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Sarah Sundin's Cashew Pepper Chicken

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novel Through Waters Deep was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups. Please visit her at

Sarah's Latest Book Release - Anchor in the Storm

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy—even if he is her brother’s best friend. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

In Anchor in the Storm, Lillian Avery is excited to move to Boston to start her new job. For this Midwestern girl, another appeal of the big city is better access to her culinary favorite—Chinese food. Since I share Lillian’s love of Asian cuisine, here’s a Sundin family favorite, Cashew Pepper Chicken. Purchase the book HERE. 

Sarah's (or Lillian’s) Cashew Pepper Chicken

¾ pound boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs
1 egg white
2 teaspoons cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
2-4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup green onions, sliced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, according to how much spice you like
1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sherry or chicken broth
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup cashews

Cut raw chicken into ½-inch chunks. In bowl, mix egg white, cornmeal, water, and salt. Stir in chopped chicken.

Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in large frying pan or wok on high heat. Stir-fry chicken for 1-2 minutes, until no pink remains. Remove from pan. If pan is dry, heat another 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Stir-fry peppers, onion, crushed red pepper, and ginger for 1 minute. Return chicken to pan, then add hoisin sauce, sherry, and sesame oil. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Serve with medium-grain rice, and top with cashews.

Frito Chili Pie

The first time I ever had Frito Chili Pie was at my grandmother's house. She liked to serve it in a casserole dish and it was one of her go-to recipes for small family gatherings. Here's my version of her recipe. Enjoy! 

2 pounds lean ground hamburger
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
15 oz. chili beans
10 oz. Frito corn chips
Shredded Colby Cheese, Sour Cream, and Salsa

In large skillet, brown hamburger on medium-high heat. Add green peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute until tender. Add chili powder, onion powder, cumin, soy sauce, and chili beans. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve over a layer of corn chips. Top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Serves 4-6.

Cherry Turnovers

 Here's a recipe I enjoy making for spring or summer picnics. They're easy to pack, and just the right size for an after-dinner treat. Enjoy!

Basic Pie Dough:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup water

21 oz. Cherry Pie Filling

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Add water in two parts until mixture forms a nice dough. Knead 3-4 times on floured surface. Pat into a ball and flatten.

Roll out on floured surface. Cut out circles using a 5" wide bowl. Place generous spoonful near center of each. Using finger, spread water around the rim of each. Fold dough over and crimp with fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. 

To make icing, in small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well. Drizzle each turnover with icing. Makes 12 turnovers. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mexican Dinner Ideas

Here are some of our favorite Mexican Dinner Recipe Ideas. 

See More Mexican Recipe Ideas HERE. 

Iced Caramel Macchiato

 Here's a delicious cold drink to make when you need a little caramel pick-me-up!

6 ounces brewed coffee (I like to make this ahead and store in refrigerator until needed)
6 ounces milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon caramel syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-10 ice cubes
caramel syrup for drizzling
Reddi whipped cream

In large container, stir together coffee, milk, sugar, caramel syrup, and vanilla. Drizzle caramel onto sides of two tall glasses. Add ice to each. Pour coffee into glasses and give each a stir. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with more caramel. Serves 2.

Guacamole Dip

Here is a yummy dip perfect for outdoor barbecues or for the next time you make Mexican food. Hope you enjoy it!

1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, chopped
2 medium avocados (ripe), peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (4 oz) can chopped medium green chilies, drained
 1 medium tomato, chopped

In medium bowl, mix first six ingredients and mash with potato masher or food processor. Blend in chopped tomatoes. May serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sherry Kyle's Spring Side Salad

Sherry Kyle is the author of books for tween girls, including a Gold Mom’s Choice Award winner, and new releases The Girl’s Guide to Life and Love, Lexi: Letters to God. She also writes novels for women set along the coast of California where she makes her home with her college sweetheart and their four children. When she’s not writing, Sherry spends her time reading, having coffee with friends, and decorating her beach home. You can visit her at

Sherry's Latest Book Release: Love, Lexi

What is a girl to do when her rival wants to nab the attention of the one boy she’s liked since he shared his peanut butter sandwich with her in the first grade? Love, Lexi follows seventh grader Alexis Dawn Cooper (Lexi) as she navigates middle school and being a middle child. But this is no ordinary middle-school novel. Love, Lexi is a unique combination of a fictional story combined with a devotional and journal to allow readers to watch Lexi learn to seek God first above all else, while writing their own letters to God. Love, Lexi draws young people into Lexi’s life as they contemplate their own place in God’s eyes. Purchase the book HERE. 

Sherry's Recipe for Spring Side Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce
1 avocado
½ cup red onion
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cup blueberries
½ cup pecans, chopped

Tear (or cut) the head of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Wash lettuce thoroughly. Chop avocado, red onion, and Granny Smith apple. Add washed blueberries and pecans. Toss.

Since my family likes different dressings, I don’t include it when serving. Personally, I like Marie’s Blue Cheese Vinaigrette. It’s the perfect blend of zest from the vinaigrette and tang of blue cheese.  Serves 6-8 people. 

Pan Seared Rib-Eye Steaks with Herbed Garlic Butter

Here's a delicious and easy recipe to try when you want a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth steak. My husband gave this 5 stars! Serve with Oven Baked Fries.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 boneless, thick rib-eye steaks
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons cracked pepper

Herbed Garlic Butter
4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil and butter in large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. You'll know when your skillet is hot enough when it begins to smoke! Dry steaks with a paper towel. Season each side of steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks in skillet until a dark crust forms, 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven for 5-10 minutes until steaks are cooked to desired tenderness. 

To make the Herbed Garlic Butter, in small bowl mix together butter, pepper, Italian seasonings, and garlic. Top each steak with a large dollop of garlic butter. Serves 2.

Wine Recommendation: Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013