Monday, October 15, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Mongolian Beef

9:58 AM 0 Comments
Every so often I just crave something a little bit different than the things we make around here. I know that you know how it is. You're super busy and you don't want to spend a million years cooking but you still want something delicious when you walk in the door after a long day...Enter....

Mongolian Beef:

Ingredients:

FOR THE MEAT:
1.5 pounds flank steak
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 sliced green onions – set one aside for garnish
1 teaspoon dried minced onion (or 1/2 fresh onion, diced very small)

SAUCE:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter (if allergic, use black bean paste)
3 tablespoons brown sugar

AND THEN:
1/4 cup cornstarch (to dredge meat -don't add to sauce mixture!)
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)


Directions:

Slice meat into thin strips and toss in a Ziploc bag with cornstarch. Add all of the liquid and dried spices to your crockpot, and then the peanut butter, and mix well. Add the garlic and three of the sliced green onions. If you are using fresh onion, add that now, too. Place meat on top and carefully toss to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Flank steak is thin and has very little fat, and will cook quickly. There isn't a lot of liquid in this dish, so if your crockpot tends to cook hot, check it after 3 hours.
The meat is done when it is no longer pink and has reached desired tenderness. Serve over rice and garnish with freshly sliced green onion.


I know that seems like a lot of ingredients but it goes together super fast! I haven't tried it yet, but I'm guessing that this would make a great prep in advance and freeze meal. Just keep your dredged meat in a separate bag from your sauce.  If you try it that way, let me know. I'd love to hear how it turned out!





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Friday, October 12, 2018

Book Review: See No Evil

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The End of the world is coming yet Marley doesn’t even know what she is much less what she can do.

A new urban fantasy series from the award-winning screenwriter of ground-breaking BBC TV series Spirit Warriors.


With the First Seal broken, Marley and the girls finally learn what Michael is up to… and it isn’t good. Christian is more determined than ever that they put a stop to him but is avenging his mentor more important to him than the girls’ own lives?


Tyler finally starts her new job but gets quickly into trouble. Exhausted by everything she must do, she uses her power to secretly brew up her first potion. It’s just a little something to get her through the day, she’s positive it isn’t going to be a problem…


After Eve says some hurtful things, Cassie uses her powers to escape her own insecurities, but when a cute guy hits on her for the first time in her life, all bets are off.


While the others try to deal with their issues, Marley has some big problems of her own: specifically, the terrifying ghost that keeps coming after her until Marley decides to take drastic measures in a bid to drown out all of her unwanted visitors, a move which ends up leaving her in terrible danger.


All the while, Michael is making big moves towards his evil grand plan…


Saving the world has never been this Twisted!

Fans of The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars will love this thrilling new series.


Just like your favorite TV series, Twisted consists of many episodes. See No Evil is episode 3. A new episode will be released every eighteen days!
Free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Things are heating up! This episode has the girls all over the place, but still not really coming together as a team.

The Good:

The characters are still uniquely individuals and the story keeps rolling along. I start reading and I don't tend to stop until I reach the cliff hanger that is sure to come at the end of each one of these episodes.

The Bad:

Without knowing just how long this title is going to be once all of the episodes are going to be released, I'm a bit concerned with the pacing. Since I don't know though, everything could be just fine!

The Summary:

Still a fun read if you're into the paranormal at a young adult level. Be aware though that this is a serial so there's no telling just how many episodes and just how long it's going to take before you get the entire story. At the writing of this post, only one has been released and another four are available for pre-order. I hope that gives you some idea of what you're in for!





I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Meat Lover's Chili

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If I had to say what my favorite fall dish would be, I think I would say chili every single time. My usual recipe is pretty simple, but sometimes you just want something a bit more...wow...and this recipe certainly covers that!

Meat Lover's Chili:

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat (frozen is fine)
10 ounces smoked andouille sausages, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (whole can)
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (or about 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups beef broth

Directions:

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place everything into your crockpot: meat, sausages, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and all the seasonings. Stir in the broth. Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. For chili, the longer the better.

Serve with your favorite toppings. We love saltines or oyster crackers, shredded cheese and/or sour cream! No matter how you serve it, it's yummy!






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Friday, October 5, 2018

Book Review: When Through Deep Waters

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Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled facade to pieces. Worse yet--Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.

The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift--if only for a moment.

