Goldlen Peach Pie

2 sheets refrigerated pie crust, or from scratch
5 cups peeled and sliced fresh peach (about 5 medium)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter

Line a 9" pie plate with 1 crust, leaving a 1" overhang around the edge. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, lemon juice, orange zest, and extract. In another bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt. Add to peach mixtures and toss gently to coat. Pour into crust and dot with butter.

Roll out remaining crust into a 1/8" thick circle; cut into strips. Arrange over filling in a lattice pattern. Trim  and seal strips to bottom crust; fold overhang over. Lightly press or flute the edge. OR, just cover the pie with the whole top crust and cut vents. Egg wash and sugar sprinkle are optional. Cover the edges loosely with foil.

Bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crust is gold brown and filling is bubbly; about 10-15 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator.

via Taste of Home


Lime Ginger Albacore Tuna

1 pound fresh albacore, trimmed and cut into two steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice from 2 limes
4 Tbsp. soy sauce or gluten-free tamai sauce
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, finely grated
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, sliced

Season fish with salt and pepper

Combine the lime juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and olive oil in a bowl. Lay the steaks in a small dish and pour the marinade over it. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fillets for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and garnish with a couple lemon slices.


Best Ever Banana Bread

1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs; room temperature
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts, flour coated (can substitute blueberries)

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs bananas, oi, butter milk, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in nuts or blueberries.

pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan. Bake at 325°F for 75-90 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

via Taste of Home


Basil Pesto Chicken Bake

3 chicken breasts
16 oz. jar basil pesto
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 slices mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place chicken breasts in a baking dish, and salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to cover the chicken with pesto. Top each piece of chicken with cheese and two tomato slices.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Broil the chicken for the last two minutes so the cheese is bubbly and golden.

via simplysissom


Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Salad

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant cheesecake pudding, unprepared
1 cup International Delight French Vanilla Creamer*
1 pound strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces
2 (6-ounce) containers blueberries
4 large bananas, sliced
juice of 1 lemon 

In a medium tall bowl or an 8-cup measuring cup, using an electric mixer, whip cream cheese until it becomes smooth. It may bind up in the beaters, but continue as is and it will loosen up. Add the dry pudding mix. Beat until well combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the creamer to the cream cheese mix. Add it about a tablespoon at a time and then mix until it becomes a smooth mixture and all of the creamer has combined into the cream cheese, repeat until all of the creamer has been added to the mixture. Whip until smooth. Refrigerate while you prepare the fruit.

In a large bowl, combine lemon juice and bananas. Stir to coat bananas completely and pour off any excess lemon juice. Add strawberries and blueberries. Gently stir to combine. Fold the cheesecake mixture into the fruit.

Chill until ready to serve or serve immediately. 

 * If you are out of creamer you can substitute: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

1. Do not pour all of the creamer into the cream cheese at once. It will get clumpy and no matter how long you beat it, it will stay that way. Trust me on this one.

2. If the cream cheese and pudding mix get too thick, add in a splash of the cream to loosen it up. Then proceed with the recipe, minus the splash you already used.

3. To make this ahead: prepare the cheesecake mixture and refrigerate in a bowl. Mix all of the fruit in a large bowl and refrigerate. Before serving, drain any excess liquid from the fruit and then fold the cheesecake filling into the fruit. Serve and enjoy!

4. Other Cheesecake Salads:
Hawaiian Cheesecake Salad


Strawberry Freezer Jam

4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package (1-3/4 ozs.) powdered fruit pectin

Rinse five 1-cup freezer-safe containers and lids with boiling water. Dry completely. 

Thoroughly crush strawberries, 1 cup at a time, to measure exactly 2 cups (I put them all in the blender on the lowest speed for a few seconds so there is still strawberry chucks in it.); transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the 4 cups of sugar; let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

In a small saucepan, mix water and pectin; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute longer. Add to strawberry mixture, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. (A few sugar crystals may remain.) 

Immediately fill all containers to within 1/2 in. of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. 

Jam is now ready to use. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 12 months. Thaw frozen jam in refrigerator before serving.


Banana Cake

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature *
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature **
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature ***

8 oz. full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature ****
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature *
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13" pan.

Mash the bananas and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Cream the butter with a mixer, on high speed, until smooth and creamy, about a minute.  Add both sugars and beat on high speed for at least two minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Then, beat in the mashed bananas.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and mixing each addition until incorporated. Do not over-mix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps is OK.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it appears to be browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. After about 45 minutes, you place it in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer on high speed.

