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Andrea Byers
Christian, Christian Fiction, Animals
Christian, Christian Fiction, Animals


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Be sure to check out this blog post and get your copy of The BookFun Magazine! Carrie's upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring is featured.
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Good points in this article. :)
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Good blog post. What is your preference?
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This might be the perfect cold night dinner!! Super tender beef tips and make it even better there is no cream of anything soups in this recipe! The hubby had 2 helpings & then asked when I was going to make it again!!
Beef Tips & Gravy

Serves 8

Tender beef tips with a rich gravy...serve with mashed potatoes or rice for an amazing meal

Prep Time - 10 min 

Cook Time - 4 hr 

Total Time - 4 hr 

2 lbs Lean Beef Stew Meat
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef stock
1 packet dry onion soup mix
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
4 tbsp. butter, melted
4 tbsp. flour

1.Preheat oven to 300
2.Trim stew meat as needed and season with pepper and salt
3.In a large, oven-safe pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat
4.Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant
5.Add in seasoned beef and brown on all sides, about 7-8 minutes
6.In a medium bowl combine beef stock, onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce
7.Pour beef stock mix over browned beef and stir to combine
8.Cover pot and place in oven and cook for 2-3 hours, or until meat is tender and almost falling apart
9.Remove pot from oven and using a slotted spoon remove beef and place on a plate, set aside
10.Add water to remaining juice in the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat
11.In a small bowl combine butter and flour until smooth
12.Whisk butter into sauce and bring to a low boil, allowing sauce to thicken
13.Once gravy is thick add beef back in and stir to coat
14.Serve immediately or keep warm on low heat until ready
15.I served it with mashed potatoes but rice or noodles would be delicious as well

Each serving is 6 WW+ points
Nutritional Info
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 96 Total Fat 10.6g Saturated Fat 5.8g Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 86mg Sodium 1010mg Potassium 88mg Total Carbohydrates 9.3g Dietary Fiber 0.7g Sugars 0.5g Protein 25.0g
Vitamin A 4% - Vitamin C 1% - Calcium 2% - Iron 13%
Nutrition Grade D+

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Thanksgiving isn't complete without stuffing.  This version mixes cubes of sourdough with fresh sage, apples, and sweet Italian sausage.  Instead of buying the stuffing bread mix, you can cut up a loaf of sourdough and leave out over night to dry out.  If you have guests with dietary restrictions, check out this recipe for vegan wheat berry and butternut squash stuffing.

Sourdough Stuffing with Sage, Sausage and Apples

1 lb of sausage
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup portabello mushrooms, diced
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
3 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
1 loaf whole wheat sourdough bread, stale and diced into 1 inch cubes
3 Cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until no longer pink; about 10 minutes. Drain fat and set aside.
In the same skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add shallots, garlic, celery, apple and mushrooms and sauté until tender. Sprinkle with thyme and sage.
Pour white wine over vegetables and de-glaze the pan. Sauté for another 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
In a large bowl, combine sausage, vegetable mixture, 2 tablespoons of butter, and bread. Pour chicken broth over stuffing, stirring well to evenly coat the bread pieces. You want the bread to be moist but not soggy.
Place stuffing in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes and remove foil.
Dot the top with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until the top has browned.
Serve immediately
Image Sources: ris ~ The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit
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Enjoy all the best of apple pie in a bite-size bar
Caramel Apple Bars

Serves 24

A delicious bar that brings the best of an apple pie to a bite-size bar

Prep Time - 20 min 

Cook Time - 45 min 

Total Time - 2 hr 

Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour

Apple Filling
1/2 cup caramel sauce (for an easy homemade recipe: - divided
2 apples, peeled and cubed into small pieces
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed into small pieces
1/2 cup caramel sauce (for an easy homemade recipe:

1.Preheat oven to 300
2.Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure there is a little overhang on the sides

To make the crust
1.In a medium bowl combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt
2.Slowly add in flour, stirring until well combined
3.Press crust into pan, making it as even as possible
4.Bake for 15 minutes - while baking make the filling and topping

To make the filling
1.In a medium bowl combine cubed apples, flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, until the apples are well coated
2.Set aside

To make the topping
1.In a medium bowl combine oats, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and flour
2.Add in cold butter and using your fingers combine the mixture until it comes together as coarse crumbs

To finish
1.Raise oven temperature to 350
2.Remove crust from the oven and top with 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce, drizzling it over the crust as evenly as possible
3.Spread apples over caramel sauce
4.Top apples with crumb topping, making sure to evenly distribute the topping
5.Return pan to oven and continue baking for 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown
6.Remove from oven and let cool for 20-25 minutes
7.Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to let bars completely set-up
8.When ready to serve drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of caramel sauce over bars
9.Serve room temperature or cold

Each bar is 4 WW+ points
Nutritional Info
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 55 Total Fat 6.1g Saturated Fat 3.7g Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 15mg Sodium 89mg Potassium 51mg Total Carbohydrates 19.2g Dietary Fiber 1.0g Sugars 6.5g Protein 1.3g
Vitamin A 4% - Vitamin C 2% - Calcium 1% - Iron 3%
Nutrition Grade D

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Oh how I love a good cookie! Don't these look "melt in your mouth" delicious?!!
SOFT SUGAR COOKIES ~ You can decorate them however you like!
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (makes the flavor outstanding)
2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl using a mixer, beat the butter until creamed and smooth - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Blend well.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. My cookies took 9 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. I always let mine cool overnight, just to be sure.
Make the icing and decorate the cooled cookies however you'd like. Once the icing has set, these cookies are great for gifts, sending, or munching on right away. I find they stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.
Original recipe makes 1 dozen cookies' worth
1 cup confectioners' sugar 
2 teaspoons milk 
2 teaspoons light corn syrup 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
assorted food coloring
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, and add food coloring to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.
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Crustless Sweet Potato Pie
I've been reading so much about the good nutrients in sweet potatoes...
They have a few more calories than pumpkin but if you leave off the crust, I'm sure it evens out the points... 
(You can use all carnation milk if you prefer)
2 eggs
1/2 c brown sugar or less (I used organic coconut sugar-sweet potato has its own sweetness so try 1/4 c sugar and add more if needed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to your own taste)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger 
3/4 C carnation milk
3/4 C coconut milk
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 C chopped pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. Beat the eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a bowl until blended.
Add carnation milk, coconut milk and mashed sweet potato and beat until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a glass pie plate that is lightly greased. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until set, 30-40 minutes more. Cool for at least one hour before slicing and serving. 
Serve with whipped cream (try sweetening the whipping cream with stevia powder)
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