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Sour Cream Cheese Biscuits



Here's a yummy recipe to try. Great with Fried Chicken. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add cheese. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream. Mix until blended. Transfer dough to floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 8-12 biscuits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Jan Drexler's Whoopie Pies

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family. She is the author of The Prodigal Son Returns, A Mother for His Children (winner of the 2013 TARA award), and A Home for His Family (finalist for the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award), as well as Hannah’s Choice and Mattie’s Pledge (finalist for the 2017 Holt Medallion). Learn more about Jan HERE.

Jan's Latest Book Release: Naomi's Hope  

Despite growing pains in her 1846 Amish community in Indiana, Naomi Schrock has settled into a comfortable life in her parents’ home with her adopted son, Davey. Surrounded by family and friends, she tries not to think about the fact that she’s not at the top of any man’s list of potential wives. Yet when Cap Stoltzfus moves into the area and befriends Davey, Naomi finds herself caught between the plans she has made for her future and the tantalizing thought that Cap might be part of a life she never dared to hope for.

When a couple shows up claiming to be Davey’s true family, Naomi and Cap must unite to make the decision that will determine the boy’s future as well as their own. How can she relinquish him to these unknown relatives? And can God somehow bring wholeness to her heart? Buy the book HERE.


Jan's Recipe for Whoopie Pies

Light, fluffy, delicious and quintessentially Amish, Whoopie Pies are a family favorite. And the mini version is a hit at carry-in dinners!

Cookies: (makes about 4 dozen, you need 2 for each pie)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup, minus 1 tablespoon milk
1 cup hot water

These cookies are made like a cake. To be successful in getting the right texture, repeat the following to yourself as you’re mixing the batter: “I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies.” Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a measuring cup, add milk to two teaspoons vinegar to make one cup, and let set for about five minutes to sour the milk.

Meanwhile, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until the mixture is uniform in color.

Next, in your mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture and the sour milk alternately, about ¼ of each at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the hot water and blend until smooth. You now have a thick, rich, chocolate cake batter. Drop by tablespoon full, spaced apart, onto cookie sheets. For the mini version, just make smaller cookies by using a half tablespoon of batter for each cookie and bake for less time.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until the top of the cookie springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool. After the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to make the filling!

Filling:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups powdered confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk the flour into the one cup milk. Heat in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, soften the butter to room temperature. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for 7 minutes, or until fluffy. To assemble your Whoopie Pies, spread a couple tablespoons of filling on the bottom of one cookie, then set another cookie on top.

Cherry-Lemon Infused Water


Here's a recipe we enjoy making in the summer when we want to up our water intake. It's also a fun drink to make for a girls' manicure party.

1 cup pitted black cherries
2 lemons (or limes), cut into half-slices
1/4 cup fresh basil
water
ice cubes

Place cherries, lemons, and basil in a half-gallon jar. Fill with cold water. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Pour into glasses filled with ice cubes. Enjoy!

Tips: Add fruit to jar, and slightly mash with a wooden spoon to bring out more flavor. Also, gently rub herbs together before adding to mixture to bring out more herbal essence. 

Other combinations you might try: 
strawberries, lemons, and mint; blueberries, oranges, and lavender; or cucumbers, grapefruit, and rosemary.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Here's a sweet treat to make using your cast iron skillet. Perfect for a party with family or friends!

Topping:
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
20 oz. pineapple slices, reserve juice
Maraschino cherries
1/2 cup pecan halves

Cake:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large cast iron skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar and stir until combined. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on top of sugar mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Set aside.


In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, shortening, and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour over pineapples. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tests done. Scrape sides of pan with knife, then, invert cake onto a serving plate. Serves 12-14.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Father's Day Menu Ideas

Father's Day is always a great time to get out the grill and cook something delicious in celebration of this day. Here are a few recipe ideas for your cookout. Enjoy! And Happy Father's Day! 





Beef Brisket


Here's a delicious recipe to make for your next family gathering. Serve with mashed potatoes and brown gravy as an open-faced sandwich.

