Thursday, August 31, 2017

Egg Roll Stir Fry

Pam Hillman sent me this recipe last week, and I love egg rolls... but I don't love being married to carbs...

So how fun to have a recipe for a filling that has low carbs and tons of flavor... and is an easy fifteen-minute fix!


Okay, okay, I know this isn't REAL Chinese food, like that you'd find in Beijing.

But it passed the Farmer Dave seal of approval, and Lacey and I both loved it...

So here you go:

2 lbs. Breakfast sausage
2 bags fresh cole slaw mix
2 teaspoons garlic or 1 clove, minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce

Brown sausage. Drain. Add in garlic, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce....

 Toss in cole slaw mix.

Cook until cole slaw begins to go limp (I like mine a little crunchy)...


Absolutely delicious!

I tried mine with peanuts and decided it was better without peanuts.  We all enjoyed this, it was a crowd pleaser!

And fast, and when I'm working on deadlines and perusing edits, there's not a lot of time for fancy, but that's okay.

Here... on the farm... we're simple folks!

Check our Ruthy at her website or friend her on facebook where she loves to play and pray with folks. Author of over 40 novels and novellas, Ruthy loves to connect with readers!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summer's Last Salad - Avocado and Salmon

I really thought I had posted this recipe before, but I couldn't find it. Please forgive me if it's a repeat. I've spent the past few weeks in and out of the hospital with my husband, so my brain isn't firing on all cylinders at the moment.

Earlier in the summer, I saw a recipe for a crab salad served in an avocado half. The recipe is on Better Nutrition's website if you're interested.

I didn't have any crab, but that gave me an idea. I had an avocado and I had a salmon fillet.

So simple and really tasty.

First I poached the salmon.

Then I smashed the avocado.

Then I mixed them together.

I placed the mixture on a bed of lettuce and added some orange sections for flavor and garnish!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preparing for Harvey

Mindy here, and by the time you read this we will likely still be dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. You see, even though our ranch is located 100 miles from the coast, this storm is expected to impact a huge portion of southeast Texas—including us—with tropical storm force winds and upwards of 20 inches of rain.

So what does one do to prepare for a hurricane?

Well, that depends. Since we live in a rural area, ranchers are scrambling to bring in their hay before the rains fall. Grocery stores are frantically trying to keep up with the demand for water and bread. Schools, which are already in session, are evaluating the forecast to determine when/if they need to call of classes.

Even the animals know when to get ready.

These deer are hunkered down.
See them tucked in the thicket?

And the hummingbirds can’t seem to get enough nectar.

We typically have half this many at one time, and though it’s getting close to migration, I suspect their instincts are telling them to get ready.
Then there’s us. Since we are rural, we have a well for water. That means we have a pump. If the electricity goes out, so does the pump and we have no water. So we’ve set out buckets to catch the rain water for things such as doing dishes (after boiling, of course) and flushing toilets. 
Batteries are always important for things like flashlights and portable radios.

Plenty of drinking water.
Ice to keep refrigerated items cold if we lose power.
We moved the grill to the front porch so we don’t have to trek out in the rain to cook whatever might potentially thaw after a day or two without power.

As well as a gas burner for things like heating water and cooking.

Now that we are ready, we wait under ominous skies. And pray.

UPDATE: Saturday morning. Who would have guessed that a tropical depression meandering around the Yucatan Peninsula a week ago not only reorganized, but was able to become a Category 4 hurricane? Harvey’s outer bands began to impact us yesterday afternoon. Overnight, we were inundated with wind and rain.

And we're nearly 150 miles from where the storm made landfall!
We awoke to a little over 6 inches of rain which, considering we haven’t had any measurable rain in over a month and were very dry, is good.

This was the pond in front of our camphouse Thursday.

See how low that water is. Almost dry under the bridge.

This is what it looks like this morning.

The concern is over what is yet to come the next several days. They’re saying we may not be free of this storm until Wednesday or Thursday.

Oh, but we still have power. Yay!

And the hummingbirds… I love watching these little creatures. Whenever there’s a lull in the rain, they come out to replenish.

Now it’s your turn. Have you ever been through a hurricane or other natural disaster? What did you do to prepare?

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, August 28, 2017

Janet's Twenty-four Hour Omelet

Jan here, talking about one of my favorite subjects: baby showers!

One thing that I love about our church is that we celebrate babies. Whether it's the first or the tenth, we celebrate that new life. :)

Whenever it's Janet's privilege to host the shower, she makes a fabulous brunch. And the star of the show is this egg bake.

