Crab Rangoon


We love Asian food and these little appetizers are perfect to go with your next Chinese meal. (In the past, I've always had trouble folding the wrappers into the shape of what you find in restaurants. But this time, I simply folded them in half to seal them, and they worked perfectly. Easy-peasy!)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz. crab meat
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
12 oz. package wanton wrappers
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
Peanut Oil for frying

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, crab meat, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, and ginger. Mix well. 

To prepare the paste, in a small bowl, combine corn starch and water and stir until dissolved.

To make the crab rangoon, lay out a wanton wrapper on a flat surface. Spread cornstarch paste around the edges of the wrapper. Place a tablespoon of filling onto one half of the wrapper. Fold over and seal, being careful not to squeeze out any filling. Set on a cookie sheet and repeat until the filling is gone.

Line a cookie sheet with a few paper towels and place a wire rack on top of that. 
In a large Dutch oven, fill oil to 2-3 inches and heat to 360-375 degrees. When oil is hot enough, begin frying rangoon, 4-5 at a time, turning once, and cooking until a nice golden brown. Remove and set on prepared rack. Place in a warm oven until all are done. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Banana Nut Bread


Here's a good old fashioned recipe for when you need to use up your ripe bananas.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped English walnuts

In large bowl, mix together oil and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas. In small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed ingredients. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. May cover with tinfoil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent top from getting too brown. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Favorite Sourdough Recipes

I made my first (and only) Sourdough Starter in June 2013 and Bertha is still going strong today! Sourdough has become a staple in our house and we absolutely LOVE it! In fact, I rarely, if ever, buy store-bought bread. I allot one day a week (at least) for baking sourdough bread--and we certainly have our favorite recipes. 
Here are my Top Twelve Sourdough Recipes, but you can see more HERE.

(Note that this is the recipe for rolls, but I will make this same recipe every week for two loaves. One for the freezer or to take to church for potluck dinners, and one for eating. I've also been known to give these loaves as gifts.)

This is another main recipe that I make each week, which we mostly use for breakfest toast, although it would certainly make good sandwich bread, too.


Chicken and Noodles Over Mashed Potatoes


Here's a yummy meal to serve your family in the fall or winter. Serve over mashed potatoes for a super comfort meal. 

1 whole fryer
6 cups water
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk
12 oz. frozen egg noodles or HOMEMADE RECIPE HERE

Place chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add carrots, onion, celery, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer. Cook for 1 hour, until meat falls off bone. Strain meat and bones from pot and set aside. 

With an immersion blender, puree broth. Stir in butter and milk. Add noodles (and any flour remains if making your own) and cook 10-12 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken and add chicken to noodles. If desired, may thicken by mixing together 1/4 cup flour with 1/3 cup water and stirring into broth until thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes. Serves 6-8. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Microwaved Scalloped Potatoes


Here's a recipe I like to make with Sunday Meatloaf or other main dishes. Very easy and quite delicious!

6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cup flour
1 tablespoon parsley
8 oz. thin slices of processed cheese (like Velveeta)
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper

Grease a large casserole dish. Alternate first six ingredients in dish beginning with potatoes and ending with Velveeta cheese. Repeat layers twice. Pour milk over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook in microwave for 15-20 minutes, stirring mixture every 5 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Comfort Food Menu Ideas

January can sometimes be a hard month to get through. The holidays are over, it's usually cold, there's sickness in the air, etc. Here are some recipes sure to comfort you when you need it most. Enjoy:

Homemade White Bread


Here's a recipe I used to make (back before my sourdough days) that is really good. I still enjoy making it from time-to-time. Enjoy!

5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs

Using large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt just till butter starts to melt (115-120 degrees). Add to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix until combined. Stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic for 5-7 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Shape into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise till double, about 50-60 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, if needed to keep tops from browning too quickly. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Soft Breadsticks


Here is a quick and easy recipe for delicious breadsticks to serve with just about any Italian dish, such as Three Cheese Chicken Penne or Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage and Peppers. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary

In large bowl, combine water, yeast, butter, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour. Mix well to combine. Add enough remaining flour until mixture sticks together and forms a ball. Knead by hand on floured surface until smooth and soft, 5-6 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 20 pieces and roll each into a 7-8" log. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack.

