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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, inductee into Escoffier Hall of Fame, President’s  Medal ACF, Appalachian herbal scholar, accredited family herbalist, author, cooking teacher, media personality, motivational speaker and the founding editor of

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. Her articles have been featured in USA Today, and her site was mentioned on the Today show.

She also about food, family, health and gardening for national publications.

Rita  is Resident Herbalist for Fox 19 Morning Xtra, Natorp’s, and Granny’s Garden, and is listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest.  Rita is a former adjunct professor at The University of Cincinnati and can be found on Sacred Heart Radio. She is a member of the Herb Society of America and has presented nationally on herbs and healthy eating.

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. She considers being a wife, mom and grand mom as her most important and meaningful “work”.

*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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  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? 😀

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


  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?

    1. jrwall68

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

    2. Toni Schildmeyer

      I heard you talk about easy Apple Dumplings, could you send me the receipt.

      1. Rita Heikenfeld

        It’s up on the site!

  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


    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


    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!

  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!


  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?
    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,


    July 4, 2014

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      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… 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.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

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

  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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

  28. Marlene Feagan

    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. Michele

    I’m pulling together the program for my garden club. You spoke to us about herbs and their uses about three years ago at a luncheon in Milford. I’m not sure what your speaking fee is or more importantly, your availability.
    If you ever do this, could you please contact me? Thanks so much. Personally, I am very “into” edible flowers and am foisting them on my friends.

    Thanks for any info!

  31. Barb

    Hi Rita,

    I love your cooking shows ••> and I’m looking for the recipe for Indian curried chicken, saffron rice and cooked spinach that you had on a recent thursday night show. Can you let me know where to find it?

    Thank you,
    Barb =]

  32. 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.

  33. Peggy Piccola

    Hi Rita, We have a Women’s Harvest Tea at our Parish (November 15, 2014). We were wondering if you are available to be one of our speakers? Our tea begins at 12:30 and is over around 3:30. Please let me know if your schedule allows and if you are interested. We’d love to have you!
    my email is or phone 859-392-1500 x 1546.

  34. Jim

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

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

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

  35. 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.

  36. Maria

    Hi Rita,

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

    Thank you!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I will do that, Maria.

  37. Jeannie

    Hello Rita,
    I am very interested in attending any cooking classes in the Batavia/Clermont County area that you have scheduled. Please let me know where you have these classes posted so that I can sign up and attend. Thanks so much!
    Jeannie Tinurelli

  38. Jeannie Tinurelli

    Hello Rita,
    I am very interested in attending cooking classes that you have scheduled in the Batavia/Clermont County area.
    I would appreciate knowing where I might find where you post this information. I attended one of your classes and was so impressed. Thanks so much!
    Jeannie Tinurelli

  39. 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!

      “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


      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.

  40. Kathy Wagner

    I heard you on Ron Wilson and you had a recipe for spa water. I did not write it down and would like the recipe as I drink a lot of water. How long does it have to infuse etc.


  41. Nancy Kenkel

    Hi Rita,
    This note is to congratulate you on your induction into the Cincinnati Culinary Hall of Fame! You have been such a mainstay in the Cincinnati area for your wonderful articles and recipes, your interest in nutrition/cooking education and your friendliness and warmth to the public, and so much more! So very happy for you that you have been recognized in this outstanding way. Again, CONGRATULATIONS!

    Nancy Kenkel

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Thanks, Nancy. When Chef Kinsella gave me the news on my cable TV show, I was flabbergasted, really. It is very nice to be recognized for something I consider my mission. I love what I do and it’s folks like you who inspire me.

  42. Mary Lee Williams

    Rita, I know that you do guest appearances and I was wondering if you would be able to come to my house for my friends club night? What would be the fee and would you be available for Friday Dec. 5, 2014?


    Mary Lee

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary Lee,
      How many people and what time frame?

  43. Mrs. T

    HI Rita,
    I heard your recipe for stuffing with sage, white and wild rice, and sausage on the the Son Rise Morning show. Could you tell me how I can find it on your website. I am having trouble locating it.
    Thank you. It sounded delicious.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      It’s getting on the site now!

  44. Annette

    I would like to know if biblical herbs as well as other herbs that you cook with can be used in oils for healing aromatherapy and will they have the same effect as in food or teas?
    Do you have a web sight on how to prepare these herbs for medicinal purposes as they are/have been used for?

    Your response is appreciated.
    Blessings, Annette

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Annette,
      May Bible herbs can do double duty and are made into essential oils. Take fresh basil for instance. It makes a healing steam for a facial. It’s hard to make essential oils from herbs at home. But you can make spritzers easily, like a peppermint spritzer made with distilled water and peppermint leaves (or you can use peppermint essential oils – use about 20 drops of oil to 8 oz. water or so). This spritzer is very energizing while cleansing the air. I believe that every herb you ingest has particular healing qualities. I need to expand on this on my site….

  45. angela

    I want to know if you might be able to speak at an evening event in 2015. Grand Rapids, MI
    Please email directly at
    Thank you

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Angela,
      I would enjoy doing that – we go up to Glen Arbor each year during the summer to my daughter-in-law’s family lakehouse. How far is Grand Rapids from there? And what is the date and venue?

  46. Mary

    Hi Rita,
    I thought about you & your program on Sonrise Morning Show last Sunday morning. I was listening to the first reading at Mass (EZ 47: 1-2 8-9 12) where it speaks about fruit trees growing on the banks of the river whose fruit shall serve as food and their leaves for medicine. Are there trees in the Bible lands you know of that fit this description or are used this way?

    Thanks for all of your great recipes & knowledge!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      As far as I know, the “fruit” could be a fruit, a nut, or whatever – I’m translating this very liberally. Anyway, right off the only trees I can think of Bible days that have benefits in the leaves are pine from which a healing tea is made for colds & flu, and olive – olive extract may be helpful w/arthitus, lowering cholesterol,and controlling blood sugar. I’ll research more for you.

  47. Amy Chapman

    Dear Rita,
    My mom listens to Sacred Heart radio all the time. She heard a part where you work with teas and herbs for stress and anxiety. My mom made the suggestion that I check into this, but I don’t know where I can find your information on this topic. Could you please guide me to that?


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Amy,
      First tell Mom thanks for listening. Are you interested in both regular teas, herbal teas or both?

      1. Amy Chapman

        Dear Rita,
        I am willing to try anything natural before hitting the pills.


        1. Rita Heikenfeld

          Hi, Amy,
          If you have a health food store near you, visit that and they will have some wonderful, organic teas that help with all sorts of ills.. Here’s a few that come to mind, but always check with your health care provider first:

          Ashwagandha, Catnip, Fennel, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Rose Hips, Valerian. I also love mint for its digestive, yet “peaceful” qualities.

          1. Amy Chapman

            Thank You.

  48. Heidi Saxton

    Dear Rita: I was listening to you on Relevant Radio the other day and thought I’d like to get in touch with you to talk about a book idea. If you’re interested, please contact me at


    Heidi Saxton
    Editor, Ave Maria Press

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Heidi,
      I would love to talk possibilities with you.

  49. Milissa

    Hi, Rita
    Saw you on Fox 19 this morning and you made a cranberry side dish that looked wonderful. Not the Cranberry Celebration one – I’ve found that one, but instead the first one you made that Tracey said tasted like a cobbler
    It’s not up on Fox 19’s website yet

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      It’s up on the site now. And, yes, it’s really good!

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Melissa,
      Both are up on the site now – and the baked cranberries is what she thought tasted like a cobbler!

  50. Candy

    Will you be at the Batavia Catholic Church this Dec. for the holiday cooking class? If so, when is it? I attended 2 yrs ago, but could not find info for last year. I learned so much from you & tried many of your recipes.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I’ll check w/Deacon Jim to see if we can fit it in. Glad you like the classes. St. Vincent De Paul benefits from them, as you know.

      1. Rita Heikenfeld

        For all of you who are wondering when our next class at Holy Trinity in Batavia is, it’s January 7! More details later….

  51. Karen

    Rita, I was reading your column in the Milford Advertiser about making homemade vanilla. Sounds like fantastic gifts! You mentioned to check out your website to find vanilla, orange, and mint extract instructions. Going to, I found your “Homemade vanilla makes kitchen smell heavenly” article, but when I hit the “continue reading” button, it directed me to a page that said “error 404 – page not found.” Did several other searches on the site for the orange and mint extract directions to no avail. Any way I can get to these directions? Many thank you’s in advance.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Karen,
      It’s up on the site now. Sorry about that – I’m so low tech that sometimes I mess up.

  52. Karen

    Thank you very much. Really wanted to get that orange extract recipe to make for Christmas goodies. As my hubby says, we’re luddites when it comes to technology, so figured I had poked the wrong button or something. LOL
    A very Blessed and Merry Christmas to you and your family . . .

  53. Betty Armontrout

    Last year I got your recipe for Buckeye candies out of the Northwest Press and made them for the first time ever. Everyone loved getting them as gifts for Christmas and I was going to make them again this year but I lost the recipe. Can you please email it to me again? My family and friends will all thank you. Have a great day!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Betty,
      Love the “nana” name. Yes, I’ll repost today – save some for me!

  54. Judy

    Dear Rita,
    Just saw in the Western Hills Press, that you were going to publish a recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls. While visiting the Penzey spice store, my friend and I discovered, “Unstuffed” Cabbage Roll Casserole. It is so easy and very tasty. Here is the recipe in case you are interested.

    1 1/2 lbs ground beef
    3/4 Cup uncooked white rice
    1 onion, chopped
    1 TB Mural of Flavor
    1 tsp Pepper
    2 eggs, whites only
    2 1/2 Cups ginger ale
    1 1/2 Cups ketchup
    1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
    1/2 head cabbage, grated (8 Cups) (I used one 16 oz. slaw pkg.)