This is the kind of recipe that we love here at the Cafe... Janet got it from a friend, who got it from a friend, who copied it out of one of those community cookbooks.

Along the way, the original recipe has been tweaked and adjusted as necessary (for instance, the original called for a loaf of Publix Egg Twist bread - not so easy to find when you live thousands of miles from the nearest Publix Super Market!).

So when you try this recipe for your next get-together, be sure to experiment with your own tweaks. Own the omelet!

Janet's Twenty-four Hour Omelet


1 loaf Egg Twist bread (aka Challah) or a similar sweet, rich bread (Janet uses 10 King's Hawaiian Rolls).

8 Tablespoons butter (one quarter pound stick)

6 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese

8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups milk

10 eggs

1/2 Tablespoon salt (or to your taste)

1/2 Tablespoon dry mustard

a dash of cayenne pepper

sliced scallions (aka green onions) or chives for garnish

Remove the crust from the bread. This is a key step, so don't skip it!

Tear the bread into chunks and lay them in the bottom of a greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Melt the butter and pour it over the bread.

Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and mix with the shredded cheeses. Layer this mixture over the bread.

Beat the eggs, milk, and spices together and pour this over the bread/cheeses.

Sprinkle the sliced scallions or chives over the top.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake, covered, at 325° for approximately 90 minutes, or until done. Remove the foil for the last ten minutes of cooking.


What is it about showers that we love so much? Whether it's a baby shower or a wedding shower, there's just something about celebrating the continuation of life, isn't there?

What is your favorite food for parties like this?

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tasty ham and chicken dish

Hi, everybody! Mary Jane here and I can't remember if I've shared this recipe before. Usually I would just hunt for the name of the dish, but I can't remember what I called it. Maybe ham and chicken? Maybe swiss, ham, and chicken? Maybe just "easy dinner"? Honestly, I have no idea, so I'm going to pretend I've never shared it before!
This dish has several steps, and I didn't think to start taking pictures until halfway through, so bear with me.

1)Pound a chicken breast flat. Get out all that pent up aggression. It's good for you! Unless you're a full-time writer, and therefore do NOT do anything that might hurt those wrists. Hand the mallet to a child. They love this part.

2)Lightly fry the chicken breast in a pan with a little butter. Brown both sides. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Slap Ya Mama seasoning, whatever you want. Now is the time.

3) Preheat oven to 350F

4)Dip the browned chicken (after cooling) into an egg wash and roll in crushed Ritz crackers.

5) Lay in a glass dish. Add shredded Swiss cheese, several slices of ham, and flip over, keeping the ham slices on the bottom.
 I had some leftover ham cubes so i threw those in.
 Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
 A sauteed some spinach because I felt the need for dark green leafy veggies, then remembered why I don't like cooked spinach. Blah. I'll take a vitamin.
The combination of the crackers, Swiss cheese, ham, and chicken just says "down home casserole" dish to me.

I hope you all had a good time watching the eclipse! It was amazing here in Oregon. I'm so glad we made an effort to see it, even thought some people thought it was silly and not very important. Sure, it was just an eclipse but it was still COOOOOL.

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to stop by my facebook pages at Mary Jane Hathaway or Virginia Carmichael for all my books news!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Risotto Revisited

I'm reposting this from 2016 because I want to make it again soon!
by Missy Tippens

This past Sunday after the Atlanta Falcons game (way to go Falcons!), my husband said he wanted to take me out to dinner--my choice of places. I decided to call Pappadeaux to find out if they had a wait. When I looked up the phone number, I saw this amazing looking dish on their home page. I immediately decided that was where we would go for dinner whether they had a wait or not!

The scallops and risotto ended up being very, very good. And because it's such a simple dish, I decided to make it so I could share it with y'all!

Here's the dish from the restaurant. Let's see if I can make mine look as good!

So I went looking at Food Network. I found almost the exact recipe for Sweet Pea and Scallop Risotto from Tyler Florence. (Click here for the recipe.) I based my recipe on his (making some slight variations like leaving out celery for my husband's taste).

Sweet Pea Risotto with Scallops

1 pound large scallops (I bought some really nice ones at Wilkes Meat Market with a gift certificate)
2 cups frozen green peas (thawed)
8 cups heated chicken stock
2 TBS Penzey's dried shallots (I didn't have any fresh on hand)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine (I only had sweet wine but used it anyway)
3 TBS butter (room temp)
5 TBS olive oil (divided)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
salt and pepper

Mix 1 cup peas (reserving the other 1 cup for later) and 1/3 cup chicken stock in blender. Set to the side.

