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Christina Miller's Non-Alcoholic Mint Juleps

Christina Miller has always lived in the past. Her passion for history began with her grandmother’s stories of 1920s rural southern Indiana. When Christina began to write fiction, she believed God was calling her to write what she knew: history. 

Bethany College of Missions graduate, pastor’s wife, and worship leader, she lives on the family’s farm with her husband of twenty-eight years and Sugar, their talking dog. Follow Christina on Facebook.


Christina's Latest Book Release - An Inconvenient Marriage


Widowed reverend Samuel Montgomery is excited to start over with his daughter in Natchez, Mississippi—until he learns he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t marry. His solution: a marriage in name only to heiress Clarissa Adams, who needs a husband to win her inheritance. Though the beautiful music teacher will make a good wife, Samuel doubts he can ever truly capture her heart.

Marriage satisfies only the first provision of Clarissa’s grandfather’s will, which pits her against her cousin. And fulfilling the remaining stipulations won’t be easy between caring for Samuel’s rebellious daughter and managing an orphanage. But Samuel seems determined to stand by her side…and maybe even prove their marriage could be more than just convenient. Buy the book HERE.



Christina's Non-Alcoholic Mint Juleps

When my husband and I went to Natchez so I could research my book An Inconvenient Marriage, we stayed at Monmouth, an antebellum mansion that is now a historic inn as well as the home of my characters Clarissa Adams and her grandmother. There we discovered the lovely Natchez tradition of serving early evening refreshments to inn guests. Roosevelt Owens is famous for his mint julep recipe, but since we don’t drink alcohol, we asked him for a non-alcoholic version of his famed drink. We enjoyed them so much, I decided Clarissa should serve them at her wedding reception in my book. This delightful drink is as refreshing served from a southern Indiana back porch as it is on a Natchez gallery.

1/3 large saucepan full of mint leaves
4 cups sugar
1/3 cup Torani amaretto flavoring (this is non-alcoholic)
1 cup Sprite
1 cup club soda
1/3 cup Torani Crème de Menthe flavoring (this is non-alcoholic)
1 teaspoon honey

Fill saucepan with water and add all other ingredients. Boil 20 minutes, cool and serve over crushed ice, preferably in a silver julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Fried Cheese Curds


Warning: this delicious recipe may cause you to overeat and indulge. So yummy!

16 oz. cheese curds
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1 quart canola or peanut oil for frying

Heat oil in large dutch oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, flour, baking soda, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add egg and mix until smooth. Stir in cheese curds, several at a time to coat. Fry a few at a time for 15-20 seconds until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Serve while hot. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Slow-Cooked Shredded Pork Loin

Here's a great recipe to make in your crock pot. Allow to cook all day and serve with Coleslaw, potatoes, or as a barbecued sandwich.

4-5 pounds pork loin roast
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Sear pork loin evenly on all sides for 4-6 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms. Transfer to crock pot. Add beef broth. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours until pork is tender and juicy and shreds easily. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Amberly Kristen Clowe's Crock Pot Taco Chili


Amberly Kristen Clowe loves to make children smile with stories, and if they laugh, even better. She is at home with a cup of coffee and a pastry. Amberly lives in Houston with her family, who just so happens to share her same zest for life. Amberly teaches both elementary and middle school students, and she hopes to learn at least one zany thing every day. Visit Amberly's Website HERE.

Amberly's Latest Book Release: Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash
 
Third-grader Teeny Sweeney has been one-upped by seemingly perfect Amanda Mayweather too many times. When their teacher assigns a project to create a business plan, Teeny knows she’s destined for success. After all, with two entrepreneurs as parents, business sense is in her blood! The best laid plans, though, often go awry. Teeny will have to learn that God’s plan is one she can always trust, and that with prayer it is possible to love everyone—even Amanda Mayweather. With Teeny, young readers will learn that even when things don’t seem to work out, you can always trust God’s plan. Buy the book HERE.

