Peach Cobbler Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 6 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

Things are changing in Abbott Creek. . .

Between babies and budding romances, busy schedules and unexpected gossip, the small town and its residents may never be the same.

Everyone at the Sweet Shop Bakery and the Irish Blessings cafe is worrying over Bella and her baby – and busily trying to convince her to take it easy.

Katie is not the only person in town with some big decisions ahead of her. And the busy summer season is kicked off with a big surprise for everyone.

Don’t miss the revelation everyone has been waiting for – in Peach Cobbler Mystery; the sixth cozy mystery of Naomi Miller‘s Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series.

 

OH MY WORD!

OK… I’m going to try to do this without any spoilers, but it’s NOT going to be easy.

Naomi Miller handles what could have been a horrific and tense event with grace and acceptance, and in such a way that even a young girl could read the story with no problem – and I definitely think young girls should read this story. The message within is one that every young woman needs to be mindful of in this crazy world we live in today!

 

add-to-goodreads-button

 

 

Don’t miss Peach Cobbler Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

Chocolate Truffle Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 5 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

 

Katie Chupp is not the only person in Abbott Creek looking forward to the most romantic holiday of the year. . .

But Valentine’s Day will not be all hearts and flowers. There are secrets to be kept, feelings to be explored, and difficult decisions to be made — and each one has something to do with the heart.

Will those secrets come between friends? Will the happy couples in Abbott Creek get to celebrate. . . together? With the demand for sweet treats fierce this year. will the Sweet Shop’s baker find time for romance?

And will one young woman be able to live with the choice she must make on the most romantic day of the year?

 

Book 5 of the Sweet Shop Mysteries series

 

 

add-to-goodreads-button

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

1 - B&N Button for S&G 1 - BAM Button for S&G 1 - indiebound Button for S&G BookDepository_Icon   1 - Amazon Button for S&G   1 - Apple Button for S&G  1 - Kobo Button for S&G

 

Gotta have Chocolate Truffle Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

Pumpkin Pie Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 4 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

 

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s Pumpkin pies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop. . . baking for the upcoming holidays and enjoying the changing seasons.

Thanksgiving is approaching and the residents of Abbott Creek are preparing to give thanks for their blessings.

But between fielding questions from every person in town who is desperate to find out where Mrs. Simpkins has gone, to finding extra help for the busy holiday season, Katie’s blessings this year are being outweighed by her problems.

When a stranger comes to town looking for work, will it be an answer to Katie’s prayers or spell trouble at The Sweet Shop?

 

 

add-to-goodreads-button

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

1 - Amazon Button for S&G 1 - B&N Button for S&G  1 - Apple Button for S&G

 

Pumpkin Pie Mystery… a Sweet Shop Amish Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

©JCMorrows 2017

Lemon Tart Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 3 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

Lemon Tart Mystery Front Cover B

 

 

Amelia Simpkins may be a great cook, and have a head for business, but sweet treats are out of her league and the owner of the Irish Blessings Cafe says it’s because she adds the tart to the Sweet Shop’s new dessert that Katie Chupp insists is only filled with lemony goodness.

The two shop owners’ constant bickering sends sparks flying through Abbott Creek’s usual calm… and when Andrew’s cafe suffers from some rather unusual pest problems, the town starts taking sides.

This is one mystery Katie wants no part of. But working for Mrs. Simpkins may put her in the middle – whether she intends to take sides . . . or not.

 

add-to-goodreads-button

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

1 - Amazon Button for S&G1 - B&N Button for S&G   BookDepository_Icon  1 - Apple Button for S&G

 

 

Lemon Tart Mystery… a Sweet Shop Amish Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

©JCMorrows 2017

Christmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 2 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 

Christmas Cookie Mystery Front Cover B

 

It’s Christmas time in Abbott Creek, and who would expect a mystery… or even two… to pop up and interrupt Katie while she tries to keep up with the Holiday rush?

With a winter chill settling in and Christmas right around the corner, no one would expect a mystery, but a mystery does indeed appear…

Katie Chupp is spending her days catering to the holiday rush, but she soon finds herself in the midst of a secret project that attracts more attention than she wants.

And when one local family finds a very unexpected surprise at their door, this is one mystery that may never be solved… even by Katie.

