Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken Breast

I love easy crock pot recipes!  I love them even more in the summertime!  I ran across a recipe for barbecue chicken breast and thought I'd give it a try!  And guess what?!  It was DEE-LISH!   The chicken was unbelievable tender and the BBQ sauce that it was cooked in was the best ever.  So good that I've begun to use it for other recipes as well (ribs, porkchops etc.)

All you need is 4-6 chicken breasts.  I bought a package of chicken breast and they were very large so I used four and cut each of them in half for a total of 8 pieces.  Put your chicken in the bottom of your crock pot.  In a separate bowl combine a twelve ounce jar of barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp. of garlic powder.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour over your chicken.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.  I stirred mine about half way through the cook time, but if you are not planning on being home while it is cooking it will be just fine without stirring!  Enjoy with your favorite sides!!!

Best Barbecue Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
l-12 oz. jar bbq sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

I almost forgot to mention that this would also be a great freezer meal!  Just combine raw chicken and all sauce ingredients in a zip-loc bag and freeze until you are ready to make it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Outcast - A Book Review

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter.  I have never read The Scarlet Letter, but I know enough about the story that I knew what this story would be about.  With that and the beautiful cover I was anxious to read the book.

Rachel is the mother of an illegitimate baby and the talk of her old order Mennonite community.   She is unmarried and refuses to repent and she refuses to name the father of her child, instead she bears the sin of both her and her partner.  Eventually she is driven out of the community by the bishop who is also her twin sister's husband.

Secrets always have a way of coming out and when Rachel's baby gets a life threatening illness, there are choices that must be made that will bring light to the darkness and will forever change the lives of everyone involved.

I really didn't like this book at all.  I really don't like when an author writes from the first person perspective, but what bothered me the most is that it switches from Rachel telling the story to Amos telling it.  That in itself can be confusing, but that was not even the worst part of it.  The story starts at Amos' funeral.  So a good deal of the story is being told by a dead guy.  He apparently is overseeing the goings on of his family from heaven.  This was just too much for me.  I could of gotten into the story more if it was not for this detail.  I wish that it all would have been told from Rachel's point of view.  The only bright part of the story for me was Judah, Rachel's childhood friend who loves her and is willing to look past her "sin" and marry her if only she will have him.  There are several twists and turns to the story so if first person narrative does not bother you (and the dead guy thing) then maybe you would enjoy it!

***This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

A Hopeful Heart - A Book Review

A Hopeful Heart by Amy Clipston is the first novel of the Heart of Lancaster Grand Hotel Series.

Hannah Glick is an Amish women with a 10 year old boy and two 16 year old girls that are twins.  Her husband suddenly died of a heart attach 4 years ago and even though her community offers Hannah love and support, she finds herself still struggling with grief.  She works at the Grand Hotel as a maid to help make ends meet.  It is there that she meets wealthy businessman Trey Peterson.  It has been a year since Trey lost his wife and daughter and him and Hannah feel an instant connection and become instant friends as they offer each other support as they journey through their grief.

Joshua Glick is Hannah's brother in law and he has always loved Hannah.  He helps Hannah out by running the business that her late husband ran and he finally declares his love for Hannah and asks for her hand in marriage.

Before long Hannah finds herself with two proposals and some tough decisions to make.  Should she follow her heart or stay with what is safe and familiar?

I definitely have mixed emotions about this book.  It is a fast and easy read which I really like.  I like the author's style of writing, but I just didn't care much for the story line.  I found Hannah to be very selfish.  To give up one of her daughters for an Englisher was a pretty low thing to do. I also found it a little hard to believe that she fell for him to begin with.  I would of loved to have seen her end up with Joshua.   I will give the series one more chance with the second book and I just hope I'm not disappointed.

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

Rainbows for Rainy Days - A Book Review

As long as we are living on this earth we are bound to face rainy days. There is no escaping it.  This journey that we are on sometimes includes cloudy days.  Sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours and occasionally we find our self in the middle of a full blown storm.  It doesn't matter how close you are to God, there is no miraculous, spiritual umbrella that is going to shield you from the rain.  It's during those storms that even the best christian can find themselves discouraged.  I've been there.  You've been there.

Rainbows for Rainy Days by Catherine Campbell is a 40 day devotional designed for just such times.  I know, for me, that when I am feeling discouraged and in the midst of a storm, a small word of encouragement is just the thing I need to give me the strength to face the day, to face tomorrow, to remember that even though it is raining, there is a rainbow, a promise, that God will never leave me, that He will not put more on me than I can bear, and that He loves me more than my mind can possible comprehend.

This beautifully written book is full of God's promises.  Each of the 40 day devotions  include a scripture, a short little story, words of encouragement and beautiful pictures.  I am sure this book will be a blessing to those who read it.  It would make a great gift too!!

***This book was provided to me by Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Circle Of Life


If I had to name one fear and only one fear it would be my fear of snakes.  So make no mistake when you see the pictures below....I am not a reptile lover, but I still think this is pretty neat!

When we went camping over Memorial weekend we went on a hike and no sooner than we started I seen something move.  It was a snake that appeared to be striking.  When my son investigated this is what he seen!  A black snake eating a lizard.  A FAT lizard.  We watched the whole thing which was a pretty neat experience.  The snake had it's mouth full so I knew we were safe, but I still kept a safe distance.  Dakota on the other hand got crazy close to get a good shot and shoot a video.  While he took pictures of the snake I took pictures of him. :)

Lavender Love

My Spanish Lavender is loaded with flowers this years so I decided to harvest some to make some crafts!  I'm searching through pinterest and hopefully will have a blog post of some of my creations soon!!