Mona’s, January 2021 Food for Thought!

Happy New Year to you all.  It wasn’t the same but we made it. I am grateful and blessed to have food, a roof over my head, great family and friends. What more can you ask for?  Well, maybe a nice man. Ha!  


There are two days every week – two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, and its aches and pains.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow.

Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds.

This leaves only one day – today.

Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awe eternities – yesterday and tomorrow – that we shut down.

Let us therefore live one day at a time.
author – unknown
This month we will be featuring my families Finnish Buscuit…Pulla, Marcia Boubon’s retro recipes for maple nut goodie bars and banana flips. My favorite fancy drink orange blossoms (found on page 61 of my cookbook).

Let’s start with My Family Finnish Biscuit Recipe

Finn biscuit…milk and eggs at room temp.

1 c. Milk or half and half
3 T melted butter
2 beaten eggs.

Put in bread machine.
Top w 3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 T crushed cardamom seeds crushed in paper towel w hammer.
Ground cardamom doesn’t work. I ordered on Amazon.

Take out in bread machine and put on 1 hour 40 minutes.
When done out dough on some flour and cut into 15 pieces.
Spray Pam into a 9×13 glass pan.

Take each piece and roll into approximately 3” long and tie in a knot. Put three in a row until you have 15 in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Boil 1/c sugar and 1/2 c water until dissolved.
When buns come out pour this over buns and sprinkle with sugar.
Yum with butter. 

Son Scott and wife Sarah and myself, many moons ago.

Here is one of my favorite cocktails!

Found on page 61 of my Cookbook


Using the can from the orange juice
1 can frozen orange juice
1 can milk
1 can gin or vodka
1 egg white
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1/2 blender of crushed ice

Some surprising uses of WD-40
*If someone sprays pain on your vehicle, use WD-40
*For your shower door, whether it is plastic or glass, us WD-40
*Removes tomato stains from clothing
*Untangles jewelry chains
*Too many more to mention– keep a can by the stove, It is good for oven burns or any other type of burn.

Now for two fun recipes!

Maple Nut Goodie Bars


1 bag (12-oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or 2 cups
1 bag (11.5-oz.) or 2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cups butter cup peanut butter
1 can (12-oz.) cocktail peanuts or 2 1/2 cups
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 box (4-serving size) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
1 bag (2 lb) powdered sugar or 7 1/2 cups
2 teaspoons maple flavor


  1. Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Butter or spray foil with cooking spray. In large saucepan, melt chocolate chips and 1 cup of the butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Spread half of mixture in pan. Freeze 10 minutes or until set. Place pan in refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, stir peanuts into remaining chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 1 cup butter in large saucepan over low heat. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Stir in pudding mix. Cook until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring constantly. DO NOT BOIL. Remove saucepan from heat. Add powdered sugar and maple flavor; mix well. Cool about 10 minutes or until slightly cooled.
  4. Carefully spread pudding mixture over chilled chocolate layer. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Stir reserved chocolate-peanut mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto chilled pudding layer; spread to cover. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Next recipe,

Banana Flip Snack Cake

  • 1 box 15.25oz yellow cake mix
  • 1 box 3.4 oz instant banana pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
For the Frosting
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly spray nonstick cooking spray on 2 jelly roll pans then line with waxed paper.
  3. Lightly spray waxed paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk and eggs.
  5. Spread the batter evenly as possible into the jelly roll pans. The batter will be spread thin.
  6. Bake in 350F oven for 13 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Place a large cutting board over 1 of the cakes then flip and remove pan.
  9. Carefully remove the waxed paper from the cake.
  10. This is your bottom cake layer.

For the Frosting

  1. In a small sauce pan whisk flour and milk together until smooth.
  2. Bring milk to a boil and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a stand mixer mix together the butter, coconut oil, vanilla and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the milk flour mixture and beat on high for 10 minutes or until fluffy.

Assemble Cake

  1. Spread frosting evenly on the bottom layer cake.
  2. Remove second cake like the first cake with another cutting board or wire rack and gently peel of waxed paper.
  3. Place cake directly on top of the frosting.
  4. Trim off thin edges.
  5. Slice into bars.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving.

Don’t forget to purchase my cookbook for your Christmas gifts. Only $29.50 which includes tax and shipping!

Please share one of your favorite recipes with us! Please leave a brief message below in the comments area. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling – through your masks!


Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer

Mona’s, December 2020 Food for Thought!

My Christmas tree is a Palm. In the Spring I put it out on my deck.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving although it was probably small.  I had one friend over and it was the easiest meal I’ve ever served.  King crab legs and frozen mashed potatoes.  My friend Jean brought her stuffin muffins (in last months blog) and frozen éclair’s from the grocery freezer.  What a wonderful meal .  Also, we had a couple of cocktails.

King crab legs, mashed potatoes and “stuffin muffins”!

Now for December Christmas cookies.  I know we all are diet conscious but Christmas is here and remember the children are not on diets.

