Thanksgiving Recipe: Roasted Rosemary Turkey


Prepare the main dish for your Thanksgiving dinner a few days early with this recipe from Dawn Stoltzfus, coauthor of From the Farmhouse Kitchen! The recipe begins with a quick note from Dawn…

Roasted Rosemary Turkey

Confession: Turkey is one of my least favorite meats. I know it is a leaner choice than other meats, but there is something about it that I just don’t love. But, for the one time of year when I cook a whole bird, this is the recipe I like to use.

According to my friends Shawn and Katrina, who run a nursing home and cook five turkeys every Thanksgiving, the key to a moist bird is to prepare the turkey three or four days in advance. Carve the bird and return it to its pan juices. As it sits in the liquid, it stays moist. Before serving time, reheat it just until hot. It truly does make for a more delicate white meat.


– 1 (15 lb.) turkey

– 2 onions, quartered

– 4 garlic cloves

– 2 apples, quartered

– ½ cup (1 stick) butter

– 3 T. rosemary, dried

– 8 garlic cloves, minced

– 2 T. seasoning salt

– 1 tsp. black pepper

– 1 tsp. paprika


In a large roasting pan, place the turkey breast-side down. Stuff the bird’s cavity with the onions, garlic, and apples. Liberally salt the outside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add the rosemary, garlic, seasoning salt, black pepper, and paprika. Pour this mixture over top of the bird. Rinse the butter pan with 2 cups warm water, and pour this water into your roasting pan, to the side of the bird, rather than on it, so you don’t rinse off your seasonings. Cover tightly and roast the turkey according to the package directions.

Remove from the oven. When the turkey has cooled enough, place it back in the juices. Refrigerate the turkey until the day you want to serve it. Reheat the bird at 350˚ for 45 minutes to an hour, or until heated throughout.

Serves about 15 people

Hint: When baking a whole turkey, it’s best to figure approximately one pound per person.

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About From the Farmhouse Kitchen


Fresh, Simple, & Wholesome Recipes
From Our Family to Yours

From the farmhouse kitchens of mother and daughter Carol Falb and Dawn Stoltzfus comes a collection of over 150 delicious recipes plus charming stories of everyday life on an active, working dairy farm.

Let Carol and Dawn show you how easy it is to share farm-to-table goodness with your loved ones, even if you don’t have your own garden…or working farm. Cooking should be more than just prepping food. When you prepare healthy meals using high-quality whole foods, you extend the love of Christ to others and bless them with your servant’s heart.

From fresh salads to hearty entrees to tantalizing desserts, let these treasured recipes become part of your family’s mealtime traditions and find joy in the simplicity of cooking fresh.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House Publishers

Dawn Stoltzfus, devoted wife and mother of four, has a passion for discovering creative ways to serve healthy, quick, and good food to friends and family. Before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom, she managed The Farmer’s Wife Market, a bakery, deli, and organic market outside of Washington, DC.


Recipes for a Three-Course Autumn Meal

Happy autumn, Amish readers! Last year, we invited you to Host a Harvest Get-Together using three recipes (Quick Garlic Cheese Breadsticks, Potato Chip Chicken Casserole, and Graham Cracker Fluff). This year, we’re sharing three recipes again—but this time, they’re all from the “fall” section of From the Farmhouse Kitchen, a new seasons-themed cookbook by Dawn Stoltzfus and Carol Falb! Our readers on Facebook helped us narrow down the choices. Now we present a three-course autumn meal for you to make and enjoy…

The Main Course



The Side Dish



The Dessert



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If you’d like to try more fall-themed recipes (or other seasonal delights), don’t forget to check out From the Farmhouse Kitchen. Happy cooking and baking!


Autumn Interview with Vannetta Chapman


Vannetta Chapman is the author of numerous Amish fiction books, including the Pebble Creek Amish series and the Amish Bishop Mystery series. We’re glad to have her here today to talk about her books, autumn, and all things cozy!

