Summer at Sagamore and Spinach Rockefeller Casserole

I’m happy to welcome fellow Wild Heart Books author, Lisa M. Prysock, to my blog! Lisa shares a bit about her latest book as well as a recipe. Welcome to Historical Nibbles, Lisa!

During the Gilded Age when A Summer at Sagamore takes place (1907), Oysters Rockefeller was a very popular baked dish comprised of butter, oysters on the half shell, cheese, lemon juice, and breadcrumbs. Since my characters often have a good deal of banter going on between them at meal times during their stay at the Sagamore Resort nestled in the Adirondacks, I thought you might enjoy a similar recipe without oysters.

Spinach Rockefeller Casserole doesn’t have any oysters in it all, though I believe shelled oysters could easily be added to this casserole. My grandmother loved serving it as an occasional side, often at Easter. It pairs well with ham.

Here’s how to make it–:


2 boxes frozen chopped spinach

1 ¼ cup stuffing or dried bread croutons (I usually use the herb seasoned ones)

1 stick of butter

¾ cup water

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce by Lea n Perrin’s

3 TBSP melted butter

½ tsp celery salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp sea salt

¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers

½ cup grated Parmesan


Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Cook frozen spinach in 3/4 cup water on stovetop over medium high heat. Stir frequently until all the pieces are cooked and broken apart. Do not drain the water.

Add butter, celery salt, pepper, sea salt, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Add the croutons. Stir well until the spinach mixture is hot and combined well. Set aside.

For the topping, combine crushed crackers, melted butter, and parmesan in a bowl. Stir well.

Add the spinach to a casserole dish. Spread the topping on the spinach. Bake about 13 minutes until lightly topping is golden brown and piping hot. Serve with the meal as a side.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. It’s a lovely alternative to creamed spinach, another popular dish during the Gilded Age.

A Summer at Sagamore

Can summer love survive amid mystery and mayhem?

When Abigail Greenwood and her cousins settle in for their annual summer retreat at the stunning and impressive Sagamore Resort in the Adirondacks, all she wants is to spend as much time as possible plunking out stories on her typewriter. But when her cousins insist she join them in the tradition of choosing a beau to adore from a distance during their stay, she reluctantly plays along, setting her sights on a mysteriously quiet and aloof guest. What started as harmless fun soon changes as Abby finds herself captivated by debonair—and handsome—Jackson Gable. Who is he, and why does his arrogant amused smile exasperate her so much?

When a series of events causing mayhem and mischief begin to occur at Sagamore, journalist Jackson Gable is determined to get to the bottom of it, since his father is an investor of the resort. Jack has a nose for mysteries, but he may have to use his recently earned law degree and some of his posh family connections to sleuth out the culprit. Are the events connected? Why are they happening? And why can’t he get the beautiful Abby off his mind?


About Lisa

Lisa M. Prysock is a USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Christian and Inspirational Author. She and her husband of more than twenty years reside in Kentucky. They have five children, grown. 

She writes in the genres of both Historical Christian Romance and Contemporary Christian Romance, including a multi-author Western Christian Romance series, “Whispers in Wyoming.” She is also the author of a devotional. Lisa enjoys sharing her faith in Jesus through her writing.

Lisa has many interests, but a few of these include gardening, cooking, drawing, sewing, crochet, cross stitch, reading, swimming, biking, and walking. She loves dollhouses, cats, horses, butterflies, hats, boots, flip-flops, espadrilles, chocolate, coffee, tea, chocolate, the colors peach and purple, and everything old-fashioned. 

She adopted the slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl” because of her love for classic, traditional, and old-fashioned everything. When she isn’t writing, she can sometimes be found teaching herself piano and violin but finds the process “a bit slow and painful.” Lisa enjoys working with the children and youth in her local church creating human videos, plays, or programs incorporating her love for inspirational dance. A few of her favorite authors include Jane Austen, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. You’ll find “food, fashion, fun, and faith” in her novels. Sometimes she includes her own illustrations.

She continues the joy and adventure of her writing journey as a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and LCW (Louisville Christian Writers). Lisa’s books are clean and wholesome, inspirational, romantic, and family oriented.  She gives a generous portion of the proceeds to missions.  

Discover more about this author at where you’ll find the links to purchase more of her books, free recipes, devotionals, author video interviews, book trailers, giveaways, blog posts, and much more, including an invitation to sign up for her free newsletter.

Links to Connect with Lisa:

Facebook, Twitter,

Amazon Author Page,


(Lisa’s Facebook Reader & Friends group.)


