Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

As soon as I seen Promise Me This I knew I had to read it.  The Titanic has always captivated my interest and to read a christian fiction book from that time period was a pure delight.

This book has everything you can imagine from love, hate, bitterness, forgiveness, action, fear, guilt, grace, and honor.  There are lots of suprises and twists and turns that are sure to keep your interest throughout the entire book.

Annie Allen is a beautiful young girl who we see blossom into woman hood as she experiences tragedy, love, acceptance and forgiveness.  Life does not always turn out like we planned and we journey with Annie as she comes to accept and grow from the hand that life has dealt her.

Michael Dunnigan is a young Irish orphan who does whatever it takes to survive.  When Owen, Annie's brother befriends Michael, his life is forever changed.  When Owen puts Michael's life before his own, Annie and Michael's lives become forever knit together.

I loved the character of Michael and to see this young man transform from a boy who will lie, steal and cheat to stay alive to a man who loves God and other's, and who has such a true love for Annie that he is willing to lay down his life, was a pleasure indeed.

One message that came through loud and clear in this book... "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13  This book reminds me that we should strive to be more like Christ and that our lives, (just like the life of the character Michael Dunnigan) should be a reflection of God's love.

One of the best books I've read!

Who is Cathy Gohlke?  Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. 

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland.  You can find out more about Cathy at her website  http://www.cathygohlke.com

If you would like to purchase Promise Me This you can do so from the publisher at http://tyndale.com.  Your favorite book retailers are sure to have it too!

*This book was provided to me from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beyond Molasses Creek - Book Review

Ally Green is an older woman in her 60's that returns to her childhood home to bury her father.  While there she faces many memories from her past.  After making a lot of bad choices in her life her past seems to be something that she can't escape from.  She has deep feelings for her black neighbor who she has loved since she was a young girl, but his heart has always belonged to another and growing up in the era that they did it was forbidden anyway.

Vesey Washington is Ally's friend who has always been there for her, but who does not return the deeper feelings of love.  Once again he is proving to be a good friend to Ally in her time of need.

Sunila Kunari is a middle aged woman in Nepal who has lived her life in slavery working in the rock quarry.  She escapes her past after finding out that she is not who she thought she was.  She begins a journey to find out the truth.

The author writes the entire book from a first person narrative for all three characters.  At the beginning of each chapter the author states which character she is.  I personally did not like this set up.  I had a very hard time getting into this book.  I did not like the main character Ally at all.   Just when I felt like the book might redeem itself, Ally tells a lie.  I won't say about what since I don't want to be a spoiler, but it was a pretty big lie.  I waited through out the whole book for redemption, forgiveness, something good to show God's love but it never happened.  I would not even consider this a christian book.  Spiritual things such as reincarnation, Buddhism and other such things are discussed, but not much is said about the ONE TRUE GOD.  I would not recommend this book to anyone.

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Herb Roasted Chicken

Tonight I fixed another pinterest inspired recipe for supper and it was so delicious!  As always I took the recipes from a couple pins and tweaked them to what works best for me.
The chicken was so tender and juicy and just fell off the bone.

I took a whole chicken and stuffed it with a two lemon halves, a quartered onion, and a few cloves of garlic.  I took 3 Tablespoons of canola oil and mixed that with some lemon thyme that I had dried from my herb garden.  I rubbed that mixture all over the chicken, put it in a shallow pan, covered with foil and cooked on 350 degrees for about 2 hours and 45 minutes.  I checked it often to make sure it wasn't getting too brown and about an hour before it was done I added some potatoes and carrots.  It will definitely be a meal that will be added to my monthly menu plan!

Kale Chips

This week was our produce co-op week and one of the things we got was kale.  I have never had kale before and I was not sure what to do with it.  After looking at a couple recipes for kale chips I decided to tweak the recipes I seen and make my own.   They were scrumdiddilyumptios!   The kids even loved them!!  The taste reminded us of pumpkin seeds.  This is a new favorite of mine and I believe it will help me on those evenings when I have the munchies and want something salty.  Now I will have a healthy alternative!

All you need is some Kale, 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt.  

Mix the oil and salt together in a bowl and then remove the kale leaves from the stem and tare the leaves into bite size pieces.  Add the kale pieces to the bowl and toss until the leaves are coated with the salty oil.
Put your  kale on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and cook at 375 degrees for 10-15 min. or until the edges are brown and crisp.

This is what the edges of the leaves should look like when it is done.

Other variations you could try:  Seasoned salt,  herbs and spices, lemon juice.  These are all alternatives that I am going to try in the future!