Friday, January 27, 2012


If you are looking for a more healthy sandwich or hamburger bun recipe that
would include oatmeal and whole wheat flour, you will want to try these.
My daughter Beverly made these moist and light oatmeal rolls
so we could enjoy a sandwich feast for lunch.

They are quick to make because there is only one rising time before
forming. It is a great choice for sloppy joes, pulled beef sandwiches
or a variety of meat sandwiches.
We enjoyed them immensely with slices of chicken, provolone and
farmer cheese, lettuce leaves and tomato slices.


2 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. salt

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in oats; reduce
heat and simmer uncovered for 1 minute.  Stir in brown sugar, butter
and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.

2 pkgs. active yeast (2 tbsp.)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl, combine oatmeal and yeast mixtures. Add egg,
whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, beat well.
Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.
Place into a lightly oiled bowl; turning once to oil surface.
Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Shape into 24 rolls; place on greased baking sheets.  Cover and let
rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven
for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
Cool on wire racks.
Yield: 24 sandwich rolls

Thursday, January 26, 2012

AMISH WISDOM with Suzanne Woods Fisher

On January 26, 2012 at 4:00 Central, I will be sharing about my cookbook on the program 'AMISH WISDOM' with author and speaker Suzanne Woods Fisher.

You can listen to the interview at the following link:

Leave a comment on the "Amish Wisdom" website to be entered for a free cookbook.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Sunday morning in Indiana ... cool, gray and overcast.
No, I was not going to church in a buggy .... I was following this buggy
as we made our way to our respective places of worship.

Neat farmyards dotted the peaceful landscape that had been
brushed with a layer of snow.
 It was not terribly cold but even inside the car we needed the heater.

I love to hear the clip clop of the horses ...
 I love the watch these people from another culture than mine ...
.. people from every tribe and nation .. will stand before the
throne someday, the Bible says.

It was 8:30 am and already these buggies lined the yard ...
horses unhitched and taken to the barn.
I saw families walking but most found their way to the church gathering
on one of the farmyards, in the horse-drawn carriage.
We are looking for God ... we can find Him if we seek for Him
with all our heart.

For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand
that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2 :8 - 10 NKJV

Friday, January 20, 2012


Make your own flour tortillas?  There was a time I thought it wasn't
something I could do in my own kitchen.  It takes a bit of time, but they are
 easy to make and fresh-from-the skillet, are the base for
many kinds of roll-ups and wraps.

They are as simple as blending the dry ingredients and adding
the liquid to make a dough.

Knead and gather the dough into a smooth ball.

Divide into 12 equal pieces and lightly roll.
Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll one piece of dough into very thin circle.

At times they roll more perfectly than others ... it really doesn't
matter if they are uneven.

Quick fry on a non-stick skillet until tortilla begins to puff and the
bottom has a few scorch marks.
If you are using another kind of skillet, you may need a very small amount of
oil but too much will cause the tortilla to dome.

This post is a recipe for flour tortilla but I wanted to show
the filling that my daughter prepared on the day we made them.
She stir-fried peppers and onions, adding fajita seasoning as
the vegetables cooked.

Saute until tender crisp.  Set aside and stir-fry chicken strips in
the same skillet.

Pile a warm portion onto the center of a tortilla.

Top with chopped lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cream.

I got carried away and added too much filling and I ended up folding
it in half.
Paired with Mexican rice, it was a delicious spread.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 to 3/4 cup warm water or milk

In a bowl, blend dry ingredients; cut in shortening.  Stir in enough
liquid to make a stiff dough.  Form into two logs;
divide into 6 pieces each.  Form into balls; cover and allow to
rest for 30 minutes.
One at a time, place dough on lightly floured surface; roll into circle,
about 7 inches. (dough will be very thin)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on
skillet and cook until tortilla just begins to puff up and the bottom
has a few scorch marks.  Flip and cook for another 20 t0 30 seconds.
Remove to platter and cover with clean tea towel.  Repeat process with
remaining dough.
Yield: 12 tortillas

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This flavorful Mexican rice is simple to prepare and goes very nicely
with Mexican food..
The recipe comes from my friend Amy.

Begin by sauteing onions, adding the rice and continuing to
saute.  Add the spices.

Stir in chicken broth.

Cook slowly in a covered pot until rice is fluffy.

Pairs well with Mexican dishes.  In this instance it was
served with chicken fajitas.


2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cup rice

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in
onions; cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in
rice and saute until opaque, about 4 minutes. 

2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
3 cups chicken broth

Add seasonings and chicken broth to rice; heat to boiling,
stirring once or twice.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for
20 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand covered 5 minutes.
Turn into serving dish.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I had the pleasure of dining out for breakfast this morning,
enjoying a lovely frittata made by my daughter Karen in her sunny kitchen.

It was a combination of eggs, spinach, peppers and tomatoes.

It can be put together quickly once the ingredients are assembled. 

Stir freshly chopped spinach and sauteed peppers into the egg mixture.

Pour into prepared baking dish.

Top with slices of tomatoes.

Add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and pop into the oven.

Enjoy a gluten free breakfast.  Or add a muffin and fruit
to the delightful repast.


Melt 2 tbsp. butter in 9-inch deep-dish pie pan; set aside.

for the filling
1/2 cup chopped red and green bell peppers

Saute the peppers in butter until soft, stirring occasionally, about
2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

6 eggs
1 cup half-and half
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Whisk eggs until lightly beaten; then whisk in half-and-half, cornstarch,
basil, salt and pepper.