 

add-to-goodreads-button

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

1 - Amazon Button for S&G 1 - B&N Button for S&G 1 - BAM Button for S&G 1 - indiebound Button for S&G BookDepository_Icon 1 - Apple Button for S&G

 

Christmas Cookie Mystery… a Sweet Shop Amish Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

©JCMorrows 2017

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 1 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

 


In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, taking care of customers and baking delicious treats . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and mayhem.

But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . besides finding another place to do the baking and get the orders to the customers.

Is this a random theft, or is the thief trying to ruin the town’s Independence Day celebration?

 

add-to-goodreads-button

OR BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

1 - B&N Button for S&G 1 - BAM Button for S&G 1 - indiebound Button for S&G BookDepository_Icon 1 - Amazon Button for S&G 1 - Apple Button for S&G

 

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery… a Sweet Shop Amish Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

©JCMorrows 2017

BOOK REVIEW | Gather Around the Amish Table by Lucy Leid | COOKBOOK

OK… I may not have what it takes to be Amish but I’m pretty sure I can handle eating like the Amish! Of course I don’t have a garden to tend or acres of land to till, plant and tend to so I may have to find some clever ways to imitate the work they do to work off all those calories… otherwise my hips may have a fit on me. LOL!

image

Not too many people in today’s world have the time it takes to make every single thing their family eats from scratch.

More and more often, take-out or boxed meals is the norm… yes, even in our family… but with wonderful resources like this book, at least we have the opportunity to find some new recipes we can try out when we have the time or when we make the time for it anyway.

And the recipes inside pretty much ALL look amazing!

PLUS, the awesomeness of the book does not stop there! Lucy fills the pages with wonderful tips that anyone can use in everyday life. She also sprinkles in some fantastic stories about the people of the plain communities.

In short, this book is a treasure and I am thrilled I was given the opportunity to review it. I can hardly wait to try out the recipes that fill the pages. I may even pop back in with updates for you!

Until then, here are some pretty pictures here… just to tease you – and make you want to go snag a copy so you can start testing out the recipes yourself of course!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

gather-lasagna-recipe

image   image   image

IMAGES COURTESY OF LITFUSE AND MENNOMEDIA

YUM… right!

{MORE ABOUT GATHER AROUND THE AMISH TABLE}

Gather Around the Amish Table (MennoMedia, September 2015)

Straight from Amish kitchens to yours, this cookbook offers favorite family recipes and charming stories from Amish and Mennonite cooks.

Bake the pecan rolls that taste best after an ice-skating party, or try the hoagies that a community sold to help an Amish family with hospital bills. Discover the cocoa cupcakes with instructions to “stir by hand” that one young cook took literally, or whip up the whoopie pies that one Amish woman took to market in her horse and buggy.

These cherished recipes speak of comforting traditions, lively communities, and strong Christian faith. Gather your family around the table to sample the nourishing fare and trademark charm of the plain people. In the words of one cookbook contributor: “Bake someone happy!”

Learn more and purchase a copy.

 

{MORE ABOUT LUCY LEID}

Lucy Leid is an Old Order Mennonite wife, mother, and cook in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Lucy at http://www.mennomedia.org.

AND… DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Get your fall baking underway with an Amish baking basket giveaway from Lucy and MennoMedia!

gather-400

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. The winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.

gather-enterbanner

 

“The Loving Kitchen” by LeAnn Rice

 What a wonderful cookbook!

I’m not sure precisely how southern LeAnn Rice is since a recipe for fried green tomatoes is conspicuously absent from “The Loving Kitchen” but she certainly understands the southern tradition of hospitality.

She talks about what hospitality is, how she does it and why she does it. She ties her messages to the readers in with beautiful scriptures and with the myriad of dishes shared with us through the pages of this southern style cookbook.

The recipes she does share are wonderful. Some of them are variations on classic favorites, some of them are a mixture of two or three different styles, techniques or recipes and some of them are her original ideas.

As I went through the pages of the book (I have this particular book on my kindle), I book-marked nearly every recipe and I was making a grocery list before I got halfway through the book. After I had said “yum” to myself half a dozen times, my kiddos were looking over my shoulder and making their own comments about which recipes they were excited to try.

