Christmas Chicken Pie


Although this recipe takes some time to prepare, it's very good and has become a Christmas tradition at our house. I usually serve it with Cream of Vegetable Soup and crescents or dinner rolls.

1 prepared pie dough


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon sage
6 chicken thighs - poached and shredded
1 pound ground pork - browned
5 slices bacon - cooked and broken into 1-inch pieces
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Press one half of pie dough into the bottom and sides of a greased 2-quart baking dish. For gravy, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until mixture thickens & bubbles. Gradually stir in chicken broth, salt, pepper, and spices. Cook until thickened. In bottom of baking dish, layer half of chicken, sausage, bacon and top with remaining chicken. Pour gravy over meat. Top with remaining rolled-out pie crust. Trim and crimp edges. Cut slits in top for steam to escape. Bake 1 1/2 hours. Combine egg yolk with water and brush over top of crust. Bake 5 minutes more. Makes 8 servings.

Christmas Breakfast Ideas

I always try to serve our family something special for breakfast on Christmas morning. Here are a few ideas to share with your family this holiday weekend. 

Click HERE for more holiday breakfast ideas. Enjoy the moments . . .

Candied Sweet Potatoes


Here's an old family favorite for the holidays. Enjoy!

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-3 cups miniature marshmallows

In a large saucepan, cover sweet potato chunks with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes until slightly tender. Drain and place in a greased baking dish.
Top with slices of butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Top with marshmallows. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until marshmallows are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Stollen ~ Christmas Loaf


Here is a traditional German recipe for Stollen, including the surprise marzipan treat in the center. I hope you'll enjoy it!

1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped candied fruit
2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon rum
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6-7 cups flour
10 oz. marzipan

In medium bowl, combine raisins, candied fruit, orange juice, and rum. Let soak for 1 hour. Add almonds and toss with 2 tablespoons flour. 

In glass measuring cup combine warm water and yeast. Let stand 3-5 minutes. Melt butter and add milk. Heat until warm (110 degrees). In large bowl, stir together yeast and milk mixture, sugar, eggs, salt, lemon rind, almond extract and nutmeg. Stir in 5 cups flour.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead 5-8 minutes, adding remaining flour as needed to make dough smooth and elastic. Knead in reserved fruit mixture, 1/3 cup at a time. Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down on floured surface and divide in half. Roll each into 8X14 oval. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on a lightly greased 15X10 baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Let loaves rise for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.Makes 2 loaves.

Rose McCauley's Gooey Brownies

Rose McCauley has been writing for over a decade and has five books published. A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over forty years, she enjoys their growing family of three children and their spouses and five lovely, lively grandkids! She loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her through her website

Rose's latest book release: Christmastide at Bald Head Island
Literature weaves its way through the hearts of the Jordan family women. Matriarch, Grace Jordan, has a particular affinity for William Shakespeare. Just as his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, spins a tale of the planning of one wedding but ends with three ceremonies, Grace and her two daughters, Rosalind and Miranda, discover rekindled love while planning Rosalind's daughter, Jane Anne's Christmas wedding. In a twist of fate, ceremony plans change. However, just like Elizabeth Bennett and Anne Shirley from Jane Austen and Lucy Montgomery's respective classic tales, all four Jordan women discover what—and who—will make them truly happy

Rose's Gooey Brownies

1 Devil's Food cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter (softened)

8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter (melted)
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first three ingredients and mix well. Pat into lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. 

To prepare filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Add butter; beat. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't over bake. 

Herbed Parmesan Spread


Here's a delicious recipe to make this holiday season. Serve with your favorite crackers. It's also great added to your favorite mashed potato recipe or served over a hot seared rib-eye steak.

1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. salted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dill weed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon dried ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until it forms a ball when mixed. Transfer to a small serving bowl or form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Greek Pot Roast

I love when it starts to get colder outside--time to turn on the oven and bake breads, casseroles, or cook roasts in the dutch oven. Here's a recipe I like to serve my family. Enjoy! 

3 1/2 pounds boneless chuck shoulder or rump roast
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
6 medium potatoes, quartered
6-8 whole mushrooms
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 green peppers, seeded and cut in squares

Heat oil in dutch oven and sear meat on all sides. Remove meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In dutch oven saute onion until transparent. Add tomato sauce, red wine, brown sugar, wine vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and cumin. Stir together and add water. Bring to a slow boil. Return meat to dutch oven. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, until tender. Add more water as needed. Add vegetables. Cover and simmer another 30-40 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6-8.

