Photo of Hamburger Stroganoff
Cookbook Reviews

Homestead Recipes

by: Amanda Rettke

Photo of the cover of Homestead Recipes

“Lots of folks don’t have any idea how fantastic and crazy the food is here in the Midwest – salads made of dessert. Hot dish for any time of the day and every occasion. Bar recipes that get passed around to every lady at the church for generations,” Amanda Rettke, author of Homestead Recipes

I have been following Amanda on instagram (@iambaker) for a while and I love her content and her characters. If you haven’t seen Shirley, you should definitely check her out.

One of the things that appealed to me most about her cookbook Homestead Recipes is that the recipes are down to earth and not crazy fancy. Yes, there are sometimes you want extravagant recipes but for me I find myself reaching for the family and comfort food recipes first and most often. Check out the apple bundt cake and hamburger stroganoff recipes that I made below to see how they turned out. 

Photo of Apple Bundt Cake on a white plate on a wood platter with a light tan background

Apple Bundt Cake

Once fall hits all I want to make is apple dishes so this apple bundt cake spoke to my heart. It was very simple to make. One important thing to remember with this recipe is that you need to let the eggs come up to room temperature. I forgot to do that, but I do have a trick for that. You can put the cold eggs in a bowl with warm water, not hot, and let them sit 15 – 30 minutes and then they are at room temperature.

Another tip I have is when getting ready to pour the glaze on the cake it makes it much easier if you put it in a liquid measuring cup first. It also helps if you use a little bigger plate than I did, as you can see the glaze on the side of the plate and a little even ran over the edges! Oh, and I should mention the caramel glaze took on a darker brown almost red shade when it went into the small cracks in the cake. 

The apple bundt cake was so delicious and so filling. We gave some to our neighbors and they enjoyed it too. Plus, we still had a ton left over – it’s just as good the next day as it was the first day. I’m definitely going to make it again and I would love to be able to make it with farm fresh apples, I miss being near the farms this time of year, it would be even better. 

Photo of Hamburger Stroganoff

Hamburger Stroganoff

I’m pretty sure I have had a stroganoff dish before but couldn’t remember if I liked it or not but thought I would give this one a try. The ingredients are easy to find, and you probably have most in your pantry and fridge. It’s an easy, quick 30-minute dish that would be great for a weeknight dinner, especially if you have kids – it makes so much food and it only takes two pans! 

I really liked it and had two larger helpings. Even my Dad, who can be a picky eater, had two servings. We have a lot of leftovers as there was just three of us eating. The hamburger stroganoff would also be a great option for a big family gathering as it serves eight people. You can never have too much food at family gatherings. This recipe is now on my list of regular meals to make, and I am sure with it being fall I will make it again pretty soon. 

Cookbook Ratings: Recipe directions easy to follow: yes, Ingredients easy to find: yes, Specialty ingredients needed: no, Specialty equipment needed: no, Accurate time estimates: yes, Best for home chef skill level: novice, Taste/flavor: delicious, Family friendly: yes, specialty diet: no, How many recipes are unique: most, overall cookbook rating: love it

Overall, I loved Homestead Recipes by Amanda Rettke. The recipes are very simple, I love the fact that she includes measurements in cups and weight – which is super helpful when baking to ensure you measured accurately. It doesn’t matter if you have never cooked or cook every night you will find lots of things you can make successfully. Plus, the recipes will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. 

I can’t wait to cook through the rest of the recipes. Ones that I marked to try soon are: Minnesota caviar, mushroom Swiss sliders, chicken alfredo with brussels sprouts, French onion pork chops and maple-bacon brussels sprouts. Let’s be honest it was tough to narrow down what recipes I wanted to try. I have a feeling that this cookbook will be well loved with lots of splatters on it soon from all of the use. Which recipe do you want to try first?

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