Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes

Here's a yummy recipe to serve your family on weekends. Enjoy! May serve with Homemade Pancake Syrup.

2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup "unfed" sourdough starter (Recipe HERE.)

2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, buttermilk, and sourdough starter. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

In a medium bowl, mix together the sourdough sponge, eggs, butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour batter onto a preheated griddle to make 6-8" pancakes. Flip to other side when golden brown. Continue until batter is used. Serve warm with syrup. Makes 6-8 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Snicker Fudge

Here's a yummy recipe to make for your family during the holiday season. Enjoy!

6 Snickers candy bars (2.07 oz. each)
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9" square pan with foil. Butter the foil and set it aside. Cut candy bars into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside. In saucepan bring sugar, butter and milk to boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until candy thermometer reads 234 degrees (soft ball stage), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips, marshmallow cream and vanilla until smooth. Pour half into prepared pan. Sprinkle with candy bars. Top with remaining fudge and spread evenly. Let stand until cool. Lift out of pan and remove foil. Cut into squares. Makes 7 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cranberry Pound Cake with Almonds

Here's a delicious cake to make for your family during the holidays. The original recipe appeared in Good Housekeeping. I have altered it slightly. This recipe is especially good when it has set for 1-2 days. Delicious.

3 cups fresh cranberries
2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Princess Cake Flaving

1 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Sliced almonds for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan, combine cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until cranberries begin to burst, stirring frequently. Cool completely.

Grease 12-cup Bundt pan; dust lightly with flour. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add remaining sugar, mixing well between additions, beating for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one-at-a-time, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in vanilla extract and Princess Emulsion. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan. Spread cooled cranberry mixture in an even layer over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To make glaze, in small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cake. Garnish with sliced almonds. Serves 16.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Company Potatoes

Here's a recipe I love to make for family gatherings or church socials. It makes a lot and goes well with Country-Style Ribs or Holiday Ham. Enjoy!

2 pounds frozen southern hash browns
10 3/4 oz. cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cups butter, melted (divided)
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cornflakes, crushed

In large bowl, combine hash browns, cream soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup butter, onion, salt, and pepper. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. In small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup melted butter and cornflakes. Spoon over potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Serves 12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Slow Cooker Holiday Ham

Here is an easy recipe for baking a juicy and tender ham. Especially good when you want to free up your oven space.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 can pineapple slices with juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
8 lb cured, bone-in ham

Spread 1/2 cup brown sugar on bottom of slow cooker. Place ham, flat side down on sugar. Rub remaining sugar on ham. Place pineapple slices on sides of ham. Pour 3 tablespoons pineapple juice over ham. Sprinkle with cloves. Cover and bake on low for 8 hours until tender.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Country Blueberry Pie

Here's a delicious recipe for Blueberry Pie. If you haven't heard about the many health benefits from blueberries, check this article out from The World's Healthiest Foods.

4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 double pie crust
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently stir until mixed well. Set aside while you prepare the pie pastry. Add blueberry mixture on top of bottom crust. Dot with bits of butter. Smooth water along edge of pie crust with fingertips (to help seal the pie). Add the top pastry to pie and crimp edges. I always like to smooth 1-2 tablespoons of milk over the top of the pastry and then sprinkle with sugar to make a pretty crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes until top crust is golden.

Pie Pastry Recipe:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water (2 parts)

In medium sized bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add shortening and cut in with a fork until crumbly. Add 1/4 cup water and mix, then add the rest of the water to finish mixing the dough. Dough should hold together in a ball. Roll out on floured surface the size of your pie plate. For top crusts, remember to make slits in the dough so your pie can breathe while it is baking.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cherry Cheese Loaves

This is a recipe we enjoy serving on Christmas morning. It also makes a wonderful treat for gift-giving.

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can cherry pie filling

1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In saucepan, heat sour cream and butter to 110-115 degrees. Add to yeast mixture. Add sugar and eggs. Mix well. Gradually add flour. Mix well. Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and extract until smooth; set aside. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll each into a 12x8" rectangle. Spread a fourth of the cream cheese mixture down the center of each rectangle. Spoon a fourth of the pie filling over the cream cheese. Fold dough lengthwise into thirds; pinch side seam and ends to seal. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets.

