Ham Pinwheels

Here's a recipe I've been making for years, especially for holiday gatherings, but also for tea parties. Enjoy!

8 oz. package cream cheese
1/4 cup minced black olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 oz - (5) slices ham

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese till smooth. Stir in black olives, mayonnaise, hot pepper sauce, wine vinegar, minced onion, mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Divide into 5 parts. Spread one section on each ham slice. Roll tightly and place on baking sheet. Freeze for thirty minutes. Slice each roll into 8 pieces. Insert toothpick and serve. Makes 40 pinwheels.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cheese Ball

This is a favorite family recipe we use during the holiday season. I hope you enjoy it!

2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon finely grated onion
2 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon parsley

In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion and cheese. Divide and form two balls. Roll balls into chopped pecans and parsley. Refrigerate and serve with crackers. Delicious!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Christmas Wreath Macaroons


Here's a delightful little recipe we found in Southern Living Magazine (12/2014), that has been slightly altered. Enjoy! 

14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Candy sprinkles and chopped candied cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine coconut, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. make a hole in center of each to form a wreath shape. Sprinkle with nonpareils and cherries. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until coconut begins to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Marshmallow Mint Sandwiches

This is a favorite holiday recipe. Works especially well for tea parties.

2 packages fudge graham crackers (25 oz)
1 cup water, separated
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring

Line the bottom of an ungreased 13X9 baking pan with graham crackers. In large bowl, combine 1/2 cup water and gelatin; set aside. In saucepan, combine remaining water and sugar. Boil 2 minutes. Stir sugar mixture into gelatin, blending well. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Beat at highest speed of mixer until gelatin turns white and thick like meringue. Beat in extracts and a few drops of food coloring. Pour over crackers. Top mixture with remaining crackers. Refrigerate until set, about one hour. Using sharp knife dipped in water, cut into sandwiches using cookie tops as guide. Makes 36 cookies.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mary Ball's Venison Stew

Mary L. Ball is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in North Carolina and writes about real-life problems, blended with romance or mystery. Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel Ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake. She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith. When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter. Twitter and Facebook. Watch for Mary's new release, Sparks of Love tentatively scheduled for summer 2016. 

Mary's Latest Book Release: Christmas at Angel Ranch

Kayla is a home designer for a well-known company, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation shows her innocence, but she's without a job, no prospects for employment. To get away from the dishonesty surrounding her, she returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to help with the family business until the New Year. 

Angel Ranch is a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters, and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind. When Kayla and Reed meet, two mistrusting hearts collide. Can love prevail, or will it take a Christmas miracle? Purchase the book HERE. 

Mary's Recipe for Venison Stew

2 pounds venison (cut into 1'' cubes)
1⁄4 cup flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 1⁄2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
4 carrots (sliced)
4 potatoes (diced)
2 onions (chopped)

Place meat in crock-pot. Mix flour, pepper, and salt in bowl. Pour over meat and coat. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce and the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

*Note- If you’re short on time. You can substitute the vegetable preparations with a bag of prepackaged veggies. Add those last 30 mins. of cooking.

Christmas Wassail

Here's a recipe to enjoy at Christmas.

1 bottle (64 oz.) cranberry juice
1 bottle (32 oz.) apple juice
1 bottle (16 oz) pineapple juice
1 can (12 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1 quart water

In large saucepan, combine juices, lemonade, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add water if desired. Serve hot or cold. Makes about 4 quarts.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Holiday Cookie Slices

Here's a fun refrigerator cookie you may enjoy baking during the holidays. They are fantastic with a cup of hot tea!

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped candied red and green cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture a little at a time until combined. Fold in cherries and almonds. Pat mixture into a foil or waxed-lined 8x4x2 loaf pan. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Uncover. Invert loaf pan onto a cutting board. Remove lining. Cut dough into slightly less than 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally to form two triangles. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes approximately 72 cookies.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carole Brown's Toni DeLuca's Yummy Apple Pie

Carole Brown is a member and active participant of many writing groups and enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Learn more about Carole and her writing HERE.

Carole's Latest Book Release: Sabotaged Christmas

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions--all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her--is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?

Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams? BUY THE BOOK HERE. 

Carole's Recipe for Toni DeLuca's Yummy Apple Pie

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup Crisco
6-7 tablespoons of water

Cut shortening into flour until it resembles corn meal. Add water, one tbsp at a time. Add more if needed, but be careful not to over soak it. Divide into half, then roll each half into an even circle and place in pie plate.