I will share two scrumptious cookie recipes from my first cookbook, “To Mom With Love”.

The first one is my Great Grandmother, Mrs. Marie Cain’s Recipe.


1 egg
1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C butter
1-1/2 C flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg. Add flour, mix well. Let stand in refrigerator until mixture is easy to handle, roll very thin. Cut into holiday shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool and decorate

Next recipe is a favorite for many!

Mexican Wedding Cookies – Yum!


1 C softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c confectioners sugar
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C finely chopped pecans

Cream butter and add vanilla. Stir to a light and fluffy texture. Add sugar to the cream mixture.

Mix flour and salt, and add creamed mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Blend well. Form into 24 balls and flatten out lightly.

While cookies are warm, NOT hot, roll lightly in powder sugar and let cool on wire rack.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Here is a recipe from my second cookbook, “To Dad With Love”

Oh how my Finnish father loved this recipe. My Mother always made this on Christmas Eve.


Sponge cake (buy one)
2/3 C medium sherry
1 large pkg. (5-1/2 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
2-1/2 C milk
1 C light cream
1 qt. fresh or frozen whole strawberries, sliced or raspberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 Tbsp Confectioners sugar
1/3 tsp. sherry flavor

Cut cake into small pieces (about 36). Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sherry, let stand 15 minutes.

Prepare pudding according to package directions, using milk and light cream. Let stand 5 minutes. Arrange a layer of cake pieces in bottom of 2-1/2 or 3 quart serving bowl. Top with 1/3 of the sliced strawberries. Spread about 1-1/3 cup pudding over strawberries. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the almonds. Make two more complete layers.

Refrigerate two hours or until thoroughly chilled. Whip up the cream, sugar and sherry flavor and use to garnish along with strawberries or raspberries.

Oh how my Finnish father loved this recipe. My Mother always made this on Christmas Eve.

Serves 12

Here’s a little fun for you to check out!

Iron Range cookbook author Mona Abel joins Heidi and John on the Thursday Morning Show to talk about her new cookbook “Let’s Party”.  Mona tells us about her love for making and eating pasties, when to enjoy cocktail hour, she shares some new recipes and old favorites and most importantly answers the question of gravy or no gravy with pasties.
91.7 KAXE/90.5 KBXE Morning Show Strong Women

We all need to stay positive and keep our minds free from malice and hostile thoughts. Keep calm and peaceful and we will get through this together.

My favorite date in December is the 21st… the days start getting longer.  Bravo! Please stay safe and healthy and have a great Christmas season. Don’t forget to give to others that are less fortunate. 

Don’t forget to purchase my cookbook for your Christmas gifts. Only $29.50 which includes tax and shipping!

Please share one of your favorite recipes with us! Please leave a brief message below in the comments area. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling – through your masks!

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer

Mona’s, August 2020 Food for Thought!

Hello friends. My August blog is out. Enjoy Rita Charters famous Italian bread, Anita Raushel’s two easy recipes and my peach bread pudding and mango mango punch. Yum! 

Hope you enjoy these recipes and share this post! Sharing is caring!

I couldn’t resist ; )

To Purchase my Cookbook
Now for some serious bread making!

Rita Charters famous Italian bread

3 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Add water and stir, until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover and let rise for 12-18 hours. ( I’ve let it rise for less time, but it does need at least 4 hours.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a covered Dutch oven in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.  

Flour the dough and shape into a soft ball. Place it in the heated Dutch oven, and bake it – covered –  for 30 minutes.  

Remove the cover and bake for 15 more minutes.

No need to grease the Dutch oven before baking.  This is best when served fresh/warm with good olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper, and a freshly-grated Italian cheese of your choice.  Ok….butter works, too!  Also, try it toasted! Yum.

Best served the same day. So crusty, use a good serrated knife.  If put in zip lock, it won’t be crusty the next day but great for toasting, using for crostini’s or cut into small squares and toasted for croutons. Use a very heavy Dutch oven with cover. 

To Purchase my Cookbook

Another fantastic recipe for y’all!

Peach Bread Pudding

Spray a 7 x 11” glass baking dish and beat 3 eggs and add 3/4 c of cream or half and half. I cut up three large Sunrise Bakery croissants (they are the best)and soak in mixture for at least ten minutes.

In a fry pan place three peaches or nectars cut up and add half of a stick of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Simmer until nectars are soft. Add to top of bread mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Great for breakfast and lunch or middle of the night!

One more scrumptious thirst quenching recipe
Mango Mango Punch 

One whole bottle of mango rum (great looking bottle), one large bottle of mango nectar and some orange flavored water. Yum!

A fun little tidbit for you!

Drum roll please!
Anita Raushel’s Easy Two Ingredient Donuts

1 cup self rising flour
1 cup of Greek yogurt (it can be full fat or nonfat, but you want a brand that is a thick strained yogurt) 

In a large bowl stir together the flour and yogurt until combined. It will be sticky and crumbly. 

