Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!!

May your day be filled with the peace, hope and love of a gentle prayer of thanksgiving.

God bless you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Blueberry Pie for Thanksgiving

Today's post is a repeat due to an unfortunate encounter between my fingers and the oven rack when the potholder slipped.


However, I chose this recipe to repeat for two reasons:
1) It's an unusual twist on tradition, but incldes New England staples or cornmeal and blueberries, so they could have had it at the first Thanksgiving. I'm also thinking it would be great as a cranberry blueberry pie!
2) My daughter is bringing pie and I'm hoping it's this one again!

So without further ado, and because typing one-handed is excruciatingly slow...

Blueberry Pie with a Cornmeal Crust

When my children were young, my eldest would eat anything blueberry. We have a wonderful picture of her sitting in a highchair with blueberry yogurt pouring down her head, her face, and completely covering her.

So it's little surprise that her grown-up contribution to Thanksgiving each year is a blueberry pie.

This year she got creative. She'd seen this recipe in the NY Times for Blueberry pie with a crust made out of cornmeal.

Blueberry Pie with Cornmeal Crust

I'll admit, I was doubtful.

I'll also admit I was wrong.

It was AMAZING!!!

(Who cares that they probably didn't eat blueberry pie at the first Thanksgiving. They probably didn't eat pumpkin pie either!)

I shouldn't have been doubtful because I loved the blueberry cornbread muffins I used to make her when she was a child.

This pie was even better.

The sugar on top gave such a nice crunch and the cornmeal crust was perfection!

I took a picture of her pie. Good thing because there wasn't much of anything left.

My other daughter and I made an apple tart that was also really good but it definitely got overshadowed by the blueberry.

What are some of your unusual recipe combinations?


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

So Much to be Grateful for

Thanksgiving is almost here. I can hardly wait to taste all that yummy food. Then it's on to Christmas and all the fun and festivities of the holiday season.
So today, I thought I'd pause for a moment and think about all that I am thankful for. Actually, I was driving home from the grocery store with all of my Thanksgiving fixins when the song Count Your Blessings popped into my head. 
"Count your many blessings, name them one by one." them one by one?
So I did.
There in the car, I named off each and every thing I was thankful for .

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family.
My ever-growing family.
And there's a reason why I appreciate them so, aside from your typical reasons.
You see, I'm an only child. Growing up, I watched all of my friends with their siblings and longed to have a big family.
Now, I have just that. And whenever we're all together I'm still floored that God could entrust one lonely little girl with so many incredible people.
And don't even get me started on the grandkids, because there just aren't enough tissues to go around.

While we're on the topic of family, I'm also thankful for my dogs.
Because they are my babies, too. 

I'm thankful for God's provision. Food, a safe place to lay my head at night and countless other things we often take for granted.

I'm thankful for the simple things in life. Those things that remind us God still reigns and longs to delight His children with His majesty.
Things like gorgeous sunsets.
Picture perfect settings.
I'm thankful for the lovely ladies here at the Yankee-Belle Café and friends who love me just the way I am.
Who encourage me. 
And aren't afraid to call me out when I need it. 
And, of course, I'm thankful for books and for the calling that God has laid upon me to write for Him.
It's a humbling responsibility, indeed.
And today just happens to be the official release date The Deputy's Holiday Family. 

Okay, now it's your turn to count your blessing.
What are you thankful for?
Don't forget to name them one by one. 


Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Are You Ready for Thanksgiving?

Jan here, with a post I can't believe I'm writing.

Here's what I expected to write: "I'm hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and it's going to be so much fun!"


I'm hosting Thanksgiving...but it's going to be a bit different this year.

Why? Because my oven is broken.

What does that mean?
It means I get to be creative!!!

I'm one of those people who loves to do a big, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Everyone brings something to add to the meal, and I roast the turkey. And it IS a lot of fun.

So how am I going to do this without my oven?

Well, the first thing I had to do was back off from some of the items I always make.

Dinner rolls? Daughter Carrie is making them this year.

Vegetable casseroles? Daughter-in-law Katie is making one, and another guest is bringing his famous green bean casserole.

Salad? Another friend is supplying this part of the meal. (Thanks, Janet!)

Pies? A friend is bringing her favorite apple pie with real whipped cream (YUM!) and Carrie is making pumpkin cheese cake.
And what about the pumpkin pie??? My dear husband is bringing one from work...but remember, this won't be just any pumpkin pie. My husband has a very talented chef working for him, and he has been preparing the pumpkin filling for weeks. Hospital employees (or whoever) can buy one of his pies, and last year the sale was very successful. I've heard they're delicious, so now I get to find out!

But what about the turkey? The star of the day?

This is where the creativity comes in.

I'll roast the turkey in my big roaster on Wednesday. I've done that the last few years, ever since I bought the roaster on sale one time, thinking it would free up oven space. :) And the ham is already cooked - it only needs to be heated up. So on Thursday morning, I'll put two pans in the roaster - one with sliced turkey and one with sliced ham - and by dinner time they'll be hot and ready to eat.

Mashed potatoes? I'll use my "Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes" recipe. This recipe is delicious, and cooks in the crock pot, so no need to try to keep the potatoes hot in the oven.

Dressing? I've been using my crock pot for dressing for years, and you can do it, too. Use your favorite recipe and cook it on low, stirring once in awhile. If it starts getting dry, just moisten it with some turkey broth.

