Here's a delicious dessert recipe to try the next time you serve Italian to your family! 

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cold
4 teaspoons rum
6 oz. ladyfinger cookies
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, mix together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Reduce heat and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. 

In a medium mixing bowl, beat whipping cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Using food processor, mix together cream cheese, butter, heavy cream, sour cream, and vanilla for several seconds until thoroughly combined. Fold into egg yolks and mix until smooth.

In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of serving dish. Spread half of cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipping cream over that. Repeat layers and garnish with sprinkled cocoa on top. May arrange any extra ladyfingers around the dish as desired. Cover and chill until set, 4-6 hours. Serves 10-12.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Peanut Apple Dip


Here's a recipe that's so easy and delicious, you'll want to add it to your favorites list. Serve some to your family soon! I think they'll love it.

1/2 cup roasted peanuts
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

In food processor, chop peanuts until they are finely ground. Add bits of cream cheese along with brown sugar and vanilla. Process again until mixed well. Serve in bowl with your favorite sliced apples, such as Honey Crisp, Gala, or Red Delicious. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Hungarian Meatballs and Sauerkraut


1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup canola oil
8-10 small red potatoes, quartered
1 cup chopped green pepper
14.5 oz. sauerkraut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, egg, minced onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, allspice, and paprika. Mix together until everything is combined. (I like to use my hands to ensure everything is mixed well.) Form into large meatballs and place in greased oblong baking dish. Bake meatballs for 40-50 minutes until browned.

While meatballs are baking, heat a large skillet with oil. Add potatoes and green pepper and cook until potatoes start to tender. Add sauerkraut and simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Serve with meatballs. Serves 4-6.

Cherry Cheesecake


Here's an easy dessert when you have last-minute company or want something special for a family gathering.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 - 21 oz. cherry pie filling

In small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well. Place in glass pie plate and form crust using a spoon or your fingers. Bake in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

In mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into cooled crust. Top with pie filling. Refrigerate. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy! (This is also great with blueberry pie filling!)
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Camping Menu Ideas


Summer is a favorite time for our family to go camping in the mountains. We pack up our large canvas tent, sleeping bags, propane cook stove--and other items galore and head for the Rockies. Here are a few of our favorite recipes when cooking in the wild. 

Happy Camping! 

Part of my Camp Kitchen. 

We usually eat a large breakfast when camping and then munch on snacks for lunch when we do our hiking. Here are a few breakfast Ideas: 

Cornmeal Pancakes with eggs, bacon, and juice

or French Toast with sausage links, and juice

For lunch, we'll pack a few items in our backpacks like applesauce and carrots 

After a long day of hiking or sight-seeing, I like to return to camp for an easy, one-pot meal--usually soup served with leftover biscuits, cornbread, or crackers. Unlike Kansas, it's nice and cool in the mountains, so soup tastes pretty good. Here are a few ideas:

Country Potato Soup with crackers

And for dessert, get out the Coleman Oven. And just so you don't think I'm an over-achiever as a camp cook, here is a little secret: I use canned apple pie filling and also prepare the cookie dough at home and refrigerate it in a large butter container. Then when it's time for a little snack after supper, we'll slice off a handful of cookies and place them in the propane oven. Easy-peasy and oh so good! 

Spinach Beet Salad


Here's a delicious recipe to enjoy this summer! Find my recipe for Pickled Beets HERE.

12 oz.package baby spinach
15 oz. mandarin oranges
Glazed English Walnuts
Pickled Beets
Feta cheese

4 tablespoons Balsalmic vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

In a large bowl, layer spinach, oranges, walnuts, and beets. 
In a small bowl, mix together Balsalmic vinegar, honey, mustard, and pepper. Slowly add olive oil and whisk until the dressing emulsifies. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle individual servings with Feta cheese as desired. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Garlic Rosemary Braid


Here's a recipe our girls took to the county fair and won Grand Champion with. So tasty and smells divine.

9 - 9 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 packages active yeast
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup water
3/4 cups butter, divided
1 egg
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

In large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and 1/2 cup butter until butter starts to melt. Add to dry ingredients and mix together until moistened. Add egg, garlic and rosemary. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic for 5-6 minutes. Cover and allow to rise one hour or until double.

Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into thirds. Divide each portion into three pieces. Shape each into an 18" rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter and add garlic salt. Brush over bread. Sprinkle with additional dried rosemary if desired. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Makes 3 loaves. Delicious!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Jenna Victoria's "More Please" Turkey Noodle Casserole

Ever since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs and Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1955, Jenna Victoria has yet to taste a cake she hasn't liked. 

Jenna  writes books for readers who enjoy sweet & compelling romances, and also for those who look for her  “fiction that feeds your faith” titles – happily-ever-after romance and romantic suspense stories with a Christian world view. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading…with a heroine who is in grave danger and a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt and takes down names… and those that feature  satisfying fairy-tale-endings.

Her clean romances won’t put you into a diabetic coma, and her faith-based romances aren’t preachy or unrealistic. Her first triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 has led to surgeries, radiation, reoccurrences and incurable metastasis. Still, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books that give Him glory. Learn more about Jenna HERE.

Jenna's Latest Book Release: Love Among the Lilacs

Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk. Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean's own family but knows the clock is ticking. Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is truly where your heart is? Buy the book HERE.

Jenna's “More Please” Turkey Noodle Casserole

Many folks, including Mollie Wright, my heroine in Love Among the Lilacs, find it difficult to make ends meet and struggle with finding healthy, low-cost and tasty meals to prepare. This recipe was in my Mom’s regular rotation whenever she cooked a big turkey. After the main meal, she’d strip off the remaining turkey meat and set it aside to make this casserole. The carcass then went into turkey soup. “More please” is low calorie, low sodium, quick to prepare, and 100% adjustable. Want less pasta? Cut it down. Want more cheese? Add it. Want it creamier? Add more evaporated milk. Only have chicken meat? Use that instead. Want to add peas or corn? It’s easy-peasy.

8-12 ounces cooked turkey, cut into chunks
5 ounces evaporated milk (skim or regular) (need to adjust up if you increase or add extras to recipe)
4 tablespoons minced onion (dry or fresh**)
4 tablespoons chopped celery**
4 tablespoons chopped mushrooms**
4 ounces hard cheese, cut into dice-size cubes
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
Sea salt or preferred type - to taste (can omit)

Combine and toss all ingredients. Place in casserole dish. Bake in 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

**As you will be basically heating the casserole, not baking for an extended time, I recommend using a coffee grinder or food processor for a few short pulses to get the raw veggies into tinier bits than hand chopping.

Steak and Pinto Beans


Here's an old family favorite to serve your family when you want a satisfying yet quick meal. Serve with Mashed Potatoes or Country Fried Potatoes. 

2 pounds round steak, thinly sliced across the grain
canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste
27 oz pinto beans
2 teaspoons minced onion

Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in large skillet. Sear steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper until pieces are lightly browned. Add pinto beans (with juice) and bring beans to a boil. Add minced onion and simmer for 15-20 minutes until juice thickens. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Quick and Easy Breadsticks


I love to cook and bake, but I don't always have time to prepare an intricate meal-- sometimes simple is key. Here is a quick and easy way to serve breadsticks for your family. For those with young families, this is also a great way to get your kids involved in meal preparation. Goes especially well with Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs.

1 container refrigerator biscuits (we like buttermilk, but any type will work)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll biscuits on flat surface or between the palms of your hands until each are 8-10 inches long. Sprinkle garlic powder and sesame seeds on plate and mix together. (You may also experiment with other herbs such as rosemary or Italian seasonings.) Roll each breadstick in the mixture to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown as directed on container. Serve warm. Makes 8-10 breadsticks.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Zucchini Corn Stir-Fry

Here's a delicious recipe to make with your summer garden corn and zucchini.

1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1 zucchini squash, sliced and quartered
2 ears sweet corn, cut off
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large skillet, saute squash, zucchini, sweet corn, green pepper, onion, and cherry tomatoes in olive oil until tender, 4-6  minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.