Country Sausage Gravy

Here's a recipe I make every year on the Fourth of July. Serve with Country Biscuits or Sourdough Biscuits. Enjoy!

1 pound bulk sausage
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over sausage and stir into grease to make roux. Slowly add milk and stir to thicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper. Serve over biscuits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Taco Bowl Salad


Here's a recipe that's easy to make and fun to eat. Enjoy!

8 flour tortillas
1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds ground hamburger
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
15 oz can red kidney beans, drained

To make tortilla salad bowls, brush each tortilla with oil on both sides. On a large baking sheet, place each tortilla over a ball of wadded up tinfoil (about the size of a large orange). Bake in 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until tortillas are golden brown.

While these are baking, brown hamburger in large skillet over medium high heat. When brown, add chili powder, soy sauce, minced onion, onion powder, ground cumin. Mix well. Add chili beans and simmer for 7-10 minutes.

To assemble the taco bowls, place 1 cup of meat mixture in each bowl. Top with shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and Homemade Salsa. Serves 8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Deborah Raney's Arby's-style Chicken Salad

DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. 

She is currently writing a new five-book series, the The Chicory Inn Novels. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. They love traveling to visit four children and five grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at

Deborah's Latest Book Release - Two Roads Home 

Nagging setbacks continue to challenge Grant and Audrey Whitman's initiation into the world of inn keeping, but larger challenges brew when an occasional flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitman's son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington's outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. 

But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped up charges of harassment from a disgruntled co-worker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a beautiful life before it crumbles beneath them? Purchase the book HERE. 

Deborah's Recipe for Arby’s-style Chicken Salad

6 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt, and either stewed or grilled under the broiler for 8-10 minutes on each side
2 medium apples, cored and diced
1 small-medium bunch of grapes (if grapes are large, slice in half)
1 small to medium onion finely chopped
diced celery, if desired
3/4- 1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup mayo mixed with 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (This helps keep the diced apples from turning dark)

Chicken may be diced or shredded (Kitchenaide stand mixer paddle attachment works great for shredding poultry)

Add other prepared ingredients, except for pecans. Toss with mayo dressing and chill. Stir in pecans just before serving (to keep them from getting soggy). Serve on a lettuce leaf, or as filling for a wrap or croissant sandwich.

Zucchini Boats

Here's a recipe we tried this summer and dearly loved. A great way to use up your garden zucchini. Enjoy!

3-4 medium zucchini, sliced in half, lengthwise
6-8 slices muenster cheese, halved
6-8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place halved zucchini on baking sheet. Top with muenster cheese, halved tomatoes and black olives. Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is golden brown and zucchini is crisp-tender. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm. Makes 6-8 boats.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Peppers

Here's a delicious recipe to serve with my French Bread and Dipping Sauce. Enjoy!

1 pound ground sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 oz bow tie pasta, prepared
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In large skillet, brown sausage. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. In same skillet add olive oil and saute onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 7-10 minutes. While this is simmering, prepare pasta as directed. Boil for 10-11 minutes. Drain then stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil. To serve, spoon tomato sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6-8. Enjoy! 

Karen Witemeyer's Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies

Christy Award finalist and winner of both the ACFW Carol Award and HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen on her Website HERE. 

Karen's Latest Book Release - A Worthy Pursuit 

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother's death. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When the teacher he's after produces documentation that shows she's the little girl's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her.

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart. Purchase the book HERE. 

Karen's Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons margarine
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 – 12 ounce pkg chocolate chips

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and margarine. Add the cereal. Mix until completely coated. Spread evenly in a 13x9" pan. Melt chocolate chips over low heat and spread over the cereal mixture. Chill an hour then cut.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Here's a delicious recipe to try the next time you want to grill. Enjoy!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 racks baby back pork ribs (4 pounds)
Baby Rays Honey BBQ Sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In small bowl, mix together brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper.

Remove the silver skin from the underside of the ribs. Rub the ribs with the seasoning on both sides. Place in a single layer in a large roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake until ribs are tender, about 3-4 hours.

Prepare charcoal in grill. Grill the ribs on each side for 15 minutes on top of foil. Then grill without foil for an additional 5-7 minutes on each side, basting with BBQ sauce as needed. Allow ribs to rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version.

