My husband can’t have dairy. Lame, I know. So, I made this with Tofutti Dairy Free Cream Cheese and non-dairy butter. It turned out really well. Of course, it will be fabulous with regular sour cream and butter also. Oh, how I miss those days! However you make it, enjoy it! You’ll find it hard not to go back and sneak bites. (unless you have amazing discipline which you should totally tell the rest of us how to get! LOL)
Easy Cream Cheese Pound Cake
8 oz Cream Cheese
3 sticks of butter (equal to 12 oz or 1 1/2 cups)
3 c sugar
3 c plain flour
1 dash salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Cream the cream cheese, butter and sugar.
Mix in flour and eggs, rotating one egg at a time and ending with flour.
Add salt and vanilla.
Pour into greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 125 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Cream Cheese Icing
1 box confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter
8 oz cream cheese
chopped nuts (optional)
All should be at room temperature. Blend well. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of milk. Drizzle over cake and add chopped nuts if you’d like.
Look, we all have to eat our veggies and what better way to eat them than hidden in a cake! LOL. My hubby mentioned that he loved carrot cake but can no longer have it due to his lactose allergy so I decided to hook him up. It’s bad enough that he breaks out so much from the stupid allergy, no need to miss out more than necessary! So, I found this recipe from some wonderful older ladies. As a Cherokee, elders are my first go to source for any information! I love that their recipes are so incredibly simple yet taste so great!
I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten on this cake, I generally don’t say anything about it being dairy free as it really doesn’t matter if you can have dairy. haha. Any way you slice it, carrot cake is my absolute favorite way to eat carrots! My coriander carrots come in second, but those are healthy. haha.
1 1/2 c cooking oil
2 c sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 c raw grated carrots (I took a shortcut and bought the carrots pre-shredded)
1 c chopped pecans
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
In large bowl, combine oil and sugar. Mix. Set aside.
In another container, mix dry ingredients (except carrots & pecans!)
Alternately mix dry ingredients and eggs into the sugar mixture.
Mix in carrots and nuts.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes until done.
I did two round cakes and served them separately. Obviously, you can do this and layer your cake or make 1 traditional sized cake or 24 cupcakes. If you do so, you’ll need to adjust the cook time: longer for traditional cake, shorter for cupcakes.
Rather than using traditional cream cheese icing, to ensure it is completely dairy free, I used store-bought vanilla icing. Duncan Hines creamy home-style vanilla worked best!
For those of you who must have dairy free, we made ours with dairy free ‘butter’ and they were great. I think they’d be fabulous with margarine, but we did ours dairy free. 😀 I’d love to hear any additions/changes you make! These are fabulous with coffee or hot chocolate!
Not only are rainbows beautiful, they were sent as a promise from God. These quick and simple little treats are perfect for Easter, March, or even Rainbow themed parties!
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
On a recent trip to Sam’s Club, a demonstrator was making these adorable treats and they were so perfect, they had to be shared! The entire month of March we see rainbows with a pot of gold at the end. During Springtime, they are prevalent throughout Easter and frequently seen across the clouds in the sky.
We spend a lot of time in a small coastal town called Beaufort, in eastern North Carolina, which is where the inspiration for IXEOS came from. In the summer, virtually everything we eat comes from the seafood market or farmers’ stands. One of our favorite things is fresh peach mango sorbet. Here’s the recipe:
PEACH MANGO SORBET
Approximately 5-6 fresh, ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
1 small ripe mango (regular or champagne), peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lime
½-1 cup simple syrup (recipe below)
3 tbsp vodka
Puree the peaches and mango with the lime juice and ½ cup of simple syrup.
Add the vodka (you won’t taste it, but it will keep ice crystals from forming in the sorbet). Taste and adjust sweetness with more simple syrup (will vary depending on sweetness of the peaches). Add ginger ale to make 5 cups.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.
Mix even quantities of water and sugar in a small saucepan (ie. 1 cup of each). Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar crystals are gone. Let cool before using in sorbet.
Keep leftover syrup in the fridge for up to 2 week.
You can use this basic recipe to make all kinds of fruit sorbets. Most ice cream makers take about 5 cups. When I make grapefruit sorbet, I juice about 4 cups of fresh juice, and add 1 cup of syrup (again, depends on the flavor of the grapefruit).
Fresh strawberry or strawberry mango sorbet is also delicious! The mango in these recipes enhances the other fruit without being a noticeable ingredient – I don’t even like mango on its own, but in sorbet it is excellent!
