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Russian Tea Cakes

This is a recipe I like to make during the holidays or for special tea parties.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raspberry/apricot preserves
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Blend in flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Roll tablespoons of dough into 1 inch balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Press down center with thumb or spoon. Fill center with a teaspoon of preserves. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Martha Roger's Mammy's Southern Pecan Pie

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015. 

Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Visit Martha online HERE. 

Martha's Latest Book Releasle: Christmas at Stoney Creek

News reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man, Joe, and brings him home to Stoney Creek, a town that accepts people for who they are and not how they appear. Tom’s journalistic instincts suggest there’s more to the old man than appearances tell. A carpenter by trade, Joe works at odd jobs around town and makes many new friends including Faith Delmont, a girl who grew up with Tom. 

Contradictions in the man’s manners and way of speaking whet Tom’s nose for news and raises even more questions. As he and Faith seek the truth, they learn that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph and true love comes to those who seek it. Buy the book HERE

Martha's Mammy’s Southern Pecan Pie

1 cup brown sugar, packed                               
1 tablespoon flour                                                  
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Karo (light or dark)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter                                                           
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans (halves or chopped)

Mix sugar and flour, blend in softened butter. Add eggs and syrup, beat well. Add butter, vanilla, and pecans and mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream or just plain. Good either way.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Here's an easy recipe to make when you want a little something different for your meal. Loaded with vitamin C! 

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup salted butter
1/4 cup half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon sea sat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In large saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain. 
Add butter and cream to potatoes and mash with a hand masher. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of butter. Serves 4-6. 

Molasses Crinkles

Here's an old recipe we enjoy when we want something with a little spice. Baking these will make your kitchen smell wonderful.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

In medium mixing bowl, cream together shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and molasses and mix well. In small bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture and beat well. Roll into balls the size of large walnuts. Dip tops in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake until set but not hard 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Tanya Eavenson's Cinnamon Pecans

Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling author who enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website 

Tanya's Latest Book Release: RESTORED

Sometimes love arrives when you least expect it.

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family's grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future. But how can there be a future when he's only come to kiss her and says good-bye. Buy the book HERE. 

Tanya's Cinnamon Pecans

·       1 cup pecans
·       ¼ cup white sugar
·       1 teaspoon cinnamon
·       ¼ teaspoon of water
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       Place cinnamon, sugar, and water in a medium-sized skillet. Mix, allowing the mixture to heat to a light boil. Add pecans and stir to ensure full coverage. Remove from heat and continue to stir. As the mixture begins to cool in the pan, add vanilla extract and continue to stir. Allow to cool.

Be warned! The hardest part of this recipe is allowing the pecans to cool prior to eating. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Streusel Topping

Here's a yummy way to make pumpkin pie when you want something a little different.

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup cold water

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 oz. can evaporated milk

Ginger Streusel Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped Glazed Walnuts (see recipe here)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until resembles small coarse crumbs. Add half water, mix dough, and then add remaining water and mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out pie dough onto floured surface the size of your pie plate. Transfer to plate and crimp edges. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients together well. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl mix together flour and sugar to make the streusel. Cut in butter. Stir in walnuts and ginger.

Remove pie from oven and top with the Ginger Streusel. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream. Serves 8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Here's a recipe my mom used to make for me when I was a girl. Our girls like it even better than the Kraft version. 

16 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
4 quarts water
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
10 oz. cheese loaf, cubed (like Velveeta)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In large saucepan, bring water to a rapid boil. Add salt and macaroni. Boil 9-11 minutes until tender. Drain. In same saucepan, melt butter. Add milk, cheese cubes, and cheddar cheese. Cook on medium low until cheese is melted. Add drained macaroni and mix well. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve warm. Enjoy! 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Here are a few Thanksgiving recipe ideas to serve with your turkey next week. 
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Coconut Pecan Pie

Here's a twist on your regular pecan pie that you might enjoy. Very rich, but very delicious! 

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup cold water

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, halved

In small bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until resembles small coarse crumbs. Add half water, mix dough, and then add remaining water and mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out pie dough onto floured surface the size of your pie plate. Transfer to plate and crimp edges. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, and salt. Mix well. Add unsweetened coconut and pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is no longer runny. It will continue to stiffen as it cools. Place on wire rack and allow to cool before serving. Serves 8
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread

Here's a recipe my mother-in-law found on Frugal Living. The recipe actually comes from the book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I enjoy making bread. I love getting my hands in it, kneading it, and shaping it into beautiful loaves. But this recipe is really, really simple. It's fast and quite tasty. It's very comparable to the hard sour dough bread you buy for $4 or more at the grocery store. I made my first batch yesterday and turned out two loaves, saving enough dough for another loaf later. I'm eager to let the dough sit in the refrigerator for a week to try some sour dough bread and see how it turns out. I'll be sure to report back here on that. So, without further ado, here is the recipe (with my additional toppings):

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (I used instant yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In large plastic container with lid (I used a gallon ice-cream pail) combine water, yeast, salt and flour. Mix together well with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined. Dough may be sticky. Cover with lid and allow to rise in warm place for 2 hours. At this point, you may place the dough in the refrigerator to use at a later time. There will be enough dough to make 3 loaves. 

To make a loaf of bread:

With floured hands, scoop out a third of the dough (about the size of a small cantaloupe) and form it into a smooth ball, working the edges with your fingers and tucking it under until top is smooth. Place the dough on a pizza peel or parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. Cover and allow the loaf to rise for 30-40- minutes until double. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I like to preheat my baking stone at this time as well. Add a small pan of water to the lower rack to create steam. May need to add water to this if you're baking more than one loaf of bread. I used an aluminum cake pan. 

Once loaf has doubled, score 3-4 times with a sharp knife. Wash the top with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Transfer loaf to baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. When ready to serve, slice with a sharp bread knife. Enjoy! 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.