Apples (I like to heap my filling, but use however many that suits your taste). Peel and slice into first pie crust liner.
Sugar to taste
4-6 teaspoons butter placed over the apples
Cinnamon to taste
Sprinkle (LIGHTLY) a touch of vanilla over the filling

Place the second half of the pie crust on top of the filling. Pinch the sides together in whatever simple or elaborate decoration you want. Add top decoration with carved letter, added crust pieces, etc.  I usually keep mine simple. Add a sprinkle of sugar on top of crust if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake until apple pieces are done. Normally about 30 - 40 minutes, and crust is golden brown. 

Snowball Cookies


Here's a delightful cookie recipe I like to make for the holidays, which are especially sweet for tea parties!

1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and gradually add 3/4 cups powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour, salt, and pecans, mixing thoroughly. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until done. Bottoms should be golden brown, but tops will still be white. While warm, roll in remaining powdered sugar, repeating a second time for a better cover. Cool on wire racks. Makes 36.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Blueberry Muffins

Here is a recipe from my childhood. My girls love these muffins. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a glass measuring cup combine the egg, milk and oil. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just till moistened. Fold in blueberries, being careful not to overmix. Fill greased or paper cup-lined muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Covered Toffee


Here's a delightful recipe to make for your family during the holidays. Delicious!

1 cup salted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in sugar, water, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until mixture reaches hard-crack stage (300 degrees on candy thermometer). This process may take 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread half of the nuts in a lightly buttered oblong cake pan. Top with half of the chocolate. When the syrup is ready, pour over nuts and chocolate. Immediately top with remaining chocolate and then the remaining nuts. Wait 3-4 minutes, then gently press down with a rubber spatula to spread the chocolate evenly.

While the candy is still warm, loosen it from the baking sheet. When cool, break into chunks. Makes 24-36 pieces of candy.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Veggie Bars

Here's a yummy recipe to use for church potluck dinners or for family entertaining. Enjoy!

2 packages crescent rolls
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup carrot
1/2 cup cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Press rolls into sheet cake pan to cover bottom. Bake for 11-13 minutes until lightly golden. Cool. In large bowl, mix sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dressing mix. Spread on cooled rolls. Process vegetables in food processor until finely ground. Press into cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle on top with shredded cheese. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Cut into bars to serve. Makes 36
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Nike Chillemi's Easy Festive Baked Mac 'n Cheese

Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press, won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historic Suspense category. Her new release is DEADLY DESIGNS. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. Learn more about Nike HERE.

Nike's Latest Book Release: Deadly Designs

Private investigator Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels teams up with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster's missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against the husband's pro-Israel, conspiracy theory broadcasts. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes from a manicured Connecticut estate, to interviews with an elitist A-List society crowd, and run-ins with cranky local police detectives. Then they plunge deep into the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world, with the specter of international terrorism hovering.

Hughes has recently been promoted to lieutenant in the Taylor County, Texas Sheriff's Department. He's on leave on a special assignment with Authorized Operations (AO), a clandestine, quasi-government agency operating out of a sea-side mansion in Hither Hills, NY. The only thing is, many powerful politicians, and government big-wigs claim Authorized Operations doesn't exist.

Ronnie is furious at both Hughes and the broadcaster for waiting thirty-six hours to start the search. She knows the longer it takes, the less chance there is of finding the child alive. The problem is, radio talk-show host Ed Harper has been hoping-against-hope that his pot-smoking, model wife is on one of her 'esoteric experiences' and has simply taken the child while she romps for a few days. He doesn't want to seriously consider the other, more hazardous possibility… that his radio broadcasts have angered some very dangerous people. Purchase the book HERE. 

Nike's Recipe for Easy Festive Baked Mac 'n Cheese

16 oz. box of bow-tie pasta (or any pasta)
16 oz. jar Ragu Double Cheddar Cheese Sauce (or any cheese sauce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 oz  jar Hormel Bacon Bits or Hormel Bacon Pieces
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 beefsteak tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta slightly less than package directions. (I like to use bow-tie pasta because it looks festive and will hold up after boiling and baking, but any pasta will due.) Drain pasta. Spray a rectangular baking dish well with cooking spray. 

