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Sloppy Joes



Here's an easy recipe when you need something quick.

1 pound hamburger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 - 10 oz can tomato sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard

In large skillet, brown hamburger. When brown add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on grilled hamburger buns. Makes 6-8 servings. Very tasty and goes well with Oven Baked Fries.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Amanda Cabot's Frosty Mocha Freeze

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming. www.amandacabot.com

Amanda's Latest Book Release: In Firefly Valley
She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances. Purchase the book HERE. 

Amanda's Frosty Mocha Freeze

This is one of my favorite, easy-to-make summer desserts. If you don’t tell anyone, they won’t know it’s low-fat.

1 cup skim milk
ice
1 package instant chocolate pudding (4 serving size)
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Pour skim milk into a 2-cup measuring cup. 
Add enough large ice cubes to bring the level up to 2 cups. Pour the milk and ice mixture into a blender. Add pudding, coffee, and yogurt. Blend until smooth and thick. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Orange Julius


Here's a recipe that brings back memories from my childhood. Treat your kids (and yourself) to this delicious icy beverage.

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
10 ice cubes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz frozen orange juice

Combine all ingredients in blender, and mix until ice is crushed. I like using my immersion blender for this as it is super tough on ice. Serves 4. Enjoy! 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Nancy Kay Grace's Fruity Baked Oatmeal





Nancy Kay Grace is the author of the devotional, The Grace Impact. She is captivated by God's grace and loves to share about embracing it in everyday life. She has contributed stories to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, devotional anthologies, and published magazine articles. She is also a speaker for women’s events. Nancy is married to her best friend, Rick, who is a senior pastor in northwest Arkansas. They have served the Lord for more that forty years, seeing His grace at work in many countries. Now they enjoy the stage of life with two married children and an increasing number of grandchildren. To learn more about her ministry, please visit http://www.nancykaygrace.com and sign up for the GraceNotes newsletter.

Nancy’s latest book: The Grace Impact 

The promise of grace pulses throughout Scripture. Chapter after chapter, verse after 
verse, the Bible shows a loving heavenly Father lavishing His grace on us through His Son. The Grace Impact is thirty devotions designed to show how God is reveal His character to us so that we can accept His life transforming grace. In all things at all times, His grace covers every detail of life, not just the good things, but also the difficult, sad, and complicated things. That knowledge can give us the ability to walk confidently through life knowing our heavenly Father is with us every step of the way. His grace works in us and through us to touch this hurting world.

At the end of each daily reading, there are additional scriptures, questions, and a prayer. Purchase the book at crossrivermedia.com or amazon.com


Nancy’s Fruity Baked Oatmeal Recipe

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fat-free milk
½ cup butter, melted
¾ cups chopped, peeled tart apple
⅓ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Additional fat-free milk, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking power, sale and cinnamon. Combine eggs, mink and butter; add to the dry ingredients. Stir in apple, dried cranberries, and blueberries.

Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted neat the center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Serve with milk if desired. Yield: 9 servings

*If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter. Chopped fresh or frozen peaches can be substituted for the dried cranberries.


I individually wrap and freeze them. For a quick breakfast, take one out, defrost, and heat it in the microwave.

Sausage Balls with Horseradish Sauce


Here's a delicious recipe to serve as an appetizer or for a wine and cheese tasting party. 

1 pound ground sausage
2 cups Bisquick mix
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, ground

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, mix together sausage, biscuit mix, and cheese. Form into balls. Place in greased baking dish. Bake for 17-20 minutes until done. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or Horseradish Sauce below:

Horseradish Sauce
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

In small bowl, combine salad dressing, horseradish, and mustard. Mix well. Place in serving dish.

Wine Recommendation: Raymond Collection Merlot

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Harvest Grain Loaf


A friend of mine gave me a gift certificate to King Arthur Flour for Christmas years ago, and we have been using their products ever since. Here's a recipe using their Harvest Grains Blend. Enjoy! 


1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup small-curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup Harvest Grains Blend
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 egg white
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cottage cheese, honey, oil, salt, egg, and 2 cups all-purpose flour. Beat until smooth. In small bowl, combine whole wheat flour, Harvest Grains Blend, wheat germ, and cornmeal. Gradually add to yeast mixture to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 60-90 minutes. 


