Tasty Tuesday – Pumpkin Bread

Welcome to this week’s Tasty Tuesday.  Today’s recipe is for pumpkin bread.  This week’s recipe comes from “The Byler Chicks Cooking” cookbook.  A quick recipe to whip up two loaves of pumpkin bread.

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Pumpkin Bread, Mrs. Marvin (Susan) Glick, “The Byler Chicks Cooking”, page 31

2 3/4 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. butter or margarine, softened

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar, packed

4 eggs

1 c. pumpkin

1 c. pecans, optional

In a small bowl, combine first 5 ingredients; set aside.  In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Blend in pumpkin.  Add dry ingredients, and mix just until moistened.  Turn into 2 greased and floured 8″x4″ loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, cool on wire racks.

I’m not a big nut person, but I did add in the pecans, since I had some chopped up and ready in my baking cupboard.  The bread is good, but I personally could have done without the pecans in it.  However, the guys at work sure enjoyed it.  In less than a 24 hour period, there is only a one inch slice left.  And there are only three guys in our office, so someone has been enjoying it.

I’m on a pumpkin kick, so next week’s recipe will be for a yummy pumpkin pie.

Have a good week and enjoy the crisp fall air.  Even had a wee bit of frost on the windshield this morning.

Blessings…

 

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Questions and Answer with Amy Clipston

With Amy Clipston’s upcoming release, “A Place At Our Table”, I am having a quick question and answer session with Amy with questions concerning dinners, cooking, and kitchen duties.  “A Place At Our Table” releases on November 14, 2017, so just a little over a month away for another great book by Amy.

a place at our table

So let’s get to our question and answer session:

Who does the cooking when you are on a tight deadline? What do you typically have?

Amy:  Since I work full-time and write several books per year, my mom keeps our house running.  My mother usually does the cooking, but occasionally I make something.

What is your family’s favorite dinner?

Amy:  One of our favorites is my mother’s sauerbraten, which I always request on my birthday.  We also enjoy having breakfast for dinner, such as eggs, pancakes, or French toast.

Who most often gets the job of washing dishes and how is that decided?

Amy:  It’s usually my mother and me, but lately I’ve forced the boys to pitch in too!

What’s something you have wanted to cook but fear cooking?

Amy:  I wish I had more time to bake. I’d love to try more Amish recipes, such as whoopie pies or pretzels, but I really don’t have time.

What was your favorite comfort food as a child?

Amy:  I think it’s always been popcorn!

I guess this last answer explains why Amy wants to visit Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn on her next trip to Lancaster County.  Ha!

And now for the fun part of this blog post…

Amy is having a special giveaway for the awesome prize packs pictured below.

Amy Clipston Bakery Bunch October GiveawayJust click on the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win.  This giveaway is open to those with a US shipping address only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Amy’s kitchen and make sure you pre-order your copy of “A Place At Our Table”, so you’ll have it to read on release day.

Blessings…

 

Tasty Tuesday – Quick Easy Supper

Welcome to the first Tasty Tuesday in October.  We are having such cool, crisp weather – I love it.  I have a very simple recipe for you today that I had shared a couple years ago.  It’s so easy to fix and fresh string beans are still available around here that I thought I’d share it again since I fixed it for dinner the other night.  You can’t get much simpler than this unless you go out to eat.  Only three ingredients to make a yummy and filling dinner.  Perfect for those nights the kids have to be at a sports practice or you have a meeting…

This week’s recipe comes from the “Cinnamon Rolls and Mixing Bowls Cookbook”.  I’ve fixed this recipe for years using either fresh or canned string beans.  The string beans I used for our dinner were canned by my sweet Amish friend.  She canned us 40 quarts this year as a thank you for everything we do for her.  I like this kind of thank you.

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Quick Easy Supper, Ammon Jr. & Martha Troyer, Newcomerstown, OH, “Cinnamon Rolls and Mixing Bowls Cookbook”, page 113

1 qt. potatoes

1 qt. green beans, fresh or canned

1 qt. meat of your choice (We like anything from summer sausage to hot dogs to hamburger.)

Salt & pepper to taste

Cut potatoes in cubes and cook till soft.  If using fresh green beans, add to potatoes right away.  If using canned beans, wait to add till potatoes are soft.  Add meat and season with salt and pepper.

ham-1

I used cut up ham for our dish, and it sure tasted good.  And we had enough leftovers for us each to have lunch the next day.  I like meals that keep giving.

cinn roll book

This cookbook can be purchased at a lot of different locations in Lancaster County (Belmont Fabrics, Gordonville Bookstore, Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop) to name a few. For those not local to Amish Country, it can also be purchased on Amazon.  This book is the sequel to the Apple Pie and Apron Strings Cookbook that I used frequently in previous blog posts.  It is full of all sorts of recipes as well as meal plans for special holidays and such.  This cookbook contains 888 recipes from Amish housewives located all over the United States.

