Key Lime Pie

Here is a recipe perfect for when you want something light and refreshing on a hot summer day.

1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons margarine, melted

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 unsweetened Kool Aid lemon-lime soft drink packet
1 tub whipped topping, thawed

In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until combined. Press into pie plate and refrigerate.

In mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and soft drink mix. Remove 1/2 cup of whipped topping and set aside. Add remaining whipped topping to lime mixture, mixing well. Pour into crust. With icing tip, garnish remaining whipped topping on top of lime mixture. Freeze six hours or overnight. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Gail Kittleson's Dill Pickles

Gail Kittleson writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband of forty-one years enjoy grandchildren, gardening, traveling and historical research. After instructing college writing and English as a Second Language, Gail wrote a memoir. Then the World War II bug big her . . . relentlessly! 

Seven novels later, she’s still hopelessly addicted to this riveting era. Her women’s fiction honors Greatest Generation characters who made a difference despite great odds. Gail’s second love, teaching, has her facilitating workshops and retreats, where she cheers others in their creative efforts. Learn more about Gail HERE.

Gail's Latest Book Release - Until Then

March 3, 1943
Bethnal Green, London’s East End

Shortly after a quarter past eight, a siren split the air. Marian Williams lifted her sleeping daughter from her bed and darted down the stairs. Her mother and father-in-law, off on air warden duty, had left the front door unlocked.

She hugged her youngest child close. The blackout made the going difficult, but her husband’s instructions echoed in her brain: “Whatever you do, get down inside the station fast as you can.”

She hoped for a spot near the canteen, with access to milk. Uneven light shone over the paved steps. Then she tripped. Her knee hit the concrete, then something bashed her left side. Someone cried out. Another blow scraped her arm on the landing floor. Where was her baby? She attempted to get up, but an even heavier weight slammed her face down. A crushing burden descended, then all went black.

Riding in the backs of Army trucks across North Africa, throughout the Sicily campaign, up the boot of Italy, and northward through France into Germany, Dorothy Woebbeking served as a surgical nurse with the 11th Evacuation Hospital.

During World War II, US Army nurses worked and slept in tents through horrific weather, endured enemy fire, and even the disdain of their own superior officers, who believed women had no place in war. But Dorothy and her comrades persevered, and their skills and upbeat attitude made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of wounded soldiers. Dorothy and Marian’s stories converge on a simple, hand stitched handkerchief. Buy the book HERE.

Gail's Dill Pickles

50 4" washed, dried cucumbers 
½ small horseradish root, diced
1 ½ cups salt, divided
½ large bunch dill
6 qts water, divided 
¼ cup vinegar

In a large crock, dissolve 1 cup salt in 4 qts water, add cucumbers (all under the brine), let stand 12 hours. It may be necessary to prepare more brine to cover, if necessary. Drain and wipe dry. Place in sterilized jars with layers of horseradish and dill.

Combine remaining 2 cups water, 1/2 cup salt and vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over cucumbers. Partly seal. When fermentation stops, pour over enough cooled brine containing vinegar to cover, and seal. Makes about 6 quarts pickles.

Chicken Teriyaki on a Stick

Here's a delicious recipe to make on the grill this summer. Serve with Fried Rice, Crab Rangoon, or Egg Rolls.

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 pounds chicken tenders
bamboo skewers

To prepare teriyaki sauce, place soy sauce, water, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk gently until mixture begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Place chicken strips in a large ziploc bag and coat with 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce. Marinate chicken tenders in the sauce for at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before cooking. Skewer chicken. Cook on prepared charcoal grill for 3-5 minutes on each side until done. Brush strips with reserved teriyaki glaze for the last 1-2 minutes. Serves 4-6.
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.

Phyllis Clark Nichols' Coconut-Lemon Cake

Phyllis Clark Nichols believes everyone could use a little more hope and light. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions from within the simple lives of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a love for nature, art, music, cooking, faith and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment, often through surprisingly serendipitous events. 

Phyllis was raised in the deep shade of magnolia trees in Cairo, Georgia. Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband, where red birds and axis deer are her ever-ravenous neighbors. She has been an English major, seminary graduate, concert artist and co-founder of a national cable network for people with disabilities. For over a decade she has worked in the orphanages of Guatemala and currently serves on several non-profit boards where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most. Learn more about Phyllis HERE.

Phyllis' Latest Book Release: Return on the Song 

Caroline Carlyle’s hopes and dreams were crushed when her fiancĂ© died six weeks before their wedding. For years, she wrestled with aching loss and shattered faith, struggling to find the inspiration that once came so easily. Abandoning her half-finished piano compositions, Caroline traded her ambitions for the comfort and familiarity of life as Moss Point’s piano teacher.

But Caroline’s life turns upside-down when a mysterious stranger enters her life, bringing courage and fresh purpose. Inspired by her new acquaintance, Caroline embarks on a quest to track down the beloved rare piano she played as a child. Her search leads her to Rockwater, the Kentucky estate of a wealthy gentleman, where Caroline finds her heart may be composing a surprising new song. Buy the book HERE.