Punch down dough. Let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into loaf. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until double, between 40-60 minutes. Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

The Writing Sisters' Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers were born into a writing family, and began critiquing manuscripts at an early age for their mother, Newbery winner Betsy Byars. They went on to become authors of more than thirty-five children’s novels. Their first book for adults, The Shepherd’s Song, released in paperback April 2015. 

You can connect with Laurie and Betsy on their monthly newsletter where they send out updates and their popular free devotional books. Contact them at WritingSisters.com.

Writing Sisters' Debut Book Release - The Shepherd's Song 

Follow the incredible journey of one piece of paper—a copy of Psalm 23—as it travels
around the world, linking lives and hearts with its simple but beautiful message. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures… Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she’s done enough with her life and prays, “Please, let my life count.”

Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.

With beautiful prose evocative of master storyteller Andy Andrews’s The Butterfly Effect, this story will touch your heart and remind you of the ways God works through us to reach beyond what we can imagine. Grab your copy of The Shepherd’s Song here.



Writing Sisters’ Chicken Tortilla Soup

We always write better when dinner is in the crockpot!
Combine in a crockpot:

1 jar of mild salsa (64 oz)
2 cans black beans drained
2 cans yellow corn drained
2 boneless chicken breasts.

Cook all day on low. Before serving, remove chicken breasts and shred the meat. Add the chicken back to the soup. Stir in one 8 oz brick of cream cheese. Yum. Serve with tortilla chips.

Gluten-Free Brownies

This is a delicious brownie recipe that is rich and chewy. Enjoy! 

1 1/2 cups ground (gluten-free) old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a square baking pan. In a food processor, pulse to grind the oats to a fine powder to measure 1 1/2 cups. In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium low heat. Remove from heat and add sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in vanilla and eggs until smooth and glossy. Add to dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Spread in prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until thin crust forms on top. Allow to cool before cutting. Serves 12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

Shrimp Chowder


My husband is always skeptical when I try a new recipe. I think he'd be happy to eat beef and potatoes every day of his life. But here's a delightful soup I served him recently, which we both loved! Enjoy!

2 cups diced potatoes
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
15 oz. sweet corn, drained
1 pound shrimp, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese

In medium saucepan, cook potatoes in chicken broth until tender. Add corn and shrimp. Stir in milk and half and half. In small skillet, saute onion in melted butter. Add flour to make a paste. Stir into chowder, and continue cooking until it thickens to desired consistency. Season with parsley, salt, and pepper. Top with bacon and cheese. Serves 4.

Wine Suggestion: Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lady Baltimore Cake


Here's a recipe our youngest daughter took to the county fair this last summer and received a purple ribbon on. It has several steps, but is quite tasty! You may also frost this cake with a 7-minute frosting, found HERE. 

2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Filling:
4 tablespoons seeped tea (warm)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Princess Emulsion

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9-inch round layer cake pans, lining with wax paper and lightly spraying with cooking spray. 

In medium bowl, combine sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. 

Using same mixer, beat butter until smooth. Gradually add remaining sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk, beating after each addition until smooth. Mix in extracts. Fold in meringue until well incorporated. Spoon batter into prepared pans and smooth until level. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove cake from pans, and cool on wire racks.

To prepare filling: Whisk together tea, cream, and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. In food processor, process coconut, pecans, and raisins until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add coconut mixture and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown about 5 minutes. Stir in tea mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add condensed milk, vanilla extract, and Princess Emulsion. Transfer to medium bowl and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 

To make the frosting: 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. 

To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on platter. Spread 1/2 filling over cake. Top with second layer, pressing lightly to adhere. Spread remaining filling over second layer, then top with third layer, pressing lightly to adhere. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake for up to 5 days. Serves 12-16.

Kielbasa Potato Skillet



Here's a quick and easy recipe for you to try, sure to please your entire family!

5-6 red potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup water
3/4 pound Smoked Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup bell peppers (green, yellow and red mixed), chopped

*3 cups shredded cabbage
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In microwave-safe dish, cover and cook potatoes in water for 6-10 minutes, until tender. Drain water. In large skillet, saute kielbasa, onion, peppers, and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Add potatoes and cook 7-10 minutes longer until potatoes are lightly browned. (*After years of making and tweaking this dish, I now add 3 cups of shredded cabbage after the potatoes have cooked for 5 minutes or so. Cook the cabbage for an additional 5 minutes and then add the vinegar ingredients below.)


In small bowl, combine brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir into skillet and add bacon. Continue simmering for 3-5 minutes until heated through. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.