With sharp scissors, make several 1-in diagonal cuts near the center of each loaf. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine glace ingredients; drizzle over warm loaves. Cool on wire racks. Refrigerate. Makes 4 loaves.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Swedish Sugar Cookies

Here's another recipe from my Grandma Swiler for sugar cookies. I've added an extra ingredient that gives It a light fruity taste.

2 cups butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia (King Author Flours)
Decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, then add vanilla and Fiori Di Sicilia. In small bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar, making sure to flatten well. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Raisin Crisscross Cookies

Here's a recipe straight from my grandma's kitchen. She used to work as a school cook and this was one of her favorite cookie recipes. Mine too.

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed to make a nice dough
1 cup raisins, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar, egg, and lemon extract. In small bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture in 3 parts, mixing well. May add 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to make a soft dough. Stir in raisins. Roll into walnut-sized balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with fork to make a crisscross pattern #. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Yum! Makes 2 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mary Anslee Urban's Chocolate Banana Bread

Mary Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.

Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she moved to Western Pennsylvania, before setting in North Carolina with her husband and children. Aside from writing, Mary works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and has served as co-president and vice-president of Carolina Christian Writers. She won second place in the Books of Hope contest and has three published novels, Tapestry of Trust, She Came to See the Snow~A Colorado Christmas Romance, and Smoky Mountain Investigation, Harlequin Love Inspired which will be released the summer of 2014. When she isn’t writing, Mary enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, playing with grandbabies and all things chocolate. Learn more about Mary and her books HERE.

Mary's newest book release: She Came to See The Snow

Haley Blackwell travels to Colorado with plans to relive her favorite childhood memories—including a snowy Christmas. When she meets her grandparents’ neighbor, she finds herself yearning for more than a white Christmas, but trusting men has never been easy for Haley.

After a failed marriage, and the death of his ex-wife, Tate Rivers is determined to concentrate on raising his preschool daughter, Ashlyn, and to stay clear of another relationship. He doubts he can ever trust his heart to another woman—until he meets Haley.

Despite the weather forecast that does not include snow on Christmas Day, Ashlyn prays that God will give Haley the desires of her heart. Will Haley realize Tate isn’t a man who will abandon those he loves, and will they be able to push aside the past and step forward together in love—the way God desires?

Mary's Recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread

1 cup butter, softened 
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs 
6 bananas, mashed 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup lite sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar and eggs. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean. May also make into muffins.

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie


Now that Thanksgiving is over, here's an easy Mexican recipe to try in your slow cooker. Yum!

1 cup beef broth
1 cup cornmeal
1 pound ground hamburger
1 cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
16 oz. medium salsa
15 oz. creamed corn
15 oz. black beans, drained
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup shredded Colby/Monterey Jack Cheese

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine broth and cornmeal. Pour into slow cooker and spread to edges. In a large skillet, brown hamburger. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in soy sauce, chili powder, and cumin. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in salsa, creamed corn, black beans, and black olives. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, corn chips, or Flour Tortillas. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Turkey Burgers


The first time I served my husband turkey burgers, he wasn't sure what to think of them--I think he'd much prefer beef. My girls love them, however. Here's an interesting recipe for when you want to shake things up in your house.

1 pound ground white turkey
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

In medium bowl, combine ground turkey, parsley, onion, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well. Form into patties. Cook in large skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes on medium heat until cooked through. Serve with cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and your favorite condiments. Enjoy! Makes 4 burgers.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carole Towriss's Kazak Samsa

Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, writes, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. You can find her at

Carole's Latest Book: By the Waters of Kadesh 
(Book 2 in the Journey to Canaan Series)

Kamose, once Egypt’s most trusted soldier, no longer has a country to serve or king to protect. Moses insists God has a plan for him, but Kamose is not so sure. Tirzah’s cruel husband died shortly after they left Egypt. She escaped his brutality, but now she’s alone, and once they reach their new land, how will she survive? Gaddiel, Tirzah’s brother-in-law, is chosen as one of the twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan. He’s supposed to go in, get information and come back, but all he really wants is to bring down Joshua.

Carole's recipe for Kazak Samsa

We have four children, three of whom are adopted from Kazakhstan. We wanted to find a recipe from their country of birth, but in Kazakhstan they eat a lot of mutton and horse meat, and they don’t eat dessert as we know it, so it took a while before we found a dish that would please little kids. We think this one is a hit. It can be made with meat, but the sweet version is our favorite.