Traditional Thousand Islands Shore Dinner

I’m happy to welcome fellow Wild Heart Book’s author, Susan G. Mathis, to my blog! She shares a recipe with us and a bit about her newest historical romance release. Welcome, Susan!

by Susan G. Mathis

Traditionally, the Thousand Islands Shore Dinner was a big fishing party. Several skiffs rallied at one island, dispersed to fish until noon, partook of a shore dinner, and then fished again until late afternoon. Fine folk like George Pullman, Frederick Bourne, and J.P. Morgan—and even President Ulysses S. Grant when he visited the islands in 1872—took time to get away from big-city life and find a quiet fishing vacation in the islands. 

The main boat would often be a small steam yacht. They would leave around 7 a.m., towing up to ten skiffs trailing behind them. The captain would choose an uninhabited island to use for a shore dinner, prepare the meal himself or drop off the meal preparers, and send the fishing guides off to row their guests to different fishing spots. 

Around noon, the fishing guides row the guests back to the steamer for a relaxing shore dinner, and then take the fishermen back out for an afternoon of more fishing. 

Traditional Thousand Islands shore dinners include fresh fish, French toast, and a sandwich with fried pork strips. And, of course, a salad with Thousand Islands Dressing.

Appetizers consisted of fatback and onion sandwiches and a salad with Thousand Islands dressing, of course, and crumbles of fatback. The main meal includes plates of fish and potatoes. And dessert was coffee and French toast. 

Then comes the French toast for dessert, also fried in the same pan as the pork and fish, and topped with lots of local maple syrup. Again, one needn’t count the calories; just enjoy the unique flavors of the shore dinner.

Today, uninhabited islands are few and far between, so shore dinners became a little more complicated. But several companies still serve patrons who want a traditional shore dinner. In fact, the NY State parks were, in part, established to provide a place for shore dinners. Maybe one day you, too, can visit the Thousand Islands and enjoy a traditional shore dinner.   

 Do you think you’d enjoy this meal? Here’s a recipe for Thousand Islands Dressing!

Thousand Island Dressing

2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
1 tablespoon green pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon scallions, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together and chill to blend flavors.

About Mary’s Moment:

Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better.—Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author

Summer 1912

Thousand Island Park’s switchboard operator ​Mary Flynn is christened the community heroine for her quick action that saves dozens of homes from a terrible fire. Less than a month later, when another disastrous fire rages through the Park, Mary loses her memory as she risks her life in a neighbor’s burning cottage. Will she remember the truth of who she is or be deceived by a treacherous scoundrel?

Widowed fireman George Flannigan is enamored by the brave raven-haired lass and takes every opportunity to connect with Mary. But he has hidden griefs of his own that cause him great heartache. When George can’t stop the destructive Columbian Hotel fire from eradicating more than a hundred businesses and homes, he is distraught. Yet George’s greater concern is Mary. Will she remember their budding relationship or be forever lost to him?      

Readers of Christian historical romance will enjoy this exciting tale set in 1912 Thousand Island Park, NY.


Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has ten in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Peyton’s Promise, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Rachel’s Reunion, and Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit for links to buy and more.

Banana Muffins

by Sandra Merville Hart

I had some bananas I needed to use so found a new recipe for muffins in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook that I wanted to try. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare for baking and I had all the ingredients on hand, which is always a win for me.


2 cups white flour (I used bread flour)

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup milk

½ cup melted butter

2 bananas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spray muffin pans with cooking spray.

Slice the bananas. I used a pastry blender to get the slices into smaller pieces for easier blending. Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients. Stir in the egg, milk, banana, and butter just until blended.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, with each individual cup about 2/3 full. It makes 12 muffins.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

These muffins were my breakfast a couple of days. Nice banana flavor. Next time I will add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to enhance the flavor, but they are also delicious without it.  

I’d love to hear if you try it.


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.

White Bread and Cheese Bread

by Sandra Merville Hart

I was looking for a bread recipe to serve with beef stew for guests. I found this wonderful recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

With stew as my main course, I wanted a hearty bread as an accompaniment. These loaves did not disappoint any of my guests.

This recipe makes 2 loaves. There was suggested variation for making cheese bread. That appealed to me so I made one white and one cheese loaf.


2 tablespoons shortening

2 ½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup hot milk

1 cup hot water

1 package dry yeast

6 cups white flour (I used bread flour)

1 ½ cups grated Cheddar Cheese or other cheese (if making cheese bread)

Blend the shortening, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the hot milk and water. Set aside and allow it to cool to lukewarm. (The mixture cools within a few minutes.)

