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Pistachio Salad

Here's a recipe I grew up with as a girl and still enjoy today! Especially nice for family gatherings or church dinners. 

1 package instant pistachio pudding
11-oz crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 carton whipped topping
2-3 cups miniature marshmallows

In large bowl, mix together pistachio pudding and crushed pineapple. Add whipped topping and stir until all is combined. Add miniature marshmallows. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook

Cast-iron cooking is back in vogue! From America's most chic restaurants to the countless kitchens of avid home cooks, everyone is rediscovering the joy of cooking with classic cast iron. Cast-iron cooking has always been a kitchen favorite with its even heating, great heat retention and its flexibility to go outdoors and grill or cook over an open fire. According to Esquire magazine, cast-iron cookware "will enrich your eggs and burgers, it's impossible to break and it will last longer than you."

And now with The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, every cook will learn the simple, savory secrets of cast-iron cookery. From the kitchens of Lodge, America's leading manufacturer of cast iron cookware, this unique cookbook offers over 200 mouthwatering recipes. The delectable dishes range from breakfast specials to the secrets of great fried food, to soups and stews, biscuits and baked goods, fish, veggies and finally those sweet finales. And the book features favorite cast-iron cooking recipes by well-known cooks such as Bill and Cheryl Jamison, Nick Malgieri, and Allison Fishman Task. Special cooking lessons include cast-iron cooking basics and how to enjoy open-air cooking and grilling.

This special culinary delight features great cooking stories and intriguing vignettes on the history and legend and lore of cast iron cooking. Each unique recipe, culled from cooks across the country, is illustrated with four-color photography. Now available as an ebook. Buy the cookbook HERE.

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Here's a delicious recipe to try. It takes a little bit of time, and can be messy, but believe me, these cheese sticks rival any you'll eat at a restaurant. So good! 

2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
oil for frying
16 oz Mozzarella cheese sticks

In medium bowl, combine eggs and water, whisking until frothy. On a large plate, pour out the bread crumbs. On a second plate, stir in garlic salt, and seasoned salt with the flour and cornstarch. 

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Prepare cheese sticks in the following 5 steps:

1) Coat cheese sticks in flour mixture.
2) Dip in egg mixture to cover. 
3) Coat again in flour mixture, making sure cheese is covered completely.
4)  Dip once more in egg mixture.
5) Coat in bread crumbs, covering completely, and pressing in with fingers. (At this time, your fingers may get really messy. That's okay. Just rinse them off and continue on.)

Set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all cheese sticks. Place baking sheet in freezer for 20 minutes. Deep fry cheese sticks 2-3 at a time, cooking for 30-40 seconds until deep golden brown. (Remove if cheese starts to splatter in oil.) Serve warm with Mariana Sauce. Makes 12 sticks. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Here is a delicious recipe that is "oh-so-good" and "oh-so-easy."

1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1-16 oz. box linguine
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onion
2 lbs large shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring to boil a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. Add linguine and cook for 7-10 minutes. Drain and return linguine to pot. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside and keep warm.

In large skillet, melt butter with 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, being careful not to burn. Add the shrimp, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Add the cooked linguine to the shrimp mixture and toss to combine. Serves 4-6
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Donna Pyle's Down Home Texas Pancakes

A soul-stirring, engaging speaker, author, Bible teacher, and worship leader, Donna Pyle has a passion for studying and teaching God’s Word. Her clear, down-to-earth style encourages women of all ages to wholeheartedly love, serve, and live for Jesus Christ. Since launching Artesian Ministries in 2007, Donna has written over twenty Bible studies, two DVD Bible study series, two books, and enjoys the incredible privilege of traveling throughout the U.S. and internationally to speak and teach where the Lord opens doors. Donna writes regularly on her blog, Hydrated Living, as she seeks to find beauty in the quiet and sacred in the chaos, treasuring God's path in her life. A native, life-long Texan, Donna fuels the journey with the Word, coffee, chocolate, family, friends and worship. Learn more about Donna's writing HERE.

Donna's newest book release: Quenched

What quenches your thirst? Wealth or health? Career or activities? Or do these things still leave you with a certain level of dehydration? Quenched: Christ’s Living Water for a Thirsty Soul is for both new Christians and Christians going through spiritual dehydration. Donna has been both—new Christian and tired veteran Christian—so she writes from first-hand experience. Her “been-there-done-that” approach to affirmation and encouragement is welcomed by readers feeling confused or ashamed about living out their witness to Christ. She writes with honesty and humor, pointing readers to the Gospel message of forgiveness and salvation, and emphasizes that it is only Christ and His grace that quench the parched soul. Book features include a collection of devotions, prayers, Scripture readings, Psalms, and hymns;clear connection to daily life as Christians; and encouragement and affirmation for new Christians and for Christians going through a time of spiritual dehydration. Jesus shows us the path to streams of living water that will quench our soul’s thirst. He doesn’t care where you’ve been. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He cares about you. And He's waiting for you at the well. Buy Donna's Book HERE. 

Donna's Recipe for Down Home Texas Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients in bowl and set aside. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring the whole time. Grease griddle and heat to 325. Makes 10 very fluffy, yummy pancakes! Serve hot with butter, syrup and any other breakfast side of your choice! Add walnuts and bananas for scrumptious banana nut pancakes.

White Queso Dip

Every now and then, I like to change up my Mexican meals by serving a white cheese dip in place of our common "Velvetta" dip. 

1 1/2 pound white American cheese, 1" chunks
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup green chilies
1/4 box frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

In large microwavable bowl, combine cheese, chilies, spinach, and half-and-half cream. Heat for 2 minutes on high. Stir, and continue to heat for 1 minute at a time until melted. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Serves 12-16. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Country Pancakes

Here's a recipe I make almost every Sunday morning for our family. My husband especially enjoys them! 

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla, stirring gently until combined. Add melted butter. Cook on greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup. Enjoy! Makes 6-8 pancakes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Back to School Tea Party

My daughters and I enjoy a good tea party, and while not as elaborate as my Christmas Teas, I have been known to throw a Back-to-School Tea Party for them. I'd either surprise them when they get off the bus, or I'd send cute invitations asking them to invite a special friend, even if it's a doll or teddy bear. Here are a few tea party menu ideas if you get the itch for a party.