Friday, December 19, 2014

♥ Cranberry Orange Bread

This is the best bread! The orange zest and cranberry combo make it out of this world good! It is a beautiful holiday bread and I make it for breakfast and serve it warm out of the oven with coffee or tea. I toast it up the next day (if there is any left) and slather it with butter...yum! I love it because it's easy to make and especially because it never dries out. I bake it and I don't have to worry about leaving it out on the counter. I give this one away as Christmas gifts too! You'll need a dutch oven for this one....I use my lodge combo cast iron dutch oven (see link below).

Cranberry Orange Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon quick rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
zest of 1 large orange
Turbinado Sugar for topping (or any course sugar)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast, cranberries and orange zest. Add water and almond extract. Mix until well combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours in a warm draft-free spot. I make mine the night before so that it will be ready to bake in the morning.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place Dutch oven with lid in the oven, and heat for 30 minutes before adding dough. While the dutch oven preheats, pour dough on a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap until Dutch oven is preheated. Remove the Dutch oven, and drop in the ball-shaped dough. Cover, and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and sprinkle with coarse sugar topping and then bake an additional 15 minutes. Next, remove bread from oven and Dutch oven. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack before serving.

This recipe makes one round loaf. I use my Lodge Combo Cooker that I got at with my Welcome Home fan discount. Click on the link for a fantastic buy on this combo and order yours today. Proceeds go to the NO KILL Advocacy group to help save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes.

 Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf with Vanilla Drizzle

I love this recipe and make it often. I tried it when I first saw it over at my friend Marie's blog at the English Kitchen because it looked so tempting. It was so good, I stayed with almost all her same ingredients with only a a few adding a brown sugar topping and a vanilla drizzle that made it just my perfect cup of tea! Thanks Marie! I love your recipes!

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf with Vanilla Drizzle 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

♥ Filling

6 tablespoons of light brown sugar, packed
2 full tablespoons of cinnamon
A dash of nutmeg

♥ Topping

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons of melted butter

For the Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bread and Filling:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pan (9 x 5 standard pan) with butter and then line it with parchment paper. I like to leave a slight overhang of paper on each end to use as handles to lift bread out later. Mix the butter, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, sugar, flour, soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Beat together until well combined, but do not over-beat.

Next, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking tin. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar filling mixture. Then spread the remaining batter over top of that filling. Finally, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar filling mixture. Now, using a round bladed knife gently cut through the batter to swirl the cinnamon sugar through.

Topping:   Sprinkle the brown sugar topping on the loaf and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 

Glaze:  Make your glaze by whisking together sugar, milk, vanilla extract and softened butter in small bowl until well blended. Brush or drizzle on to warm bread allowing it to run over sides. Cut in slices and serve plain or toasted with butter.

 Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Cinnamon Roll Wreath

I love making cinnamon rolls and then packing them up and freezing them individually so whenever I want one, I simply pull one out and warm it up. There is nothing like a good cinnamon roll and a cup of hot coffee on a cold winter day like today. I use a lot of Rhodes frozen dough to make different recipes and last weekend I discovered that Rhodes made their own cinnamon rolls and I knew they had to be good. So I bought a bag and decided to get creative and make a cinnamon roll wreath. Turned out so pretty and it was absolutely delicious! I will make this for Christmas morning breakfast! 

Cinnamon Roll Wreath

1 bag of Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls (12 pack)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed

First line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then line all 12 cinnamon frozen rolls on the lined baking sheet. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your counter or on another baking sheet and spray it lightly with non stick spray. Then flip the plastic wrap over to cover the rolls and leave them alone to thaw for about an hour. 

Once the rolls have thawed, remove the plastic wrap (nothing should stick because you spray it first with non-stick spray) and arrange the cinnamon rolls in a 9 inch ring overlapping each other. Once again, cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise until they double in size. 

Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cream Cheese Drizzle

With an Electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth. If glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

****NOTE: Rolls come with their own cream cheese frosting but I prefer to make my own. You can use them to serve extra glaze on the side if you'd like.

  Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014.

Free Welcome Home Christmas Ebook

My Welcome Home Christmas E-book is now FREE to all Welcome Home Fans! Now you can download a book of my best holiday recipes to your computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, and Android SmartPhone, Kindle or all of the above! But act fast....This is a limited offer that runs out daily!