    Heat oven 350*. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the meat, rice, onion, spices and egg whites and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the ginger ale, ketchup and tomato sauce. Place 6 cups of cabbage in the baking dish. Spread the meat-rice mixture over the cabbage. Sprinkle with remaining cabbage. Pour the ketchup mixture over the top. DO NOT STIR. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until li

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Judy,
      I’m going to mentions this awesome recipe in my Community Press column soon. One question – did you use regular or diet ginger ale?

  55. Judy

    The Cabbage Roll recipe serves 8. It is so easy. And I have made it as a 1/3 recipe and it works well. Sorry it sent without all the information. Hope you enjoy this easy version. Thanks for all your recipes, Judy

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh, Judy, this sounds really good – if I don’t have room in the paper, I’ll share it on my blog and share your story, as well.
      Thx & Happy New Year

  56. Susan Quinn

    Hello Rita. I read your column in the small local paper each week and enjoy your comments and recipes. A couple of yeas ago, I went to several of the church festivals in small towns in Indiana. Most of them offered a Mock Turtle Soup that I found delicious. I used to purchase 2 quarts to a gallon when it was available but since I don’t have the opportunity to go anymore, I would like a recipe. I’ve searched on line for a recipe and found several but they all make such a large batch, I haven’t tried any of them. And there is a great variance in the recipes. Do you have a recipe for this soup, or could you direct me to someone who makes it who would be willing to share their recipe. I did notice that it was most usually the men of the church that made the soup and gallons of it!! I need a recipe that I can handle at home.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Susan,
      I just put several good ones up for home cooks.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Susan,
      Check out my Community Press column for next Thurs Jan 21 – all about mock turtle soup!

  57. Carol Ritter

    A while back you were kind enough to clone a recipe for Nalley’s French Onion Dip. I made it using your recipe, then made some changes. Over the holidays I tried this version out on a bunch of friends and it got great reviews! Here it is:
    1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
    2 cups sour cream
    1/4 cup Miracle Whip
    1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
    1 teasp. honey
    1/4 teasp. balsamic vinegar
    dash lemon juice
    dash garlic powder
    Blend all together. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Carol,
      Sounds so good. Thanks for adding the “Carol” touch. I’ll share w/my readers.

  58. Amanda

    Do you have any crock pot recipes? Would love to see what you have?!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Yes, Amanda, I do and will dig them out for you.

  59. Dawn Perry

    Thank you so much for the great, Pasta class at Living Spaces Design in Batavia. I know I will use those recipes time and time again! I especially can’t wait to make your mac&cheese that one is a ‘game-changer!’


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      You all were so much fun, Dawn. And I agree – the mac & cheese with Gruyere, Fontina, Mozzarella and Gorgonzola – UMM, UMM, UMM!

  60. kathy

    Rita, We have a senior group at St. Dominic’s in Delhi called the Goldenaires. I was just inquiring about how much is your speaking fee & if you are available in afternoon or evening hrs. I enjoy your segments on Sacred Heart Radio; you help to bring the Bible more alive. GOD bless, Kathy

  61. sam perry

    Our paths with Rita crossed a few yrs ago at Krogers [Mt Carmel or Eastgate] produce dept. My wife and I were discussing when & How to select Swiss Chard ! (would you believe an Italian & a Polack in our 60,s had not ever eaten or purchased ! RITA OVERHEARD OUR DISCUSSION AND helped us choose the Chard..
    Now I love the Chard (better than the spinach i also use) with Northern Beans,Olive Oil,Garlic,salt & Pepper. We call it Minestra-Fasolo [Greens & Beans]. to me its better than a Steak !!
    Our sincere thank to Rita.
    PS: My question on Storing Banana peppers will come in a new e-mail.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Yes, I do remember you and your wife. I meet the most interesting people who love food as much as I do!

  62. Judi

    Hi Rita,
    I’m the Judi from Sweet Williams Garden Club. Truly enjoyed your Lebanese menu! We so look forward to our special day each year when you broaden and enlighten our cooking knowledge and recipes! Thank you so very much!
    I had requested your donut recipe to make with my grandkids. You mentioned you replied on your blog, but I still can’t seem to find it. Sorry! Is it possible to email your recipe to me?
    So excited to make them with the babes!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      It’s under “Most requested recipes”. I just checked it out. I enjoyed you ladies so much – what interesting food histories we all have!



  63. MaryAnn

    I am eager to try your salt free Italian seasoning. How would you say that this compares to the Heritage Restaurant’s Heritage Herb Blend. My children used to love a spread made with the Herb blend and cream cheese on fresh bread.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, MaryAnn,
      It’s not the same, but I am posting Janet Melvin’s Heritage Herb Blend that is Salt Free. She graciously shared that and other recipes a while back. Nice memories we all have of this restaurant. That’s where my husband and I met….best to you and yours. Bill keeps me up to date once a year on your family when I go for my annual eye exam!

  64. Tom Averwater

    Rita , Love your column in the Community Journal . I saw your mac n cheese recipe from BBQ Review , going to have to try it . Bill Thomas used to do a pig roast at a club I belong to . He gave me the reipes for his rub and bbq sauce . I have since misplaced them . I was just wondering , asking , begging , pleading for you to see if he would give out those recipes . Thanks Tom Averwater

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I’m checking on this with Bill now.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      One more thing, Tom,
      I do have the recipe for the rub but am still waiting on a reply from Bill for the sauce.

  65. Trish McCormick

    Hi Rita,
    Great Scott restaurant made the best potato, corn and jalapeno chowder. I’ve tried to duplicate it but it’s just not the same. I know they have closed but is there any chance you can get the recipe? It was one of our families favorites.
    Thank you,

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Trish,
      The former chef was my guest on my cable show a while back. I’ll see if I can sleuth out the recipes through my readers in my Community Press column. Maybe he and/or the former owners read my column…..

  66. John R

    First, I want to say I read your column weekly in the Delhi Press and agree with most of what you say. But this week you gave a recipe for diabetic rolls. You are so far off and need to learn about diabetic diets before posting something like this! I estimated the carbs in these rolls and they are loaded with about 26.5g carbs per roll. Diabetics should be only eating about 100g carbs a day if they want to lessen their insulin. Neither, insulin or carbs are your friend. I just ask if you are going to give a recipe and list it diabetic, please make sure it is. It is misleading and make people think these rolls are ok. They are not!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, John,
      First, thanks for input. I do not write the titles of my columns, my editors do. As far as the suitability of the rolls for diabetic, I had a colleague who is a registered dietician check the recipe and she advised one could eat them as long as the rest of carbs come from nonstarchy vegetables. She suggested keeping carbs to 20-35g per meal or slightly less as I’m sure you are aware. I am careful about making sure the information I share is correct and I will let my editors know of your concern.

  67. Lisa Laugle

    Hi Rita.

    I’m an average cook. I’d like to be better and have often used recipes I’ve obtained from you via the Community Press with mostly successful results. (I don’t tackle the more involved projects!) I also enjoy going out to dinner on occasion with my husband. One of my favorite dishes is the Ishmael Special at Cancun restaurant. It is a shrimp, chicken, rice and cheese sauce combination that is very delicious. I’d like to be able to make it at home, but I’m not sure how to replicate the cheese sauce. Can you help me? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks and love your column/blog!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Lisa,
      I’ll see what I can do here and give them a call.

      1. Lisa Laugle

        Thanks for checking into this for me. By the way, I’m childhood friends with one of your neighbors ( think roosters and diabetes). We were just talking about you when we went bowling together recently. Any help you can provide me with to replicate this dish will sincerely be appreciated!


  68. Cheri

    Dear Rita,

    I’ve looked all over but cannot find your Bible soup in a jar recipe. Please help ! I enjoy listening to you on my way to work on the SonRise Morning Show with Matt & Annie. God bless you !

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Cheri,
      It’s up on the site now. Glad you like my morning show segments!

  69. Joe

    Hi Rita I heard your recipe for brisket on EWTN but am having a hard time finding brisket. Is there another cut of meat that I could use? Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Joe,
      You can use a chuck roast, trimmed to about 3# but I would roast it, covered, at 325 degrees for 3 hours or so until it’s fork tender.

  70. Diane Steffen

    I would like to pick up a copy of your book “Culinary Herbs” for a friend for Easter. I live in Northern Ky and am having a very difficult time finding it anywhere. Can you please tell me where I might find it so that I can have it in time for Easter? Thank you and God Bless, Diane

    PS. love, love love, hearing you on Sacred Heart Radio. You have a warm heart, a great voice and you always make me want to cook.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I don’t have any left! I need to get it printed again. My prayer is that a publisher pick it up, so please join me in that prayer. I’ll let you know when I get more printed. Glad you like the Sonrise show. I’m blessed to be doing it.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      I had mentioned in an earlier reply, Diane, that the book is not available. I’m hoping to have a publisher pick it up so pls put me in your prayers for this.

  71. Eddie

    Do you know the recipe for this Polish appetizer of stuffed Kraiser with diced tomatoes and something else?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Would the Kaiser be the bun?

  72. Kathy Brown

    Please send me info regarding contracting your services as après enter for our agarden club meeting? We are the Legendary Run Garden Club in Pierce township in Clermont County. We generally meet on the second Monday of a month in the evening at 7. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Kathy Brown

  73. Jim Anderson

    Okay, where are those date muffins?! 😉 I heard you on Thursday’s Sonrise Morning Show and AM anxious to put this together with my Vitamix and gluten free flour! God bless you… Jim Anderson

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Jim,
      I’m posting them now!

