Friday, December 30, 2016

Asian Sauce for Fried Wings or Chicken Tenderloins

This sauce is perfect for fried chicken wings and chicken tenderloins/strips.  A nice alternative to buffalo chicken wing sauce.

Ingredients for Fried Tenderloins

8 chicken tenderloins
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/8 cup coconut oil

Add salt and pepper to the flour.  Have three bowls ready with flour mixture, beaten egg, and bread crumbs.  Heat coconut oil in fry pan over medium heat.  Bread the chicken by coating in flour, then dipping in egg, then the breadcrumbs.

Brown on both sides, then finish cooking in a 350 degree fahrenheit oven for ten minutes.

Ingredients for Asian Sauce

1/4 cup jalapeno pepper jelly
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. Siracha or other hot sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.  When the chicken is done toss the chicken pieces in the sauce to coat.  Or place in a small decorative bowl for dipping.

This is a sweet, spicy sauce that can be used in many ways.  Perfect for the New Years Eve chicken platters.

God bless,

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Good Reads: The Whole Town's Talking

The Whole Town's TalkingThe Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Whole Town's Talking is about a small Missouri town from it's settlement in the 19th century to it's demise. Told through the stories of it's inhabitants, it a feel good, sometimes poignant story of everyday lives and their sometimes greatness.

I thoroughly love Fannie Flagg books, but this one lacked some of the easy flow of her earlier books. However, it's a good read with a great deal of warmth. Perfect for a winters day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Recipes: Sweet Potato Casserole and Cranberry Sauce

Every year we go to my brother in law's house for Thanksgiving.  They provide all of the main dishes, but I always bring sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce.  These are easy recipes and can be made in advance.


4 large sweet potatoes
8-10 ounces of orange juice
1/2 - 1 cup brown sugar, to taste
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.  nutmeg
or 1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 - 1/2  pecans

Bake potatoes in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour.  Leave out to cool.  Remove the skins, then slice into medallions.  Place in a greased 13" by 9" dish in a single layer.

Melt butter in a sauce pan, then add other ingredients.  

Fresh nutmeg with micro grater

Pour liquid over the sweet potatoes and sprinkle pecans over the top.

Bake covered in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 10 minutes.


1 bag cranberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. grated orange rind (optional)

Place orange juice and cranberries in a sauce pan over low heat, bring to a boil and cover.  Cook, covered,  until the cranberry skins have broken.

Add sugar and orange rind.  Cook, uncovered, over low until sugar has dissolved and juice has thickened.  Place in container and refrigerate.

Both of these recipes can be made ahead and the casserole reheated before serving.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving,


Friday, October 14, 2016

Good Reads: Lowcountry Book Club

Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot Mystery #5)Lowcountry Book Club by Susan M. Boyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lowcountry Book Club is the fifth book in the Liz Talbot mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited, full length novel.

Liz and her husband are hired to investigate a murder by a prestigious law firm. Their job is to prove that the defendant, the victims husband, is innocent. But Liz can't stop herself from trying to find the true murderer and the evidence to prove it.

I've always loved the main characters in this series, because they are intelligent and honorable. The mystery in the Lowcountry Book Club is fast paced, detailed and unpredictable.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading future books in this series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Homeschooling 2016/2017

During my Dear Daughters (DD) last semester of the 2015/2016 school year  DD was homeschooled.  I developed her curriculum using textbooks I found online and she went to two computer classes at Indian Rocks Christian School.  This worked well for us, especially since we concentrated on her worst subject, mathematics.

This year I researched and found a Florida accredited school that had virtual classes via Apex Learning and would accept her homeschool transcripts.  If you do this with your students it is very important to develop a strong curriculum and keep a detailed portfolio. Champion Preparatory Academy (CPA) was highly rated through the Florida Parent Educators Association.

DD is also attending a Fine Art class at Indian Rocks Christian School.  Their art teacher is top notch and teaches a combination of fine art and humanities.