Heat 3 TBS oil and add shallots. Allow them to soften for a couple of minutes.

Add the rice and stir until coated well. Add the wine and cook until most of it is evaporated. Add a ladle full of the hot stock. Stir gently until mostly absorbed.

This is the part where you're kind of tied to the stove, stirring! Keep adding stock a cup (ladle full) at a time and stirring until each is absorbed.

After about 15 minutes, the rice should be getting creamy and still have a little bite to it. Don't worry if you didn't use all the chicken stock. You may not need it all. (Actually, this step took more like 30 minutes for me.) One thing that Tyler's recipe included was the direction to stir with a wooden spoon. I was using my silicone coated spoon and realized that the reason for the wooden one is probably to help rough up the grains some to release the starch. Once I switched over, the rice started to look creamier.

Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 TBS butter and parmesan.  Then gently stir in the pea mixture plus the last cup of whole peas. Remove from the burner and cover to keep warm.

Now it's time to cook the scallops. You can click here because I've shared seared scallops here at the blog before. The main thing you want to do is rinse them so they're not gritty, and then dry them well so you can get a good caramelized sear. You'll be using 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil plus the last tablespoon or two of butter. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side (depending on the size of the scallops). You don't want rubber scallops! You can gently press them with your finger and tell if they're getting cooked through without getting too firm.

Serve the gorgeous scallops on top of the beautiful green risotto! A very spring-looking dish that I'm sharing in the fall. Go figure. :)

Okay, drumroll, please... Does my dish look as good as the original? :)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes

I am not a Southern Belle.

I think you all know that.

I think you realize that anyone who calls herself "The Yank" and loves on the New York Yankees and casseroles and pots of stew and bread pudding probably hails from above the Mason/Dixon line.

And did you know that the Mason/Dixon line is the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland? I remember thinking it must be way lower than that when I was young and fleet of foot.

But no, Maryland and Pennsylvania had a dispute (and dragged poor West Virginia and Delaware into it) and in the end, the Mason and Dixon line (named for the surveyors) became a boundary that burned its place in history.

Be that as it may, you do not have to be Southern to fry green tomatoes, and that's all I'm sayin' 'bout that.

There are as many recipes/ways of doing this as there are fish in the sea, so be inventive, but this one came out great:

Green tomato slices, about 1/4" thick

Mix together

Pancake flour mix (we used a buckwheat mix but any mix will do)
Seasoned Salt
Parmesan Cheese

Olive oil for frying.

Heat oil in large, flat-bottomed skilled until hot.

Season pancake flour with seasoned salt and Parmesan cheese.. and you can get inventive here, this just gave us a nice, not-too-spicy, not bland mix. I don't measure, I tossed about a cup of pancake mix into the bowl and then sprinkled the seasoning and the cheese over it, and mixed....

Dredge tomato slices in the mix. Fry over medium/high heat. Turn once when dark golden on bottom side. Finish frying. Drain on paper towels.

I love these.

Not everyone agrees.

I don't care because it makes me SO HAPPY to eat them!

And here on the farm we're gearing up for fall fun.... We've built displays for 750 chrysanthemums, 1000's of pumpkins, and a similar amount of corn stalks, gourds, Indian corn (ornamental corn if you prefer that term) and broom corn....

Veggies are in full swing!

And everyone is crazy busy.

COMING ATTRACTIONS!!!! Won't these gorgeous pumpkins make great harvest displays?

But now and again I sneak off and write sweet stories of other folks and their lives.

Stories where I can FIX EVERYTHING because I'm the author.

In real life, it's not that easy.

In real life, there is one author.


And He guides and leads and sometimes laughs, I'm sure.

But it's all good because we're seizing each day with gusto.

(Even when I'm hiding away!)

So how about you? Are you a green tomato lover?

And if not... well, that's okay. Because I don't like okra or grits one bit, so we can talk about other things.

Like cute kids.




And of course, you.... Friends!

Ruthy Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, chocolate, kids, dogs, almost any baby animal with a few notable exceptions and she loves writing great stories with unforgettable characters. You can find her at or or over at Petticoats and

Friend her on facebook or follow her on twitter @ruthloganherne

She loves getting to know new people!