  74. Judy. ORourke

    I enjoyed your presentation at the Flower Show. On reading your bio, I have a question. How do you have free range chickens? I just saw a hungry coyote this morning. Tomorrow I will be out with my gun!!!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      We tried the free range thing, Judy, but abandoned that after the same thing happened to us. Our chickens are in a “chicken condo”, a pen on stilts — we can lock them in and have to do that at night because racoons around here are smart and can get into the pen if it’s not locked.

  75. Patty

    Hi a few weeks back on the Son Rise Morning show you mentioned a mint dressing and i think it was for asparagus, but i can’t find it. Can you help? I would like to make it to go with lamb on Mother’s Day and it sounded much healthier with the one you mentioned than mine. Thanks! Patty

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Patty,
      I’m checking the site now for a photo and the recipe that I put on a while back. Meanwhile, here it is and it is a good one!
      Happy Mom’s Day!

      Steamed asparagus with mint and roasted peppers

      1 pound asparagus, trimmed & steamed until just crisp tender and then blanched

      1 roasted bell pepper, cut into thin strips


      Go to taste on this.

      3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

      1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

      1 teaspoon honey or more to taste

      Salt and pepper to taste

      3 sprigs mint, chopped or to taste**

      1/2 cup olive oil

      Lay asparagus with pepper strips on top. Whisk everything else together. Drizzle on top – delicious right away or marinated several hours.


      Just means draining asparagus after steaming and immediately putting it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the color. You can usually blanch veggies a day ahead and store in covered container in the frig.

      **Herb sprig:

      3” is good. You can always add more.

      Roasted asparagus

      No real recipe here. Snap tough ends off. Lay in single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it all over the stalks. Sprinkle with lemon pepper. Roast or grill at high temperature (475) for a few minutes or until asparagus just starts to wrinkle but turns bright green and is still plump.

      To serve: Sprinkle with Parmesan and/or any fresh herb, chopped. (opt)

  76. Daniel

    Hi Rita

    How can i contact you. I might have something that would interest you

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Just use this site.

  77. Andrea Wiederhold

    Hi, I am David’s wife, Susan’s daughter in law. My daughter’s Girl Scout troop is interested in completing their Cooking Badge, and David suggested I get in touch with you to see if you do classes or anything like that for scouts. Let me know, or if you have any other suggestions, I would appreciate it.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Andrea,
      What dates do you have open?

  78. Kathy

    Hi Rita,

    I can’t find your famous White Castle recipe? Have I overlooked it on your website?

    Thanks, Kathy

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Kathy,
      I know I put it in one of my newspaper articles years ago and can’t seem to locate it now. But I’ll keep looking and am asking now if anyone has a recipe. So if you do, please share!


  79. Marilyn Hines

    Good Afternoon Rita,
    Our Womens Group would love to have you be our guest speaker. Please reply to discuss your
    Thank you most kindly,

  80. Devon

    Hi Rita! I work with the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and I am planning a weekend retreat for high schoolers where they will learn about local, and global food issues. A friend of mine, who used to work with you recommended I contact you as a possible facilitator. I would love to speak with you more about this opportunity! Please email me 🙂

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Devon,
      Did we ever connect? I sent you an email earlier.

  81. Aryn

    Hello Rita,
    We’re new in town from Texas and would love some tips or places to get a garden going at our new house in Mt. Washington. Thanks in advance!

  82. Ellen

    I was listening today to SonRise specifically to the Raspberry Pie recipe. I dislike the seeds, however. How about putting the cooked raspberries through a foley mill? Then mixing maybe Cool Whip with cream cheese for a layered pie??? Hope you can get back to me before I go buy the ingredients and start on it.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Ellen,
      Hope this isn’t too late. Your recipe sounds so good. Try it and let us know.

  83. Stephanie Sunday

    Hi Rita,
    Do you have any salsa or spaghetti sauce recipes to share with me? I have a ton of tomatoes that I need to do something with or they are going to go bad! The spaghetti sauce that I have made so far tastes more like a tomato soup. I am wanting to can them as well. Thanks!!!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Yes, Stephanie, I do. I’ll dig them out.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Stephanie,
      I was looking through my recipes for salsa and spaghetti sauce and will be able to share some later this week. I can tell you I like Ball Blue Book recipes which I adapt, flavorwise. But as far as the spaghetti sauce tasting like tomato soup, the kind of tomatoes you use, how much pulp vs juice they have, how sweet they are, etc. all are factors in how the sauce turns out. The last time I made sauce from fresh tomatoes I cooked it down in the crockpot and then canned it. That way, it got thick enough and I could adjust the taste. The only way I know of to make spaghetti sauce like what you see in the store, thickness wise, is to use canned tomatoes. Which won’t help you at this point!

  84. chris

    Do you have a gluten-free bread recipe or one for the bread machine that you could share please. Thanks

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I don’t have one that I’ve developed, but am intrigued by Cook’s Illustrated recipe for gluten free “flour”. Would you like that recipe – I believe they developed bread with it, as well.

  85. Julie Boerger

    in the August 13 issue of the Kenton County Recorder you had a recipe for Bert’s easy Citrus Cake. Is states to bake at 350* but it does not say for how long.

    Can you please let me know the bake time?

    A new fan!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Julie,
      As mentioned before, it’s 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. It’s a yummy cake!

  86. Ellen

    I am an on/off listener to Sonrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio. I know you love fresh herbs and I have a question. Four years ago I purchased a rosemary plant. It grew and did provide loads of fresh herbs for my cooking. It has come back every year since then and I continue to use it. I am noticing it does bloom with blue spike-y tiny flowers. I’ve started bringing those in and mixing them with other greenery. THEN I noticed those flowers are very aromatic- even more so after 2-3 days on the table. Have you given a show on making a potpourri using rosemary blooms? Would you have the reference so I could look it up?

  87. Hillary

    Hi! Read about you in Edible!

    Was wondering about getting a tour of your garden….I’m a nutritionist, an herbalist still learning and studying and practicing, and also a farmer. Please let me know how to go about coming for a visit!!!

    Thank you!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Hillary,
      Where do you live?

  88. Bob Wait

    Dear Rita,
    Some time ago I emailed you a set of recipes outlining my no-knead versions of bulgur-millet bread and some other variations. I’m wondering if that email made it through. If it didn’t get through, I’d be happy to re-send.
    I was the guy who got the Mexican sour gherkin plant at your joint cooking-gardening class at Jungle Jim’s and it’s the only plant that’s succeeded beyond expectations — hundreds of little cucumbers.
    Bob Wait

  89. Jane

    Re: this week’s column in the community press on cookware: what do you think of/have heard about cookware made of soapstone from Brazil (supposedly non-asbestos)?

  90. Linda Dale

    I belong to OLLI, a group of 50 and older members who would be interested in having you speak to us on a Friday during our Spring Qtr. of 2016. Please contact me to discuss your availability. I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Linda,
      Where are you located?

  91. John Augustin


    Just read your recipe for make-ahead turkey gravy; looks great. Could I finish it by taking the 2 tablespoons of fat or butter and 2 of the flour and make a roux, let it darken and finish the gravy?



    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      As always, you put a creative twist to a recipe. Of course.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      As always, you put a creative twist to a recipe. Of course.

    3. Rita Heikenfeld

      I thought I replied, John, but anyway, you can certainly do that – you always have a creative twist to recipes!

  92. Sandra Souder

    Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce
    24oz. Ketchup(about 21/2 cups)
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbs. chili powder
    1 med. onion,diced
    1/4-1/2 tsp. Garlic salt
    1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
    2 Tbs. grape jelly
    1/4 cup bourbon
    Blend everything together in a blender or pan. Put in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for 30 or 1 hr.
    Best if you can get baby back ribs. Boil ribs for 1hr.,drain, then coat cooked ribs with sauce & let stand for at least 15mins. Broil on both sides until brown after coating heavily with sauce. I like to use chicken tenders.
    Was given to me from my brother who knew a man who worked at Montgomery Inn. It’s Excellent.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Wow this looks like something I should try. Thanks, Sandy!

  93. sherry

    I recently attended a class you did at Jungle Jims market. You mentioned an apple pie liqueur recipe that was on your website. I can’t find it anywhere. Can you give me the link?
    The class was wonderful!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Sherry,
      So glad you liked the class. The Apple Pie Moonshine Liqueur is on the site but here it is again. It was published in October and the photo on the site is really nice.

      Apple Pie Moonshine/Liqueur

      It’s the new kid on the block with an ancient history. Do you call it moonshine or liqueur? Depends, I guess, on where you’re from….. Unbelievably easy and oh so good. Wonderful for guests as a welcoming, warming drink, or to imbibe on your own. It’s good chilled, as well, or added to Sangria or your favorite cocktail.

      Makes a memorable gift from the kitchen, too!

      Thanks to bestest friend Carol Spry Vanover for sharing this recipe – Carol, if I remember right, got it from a friend of hers, so this recipe has been making the rounds. And here’s the story behind it:

      This week we had a bunch of “sickies” in our family. Granddaughter Ellery came down with the croup and her sister, Emerson, had a mild form of it. Son Shane had a sore throat and me, well, I caught a vicious sinus infection.

      My first line of defense for the little ones was a drink of lemon and honey. For Shane’s throat I suggested a salt gargle. As for me, I drank lots of ginger tea. But here’s the twist. At the same time I was making ginger tea I was testing this recipe for apple pie liqueur. Of course, testing means tasting, so you know I just had to taste as I went along making it. Now I don’t know if it was a combination of the ginger tea and apple pie moonshine liqueur, but I never recovered from anything upper respiratory so darn quick!

