Crockpot Monday: Baked Potato Soup

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:07 AM

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ut-oh...another thing that I already professed my love for has turned into another recipe! I'd apologize if these weren't so yummy! Plus, it's the perfect time of year for soups and stews and my favorites are always the really hearty ones!

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 teeny onion, diced (a bit less than 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end
Crumbled bacon and green onion or chives as garnish (optional)


Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them in. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersion blender.

After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives or even some shredded cheddar cheese. Yum!


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Book Review: Before Him Comes Me

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:53 AM

Friday, February 17, 2017

Faced with an unexpected choice, a simple nod is all it will take to change the course of Zara's life.

Bound to a life predetermined by the restrictive traditions of her community, Zara is offered a glimmer of hope by a complete stranger, a man selected for her. She can choose to walk away from the life she has been trained for.

Make new friends and lose her best friend.
Explore new places and lose her home.
Find herself and lose herself.

Will Zara nod and risk everything she knows to discover who she is meant to be?


Although this book is BDSM theme it is not an erotic/a genre. No Sex scenes invovled, BHCM is categorized as a NA Contemporary Romance Genre.

Okie's a new book for all of you! Let me start by saying that I included the disclaimer simply because the author chose to include it on her book synopsis. (Yes, including the misspelled word.) Do I agree with it? Sure. It doesn't include any sex scenes and I'm assuming that NA stands for New Adult so any adult themes are covered under that.  Now...let's get into the review!

The Good: The story line moved at a smooth pace and was interesting. As someone with some experience with BDSM, I found the idea of the cult that the author writes about intriguing. It wasn't entirely a new idea, but still an interesting one. I also appreciated that the author used "hometown" locations that she's familiar with. Living not too far away from that area, I may check out one or two that she mentioned. That brings me to the characters. I appreciated the fact that they were well thought out and developed. It's easy to overlook secondary characters and Ms. Sure did a good job of making sure that didn't happen.

The Bad: The book is written entirely in present tense which can make it incredibly difficult to read. There's a reason that few authors go this route and more than once I had to take a break while reading because of this. On top of that and perhaps because of it, some of the scenes read more like a play by play than narrative. First this person does this, then that person does that. I'm not going to lie...though the book held me until the end, more than once I thought that the author set about to write the "anti-50 Shades of Grey" book and that she herself didn't have much experience within the BDSM lifestyle. If that was her goal, she was entirely successful. This book does show what is in essence the anti-Christian and it does it well. Since I know y'all are waiting for it...yes, the author did use an editor and yes, she needs to find one who pays a bit closer attention to details. Maybe I'm just too picky but I've read too many books with amazing attention to detail and grammar to believe that not paying attention is the norm.

The Summary: For a first book, the author does a very good job at telling what is a very interesting story. If you'd like to read how a teenage girl "bucks the system" and changes her life, there's a very good chance that you could really like this story. Would I recommend this book? I would, but with the caveat that it's written in present tense and that you need to pay attention when you're reading it. For now, it's going onto my shelf and I'm going to keep my eyes open to see if the author goes back and tells the stories of the 3 other ladies who "bucked the system".  They were merely touched upon in this novel and I think they deserve their own telling.


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Crockpot Monday: Baked Bean Soup

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:59 AM

Monday, February 13, 2017

If I'm not careful, y'all are going to think I have some sort of obsession with baked beans! I can hear it now... "She loves them so much that she turned them into a soup!" I can't even deny it because I'm about to type in a recipe for baked bean soup. Just promise me that you won't have me committed, okay?

1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, or pinto beans
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes (and juice!)
2 cups water
salt to taste before serving


Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Put beans into pot, and top with onion and carrot. Add all seasonings and spices. Pour in the entire can of tomatoes, and add water. Stir.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. Before serving, pulse a bit with a hand-held stick blender to blend some of the beans. This will thicken your broth and provide a richer flavor. If you don't have a stick blender, scoop out about 1 cup of liquid and pulse in a traditional blender, and stir back into the crock.


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Crockpot Monday: Cheesy Creamed Corn

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:50 AM

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sometimes you just want something that is in no way good for you and is in every single way is delicious! This recipe fits that bill perfectly! It's soooo good! Again, try to make sure you save some to go alongside whatever you make with it!

