Book Review: Last Chance Hero

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:32 AM

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'll be honest. I'd completely forgotten about this series of books. This sometimes happens as the mom of two boys who keep chaotic schedules. When I first started reading, I kept thinking that something seemed really familiar about the book and sure enough, I have read at least one of the other books in this series. In some ways, this made the book feel like coming home. I already knew most of the characters. I can't say that I always understood Jess' stubbornness, but I certainly know people like that so I did enjoy that she was another totally real character. I enjoyed her story with Andy and catching up with everyone else, but again I'm going to be honest. I didn't enjoy the ending. It seemed abrupt and that there were a lot of loose ends. Now, if there's going to be another book in this series, I'm okay with that. However, I did read that this is the last book in the series and it just doesn't feel concluded and that always leaves me feeling unsettled.

Still, if you enjoy every day life in a small town with some serious sports fanatics and love thrown into the mix...I can for sure recommend Last Chance Hero.
Photobucket

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

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Crockpot Monday: BBQ Meatballs

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, September 28, 2015

Okay, I have to tell you that I am super excited to be sharing this next recipe with all of you. As a sports mom, I'm part of quite a few team dinners and team dinners always require some sort of passing dish. Meatballs are absolutely perfect for this! My football boys like to toss them onto some bread and make sandwiches, so sometimes I throw a bag of sub buns down on the table next to them! I don't think I've ever come home with leftovers!

BBQ Meatballs:

Meatball Ingredients:
3 lb. ground beef
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. italian breadcrumbs
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder

Directions:
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Freeze. When totally frozen, place into gallon sized freezer bag.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
2 c. ketchup
1 c. brown sugar
1.5 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. onions, chopped

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Once meatballs are frozen and placed into the bag, pour sauce over the top, squeeze out any remaining air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place into crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours *or* on high for 1 hour, then switching it to low for 6-8 hours.



Photobucket

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Book Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:30 AM

Friday, September 25, 2015

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've been slowly easing my way back into book reviews since life got so chaotic around here and I strongly believe that I made a good choice with this book! I loved the characters and the way that the author made everything feel so real. I was drawn into Sophie's life as if she were my best friend. I fell in love with little Lily Cate. Did I mention that there's a bit of mystery and intrigue involved? Honestly, I can't think of a single negative thing to say about this book. I loved the way that the romance aspect of this book didn't overtake the story, but worked alongside it to bring a well rounded book that had a bit of everything.

If you're a lover of historical romance, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to you. As a matter of fact, feel free to head on over to Amazon and pick it up right now. That way we can sit down and talk about it later!


Photobucket

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

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Crockpot Monday: Sweet BBQ Beef Ribs

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, September 21, 2015

Can you believe that we're almost all the way through September already? It's insane! Since this is my birthday week, I'm going to share one of my favorite dishes... Sweet BBQ Beef Ribs! Yummy! These are geared slightly more towards summer, but who can resist sweet bbq sauce and fall apart meat, especially when paired with a garlic smashed potato and corn? Yum!


Sweet BBQ Beef Ribs:

Ingredients:
3 lb. boneless beef ribs
1 c. favorite bbq sauce
1/2 c. apricot jam
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Dump into crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Add an additional 1/2 c of bbq sauce, if needed.


Photobucket

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Book Review: The Memory Weaver

Posted by Katrina Roets at 2:56 PM

Friday, September 18, 2015

Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now the young mother of two children, Eliza faces a different kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants them to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her departed mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. Eliza longs to know how her mother, an early missionary to the Nez Perce Indians, dealt with the challenges of life with a sometimes difficult husband and with her daughter's captivity.

When Eliza is finally given her mother's diary, she is stunned to find that her own memories are not necessarily the whole story of what happened. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Readers will find themselves swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

-------------------------
This is a tough one for me. I think that I was at least a third of the way into the book before I really started to enjoy it. Up until that point it was what I would dub as only okay. After that point, I started to become more interested and the book did hold me until the end. Overall, I'd say that the book pacing was slow and not enough time was actually spent covering the actual realities of when she was held captive. The entire portion of her returning to that area was actually a very minor thing so I felt a bit misled when it came to the book synopsis.

If I were to rate this, it'd be 3/5 stars. It's an okay book, but it really just didn't wow me.


Photobucket

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

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Crockpot Monday: Yummy Pork Tenderloin

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, September 14, 2015

Everything is in full swing now and as predicted, it's total insanity with Roger taking 3 honors classes, being in band, and playing football. On top of that, Ben has a full course load and is managing the girls swim team! Between homework and sports, there are days that I wonder if I'm going to see home again!



Yummy Pork Tenderloin:

Ingredients:
2 lb. pork tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 c. water
3/4 c. red wine
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air, seal, and place in freezer.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place into crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours. If desired, serve with liquid on the side.


Photobucket

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Crockpot Monday: Turkey Stew

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, September 7, 2015

That's it. Summer is "officially" over here. School starts tomorrow. Realistically, it ended for us before it even began but now that school is upon us, so is game season. Roger has already had two football games and Ben has had a swim meet, so already this mom is busy and hoping that she can keep up. These meals have been a lifesaver all summer long so I just know that they're going to help get me through the fall too!

Turkey Stew:

Ingredients:
2 lb. skinless turkey thighs
1 lb. carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
8 medium potatoes, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
15 oz. tomato sauce
2 bay leaves

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a gallon size freezer bag. Press out any excess air, seal, and place in the freezer.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Dump into crockpot and cook on low for 8-12 hours. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.


Photobucket

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons: