Note:  Many of these recipes are either directly from other sites (credited where I can find them), or are my own modifications on things I found on the web.

Click on the “Browse” button to browse by categories.

Also note some useful kitchen resources at the bottom



Here’s one of several cookbooks I plan to scan in and post:

CSA Czech-American Cuisine – A cookbook my Mom got in Chicagoland MAANNYY years ago.  don’t plan on finding a lot of tofu-health-conscious-crunchy-granola recipes in here….



Crustless PizzaPizza with no bread-based dough. Certainly minimal carbs. mostly diabetic friendly, but not as dry and gross sounding as the various flour-alternative dough options!
PastalayaSomething between Jambalaya and Mac and Cheese - a true hit at a recent food day at work! Inspiration / Sources:
Refried BeansOriginal Source:
Steak StroganoffA modification on the instant pot beef stroganoff I also have posted here. The benefit is that the meat can a bit more lean than carne asada or stew meat, which makes it a healthier meal per serving, as long as you're selective on what you get for meat, and take the time to trim it. The flavor is MUCH better, too (and the original wasn't bad to begin with!)
CarnitasFound this one on facebook, and modified it slightly... instead of the taco seasoning, they called out Safritas, which I cannot find at a typical grocery store in iowa. Additionally, the chicken varient was my own twist. Once the chicken was done, i started dicing it to better season while cooking - and it did have some bite! I might recommend leaving it as one large piece of meat while cooking, and not breaking the meat up until completion of cooking for those not quite into "spicier" foods. I did the tacos individually in a cast iron skillet, but i suspect it would be a lot easier to do large batches on a flat iron grill...
Split Pea SoupA holiday (Christmas Eve) tradition in my family growing up.
Klobásníky… Hot Dogs in a Bun – with a Czech twistSo, I grew up with these when my Dad would go to Vesecky's in Berwyn, IL. ( When I moved away, the closest I could find was people baking hot dogs in crescent rolls... and it wasn't the same. Many years later, I spoke with the owner of Sikora Bakery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (, and he explained that what I was looking for was specifically a "Sausage Kolache", which just used the dough from a Kolache wrapped around the hot dog! Well, that put a whole new spin on it... Here's the dough recipe I used: I have to say my kids were not raised as just hot dog and hamburger types, yet this is the ONLY time I've ever seen them actually beg me for hot dogs! Finally, credit to Slovacek's of West, Texas, for noting that these things actually had a name, besides "hot dog in a bun"!
“Iowa Style Chicken”This may have come from my Paternal Grandfather's family - we're only guessing, since he was born in Otho, Iowa. One of his favorites...
Potato DumplingsAnother family recipe - again, attributed to Grandma Cechura, until I hear otherwise.... This was part of a duck, dumpling, and sauerkraut meal that, according to the recipe, was started at 8:30 in the morning, and was intended to be ready by noon for everyone to eat.
Sauerkraut – Cechura Family Recipe from MichiganI got this one from my Dad's Cousin Mike, who still lives on the family farm in western Michigan. It's a family recipe, but not one I had tried before I made a visit up there in 2022 for the first time. Goes very well with the dumplings I'll be posting,. At the moment, we believe this is Grandma Cechura's recipe (my great-grandmother) This was part of a duck, dumpling, and sauerkraut meal that, according to the recipe, was started at 8:30 in the morning, and was intended to be ready by noon for everyone to eat.
Whoop-Ass FajitasThis one was given to me by a technician I worked with who served the dish at a annual Boondock Saints (I and II) viewing party.
Tex-mex “Award Winning” SalsaI haven't won any awards, but others claim they have with the one this is based off of, and it's similar to a restaurant, as well. Original:
Chicken in Garlic-Shallot GravyOriginal here: When I made this, the chicken was so tender, Melissa had to ask if I had cooked the chicken in the instapot (I did not!)
JambalayaI think the word "Jambalaya" is a cajun word for "clean out the fridge." I've made it with multiple kinds of deer meat in place of the Andouille sausage before, and added all kinds of other things. Either way, this is a pretty easy "hard to screw up" dish, as log as you keep it stirring and don't let things stick or burn before simmering the rice at the end.
Soy-Garlic Cremaa bit of a fusion-type accessory for tacos, burritos and other such meals
Svíčková (Pickled Beef)This one is fun... handed down through the generations, and never REALLY written down. a pinch of this, a dash of that, salt to taste.... so I'm working on documenting it here. I have included additional family recipes at the bottom of the recipe as i find them. The one documented here is my Mom's mother's recipe.
Rice PilafOriginal Recipe posted here:
Instant Pot Ham & Bean SoupSimple soup recipe for the instant pot! Original recipe here:
Salted Caramel Butter BarsOriginal Source: another awesome find by Melissa. I'm sure they're terrible if you're diabetic, but they are just freaking awesome!
Momma’s White Chicken ChiliBased on the McCormick White Chicken Chili packet, but with a slight twist. a GREAT crock pot meal - don't let the cook time scare you, this is a "cook for 6 hours on low" type meal. Pairs VERY well with the creamed corn souffle as a side!
Creamed Corn SouffleThis comes from a number of different sources, with my own spin put on it.... one such source:
Santa Fe SlopSouthwestern-Themed thick soup or stew. Great for cool weather meals! Credit: Melissa's friend Paige
Sloppy Joe Mac N’ CheeseMy lovely wife found a variation of this online... I changed it to just use my existing other recipes... it came out very well!
Sweet Onion AppetizerThis comes from a copy of 'Southern Living" (Issue unknown)... something I'm pretty sure my mother in law printed out or copied and left in my kitchen. It was worth a shot, and ended up being well worth the minimal effort!!
Grilled Chicken RubEasy rub for grilled chicken another slight adaptation... original source:
Maui-Steak (or Chicken) Burritosstarted as a copy of something i had at Wahoo's Fish Tacos ( ) in Huntington Beach, and morphed into something a bit different.
corn in butter sauceOriginal:
Sokol Berwyn Sloppy Joeone my mom has made for years - the main idea was that If everyone followed the same recipe, each family only used 1# of meat and they could put them all together in a big pot to feed everyone at a big doing. This batch serves 4-5.
Chicken Tetrazzinifairly simple chicken tetrazzini recipe, with some modifications. Original Source:, with some modifications....
Spanish RiceFairly authentic spanish rice. Source:
Beef Stroganoff (instant pot)"A truly one-pot meal! Fork-tender beef and mushrooms with egg noodles. This recipe is written using the Instant Pot®." VERY tender beef!!" From
Saifun Saladlight salad with vinegar/oil dressing. Great for spring / summer dinners, served with dinner rolls.
Smoked TurkeySmoked Turkey, brine, and rub recipes (required prep time the night before)
SalsaBasic Mild Salsa - Similar to more mild resaurant salsas

Some basic measurement conversions – I will admit, some of my recipes call for 1/4 cup of one thing, then 4 tbsp of another…. i’ll work on that. In the meantime, this will help!

  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons = 1/2 tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
  • 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
  • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup
  • 1 cup = 1/2 pint
  • 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 4 cups = 1 quart
  • 2 pints = 1 quart
  • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
  • 32 ounces = 1 quart
  • 2 quarts = 1/2 gallon
  • 4 quarts = 1 gallon
  • 1 stick of butter = 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup

FDA Safe Cooking Guidelines – Click the thermometer to open the PDF