Apex is new to us, so we are dealing with a learning curve, but things have settled down now that DD has used the program for several weeks.  One thing I don't like about Apex is that, while their lessons are easily understood, their test problems are much more complex than the lessons and the practice problems given to the students.

Since DD is now attending two Florida accredited schools, she does not need to be registered with our county school board homeschool office.  CPA will ensure that she receives full credit for her learning and provide her with legal transcripts.

I hear people talking about their children completing their homeschool tasks in a couple of hours.  This may be true of kindergarten, but if your older child (especially middle and high school age) is not spending eight hours a day on their lessons, then you are short changing them.  Remember we are preparing our children for college (university), careers and to be responsible adults.

If you have any questions about homeschooling please feel free to ask.

God bless,

Friday, September 9, 2016

Good Reads: A Killer's Guide to Good Works

A Killer's Guide to Good Works (A Val Cameron Mystery #2)A Killer's Guide to Good Works by Shelley Costa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Killers Guide to Good Works is the second book in the Val Cameron Mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

The plot was very good; fast paced and detailed. Shelley Costa is an accomplished author and at times writes so beautifully that I would read a section, stop, exhale and relive her words. After reading the prologue I found myself grinning and rubbing my hands together at the thought that I had a whole book of her writing before me.

So if I enjoyed the book so much why did I only rate it as four stars? Because it read like a first book. None of the secondary characters from the first book were in this one. Val's love interest has flown off into the sunset and only rates a couple of sentences. It was disconcerting. I hope this isn't one of those series where the main character has a new man in each book. I enjoy watching characters' relationships grow over time.

I enjoyed A Killers Guide to Good Works and look forward to reading future books in the series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

*Sex and violence is not graphic in this novel.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Times of Troubles

They say that trouble comes in threes.  Well, for me trouble came in a three month block.  Pretty much anything that could go wrong did.  I am happy to move into September and, I say this prayerfully, a time of less stress.

As you know from my earlier posts on dealing with contractors that I am pretty well versed on what to look for in a contractor.  But there are times when everything checks out, but it all goes bad despite your carefulness.  In this case my roofing contractor, after I signed the contract and they obtained the permits, let four months go by before they started work.  The day I was about to call my lawyer the roofers showed up to start the job.

Besides the delay, the office staff were the worst communicators.  I was spoken to in a rude, condescending way and was often told untruths.  The actual roofing crews were professional and did very good work.  Such a dichotomy!  The good news is that the roof was finished and passed inspection before Hurricane Hermine blew past us.

The color of shingles we chose.

Add to the above car problems, getting my daughter set up to take classes at three schools, other home breakdowns and repairs, a trip canceled due to airline employee incompetence, and a plethora of little problems; I was frazzled.  I'm looking forward to living life for a few weeks without the drama. 

I have to ask, "What happened to customer service?"  I remember my grandparents, then my parents talking about how much easier life was during their youth.  Now I am doing the same thing.  We used to choose our own doctors and got our prescriptions filled for a reasonable price at the corner Rexall drug store.  The one where the owners were the pharmacist and the checkout lady.  I could go on and on.  I find myself resenting "progress" that doesn't make my life easier, but rather makes it more difficult.

Okay, I'm done kvetching.  I'm laying these thoughts in God's hands.  Moving forward. Moving forward.

God bless,

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.

Good Reads: With a Vengeance

With a Vengeance (Zoe Chambers Mysteries, #4)With a Vengeance by Annette Dashofy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With a Vengeance is the fourth book in the Zoe Chambers Mysteries series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Someone in the county is staging emergency scenes, luring in first responders, then shooting them. Police, fire and EMS responders seem to be fair game and everyone, including Zoe and Pete, are operating under incredible stress until the killer can be found.

I enjoyed the exciting and fast paced plot, but I felt as though they just sort of bumbled onto capturing the bad guy. I would rather have seen better investigative technique.

Zoe and Pete's romance is moving very slowly. I mean, like a snail's pace. She's rather stay with co-workers families than sleep in Pete's guest bedroom??!!