Phyllis' Coconut-Lemon Cake

For the cake:
1 box of White Cake Mix mixed according to package directions. I divided the batter into four 8” pans and baked for 18 minutes. Remove from the pans and completely cool. If you have a favorite white layer cake batter, that works well too.

For the Lemon Filling: 
2 eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cups of water
1 cup sugar

Put these ingredients in the top of a double boiler and cook until slightly thickened.
Then add the juice of 3 lemons and 2 Tablespoons of butter and stir until mixed.
Cool this mixture. It will go between the layers.

For the Coconut Icing:
8 ounces of sour cream
14 oz. bag of sweetened coconut
1 1/3 cups sugar
8 oz. container of Cool Whip or your favorite dessert topping
Stir all these ingredients together and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

To assemble, spread a layer of the lemon filling on the first cake layer and follow with the coconut icing on top of that. Repeat this process for layers two and three. For the fourth layer, only spread the lemon filling on top.

Then ice the sides with the rest of the coconut icing. I like to put a curl of lemon rind on top for decoration. This cake is actually better if you make it a day or two ahead. Keep this cake refrigerated, and the longer it sets the better it is. The problem is that it doesn’t seem to last very long.

Homemade Toasted Ravioli

As you may know already, I enjoy making Italian food. Here's a new recipe I made after tasting my first Toasted Ravioli in St. Louis this past winter. Enjoy!

Pasta Dough:
1 cup 00 flour
1 cup Duram or Semolina Flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Ravioli Filling:
1/2 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
2 Italian sausages, skins removed, cooked and drained
8 oz. shredded provolone cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg

4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
kosher salt and ground black pepper
Canola oil for frying

To prepare the dough, in a large bowl, sift together the flours and salt. Make a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil, whisking to combine. Using a fork or your fingers, begin to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture and knead until all of the liquid is absorbed by the flour, 4-5 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to set for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a food processor, combine the cooked and drained beef and sausage. Add the cheese and process for 30-60 seconds. Add the egg, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse several times until finely mixed together. Place the filling in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. 

To make the ravioli, divide the dough into two pieces and roll out with a pasta roller to a thickness of 1/8". Lay out one sheet of dough on a lightly floured surface. Distribute spoonfuls of filling on the bottom sheet of dough, about 2 inches apart. Brush around the filling with some egg wash. Carefully lay a second sheet of dough on top and press the edges together with your fingertips. Use a round or square ravioli cutter to make the ravioli pieces, pinching the edges shut to ensure closure. Repeat until dough and filling has been used up. Place prepared ravioli on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper. 

In a large Dutch oven, pour enough canola oil to cover ravioli, about 1/3 full. Heat over medium heat until deep-frying thermometer reached 350 degrees F. In a shallow bowl, whisk the three eggs and cream. Place breadcrumbs and Parmesan in another shallow bowl and stir to combine. Dredge the ravioli in the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Working in batches of 3-4, carefully drop the ravioli into the oil and fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, bringing oil back up to temperature between batches. Place on wire racks to drain and keep warm by covering with aluminum foil. Serve with Marinara sauce of your choice and freshly grated Parmesan. Makes 20-24 ravioli. Serve with your favorite Chianti wine.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Skillet Fried Morels

Here's a recipe from my first time to cook and eat morels. My husband's uncle had found some in the woods and brought us some to try. They were delicious. Here's how I prepared them.

6 morel mushrooms, soaked in salt water for 1-2 days
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
oil for frying

Pat mushrooms dry with paper towels. On a large plate, stir together flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. Dredge mushrooms in flour mixture.

In medium skillet heat oil. Cook mushrooms for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until golden brown on each side. Serve warm as appetizers. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sherrinda Ketchersid's Honey Cakes

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love. Learn more about Sherrinda and her writing at

Sherrinda's Latest Book Release: Lord of Her Heart  

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. Buy the book HERE.

Sherrinda's Sweet Honey Cakes

1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves , optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or nutmeg , optional
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
1/3 cup (80 ml) canola oil (or vegetable, safflower)
1/2 cup warm coffee or tea (mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1 teaspoon instant coffee or 1 tea bag)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (25g) sliced almonds, pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom/nutmeg. Set aside. 

In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and honey on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. On low speed and with the mixer running, slowly add the oil and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Turn off mixer. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the coffee/tea in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Beat until smooth. Do not over mix. 

Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and set on a wire rack to cool completely. 

The cake tastes better a day after it’s made. It's best served at room temperature. Cake will keep for 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Smoked Salmon Mousse with Cucumber Sandwiches

This May has been all about tea parties. Here's another fine recipe for a tea party sandwich.

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper
7 oz. canned smoked salmon (Chicken of the Sea)
3 tablespoons capers
1 English cucumber, sliced thin
10 slices thinly sliced rye or pumpernickel bread, buttered

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, minced onion, dill weed, horseradish, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, mixing well to combine. Stir in the smoked salmon and capers. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, layer mousse onto buttered pieces of bread and top with thinly sliced cucumbers. Top with another piece of bread or serve open-faced. Slice into quarters. Serves 20-40 small sandwiches.
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.