      I understand chefs on the east and west coast are now using this liqueur as an ingredient in mixed drinks.

      BTW Everclear potent liquor and my brand is made from corn, with a proof of 151! That’s why you don’t need much of it. Everclear lasts forever in the pantry. The liqueur is delicious warm or chilled.


      4 cups apple juice

      4 cups apple cider

      1/2 cup sugar

      4 cinnamon sticks, 2” or so each, pounded

      3/4 cup Everclear liquor

      Bring apple juice, cider, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a gentle boil and cook about 5 minutes to allow cinnamon flavor to infuse. Let cool. Strain. Add Everclear and stir. Keep in refrigerator. Serve warm in mugs with cinnamon stick or apple slice.

  94. Mary Trout

    Hello. I made your recipe for Turkey Gravy that you recently published in the Journal. It was the “make ahead” gravy. It was fantastic….I will never try to make gravy on Thanksgiving day again! I love the incorporation of vegetables and herbs which normally don’t get put into a last minute gravy. Anyway….that said, I do have a question about the number of turkey wings called for in your recipe.

    It calls for 6 turkey wings, roasted. When doing my shopping, one package of turkey wings contained two wings, and they were quite large! Two wings took up all the space on my sheet pan. I can’t image roasting 6 wings, that would be 3 sheet pans! Even though I only roasted 2 wings instead of the 6 called for, my gravy turned out delicious.

    I was just curious why the recipe called for so many turkey wings?

    thanks!! -mary

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh Mary that is too funny! My bad, I guess since what I sometimes purchase are wings from “natural” birds around here and the wings aren’t huge. So I would say if 2 great big ones worked, that’s great. I had another reader say 4 wings worked well, too. Glad you liked the recipe.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh Mary that is too funny! My bad, I guess since what I sometimes purchase are wings from “natural” birds around here and the wings aren’t huge. So I would say if 2 great big ones worked, that’s great. I had another reader say 4 wings worked well, too. Glad you liked the recipe.

  95. John Feister


    I’ve been a fan of yours for many years, in the Community Press (Finneytown). I’d like to talk with you about a writing project. — John Feister, editor, St. Anthony Messenger

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, John,
      I emailed you earlier today. Let me know if you didn’t get it. I’d enjoy exploring possibilities w/you.

  96. Maureen Mullarkey

    Rita, recently when you were at the Union Township library doing a program you talked about local honey that you use and I think it was from the Bethel area. Could you please give me the name of that honey and if you know where I can purchase it. Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Maureen,
      It’s Tony Poe – he’s at His honey is awesome.

  97. mary carol meinken

    I was wondering if you could help me. I have a recipe for some mint wafers that was based on the old boxed icing mixes that used to be standard. It was in a Better Homes and Gardens Cookie book.
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 14oz package of creamy white frosting mix
    Several drops of peppermint oil.
    All ingredients except the mint oil were placed in a double boiler and cooked for 5 minutes. The oil was then added (and some food coloring if desired) and the mixture was dropped from a teaspoon onto waxed paper to cool.
    I can not find the frosting mix any more – everything now comes ready to spread. Could you tell me what to substitute for the mix? I am sure the main ingredient was powdered sugar, but I am not sure even how much of that to use.
    Thanks for your help. These were very easy and a family favorite!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary Carol,
      Yes, I think I can help! Here’s a favorite recipe from a gifts from the kitchen class I taught several years ago. You’re right, the main ingredient is confectioners sugar.

      Now I usually chill them before pattying them out but you could do that right after you roll them into balls and then refrigerate until very firm. That’s important so that when you dip them into the coating, the coating sticks pretty quick.


      Add the milk in smaller increments until you get the right consistency.

      1 pound confectioners’ sugar
      3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
      2-3 teaspoons peppermint extract- go to taste (if you use peppermint oil, a few drops should do)
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla
      Up to 1/4 cup evaporated milk – start adding a little at a time and go from there – don ‘t add all of it at once

      Chocolate coating:
      12 oz or so good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (bittersweet makes them more like York patties; semisweet is good too – chocolate bars are higher quality than chips but use what you like)
      2 teaspoons solid shortening like Crisco

      Combine confectioners’ sugar, butter and both extracts. Add half the milk and mix well. Mixture should be a pliable dough, not sticky. If you need more milk, starting adding it a little at a time. Roll into 1” balls (use a 1” or 1-1/2” ice cream scoop if you want) and place on sprayed or parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill for 20 minutes. Flatten with glass to about 1/4” thickness. Chill for 20-30 minutes.

      Melt chocolate chips and shortening. Let cool a bit but keep it warm enough so that it will flow over the patties. Dip patties, using a fork to dip them quickly into the chocolate. Place on sprayed cooling rack under which you have placed a cookie sheet to catch drippings to harden either at room temperature if the room is cool or in the refrigerator. Makes about 40. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

      Patties can be made ahead up to the point of dipping, and frozen. Thaw only slightly before dipping.

      1. Rita Heikenfeld

        Guess what I found? White Frosting Mix (Jiffy) at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate. They also carried another kind, as well, so hopefully, Mary Carol, you’ll be able to find it again or ask your grocer to carry it. If all else fails, try my recipe above. I did make them smaller for the photo on my blog.

  98. Marilyn Hines

    Hi Rita,

    Would like to confirm you being our guest speaker for our March Meeting with the Northeast Welcomers.

    Our members are very excited to hear you speak.

    Please confirm and send me an email at so we confirm the time, location, date, etc.
    Or feel free to contact me directly at (513) 404-1849.

    Thank you Rita!

    Marilyn Hines

  99. Grace Neltner

    The cities of Lakeside Park and Fort Mitchell, Kentucky would like to join forces to host a presentation by you. Could you please send me an email at so we can discuss possible plans for such? Thank you for your time.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Grace,
      I spoke to Greg Grisanti, R&D chef for Frisch’s, and he confirmed my thoughts that their chili does not have any bell peppers in it but it does contain beans.

  100. Laura

    Hi Rita!

    I enjoy the recipes you share on your website so much. Someone told me you gave a stuffed cabbage recipe on the Son Rise Morning Show over a year ago that had a rice filling using the seasoning Vegeta in it. Would you please share this recipe? I would be so grateful. Thank you.

  101. Laura

    Hi Rita! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share. A friend told me that you gave a stuffed cabbage recipe on the Son Rise Morning show over a year ago that used a filling using rice, meat, and Vegeta seasoning. Would you please share this recipe. I could not find it on your website. Thank you for any help you can give.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      HI, Laura,
      I just posted it again – you will love it!

  102. Rosalind creasy

    I just saw your recommendation on edible flowers and needed to inform you that 2 of the flowers you recommended to eat have no scientific evidence that they are edible. In 1987 I did much research on this subject and worked with a toxicologist and the herbarium manager at UCDavis and both seriously questioned eating either snap dragons and impatiens. There is no evidence that they have ever been part of the human diet. They both made the point that during starvation times most common plants were tried and eliminated. For example: stock was eaten but only during starvation times because it is high in oxidized acid that ties up calcium. When I asked about impatiens both said they would not even try it because so many chemo drugs come from that family. If you want scientifically based information look at the list in my book “the edible flower Garden and Cathy Barash’s book Edible Flowers.
    Cheers, Rosalind Creasy

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Rosalind,
      First, I’ve been a fan of yours for many years. Thanks for the information about impatiens and snapdragons. From the information I have been able to research from reliable sources: state extension agencies, etc. these two flowers are edible. I recommend using them as garnish and/or eating in very small amounts. What are your thoughts on that? I do know that snapdragons aren’t the best tasting! I strive to give accurate information and appreciate your input.

  103. Maureen Ward


    I have two cast iron skillets that my daughter inherited from my brother-in-law. Unfortunately rather than seasoning with oil he put some sort of paste and baked it on. Now this coating is flaking off and the flakes are black and rusty. I tried scrubbing the pans with steel wool and could remove only some of the really loose areas. Do you have an idea on how I can remove this coating (I’m sorry I don’t know what the coating is) so I can season it with oil?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Maureen,
      I usually follow Lodge cast iron’s recommendations. Check out their site. Usually, that black flaky stuff is carbonized food, fats, etc. but it can be removed. You’re lucky to have those skillets!! There’s several ways to do it. I’ve already put cast iron like that into the cleaning cycle of my oven for 2 hours, and then I go about reseasoning it. But be careful, here. You don’t want to have such excess fat/food in the pan that it causes a flareup.
      Hope this helps.

  104. Jim

    Hey Rita, Any public appearances in the near future?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hey, Jim,
      I just posted some. BTW how is Terri & everyone?
      Miss hearing from you!

  105. Lynn

    I am looking for your natural cough medicine recipe. Thank you

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Lynn,
      Did you want the one made with honey, lemon, ginger & cayenne?

  106. Patty Poor

    Hi Rita, I met you last week at the lovely tea in Boone Co. After the program I asked you about herbs and cancer. You said you could send me some more information. I work for the Kentucky Cancer Program and would appreciate this. I love your column and try many of your recipes. Thanks so much

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi patty

      I will be happy to send you info. Anything in particular?

  107. Barry Rankin

    Hello Rita,
    I’m wondering if you can help me with finding a recipe.
    My mother used to make it every year at Thanksgiving.
    She passed in 1988 and my siblings and I have looked through her recipes and searched the web with no luck.
    It was a layered dish constructed of vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, mayonnaise and crushed peanuts.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank, Barry

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Barry,
      Boy, that’s an unusual recipe! Let’s throw it out to my readers – can any of you help Barry? Meanwhile, I’ll look in some of my older cookbooks. One question – do you remember the years she made this – like what decade?

