Chocolate Peanut Butter Meringue Pie

Here's a yummy recipe I hope you'll enjoy. Delicious!

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 single pie crust, prepared and baked

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup toffee bits

In large saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt, and milk. Cook and stir until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually add egg yolks stirring constantly to prevent eggs from cooking. Return to heat and cook until thickened 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until thoroughly combined and chips have melted. Pour pudding into pie crust.

To prepare meringue, combine egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl. Mix on medium high speed until whites turn frothy. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, 4-6 minutes. Add meringue to top of pie, touching sides of dish. Sprinkle with toffee bits. Bake at preheated 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on cooling racks. Serves 8
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cast Iron Cooking

I love cooking on cast iron. 
Here are a few recipes to make in your Cast Iron Skillet.

Skillet Cornbread

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pan-Seared Rib-Eye Steaks with Herbed Garlic Butter

Pan Fried Country Potatoes

Baked Cheese Dip

Bavarian Pot Roast with Roasted Vegetables

 Here's a delicious recipe to make on your next cold day! True comfort food.

3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup water
1 cup beef stock
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4-6 Yukon potatoes, quartered
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper

In a large Dutch oven, brown roast in hot oil. In a large bowl combine water, beef stock, tomatoes, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt, bay leaf, pepper and cinnamon. Pour over meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender about 3-3 1/2 hours. 

Transfer meat to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Prepare vegetables and place in Dutch oven, stirring to coat vegetables with juice. Place in 425 degree preheated oven. Cook uncovered for 40-45 minutes until vegetables are tender and juices have thickened. To serve, pour juices over roast and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Layered Salad

Here's an easy recipe to serve at your next potluck dinner.

6 cups torn spinach
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
5 garden onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
10 oz frozen green peas, cooked, drained, and cooled
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup dried chives
3 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

In large glass bowl, layer spinach, 1 cup cheese, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, zucchini, and peas. In glass measuring cup mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, and chives. Spread over salad to cover. Top with eggs, remaining cheese, and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview - Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Since 1930, the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book has been a trusted staple in kitchens across America. The 17th edition is fully updated and revised to reflect both the best of today's food trends and time-tested classics. With more than 1,000 recipes and a photo for each one, the book covers both traditional dishes such as Brownies and new favorites like Cold Brew Coffee. This newest edition has a fresh organization to reflect how we cook today–recipes have flavor variations, options to swap out ingredients, and ways to make them healthier. Clear directions and how-to photos teach techniques; identification photos clarify the broad range of today's ingredients; charts for meat and poultry give at-a-glance cooking times; and “cheat sheets” throughout present information in easy-to-access bites. And, for the first time, the book is now a handy, lay-flat hardcover, perfect for today’s kitchens. Buy the cookbook HERE.

Irish Bangers and Mash

Here's a delicious dish to make, just in time for your St. Patrick's Day celebration.

1 tablespoon canola oil
8 bratwurst sausages (or your favorite sausage)
large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness beer

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes or Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and place lid on skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until sausages reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Remove sausages and cover with foil to keep warm. 

Add another tablespoon oil to skillet and saute onion and garlic, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in flour. Add half of stock and the beer, stirring until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes until the gravy thickens. Add the remaining stock and continue to cook until gravy thickens to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked sausages to the gravy and serve over mashed potatoes. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Spiced Nut Cake with Penuche Frosting

Here's a delicious recipe for an old-fashioned spice cake with a yummy frosting. Enjoy!

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside. In mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and beat for 2 minutes. Add orange juice and buttermilk alternately with flour mixture and beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped nuts. Pour mixture into greased oblong cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When cool, frost with:

Penuche Frosting:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup hot milk
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Continue to cook and stir for one minute or until thickened. Cool for 15 minutes. Add hot milk and beat smooth with wooden spoon. Beat in enough powdered sugar to allow for creamy spreading. Serves 20. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Luck O' The Irish ~ Irish Recipes

Do you have a bit of Irish blood in you? Here are a few recipes you might try for this St. Patty's Day. Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, Cobblers, and Anything Green. Enjoy! 

Baked Parmesan Fries

Here's a delicious way to make fries for your family.

4 large unpeeled Russet potatoes, cut into large strips
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the fries into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Add garlic, thyme, and seasoned salt. Toss until evenly coated. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning fries halfway through baking process. Return the fries to the bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan and parsley. Carefully stir to coat and spread once again on the foiled-lined baking sheet. Bake for another 10  minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and sea salt. Serve hot. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Swiss Steak

Here's a delicious recipe that will have your taste buds tingling.

1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 - 16 oz. diced tomatoes with garlic and herbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds round steak
3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In medium skillet heat butter on low and saute garlic and onion until tender. Add carrots, celery and green pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add diced tomatoes,Worcestershire Sauce, wine vinegar, and beef broth and bring to boil. Set aside.

Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate and mix together. Dip steaks in flour, both sides. In large skillet, cook steaks in heated oil for one minute until brown on each side. Drain oil. Cover steaks with tomato mixture and cook covered on low heat for one hour until steaks are tender. Great with potatoes or rice. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbooks - The French Chef

I've mentioned here before that I enjoy going through old cookbooks, including Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Here is another cookbook that is enjoyable to read and use, based on Mrs. Child's television series. You will find that some of her recipes have been altered to accommodate the 30 minute show. I also recommend watching her shows, which are highly entertaining and can be purchased HERE.

Julia Child is America’s first lady of food. Beginning with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she has profoundly shaped the way we cook, the way we eat, and the way we see food. In The French Chef Cookbook, the beloved icon presents 119 of the delectable French recipes that first made her a household name, when she presented them on her first public television show. From Mayonnaise to Bouillabaisse, crepes to steaks, and delicious vegetables to delectable desserts, here are traditional French recipes, tested and perfected for home cooks to enjoy. Purchase the book HERE.

Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Sourdough is such a wonderful thing. You can make all sorts of things with it. Here's a dinner roll recipe that is light and delicious. Enjoy! 

1 cup sourdough starter, fed
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup dry milk
1/4 cup potato buds
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine sourdough starter, water, flour, salt, sugar, butter, dry milk, potato buds, and yeast. Mix together with dough hook, adding more water if necessary to make a soft, smooth dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double, 60-90 minutes. 

Grease 2 round cake pans. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate and divide into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place eight balls in each pan. Cover each pan and allow the rolls to rise until puffy, about 60-90 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 25-27 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and spread melted butter over tops. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 16 rolls. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

Here's a recipe you can make ahead and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I like to make 6 muffins or so at a time, and it is so easy--and healthy for you!

5 cups wheat bran flakes
2 cups boiling water
4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce (no-sugar added)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
decorating sugar, if desired

Place bran flakes in a 5 quart ice cream pail (with lid). Pour boiling water over the bran flakes and mix well. Stir frequently until cooled. Mixture will become sticky. Once cooled, add buttermilk, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. In small bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Batter can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

To bake: scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill 3/4 full. May sprinkle with decorating sugar if desired. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 14-16 minutes until muffins test done with a toothpick. Makes 48 muffins.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Regina Merrick's Chocolate No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on her Website HERE.

Regina's Latest Book Release - Carolina Grace

First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies to happen to her family. 

Rance Beaumont is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things can only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy life seems to disintegrate.

Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment can quickly turn to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace. Buy the book HERE.

Regina's Chocolate No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve been making these since I was a teenager, and if I’m desperate for chocolate, it’s my go-to recipe – simple ingredients that if I don’t have on hand, I know I must go grocery-shopping! Enjoy!

2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I heap it just a tad – more cocoa, darker chocolate!)
½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
½ cup milk
2 ¼ cups quick oats

Helpful Hint: Prepare your waxed paper to receive the hot cookie mixture. (I always put some aluminum foil under it to keep the wax from sticking to the counter!)

Mix sugar and cocoa together and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. When it’s melted, stir in the sugar/cocoa mixture and milk. Whisk to break up any lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes (or to soft-ball stage). Take off heat, mix in oats, and spoon out the hot mixture by spoonfuls onto the waxed paper. Allow to cool. 

Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing

Here's a delicious salad I make when I want to serve a special Italian dinner. It makes a wonderful Insalata course.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fig jam
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds fresh spinach
1 cup toasted English walnuts
1 cup dried figs, chopped
Fresh Parmesan, slivered

In a high speed blender, combine olive oil, vinegar, jam, mustard, and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth. In a large bowl, toss spinach with dressing and top each salad serving with walnuts, figs and slivered Parmesan. Sprinkle with ground black pepper if desired. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Joan's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe from a sweet lady at our church who always brings yummy snacks on Sunday. I think you might like it! (It makes a large batch)

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 drops orange flavoring extract (optional)
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and extracts and beat well. In separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Bake on greased baking sheets. Roll in walnut-sized balls and space 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 dozen. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Valentine Menu Ideas for Your Sweetheart

My husband and I will celebrate our 29th Anniversary on Valentine's Day this year. Rather than fight the crowds and long lines, we'll often stay home on our anniversary, and I'll make a special dinner. Here are a few ideas for a special dinner with your Valentine. 

Maybe you want to serve French Cuisine:

Or perhaps you have in mind Italian:

Maybe you want to treat your Valentine to a Steak Dinner:

Or perhaps you both prefer Seafood: 

Whatever you decide for your Valentine dinner, I hope it's one you'll cherish forever. May you have a Happy Valentine's Day!