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Apple-Pecan Spice Cake


Here's a delicious fall recipe to try when the apples are ripe on the tree. Enjoy! 

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
1 cup finely chopped and peeled apple
1 cup pecans, chopped

Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons half and half
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla and butter flavor. In small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce. With wooden spoon, fold in apples and pecans. 

Pour into a greased and floured 10" Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Allow to cool completely on wire rack. 

For glaze, in a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over low heat. Stir in half and half. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over cake. Serves 12. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Peach Cobbler


Here's a delicious recipe to serve your family, especially good with fresh peaches when in season. 

4 cups fresh peaches, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter


Topping:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
sugar for garnishing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Add water to mixture and cook till sauce thickens. Add peaches, lemon juice and butter to sauce. 

In medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg and milk to flour mixture and still until moist. 

Pour hot fruit mixture into a greased square baking dish. Spoon biscuit topping over fruit by small mounds. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until topping is cooked through. Serve warm with ice cream. [Recipe may be doubled to serve a large crowd.]
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Cream Cake

In celebration of my birthday, which is TODAY, here's a delicious cake recipe to share with my readers! Turning 48 this year and loving every minute of it. Enjoy!  

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in water. Pour batter into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let set for 10 minutes, and then remove cakes from pans and cool on wire racks. Frost with fudge frosting below:

FROSTING:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup baking cocoa
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In small mixing bowl, mix butter and baking cocoa. Add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. Blend in vanilla. Makes enough to frost a two-layer cake. Enjoy!  
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins


Here's a recipe you can make ahead and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I like to make 6 muffins or so at a time, and it is so easy--and healthy for you! 

5 cups wheat bran flakes
2 cups boiling water
4 cups buttermilk
1/2 canola oil
1 cup applesauce (no-sugar added)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ 
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
decorating sugar, if desired

Place bran flakes in a 5 quart ice cream pail (with lid). Pour boiling water over the bran flakes and mix well. Stir frequently until cooled. Mixture will become sticky. Once cooled, add buttermilk, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. In small bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Batter can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

To bake: scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill 3/4 full. May sprinkle with decorating sugar if desired. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 14-16 minutes until muffins test done with a toothpick. Makes 48 muffins. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Orange Cranberry Cookies


Here's a chewy cookie recipe with loads of flavor.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, orange rind, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir into butter mixture. Add oats, nuts, and cranberries. Place by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and flatten with fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Makes 4 dozen. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Rhonda Gibson's Green Chili Beef Stew

Rhonda Gibson lives in New Mexico with her husband and pets. She loves to write for the Lord and feels blessed that He allows her to tell her stories so that others can read them. Learn more about Rhonda and her books on her Website HERE.

Rhonda's New Book Release: Taming the Texas Rancher



Though he'd never planned to wed, Daniel Westland must marry and produce a grandchild before his brother does in order to inherit the family ranch. Leave it to him to pick a mail-order bride who insists on being courted! Yet every time Daniel wonders if Hannah Young is even suited to rugged living, the petite schoolteacher shows her gumption. Pre-order Rhonda's book HERE.


Rhonda's Recipe for Green Chile Beef Stew

1 pound hamburger
3 baking potatoes, peeled and diced to desired size
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
4 cups roasted green chilies peeled and chopped
10 cups water
1 ½ tablespoon salt

Thickener:
2 cups flour
½ cup water

Brown hamburger in pot. Drain fat, add potatoes, onion, and garlic to the meat mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Add the green chilies, water and salt. Boil for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and water and whisk well to make the thickener. Add the thickener to the other ingredients; mix well and let simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

I love this recipe on cold winter days. I hope you will too.

Stuffed Bell Peppers


Here is a yummy way to use your garden bell peppers. Serve with Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Delicious! 

1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup brown rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground hamburger
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1+ cup barbecue sauce, divided (we like Sweet Baby Rays)
4-6 medium bell peppers
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

In medium pot, bring water to boil. Add bouillon cube and rice and cook as directed on package. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook onion and carrot in melted butter until tender about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from skillet and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine hamburger, oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, and 1/3 cup barbecue sauce. Mix in cooked rice, onion, carrots, and garlic. Mix well. (You may use your hands if needed.) 

Cut tops of peppers and remove seeds. Generously stuff peppers with meat mixture, filling 1" above tops. Place in square baking dish that has been drizzled or sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 40-45 minutes until meat has cooked through. Pour remaining barbecue sauce over each pepper and sprinkle tops with cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese has lightly browned. Serves 4-6.  

Wine Recommendation: Raymond R Collection Merlot 2012

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pork Burgers

Here's a yummy recipe to make when you crave something other than a hamburger. Serve with French fries or even German Cabbage on top. Enjoy! 