10 oz beef stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5-7 pounds beef brisket

In a medium bowl, combine beef stock, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and liquid smoke. Place brisket in an oblong baking dish or roaster. Pour stock over meat. Sprinkle with black pepper. Cover tightly with foil and allow to marinate in refrigerator for 12-18 hours. Bake in 300 degree oven for 5-6 hours or 40 minutes per pound, checking two or three times to pour juice over meat. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing, cutting across the grain. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or as an open-faced beef sandwich. Serves 8-10.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cajun Shrimp

Here's a fun recipe for any shrimp-lovers out there. A great addition to any barbecue.

1 pound large shrimp, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix

Place 4-6 shrimp on each skewer. Brush with olive oil. Generously sprinkle both sides with Cajun Spice Mix. Place on hot grill and heat for 5-7 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and serve warm. Serves 4-6. Delicious!

Wine Suggestion: Fancy Pants Pinot Grigio
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Debra Marvin's Blueberry Torte

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction and Barbour Publishing. Debra has been a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. She uses her horticulture degree in her work as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Because writing also means being all over social media, she’d appreciate seeing you at her Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram spots, or over at her website. A great way to keep up with new fiction (and there’s four stories coming down the pike) is to follow her Amazon Author Page.

Debra's Latest Book Release SAGUARO SUNSET

No ice cream sandwich is as sweet as a long-delayed sunset kiss.

Friday night’s first phone call was the answer to Teresa Scott’s career dreams. Before she can celebrate, a second call informs her of her sister’s accident and puts Teresa in ‘the driver’s seat’ of Frosty Fingers Food Truck during the Tucson Festival of Books. Determined to keep her sister’s business out of the red, Teresa hides the painful disappointment of giving up her dream.

Fellow accountant Alan Davis sticks his do-gooder nose in, hanging around to help Teresa, the woman he’s adored since forever, not knowing the coveted board position he's just accepted is the one she had to give up. 

Nice Guy Alan isn’t really Teresa’s type, but she’s won over by his humor, adorable smile, and ice cream scooping skills. As his presence become irreplaceable, she sheds the hardened layers of her heart. Just when it’s clear she needs him in her life, Alan has to face his biggest regret and honor an old promise. Will losing this chivalrous knight in a snowman costume break Teresa’s vulnerable heart? 
Find it at Amazon


Debra's Blueberry Torte

Debra also hosts guests through AirBnB, and uses her go-to recipe for fruit torte to welcome them. This is the famous NY Times Plum Torte by Marian Burris which appeared decades ago but remains one of their most successful recipes. Here’s Debra’s version:

½ cup softened butter
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lemon zest
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
12 oz. frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice (or lemon zest). In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed butter mixture, blending well. Spread into a greased pie dish or a spring-form pan (8,9, or 10 inches). I use a glass pie dish. Cover with frozen blueberries. Be generous, but don’t cover completely.

Bake 45 mins-1 hour depending on your oven and pan. I wish I could come over and give my opinion, but you are on your own. Remove and cool. I carefully remove the torte from the pie dish after about 10-15 minutes if I want to place it in my fancy cake dish, but it can be left in the pan if your family is just going to chow it down. 

Fried New Potatoes


When I was a girl, my mom liked to pick the first small potatoes from the garden and serve them to our family brown and crispy. It was a huge treat...and it still is today! Enjoy!

2 pounds new small potatoes
1/3 cup Canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and wash the skins of new garden potatoes. Slice in half or quarter, depending on their size. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are starting to get get tender. Drain completely of water.

Heat a large skillet with canola oil. Place potatoes in oil and fry on all sides until brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Baked Custard with Blackberries


Here's a favorite recipe I've enjoyed since childhood. 

3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (or seeds from 1" vanilla bean)
dash of nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Whisk together. Slowly stir in milk and vanilla. Fill 6 6-oz custard cups and set in shallow pan. Sprinkle each with a dash of nutmeg. Pour hot water (not boiling) into pan 1" deep. Bake for 50-60 minutes until custard is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with fresh blackberries and whipped cream. Yum!

