start simply cooking

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:

Visit me on facebook:



This past week Cathy and I hosted another one of our Start Simply Cooking Classes. It was an event to honor Lifegiving women!


For this event we hosted a brunch. I LOVE brunch. I get hungry right around 10:30 in the morning so brunch is the perfect meal of choice for me.

Have you considered hosted a brunch for your friends?

Not only do people love brunch but it is generally a lot more affordable then hosting a dinner.

I have always loved Cinnamon Rolls with good coffee and fresh cream. I am confident it’s because growing up my amazing Mama made them for us every Saturday night for Sunday morning. Talk about love and memory lane!

We took this semi homemade recipe and made three different presentations of cinnamon rolls.

One being the original way I make them, another the way my Mama made them and then the last an idea I got off of Pinterest. (LOVE Pinterest almost as much as Cinnamon Rolls! You too?)

Pair this with Fresh fruit and Lemon Whip (soon to post) and a great egg bake and you have a wonderful brunch.

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls Three Ways


1 loaf Rhodes™ Bread Dough, thawed and risen
6 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins or can raisins for chopped apple

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract


 Roll dough into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Add fruit. Starting on short side, roll dough up. Cut crosswise into 4 slices. Place slices in an 8-inch square sprayed baking pan. Cover rolls with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and ice while still warm. Icing: Combine powdered sugar, milk, butter and vanilla.


 My presentation!


My Mama’s presentation!


And the easiest of all was a discovery on Pinterest!! (Visual directions below)


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I also loved this idea! Gifts for the women. Isn’t this simple but amazing? Lifegiving women.

Find these and 80 other amazing recipes in our new Cookbook: Start Simply Cooking! Hospitality is not about perfection and impressing but rather comfort and care. It is a message we give others about their value.

Now available for only $15.00

A perfect gift for the Foodie in your life!


Simply Cooking Cookbook-page-001

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Chunky Artichoke and Jalapeno Garlic Bread

Art bread

If you know anything about me you know I claim to cheat proudly. Here is a fantastic easy recipe where half  the recipe is done before you start!

If you want
to make a meal out of this you could chop up some ready to go rotisserie chicken. Seriously divine.

Here I am cooking with my good friends Cathy Gries and Julie Gorman. Julie and I just shot about 30 cooking videos for a new APP that  FYI (For Your Inspiration) is launching.

Ck out her site it is fantastic!




I am such a messy cook. They just reminded me! 


One container of premade Artichoke Dip from Costco

One large glass jar of marinated Artichokes drained and chopped from Costco

2 cans chopped green chilies

2 celery stocks chopped

2 cups of your favorite shredded white cheese

Red pepper flakes

5 shakes of hot pepper sauce

2 loafs of garlic bread or regular French bread

Mix first set of ingredients together

Cut bread lengthwise

Spread on mixture on both sides of bread

Place in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Serve with veggies.

Tip: This is also excellent with sundried tomatoes.

For More on Lifegiving Hopitality ck out my books: Lifegiving and The God Who Sees You:



Book: SOON to be released Best of Start Simply Recipes!!

Sign up for this blog to get notifications of when it will be released! Easy beautiful recipe you will love and be successful at.

Or email Cathy Gries at to pre-order your copy today friends!

Cookbook release







Our July cooking class is going to be AWESOME! 

Cooking class May

Several months ago my dear friend Cathy Gries suggested we host cooking classes. She loves baking and I love cooking so we thought it was a great match! Though I have spoken to thousands of women on hospitality and co-hosted a national TV show featuring lots of great food I had never done personal cooking classes. Boy was I missing out!

Well the classes have been amazingly fun, delicious and lively! I have met some really wonderful women who are passionate about great food and also practicing the wonderful gift of hospitality. They are committed to finding new ways of loving others with their lives without wearing themselves out. Sound like a plan don’t ya think?

If you are in the Denver /Colorado Springs area I would like to invite you to our class this July 24th at 6:30. We will be hosting this class in Cathy’s home. If you live away you can still join us on Facebook  Start Simply but Simply Start when we post recipes, upcoming classes and lots of helpful tips on making hospitality work for you and those you love.

Here is a sample Menu of our upcoming class! Tell me your mouth isn’t watering!??


Watermelon, Blue Cheese & Prosciutto Wrap Drizzled with Honey (A great recipe that my friend Sandy shared on her blog www.
Avocado-Bacon Toasts with Lime
Fresh Peach and Tomato Mozerella Platter with Basil Vinaigrette 
Strawberry Mango Salsa and Chips
Buffalo Chicken Appetizer Cups


The Maltby Cake with fresh whipped creme chocolate dipped strawberries raspberries and blackberries.
Simple Lemon Cream Cake
Berries with Merigine (low carb and glutton free)
Summer Plum Peach and Blueberry Crostata
A 3 minute dessert (and yes you can time us!)

Please register under the ABOUT section of our page! Cooking Classes Bring a friend daughter or a sister. It is a wonderful night out!

Email Cathy if you have any questions.

“Hospitality is a message you give others about their value. It’s not about impressing people but rather giving them comfort and care.”


Photography by the amazing Beverly Bender


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 and how this flows out of a rich inner relationship with God. Lifegiving Discovering the Secrets to a Beautiful Life

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