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AmishReader: Welcome, Vannetta! Autumn is a wonderful time for reading heartwarming books about Amish towns or diving into cozy mysteries. Your books certainly fit the bill! Before we chat about specific titles, though, we’d love to know… What are some of your favorite things about fall? What sets this season apart for you?

Vannetta: We love to camp and hike, so that would be one of my favorite things about fall. What sets it apart for me, especially since we live in Texas, is the feeling that we’ve made it through another difficult summer.

AmishReader: A Promise for Miriam features an Amish schoolteacher. Describe a day in the classroom that would delight Miriam’s heart…

Vannetta: I love the scene where the children are making Valentine’s Day cards. I remember doing that as a child. It’s such a simple thing to write a note, but it can really lift someone’s mood.


Photo: An Amish schoolroom in Wisconsin

AmishReader: A Home for Lydia features some cabins by a river, which makes for a perfect summer setting, but could also be a great autumn retreat. What kind of research went into the backdrop for this particular book? And what’s been one of your favorite fall outings or vacations?

Vannetta: We visited Wisconsin before I wrote this series, so I was able to see some beautiful countryside—and also a few tumbling-down old structures. It was easy to envision such a place coming to life with care and devotion. One of my favorite fall outings was a Fall Foliage Tour we took in the northeast one year. We traveled through upper state New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. We were able to see a lot of historical places as well as some beautiful parks and farms.

AmishReader: Sounds delightful!

Tourist season in Amish country includes the colorful part of fall, as the main character notes in A Wedding for Julia. Have you been to Amish country in autumn? If so, what was your experience like?

Vannetta: I have been fortunate to visit Amish communities in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Oklahoma, and yes—some of those visits took place in the fall. By definition, most Amish communities are rural places. We found each to be unique and beautiful.


Photo: An Amish farm in the fall in Middlebury, Indiana

AmishReader: Switching gears from Amish romance to Amish suspense… What do you think makes fall the perfect season for reading mysteries?

Vannetta: I read all the time. Some friends were teasing me this weekend because I’m such an avid reader, but it’s not unusual for me to read 2-3 books a week. So you know my answer to your questions is going to be—any time is a good time to read a mystery! If you’re wearing a sweater and savoring a cup of hot coffee or tea, all the better.

AmishReader: Great point!

Tell us a bit about the hero from your Amish Bishop Mysteries series. What would autumn look like in his neck of the woods? How would he enjoy spending a fall evening?

Vannetta: The Amish Bishop series takes place in Monte Vista, Colorado, so the fall would be full of color and also somewhat cold. I think Henry would enjoy spending his evening with his little dog at his feet, a book or Bible in his lap, and a steaming mug of coffee with one of Emma’s homemade treats.


Photo: An Amish farm in Monte Vista, Colorado

AmishReader: Just for fun, since your Amish Bishop Mysteries books have recipes at the end… What’s your favorite thing to bake or cook in the fall?

Vannetta: I’m learning how to make homemade granola bars. I don’t have a recipe, per se, but I’d love to hear what our readers like in their snacks. So far, I have oats, almond butter, honey, cranberries, walnuts, and almonds. What else should I include?

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Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full-time. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, pets, and a herd of deer.

Visit her at

*The three Amish country photos in this post were provided by Vannetta Chapman.


Purchase the Pebble Creek Amish series


Purchase the Amish Bishop Mysteries series


Autumn Recipe: Chili Bean Soup

Welcome to soup season, Amish readers! Here’s a recipe you can try this week from 99 Favorite Amish Soups and Stews by Georgia Varozza: Chili Bean Soup. Eager for more? Find the cookbook at your favorite bookseller, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, or Harvest House Publishers!

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Morning Treat Recipe: Easy Apple Fritters

Looking for a morning treat this weekend? Try this recipe for Easy Apple Fritters from 99 Favorite Amish Recipes by Georgia Varozza! And if you’d like more breakfast, lunch, or dinner ideas, you’ll find them in this cookbook, which is available through booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, or Harvest House Publishers.