June Foster's Joe Patty's Grilled Shrimp

An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's Laurel Awards. June has written for Desert Breeze Publishing and WhiteFire Publishing. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Visit June at junefoster.com.

June's Latest Book Release: Restoration of the Heart

Though a Christian, Luke Chamberlain ignored his values and indulged in his beautiful fiancé's world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho's Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890's silver mining ghost town, he accepts.

Janie Littleton studied history in college because life in the past is simpler than the uncomfortable reality of the present. With her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair, no man would find her attractive. When she's offered the job of project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, she accepts. But as Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening midnight visits.

Can Luke convince Janie he's in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she's harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago? Buy the book HERE.


June's Recipe for Joe Patty's Grilled Shrimp

Johnny's Seasoning Salt
Olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Jumbo peeled and deveined shrimp

Wash shrimp in cold water and drain. Pierce head and tail of each shrimp with skewer. Place skewers on a cookie sheet. Brush with a generous coat of olive oil. Shake Johnny's Seasoning Salt on shrimp to taste. Put skewers on a medium hot grill. Turn once after 3-5 minutes or until light brown. Turn skewers over and cook 3-5 more minutes. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. 

Honey-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

Here's a recipe we tried last summer that turned out quite delicious. Serve with Sweet Corn Relish or Easy Green Bean Medley. 

1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepare charcoal grill. While coals are heating, in small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, and garlic. Brush chicken thighs with oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. When grill is ready, cook chicken for 8-15 minutes, covered, until juice runs clear (180 degrees), turning once and brushing with honey mixture during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking time.
Serves 6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli and Cauliflower


Here's a recipe using homemade Alfredo sauce that is simply delicious. I hope you will enjoy it!

4 boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 oz - Fettuccine
3 cups frozen broccoli and cauliflower

Alfredo Sauce:
1/3 cup salted butter
1 cup onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In large skillet, heat oil and sear chicken pieces until brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Prepare fettuccine in boiling water for 9-11 minutes, as directed on package. Cook frozen broccoli and cauliflower in microwave for 6-8 minutes until heated through, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet. Saute onion and garlic until tender, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir with whisk until smooth. Add half and half in three parts, stirring well each time. Add grated Parmesan and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Continue stirring until sauce reaches desired thickness. Add steamed broccoli and cauliflower to sauce.

To prepare each serving, spoon a layer of fettuccine on a plate. Top with Alfredo sauce and then chicken. May sprinkle with grated Parmesan if desired. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Wine Recommendation: Sterling Nappa Chardonnay 2012
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Memorial Day Menu Ideas


Memorial Day is almost here, which means it's time to get out the grill and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Here are a few menu ideas to help you celebrate this coming weekend. 



Barbecued Baby Back Ribs, Steak and Shrimp Shish Kabobs, or Grilled Pork Loin






Fresh Garden Creamed Peas


My mom always had a large garden, and one of the first produce we'd enjoy from the garden was fresh creamed peas. I always liked this served with New Fried Potatoes and Goulash. Enjoy!

2 cups fresh garden peas
2 cups milk + 1/4 cup milk, divided
1/8 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

In a medium saucepan, cover garden peas with water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until peas are tender. Drain water. Add 2 cups milk. Heat on low, being sure not to scald the milk. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining milk and flour until smooth. Add to heated milk and stir to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with dollops of butter. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Normandie Fischer's Fancy Ragu

Normandie Fischer studied sculpture in Italy before receiving a BA, summa cum laude with special honors in English. Her books, which have garnered numerous awards, include her Carolina Coast stories: Becalmed, Heavy Weather, Twilight Christmas, and Sailing out of Darkness. From Fire into Fire and Two from Isaac’s House—a Romantic Times Top Pick—form the beginning of her Isaac’s House series. A lifelong sailor, Normandie and her husband spent a number of years on board their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, sailing home to North Carolina in 2011 to take care of her mother. They have four children, two grandchildren, and an aussiedoodle named Rhion. Learn more about Normandie HERE.

