Sunday, January 29, 2017

Welcome to Jennifer Beckstrand's Amish Recipe Series

Welcome everyone. I am starting a new series on The After Work Cook blog and I think all of you are going to be excited also. Jennifer Beckstrand has agreed to share her Honey recipes from some of her Amish books. Here is a little about Jennifer:

Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in list of top ten inspirational books for 2014. Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, was released summer of 2016 and has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Honey Glazed Pretzels

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 ¼ teaspoons Saf instant yeast
1 cup warm water

½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
2 tablespoons each butter and honey melted together, or 3 tablespoons butter, melted.

Mix the water, honey and yeast in a large bowl or mixer. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add salt and 2 cups flour and mix until smooth. Add ¼ cup more flour at a time and knead until dough pulls away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn on to a work surface and continue to knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it is soft and smooth. The dough shouldn’t be sticky but shouldn’t be tough either. Spray a plastic bag with cooking spray and place the dough inside the bag and seal. Let rise 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500°F. (Yes! 500°) and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and let rest for about 5 minutes. Combine baking soda and very warm water and place in a shallow bowl and stir until dissolved. Roll the dough into long ropes, about 12” long and twist into the shape of a pretzel. Dip in water and baking soda. (You will have to stir the water/soda mixture each time to keep it from separating.) Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt or coarse salt. Let rise for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7 to 9 minutes or until they’re golden brown. While baking, melt the honey and butter together if desired.

Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush or drizzle with the honey butter or with butter. Best when eaten warm!
Makes 8 pretzels.

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer, wow I'm going to have to try these. As I'm watching calories I'm going to have to log the recipe into my Fitness Pal to check how many I need to count. LOL

Lily, Poppy, and Rose Christner, known as the Honeybee Sisters in their Amish community, are smart, inseparable, and all grown up. Orphaned when they were very young, the girls were raised by their eccentric Aunt Bitsy, who doesn’t behave like a proper Amish spinster. The Honeybee Sisters have blossomed into rare beauties, and the boys in the community have begun to take notice. But Aunt Bitsy is determined to scare off all comers with her brusque manner and her handy shotgun. None but the most worthy will make it past Bitsy’s defenses. It’s going to be a rowdy and romantic summer—harvesting honey from their many beehives and fighting off the boys right and left.
Buy Links for the Honeybee Sisters here...

You can find Jennifer at:
Web site

Jennifer will be sharing her honey recipes with us every last Monday of the month!

Thank you for agreeing to share your honey recipes with us through a series. I'm really excited you agreed to do this!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

15 Bean Soup

Hi All, today is 15 bean soup another healthy recipe. I had a ham for Christmas and I froze the bone with the left over ham on it.

15 Bean Soup
Ham from spiral ham bone - 4 cups shredded ham
1 bag 15 beans - soak 8 hours or over night
packet of seasonings.
1 onion chopped
2 clove Garlic chopped
1/2 tsp. Red Cayenne
5 peeled tomatoes chopped
2 jalapeno chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
10 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil.

Boil ham until falls off bone, then shred. Soak beans 8 hours or over night and then drain. Boil water, blanch tomatoes and peal. Add everything to crock pot and cook about 8 hours or until beans are tender. Serve with a white wine.

Makes about 16 servings in a 7 Quart Crock Pot.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 16.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 185
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1 g 1 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 109 mg 5 %
Potassium 496 mg 14 %
Total Carbohydrate 22 g 7 %
Dietary Fiber 10 g 39 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 8 g 17 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 12 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 12 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Healthy and low calorie Jambalya

It's that time of the year again when we all try to eat healthy. About seven years ago I lost 78 lbs and I kept it off for five years then life stressed me out and now I need to lose 30 lbs to get back to when I'd lost all my weight. Just a fair warning. I'll be sharing a lot of my low calorie dinners with you. And here is my first.

2 Sausage sliced
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
1/2 cup Green bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup onions
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
3 tomatoes chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Jalapeno
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 cup okra
2 cups rice

Add oil to fry pan and brown sausage slices then add vegetables and spices cook until onions are translucent slowly add broth and then simmer until thickened, and cook rice then mix together. Serve with a salad and rolls. Pairs well with a Riesling.