Wine Recommendation: Francis Coppola Director's Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake


Here's a recipe I made for the first time last Christmas and absolutely LOVED. It makes 4 small loaves, so I kept one for myself and gave the rest as gifts, which were received with glad reception. It seems, even those who don't care for fruitcake, enjoy this recipe! Yay! 
Here's to Fruitcake!!

2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried chopped pineapple
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped figs
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
1/2 cup rum
10 oz. candied red and green cherries, chopped
1 cup salted butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (This stuff is some today. It lasts a long time.)
4 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
2 cups chopped pecans

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rum

To prepare the fruit, in a large bowl, mix cranberries, pineapple, dates, figs, and raisins with the rum. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir and set aside to cool. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 4 small loaf pans. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add Fiori di Sicilia and eggs, beating one-at-a-time. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with juice. Add to this the undrained fruit, candied cherries, and pecans. Spoon the batter into each loaf pan, filling about three-quarters full. Bake for 45-55 minutes until cakes are golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack. 

While the cakes are baking, prepare the glaze in a small bowl. Combine sugar, orange juice, and rum, stirring often until sugar has dissolved. Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a coat of glaze on the tops and sides. When the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 24 hours before serving or giving as gifts to let the flavors fully blend. May refrigerate cakes for up to a month--but if they last that long, brush with sugar syrup or rum weekly before serving. Makes 4 small loaves. 

Russian Tea Cakes

This is a recipe I like to make during the holidays or for special tea parties.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raspberry/apricot preserves
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Blend in flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Roll tablespoons of dough into 1 inch balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Press down center with thumb or spoon. Fill center with a teaspoon of preserves. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Martha Roger's Mammy's Southern Pecan Pie

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015. 

Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Visit Martha online HERE. 

Martha's Latest Book Releasle: Christmas at Stoney Creek

News reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man, Joe, and brings him home to Stoney Creek, a town that accepts people for who they are and not how they appear. Tom’s journalistic instincts suggest there’s more to the old man than appearances tell. A carpenter by trade, Joe works at odd jobs around town and makes many new friends including Faith Delmont, a girl who grew up with Tom. 

Contradictions in the man’s manners and way of speaking whet Tom’s nose for news and raises even more questions. As he and Faith seek the truth, they learn that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph and true love comes to those who seek it. Buy the book HERE

Martha's Mammy’s Southern Pecan Pie

1 cup brown sugar, packed                               
1 tablespoon flour                                                  
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Karo (light or dark)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter                                                           
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans (halves or chopped)

Mix sugar and flour, blend in softened butter. Add eggs and syrup, beat well. Add butter, vanilla, and pecans and mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream or just plain. Good either way.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Here's an easy recipe to make when you want a little something different for your meal. Loaded with vitamin C!

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup salted butter
1/4 cup half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon sea sat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In large saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain.

Add butter and cream to potatoes and mash with a hand masher. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of butter. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Molasses Crinkles


Here's an old recipe we enjoy when we want something with a little spice. Baking these will make your kitchen smell wonderful.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

In medium mixing bowl, cream together shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and molasses and mix well. In small bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture and beat well. Roll into balls the size of large walnuts. Dip tops in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake until set but not hard 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Tanya Eavenson's Cinnamon Pecans

Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling author who enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website 

Tanya's Latest Book Release: RESTORED

Sometimes love arrives when you least expect it.

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family's grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future. But how can there be a future when he's only come to kiss her and says good-bye. Buy the book HERE. 

Tanya's Cinnamon Pecans

·       1 cup pecans
·       ¼ cup white sugar
·       1 teaspoon cinnamon
·       ¼ teaspoon of water
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       Place cinnamon, sugar, and water in a medium-sized skillet. Mix, allowing the mixture to heat to a light boil. Add pecans and stir to ensure full coverage. Remove from heat and continue to stir. As the mixture begins to cool in the pan, add vanilla extract and continue to stir. Allow to cool.

Be warned! The hardest part of this recipe is allowing the pecans to cool prior to eating. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Streusel Topping

Here's a yummy way to make pumpkin pie when you want something a little different.


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
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 oz. can evaporated milk

Ginger Streusel Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped Glazed English Walnuts (see recipe here)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

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 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl mix together flour and sugar to make the streusel. Cut in butter. Stir in walnuts and ginger.

Remove pie from oven and top with the Ginger Streusel. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream. Serves 8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Here's a recipe my mom used to make for me when I was a girl. Our girls like it even better than the Kraft version.