The recipes are well-written and easy to follow with the added bonus of extra little tips and tricks tucked in here and there.

LeAnn also shares quite a few stories about how certain recipes came about or at what events she typically serves them – which I find incredibly useful. It always helps to have a little background or some direction when you are planning a meal or an event.

As far as the format, I acquired this book on kindle because the physical copies were all spoken for and I really wanted to check it out. I am someone who typically prefers a physical copy of a book so I don’t do a lot of reading on my e-reader but I do feel I have enough experience to adequately judge the similarities and differences. This book works very well on e-reader and while, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a physical copy, a cookbook might actually be easier for some on an e-reader.

Either way you buy it, this is not a book to be missed if you enjoy good, wholesome, home cooking and some great stories to go along with them!

 

4 Stars

 

What Thomas Nelson has to say about “The Loving Kitchen”:

The Loving Kitchen is a collection of comforting recipes straight from the kitchen of popular food blogger LeAnn Rice.

You know the feeling you get when you’re an overnight guest in someone’s home, and you awaken to a hot-off-the-griddle breakfast? Or when a coworker brings in a pan of her famous brownies to celebrate your recent promotion? Doesn’t it feel great when dinner at the neighbors’ house includes multiple courses of scratch-made recipes and conversation that lingers beyond dessert and that last cup of coffee?

For many of us, these are the moments in which we feel most loved. That’s the idea behind The Loving Kitchen. Get your family’s day started right with LeAnn’s fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, or a bowl of Almond Coconut Granola and yogurt. Keep your favorite sports fans fueled through the entire game with hearty servings of Hot Sausage and Spinach Dip, or toss together a Grilled Chicken and Berry Salad for lunch with your dearest girlfriends.

Want a signature dinner you can serve on those special occasions? Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Orange Cranberry Glaze with Creamy Smashed Baby Potatoes is the perfect meal to celebrate a milestone. LeAnn’s sunny narrative and ideas for bringing people together will remind you that the best meal you’ll ever cook is the one you prepare as an act of love.

 

 

LINKS: You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   LEANN RICE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

 

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

 Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

A look into our fabulous past! And some GREAT Recipes to boot! | “The Soda Fountain” by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman

 This book is an absolute GEM!

image

Every story, every recipe, every page of wonderful history makes this book one that anyone and everyone will enjoy!

If you have ever wanted to know how to make classic soda fountain floats, sodas or sundaes – this is the book for you!

And along with it, you get pages and pages of exquisite history!

It’s absolutely wonderful!

I didn’t even know there was a BONUS history at the beginning of the book when I requested it but I really enjoyed reading about how Soda Fountains got their start, how they changed and grew with the times and sadly… how they slowly disappeared from our cities and neighborhoods. It’s wonderful to discover so much I never knew about such a fun subject!

It is also quite exciting to see that people like Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman are doing what they can to bring back this fabulous icon of American history!

And in case all of that isn’t enough… the recipes are absolutely wonderful!

Chapter 7 contains recipes for 17 different syrups. And they are ALL made with the finest ingredients – which is something I have looked high and low for. My children have allergies and it is very difficult for us to enjoy things like snow cones or flavored sodas because of the ingredients found in the syrups you find in stores… even the expensive ones. But now I have a resource that allows me to make these syrups for our own personal use with no fear of allergic reactions.

Chapter 10 gives us recipes AND ideas for more than 20 tempting sundaes and Chapter 13 includes twenty-one delectable recipes for baked goods! Who would expect baked goods in a book about ice cream! Oh these are recipes you’ll find at the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain! And do they know how to tease your taste buds! YUM!

There are also wonderful little tips and hints sprinkled throughout the book, along with step by step instructions for making the delicious deserts and sodas – who would have known you have to brine a maraschino cherry? Gia and Peter knew! And they’ve shared so many of their secrets with us!

This is NOT just a recipe book! It is an instructional guide – right down to giving us a list of things we will need for the recipes – not just ingredients but equipment too!

WOW! What a well thought-out book!

Granted there are no recipes for ice cream, and that was a bit of a surprise to me but I suppose they have to keep something under their hat for another book… 🙂

The recipes in this book are beyond worth the sticker price – in my own personal opinion. If I had not received a free review copy, I would certainly purchase this book! In fact, it would make a great birthday gift for several of my friends!