1 1/2 cup serving 338 calories for Jambalaya.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stephanie Queen is sharing Grandma's Gravy - aka marinara sauce

Welcome Stephanie, she will be sharing a family recipe. Even though I'm posting the actual recipe, watch the video. Very interesting!

USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen is a romantic at heart and a writer by nature. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win--as they fall in love. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and a troop of fun-loving friends who all enjoy her cooking.

Stephanie Queen’s Recipe for Grandma’s Gravy (aka marinara sauce)
2 28 oz cans Crushed Tomato
1 lg can Tomato Paste
3-4 cloves of Fresh Garlic
4 medium – large bunches of fresh large leaf basil
¼-1 whole Sweet Onion, chopped finely
Olive Oil
Approx. 1- 1 ½ lbs combined Pork, Sausage and beef (cuts/amounts as preferred, but include some with bone-in)

In large heavy dutch-oven pan, cover the bottom with a generous amount of olive oil and add the meat. Saute on medium heat until lightly brown, turning over 2-3 times.
Remove meat from pan and lower heat.
Add chopped onion, chopped garlic and basil. Tear basil before adding. Saute for a few minutes, adding more olive oil.
Add tomato paste, stir, saute for a couple of minutes.
Add meat back in. Mix in with tomato mixture. Add olive oil and stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Turn heat up to medium and add two cans of crushed tomatoes and one half can of water. Stir this mixture thoroughly.
Cover mixture and heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble.
Turn heat down and simmer for 2-7 hours, stirring occasionally.

Beachcomber Investigations (5 Book Series)
From Book 1: From USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
Beachcomber Investigations - Book One
A romantic detective series novel
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise is desperate to recruit Shana George away from Scotland Yard to partner with him in his new venture, Beachcomber Investigations. She has impressive skills and if he’s honest, he needs her to keep him grounded. But most of all, Dane wants to keep Shana on the island of Martha's Vineyard because he can't get past his insane longing for her.

Shana’s boss David Young forces her to decide on the spot when he assigns an important case to Beachcomber Investigations. She chooses to partner with Dane, going with her gut--or more accurately her heart--rather than her brains. They may be good partners in crime-fighting, but they are all wrong for each other in every other way possible. He's soulless and lost and likely has more wounds from his past than the bullet and knife scars scorching his body. But she's crazy. About him.

Their big assignment is to protect Dane's old special ops buddy, Acer. They need to find whoever paid a sniper to take a shot at Acer--before the sniper takes another shot and doesn't miss.

Dane and Shana need to be on top of their game to keep Acer alive, and not on top of each other. But each of them is secretly worried whether that’s possible--and worried about what will happen if it’s not.

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Thanks Stephanie, I cannot wait to try this recipe!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bison Meatloaf!

It's that time of year again when everyone, anyway, everyone I know starts counting calories. In 2008 I started watching portions and calories and by 2009 I'd lost 78 lbs I kept it off for about 5 years. I'm a stress eater and well here I am and I need to lose 30.2 lbs to get back to what I was. We're going on our grandson's graduation trip, a cruise. So that is my goal to lose it by then. From now on until then, unless I have guests in the kitchen, I will do my best to have the calorie and nutritional values.

Bison Meatloaf and Potatoes
20 oz. package of Ground Bison
1/4 cup Chopped onion
1 tsp. brown mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/2 Jalapeno chopped
1/4 tsp. Chili powder
1/4 cup Shredded White cheddar cheese

Pre heat 375 degrees. Makes 4 servings.
Mix everything in a bowl and make into a roll and place in oblong baking dish or small bread loaf pan. The bake for 45 minutes on Meatloaf: 293 calories per serving. Grams: 2 Carbs, 15 Fat, 27 Protein, 97 Cholesterol, 1 sugar. Potatoes: 1 cup of cooked cubed potatoes with 1/2 tbsp of Land o'lakes light butter w/canola oil, seasoned with salt and peppers. 135 calories Green salad 15 calories. Dressing - Bolthouse Yogurt dressing 2 tbsp. 35 calories. This dinner pairs well with a Sabastiani Cabernet Sauvignon.