Lemon Orange Cake

Here is a recipe our daughters have taken to the county fair. It is delicious.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1-2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon extract
6-7 cups confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in extracts. Pour into three greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, beat butter in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the next five ingredients and mix well. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until frosting has desired spreading consistency. Spread between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Makes 10-12 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Elle E. Kay's Chicken Gravy

Elle E. Kay lives on a farmette in the Back Mountain region of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband, son, dog, and farm animals. She enjoys playing with goats and sheep.

Elle is a born-again Bible believing Christian. Stella is her debut novel, and is available for pre-order from Amazon.com. The next book in the Edinsville Series, Claudia is expected to be released in October 2016. Elle writes children’s books under the pen name, Ellie Mae Kay. Learn more about Elle and her books HERE. 

Elli's Latest Book Release: Stella  

After an encounter that leaves her petrified, Stella faces her stark reality. Can she find the faith she needs to persevere? Jason is a complication she’d rather not deal with. Can she trust him? Something is awry in Stella’s world. When she is abducted will anyone hear her cries?

A Christian romantic suspense about a young woman struggling to find her faith in the midst of struggle. It deals with the heavy subjects of rape, pregnancy, and kidnapping through a lens of faith and hope.

Elle's Recipe for Chicken Gravy

Fry 1/2 pound of chicken until cooked (then add a splash of water to the frying pan and cover with a lid to steam for a few minutes.)
Make a traditional white sauce while chicken fries. (Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy bottomed pan, add 2 tablespoons flour, and gradually add 2 1/2 cups of heated milk to the flour mixture, stirring constantly.)
Add to the white sauce:
1 chicken flavored bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
A couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
A handful of shredded cheddar cheese
Shred the chicken with two forks. Add chicken to gravy and simmer for five minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Serve over waffles. 

Pimento Cheese


I've always enjoyed pimento cheese on a cracker or celery, or even in little tea sandwiches. Here's a homemade version that will put the purchased product to shame. Try some on a cracker or on a sandwich. Maybe even with a little fried bacon. Yum!

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. Muenster cheese, grated
4 oz. sliced Pimentos

In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, hot sauce, and black pepper. Mix together until creamy. Add cheese and pimentos and mix until combined.

Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving to let the ingredients blend. Serves 10-12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

This is a cake my husband's grandma used to make for family gatherings. Everyone always loved it. I hope you will too.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small saucepan, melt shortening and butter; stir in cocoa, then add water. Bring to a rapid boil. Remove from heat. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in butter mixture. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into greased 10x15" jellyroll pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.

To prepare icing, melt butter in medium saucepan with cocoa, and milk. Bring to boil. Stir in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and nuts. Mix well. Spread on warm cake.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Heart and Soul in the Kitchen

Heart and Soul in the Kitchen, by Jacques Pepin

In the companion book to his final PBS series, the world-renowned chef shows his close relationship to the land and sea as he cooks for close friends and family.

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen is an intimate look at the celebrity chef and the food he cooks at home with family and friends—200 recipes in all. There are the simple dinners Jacques prepares for his wife, like the world’s best burgers (the secret is ground brisket). There are elegant dinners for small gatherings, with tantalizing starters like Camembert cheese with a pistachio crust and desserts like little foolproof chocolate soufflés. And there are the dishes for backyard parties, including grilled chicken tenderloin in an Argentinean chimichurri sauce. 

Spiced with reminiscences and stories, this book reveals the unorthodox philosophy of the man who taught millions how to cook, revealing his frank views on molecular gastronomy, the locovore movement, Julia Child and James Beard, on how to raise a child who will eat almost anything, and much, much more.  For both longtime fans of Jacques and those who are discovering him for the first time, this is a must-have cookbook. Buy the book HERE. 

JACQUES PÉPIN has published twenty-five cookbooks, including the best-selling Essential Pépin, Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way, and his memoir, The Apprentice. He has also starred in twelve acclaimed cooking TV series. He has won multiple James Beard Awards and several IACP Cookbook Awards. Read more HERE. 

Lemon Bars

Here's a light and yummy dessert to make for your family.