Amberly's Recipe for Crock Pot Taco Chili

1 pound of ground beef
1 15 oz jar of salsa
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of red beans
1 medium yellow onion
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Diced jalapenos
Tortilla Chips



Brown ground beef and chopped onion. Place in crock pot. Add salsa, corn, and beans. Cook on low for four hours. Spoon into bowls. Top with cheese and toppings of your choice. I love to add spice with diced jalapenos. You can eat as a chili, or dip with tortilla chips. This is perfect on a cold day. It’s also so easy for those busy weekdays. 

Slow-Cooked Tortilla Chicken Soup


Here's a spicy chicken soup perfect for a large gathering or church potluck.

4 chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 - 15 oz. pinto beans
15 oz. black beans
15 oz. cream-style corn
14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. crushed tomatoes
4 oz. chopped green chilies
2 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and ground black pepper

In a large slow-cooker, layer chicken, onion, peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes, and chilies. In medium bowl, mix together chicken stock, garlic, ranch dressing mix, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Pour over layered ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, and corn tortillas. Serves 8-10.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Italian Sausage and Rigatoni

Here's another easy recipe to enjoy. Serve with French Bread or Soft Bread Sticks.

8 oz. rigatoni
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups red, yellow and green peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
16 oz. Italian sausage, sliced
32 oz. spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

In large saucepan, boil 3 quarts water with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook rigatoni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In large skillet, melt butter. Saute peppers, onions, and garlic until tender. Place vegetables in bowl and set aside. Brown Italian sausage in skillet until both sides are cooked. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce, along with the cooked vegetables and rigatoni. Stir well to coat. Top with fresh basil. Makes 4-6 servings.

Wine Recommendation: Ghost Pine's Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

DIY Wooden Pot Rack

This past Christmas my husband gifted me with an intro set of Mauviel M'heritage 250c Copper Pans (thankfully on sale.) They are so pretty and fantastic to use...but I had no place to store them and I wasn't about to place those beautiful pans in a cabinet!

So I searched online for a pot hanger and found one that I really liked on Amazon HERE, but unfortunately, its dimensions didn't work for our kitchen. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully industrious husband, who volunteered to make a similar rack of our own.

We ordered the swivel hooks HERE, and the rest of the items came from a local hardware store, and our uncle's wood stash. I believe the wood he used is from a Kentucky Coffeetree. My husband formed and welded his own brackets and fashioned the rest after the one we found online.

It turned out beautiful!

Broccoli Salad


Here's a delicious salad to serve at your next family gathering. So good! 

1 head broccoli, washed and trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
6-8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup raisins
8 oz. cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, onion, raisins and cheese. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, wine vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Stir well. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss gently to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cabbage Bacon Salad

Here's a recipe I really enjoyed. Crunchy, sweet, with the added saltiness of smoked bacon. Yum!

1 small head cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
6 bacon strips, fried and crumbled
1 cup salad dressing
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar

In large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, green pepper, onion, and fried bacon. Set aside. In glass measuring cup, combine salad dressing, sugar, and vinegar. Mix until smooth. Pour dressing over salad and toss. 8-10 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

April Smith's Watermelon Salsa

April grew up spending summers working on her best friend’s family watermelon farm, and was one of those watermelon queens she writes about. She has a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching, and when she’s not writing, April finds herself in front of the classroom teaching.

April's Latest Book Release: Loving Grace

Grace Summer lands herself in a melon load of trouble when she becomes torn between the boy of her dreams and the boy almost next door. As the newly crowned watermelon queen, she is thrust into the spot light, meets the dreamy Warren Hartley, and continues trying to get over an accident that rocked her world. Mix in working with Beau Baron who Grace happens to fight with just about as much as breathing and the metaphorical sparks fly.

Like most things in life, Grace must learn to take the good with the bad. While the good is the handsome and fun Warren Hartley, the bad is Beau Baron—or at least being around his annoying and rude self way more than she would like. For Beau, Grace is nothing more than aggravating and an irritating reminder from the night of the accident. Tensions soar as Grace and Beau fight to love themselves and maybe, just maybe, each other.



April's Watermelon Salsa Recipe

4 cups of seedless watermelon (diced)
1 medium yellow pepper (diced)
½ cup fresh cilantro (diced)
½ red onion (diced)
Lime juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
Dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Grab the tortilla chips of your choice and enjoy!