Posted in family/marriage, for the family

scrumptious gluten free/egg free pumpkin bars

Because my husband and I both have gluten and egg allergies, I’m always on the lookout for delicious recipes that we can enjoy. Our daughters love to help bake in the kitchen and I’ve used that love for baking to teach them measurements.

They also love being taste-testers, although I don’t think my youngest will ever try baking powder again! 🙂

Check out this scrumptious gluten free/egg free pumpkin bar recipe. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts or any time of the year. If your diet allows gluten and eggs, simply replace the gluten free/egg free items below with wheat flour and eggs.

Scrumptious Gluten Free/Egg Free Pumpkin Bars

You will need:

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. oil

egg replacer to replace two eggs (we use Ener G egg replacer)

1 c. pumpkin

1 c. gluten free flour (I use Gluten Free Pantry flour)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Please note that oven temperatures can vary. I usually have to instead preheat my oven to 340 degrees).

Mix all ingredients together except the pumpkin until lightly mixed. Add the pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Grease a pan with gluten free cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until fully baked (cooking time will vary).


4 c. gluten free powdered sugar

6 tbsp. of butter (if you are on a dairy- free diet, use dairy free substitute)

3-4 tbsp. of milk (if you are on a dairy-free diet, use an alternative milk. We use Rice Dream rice milk).

Mix thoroughly.

Allow the pumpkin bars to cool, then frost. Cut into small bars and enjoy!

Posted in 1, family/marriage

quick and easy delicious crock-pot chili (gluten free)

We’ve had extremely cold weather this year, so what better meal than a crock pot of chili? Here’s the quick and easy directions for a delicious dinner of crock-pot chili – one of our personal family favorites:

chiliThe night before: wash, then soak 2 1/2 cups of pinto beans according to directions on package. If you forget to soak them the night before, no problem. Simply wash the beans, then boil them until softened the day of the meal.

Brown a package of hamburger meat.

Combine the hamburger meat and the softened pinto beans in the crock pot. Add two cans of Hunt’s Dinner Starters seasoned Tomato Sauce for Chili.

Add two cans of water and stir.

Turn your crock-pot to low and let simmer throughout the day, stirring on occasion.

For side dishes: fresh spinach or tossed salad and homemade cornbread. 🙂


*Note: Since my husband is Celiac, this is a safe meal for him. At the time of this posting, my research concluded that Hunt’s Dinner Starters Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Chili was gluten free. If you have a food allergy, always double check the label and call the company (or find their website online) to determine if the product is gluten free.

We use The Cravings Place Grandma’s Unsweetened Cornbread Mix (gluten free, wheat free, nut free, dairy free) for the cornbread. We add honey to the mix (per package directions) to sweeten.



Quick and easy delicious gluten free crock-pot chili recipe (click to tweet)

Perfect dinner idea for a cold day! (click to tweet)

What’s for dinner? (click to tweet)


Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Day 5 of the Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration with Valerie Comer & Naty Matos

Welcome to Day 5 of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration!  I hope you’re enjoying all of the opportunities to win wonderful books! I will be drawing at random, a winner for each day on December 19 so be sure to leave comments on as many days as you’d like for a chance to win!

Today, I have a very special gift for everyone! One of my guests,  Author Valerie Comer is giving away a free download of the awesome cookbook Novel Morsels. This cookbook has fabulous recipes from over 60 of your favorite Christian authors, just in time for Christmas baking! Two of my recipes are included: McKenzie’s Delicious Christmas Cookies  and Kaydie’s Award-Winning Gingerbread Cookies – recipes taken straight from the lives of two of my main characters!

For a taste of Valerie’s cooking, along with recipes from other authors and their characters, download Novel Morsels free for a limited time by using the promo code valeriecomer at A HUGE thank you to Valerie for this gracious offer!

And that’s not all! Author Naty Matos is giving away to one lucky winner a copy of her well-written book Growth Lessons.  Here is the blurb:

Growth Lessons is an inspirational devotional with the blueprint for the everyday Christian Living. It’s a journey through the scriptures of how to face normal every day situations that we can take for granted and how to submit them to the will of God. This book is a must read for the new believer to understand the practical concepts of the Christian Lifestyle. It’s also a must read for the seasoned believer to affirm their faith through those details that seem unimportant but matters the most in the journey with God.

So, be sure to leave a comment today telling us your absolute favorite food for the Christmas season for a chance to win a copy of Naty’s book and don’t forget to visit Valerie’s website to download your free copy of Novel Morsels

And now, some Christmas memories from two more of my awesome author friends!

My Favorite Christmas Tradition by Valerie Comer

“How many days in a row do we need to eat turkey, anyway?” my sister and I asked each other about twenty years ago. With both sides of the family living in the area, we’d gotten turkeyed out. We birthed a new tradition.

We call it Christmas Eve, though since our families have grown up, it rarely lands on the 24th. It’s a high priority so it’s worth finding a day that works for everyone.

Our family loves food, so an hors d’oeuvres spread is perfect. A few recipes have stood the test of time, but there’s always room for something new.

We prep what we can in advance, but most is done that day, with five gals in the kitchen–thankfully my sister has a large one! The men help by running errands (can someone check if Safeway has fresh basil?) and playing with toddlers.

Around 4:00 everything is on the table and we pause to admire the spread, thanking God for His blessings: for family and food certainly, but also for the gift of salvation through Jesus’ birth. We take loaded plates into the adjoining living room and delight in the scrumptious tidbits we’ve created together.

Then we pass out Christmas carol books and everyone from babies to oldest chooses their favorite and which verses we should sing. We even sing one for each tot! We read the Christmas story then have a family prayer time. The kids get their presents next. The adults have chosen a charitable project to support.

The true gifts are time spent together enjoying delectable finger food, and honoring the birth of our Lord and Savior.

Valerie Comer’s fiction debuts in the novella collection Rainbow’s End (Barbour, May 2012). Her life on a Canadian farm provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in local foods advocacy.

Be sure to visit Valerie at her website at

Caribbean Christmas Memory by Naty Matos

When I think of Christmas, aside from the excitement that brings me to celebrate Jesus’s birthday, I can’t but think of Christmas decorations. I grew up in Puerto Rico, and usually right after Thanksgiving the neighbors would get together to plan the house decorations. It was not competitive, it was collaborative. We all got together to make sure that all the houses were lit up. They would hang arches from one side of the street to the other with lights.

Part of the fun of the season was to drive to nearby neighborhoods and see the decorations. My mother and godmother, both single moms would cram all of us in my godmother’s station wagon and we had our heads out the windows admiring the lights and decorations. For those driving through our street at night it was like a tunnel of magic and Christmas cheer. It was important to have a nativity set in front of the house, but always without the baby Jesus. My mother would not let us put him until Christmas Eve because he wasn’t born until then.

The week before Christmas we would block the ends of the street and have a party with all the neighbors. There was music, food, games and prizes. At night, my godmother would grab an empty 5-gallon pail of paint and a stick and use it as percussion. We would bring tambourines, maracas and anything else that would make noise to sing all sorts of Christmas songs. We were like a large family.

About Naty:

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at

Join Naty Matos and 9 of her author friends at Women’s Literary Cafe’s Christian Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!

An added note: In case you missed my most recent Movie Monday Reviews, check them out here: and here: