Chicken Soup with Wild Rice

Here's a yummy recipe when you're craving a hot bowl of chicken soup. The broth is so good!

1 whole chicken
3 carrots, peeled and halved
4 stalks celery, halved
1 onion, quartered
water to cover
salt and pepper

8 cups chicken broth
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup wild rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups cooked chicken
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place chicken in large soup pot and cover with water. Add celery, carrots, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat and simmer for 2-3 hours until chicken meat falls off the bone. Skim off foam as needed. Remove chicken and strain the broth. When the chicken has cooled some, pick meat off of the bones and slice into 1/2" chunks. Measure out 2 cups of chicken and set aside. May refrigerate or freeze remaining chicken. (Some may opt to slice the cooked vegetables and use in the soup. For me, the vegetables were too soft, so I chose to use fresh for the remaining recipe.)

Add enough water to broth to make 8 cups. Bring to boil. Stir in rice and bouillon cubes and allow to simmer for 25 minutes until rice is tender. In medium skillet, heat olive oil and saute sliced celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and garlic until tender. Add to broth mixture along with chicken. Add parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Liz Tolsma's Filipino Chicken Adobo

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013 and was a 2014 Selah Award finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog at

Liz's Latest Book Release: Remember the Lilies 

Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor’s office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till—and has news that could threaten Rand’s reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.

When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom. Buy the book HERE. 

Liz's recipe for Filipino Chicken Adobo

1 1/2 pounds chicken legs/thighs (I’ve used boneless/skinless chicken breasts. They work, they’re just drier.)

1/3 cup Datu Puti Filipino vinegar or cane vinegar (Do NOT use regular. You can find this at a larger grocery store or an Asian grocer. If you can’t find it, just eliminate it. The dish will still be delicious.)

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic

Brown chicken, drain fat, and set aside. In a slow cooker, combine the Datu Puti, soy sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Add chicken, stirring to coat. Cook on low heat for six hours. Serve over hot rice. It will fall off the bone and be absolutely delicious!

Raisin Sourdough Bread

Here's a recipe that reminds me of home when my mom would toast raisin bread for us for breakfast. Enjoy!

1 cup FED sourdough starter
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup wheat flour
3 cups flour
1/2 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup raisins, chopped

In large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until combined. Knead to form a smooth dough, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes. Set dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently form it into a 12" log. Place on parchment paper and cover, allowing it to rise for 60 minutes until puffy. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slash the top several times. Bake for 40-45 minutes on a pizza stone, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Here's a favorite Cheesecake recipe I like to make at home. It's really delicious. Try some this weekend!

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/3 cup butter, melted

3- 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In medium mixing bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, coconut, sugar, baking cocoa. Add melted butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom and partially up the side of a 10-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar, and then add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Fold in miniature chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes until center is nearly set. Turn off oven and allow cake to cool for an hour. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Let cool completely and then refrigerate overnight. 16 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals...

Using just one pan, you can stew, steam, sauté, simmer, braise, or roast your way to a fuss-free meal—and minimal cleanup to boot.
At the end of a busy day, you want to serve a delicious home-cooked dinner, a complete, all-in-one meal that can be prepared with little effort and few pans to wash. The editors of Martha Stewart Living present a brand-new collection of 120 recipes—organized by vessel—to help you do just that, all while adding savory new dishes to your weekly rotation.
One Pot is an exciting new way to approach everyday cooking: Imagine perfect pasta dishes for which everything goes in the pot at once (yes, that’s pasta, tomato, garlic, basil, and water all cooked together), dinner-party ready roasts with tender vegetables, and down-home casseroles, along with wholesome fish, chicken, and vegetarian dishes. You’ll get incredible flavor payoff from dishes such as comforting Chicken and Dumplings, easy Baked Risotto with Carrots and Squash, healthy Broiled Striped Bass with Tomatoes, hearty Pork Chops with Bacon and Cabbage, and the delectable Skillet Chocolate-Chip Cookie—each of which takes less than an hour from start to finish. Here, too, are a dozen outstanding recipes for surprising and simple desserts that can be ready when you are.
With chapters devoted to your essential cooking vessels—stockpot, skillet, slow cooker, and more—this book is sure to streamline your meals and to satisfy the people you share them with. Recipes include:
DUTCH OVEN: Beef Stew with Noodles, Chicken and Dumplings, Baked Risotto, Texas Red Chili, Cajun Stew
SLOW COOKER: Pulled Pork, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Classic Pot Roast, Lamb Shanks and Potatoes, Garlic Chicken with Barley
SKILLET & SAUTÉ PAN: Spinach Pie, Poached Cod with Tomatoes, Three-Cheese Lasagna, Macaroni and Cheese, Stir-Fried Chicken with Bok Choy
ROASTING PAN & BAKING DISH: Rib-Eye with Root Vegetables, Roast Chicken with Herb Butter, Salmon with Kale, Roast Beef with Acorn Squash, Tuscan Pork Roast
PRESSURE COOKER: Short Ribs with Potato-Carrot Mash, Kale and White Bean Soup, Chicken Cacciatore; Easy Chickpea Curry, Beef Stroganoff
STOCKPOT: Classic Chicken Soup, Split Pea Soup, Gemelli with Pesto and Potatoes, Corn and Shrimp Chowder, Pasta with Farm-Stand Vegetables
DESSERTS: Peach Crumble, Skillet Chocolate-Chip Cookie, Baked Blackberry Custard, Raspberry Sorbet, Molten Chocolate Cupcakes