Return pasta to the pot, mix in one jar of yellow cheese sauce. (I use Ragu Double Cheddar, but Velveeta is good too.) Add salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir in gently so you don't break the pasta. Pour half of pasta and cheese mixture into the sprayed pan and smooth evenly. Top with a layer of (1.5 oz) real bacon bits and (4 oz) shredded cheddar.

Using a large cooking spoon, spread remaining pasta and cheese mixture carefully onto the bacon bits and shredded cheddar. Cover with thick slices of large ripe tomatoes. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and bacon bits onto the tomato slices covering them. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until luscious and bubbly. Remove foil and bake remaining 15 minutes. Some of the top pasta pieces will be crispy. Let stand five minutes, then bring to the table. Protect your hands with potholders and be sure to set the pan on a heat proof trivet.

Note: the photo shown of mine is before it went into the oven. This has always been a crowd pleaser. It can be baked at home then transported covered with foil and warmed in an oven, or baked entirely when you get to wherever you're eating your holiday meal.

Easy Thanksgiving Dressing

Here's a recipe I've tweaked based on my mother-in-law's holiday recipe.

1 lb. ground sausage
1 - 6 oz box turkey stuffing mix
1 - 6 oz. box cornbread stuffing mix
3 1/3 cups water
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
Seasoning packets
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup pine nuts

Brown sausage in skillet and set aside. In medium saucepan, combine seasoning packets with water and butter. Add chopped apricots. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Remove from heat. Add bread crumbs, sausage, and pine nuts. Stir to moisten. Cover and let stand an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. Makes 10-12 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cottage Cheese Butterhorn Rolls

Here is a fun little recipe when you need a sweet treat. Goes well with potluck dinners or for picnics.

1 cup margarine
12 oz cottage cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, cream together margarine and cottage cheese. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate for four hours. Divide dough into three parts. On floured board, form each into a ball and roll into a circle. Slice into 12 wedges. Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end. Place point side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake rolls for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle with icing. 
 Makes 36. 

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

Chili Cheese Roll

Here's a delicious recipe to make for the upcoming holiday season. Especially good with crackers and Homemade Salami. Enjoy!

8 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. Velvetta cheese
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder

In large bowl, mix together cream cheese, Velvetta cheese, and cheddar cheese. Using plastic wrap, shape into 2-3 log rolls. In small bowl, combine chili powder and garlic powder. Sprinkle onto parchment paper and roll each log in chili powder mixture to cover. Roll again in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. To serve, cut each into 1/2" slices.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cranberry Salad

This is a favorite recipe to use this Thanksgiving.

4 cups raw cranberries, ground
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2-3 oz. cherry gelatin
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups diced apples
1 cup chopped pecans

In medium saucepan, cook cranberries in water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and cherry gelatin until dissolved. Let cool and add remaining ingredients. Pour into large serving bowl. Chill until set.
Click here for a printable view of this recipe.

Gina Welborn's Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Gina Welborn worked for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She's the author of eight inspirational romances, including the 2014 Selah finalist "Mercy Mild" in ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories. She serves on the ACFW Foundation Board by helping raise funds for scholarships. She is also the webmaster for the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn't realize rabbits and pigs are edible. http://www.ginawelborn.com/

Gina's Latest Book Release: Christmas Traditions
EIGHT CBA and Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors present heartwarming novellas of Christmases gone by, where the true meaning of the season warms your heart and love flows as fast as apple cider. Includes a brand new release, “Eleven Pipers Piping,” and also Selah Award finalist, “The Fruitcake Challenge.” Grab your favorite drink, no matter the temperature outside, curl up in a cozy chair and lose yourself in holiday romance.

Featuring “Holly Daze” by Gina Welborn

After a year of geological surveying northeastern Iowa, English paleontologist James Holly yearns to join a fossil dig in Colorado. Although amused by the town’s folklore and Christmas festivities, he doesn’t believe in superstitions or curses. Celebrating the holiday only reminds him of the family he lost. What goodwill he has for the townsfolk dissipates after someone steals one of his fossils. For once in his life he needs is a bit of luck on his side, and he’ll take it, even if it’s in the form of a charming lady. 

Everyone knows fortune favors Lena Reinhardt. That’s why on St. Barbara’s Day since she turned eighteen, she’s the lucky one who places the cherry twig in the holy water. The town believes her good fortune causes the year’s windfall of crops and livestock, and it will continue as long as she stays unmarried. This year, though, Lena believes God sent James to change her luck. Now if she can only convince him… Purchase the book HERE. 