Normandie's Book Release - Two From Isaac's House 

Inheritance? Check. Solo trip before getting married? Check. Dangerous hot guy she shouldn't get involved with in a thousand years? Oh, honey, that's a check.

From author Normandie Fischer comes a new romantic suspense that takes the reader from the hills of Italy to the Jordanian desert and from there to an Israel on the brink of war with Hamas. Rina Lynne has never traveled far from Morehead City, North Carolina. So when she inherits her father's secret stash, she's ready to kick up her heels and go adventuring before she settles down to marry her long-time fiancĂ©. 

First stop, Italy. Enter Tony (aka Anton), an engineering geek conned into helping his Israeli cousins as a sort-of spy. From the moment he meets Rina, he's distracted, which is not a good idea when there's already been murder and theft. And from the moment Rina meets Tony, she's fascinated, which is also not a good idea. He's an Arab-American, and she's half-Jewish. And engaged. And then there are all those bodies dropping around them, each linked to the gathering storm in the Middle East. Buy the book HERE. 


Normandie Fischer's Recipe for Fancy Ragu

Smithfield’s pork barbecue
14 oz. Italian sausage
½ sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
mushrooms
1-2 yellow squash or zucchini
baby spinach
Pappardelle noodles
Organic spaghetti sauce of your choice
Any other vegetable that’s hanging around and needs to be eaten
A dab or two of honey
Sweet wine
Salt, pepper
Goat cheese

The lovely thing about this ragu is that someone else already cooked the pork, and Smithfield’s has a wonderful peppery/vinegary taste that works well to season this sauce. I added the sausage only because it was left over from another meal. Leftovers determine the vegetable component of the dish as well. Squash adds color and texture (you can put almost any veggie in). And I chop and toss spinach into most things. Great color. Smooths out the flavor.

The rest is simple. Chop the veggies. Saute first the onion/carrot/garlic bits. Next add in the squash. Then the mushroom. Then the spaghetti sauce. Don’t season until the pork has been added.

Now, here’s a trick I’ve found that adds a lovely layer to tomato-based sauces: honey. I’ve already salted to taste, and I’ve poured in a generous ¼ cup or so of sweet wine (on the order of my mama’s Riesling, which is much too sweet for me to drink but that works beautifully in a sauce). I add honey until that layering happens. Once your palette becomes sensitive to this, you’ll know what I mean.

Let it  simmer while the noodles cook. Papparadelle noodles are perfect with ragu. Don’t let them overcook past al dente.

Then plate and, if your parsley has gone the way of winter hibernation, add a few small slices of uncooked baby spinach for garnish. Oh, and don’t forget the goat cheese. I can’t eat cow’s milk products, but goat cheese is perfect. It really enhances the flavor of the dish. Enjoy!

Warm German Potato Salad


Here's a new twist on potato salad to make for your family. Enjoy!

2 pounds russet potatoes, quartered
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
3/4 cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/2 cup pimiento, drained
1 teaspoon dill weed

In large saucepan, cover potatoes in water and boil over medium heat 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes until crispy brown. Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon grease in skillet and cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in water, vinegar, and mustard. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Carefully stir in potatoes, pimento, and dill weed. Serve warm. Serves 4-6
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

Here is an old recipe I enjoyed as a girl, and one I want to pass down to my girls.

6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In serving bowl, mix together sliced strawberries and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. In medium bowl, sift together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add beaten egg and milk. Spread dough in greased round cake pan. Sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with strawberries and whipped topping. Delicious!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mother's Day Brunch Ideas

Here are a few ideas for your Mother's Day brunch.



Weekend Brunch Casserole (love this recipe)






Fish Tacos


Here's a delicious recipe I tried out this past summer after tasting my first fish tacos at "Kip's Grill" in Creede, CO. Enjoy! 

