Category Archives: Recipes

Brisket Pot Roast with Carrots

This is a warm family favorite of ours for a cool autumn day:

Ingredients:

2-3 lb. beef brisket (or leaner cut like London broil)

1 lb. baby carrots (or sliced regular carrots)

1 onion, sliced

1 bag wide egg noodles

Ketchup to cover beef

1 pkg. brown gravy mix (or 3 Tbsp Better-Than-Bouillon Beef mixed with water and flour)

Salt, pepper, garlic

Spread carrots evenly over bottom of 9×13 pan (or buttered crock pot – OR steam carrots later if you prefer more gravy for the meat). Place beef on top, fat side up. Poke with fork, sprinkle with seasonings. Cover with onions. Pour ketchup over all. Mix brown gravy mix with 2.5 cups water, stir with fork, then drizzle through fork over all (don’t wash all your ketchup away). Cover with foil, make 5 slits, bake at 350 for about 5 hours (or crock on LOW for 12-14 hours, then HIGH for one hour to thicken the gravy). Meat should be very tender. If you don’t have this much time, baking at 375 for 4 hours works well too.

Start cooking noodles. Take pan from oven, remove foil, scrape tomatoes & onions into carrots & gravy, and stir. Remove and slice meat, place carrots & onions in a bowl, and stir gravy over low heat (if desired) to thicken a bit. Pour a little gravy over meat. Serve with noodles (or, to stretch out the meat, shred & mix with extra noodles & gravy).

Bon appetit!

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Easter Cookies!

To be told and baked the night before EasterHappy Easter-pexels-photo-953075

Photo by Alena Koval

Ingredients:

1 cup pecan or walnut halves, to be broken          

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. vinegar                                                            

1 cup sugar

3 egg whites                                                               

½ tsp cream of tartar                                               

Adhesive tape

1 Bible

 Wash and dry hands. Gather above ingredients. Preheat oven to 350o and lightly grease two cookie sheets (or cover with baking parchment).

Place nuts in a re-sealable bag. Give participants wooden spoons (or a rubber mallet) and let them pound the nuts into small pieces. Set aside. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by soldiers. (Read John 19:1-3)

Let each helper smell the vinegar. Then measure 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that while dying on the cross, Jesus was thirsty and soldiers gave Him vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)

Separate the eggs. Add the whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (Read John 10:10-11, 28)

Sprinkle a little salt into each person’s palm, and let each one brush it off into the mixture. Then they can taste their salty palms. This reminds us of salty tears shed by those saddened by Jesus’ death. (Read Luke 23:27)

So far, the ingredients aren’t very appetizing, but now sugar and cream of tartar are added, and you must trust that these will produce a pleasant result. Explain that the sweetest part of this story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He makes it possible to know Him and belong to Him. (Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16)

Beat with electric mixer on high speed for 10 to 20 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form. Point out the pearly white color, the color of purity in God’s eyes for those who have been cleansed from sin by Jesus’ death. (Read Isa. 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3)

Fold in nuts. Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture on the cookie sheet. Explain that each mound resembles a rocky tomb like the one in which Jesus’ body was placed. (Read Matt. 27:57- 60)

Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, close the door, and turn the oven completely OFF. Hand each participant a piece of tape to secure the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Read Matt. 27:65-66)

Time for bed! Explain that we may feel sad and disappointed to leave the cookies in the oven with the door closed. Jesus’ death seemed final to His followers, and they were in despair when the tomb was sealed. (Read John 16:20 – 22)

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. Point out the cracked surface of the cookies, and then take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find His tomb opened and empty. He had risen! (Read Matt. 28:1-9)

IMG_8473

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Italian Tiramisu Cheesecake

20161225_134955

This gorgeous, easy cake is wonderful for holidays!

Ingredients:

  • 24 lady finger Italian cookies
  • 12 Oreo-type sandwich cookies
  • 1 tsp finely ground espresso
  • 1.5 cups brewed espresso (6 T separated out)
  • 8 T butter, softened
  • 36 oz. name brand cream cheese, warmed to room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 packet of white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (OR)
  • 1 bar dark chocolate for curls
  • Baking parchment
  • Spring-form pan
  • Cake pan slightly larger than spring-form pan
  • Larger pan for water bath

Instructions:

First, preheat oven to 350 and line a 9″ spring-form pan lined with parchment paper (place a round piece on the bottom and a long strip along the sides).

Step 1: Prepare the Crust

  1. Finely grind the sandwich cookies, lady fingers, and espresso powder in a food processor.
  2. Add melted butter and pulse until fully mixed.
  3. Press mixture down onto the parchment on the bottom of the spring-form pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and set aside.
  6. Turn oven down to 320

Step 2: Cheesecake Filling

  1. Beat 32 oz. of the cream cheese, butter and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth. Stop mixing a few times to scrape down the sides .
  2. Add eggs one at a time while mixing.
  3. Add 6 T of the prepared espresso, vanilla extract, and then flour, scraping down as needed.
  4. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture onto the crust in the spring-form pan.
  5. Dip the lady finger cookies in the remaining espresso and line them up to form a single layer over the cheesecake mixture, cutting to shape as necessary.
  6. Pour the remaining cheesecake mixture on top.
  7. Place in water bath – use cake pan under spring-form pan (to keep water out) inside large, deep pan filled partway with warm water.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 320 degrees. The middle of the cheesecake will still be a little jiggly.
  9. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake reduce temp in the oven for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove it from the oven and let it fully cool on a counter top.
  11. Refrigerate overnight.

Step 3: Whipped Topping

  1. Beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Chill in refrigerator while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining cream cheese, milk, and pudding mix until completely smooth.
  3. Stir the chilled whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it is fully combined.
  4. Place mixture into a piping bag with a large tip, such as Wilton 2A, and then decorate the top of the cheesecake.
  5. Dust the top with powdered cocoa (OR)
  6. Shave on chocolate curls.
  7. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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Easter Story Cookies!