Gina's Recipe for Gluten-Free Banana Bread

For years my favorite banana bread recipe was in a cookbook our church youth group put together. After switching to a gluten-free diet, I realized something was “off” with that tried-and-true recipe. Somehow the equal-substitution flour was off. I experimented with adjusting flour and baking soda amounts. Eh. Then my mom raved about a recipe from her sister-in-law. I now use this recipe so often that it stays in my baking drawer. In fact, it’s the only recipe in there.

½ cup shortening (or ¼ cup soften butter, ¼ cup coconut oil)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas
1 ¾ cup GF flour (My favorite brand is from Freedom Delivered.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped nuts (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. Beat shortening (or coconut oil and butter) and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and bananas. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix into batter. Fold in nuts. Bake 1 hour. Remove from pan and enjoy! Top with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie

Here's a recipe I've adapted from my mom's pumpkin pie recipe. Serve with a dollop or two of whipped cream. Enjoy!

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup cold water

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
12 oz. can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until resembles small coarse crumbs. Add half water, mix dough, and then add remaining water and mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out pie dough onto floured surface the size of your pie plate. Transfer to plate and crimp edges. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients together well. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake an additional 40-50 minutes, until center of pie is set. Test with a knife inserted into center that comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Weekend Brunch Casserole

Here's a recipe I received at a 4-H cooking meeting, and it is wonderful. For those of you who enjoy weekend brunches, I highly recommend trying this. Enjoy.

1 pound ground pork sausage
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain grease. Line bottom of greased 13x9 inch baking dish with crescent roll dough, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl until blended; pour over sausage. Bake 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares; serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper! by Ree Drummand

From the back cover: "Oh, don’t get me wrong. I adore breakfast. I love lunch! But dinnertime definitely tops them all. It’s the time of day when we reunite with our sweeties, our kids, our friends, our parents . . . and catch up on the events of the day over something mouthwatering and delicious. Dinnertime anchors us, nourishes us, and reassures us. It’s the greatest meal of the day!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime is a beloved collection of all the scrumptious supper recipes that make their way through my kitchen in regular rotation, from main dish salads to satisfying soups to hearty casseroles to comfort food classics . . . and everything in between. I lay out all the different ways I tackle dinner in my house, from super-quick 16-Minute Meals to make-ahead Freezer Food to irresistible pastas and a bundle of brand-new favorites of my crew.

You’ll want to immediately dive into surefire hits like Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Baked Ziti, and Shrimp Scampi. But just wait till you try the Cashew Chicken, French Dip Sandwiches, Chicken Marsala, and Beef Stroganoff. And don’t even get me started on the Tomato Tart, Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce, and Pan-Fried Pork Chops. You’ll have a very tough time deciding on a favorite!

To take away the guesswork, I made sure to include all the step-by-step recipe photos I love to share, and I packed as much deliciousness into each chapter as possible. My hope is that you will turn to this book regularly to solve your dinnertime dilemmas, and that you will use these recipes to feed your family time and time again. The more stains, smudges, and smears on the pages, the better! Enjoy dinnertime in your household, friends! 
Buy the cookbook HERE. 

Ree Drummond is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks,
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays. Ree’s beloved website, The Pioneer Woman, was founded in 2006 and showcases her cooking, photography, and anecdotes about country life. Her cooking show, The Pioneer Woman, premiered on Food Network in 2011. Ree loves Ethel Merman songs, Lucille Ball, andThe Godfather. She lives on a working cattle ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and four children. Learn more about Ree on her website HERE.

Thin Molasses Crisps

Here's a delicious recipe I tried hoping to match those thin windmill cookies I ate as a girl. This is not quite like them, but they are very good! Delicious served with your favorite hot tea. Enjoy!

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
slivered almonds

In large mixing bowl, cream butter until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, and molasses, mixing well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. Add to butter mixture gradually, mixing until flour is incorporated.

Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that it hangs over sides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan, packing it tightly, and leveling the top as smooth as possible. Cover dough with plastic wrap. Freeze until very firm, for 4-6 hours. Unwrap and remove dough from pan. Slice into thin slices, no more than 1/8" thick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and decorate with slivered almonds. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven, until edges turn lightly brown, 7-9 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes 4-6 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cinnamon Twists

Here is an easy recipe made from refrigerator biscuits that we enjoy making. It is so good! And especially fun with little hands...