Kneed it on a floured board.

Heat oil to 350 put dough in a storage bag and snip the corner. Pipe into hot oil till golden brown.
Now cover them with whatever you want!
Cinnamon sugar
Powdered sugar
Chocolate glaze 

PS this dough also makes a good bagel or pretzel 

One last scrumptious recipe for the road!
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies by Anita Raushel

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350′

Stir ingredients together 

roll into 1″ ball

Place on ungreased cookie sheet

Use a fork press down in one direction then the other

Bake 12 min 

Allow to cool on cookie sheet a couple mn before transferring to wire rack to cool

Sprinkle with with extra sugar if you want 

Hope you enjoy these recipes and share this post! Sharing is caring!

To Purchase my Cookbook

Please send me your favorites. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling!

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer

Mona’s, October Food for Thought

Well, here I sit at my lap top eating Dot’s and cream cheese (we need more protein in October) and thinking of the change of seasons. I am not a happy person. Some of you run around jumping in the air hollering “Yay, fall is here, crisp air and beautiful leaves”. Not me, I have my finger in the near empty, cream cheese container scooping it out. Stop it, I think…

Studies show our bodies change with the change of every season. Think pounds and inactivity – so lets change that into a positive. Give me suggestions!

LOBSTER MUSHROOMS… My traveling buddies came for the weekend in September and I mentioned something about lobster rolls on FB and friend Rick Christenson came over with these huge lobster mushrooms. I had never heard of them. They look like coral from the sea. We scrubbed them with toothbrushes and water, cut off black parts and cut into smaller pieces. Also, took out the slugs (ugh).
Lobster Mushrooms with Linda John, Eau Claire

Take a pan with lots of butter and minced garlic to taste, cook slowly for about 15 minutes. Add more butter and put in oven at 350 degrees. Add salt and pepper. They were excellent but I thought I was eating wonderful mushrooms with lots of butter.

To make Maine Lobster Rolls: The steamed lobster meat is cooled and lightly dressed with mayonnaise. The lobster salad is served chilled, piled into a grilled hotdog bun. Some spread mayo on grilled bun.

Connecticut Lobster Rolls are served warm. The lobster meat is dressed with drawn butter and mounded into a similarly prepared bun.

Anyone running to the store for lobster and hot dog buns? See….season change?

I had a soiree in September and did the Mini Beef Wellington on Pg 8 of “Let’s Party”

What a hit! No wonder – Filet Mignon’s?

Also, try cousin Diana Rouse’s Brie Kisses on Pg 26.

The Jason Show September 2019 – Jason WANTS Mona on the Show!
The Jason Show - Mona's Cookbook
The Jason Show – Mona’s Cookbook

Until next month keep smiling!

Mona’s, September, Food for Thought

I will be doing a blog the beginning of each month with recipes and crazy true stories. Also, I will be featuring local artists, writers, crafters, etc… There is a plethora of creative people in our area (Iron Range).

Hey Foodies!

I will be doing a blog the beginning of each month with recipes and crazy true stories. Also, I will be featuring local artists, writers, crafters, etc… There is a plethora of creative people in our area (Iron Range).

My first book signing at Riverside, they made two appetizers for me. 

The asparagus canapes (in book) and spinach balls (not in book).  This was a very popular recipe in the 70’s and 80’s before chipolte on a dried fig.  

Spinach Balls:

2-10 oz pkg frozen spinach, cooked and well drained
or fresh spinach in food processor
2 c. stuffing mix
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
6 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. butter, softened

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. 

Roll into balls the size of walnuts.
Before serving, place on cooking sheet still frozen.
Bake 10 min. at 350 degrees.

A big thank you to Riverside for putting out a great Grand Book Signing for me.  The place was packed. 

Also, thank you to Jeff Dougherty of Express Print for his expertise with the printing of my cookbooks. 

Mister Rogers did not adequately prepare me for the people in my neighborhood.-

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer

Mona’s Cookbooks / Great Reviews!

Mona's Cookbooks and the "Recipe Diva", Mona; are getting great reviews!

Visit Mona on Facebook!
Kudos to the “Recipe Diva” Mona for all her hard work!

This cookbook is not your ordinary cookbook. “Let’s Party” is filled with stories about Mona’s experiences, friendships and shenanigans! It is a MUST READ, or yah, and the recipes are mouth watering yumminess!
Follow Mona and her shenanigans on facebook!
Cookbook Includes Shipping & Tax
Sign Book To?

Cookbooks are $25 each (includes tax) plus $4.50 shipping.
One dollar ($1) from the sale of each book will go toward a scholarship for single women attending the Hibbing Community College. Purchase Now.

If you prefer to order thru “snail mail”, please send a check or money ($29.50) order to:

Mayor Mona Meittunen Abel
13039 Memory Lane
Side Lake, MN 55781

Please include a note of how you would like me to sign the book. Of course, I’ll need your mailing address.