Coconut Cream Pie


Here's a delightful recipe for my husband's favorite pie. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water, 2 parts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add water in two parts, mixing until ingredients form a nice dough. Divide in half. Roll out on floured surface to fit pie pan. Makes 2 crusts. *For this recipe crimp edges and poke tiny holes all around with fork. Blind bake pastry by lining crust with a sheet of crumpled waxed paper and then filling it with 2 cups of dried beans. Bake on lowest rack in oven for 20 minutes with beans. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 17-20 minutes until lightly brown. (Baking with the dried beans will keep your crust from shrinking, and baking on the lowest rack will ensure that your crust is fully baked before adding your pudding to it.)

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sweetened coconut

In medium saucepan, mix together milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and butter. Heat on medium high heat until butter begins to melt. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining sugar, and cornstarch. Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup warm milk, slowly whisking until it thins. Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla and coconut. Set aside while you make the meringue.


3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In large mixing bowl, add egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat together on medium speed for one minute. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed for about 4 minutes. Mixture should form stiff glossy peaks.

Pour coconut cream into baked pie pastry. Top with meringue. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. A perfect meringue will form spots of sugared caramel on top. Cool and serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Marian Merritt's Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Fettuccine

Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves. She is the author of, Deep Freeze Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, Southern Fried Christmas, and her latest release, The Vigil. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women's Fiction Writers Association. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. Connect with her through Website

Marian's Latest Book Release: The Vigil  
Cheryl Broussard made two vows: She'd never fall for an abusive man, and she'd never return to her Louisiana hometown. But she's learned all too well the lesson of never-say-never. Now, back in Bijou Bayou after fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl finds work as a Hospice nurse. While reading a dying patient's Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl's beliefs about her family and herself and shed light on the reason she fled her hometown. When the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew? Buy the book HERE.

Marian's Recipe for Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Fettuccine

8 tablespoons butter
6 chicken tenderloins
1 small or ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz) of Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh is best. Add extra for topping
Fresh parsley or basil for garnish
1 package of your favorite fettuccine noodles. (I like Cappello’s Fresh Gluten-Free)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. On med-high heat, sauté chicken and until cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, wine, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until mushrooms are soft. Transfer mixture to a bowl or small plate. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add flour whisking for approx. 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth stirring constantly until blended. While stirring, add cream and milk. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Add chicken, mushroom mixture, and parmesan cheese. Stir until blended and thickened. Cover and remove from heat. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and then add to sauce. Toss to coat. Serve topped with parmesan and either parsley or basil.

Cucumber Tomato Salad


Here's a recipe perfect for a hot summer evening. Serve with a BLT sandwich or even Spinach Quiche. Enjoy!

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 large tomato, sliced and chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In medium bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, basil, and chives. Pour wine vinegar and olive oil over and stir. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Chill until ready to serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Corn Dip

Here's a delicious snack recipe introduced to me by Julane, especially good with lime flavored corn chips.

2 cans Mexican corn, drained
1/2 cup minced onion
1 can green chili's
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cottage cheese (or sour cream)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

In medium bowl, mix together ingredients and let set for at least one hour. Serve with corn chips. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview - The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 150 Fresh Ideas for America's Favorite Pan
by Ellen Brown; photography by Guy Ambrosino

Cast iron skillets are booming in popularity: they're versatile, they're relatively inexpensive, and they don't have the toxic chemicals released by artificial nonstick pans. Though cast iron was the only pan in grandma's kitchen, these 150 recipes are fresh and updated, from cornbread with Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes to frittatas, Vietnamese spring rolls, and to-die-for sticky buns.

During the last decades of the twentieth century, the cast-iron skillet fell out of fashion with cooks. New technologies produced nonstick-surface coatings for pans and made them the darlings of the culinary world. But nonstick coatings may break down at high temperatures needed for searing some foods, and environmental issues complicate their manufacture. The old technology of the cast-iron skillet, which can be passed down through generations, now looks much friendlier. True, cast iron needs initial seasoning, and its daily care seems counterintuitive (don’t wash it!), but it handles so many cooking tasks perfectly and moves seamlessly from stovetop to oven. Brown catalogs recipes covering breakfast, snacks, and dinner, and she appeals to all sorts of ethnic traditions. Her several quesadilla inspirations illustrate that Mexican staple’s versatility. There’s also a skillet-browned mac and cheese. Detailed instructions smooth the way for cooks new to this time-tested cookware. --Mark Knoblauch, Booklist 

Purchase the cookbook HERE.