Overall, this was a good read with a few weaknesses. It ends with a HFN.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Mushroom Burger

This is such an easy recipe that I am almost ashamed to talk about it, but it is something that my vegetarian husband enjoys while my daughter and I eat beef burgers.

Take one large portobello mushroom and coat it with olive oil, then McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning.  Brown both sides in an oven safe fry pan, then place in a 350 Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes.

Place on a bun and add the condiments of your choice.

Enjoy and God bless,

Good Reads: The Murderer's Daughter

The Murderer's DaughterThe Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Murderer's Daughter is an extremely well written and professionally edited murder mystery/suspense novel.

Grace grew up in the foster system after witnessing the gruesome murder/suicide of her dysfunctional parents. Thanks to a supportive foster couple she ends up with an excellent education and a career as a psychologist treating patients that have experienced or witnessed trauma. Her very controlled life is thrown out of order when a prospective patient is murdered and the murderer is now intent on eliminating her.

This was a fast paced book with interesting, well developed characters. The chapters alternate between Grace's childhood experiences and her current dilemma.

Grace is the type of character that I thoroughly enjoy. She is realistic, strong and determined. While she has some quirks, understandable with her background, they only make her more interesting.

Warning: this book does include sexual content and violence.

I highly recommend The Murderer's Daughter. I'm not sure if it will be part of a series, but it reads as a standalone with a HFN ending.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Good Reads: A Muddied Murder

A Muddied Murder (A Greenhouse Mystery #1)A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Muddied Murder is the first book in the A Greenhouse Mystery series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Megan, a former attorney, has returned to her small hometown to take over her father's failed organic farm and to live with her grandmother. She is frustrated in her attempts to get her farm store and cafe opened by an overzealous city inspector and the local historical society. When said inspector is found murdered in her barn Megan is the prime suspect.

First novels in a series are always tricky because the author has to introduce new characters and locations to the reader and still tell the story. It is done nicely in A Muddied Murder; I enjoyed the mystery without getting bogged down in the details.

Megan is my kind of female main character; she's a competent adult, intelligent and kind. The other characters were interesting and well developed.

The mystery is not overly complicated nor too simple. Just right.

I recommend this novel and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good Reads: Compelled

Compelled (Vampires in America, #10.5)Compelled by D.B. Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Compelled is book 10.5 in the Vampires in America paranormal romance series. It is an very well written and professionally edited novella.

Cyn and Raphael owe Nick, a sorcerer and Cyn's ex lover, a favor for assisting Cyn when she freed Raphael from his captors in a previous book. Nick needs their assistance to steal the magical handcuffs that were used to restrain Raphael.

This is a short, but fun romp with Cyn and Raphael's relationship at the forefront and the intense competition and hate between Raphael and Nick.

Compelled is a must read for any reader following this series as it sets up future books that contain the sorcerers.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Beef Stew

Beef stew is so wonderful on a cold day.  Stew meat is affordable and with root vegetables in season beef stew becomes a frugal and delicious one pot meal.

I like to keep my stew vegetables as natural looking as possible.  I want the carrots, turnips and potatoes easily identifiable.  It makes the stew visually attractive and rustic.


Beef cut into one inch cubes (or larger if you prefer)
Beef stock
Small potatoes
Green beans
Small white onions
Several garlic cloves
Whole black pepper corns, 5 or 6
Red wine
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Rosemary
2 Bay leaves

Place some flour and a teaspoon of salt in a ziplock bag with the stew meat.  Shake to cover the meat with flour.  Add several tablespoons of oil to a hot pot and brown the meat on all sides.

While the meet is browning prepare the vegetables by washing them and peel them only if absolutely necessary.  Do take the paper like skins off of the onions and garlic cloves.

When the meat is browned add the onions and garlic cloves and let them get some color.

Add the other vegetables and the spices.  Add broth and red wine (no more than a cup of wine) to cover the meat and vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to simmer.

Cook for three hours, then add salt to taste.