2 (16-ounce) packages frozen corn
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 Tablespoons water
4 slices American cheese, crumbled


Use a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. Empty the corn packages into your slow cooker. Unwrap the cream cheese and put the blocks on top. Add sugar and water, and fold the American cheese slices a few times, then crumble it in on top.

Cover and cook on low until everything is all melty, about six hours. Stir well before serving.


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Book Review: Stellar Detective Tales - The Hunt for the Living Shadow

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Friday, February 3, 2017

In the year 2073, Earth, suffering from overcrowding, energy shortages, and planetary disaster, sent 8 million people aboard a colony ship towards Proxima Beta, the nearest habitable planet. For 100 years this ship, the NEW YORK, better known to its inhabitants as ‘The NAWK’, has traveled in relative peace. But with 900 years to go, cracks are beginning to form in the perfect society. It is into the warm pot Detective Leslie Flynt finds himself thrust into the life of Officer Samuel Teegs, becoming a member of the thin blue line in a century he’s never even imagined.

Every so often, you get something kind of spectacularly cool. In this case, I received the very first copy of the very first print run of a book. Then, every so often, life gets in the way and you have to shelve it for a couple of weeks before you get to read it. That was the case with this book. Then, I had an entire day where I just refused to do anything. The oldest and I caught up on some tv and then while he was watching some Netflix, I picked up this book...

The Good - So many books have been written about time travel and gritty police drama, but somehow this one managed to come at it from a new direction. There are bits of sci-fi, bits of noir, and lots of adventure packed into one 222 page book. The characters have a good level of development and while the book takes place far into the future, there wasn't anything so "unbelievable" that you went hey, wait a second....In fact, I found the futuristic setting to have a realistic feel to it that allowed me to sink into it and keep reading.

The Bad - This author badly needed to get his hands on a good proofreader/editor. While his story is great, his grasp of commas just isn't. While the author had manually made corrections in this edition of the book, there were so many more that needed to be made. I also spotted two times where the author had put the wrong name.

The Summary - Great book that I won't hesitate to recommend, so long as comma misplacement doesn't bother you. I get paid to find these things so I know that they jump out at me more than they might the average reader. I'm also thrilled that this was written in such a way that it's clear that it's book one of a series.  I'm eager to get my fingers on book 2 once it's released.  This book and hopefully future books will have a spot on my bookshelves for sure. Want to pick up a copy for yourself? It's available on Amazon!


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Crockpot Monday: Boston Baked Beans

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:33 AM

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mmm...baked beans. Last week, I mentioned how much I love them. Want to know a secret? I love them so much that I keep my tv remotes stored in an old bean pot that's missing its lid! Okay, I loved the pot and needed an excuse to buy it at a garage! I do love baked beans though!

3 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium onions, chopped finely, or 2 Tablespoons dried minced onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound of bacon


Drain and rinse your beans, and add them to the crockpot. Add onion and brown sugar. Pour in the molasses and ketchup. Add spices. Stir to combine. Lay slices of uncooked bacon over the top of the beans.

Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, or high for about 4.

Try not to eat them before the rest of dinner is ready! Oh wait, maybe I'm the only one with that problem...


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Crockpot Monday: Barbecue Beans

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:25 AM

Monday, January 23, 2017

I love baked beans and these are just a little bit different since they're barbecue, but they're still yummy alongside your favorite dinners! In our case, we do burgers year round (thank you, Foreman grill!) and these go alongside perfectly! I only wish I could get corn on the cob year round ...but then it wouldn't be as special in the summer...

1 pound of dry kidney beans (If you are crunched for time, this would work fine with 4 cans)
4 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
2 packages of Lil' Smokies, or cut up hotdogs


Wash and sort kidney beans the night before. In the morning, drain and put into a large pot with enough water to cover with an additional 2 inches. Cover, and bring to a boil. Boil briskly for at least 10 minutes before draining, rinsing in cold water, and adding to the crockpot. (This only needs to be done if you're using dry beans.)

Cover parboiled beans with enough water to cover another 2 inches. Cook in your crockpot on low for 7-10 hours. Drain and rinse the kidney beans then cover with bbq sauce and plop in your hotdogs or smokies. If you’re using canned beans, you can skip right to this step.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3. Everything is cooked already, so it's just a matter of heating through.


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