  108. Debbie

    Hi Rita,

    I have been a fan of your recipes for years and attended your herb program at the Amelia Library last week. I enjoyed the program and all of the info about herbs, as I am tweaking my own herb garden this summer.

    During your talk you mentioned that you were looking for a publisher and asked anyone who knew of one to let you know. I was just talking to a friend who has started writing a series of children’s books based on imaginary historical adventures of her family cat. She recently received her first book copies from the publisher, and she was telling me how pleased she was with everything. I thought of your request for a publisher, so I jotted down the information so you can check it out. Her publisher is Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington, and my friend couldn’t say enough good things about them. She said they were wonderful to work with, and she is very pleased with the end product. Since her books are about American history, she wanted them to be printed in the USA (instead of China!), and they were able to make that happen without any problems. I checked out their website, and they mention cookbooks as one of the things they publish. If you would like to check them out, you can get more details and their contact info on their website at

    If you would like to contact my friend directly, let me know. Good luck with your book!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Debbie,
      Sorry for the late reply. Thank you, thank you! Yes, pls send me your friend’s contact info.

      1. Debbie


        You can contact my friend about her publisher at I told her you would be getting in touch with some questions.

        Good luck!


        1. Rita Heikenfeld

          Thanks again Debbie!!!

  109. Ashley Jackson

    Hi Rita,

    I met you at Natorp’s today! I’m the Health Coach that overheard you talking about the dried Sweet Woodruff smelling like vanilla and then had to add it to my purchases! I’m really excited to use it, but was a little bummed when I didn’t see it in my medicinal herbs book. Is there a book that you would recommend?

    Or even a class/workshop that I should take to learn more about herbs?!!

    Lovely to have met you!


    P.S. I’m a huge Tyler Florence fan!! His Cracked Earth Cake is next on my list to bake!!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Ashley,
      It was fun meeting you. First, here’s some info about sweet woodruff as far as the medicinal qualities. The source is Mother Earth. Now I will tell you I like to crush strawberries and a few dried woodruff sprigs and put them into a sweet white wine. I let it infuse overnight in the frig. Strain, and enjoy in small glasses. Smells like vanilla and strawberry!

      I have used the fresh leaves on cuts, but I prefer Yarrow leaves for that. Anyway, be cautious when it comes to using sweet woodruff. It contains coumarin, a blood thinner.

      Hope this helps. I teach herbal classes – on May 24 at 11 AM I am teaching a class on herbs & foods with Ron Wilson at Jungle Jims in Fairfield.

      I also teach at Granny’s Gardens in Loveland and Living Spaces Custom Designs in Batavia. Plus I have groups come and visit my herb garden which contains culinary, medicinal and Bible herbs.



      From Mother Earth:
      While sweet woodruff’s French name, musc de bois (wood musk), and German name, Waldmeister (master of the woods), reflect its habitat, the common name bedstraw, applied also to other members of the genus, refers to its use, dating at least from the Middle Ages, as a fragrant strewing herb and mattress filling. It was also hung in churches as a symbol of humility and placed among stored linens to repel moths and other insects.

      Medicinal Uses For Sweet Woodruff

      Sweet woodruff has been used to treat disorders of the kidney and liver, uterine cramps and problems of men­o­pause, nervousness, dropsy, varicose veins, poor digestion, and heart ir­regularities, and was added to other medicines to improve their flavor. The bruised leaves, which contain tannins, have been poulticed on cuts and wounds. Sweet woodruff is also used today as a laxative and ­antiarthritic. Research has shown that it kills bacteria and that one of its constituents, ­asperulide, reduces inflammation. Although a tea of the wilted or dried leaves is still used as a gentle tranquilizer, large quantities can cause dizziness and vomiting. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers sweet woodruff safe only in alcoholic beverages. (Coumarin, which is the source of its odor and which also occurs in melilot and many other plants, is well known as an anticoagulant. High doses, however, have caused liver damage, testicular atrophy, and cancer in laboratory ­animals.)

  110. Andrea Eversole

    Hi Rita. My name is Andrea Eversole. I live in Las Vegas & I have not talked to my AUNT Ann in years. It was comforting to see the recipe you had that she would make for Uncle Dan. My mother was Patricia Nader, her dad was James Nader. She too is in heaven. I tried Aunt Anns number & could not leave a message. I see you are very busy but if you can let me know how she is doing I would appreciate it. Happy Mother’s day.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Andrea,
      By now I hope you’ve received some information from our cousin Danny Nader and also Helen Sarky, a close Lebanese friend. I know Ann would love to hear from you.

  111. chris seipelt

    Missed you and ron @ Natorps on 5-7. Do you have a good recipe for dill pickles like Claussens? Tried Mrs. Wages but not the same. Mine always tturn out soggy. The Ball Blue Book for Canning says to use soft water. I have always used tap water which I know mine is very hard. Could this be the reason for soggy pickles? Also do you have a good recipe for sauerkraut and how to make and can it. I plan on growing lots of cabbage in my garden this year. Thx for your help. Chris from the East Side.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Chris,
      I’ll have to research your Claussen pickle request. They are delicious and since they’re in the refrigerated section, I suppose they’re not processed very long.

      I do have a good sauerkraut recipe – I will dig it out for you. Cabbage and sauerkraut are really good for you.

  112. Michael A. Niehaus

    We are very very privileged to have you in our city leading the way back to hearing the Lord speak to us in the context of the garden! Thank you for your bold faith and diligent study of the Bible as well as revealing the natural order our awsome Heavenly Father made for us to discover. I am in wonder about how Pope Francis is calling us to contemplate our human ecology in his latest encyclical on the environment and wonder if you have had a chance to read it and share any heartfelt exhortation for us to trust the Lord in changing our lifestyle?! I am a certified arborist and owner of a tree service calling for my fellow green industry leaders to implement new standards in tree sustainability! It all coincides with what I see the Holy Spirit doing in gracing us in this year of mercy to understand Romans chapter 8.
    I live in Colerain Township and we have 45 acre property available with a 13 acre registered Wetland Lake. I’m praying that our three Catholic parishes connected as a Pastoral area surrounding this property would adopt it for a family life renewal center. I would appreciate hearing any of your comments and keeping this in your prayers that we could implement your vision and teaching.
    Together for Jesus and his kingdom, Michael (513) 432-6103

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Michael,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. What a blessing this venture will be for your churches. Keep me informed about your progress.

  113. Carol F.

    I believe you have a recipe for homemade veg/fruit wash. Can you post it again? Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Carol,
      It’s approximately 3 tablespoons cider vinegar to about 6 cups water for salad greens. For hard skinned fruits, veggies like cucumbers, etc. I use equal parts of clear vinegar and water.

  114. Carol F.

    Thanks so much for the veggie wash recipe!

  115. Kay Korn

    Hello Rita
    I am an avid gardner and cook but at this time I am contacting you about our garden club. I live in Glendale, Ohio in the Tri County area and I am the program chair person for our garden club meetings this year. One of our members heard you speak at Jungle Jims on the topic of herbs. She and her husband thought you were so enjoyable. She asked that I look into the possibility of you speaking at one of our meetings this winter. We meet the first Monday of the month at 10:00 AM. The topic does not have to be herbs but any of the numerous topics you wish. I am looking for a presenter for November as well as February, March or April. Do you do this kind of presentation and would you be available? Please email me: or call me at 513 7715547.

    Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kay Korn

  116. Kay Korn

    Dear Rita
    I am sending another note to ask you if you give talks to small groups such as our garden club. I live in Glendale, Ohio (the Tri County area) and and the program coordinator for our meetings. One of our members was present at Jungle Jim’s when you gave a presentation on herbs. She and her husband were enchanted with your presentation and recommended it as a possible meeting talk. Could you get back to me if you would consider doing this. We meet the first Monday of the month. November, February, March, April. Any of your topics sound very interesting.

    My email is My home number is 5137715547 and my cell is 5132955261.

    I would be so appreciative to hear from you.

    Thank you,

    Kay Korn

  117. Maureen

    Hi Rita,
    I am not able to locate your recipe for the lavender spritz on your site. Can you help? Thanks.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Maureen,
      I’m putting it up on the site now. Let me know if you can’t find it. It was on the site previously but who knows what could have happened?

  118. MaryAnn

    I have been unable to find the spicy smoky bbq sauce on the website. I would love to try it.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I’m putting it up again now!

  119. John Berger

    I can’t find the cucumber guacamole recipe that you talked about on catholic radio (SunRise Morning Show I think) this morning. Help!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I’m posting it again in a minute!

  120. Kathy Dove

    You served a delicious dip at a garden club meeting last week. Will you please post the recipe? It sounded very easy and had a great presentation with the leaves stuck all over it like flower petals.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Kathy,
      It’s my Belgian Endive Lily spread and it’s on my blog. Glad you like it!

  121. Jackie

    How do I SEARCH on your web site? Am looking for an OLD meatloaf recipe which I think was yours. Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Jackie,
      I just posted two of my older ones now.

  122. Jodi

    I am looking for an old White Chicken Chili recipe of yours. It calls for a can of black beans, cannellini beans, refried beans, red bell pepper, onion, chicken broth, chicken, chili powder, oregano, some other seasonings… If you could please post, I’d appreciate it! I can’t locate my copy.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Jodi,
      Wow that was an old one and I did find it. I’m posting it now. It’s a good one!

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Here you go, Jodi!


      This is a to taste kind of chili – you can always add more seasonings, etc.

      The secret ingredient is refried beans – that makes it nice and thick. If you have a chicken chili recipe, please share! The original name did not include “prize winning” but a reader won first prize with it in a chicken chili cookoff!

