The Creekside Cook

I live in rural Upstate NY, with my husband of 39 years. 

I blog about our adventures in gardening and cooking, as we work to grow and produce as much of our own food as possible.  I believe that anyone can learn to make great food for themselves and for their family, and do it without the use of prepackaged or highly processed food.  I create recipes using the freshest ingredients I can lay my hands on, and share with my readers how they can recreate these simple but deeply satisfying dishes at home.

In addition, I seek out interesting products to share with my readers, often partnering with small, interesting companies to showcase their products.  I also blog for the Great American Spice Compay, creating recipes using their products.  I am available for recipe development for other companies, so long as they are not direct competitors of companies I am currently partnered with. 

I have been working with some local food based companies, photographing their products for use on their websites, and at their locations, and I have done some photography for menus and publicity materials for them as well.

I also enjoy photography [my photography site is donalynketchum.com] and in addition to our vegetable gardens, I have large flower and perennial gardens where I work off my small frustrations with life.  We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandkids - all fabulous beyond description.   Family is very important to us, and part of that is passing along our gardening and cooking mojo, which is enduring through the generations.

Stand Mixer Italian Bread

I have to be honest and tell you that I would love a do-over for this year so far. It’s been a difficult one, to say the least. I’ll get into some of it in posts to come probably ....more

Easy Citrus Jam

I’m a little late getting this recipe posted, but it is definitely not too late to make it yourself! There is still plenty of fresh citrus in the stores this spring, and you can change up what you use to suit what you can find. I wanted to get this posted before I left to spend a week in Arizona with my folks, sister and brothers, but as so often happens, time got away from me and I am not getting to until now ....more

Chicken Fajita Couscous Dinner Bowls

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but “Chopped” on the Food Network has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve never had any real desire to actually be on the show, because I like to cook at a much more leisurely pace than would be needed to actually finish in the time allotted. But when Sargento® asked me if I would like to do a recipe for their Chopped at Home promotion, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so I happily said yes ....more

Upside Down Grapefruit Cake

You don’t see that many recipes using grapefruits in baking. I guess they don’t have quite the same pizzazz as lemons and limes, and they are not as sweet as most oranges. If you juice them, the flavor isn’t really bold enough to hold up much grapefruit flavor – unless you reduce it, and then it loses a lot of it’s pop because you lose the fresh uncooked flavor ....more

Dried Plum Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, Okay – so they are actually just plain old humble prunes. “Prune” is not a word that brings out a positive thought for a lot of people, I realize. I figure if the package can call them “Dried Plums”, then I can too, and maybe a few more people will be drawn to the idea ....more

Rutabaga Cheddar Mash

Poor rutabagas – so misunderstood! So ignored and under-appreciated! Not around here though ....more

Soft Cornmeal Muffins

It has been quite a winter around here, and I would be lying if I said it has been an easy one to get through. Not because of the weather – we live where we expect the winters to be fierce and getting a bad one is no reason for sniveling. I will tell you that as I am writing this on March 13th, there are still several feet of snow everywhere around us, and not a single bare patch anywhere in the yard ....more

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup with Dill

If there is a time better suited to big steaming cauldrons of hot soups, packed with tasty things, I don’t know when it would be. Here in the Northeast, we are still being battered by winter, and an unending succession of “events”, each of which dumps more snow on us, amid bone chilling cold and wind. There is nothing we can do about it, except dig out another sweater, and tuck into a big bowl of this soup ....more

Ten Favorite Comfort Recipes and …

… struggling to find normal. Oh my gosh – this is so hard. If you visit here very often, you may have seen my last post for Cranberry Eggnog Bread, which was also about my sister in law’s illness ....more

Cranberry Eggnog Bread

We are having some really difficult days in our family right now. I don’t talk a lot about day to day events here on the blog, but I have been so absent here lately, and events have kind of overwhelmed us, so I thought I would share a little bit. Late last year, Larry’s youngest sister, Janet began to experience some changes in how she was feeling ....more