For a limited time, I will put up this same post each day on my Facebook page at

Whenever you see this post go up on Welcome Home's Facebook page, that is your cue to act. Each day there will only be a small number of books available at no cost. Once they run out, I will take down the post for that day. If you missed it, you will have to wait until you see the post go back up again.

Here's how it works:

Simply Donate a minimum of $5 to the Welcome Home Save A Life Program and I will give you my ebook as a bonus. You can donate what you'd like, but the minimum is $5 to get the free book.

Once you make your donation, you will get a personal email from me with an invitation and a private link to purchase the book at no cost at

Once you purchase your new book, you will be sent an email from Blurb with a download link. Simply open that email on any or all the devices you would like to download your new book to. Simple as that!

 Your donation of $5.00 will help me save the lives of dogs and cats who are being killed unnecessarily in shelters as they wait for a new home. It will help me feed and clothe the hungry and those less fortunate. I have a lot of lives to save.

 Step 1: Go to this link and donate. In order to receive the free book your donation must be a minimum of $5.

 Step 2. Watch your email for an invitation to get the book for free with a link that will take you to it.

 Step 3. Purchase the book by clicking on the FREE button.

 Step 4. Watch your email for a download link from Blurb.

 Step 5. Open that email on any device you want to download your new book to. Make sure you have an E-reader on your device first. For Kindle you want to download the epub reader called Overdrive. For iPads and iPhones, you will download to iTunes or iBooks. For computers and Android SmartPhones you can use whatever Ebook reader works for you or we can recommend one.

So act now before they are all gone today. Click this link first to make your donation!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Microwave Grill Pan

Have I told you all how much I LOVE this Microwave Grill pan?  Talk about a gadget that saves you time and still gives you the wonderful look and taste of using the grill! This Microwave Grill pan is a must have kitchen gadget!

I got this last winter when it was too cold to grill outside and I just love it! I was skeptical at first. I am not a fan of the microwave other than heating up coffee and warming up left overs. We all know that steaks usually taste horrible reheated in the microwave and they come out grey and tough. But not with this! 

I put the empty microwave grill pan (with the lid on) in the microwave and heated it for 3 minutes. Then I took it out of the microwave and added a little olive oil and butter to the grill plate on the bottom. Added my rib eye steak and cooked it for about 3 minutes on each side. Took it out of the microwave, and it had grilled and sizzled to absolute perfection. I had the grill marks on the outside, and a perfectly cooked steak on the inside. You could never tell it was made in a microwave!

I use mine to make a fast grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis too! And if you love grilled veggies this is just perfect for onions, peppers, and all those things that you want to serve on the side with your sausages and hot dogs! Steaks and chops are slightly charred and tender. And if you use it for nothing else, try using it for chicken. Oh my goodness. So moist on the inside and wonderfully crisp on the outside!

I can't say enough about it and I think you'll love it too! Comes in green and white and red and the cost is marked down to only $37.82 while they last.

Thought I would share my find with you's the link if you'd like to buy it while it is on a special sale price for Welcome Home fans. Remember, anything you buy through Welcome Home at Amazon, helps me save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while they wait for their forever homes. 

The Welcome Home code is already attached to the link so you will get the special price. Once you are at Amazon after clicking on a Welcome Home link, you can go on to shop for other things you might want too. Everything counts and helps me save the fur babies and feed the homeless.

Here is your link....

Snowflake Rolls

I have been making these rolls for my Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember.  My Mom always served Snow Flake rolls with Christmas dinner and I just carried on the tradition.  But I do one thing different.  I use Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil and it makes my rolls so soft with a mild buttery flavor. And I cut back on saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol too without losing that buttery flavor.  My Mom would have loved using it too!  Sometimes I use a little lace snowflake doily and then sprinkle on my flour to really dress them up for the holidays.

Snowflake Rolls

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (or use 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast) 
1 1/8 cups lukewarm water (about 110 degrees) 
3 cups all purpose flour 
1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
3 tablespoons sugar 
13.5 teaspoons Star Fine Food Butter Flavor Olive Oil (about 1/4 cup) 
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk 
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Dissolve yeast it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 9" round cake pans, or a 
9" x 13" pan. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough into a very small knot at the bottom, then rolling it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball. 

