Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Here's a recipe you are sure to enjoy. It reminds me of the oatmeal cookies I used to eat as girl, and my husband devours these by the handful. This makes a lot of cookies, but you'll be glad you made plenty, when you see how fast they disappear.

3 cups old fashioned oats
4 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisin, chopped

4 cups powdered sugar
5-6 tablespoons milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and then chopped raisins.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

To make icing, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies and allow to set. Makes 5-6 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Joan's Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a recipe from a lady at our church who made the best cookies. Enjoy!

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter, chunky
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and then peanut butter; mix well. In small bowl, mix together flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix well.

Roll into walnut sized balls and dip in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make crisscross indention with fork. Bake for 10 minutes until golden around edges. Makes 4 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lisa Carter's Southern Family Brunswick Stew

Lisa Carter is the author of two romantic suspense novels, Carolina Reckoning and Beneath A Navajo Moon; and Aloha Rose, a contemporary romance in the Quilts of Love series. Under a Turquoise Sky releases August 2014. She and her husband have two daughters and make their home in North Carolina. Lisa has strong opinions about barbecue, ACC basketball, and the Cola Wars. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales, quilting, and researching her next exotic adventure. www.lisacarterauthor.com

Lisa's newest book release: Beneath a Navajo Moon 

What happens when love and danger collide deep in the heart of the Navajo Nation? When cultural anthropologist Erin Dawson crosses paths with tribal policeman Adam Silverhorn, it’s hardly love at first sight. But when the two are suddenly thrust into a common quest to rout an insidious drug cartel—they must rely on each other for their survival. The danger mounts as Adam gives Erin a rare glimpse into Navajo life few outsiders ever see and into a crime ring that no one dares to imagine. 

Lisa Carter’s recipe for Southern Family Brunswick Stew

1 old hen (Okay, that's what was written on my grandmother's recipe card in her own hand. I use a chicken from the grocery store.)
1.5 lbs stew beef
1 small piece of fatback
1 large can of whole kernel corn
1 large can of garden peas (that's Southern for green peas)
1 large can of butterbeans (Southern speak for lima beans)
2 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 quarts of tomatoes
1/2 cup macaroni
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beef and chicken first in large pot or Dutch oven. Cut up the chicken. Add rest of ingredients and simmer slowly, stirring often for 30 minutes. Enjoy. Can be frozen and reheated. Where I'm from, we eat this with crackers on the side.

(For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.)

Slow-Cooked Country Style Pork Ribs

Here's a delicious recipe to make when you need something easy. Just put it in the slow-cooker and enjoy delicious tender, fall-apart ribs for dinner. Serve with Microwave Scalloped Potatoes or Company Potatoes.

3 1/2 pounds Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In large skillet, sear ribs in oil on both sides until a golden brown crust appears. Place ribs in slow cooker. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and pour over ribs. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until meat is tender and falls apart when picked up. Delicious! Serves 8-10.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cowboy Cookies

This is a favorite in our house.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cornflakes, crushed
1 cup raisins, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl mix flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Add oatmeal and cornflakes. With wooden spoon add remaining ingredients. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Makes 4 dozen.

*Special note and warning: These cookies will melt in your mouth and disappear quickly.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Molly Noble Bull's Pioneer Cornbread


Molly Noble Bull was born in Kingsville, Texas—home of the famous King Ranch, and her father and maternal grandfather were real Texas cowboys. So does she write westerns? Yep. But she also writes long historical novels like Gatehaven, her long Christian gothic. 

Gatehaven won the 2013 Creation House Fiction Writing Contest while still a manuscript. But Molly’ first two published novels came out from Zondervan. Her Zondervan novels were later reprinted and published as Promise Romances from Guideposts. Molly also sold novels to Steeple Hill, and Tsaba House, and Westbow Press published The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities, a non-fiction book she wrote with four other Christian authors. Molly owns the rights to her Zondervan romance novels now, and she will soon self publish The Rogue’s Daughter as a e-book. Rogue is a western set on a South Texas cattle ranch in 1890. Learn more about Molly and her books HERE

Molly's Latest Book Release: Gatehaven

Have you ever known a teenage girl so in love with love and a bad prince charming that she was unable to see her true prince? If so, you will connect with Shannon Aimee as she and Ian Colquhoun battle an evil Frenchman with dark secrets and evil desires. Set in Scotland and a scary mansion in the north of England and ending in the state of South Carolina in 1784, Gatehaven by Molly Noble Bull is a Christian Gothic novel that will keep your reading until the very end of the book. Watch my book trailer for Gatehaven HERE. 

Molly's Recipe for Pioneer Cornbread

Some add sugar to their cornbread. We don’t. We love cake and cookies like anyone else. But we don’t want our cornbread to taste sweet like cake. I cook my cornbread in a black cast-iron skillet like my Mama always did. Before I pour the batter in, I pour just enough cooking oil in the bottom of the skillet to wet it down real good. Then I add about a tablespoon of cornmeal to the oil, mix it around and let it cook there on the top of the stove until the skillet gets really hot. My late mother-in-law taught me this trick, and it makes the bottom of the cornbread real brown—just the way we like it. Then I add the batter, and pop that skillet in the oven at around 450 degrees.

Actually, my husband always makes the cornbread. It’s about the only thing he ever cooks except toast. When he cooks, I get a break, and that’s one of the reasons we have cornbread so often. Here is Charlie’s recipe:

2 cups Pioneer Yellow Corn Meal
4 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs (beaten)
6 tablespoons of Olive oil 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In medium bowl, combine cornmeal & dry ingredients. Add milk and eggs and stir. Add Olive oil and mix thoroughly. Pour into a 10 inch cast iron skillet. (see tips above.) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and the edges of the cornbread pull away from the side of the skillet.

Irish Soda Bread

Here's a recipe to make for your family in celebration of St. Patty's Day! It seems the main ingredients in traditional Irish Soda Bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Most recipes have raisins or caraway seeds. I hope you'll enjoy this one!

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (I used golden)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar (for sprinkling)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds. Mix in chopped raisins. Add egg, buttermilk, and butter. Stir until moistened. Knead 6-8 times. Shape into a round loaf and place on a parchment- lined baking sheet. Slice a large cross through the center. Sprinkle top with sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm. 1 loaf.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Irish Cream Cake

Here's a holiday cake recipe I enjoy making at Christmas.

1 package white cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured Bundt cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes until cake tests done with toothpick.

In small bowl, combine glaze ingredients and mix well. Poke bottom of cake with fork and pour glaze over cake. Allow to cool for 2 hours before turning. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Valerie Comer's Honey-Mustard Potato Salad

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her stories. Wild Mint Tea is the second book in her Farm Fresh Romance series. Learn more about Valerie and her books at http://valeriecomer.com.

Valerie's latest book release: 
Wild Mint Tea 

She’s rooted deep. He flies free.
Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.

Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares. 

Here's a special book drawing going on now if you'd like to participate.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

Wild Mint Tea

by Valerie Comer

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Valerie's recipe for Honey-Mustard Potato Salad

This recipe is so delicious you won't be surprised to find out my newest novel's heroine is a chef. What may surprise you is it isn't her recipe, but the hero's. He surprised her with a picnic…and this unique take on potato salad was only part of it!

2 pounds cooked baby red potatoes, cut into thin slices
1 medium yam, peeled, chunked, cooked
3 eggs, hardboiled, peeled, cut into chunks
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fennel (the part that looks like celery)
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds (the part that looks like dill)
1/2 cup honey-mustard dressing, or to taste (see below)
salt and pepper to taste

Honey-Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Venison Chili

The first ten years of our marriage, we nearly lived on wild game, much of it deer or elk meat. Here's a chili recipe using ground venison. Enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds ground elk burger
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup green pepper, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
15.5 oz. red kidney beans
15.5 oz. chili beans
14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
12 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste

In large Dutch oven, brown ground burger, adding a little oil if needed. Add onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium high heat until vegetables are tender. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer this cooks, the better. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sunday Meatloaf

Here's a good old-fashioned recipe for Sunday Meatloaf.

2 eggs
1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup catsup
1 tablespoon mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine eggs and milk. Stir into egg mixture crackers, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Add ground beef, catsup, mustard, brown sugar and liquid smoke. Mix well. Spoon mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup catsup over meatloaf and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Serve warm. Good with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ The New Midwestern Table

"The Midwest is rising,” writes Minnesota native Amy Thielen, host of Heartland Table on Food Network—and her engaging, keenly American debut cookbook, with 200 recipes that herald a revival in the region’s cuisine, is delicious proof.

Amy Thielen grew up in rural northern Minnesota, waiting in lines for potluck buffets amid loops of smoked sausages from her uncle’s meat market and in the company of women who could put up jelly without a recipe. She spent years cooking in some of New York City’s best restaurants, but it took moving home in 2008 for her to rediscover the wealth and diversity of the Midwestern table, and to witness its reinvention.

The New Midwestern Table reveals all that she’s come to love—and learn—about the foods of her native Midwest, through updated classic recipes and numerous encounters with spirited home cooks and some of the region’s most passionate food producers. With 150 color photographs capturing these fresh-from-the-land dishes and the striking beauty of the terrain, this cookbook will cause any home cook to fall in love with the captivating flavors of the American heartland. Purchase the cookbook HERE.

Amy Thielen is the author of The New Midwestern Table (Clarkson Potter, 2013), the host
of Food Network's Heartland Table, and a James Beard award-winning food writer. A former New York City line cook, she moved back home to northern Minnesota in 2008 with her husband and young son. She can be found at www.amythielen.com.

Sourdough Baguettes


Oh my goodness! This is the best recipe for Sourdough Baguettes--hard and crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and just the right taste of tangy sourness. Yum! I have doubled this recipe, found on King Arthur Flour HERE.

1 cup "fed" sourdough starter (Recipe HERE)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl, combine sourdough starter, water, yeast, sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix with dough hook until well combined. Gradually add remaining flour until mixture forms a ball. Knead to form a smooth dough, 3-5 minutes.

Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour. Refrigerate, covered overnight. Divide the dough into fourths. Shape each into a 12-15" baguette. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until puffy, about 3 hours.

Before baking, make three deep diagonal slashes in each loaf. Spray the baguettes with warm water right before placing in oven. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is a light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Makes four loaves.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.