 

I’m off to purchase some ingredients so we can enjoy a new recipe or two… although I think my waistline is going to insist we stick to only 1 or 2 new recipes a week.

 

5star

 

What Random House has to say about “The Soda Fountain” :

A collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.

     A century ago, soda fountains on almost every Main Street in America served as the heart of the community, where folks shared sundaes, sodas, ice cream floats, and the news of the day. A quintessentially American institution, the soda fountain still speaks of a bygone era of innocence and ease. When Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened its doors in 2010, it launched a revival of this great American original, capturing the hearts of a new generation.

    Featuring abundant full-color photography and vintage illustrations and advertisements, The Soda Fountain explores a rich history—from the origins of seltzer in the nineteenth century, through the transformation of soda during Prohibition and the Depression years, right up to today’s fountain renaissance. Featured recipes range from classics like the Purple Cow and Cherry Lime Rickey to contemporary innovations that have made Brooklyn Farmacy famous, like The Sundae of Broken Dreams (topped with caramel sauce and broken pretzel bits) and Makin’ Whoopie! Sundae (with hot fudge and mini chocolate whoopie cakes).

     Recreating beloved treats like egg creams and milkshakes with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients, Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, the sibling cofounders of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, teach you how to resurrect the proud American soda fountain tradition at your own kitchen counter. With its fascinating anecdotes, mouth-watering pictures and easy-to-follow steps,this nostalgic cookbook proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution that continues to delight.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   RANDOM HOUSE

THE BROOKLYN FARMACY AND SODA FOUNTAIN WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES   BOOKS-A-MILLION

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher
through the Blogging For Books review program in exchange for an honest review.
The opinions I have
expressed are my own.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 24: Christmas Eve!

There are hours left…only hours!

Presents are wrapped and stockings are hung. The tree is decorated and the kids are tucked into their beds, dreaming of Christmas morning!

Before you take yourself off to bed, take a peek at this;

Luke 2:1-20

King James Version (KJV)

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And before you go to bed, take a minute to thank God for his wonderful gift and for his wonderful love!

And kiss your sweet children. They’re the best gift most of us could hope for!

GOD BLESS YOU!1 Day til Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 22: Take a deep breath!

Only three days until Christmas now.

IMG_2106Kick back and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa!

YUM!

Throughout this season, we’ve all dealt with crazy traffic, rude drivers, angry shoppers and crazy weather.

Now the time is running out and we are all running around like crazy people.

Who else is feeling the pressure? Who else feels a little crazy?

This is why I say you should take a deep breath and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa. Snuggle up with your kids and turn on a great Christmas movie and enjoy some time with your family.

Read a Christmas story as you put the kids to bed and enjoy some time with a good book.

Then you can get back to your Christmas shopping and wrapping.

GOD Bless you! And
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 14: Take a deep breath.

keep-calm-and-enjoy-christmas-pinterestOK…

By now you’re hip-deep in shopping, wrapping, baking and juggling lists a mile long – of things you still have to do before the big day!

So I have one piece of advice for you.

BREATHE!

Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing and take a deep breath.

Look around you and inventory the wonderful bits. Watch your children as they enjoy your wonderful baking or as they add one last toy to their Christmas list.

Take in the beauty of the decorations that adorn your home. Have a seat on the couch for even five minutes and look at your tree, the stockings, the lights.

Remember what is important this time of year – family, love.

Christmas is about love. Christmas is a celebration of God’s love. He sent us the ultimate gift and he did it ONLY out of love.

So take a minute to hug your children, your husband and tell them how much you love them. And remember that they are the ones that this holiday season is for!

11 Days til ChristmasMERRY CHRISTMAS!

God loves you!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 13: Christmas Cookies

Today’s post is a sugar-filled free-for-all of Cookie Goodness!

Hope you enjoy the yummy pictures and the delicious recipes! And I hope you grab your kids and go get baking!

I meant to do 12 for the 12 days of Christmas but I went over by a few. I’m sure you won’t mind…

EVERY PICTURE is linked to the recipe!

