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About Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Heikenfeld

About Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH*, is an award-winning syndicated journalist, accredited family herbalist, author, cooking teacher, media personality and the founding editor of www.Abouteating.com. Rita writes a syndicated weekly column for Community Press Newspapers that reaches almost a quarter of a million people each week in Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Rita Heikenfeld is Resident Herbalist for Fox 19 Morning Xtra, Natorp’s, Earthineer and Granny’s Garden, and is listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in the Midwest and Who’s Who in American Education for her culinary and community achievements. Rita is a former adjunct professor at The University of Cincinnati and can be found on Sacred Heart Radio. She has just  been inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame for her work with herbs and natural foods.

Rita lives “in the sticks” outside of Batavia, Ohio near Cincinnati with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs.

*CCP (Certified Culinary Professional) – The CCP (Certified Culinary Professional) designation is awarded by the International Association of Culinary Professionals to individuals who have demonstrated and maintain comprehensive knowledge of the culinary arts and sciences. Members include the late Julia Child and Francois Dionot.

*CMH (Certified Modern Herbalist) – An intensive program of study focusing on herbal practices and medicinal uses. Focusing on overall wellness through natural methods.

If you’d like to share a recipe, offer a suggestion or contact Rita Heikenfeld, please use the form below.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/about-rita-heikenfeld/

61 comments

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  1. Charlotte

    I have been listening to you on EWTN radio, doing a presentation on ‘Eating from the Garden of Eden’ where you discuss bible foods, their qualities, how they were used at the time, and recipes for how we can use them now.

    I am in love with this concept. I assumed it was a book and was hoping to purchase 3 or 4 of them for friends/relatives this Christmas. Regrettably I have not been able to find it, and am wondering if such a book exists.

    Could you please direct me to a site where I can purchase your book, and if you have not written it yet, can you please? :D

    Thank you very much for your work, I enjoy the program and look forward to hearing more from you.

    ~Charlotte

  2. Andy

    How do you find recipes? I heard you on the catholic station and want to check out your mash potato recipe, but I can’t find the link?
    Help…..

    1. jrwall68

      Hi Andy. Sorry for the delay. We’re relaunching AboutEating.com and have added the make ahead mashed potatoes recipe. Make ahead mashed potatoes

  3. Heather Gaudet

    Hi Rita. My name is Heather Gaudet and I am a listener of the Son Rise Morning show. A couple weeks ago I hear you talk about 2 recipes that I would love to try. I have searched on your website for them, but I cannot seem to find them. The two that I am interested in are Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and a French Toast dish that you make in the oven. If you could direct me to where I could find these recipes, I would appreciate it. Thank you so much. I really enjoy your segment on the Son Rise Morning Show! God Bless!

    Heather Gaudet

    1. Rita

      We’ve been working a ton on the site lately and finally added the make ahead mashed potatoes recipe.
      I’ll work on getting the french toast recipe up soon!

  4. Jesse

    Hi Rita. I need your help!!!!! I want to make a vanilla ice cream in cuisinart maker but I don’t know the ingredients and quantities.

    Thanks for helping me

    Jesse

    1. jrwall68

      Hi Jesse. I’ve added a couple of recipes and a video that should help. Enjoy the ice cream!
      Ice Cream Maker Recipe

  5. Jacob

    Hi Rita,
    I heard you talk on the Son Rise Morning Show about an apricot recipe for a spread or dip that you use apricot jelly or jam in. I can’t find this recipe anywhere and I’ve really wanting to try it. Thanks and God Bless Jacob

    1. Rita

      Hi Jacob. I’ve added the recipe for Swiss Apricot and Cranberry Dip to the site. Let me know if you like it!

  6. Dorothy Richardson

    I would like to listen again to the radio show that aired this morning, May 9, around 10am on am 1000 here in San Diego county.the Son Rise program where you talked about all the herbs of the bible. I was driving and would love to listen again.
    Thanks, Dorothy Richardson

    1. dorothy richardson

      How can I listen to the radio program Son Rise that aired this morning concerning herbs in the time of the bible?

      1. Rita Heikenfeld

        Hi, Dorothy,
        Go to Sacred Heart Radio and then to the Sonrise Morning Show. I also post the info on my blog: Cooking with Rita at Cincinnati.com.

  7. daierieandjack@frontier.com

    Rit a, I just read about the lasagna recipe in this past weeks paper from a Laurie B cannot find it help thanks dasie

  8. joe

    any recipe that has chicken , andouille sausage
    ,Monterrey jack cheese, deep fried in a soft taco, with mushrooms, sweet onion and heat , jalapenos

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Joe, I’m putting this out to my readers – anybody have something similar to what Joe wants? Sounds like a party on a plate!

  9. Charlene Castle

    Rite,rite, I saw you on Fox 19 this morning with your tortilina soup. Had already cut out recipe in Community Journal this week. Made it for supper. We now have another yummy soup for these cold winter days. It was DELICIOUS. Thanks!!!! Charlin Darlin

  10. Bob Wait

    Dear Rita,
    I’d like your thoughts about a version of preserved lemons. I’ve made my first batch and am using them but I wonder if I can replenish the lemons I’ve already made with lemon halves that are left over after extracting the juice for other recipes. Since the object of preserved lemons is the peel and not the juice or pulp do you see any problems with just adding the lemon halves to the brine? Actually, I’ll collect the lemon halves in the freezer and add them to the jar when the first batch runs out. Paula Wolfert’s book on Moroccan cooking suggests that the brine can be reused but doesn’t include any specifics as to how much, if any, salt is added to the brine. I’ve scanned quite a few web sites for an answer to using lemon halves but have not come up with anything so far. I will try the preserved lemon with chicken and olives very soon. Up until now, I’ve used the lemons in sauteed kale (with some onion, garlic and sweet red pepper for color). I think that kale and preserved lemons were made for each other and if kale were the only use for preserved lemon, it would be worth the trouble to make them. I also used the lemons in making Charmoula as a topping for fish (also quite good). I had been getting preserved lemon at the olive bar at Jungle Jim’s and those lemons seem more round rather than the common oval-shaped lemons. I also wonder if the flavor is a bit different. I saw something called “Sweet Lemons” in a Middle-Eastern market in the Detroit area and they are also more round than oval. I’m back in Cincinnati now but wish I had bought a few to try (but they weren’t cheap = $2.79 per pound).
    I’ve been to at least one or two of your cooking classes over the years and listen to you on the radio; thanks for your teaching work.
    Bob Wait

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Bob,
      Wow, it sounds like you’re really into preserved lemons. I haven’t made them for a long time, but remember when I did that I made them with Meyer lemons in season one time and regular lemons the other. Both were nice but the Meyer lemon was more round with a sweeter, milder flavor. As far as reusing the brine for your juiced lemon halves, I think it would be OK but I’m not sure it would be strong enough since the brine would have been diluted by the lemons as they preserve. But if Paula Wolfert says it can be done, then it can. What I would do is add a teaspoon more of salt and then more lemon juice if needed to cover and also to add a bit more acidity for preserving. Let me know how your chicken turns out.
      And thanks for the nice comments – I love what I do!

  11. Anne (Maj) Robinson

    Wondering if you have a recipe that you could share for Lebna? I have enjoyed it when Cafe Mediterranean was nearby. Always good to see you and learning from you!
    Anne

  12. Janis Binzer

    Rita, I read your allergy drink recipe in my 05/28/14 Delhi Press. Have a question. You suggested buying local “organic raw apple cider’ but in the recipe you said to use apple cider vinegar. Which is it…apple cider or apple cider vinegar. I would imagine they are different items but I’m not a great cook. Let me know.

    Thanks, Jan

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh gosh, Jan, thanks for catching that – I meant apple cider vinegar, organic – and it can be from anywhere – I buy Bragg’s – it’s the raw organic honey that you need to purchase locally. I’ll put in a correction. And you are right, they are not the same!
      Blessings,

      Rita

  13. Diane LeRoy

    Can I have your tabbouleh recipe?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi Diane. My mother made wonderful Tabouleh. I’ve posted her tabbouleh recipe here on my site.

  14. mary a. benoski

    Dear Rita,
    I have recently been given some dried hibiscus flowers for making tea. Have you ever made hibiscus tea from the dried flowers? If so what is your recipe and do you know of any special nutritional benefits from this tea?
    Thanks,
    Mary Ann

  15. mary a. benoski

    Rita, about the hibiscus flowers after they are re-constituted. Do you have a recipe for using these unique blossoms after I have made the tea?
    Mary Ann

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary Ann,
      Some background: if they are Hibiscus sabdariffa that’s the true Hibiscus flower that contains vitamin C, helps lower blood pressure, is a cooling agent, and a gentle diuretic. Plus it’s full of antioxidants. I make a tea by infusing a scant teaspoon of petals in a couple cups of boiling water. Pour boiling water over, let infuse for a few minutes and strain. It tastes sort of tart, and is delicious sweetened with stevia or raw honey. I also make a lovely vinegar: place about 4 tablespoons petals in a glass jar. Pour 4 cups white wine vinegar over. Let infuse until the flowers bleed red into the vinegar which will take about a week or less. Strain and use in viniagrettes, etc. especially one that calls for lemon. Hope this helps. One more thing – a colleague of mine worked with Marcus Samuelsson who requested some of the dried petals for a dish he was making.