1 12-oz can buttermilk biscuits
brown sugar

Powdered Sugar Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out each biscuit 3" wide. Spread each with butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll biscuits like cinnamon roll. Cut 4-6 slices per biscuit. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Robin Patchen's Apple Pie Bars with Caramel Drizzle

Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com

Robin's Latest Book Release: Finding Amanda

Chef and popular blogger Amanda Johnson hopes publishing her memoir will provide healing and justice. Her estranged husband, contractor and veteran soldier Mark Johnson, tries to talk her out of it, fearing the psychiatrist who seduced her when she was a teen might return to silence her. 

But Amanda doesn’t need advice, certainly not from her judgmental soon-to-be ex-husband. Her overconfidence makes her vulnerable when she travels out of town and runs into the abuser from her past. A kind stranger comes to her rescue and offers her protection. 

Now Mark must safeguard his wife both from the fiend who threatens her life and from the stranger who threatens their marriage. BUY THE BOOK HERE.

Robin's Apple Pie Bars with Caramel Drizzle

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

2 large, tart apples (I use Granny Smith), peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 -1/8 inch thick)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel or other caramel sauce
Preheat the oven to 300°. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Be sure to leave an overhang on two sides, which will make it easier to remove and slice the bars later.

To make the crust, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until all of the apples are evenly coated.

To make the topping, whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (I admit it—I used my hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

After the shortbread is removed from the oven, turn the oven to 350°F. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the Streusel is golden brown.

Let it cool at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then in the fridge for at least 2 hours. With the foil or parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into bars. Place them on a pretty serving dish, if you like, and drizzle some room temperature salted caramel sauce on top of each. (Tip: Put the caramel sauce in a squeeze bottle. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, use a zipper bag and snip the corner and squeeze the sauce out. This will help you to drizzle it with style.)

*recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/03/salted-caramel-apple-pie-bars/

Apple Cinnamon Twists

Here's a delightful recipe to try when you're craving apples and cinnamon. Enjoy!

3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup peeled and grated apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, and salt, mixing well. Add the butter, vanilla, egg, and milk, and stir until dough holds it's form. Knead for 7-8 minutes until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until double, 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

While the dough is rising, combine the filling ingredients. In small bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. In medium bowl, pour lemon juice over apples and mix. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and mix well. Set aside.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and gently punch down two-three times. Divide dough in half. Roll each into 10"x12" rectangle. Spread half of filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2" margin along the edges. Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge. Cut the log in half lengthwise. Place the half-logs, filled side up, side-by-side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Twist the two logs together, keeping the filling side up, working from the center to the end. Pinch the ends together. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover the dough and allow to rise for one hour.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. May need to cover with aluminum foil the last ten minutes to keep edges from getting too dark. Remove from oven and allow to cool before glazing.

To Glaze: In small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until creamy. Drizzle over loaves. Makes 2 loaves.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lemon Blueberry Scones


Here is a delicious recipe for anyone who loves lemons or blueberries . . . or scones. This would be delightful for a mother-daughter tea.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with knife or fork until mixture is crumbly. Stir in dried blueberries and lemon zest. In small bowl, mix together sour cream and egg. Stir into flour mixture and work together until it forms a ball. (I use my hands for this.) Divide into eight pieces and place each in lightly greased scone pan. Press to form into the pan. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan.

To make icing, in small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice. Mix together well. Drizzle icing over warm scones. Serve with hot tea. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cherie Burbach's Cranberry Blueberry Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She’s penned 17 books and has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Whether it’s writing articles or creating art, all of Cherie’s work centers on relationships and faith. She includes book pages, music sheets, and other fabulous random things in her art to create something that celebrates a hopeful message. Visit her website for more info, cherieburbach.com.

Cherie's Latest Book Release: 100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends 

The more friends you have, the more you’ll have the right people in your life to give you the support and connection you desire. Having more friends means you’ll consistently connect with new people and also keep the good friends you already have. If your friendships don’t seem to stick, you’ll be making friends and losing them quickly. The key to having more friends is increasing the number of people you meet on a regular basis and holding on to the great pals you already have. 

This book contains one hundred suggestions on how to make new friends and also strengthen the friendships you already have. The tips are varied, with suggestions on how to meet new people interspersed with ideas for nurturing your new and existing friendships. Purchase the book HERE. 

