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Tuna Steaks


Here's a delicious way to cook tuna. Even my family--who tend to turn up there noses at tuna enjoyed this dish. 

4 - 5 oz tuna steaks, 1-inch thick
Olive Oil
2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pat tuna with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Brush steaks with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet (cast iron works great) on medium-high heat. Add steaks to pan and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes, brushing with more oil before turning. Adjust the heat as needed, if the skillet gets too hot. Steaks should be opaque and slightly pink in the center. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice before serving. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Flour Tortillas


Our middle daughter loved making flour tortillas when she was in 4-H. In fact, it was the first bread-making recipe that she entered at the fair. Here's a recipe you can make for your family that will rival store-bought flour tortillas . . . with just a little effort.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup hot water

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add shortening and cut in until mixture is crumbly. Stir in hot water in two parts, mixing well after each. Lightly knead on floured surface, 20-30 times. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Divide into 12 pieces, forming each into a ball. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. On floured surface, roll out balls of dough very thin to form a 9" circle. Heat a cast iron griddle to medium-high heat. (Test temperature by sprinkling water on griddle. If it sizzles, it's ready.) Cook tortillas on each side for 30 seconds, tamping down air bubbles as needed. Remove from griddle when brown spots appear and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately in your favorite Mexican recipe. May store in seal-tight container. Makes 12 tortillas. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Laura V Hilton's Amish Baked Oatmeal

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. 

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. Learn more about Laura and her books HERE.

Laura's Latest Book Release: The Amish Wanderer

Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in Jamesport, Missouri, before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to recognize Silas. He’s left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas.

Silas’ family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He’s lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become Englisch? Buy the book HERE.


Laura's Recipe for Amish Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was my Amish grandmother’s. She never measured, using a pinch of this and a pinch of that, so I played with it to get approximate measurements. It tastes like an oatmeal cookie. It stores well in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave and served with milk. This has to sit overnight, so plan accordingly. It is well worth the wait, however! Makes s
ix servings.

2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk 
1⁄3 cup butter, melted
3 cups oatmeal (regular or quick) 

Grease 1 1/2 quart baking dish and drop in eggs and beat well. Add brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon, and salt. Mix well, no lumps. Whisk in milk and butter, then add oats. Stir well, and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 min, or until set in the middle. Serve hot with warm milk poured over.

(I like to sprinkle with fruit – usually bananas and walnuts – but other fruit works well too.)

Old-Fashioned Lemon Pudding Cake


This is a recipe I made as a girl. Enjoy!

3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
Dash salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups milk

In mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour and salt. Stir in melted butter, lemon peel and juice. In glass measuring cup combine 3 egg yolks and milk. Add to lemon mixture and mix well. In another mixing bowl, beat remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into lemon batter. Pour into ungreased cake pan. Place pan in larger pan on oven rack. Pour hot water into larger pan until it is about 1 inch deep. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cake should spring back when touched and will have a creamy lemon pudding beneath the cake. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Vegetable Beef Soup


Here's a family favorite at our house every fall and winter. We hope you'll enjoy it too.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
4-5 quarts water, divided
3 beef bouillon cubes
3 large carrots, peeled, and diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled, and diced
1 cup frozen peas
15 oz can diced tomatoes

In large Dutch oven, sear beef in hot oil 2-3 minutes on both sides until brown. Add onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, onion salt, pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, and bay leaves, along with 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender, adding water as necessary. Remove meat and allow to cool. Dice meat into bite size pieces.

Add remaining water along with beef bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, and beef. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve with saltine crackers. Serves 10-12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Homemade Pasta

This past Christmas my husband gave me a KitchenAid Pasta Machine and I was so excited to use it. I studied lots of recipes both online and in books and came up with the following--although most recipes varied very little. After reading lots of Amazon reviews, I decided to split the flour using 1/2 Italian 00 and 1/2 Semolina--which is a high-protein durum wheat. The three brands I tried for the Semolina flour were Caputo Semola, Bob's Red Mill Semolina, and King Arthur Semolina Flour.
                                                       
1 cup Italian 00 flour
1 cup Semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
water, if needed

In a large stainless steel bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using a fork or your fingers, eventually bringing the ingredients together to form a firm dough. You may need to add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead the dough until it's smooth, 5-6 minutes. This will require serious effort when kneading--not your typical bread kneading you may be used to. Try to refrain from adding extra flour when kneading as this will give your pasta a floury taste. Dribble a little olive oil over the dough and place in a plastic bag. Allow to rest for 30-60 minutes. 

