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.

Sourdough Oat Bread


Here's a yummy sourdough recipe to add to your collection. It's very tasty and fun to make in my cast iron kettle. This is a slightly adapted recipe found on King Arthur Flour.

1 cup FED sourdough starter
1 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1-2 tablespoons Artisan Bread Topping (or poppy seeds, celery seed, sesame seeds, etc)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together sourdough starter, water, 2 cups flour, oats, sunflower seeds, salt, and instant yeast. Add remaining flour and mix until combined. Knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise until double 1-1.5 hours. Gently deflate and shape dough into a large round ball.

Grease a large cast iron Dutch oven and place the dough into it. Cover and allow the loaf to rise until puffy, 1-2 hours. Just before baking, brush the loaf with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with Artisan Bread Topping. Cover with the lid and bake for 35 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and continue baking until the bread is a deep golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Makes 1 large loaf.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

I love scones, so it's only natural that I would want to come up with a recipe that tastes and smells of "fall", my favorite season of the year.

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sliced apples

1/2 cup half and half

1 egg, beaten


1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture becomes crumbly. Stir in apples. Making a whole in the center of the mixture, add cream and egg. Mix together with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8-inch circle. Slice into 8 triangles and place in greased scone pan or on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

In small bowl, combine brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over scones and press sugar gently into dough. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm with coffee or tea. Enjoy!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pork Schnitzel with Cream Sauce


Here's a delicious recipe to try for your next Octoberfest. Serve with Spaetzle.

4 pork tenderloins
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Canola oil for frying

Cream Sauce:
1 cup chicken broth, divided
4 teaspoons flour
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and set aside. On a large plate, stir together flour, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. In a large cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Dip tenderloins in egg mixture and then dredge in flour mixture, completely coating on both sides. Cook in a hot skillet, frying on each side 7-9 minutes until golden brown. Transfer meat to a baking pan and cover with tinfoil. Keep warm in a warm oven at 200 degrees.

To make the cream sauce, heat 1/2 cup broth in skillet, stirring in remains from the fried pork. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and remaining broth until smooth. Pour into skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Add vinegar, dill weed, and sour cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, pour sauce over pork. Serves 4.


Cheesy Corn and Macaroni Casserole

Here is a favorite recipe from the Vogts' side of the family. Quite good for church dinners or family gatherings.

1 stick butter
1 cup whole milk
2 cups raw macaroni
1 - 14 oz. can creamed corn
1 - 14 oz. can regular corn, drained
10 oz. processed cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add to that remaining ingredients and cook on low heat to melt cheese. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm. Makes 8-10 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Deep Run Roots

Deep Run Roots, by Vivian Howard

Vivian Howard, the star cocreator of PBS's A CHEF'S LIFE, celebrates the flavors of North Carolina's coastal plain in more than 200 recipes and stories.

Vivian Howard's new classic of American country cooking proves that the food of Deep Run, North Carolina—her home—is as rich as any culinary tradition in the world. Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level, Deep Run Roots features time-honored simple preparations, extraordinary meals from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer, and recipes that bring the power of tradition to life—along with the pleasure of reinventing it. Home cooks will find photographs for every single dish.

As much a storybook as it is a cookbook, Deep Run Roots imparts the true tale of Southern food: rooted in family and tradition, yet calling out to the rest of the world. Ten years ago, Vivian's opened Chef and the Farmer and put the nearby town of Kinston on the culinary map. But in a town paralyzed by recession, Vivian couldn't hop on every culinary trend. Instead, she focused on rural development: If you grew it, she'd buy it. Inundated by local sweet potatoes, blueberries, shrimp, pork, and beans, Vivian learned to cook the way generations of Southerners before her had, relying on resourcefulness, creativity, and preservation.

Deep Run Roots is the result of those years of effort to discover the riches of Carolina country cooking. Like The Fannie Farmer CookbookThe Art of Simple Food, and The Taste of Country Cooking before it, this landmark work of American food writing gives richness and depth to a cuisine that has been overlooked for far too long.

Recipes include:
  • Family favorites like Blueberry BBQ Chicken, Creamed Collard-Stuffed Potatoes, Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy, and Country-Style Pork Ribs in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon,
  • Crowd-pleasers like Butterbean Hummus, Tempura-Fried Okra with Ranch Ice Cream, Pimiento Cheese Grits with Salsa and Pork Rinds, Cool Cucumber Crab Dip, and Oyster Pie,
  • Show-stopping desserts like Warm Banana Pudding, Peaches and Cream Cake, Spreadable Cheesecake, and Pecan-Chewy Pie,
  • And 200 more quick breakfasts, weeknight dinners, holiday centerpieces, seasonal preserves, and traditional preparations for cooks of all kinds.

Buy the cookbook HERE. 

Apple Fritters

Here's a delicious recipe we enjoy in the fall that I make using my dad's fresh apple cider. So good!!

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup apple cider
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3-4 cups canola oil for frying


2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In medium bowl, sprinkle cornstarch over sliced apples to coat. Set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apple cider, eggs, and melted butter. Whisk together until moistened. Fold in apples.

Heat oil in Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Using a large serving spoon, heap portions of batter into hot oil. Press batter lightly with the back of spoon to flatten. Fry, keeping oil temperature between 325-350 degrees. Cook until a deep golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to wire rack. Repeat for remaining batter.

For the glaze, in medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top each fritter with a spoonful of glaze while still warm. Makes about 8 fritters.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.