Cherie's Cranberry Blueberry Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried blueberries

Preheat to 325. In one bowl, cream the butter and sugars. In another, mix the dry ingredients and put aside. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla to the creamed mixture, then the add the dry gradually. Add the chips and dried berries last. Then, spoon out onto baking sheets (best if you have a silpat) and cook for 15 minutes.

Crescent Lined Baked Brie with Apricots

Here's a delicious recipe to serve company when you want a little something special. We love how the cheese oozes once you slice into this yummy goodness.

8 oz. brie, with rind on
1/2 package refrigerator garlic crescent rolls (I like to use the uncut kind)
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/8 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out half a package of crescent rolls and press together to seal edges if not uncut. Place brie in center of pastry. Top brie with apricot preserves and almonds.

Beginning with one side, wrap crescent over brie, until all sides are covered. Twist dough at the top to seal. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with crackers, glazed walnuts, and sliced apples or pears. 

Jennifer Slattery's Sweet and Sassy California Chicken Salad


Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet CafĂ© Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.

Jennifer's Latest Book Release: Intertwined

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives! Purchase the book HERE. 

Jennifer's Recipe for Sweet and Sassy California Chicken Salad

This salad, which I’ll call the Sweet and Sassy California Chicken Salad, turned out to be awesome. It arose, initially, from a Chinese salad my husband had when we were in California but soon morphed into the Sweet and Sassy version when I learned our daughter, who’s not a fan of soy sauce but loves anything citrusy, was coming home from college for the weekend.

For the chicken marinade:

¼ cup orange juice concentrate (do not dilute)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 large cloves minced garlic
¼ cup balsamic vinegar (or white rice vinegar)
5 basil leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon salt

Mix the above ingredients together and marinade chicken in it for at least three hours. I used four chicken breasts, though there’s enough marinade for at least six.

For salad:

¼ head of green cabbage
½ head of red cabbage
1 beet, peeled and grated
2 oranges, peeled and sliced (or substitute with mandarin orange slices)
1 red pepper, julienned
¼ to ½ cup slivered almonds

For dressing:

¼ cup orange juice from concentrate
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup vinegar of choice (I like balsamic)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Grill the chicken. We prefer a charcoal grill, and really enjoyed the smoky flavor. While chicken is grilling, mix the salad ingredients together, and then serve onto individual plates. Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside. When the chicken is done, slice each breast into bite sized pieces and place it one breast worth on top of each salad. Drizzle with the dressing. And dig in! Can you think of any other ingredients I could’ve added? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!

Chocolate Espresso Cake

Here's a cake to make when you're craving chocolate and coffee! Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cups baking cocoa
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk

4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add vanilla and eggs, mixing well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking cocoa, instant coffee, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, mixing well between additions. Pour into lightly greased oblong baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cake springs back when pressed in center. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on wire racks. 

To prepare icing: In mixing bowl, cream together powdered sugar and butter. Add half and half along with coffee, mixing well. Spread over cooled cake. Serves 16-20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Beth Wiseman's Logan's Split Pea Soup

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series—Seek Me With All Your Heart—was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels full time.
Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers.
Beth's Latest Book Release: A Tide Worth Turning

Addison Burke is a successful real estate agent who specializes in high-end closings and who enjoys an elite lifestyle not often afforded someone her age (27).  But following a stroke and a recent fall, Addison is forced to hire a caregiver for her estranged mother, Lee Ann; a job Addison chooses not to take on, despite her financial freedom to do so.  She hires an agency to fill the position, and to her surprise, they send a man for the job.

Logan has somehow managed to keep his act together despite a past that is slowly catching up with him.  If he can make enough money over the next couple of months by tending to Lee Ann Burke, he should be able to flee the country before his world comes crashing down around him.  But when Lee Ann’s beautiful daughter, Addison, begins to awaken feelings in him that he thought died long ago, he begins to question whether or not fleeing from the past is worth leaving Addison forever.

Will Addison let down her guard for love and renew her relationship with her mother?  Can Logan face his past, come out unscathed, and act on his feelings for Addison?  And why is Lee Ann selling everything she owns on Ebay and Craig’s List? Purchase the book HERE.  

Beth's Recipe for Logan’s Split Pea Soup

2 cups dried, green split peas
7 cups water
1 tsp. canola oil
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1 t. salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup minced fresh parsley

In a large pot, bring the peas, oil, and water to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.  Add the next eight ingredients; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in parsley.  Makes 10 servings.