Sherri Stewart


December Field Trip to Frankenmuth

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December 2020 Newsletter

It’s Field Trip Time!

Let's go to Frankenmuth, Michigan!
Sherri Stewart

What are your Christmas or Hanukkah traditions? If you’re from a different country, what are some of your unique traditions ? Email me with your answer, or try one of the recipes in this Christmas edition, and score a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
This month we’re taking a field trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Growing up near Frankenmuth, our family always made the trip to Bronner’s to buy our yearly Christmas tree ornament, enjoy a traditional German chicken dinner at the Bavarian Inn, and stopped at Kern’s for a stick of summer sausage. Even as an adult, whenever I return to Michigan to visit family, I try to fit in a trip to Frankenmuth. Love the fried chicken and spaetzle!

On Christmas Eve, we always enjoy a bowl of cheese soup, along with charcuterie and Christmas cookies. If you’ve been to Epcot, you’ll recognize this recipe.

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
½ lb. bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into ¼ inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into ¼ inch pieces
4 tbs. butter
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. chicken stock
4 c. milk
¾ lb. grated white cheddar cheese
1 tbs. Tabasco sauce
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ c. warm beer
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish
  1. In a 4-5 quart Dutch oven, cook the bacon, stirring over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned
  2. Add the red onion, celery, and butter, and saute until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes over medium heat. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil after you add the milk.
  5.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until the cheese is melted and the soup is smooth. Stir in warm beer. If the soup is too thick, add some warm milk.
  6.  Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped scallions or chives.
Relax with one of Sherri's Christmas books

Entertaining Angels

God has a very special plan for each person, and sometimes He sends an angel to help things along. In this series, Entertaining Angels, you will meet Maude and Claude, two sweet, rather clumsy angels whom God assigns the job of bringing together two worthy people. Enjoy these six romances that received a helping hand from an unlikely source.

The Promise Keeper
Meadow meets Jonathan by chance in London. Two American strangers sharing the same seat at a concert. What are the odds? Thus begins a whirlwind fairy tale in London and in Wales. But all good things must end. They promise to meet at Christmas on the rooftop of Cardiff Castle in Wales in two years if they’re not already spoken for. Will Jonathan keep his promise? If you enjoyed Serendipity and Sleepless in Seattle, The Promise Keeper is the book for you.

Sleeping through Christmas
Lily Rountree wishes she could skip December all together. In fact, for the last two decades, memories of the death of her twin, Poppy, have traumatized her so much that she forgets the simplest things. And she falls asleep at the worst times in the most embarrassing places. But if it weren’t for that unscheduled nap at Simon-Morrisey Department Store, she wouldn’t have met Justin Knight, or overheard his plan to rob the store, an art museum, and a bank. When Justin learns about Lily’s presence, their cat-and-mouse game begins, and the holidays take on a whole new meaning. May contain mild Christian references.
Meet Best-Selling Author, Cynthia Hickey.

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters, and small writer retreats. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona and Arkansas, becoming a snowbird, with her husband and one dog. She has ten grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer.”

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Our favorite tradition is done first thing Christmas morning. Before we dig into our stockings and gifts, we say a prayer and toast Jesus with sparkling cider, then write on a slip of paper only something we can give Him. Then, without anyone knowing what our gift to Jesus is, we put it in his stocking. We've done this since our children were small.

Tell us about where you live.

Although we're snowbirds, spending the winters in Arizona, the small town of Atkins, Arkansas is where we spend the majority of our time. Small town, friendly people, crazy mishaps...we had a long horned steer run through our front yard a few days ago. Pleasures are simple and Christmas is focused on the real reason for the season.

What’s your favorite restaurant in your town?

If you want a taste of Atkins, you'd have to go to Jose's International Cafe. The building has been around since the 1940s. Mismatched furniture and a massive oil painting covers the old brick walls. They serve everything from hamburgers to enchiladas and never lack for business.


Missing diamonds…again
A snooty cat with a penchant for trouble…
The last thing she wanted was another mystery to solve.

It’s Christmas, CJ Turley’s favorite holiday, only something hovers over the festivities. A cat’s collar disappears and it seems as if Caper, CJ’s darling pup, might be the culprit. It’s easier to believe than suspecting the owners of the cat from stealing from themselves.
Hilarity and mayhem follow CJ and her friends as they try to solve the theft. All CJ really wants is to have a nice holiday with a Christmas party no one will forget.
Full of twists, turns, and laughs, this Christmas novella is sure to please cozy mystery fans.