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps set the frosting and makes cutting easier.

Cover left over cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To make about 2 dozen cupcakes from this recipe, fill cupcake liners halfway and bake for 20-22 minutes at the same oven temperature.

*If you don't have unsalted butter, replace it with salted butter and reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by 1/4 tsp. for every stick (1/2 cup) of butter. 

To soften butter to room temperature, you can microwave refrigerated butter on high for 11 seconds, or you can microwave a ceramic bowl with a little bit of water, then remove the water and place the bowl over the butter and wait 1-2 minutes.

**To bring eggs to room temperature, run very warm, but not hot, water into a bowl. Place your cold eggs into the water gently and wait 5-7 minutes. Hot water can make the cold eggs crack and leak.

***If you don't have butter milk, you can sour whole milk by adding 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to each 1 cup of milk. Be sure to put the juice or vinegar into the cup first and them add enough milk to the measurement required for the recipe.

To bring milk to room temperature, microwave 1 cup, on high, for 40-45 seconds. 

****Two ways to bring cream cheese to room temperature quickly: 1) Place the cream cheese, still in the foil wrapper, into a bowl of warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 2) Remove cream cheese from the foil wrapper and place in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 10 second bursts, flipping the block after each burst. Continue for 30-40 seconds total.

via sally's baking addiction


Barbecue Sauce

4 cups ketchup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
1 Tbsp.. garlic powder

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes until thick.
Store mixture in jar in fridge.


Rainbow Fruit Salad

2 ripe bananas
1 lb. pineapple, diced
12 oz. blueberries
6 oz. blackberries
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
3 Mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
Honey Lime Dressing
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Mix all the fruit in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, and zest.
Pour dressing over fruit and toss gently until the fruit is evenly covered.

via healthy holistic living


Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 bag frozen cheese Ravioli (25 oz.)
1 lbs ground beef, browned
3 cans crushed tomatoes (14-15 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 lb. block*)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet brown the beef completely and drain off any remaining fat. Stir in the cans of tomatoes and seasonings.

In a 6 quart slow cooker, cover the bottom with some sauce. Then place a layer of ravioli across the bottom. Then a layer of  mozzarella cheese. Continue this until all the meat sauce and ravioli is used. End with the meat sauce on top, then top with the leftover mozzarella cheese and add the Paremsan cheese on top (if desired).

Cook on low for 4 hours Turn off and let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving. Cut and serve with your favorite side salad and crusty garlic bread.

*It is better to grate your own cheese because packaged shredded cheese has other ingredients that prevent the cheese from melting as well.


Microwave Apple Crisp

6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced cooking apples
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
6 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place apples in an 8-inch glass baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Melt butter in a small, microwave-safe mixing bowl at high power for 60-90 seconds. Stir in brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon and mix until combined. Sprinkle topping mix over the apples evenly and press down lightly.

Microwave at high power for 14-16 minutes, or until apples are tender. (Rotate dish 1/2 turn after 8 minutes if your microwave does not automatically turn.)

Serve warm, cold, plain, or topped with whipped cream, ice cream, or lemon sauce.


Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread

Butter, for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, combining thoroughly. Fold in the rhubarb and pecans.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry. Let cool in the pan slightly, then cool completely on a rack before slicing.


Sour Cream Rhubarb Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rhubarb, diced
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (I use Silpats.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla, making sure all the ingredients are well combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and repeat until all the ingredients are combined. Stir in the rhubarb.

Drop rough tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to brown and the tops of the cookies get a little color. Let cool slightly, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

via Maggie Shi


Sugar-Dipped Rhubarb Lemon Muffins

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced rhubarb
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Sugar Topping 
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or grease with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the rhubarb and toss to coat with the flour mixture (this will help prevent the rhubarb from sinking to the bottom of your muffins).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest.

Pour the sugar mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups, dividing evenly. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out dry. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin.

Place the melted butter and granulated sugar in separate small, shallow bowls. Dip the top of a muffin into the butter, then dip gently into the sugar, turning to coat lightly. Place the muffin onto a rack to cool completely and repeat with the remaining muffins.

via Maggie Shi


Southern Baked Mac & Cheese Casserole

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
6 Tbsp salted butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half & half
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian panko bread crumbs

Preheat over to 350°F.

Over high heat, boil water to cook the macaroni. Cook macaroni until it's firm and dnot overly cooked.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until there are no lumps. Pour in the half & half and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking until the sauce starts to thicken.