Meanwhile, place the yeast into a small bowl and mix it with ¼ cup warm water. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes to dissolve and activate the yeast.

Add the activated yeast to the cooled mixture and stir. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until well-blended. (I used my hands—too much of my Southern grandma in me. 😊) Add 2 more cups of flour and mix it together well. Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a minute or two.

Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

You’re ready to knead again. Of the remaining cup of flour, add just enough so the dough isn’t sticky, a little at a time as you knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth. (I might have had ½ cup of flour that wasn’t needed of the 6 cups.)

Grease a large bowl. Place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm area and allow it to rise until the size doubles.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans with cooking spray.

Punch the risen dough and divide it in half. Place one half in one of the pans.

If you plan for one of the loaves to be cheese bread, gently mix in the shredded cheese now with your hands. Then place the prepared cheesy dough into the other loaf pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and wait until it doubles in size.

Remove plastic wrap and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then lower setting to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.

Delicious! I sliced the cooled bread and we ate it with beef stew—what a treat! Crusty bread went perfectly with the meal. Some buttered the slices and others didn’t, but all enjoyed freshly baked white or cheese bread for supper.

My husband and I ate leftovers the following evening and it still tasted just as delicious.

The whole process took about 3 ½ hours from start to finish. I will make this again.

***I made this again for family. They loved the bread! In fact, my sister loved the cheese bread so much that she suggested I sell it! I think it’s delicious too, and well worth the time and effort to make it.

I’d love to hear if you try it.


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.

Pinwheel Appetizers

by Sandra Merville Hart

When trying to decide which appetizer to take to a holiday party, I thought about pinwheels. It had been several years since I made them and didn’t recall the ingredients so I made up my own.

I decided to make two different types, both using flour tortillas as the base.

The first one was a pizza pinwheel.

Pizza Pinwheel

Large flour tortillas

Sliced Pepperoni

Pizza sauce

1 tomato, diced small

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Heat pizza sauce. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the tortilla. Arrange pepperoni slices over the sauce.

Sprinkle crumbled bacon and diced tomatoes over the top. Then add a thin layer of cheese.

Fold over the sides and begin rolling from the bottom to the top until ends meet.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Repeat the process to make as many pinwheels as needed.

If serving this appetizer as hot, heat it in the microwave for 30 – 45 seconds before slicing it.

It also tastes good cold. No need to heat before slicing.

For my second one, I decided to make a pinwheel using veggies from a veggie tray. Chopping/preparing the vegetables was the only time-consuming part of this.

Veggie Pinwheel

Large flour tortillas

Broccoli, chopped small

Cauliflower, chopped small

Celery, sliced thin

Carrots, diced small

Tomato, diced small

Ranch dressing

Cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and carrots in a bowl.

Spoon a thin layer of Ranch dressing over the tortilla. Arrange a small amount of the veggie mixture from above over the dressing.

Sprinkle diced tomatoes over the top. Then add a thin layer of cheese.

Fold over the sides and begin rolling from the bottom to the top until ends meet.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to slice and serve.

Repeat the process to make as many pinwheels as needed.

Both of these were a hit with the guests. 😊

Illustrated Cincinnati by Daniel J. Kenny

Reviewed by Sandra Merville Hart

Pictorial Hand-book of the Queen City

I love this book!

Published in 1875, the author jam-packed this book with descriptions and sketches of hotels, places of entertainment, public buildings, schools, colleges, banks, parks, and churches. It gives details about transportation, club houses, boat clubs, and charities.

The sketches of early buildings include the people and modes of transportation on the streets. Perhaps the author did not realize that such sketches would provide details about clothing, omnibuses, railcars, and landaus pulled by horse teams to readers long after such things were not even a memory for those still living.

A sketch of the Burnet House shows what an impressive hotel it was—and Abraham Lincoln is on its register!

I read this book during my research for my book set in Cincinnati, A Not So Persistent Suitor. I used some wonderful information from the book about the Tyler Davidson Fountain on Fifth Street in my story. I referred to the book time and again while writing my story set in 1883-84.

Recommended for readers who love the history of Cincinnati and Ohio.


Marshmallow Snowmen – Fun for the Family

by Sandra Merville Hart

I made Rick Krispie Treats over the holidays and had leftover marshmallows that I decided would make a fun treat for our young grandchildren.

There were plenty of the larger marshmallows for the 3 sections. I made a batch of icing, thinking that icing would be necessary as edible “glue” to stick the sections together.

