Thanks for stopping by Recipes From The Heart Of Your Home. Don't forget to check out the Christian resources we have linked to on the left of the page. I am a Christian wife and mother, doing my best to take care of my family and be a good steward of the wonderful blessings God has given us. I enjoy cooking for my family and doing it unto God for His glory. I love to cook from scratch when it's affordable and not too time-consuming and I especially love to bake. Lots of family and friends ask for my recipes so I've decided to put them on a blog so they can get them or anyone else who wants them. I think you can make good quality, good tasting food at a fraction of the ready-made price and it doesn't have to break your budget. Please let me know how these recipes turn out. They're our family's favorites. I'll be updating this blog as often as I can. Enjoy and God bless!


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Friday, October 24, 2008

Pizza Dough - Homemade Pizzas

This is a large pepperoni pizza with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Yumm!

This dough is so yummy and easy to make. It yields 3 large pizza crusts and is way cheaper than going to your local pizza place and in my opinion, better. Although, I still don't think it beats Pizza Hut which is my all-time favorite. If I used all white flour instead of the white/wheat mix, I think it just might be close! I cooked up 3 pizzas just last night and put all the leftovers in the freezer for a quick dinner later on. This makes a crust that is crunchy on the outside and has a soft texture on the inside. This dough was really easy to work with too, unlike all the other store-bought pizza doughs I've gotten that are very hard to roll out. This was pretty easy.

Pizza Dough

"Bread Machine"

Makes 3 large pizza crusts


2 1/2 cups warm water (110 deg. F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 tsp. wheat gluten
2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast


1 ) Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press start.

2) Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and form into rounds. Cover the rounds and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

3) Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into the desired shape.

Rolling the pizza dough to fit a large pizza pan will yield a 1/2 in. thick crust.

Transfer the dough to the pizza pan and press with your fingers to push it out to the edges of the pan.

Cover it with your favorite toppings and bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for about 20 minutes or until the crust and cheese are golden brown. (It took about 16 minutes for a large round pizza and 18 minutes for a pan pizza made in a lasagna pan.)

Tips: I lightly sprinkled my pizza pans with cornmeal so they didn't stick. I thought for sure that this dough would rise and run down the sides of my bread machine pan, but it didn't and I have a 2 lb. pan. This makes a lot of dough. You could also make a bunch of personal pizzas and have a pizza party!

This is a pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, and onion pan pizza. I cooked my veggies in a skillet with italian dressing and spices until soft and browned.

This is a pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, and onion large round pizza.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Basic Pie Dough - Butter Pie Crust

This was my first ever attempt at making a homemade butter pie crust. It was so easy because it used the food processor and it took no effort at all and it turned out great. Now, I'm not going to get those expensive store-bought crusts anymore. This tastes way better and it really holds up well to a wet fruit filling.

Basic Pie Dough

Makes enough dough for 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust pies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) COLD unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


1) In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

2) Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time). To help ensure a flaky crust, do not overprocess.

3) Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. (Disks can be frozen, tightly wrapped, up to 3 months. Thaw before using.) Makes 2 disks.

Adding the correct amount of water to pie dough can be tricky, but here's a fail-safe method: Squeeze a small handful of dough - if it holds together, it's just right. (I added too much water the first time I made it and it still turned out great, but I'm sure it would've been even better if I had added the water more slowly.)

When ready to use pie dough:

On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll one disk of dough to a 14-inch round. Wrap dough around rolling pin; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and sides of plate (do not stretch dough). Using kitchen shears, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang all around. To make a decorative edge, crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle. Refrigerate until ready to use. Reserve and refrigerate remaining disk of dough for top crust or another single crust pie.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites. It's by Paula Deen, so you know it has to be good! This has a strawberry and pineapple jello salad on top of a cream cheese and cool whip layer with a pretzel crust. It tastes spectacular. This makes a lot and would be great for Christmastime. I think I'll have to make it again this Christmas!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2) For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

3) In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.

4) In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Serves 8 to 10

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Parmesan Herb Focaccia

This was my first time making a focaccia and it turned out great. They are so expensive to buy at the stores and you can easily make it at home. This bread tastes a lot like ones I've had at italian restaraunts with dinner and served with olive oil and bread dip seasonings.

Parmesan Herb Focaccia

"Bread Machine Version"

Makes 2 Focaccias

1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 teaspoons dried oregano (I used italian seasoning)
4 tsp. wheat gluten
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used dried, but I think fresh would taste better.)

1) Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting, and Start.

2) When the dough cycle is finished, divide the dough into two balls. Transfer the dough into two oiled, 8 inch, round cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk. (For great results, preheat an oven to 125 deg. F. for one minute, then turn off. Allow dough to rise in oven.)