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bottle dark beer
20 oz. frozen fish, cut into 1/2" chunks -- (I like using fresh catfish)
8 cups Canola Oil or Peanut Oil
6-8 corn tortillas

Slaw Topping:
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 Roma tomato, slivered
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 yellow and red peppers, slivered

Cream Sauce:
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce

In a medium bowl, combine flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. Add beer and mix with wire whisk until combined. Add chunks of fish to batter, coating each piece well. Heat oil in large Dutch oven to 350 degrees. (For best results, maintain a temperature of 350-375 degrees). Cook fish a dozen pieces at a time for 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in 200 degree oven. Repeat until fish has cooked. 

To prepare tortillas. fold corn tortilla in half and clasp with metal tongs. Dip the tortilla in hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels and repeat. The tortillas are soft enough ply open with a fork as they cool. 

To prepare the tacos: Fill tortilla with 6-8 pieces of fish, then top with slaw and cream sauce. Serve with salsa and shredded cheese, if desired. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Baked Beef and Black Bean Flautas



Here's a new recipe I served to our family. I hope you'll enjoy it! In case you've ever wondered, a Flauta is a long flour tortilla rolled up in filling and fried, (or in this case, baked) and a Taquito is a short corn tortilla rolled up in filling and fried. You may use my recipe for flour tortillas if desired.

1 1/2 pounds ground hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
15 oz. can black beans, drained
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
10 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large skillet, brown hamburger. Add onion, garlic, hot sauce, soy sauce, chili powder, onion powder, and ground cumin. Stir in black beans. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Spoon 1/2 cup on one edge of flour tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Roll tightly and lay seam-side down on greased baking sheet. Repeat until mixture is gone. Spray tops with cooking oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Turn and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Serve with cheese dip, salsa, and sour cream. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Johnnie Alexander's Memphis Biker Chili

Johnnie Alexander is a wannabe vagabond with a heart for making memories. While relaxing on her Sunshine State patio with her dogs Rugby and Griff, she writes stories that tug at your heartstrings.

In addition to winning the prestigious American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest (Historical), Johnnie has received several conference awards. Her popular debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian.

She is marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference and past president of both the ACFW Memphis and ACFW Central Florida chapters. Learn more about Johnnie HERE.

Johnnie's Latest Book Release: What Hope Remembers

When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the uncaring things she’s done–even to her own family–she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead. But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them. Purchase the book HERE.


Johnnie's Memphis Biker Chili

1 pkg Conecuh smoked sausage (red label)
1 pkg mild pork sausage
1 pkg Italian sweet sausage
½ red onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeded & diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-8 oz cans tomato sauce
2-8 oz cans Ro-Tel mild diced tomatoes and green chilis
2-8 oz cans chili beans (1 mild & 1 spicy)
½ teaspoon yellow mustard
3 pkgs chili powder mix (use 2 to start and add the third for additional flavor)
2 pkgs Philadelphia Cream Cheese (use 1 to start and add the second as desired)
1 tablespoon jalapeno juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Corn kernels (as desired)

Cut the Conecuh sausage into bite-sized pieces. Brown all meat with onion, diced pepper and garlic in a skillet, breaking up the sausage. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in chili powder mix and add all canned ingredients. Stir together to combine. (We puree the beans first.)

Bring to a simmer then add yellow mustard and jalapeno juice. Add cream cheese in chunks and stir in to melt. Continue to simmer to blend ingredients. Serve hot with crackers, diced raw onions, diced jalapenos, shredded cheddar and sour cream or whatever other toppings you like! This recipe makes a huge amount of chili. You can cut the recipe in half or freeze the extra.

Note: Gabe Kendall, the hero of What Love Remembers, makes his signature chili dish for Amy Somers. To help me out, my sister (who took all the cooking genes) asked a friend for his award-winning chili recipe. We made a few incidental tweaks—perhaps because I picked up a couple wrong ingredients at the grocery store—and we now have a new family favorite. Though Gabe’s chili isn’t called Memphis Biker Chili in the novel, this is definitely what he fixed for Amy.