Crockpot Monday: Cranberry-Apple Glazed Porkchops

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, July 27, 2015

Whew! Summer is rolling right along! It's been a roller coaster around here and there were weeks that I was so incredibly thankful for the meals in the freezer because there weren't funds in the account. This week, Roger has gone away to his first year at band camp and while I'm so proud of him, my mom heart mourns his growing up just a little. What's better for that then comfort food? Nothing! Okay, maybe a few things, but let's go with this...

Cranberry-Apple Glazed Porkchops

Ingredients:
1/2 c apple juice
2 peeled, cored, and diced apples
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 can whole cranberry sauce
2 lb thick cut pork chops

Instructions:
Place all ingredients into a gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze out any extra air, seal and place into freezer.

Cooking instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator. Place into crockpot and cook, on low, for 6-8 hours.



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Book Review: The Lost Garden

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marin Ellis is in search of a new start after her father and his second wife die in a car accident, and at thirty-seven she is made guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister Rebecca. They leave Hampshire for the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast, and settle into Bower House on the edge of the village church property. When a door to a walled garden captures Rebecca’s interest, Marin becomes determined to open it and discover what is hidden beneath the bramble inside. She enlists the help of local gardener Joss Fowler, and together the three of them begin to uncover the garden’s secrets. In 1919, nineteen-year-old Eleanor Sanderson, daughter of Goswell’s vicar, is grieving the loss of her beloved brother Walter, who was killed just days before the Armistice was signed. Eleanor retreats into herself and her father starts to notice how unhappy she is. As spring arrives, he decides to hire someone to make a garden for Eleanor, and draw her out of - or at least distract her from - her grief and sorrow. Jack Taylor is in his early twenties, a Yorkshire man who has been doing odd jobs in the village, and when Eleanor’s father hires him to work on the vicarage gardens, a surprising - and unsuitable - friendship unfolds.

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It's been a long time since I've read a book that had me in tears more than once. There's just something about the author's writing style that tugged hard at my heart strings. I felt as if both Marin and Eleanor could have been my sisters, best friends, or even that they represented parts of myself. Both strong women whose lives had handed them hard times, still, they kept moving and I won't ruin the book for you, but just trust me when I say that once you get this book and open the front cover, you won't want to stop reading until you close the back cover. This is one book that will never be leaving my shelves to go onto the library free shelves. I somehow know that I will come back to this book time and time again, reliving those moments, purging those bottled up tears, and smiling at the sweet moments.

If you're looking for a book that will make you feel in all of the ways you can feel, The Lost Garden is one that you should be picking up. You're not going to regret it.

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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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Crockpot Monday: BBQ Pulled Pork

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's summer and summer means bbq, corn on the cob, baked beans, pasta and potato salads... and just general yumminess. As much as I hate the heat, I do love the food! It just doesn't feel right to try eating these things in the dead of winter. Plus, it's really hard finding good veggies during the off season! Dang corn only growing during nice weather! There is nothing more delicious than fresh corn on the cob or tomato slices... dang it, I'm drooling now. I'd better give you this recipe!

BBQ Pulled Pork:

Ingredients:
2.5 - 3 pound pork roast
1/2 bottle of bbq sauce
1/2 small onion, sliced
 1/2 c water*
Buns*
Place all of your ingredients into a gallon size freezer bag. Feel free to add more onion if it's your thing! My boys aren't sold on onion so I keep the amount down. Squeeze out excess air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw and place into crockpot. Add 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred meat and add more bqq sauce, if desired. Serve on buns.

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Book Review: Exile

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:50 AM

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?
13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.
They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.
Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?
Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

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Poisons...antidotes...Seriously action packed and a book that I couldn't put down. I loved every single segment of this series and I honestly can't wait to convince the boys that they ought to give it a try. Granted, they're not the readers that their mom is but I do manage to sneak one their way from time to time. My advice to all of my readers? Don't let the fact that this book is geared towards the young adult crowd stop you from picking it up. Adults and young adults are going to love this book and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's already on the Amazon top 100 or even top 10 list for this category. 

As for me, I'm thrilled to have found a new writer that I'm going to be watching for in the future!


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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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Crockpot Monday: Chicken Teriyaki

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, July 6, 2015

This is one of those meals where I confess I'm trying to stretch my tastes and at the same time, make something that I know my boys will really enjoy. I'm pretty much the girl that makes the "eww gross" face whenever soy sauce is mentioned, but you can't have a good teriyaki without it. So, here's to adventures in the kitchen and with the taste buds!



Chicken Teriyaki:

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 c teriyaki sauce
1/2 c chicken broth
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
16oz frozen stir fry veggies
Rice*

Place all ingredients into a gallon size freezer bag. Squeeze out extra air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw and place into crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over cooked rice.


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Book Review: Laugh-Out-Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys

Posted by Katrina Roets at 9:00 AM

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rob Elliott's Laugh-Out-Loud joke books have brought laughter to more than half a million households. His last book invited kids into the action as he teamed up with cartoonist Jonny Hawkins to create "Laugh-Out-Loud Doodles for Kids." Now the dynamic duo is back with two brand-new books for boys and girls who love to draw and love to laugh! Packed with jokes that will keep boys and girls giggling for hours, and unfinished doodles for them to complete any way they want, these books keep little hands and minds busy. Perfect for road trips, lazy summer days, or anytime the kids say, "I'm bored!"

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This book is fantastic. No, seriously. I shared this with some younger kids and it was such a big hit that I may need to pick up some of these as stocking stuffers! The jokes are definitely on a child's level and who can resist doodling and coloring? Not a single child that I know, including me!

Honestly, I can't come up with a single bad thing to say about this book. The books are a great size for backpacks, travel packs or just for carrying around. The jokes are funny, the tongue twisters hilarious, and if you don't go pick up one or a dozen, I'll be very sad.

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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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