Friday, December 2, 2011

WIP Launches 99-Hour 99-Cent E-book Sale!

At 9 a.m. this morning, Write Integrity Press launches their first "99-Hour, 99-Cent E-book Sale." To celebrate the event, we've invited the nine participating authors to share their "God Moments" with us over at Tracy Ruckman's blog during the 99 hours (from 9 a.m. today until 12 Noon on Tuesday, December 6th.)

The stories are quite special, so we hope you'll pop in and read them all!

Also, in case you haven't heard, Write Integrity Press is having a contest, giving away e-books for life! Any relevant comments left here, or on Tracy's blog anytime November 30-December 23 will receive one entry AND, for every purchase you make during our 99-Hour 99-Cent sale, you'll get an extra entry. Just leave a comment telling us which books you purchased, and we'll add an entry for each one.

One name will be drawn as winner on December 24th. The prize includes one digital copy of all books previously published by WIP, and digital copies of EVERY book we publish in the future - for life! You can read more details here.

Oh - and be sure to check out Naty Matos' informative post about how to give e-books for Christmas gifts! (And how to get them Kindlegraphed!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Books for Christmas: Elizabeth Byler Younts

We've had such fun with a theme during the month of November, we decided to o another one for December. To kick it off, we're actually starting a day early, with a post by Elizabeth Byler Younts.

And don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win e-books for life!

A Bookish Christmas
by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Don'tcha just LOVE writing your Christmas list and adding your looooong list of books that you’re dying to read? Have you ever gone so far and provided links to where they can be purchased for the best price? Not that I would EVER do that. {clears throat}

Well, as much as I love getting books for Christmas, I love giving them. It’s always a tough choice on WHICH one to give when there are so many amazing books out there. What I’ve done lately is pick something that I read previous year.

Last year I sent my sister-in-law the first book in Allison Pittman’s Sister Wife series, For Time & Eternity. It was my favorite read last year and I couldn’t wait to give her the chance to enjoy it.

My other sister-in-law likes more action-oriented books so I gifted her a DiAnn Mills book , the 2nd installment in her Call of Duty series Sworn to Protect. I’d given her book 1 the year before.

I always have books on my list and a few years back I asked for The Hiding Place by Corrie Tenboom and while I ended up listening to it audio when it was offered free, that has recently become a favorite of mine. I have listened to it twice this year and just love her story that displays such faithfulness from the Lord.

If you aren’t sure what books to pick up for the avid reader in your family here’s a list of some of the books I’ve read this year that I would definitely give as gifts!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman
Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman
A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin
Love’s Pursuit by Siri Mitchell
While We Were Far Apart by Lynn Austin
Circle Series by Ted Dekker
Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer



Elizabeth Byler Younts is the author of Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl, written about her Amish grandmother’s girlhood through the Great Depression. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force Officer’s wife with two young daughters and makes her home wherever her family is stationed. You can find her at her website

Learn how to gift e-books here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

CyberMonday: Gifting E-books

Books for Christmas Presents: Paper or Plastic?
by Naty Matos

Technology is moving so fast that even I, the gadget junkie, am falling behind. As I was working on publishing my first book Growth Lessons, I started to wonder the same thing any new author asks themselves, how do I make my book available to most people? I posted the question on my Facebook page wondering what would be more attractive to customers these days; a paper book or an e-book? Of course the answer was that there was market for both formats, but the truth behind my question was that I was the one resistant to the change from paper to electronic.

After seeing the enthusiasm for e-books I downloaded the Kindle application to my phone and found me a book to read. Not only I was fascinated with the fact that I was at the doctor’s office reading my book without adding any more weight to my already packed purse, but that it was actually fun to read from an electronic device. It truly didn’t take as much out of the experience as I thought.

Can E-books be gifted?

I went back to Facebook to consult my friends. Wait a minute there is a disadvantage to this thing. I give books to friends and family all the time and now I won’t be able. Once again I was wrong. Amazon has a way to gift e-books. You would simply need to choose the “Give as a Gift” option for any book in the Kindle Store, and then send the gift to anyone with an email address.

Here are the instructions on how to do this on Amazon.

Now sitting on the customer side I thought, what a wonderful idea! E-books are far less expensive than paper books. I’ll use Growth Lesson’s for example. Let’s say you read my book, loved it and thought ten of your friends should read this book.

If you bought the paperback, at $9.99 each, that’s $100 and I didn’t add shipping. I wouldn’t complaint about your purchase, but your pocket might. However, let’s use the same book, which will be on sale for 99 cents from today and throughout the whole month of December. You can now buy the book for the same ten friends for just $10 and no shipping costs. You can even buy 2-3 different books for each person in your gift list.

What about autographed books?

I still wasn’t satisfied in my battle between paper vs. electronic and came up with another reason why maybe paper was better. Well, I can’t get my book autographed by the author if it’s an e-book. Once again I was wrong. Actually you have a better chance to have an e-book personally autographed by the author than with a paper book. For the paper book you have to find out where the author will be hosting the book signing, stand in line and if the author never makes it to your city, it just may not happen. There’s this fabulous website called “Kindlegraph”  if the e-book is registered on Kindlegraph all you have to do is submit a request and the author will personally sign it for you, absolutely free! (Editor's Note: Naty's and Tracy's books are available on Kindlegraph, so be sure to look for them when you explore the site! They'd love to autograph a book or two for you!)

Yes, personally. It is not an automated signature that goes into each request. The author will be signing with their own hand and mouse (instead of pen) each request. You do need a twitter account to enter the request, but if you do not use twitter, you can make up the account just for this purpose, it’s free and who knows, it may get you tweeting!

So as this Christmas season approaches, and with our budgets a little tighter this year, think of gifting an e-book. Don’t worry if the person doesn’t have a Kindle reader per se. Remember that the Kindle app is free for anyone with an IPad, IPhones, Android phones, Blackberry and both Mac and PC’s.

Before you leave, one more question; what if the person who I’m trying to give an e-book doesn’t have a kindle or rather have books for other formats?

I have good and not so good news. The technology is so new that at this moment Amazon is the only provider that allows direct e-book gifting. But, the other formats like Barnes & Nobles (Nook), Smashwords, Sony, Apple (iTunes) and others have gift card options. You can buy a gift card for the person and let them know the title of the book you intended to get for them, that way they can choose the format that is convenient for them and still get that wonderful inspiring book that you wanted to share.

Let’s give the gift of reading uplifting books this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas!

About Naty Matos:

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York, from Puerto Rican descendant parents. She grew up in the beautiful Island of 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’s the author of the live changing devotional Growth Lessons. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at

Growth Lessons on Amazon.
Growth Lessons Kindlegraph.

Naty Matos on Twitter @natycmatos

Naty Matos on Facebook.

Win Free E-Books for Life!

Write Integrity Press wants to celebrate! We're sponsoring our first 99-Hour, 99-Cent E-book sale December 2nd-6th, and to help kick that off, we're giving away a fun prize package!

Win free e-books for life! One winner will be chosen to receive a digital copy of every e-book WIP publishes - including all our previous books, and all our future ones - for LIFE! We publish 10-15 titles per year, so your library will grow quickly!

You can enter several ways:

For each e-book purchased during the 99-Hour/99-Cent sale, you'll receive one entry.

Every time you make a relevant comment on any blog posts appearing November 28-December 23, 2011, you'll receive one entry. The comments must be relevant to that post - any comment that just says "Great post" or "please enter me in the contest" will not earn an entry.

Any time you share one of our blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, or mention the contest or one of our posts on your own blog, you get an entry!

The winner will be notified December 24th by e-mail. If you're chosen as the winner, you'll have 30 days to claim your prize, so don't worry if you won't be around the computer during the holidays.

The fine print: The winner will be given a coupon code for one digital copy of every book that Write Integrity has published and for each book published in the future. The winner must provide a valid e-mail address for the coupon code to be delivered. The prize is not redeemable for cash. The prize can be transferred as a gift if the winner wishes. WIP is not responsible for invalid e-mail addresses provided by the participants. The prize package is valid the duration of WIP.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fundraiser and Raffle - You Could Win

Several years ago, I made the acquaintance of author Sandi Rog. Sandi is now in a fight for her life, and we want to help her - but we need your help too. As Alison Strobel Morrow put it:

Imagine you're a mom of four, living with MS, still readjusting to life in the states after years spent abroad, and finally seeing a dream come true. The book you've researched for years and poured your soul into is finally, today, being released into the world. After all the struggles of moving, of helping children acclimate, of learning a new city, of juggling motherhood and family and writing, you get to celebrate the realization of a dream.

And on that same day, your doctor tells you to come in right away--you you have stage 4 T-cell lymphoma, possibly caused by the medication you've been taking for MS.

