Tortellini Garden Salad

Here's an easy salad to make this summer.

16 oz. three cheese tortellini, prepared as directed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup green peppers, sliced
1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan

In a large bowl, combine vegetables and gently stir in cooked and drained tortellini. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Pour over vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Serves 6-8.
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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
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Shrimp Boil

I enjoyed my first shrimp boil at my mother-in-law's house one summer, when she dumped the scrumptious seafood right out onto a patio table lined with newspapers. It was delicious. I served this shrimp boil to my family this past summer and we LOVED it. I hope you'll enjoy it too! Serve with Hush Puppies, Fried Okra Bites, and Red Wine Sangria.

3 pounds small red potatoes
1 1/2 pounds kielbasa, sliced
4 ears of corn, husked, silked, and halved
1 cup large green olives, optional
1/4 cup seafood seasoning (recipe below)
3-4 pounds extra-large shrimp
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Seafood Seasoning Mix:
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground peppercorn melange (a blend of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano

In large stockpot, bring 5 quarts water to a boil. Add potatoes, kielbasa, and seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for five minutes. Add corn and green olives and cook for another ten minutes. Stir in shrimp and parsley and cook for an additional 2 minutes until shrimp turn pink. Remove vegetables and meat with a strainer and place in a large serving bowl or platter. Or spread out on a table lined with newspaper or freezer paper. Sprinkle with additional seasoning if desired. Serves 6-8.

To make Seafood Seasoning Mix, combine all ingredients in an airtight jar and shake to mix thoroughly. Keep sealed until ready to use.

Wine Suggestion: Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc
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Peanut Chicken

Here's a delicious recipe to make when you're craving some Asian food. Serve with Egg-Drop Soup and Egg Rolls.

1/4 cup peanut oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cups dry roasted peanuts

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring frequently until browned. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine corn syrup, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger and cornstarch. Whisk together until combined. Pour over chicken and bring to a boil. Stir until it thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Add peanuts. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6.
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Southwest Bean Salad

Here's a heart-healthy salad, sure to satisfy every appetite.

1 pound chicken tenders, sliced 1/2" thick
8 oz. garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
8 oz. black beans, drained
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
Spinach greens
Creamy Italian dressing

Heat large skillet with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Add beans and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

In large bowl, combine sweet peppers, tomatoes, avocado, green peppers, and spinach. Spoon chicken mixture over top and toss with your favorite salad dressing (I used creamy Italian) and croutons.

*You can also serve the cooked chicken and beans cold, if you prefer. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!
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Lillian Duncan's Banana Pancakes

Lillian Duncan is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. Her goal is to write stories that entertain but also demonstrate God’s love for all of us. To learn more about her, visit

Lillian's Latest Book Release: The David Years  

Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she's still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House, but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.
Now that she's graduated from high school and is an adult, she is sure it's time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years ago. Nia thought her learning years—her David Years—were over, but the harder she tries to move forward, the more her destiny seems to elude her.

To celebrate the release of The David Years, I'm having a giveaway--actually TWO different giveaways! The grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift card and your choice of one of my ebooks. To enter that giveaway, CLICK HERE and follow the directions! I'll also pick FIVE lucky winners to receive their choice of one my ebooks (except The Sisters of Choice trilogy).  To be entered in that giveaway, go to then leave a comment under one of THE DAVID YEARS posts.

Lillian's Banana Pancakes

Pancakes are usually a big no-no when trying to lose weight, but not these.

2 bananas
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons self-rising flour (optional)

Mix the ingredients together until smooth. Cook like normal pancakes. Top with fruit or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar or no-sugar syrup. Adding the self-rising flour will make the pancakes more cakey.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Here's a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Enjoy! 

1/2 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons sugar (divided)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, sliced
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in milk and egg yolks. Whisk together until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Line a 9-inch square pan with half of the vanilla wafers.Top with half of the bananas and half of the pudding. Repeat layers with remaining wafers, bananas, and pudding. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, cream of tarter and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to the edge of the pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Serves 6-8.
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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
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Cookbook Preview ~ The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

Jill Winger, creator of the award-winning blog The Prairie Homestead, introduces her debut The Prairie Homestead Cookbook, including 100+ delicious, wholesome recipes made with fresh ingredients to bring the flavors and spirit of homestead cooking to any kitchen table.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks meets 100 Days of Real Food, on the Wyoming prairie. While Jill produces much of her own food on her Wyoming ranch, you don’t have to grow all―or even any―of your own food to cook and eat like a homesteader. Jill teaches people how to make delicious traditional American comfort food recipes with whole ingredients and shows that you don’t have to use obscure items to enjoy this lifestyle. And as a busy mother of three, Jill knows how to make recipes easy and delicious for all ages.
These 109 recipes include her family’s favorites, with maple-glazed pork chops, butternut Alfredo pasta, and browned butter skillet corn. Jill also shares 17 bonus recipes for homemade sauces, salt rubs, sour cream, and the like―staples that many people are surprised to learn you can make yourself. Beyond these recipes, The Prairie Homestead Cookbook shares the tools and tips Jill has learned from life on the homestead, like how to churn your own butter, feed a family on a budget, and experience all the fulfilling satisfaction of a DIY lifestyle. Buy the cookbook HERE.

Sourdough Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Here's a delicious recipe to make when you want to make homemade hamburger buns. 

1 cup sourdough "fed" sourdough starter
1 cup warm water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon wheat gluten
2 teaspoons instant yeast 
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
Sesame seeds for topping

In a large bowl, mix with your kneading hook the sourdough starter, water, eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt, wheat gluten, and yeast. Add whole wheat flour, and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Knead for 5-7 minutes until dough comes together, adding remaining flour as needed to form a firm ball. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to rise for 60-90 minutes, until doubled. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch 2-3 times. Divide the dough into ten equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and flatten to about 1-inch thick. Place flattened balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for another 30-40 minutes until puffy.Near the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water to make egg wash. Gently brush egg wash over the buns and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks and slice before using. Makes 10 buns.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.