6 oz walnuts, shelled, crushed
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoon butter, unsalted, softened

Mix all ingredients together and set aside

You can use any dough recipe you like, or cheat like I do and buy the premade kind. J

Roll the dough out to about 18” square.  Cut into 2” squares.  Place a teaspoon of filling in each square and draw the four corners to the middle, or fold over to a triangle. Pinch to seal.  Place on greased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown.

Pecan Sandies

My mom loves Keebler Pecan Sandies. I wanted to test some recipes to find one that was similar to her brand and surprise her with it. Here is one I tried, and while it was quite tasty, it's not like the kind you buy. Try, try again...

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture in two parts. Stir in pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Here's a candy recipe we make for the holidays. Very easy and tasty too!

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 -12 oz container Spanish peanuts
12 oz almond bark

In medium-sized microwave-safe bowl add chocolate chips and almond bark. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds until melted. Add peanuts and mix until coated. Drop by tablespoonfuls on waxed paper. Allow to set. Store in air-tight container.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Nancy Mehl's Pork Roast Soup

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fifteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Road to Kingdom series, “Inescapable,” came out in July of 2012. The second book, “Unbreakable” released in February of 2013. The final book in the series, “Unforeseeable,” became available on September 1st. 

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: She has a newsletter located at:, and is a part of another blog, The Suspense Sisters:, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Nancy's Latest Book Release: UNFORESEEABLE 
Book Three in The Road to Kingdom Series

Callie Hoffman knows she has a good life in Kingdom, Kansas. She's thrilled to be engaged to Levi Housler, the new pastor of Kingdom Mennonite Church, and she spends her days working with her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler, at Cora's Cafe.

However, Callie's idyllic life is interrupted when a body is discovered on the road outside Kingdom and the deceased turns out to be a victim of a serial killer. As Washington County's new sheriff begins questioning Kingdom residents, Callie and the rest of the town are appalled at the prospect of a killer among them. The very reason Kingdom exists is to protect the people from the temptations and dangers of the outside world, but all the town founders' attempts to plan ahead couldn't prevent a threat like this.

Nancy Mehl’s Recipe for Pork Roast Soup

2 ½ to 3 pounds Boston Butt Roast
6 strips of raw bacon, cut into pieces
Fresh green beans (Don’t have a measurement for this. I just fill a plastic bag in the produce section with beans.)
3-5 pounds of potatoes cut up into bite-sized pieces. (Amount depends on how big your pot is)
Salt and pepper

Wash green beans. Cut off ends and cut beans in half. Fill large pot halfway with water. Add roast, bacon pieces, green beans, salt and pepper to taste. (You will probably need to add more salt later since the ingredients tend to soak it up. Check it before serving and add more salt if necessary.)

Simmer this until the roast is tender and falls apart. (You will have to add water several times until the roast is done.) Remove large bone from pot. (Be sure to watch roast when water starts to heat up. If you’re not careful, the roast will stick to the bottom of the pot and scorch. Once the water begins to bubble you won’t have a problem.)
Now add potatoes and simmer about another hour until the potatoes are soft. 

One note: When you refrigerate the leftovers, a layer of fat will form on top. If you want, you can remove this before you reheat the soup. Just remember that the fat holds a lot of the flavor! 

Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix

A new twist on an old favorite!

5 cups Corn Chex cereal
5 cups Rice Chex cereal
5 cups Wheat Chex cereal
2 cups mixed nuts
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups bite-size cheese crackers
2 cups wheat cracker
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 package (1 oz) ranch dressing mix
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In large baking pan, mix cereal, nuts, pretzels, and cheese crackers. Gradually pour melted butter over cereal. Mix together ranch dressing and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over cereal mixture and carefully stir. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Kim Vogel Sawyer's Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Berries


Highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope, Kim Vogel Sawyer is a bestselling author of thirty titles with more than a million copies of her books in print. A Kansas girl at heart, Kim enjoys writing stories set on the plains of her home state. She and her retired military husband operate a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their four feline companions and relish time with their three adult daughters and ten grandchildren. Please learn more about Kim and her writing and speaking ministries at
Kim's newest release: What Once was Lost
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”
With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God? Buy the book HERE.
Kim's recipes for Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Berries
3/4 cup steel cut oatmeal
½ cup almonds, pecans, or walnuts, toasted and chopped (if you use almonds, no need to toast first)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I tend to like lots of cinnamon!)
½ teaspoon salt
¾ to 1½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, but if using frozen thaw and drain first)
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup maple syrup OR honey
1 large egg, well beaten
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients until they're well blended. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. (I usually store this in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning--it softens the oats a bit and makes a creamier texture.) 
Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the top third of the oven. (If it rested overnight, give mixture a good stir.) Scatter berries into an 8-inch square baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick coating. Pour milk-oat mixture over the berries. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes (I advise checking after 30 minutes, and if it looks as though it is browning quickly, turn oven down to 350 and check periodically for doneness), or until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes about 6 servings.
I like to put this in a pasta bowl, add a dollop of vanilla yogurt and a few berries on top for a garnish. Serve with bacon or turkey sausage...or just as is! Scrumptious! (And since this is apple season, you can substitute peeled, chopped apples in place of the berries. It's yummy, too.)

Laura Hilton's Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love. Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book The Appalachian Ballad Quilt will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport, releasing in April 2014, September 2014, and April 2015. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. Learn more about Laura and her books HERE.

Laura's Newest Book Release: Awakened Love

Katie Detweiler grew up Amish, never knowing she was adopted as an infant. Now an adult, her new job as cook at an Amish bed and breakfast doesn’t bring about the euphoria she hoped for. Just as she’s getting her menu perfected, the Englisch family and severely ill sister she never knew existed enter her life and strain her Amish relationships. Plus, Katie suddenly has two different men vying for her attention—one Amish, one Englisch—and she wonders if one of them could be the man of her dreams. But when her Englisch sister’s health worsens, Katie must find a way to balance her heart, her job, and her faith while risking her own life for the sister she never knew. Buy the book HERE.

Laura's Recipe for Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

1 (26.4 oz) package frozen biscuits
1 (6oz) package dried apricots (or peaches or cherries)
flour - for "kneading"
1/4 cup softened butter (or 8oz cream cheese)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or 1 cup chocolate chips)

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.) Arrange frozen biscuits onto flour surface - sides touching - 
into 3 rows of 4 biscuits. Let thaw for 30-45 minutes (they should 
be thawed but still cool to the touch). 

2.) Pour boiling water over dried fruit pieces to cover. Let stand 
10 minutes. Chop fruit and set aside.

3.) Sprinkle biscuits with flour and with hands press edges 
together. Spread butter (or cream cheese) evenly over the dough. 
Stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter or 
cream cheese. Next sprinkle with fruit and nuts or chocolate chips.

4.) Roll into a log and cut into 12 slices. Place in a 10" round or 
9" square pan - the rolls will be touching. Bake at 370 degrees for 
35-40 minutes. Or if you prefer individual rolls place each slice 
into a muffin cup and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

To make glaze : mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. 
Drizzle over rolls.

Rhonda Gibson's Green Chili Beef Stew

Rhonda Gibson lives in New Mexico with her husband and pets. She loves to write for the Lord and feels blessed that He allows her to tell her stories so that others can read them. Learn more about Rhonda and her books on her Website HERE.

Rhonda's New Book Release: Taming the Texas Rancher

Though he'd never planned to wed, Daniel Westland must marry and produce a grandchild before his brother does in order to inherit the family ranch. Leave it to him to pick a mail-order bride who insists on being courted! Yet every time Daniel wonders if Hannah Young is even suited to rugged living, the petite schoolteacher shows her gumption. Pre-order Rhonda's book HERE.

Rhonda's Recipe for Green Chile Beef Stew

1 pound hamburger
3 baking potatoes, peeled and diced to desired size
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
4 cups roasted green chilies peeled and chopped
10 cups water
1 ½ tablespoon salt

2 cups flour
½ cup water

Brown hamburger in pot. Drain fat, add potatoes, onion, and garlic to the meat mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Add the green chilies, water and salt. Boil for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and water and whisk well to make the thickener. Add the thickener to the other ingredients; mix well and let simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

I love this recipe on cold winter days. I hope you will too.

Deborah Raney's Best Ever Granola

DEBORAH RANEY dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. After a happy twenty-year detour as a stay-at-home mom, Deb penned her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, which won a Silver Angel Award and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then, her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, National Readers' Choice Award, as well as twice being finalists for the Christy Award. Deb teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas ––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They have four children and four precious grandchildren (plus one on the way!) who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at

Deborah's newest book release: Silver Bells

As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love.