This is what happened to Sandi Rog on November 1, 2010. For the last year, Sandi has endured chemo, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, with the hope of destroying this aggressive cancer. And then, just a few weeks before the release of her second book, new tumors were discovered near her spine that show the cancer has not succumbed the way we had all hoped.

So now, in the face of the holiday season, the Rog family finds themselves settling in for another year of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battle as Sandi faces more treatments--one of which holds much promise but is not covered by insurance. As you can imagine, the financial cost of fighting cancer can be overwhelming, and that's why we're hosting this fundraiser.

The fundraiser raffle begins today. You can read about the fundraiser at the website, and read this post to see how the raffle works.

Then, check this blog often for a list of all the prizes. Here's a list of packages that are being offered. There are books, gifts, games, services, and much more! So please pop over and participate! And please, help spread the word about the raffle and fundraiser. 

One of the prizes is a Game Basket put together by Write Integrity authors Amy Barkman, Debbie Roome, and Tracy Ruckman. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Cornbread Dressing

Is there any food, besides the turkey, that best signals the holidays have arrived? I LOVE cornbread dressing, and was thrilled to see Suzanne's grandmother's recipe arrive in my Inbox. Today, she shares it with us, and we may share other dressing recipes through the week.

We have so much to be thankful for - our freedom, our families, our friends. May this Thanksgiving be an extra special one for you, filled with love, laughter, hugs, kisses, and gratitude. I appreciate you - our readers, our authors, our families, our friends. Connections we've all made this year have been precious. Thank you.

Now, from Suzanne Williams:

My Grandmother's Cornbread Dressing

*This is an old family recipe which originated with my great-grandmother (mother's side). Simply put, we think its the best ever. The cornbread itself is a very moist buttermilk cornbread. The dressing is lightly flavored as my grandmother never liked a lot of spices. Just be sure to follow the directions when it says DO NOT STIR as that is key to the texture being firm and not mushy.


1 cup white ground cornmeal (not self-rising)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup shortening, melted

Mix meal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add buttermilk, egg, and melted shortening.
Pour into greased 9” pie plate.
Bake at 375° F for 12 minutes.
Makes 1 cornbread.


2 recipes cornbread, crumbled
1 cup Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing crumbs
3/4 tube saltines
1 cup each steamed celery and onion, minced
poultry seasoning, to taste
3 eggs, beaten
4-5 cans chicken broth, heated
Chicken or Turkey drippings (optional)

Prepare 2 recipes of cornbread.
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl.
Steam celery and onion with 1/4 cup water in small saucepan. Do not brown!
Place saltines, stuffing crumbs, and the steamed celery and onion mixture on top of cornbread.
Add poultry seasoning (to taste).
Very lightly toss together.
Pour beaten eggs over mixture.
Slowly add heated broth.
Do not stir!
Gently prod the mixture with a fork to allow the liquid to seep through.
Pour into a rectangular baking dish.
Casserole contents should be slightly floating in liquid.
Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes. Do not allow to dry out!


Recipe is large and will perhaps take more than one baking dish. However, it can be halved. Dressing should be slightly floating in broth before being baked. Granny always boiled a chicken and used some of the natural broth instead of canned. She also used this broth for the gravy. At other times, she has used the drippings from the baked turkey as well. The amount of canned broth will need to be adjusted based on the amount of turkey drippings or boiled chicken broth you use. If not using drippings, you might need more than 4 cans of broth.


1 can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
1/2 - 1 can chicken broth
Giblets, diced small

Pour chicken soup into small saucepan.
Add chicken broth until desired gravy thickness.
Add giblets.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Grandmother's Plumi Moos

Today, we welcome author Valerie Comer.

You know how there are things from your childhood that you don't miss for eons until suddenly you're reminded of them again? So it was with Plumi Moos. Both my parents were raised in southern Manitoba, Canada, in a strong Mennonite culture. Plumi Moos (pronounced PLOOmeh moose) is a traditional Mennonite food and is best translated simply as Fruit Soup. While it certainly contains fruit, it isn't related to soup in any way (in my opinion!) other than you spoon it out of a bowl.

Traditionally, Mennonites would have their major Sunday meal after church, then late in the afternoon a light meal called Faspa. This would be buns, meat, cheese, pickles, and a large serving bowl of canned fruit or Plumi Moos.

