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Layered Salad

Here's an easy recipe to serve at your next potluck dinner.

6 cups torn spinach
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
5 garden onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
10 oz frozen green peas, cooked, drained, and cooled
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup dried chives
3 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

In large glass bowl, layer spinach, 1 cup cheese, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, zucchini, and peas. In glass measuring cup mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, and chives. Spread over salad to cover. Top with eggs, remaining cheese, and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Joan's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe from a sweet lady at our church who always brings yummy snacks on Sunday. I think you might like it! (It makes a large batch)

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 drops orange flavoring extract (optional)
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and extracts and beat well. In separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Bake on greased baking sheets. Roll in walnut-sized balls and space 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 dozen. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Cheesy Squash Bake

Here's a recipe to use when you have a lot of squash in your garden. Enjoy! 

4-5 small yellow squash, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 hot pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
seasoned salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crushed saltines
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay sliced squash on the bottom of the pan. Heat a small skillet with olive oil. Cook onion, green pepper, hot pepper, and garlic until tender. Spoon over squash. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper as desired. 

In small bowl, combine crushed saltines, butter, and parsley. Mix well and sprinkle over vegetables. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly brown. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Here's a cool salad to try during the hot summer months. Enjoy! 

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Ranch Dressing Mix
salt and pepper to taste

Place vegetables in medium bowl. In glass measuring cup, mix together the remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables. Chill for 1-2 hours until cool. Serves 6
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Judith Miller's Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

Although born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Judith Miller moved to Kansas when she was 17 and has considered herself a Kansan for many years— especially since she was born on Kansas Day. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas and worked for many years as a legal assistant both in private and government law offices. She is the author of more than 30 books and novellas and considers her writing a ministry as well as a profession. Drawn to unique settings and historical professions, she has taken readers from the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts to a 19th century southern resort, and even to a kitchen house in Amana, Iowa. She has won several awards for her writing and her books frequently can be found on the EPCA and CBA bestseller lists. Learn more about Judi and her books on her Website HERE.

Judi's newest book release: A Simple Change
Published by Bethany House Publishers - July 2013

Middle Amana, 1881
When her parents decide to sell their home and move to the Amana colonies, Jancey Rhoder must make a difficult decision. Should she give up her beloved teaching job and carefree life in Kansas City to go with them?

Her suitor, Nathan Woodward, doesn’t want her to go, but Jancey feels she must give this new life a try. Her mother is ill, and these next few months may be the last Jancey gets to spend with her. But will this move spell the end of her relationship with Nathan? And when life in Amana is far more mysterious and challenging than Jancey expected, will she choose to return to the city, or will she make this unique place her forever home? Buy Judi's book HERE.

Judi's recipe for Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ chopped nuts
¾ c. chocolate bits (I use the mini-chocolate chips)
½ c. sugar

Pour the boiling water over the dates and baking soda and let sit while you mix up the rest of the cake batter as follows: Cream sugar and shortening, then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and cinnamon and mix well. Slowly add the date mixture and mix until well blended. Pour into greased 9x13 cake pan. In small bowl, mix together nuts, chocolate bits, and sugar. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Can be served with cool whip or vanilla ice cream, but it’s great just plain, and no need to frost!!

This is my “go to” cake that can be prepared quickly and I’ve never served it without someone asking for the recipe. I always have the ingredients on hand. 

Tasty Kitchen

I am delighted to announce that I've been chosen as a Featured Member on Tasty Kitchen! This makes the second time, and I am so honored at the selection. Tasty Kitchen is a sister blog to The Pioneer Woman, and they have so many wonderful recipes over there. Be sure to check them out now and be sure to join this awesome community of cooks! 

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Here's an easy recipe sure to please anyone who likes Peanut Butter Cups.

3 cups rice cereal, crushed
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
6 oz. chocolate chips

In medium saucepan, heat peanut butter, sugar, syrup, and butter over low heat to melt. Stir in cereal. Pat into square foil-lined pan that is lightly sprayed with cooking spray. In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave for 2-3 minutes until melted, stirring after 90 seconds. Spread over top of cereal. Cool until firm. Cut into squares. Serves 16.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Steak and Shrimp Shish Kabobs

Here's a fun recipe to try during the summer when you grill.

1 cup teriyaki sauce (try this homemade version HERE.)
20 oz pineapple slices, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound sirloin or round steak, cut into 1" cubes
1 pound large precooked shrimp, thawed
6-8 button mushrooms
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, quartered
2 medium zucchini, sliced

In a large bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Pour half into Ziplock bag and add beef. Seal and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Refrigerate remaining marinade.

On metal skewers, alternately thread beef, shrimp, vegetables, and pineapple. Set aside. In small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch with remaining marinade, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Grill kabobs for 6-8 minutes, turning once. Baste with sauce. Continue turning and basting for 8-10 minutes or until beef reaches desired doneness. Makes 4-6 servings.
Wine Recommendation: Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

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Pancake Syrup

Here's an easy recipe I use when I'm out of pancake syrup. Use with Country Pancakes or Cornmeal Pancakes. Yum! 