1 cup flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar


1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, butter, and powdered sugar. Mix together with fork until it forms together into a ball. Press into a greased 9" square pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice, lemon extract, baking powder and salt. Mix until frothy. Pour over baked crust. Bake an additional 20-22 minutes until light golden brown. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. Serves 9.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Hummingbird Cake

Here is a recipe my grandmother liked to make. I have no idea what it has to do with hummingbirds, but it's very tasty. (A quick search on the Internet determined that this recipe first appeared in Southern Living Magazine in 1978, and was named Hummingbird Cake because it is so very sweet . . . and delightful.)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 oz. undrained crushed pineapple
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, and mix until well moistened. Stir in pineapple, nuts, and bananas. Pour mixture into greased oblong pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and tests done in the center with a toothpick. Remove and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In medium bowl, cream together cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and butter. Mix until well blended, about 2-3 minutes. Spread frosting on cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Gail Pallotta's Chocolate Trifle

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s been a best-selling author on All Romance eBooks. She’s published four books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. To learn more about Gail and her books visit her web site at http://www.gailpallotta.com.

Gail's Latest Book: Barely above Water

An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. She turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida, and takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer league swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but must overcome his fear of losing someone close then regain Suzie’s trust. She relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, financial burdens without permanent employment and heartbreak in this contemporary romance. Purchase the book HERE. 

Gail's Recipe for Chocolate Trifle

1 (19.8) ounce package fudge brownie mix
½ cup Kahlua (may substitute four tablespoons strong coffee and one teaspoon of sugar)
3 (3.9) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
6 (1.4) ounce English toffee-flavored candy bars, crushed (can use Heath Bar bites or
Hershey’s chocolate covered toffee candy with almond bits)

Prepare brownie mix, and bake according to package directions in a 13x9x2-inch pan. Prick the top of the warm brownie at one-inch intervals using a fork then drizzle with Kahlua. Let cool and crumble. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, omitting chilling. Place one-third crumbled brownies in the bottom of a three-quart trifle dish or large, clear bowl. Top with one-third each of pudding, whipped topping, and crushed candy bars. Repeat layers twice with remaining ingredients, ending with crushed candy bars. Chill eight hours. Serves sixteen to eighteen.

Chicken Lo Mein

Here's a delicious recipe to make for your family this week! Enjoy!

12 oz. package uncooked spaghetti
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" slices
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and jullienned
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 oz. can bean sprouts, drained

Cook spaghetti according to package directions to al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cover and set aside. 

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil and cook chicken until browned, 6-7 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

While chicken is cooking, whisk together in small bowl, broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, olive oil, cornstarch, fresh ginger, and black pepper. Set aside.

In skillet, cook onion, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, celery, and garlic until tender 2-3 minutes, adding more oil if needed. Add broth mixture to vegetables and cook, stirring until sauce thickens. Add chicken and pasta, tossing to coat. Serves 4-6.

Recommended Wine: Sterling Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Breakfast Hot Pockets

This is a great recipe to make and freeze for the family. Slice it, and pop it in the microwave, and it's ready in about 3 minutes. Enjoy!

2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
3/4 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 pound pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
7 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded Colby cheese

Egg Wash: In small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg, salt, 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (do not knead). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the sausage and onion over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Add hash browns, eggs, cottage cheese, and seasonings. Cook and stir until the eggs are completely set. Sprinkle with cheese; keep warm. Punch dough down; divide into 14 pieces. On a floured surface, roll out dough into 7-in. circles. Top each with heaping 1/3 cup filling; fold dough over filling and pinch the edges to seal. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 14 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

One Pot Sausage Pasta


Here's a recipe to make when you're in a hurry and need something easy to make. Serve with salad and Quick and Easy Breadsticks for a complete meal.

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
16 oz. Smoked Italian Sausage, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons basil
16 oz. linguine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large dutch oven, combine diced tomatoes, onion, smoked sausage, garlic, basil, linguine, salt, pepper, water and bouillon cubes. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once water is boiling, remove cover and cook for 8-10 minutes until pasta is al dente.

Occasionally, toss with tongs to keep the pasta from sticking. Liquid will be mostly gone when pasta is cooked. Sprinkle with cheese before serving. Serves 6-8.
Wine Recommendation: Folonari Chianti 2014

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Skillet Frittata

Here's an easy recipe to make for your family for breakfast.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
1/2 cup yellow pepper, sliced
3 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
6 eggs
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/3 cup cheddar, coarsely shredded

In large skillet, melt butter. Saute zucchini, onion, peppers, and mushrooms until tender. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper until frothy. Add to vegetables. Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese. Transfer skillet to broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.