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No One Who Cooks Cooks Alone: Happy National Cookbook Month!

I thought today’s quote by Laurie Colwin was fitting: “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks’ past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” I thought that was a lovely sentiment and it’s true. I have cookbooks I’ve inherited from my family and ones that I’m eager to share with my kids and grandkids when they’re ready to take on the mantle of family chef.

In case you missed it, I offer a few cookbooks here on Kathey Jo’s Kitchen: Best of Baking, Breakfast Classics, Great Meats, Soups, Salads and Sauces, and the Cookie Book. You’ll find some of my family’s favorite recipes and some new ones that are exclusive for fans of my blog...

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April 17th is National Cheese Ball Day

Warning: The combination of sweet, spicy, and salty in this cheese ball makes it addictive.

Are you ready to celebrate National Cheese Ball Day with me, Kathey Raskin of Las Vegas? It’s only two days away! The cheese ball is a cocktail party classic, and your guests won’t soon forget this new twist on an old favorite— the Spicy Candied Pecan and Bacon Cheese Ball. The secret here is in the cheese. Combining medium sharp cheddar and cream cheese takes the edge off the hot sauce, while the candied nuts deliciously contrast it.


8-ounce) package room-temperature cream cheese

1 ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese

½ cup diced bacon (Don’t skimp here. Go for the good stuff!)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6–10 dashes hot sauce

1 cup candied pecans, crushed into pieces


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This National Garlic Month, Try Homemade Sausage

Hello everyone! This is Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, and I’d like to welcome you into my kitchen today to make homemade garlic sausage. Not many people make their own sausage these days, when busy schedules have left your average person looking for more convenient alternatives. Sausage-making may be a forgotten art to most, but once you’ve tasted the results for yourself you may be ready to bring it back.

Serve this recipe with pasta for a dish that’ll please all ages. My family’s favorite is homemade ravioli! You can adjust the ingredients of this sausage to make it spicy by using hot paprika or any other seasonings you prefer. This is your chance to get creative. It’s sausage, after all. How can you go wrong with homemade sausage? You can’t!

If you live in an area with ...

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You Haven’t Truly Lived Until You’ve Deep-Fried PBJ

Hello from Kathleen Raskin’s Las Vegas kitchen! April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, but for millions of parents across the US, this holiday is observed 365 days per year. Some kids never seem to get tired of PBJ, but adults require more variety. There’s no need for you to get stuck in a PBJ rut when there are so many ways to have fun with it.

Believe it or not, peanut butter was first used by the ancient Aztecs, and the first reference to the PBJ was published in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. At the time, peanut butter was considered a delicacy, and it was served in the finest tearooms of New York. It is unclear when children hijacked the dish and made it their own.

You may be surprised...

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Celebrate National Spinach Day with the Best Dip Ever!

I’m Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, and I’d like to welcome you into my kitchen to enjoy a bread bowl filled with the most delicious spinach artichoke dip you’ve ever experienced. This is a real crowd favorite, and it’ll quickly become one of your go-to favorites as well because this dip is so easy to make. Don’t serve your guests store-bought when this version will have them coming back for more, and maybe asking to be invited to more of your parties!

You can make this dip a day ahead of time. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before you bake it. Heat it up for 30-60 minutes in a low oven. You can also microwave any leftovers you have and enjoy them the next day. Don’t get too attached to this idea though, as there’s rarely any left!


8 oz cream chee...

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Celebrate Sloppy Joe Day with Kathleen Raskin

I am Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, and today I’d like to welcome you into my kitchen to celebrate National Sloppy Joe Day. There are a lot of variations on this recipe, but today I’m bringing you the classic Sloppy Joe.  This ground beef and tomato sauce sandwich may have originated at a café in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1930s, after a cook named Joe got the innovative and delicious idea to add tomato sauce to the café’s loose meat sandwiches. History also suggests the original Sloppy Joe may have been created at Key West, Florida’s Sloppy Joe’s Bar. While we don’t have any definitive proof of one story of origin or the other, we have plenty of proof that this sandwich has remained an American favorite over the decades...

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March 14th is National Potato Chip Day

The potato chip was first invented at Saratoga, NY’s elegant Moon Lake Lodge on August 24, 1853. Since then, it’s gone on to become one of America’s favorite snack foods. Join me, Kathey Raskin of Las Vegas, in observing National Potato Chip day by deep-frying up a batch of these crispy, savory treats. One of my favorite things about homemade chips is you can add any seasonings you like. While I have provided seasoning instructions in my recipe, I encourage you to experiment and come up with your own family favorite recipe. Bon appetite!


1-1/2 lbs medium russet potatoes

7 to 8 cups oil, for the best taste use peanut or canola

Kosher salt to taste

2 tsps garlic powder

1 ½ tsps celery salt

1 ½ tsps pepper


Fill a large bowl with ice water and then soak the ...

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Celebrate National Meatball Day with Kathey Raskin

March 9th is National Meatball Day. Let’s observe this delicious holiday with a Crock-Pot-friendly spicy meatball recipe! The secret to my spicy curry crockpot meatballs is madras curry, which is the fiery cousin of the common yellow curry powder many of us have in our spice rack. The two spices share many ingredients in common, such as cumin and fenugreek, but madras has red chiles that turn it a deeper, darker red hue.

This is one of my favorite recipes because you can adjust the heat by adding more or less curry depending upon your guests’ tastes. It’s so easy, too—just pop it into the Crock-Pot and forget about it while you get ready. It couldn’t be easier or more delicious...

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Celebrate National Strawberry Day with Kathey Raskin

Do you love strawberries? Who doesn’t? If you want to learn how to make incredible homemade ice cream, celebrate National Strawberry Day with me, Kathey Raskin of Las Vegas, this Wednesday, February 27th! Strawberries are showing up in the markets again just in time for this favorite food holiday. Once you’ve had a taste of this rich, decadent strawberry ice cream, you may not be able to go back to store-bought!

This is the perfect dessert for spring and summer, and here where it’s warming up already it’s a good choice for winter as well. I promise this will be the best strawberry ice cream you’ve ever tasted, with a burst of fresh berries and vanilla in every bite. There are recipes with egg and without, and this one is the latter...

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Celebrate Cherry Pie Day with Kathey Raskin

February 20th is National Cherry Pie Day! Celebrate with me, Kathey Raskin of Las Vegas, by trying my favorite cherry pie recipe. I know apple pie is the traditional American dessert, but cherry is a close second, which is funny when you consider that the first cherry pie was made for England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Traditionally this favorite dessert is made using tart cherries rather than sweet. Tapioca starch is the key to making your cherry pie turn out just right every time. Are you ready to get started? Let’s bake!


The secret to perfect crust: pastry flour.


3 cups pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup ice water

1 tbsp vinegar


Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter and shortening into your flour, then mix in vinegar and ice wa...

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