Friday, March 27, 2015

Guest post: Cooking with Author Nivine Richie!

Today I welcome author Nivine Richie to my blog. Glad to have you here, Nivine!

As a Bible study teacher and leader of small groups, I often use personal stories to illustrate Biblical truths. Many of these stories come from my family background and travels. I was born in Cairo, Egypt a few months before the Six Day War, and my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was two years old. I’ve had the privilege of traveling and meeting people from all over the world. While I love tasting new foods, I have to say that my mom’s cooking is the best.

Here’s one of my favorites:

Egyptian Koshari

This dish is considered by many to be the national dish of Egypt. From the richest to the poorest, all Egyptians know and love this vegetarian dish. The flavor can vary based on the sauce, with some people choosing a sauce made of vinegar and garlic. Still others like to add chick peas to the layers described below. The sauce described here is what my mom has always made, and in my opinion, is the tastiest.


1 cup uncooked brown lentils
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup ditalini pasta (or elbow macaroni if you can’t find ditalini)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cans tomato sauce
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
Olive oil
Pinch of coriander powder
Cayenne pepper to taste


1. Rinse the lentils in a strainer under running water and remove any rocks or dirt. In medium saucepan, cover the lentils with water and bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes, and continue to add water as needed to keep the lentils covered. Taste the lentils to see that they are done when they have the consistency of a cooked bean.

2. In a separate saucepan, add the rice, ½ t of salt and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes (without peeking).

3. In a third saucepan, cook the noodles according to package directions (about 8 minutes) until noodles are al dente.

4. To make the sauce, sauté the garlic in olive oil until soft, but not brown. Add tomato sauce, coriander, vinegar and cayenne pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. In a large frying pan, sauté the chopped onions in olive oil until the onions are crispy. (We like the onions crispy, but some families prefer that the onions be cooked only until they are soft.)

Makes about 4 servings

For each serving, add a layer of rice, a layer of lentils, and a layer of noodles. Top with the sauce and a generous sprinkling of crispy onions. Salt and pepper to taste. If you enjoy spicy food, a little hot sauce is a nice addition as well.

Enduring Faith: An 8-Week Devotional Study on the Book of Hebrews
by Nivine Richie

This eight-week Bible study delivers a balance of in-depth study and manageable homework. Written in a devotional style with real-life examples to connect you with the lessons in Hebrews, each day’s study is paired with discussion questions and space for journaling. This book can be used for small-group or for personal Bible study.

Is your faith on a firm foundation or are you standing on shaky ground? By the end of this study, you can know the kind of faith that pleases God.

Available on Amazon
And Barnes and Noble

About Nivine
Nivine Richie is a women’s Bible study teacher in Wilmington, N.C., where she lives with her husband and two teenage children. A university finance professor, she is actively involved in the Christian faculty association on campus. Nivine has participated in and taught many small group studies over the years.

She seeks to help others launch their own small group studies and is available to speak at women’s events. She can lead a seminar for teachers at your church or teach at your next women’s retreat.

Visit her at her website at to find tools to help you grow as a small group leader.
Contact her at
Follow her on Facebook
or on Twitter at @UnfoldHisWord

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Guest Blogger: Cooking With Author Sandra Merville Hart!

Today I am happy to welcome author Sandra Merville Hart to The Patchwork Quilt Blog. Her recipe is one I grew up with in Japan. She has a new novel out, so be sure to read all about it!

Happy Eating and Reading!


A friend shared a recipe for a casserole that became a favorite with my family. Double the recipe and it's excellent for potluck suppers and family gatherings. When loved ones need a meal brought to them, I double the recipe and take a casserole to my friend's family and leave one at home for mine.

When doubling the recipe, I don't double the salt. Some members of my family don't like a lot of salt and the bouillon cubes add a salty flavor, too. You may want to play with this a little or just have the salt shaker handy for those who need it -- like me!

I've received lots of compliments for this dish over the years. Our adult children were excited to eat this over Christmas, so I will remember to fix it more often.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake
8 oz. egg noodles
4 chicken bouillon cubes
6 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups cooked chicken, diced
3 tablespoons parsley flakes

Cook noodles in 3 quarts of rapidly boiling water for 7 - 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve bullion cubes in water on medium heat. (1 bouillon cube to 1 cup of water, so you'll need 4 cups of water in the standard recipe.)

Melt butter over low heat in a large saucepan. Combine flour, salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir the flour and seasonings into the melted butter. Slowly pour in reserved bouillon broth. Cook and stir over low heat until thickened.

Add noodles and parsley flakes to this mixture and toss gently. Spray a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish with cooking spray. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
This recipe serves 8.

About Sandra

Sandra Merville Hart loves to find unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories. She and her husband travel to locations of her books whenever possible to explore the history. Everything she learns about the area adds to the depth of the story for her. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking, trying new recipes, and baking. She has written for several publications and websites. She is Assistant Editor for Besides her debut Civil War romance, A Stranger On My Land, she contributed to two collections to be released this year: Spoken Moments and Jesus Encounters.

A Stranger on My Land ~ A Civil War Romance by Sandra Merville Hart

Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as "The Battle Above the Clouds." Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him.

But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam's friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. It's not long until his gratitude and teasing manner spark a friendship between the young couple. Even though Carrie's father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love.

When Adam's condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family's hiding place a secret?

Sandra's book is available at:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas:

Barnes & Noble:

You can find Sandra at these places online:
Assistant Editor at DevoKids:
The Barn Door Book Loft:
Sandra's Goodreads page:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cooking With Author Lisa Lickel!

