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Blackberry Cobbler

Here's a yummy dessert my husband calls "your best dessert ever." You'll have to decide for yourself. Enjoy!

2 pints blackberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, combine blackberries, sugar, and nutmeg. Mix until sugar dissolves and makes its own juice.

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Add egg and milk and stir until moistened.


Pour blackberries into round greased baking dish. Add dots of butter over fruit. Spoon biscuit mixture over fruit in mounds, spreading to edges. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden brown and topping is cooked through. Serves 6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Taylor Bennet's Jazz's Key Lime Pie

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads. See more at: http://taylor--bennett.com/

Taylor's Latest Book Release - Porch Swing Girl

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.
Order the book HERE.

Taylor's Jazz’s Key Lime Pie

This lightened-up, tropical pie is a favorite of Jazz Whitaker, one of Porch Swing Girl’s most beloved side characters. It’s best when served with freshly whipped cream, but the canned variety will do in a pinch

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1oz premium white chocolate, grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Filling: 
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 large egg yolks
1 (14oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

Topping: 
1 pint whipping cream
Powdered sugar (to taste)
Lime zest


Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare crust, combine crumbs, sugar, salt, and chocolate in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Add butter; toss with a fork until moist. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to brown; cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, place yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through milk) in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes or until set. Cool pie completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely, and chill at least 2 hours.

Beat the whipping cream (along with sugar, if using) with an electric mixer until it reaches your preferred consistency. Top each slice of pie with the cream and grated lime zest, if desired.

Homemade Cannoli with Ricotta Filling

 

This past year I have been introducing myself to more Italian recipes. Here's a delicious dessert that has just the right amount of sweetness. Plus chocolate and pistachios!

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
powdered sugar for dusting
Canola or Peanut Oil for frying

Ricotta Filling:
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and salt. Add Marsala and oil and beat on medium speed until dough comes together. Using your hands, knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 12-15 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest 30 minutes. 

Divide dough into 2 pieces, covering unused piece. Pass one piece of dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine, passing through narrower settings until it is the thickness of a dime. (Or roll out by hand into a thin sheet of dough.) Lay dough on a floured work surface. Cut out rounds with a 3 1/4" cutter. Prick dough with fork to give the fried shells their blistered texture. Gather scraps and reroll. 

Pour enough oil into a large heavy saucepan to cover 4 inches. Heat over medium heat to 380 degrees. Wrap each round of dough around a 3 3/4" cannoli form, sealing with a dab of egg white. Work in batches or 3-4; fry until dark golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a wire skimmer or tongs, transfer to paper towels and cool 5 minutes. Carefully slide out of forms, and let shells cool. Continue rolling, cutting, and frying the remaining dough. 

Melt chocolate in a glass bowl set over a a pan of simmering water. Dip ends of cannoli shells in melted chocolate and then dip each end in chopped pistachios. Let set for at least 15 minutes on parchment paper. May store cannoli shells in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in freezer up to 3 weeks.

To make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in chocolate chips, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. 

When ready to prepare, transfer filling to a pastry bag and pipe filling into one end of a cannoli shell to the center, and then into the other end. Repeat with remaining shells. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. (Cannoli cannot be made ahead or they will get soggy. You may, however, prepare the shells and the filling and then pipe right before serving.) Serves 16 cannoli.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas

Here's a yummy recipe for chicken enchiladas. Just put it in your crock pot and let it cook during the day for a quick and easy supper.

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
15 oz. black beans, drained
Enchilada sauce (click link for recipe)
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz. green chilis, chopped
8 Flour Tortillas
8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chicken. Layer beans over chicken. Pour enchilada sauce over both. Top with onion and green chilis. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Strain chicken and beans from sauce and place in a bowl. Shred chicken with fork and mix together.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce into pan and spread to edges. Spoon chicken mixture into center of each flour tortilla. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat for each. Pour remaining sauce over assembled tortillas. Top with grated cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese has melted thoroughly. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole. Serves 6-8
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Karen Witemeyer's Chicken Enchiladas


For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader's Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA® and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. Learn more at www.karenwitemeyer.com or join her private Facebook group-The Posse.


Karen's Latest Book Release - More Than Meets the Eye


When her family is threatened, she never expected that falling in love would be her best defense.

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?


Karen's Chicken Enchiladas

Time for some Tex-Mex love. I have to admit that I don't like a lot of heat when it comes to food, but these chicken enchiladas have just the right touch of spice and a whole lot of cheesy goodness that even my pickiest eater (16-year-old son) asks for them.

8 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
½ cup chopped onion (sometimes I cheat and use a few tablespoons of those dried minced onions instead)
4 cloves garlic, minced (again, I usually cheat and use either prepared minced garlic or a generous shake of garlic powder – I'm a lazy cook)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
2 cups chicken broth
1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chili peppers
2 cups shredded Jack cheese (or more – I like a lot of cheese)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (usually about ½ of a cooked whole chicken)


Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in a 350° oven for 10-15 minutes until softened. For sauce, cook onion, garlic, coriander, and pepper in butter until onion is tender. Stir flour into sour cream then add to onion mixture. Stir in broth and chili peppers. Cook and stir till thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup of cheese. For filling, stir about ½ cup or more of sauce into chicken until all chicken is moistened. Grease bottom of 13x9 pan. Pour a small amount of sauce into pan to coat bottom. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture and extra cheese. Roll seam-side down in pan. Pour remaining sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350°. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice-Cream


Try this recipe when you want to serve your family a delicious icy dessert.