Either the icing doesn’t work well, or the young artists require more patience than ours possess to allow it to dry. 😊

Anyway, we discovered that pressing the marshmallows together without icing actually bonded the sections quite well.

Next, I set out bowls with candy eyes, pretzels, chocolate chips, and pink, green, and white icing to decorate. A potato chip became a snowman hat. Icing worked well to glue the candy to the marshmallow creation.

Even Grandpa got in in the fun!

When the children are decoratimg, their imaginations go wild so that no two snowmen look exactly alike.

This is a fun winter activity for the family.

A New Year’s Tradition

by Sandra Merville Hart

I didn’t like black-eyed peas as a child. My dad didn’t seem especially fond of them either since my mom only served them once a year.

Yet my dad insisted that everyone at the table eat at least one bite of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. It had been more than a tradition when my dad was growing up. He’d been taught to believe that eating this side dish at the New Year’s supper brought good luck.

While he may not have believed it totally, the tradition had been ingrained in him. He made certain that someone remembered to buy a bag of the dried beans or a can to serve each year.

Every year, that is, until what was to be the final Christmas for him and mom.

That year, he seemed to sense that my mother would not see another Christmas. He called his two children that lived hundreds of miles away and told them to come home for Christmas. His other children were already in the area.

That Christmas, the weather cooperated with mild temperatures. We were all together for about a week. My mom hadn’t been going out for much more than doctor appointments for months, but we managed to get her out for the daily festivities.

With all the grandchildren and in-laws gathered, it felt like a gift to celebrate the holidays together. At one point, my parents and all four of their children found themselves sitting around the dining room table together. It had been many years since that happened. No one wanted to move. It was such a gift, one that never happened again.

No one remembered to buy black-eyed peas for the New Year’s meal. My dad seemed a bit concerned but took it in stride.

The following year ushered in one nightmare after another. There were several deaths in the family, including both my parents.

Do I believe those tragic events had anything to do with not eating that traditional dish? Not at all.

Still, in honor of my dad, I serve black-eyed peas to all who eat at my table on New Year’s Day.

Pecan Pie Recipe

by Sandra Merville Hart

When my daughter asked me to bring a pecan pie for a family dinner, I had to search for a recipe. I can’t clearly remember making one, but, if I did, it was before she was born. 😊

I chose one from my old Fannie Farmer’s cookbook.

Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces whole pecans

Prepared single crust pie dough

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the bottom layer of pie dough into your pie plate and prick with a fork several times along the bottom and sides. (I bought prepared pie dough to save time.)

Blend together the eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.

Arrange the pecans around the bottom of the pie pan. It’s okay to fill in with broken ones on the bottom layer because no one will see it.

Then pour the filling over the pecans. Next, arrange another layer of unbroken pecan over the filling.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 350. Continue baking for 35 minutes.

This delicious pie earned compliments from all who ate it. The gooey filling with 2 layers of pecans had a nice nutty flavor. A slice of the sweet pie was my breakfast the next day.   

Let me know if you try it.



Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.

Apple Pie Recipe

by Sandra Merville Hart

I decided to change my apple pie recipe because I wanted to cook the apples ahead of baking. I used parts of my old familiar recipe and changed others—just in time to share at our family Thanksgiving meal! It was risky but everyone liked it.

Apple Pie

5-6 tart apples such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into large slices (a generous 4 cups of apples)

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Prepared 2 crust pie dough

1 beaten egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the sliced apples. Gently toss the apples into the sugary mixture until they are well-coated.

Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the apple mixture. Stir often as the apples cook. As the fruit cooks, it releases juices that thicken in the bottom of the pan. Cook until the apples begin to soften, about 10 – 12 minutes.

Pour the apple mixture into a bowl and allow to cool.

Place the bottom layer of pie dough into your pie plate and prick with a fork several times along the bottom and sides. (I bought prepared pie dough to save time.)

Pour cooled apples onto the prepared pie plate. Cover with the top layer of crust and fold it under the bottom layer. Using your thumbs, press the ends together to seal and to make a fluted edge.

Brush the top layer with the egg and sprinkle on about a teaspoon of sugar. Using a knife, make slits for the air to escape.

Bake 45- 50 minutes or until golden brown.

As I said, I took this to a family Thanksgiving meal and hoped for the best.

I needn’t have worried. The delicious pie was a hit. It was a little sweet, but not overly so. Six apples were the right amount of fruit. The filling was thick and didn’t spill out over the plate when slicing it.

Let me know if you try it.