3/4 cup chopped spinach
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Co-jack cheese
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1 to 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Stir spinach, peppers and cheese into egg mixture.  Pour into prepared
pie pan.  Arrange tomato slices over top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or
until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Serves 4 to 5.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This morning we sang this song and I was blessed...

 I love you Lord,
And I lift my voice .... to worship You,
O my soul rejoice.
Take joy my King in what you hear,
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Psalm 8:1 NKJV

Thursday, January 12, 2012


This is a spin on Italian Wedding Soup that is mouth-watering delicious.
It features meatballs, spinach and carrots in a flavorful broth.
The orzo was replaced by pearl barley giving it a slightly different flavor.


1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten with fork
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Parmasan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Combine ground beef and remaining ingredients.  Form into small
meatballs, about 1/2 inch.  Place onto foil-lined baking sheet with
sides.  Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until done.

5 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup pearl barley
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 cups fresh spinach

In large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add barley and seasonings.
Simmer for 15 minutes;  add carrots and continue to cook for an additional 15
minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add spinach and meatballs; heat through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Yield : 4 to 6 servings

Thanks to my daughter Karen for this recipe.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Light and dark .... I see it differently than this bird that hangs around the yard.
I lived in a darkness of sorts during my teenage years. The future seemed
so unsure and frightening and I struggled to find my way. 
Experiences of rejection and criticism left me wounded ... emotions were scarred. 
Complex equations tumbling around in my head had no answers.
A grid of protection formed around my spirit as I tried to deal with my pain.  

I didn't seek her out ... she sought me.  For weeks her very presence had
made me glad.  She was decades older than I but she was not a mother.
 I longed to be a part of her life .. to be her granddaughter ... she seemed so wise.
The serene expression on her beautiful face mirrored her gracious spirit
...  love and radiance shone from her sparkling eyes.
I loved her from where I stood ... far away in a world of confusion.
She talked to me ... about difficult things.  I listened and wondered ...
how did she know?  I felt invaded but I needed guidance.
Did she know the gift that she was giving me that day?
I have no way of knowing.  I left her presence with a lighter
step .... full of hope.  The gift of encouragement flowed
from her lips ... and brightness beckoned.

My dearest Miss K. ... did you know you were walking on holy ground ..
a ministering angel sent from God to a hurting young woman?
Do you know how the verse of scripture you gave me has blessed
me all these years?  I wish that I could be more like you.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power and of love,
and of a sound mind.
11 Timothy 1:7 KJV

Saturday, January 7, 2012


This simple soup falls into an ethnic Hutterite food category.  We called it
'Grits soup', but it is really made with cracked buckwheat, not grits.
I don't know any other culture that makes it but it would be interesting to find out.
It was on the menu often when I was a child and I loved it as a comfort food.
Now that I am older and realize how important healthy grains are to my diet, it
appeals to me even more.  Would others like to give this a try?
My sister-in-law had never tasted it before she met my brother and now
it is one of her favorite soups.

Whole buckwheat is more readily available than cracked buckwheat
that I have pictured here, but you can purchase it at Superstore in Canada
and in bulk food or health stores.

The taste of this soup is definitely enhanced if you have a delicious
homemade chicken broth as the base.
Beat the egg with a fork and stir in the buckwheat.
Pour into the saucepan of simmering broth.

It expands as it cooks and the grain becomes soft but still chewy.


1 egg
½ cup cracked buckwheat
4 to 5 cups chicken broth

Beat egg with a fork.  Add buckwheat and mix together.
Pour and stir buckwheat mixture into simmering broth.
Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I don't usually make a baking sheet size dessert unless I know that
there is a gathering of some sort where I can share.
Today was one of those times at the farm where a group was
working and visiting.  I arrive at mid afternoon with a 
warm saskatoon coffee cake and vanilla ice cream.
Needless to say, it was appreciated beyond my expectations.

this is the batter.

this is the luscious saskatoon pie filling

Grease the baking sheet but do NOT flour it.
I discovered that if you grease and flour, it is almost impossible to
get the batter to stay put .... it wants to go with the utensil that
is used to spread it.
Because the batter is fairly stiff, it takes a little time to spread it out.

Spread the batter with cooled pie filling.

Reserved batter is dropped onto the pie filling using a teaspoon or
a cookie scoop like I did here.

Bake to a lightly golden color.
It is delicious as is, but I like to drizzle with a thin icing because .....

it looks oh so pretty.


This coffee cake can be made with a variety of berry pie fillings ...
If using cherry you will need 2 cans (19oz.) pie filling.
For this coffee cake I made saskatoon pie filling.

Saskatoon Pie Filling

3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch or Clearjel
1 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 cups frozen saskatoon berries

In a large saucepan, blend together sugar and cornstarch.  Add water,
lemon juice and half of the berries.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Stir in remaining berries; set aside to cool.

1¼ cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, eggs and flavorings.
Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until mixed.
Beat at high speed for an additional 3 minutes until smooth.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ cup milk
saskatoon pie filling

Blend dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture with milk.
Spread 2/3 batter on greased (not floured) 10 x 15 - inch baking sheet.
Top with pie filling.  Drop remaining batter by teaspoonfuls on top
or pie filling ... or use a cookie scoop.

Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden
brown.  Cool for 15 minutes and drizzle with icing glaze.
Great on its own, but you can also serve warm with ice cream
or whipped cream.

Glaze: blend 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 1½ tbsp. milk until smooth
and of drizzling consistency.

* If you want to substitute blueberries in place of saskatoon berries,
make pie filling above but decrease water to ¼ cup.