16 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
4 quarts water
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
10 oz. cheese loaf, cubed (like Velveeta)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In large saucepan, bring water to a rapid boil. Add salt and macaroni. Boil 9-11 minutes until tender. Drain. In same saucepan, melt butter. Add milk, cheese cubes, and cheddar cheese. Cook on medium low until cheese is melted. Add drained macaroni and mix well. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Coconut Pecan Pie

Here's a twist on your regular pecan pie that you might enjoy. Very rich, but very delicious!


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

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, halved

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 a medium bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, and salt. Mix well. Add unsweetened coconut and pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is no longer runny. It will continue to stiffen as it cools. Place on wire rack and allow to cool before serving. Serves 8
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread


Here's a recipe my mother-in-law found on Frugal Living. The recipe actually comes from the book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I enjoy making bread. I love getting my hands in it, kneading it, and shaping it into beautiful loaves. But this recipe is really, really simple. It's fast and quite tasty. It's very comparable to the hard sour dough bread you buy for $4 or more at the grocery store. I made my first batch yesterday and turned out two loaves, saving enough dough for another loaf later. I'm eager to let the dough sit in the refrigerator for a week to try some sour dough bread and see how it turns out. I'll be sure to report back here on that. So, without further ado, here is the recipe (with my additional toppings):

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In large plastic container with lid (I used a gallon ice-cream pail) combine water, yeast, salt and flour. Mix together well with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined. Dough may be sticky. Cover with lid and allow to rise in warm place for 2 hours. At this point, you may place the dough in the refrigerator to use at a later time. There will be enough dough to make 3 loaves.

To make a loaf of bread:  With floured hands, scoop out a third of the dough (about the size of a small cantaloupe) and form it into a smooth ball, working the edges with your fingers and tucking it under until top is smooth. Place the dough on a pizza peel or parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. Cover and allow the loaf to rise for 30-40- minutes until double.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I like to preheat my baking stone at this time as well. Add a small pan of water to the lower rack to create steam. May need to add water to this if you're baking more than one loaf of bread. I used an aluminum cake pan.

Once loaf has doubled, score 3-4 times with a sharp knife. Wash the top with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Transfer loaf to baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. When ready to serve, slice with a sharp bread knife. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Carole Brown's Fruit Salad

Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, 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 HERE.

Carole's latest book release: Undiscovered Treasures 

Caroline Gibson is co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a shop of antiques, collectibles, and junk in rural West Virginia. Inside the shop is a music box that Caroline particularly relates to, believing that her own life is similar: forever spinning and never going anywhere. She dreams and prays for the right man to turn up. But when family and friends hint that the local artist could be the guy, Caroline forgets about trusting God and takes matters into her own hands. Besides, she could never love a man who paints such depressing pictures. 

Andrew Carrington, painter of said depressing pictures, insists there’s always one redeeming trait to each of his works. He’s loved Caroline since they were kids and thinks he’s not handsome enough, strong enough, or rich enough to impress this woman. But when God—or is it?—suddenly sends contracts begging for his signature, Andy thinks this just might be the way to win the only woman he can ever love. But there’s a hitch in their plans. Someone is stealing Andy’s pictures, and why would they do that when he’s an unknown--so far? Do they know something Caroline and Andy don’t know? Is it mischief? Or something deeper that neither understand? Andy gets the chance to work with Caroline, and she must put aside her on-going battle to avoid Andy and his art so they can discover the art thief in Appleton before Andy loses the chance of a lifetime to ‘make it big. Buy the book HERE.

Carole's Recipe for Fruit Salad

This is a super easy, super delicious dessert that works for holidays or summer. I'm sharing my standard recipe, but be creative (hint example: Christmas: include lots of cherries and kiwi for the color!!)
Lots of tropical fruits including kiwi, papaya and pineapple - If you use cans of fruit, do not drain. Include the juice in your mixture. I also add Mandarin oranges, bananas and whatever else I happen to have in the fridge that's suitable. 

1 small box of instant vanilla pudding (french is extra rich/extra good!)

Mix fruit and pudding together in a large bowl and refrigerate.

This is really good over slices of pound cake, sponge cake, or even cookies.
Try it with seasonal fruit, like peaches, apples, strawberries and/or melons.
Add your own touches to it to suit your taste, like a dab of (light) whip cream on top
Or spread it over pancakes, etc. Most of all, enjoy!

