal045


2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

2 cups buttermilk (shake well before measuring)

2 large eggs

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Vegetable oil for cooking

Unsalted butter and syrup for serving


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly combined
  2. Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour mixture in a medium bowl and set aside
  3. Make a well in the center of the remaining flour mixture and add buttermilk, eggs, and lemon zest
  4. Whisk together, gradually incorporating flour mixture, mixing just until combined; some small lumps should remain in the batter.
  5. Fold in blueberries
  6. Let batter stand 10 minutes
  7. Preheat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat
  8. Brush griddle with oil and ladle 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle.
  9. When small bubbles appear across surface of pancakes and the edges lift up from griddle, flip and continue cooking until pancakes are golden brown.
  10. Serve with butter and maple syrup


Pasta Primavera Salad (Strega Nona)

Strega Nona


8 oz pasta (I like the fusilli)

1 Tablespoon

½ pound broccoli, trimmed, cut into flowerets

1 8 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped, save the marinade

½ cup bottled Italian salad dressing

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ cup minced green onions

2 zucchini, thinly sliced

1/3 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

½ cup frozen peas, uncooked

½ basket cherry tomatoes, halved

½ of a 1 pound can of pitted black olives

1/3 cup minced parsley

1/8 cup vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

Salt & Pepper to taste

Red Leaf Lettuce


  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water to which 1 tablespoon oil has been added. When cooked to al dente stage, drain and run cold water over it, drain again
  2. Cook broccoli in small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender; drain
  3. Pour marinade from artichoke hearts over cooked pasta along with bottled Italian dressing; add garlic and stir well
  4. Add green onions, zucchini, mushrooms, peas, cherry tomatoes, olives and minced parsley
  5. Combine vinegar with mayonnaise and add to salad along with salt & pepper
  6. Gently mix all ingredients thoroughly and allow to chill for several hours or overnight.
  7. Taste before serving and adjust seasonings.
  8. Sever each portion on a red lettuce leaf
  9. If salad becomes a little dry upon standing and doesn’t hold together as it did when first mixed, add a little mayonnaise, Italian dressing or water until moist.
  10. You can also add cooked diced chicken to this or Italian salami cut into small pieces.


Peach Cobbler (James and the Giant Peach)

James Giant Peach


8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

¼ cup boiling water

 Mix together:

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.


Sharlene 2014

Fruit Soup 2



4 cups sugar

4 cups water

¾ cups lemon juice

2 pkgs. loose frozen raspberries (they can be fresh)

1 pkg. loose frozen boysenberries (they can be fresh)

2 boxes loose frozen blueberries (they can be fresh)

1 can (#2) crushed pineapple (this can be fresh, cut up)

6 sliced bananas

1 quart ginger ale or other carbonated drink—grapefruit, lemon, etc.



Combine sugar and water and bring to boil to dissolve the sugar.

 Add lemon juice and freeze the entire mixture.

 In another large bowl combine the raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries, pineapple and bananas.

 Just before serving, remove from freezer the sugar/water mixture and add to fruit. It will be somewhat solid but will un-freeze and make the soup slushy.

 Stir in ginger ale.

 Serve with a spoon.



15-20 people



There is a frozen fruit medley available at Sam’s Club. I’ve tried it before and it works perfectly. I’ve also tried to find it at Costco, but they do not carry it. As mentioned, the fruit can be fresh when all the berries are in season–like the summer months. I’ve tried it both ways and it is delicious.


I’ve been making this recipe for our special Christmas Eve dinners since 1982. I got it from my friend, Margaret Miller—an amazing cook!  The boys love it and although it’s really not a soup, (really more of a slushy fruit concoction) we’ve always called it, “Fruit Soup.” It’s a very refreshing recipe and can be used as an appetizer, part of the main meal or as a dessert.  I’ve made this during the hot summer months, during the holidays and years ago when we had the school teachers over for lunch. It’s one of those recipes with many happy memories attached.