Today I welcome author Lisa Lickel to The Patchwork Quilt. Let's see which recipe she has in store for us as well as some information about one of her novels, The Map Quilt. Here's Lisa . . .


Wow, I know—it may seem like two different worlds in this luscious cake, but that’s the gist of being part of a patchwork, isn’t it? My Buried Treasure Mystery series takes people from different backgrounds and brings them together in love and faith, and in Ardyth’s case, good food! She’s the main supporting cast member, an adopted aunt/grandmother to Judy and Hart Wingate, who meet in the first book, The Last Bequest. But along with Judy and Hart’s budding romance, Ardyth returns to her first love as well, Bryce, in this ageless tale. In the second book, The Map Quilt, Hart and Judy meet some very interesting characters as they discover the identity of the body buried on the farm, and in the third book, The Newspaper Code, Judy learns how to balance life and friendship as she decides what to do about her career while helping new sort of friend Olivia figure out who killed town gardener Esme.

I especially love to make this cake because I use ingredients from our garden – pumpkin, and the berries. It serves a lot of people!

Pumpkin Raspberry Bundt Cake

Sift and set aside:
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. sour cream
1 18-oz can of canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1 c. chopped nuts
1 cup raspberries, keep a handful to decorate finished cake (if large, slice some of them - I use black raspberries too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 12 by 18-inch bundt pan.
In a large bowl (very large!) combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla, sour cream and pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Fold in raspberries. Spread batter in prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until toothpick test comes out clean. Allow to cool, then frost* and decorate with remaining raspberries.

* Frosting: (this cake is so moist you don’t really need to frost it)
Beat together 4 oz cream cheese and 1 3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
Fold in 8 oz tub of whipped topping mix
May use food coloring to make it orange if desired.

The Map Quilt
By Lisa J Lickel

Just how high a price does a family secret command?

Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common? Hart and Judy Wingate, who met in The Gold Standard, are back to solve the mystery of The Map Quilt. Hart’s new battery design could forever change the farm implement industry. But after the death of Hart’s most confrontational colleague in a fire that destroys Hart’s workshop, the battery is missing.

Throw in a guest speaker invited to Judy’s elementary classroom who insists she owns the land under Hart’s chief competitor’s corporate headquarters, and a police chief who’s making eyes at Hart’s widowed mother, it’s no wonder Hart is under a ton of pressure to make sure his adventurous pregnant wife stays safe while trying to preserve his company and his reputation.

Purchase links:
Barnes and Noble

A bit about Lisa . . .

Multi-published author novelist Lisa J. Lickel also enjoys writing and performing radio theater, short story-writing, is an avid book reviewer and blogger. She enjoys teaching writing workshops and working with new writers and freelance editing. She is the editor of Wisconsin Writers Association’s Creative Wisconsin magazine. She lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house in Wisconsin filled with books and dragons. Married to a high school biology teacher, she enjoys travel and quilting. Visit her at her website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Yeast Rolls for Dinner, Snack, Breakfast!

I have found an amazing recipe for yeast rolls!

I add a little rosemary and garlic powder and suggest you do, too.

Yeast Rolls

1) In a mixing bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Add 3/4 cup flour, 2 TS sugar and 1/2 ts salt. Beat two minutes at medium speed.
2) Heat 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add to bowl with flour. Stir in 1/4 cup more flour. Mix for two minutes.
3) Stir in 1 cup of flour (or more) to form a soft dough. Mix 2 minutes.
4) Knead with hands or in mixing bowl for ten minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
5) Cover. Let dough rest for ten minutes.
6) Form into little balls and place in greased casserole pan.
7) Cover with damp cloth and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 2 hours.
8) When doubled in size, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
9) Brush tops with melted butter.
9) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until rolls are slightly browned.
10) Serve hot with butter.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Win a Novel!

Want to win something? I have a novel you can win.

So how will we do this? Simple. In order to be eligible for a copy of my latest novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus, you must follow the rules!

Here are the rules for the contest:

1) Since it's nearly spring, leave one or two words in the comments below about what you like about spring. No more than two words.
2) Follow this blog. You do this by scrolling down and on your right under my book covers, you'll see those already following. Click to join and follow those instructions given to you when you do that. If you don't follow this blog, you can't win.
3) Be sure to come back to read the comments others leave. You can comment on the comments.
4) The contest ends March 16th.
5) Shortly after that, one winner will be chosen. I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address and a copy (print) of Under the Silk Hibiscus will be mailed to that person.

Be creative!
Have fun!
Tell your friends!

To read more about Under the Silk Hibiscus, head over here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

After the barracks . . .

"We knew we were second-class citizens," a woman I interviewed for my newest novel said to me. She had been a young woman in an internment camp in Arizona during World War II.

Even after the war, Japanese-Americans were treated harshly, finding that the people in their old home towns did not want them back. Those who had struggled inside barbed-wire fences while living in small, crowded barracks, were eager to go back home. But what would they find there?

In my novel, the Mori family returns to San Jose, California. No one wants to rent to them because they are not Caucasian. They sleep on the floor of a local church until they find a landlord willing to rent them a small apartment with a leaky faucet. They're cramped, but they were used to being without much room during their three years at Heart Mountain.

The plight of my family is fiction, true, but the prejudice feelings and hatred did exist. In the streets, in the schools, and in the newspapers.

How dangerous this thinking can be and how damaging it is for those who had to live through it. It's truly debilitating for people when they are slandered against because of the color of their skin.

I'm surprised how little North Americans know about the internment camps that existed in this country during the Second World War. There were ten of them, purposely built to house those of Japanese descent who looked like the "enemy", i.e., the Japanese military who had dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. History books seem to omit so much.

It's time to learn from the past and vow to never repeat it.