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Beef Teriyaki with Vegetables


Here's a delicious recipe that rivals that of your favorite Chinese restaurant. Great with Fried Rice, and/or Egg Rolls.

2 pounds round steak, sliced thin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups broccoli florets
3 button mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 green pepper, chopped

In large skillet, heat oil and cook strips of steak until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onion, zucchini, and green pepper to skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to steam vegetables for 3-4 minutes. In large bowl, combine water, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and onion powders, ground ginger, and cornstarch. Stir well. Pour over vegetables and cook on medium heat until sauce thickens. Add steak strips and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve over cooked rice. 

Wine Recommendation: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2013

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Skillet Cornbread


This recipe so good. I never knew how good cornbread could be until I made it in my cast iron skillet. Delicious!

4 tablespoons oil or bacon grease
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk

Pour oil in cast iron skillet and place in oven while preheating to 425 degrees. In medium bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add buttermilk. Let set for a few minutes while skillet is heating. Remove skillet from oven and pour mixture into the hot oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Especially good with Ham and Beans. Enjoy! 

Blackberry Cobbler


Here's a yummy dessert my husband calls "your best dessert ever." You'll have to decide for yourself. Enjoy! 

2 pints blackberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, combine blackberries, sugar, and nutmeg. Mix until sugar dissolves and makes its own juice. 

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Add egg and milk and stir until moistened. 


Pour blackberries into round greased baking dish. Add dots of butter over fruit. Spoon biscuit mixture over fruit in mounds, spreading to edges. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden brown and topping is cooked through. Serves 6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas

Here's a yummy recipe for chicken enchiladas. Just put it in your crock pot and let it cook during the day for a quick and easy supper.

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
15 oz. black beans, drained
Enchilada sauce (click link for recipe)
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz. green chilis, chopped
8 Flour Tortillas
8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chicken. Layer beans over chicken. Pour enchilada sauce over both. Top with onion and green chilis. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Strain chicken and beans from sauce and place in a bowl. Shred chicken with fork and mix together.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce into pan and spread to edges. Spoon chicken mixture into center of each flour tortilla. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat for each. Pour remaining sauce over assembled tortillas. Top with grated cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese has melted thoroughly. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole. Serves 6-8
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Connie Mann's Mango Salsa


Connie Mann loves stories of suspense, adventure and second chances. She offers encouragement to busy women on her blog:  www.BusyWomenBigDreams.com and is an active member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s also a USCG-licensed boat captain, so when she’s not writing, she’s usually on Central Florida’s waterways with local school children or her fabulous family. Please visit her online at: www.conniemann.com.


Connie's newest book release: Angel Falls
 
When her best friend is killed in an explosion, leaving Regina da Silva with her friend’s young child, she doesn’t realize that the child was as much a target as her friend. Brooks Anderson has been sent to find the child and bring it to the US. When circumstances bring them together in Brazil, they find themselves being pursued by a killer as they protect an orphaned baby.

As the danger heightens around them, so does the attraction between Regina and Brooks, despite their differences. Regina and Brooks have both been broken by their violent pasts, but while Regina relies on her faith to deal with her past, Brooks has turned away from God. Will their pasts stop them from realizing their true feelings for each other when their pursuer strives to keep them apart forever?

Connie's recipe for Mango Salsa

My new novel, Angel Falls, was inspired by a trip to Brazil, where my Dad was born. Not surprisingly, black beans and rice are an important staple in our family’s diet. During the summer months, we serve it with grilled chicken—or grilled brats, in a nod to the German side of the family.

Two years ago, while searching for a way to jazz things up a little, I found a Caribbean-style side dish that is the perfect complement and became an instant family favorite. It’s super easy and I usually triple the recipe when we’re serving a crowd. If you like things a bit spicier, you can also add 1 fresh chopped jalapeno pepper, but I usually don’t.

1 Mango - diced
¼ cup red bell pepper – chopped
1 green onion – thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together, toss with the lime and lemon juice and put it into the refrigerator for several hours. Toss before serving. Enjoy!

Moist Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Every now and then, I get a hankering for a moist buttery cake. Here's one you can make from scratch! 

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks (farm fresh eggs work best for yellow coloring)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 round cake pans with waxed paper. Spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs yolks one at a time. Stir in vanilla. In small bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing just until blended. Pour into cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or toothpick test comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes  before turning onto cooling racks. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting.

To make frosting, in large mixing bowl, cream together melted chocolate and butter until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Slowly add buttermilk and whip together until frosting is light and fluffy. Makes enough to frost a two-layer cake. 
Click here to view a printable version of this recipe. 

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole


Here's a recipe I experimented with until I got it just right. It's so nice to prepare the ingredients the night before, set it to cook, and wake to a warm breakfast. Enjoy! 

2 cups frozen hash browns
1 pound sausage, browned and drained
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
10 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 oz. green chilis, chopped
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Spray large crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place hash browns onto the bottom. Layer on top half of the cooked sausage and half of the cheese. Repeat. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, green chilis, onion, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over top of sausage and cheese layers. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until eggs are set. Serve with Homemade Salsa. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Chicken Pot Pie


Here is a recipe we enjoy at our house often during cooler weather. Enjoy! 