      About 5 cups cooked, shredded or chopped chicken (A deli roasted chicken works great)

      1-1/2 to 2 cups onions, chopped

      2-3 teaspoons minced garlic

      1 red or other bell pepper, chopped

      Jalapeno peppers, chopped, to taste (opt – can use red pepper flakes to taste or neither)

      4 cups chicken broth

      2 cans, cannellini beans or 1 can cannelllini and 1 can black beans, drained

      2 teaspoons ea: cumin and oregano

      2-3 teaspoons chili powder

      1/2 can favorite refried beans

      Salt to taste

      Garnish: Any of these: sour cream, chopped Jalapenos, Mexican blend cheese, Cheddar, chopped tomatoes, green onions, cilantro

      Film pan with olive oil. Add onions, garlic and peppers. Cook a few minutes until onions are transparent. Stir in broth, beans, chicken and seasonings. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, or until flavors blend. Stir in refried beans. Using a potato masher or back of spoon, mash the mixture a bit to make a thicker chili. Garnish as desired.

      Tips from Rita’s kitchen:

      You can use raw chicken, cut up, about 1-1/2 pounds or so. Cook with veggies until onion is transparent. Chicken will finish cooking in the broth.

  123. Nancy Hassman

    Hi Rita,
    I caught the tail end of your talk on the so rise morning show today.
    What was the recipe September 13

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Nancy,
      It’s here on the site under the title “What did Mother Teresa eat”.

      1. Nancy Hassman

        Thanks Rita

  124. Mary

    Hi Rita, was wondering if you have a recipe similar to Frisch’s chili? Thanks, just found out about you.

  125. Anita Comarata

    I have been trying for 2 years since my mom passed away to find her recipe for tomato preserves with no luck. You’re my last hope! I know she skinned and seeded the tomatoes and cooked them down. There are lemon rind and cinnamon sticks involved in the recipe as well. From there I’m lost…can you help me? this is the last of her recipes I need to track down and it is one of my very favorites…Thank you Anita Comarata

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Anita,
      The original recipe is from my Aunt Margaret and my Mom and it’s from Ball Canning. Mom and Aunt Margaret did peel the tomatoes but didn’t seed them. If you do seed them, you might want to add a couple more tomatoes to make up for the loss of seeds.

      Although the recipe called for adding a tablespoon of pickling spice and a piece of fresh ginger root, I think my Mom did add pickling spice but no ginger root. My Aunt Margaret didn’t use either one. They did, however, add a cinnamon stick to each jar.

      So I’m thinking this has to be pretty close to your Mom’s. I think it’s wonderful that you want to make her recipes. You can double or triple this recipe.

      That’s what cooking is all about, the memories and traditions and the carrying on of both! I’ll post the recipe, too, but here it is for you:

      1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices (opt)

      1/2” piece fresh ginger root (opt)

      2 quarts peeled, small, yellow, green or red tomatoes (3# tomatoes)

      4 cups sugar

      1 cup thinly sliced lemon
      Cinnamon stick (opt)
      3/4 cup water

      Peel, but do not core, tomatoes: Cut an “x” into the bottom end, plunge into boiling water for a minute or so, then when you see the “x” curling at the edges, take the tomatoes out, and when cool enough to handle, pull the skin off with a knife, using the “x” as a tag.

      Tie spices and gingerroot in a piece of muslin or place in a tea ball. Combine with sugar, lemon and water and simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook gently until tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place. Remove spice bag. Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup. Boil syrup 2-3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup; boil l minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, along with a cinnamon stick if using, leaving 1/4” headspace. Adjust caps. Process 20 minutes in boiling water canner. Makes about 6 half pints.

  126. Karen

    I was listening to the Sonrise Morning Show today while driving to work. I heard the English cucumber recipe but am not able to find it on your website. Please direct me or send it to me directly please. I enjoyed browsing your other recipes! Thank you.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld


      I had this at daughter-in-law Courtney’s home and loved it. “The recipe is from my friend Libby”, she said. Courtney gave it her own touch. When my girlfriends came over for a dinner from the garden, we made this salad. The recipe below is a double recipe and we really went “to taste” on the ingredients. It was an immediate hit!

      About 2 pounds cucumber, washed and chopped into small chunks (Can use 2 nice sized English cucumbers)

1 small bunch scallions, about 5 or so, white and green part both, sliced thin

2 large avocados or 4 medium size, pitted and diced

1/4 cup real mayonnaise

      Lime juice – start with about 2 tablespoons and go from there – I usually add more

Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste
 – a good amount of hot sauce!

      Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to taste

      Chopped greens (handful or so – optional)

      Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl. Mix in greens if using. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste. Pour over salad and mix well, adding cilantro at the end.

      Tip from Rita’s kitchen: We also added some leftover boiled corn – go to taste – really good

  127. judie

    Rita, I enjoyed your talk so much at the homemaker Triennial Annual Meeting this week. I heard you say something about the basil seeds when growing is over, but I didn’t understand if I can dry and keep these seeds to replant next spring. I sure hope so! I am in the process of gathering last of leaves and making pesto and do as you said…hang to dry. Thanks for your help.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Judie,
      Your group was such fun. Yes, you can harvest the seeds from the plant now. The flower heads will look dark and dry – just rub them between your hands and tiny black seeds will fall out. Store in jar for next spring.

  128. Maria

    Hi Rita,

    I was looking for the 20 minute vegetable soup recipe on your website, and I cannot find the recipe. Could you post that please? Thanks!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Maria,
      I put it up earlier and will check to make sure it’s there. It’s a good one!

  129. Geraldine Galas


    Would you please share the information about naturally reducing your cholesterol? Unfortunately I did not get all the information down when you were on the radio. Natural Honey and ???

    Thank you!


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Gerie,
      It’s natural, raw, organic cider vinegar and honey or stevia for sweetener (or just cider vinegar alone) with water. Start out with a couple teaspoons of vinegar in 8 oz water before meals. Sweeten to taste. Let me know how you like it!

  130. Mary Ellen Thinnes

    Hi, Rita.

    Have you ever gotten Humbert’s Meats to part with their recipe for Goetta? If so, I’d love to get a copy. Thanks!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      They won’t budge with the recipe. Would you like me to share the ones I have from readers again?

  131. Pam Warren

    I have made your foolproof sirloin tip roast, and it lives up to it’s name! I have two questions: can it be made with top sirloin and if you have a larger roast than the recipe calls for, (5#) how should the time be adjusted? I assume you would still roast until it reached 130 degrees before you turn off the oven, but how long should it remain in the oven? Or, would it be better to have two 3# roasts instead? Sorry, that was three questions.

    I really enjoy your column and look forward to it every week in the Boone County Recorder.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pam,
      So glad it turned out for you. I haven’t done it with a larger roast, but assume it would be just fine – yes, it will take longer to reach 130. As far as reaching the desired temperature after turning off the oven, I would again think it would take a bit longer but do check after 20 minutes or so instead of 10-15. If it’s still not up to 140-145 I would leave it in the oven and then turn the oven up to 350 and, depending upon what temperature it reached when you checked, check it every 10 minutes or so.

      If you’re concerned, try two 3# roasts. As far as using top sirloin, it’s a bit leaner than sirloin tip – ask the butcher what he/she thinks and go from there.

      One more thing, I’m posting some good info on roasts right now.

  132. Mary

    Hello Rita,
    Can you guide me in purchasing some essential oils. Is there a difference in oils? Are some on the market only the scent of the oil while others are true oils? I live in Northern Indiana. Where might I look for the oils? A health food store? Are their any online resources available I can read before I purchase?

    Thank you,


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary,
      What are you going to use the oils for? I just posted some good info on the site about essential oils vs fragrance oils. (Now extracts are something altogether different – usually an alcohol base is used to draw the flavor out, as in vanilla extract for instance).

      I love using essential oils for many things: healing, aromatherapy, cleaning, etc.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary,
      I need to know what you will be using the essential oils for and then I can give you more guidelines.

      1. Mary

        Sorry for the delay. I believe I would use them purely for fragrance…aromatherapy or when I have a cold and find the smell of the oils to be comforting to my nasal passages. Thank you for your assistance.

        1. Rita Heikenfeld

          Oh good. Give me a few days and I’ll send some good info/recipes. OK?

  133. kathy webb

    HI Rita, Thank you for your lovely column in Comm Press each week. In your recipe for the soup gifts this week , you do not mention if you could make it in a crockpot. I assume you can but can you please advise? Also are your C. Press columns available on your website? Maybe i just haven’t looked hard enough?? or maybe i need to look on Thanks again and Happy holidays,

    Mrs Kathy Webb

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Kathy,
      I have not made the soup in a crockpot but if you have a large enough one, I’m sure it would work fine. And yes, my columns are available online.

  134. Rebecca

    Hi Rita,
    I’m heart sick. I recently moved from Loveland, OH to Sanford, MI and somehow in the process I’ve misplaced my recipe for Chicken stir fry that you published in the community press several years ago. I remember some of the ingredients are soy sauce, fish sauce and sambal oelek. Do you happen to have the recipe. It is one of my favorites. Thank you.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      No worries, Becky. I found the recipe again and just posted it!
      So glad you like it. It’s a keeper.

  135. Lucille Gerdes

    Hi. I was looking for a Boursin cheese scalloped potatoes recipe. I think it was heavy cream and Boursin cheese? It was so good and easy! Thanks!

  136. Anita Mazza

    A few years ago you published a recipe for Black Bean Soup in the Cincinnati Suburban newspapers. It was easy to make and very tasty. By any chance is it possible to get a copy of this recipe?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Anita,
      I thought I had already replied. The recipe should be on my site. Let me know if you can’t find it.