Hope you have a great first week of October.  The leaves are just starting to change around here.  Mom and I were away over the weekend participating in the Buggies and Buds Shop Hop, and we travelled close to 300 miles from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon.  Most trees were still green, but on occasion, we saw a pop of color.

Have a great week!

Blessings…

My Review of “An Amish Christmas Love”

This month, I am reviewing “An Amish Christmas Love” which contains four novellas by some great Amish fiction authors – “Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman, “The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston, “Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin, and “Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid.  Each novella has its own twist on Christmas and the Amish faith.

amish christmas love

Here’s a quick synopsis on each story:

“Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman

Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof.  At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed.  Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors.  When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

“The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston

Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July.  Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house.  She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair.  But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

“Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin

As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

“Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid

When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast.  Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move.  Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

And here is my review of each story:

In “Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman, you meet three generations of women from the Stoltzfus family – Naomi, Barbara, and Ruth who just kept me in stitches throughout the story.  She reminded me of my own grandmother with some of her quirkiness.  Beth Wiseman does a great job of portraying each character and bringing their emotions to life.  You can feel the love, sorrow, and expectation from each character as the story moves along.  What fun to learn about the three ladies as well as the three men brought into their lives.  You’ll laugh, cry, and just enjoy the words from Beth Wiseman.

In “The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston, you meet Emma who has recently lost her husband of 45 years, Henry, and will be celebrating her first Christmas alone.  Amy Clipston loves her cats, so it’s no wonder that her story has a cat as a main character too.  Amish don’t normally have pets in their home, but this cat isn’t taking “shoo” for an answer.  Hank, as Emma calls him, settles in nicely during the Christmas holiday and gives Emma some hope and love during this lonely Christmas.  Pets can bring so much love and happiness to us.  Also, it’s nice to see the youth getting involved in lifting Emma’s spirits.  I enjoyed how Amy would have Emma talk about her past and then back to the “now” and then back to the past and then back to the “now” when reminiscing about Henry.  Amy’s story makes you long for the love you have from family during Christmas and that want of hope only God provides.  Another story to make you laugh and cry.

In “Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin, you meet David Byler and Molly Schrock.  And you also meet Bobbie McGregor, my least favorite character in this story.  I just wanted to slap her and send her on her way.  Kelly writes a nice love story with the normal bumps along the road.  I found myself cheering for David and Molly and hoped that things worked out in the end.  I also enjoyed reading more about Bee County, Texas too.  I’m glad Kelly picked that as her setting for this story.  A nice wholesome story that shows you prayers can be answered.

In “Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid, you meet Ellie Whetsone and her show dog, Lulu as well as Ezra Mast and his daughter, Allison.  Can you imagine giving up the life you know and moving back to take care of selling a relative’s home that does not have the normal comforts of home?  I sure can’t.  I love how Ruth melds the two lifestyles in this story between Ellie and Ezra and how Lulu becomes Allison’s protector.  Her story made me laugh, cry, and occasionally just giggle when something fun happened.  She brought the characters to life for me, and I enjoyed how Ellie and Ezra would “work” things out.

Pretty much in each story, you’ll need some Kleenex handy.  If you are like me, you’ll wind up crying while reading bits and pieces of these four novellas.  The only complaint I have about this book is that the novellas aren’t long enough.  I want more of each character.  I want to know what happens after the end of each novella.  Maybe the authors will continue writing about these characters in upcoming books?  That would be super.

So if you love Amish fiction and love Christmas stories, grab a copy of this book now.  It is available now at your local retailers and on Kindle and Nook.  You won’t be disappointed.

Blessings…

 

 

 

My Four Favorite Fall Reads

Granted fall just started, but our weather sure doesn’t seem like it.  Almost 90 degrees again today.  Tomorrow they are saying it will be cooler, I sure hope they are right.  Four of my favorite fall reads…so hard to narrow it down to just four…so much great Amish fiction out right now.  But I narrowed it down to these four even though I know I’ll have more read during this season.

One of my first fall reads is An Amish Christmas Love.

amish christmas love

It contains four novellas by some pretty great authors – “The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston, “Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman, “Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin, and “Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid.  And it’s the perfect week to read this since it’s so hot outside.  Reading about winter and Christmas might just help cool me off.

