Grandma Ricks’ Nut Brown Bread

IMG_5063Amish Cooking is down-home cooking. My friend Debbie Hiller gave me this old family recipe for a quick bread that is hearty and sweet and oh-so-delicious!

Leave a comment to let me know how you liked it!


2/3 cup molasses
2 tsp. baking soda
2-2/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups raisins (softened in hot water and drained)
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2-1/2 cups white (all-purpose) flour

Mix together molasses and baking soda. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients. Divide the dough into three bread loaf pans sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


Huckleberry Pie

IMG_5063If you live on Huckleberry Hill, you eat a lot of huckleberries. Here is a sweet, mild recipe for huckleberry pie from my friend Lori Peterson.


2 T cornstarch
2 T flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 quart bottled huckleberries

Separate huckleberries from juice. Mix cornstarch and flour with a little portion of the huckleberry juice. On medium heat, heat remaining juice from the huckleberries in a medium saucepan. Add sugar and salt then the cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add huckleberries. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Add top crust and cut slits to vent. Bake 375 for 40-50 minutes.

Fancy Three-Layer Jell-O Salad

Here is an authentic Amish recipe for a festive Jell-O salad that my Amish friend Priscilla gave me. May all the desserts you eat never make it to your hips. 😉

1st Layer:
3-1/2 cups water
2 3-oz. packages of lime Jell-O
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple crushed, drained

2nd layer:
1 pint whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
Juice from the drained can of pineapple.

3rd layer:
2 3-oz. packages of cherry or strawberry Jell-O
3-1/2 c. water

1st layer:
Boil water. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add pineapple. Pour into oblong cake pan or Jell-O mold and chill.

2nd layer: Soak gelatin in pineapple juice. Cook according to gelatin directions and cool completely. Whip cream, and beat in cream cheese. Stir juice and gelatin into cream mixture. Layer on top of chilled Jell-O layer. Chill.

3rd layer: Boil water. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Pour over chilled 2nd layer. Chill.

Serve. Yummy!

Festive Jell-O Salad
This is a wonderful salad for the holidays. It’s pretty, festive, and delicious!


1 3-oz. package of strawberry Jell-O
1 3-oz. package of orange Jell-O
1 3-oz. package of lime Jell-O
1 3-oz. package of lemon Jell-O
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter

  • Make crust by melting butter and mixing with graham cracker crumbs. Press all but 1/3 cup of crumb/butter mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Set aside.
  • Pour the strawberry, orange, and lime jello into three separate shallow pans.
  • Add 1-1/2 cups boiling water to each shallow pan (1-1/2 c. water for EACH pan) and stir to dissolve the Jell-O.
  • Once the Jell-O is dissolved, put the three pans in the fridge until the Jell-O is firmly set.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup pineapple juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture boils, remove from heat and dissolve the lemon Jell-O into it. After it dissolves, add 1/2 cup cold water to cool it. Let mixture set in the fridge until syrupy.
  • Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Stir the syrupy lemon Jell-O/pineapple mixture into the whipping cream.
  • Cut the set-up strawberry, orange, and lime jello into half-inch cubes. Use a spatula to slide Jell-O cubes from pans. Gently fold Jell-O cubes into whipped cream mixture.
  • Spread this Jell-O/whipped cream mixture evenly over the graham cracker crust and sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top.
  • Refrigerate at least an hour (or overnight).

Raisin Pie

In Huckleberry Hill, the first book in my Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill Series, Lia Shetler is an expert pie maker. Before fresh fruit is in season, Lia makes a raisin pie. I had to make one for myself to see if it was any good. My very nice son helped me. I absolutely loved it! It is incredibly sweet and surprisingly delicious. If you’re a person who loves raisins, you won’t find that surprising at all.

This is my favorite pie crust recipe. It makes enough for three crusts; you only need two for this pie so you can save the third for another use!

3 cups sifted flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1-1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 T. vinegar

Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. Beat the egg and mix the water and vinegar with the egg. Sprinkle small amounts at a time over the flour mixture, tossing lightly until all the particles are moistened. Mold into a ball and chill. Return to room temperature before rolling out. Line pie plate with bottom crust.


In a medium saucepan, combine:
2 cups water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. butter
1 T. lemon juice

Mix well. Stir in 2 cups raisins. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Pour raisin mixture into pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with second pastry. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.

8 thoughts on “Recipes

  1. I am currently reading Sweet As Honey….hilariously funny!! Love all of the characters including Farrah Fawcett. I have found beekeeping to be really interesting & love honey. I had a question on the one recipe for Honeybee Granola – how long does it keep in a plastic container? I want to make it to take as a snack on vacation & we don’t go for a month. Trying to do things ahead of time to be ready (never am!) & organized (never will be!).

    Love this series!!! This is the first book of yours I have read & will read the Huckleberry series too! I love Amish books. I do hope there is a book about Aunt Bitsy also….she is quite a character!!!!

    1. Beth, I don’t know exactly why I am only seeing this a year later! I hope your vacation was great. Since this recipe has honey in it, it will stay for a long time, but I have found that it starts to dry out and get a little stale after about two weeks. That doesn’t happen often, because it usually disappears within a few days at our house. 🙂

  2. Just finished the Honeybee series and loved it, actually couldn’t get enough of it. I want more please! Will there be a story about Aunt Bitsy? She was quite the character and would love to read more about her and of course more of the lives of the sisters too. Hoping for more!

    1. Patrica! Thank you so much. Aunt Bitsy’s love story is coming out next fall, and it is very funny. I am so excited for it. Here is a little sneak peek:

      BITSY KIEM gave up her life as an Englischer to see that her three nieces were raised devout Amish girls, and all she has to show for it are four ungrateful cats, several gray hairs, and ten gallons of leftover honey. Now that her beloved nieces are married and out of the house, she plans to kick up her heels a little and do something unexpected this Christmas, like get a real tattoo or start a beeswax candle business or actually learn how to shoot her shotgun. Unfortunately, Yost Weaver keeps coming around, interrupting her plans, and making himself very useful around the house. Will Bitsy be able to forgive the past and let Yost into her heart this Christmas, or will she get fed up and drive him off with her shotgun?

      Widower YOST WEAVER would never step one toe outside of the Ordnung, the set of rules that his Amish community lives by, and that’s how he lost Bitsy Kiem more than three decades ago—a choice that he can only recollect with gratitude. Even though she is in his district, he’s done his best to stay away from her. She’s unconventional, unrepentant, and she colors her hair unacceptable shades of pink. No matter how lonely he is, he’d never consider Bitsy for a wife. But with her determination, her devotion to Gotte, and her heart for the downtrodden, Bitsy worms her way into his reluctant heart, and he resolves to marry no one but her. Surely with his guidance she can be molded into a proper Amish fraa.

      Or maybe Yost Weaver has met his match.

  3. I just finished Sweet As Honey. I am hooked. I went online and ordered the other two stories. I was going to ask for a story for Aunt B and then read the information on Christmas Candle. Yeah. She deserves her own story. Of course, you have created a whole town to continue on with the other characters. The girls best friends deserve stories. Especially the one that let them know about the honey. I love it when the books I read reference previous characters instead of just dropping them . It is great to imagine what their life could proceed as. Keep up the great work on these stories!

    1. Judy!
      I am so glad you enjoyed “Sweet as Honey.” You will be glad to know that some of the characters from that book will be back in “The Chrysanthemum Brothers” in 2019. Those girls at the donut stand are going to be finding some love. 🙂

      More to come!

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