Gingerbread House!

Last year we made a train by a kit. I didn’t even get that one completed. This year Son was ready to try again. I bought what I thought was a kit. Instead it was kit to make a chocolate house. came with molds. We’re talking an hour tops. I was ready for this. Son was not. So the baking began.

Nearly 4 hours later, we have our first gingerbread house!

weird snowmen. I hope our Elf eats those guys during the night. they’re freaking me out.


The Back:

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4-Layer Delight

I was asked for this recipe, but I have a quick brag.

me to the husband as I patted my belly: Today I finished off the pecan pie, the 4-layer, the dressing and the cranberry sauce. Yesterday I wiped out the sweet potatoes.


He looked more grossed out than proud, but we can’t please them all! after posting the 4-layer on twitter/facebook, I was asked for the recipe so here we go! From my momma’s recipe to you!

(whoops! I forgot the image when I posted!)

1 1/2 sticks of butter (and by this I mean Country Crock. not real-real butter. it won’t turn out. we’ve tried)
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 cup nuts, chopped (pecans are good)
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
1 cup confectioners (aka powdered) sugar
1 large tub of Cool Whip
2 small boxes of INSTANT chocolate pudding. (no cook’n serve!)
3 cups milk
finely chopped nuts and/or grated Hershey bar (optional for looks)

Layer #1: Melt butter. Add flour and nuts. Mix and flatten into a 13 x 9 x 2 cake pan. Bake about 15minutes at 375* (until light brown). COOL COMPLETELY.

Layer #2: Whip softened cream cheese, sugar and 1 1/2 cups of cool whip. Spread on top of Layer #1

Layer #3: Mix pudding and milk and pour over second layer. Regrigerate until pudding sets, about 30 minutes.

Layer #4: Spread remaining Cool Whip over #3 layer, then psrinkle top with nuts and/or grated chocolate!

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Rough Tumble Is Out!!!


Happy to announce my last book set in the little town of Apple Trail, Arkansas is now available!

Having her fiancé admit through email that he married another girl while away was humiliating enough. Telling the small town the truth was something Tonya just couldn’t face yet. With him in the military, it seemed easy to let everyone think they were still together. Just for a little while. Fast-forward through time a few months and Tonya’s restless, lonely, and unsure how to fix her lie. To add to that, she’s finding her best friend, Trent Iverson, more and more attractive.

When Tonya confesses the truth, Trent feels like his life is finally on the right path. Everything is smooth sailing until old fears that makes him controlling surface. He has to face the mirror and see his controlling ways if he wants to keep Tonya.

$2.99 at Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook | AllRomanceEbooks | TMP | Smashwords

Coming soon in print from Amazon | B&N | TMP

Read Chapter One Here

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

I hope you’ll check it out! I also have a new newsletter! It started over a sort of turkey dressing dare. So if you want my grandma’s dressing recipe (coming to you in VIDEO!) sign up for my newsletter!

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Strawberry Pie Recipe!

Remember the strawberry pie I teased you about a couple months ago? The recipe is below! I’ll be posting several recipes as part of my recent new release, Rough Ride. Why pie recipes? Because the heroine loves to bake pies and the heroines of the series have pie eating contests!

You do for family, no matter what. Lane Iverson knows that better than anyone. Harboring a secret about his mother’s death, Lane is counting the days until he finishes helping his brothers with some work and can head back to his hiding hole hours away. As long as he doesn’t have to face his three brothers every day, the guilt is easier to carry.

There is only one thing that can risk his plan. All of five foot tall, with these deep eyes and a voice that shudders through him. The completely addicting, Gretchen Jones. She’s been watching him the entire time he’s been in town. With courage from her friends behind her, she confronts what she wants. To her surprise, that’s the easy part. Keeping her heart protected when she knows he’ll be leaving? Not so easy, but her only choice.

Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook | AllRomanceEbooks | TMP | Smashwords

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Click Here to find out how to win my 6 novella series, Uninhibited in Apple Trail, Arkansas series!


So, on to the recipe!

1 pint of Strawberries
1/3 cup of Sugar (I used splenda!)
1 ½ TBL of flour
½ tsp lemon extract
2premade crusts

optional sugar crust dusting: one raw egg and a few TBLs of sugar.

Pre heat oven to 400* / bake for 40minutes.

add ingredients
mix and add to an uncooked (unpricked!) pie crust
take your 2nd crust. I turned mine over and cut stars cause son likes stars. you can just slit to vent and toss it over the pie.
optional step. whip an egg, brush your crush and coat with sugar.
top that baby and bake for about 40minutes. tip: DO put your pie on a cookie sheet. Seriously.
I ate mine with Vanilla Chobani to pretend it was extra healthy. Can also try ice cream or whipped cream!
*yes, I realize half these pictures are sideways. No idea why. We’ll just say this post has “character”.


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Could there be a better deal for a writer?

Probably not. Best grocery store ever.

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This Smells Awesome.

Strawberry pie. Looks good, doesn’t it? No worries, I’ll post the recipe…in May or June as part of my Rough Ride blog tour. You might want to follow me on twitter or facebook or just subscribe to my blog (top right) so you don’t miss any of it!

