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Homemade White Bread

Here's a recipe I used to make (back before my sourdough days) that is really good. I still enjoy making it from time-to-time. Enjoy! 

5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs 

Using large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt just till butter starts to melt (115-120 degrees). Add to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix until combined. Stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic for 5-7 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. 

Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Shape into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise till double, about 50-60 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, if needed to keep tops from browning too quickly. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Soft Breadsticks

Here is a quick and easy recipe for delicious breadsticks to serve with just about any Italian dish, such as Three Cheese Chicken Penne or Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage and Peppers. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary

In large bowl, combine water, yeast, butter, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour. Mix well to combine. Add enough remaining flour until mixture sticks together and forms a ball. Knead by hand on floured surface until smooth and soft, 5-6 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 20 pieces and roll each into a 7-8" log. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack.

In small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic salt, and crushed rosemary. Brush over hot breadsticks. Serve warm. Makes 20 breadsticks.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lena Nelson Dooley's Christmas Cookie

Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 875,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has been on the ECPA and CBA Bestseller lists, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and several Amazon Bestseller lists as well as a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011. 
Her awards include: Will Rogers Medallion Awards, the Selah Award, Reader’s Choice book award, a Reader’s Choice blog award. She has finaled in the Can Golden Scroll Award, and finaled three times in for the Carol Award.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She hosts “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer blog radio network.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. Visit her Website at:

Lena's latest book release: A Heart's Gift

Because of an earlier betrayal, Franklin vows never to open his heart to another woman. But he desires an heir. When Lorinda is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she will never allow a man to control her again. But how can she provide for her infant son? Marriage seems like the perfect arrangement until two people from Franklin's past endanger Lorinda. How can he save her? And how will this affect the way they feel about each other? Buy the book HERE. 
Lena's Recipe for Christmas Cookie

1 bag Angel Flake coconut
1 - 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (can use any baking chips--white, milk chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (could use other nuts, if preferred)
1 can Eagle brand milk

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Drop by tablespoon onto parchment paper. I use the back of the spoon to slightly flatten so each cookie will be the same thickness. Bake 10 minutes. Check to see if the coconut has barely started to turn golden brown. If not cook a little more, but watch closely. These will darken very fast. Cool on the parchment paper. Peel off the paper and store in sealed container with waxed paper between layers.

Potluck Pulled Pork Enchilada Casserole

Here's a recipe to make for your next large potluck dinner. Serve with Mexican Sour Cream Rice.

Slow-Cooked Pork
4 pounds Boston Butt Pork Roast
1 cube beef bouillon
1 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Enchilada Sauce:
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. can tomato paste
15.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

30 small corn tortillas
8 oz. Queso Blanco cheese spread, cut into small pieces
10 oz. grated Colby Jack cheese

In a large skillet, brown pork roast in 1-2 tablespoons hot oil. Sear on both sides to capture juices. Transfer to a large crock pot. Add boiling water and beef bouillon cube. Stir to dissolve. Add garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low until pork is tender and falls apart at the touch. Shred pork to bite-size pieces and mix well with juices.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon 1/3 cup enchilada sauce to bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Spread to coat the bottom of the dish. Place 5 tortillas on top of the sauce, overlapping as needed to the edges of the pan. Ladle an additional 1/3 cup sauce over the tortillas. Add 1/4 of drained pork. Sprinkle with 2 oz. cheese chunks. Repeat layers once more. For the third layer, add another 5 tortillas, Spread with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, making sure to cover all of the tortillas. Sprinkle with 5 oz of Colby Jack cheese.

Repeat for the second pan of enchiladas. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm. Serves 16-20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ham and Beans

Here's a yummy recipe to make for your family tonight! Serve with Skillet Cornbread.

8 cups water
8 oz. northern beans
8 oz. pinto beans
2 cups cubed ham
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In large pot, bring water and beans to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Stir in ham, onion, onion powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender about 2 hours. Add water as necessary.  Serves 6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chinese New Year

We love Chinese food and have been known to go all out and make a huge Chinese feast in our home for family and friends. Here are some ideas for you to do the same! 

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Rolls

Fried Rice

Beef Teriyaki with Vegetables

Chinese Barbecued Pork

Sesame Chicken

Pork Lo Mein

I don't yet have a Chinese Fortune Cookie Recipe, but here is a yummy Cherry Almond Cake recipe that works to top off the meal!

See more Asian menu ideas HERE.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Here's another Biscotti recipe we love to eat. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or coffee! 

6 tablespoons salted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
Decorating Sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking liner. In medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in to egg mixture. Dough will be sticky. Add almonds and cranberries. Scoop the dough onto the lined baking sheet and pat it into a flattened log about 13 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about 3/4" thick. Smooth out the top and sides using a wet spatula. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven. Spray with water, spritzing the sides and top. This will soften the crust just enough to make slicing easier. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Wait five minutes, then cut crosswise with a sharp knife, 1/2" slices. Place cookie slices on baking sheet standing up on edge. Bake for another 30-35 minutes, until Biscotti feel very dry and are golden around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

New Year's Eve Recipe Ideas

Whether you entertain lots of friends or just a few loved ones, here are some recipe ideas for your New Year's Eve celebration. 

Have a Happy New Year! May God bless you in the New Year!

Twelve Days of Christmas Tea Party

Last year, my daughters and I hosted a Twelve Days of Christmas Tea Party at my grandma's house. 

Our youngest daughter took care of the decorations,

while I handled the menu. 

We found these gorgeous Victorian Graphic 45 Twelve Days of Christmas scrap booking pads online that we based our decorations on. 

You can find the pads HERE, or they can also be found on Ebay. 

Below are some of the special foods that I made, including the Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches and Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches pictured above.

Parmesan Herb Cheese Spread Canapes and Peppermint Meringues.

For games, we had a scavenger hunt, played Christmas Bingo, and sang the Twelve Days of Christmas, with solos for each day. It was lots of fun. See more Tea Party ideas HERE. 

Crock Pot Ham and Eggs

Here's a recipe I made when I had some leftover ham at Christmas. Delicious and so easy! 

3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups cubed ham
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
10 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Spray large crock pot with cooking spray. Place hash browns on the bottom. Then layer the ham and cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, onion, mustard, and black pepper until well mixed. Pour over ham and cheese. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until eggs are set. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.