Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From Grandma's Kitchen: Chicken and Rice Casserole

My Grandma Bosley had nine children and an infinite number of grandkids.  It's not a surprise that this easy to make dish was so popular at her home.  It's both filling and tasty.


1 chicken precooked
4 cups rice uncooked, about 8 cooked
vegetables of your choice cut in bite size pieces
1 clove garlic
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cans cream of something soup (your choice)
1 - 1 1/2 cans water
1 tsp. marjoram or thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. oil

Cook your rice and chicken in advance.  Pick chicken off of the bone or cut in bite size pieces. In a sauté pan add oil, garlic, and vegetables.  Cook until lightly browned.  Oil a 9 x 13 casserole and preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix soup, salt, pepper and water until the consistency of gravy.  Put a thin layer of gravy in bottom of casserole, then a layer of rice, then layer of chicken, then layer of vegetable mix, then layer of gravy, and finish with layer of shredded cheese. Repeat.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.

You can put this casserole together in advance and keep refrigerated until you bake it.  It also reheats nicely the next day.

This is comfort food at it's best.  Enjoy.

God bless,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Good Reads: From the Sideline

From the Sideline (Wake Up Call, #2)From the Sideline by Amy Avanzino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Sideline is the second book in the chick lit Wake Up Call series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Each book in this series centers around a different woman, each part of a circle of women friends. Autumn was summarily dismissed and divorced by her husband; adding to her insecurity after being raised by alcoholic parents. Both she and her son are beaten down, but her son expresses interest in little league football. Soon she is sitting on the bleachers watching her son find his way, while she copes with the other, rather rabid, football league parents.

The author hit the nail on the head with her characterizations of parents with children involved in sports. It's funny with occasional moments of sadness, but we get to witness the evolution of Autumn and her son as they find their way back to their true selves. I did have a problem identifying with Autumn and felt that she too easily reverted into old, bad habits when faced with adversity.

I highly recommend this book and this series. I look forward to reading more about this group of friends.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Book Recommendations

Recently someone asked me whether a certain book review I had posted recommended a book appropriate for Christians.  I had to think about it for a while and I'm not quite sure how to respond.  

Christianity encompasses a large and diverse group of people; from extremely conservative denominations to extremely liberal denominations.  Even within each denomination each church varies in it's accepted practices.  

As an anabaptist Mennonite I can tell you that Mennonite communities have very different rules to live by known as Ordnung.  If you move from one community to another the Ordnung changes and you adjust your behavior, dress and worship to fit the new community.  Or if you are like me and live in an area without a community you adjust your life to fit your personal and family's beliefs.

I don't choose to censor myself or other Christians.  We have to abide by the rules that are set by our personal Christian beliefs or those of our community.  However, I have put warning notices at the end of my reviews when a book contains graphic sex, violence, etc.

I will endeavor in the future to also include triggers for rape, child abuse, etc. that may cause distress to a reader.  I am going to allow my readers to choose books based on their self knowledge and consciences.

God bless,

Happy Fourth of July

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Good Reads: The Innocents

The Innocents (Quinn Colson, #6)The Innocents by Ace Atkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Innocents is the sixth book in the Quinn Colson suspense/southern noire series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel. I don't consider it a stand alone novel and the series should be read in order to fully understand the story.

As usual, the author has written a fast paced plot filled with distinctive characters. Sometimes the secondary characters take over, while the main characters provide the continuity.

I would call The Innocents a book with the themes of misguided trust, betrayal, and denial. It seems to be setting the scenes up for future books.

As for Quinn, he is still occupying the position of anti hero, but I'm sensing a shift in the future. He seems to not have the common sense to figure out that if your entire family and all your friends dislike your girlfriend, you might not be seeing her clearly.

Overall, The Innocents is a satisfying read with a sad, but inevitable ending. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Warning:  This book contains some violence and there is non graphic sex.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Subs

Here is another, so simple it's ridiculous, recipe.  It mainly involves buying vegetables your family enjoys, roasting them and serving on hoagie rolls.  Once again I was a failure at photography, but I did have one photo to use.


Clean and peel the vegetables.  Place foil on the bottom of a pan and drizzle oil over the bottom.  Lay out vegetables and drizzle more oil over the top.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes, turn over, then bake for another fifteen minutes.  The vegetables should be for tender, but not mushy.

Place vegetables in hoagie rolls and sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over the top.


God bless,

Good Reads: A Robot in The Garden

A Robot In The GardenA Robot In The Garden by Deborah Install
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Robot In The Garden is a sweet, quirky read. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

The Hero, a house husband, finds a homemade robot sitting under a tree in his back garden. His rigid wife, who wants a modern kitchen android, tells him to throw the endearing robot into the trash. After she leaves him the H decides to travel the world with the robot to find it's creator.

This is a story about personal growth and kindness. I liked the fact that instead of a sappy happy ending, we receive a thoughtful HFN.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.