  137. jb hennessey

    i made cherry bounce this year using your recipe. we bottled it last week, and plan to make it for gifts next year. in the meantime, my husband is having a tough time with the idea that he must ration the 2 1/2 bottles we have for an entire year before he will have more. so – to my question: do you think i could make cherry bounce using frozen whole cherries – just to keep him happy? he would still have to wait, but not a full year! i don’t want to waste the bourbon if you think it won’t work. thanks in advance!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I think it would work just fine with frozen dark cherries. You won’t have the pits in them, but I’ll bet you’d get a darn good cherry bounce. Thaw before using but don’t discard the juice. Add it too the bounce. Let me know how this turns out!

  138. Diane Marcello

    Hi Rita,
    I was so privileged to work with you many years ago in the kitchen at Mc Alpins at Harpers Point! The garden club “Late Bloomers” that I belong to is interested in having you as a guest once again however we were wondering if you ever do a tour of your home gardens that we could be part of?
    Warm regards,
    Diane Marcello
    Registered Dietitian

  139. Teresa Tonkin

    Hi Rita. You may not remember me. I used to work at the Macys in Florence Ky. I used to do the displays there. You used to come in and do your recipes. In the cookware area. I was the bushy blond hairdo girl. Always talked to you when you were there. I work at brass pro shops now, but love too cook more than ever. If you need any help with your “stuff”. Let me know. Listen to you all the time on 55am. Just let me know. Thanks Rita.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh my gosh, Teresa, of course I remember you. Always so energetic and yes, I remember the hair! Those were fun days at Macy’s, weren’t they? I will keep you in mind and please do share some of your recipes.

  140. Mitch Losak

    Hi Rita, I am trying my hand {and pressure cooker} at cooking. I’m 61 and just had my fourth stent procedure. I’m of the opinion that pressure cooking is an extremely healthy way to cook but I’m as good at cooking as I am at building pyramids!

    Chicken is what is recommended by my cardiologist and I think that beans can offer me the protein that I need instead of red meat. I really enjoy soups and stews and have found beans are quite filling as well. I would like to use onions, garlic, potatoes, celery and spinach with chicken broth {low sodium} and a variety of beans. White, black, kidney and pink.

    Can I do that or will it taste like something the cat dragged in? I will also add chicken but the beans and chicken will cook much faster than the other ingredients. Thanks for reading my plea and for a hopeful response. Gratefully, Mitch.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Well, Mitch,
      Good for you! I love my pressure cooker and will dig out some recipes for you. Meanwhile go ahead and experiment. As for the spinach, stir that in right before you serve it otherwise it will turn to mush. Let me know how your soup/stew turns out. It sounds delish. One more thing, use yellow or white onions, not red or sweet since their flavor won’t hold up. (My opinion, maybe not yours….).

      You can also make a very healthy and yummy chicken broth with necks, backs and (don’t laugh) feet – lots of collagen in the feet, good for bones and joints. I know Jungle Jims here in Cinti carries chicken feet.


  141. Grace Huddleston

    Dear Ms. Heikenfeld,
    This is a request to do a one time cooking demo at the AndersonTownship Senior Center, booking in May or any time until the end of the year. The Center would provide all the materials and the program lasts from 45 minutes to an hour with a short period for Q & A, there would be some payment.
    We hope you will honor our request as it would be a popular presentation for our seniors.My name is Grace Huddleston, a Volunteer helping to provide quality programs to our audience. Please contact me, hopefully with an affirmative answer or contact the head of the Center for further details.
    Claire O’Connell, Activity Manager
    Anderson Township Senior Center
    7970 Beechmont Ave.
    Cincinnati, OH 45255
    (513) 474-3100

    Claire will be making the actual arrangements. Thank you very much,
    Grace Huddleston

  142. Tammy Buerk

    Hi Rita! I’m Ann koster’s niece and we made the stracoto with porcini mushrooms during class. You said you can make it ahead. What is the best point to make it through.. after baking? And what’s the best way to reheat it so it stays tender? By the way I’m still interested in you show with cupcakes 😉
    Thank you,

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Tammy,
      I hope I’m not too late. You can make it ahead to the point of removing the meat from the juice and making the gravy. And yes, I would love to have you guest on my cable show. We film Tuesday mornings around 8:30 and are finished by 11 usually. The show is one hour long, unscripted, unrehearsed and very fun!

  143. Pamela Burke


    I went to your presentation at Felicity Library on Saturday. I am looking for the appetizer recipe that you share with us.
    couldn’t find it in your recipe file on line.

    Also, I had asked you for some names of homeopathic practitioners or osteopaths in the Cincinnati area that you would recommend.

    I enjoyed your presentation very much.

    Thank-you Pam

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pam,
      I posted the recipe on April 1 – Belgian Endive Water Lily. Let me know if you can’t find it. I am looking into homeopathic drs. for you. One who comes to mind is Dr. Peter Sheng. Last time I checked he was in EastGate and his phone was 513 528-2900. He is a Hematology and Oncology dr. and is an expert in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

  144. betsy

    several years ago you published a bran muffin recipe in the Northern Hills Journal. The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. I have used this recipe many times using various fresh or dried fruits, nuts, added flax meal and different grains as add ins. It’s the best all purpose muffin recipe I’ve used.
    Unfortunately, I have lost the recipe and can’t find it doing a search of your website. If you remember this recipe can you send it or tell me where to find it. I would greatly appreciate it.
    By the way- keep up the great work; I really enjoy reading your articles!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Betsy,
      So glad you liked the recipe. I’m going to publish it again this coming week. But I’m going to post it today on this site in case you need it sooner.

  145. Ellen Kane

    Hi Rita,
    Vermont Catholic Magazine would like permission to post your “Companion Planting with Bible Herbs” column found in the recent issue of Franciscan Media on our online news site: (official magazine of Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington) and also do a series of instagram posts for each herb that will link back to your full article. As a diocese, we are celebrating a Year of Creation: Care for Our Common Home and diving into Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” Encyclical. This is the perfect Summer article to connect parishioners to the Earth and their faith.

    Ellen Kane

  146. Ellen Kane

    Hi Rita,
    Vermont Catholic magazine (official Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, VT publication) would like permission to post your “Companion Planting with Bible Herbs” found in recent issue of St. Anthony Messenger in our online magazine: Our diocese is celebrating a Year of Creation: Care for our Common Home (based on Laudato Si encyclical) and this would be the perfect summer article to connect earth and faith. Please let me know if this is possible and how you would like to be acknowledged.

    Ellen Kane, Editor

  147. Arlene Mendel

    Thank you so much for your very interesting presentation at St. Joe’s!
    You’ve convinced me to start cooking more with herbs, and maybe even start growing a few this year!
    Have a wonderful summer.

  148. charlene kornmann

    Dear Rita,
    Several years around Easter, you published a jello salad from I believe an Eileen Beitman. I have lost this recipe and sure would like to have it if possible. It was on same page with a slow cooked beef recipe.

    I will be looking forward to hearing from you

    Charlene a faithful reader

  149. charlene kornmann

    Dear Rita
    I am looking for a jello and pineapple salad published around Easter time by I believe an Eileen Beitman. I lost it in all these recipes I have. Hope you can help


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Charlene, Here it is!

      Eileen Bittman’s lime and pineapple jello salad
      Eileen is a friend of mine and a marvelous cook. Eileen likes lime gelatin, but you can use your favorite.
      1 can, 20 oz, crushed pineapple in juice
      1 box, 6 oz, gelatin
      2 cups buttermilk
      1 carton, 8 oz, whipped topping
      1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional but good)
      Combine pineapple and gelatin in saucepan. Heat until gelatin melts, but don’t boil. Cool slightly and add buttermilk and cool whip. Combine well and add nuts. Pour into molds or bowl and chill until firm.

  150. Elaine Kavanagh

    Do you have a recipe for your Teres Majo?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Elaine,
      Gosh, there are no wrong ways to make this. If you grill it, grill it on high like you do a flat iron or flank steak, but grill it a little less, time wise, since it’s smaller. You can simply rub it with olive oil and sprinkle with Canadian steak seasoning (sometimes called Montreal steak seasoning). It doesn’t need much embellishment. I get mine at Jungle Jims here in Cincinnati. Where do you live?

  151. Marcie Eiser

    My 4 year old daughter loves to cook, as does my husband. I was looking for some parent/child cooking classes and can’t seem to find any. I think this would be a wonderful way to get kids involved in healthy eating and learning to try new foods, etc. Would you be interested in offering something like this at our parish? Or do you have any recommendations of someone who would be interested in starting this sort of thing? (I don’t have the culinary knowledge or I would!) (Love listening to you on Sacred Heart Radio here in Cincinnati!)

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Marcie,
      I will be gone until the end of June but please ask me again in early July. I think I can help you! Which parish are you in?

  152. Barbara Jennings

    Hi Rita;
    I used to always make a recipe of yours. It’s Low Fat Potato Soup.
    I have miss placed mine.
    I would love to have this again.

