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Key Lime Pie

Here is a recipe perfect for when you want something light and refreshing on a hot summer day.

1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons margarine, melted

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 unsweetened Kool Aid lemon-lime soft drink packet
1 tub whipped topping, thawed

In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until combined. Press into pie plate and refrigerate.

In mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and soft drink mix. Remove 1/2 cup of whipped topping and set aside. Add remaining whipped topping to lime mixture, mixing well. Pour into crust. With icing tip, garnish remaining whipped topping on top of lime mixture. Freeze six hours or overnight. Enjoy!
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Thousand Island Dressing

I'll always remember making Thousand Island dressing as a girl at my 4-H cooking meetings. Here's a similar recipe for you to enjoy. 

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash hot pepper sauce
pinch salt and pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, lemon juice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in egg. Serve over your favorite lettuce salad. Serves 10
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Sourdough Biscuits

This summer, I'm been playing around with some sourdough recipes. Here's one you make from an "unfed" starter that's pretty delicious with honey or homemade apple butter. 

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup "unfed" sourdough starter (Recipe HERE)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add sourdough starter, and buttermilk. Mix with fork until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Pat the dough into a 3/4" thick circle. Cut with 2 1/2" floured biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter. Makes 12-15 biscuits. 
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Elizabeth Goddard's Grilled Ratatouille Muffaletta

Elizabeth Goddard is an award-winning author with well over a dozen romance and romantic suspense novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—winner of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011. After acquiring her computer science degree, she worked at a software firm before eventually retiring to raise her four children and become a professional writer. A member of several writing organizations, she judges numerous contests and mentors new writers. In addition to writing, she home schools her children and serves with her husband as he pastors a church in Louisiana. Learn more about Beth and her books HERE.

Elizabeth's newest release: Riptide

Two surprises await high-stakes repo man Jake Jacobson on his latest job. First, old flame Kelsey Chambers. Second, gunfire! Seizing the luxury yacht should have been easy, but he hadn't planned on Kelsey's appearance. Or that smugglers would hijack the vessel to find an antique map hidden on board. The map is Jake and Kelsey's only leverage. . .but it carries a price. Without it, they're as good as dead. With it, they're the target of a relentless hunt. Their failed relationship has Kelsey afraid to rely on Jake again. Can she count on him with their lives on the line?

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Elizabeth's Grilled Ratatouille Muffaletta

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
Coarse salt
1/2 cup pitted mixed olives, such as Kalamata and Cerignola
2 pepperoncini, stemmed
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
4 small tomatoes (1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise 1/4-inch-thick
1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, patted dry
1 (8-inch) round loaf rustic bread, split horizontally and hollowed out

Slice vegetables sandwich thing and toss with olive oil then grill to your preference. While veggies are grilling chop olives and pepperoncini and mix with Mayo. Spread bread with with mayo/olive mixture and layer vegetables. Voila!

Spiced Nut Cake with Penuche Frosting

Here's a delicious recipe for an old-fashioned spice cake with a yummy frosting. Enjoy! 

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and beat for 2 minutes. Add orange juice and buttermilk alternately with flour mixture and beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped nuts. Pour mixture into greased oblong cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When cool, frost with:

Penuche Frosting:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup hot milk
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Continue to cook and stir for one minute or until thickened. Cool for 15 minutes. Add hot milk and beat smooth with wooden spoon. Beat in enough powdered sugar to allow for creamy spreading. Serves 20. Enjoy! 
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Strawberry Lemon Fizz

Here's a delightful recipe to make for your family.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 fresh mint sprigs
1 quart fresh strawberries, halved
2 lemons, sliced
3 limes, sliced
Ginger ale or sparkling cranberry apple juice

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and mint. Bring a rolling boil. Cook for 2 minutes until dissolved. Allow to cool. Discard the mint. 

When ready to serve, fill glasses with strawberries, lemon and lime. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon syrup. Add cold ginger ale or sparkling cranberry juice to each. Serves 4-6. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Homemade Pizza Dough

Here's a recipe my family loves, but only consider it if you have plenty of time, as it takes an hour for this dough to rise.

1 package dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour

In glass measuring cup, dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in olive oil. In medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt and flour. Add yeast mixture and knead until smooth. Put into a greased bowl, cover with towel and let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. When ready, spray 1 large pizza pan or 2 medium pans and set aside. Punch down dough and roll to fit pan/s. Let stand 10-20 minutes. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Fill with Zesty Pizza Sauce (recipe HERE) and toppings. Bake another 15 minutes until done.