Serve with a crusty bread.  We were so hungry after smelling this stew cooking all afternoon, we ate it without taking a picture of the finished stew.  Oh well, next time.

God bless,

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Eeek! Clothing Moths (and my desperate attempts to eradicate them)

I have to admit that I haven't been as observant lately as I should have, but when a number of moths started flying about our house, I went on full alert.  Because, even though I live in Florida, I am a wool junkie.  I love working with wool and wool yarns and always have several projects in different stages of completion.

Of course, when I pulled out my yarns and semi finished projects they had obvious moth damage.  Some things were salvageable, but (because moths love dark, undisturbed places) the yarn and wool at the bottoms of my project bags were destroyed.

The first thing I noticed were the clothing moth cocoons.  On yarn that only had cocoons, but no damage, I vacuumed the yarn balls inside and out with my vacuum attachment.

Then I placed any salvageable wool into 2 1/2 gallon zip lock bags and placed them in my freezer for, at least, 72 hours.

After I removed the bags from the freezer I open the bags while they came to room temperature, to prevent condensation.  Make sure that there is no moisture in the bags before you reseal them.

From now on I will be storing my wool in plastic even though I know that this is not the optimal method of storage.  I will also be more diligent about checking through my supplies on a regular basis.

I managed to salvage about 50% of my wool.  I knew better than to take my wool storage for granted, but sometimes life distracts us and we end up paying for it.

 I decided many years ago that I didn't want to own anything that, if it became damaged or ruined, would be heart breaking for me.  We live in hurricane territory and I don't want to worry about things when all my concentration should be on my family.  So the loss of a few projects is disappointing, but not devastating.

God bless,

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Beans and Greens

Beans and greens usually refers to white or pinto beans cooked with leafy greens such a collards.  I like to substitute green beans for the collards when fresh collard greens aren't available.

This is a simple dish that is made easier by using canned or frozen beans and greens.  If you are using dried beans soak them in water overnight and be sure to cook them for around seven hours.  I suggest using a slow cooker if you are not going to be home to keep an eye on the pot.


2 cans beans (I used navy and kidney beans)
1 can green beans or a package of frozen greens
1 piece of smoked hog jowl or ham hock
1/2 tsp. of thyme
water or leftover stock
salt to taste
pepper to taste

To a heavy pot add beans after draining them, add drained green beans, smoked meat, and thyme.  Mix well and make sure the meat is tucked down into the beans.  Add liquid to just cover the beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for several hours.  A half hour before serving taste the broth for salt (I didn't need to add any), and add pepper to taste.  Shred the meat and discard the bones.

Never add salt to a pot of beans until they are completely cooked and soft.  Salt will prevent the beans from absorbing liquid and you don't want to serve tough, hard beans.

Serve the beans over biscuits, cornbread (my favorite) or rice.

This is a simple, inexpensive and balanced meal.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Monday, February 22, 2016

Radius Toothbrush

My daughter is very good about brushing her teeth, but I had noticed that she was sometimes missing the gum area of her teeth.  So I went hunting for a very soft bristled toothbrush with a head large enough to always stimulate the gums.

On the advice of a Youtube friend I discovered the Radius toothbrush.  I ordered the regular size for me to try and the childs size for my daughter.

After using this brush our teeth feel like they do after a cleaning at the dentist office.  It gently stimulates the gums and my daughter no longer has any inflammation of her gums.

If you have a small mouth order the childs size.

The frugal side of these brushes is that they are made to last for 9 months without being replaced.  If you feel that the brush needs sanitizing I would soak it in a peroxide and water bath.

I ordered mine from Vitacost, but they are also available through Amazon (link below).

God bless,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Good Reads: Marked Masters

Marked Masters (Bodies of Art, #2)Marked Masters by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marked Masters is the second book in the Bodies of Art mystery series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Laurel and Jack have stumbled on to something extremely unusual; a forger is copying the work of other forgers. Plus Laurel is slowly uncovering some baffling information about her long dead mother. Jack is secretive, as he always is, and Laurel is finding it hard to trust him.