1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons Southwest Mustard
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

In large bowl, mix together pork, mustard, garlic, onion, basil, and seasoned salt, until all are thoroughly combined. Form into 6 medium patties. Preheat skillet on high and spray with cooking spray. When hot, add patties and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium low and continue cooking each side until done, another 6-8 minutes.  
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Tortilla Pinwheels


This is a recipe shared with me by my niece Sandy.

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup Picante sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons minced black olives
4 oz. ground ham
5-6 flour tortillas

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Picante sauce, cheddar cheese, black olives, and ground ham. Mix well. Heat tortillas in microwave for 30-40 seconds to make pliable. Spread ham mixture to edges of tortillas. Roll and refrigerate for at least two hours. When ready to serve, slice in 1" pieces and secure with toothpick. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Barbecued Chicken Bites


Here's an easy recipe if you like barbecued chicken. Serve with Oven Baked Fries.

1 1/2 pounds frozen chicken tenders, cut into 1" chunks
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Canola oil for frying
Barbecue Sauce (We like Sweet Baby Rays)

Sift together flour, seasoned salt, and pepper in a quart freezer bag. Place chicken in flour and toss to coat well. Heat a large skillet with canola oil. Place chicken pieces in oil and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Turn and cook another 4-6 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Pour barbecue sauce over chicken (enough to coat well) and cook for another 5 minutes. Serves 4-6
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts


Here's an easy salad to fix when you want something light and tasty. Enjoy! 

1 pound chicken tenders, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Iceburg Lettuce
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
3/4 cup English walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
cheddar cheese, grated
Cranberry Vinaigrette

Heat large skillet with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes until browned. 

In large bowl, layer the following: Lettuce, boiled eggs, peas, carrot, walnuts, and cranberries. Add chicken and toss lightly with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Serves 4-6. 

Wine Suggestion: Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Deborah Raney's Best Ever Granola

DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. After a happy twenty-year detour as a stay-at-home mom, Deb penned her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which won a Silver Angel Award and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then, her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, National Readers' Choice Award, as well as twice being finalists for the Christy Award. Deb teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas ––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They have four children and four precious grandchildren (plus one on the way!) who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.

Deborah's newest book release: Silver Bells

As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love.

Michelle Penn has dropped out of college to work as a reporter for a tiny weekly newspaper. The boss's son, Robert Merrick III, is quickly making her forget all about her former sweetheart, Kevin, who has shipped out to Vietnam. Rob loves the newspaper business but feels trapped working for his father. He dreams of having his own newspaper, but now that he's met Michelle, she is what he wants most of all. Rob is forbidden by office policy to date Michelle, but if he were to quit his job, he'd have nothing to offer her.
As snow blankets the town, it seems that the gifts Rob and Michelle most desire––each other––are out of reach. But then, they didn't count on a small Christmas miracle.

DEB'S BEST EVER GRANOLA
4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Flaked Coconut
½ Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
¼ Cup Sunflower Nuts
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Olive Oil
½ Cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

In a large cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan), bake dry oats at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix nuts, coconut, sunflower seeds and brown sugar in large mixing bowl; stir well.

In a small bowl, mix oil, honey, and vanilla. Remove oats from oven and add to nut mixture. Pour oil and honey mixture over all, stirring well. Return to cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes till dark golden brown, stirring every 5-8 minutes. Cool. (Stir again several times while cooling as it tends to clump.) Store in zip-lock bag or other air-tight container. (We use a gallon-size ice cream tub.)

State Fair Corn Dogs


I've always loved eating corn dogs at the state fair and finally decided to try my hand at a homemade version. These are pretty good. Taste them and see for yourself. My family loved them. We will be heading to the Kansas State Fair this weekend, where our daughters, The Vogts Sisters, will be performing. Learn more about that HERE. 

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
dash of black pepper
12-16 Oscar-Meyer Beef Franks
cornstarch
Oil for deep-fat frying

In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, chives, baking powder, seasoned salt, and onion powder. Add buttermilk, egg, and mustard. Mix well. Pour mixture into a tall glass for dipping. 

For best results, pat dry the franks with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from them. Coat franks with a thin layer of cornstarch to help batter stick to franks. Skewer hot dogs with wooden skewers. (We used bamboo skewers but they were a little long and somewhat flimsy.) Dip franks in mixture, using a twisting motion as you raise it up. Allow some batter to drip off. Place in a 375 degree preheated deep fryer or electric skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes on each side). Drain on paper towels. Dip in ketchup and/or mustard. Makes 12-16 corn dogs. Yum! 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.