Could anything be more fun than this?



Join us on Thursday, December 11th at 6:30 PMin the Prayer Room for A Lifegiving Christmas Party.  Tammy Maltby and Cathy Vogel will share a hands-on cooking workshop that will not only inspire, but will give you the tools to get started with entertaining basics, time-saving tips, and a small arsenal of fool-proof, irresistible recipes for the holiday season complete with tastings! Limited space! Do not delay in signing up today!

Registration is $10.00 and can be done online.



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I have always loved the idea that hospitality often looks like unusual kindness not just dinner parties and house beautiful magazines. It makes hospitality an opportunity for all of us. Unusual kindness that welcomes the stranger, the prisoner the orphan. Unusual kindness that buys the cup for coffee for the next person in line, or invites the neighbor kids over, noise and all. Or hospitality that takes time to listen to an elderly person share their life. Hospitality comes from the core word hospice: a place of healing comfort and care. This holiday season rethink hospitality and add the concept of unusual kindness and watch how your lifegiving actions bring forth the true ministry of hospitality.
Tammy Maltby
“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” Acts 28:2

My new cookbook Start Simply Cooking is now available for only $15.00. Over 70 of my best recipes from my cooking classes.

A perfect gift for the Foodie in your life! Perfect for the Holidays.




I simply love fall. I really love pumpkin! But pumpkin cake is simply the BEST!



This cake recipe I found on my dear friend’s Sandy Coughlin website

Her recipes are always just amazing. I doubled the recipe and baked them in three 9 inch pans. I tripled the frosting….of course I did!

I glazed the cake with pure maple syrup. With a few yummy pecans.  I generally don’t put nuts in the cake as my girls cannot eat nuts. But that does not stop me from putting them on top!

I love a great cake but I love a great connection and conversation at the table more. That is my heartfelt message. Hospitality is not about impressing people but it is giving them a message about their value.

So where do you start with hospitality? You start with your family. Your husband your children and those you love dearest. Start with loving them with your life. It is the true message of hospitality. Then love the stranger the foreigner the prisoner. They are everywhere around you. They actually are you.

Happy Fall friends!



PREP TIME: 15 min prep + 30 min cooling

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes

You can mix all of the nuts in the cake or leave 1/4 cup out for garnishing.


  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can 15 oz. pumpkin (I buy Trader Joe’s organic)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. maple extract


  1. Heat the oven to 350. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or in the microwave (on paper towel) for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Cook the nuts; chop and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Mix in the pumpkin, stirring well until combined. Add the chopped nuts.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 30 minutes and frost.
  6. For the frosting, with a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, adding in the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and extract. Beat until completely smooth.
  7. Frost the cake and top with extra nuts if you prefer; serve.

This delicious recipe brought to you by RELUCTANT ENTERTAINER

My new cookbook Start Simply Cooking is now available for only $15.00. Over 70 of my best recipes from my cooking classes.

A perfect gift for the Foodie in your life! Perfect for the Holidays.


Simply Cooking Cookbook-page-001

My best cookbook ever The Christmas Kitchen! 

The Christmas Kitchen on the table at the Pinery_n

Even in today’s busy times, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Author Tammy Maltby believes the true meaning of Christmas is realized when families gather to share activities that make Christmas “the most wonderful time of the year.” More than any other holiday, Christmas is when family and friends gather for a cup of hot chocolate, fresh-baked cookies, and lots of laughter.

Look inside this holiday treasure for: Easy-to-do holiday recipes – Hints for new traditions – Personal gift ideas – Kid-friendly activities – Simple decorating tips. The Christmas Kitchen is more than a recipe book, it’s a book designed to help you enjoy the  holiday season, not be burdened by it. Take a few minutes each day to  browse these pages for the help you’ve been looking for.

Merry Christmas and may your kitchen be filled, first, with the sweet aroma of love, and then with the spices of the season.

Order here:

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Warmed Baked Brie

Brie with Tammy

Nothing satisfies like a warm, creamy cheese. This recipe is so easy that you can make it in minutes. And the presentation is unreal!

Buy extra brie cheese rounds and puff pastry sheets and keep them in your freezer. You will always have a wonderful hors d’oeuvre to serve at a moment’s notice.

1 14 oz round Brie (the best variety and price can be found at Sam’s club).

1 package puffed pastry sheets (found in the section of the freezer where you find pie crusts).

Any vary of jams and chutneys.  Apricot is my personal favorite. I also like any type of chutney with  jalapenos in it. You can also add dried chopped nuts or fruit. 