When my mom went into fulltime care in 2007 I brought her Mennonite Treasury cookbook home, so I knew where to start looking when the thought of making Plumi Moos entered my mind a few weeks ago. And though there were many versions, none of them sounded quite right. I sent out a plea to my cousins on Facebook and got a couple more versions, which also didn't ring bells. So I invented my own!

Plumi Moos

1/2 cup snipped prunes
1/2 cup snipped dry cherries
1/2 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups water
Bring to a boil and simmer until fruit is soft.

1/4 cup honey
dash cinnamon & cloves

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups milk

Stir the milk combo into the simmering fruit.
When thickened, turn off heat.
Chill before serving.

We enjoyed it so much that I'll be experimenting with other dried fruits over the winter. I'm serving it as part of breakfast, a dessert, or a snack. Why don't you give it a try?

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada 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 the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughter.

Her first published work, a novella, will be available in the collection Rainbow's End from Barbour Books in May 2012. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - The Cookie Legacy

Today, we welcome author JoAnn Reno Wray with a delightful story and some incredible recipes.

The Cookie Legacy

© JoAnn Reno Wray

The scent of cookies baking, spicy oatmeal, butterscotch shortbread, and date roll ups, are imbedded in my brain. My paternal grandmother, Ethel Reno, baked a massive box of all kinds of cookies for our family every year. My three brothers and I eagerly looked forward to those homemade treats.

Grandma’s kitchen was paved with black and white linoleum squares and a white porcelain sink sat under one window. My favorite part of the kitchen was the cupboard. It was deep, lined by shelves sporting gingham yellow paper, and soaring to the tall ceilings. In the far back corner was a special box of toys for grandkids. I’d sit in the cupboard and play, listening as Grandma bustled around the kitchen baking and stirring pots of stew or frying up chicken.

When Grandma baked her Christmas cookies, she piled heaps and stacks all over the kitchen. So many kinds it dazzled eyes. We often heard her slap Grandpa’s hand admonishing him, “Those aren’t for you!” To which Grandpa would reply, “I paid for the ingredients!”

Today I’m a grandmother to five grandchildren, three boys and two girls ranging from one to sixteen years old. One is from China. His name is YingEr, but now goes by Seth.

Before YingEr came to this country, I’d sent our son, who was in China at the time, a package with dozens of cookies in it. This amazed YingEr and his family. No one they knew had an oven in their homes. It was so amazing, YingEr took the cookies to school for show and tell. He allowed his classmates to look at the cookies and to smell the cookies. He held the cookies aloft, proudly explaining, “My new grandma in the U.S.A. baked these cookies in her own oven in her own home!” Still, he never allowed anyone at school to eat a single cookie, wanting them for himself and was upset he had to share with his family!

When he arrived in the U.S. the first thing YingEr wanted to do was bake cookies with Grandma. So we did. That first Christmas he and his mother, Grace, also helped me with my annual Christmas cookie baking spree of 300 plus dozen cookies we give away to friends, family, and ministries, just like my Grandma Reno did.

Up in Minnesota my daughter and her children bake cookies every year with recipes from Great Grandma and Grandma, too. Through the years I’ve added new cookie recipes and homemade candies to the trays. The legacy of love my Grandma Reno started has multiplied and lives on.

Below I’ve included a couple of favorite cookie recipes from our collection.


Grandma used to make these first. I do the same because it’s my favorite. You can make the dough ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Oven: 325°                               Time: 16-18 minutes                           4+ Doz.


Cream ½ lb. butter.
Stir in 1 TBSP vanilla.
Gradually mix in ¾ C. powdered sugar.
Add 2 C. flour.
Add 2 C. chopped pecans, working well into dough.


Roll into 1" diameter balls. Bake on greased sheets about 1" apart (they do not rise) at 325̊ for 16-18 minutes until lightly browned. Shake in powdered sugar while still hot. Cool on racks that have been put on top of newspaper to collect the powdered sugar and make clean up easier. Store in air tight containers with layers separated by wax paper. Will keep for at least two weeks if they last that long!



Oven: 375°                                 7 - 9 MINUTES                                    1½ Doz.

This recipe is one that my husband’s Grandmother from Germany made. It was passed on to me by my mother-in-law along with a still treasured 1948 copy of The Joy of Cooking. This is my husband’s favorite. I get frequent requests for these. They’re worth the extra effort they take, as they absolutely melt in your mouth.