I am having such fun reading this series. The author is a polished writer and her style is intelligent. These books are fast paced and filled with intrigue on top of intrigue.

Marked Masters ends with a HFN and I look forward to reading more books in this series.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Good Reads: Counterfeit Conspiricies

Counterfeit Conspiracies (Bodies of Art, #1)Counterfeit Conspiracies by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Counterfeit Conspiricies is the first book in the Bodies of Art mystery/suspense series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

The heroine works for a nonprofit foundation liberating (stealing) art works from thieves and unscrupulous collectors, then returning them to their rightful owners. She suddenly finds herself in a caper alongside a mystery man that seems to have a similar skill set and the ability to waylay her at the most inconvenient times.

This is a rollicking start to a fascinating and fun series. The plot is fast paced and the characters well developed and complex. Counterfeit Conspiricies was a hard book to put down.

I highly recommend this novel which ends with a HFN.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Frugal Kitchen: Easy Chili

One of my favorite foods for a winter day is a bowl of chili.  This recipe comes from the many times I have thrown a pot full together using foods that I always keep handy in my pantry and freezer.


1 lb. ground beef (I prefer grassfed, organic beef)
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a heavy pot brown ground beef in the oil until fully cooked, then drain off any unwanted fat.

Note:  fat adds flavor, so don't throw it all out.  Add onions and bell pepper, cook until onion is transparent.

  Add garlic, chili powder, salt, sugar, tomatoes and beans and stir well.

 Bring to a boil, cover the pot and lower heat to a simmer.

Cook for at least an hour.  This recipe can be made in a slow cooker if you brown the meat first on the stove top.  Check the seasoning before you serve.  I ended up adding a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mine.

We like our chili with saltines or cornbread.  It refrigerates and freezes well.  If I am making chili for the vegetarians in the family I substitute 2 large grated carrots for the ground beef.


God bless,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Good Reads: The Girls She Left Behind

The Girls She Left Behind (Lizzie Snow, #2)The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girls She Left Behind is the second book in the Lizzie Snow mystery/suspense series. It is a very well written and professionally edited full length novel.

The Maine winter has hit hard with the added complications of an out of control forest fire and an escaped serial kidnapper. Add a missing teenager and tough heroine, Lizzie Snow, and this plot sizzles with action and suspense.

I am loving this series and I can't wait for new releases. I recommend reading this series in order to fully understand the characters and their actions.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Good Reads: Winter At The Door

Winter at the Door (Lizzie Snow, #1)Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Winter at the Door is the first book in the Lizzie Snow mystery/suspense series. It is a well written and professionally edited full length novel.

Lizzie Snow has left her prestigious job as a homicide detective in Boston to move to a small, rural town in Maine. Her new position as a deputy should allow her to pursue her own search for her missing niece. But first she's thrown into investigating a rash of deaths and all of the victims are ex law enforcement officers.

I love a smart, strong female lead and a fast paced plot and this book delivered. I look forward to reading more of this series in the future.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Best Pancakes Ever!

I found this recipe when browsing through All Recipes and it's a winner.  These pancakes are light, fluffy, easy to make, and very tasty.  We had them with butter and lots of maple syrup; perfect on a cold morning.


3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Mix milk and vinegar together and let sit for a few minutes.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together in another bowl.  Add egg and butter to the milk mixture and whisk together.  Stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed, but don't over do it.  Over mixing will ruin the tender texture.

You can see the air bubbles in the batter
In a hot pan (medium heat) melt a bit of butter, then spoon a quarter cup of batter into the pan for each pancake.

You will see air bubbles forming on the top of the pancakes.  When they pop and don't disappear, it is time to turn the pancakes.

When they are nicely browned place them on a warm plate.  I am fortunate that my cook top has a warming burner just for this purpose.

Add a dollop of butter and maple syrup before serving.  We had breakfast for dinner and these pancakes were very satisfying.

You can see how much they rise while cooking


God bless,