3) Remove plastic wrap and poke the dough all over with your finger, right to the bottom of the tin. Allow to rest for another five or ten minutes on counter. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.

4) Pour olive oil over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) in center of oven for approximately 20 minutes, until golden. Slice into wedges.

Try using this dough to make a pizza. Just top with sauce, cheese, and toppings and bake as usual. Try mixing up the cheese a little and use mozzarella or cheddar instead of the parmesan. You could also try mixing up the herbs or adding sundried tomatoes to make different flavors of the bread.

(I haven't personally tried these suggestions yet, but I plan on doing them next time. I'm sure it would turn out great though.)

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Irish Soda Bread

This bread is so delicious and moist. I used to work at a popular grocery chain and I think it has so much better flavor than theirs and is WAY cheaper and easy to make yourself. Now you don't have to wait for St. Patrick's Day to have this bread, make it any time for a special treat with dinner or even with breakfast.

Irish Soda Bread

3-1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking Powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) COLD butter (If your butter isn't cold, the dough is way too soft and is hard to shape and work with.)
1-1/3 cups buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk and water)
1/2 cup currants or raisins( I use raisins)
1 tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk, raisins or currants, and caraway seeds if using; mix just until moistened.

2) Place dough on floured surface; knead 10 times. Shape into round loaf, 2-1/2 inches thick. Place on greased baking sheet. Cut deep 1/2-inch "X" in top of dough. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. (I like to use the turbinado, large crystal sugar for the topping.)

My dough was a little soft, so the "X" wasn't as noticeable.

3) Bake 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into wedges to serve.

I like to serve this with butter and a sprinkling of more turbinado sugar. Yumm!

This is the picture from the original recipe. It's a little better than mine.

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French Baguettes

French Baguettes

"Bread Machine Version"

Makes 2 baguettes (Could try making one large loaf and adjust the cooking time accordingly)

1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
3 tsp. wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Egg Wash:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

1) Place ingredients into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.

2) When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. (I spray dough with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.) (Preheat an oven at 125 deg. F. for 1 minute, then turn off to create the warm environment. Put dough in oven-safe bowl in oven to rise.) Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

3) Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle.

Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles.

Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. (Can preheat oven as stated before and rise in oven.)

(I forgot to put the slashes in the bread when I took the picture, but I went back and did it afterwards.)

4) Take bread out of oven if you let it rise in there. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix egg white with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves. (You can top it with kosher salt or seasonings if desired. I used kosher salt in the picture at the top.)

5) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

I've read many places, that in order to get a crisp crust, you must put a metal bowl of water at the bottom of your oven while cooking. Somehow this steams the bread and makes it have a crispy crust. I'll be trying that next time to see if it works. The crust in this recipe turned out soft.

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Creamy Tuna Casserole

This tuna casserole isn't your usual run-of-the-mill kind with cream of mushroom soup that really lacks in flavor. This is a really creamy and flavorful casserole that is great to double and stock up in the freezer. The addition of tomatoes adds a great flavor that is unexpected and the mayonnaise keeps it really moist.

Creamy Tuna casserole

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
(the spices below are my addition to the recipe, but I think it adds a lot of flavor and is necessary)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained (can use other pasta, I used radiatore in the picture)
2 cans (6 oz.) tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.) (I like to use more)
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chopped tomatoes, drained well (optional) (These are a great addition)

1)Preheat oven to 375°.

2)In large bowl, blend mayonnaise, milk and spices. Stir in cooked pasta, tuna, peas, tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon into 9 X 11 inch baking dish; top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

3)Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. (I don't bother covering it and it works fine)

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Sate Meatballs

These meatballs are a great twist to the usual tomato-sauce covered meatballs. The Asian coconut and peanut butter sauce is so yummy. These would be a great appetizer for parties. You can keep these warm in a small crockpot and they can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, then easily reheated just before serving. We like to double them and serve as a main course. We serve them over rice, or as in the picture below, my husband decided to try serving them on egg noodles. It ended up looking like swedish meatballs, but it still tasted really good.

Sate Meatballs

For the meatballs:
1 lb lean ground Beef
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs (1 slice of bread chopped in food processor)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice (can use lemon juice if you don't have any)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (I just use soy sauce instead)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, it can be spicy)

1)Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together all ingredients for meatballs.
Shape into approximately 32 meatballs.

2)Place meatballs on a baking pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

3)While meatballs are cooking, cook onion in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk and Peanut butter, mixing until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.

4)Add meatballs to sauce and gently stir to coat meatballs.
Cook 2-3 minutes more or until dish is heated through.