1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 teaspoons butter flavoring

In medium saucepan, mix ingredients together. Stir until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. Let cool. Serve over pancakes or waffles. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Frozen Strawberry Pie

Here's a recipe to enjoy on a hot summer evening. Enjoy!

4 cups fresh strawberries, slices
16 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/8 cup lemon juice
8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
graham cracker pie crust

In large bowl, mash strawberries. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and juice. Fold in whipped topping until mixed well. Pour into prepared graham cracker pie crust. Cover with tin foil. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm. Serves 8-10.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Stir Fry Vegetables with Shrimp

Here's a delicious dish to serve your family. I could eat this stuff all week long. Enjoy! 

10 oz multi-color bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green pepper, sliced
1/2 large onion, diced
7 button mushrooms, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
12 oz cooked shrimp, shelled
Parmesan cheese

In large saucepan, cook bow tie pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter and oil. Over medium heat, cook green pepper, onion, and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes until zucchini is lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and seasoned salt. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. When ready to serve, toss vegetables with drained pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Wine Suggestion: Fancy Pants Pinot Grigio 

Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Dabney Hedegard's Baby Dutch Pancakes

Dabney Hedegard is a writer, speaker and professional patient. Her memoir, When God Intervenes (Tyndale House Publishers, July 2013), is a fast-paced medical drama surrounded by miracles that Amazon reviewers are saying, “I couldn’t put it down!”

At twenty-five years old doctor’s discovered a football-sized tumor embedded in Dabney’s lungs. But the greater fear stealing her focus grew inches below the mass: a six-week-old baby. Her cancer and her decision to keep her child began her battle with nine life-threatening-illnesses, four of which were near-death experiences. Dabney lives in South Florida with her husband and four children. She blogs at

Dabney's Baby Dutch Pancakes

In the 15-plus years that I’ve cooked for my family, I only have a handful of recipes I repeat. I’m a recipe sampler. The only caveat to this therapeutic activity is that it yields inconsistent results. Thankfully, my family doesn’t mind my dabbling in the kitchen. Especially when I stumble upon a recipe that is restaurant-style good. In my secret stash of repeat recipes, this over-sized pancake meets that standard.

Baby Dutch Pancakes, as we incorrectly call them, were discovered one morning when we watched Martha Stewart on a popular morning show. She whipped and smiled and served the media a fluffed one-pan egg-y cake she called “Dutch Baby Pancake”. My son never repeated the name right. We adopted his reversed (plural) version. That’s the nice part about recipes. They’re adaptable—even the titles. Since Martha boasted about this buttery breakfast treat, I knew I had to try them—adding my own healthy twist, of course. Oh my, Martha. These are delish, and they have become the number one requested breakfast item in our house. 
3 tablespoons salted butter, plus 2 TBLS diced butter for dotting
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs room temperature (I soak mine in hot water, this helps the pancake fluff)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of organic 2% milk or whole milk, warmed
1 teaspoon of Wheat Germ or Chia Seeds or Ground Flax Seeds (optional nutritional booster no one will notice)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Spritz of juice from a fresh lemon (bottled juice leaves a chemical aftertaste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend the flour, salt, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, salt and optional wheat germ/flax/chia. Heat a large oven-safe skillet and melt 3 tablespoons of butter, making sure to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the batter and bake until the edges puff and turn lightly brown, around 17 to 20 minutes. Remove pancake from oven. Here’s the best part you don’t want to deviate from: gently dot the top of the pancake with remaining 2 tablespoons of diced butter. Sift or dust confectioners’ sugar over the top, and finish with a spritz of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Glory.

Serve immediately, as the fluffiness will deflate. (Don’t worry. The flatter version still tastes scrumptious!)
Yum, yum, yum. Two batches of these cakes don’t last but 10 minutes in our household of six. Enjoy!

Southwest Bean Salad

Here's a heart-healthy salad, sure to satisfy every appetite.
1 pound chicken tenders, sliced 1/2" thick
8 oz. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), drained
8 oz. Black Beans, drained
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avacado, sliced
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
Spinach Greens
Creamy Italian Dressing

Heat large skillet with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Add beans and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

In large bowl, combine sweet peppers, tomatoes, avocado, green peppers, and spinach. Spoon chicken mixture over top and toss with your favorite salad dressing (I used creamy Italian) and croutons.

*You can also serve the cooked chicken and beans cold, if you prefer. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

Here's a yummy recipe to try when you want more than a lettuce salad. Great with grilled pork loin or chicken.

2 large tomatoes, chopped
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
5 garden onions, sliced
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, sliced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Creamy Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh Mozzarella Cheese

In large bowl, toss together tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, zucchini, and green pepper. In measuring glass, combine dressing, basil and garlic. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Add cheese. Refrigerated at least 1 hour to marinate. Makes 6 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.