Sugar Cookies with Ornamental Frosting
Sugar Cookies with Ornamental Frosting
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Cinnamon Crinkles
Cinnamon Crinkles
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies

To be 100% honest, I’m not certain the picture above is for the recipe on the page – I think it’s just a pretty picture they found. But don’t miss the page, there are a bunch of GREAT recipes shared!

Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies
Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies
Chocolate Mint Wafer Cookies
Chocolate Mint Wafer Cookies
Wreath Cookies
Wreath Cookies
Silver Bells
Silver Bells
Sugar Thumbprints
Sugar Thumbprint Cookies
Minty Christmas Cookies
Minty Christmas Cookies
Snowflake Shortbread COokies
Snowflake Shortbread Cookies
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

BE CAREFUL – the site for the recipe below is not entirely family-friendly.

Be careful. This site is not completely family-friendly.
Peppermint Twist Kisses

And of course, we can’t have a Cookie-overload post without a recipe for Peppermint Bark!

Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark

ENJOY!

And while you’re baking and sampling, consider your neighbors, your postman(woman), your landlord, your teachers (if your kids are in public school).

Send cookies to your loved ones! It’s great for two things!

– Your time and your care and your love goes into them as you bake. The people you share them with will appreciate that.

– You won’t gain an extra 20 pounds because you’re eating tons of cookies! LOL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
12 Days til Christmas

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 10: Christmas Shopping

First, I want to know where this mall is because I WANT TO GO THERE!

Christmas-Shopping

Doesn’t it look like a wonderful place to shop?

The bright cheerful decorations, the airy layout. THAT TREE – WOW!
And the ice skating rink on the ground floor would be a BIG HIT!

I’m not like most people in my views on Christmas Shopping. I don’t rush out to the stores the day after Thanksgiving, a woman on a mission. I don’t search every single store for the perfect gift.

I go out with a bit of a plan in mind. I take the munchkins with me, during the week, during the day – when it’s not so busy. We don’t buy tons of things people don’t need. We aim for things that they will be able to use, something that they will appreciate, something that will bless them. After all, the thought really is what counts. So we make sure we put a lot of thought into it.

And we don’t just go after sales galore either. Not to say I don’t appreciate a good sale, because I really do. But I’m not opposed to paying full price. If you’re not willing to pay full price for something, what does that say about your feelings for the person you’re giving it to?

I would rather give one really well-thought out, heart-felt and wonderful gift than a dozen little nothings that are just going to go in the closet the day after Christmas.

I am also quite fond of hand-crafting gifts or baking.

You would not believe how much your time and effort means to most people. This is always a great idea for those on a very tight budget also.

Remember, Jesus’ gift was so much more huge than any that you will find in a store and it came only from him. Of course, no craft or baked good can compare with it either but you get the idea.

GOD BLESS YOUIMG_2092
and your family this CHRISTmas season!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 7: Gingerbread Houses

Who can remember making Gingerbread houses as a child?

20131205-110657.jpg
Isn’t it cute!

20131205-110721.jpg

I never personally made a gingerbread house as a child but I’ve made them with my children.

The crumbly cookies…

The sugary white “glue” that sticks to everything…

The sugar that shakes off every piece of candy and makes a little trail everywhere the children walk as they sneak pieces.

SUCH FUN!

I can tell you I missed out on some serious fun as a child and I didn’t even know it. But I am doubly glad I made time to have the experience with my children.

20131205-110734.jpg

20131205-110823.jpgAnd I will always remember watching Home Improvement and seeing the crazy gingerbread service station that Tim made. He used real glue (actually it was caulk) and it was one of the few things he did that was not a complete disaster.
(Except that it wasn’t edible and he charged WAY too much for it)

But it was a GREAT memory of something fun he did with the boys.

20131205-110833.jpg

That gingerbread house is actually on par with some of the pictures you see here. I have never even contemplated making a gingerbread house as grand as any of these. I wouldn’t know where to begin and I’m certain it would be a disaster if I tried.

I’m sure all of these (including the Better Homes and Gardens example at the top of the post) were made by professional chefs and I applaud their skill and the many hours of labor that went in to these magnificent creations!

20131205-110847.jpg

Have you made a gingerbread house with your children this year?