Purchase the cookbook HERE. 

Apricot Pepper Jack Mini-Tarts

Here's a delicious recipe to serve as an appetizer or snack at your next family gathering. The spicy-sweet combination is delicious!

1 can garlic crescent rolls
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup pecans, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Roll out crescent rolls and pinch edges together to seal. Cut into 24 squares.

Spread each square into a muffin tin with thumb so that crust comes to the top of each. Fill each with 2 teaspoons cheese, 1/2 teaspoon preserves, and 1/2 teaspoon pecans. Bake 14-20 minutes until golden brown and tops are crusty. Serve warm. Makes 24.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Valentine Chocolate Cream with Berries

Here's a recipe I like to make for Valentine's Day. It might sound difficult to prepare, but it is surprisingly simple, and very good.

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whipped cream, divided
1 quart fresh strawberries

Line a 9-inch heart-shaped or square baking pan with foil; set aside. In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan, swirling to coat the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides. Refrigerate for several minutes, then swirl the chocolate to reinforce sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Using foil, lift from pan; remove foil and place chocolate heart on a serving plate.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa; add to creamed mixture with milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Gently fold two cups of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into heart. Using star-tipped pastry decorator, fill with the remaining whipped cream. Pipe around the edge of heart. Garnish with strawberries. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Maggie Brendan's Beef Stew

Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of the Heart of the West and The Blue Willow Brides series. Winner of the 2014 Book Buyers Best Award (OOC/RWA) for inspirational fiction and the 2013 Laurel Wreath Award, she was a finalist for the 2013 Published Maggie Award of Excellence and the 2013 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. To learn more, visit

Maggie's Newest Book Release: The Trouble with Patience

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with the restoration of a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye—and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait. Purchase the book HERE.

Maggie's Recipe for Beef Stew

1 lb. beef for stew cubed
1 8 oz. can tomato paste
1 12 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1 diced onion
1 large button of garlic
2 sliced carrots
2 medium potatoes cubed
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of frozen green beans
2 tablespoons rubbed sage
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme

Bring to boil cubed beef and onion then simmer until tender. Add water as needed to make broth. (I simmer in a cast iron dutch oven for at least one hour). Add remaining ingredients and cook on low until all vegetable are tender. Serve with hot cornbread sticks.

Easy Caramel Popcorn

Here's a favorite recipe that's easy to make and tastes great. Enjoy!

1 cup brown sugar
1 stick margarine
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter seasoning
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup almonds

In large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Microwave again on high until it reaches a full, rolling boil (approximately 1 1/2 - 2 minutes). Stir in vanilla and butter. Pour popcorn and nuts into a large brown paper bag. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn. Mix to coat well. Fold bag down and place in microwave. Cook on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Do this three times shaking bag vigorously between each heating. Spread on flat surface to cool and harden.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Almond Cherry Chip Cookies

Here's a yummy recipe for Valentine's Day.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. In small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in dried cherries, white chocolate chips, and almonds. Drop by teaspoon 2" apart on greased baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Makes 4 dozen. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cheesy Chicken Soup with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Here's a delicious recipe that is perfect when you need a bowl of comfort and pure yumminess. Serve with Sourdough Baguettes.

3 cups water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
16 oz package frozen cauliflower and broccoli blend
1 cup cooked brown rice
4 - 1/2" slices Velvetta cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup flour

In large saucepan combine water, chicken bouillon, onion, and rice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add shredded chicken, frozen cauliflower/broccoli blend, and cooked brown rice. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is heated through. Add slices of cheese and allow to melt at a simmer. Season with pepper and paprika. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half with flour. Pour into soup to thicken. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.