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cube chicken bouillon 
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3/4 cup carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pie pastry crust
1 egg and 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large saucepan, add first six ingredients. Cook vegetables until tender. In small bowl, mix flour and water to make a paste. Gradually stir into broth to thicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to your taste. Pour into greased 9x9 baking pan. Spread pie pastry over top. Poke 6-9 steam holes with your knife to allow sauce to breathe. Whisk egg and water to make egg wash; spread over pastry. Sprinkle crust with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to set for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Whole Wheat Onion Hamburger Buns

Let me just say that I'd never tried making my own hamburger buns until this recipe. And wow, I may never go back to buying buns from the grocery store ever again! These are delicious and easy to make. And so pretty. If you don't care for onion, you may simply omit it from the recipe. Enjoy! 

1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
sesame seeds/poppy seeds

In large mixing bowl, combine water, butter, egg, sugar, onion, salt, and instant yeast. Stir in wheat flour. Add all-purpose flour to form a ball. On floured surface, knead by hand for 5-6 minutes until dough is soft and smooth. Place in greased bowl, and cover. Let rise for 60-90 minutes until double in bulk. Punch down and divide into eight pieces. Shape each into a round ball. Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes while oven is preheating (375 degrees). To make egg wash, whisk egg white and water in small bowl and brush over each bun. Sprinkle each with sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Cool on rack and slice in half to serve. Makes 8 large buns.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cheeseburger Soup

Here's an easy recipe to serve on a cool spring night. 

1 1/2 pounds ground hamburger
2 large potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cubes chicken bouillon
4 cups water
2 cups milk
8 oz processed cheese like Velveeta, cubed
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In large kettle, brown hamburger. Add shredded potatoes, carrots, and chopped onion. Add water and bouillon cubes and cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Add milk and cheese, stirring occasionally until melted. Add parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serves 6-8. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Erin MacPherson's Mummu's Cardamom Bread


Erin MacPherson is an amateur cook by day and a writer by night. A former food editor for Nickelodeon, Erin loves to cook and try out new recipes on her family. She lives in the country—on the outskirts of Austin—with her three kids, her husband and her trusty Golden Retriever Jack who is always happy to sample her cooking scraps. She is the author of the Christian Mama's Guide series and she blogs about parenting and food at www.christianmamasguide.com.

Erin's Newest Release: The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year

An entertaining, practical guide for first-time mamas and those who need a baby refresher course. The new mom initiation ritual involves sleepless nights, an inexplicable obsession with baby booties, and more questions than answers. This take on everything baby offers new moms the Christian girlfriend advice she needs to feel confident in her new role, including: 
  • getting into the motherhood groove
  • breastfeeding advice
  • suggestions for losing the baby weight—before your baby is no longer a baby
  • time management tips that may just help you find time to do laundry—before you run out of clean underwear
  • how you can manage to be a godly mother and a good wife on less than three hours of sleep a night
Easy-to-read and relatable, this been-there-done-that guide answers these questions and more with a dose of humor an a lot of grace so that new moms can become the moms that God intended them to be during their baby's first year. Check out all of her guide series on Amazon HERE


Erin MacPherson's Mummu's Cardamom Bread

My grandmother ("Mummu" in Finnish) immigrated to the United States in 1950 using a borrowed visa. As my grandma adjusted to life in a new culture, she clung to comforts from home. One of those was her mom's cardamom bread, which she made nearly every day to go with her husband's morning coffee. My grandma is still alive and a few weeks ago, she came to visit me. My kids and I rolled out the red-carpet—or hand-me-down, hand-stitched linens if you will. We woke up early and made Mummu's famous bread and then set the table with our best mismatched china, fresh coffee and butter. My grandma loved it. And I loved sharing a glimmer of my childhood—of my grandma's childhood—with my kids.

¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
1 pkg. yeast
4 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (Warning: Ground cardamom is expensive.  I buy whole pods in the spice section and grind them myself with a mortar and pestle.)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten, separated

Put water and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Warm, stirring frequently, just until the liquid starts to steam. Remove from heat, let set 1 minute. Add yeast, set aside and let sit for 10 minutes until activated.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cardamom, salt, and sugar. Add yeast-mixture to flour mixture, along with melted butter and 2 beaten eggs. Stir just until mixed.

Pour dough onto bread board or Silpat mat (or if you want, put it in your Kitchenaid with a dough hook) and start to knead. The dough will start off soft and sticky. Knead until it's smooth and elastic. Let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or overnight. Punch dough down.  Break into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a long snake. Braid the snakes into a small loaf.  Brush with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar. Let rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes until crust is golden-brown. Serve with coffee or tea.

Green Bean Casserole

Here's a delicious recipe to serve at your next potluck or family gathering. 

2-16 oz frozen green beans, whole
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Cook green beans in microwave according to package directions. Transfer to serving dish. Meanwhile in large skillet, heat oil and butter. Add mushrooms and onion and saute until tender 4-6 minutes. Mix in flour, and then slowly add milk, stirring until it thickens 3-5 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over green beans and top with sliced almonds. Serves 10-12. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Here's a recipe I like to make that have two of my favorite ingredients in them--chocolate and peanut butter. Yum! 

2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. peanut butter chips
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake to 8-10 minutes until centers are set. Makes 4 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Hamburger Tomato Soup


Okay, this is one of those "if you've got it, dump it" recipes that turned out rather good. Enjoy! 

1 pound hamburger, browned
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup water
26 oz tomato soup
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan, brown hamburger. Add onions and cook until tender. Add peas, carrots, and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato soup, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper as desired. Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.