In small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic salt, and crushed rosemary. Brush over hot breadsticks. Serve warm. Makes 20 breadsticks.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lena Nelson Dooley's Christmas Cookie

Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 875,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

She has been on the ECPA and CBA Bestseller lists, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and several Amazon Bestseller lists as well as a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011. 
Her awards include: Will Rogers Medallion Awards, the Selah Award, Reader’s Choice book award, a Reader’s Choice blog award. She has finaled in the Can Golden Scroll Award, and finaled three times in for the Carol Award.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She hosts “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer blog radio network.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. Visit her Website at:

Lena's latest book release: A Heart's Gift

Because of an earlier betrayal, Franklin vows never to open his heart to another woman. But he desires an heir. When Lorinda is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she will never allow a man to control her again. But how can she provide for her infant son? Marriage seems like the perfect arrangement until two people from Franklin's past endanger Lorinda. How can he save her? And how will this affect the way they feel about each other? Buy the book HERE. 
Lena's Recipe for Christmas Cookie

1 bag Angel Flake coconut
1 - 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (can use any baking chips--white, milk chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (could use other nuts, if preferred)
1 can Eagle brand milk

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Drop by tablespoon onto parchment paper. I use the back of the spoon to slightly flatten so each cookie will be the same thickness. Bake 10 minutes. Check to see if the coconut has barely started to turn golden brown. If not cook a little more, but watch closely. These will darken very fast. Cool on the parchment paper. Peel off the paper and store in sealed container with waxed paper between layers.

Potluck Pulled Pork Enchilada Casserole


Here's a recipe to make for your next large potluck dinner. Serve with Mexican Sour Cream Rice.

Slow-Cooked Pork
4 pounds Boston Butt Pork Roast
1 cube beef bouillon
1 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Enchilada Sauce:
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. can tomato paste
15.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

30 small corn tortillas
8 oz. Queso Blanco cheese spread, cut into small pieces
10 oz. grated Colby Jack cheese

In a large skillet, brown pork roast in 1-2 tablespoons hot oil. Sear on both sides to capture juices. Transfer to a large crock pot. Add boiling water and beef bouillon cube. Stir to dissolve. Add garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low until pork is tender and falls apart at the touch. Shred pork to bite-size pieces and mix well with juices.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon 1/3 cup enchilada sauce to bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Spread to coat the bottom of the dish. Place 5 tortillas on top of the sauce, overlapping as needed to the edges of the pan. Ladle an additional 1/3 cup sauce over the tortillas. Add 1/4 of drained pork. Sprinkle with 2 oz. cheese chunks. Repeat layers once more. For the third layer, add another 5 tortillas, Spread with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, making sure to cover all of the tortillas. Sprinkle with 5 oz of Colby Jack cheese.

Repeat for the second pan of enchiladas. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm. Serves 16-20.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ham and Beans


Here's a yummy recipe to make for your family tonight! Serve with Skillet Cornbread.

8 cups water
8 oz. northern beans
8 oz. pinto beans
2 cups cubed ham
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In large pot, bring water and beans to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Stir in ham, onion, onion powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender about 2 hours. Add water as necessary.  Serves 6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Here's another Biscotti recipe we love to eat. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or coffee! 

6 tablespoons salted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
Decorating Sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking liner. In medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in to egg mixture. Dough will be sticky. Add almonds and cranberries. Scoop the dough onto the lined baking sheet and pat it into a flattened log about 13 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about 3/4" thick. Smooth out the top and sides using a wet spatula. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven. Spray with water, spritzing the sides and top. This will soften the crust just enough to make slicing easier. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Wait five minutes, then cut crosswise with a sharp knife, 1/2" slices. Place cookie slices on baking sheet standing up on edge. Bake for another 30-35 minutes, until Biscotti feel very dry and are golden around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.