Caper Steals Christmas: A Small Town Cozy Mystery (A Tiny House Mystery Book 6) - Kindle edition by Hickey, Cynthia. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @

Website at

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Cynthia’s Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pretzel Salad
A cool strawberry gelatin salad with a cream cheese middle and pretzel crust.

Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Servings: 10

•    ¾ cup butter, softened
•    3 tablespoons brown sugar
•    2 ½ cups crushed pretzels
•    1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O®
•    2 cups boiling water
•    3 cups strawberries, chilled
•    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
•    1 cup white sugar
•    1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
•    Cream butter or margarine with the brown sugar. Mix in the pretzels and pat mixture into the bottom of one 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
•    In a medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and stir in the strawberries. Chill until partially thickened.
•    In a small bowl beat the cream cheese and white sugar together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread mixture over the top of the cooled crust, making sure to seal the edges. Chill then pour the gelatin mixture over he cream cheese layer. Chill until firm.

Meet Author Colleen Snyder
I've always had a passion for writing. I authored two previously published books: Journey to Amanah: The Beginning and Return to Tebel-Ayr: The Journey Continues (B&H Publishing)(1991, 1993). Vicki Crumpton was the acquisitions editor, and I was her first acquisition! I currently live on a  5-acre “ranchette” in California with my mom, my sister and her husband, four dogs, one (mostly invisible) cat, two horses (one a quarter horse, and one a mini horse.) I will forever be in training as the (very) juniorest ranch hand. I  serve on my church prayer team and exercise ministries of encouragement and intercession. I have worked as a factory line worker, pharmacy technician, USAF missile systems analyst, nanny, janitor, teacher, and whatever else the Lord required. My story is for His glory, always.

Describe where you live.
My official mailing address is "Madera, CA, but we live way outside of town. We are at the entrance to the "Gateway to Yosemite." Sounds picturesque, doesn't it? The only ones who see the Gateway are the cows that inhabit the fields on either side of the highway. I love living where I wake up to cows lowing, goats baying, ducks and chickens clucking, along with the sounds of hawks and other birds.
I also love seeing the Milky Way with naked eyes. There isn't an abundance of trees, so I can see for miles and miles...My sister and I have sat through the night to watch meteor showers and even saw a comet. If you come this way, you need to keep driving and go to Yosemite National Park! The map says 40 miles, but those are 40 mountain miles, so plan on taking a couple of hours to get there!

Tell us about your new book, Verdict at the River’s Edge. It looks like a page-turner.

Collin Walker, a social worker from the inner city of Oakton, Ohio, has come to Camp Grace for what is billed as “an extreme sports camp.” Her single purpose: to show her ward, Rob Sider, that there is more to life than the streets “…show you can be strong and still love, win without cheating, and succeed in life without all the bells and whistles…” Collin has no way of knowing that God has other plans for her week: facing a lifelong terror of rushing rivers, and perhaps her greatest fear of all, the possibility of love.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
The one I remember most was with my children in Ohio. They would leave cookies for Santa, and Santa would always write a letter to them, directing them back to the Lord’s birth, but there was usually some incident that would make Santa leave in mid-sentence. My daughter and son would keep track of whose year it was to put the star on top of the tree. We would attend Christmas Eve service at church, then come home and open the presents from Aunt Tippi from California. Hers were the only ones allowed to be opened on Christmas Eve.
I found this recipe for Peppermint Dip, and thought, hey, it would make a really good pie, too! And it does!

Colleen’s Peppermint Dip Pie

2 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powder sugar
½ tsp peppermint extract
8 oz Cool Whip
1 package (12 oz.) Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 package (12 oz.) Andes chocolate mint pieces
If you can’t find the Peppermint baking chips, used crushed peppermint candies/candy canes.
1 9” Oreo (or graham) pie crust.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the sugar and peppermint extract and beat until smooth.
Add the Peppermint chips (or Andes chocolate mint pieces and the candy canes)
Fold in the Cool Whip until well blended.
Place in pie crust; refrigerate for 4 hours; preferably overnight.
Sprinkle with crushed peppermint pieces before serving.
Unless you can pulverize the candy canes (or can buy them pre-crushed) letting the pie sit overnight will “melt” the candy canes, leaving a wonderful taste, but not breaking anyone’s teeth on a chunk of hard candy.

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