Shrimp and Grits


One evening our youngest daughter came home from school craving shrimp and grits--something I had never served before. Here's the recipe we came up with. May you have a Happy New Year!

3 cups water
3/4 cup quick grits
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
12 oz. frozen shrimp, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried parsley

In medium pan, prepare grits in water according to package. When water is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet until crisp and brown. Drain on a paper towel. Saute onions, pepper, and garlic in bacon grease until tender. Add shrimp and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until heated through.

To serve, place shrimp mixture over grits and garnish with bacon and parsley. Serves 4
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Orange Nut Bread

This is a recipe my grandma used to make every Christmas. I now use it as a favorite holiday food gift.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans
4 teaspoons orange peel, grated
3/4 cup orange juice

2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons orange juice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 small loaf pans. Measure all ingredients into mixing bowl and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape sides constantly. Pour into pans. Bake 55-60 minutes. Remove from pans and cool. Drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with colored sugar. This is wonderful with a cup of tea.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cindy Loven's Trail Magic Hot Chicken Noodle Soup

Cindy Loven, an avid reader all her life, is seeing her dreams fulfilled, with the publication of her first novel, Swept Away Quilt of Love. She co-authored this novel with Laura V. Hilton. Born and raised in Arkansas, she loves her home state and is happy to live there with her husband of twenty-nine years and her adult son. She and her family are very active in their local church, serving in many volunteer positions. She and her husband are very serious about informing parents about the dangers of the choking, after loosing their youngest son to this dreadful 'game' in 2009. When not busy with church or her job as a “pr gal” for another author, you can find Cindy in her craft room, sewing, crocheting, or making cards. Learn more about Cindy and her writing HERE. 

Cindy's Debut Novel - Swept Away

He survived a life-altering event. She is facing one.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her grandmother who doesn’t want to be cared for. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

It doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever. Buy the book HERE.

Cindy's Trail Magic Hot Chicken Noodle Soup

As Drew is hiking through the Appalachian trail, they have places where people come and meet the hikers bringing food and drinks; it is often called Trail Magic. This soup was one that Drew ate on the trail.

2 boxes of chicken stock
2 cups of chopped chicken (we prefer white meat)
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 small onion finely diced
1 can of cream of chicken soup
a bag of thin egg noodles (cooked and drained)

Simmer the chicken stock, adding in your chicken, carrots and onion, Cook until your veggies are tender, then add in the cream of chicken soup and the thin egg noodles. This makes a thick soup but that makes it easier for transporting to the Appalachian Trail. Serve with warm french bread, can top with cheese if you like. A yummy warm soup for a cold day on the trail.

Cherry Almond Cake

Here's an easy delicious recipe I like to make for potlucks or for family gatherings. Enjoy!

1 package sour cream cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
3 eggs
1 - 21 oz. cherry pie filling
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together cake mix, sour cream, water and eggs. Beat for 3 minutes. Spread mixture into a greased jelly roll pan. Drop pie filling in twelve generous spoonfulls. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cake springs back when touched. Cool. Spread with glaze and sprinkle with almonds. Serves 15

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Blueberry Eggnog Waffles

Here's a delicious recipe to try when you want something a little different. Yum!

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
2 cups eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine eggs, eggnog, and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until blended. Carefully fold in blueberries. Bake in preheated waffle baker. Serve with blueberry syrup and sour cream. Makes four 9-inch waffles.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Rhonda Gibson's Simple Pecan Pie

Rhonda Gibson lives in New Mexico with her husband, James. She has two children and two beautiful grandchildren. Reading is something she has enjoyed her whole life, and writing stemmed from that love. When she isn't writing or reading, she enjoys gardening, beading and playing with her dog, Sheba. She speaks at conferences and local writing groups. You can visit her at her website or blog, where she enjoys chatting with readers and friends online. Rhonda hopes her writing will entertain, encourage and bring others closer to God. Learn more about Rhonda and her writing HERE. 

Rhonda's Latest Book Release: A Pony Express Christmas 

When Jake Bridges suddenly finds himself the guardian of his orphaned niece, he knows he needs a wife. What does a stock tender at a pony express station know about raising little girls? A marriage of convenience to the child's caretaker is the most practical solution.

A mail-order marriage seems like Leah Hollister's last chance to know the simple joys of family life. But then she receives word that her would-be groom is dead. Now Jake proposes she marry him. She knows love isn't necessary. Yet the more she learns of sweet Molly's kindhearted uncle, the more she dreams of a true partnership with the man who has unexpectedly captured her heart. Buy the book HERE. 

Rhonda's Simple Pecan Pie

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
dash of salt
3/4 cup corn syrup
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves

Cream together butter, brown sugar and salt, and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a pastry shell and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and serve.

Eggnog Pound Cake


Here's a recipe to use during the holidays. Yummy!

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups eggnog

Optional Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons eggnog

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour ingredients with eggnog, mixing well between each. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 40-50 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes before removing from pans. You may dust with powdered sugar or glaze with the following:

To make glaze: In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and eggnog. Stir until thoroughly combined. Drizzle over cooled pound cake. Serve with your favorite fresh fruit. Serves 24. (This is even better the second or third day!)
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Toffee Coated Pretzel Sticks

Here's a fun recipe my friend, Mary Allen, gave me. Our family enjoys them immensely. Especially good with hot tea on a cold day!

6 oz. almond bark
1 package crushed toffee pieces (may use Heath bars)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
pretzel sticks

In medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, heat almond bark on high 2-3 minutes until melted. Meanwhile in small bowl, mix together toffee and chocolate chips. Dip pretzel sticks into almond bark and then sprinkle with toffee. Allow to set on waxed paper. Store in air-tight container. Enjoy!!!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Taste of Home Christmas 2014

Taste of Home Christmas 2014 is a treasury collection of spectacular holiday recipes, handmade gifts, doable decor and so much more...all guaranteed to inspire your most memorable Christmas ever!

This gorgeous, hardbound book is packed with readers' most loved Christmas dinners like Plum-Glazed Roast Chicken and Holiday Baked Ham…heavenly holiday desserts including more than a dozen luscious cheesecakes…Christmas cookies to share...easy party appetizers to impress…and so much more!

Plus, you’ll find fun-to-create crafts for giving or decorating…tons of easy ideas to love like Silhouette Ornaments, Chalkboard Playmats and Decorated Gift Jars. Or wrap up a batch of homemade Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Truffles to surprise the chocolate lovers on your list.

With Taste of Home Christmas 2014, it’s easy to make the season sparkle! Hardcover, 256 pages, Buy the book HERE. 

Chocolate Fondue

This is a fun recipe for a night of fondue.

1 pound chocolate (12 Hershey candy bars or a bag of chocolate chips)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup half and half

Break candy into pieces and put them into a microwave safe bowl. Add sour cream and half and half. Stir until all chocolate is coated. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir until all lumps are gone and mixture is completely blended. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Blend again. May transfer chocolate to fondue dish and serve with suggested dipping items below:

Maraschino cherries
Pretzel sticks
Graham crackers
Animal cookies
Pound cake
Angel food cake

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.