Place eight rolls in each of the round cake pans (or all 16 rolls in the 9" x 13" pan), spacing them evenly; they won't touch one another. Cover the pan(s) with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise till they're very puffy, and have reached out and touched one another, about 1 hour. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Bake the rolls until they're a deep golden brown on top, and lighter on the sides, about 25 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. Gently shake four from a sifter or shaker on top of warm rolls.

You can buy Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil here:  Raley’s, Walmart, Stater Bros., Food Maxx and online at

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Caramel Cream Cheese Spread

Need a quick appetizer when unexpected guests arrive?  I'm almost embarrassed to call this a's more like a tip!  This is my go to when I'm caught totally off guard!  I literally throw this together in 2 minutes and they love it! 

Caramel Cream Cheese Spread

1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese
1 jar of caramel sauce (I use ice cream topping)
toffee bits or chopped pecans
bread rounds, crackers, sliced apples, pears, pretzels for serving

Place cream cheese on a pretty serving plate. Pour as much caramel topping as you want evenly over cream cheese and let it run down the sides. Sprinkle with a nuts or toffee bits.

Oh Yum! 

It is especially good served with sliced apples! I serve it with whatever I have available.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home

Monday, December 15, 2014



Thanks to all participated in this giveaway! So many entries came in last week with your favorite recipes from Welcome Home. However, the winning entry randomy chosen is from Tamra B. from Rockford, Illinois! Congratulations Tamra!

This is her entry and she chose the following recipe as her favorite:

"I have spent most of my adult life trying to make the perfect Chicken and Dumplings and was never successful with any recipe I tried. Then I found a recipe on the Welcome Home Blog sometime back and thought "what the heck?" After reading the whole recipe and cooking instructions, it just seemed too doggoned simple so I decided to give it a try."

"I LOVE... LOVE....LOVE this recipe and it is a MUST make at least once a month if not twice. Even my adult daughters can make this Welcome Home Recipe. One of my daughters will usually not make anything if it contains anything over five ingredients. I went to her house one day with the recipe and all the ingredients in hand and insisted she give it a try! Now she makes it no less then twice a month. She loves it and so do her picky eaters."

"Now when I am asked for the recipe I don't give people -the ole family recipe - thing..... I just tell them to go to the "Welcome Home Blog and try all of her recipes. I was raised in the South and love Marty's style of cooking and baking. So all in all, I love all of her recipes. She makes my life so simple. There are many recipes in her blog that make me fill right at home. I have even used many of her recipes that add a new twist on some of my vintage recipes. 

So a BIG THANK YOU goes out to Marty!"

Olive Tapenade

I love Italian Food. I mean good Italian food served in an authentic Italian restaurant. I love the smell when you walk in and the ambiance with warm glowing candles lit on top of white linen table cloths one each table. I love the soft music playing in the background.  I especially love the look and smell of fresh made bread sticks. One of the first things served in a real Italian restaurant is an Olive Tapenade with fresh rounds of Italian bread or those warm bread sticks.  It's usually just chopped olives, a little garlic and a good quality olive oil.  

When I am having guests over for one of my homemade pasta dinners, I like to give them that same feeling. My Lasagna is in the oven. The candles are lit and I bring out my own Olive Tapenade for all the enjoy! I start with Star Fine Food Spanish Olives and add sweet roasted peppers, zesty capers, garlic and spices and it's so good! 

Olive Tapenade

1 cup Star Fine Food Spanish Manzanilla Olives
1 cup pitted black olives, such as kalamata
1 roasted sweet bell pepper, chopped fine  (any brand in a jar)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup Star Fine Foods Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup basil, loosely chopped
3 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
1 medium French or Italian baguette, sliced (about 25 slices)

First, infuse the olive oil:

Put the olive oil, garlic, basil, and lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan or frying pan, and warm the mixture over moderately low heat for about five minutes (the garlic should appear softened, but not golden.  If it starts to bubble, turn down the heat and remove the pan from the stove top for a few seconds).  Set the mixture aside until cooled.

Next, make your Tapenade

Pulse the green olives in a food processor until finely chopped and place in a medium bowl. Then pulse the black olives in the food processor and add to the bowl. Add the capers, almonds, sweet roasted red pepper and olive oil mixture to the medium bowl, and stir well to combine. 