Michelle Penn has dropped out of college to work as a reporter for a tiny weekly newspaper. The boss's son, Robert Merrick III, is quickly making her forget all about her former sweetheart, Kevin, who has shipped out to Vietnam. Rob loves the newspaper business but feels trapped working for his father. He dreams of having his own newspaper, but now that he's met Michelle, she is what he wants most of all. Rob is forbidden by office policy to date Michelle, but if he were to quit his job, he'd have nothing to offer her.
As snow blankets the town, it seems that the gifts Rob and Michelle most desire––each other––are out of reach. But then, they didn't count on a small Christmas miracle.

4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Flaked Coconut
½ Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
¼ Cup Sunflower Nuts
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Olive Oil
½ Cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

In a large cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan), bake dry oats at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix nuts, coconut, sunflower seeds and brown sugar in large mixing bowl; stir well.

In a small bowl, mix oil, honey, and vanilla. Remove oats from oven and add to nut mixture. Pour oil and honey mixture over all, stirring well. Return to cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes till dark golden brown, stirring every 5-8 minutes. Cool. (Stir again several times while cooling as it tends to clump.) Store in zip-lock bag or other air-tight container. (We use a gallon-size ice cream tub.)

Judith Miller's Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

Although born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Judith Miller moved to Kansas when she was 17 and has considered herself a Kansan for many years— especially since she was born on Kansas Day. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas and worked for many years as a legal assistant both in private and government law offices. She is the author of more than 30 books and novellas and considers her writing a ministry as well as a profession. Drawn to unique settings and historical professions, she has taken readers from the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts to a 19th century southern resort, and even to a kitchen house in Amana, Iowa. She has won several awards for her writing and her books frequently can be found on the EPCA and CBA bestseller lists. Learn more about Judi and her books on her Website HERE.

Judi's newest book release: A Simple Change
Published by Bethany House Publishers - July 2013

Middle Amana, 1881
When her parents decide to sell their home and move to the Amana colonies, Jancey Rhoder must make a difficult decision. Should she give up her beloved teaching job and carefree life in Kansas City to go with them?

Her suitor, Nathan Woodward, doesn’t want her to go, but Jancey feels she must give this new life a try. Her mother is ill, and these next few months may be the last Jancey gets to spend with her. But will this move spell the end of her relationship with Nathan? And when life in Amana is far more mysterious and challenging than Jancey expected, will she choose to return to the city, or will she make this unique place her forever home? Buy Judi's book HERE.

Judi's recipe for Date-Chocolate Bit Cake

1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ chopped nuts
¾ c. chocolate bits (I use the mini-chocolate chips)
½ c. sugar

Pour the boiling water over the dates and baking soda and let sit while you mix up the rest of the cake batter as follows: Cream sugar and shortening, then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and cinnamon and mix well. Slowly add the date mixture and mix until well blended. Pour into greased 9x13 cake pan. In small bowl, mix together nuts, chocolate bits, and sugar. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Can be served with cool whip or vanilla ice cream, but it’s great just plain, and no need to frost!!

This is my “go to” cake that can be prepared quickly and I’ve never served it without someone asking for the recipe. I always have the ingredients on hand. 

Tasty Kitchen


I am delighted to announce that I've been chosen as a Featured Member on Tasty Kitchen! This makes the second time, and I am so honored at the selection. Tasty Kitchen is a sister blog to The Pioneer Woman, and they have so many wonderful recipes over there. Be sure to check them out now and be sure to join this awesome community of cooks! 

Dabney Hedegard's Baby Dutch Pancakes

Dabney Hedegard is a writer, speaker and professional patient. Her memoir, When God Intervenes (Tyndale House Publishers, July 2013), is a fast-paced medical drama surrounded by miracles that Amazon reviewers are saying, “I couldn’t put it down!”

At twenty-five years old doctor’s discovered a football-sized tumor embedded in Dabney’s lungs. But the greater fear stealing her focus grew inches below the mass: a six-week-old baby. Her cancer and her decision to keep her child began her battle with nine life-threatening-illnesses, four of which were near-death experiences. Dabney lives in South Florida with her husband and four children. She blogs at

Dabney's Baby Dutch Pancakes

In the 15-plus years that I’ve cooked for my family, I only have a handful of recipes I repeat. I’m a recipe sampler. The only caveat to this therapeutic activity is that it yields inconsistent results. Thankfully, my family doesn’t mind my dabbling in the kitchen. Especially when I stumble upon a recipe that is restaurant-style good. In my secret stash of repeat recipes, this over-sized pancake meets that standard.