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Refreshingly Simple Recipe: Lemon Pudding Cookies

Keep things simple but oh-so-tasty with this recipe for Lemon Pudding Cookies! It comes from The Amish Baking Cookbook by Georgia Varozza & Kathleen Kerr, and if you’d like to find more dessert goodness, the cookbook is available through booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, or Harvest House Publishers.

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Summer Recipe: German Potato Salad

How about a classic summer side dish? Add this German potato salad to your upcoming picnic or barbecue for a special treat! This recipe comes from 99 Favorite Amish Recipes by Georgia Varozza, and you can find the cookbook at your favorite bookseller, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, or Harvest House Publishers.

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The Story Behind Linda Mueller by Leslie Gould


The story behind Linda Mueller, the heroine of The Amish Quilter
(and what a fascinating minor character can lead to)

by Leslie Gould

When Mindy Starns Clark and I started writing the Women of Lancaster County series nearly a decade ago, Linda Mueller was an unnamed daughter of a midwifery client in the first book, The Amish Midwife.

Today, she’s the grown-up heroine of her own novel—The Amish Quilter, the fifth book in the series. She follows her sister Izzy, who was the heroine in The Amish Seamstress, the fourth book in the series. (All of the stories, although loosely connected, can be read on their own.)

What led to the two youngest Mueller daughters having their own stories in the series? The answer might surprise you.

Writing teachers will tell you to make your fictional characters, even minor ones, fascinating. Give them a past! Make them mysterious! And sympathetic!

Peggy Mueller, Linda and Izzy’s mother, was one of those minor characters who leapt onto the page. In The Amish Midwife, Peggy was close to forty and pregnant with her eleventh child. We find out Peggy was an unwed mother when her oldest daughter was born, and no one ever talks about the girl’s birth father. Peggy, who can be a little standoffish, enjoys time alone in her buggy, running errands without any of her children tagging along. After her last baby arrives, a boy named Thomas, her daughters care for her and take over all of the household chores.

Long after Mindy and I finished The Amish Midwife, Peggy and her girls stayed with us. So, in The Amish Bride, the third book in the series, it wasn’t surprising that the middle daughter—Izzy—played a supporting role.

Around that time, I had to know more about the Muellers and Peggy in particular. The best way, in the fictional world, to get acquainted with a person is to write her story, so I came up with “Lasting Love,” a short piece set nine months before The Amish Midwife. Besides finding out about Peggy’s backstory, I also wrote about her daughters: Sarah (called “Sadie” by her sisters), Becky, Izzy, Tabitha, and Linda.

By the time Mindy and I were ready to write our fourth book in the series, Izzy took the lead as the main character. Which brings us back to the fifth book in the series, The Amish Quilter, and to Linda.

Thanks to Peggy, a fascinating minor character, we now know her story along with the stories of her daughters. Authors can’t anticipate where a character, no matter how small her role, might lead!

You can download a free copy of my short story, “Lasting Love,” to find out Peggy’s story. (Click HERE to read it now!)

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leslie-gouldLeslie Gould is the bestselling and award-winning author of 26 novels. She received her master of arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon. She and her husband, Peter, are the parents of four children.

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Would you like a chance to win this book series and a handmade quilt from Lancaster County? Don’t miss our giveaway, which ends in just a few days on May 31, 2018!

You can find the giveaway by clicking HERE, or by clicking the image below…


*Photo in top image by sydney Rae on Unsplash


Art, Quilting, and Writing | An Interview with Mindy Starns Clark

We’re so excited to share this interview with Mindy Starns Clark on the AmishReader blog today! Mindy is the coauthor of the Women of Lancaster County series, and we’re chatting with her about The Amish Quilter, the latest release in the series. We hope you enjoy learning more about Mindy, this new book, and the Amish culture!

(If you’d like a chance to win this book series and a handmade quilt from Lancaster County, enter our giveaway, which ends May 31, 2018!)


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AmishReader: Welcome, Mindy! The Amish Quilter focuses on art, especially quilts and paintings. What do most Amish communities think of art? Why is it controversial?

Mindy: Many Amish see art as a pursuit that could lead to pride, which they’re careful to guard against. In a culture built around community, individual accomplishment and acclaim is to be avoided whenever possible.