Gravy? Oooo....I don't know if I should let you in on my secret... I'll whisper it... I make turkey gravy, but also add commercial gravy from a jar. Let me tell you, this is a life- and time-saver. I make a batch of gravy (I use turkey drippings and chicken broth, thickened with flour), then add a jar or two of turkey gravy. We rarely run out of gravy, and I haven't spent hours making a huge batch of the delicious stuff. :)

So I think we'll be all right, even though the oven is on the fritz.

And by the next week, the new part should arrive and we'll be back to baking just in time for Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, we went hiking up in the Hills on Sunday afternoon with our daughter and son-in-law.

It's getting close to winter, especially at these higher elevations. Carrie found a perfect Christmas tree, but Josh wasn't convinced. It's still a couple weeks until the Great Christmas Tree Hunt of 2017, though.

Carrie and Josh, the Great Christmas Tree Hunt 2016
And while we were in the Hills, we saw snow! Not very much, but it was there. It's time to cozy up by the fire!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? I hope you have a blessed time planned with family and friends!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Closed for the Weekend

Busily getting ready for deadlines and holidays.... 

We'll see you Monday with Jan Drexler's amazing insights from the great Midwest! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Shiny New Kitchen Gadget!

Missy Tippens

Today's post is short and sweet. I wanted to share a WONDERFUL new kitchen gadget! You're going to laugh, because it's so simple. :)

It's nothing like the new KitchenAid that I shared about previously.

No, this one is something I use more often. But first, take a look at my old version.

Yep. The good old carrot peeler. This is similar to the old guy I bought about the time I got married. I replaced it many years ago and have been using this "new" one ever since. :) But it had started feeling a little dull when I was peeling carrots or potatoes. In fact, I had given up using a peeler for potatoes. I used a paring knife instead.

Then one day, I happened to be reading an online magazine, and they had an article about the best kitchen gadgets. So of course, I jumped right in to find out the newest and coolest things I might need to buy. (I'm crazy about kitchen items almost as much as office supplies!)

And I came across the editors' favorite peeler...

They raved about it, so of course I ordered one.

I LOVE it!! It's made by Kuhn Rikon. It's the Piranha Swivel Peeler. If you need a new one, maybe give it a try. I can peel things swift as lightning nowadays! LOL (Yes, I'm easily entertained.) :)


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Embracing the Changing Seasons of Life...

 The first big freeze came by the day after I posted about the leaves last week, and how they were still pretty green on some trees... See how they're still on the trees??? But Logan is holding a plate of ice from a puddle (after massive 9 inches of rain previous week) and the inch was 1/2" thick... just from overnight. Temps dropped into the upper teens and it was C-O-L-D.

So that resulted in freezing all those leaves and now they're all hanging brown and sad from the trees.

Oh mylanta, it's a strange, strange turn of events here, but the ice harvest was fun!

This is a crossed pumpkin. It's from our specialty pumpkin patch, and it's got properties of the blue Jarrahdale (Australian blue squash) and the pink "Porcelain Doll" (a pink pumpkin that is so stinkin' pretty!!!

You can see the pink peaking through the blue. It's shaped like the Jarrahdale but the pink is a giveaway! And it had a shiny surface, a gift from the pink side of the family...

I harvested the seeds to see if I can reproduce a similar pumpkin next year. If it's a hybrid, I may get lucky. If it's a mistake crossed genetics... I still might get lucky! But the fun part is testing the pumpkin inside, and you know that Jarrahdale's are my favorite cooking/baking pumpkin so far.

Okay back to pinky/blue-sy pumpkin fellow.


This is why most places sell these by the pound. At .65/lb, this pumpkin is going to cost someone over $12.00.

We sell them for $5.

Hence our growing popularity!

With seeds.... Like filled with GOLD..... :)

And with seeds removed! Look at that gorgeous orange color and almost NO THREADS!!!!

Ready to bake....

I loosely covered with foil to roast/steam.... and then mashed and pureed the cooked squash.

I ended up with six pounds of pureed cooked squash once drained/sizzled the water away so my pies won't be watery.

It's not a big surprise why these blue pumpkins have won my heart, is it???

Another glimpse of ice sheets:

And a bright sun!

And yesterday it was almost 50° and sunny for half the day so I painted the chicken coop...



Hey, a house filled with little red hens should be designed for girls, right???

I'll trim it in yellow and white in the spring, but I'm so glad I got a coat of paint on it before winter really hit full-steam. 

Today I'm baking for the annual Sisters of St. Joseph Christmas sale this Saturday. The sisters were a huge help to me when I was growing up. They believed in me when there wasn't a nice mom and dad around to think I was special...

But the sisters thought so. And so did some of my lay teachers over the years, so every time I write a book I think about what that belief and confidence meant to me, growing up... and I try to pass that beauty on to my readers. Because it mattered then and it matters now.

So I'm back to baking... the chocolate chip cookies are done... 24 jars of our special Very Berry Cherry Jam are ready to sell... 

Mandy did pumpkin rolls.... Ten of them!

Fourteen carrot cakes will march onto the table later today...

And 30 packs of our special Double Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies and our crazy popular Peanut Butter Cup Whoopie Pies will join their autumn-spice friends at the sale...

All proceeds go to the Motherhouse for the care of the aging sisters.

And I'll have the fun of shopping at the sale on Saturday morning and seeing if Sister Cathy's Molasses cookies are available. Because everybody has a favorite at the Sisters' Christmas sale.

Inspirational, multi-published author Ruthy Logan Herne loves God, her country, her faith and her family. She also loves the change of seasons, seasons of re-birth and chocolate. She is unafraid to defend all of those things. :) Be her friend on facebook, follow her on Amazon and Goodreads and Bookbub because those things make her editors very, very happy!!!