But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she's completely lost her sanity, as it's rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real--and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes you pick up a book and you have no idea if it's going to be a good fit for you or not. That's part of the reason why I write up book reviews. I want to help others find books that they're going to love.

The Good:

Ms. Dekker writes amazing lead characters. She does such a wonderful job of sharing Alicen's grief and the dive into depression. I could relate to Alicen and the struggles that she had after watching her "perfect" life fall to pieces. I felt as if I were walking right alongside her as she struggled. This was made easier by the wonderful job that the author does at setting the scene. I could see the woods, the small bookstore, the house, and all of the places that Alicen finds herself. 

The Bad:

This book is completely labeled as the wrong genre. It isn't really a mystery or a thriller. I would have tucked it more under paranormal fiction, if anything. Also, while it didn't bother me, some may be bothered by the theme of self-forgiveness due to their beliefs that only God can truly forgive. Like I said, this wasn't an issue for me but I wanted to give y'all a heads up in case that sort of thing may be an issue for you.

The Summary:

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The fact that it was listed as a thriller worried me but as I said above, it really isn't a thriller. It's really a book about finding yourself again after the world has taken your light away. For me, I am very glad that I took a chance and picked up this book. I hope you will too.





I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Maple BBQ Beef

9:45 AM 0 Comments
Happy October! I can't believe how fast this year is going by already! I just had my birthday a week ago and suddenly it's October and Halloween is just around the corner! My baby is already over a month into his senior year of high school and I'm bugging him constantly about college applications...thank goodness for my crockpot!

This week, it's all about one of my favorite fall flavors...Maple!

Maple BBQ Beef:

Ingredients:
2 pounds frozen solid stew meat
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes (or 1 large onion, peeled and diced.)
2/3 cup beef broth

Directions:

Dump everything into your crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for about 5 or 6 hours. If you can, stir once about halfway through cooking. If you can’t, it’s not an issue. Just stir well before serving.

Your meat is finished when it can break apart with a spoon. Serve with mashed potatoes and/or roasted vegetables.


Question: What's your favorite fall flavor? Comment below and let me know!




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Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: Beware the Signs

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Beware the Signs - Jo Ho
Her worst nightmare has come true and it's still only her first day of college.

A new urban fantasy series from the award-winning screenwriter of ground-breaking BBC TV series Spirit Warriors.

With death on her hands, Marley is haunted by her actions and terrified by her new powers. Christian won't let her forget what she has done but worst than that, there's the terrifying ghost who keeps coming after her, right when she is at her most vulnerable. What does she want with her?

After almost causing another terrible accident, Tyler knows they must learn to control their new powers - whatever they are - or risk killing again, but a self-taught lesson doesn't go as planned, leaving the girls more fragmented than when they began.

Cassie's weird hang-ups make it hard for the others to connect with her, while uninterested in being part of the team, Eve leaves them to fend for themselves.

When one of them is attacked by something less than human, it suddenly becomes clear just how dangerous their world has become.

Will Marley and the girls be able to set aside their differences and work together before tragedy strikes again?

Saving the world has never been this Twisted.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars will love this new series.

~~~~~~~~~~~
The one bonus with this serial is that when I picked it to review, the next two sections were also available. So let's dive into the second part!

The Good:

Another quick moving section and as a reader, I could start to see the story itself starting to come together. The girls are still very much individuals and dealing with their own insecurities and issues while trying to figure out what's going on. It can be hard not to have characters blend into one another so I appreciate their differences.

The Bad:

I find Christian to be a bit on the overwhelming side. I understand his emotional intensity but he's a bit much for me. I think it revolves around the way that he has to communicate. 

The Summary:

I found this to be another quick read and I'm already eager to start the third part. I sincerely hope that the author continues to put her books out for review because I would like to see where this goes. My only fear is that because it's being written in an episodic format that it might continue on far past where it should end. The only way to find out though is to keep reading!






I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Crockpot Monday:Turkey Tetrazzini

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Crockpot Monday - Turkey Tetrazzini
Yesterday was my birthday and while I'm officially older, I also officially still love food! This recipe is a bit fancier than usual but so good that I couldn't leave it out!

Turkey Tetrazzini:

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce package) dry spaghetti, cooked
1-2 pounds turkey breast tenders, cut in small chunks
5 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, chunked
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. 

Layer all ingredients, except for pasta into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Add cooked pasta and then cover and cook for an additional hour.

....and now I'm hungry! Time to get something yummy cooking!




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