  16. Amy

    Rita, I have a friend that would like “Stuffed Green Peppers.” But he said, “Please no rice stuffing, I get rice in almost every one of my Meals on Wheels. Enough Rice.” I have not been able to find any other stuffing, can you help with this request? I have already ate the first pepper in a salad and this one is heading that way. Looking forward to a great recipe, thanks!

  17. Gerr

    How can I get a copy of gardening with herbs and vegetables that compliment each other.

    Thank you,

    Gerri

    agduz@comcast.net

    July 4, 2014

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Geri,
      Here you go!

      Companion planting is not a new idea to the gardening world. There is evidence of farmers using these same techniques dating back to Bible times.

      A companion planting plan integrates Mother Nature’s traits as well as your choice of what you want to grow.

      Basil – Not mentioned specifically in the Bible, but Bible scholars believe it was a used extensively throughout the Mediterranean.

      Good companion for tomatoes, basil makes tomatoes taste better and it’s also good for peppers. Likes to grow next to oregano. Basil’s aroma repels flies and mosquitoes, so place some potted basil on your outside decks and by house entrances; and you will also be protected. Basil acts as a fungicide.

      Cilantro/Coriander – Coriander is referenced in Exodus 16:31 ….”And the food became known as manna – meaning “What is it? It was like coriander seed.”

      Helps spinach and repels or distracts white flies and aphids. Coriander seeds stay viable for a long time.

      Chives/Garlic – Numbers 11: 5-6 A member of the onion family.

      Chives help carrots, tomatoes and members of the cabbage family grow well. You can make a spray out of chives steeped in water to kill powdery mildew. Plant a few cloves of garlic around your roses to repel chewing insects. Garlic also repels rabbits!

      Parsley – an ancient herb that some Bible scholars believe originated in Lebanon.

      Growing parsley in your garden will attract butterflies. Adult swallowtails, that yellow & black butterfly will lay their eggs on the leaves so parsley does not have to be flowering to attract butterflies to your garden. It also helps tomatoes grow well.

      Dill – (Matthew 23:23) – Woe to you Pharisees…..you pay tithes of cumin, mint and dill, but ignore the important things like justice, mercy and faith. You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.”

      Helps cucumbers (plant cukes first, then dill a week or so later), lettuce, onions). Repels squash bugs. The flower heads of dill are one of the best nectar sources for beneficial insects in the garden.

      Fennel – Galbanum is mentioned in Exodus 30:34-38 when the Lord told Moses to use it in a recipe for making incense.

      Botanists believe this is a giant fennel and it was probably used in the composition of incense to drive away insects from the sanctuary. Attracts ladybugs and repels aphids. Don’t plant too close to dill.

      Rosemary – Legend has it that rosemary will never grow more than 6 feet in 33 years so that I would never be taller than Christ. A great one to plant near sage and eggplant. It repels black flea beetles that attack eggplant.

      Oregano/Hyssop – Exodus 12:22 – We know Moses told the Israelites to dip a branch of “hyssop” in lamb’s blood to mark their doorposts. Some scholars believe hyssop to be a type of oregano/marjoram.

      Helps tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. It acts as an insect repellent for cucumber beetles.

      Mint – Plant a container near the kitchen door to keep ants away. Attracts beneficial insects. Mint, with its white flowers, attracts pollinators like bees and is good for plants in the mustard family..

      Marigolds – called “Mary’s Gold” – French or Calendula species.

      Tomatoes love marigolds, and so do peppers, and cucumbers. French marigold produces a pesticidal chemical from their roots, so strong it lasts years after they are gone. Pests don’t like the strong smell of marigold at all.

      Lavender – it’s said that Mary put her cloak over a bush of lavender which had white flowers. The flowers turned blue in her honor. Lavender will help repel fleas, ticks, moths and even mice.

      Thyme – Thyme’s scent acts as a deterent to most pests, and may help keep deer away. Thyme attracts bees to tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant.