1 c. Butter      
1/3 C. whipping cream     
2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar     
Green & Red Sugar decorative sugar    
Cream Filling (Recipe below)


Mix butter, flour, and whipping cream well. Chill one hour. Roll dough 1/8" thick. Cut into 1½" rounds. Transfer to waxed paper. Heavily sprinkle with sugar on both sides and decorate one side with either red or green colored sugar. Place about 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Don’t over crowd your baking sheet. Prick each cookie 4 times with fork.

Bake at 375° for 7-9 minutes. Watch carefully as they can burn easily. Remove from oven, Allow to sit on baking sheet a couple of minutes, then remove carefully to cooling racks. Place two wafers together with tinted filling.

Cream FillingOriginal recipe: ¼ C. softened butter, 3/4 C. powdered sugar,  1 Egg Yolk, 1 tsp. vanilla, ½ tsp. Almond Flavoring, Red & Green food coloring. Beat all ingredients except coloring. Divide &  tint.

Alternative Filling: Use a can of your favorite brand of vanilla frosting, add ½ tsp. Almond flavoring; mix well. Divide can into bowls. Tint half the frosting red or pink and half green. Paste food colorings work better than the liquid type but either works fine.

Store in air-tight containers with layers separated by waxed paper.

Find JoAnn on the Web:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Grandad Ern's Flapjacks

From Tracy Ruckman:

I had the privilege of living with my maternal grandparents for about a year after I finished my first year of college. I moved from the tiny Alabama town where I'd spent the past year to my grandparents house in metro Atlanta.

Grandad Ern during a smoke break while
working a Southern railway passenger train
between Atlanta and Greenville, SC.
He normally worked freight trains,
infrequently passenger trains. 
Grandad Ern was a railroad man and was still working for Southern when I moved in. (He retired a few years later with 39 years + 1 day of service.) His schedule coincided with my own work schedule frequently - I worked 2nd shift so I could go to school during the day - so we spent our "wind down" time in the kitchen.

One of his favorite late-night snacks was flapjacks, and even though I follow the recipe, I never can quite get them as good as his! I think his company made a difference.

Grandad Ern's Flapjacks

Add water to self-rising flour until almost runny. Drop into a hot frying pan with a 1/4" of hot grease. Fry on each side until done. Careful not to cook too fast as the center will not get done. Split open and spread liberally with margarine/butter and jelly. (He preferred grape jelly - I preferred strawberry preserves.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Grandmother's Banana Bread

Today, Suzanne Williams shares her grandmother's recipe for one of my favorite treats. 

My Grandmother's Banana Bread

1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg. Mix well.
Add dry ingredients.
Add bananas. Stir well.
Stir in pecans.
Bake in greased loaf pan at 325 (F) for 55 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Cool 2-3 minutes before slicing.

About Suzanne:

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, Christian, dachshund owner, spelling whiz, wildlife enthusiast, photographer, graphic artist, and writer. She designs book cover art for self-publishing authors. She writes a regular column on digital photography for Steve's Digicams, as well as in her personal blog. Her book, Fearless, is her personal testimony of how God freed her from crippling fear. Her debut novel, Missing, releases after the first of the year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Nanny's Divinity

Today, WIP founder Tracy Ruckman shares a recipe with us.

My paternal grandmother, Nanny, made the best divinity in the world. When I became an adult, I tried to make it every year. Some years I was successful, other years I was not. Just before Nanny went to Heaven, she told me the secret - it all had to do with the humidity. (I guess you see the importance of family recipes here, can't you?) If the humidity was too high, the divinity wouldn't set properly; if it was too low, the candy would be dry.

For several years, I followed this guideline - 57% humidity seemed to be perfect for candy-making. (In the South, those percentages don't get that low very often.)

Then my husband Tim entered the picture with his mother's divinity recipe. The ingredients were almost identical, but the cooking methods were different - and Edie's recipe did not rely on the weather. Since Edie's recipe is top secret, and since it's Grandparent Recipes month, we're calling this Nanny's recipe, but we'll give Edie's tips for cooking it below. It helps to have two or more people making this together and/or a stand mixer.

Nanny's & Edie's Divinity

5 cups white, granulated sugar
1 cup Karo Light corn syrup
1 cup water
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans, optional
Maraschino cherries, optional

Mix sugar, water, syrup together in large saucepan. Bring to boil, then boil until the liquid "spins a thread," stirring constantly. While the mixture is boiling, separate eggs and put the whites in a large mixing bowl. When the sugar mixture spins a thread, pour half of boiling liquid into the egg whites, beating with mixer as you pour. The mixture will begin to expand. Put the remaining liquid back on the stove and bring it back to a rolling boil. Then pour all of it into the expanding egg white mixture while continuing to beat.