Thus, at least in the past, art as an occupation was usually prohibited. Over time, however, restrictions relaxed somewhat, and nowadays it’s more likely for Amish communities to take the position that art is “allowed but not encouraged.”

Of course, that varies widely from district to district—including that of a young Amish woman I know in Lancaster County who regularly paints and sells beautiful artwork. When I asked if she had to get special permission to do so, she said no and even seemed surprised at the thought. So, as per usual with the Amish, there is no one hard and fast rule for every district across the board.

AmishReader: Do you personally enjoying creating or viewing art?

Mindy: Yes, both! I’m not all that good at it, but I really enjoy drawing and painting, and I actually do have one published sketch, the map in Secrets of Harmony Grove. I sent it in with my manuscript, assuming the publisher would have one of their people reconstruct it more artistically, but they ended up using my version instead. So that was fun and very gratifying!

I also love flipping through art books and going to art museums. My nephew, Andrew Starns, is an incredible artist, so it’s especially fun to go museum hopping with him. Andrew served as our art expert when we were writing The Amish Quilter, and he patiently answered all of my frantic texts with exactly the info we needed each time.


Andrew Starns painting

Photo: A portrait by Andrew Starns, who served as the art expert during the writing of The Amish Quilter

AmishReader: Do you or Leslie quilt? What kind of research did you have to do for that aspect of the novel?

Mindy: I believe Leslie quilted some when she was younger. I have not quilted at all, but in the writing of this book I found myself really wanting to try. I even went so far as to buy some batting and a pack of coordinated fabric squares, but once I sat down and got to work, I quickly realized that the best way to learn quilting is not via YouTube videos! I teach myself a lot of things that way, but I think quilting is a skill best learned in person. At least the supplies didn’t go to waste; I do sew, so I ended up using them for a different project.

For our story, Leslie took the helm on the quilting research, learning from interviews with quilters and supplementing that with various books and videos. Then, with that knowledge, she laid all of the groundwork for our various quilting scenes. On my end, once I gave up on my own teach-yourself-to-quilt experience, I headed to an Amish quilt shop instead and simply picked the owner’s brain to make sure any quilting stuff I’d added to the manuscript was correct.

That quilter was extremely friendly and helpful. And if I ever find room in the budget for an actual Amish quilt of my own (they run anywhere from $600 to $3000+), I’ll be sure to check hers out first as she had some of the most gorgeous quilts I’ve ever seen. At least I was able to purchase some smaller quilted items, two of which I’ll be giving away on my blog this month.


Photo: Mindy's favorite quilt in the Amish quilt shop where she researched The Amish Quilter

Photo: Mindy’s favorite quilt in the Amish quilt shop where she researched The Amish Quilter

AmishReader: Awesome! [Readers, I hope you’ll check out that fun giveaway!]

What was the best part about writing The Amish Quilter with Leslie?

Mindy: As always, the best part about writing with Leslie is simply getting to spend so much time with her. She’s such a special person and a dear friend. She’s also a tremendously gifted writer and a true pleasure to work with.

After eight books, we’ve gotten this thing down to a science, and it’s fun to see what a well-oiled machine we’ve become! Co-writing is such a unique endeavor, one that requires flexibility, ingenuity, compatibility, and much more. It also creates numerous practical and logistical challenges, especially when you live on opposite coasts, as we do. But because we’ve been doing this for so long, we’ve pretty much learned our way around whatever the book-writing process might throw at us.

Creating these books with Leslie has been a rewarding process from beginning to end, and I’m deeply pleased with what we’ve managed to accomplish together.

AmishReader: Your teamwork and enduring friendship are so admirable!

Do you have a favorite line or scene from The Amish Quilter that you can share with us? What makes it especially meaningful to you?

Mindy: One scene I really like is where Linda is chatting with her elderly friend, Ruth, about the Amish attitude toward art…

“I’m thankful things have changed,” Ruth said. “In the old days, such talents were discouraged.” She turned toward me. “Like your poor grandmother.”