  18. Carol F.

    I made the cherry bounce. However, I used sweet bing fresh cherries. Is that what you mean by dark cherries? Also, do I leave it sit on the counter or in the refrigerator for the 4-6 months? Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Carol,
      Depending upon where you purchase them, they’re called Big or dark sweet cherries. They should be dark red, not yellowish like Queen Ann cherries.The ones I use for cherry bounce are in season now, so you should be good to go. And when I was talking to Ron Wilson on his radio show about it, I couldn’t think of the name of the sugar on a string/stick. It’s sometimes called string or stick candy/sugar. Let the bounce age in a cool, dark place like in the pantry, where it will do it’s magic. After a couple weeks or so, taste it and see if it needs more sugar. Again, depending upon the kind of bourbon/whiskey you use, you may need more sweetening, or not. Let me know how it turns out!

  19. Jennifer Wietmarschen

    Dear Rita,
    The Lakeshore Women’ s Club would like to invite you to come and speak to. Us about cooking with herbs. the program would be approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period of 10 to 15 minutes. The date would be April 23rd at 7:30pm. we are located in Springfield Twp. On Lochcrest Rd. I am Jennifer Wietmarschen, the Program chair, and I can be reached at771-3932. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
    Jennifer

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Jennifer,
      Give me a call at (513) 73202108.
      Thx
      Rita

  20. mary

    Yesterday, July 17, 2014, I heard Rita giving a recipe to Matt – zuccini plus and was not in a position to write it down.
    I just went to ABOUTEATING.COM

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary,
      It’s on my blog under Goat Cheese Rollups.

  21. mary

    ABOUT EATING.COM does not have the recipe Rita gave to Matt yesterday – 7/17/14. The website has changed..
    It was lots of veggies and sounded good but I was unable at that moment to write it down.
    WHERE IS IT AND WHAT IS THE NAME?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary,
      It’s called Tabouleh and it’s on my blog here. It is really delicious, and thanks.

  22. Alane

    Help! I have lost your recipe for pickled peppers!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I’ll put it on my blog today!

  23. Jennifer Wietmarschen

    Dear Rita, I am thrilled that you will come and speak to the Lakeshore Women’s Club next year on April 23rd at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place at 446 Stonehearst Rd 45231, which is located in Springfield Township. Our honorarium generally is between $50 – $100; sometimes we are flexible so that our budget and our guest’s speakers compensation are mutually satisfactory.
    As I stated in my initial e-mail, we would enjoy hearing you discuss the use of herbs in cooking and generally we recommend a 30 minute talk with a question and answer period of 10 – 15 minutes.
    The number of women would be about 25 – 30.
    We also plan to give about 4 – 5 pots of herbs as a door prize and would welcome your recommendation as to what to get.
    I will be out of town from July 26 to August 3rd. If you have further questions please e-mail or call 771-3932.
    Jennifer Wietmarschen

  24. Peter garcia

    Rita while reading the daily for last Friday July 18, out of Isaiah 38: 21, ” Isaiah then ordered a poultice of “figs” to be taken and applied to the boil, that he might recover”. I’m sure you have covered figs in the past, but please consider sharing some old or new testament insights regarding figs. I have eaten them as fresh fruit and in the “Newtons”, what are other ways to enjoy this healing fruit?
    May our Lord continue to bless you in the good work you do.
    Peace,
    +peter

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Peter,
      I do have some other good fig recipes. Give me a bit of time to sort through the files and send them.
      Blessings to you, too
      Rita

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Peter,
      I love to smear fig jam on a cracker, then top it with a shaving of Manchego cheese. Really good. And dried figs are tasty in homemade granola or granola bars. Thanks for your interest – next time I do figs I’ll research them more so I have some interesting facts to share again.

      Thanks for listening, too, to the Sonrise morning show. I so enjoy working with Matt, Annie and Grant – good people!

  25. Kathy

    Cherry Bouce calls for a bottle of bourbon. There are lots of sizes of bottles. Please give me amount of bourbon before cherries run out.
    Thanks

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      My bourbon bottle says 750 ml – it’s the regular size bottle that you find at the store. You need enough to cover the cherries and this amount usually works for me.

  26. Rita Heikenfeld

    Regarding the amount of bourbon for cherry bounce recipe: my bottle says 750 ml which I think is average for the big bottle of bourbon. What you need is enough bourbon to cover the cherries. Hope this clarifies the recipe.

  27. Jack

    Great read, really informative, I love natural products so much and i’m always learning new tips! Thanks.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Glad you like the site. Check out the lavender moisturizer oil a reader just shared.
      Blessings,
      Rita

  28. Marlene Feagan

    Rita,
    I work at St. Elizabeth Healthcare as the Coordinator for the Health Ministries Program. I am interested in doing s “special” event for the coordinators at the churches in November, a THANK YOU for their volunteering in theri faith communities.
    I am wanting to find out about the possibilities of you doing a food demonstration. I would be most interested in talking to you. Here is my contact information:
    Marlene Feagan, MA, BSN, RN
    Health MInistries/Faith Community Nurse Coordinator
    St. Elizabeth Healthcare
    85 North Grand Avenue
    Ft. Thomas, KY 41075
    (W) 859-572-3679 (C) 859-992-4848 HAve a Blessed Day!

