I get emails from people asking for recipes from the books. I love that! So ... here are the most requested.

Recipes from Prayers and Lies

Helen's sugar cream pie

8-inch pie crust

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup milk (whole, not skim!)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 cup butter, cut into small chunks

Mix together the sugar, flour, and cream. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.

Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle the nutmeg on top. Then dot with the butter.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes.


Donna Jo's ambrosia salad

2 cans of pineapple chunks, drained

2 cans of mandarin oranges, drained

2 jars of maraschino cherries, drained

1 bag of coconut flakes

1 bag of miniature marshmallows (the colored ones are prettiest!)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups whipped cream (Kool Whip works just fine)

Mix together the sour cream and whipped cream. Fold everything else into the mix.

Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold.


Jolene's candied carrots

2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces OR 2 lbs. baby carrots

1 stick butter

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup raisins

5 Tbsp. brown sugar

Put the carrots, butter, wine, and nutmeg in a pan. Cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the raisins and sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes.


Aunt Belle's bourbon balls

3 cups powdered sugar, divided

2/3 cup bourbon (Belle would have used Jim Beam)

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 Tbsp. cocoa

5 cups crushed vanilla wafers

2 cups chopped pecans

Mix together 2 cups of the powdered sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and cocoa. Add the vanilla wafers and pecans and mix with your hands.

Roll into balls and then roll the balls in the reserved 1 cup powdered sugar.


Helen's Spam and fried potatoes

1 can Spam, diced into small squares

2 potatoes, peeled and diced into small squares

bacon grease

Melt grease in a cast iron skillet. Add meat and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through.

Top with ketchup, salt, and pepper to taste.



Recipes from The Sometimes Daughter


Cassie's homemade bread

1 pkg. yeast

2 cups warm milk

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

1 Tbsp. salt

5 to 6 cups flour

Add the yeast and sugar to 1/2 cup of the warm milk and stir. Let the yeast proof.

In a big bowl, put the rest of them milk, butter, and salt. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time. After the second cup, stir in the yeast mixture. After about 4 cups, the dough will probably be stiff enough to kneed it.

Lightly flour the counter and kneed the rest of the flour into the dough, until it's not sticky.

Coat a bowl with butter and put the dough in, turning it to make sure it's coated all over with butter. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size. It will take 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down, then kneed it on a floured counter for 2 or 3 minutes.

Divide the dough into two parts and shape each into a loag. Put the loaves in buttered bread pans, cover with a towel, and let rise again until they've doubled in size (maybe 45 minutes to an hour).

Slash the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Take the loaves out of the pan and tap them. They should sound hollow. If not, bake them a few more minutes.

When they sound hollow, put the loaves back into the oven without the pans, to let them brown on the bottom. Leave them in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.


Cassie's lentils and rice

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, sliced into thin rings

1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed

1 cup long-grain rice

Plain yogurt


In skillet over medium heat, cook onions until they are brown (10 to 15 minutes).

Put lentils in a pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir the rice into the lentils. Add more water to cover the rice. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover the pan and let it cook over low heat for another 20 minutes.

Top with yogurt and sprinkle with cumin.


Cassie's stir-fry

1 lb. extra firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces

1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces

1 onion, diced

1 can water chestnuts, drained

1 can bean sprouts, drained

3 Tbsp. peanut oil


2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. red wine

2 Tbsp. corn starch

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ginger

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients. Set aside.

In a wok over medium-high heat, stir fry the broccoli and onions in the oil until tender crisp.

Add tofu and stir-fry until browned and firm.

Add the water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and marinade. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. (Add a little water, if it's too thick.)

Serve over steamed rice.


Mrs. Ghorbani's fesenjan

3 lbs. chicken pieces

2 cups ground walnuts

1 onion, diced

1 cup pomegranate syrup

2 Tbsp. shortening

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp. pepper

Plain yogurt

Saute onions the shortening until they are limp. Add the chicken, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Saute until the chicken is browned.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Add the ground walnuts, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over steamed rice, topped with yogurt.


Mrs. Ghorbani's hummus

2 cans garbanzo beans

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup tahini paste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil


Drain 1 can of the garbanzo beans. Add all the beans and the juice from 1 can of the beans to a food processor. Add the lemon juice, tahini, and garlic. Process until smooth.

Pour into a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on top. Sprinkle on the oregano.

Serve with pita bread or flat bread.


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