Here's where we served them over egg noodles. I prefer serving over rice better, but it was still good.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hot Vanilla - A Hot Chocolate Alternative

I love all things vanilla and when I heard of a hot vanilla instead of a hot chocolate, I just had to give it a try. I tried it without the chocolate cream topping just because it was quicker and cheaper to make, but I'm sure it would be even better with the chocolate cream. This is a great cold-weather treat and is sure to be a favorite with the kids.

Hot Vanilla

1/2 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup
Dash of cinnamon

1 cup of milk (per hot vanilla)
2 teaspoons of sugar (per hot vanilla) (I used about 3 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (per hot vanilla) (I used almost 3/4 to 1 teaspoon)

1. Start with the topping. In a medium bowl, whip 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it's frothy. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnamon, then continue to whip the mixture until everything is well blended and peaks form. Makes enough to top about 6 drinks.

2. For each hot vanilla, microwave 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a mug for 90 seconds. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Top with a dollop of chocolate cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a dash of cinnamon.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Short Ribs

This is a Paula Deen recipe, which means you know it's good! I have made it with short ribs and it was excellent and so tender. Just last week I made it with boneless chuck country style ribs because it was cheaper and you get more meat. It turned out equally tasty and just as tender. When I used the boneless ribs, it reminded me a lot of a pot roast's texture. Very good!

Short Ribs

3 pounds short ribs (Can use 2 1/2 lbs. boneless chuck country style ribs)
House Seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, chopped, plus 2 more cloves chopped
Water (I used 6 cups)
Beef Broth, plus more for roasting (I used 2 cubes beef bouillon added to the 6 cups of water)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (Or use house seasoning to taste)
1 onion, sliced
White rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season ribs liberally, or to taste, with House Seasoning. Lightly dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

In a Dutch oven, place a small amount of oil and heat on medium to medium-high. Add the ribs and brown on each side. Add half water and half beef broth to cover ribs, along with 2 chopped garlic cloves.

Bring to a boil on high. Put sliced onion in bottom of a casserole dish and remove the ribs from the Dutch oven and place on top of the onions.

Add the remaining garlic, salt and pepper, and about 1 cup broth to the ribs. Roast ribs for 1 hour covered. Roast for another hour uncovered. Turn ribs occasionally while cooking to brown all sides and to brown onions. Serve over buttered white rice.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Instead of discarding the broth that ribs were cooked in over the stove, use it to make a gravy. Let it cool in fridge in a container, and then pour broth into a pot, trying to leave some of the house seasoning in container on the bottom if there's a lot there. If you pour all the seasonings from the bottom of the container into your pot, the gravy can be too salty. Mix in a couple tablespoons of cornstarch, and cook on medium-low until boilling and thickened and desired consistency. Makes a great flavorful gravy and you don't waste the broth. You can serve it with mashed potatoes or salisbury steaks. This makes a lot of gravy, so put some in the freezer for later.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Carrot Oat Nut Bread

This is a twist off my regular Oat Nut Bread. I just added carrots for even more health benefits and it makes the bread really moist and flavorful and I like the little specks of orange. It makes a great sandwich!

Carrot Oat Nut Bread
"Bread Machine version"

1 ½ pound loaf


1 1/4 cups water (110 deg.)
2 tablespoons margarine melted
2 tbs. honey
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I like to add this with the liquid ingredients so they get softer.)
1 cup shredded carrots, squeezed dry (can also use a paper towel)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tsp. wheat gluten
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


1. Add ingredients to bread machine pan in order listed. Use regular light setting. When bread is done, let it sit in pan outside of bread machine for 10 minutes otherwise you'll squash the top of your loaf when taking it out. Let it cool on a baking rack and slice once completely cooled.


1) When the dough is mixing, if it seems too dry and isn't sticking together, slowly add more water until it comes to the right consistency. A slightly, sticky formed ball of dough. If it's too wet, slowly add more flour until it comes to the right consistency.

2) I find that adding wheat gluten to the all-purpose flour seems to help the bread have a better consistency and it's cheaper than bread flour. You coud use bread flour instead of the all-purpose flour and wheat gluten if you prefer. I also found that using warm ingredients (not hot and not cold) make the bread rise just right.

3) Another tip, if you don't want some of your slices to break apart from the hole left by the paddle, take the dough out right before it gets to the third rise cycle, take the paddle out, spray it with cooking spray, and form the dough neatly and put it back. Then, you only have a tiny hole instead of a large slice through your bread left by the paddle. This also helps you not have a lop-sided loaf which can happen sometimes by the machine not forming the dough evenly.

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