Remove one sheet of the frozen puff pastry. Let it come to room temperature (or  microwave on defrost for 2 minutes. Make sure you watch it carefully).  Cut Brie in half, lengthwise. Place one slice of the Brie (creamy side up) in the center of the unfolded puff pastry sheet. Add filling. Approximately ½ cup of whatever you choose.  Place other half of Brie (creamy side down) on top of fruit mixture.

Carefully wrap the puff pastry upward around the Brie. Starting with the corners of the pastry fold up in a circle fashion around the Brie, gathering the ends in the center of the Brie.  Place on foil lined and sprayed cookie sheet seam side down.  Brush with egg.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

TIME TIP: Make these in the morning and wrap with plastic wrap. About 30 minutes before baking remove from refrigerator.

Brie 2
Brie 3

So warm and yummy!


Brie 4

The Christmas Kitchen Pinery

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I always love when babies are born into our community!

Congratulations Hannah and Andrew Maas on your new little son!
Years ago I made this salad for Hannah and I think she ate the whole recipe! (Tiny little thing that she is!) She said it was her favorite all time salad.

It is fantastic.

So what would this new mama want? I knew right away what I would bring
Quinoa Salad with Cashews Grapes and Fresh Basil.
Pair this salad with some fresh crunchy bread and you will have one of the best summer meals
          Simple Tip: Have you heard of Meal Train?
 It is a wonderful way to organize meals for those you love when a need arises. I have used it several times and now I am hooked.

Quinoa Salad with Cashews Grapes and Fresh Basil

Cook 2 cups using package instructions. (I cook my quinoa with chicken broth instead of water to give it even more flavor)


1/2 cup cashews halved

1 cup green grapes halved

1 can mandarin oranges drained

1 med red onion chopped

1/2 chopped sweet yellow pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup cooked Chicken(I use rotisserie chicken)

4 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 1/2 tsp lemon grass

Toss together.

Top with Newman’s Own or a Raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Arrange on fresh spinach leaves. Garnish with avocado slices.

Note: My dear friend Phyllis Stanley introduced me to her Chicken Quinoa Salad. Phyllis has great information on cooking with grains and pressure cookers on her site


If you ever encounter a life-giving woman, you’ll remember her. She exudes encouragement and power and inspires you to become the person you were meant to be.
Restorative life-giving actions are being lived out daily in the lives of ordinary women.
Tammy Maltbyoffers Lifegiving, a wonderfully enriching volume filled with teaching on how to become a woman who brings life, hope, and inspiration to others.


So what does a fresh take at hospitality look like?

It’s not just doing something unusual for “company”…but creating an everyday lifestyle that provides welcome to family, friends, strangers . . . and yourself.

It’s not just inviting people into your home…but using all the resources God has provided—your physical space, your possessions, your time and energy and talents, your unique family background and personality, even your failures and mistakes—to extend comfort and care to other people. It’s using your unique gifts to make them feel safe and comfortable and wanted.

Quite literally, it’s loving people with your whole life.

And that, I believe is what community is really all about.

Stop for just a minute and consider just how powerful that idea really is.

Loving people with your life.

Serving them in a way that is uniquely yours. Offering your very self as well as your home and table as a refuge to those who feel alien and alone—and don’t all of us feel that way at times?
Helping others feel accepted, loved, celebrated, and doted on just confirms to them that they truly do matter. You matter, I matter, our children matter, and even the least of these matter.

Making room for others to just be.

That, friends, is hospitality—and it’s not just for those with gorgeous homes, professional cooking skills, support staff on call, or special spiritual gifts. It’s not just for happy homemakers or organizational whizzes or extroverted personalities.

It’s the way God calls us the live. In community with care and celebration.

I want to challenge you, to show you why hospitality may need to be a bigger part of your life than it is right now.

I desire to encourage you, to convince you that you can do it—even if you can’t cook or you have a houseful of little kids or you live in Winnebago.
I want to inspire you to stretch yourself, to expand your thinking about what hospitality means and what it’s supposed to mean and how you can develop a ministry of hospitality that’s uniquely yours.

But most important, I want to urge you to start simply…but simply start.

This perspective helps us move past the paralysis of attempting something that seems too hard and for some, impossible. It removes the pressure to be perfect and frees us actually to enjoy the process of celebrating life. It helps us move beyond obligation or duty and recover the passion and excitement of making others feel they matter.

And it helps us remember that most good things are learned in the doing, that life is a journey, and that we can’t go anywhere until we begin putting one foot in front of the other.



Women today are more stressed out, burned out, and defeated than ever before.
The more they seek to better themselves, the farther they fall toward despair.
The key according to Tammy Maltby is to become less self-centered and more other-centered.
Tammy encourages the reader to be the one who gives life to others!
In Lifegiving, she provides sound biblical teaching on what it means to be a lifegiver with out wearing yourself out
and how this flows out of a rich inner relationship with God.
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