Sharlene 2014

Lemon Ice Cream

This is an amazing ice cream—light, refreshing and delicious! It is very simple to make and takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 20 minutes in the ice cream freezer. I got this recipe from my friend, Cindy Segawa 30 years ago.



3 Lemons (juice only)

3 Oranges (juice only)

3 Bananas—mashed

2 quarts Half & Half

3 cups sugar



Squeeze the oranges and lemons.

Combine the juice of the oranges and the lemons and the mashed bananas, the Half & Half and the sugar in a blender.

Blend until smooth.

Put in an ice cream maker and freeze as directed.


Some Tips for you and your Kids: 

1. Involve your kids–they can squeeze the lemons and the oranges and they can mash the bananas. 

2. Purchase one of the old fashioned ice cream makers–the ones that require ice and rock salt. You can find these at Sears or J.C. Penny. First, the ice cream turns out better and second your kids can watch the whole process.  I have a Hamilton Beach and an Aroma brand–love them both!

3.  The Half & Half–you can purchase this at Costco under the organic brand: Horizons

4. Sugar–use the organic sugar found at Costco

5. One more thing-store-bought ice cream is nothing more than synthetic chemicals. Did you know that there are so many synthetic ingredients in ice cream that by law the ice cream makers are not required to put all the ingredients on the label?  If they did, there would not be any room for any other words.  I’m serious. Dump that stuff and start making your own–plus it is a fun family tradition! 

Tomorrow I will be posting my recipe for chocolate chip cookies–they go amazingly well with this ice cream.


Sharlene 2014

Okay–the hot summer months are coming up and your tomatoes in your garden are growing. You need a recipe for those tomatoes! So, here is a great recipe for salsa…

I found this recipe about two years ago in the magazine: “Mother Earth News.” We grow a lot of tomatoes during the summer and I need some recipes that use tomatoes and recipes that allow me to “process” the tomatoes to use throughout the year. I’m not necessarily a fan of canning, but it does allow me to use all the tomatoes we grow. This is a great salsa recipe, but there is nothing that can replace “fresh” salsa. And don’t be afraid of canning–it is simple! Just get one of the large black canning pots and follow the directions and you will be fine. Good luck!


 4 to 5 quarts tomatoes, skin removed, chopped (I boil water and put the washed tomatoes into the boiling water for 1 minute, remove and skin them)

4 large onions, finely chopped

1 ½ cups jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (about 6 peppers)

6 green peppers, finely chopped.

2 cups white vinegar

12 ounces tomato paste

1 ½ tablespoon chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. alum, powdered or granulated (I do not use this)

½ cup pickling salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon ground pepper

½ cup granulated sugar



  1. In a large kettle bring all the ingredients to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes.

  2. Pour into clean pint jars

  3. Place two-piece lids on jars, screwing band on securely.

  4. Bring the water to a boil

  5. Place jars in rack inside processor, keeping jars apart.

  6. Bring the water back to a boil and process jars in boiling water bath for 20 minutes

  7. Yields: 12-15 pints


Sharlene 2014


I’ve been making these pickles for over 20 years. I use the cucumbers that I grow in my garden. These pickles are very easy to make and delicious! and you do not have to process them in a hot water bath. My son, Brandon can eat an entire jar in one sitting! (I wouldn’t recommend it!)


 7 cups sliced cucumbers (approximately 3 large Japanese cucumbers)

1 ¼ tsp. salt

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup sliced onion

1 cup white vinegar

1 ½ cups sugar

1 Tablespoon celery seed



  1. Mix cucumber slices with salt. Let stand for 2 hours. Drain and add green pepper and onion

  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, and celery seed. Pour over all.

  3. Pack into canning jars

  4. Refrigerate—let them sit in the refrigerator at least 1 day before eating.

  5. Will keep in the refrigerator for several months.



Sharlene 2014

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