Baby Dutch Pancakes, as we incorrectly call them, were discovered one morning when we watched Martha Stewart on a popular morning show. She whipped and smiled and served the media a fluffed one-pan egg-y cake she called “Dutch Baby Pancake”. My son never repeated the name right. We adopted his reversed (plural) version. That’s the nice part about recipes. They’re adaptable—even the titles. Since Martha boasted about this buttery breakfast treat, I knew I had to try them—adding my own healthy twist, of course. Oh my, Martha. These are delish, and they have become the number one requested breakfast item in our house. 
3 tablespoons salted butter, plus 2 TBLS diced butter for dotting
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs room temperature (I soak mine in hot water, this helps the pancake fluff)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of organic 2% milk or whole milk, warmed
1 teaspoon of Wheat Germ or Chia Seeds or Ground Flax Seeds (optional nutritional booster no one will notice)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Spritz of juice from a fresh lemon (bottled juice leaves a chemical aftertaste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend the flour, salt, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, salt and optional wheat germ/flax/chia. Heat a large oven-safe skillet and melt 3 tablespoons of butter, making sure to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the batter and bake until the edges puff and turn lightly brown, around 17 to 20 minutes. Remove pancake from oven. Here’s the best part you don’t want to deviate from: gently dot the top of the pancake with remaining 2 tablespoons of diced butter. Sift or dust confectioners’ sugar over the top, and finish with a spritz of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Glory.

Serve immediately, as the fluffiness will deflate. (Don’t worry. The flatter version still tastes scrumptious!)
Yum, yum, yum. Two batches of these cakes don’t last but 10 minutes in our household of six. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Goddard's Grilled Ratatouille Muffaletta

Elizabeth Goddard is an award-winning author with well over a dozen romance and romantic suspense novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—winner of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011. After acquiring her computer science degree, she worked at a software firm before eventually retiring to raise her four children and become a professional writer. A member of several writing organizations, she judges numerous contests and mentors new writers. In addition to writing, she home schools her children and serves with her husband as he pastors a church in Louisiana. Learn more about Beth and her books HERE.

Elizabeth's newest release: Riptide

Two surprises await high-stakes repo man Jake Jacobson on his latest job. First, old flame Kelsey Chambers. Second, gunfire! Seizing the luxury yacht should have been easy, but he hadn't planned on Kelsey's appearance. Or that smugglers would hijack the vessel to find an antique map hidden on board. The map is Jake and Kelsey's only leverage. . .but it carries a price. Without it, they're as good as dead. With it, they're the target of a relentless hunt. Their failed relationship has Kelsey afraid to rely on Jake again. Can she count on him with their lives on the line?

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Elizabeth's Grilled Ratatouille Muffaletta

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
Coarse salt
1/2 cup pitted mixed olives, such as Kalamata and Cerignola
2 pepperoncini, stemmed
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
4 small tomatoes (1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise 1/4-inch-thick
1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, patted dry
1 (8-inch) round loaf rustic bread, split horizontally and hollowed out

Slice vegetables sandwich thing and toss with olive oil then grill to your preference. While veggies are grilling chop olives and pepperoncini and mix with Mayo. Spread bread with with mayo/olive mixture and layer vegetables. Voila!

Julianna Deering's Easy English Trifle

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency. Learn more about Julianna and her books HERE. 

Julianna's latest release: RULES OF MURDER A Drew Farthering Mystery (Release Date:  August 1, 2013 from Bethany House)

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this game.


I’m sure Kitty at The Rose Garden would have included sponge cake, brandy and custard, but this quick recipe makes a tasty, cool summer treat, no trouble at all.

2 (8 or 9 inch) white cake layers, baked and cooled
2 pints fresh strawberries
¼ cup white sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 bananas
¼ cup orange juice
1 3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup blanched slivered almonds
12 maraschino cherries

Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice. Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes. Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass bowl. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the pudding over the fruit. Repeat layers in the same order.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over top of trifle. Garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds.