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 and Cookie Emulsion 

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. 

Poppy Seed Bread

Here's a recipe I received from my Aunt Ruth. It's a super moist bread to share with your loved ones and friends at Christmas. 

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring

3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

In large bowl, mix together top ingredients. Pour into 2-3 greased loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with glaze while warm. Garnish with candied cherries and sugar sprinkles. Freezes well. 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
1-8 pound 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.

Addicting Munchies

Here is one my grandma makes for the holidays. The name is accurate as this is very addicting. Enjoy!

15 cups "whatever" - you can vary this to your taste: Pretzels, Cheese-nips, Goldfish, Mixed Nuts, Cashews, Oyster Crackers, White Cheddar Cheese-Its, Ritz Sticks, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Thins, or whatever

2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 package ranch dressing

Put cracker mix in a large roasting pan and set aside. Mix together oil, dill weed, garlic salt and ranch dressing. Pour over cracker mix and stir together. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every thirty minutes. May drain on paper towels. Store in covered container.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Blueberry Sourdough Biscuits

Here's another biscuit recipe using my sourdough starter. Grands Biscuits used to sell a blueberry biscuit that I absolutely adored. But then they stopped making them. Here is a recipe that rivals those sold in stores. So good! Enjoy!

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup "unfed" sourdough starter
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 oz. dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Add sourdough, buttermilk, and blueberries. Stir until dough forms. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Roll into 1/2" thickness. Cut with large biscuit cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes 12-15 biscuits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pumpkin Walnut Scones

Pumpkin isn't necessarily my "favorite" ingredient, but these scones are wonderfully delicious. Our family loves them! 

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup half and half
1 egg
1/2 cup English walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Cut in butter with knife or fork until mixture is crumbly. Add pumpkin, half and half, egg, and walnuts. Stir into flour mixture and work together until completely mixed. Pat out onto a floured surface. Cut into eight pieces and place each in lightly greased scone pan. Press to form into the pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. While scones are still warm, drizzle cream cheese icing over tops. Makes 8. 

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.

Apple Gingerbread Cake

Here is a delicious snack cake you might enjoy making in the fall or for Thanksgiving.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups apples, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add molasses and egg and mix well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk until thoroughly combined. Fold in diced apples. Spread mixture into a greased 9x9 inch cake pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until cake tests done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream. Serves 9-12 
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.

Lemon Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Here's a quick and easy recipe when serving Salmon to your family. Serve with Rice and Barley Pilaf and Glazed Sweet Potatoes. Enjoy! 

16 oz. frozen salmon fillets
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Place fish in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each with olive oil. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt. Bake at 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily when tested with fork. 

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine orange juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, cornstarch and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. To serve, pour sauce over salmon. Serves 4.

Wine Suggestion: Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sourdough English Muffins

My adventures with sourdough has led me to try my hand at homemade English muffins. They are so easy to make and so good to eat. We've been enjoying them with butter and jelly, and also as an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich for breakfast.

1 cup "fed" sourdough starter (Recipe HERE.)
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
cornmeal for coating

In large mixing bowl combine starter, warm water, butter, sugar, yeast, salt, dry milk, whole-wheat flour, and 1 cup all-purpose flour. Mix well. Gradually add enough remaining all-purpose flour and knead to form a smooth dough. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1-2 hours until noticeably puffy. Gently deflate the dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Roll each 1/2" thick and cut in 3" rounds until all of dough is used. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.

Place the rounds, on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal, 12 per sheet. Sprinkle rounds with additional cornmeal. Cover and let rise 1 hour until light and puffy. Transfer rounds to a preheated griddle (low heat). Cook the muffins for 5 minutes, and then place the bottom of a large cookie sheet on top to help flatten the muffins. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn muffins and cook for another 5 minutes, being careful not to burn the sides. Remove the muffins from the griddle and cool on a wire rack.

*If muffins aren't cooked through to the middle, place muffins on a baking sheet in a 325 degree oven and bake for 5-10 minutes. Store in zip bags for 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage. Makes 20-24 muffins.
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! 

Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a chewy cookie recipe when you're craving chocolate and peanuts.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, margarine, and sugars. Add eggs, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips. 

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes 4-6 dozen, depending on size.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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.)

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Here's a recipe for you to try when you want something a little different for supper. Great with Salmon or Rice and Barley Pilaf with mixed vegetables.

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, and diced into 2" cubes 
1/3 cup Russian salad dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, pour dressing and oil over cubed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir well to coat evenly. Prepare a square baking pan with cooking spray and place mixture in pan, spreading to edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender. Serves 4-6. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 

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.

Apple-Pecan Spice Cake

Here's a delicious fall recipe to try when the apples are ripe on the tree. Enjoy! 

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
1 cup finely chopped and peeled apple
1 cup pecans, chopped

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons half and half
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla and butter flavor. In small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce. With wooden spoon, fold in apples and pecans. 

Pour into a greased and floured 10" Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Allow to cool completely on wire rack. 

For glaze, in a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over low heat. Stir in half and half. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over cake. Serves 12. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.