With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs.
As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?
The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.
Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.
Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.
Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.
The kitchen fire in the second chapter of my book, Ashes Ashes, is actually based on a real event in my life. I was seven months pregnant with my first child and my husband had been called in to work. It was late and I knew he’d probably be hungry when he got home so I decided to make scones for him¾one of his favorite snacks to eat with honey butter.
We were newlyweds, in a tiny apartment, and as I put the oil on to heat, I sat down on the couch that was about three feet away. Everything seemed to make me tired in those days, and I was just going to get off my feet for a second. In what seemed like less than a minute, I heard a popping sound and I looked over to see flames coming from the frying pan, large enough to touch the microwave that was over the stove.
I panicked and tried to remember what to do for a grease fire. First, I tried to put the lid on, but the flames were too high. I got out the flour, but then I thought that might just splash the oil all over. Things were getting really hot and the smoke was getting heavy, so I gave up and called 911.
As I was talking to the operator, I remembered that we had just bought a fire extinguisher and put it under the sink. When I went to use it, the 911 operator told me not to, because it would splash the oil and spread the fire. I opened the door so I could get my hamster and bird out of the apartment, and as I did so, two young men were riding by on their bicycles and saw the flames. They couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old and yet they still rushed in to help. One of them took the fire extinguisher from me and immediately used it on the pan and the fire was out in moments.
The fire department arrived a few minutes later, but I know the damage could have been much worse if that young man and his friend hadn’t helped me. They left before I could get either of their names and I’ve always wondered if they knew how grateful I was for their take charge attitude and bravery in helping a pregnant woman they didn’t know to put out a fire. I’ve never forgotten them, and now every time I read Ashes Ashes, I can remember their good deed again.
Because of this experience, I’ve never attempted to make scones again. Instead, I make my husband’s favorite dessert that doesn’t require heated oil or much cooking of any sort on my part. It’s called torte and this dessert is full of chocolate, cream cheese, and sweet goodness. If you’ve never made a torte, especially in the summertime, you have been missing out!
Here’s the Bellon family recipe:
Step 1–The Crust
1 cube margarine
1/3 chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup flour
Mix margarine and flour together, scrunching it with your hands until it is like cookie dough. Pat into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with nuts if desired and gently press in. Bake at 325 degrees for twenty minutes. Let thoroughly cool.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup cool whip
Mix powdered sugar together with cream cheese until well-blended. Fold in cool whip. Spread on cooled crust. (Put in little dabs and then connect the dots.)
2 small packages INSTANT chocolate pudding
2 small packages INSTANT butter pecan (or butterscotch or pistachio) pudding
6 cups milk
Mix two packages of chocolate pudding according to the package, only with 3 cups milk. Spread over cream cheese mixture in pan. Put in fridge for 5-10 minutes so chocolate pudding can set. DO NOT mix butter pecan ahead of time or it will be too thick to spread. Mix the two packages of butter pecan according to the package, only with 3 cups of milk and spread on top of the chocolate. Spread layer of cool whip on the top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or chocolate shavings. Chill 4 hours. Can use any flavor of pudding, really, it all tastes good. Ashes Ashes
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out—if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him—including the woman at the center of it all?
Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love’s Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All’s Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news—which is where she gets her story ideas.
She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent’s Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards—What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.
She is the mother of eight children and when she’s not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she’s found.
With summer’s arrival, it’s a great time to break out the stack of unread books for pool time or beach lounging. At least we always think that’s what will happen. Often, the summer ends and our reading list has barely budged.
A great way to ensure you get to some of those great reads is to create (either for yourself or your kids) a summertime book club. Rather than picturing you and your friends curled up next to a fire discussing your most recent reads of a hot cup of coffee, a summertime club begs for a summertime solution.
1) Pick books with a setting near you that you can visit with a group.
2) Pick books with action in the plot that you and your friends can try. Choose a book with sailing in it and then have your book club take a sailing lesson together.
3) Hold your meetings on the beach or by a pool.
4) Play games related to the book.
5) Base your meetings around food related to the book.
The last is my favorite (and the easiest to do.) I’ve included my wife Nicole’s super-secret recipe for Monster Cookies below that we serve at Jack Templar Monster Hunter events. They get more accolades than the books. If you try them, you’ll see why!
Enjoy and have a great summer.
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350
Bake for 13-15 minutes
Do not over bake…or the monsters with strike!
Enjoy with a copy of Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy.
Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2)
After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth
birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth
about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster
hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions.
Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying
My name is Kia Garriques and I am author of the book is called Innovera Yakov- The journey of a thousand eyes, a faraway planet in a faraway universe: under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. At the very edge of Innovera Yakov, there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer. We meet Ayana, the outsider, forever searching for herself and the truth of their world; Vinton, her protector. Gamma and Blu Tara are beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes explores the desire for acceptance, the need to belong, the importance of self-belief, the danger of secrets, the pain of betrayal and the power of love.
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love vanilla peanut milkshake with a passion. Yes, I know J it’s not healthy at all and it’s not something you should be having on a daily basis but I just can’t help myself!
Anyway, I thought it would make a change from my usual interview format, if I shared the recipe of my favourite milkshake with you and I really hope you like it J
Okay so let’s get down to making the perfect milk shake!!
First up, you will need the magic ingredients as follows:
6 to 12 scoops of vanilla ice cream 2 whole snickers chocolate (I love snickers!) 1 cup milk Whipped cream, shaved chocolate
Once you have all your ingredients, scoop the vanilla ice cream (use more scoops if you want a thicker shake) into a blender. Pour in one cup of milk and add two snickers chocolate bars (one if you don’t like it too nutty). Make sure the top of the blender is tightly in place and blend the mixture until smooth. Serve with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
There you have it; the perfect Vanilla peanut milkshake at your service! So that’s it from me for now. Be sure to check out my book Innovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand Eyes on Amazon: Click here for UK readers or here if you are from the USA or elsewhere. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand Eyes is the first installment in an action-packed fantasy drama where characters with powers of healing and destruction live, love, compete and disappear without a trace while they are being prepared for ‘The Journey’.
BISCOFF NUTELLA CHEESECAKE – I invented this recipe in 2012, and it’s dangerous!
By Author Jennings Wright
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 package Biscoff cookies, processed in a food processor to crumbs
1 stick of butter, melted
3 blocks lite cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c flour
2 lg egg yolks
1 whole lg egg
1/2 c 1% milk
13 oz Nutella
Mix the Biscoff and butter, and press into the bottom of a springform pan. You can
use the bottom of a glass to press it, and it can go up the sides some if needed. Bake
for 10 minutes.
In a mixer bowl (preferably one with a flat paddle) blend the cream cheese, sugar,
vanilla and flour until just combined. Add the egg and blend until just combined. Add
the milk and Nutella and beat on medium until completely combined. This can take a
good long while!
Pour into the springform pan. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, put the cheesecake
on a jellyroll pan, and bake 1 1/2 hours or until the center doesn’t jiggle when you
shake the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
I love to bake, and I even built a baking station into our kitchen, but I don’t get to
bake too much these days. That’s because my family is on a “six months to sexy-
pants” diet in advance of my daughter’s wedding in June. My daughter’s fiancé calls
this diet “six months to six pack” and my husband and son think this is a better
name that “sexy-pants.” Go figure.
Anyway, as a homeschool mom and a business owner who has mostly worked
from home, cooking for my family has been one of my great pleasures. Living with
a teenage son requires a lot more cooking than his sister did, but it’s always great
when people appreciate your food (especially in quantity!).
I’ve actually scheduled my writing day so that I am done at 5:30 and can cook every
night. Okay, we call for Chinese or get sushi takeout sometimes… But mostly I cook.
After all, my last child is about to graduate from high school, and my daughter is
graduating from university and getting married. Pretty soon I’ll just be cooking for
two. I need to make the most of this time.
It’s a strange feeling knowing that they’re all grown up. When I wrote IXEOS, using
main characters about my own kids ages, I explored that transition from teens on
summer break with no other plans than to skate through the summer to teens who
are in a life and death struggle to free their enslaved fellow humans on another
planet. I see that same striving to grow up and have purpose, to do things that
matter, in my own kids, and I firmly believe that they’re not too young to do that.
Still, on those graduation days, and especially on that wedding day, I suspect I’ll
be in a little bit of a memory-clouded daze. How did that tiny girl with all that
curly hair end up a beautiful bride in the blink of an eye? How did that towheaded,
mischievous boy with giant feet become a towering man with a deep voice and an
incredible gift for languages in what seemed like a flash?
My homeschool is closing soon… We’ll celebrate, probably with this cheesecake,
which is a family favorite. But after thirteen years as a homeschooling mama, it’s
going to be very bittersweet. Of course, I’ll be in a cheesecake induced coma, so I
guess I won’t notice it too much!