Spread on baguettes and/or crackers. Enjoy! 

Photographs are the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.


Good morning friends. Hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and that you're finding the spirit of Christmas somewhere in the midst of all the commercialism out there this time of year. 

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this past weekend, cooking and baking, writing new recipes and taking photos for the new January issue of the Welcome Home Online Magazine ready for release on the first day of the year. That's where you will find all my new recipes now. Recipes I do not share anywhere else.

What is this online magazine you ask? 

Well, it's not an actual print and paper magazine that comes in the mail each month. The kind you get in your mailbox and leaf through it in a few seconds and put it away to look at later....if you ever get to it. No, this is an online blog magazine. It's a private website that you can visit as often as you like on your computer, laptop, cell phone, tablet or iPad, Kindle, Nook....whatever device you have the Internet on.

It is exclusive to only those people that subscribe to it. It is a very private website that we give you a key or link to access. You hold on to that key and it unlocks the door so you go browse through it as often as you like. Each month a new issue comes out and because you become a member of an exclusive private fan club or group, you are the first to know about it.

What's in this online magazine? 

Lots of recipes you've never seen before. Each issue is just full of great recipes I save only for this online magazine. Many are from my Mom's collection with big vibrant pictures to match every dish. I have illustrated step by step recipes and a lot of how to's along with kitchen tips and advice. You'll find contests and give a ways and even a gift shop where you can get great bargains on wonderful things.

I'm certain you'll instantly see the value that your $2 a month subscription brings. The magazine website is so private that no one can even find it out there unless you know me or know of my mission here at Welcome Home and subscribe to it. As always, some of the proceeds from The Welcome Home Kitchen Magazine will help me save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting in Kill shelters for someone to come and adopt them. And some of the proceeds will help me feed the homeless.

If you haven't subscribed yet, you really should. It is a great way to help those in need and in return you get so much. Not only the satisfaction of knowing you have saved a life but you get great recipes too! 

So I'm off to finish writing recipes for those great Peach Thumb print cookies and Chocolate Macaroons I made yesterday and that gorgeous Cheesy pasta dish I made the day before. There are some really good recipes in this next issue and there is so much left to do to get it ready for January 1st. Remember the second you subscribe, you'll have instant access to all the past issues too. You'll find over 150 recipes and tips so far.

How do you subscribe?

IMPORTANT:  First set up a Gmail account.  You can keep the email address and account you have now.  This gmail account is just your key to the magazine.

Step 1If you do not already have a free gmail address, you want to create one first. This is the most important step.  You do NOT have to change your existing email address. What you have now can stay the same. You just need to create a new Gmail account to access the magazine IF you do not already have one.Get paper and pen so you can remember what username and password you choose and then go to this link and create a new Gmail address:

Again, you can keep your same email address to use as you always have. This is Gmail address is just the key to get to the magazine.

Step 2:   At the top of this page, under the cover photo collage, click on the tab that says, MY STORE. Or click on this link:

Step 3:   Click on the little tab that says BUY FROM 2CO

Step 4: Enter your name and your new Gmail address and your other information and then go to the next step. Enter your payment information for the $24 annual subscription. You can choose a credit card you'd like to use or you can click on PayPal.  If you do not want to use either method, contact me at and we can make other arrangements.  Please rest assured that this is the safest online payment processing system online today.  No need to worry.

Step 5: Complete your order and within seconds you will receive a receipt and email confirmation at the Gmail address you created and typed in when you were ordering.

Step 6. Within a few minutes, as soon as I get your purchase confirmation, I will send you an invitation to become a private member of The Welcome Home Kitchen to your new Gmail address. Click on the orange button that says ACCEPT.  You must still stay logged into your gmail account when you go to the magazine.  Then you will be directed to the link of the new magazine. And you're all set.

Step 7:  Each month....around the 1st of the month, you will be notified that a new issue has just been released. You will always have access to all past issues just by visiting and each month will shown so you can go back and find whatever you are looking for.  The announcement will come to you in the exclusive group that you will be a member of called The Welcome Home Magazine Fan Club.

OR you can contact us and we will help you get there in seconds.....

You can send a message through the contact box on the right margin of this page.

OR you can message us through Facebook at

Or you can email us at the Welcome Home gmail address at:
You can email us at 

We will walk you through step by step to get you in the magazine!