Pork Burgers

Here's a yummy recipe to make when you crave something other than a hamburger. Serve with French fries or even German Cabbage on top. Enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons Southwest Mustard
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

In large bowl, mix together pork, mustard, garlic, onion, basil, and seasoned salt, until all are thoroughly combined. Form into 6 medium patties. Preheat skillet on high and spray with cooking spray. When hot, add patties and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium low and continue cooking each side until done, another 6-8 minutes.
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Labor Day Menu Ideas

Labor Day is the last Summer Holiday before days turn long and the air turns cooler--A perfect time for one last BBQ with the family. Here are a few recipe ideas to celebrate your Labor Day.

Puff Breakfast Casserole


Here's a yummy breakfast to serve when you have company. 

Puff Pastry:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

6 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups provolone cheese, shredded
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup diced fresh chives
8 oz. sliced Canadian bacon, quartered
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with oven rack on lower rack. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add flour and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball that doesn't separate. Remove from heat and transfer into a mixing bowl. Allow to cool for five minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating with wooden spoon or mixer after each addition 1-2 minutes. 

In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, provolone cheese, scallions, chives, Canadian bacon, and nutmeg. Mix well. 

Prepare a baking dish with baking spray. Spoon puff pastry into dish and spread to edges, forming a puffy crust along the edges. Pour egg mixture into the center of the dish, spreading out to the edges. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the egg is set, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10.
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Slow-Cooked Spaghetti Sauce with Sausage

Once I tried this recipe, I vowed never to go back to canned spaghetti sauce--ever again. I hope you'll enjoy it too. Serve with Cheesy Bread Sticks.

1 pound ground pork sausage, browned
2 - 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, Italian style
1 - 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, regular
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley, dried
1 tablespoon basil, dried
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In large skillet, brown sausage; drain and set aside. Saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil until tender.

In slow cooker, combine tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, bay leaf, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir together. Add browned sausage. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti. Delicious! Serves 6-8

Wine Recommendation: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2012
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Jennifer Hallmark's Borscht


Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and has published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations. Her debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, released June 2019.

When she isn’t babysitting or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on her two blogs.  She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior. Learn more about Jennifer at www.jenniferhallmark.com

Jennifer's Debut Book Release: Jessie's Hope

Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mom and alienated her from her father. When Jessie's high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.

With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie's grandfather Homer Smith, has a goal to find the perfect dress for "his Jessie," one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans. 

Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles--including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather--highjack Jessie's dream wedding? Purchase Jennifer's book HERE.

Jennifer's Beet Soup or Borscht

Today, I'm sharing my grandmother's recipe for beet soup or Borscht. I've taken this Russian/Polish soup and given it a country twist by adding potatoes and honey. It's a family favorite and best when made with fresh ingredients. Makes 8 servings

1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced beets
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrot, sliced
1 1/2  cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, for topping

Place sliced potatoes and beets in a medium saucepan over high heat; cover with stock, and boil until vegetables are tender. Remove potatoes and beets with a slotted spoon, and reserve stock.

Pour olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and salt; cook until onions become soft and translucent. Then stir in celery, carrots, and cabbage. Mix in reserved stock; cook, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and beets to the skillet. Season with black pepper. Stir in cider vinegar and honey. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, dill weed, or chopped fresh tomatoes.

Tortellini Garden Salad

Here's an easy salad to make this summer.

16 oz. three cheese tortellini, prepared as directed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup green peppers, sliced
1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan

In a large bowl, combine vegetables and gently stir in cooked and drained tortellini. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Pour over vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Serves 6-8.
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Easy Barbecued Chicken Bites


Here's an easy recipe if you like barbecued chicken. Serve with Oven Baked Fries.

