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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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