Sourdough Carrot Cake with Ginger Buttercream Frosting

Here's a recipe our youngest daughter took to the county fair and received Reserve Champion on. It's a great way to use your sourdough starter. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it when it was cut...

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup UNFED sourdough starter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Ginger Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons crystalized ginger, finely minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Place carrots and coconut in a food processor and pulse about 8 times, until finely chopped.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, oil, sugar, and sourdough starter. Mix in eggs one-at-a-time, beating well after each, along with vanilla. Fold in pineapple, carrots, coconut, and walnuts. Add dry ingredients to the batter, stirring just to combine. Spoon batter into two round cake pans sprayed with cooking spray and lined with waxed paper. Bake for 30-32 minutes until cake tests done in the center. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, in a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and milk in three parts, alternately, mixing well between each addition. Stir in vanilla. Frost cake layers and garnish with ginger. Serves 16-20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

Here is a favorite pumpkin bread recipe I like to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It's lovely with a cup of International coffee or tea.

1 cup oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts

In medium bowl, cream together oil, sugar, eggs and pumpkin. In separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, and spices. Add to creamed mixture. Fold in chips and nuts. Pour into 2-3 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten

For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.

Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy.

From satisfying lunches to elegant dinners, here are the recipes Ina has tested over and over again, so you too can serve them with confidence to the people you love. Purchase the book HERE. 

Ina Garten is a New York Times bestselling author and the host of Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa, which has won three Emmy Awards. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Jeffrey. This is her tenth book.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Here's a recipe I make for church dinners. Enjoy!

5 eggs
3 tablespoons molasses
15 oz. pumpkin puree
3/4 cup canola oil
1 box gluten free yellow cake mix
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Glaze:
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Set aside. 

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, molasses, pumpkin puree, and oil until combined. In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix, cornstarch, baking soda, and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean in center. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-12 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the glaze, in large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Pour over cooled cake. Serves 16-20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

German Style Meatballs


Many people celebrate Octoberfest with German food. Here is a family favorite we make for our annual German Dinner at church. Great with Bierocks and/or Spaetzel.

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
water (fill half of empty Heinz bottle)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 - 16 oz. can sauerkraut, drained
1 can whole berry cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl, mix hamburger, onion soup mix, and bread crumbs. Shape into small meatballs. Place in greased oblong pan. In separate bowl, mix chili sauce, water, brown sugar, sauerkraut, and cranberries. Mix and pour over meatballs. Bake uncovered for 2 hours. Let set for 15 minutes and then stir. Serves 8-10

Laura Hilton's Amish Baked Oatmeal

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals or blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. 

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. Learn more about Laura HERE.

Laura's Latest Book Release: The Amish Wanderer

Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in Jamesport, Missouri, before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to recognize Silas. He’s left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas.

Silas’ family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He’s lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become Englisch? Buy the book HERE.

Laura's Amish Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was my Amish grandmother’s. She never measured, using a pinch of this and a pinch of that, so I played with it to get approximate measurements. It tastes like an oatmeal cookie. It stores well in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave and served with milk. This has to sit overnight, so plan accordingly. It is well worth the wait, however!

1⁄3 cup butter
2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milt
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups oatmeal (regular or quick) 

Grease 1 1/2 quart baking dish and drop in eggs and beat well. Add brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon, and salt. Mix well, no lumps. Whisk in butter and both measures of milk, then add oats. Stir well, and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 min, or until set in the middle. Serve hot with warm milk poured over. Makes six servings. (I like to sprinkle with fruit – usually bananas and walnuts – but other fruit works well too.)

Candy Corn Caramel Popcorn

Here's our latest twist on our favorite Caramel Popcorn Recipe, perfect for trick-or-treaters. 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 flavoring
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup Spanish peanuts
1 1/2 cups M&M's
1 cup Candy Corn

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 flavoring. 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. Sprinkle with chocolate candies and candy corn.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Oven Baked Fries


This is one of those mix and dump recipes, but here's my best guess on ingredients. This goes well with Sloppy Joes.

6-8 Russett potatoes, washed and sliced in wedges
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine sliced potato wedges, oil, seasoned salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with more seasoned salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 15 minutes. With metal spatula turn potatoes and bake for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are golden brown and tender. Yum!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Menu Ideas for a Cold Autumn Night

Need a few ideas for a chilly autumn supper? 

How about a hot bowl of Spicy Chili and a Cinnamon Roll?

Or perhaps you'd prefer something creamy and rich like Baked Potato Soup and 
some Apple Crisp topped with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream?

See more soup recipes HERE.