Country Rice Cereal


Here's a recipe I like to make when I have some leftover rice. Enjoy!

3 cups cooked rice
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried blueberries

In medium saucepan, combine rice, milk, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes until thickened, adding blueberries after 4 minutes. If desired, top with honey or brown sugar. Makes 6 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mixed Vegetable Salad


Here's a variation on 3-Bean Salad. Enjoy! 

10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place mixed vegetables in a medium glass bowl and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender. Stir in kidney beans and onion. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, vinegar and cornstarch to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Let cool for 5 minutes and pour over vegetables. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sour Cream Cheese Biscuits


Here's a yummy recipe to try. Great with Fried Chicken. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add cheese. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream. Mix until blended. Transfer dough to floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 8-12 biscuits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Jan Drexler's Whoopie Pies

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family. She is the author of The Prodigal Son Returns, A Mother for His Children (winner of the 2013 TARA award), and A Home for His Family (finalist for the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award), as well as Hannah’s Choice and Mattie’s Pledge (finalist for the 2017 Holt Medallion). Learn more about Jan HERE.

Jan's Latest Book Release: Naomi's Hope  

Despite growing pains in her 1846 Amish community in Indiana, Naomi Schrock has settled into a comfortable life in her parents’ home with her adopted son, Davey. Surrounded by family and friends, she tries not to think about the fact that she’s not at the top of any man’s list of potential wives. Yet when Cap Stoltzfus moves into the area and befriends Davey, Naomi finds herself caught between the plans she has made for her future and the tantalizing thought that Cap might be part of a life she never dared to hope for.

When a couple shows up claiming to be Davey’s true family, Naomi and Cap must unite to make the decision that will determine the boy’s future as well as their own. How can she relinquish him to these unknown relatives? And can God somehow bring wholeness to her heart? Buy the book HERE.

Jan's Recipe for Whoopie Pies

Light, fluffy, delicious and quintessentially Amish, Whoopie Pies are a family favorite. And the mini version is a hit at carry-in dinners!

Cookies: (makes about 4 dozen, you need 2 for each pie)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup, minus 1 tablespoon milk
1 cup hot water

These cookies are made like a cake. To be successful in getting the right texture, repeat the following to yourself as you’re mixing the batter: “I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies. I’m making cake, not cookies.” Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a measuring cup, add milk to two teaspoons vinegar to make one cup, and let set for about five minutes to sour the milk.

Meanwhile, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until the mixture is uniform in color.

Next, in your mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture and the sour milk alternately, about ¼ of each at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the hot water and blend until smooth. You now have a thick, rich, chocolate cake batter. Drop by tablespoon full, spaced apart, onto cookie sheets. For the mini version, just make smaller cookies by using a half tablespoon of batter for each cookie and bake for less time.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until the top of the cookie springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool. After the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to make the filling!

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups powdered confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk the flour into the one cup milk. Heat in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, soften the butter to room temperature. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for 7 minutes, or until fluffy. To assemble your Whoopie Pies, spread a couple tablespoons of filling on the bottom of one cookie, then set another cookie on top.

Cherry-Lemon Infused Water


Here's a recipe we enjoy making in the summer when we want to up our water intake. It's also a fun drink to make for a girls' manicure party.

1 cup pitted black cherries
2 lemons (or limes), cut into half-slices
1/4 cup fresh basil
ice cubes

Place cherries, lemons, and basil in a half-gallon jar. Fill with cold water. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Pour into glasses filled with ice cubes. Enjoy!

Tips: Add fruit to jar, and slightly mash with a wooden spoon to bring out more flavor. Also, gently rub herbs together before adding to mixture to bring out more herbal essence. 

Other combinations you might try: 
strawberries, lemons, and mint; blueberries, oranges, and lavender; or cucumbers, grapefruit, and rosemary.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Here's a sweet treat to make using your cast iron skillet. Perfect for a party with family or friends!