    Thank You,
    Barbara Jennings

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Barb,
      Was it this one?
      Crockpot potato soup with sausage
      If you’re looking for an easy and tasty soup, this may be for you. From Darlo Tanner, who said she received this recipe from her sister and Darlo has shared “with people from Texas and Florida”. I’ve had it in my file for a while, and am glad I found it again. Darlo said she has used reduced fat sausage and fat free soups and it was very good. She’s also used Italian sausage. “Even better the next day!”
      2 pounds sausage
      1 large onion
      2 bags diced frozen hash browns, no need to thaw
      2 cans each: cream of mushroom soup and cream of celery soup
      2 cups milk
      1 cup water, or more if needed
      Brown sausage and onion and crumble sausage. Drain and stir in rest of ingredients. Pour into sprayed crockpot on high for 4 hours.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Barbara,
      I couldn’t locate it in my file for some reason but here’s a good one from Weight Watchers which a friend gave me a while back. I will keep looking for mine, though.
      Low Fat Potato Soup
      1 bulb garlic clove (large, 1/4-inch-slice cut off top)
      3 lbs potatoes (rinsed, pierced with a fork, about 6 large baking potatoes)
      6 slices uncooked turkey bacon
      4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
      1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
      1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
      1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
      6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
      6 tablespoons low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
      6 tablespoons scallions, sliced
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      Preheat oven to 400ºF.
      Wrap entire garlic bulb tightly in foil; place garlic and potatoes in oven. (You do not need to put them on a pan; they can go right on an oven rack.).
      Bake garlic until soft when squeezed, about 45 minutes; remove from oven and let cool. Continue baking potatoes until tender when pierced, about 15 minutes more; let potatoes stand until cool enough to handle.
      Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 6 minutes.
      Place bacon on paper towels to drain off any fat; chop bacon.
      Unwrap garlic and squeeze pulp from bulb with hands into a large saucepan.
      Peel potatoes and add to saucepan; mash with a potato masher until smooth.
      Gradually stir in broth, thyme, salt and pepper until blended; place saucepan over medium heat and cook until hot, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes.
      Spoon about 1 1/3 cups of soup into each of 6 soup bowls.
      Top each with 1 tablespoon of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of cheese, 1 rounded tablespoon of bacon and 1 tablespoon of scallions.

  153. Jane Herzner

    How can I get a copy of the 2 booklets I used to have. One was primarily Herb related and other was ‘other” Took them for granted and lost them in a move a few years ago. Does some store or web sight carry these and are there any others?

    Thank You ,
    Jane Herzner

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Jane,
      I am going to look in my “stash” – I may have 1 of the herb booklets left and probably none of the gifts without ribbons book. Remind me again in about a week.

  154. Jackie Wetterstroem DeWitt

    Did you get my message about speaking to the Madeira women’s club January 10, 2018 at 1 PM?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Yes I did Jackie and will email you.

  155. Marcella

    Didn’t think to ask this question at ASC on Monday. Do dried herbs have as many
    nutrients as fresh ones?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      It depends. Spices, like cinnamon and cloves, are always used in their dried state. Tender herbs like basil, mint, etc. have more nutrition when fresh. But they still contain some when dried. I just now am posting some good info about this.

  156. Sharon Laughlin

    Hello Rita,

    The LiveWell Ft. Mitchell Healthy Eating Committee is offering cooking classes. We are promoting our community garden and the Ft. Mitchell Farmer’s Market. You offer a lot of great information and wonderful recipes.

    Do you present cooking classes in the community?

    Thank you!

  157. Mary Lou Elmore

    I loved your grape juice recipe to make jelly. It turned out great, delicious, and easy to make. My question is: “Can I use other juices to make more jelly such as cranberry or cherry?”


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary Lou,
      So glad it worked for you. I have made jelly from white grape juice. And cranberry juice. It should work with cherry juice too. The only thing you have to be careful about is that you need to use juice with no sugar added. Sometimes cranberry is mixed with another juice, but that’s OK. I’ve used both frozen (diluted with necessary water) and bottled juice.

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Mary Lou,
      I believe I replied to your question but it may have been in my syndicated newspaper column. So again, yes, juices can be used – I’ve used cranberry and cherry. Be sure it’s pure juice with NO added sugar. I’ve also used frozen concentrated juice which has no added sugar, as well. Use the same proportions as the grape jelly. Check out the photo under my newest blog “Small Batch Preserving”. The beautiful amber colored jelly is from green grape juice!

  158. Abra Koch

    Hi Rita ☺️ I attended your canning class at Jungle Jim’s and am delighted to tell you that all of my children’s teachers will be receiving blueberry jam this year, my mom and I have bread and butter pickles in our pantries now, and today I canned 6 quarts of tomatoes! I made a terrible mess, but I can’t wait to taste garden fresh tomatoes this winter!!! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! Also I tried removing the skins by putting the tomatoes under the broiler. Worked perfectly on the smaller ones, and the bigger ones worked, just not quite as well. Thought I would report back on the experiment. Really loved your class. You always remind me how joyful cooking can be!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Abra,
      I remember you – and I am so glad you’re having success with the recipes. You will sure appreciate them this winter. And the teachers will cherish the jam. Right now, I’m just finishing up freezing more corn. PBS/WCET came out to my home and filmed me canning. It’s on “Our Ohio” show that runs on Saturday mornings on WCET. You might catch it.

      I will share your tip about removing skins from tomatoes. Very cool!


  159. Paulette

    My grandchildren love Tender Towne Tenders..Especially the sauce Any one have a clone for that yummy Tender Sauce

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Paulette,
      Where do they get the Tender Towne Tenders?

  160. sharon petko-bunney

    I saw the recipe for Bonbonerie scones in your column a few weeks ago, but it out, but have now misplaced it. can you please send it to me or direct me to the recipe so i can make it for Christmas.

    thank you! Merry Christmas!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Sharon,
      I’m posting it today, along with one of mine. The key is to cut the scones out with a sharp cutter. One reader used a glass and the dough stuck. You can also simply cut them with a knife.

  161. Carol Nance

    I enjoyed listening to you on Ron Wilson’s radio program this morning.

    My sister and I are new farmers. Have you written a book on herbs and their potential health benefits?

    I “google” searched and did not find one. If you have not written one, can you recommend one?

    Thank you so much. I am also enjoying your website.

    Best Regards,

    Carol Nance

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Carol,
      My books are out of print at this time. As far as what books are good ones, they’re so many! I would suggest checking out the Herb Society of America’s website. Also Countryside Magazine and Backyard Poultry magazine carries my herb articles on their online site. I have written some interesting ones.

      Thanks so much for listening – Ron and I have a good time together. Also check out this site for some good info, too.

  162. Kathy Ernst

    I am looking for your coffee cake recipe with nuts on top. I tried to find it from this site, but didn’t have any luck. Can you share it?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Kathy,
      I’m posting it again now.

  163. Melinda Yonchak

    Tom and I enjoyed meeting you at the Jungle Jims class last Thursday. I have a Pierogi recipe for you but would prefer to email it to you. A have a photo of the recipe given to my sister-in-law from my mother-in-law. The note card is pretty rough and it assumes you already know what you are doing. I also have the recipe I created by watching her make a large batch at Christmas time. It has more details as far as “how to” make them but it also creates a large amount of them! If you can email me, I will send you the recipes as attachments.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Oh I just got it, thanks so much!

  164. Chris Hirsch

    Hi Rita,
    It’s me…an old schoolmate! You shared Frank’s Fruitcake recipe a while ago (maybe in the newspaper). I made it in December and it was fantastic! Now…I’ve lost the recipe and wonder if you could share again. Or where it might be on line? Thanks so much and hope to see you sometime soon!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Well hello Ms. Hirsch!
      Yes, it’s been a while….I hope all the ladies at “club” are doing well. I’ll post the recipe today for the fruitcake. So glad you like it. Frank will be pleased!
      Blessings my friend,

      1. Chris Hirsch

        Thanks so much, Rita! This is the right one! I was panicked when I lost it. All the “club” ladies are well…in fact, this Friday is our “club meeting”. I will tell them you came to my aid with this recipe! When Ann Rudloff had her club turn a few months ago, she made your cranberry pork roast and it was wonderful! So…you see…we very often have you in attendance at club! Hope to see you again soon. Say hello to Frank and keep warm and healthy!

  165. Bernadette

    Just started weight Watchers.

    Have you ever reviewed or have opinions about food scales?

    Something compact and not expensive and digital.

    Thanks for your time and answer.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Bernadette,
      I have a really nice digital that I bought for weighing out ingredients for bread. Here’s the info:
      Electronic kitchen scale
      Model EK3211ASIN800V51M5PYMax 11 lbs (5000g)

      It was about $10 or so and I bought it on Amazon. It’s a great little scale with tare weight, grams, ounces, pounds, etc.


  166. Terry D David

    Could you tell me what the ground ingredient is in the Classic Cheese Souffle recipe? The direction says “several grindings of fresh nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground”. Ground what?

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Terry,
      It’s 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Sorry about that!

  167. Pamela Feldhues


    So good speaking to you again on Friday! I would like to get together with you concerning Clermont Catholic Community’s cooking class! Give me a buzz to set up a time 513.293.3807.

    Looking forward to seeing you again!

    Pam Pappas Feldhues

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pam,
      Give me a call next week, pls!

    2. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pam,
      Much time has passed between communications. Give me a call and let’s set something up for this summer!

  168. Carol Fenbers

    On the Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream:
    Can I use any whiskey or does it have to be Irish Whiskey?
    Can I use instant espresso granules?
    Thanks you!

  169. Carol Fenbers

    For the Baileys Irish Cream:
    Can I use any Whiskey?
    Can I use express coffee granules?
    thank you!

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Carol,
      Yes to the whiskey and if the express coffee granules are used for espresso, sure. Just go to taste on the granules.Hope you enjoy your homemade Bailey’s.

      1. Carol Fenbers

        Thanks so much for the answers to my questions!

  170. Sandy O

    Hi Rita,
    The Russian Kale and Beet Salad recipe pages from the last couple of weeks are not working on your website. Could you have your web wizards take a look and fix them?


  171. Rita Heikenfeld

    Actually 7::30-10:30!

  1. Granny’s 13th Annual Plant Sale is May 7 and 8 |

    […] Rita Heikenfeld will be at the sale Saturday, May 7th, 7 – 11 a.m. […]

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