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
caramel sauce

In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream, water, brown sugar, salt, and eggs. Whisk constantly on low heat until sugar dissolves, about 10-12 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter melts. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. 

Pour chilled mixture into a frozen freezer bowl of a 1.5 quart electric ice-cream maker. Add chopped pecans and prepare ice-cream according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice-cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. To serve, scoop ice-cream into individual bowls and drizzle with caramel sauce. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Moist Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Every now and then, I get a hankering for a moist buttery cake. Here's one you can make from scratch!

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks (farm fresh eggs work best for yellow coloring)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 round cake pans with waxed paper. Spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs yolks one at a time. Stir in vanilla. In small bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing just until blended. Pour into cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or toothpick test comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning onto cooling racks. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting.

To make frosting, in large mixing bowl, cream together melted chocolate and butter until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Slowly add buttermilk and whip together until frosting is light and fluffy. Makes enough to frost a two-layer cake.
Click here to view a printable version of this recipe.

Patricia Bradley's 7-Minute Double Chocolate Cake


Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. She also has written sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming available as e-books.

Her workshops on writing include online courses with American Christian Fiction Writers, workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, ACFW Minnesota NICE and Memphis ACFW. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.



Patricia's Latest Book Release - Justice Betrayed

It's Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn't sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators--one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken--she's forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic's home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend's killer?

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?

Patricia's 7-Minute Double Chocolate Cake



The phone rings and it’s your mother-in-law…or your husband calling to say he’s bringing the boss home for cake and coffee in…ten minutes. And you don’t have a cake prepared.

But you do have a cake mix and everything you need to mix it up and a can of frosting in the cabinet. That’s all you need. Oh, and a microwave and a microwaveable bowl.

This recipe is easy-peasy. Mix the cake (I prefer chocolate) like the directions say and pour the batter into a microwaveable bowl. I use the Pampered Chef Roc Croc that my daughter gave me, but any pan you can put in the microwave and will hold the cake mix will do.

After you’ve poured the batter into the pan, open the can of frosting (again chocolate although I want to try caramel!) and dip the frosting out by the spoonful and drop into the batter. I usually make a circle with the frosting.

My Roc-Croc has a lid and I put it place it on top of the pan and then pop the mixture into the microwave and microwave for 7 minutes. VoilĂ ! Your cake is done and still warm when your company arrives. Sometimes I add a dollop of ice cream before I serve the bowls.

Banana Muffins with Granola


Here's a delicious recipe that uses my Homemade Granola recipe found HERE.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 banana)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup granola (See recipe HERE)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Granola, coconut, and chopped dried bananas for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Stir until just mixed together. Do not overmix. Fold in the walnuts, granola, and coconut. Spoon batter into the paper liners, filling 3/4 full. Top each muffin with granola, coconut, and chopped dried bananas and slightly press. Bake 25-30 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. Makes 12 muffins.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Whole Wheat Onion Hamburger Buns


Let me just say that I'd never tried making my own hamburger buns until this recipe. And wow, I may never go back to buying buns from the grocery store ever again! These are delicious and easy to make. And so pretty. If you don't care for onion, you may simply omit it from the recipe. Enjoy!

1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
sesame seeds/poppy seeds

In large mixing bowl, combine water, butter, egg, sugar, onion, salt, and instant yeast. Stir in wheat flour. Add all-purpose flour to form a ball. On floured surface, knead by hand for 5-6 minutes until dough is soft and smooth. Place in greased bowl, and cover. Let rise for 60-90 minutes until double in bulk. Punch down and divide into eight pieces. Shape each into a round ball. Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes while oven is preheating (375 degrees). To make egg wash, whisk egg white and water in small bowl and brush over each bun. Sprinkle each with sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Cool on rack and slice in half to serve. Makes 8 large buns.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Barbecue Ideas

Everyone enjoys summer barbecue, and we are no different. Here's a few of our favorite meat dishes to cook on the grill. Enjoy! 







Great Sides to Include at your Barbecue:











Pimiento Cheese Balls

Here's a delicious appetizer for your next family gathering. Enjoy! 

8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. chopped pimientos, drained
1 cup crushed cheddar crackers (like cheese-its), divided
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place cheddar cheese, pimientos, 1/2 cup crushed crackers, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll into small balls and then roll each ball into reserved remaining crushed crackers. Refrigerate another 30-60 minutes. Makes 24 balls.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Hamburger Tomato Soup


Okay, this is one of those "if you've got it, dump it" recipes that turned out rather good. Enjoy!

1 pound hamburger, browned
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup water
26 oz tomato soup
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan, brown hamburger. Add onions and cook until tender. Add peas, carrots, and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato soup, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper as desired. Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.