Beat until the mixture a minute more, then use a large spoon to stir the mixture several times, until it gets a dull finish. Then, add nuts or chopped cherries if you wish, then very quickly, drop by rounded teaspoons on large sheets of waxed paper, then top with cherry halves or pecan halves, as you wish. Let cool. Store in air tight containers.

Divinity makes great gifts, and it's easy enough to mix and match different kinds. Some batches we leave out all nuts and cherries, topping only with one or the other. Some batches are deluxe, and have a little of all of it. The fun part is that each kind tastes very different. Even though you make a large batch, it will disappear very quickly - at least it does in our family.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Grandma's Old-Fashioned Fudge

Today, we welcome author Linda Cox with one of her grandmother's recipes. You'll find Linda's precious story, Grandpa's Quilt of Many Colors, in Life Lessons from Grandparents releasing this month. 

Linda with her Mother and Grandmother
One of my family’s favorite Christmas goodies was my grandmother’s old-fashioned fudge. When she passed away, my mom continued the tradition of making this fudge. I can remember watching them make the fudge and how disappointed they would be when it didn’t turn out just right. I’d sneak peeks out the kitchen door to where the platter  of cooling fudge sat on top of the freezer on the unheated porch, willing the fudge to set as quickly as possible so we could cut it. It’s the best fudge I’ve ever tasted. It literally melts in your mouth with each bite. But be forewarned—one piece can practically put you in a sugar coma. Well worth it, though, I might add.

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp dark syrup
1 heaping tbsp cocoa
butter the size of a walnut

vanilla to taste
chopped pecans

Mix the first five ingredients together in a sauce pan and cook slowly, stirring once in a while.  Boil until a small amount dropped into cold water makes a soft ball.  Remove from heat.

Add vanilla and beat until it begins to granulate (not too long).  Fold in pecans.  Pour at once into buttered platter.  Cool.


Linda Cox recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but Linda occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Love Is a Verb Devotional (Bethany House), and Life Lessons from Grandparents: A Trip Down Memory Lane (Write Integrity Press—to be released in November 2011). She is also a regular contributor to Linda and her husband live on a farm with their two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grandparent Recipes - Nana's Carrot Cake

Today's Grandparent Recipe comes from Jennifer Fromke. WIP will be publishing her Genesis award-winning novel A Familiar Shore in the spring of 2012. It's a beautiful story - one you'll definitely not want to miss.

Nana's Carrot Cake

My Nana (home with the Lord for two years now) made the best carrot cake I ever tasted. Nothing ever lives up to this recipe, though I wonder if the fond memories trailing the scent of this cake in my kitchen are partially responsible. 
Nana made it almost every Christmas Eve; it was our birthday cake for Jesus. The youngest grandchild always blew out the candles - and since I was the eldest grandchild of nine, I don't remember my turn. Nevertheless, I never turn down a piece because it always slides down my throat with a memory of Nana's tight hug squeezing me 'til I thought I'd break. Palpable proof of my grandmother's fierce love.

2 c flour
1-1/4 c vegetable oil
3 c grated carrots (finely grated)
2 c sugar
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon

Sift flour into a bowl and add oil, stirring slowly and constantly (a mixer is best).

Add carrots and mix well.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, pour into 3 layer pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and cake pulls away from edge of pan.


1 8 oz. brick cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar (3-1/2 cups)
½ c toasted pecans

Soften cream cheese and butter. Mix well and add sugar. Stir and blend. Gradually add vanilla.

Spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or decorate with pecan halves. (I leave the nuts off because that’s how I liked it as a kid.)

Store in refrigerator (icing will melt at room temp).

I would also recommend making 1-1/2 times the icing – it’s just barely enough and you have to be frugal with it. If you make extra, you’ll have plenty, plus you can dip pretzels in the extra icing for a snack the next day. 

Tip: Better than Pam in the pans, butter the pans, then fit a piece of buttered wax paper into the bottom. This will ensure your cake will retain its shape instead of leaving portions behind in the pan.

Jennifer Fromke is a lover of books, mother of three, and wife to one extraordinary man. Her debut novel is set to release in the spring of 2012 from Write Integrity Press.