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My First IHOP Visit!!

Thanks Liz Talley for stepping up to the plate and taking me on my first visit!

French Vanilla Coffee. One word. YES.

I mentioned that amazing whipped cream, right?

Blueberry Pancakes, blueberry sauce w/more of that amazing whipped cream! ..then eggs, sausage and hashbrowns too

The End.


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Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Bake

I have no idea what else to call this. I picked up 0% cottage cheese, telling myself to get over the looks and TRY it. I went for the 0% for the low calorie content. If I can’t have it for low calories, then I’m not going to waste  my time with the fully-loaded varieties. I googled for ways to do this and some delightful person likes adding strawberry jam to hers and spreading it over a bagel. Claimed it to be like strawberry cream cheese.

Omg–I LOVE strawberry cream cheese, I thought very smartly to myself. I’ve learned that bread doesn’t really encourage weight loss, so I’m off those fluffy kind of carbs for now. but I still like cream cheese! So I tried it. It doesn’t taste like strawberry cream cheese. HOWEVER, on a toasted bagel? I could see this working. When you’d have the crispy bread to mix with the cream cheese curds in your mouth. But as the mix alone? I tried. The taste was fine. The cheese curds were too firm. I felt like I was swallow handfuls of frozen peas. I tossed it in a blender thinking it would be like a smoothie. It came out just like that. Like a smoothie….with grains of sand in it. *sigh*

Before buying, I knew I could do muffins and pancakes, so I was determined! Again tho, there’s that whole bread issue and flour, yadda. I came across a recipe using whole rolled oats tho. The recipe originally called for a banana and a tsp. vanilla. Since I didn’t have a banana, I left that and the vanilla out. but I think it would work as a really good with those ingredients added in.

When I made this, I halved the recipe since it was just me. Honestly, I could have eaten just 1/2 of what was cooked! so when I do it again, I’ll do it even smaller

1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1/4 Cup Egg Whites
1/4 Milk (I used almond milk, came out just fine)

Preheat oven to 325*

Mix all your ingredients. Spray a small oven safe dish with nonstick spray. Pour the mixed ingredients in and put it all in the oven!

(forgive the picture. I must have held my camera at a completely weird angle) Let it bake about 15 or so minute. You can see where I tested a piece off the side to make sure the liquid cooked.

Yay! all the firm curds melted! I put it out on the plate and wasn’t sure how to eat this thing. It tasted very similar to plain oatmeal or plain grits. I broke it apart and topped it with different things with varying success

Honey topping was my least favorite. It just…I don’t know. It didn’t work for me.

Since I was reminded of grits, I tried butter and salt. My fav way to eat grits! didn’t really work on this. maybe if the butter had baked in it from the beginning. (I don’t know why it looks upsidedown. It’s not. I don’t think.)

I tried a little Jam. It was just okay. I would eat it again this way. (I think this is the worst picture taking day I’ve ever had in my life)

I also topped with cheese. Definitely the best way to do this, I think.  I will do this again, and I’ll just top with cheese next time. With the ingriedients/brands I used, it was about 155calories (before the toppings). that’s not factoring in how calorie content changes as it bakes. I don’t go that scientific.


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Everybody Is Getting Some Action

What kind of action? The Valentine’s Day kind. Happy planning. And if you and your honey LOVE pizza, then boy-hidey does Pizza Hut have a deal for you!

*was not paid or endorsed for this free advertisement. THOUGH I SHOULD HAVE BEEN

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I picked these up from twitter and what do you think? I’ll give you a word for the picture, YUMOLICSIOUSLIKEWOW.

If I happen to bake this year, I think it’ll be these babies. They’re pretty birthday looking, but it’d be a snap to make the frosting red and green. You could even do them white and dust the cookies with red and green sugar crystal things (aka, sprinkles. why can’t we just call them all sprinkles anymore?)

Here you go. This is Betty’s recipe, but I pasted here incase the link dies.


1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix (dry mix from box)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix (dry mix from box)


2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Liquid food colors (neon pink, neon blue, neon green, classic yellow and red to make orange) Assorted Betty Crocker® colored sprinkles

1-Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir sugar cookie mix, 1/2 cup dry cake mix, 1/2 cup butter and the egg until soft dough forms.

2-In small bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup dry cake mix. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls in dry cake mix, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3-Bake 7 to 9 minutes or just until cookies are set. (Watch closely to prevent cookies from getting too crispy and overbaked.) Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

4-In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Beat in 1 tablespoon milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Divide frosting among 4 small bowls, about 1/4 cup each. Add food color to tiint frosting in each bowl.

5-For each sandwich cookie, spread 1 rounded teaspoon frosting on bottom of 1 cooled cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; gently press cookies together. Roll sides of sandwich cookie in sprinkles.

For other cookie recipes, check out:

Nena – chocolate mice
Annie – shortbread
Chris – Stained Glass Christmas Cookies
Jeanette – Seven Layer Cookies

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