You should make the time! It could quickly become a much beloved Christmas tradition they will pass on to their own children!

20131205-110926.jpg
This whole picture intimidates me. See the ones in the back…equally as cool as this one. WOW!

20131205-110942.jpg

I know my children would love the one above! The imagination! The creativity!

To come up with a Tree-house design and find a way to make it all edible (to be honest, I don’t know that it is 100% edible but it sure looks that way)

20131205-111002.jpgAnd this one, I am entirely certain was built by a professional chef/baker.

I hope the people who saw it or consumed it appreciate the hard work that went into it!

BRAVO!

20131205-111013.jpgThis is another of my personal favorites!

I can’t even begin to imagine where I would begin with something like this.

AMAZING!

And the detail.

WOW!

20131205-111025.jpg

And I know my daughter would LOVE the one above! A real Princess castle.

The only problem would come when anyone wanted to eat it. LOL!

But these Gingerbread houses also remind me of a very important lesson about God’s love! Jesus came and he gave us all of his time. He traveled and he taught and he healed and he raised the dead and most of the time it was a thankless job.

Most of the time it either went unnoticed or it caused the Pharisees to grumble and plot against him.

And I’m sure it was exhausting. It was dusty and dirty and he never had a place to rest unless some kind soul provided it.

And in the end he knew he would die. All his work and all his teaching would come to an end and he would die. Then he would return to heaven to await us.

What a gift!

What an amazing God we have!

18 Days til Christmas

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

GOD Bless You!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 4: Christmas Cooking

When do you start your Christmas cooking?
20131204-114054.jpg
Do you cook for a big family? For all of your extended family? Or for just 2 or 3 people?

I have a friend who has just herself, her mom and her kids and they decided to buy a meal from Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving.

20131204-102920.jpg
It worked so well, they’re talking about doing it at Christmas too.

20131204-103042.jpg
Do you enjoy making special Holiday-themed deserts- yummy cakes, decorative deserts, cute cookies?

20131204-103126.jpg
Do you love putting together little treats you can give away as gifts?

20131204-103206.jpg
Do you make the most of the season?

Have you ever thought about what cooking a wonderful meal or making gifts to give away means?

Especially to the people who receive and enjoy them…

Have you ever thought about how those things compare to God’s love and sharing it with others?

Have a Blessed Christmas this year!
And share God’s love with as many people as you can.

20131204-113321.jpg

21 Days til ChristmasDisclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza

Ah the best laid plans of bloggers & reviewers…

20131105-222717.jpg

The last cookbook I reviewed was a bit of a disaster. I read through it & it looked good on the surface. Unfortunately it only looked good on the surface.

That is not true of this one. This book is very well-written, well put-together and it offers enough information that I believe the novice “canner” will have no need for any other resources.

“The Amish Canning Cookbook” by Georgia Varozza is a great find for our family and I believe anyone else who cans or is considering starting to can!

“PLAIN AND SIMPLE LIVING AT ITS HOMEMADE BEST”

The above quote says it all, in my opinion. For Ms. Varozza, canning isn’t just a hobby… it’s a way of life. Her book teaches that for families who choose a simpler way of life of eating whole grains and healthier foods, canning is an important asset. It creates self-reliance; from planting a garden or visiting a farmers market, to canning the food, to prepare better tasting, healthier, natural food from God’s bounty.

After the brief introduction telling why she feels canning is an important part of making her home a better place for her family. This wonderful book includes everything you need to know (or could ever want to know) about canning! The chapters include a brief history of canning, how to get started, and step-by-step guides for water-bath and pressure canning.

Then comes the huge assortment of recipes!

Butters, jams, and jellies. Pickles and sauerkraut. Tomatoes. Fruit and pie filling (I didn’t expect to find fruit and pie filling recipes, but by golly, she included them. Then comes vegetables, meat, poultry and fish recipes… along with soups, stews and other good things.

PRACTICAL ASPECTS of the Book:

I have noticed a lot of cookbooks lately that have very thin pages. Personally, my favorite cookbook pages are either plastic or in plastic sleeves but this is not always practical for a professionally published cookbook. This cookbook has very good, thick pages. These pages will not be easily ruined by cooking spills and they will not curl up in the heat of the kitchen.