1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
20 oz. pineapple slices, reserve juice
Maraschino cherries
1/2 cup pecan halves

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large cast iron skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar and stir until combined. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on top of sugar mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, shortening, and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour over pineapples. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tests done. Scrape sides of pan with knife, then, invert cake onto a serving plate. Serves 12-14.

Father's Day Menu Ideas

Father's Day is always a great time to get out the grill and cook something delicious in celebration of this day. Here are a few recipe ideas for your cookout. Enjoy! And Happy Father's Day! 

Cajun Shrimp

Here's a fun recipe for any shrimp-lovers out there. A great addition to any barbecue.

1 pound large shrimp, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix

Place 4-6 shrimp on each skewer. Brush with olive oil. Generously sprinkle both sides with Cajun Spice Mix. Place on hot grill and heat for 5-7 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and serve warm. Serves 4-6. Delicious!

Wine Suggestion: Fancy Pants Pinot Grigio
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Debra Marvin's Blueberry Torte

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction and Barbour Publishing. Debra has been a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. She uses her horticulture degree in her work as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Because writing also means being all over social media, she’d appreciate seeing you at her Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram spots, or over at her website. A great way to keep up with new fiction (and there’s four stories coming down the pike) is to follow her Amazon Author Page.

Debra's Latest Book Release SAGUARO SUNSET

No ice cream sandwich is as sweet as a long-delayed sunset kiss.

Friday night’s first phone call was the answer to Teresa Scott’s career dreams. Before she can celebrate, a second call informs her of her sister’s accident and puts Teresa in ‘the driver’s seat’ of Frosty Fingers Food Truck during the Tucson Festival of Books. Determined to keep her sister’s business out of the red, Teresa hides the painful disappointment of giving up her dream.

Fellow accountant Alan Davis sticks his do-gooder nose in, hanging around to help Teresa, the woman he’s adored since forever, not knowing the coveted board position he's just accepted is the one she had to give up. 

Nice Guy Alan isn’t really Teresa’s type, but she’s won over by his humor, adorable smile, and ice cream scooping skills. As his presence become irreplaceable, she sheds the hardened layers of her heart. Just when it’s clear she needs him in her life, Alan has to face his biggest regret and honor an old promise. Will losing this chivalrous knight in a snowman costume break Teresa’s vulnerable heart? 
Find it at Amazon

Debra's Blueberry Torte

Debra also hosts guests through AirBnB, and uses her go-to recipe for fruit torte to welcome them. This is the famous NY Times Plum Torte by Marian Burris which appeared decades ago but remains one of their most successful recipes. Here’s Debra’s version:

½ cup softened butter
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lemon zest
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
12 oz. frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice (or lemon zest). In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed butter mixture, blending well. Spread into a greased pie dish or a spring-form pan (8,9, or 10 inches). I use a glass pie dish. Cover with frozen blueberries. Be generous, but don’t cover completely.

Bake 45 mins-1 hour depending on your oven and pan. I wish I could come over and give my opinion, but you are on your own. Remove and cool. I carefully remove the torte from the pie dish after about 10-15 minutes if I want to place it in my fancy cake dish, but it can be left in the pan if your family is just going to chow it down. 

Fried New Potatoes


When I was a girl, my mom liked to pick the first small potatoes from the garden and serve them to our family brown and crispy. It was a huge treat...and it still is today! Enjoy!

2 pounds new small potatoes
1/3 cup Canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and wash the skins of new garden potatoes. Slice in half or quarter, depending on their size. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are starting to get get tender. Drain completely of water.

Heat a large skillet with canola oil. Place potatoes in oil and fry on all sides until brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Baked Custard with Blackberries


Here's a favorite recipe I've enjoyed since childhood. 

3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (or seeds from 1" vanilla bean)
dash of nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Whisk together. Slowly stir in milk and vanilla. Fill 6 6-oz custard cups and set in shallow pan. Sprinkle each with a dash of nutmeg. Pour hot water (not boiling) into pan 1" deep. Bake for 50-60 minutes until custard is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with fresh blackberries and whipped cream. Yum!