Reduce heat to medium low, and add 8 oz. of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and mix until it is well incorporated. Sprinkle in the seasoning salt and pepper and stir.

Place the cooked and drained macaroni in a large bowl and add the cheese sauce. Fold the noodles and sauce together until well-blended.

Butter or lightly oil a 9x13" baking dish. Combine the remaining cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add a layer of the macaroni and cheese at the bottom of the baking dish, then top with a heavy layer of the mixed cheeses. Repeat.

Melt two Tbsp of butter and combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the casserole.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Note: for best results, buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. Store-bought shredded cheese has added ingredients and it doesn't melt as well.

via iHeartRecipes


Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Colby cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
2 3/4 cups half & half
15 oz. can Campbell's cheddar cheese condensed soup
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked or plain

Combine half & half and the soup and mix until it's smooth. Sprinkle in the paprika and pepper and mix. Pour the macaroni, half of the shredded cheeses, the cut butter, and soup mixture into the slow cooker and stir until it is well incorporated. Top off with the remaining shredded cheeses. Cook on low for 3 hours.

Note: Buy the cheese in blocks and shred it yourself. Store-bought shredded cheese has added ingredients that don't melt a well.

via iHeartRecipes


Best Lemonade Ever

1 gallon water
1 Tbsp. citric acid (buy at a pharmacy)
1 Tbsp. lemon extract
3 cups sugar
1 quart ice
1 lemon (juice from)


Easter Cookies: Teaching Children the Resurrection

Easter Cookie Story
To be made the evening before Easter, or whenever you want to give this lesson. 
You can open the oven early, but overnight works best.

I cup whole pecans
1 tsp. white vinegar
3 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Place the pecans in a zipper baggie and let the children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces.Set them aside.
Jesus was arrested, and the Roman soldiers beat him.  
John 19:1-3

Let the children smell the vinegar, and then put 1 tsp. vinegar into a mixing bowl.
Jesus was forced to drink vinegar when he was thirsty on the cross.
John 19: 28-30

Eggs represent life. By giving His life, Jesus gave us eternal life.
John 10: 10-11
Add the egg whites to the vinegar.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it. Add the salt to the bowl.
The salt represents the salty tears that were shed by Jesus’s followers and the bitterness of our sin.
Luke 23: 27

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.
The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us!
Psalms 34:8; John 3: 16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
The color white represents the purit in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Christ.
Isaiah 1:18; John 3: 1-3

Fold in the broken pecans. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper (or silpat) on a cookie sheet.
Each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus's bod was placed.
Matthew 27: 57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of painters' tape and symbolically seal the oven door.
Jesus's tomb was sealed.
Matthew 27: 65-66

Go to bed.
The children may be sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight just as Jesus's followers were in in despair when the tomb was sealed.
John 16: 20 and 22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie, Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
On the first Easter, Jesus's followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Mark 16:1; Matthew 28: 2 and 5 
via leigh anne wilkes


"He is Risen" Rolls

2 cans crescent rolls
16 large marshmallows
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk, more as needed

• Preheat oven to 375°F
• Mix sugar and cinnamon together.
• Dip marshmallows in butter, roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
• Wrap a crescent triangle around each marshmallow, completely covering and squeezing edges of dough to seal.
• Dip in butter, place in greased muffin tin.
• Place muffin tin on foil or a large baking sheet to catch any filling that runs over.
• Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar and milk together to make glaze.
• Carefully remove puffs from muffin tins and drizzle with glaze.


Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies


1½ cups butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1¼ cups packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla 

2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (24 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (4 cups)

Heat oven to 350°F. Mix butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs in large bowl using spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Instructions Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool.

Tips and Tricks:
Butter can make things better in cookies. If you like crisp rather than soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, butter is the right choice. But, the butter needs to be really soft to mix it with a spoon.

Don't use tub butter or reduced-calorie butter substitutes; they don't work well in baked goods. Go for the real thing.

Avoid using rimmed jelly-roll pans they block the hot air from circulating around the cookies properly. Invest in a couple of heavy, flat baking sheets that won't buckle when they go into the hot oven. 

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Keeping the pans clean and guaranteeing nothing will stick. Reuse the paper again and again.

If you want to bak two pans at the same time, be sure to rearrange the oven racks before you turn the oven on. Then rotate your pans from the top rack to the bottom rack halfway 
through baking so the cookies brown evenly.

The trick to making thicker cookies is having the dough the right temperature. Too soft and they will be flat. You can refrigerate the dough until it's a little bit firmer. 

via Betty Crocker 

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