My second fall read is another Christmas themed novel – The Beloved Christmas Quilt.

christmas quilt

This book contains three stories written by three generations of Brunstetters – “Luella’s Promise” by Wanda Brunstetter, “Karen’s Gift” by Jean Brunstetter, and “Roseanna’s Groom” by Richelle Lynn Brunstetter.  How neat to have Wanda’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter join her in the collaboration of this book.

My third fall read is the first book in An Amish Letters series by Kathleen Fuller – Written in Love.

1-written in love

I recently read the second book in this series, The Promise of a Letter. and didn’t realize I hadn’t read the first book first.  So that is definitely on my list, so I can be ready for the third book in the series releasing in February.

My last fall read is Belle – An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Sarah Price.

belle

I love the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, and I love how Sarah Price retells classic stories with a special twist to make them new.  And I just absolutely love the cover of this book.  This book comes out on Halloween, and I can’t wait to get it.  If you love the story of Beauty and the Beast, you might just want to grab a copy of your own.

So there you have it – my four fall reads that I’ll be diving into over this Autumn season.

What’s in your to be read pile?  Anything I need to read?

Have a great fall!

Blessings…

 

Tasty Tuesday – Something for the Kiddos

Happy last Tuesday in September!  This week’s Tasty Tuesday is something for the kiddos in your life.  Now that school has started back up, I figured this could be something fun for the kids to play with after school, or if you have toddlers at home, something for them to play with while their siblings are off at school.  Who didn’t like playing with play dough in their early years?  It was so much fun to create all sorts of shapes and creatures with it.  I have two different natural play dough recipes for you to try.  Both recipes come from “The Byler Chicks Cooking” cookbook.  No pictures this week, since I have not made this, but I’m sure you get the idea of what the finished product would be like.

byler

Peanut Butter Play Dough, Mrs. Roman (Malinda) Yoder, page 202

1 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. honey

2 c. powdered sugar

Mix together in a bowl with your hands.  Dough should feel soft and pliable.  Shape into form of your choice.  Use a cookie cutter or decorate with raisins.  Now eat your paly dough.  Yummy!

Play Dough, Mrs. Eli (Edna) Petersheim, page 202

2 c. flour

1/2 c. salt

1 Tbsp. alum

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 c. water

food coloring

Mix flour, salt, alum and oil together.  Bring water to a boil and add food coloring.  Pour over flour mixture and stir.  Knead thoroughly as soon as cool enough to handle.  We put in twice as much flour.  Just put in enough flour to desired consistency.  Note:  Very smooth and soft and fun to play with.

So, if you have little ones at home and need something to help them pass the time, whip up a batch or two of play dough.  It could keep them busy for a while, so you have a little time to curl up with a good book or clean the house or start dinner or whatever other chore is waiting for you.  I’d vote for the good book though.

Have a great week!  See you in October.

Blessings…

 

Tasty Tuesday – Tasty Pancakes & Cookbook Winner

Welcome to this week’s Tasty Tuesday post a day late.  Sorry I missed posting something last week.  We’ve been away for long weekends since Labor Day, so it’s been enjoy vacation, come home, unpack, pack again, and enjoy more time away.  Hopefully things will start to settle down, but those who know me and my hubby well probably know better than that.

In my post two weeks ago, I was giving away a copy of the Amish cookbook, “Seasonal Garden Cooking and Family Favorites”.  The winner of the cookbook is:

Susan Brownson!

Congratulations Susan!

I will get your cookbook out in the mail to you soon.

This week’s Tasty Tuesday post is all about pancakes (or at least that is what the recipe is for).  I actually used the pancake recipe and made waffles instead.  Since we were home only for one full day before leaving again, I decided to whip up breakfast for us to eat for dinner.  We love eating breakfast food any time of the day.  I found this easy pancake recipe in a new cookbook that I purchased in July from Nancy’s Notions & Clothing in Intercourse, PA,  “Plain Country Cooking”.

If it’s time for your breakfast right now, why not whip up a batch of pancakes or waffles to enjoy?

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Tasty Pancake, Mrs. Sadie Mae Stoltzfus (Sam), “Plain Country Cooking”, page 9

2 beaten eggs

2 c. milk

1 1/2 c. flour

3/4 c. self rising flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

4 T. melted butter

Beat eggs and milk.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Beat well.  Add melted butter.  Beat until smooth.

Note from Sadie Mae:  I forgot to put the sugar in one time I made these pancakes and we didn’t even taste it.  So I started skipping the sugar!

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I cut up some fresh peaches and put them on top of our waffles with some whipped cream.  They were delicious.  Added a side of turkey sausage, and we were all set for dinner.

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Definitely a recipe I’d try again.

Hope you have a great week!  Now go fix yourself some breakfast…

Blessings…