1 1/2 pounds frozen chicken tenders, cut into 1" chunks
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Canola oil for frying
Barbecue Sauce (We like Sweet Baby Rays)

Sift together flour, seasoned salt, and pepper in a quart freezer bag. Place chicken in flour and toss to coat well. Heat a large skillet with canola oil. Place chicken pieces in oil and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Turn and cook another 4-6 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Pour barbecue sauce over chicken (enough to coat well) and cook for another 5 minutes. Serves 4-6
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Shrimp Boil

I enjoyed my first shrimp boil at my mother-in-law's house one summer, when she dumped the scrumptious seafood right out onto a patio table lined with newspapers. It was delicious. I served this shrimp boil to my family this past summer and we LOVED it. I hope you'll enjoy it too! Serve with Hush Puppies, Fried Okra Bites, and Red Wine Sangria.

3 pounds small red potatoes
1 1/2 pounds kielbasa, sliced
4 ears of corn, husked, silked, and halved
1 cup large green olives, optional
1/4 cup seafood seasoning (recipe below)
3-4 pounds extra-large shrimp
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Seafood Seasoning Mix:
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground peppercorn melange (a blend of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano

In large stockpot, bring 5 quarts water to a boil. Add potatoes, kielbasa, and seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for five minutes. Add corn and green olives and cook for another ten minutes. Stir in shrimp and parsley and cook for an additional 2 minutes until shrimp turn pink. Remove vegetables and meat with a strainer and place in a large serving bowl or platter. Or spread out on a table lined with newspaper or freezer paper. Sprinkle with additional seasoning if desired. Serves 6-8.

To make Seafood Seasoning Mix, combine all ingredients in an airtight jar and shake to mix thoroughly. Keep sealed until ready to use.

Wine Suggestion: Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc
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Peanut Chicken


Here's a delicious recipe to make when you're craving some Asian food. Serve with Egg-Drop Soup and Egg Rolls.

1/4 cup peanut oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cups dry roasted peanuts

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring frequently until browned. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine corn syrup, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger and cornstarch. Whisk together until combined. Pour over chicken and bring to a boil. Stir until it thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Add peanuts. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Southwest Bean Salad


Here's a heart-healthy salad, sure to satisfy every appetite.

1 pound chicken tenders, sliced 1/2" thick
8 oz. garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
8 oz. black beans, drained
6 mini sweet peppers, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
Spinach greens
Creamy Italian dressing

Heat large skillet with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Add beans and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

In large bowl, combine sweet peppers, tomatoes, avocado, green peppers, and spinach. Spoon chicken mixture over top and toss with your favorite salad dressing (I used creamy Italian) and croutons.

*You can also serve the cooked chicken and beans cold, if you prefer. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lillian Duncan's Banana Pancakes

Lillian Duncan is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. Her goal is to write stories that entertain but also demonstrate God’s love for all of us. To learn more about her, visit www.lillian-duncan.com

Lillian's Latest Book Release: The David Years  

Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she's still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House, but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.
Now that she's graduated from high school and is an adult, she is sure it's time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years ago. Nia thought her learning years—her David Years—were over, but the harder she tries to move forward, the more her destiny seems to elude her.

To celebrate the release of The David Years, I'm having a giveaway--actually TWO different giveaways! The grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift card and your choice of one of my ebooks. To enter that giveaway, CLICK HERE and follow the directions! I'll also pick FIVE lucky winners to receive their choice of one my ebooks (except The Sisters of Choice trilogy).  To be entered in that giveaway, go to www.lillian-duncan.com then leave a comment under one of THE DAVID YEARS posts.

Lillian's Banana Pancakes

Pancakes are usually a big no-no when trying to lose weight, but not these.

2 bananas
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons self-rising flour (optional)

Mix the ingredients together until smooth. Cook like normal pancakes. Top with fruit or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar or no-sugar syrup. Adding the self-rising flour will make the pancakes more cakey.

Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

Here's an easy salad to fix when you want something light and tasty. Enjoy!

1 pound chicken tenders, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Iceburg Lettuce
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
3/4 cup English walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
cheddar cheese, grated
Cranberry Vinaigrette

Heat large skillet with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes until browned.

In large bowl, layer the following: Lettuce, boiled eggs, peas, carrot, walnuts, and cranberries. Add chicken and toss lightly with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Serves 4-6.

Wine Suggestion: Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling
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