Divide the pasta in thirds, returning the extra dough to the bag until ready to use. Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin to match the size of your pasta roller. Feed the dough through the machine, using the first setting of your machine (I use a KitchenAid Pasta Roller and mine is 2). Pass the pasta through once, and then fold it into thirds and pass it through again. After that, continue feeding the pasta sheet through the machine at each level (3, 4, 5...) until you reach the desired thickness. (When I made Fettuccini, I rolled it out to #6 as I thought 5 was a bit too thick. For Spaghetti, I rolled it to a 5.) 


Once you have the pasta dough to the desired thickness, feed the sheet through the cutter attachment, catching the pasta as it comes out the other side. 


Drape finished pasta on a drying rack or form into little nests on a floured surface to dry if desired. Repeat with the other balls of dough. At this point, the pasta is ready to cook, or you may continue allowing it to dry. (I like to dry my pasta for 2-3 hours, but it's not necessary. If you plan to freeze or store the pasta in your pantry, allow it to dry for 24 hours before placing in a storage container or freezer bag. If you freeze the pasta, be sure to bring the frozen pasta to room temperature before you roll through the pasta machine.


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente or firm to the bite 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pasta. (Fresh homemade pasta doesn't require as much cooking time as store bought pasta.) Stir the pasta immediately after you add it to the water and then once more while it cooks to prevent it from sticking. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce--even just a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter. This recipes makes 4 servings. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mixed Berry Scones


Here's a delicious recipe for scones. We love them! 

8 oz. frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks salted butter
3/4 cup milk
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
Decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a small bowl, toss berries with powdered sugar. Place in freezer until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in slivers of butter until mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the middle of the bowl, and pour in milk and eggs, stirring to mix. Mix into flour mixture until just combined. Add berries and carefully fold in to combine. Turn dough onto floured counter and knead 3-4 times. Form into a circle about 1 inch thick. Form scones, by slicing in half, repeating in halves, until you have 8 scones. Place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm. Serves 8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Valentine Menu Ideas for Your Sweetheart

My husband and I will celebrate our 27th Anniversary on Valentine's Day this year. Rather than fight the crowds and long lines, we'll often stay home on our anniversary, and I'll make a special dinner. Here are a few ideas for a special dinner with your Valentine. 

Maybe you want to serve French Cuisine:





Or perhaps you have in mind Italian:





Maybe you want to treat your Valentine to a Steak Dinner:





Or perhaps you both prefer Seafood: 






Whatever you decide for your Valentine dinner, I hope it's one you'll cherish forever. May you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tamera Alexander's Cordina's Tennessee Teacakes

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, among them the Christy Award and RITA Award. Her deeply drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera and her husband reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tameras two USA Today bestselling Southern series. Learn more about Tamera and her books HERE.

Tamera's Latest Book Release - A Note Yet Unsung

 A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor—determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music—bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him. 

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse—and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head—he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music—his father, who is dying. 

As Tate's ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman's trust when you've robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history—but the hearts of men. Buy the book HERE. 

You may also enter your chance to win a free copy or other great prizes HERE.

Tamera's Recipe for Cordina’s Tennessee Teacakes

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix again. Add vanilla and flour and mix well. Roll thin (on floured board, cut with cookie or biscuit cutter. Bake at 350 for ten minutes. Dont overcook! Sprinkle with sugar while warm or ice with simple icing. Or, like a beignet, cover with powdered sugar while warm.

Note: If you want more cake-like cookies, roll thicker, about ½ inch in thickness. The thinner the dough, the more like crisp cookies theyll be.

Simple Icing
2 tablespoon softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk (can add another if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Few drops food coloring, if desired

Cut butter into confectioners sugar. Add milk and stir until lumps are gone. Add one teaspoon of vanilla and a few drops of food coloring, stir until combined. Spoon onto cookies or tea cakes and spread with back of spoon. Top with sprinkles while still wet, if desired. Let dry before stacking.

Broccoli Ham Quiche


Here's a delicious recipe when you want something special for a brunch or light evening meal. Enjoy! 

Crust:
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup water

Filling:
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped frozen broccoli, thawed

To make pastry dough, combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with fork until mixture resembles crumbs. Add water in two parts, until dough comes away from the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to fit a 9-in deep-dish pie plate; transfer to pie plate. Trim and flute edges. 

In small bowl, toss cheese with flour. Set aside. In small skillet melt butter and saute red pepper and onion until tender. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Stir in cooked red pepper and onion, ham, broccoli, and cheese. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 425 degrees on bottom rack of oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 30-40 minutes until egg has set. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.