Also there is space on every single page for your personal notes. This is a tremendous asset as well because every cook or canner will have little things about recipes that they change, adding or subtracting. And it is always easier to be able to look at the recipe and see your notes right there with it. (This is one of the instances where plastic pages would be impractical.)

The binding is perfect for a cookbook as well. Too many people put a regular spine binding on cookbooks but this book is spiral bound and that makes it so easy to open the book, lay it flat and see your recipe while you’re using it. It’s great!

All together, a wonderful book. Very well-done. A very smart purchase for any canner. Also it would make a great gift for anyone of your friends or in your family who can.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for a free review. (If I had not though, I definitely would have bought it. It’s a great book! And I plan to search out her other cookbook as well.)

I give this book 5 stars and I would recommend it to everyone!

Click HERE for the Harvest House Publisher’s Page about the book,
HERE for the GoodReads page and HERE for the author’s blog.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God Bless You!

(UPDATED) Bake Through the Bible by Susie Bentley & Bekah Moore

(UPDATED) I feel it only fair to tell you that I have now attempted some of these recipes with my children and there are a couple of concerns I have:

First: the cookie recipes appear to be the pretty much the same cookie each time with only changes to make them roll-able or shape-able and my kids did not enjoy the taste of them, which shocks me because HELLO they’re cookies.

Second: the other recipes are not what I would call kid-friendly recipes. I thought the kids would jump at the little pizzas and the bread play but that was not our experience. They didn’t even want to make half of them, and the ones they did make, they wouldn’t eat.

So good for activity maybe and maybe good for relaying the Bible stories but not really foods that kids will eat.

“ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW”

I received this book FREE in exchange for an honest review from Cross-Focused Reviews. I cannot honestly say whether or not I would have spent what the sticker price for this book is since my family is on a very tight budget and it seems a bit high.

Bake-Through-The-Bible

This book has 20 Bible stories that go along with a fun recipe for the kids to try out. Personally I can say that my children enjoy the simple, engaging style, they are told in.

It’s designed to take your child through the main storyline of the Bible. I feel there are a lot of important stories that could have been added but I’m guessing it’s not easy to match up recipes with all of these stories.

But then, maybe they’ll come out with another one sometime. Make it a whole series…

Along with the stories there are questions to discuss while you’re cooking and even a recap to use while you’re eating what you’ve cooked.

“Cooking activities include: – Sparkly promise cookies to remember God’s wonderful promises to Abraham – Happy crepe faces in response to God’s promise to send His Rescuer and Forever-King – Spiral tuna wraps for a picnic that links with Jesus’ miracle of feeding thousands – An empty bread tomb with Easter dips to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection… You don’t have to be a good cook—just ready to have some fun as you Bake through the Bible!” – Cross Focused Reviews

We have not completed all of these recipes yet. We are adding this book to our homeschool and going through them slowly, doing one a week. I am going to post about that experience HERE on my Cooking Adventures With Kids blog!

It’s a great opportunity to learn
AND have yummy treats too!

I have read through the book though and I can tell you this. The stories are engaging and simple. The recipes look like a lot of fun! And the kids are excited to get started! That alone tells me this is a GREAT book for kids!

I would recommend this book to parents, especially those of you who may be having some difficulty getting them to understand the BIG bible stories. The interactive nature gives children a whole new understanding of how the stories relate to them personally.

And Now some information from the
Cross Focused Reviews website…

About the Authors: Susie grew up near Birmingham, UK. Having studied in Durham, in the north-east of England, she now lives in Oxford and is part of Magdalen Road Church. Susie has a background in secondary-school English teaching and worked full-time in that context for five years. She is married to Pete and they have a son called Joshua.

Bekah was born and brought up in South Yorkshire. She studied French and Russian in Durham. She then taught French before teaching teenagers with multiple learning difficulties in a Special School. Bekah is married to Nick and currently lives in Oxford with their two-year-old son Simeon. They are part of St Ebbe’s Church.

Book Information:

  • Publisher: The Good Book Company (2013)
  • ISBN: 9781909559004
  • Page Count: 64

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Dates: October 7-13, 2013
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only)

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God Bless You!