Toppings to consider: chopped onions, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, chopped onions, chopped green bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and lots of mozzarella cheese!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Here's a yummy dessert to serve your family. 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 eggs
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon flour
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, and sour cream. Cream together on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add extracts. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture , mixing well. Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour to prevent berries from sinking. Fold berries into batter. Pour into 9-inch loaf pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 60-65 minutes until center tests done with toothpick. Allow to cool on wire rack before removing from pan. Garnish with powered sugar. Serves 10-12
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Ranch Dressing Mix

Here's a recipe to store in your cupboard for when you need salad dressing. May use it in dips or other recipes. 

12 saltine crackers
1 cup dry parsley
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/2 cup dried chives
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Whirl together until crumbs are very small. Store in airtight container. Will keep for up to a year. 

To make ranch dressing:
In mixer blend together: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon dressing mix. 
Pour into a pint jar. Cover and allow to chill for 4 hours. Pour over your favorite salad. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Julianna Deering's Easy English Trifle

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency. Learn more about Julianna and her books HERE. 

Julianna's latest release: RULES OF MURDER A Drew Farthering Mystery (Release Date:  August 1, 2013 from Bethany House)

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this game.


I’m sure Kitty at The Rose Garden would have included sponge cake, brandy and custard, but this quick recipe makes a tasty, cool summer treat, no trouble at all.

2 (8 or 9 inch) white cake layers, baked and cooled
2 pints fresh strawberries
¼ cup white sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 bananas
¼ cup orange juice
1 3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup blanched slivered almonds
12 maraschino cherries

Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice. Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes. Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass bowl. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the pudding over the fruit. Repeat layers in the same order.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over top of trifle. Garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds.

My Adventures with Sourdough

This summer I have started an adventure in sourdough. And I am LOVING it! There is much to learn on the Internet about this old-time tradition of baking, and I did a lot of studying before I began my first batch. When it came time to make my starter, however, I went with a recipe I found on King Arthur Flours, with a couple of changes in the directions. You can also opt to buy your starter from them, but I decided to make mine from scratch.

The starter recipe is very simple:
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour

Pour the water into a 4 quart glass or ceramic container or bowl. Add honey and yeast. Stir in flour gradually. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and place it in a warm spot. It is said that a dishcloth vs plastic wrap allows the starter to capture any wild yeast that is in the air, giving it a better flavor. The mixture will begin to bubble and brew almost immediately.

Allow it to set on your counter for 2-3 days, stirring once a day. When the bubbles have subsided and a yeasty sour aroma has developed, it is time to "feed" your starter.

To feed: Remove 1 cup of starter, also called "unfed starter". You may use this to make sourdough pancakes, biscuits, or English muffins. Or you may discard the cup of starter or "share" it with a friend, but it is essential that you get rid of one cup. If you don't you'll end up with enough sourdough starter to feed an army! Add to the remaining starter 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to combine and cover. Feed your starter every 12 hours for the first week to get the best "sour" taste from your mixture.

After the first week, you may then refrigerate the starter in a glass or ceramic container. I chose to purchase a crock from King Arthur Flour to store mine, found HERE. Stir once a week and feed whenever you use the starter. I also named my starter "Bertha". She is a living thing, after all.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Patriotic Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Here's a fun recipe to make for your 4th of July Celebration. (You may substitute other colors for other times of year.) Base recipe from with a few changes...

1 box white cake mix 
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
4 egg whites
blue and red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Add water, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Add egg whites one at a time until combined (2-3 minutes total). Divide batter into three equal portions, so that you have bowls with red, white, and blue batter. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tins. Layer by adding 1 full tablespoon (not measuring spoon) of each color to each tin, with red at the bottom. Liners will be nearly full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and spring back when touched. Cool on wire racks. Then decorate with frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia (from King Arthur Flour)
1 tablespoon half and half

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Continue beating at medium speed for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, Fiori Di Sicilia, and half and half and beat for an additional minute. Scoop into a piping bag to decorate cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with coconut. Makes 24 cupcakes. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Oat Rolls

Here's a recipe that is one of our family favorites. Easy and soooo good. 

2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
5 1/2 - 6 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl combine oats, brown sugar, butter and salt. Add boiling water and stir. Cool to 100-115 degrees. In small dish, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand for five minutes. Add to oat mixture along with two cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. 

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour. 

Punch dough down. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 20 pieces. Place in greased 13x9 baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Serves 20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.