“My grandmother?”

“Nettie used to paint. She was good too, but all it brought her was trouble.”

I looked at her, startled. “You always said Mammi Nettie was creative, but I didn’t realize you meant she was an artist.”

“Oh, yes. But she had to hide her skills under a bushel. I always felt so sorry for her. I remember discussing the matter with others more than once. I’d say, ‘Would the good Lord give a bird wings and tell it not to fly? Of course not. So why would He give Nettie such a gift and then tell her not to use it? Couldn’t she paint for His glory?’

That particular passage is meaningful to me because I’ve often said the same thing to aspiring authors who are doubting whether or not God wants them to write. I always respond the same way: If He’s given you the talent and the drive, then why wouldn’t He want you to write?

It was fun to express a similar sentiment in this story.



AmishReader: Which book in the Women of Lancaster County series was the most fun to write? Which one was the most challenging (or rewarding)?

Mindy: The most challenging was probably The Amish Midwife, just because neither of us had ever co-written before and hadn’t a clue how it was done. We also didn’t know each other, so we were having to navigate this complicated process while also learning each other’s styles and rhythms and methods. We managed to figure it out as we went, and our friendship blossomed in the process, but it’s definitely gotten easier with each subsequent book.

As for the one that was the most fun, it’s impossible to say because they’ve all been enjoyable in their own ways. The Amish Nanny was fun because our characters got to travel to Europe. The Amish Bride was fun because I loved Ella so much and found her entire tale quite compelling. (It’s my favorite in the series). The Amish Seamstress was fun because I really enjoyed the Amish-and-the-Indians historical elements, something that I’d known nothing about prior to the writing of that book. Finally, The Amish Quilter was fun because the romance between Linda and Isaac was so intricate and satisfying to help construct.

If I’m really honest, the most rewarding moments of the entire experience came when The Amish Midwife hit #1 on the bestseller list and then went on to win a Christy Award! Somehow, sharing both of those high points with a co-author made them twice as nice.


Leslie and Mindy with their husbands, Peter and John, after winning the 2012 Christy Award for The Amish Midwife

Photo: Leslie and Mindy with their husbands, Peter and John, after winning a Christy Award in 2012 for The Amish Midwife

AmishReader: That’s wonderful!

Which heroine in the series is most like you?

Mindy: Great question! I’d have to say it’s a tie…

First, I’m a lot like Ada Rupp, the main character in The Amish Nanny, just because of her love of travel and adventure and her desire to see the wider world. She’s also very visual, as am I, and she delights in beautiful things, both man-made and in nature.

Second, I’d say I’m like Izzy Mueller in The Amish Seamstress, because she’s such an introvert, content to work the hours away in solitude, always feeling when she is in a crowd just a bit like a square peg in a round hole. Mostly, however, what Izzy and I have in common is that we both fell in love with our best friends.

When I was in college, my best friend was a guy named John Clark, and we just loved spending time together, hanging out, laughing our heads off, talking for hours, and so on. Then one day, after we’d known each other for more than four years, I realized to my astonishment that I was in love with him. (I also realized that he loved me too, he just didn’t know it yet!) So, like Izzy, I bided my time until he came to his senses—and the rest is history. We’ve been married for almost 30 years now, and he’s still my best friend and favorite person in the whole world.

AmishReader: What a sweet love story, and how perfect to end our interview with a true happily-ever-after! Thank you so much for joining us today, Mindy.

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Mindy Starns Clark is a bestselling and award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million books sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. Visit her online at

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Eager to read The Amish Quilter? You can pick up a copy today through your favorite bookseller, such as,, or!


Easy-as-Pie Custard Pie Recipe

Get ready for summer with a quick and easy dessert to enjoy on the porch in the evening or to share with friends! This custard pie recipe can be found in From the Farmhouse Kitchen by Dawn Stoltzfus & Carol Falb. If you’d like to try more of Dawn & Carol’s seasonal recipes, be sure to pick up the cookbook at your favorite bookseller, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, or Harvest House Publishers!

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