  29. Betty O'Neal

    Would you please give me your recipe for Rice Krispie Treats. Thank you.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Betty,
      Nice to hear from you. Here you go – it’s the basic recipe but with more butter & vanilla. And I like to butter the 9×13 pan instead of spraying it.

      Best Rice Krispie Treats

      6 tablespoons butter
      10 oz bag big marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows
      1 tablespoon real vanilla
      6 cups Rice Krispies
      “Sprayed” spatula – spray w/cooking spray so mixture doesn’t stick

      In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Low is important so butter doesn’t burn. Add marshmallows keeping pan on low heat. and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and add cereal. Mix well and press into buttered (my choice) or sprayed 9×13 pan. Cool before cutting.

      This is a fun mixture for the little ones to shape with sprayed hands when the mixture is cool enough to handle but not yet set up.

  30. Fyre Fyter

    In your 9/24 Community Newspaper article you were relating the growing of wheat during Biblical Times. I believe you misinformed your readership. The development of wheat is a recent phenomenon. Two thousand years ago emmer, eikorn and perhaps Kamut were grains used by the Egyptians to brew beer and maybe make bread. Non or low gluten grains like barley and legumes such as lentils were used much more frequently than emmer or similar grains, which btw are low in gluten.

    If you wish to use grains from that era, Jungle Jim’s carries whole grain Kamut and emmer. They’re both delicious additives to a whole kernel wheat bread recipe.

    Peter Reinhardt, in his ” While Grains Breads” has a great history on the grains used in bread baking. This recipes are top notch too.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I appreciate your input in clarifying what “wheat” meant in Bible days. Because of space constraints in my column, I can’t always go into detail, although in my presentations I talk about the Bible days wheat as most likely being emmer, a type of hulled wheat which stored well. I have talked about emmer, durum, spelt, farro, etc. on Sonrise morning show on Sacred Heart Radio. I’ll be talking about it again in the future, and will mention your clarification.

      BTW I’m the culinary professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate and agree w/you – they have an awesome selection.

  31. Jim

    Do you have a copy-cat recipe for Izzy’s Beef Barley soup?
    Please provide a link to it.
    Thanks.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I don’t but I’ll ask if they’ll share or give me ingredients.
      Rita

  32. Patricia Frederick

    I am looking for a recipe my mother made using squash instead of pumpkin in her pie. It had a custard base. Hoping you or someone you know would know what kind of squash she used. She would cook the squash and freeze it for later use in her pies.
    I read your column and love clipping the recipes.
    Patricia Frederick

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pat,
      I am thinking it could have been butternut which cooks up like pumpkin and freezes well. The custard base is easy, you can take your favorite pumpkin pie filling and substitute the cooked, pureed squash. Let me look through my files and I’ll see what I can come up with.

  33. Maria

    Hi Rita,

    I’m interested in interviewing you for Family Foundations magazine. Could you please email me at mcwiering(at)gmail.com to discuss further?

    Thank you!
    Maria

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I will do that, Maria.

  34. Diane Johnson

    My 83 year old aunt had a copy of your Cottage Cheese Pie. She wanted me to make this for her and when she looked for the recipe she had misplaced it. She got it from the Northwest Press quite a while ago. Where can I possibly find your recipe. I would love to find it and surprise her.
    Thank you-
    Diane Johnson

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Diane,
      That is too cool – love to hear she’s still baking & cooking for loved ones. Those retro recipes are all coming back, so tell her she’s still trendy at 83!

      COTTAGE CHEESE PIE
      “Back in the late 1950′s and early 60′s my Mom had a recipe for Cheese Pie using cottage cheese. If I remember it correctly, it was more of a custard pie consistency instead of cheesecakes being made today. I’d surely appreciate finding the recipe.” Well, here’s one from my files which I have not tried. If any of you have what she’s asking for, please share.

      1 cup granulated sugar

      2/3 cup cottage cheese

      1 generous tablespoon flour

      1-1/2 cups whole milk

      2 eggs

      1/8 teaspoon salt

      Butter

      1 unbaked pie crust

      Mix and pour in unbaked pie crust. Dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees until top is golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool before serving.

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