Easter Story Cookies

With Bible story – to be baked and read the night before Easter

IMG_8473

 Ingredients:

1 cup pecan or walnut halves, to be broken          

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. vinegar                                                            

1 cup sugar

3 egg whites                                                               

½ tsp cream of tartar                                               

Adhesive tape

1 Bible

 Wash and dry hands. Gather above ingredients. Preheat oven to 350o and lightly grease two cookie sheets (or cover with baking parchment).

Place nuts in a re-sealable bag. Give participants wooden spoons (or a rubber mallet) and let them pound the nuts into small pieces. Set aside. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by soldiers. (Read John 19:1-3)

Let each helper smell the vinegar. Then measure 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that while dying on the cross, Jesus was thirsty and soldiers gave Him vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)

Separate the eggs. Add the whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (Read John 10:10-11, 28)

Sprinkle a little salt into each person’s palm, and let each one brush it off into the mixture. Then they can taste their salty palms. This reminds us of salty tears shed by those saddened by Jesus’ death. (Read Luke 23:27)

So far, the ingredients aren’t very appetizing, but now sugar and cream of tartar are added, and you must trust that these will produce a pleasant result. Explain that the sweetest part of this story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He makes it possible to know Him and belong to Him. (Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16)

Beat with electric mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form. Point out the pearly white color, the color of purity in God’s eyes for those who have been cleansed from sin by Jesus’ death. (Read Isa. 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3)

Fold in nuts. Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture on the cookie sheet. Explain that each mound resembles a rocky tomb like the one in which Jesus’ body was placed. (Read Matt. 27:57- 60)

Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven, close the door, and turn the oven completely OFF. Hand each participant a piece of tape to secure the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Read Matt. 27:65-66)

Time for bed! Explain that we may feel sad and disappointed to leave the cookies in the oven with the door closed. Jesus’ death seemed final to His followers, and they were in despair when the tomb was sealed. (Read John 16:20 – 22)

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. Point out the cracked surface of the cookies, and then take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find His tomb opened and empty. He had risen! (Read Matt. 28:1-9)

 

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Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole for Christmas Morning!

This looks absolutely delicious! From www.Time2TakeAction.net:

Breakfast casserole in the crock pot!

Ingredients:…

-1 bag 26 oz. frozen hash browns

-12 eggs 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon ground mustard

-1 16 oz. roll sausage – maple, sage, or regular

-16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese

-Salt and pepper
Directions:

1. Spray crock pot and evenly spread hash browns at the bottom.

2. Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl.

3. Mix well (and slowly) using a whisk.

4. Add the milk.

5. Go ahead and sprinkle in the ground mustard. This might sound like a weird ingredient, but I’ve come to love (and use) this in most of my recipes.

6. Add plenty of salt…. …and lots of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.

7. Cook the sausage on high heat, drain and set aside.

8. Add sausage on top of hash browns.

9. Is this enough cheese? Maybe? Probably. Throw the whole big bag in there.

10. Mix it up well. Or good, depending on where you’re from.

11. Pour the egg mixture over everything in the crock pot. Using a wood spoon, even everything out so it’s spread evenly.

12. Turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.
Some fun variations of this recipe. Before cooking (during prep) you can add:
chunks of sourdough bread, diced chili peppers, salsa, diced green onions

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Map Illustrations

Map Illustrations

I love illustrating as much as writing, and have a background in graphic arts and figure drawing. I specialize in maps for novels. If you’d like to inquire about a map for your book, please contact me using the form on  my illustration page. Here’s the map I drew for Amberly:

Amberly 72 DPI for Website

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Simple, Sensational Stir-Fry!

Simple, Sensational Stir-Fry!

pexels-photo-2181151-Stir-fry

My hubby loves sampling different types of foods while on trips to Japan.  Here’s a delicious, easy, healthy stir-fry recipe my family enjoys a lot.

Ingredients:

– Cut up chicken, beef, or shrimp

– Vegetable assortment – sliced bell peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, radicchio, spinach leaves, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, etc. Maybe toss in a few of those tiny little corncobs (do you suppose they’re all grown on tiny little fields by tiny little farmers with tiny little tractors? I’ve always wondered..)

-Peanuts, almonds, or cashews (or all three!)

– Cooked rice – we like either brown or long-grain Jasmine rice cooked in our Aroma rice cooker from Costco.

-Oil: peanut tastes nice with stir-fry, but others are fine too.Blog Post Photos 034

-1 cup beef broth, mixed with 1 tsp flour (wheat or arrowroot)

-1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos.

“A good, well-lived today makes every yesterday a dream of a good future,

and every morning is a vision of hope.”

– Asian proverb

Method:

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a wok or large skillet.

2. Dissolve Better than Bouillon into the hot water. Add last two ingredients and stir with a fork to break lumps. Set aside.

3. Spoon the meat pieces into the skillet and stir until lightly browned (cut a piece to make sure it’s cooked inside), then remove to a bowl. Don’t overcook! You will cook them more later.

2. Add more oil to the skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and toss in the vegetables. Carrots and other tough veggies take a bit longer than the soft ones, so you may wish to add these first. Stir-fry for a few minutes to heat and soften. They should still be a little crisp.

3. Return the meat pieces to the mixture and stir until it reaches desired doneness.

4. Add the nuts.

5. Now add the bouillion mixture and stir briefly. It will thicken quickly. Remove from heat.

6. Spoon over rice and enjoy with some nice plum wine and pretty chopsticks!

“Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo!

Thine own has reached the shore.”

– Another Asian proverb

 

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