Rice and Barley Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables

I enjoy serving rice to my family. Here is a yummy recipe that tastes great with sweet potatoes and Lemon-Pepper Salmon or Chicken Cordon Blue.

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1/3 cup mushrooms, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup uncooked rice
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup medium pearl barley
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

In a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil until melted. Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook and stir until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add rice and cook another 3 minutes. Add broth, barley, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil; simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes 6-8 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carol Cox's Summer Chicken Salsa

CAROL COX is the author of 30 novels and novellas. A third-generation Arizonan, Carol has a lifelong fascination with the Old West and hopes to make it live again in the hearts of her readers. She makes her home in northern Arizona, where the deer and the antelope really do play—often within view of the family’s front porch.

To learn more about Carol and her books, visit her website at: www.AuthorCarolCox.com

Carol's Latest Book Release: Trouble in Store
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let an obstinate woman with newfangled ideas ruin all he’s worked for. In hope of turning her interest elsewhere, he determines to get Melanie married off, and luckily, there are many single men in town quite willing to take her off his hands.

The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry any of them. He’s drawn to her more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store offer unexpectedly positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the mercantile to succeed, and threatening words have escalated into destruction and danger. Will Melanie and Caleb’s business—and budding romance—survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

Carol Cox's Recipe for Summer Chicken Salsa
When it comes to food, I’m all for keeping it simple—especially when a deadline is bearing down on me.  My daughter came up with her own version of chicken salad last summer, and I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you. The cool combination of tastes and textures is perfect for a hot summer day!

1 - 13 oz. can chicken breast, drained and shredded
4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
5 hard-boiled eggs, diced
½ cup dried cranberries
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise (adjust to taste)

Blend chicken, apples, eggs, and cranberries in large bowl. Fold in mayonnaise and blend well. Chill before serving. And that’s all there is to it! Simple, right? If you’d like to add or substitute ingredients, you might try: thinly sliced baby carrots, dried cherries, sunflower seeds or halved grapes.

Amanda Cabot's Almost Healthy Brownies

 From the time that she was seven, Amanda Cabot dreamed of becoming a published author, but it was only when she set herself the goal of selling a book by her thirtieth birthday that the dream came true.  A former director of Information Technology, Amanda has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  She’s delighted to now be a full time writer of Christian historical romances.  Her Texas Dreams trilogy received critical acclaim; Christmas Roses was a CBA bestseller; and Waiting for Spring, the second in her Westward Winds series, was released earlier this year. Learn more about Amanda and her books at: www.amandacabot.com

About Amanda's latest book release: 

A new identity may protect her family—but can it protect her heart?

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But she can find no rest from the ghosts of the past and flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together.

Wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry must make a sensible match if he is to be elected senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming. He needs someone with connections. Someone without a past. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

Amanda's Recipe for Almost Healthy Brownies

I’ll admit it: I believe that chocolate is one of the essential food groups, but I also try to make and serve healthy meals.  That’s why I was excited when I saw a brownie recipe that featured extra protein and fiber.  I tweaked it to make it low-fat and was delighted with the results.  It has the bonus of being very easy to make.

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.  (I use a floured spray like Baker’s JoyTM.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fit a food processor with the steel knife and process until smooth:

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (Let them air dry for a while so the brownies aren’t too moist.)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 egg whites
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp instant coffee granules (to enhance the chocolate flavor)
2 tsp vanilla

Pulse five to six times until mixed:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Spread in prepared pan and bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool, cut and enjoy.