As soggy, cold weather settles in central Minnesota, the harvest comes to a halt, and it is time to take shelter in the kitchen. The cold temperatures push me to turn on the furnace, but I resist and turn on the oven instead. Nothing warms you up faster than the smell of supper ready to eat when you walk in the door at night or fresh baked goodies. When I married Mark, I knew I was marrying the cows too when I said I do. What I did not realize was that I was also saying I do to cooking. Over 30 years, I have collected recipes from newspapers, magazines and now the internet. I have had the dentist receptionist copy off recipes I found while waiting for appointments and did not have anything to jot it down on. I have a whole cupboard filled with cookbooks, clippings and back issues of magazines. Some women throw open the doors to their closets and wonder what they will wear today. I pull open the cupboard and wonder what I will cook today. I have more options in my cooking cupboard than I do in my closet. Here are a few recipes I discovered digging through my options that I think I will be whipping up over the next few days. Enjoy.

Ravioli and sausage lasagna, Woman’s Day
12 ounces Italian sausages
7 ounces roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
26 ounces marinara sauce
30 ounces frozen large square cheese ravioli, thawed
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
    Heat oven to 375 degrees. You will need a shallow 2-quart baking dish. In a skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage breaking up chunks with a spoon, about five minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from heat; stir in roasted red peppers and basil. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in baking dish. Top with a layer of 12 ravioli, the sausage mixture, then the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 cup sauce, remaining ravioli and remaining sauce. Cover with foil. Bake for one hour or until ravioli are tender when pierced. Uncover, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake five minutes longer until cheese is barely golden. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. You may want to put an old cookie sheet on a lower rack when baking to catch any drips.

Root beer BBQ pulled pork, The Comfort of Cooking
2 pounds pork tenderloin (pork shoulder or butt can also be used)
12 ounces root beer
18 ounces barbecue sauce
    Place pork in a slow cooker and pour root beer over meat. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until pork shreds easily with a fork. Once cooked, drain and discard liquid. Shred pork and place back into the slow cooker. Toss with barbecue sauce and serve immediately or keep warm in slow cooker until ready to serve. Makes eight servings.

Butterscotch banana cake, Country Kitchen
Melt 1 cup butterscotch chips in microwave.
Combine
1 box yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
2 medium mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
    Stir 1 cup of batter into melted chips. Spoon this batter/chip mix into a greased 10-cup bundt pan or round tube cake pan. Top with remaining cake mix batter. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Invert pan onto wire rack. Place 1/2 cup butterscotch chips into a heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave for 20 seconds. Knead until smooth. May need to put in microwave for a few more seconds to finish job. Cut tiny hole in corner of bag and squeeze to drizzle on cake.

Black forest brownies, Country Woman
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 cup baking cocoa
4 eggs, beaten
2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Icing:
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup confectioners’ sugar
6 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped nuts
    Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until smooth. Blend in eggs, sugar and extracts. Stir in flour mixture, cherries and nuts. Pour into a greased 9- by 13-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until brownies test done. For icing: blend butter, vanilla, sugar, cocoa and milk until smooth, spread over hot brownies. Sprinkle with nuts.