Welcome to our family recipe site.

This is the place to share recipes with each other. The original Hilltop Cafe Cookbook, published by Debi, was a gift to all our daughters, daughter-in-laws and nieces. This online edition will let us take advantage of modern technology to continue sharing our old favorites which may not have made it into the first edition and also allow us to share new recipes that we have. Just email your recipes to me to get them added to the site. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Philadelphia Quick Pasta Carbonara

shared by Jennifer H. (who saw it in the paper, tried it and shared it with me; she said it was "kid-friendly" and her children ate it)

1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 oz. (half of an 8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.
  2. Meanwhile, cook and stir bacon in large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.  Discard all but 2 T. of drippings from skillet.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to reserved drippings; cook on low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.
  4. Drain pasta; place in large bowl.  Add cream cheese sauce and bacon. Mix lightly. Serve.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

shared by Patty H. (I don't know how kids would like this but John and I thought it was delicious. I used chicken broth as the liquid and the combination of flavors was great.  We really enjoyed it.)

6 bone-in pork chops (loin or shoulder), cut 3/4 inch thick
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, sliced
2 to 3 apples, cored and sliced (about 3 cups)
1 cup chicken broth, beer, white wine, or cider

1.     Trim the chops of excess fat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
2.     Heat a 14-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat and then swirl in the olive oil. Lay in the pork chops and don't move them for a few minutes, to assure a good golden sear forms. Turn and brown well on the second side for a total of about 10 minutes. Transfer the chops to a warm plate. (I didn’t have a cast iron skillet so I just used my regular one)
3.     Swirl the butter into the pan. Add the onion and apples. Saute until the onion slices are lightly caramelized and the apples have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the liquid. Return chops to the pan.
4.     Cook until the pork is tender, about 15 more minutes (depending on the size of the chops), turning halfway through and covering the chops with the apple mixture.
5.     If the apple mixture needs a little thickening, transfer the chops to the warm plate again and simmer the mixture on high for a few minutes to reduce.
6.     Serve the chops over rice or mashed potatoes with a large spoonful of the apple-onion mixture over the top.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cheesy Ham and Grits Casserole

shared by Patty H. (This was a new recipe for me even though I have made "cheesy grits" before. It got a "thumbs-up" from the grandchildren and is one I will be cooking again. I followed the recipe exactly as listed below, although I wonder if a little garlic powder or dry mustard might add a little extra "zing."  I also used a mexican flavored shredded cheese. P.S.  I didn't mention the word "grits" to the kids. :)

3 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup corn grits
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
8 large eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups diced ham

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with butter or coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
2.      In a medium pot, mix milk and salt and bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, pour in grits, bring to a boil, and turn down heat. Continue stirring until grits begin to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
3.      In a large bowl, scramble eggs. Mix in cheese, ham, and grits. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
4.     Sprinkle lightly with parsley or cilantro. Serve warm.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations from the original recipe:

To prepare this casserole ahead of time, bake it, allow it to cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bring casserole to room temperature, cover it with foil, and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes to reheat.

You may also bake this casserole, cool, cover tightly, and then freeze it for up to 1 month. Defrost casserole overnight in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature, and then reheat it in the oven as indicated above (350°F for 15 minutes).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lime Coconut Chicken with Coconut Rice

shared by Patty H. (tried this new recipe today and it was very tasty)


Chicken Marinade Ingredients:
    2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4-6 depending on size)
    3 tablespoons oil
    zest and juice of 1 lime
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1½ teaspoons ground coriander
    2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    1 teaspoons salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons curry powder (didn't use because I didn't have any but tasted fine anyway)
    ½ cup canned coconut milk
    ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    fresh lime wedges, for garnish
Coconut Rice Ingredients:
    1 cup jasmine rice
    1 cup canned coconut milk, light or regular
    1 cup water
    ½ teaspoon salt

1.      In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together oil, zest of lime and lime juice, cumin, coriander, soy sauce, salt, sugar, curry powder and coconut milk. Place into a gallon sized bag with chicken and let marinade for at least 2 hours up to 6 hours.
2.      To make the coconut rice: Bring rice, water, coconut milk, and salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low continuing to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes and fluff with fork before serving.
3.      Grill the chicken on each side for about 6-7 minutes or until no longer pink and cooked throughout.(Note: I didn't grill the chicken.  I just cooked it on low in a skillet on top of the stove, turning it once.  It was very tender.)
4.      Pour the marinade sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5.      Pour the sauce over the chicken before serving and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Serve over coconut rice. (P.S. I also sprinkled a few cashews over the top just because I had them and like them. :)