Monday, June 18, 2018

Crockpot Monday : Cornbread

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Cornbread can either be really good or really dry. I haven't tried this recipe in a while but I have hopes that it will be as delicious as I remember. If it's dry, I guess I'll just have to use it as the base for something delicious like a frito pie!

1 Cup Quaker® Yellow or White Corn Meal
1 Cup all-purpose flour
2 to 4 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

Coat the inside of your crock with cooking spray. Mix batter together according to recipe instructions.
Dump batter in and close up.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

As always, let me know if you try this recipe and what yumminess was served up with it!

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Review: Just One of the Royals

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Just One of the Royals - Katrina Roets - Book Review
Star hockey player Daniel Sacachelli wants only two things: 1) for the Falcons
to win next season, and 2) for his secret — the fact he’s actually the prince of Eldonia — to never make its way to Chicago. But if Daniel keeps avoiding his crown, their family will lose their kingdom forever.

Madison Myong can’t believe that her will-they-or-won’t-they best friend Daniel is
really a prince! He’s always seemed more rebel than royal. But now, he needs to clean up his image, fast. Posing as his long-time girlfriend, Madison accompanies him back to Eldonia, intending to give Daniel a makeover fit for a king.

Only, the more royal Daniel becomes, the more Madison misses her best friend. And if she does her job right, she’ll lose him forever...

Have you ever really wanted to love a book but you just can't? Sadly, this was that book for me.  The story was cute, but a little too Princess Diaries for me. The characters seemed to feel flat and I just couldn't connect to them. There just wasn't anything about them that made them unique or made them stand out. Daniel and Madison didn't really seem to connect for me as a couple. I can see them as being close friends, but a couple? Not so much. There's also scenes towards the end of the book among two couples that just felt wedged in. The entire book was pg and then suddenly, there was a whole lot more implied.

I'm going to give this one a 3 out of 5. I didn't hate it, but it isn't one that I'll go flipping frantically through my Kindle to track down to read again later.

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, June 11, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Potatoes Au Gratin

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Can you believe that it's June already? My oldest just graduated from high school and his younger brother is off next week to jazz camp. He'll be starting his senior year in the fall. I thought I was ready for this but I'm not. I'm crazy emotional. Still, what goes best with crazy emotional? Comfort food and for the next five weeks, we'll be focusing on some comfort food side dishes!

This week? Potatoes Au Gratin!

1.5 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons)
6 Tablespoons flour
3.5 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons dried mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 baking potatoes
2 parsnips
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
green onion (for garnish, optional)


Wash and peel your potatoes and parsnips. Slice them long ways, then slice in 1/4 inch slices. Dice the white onion. Add the onion, potatoes, and parsnips to your crockpot.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add your flour, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes. Then slowly add your cream, and spices, stirring continuously to blend. Pour mixture over potatoes and parsnips, and place the lid on top.

Cook on Low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5.

Before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until it disappears.

Garnish with green onion if desired.

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you served it alongside!

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Review: Where the Fire Falls

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Book Review - Katrina Roets - Where the Fire Falls
Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas-- a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

When this book landed on my front porch, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. In fact, I set it aside and read half a dozen other books before I spotted this one again and thought I had probably get around to reading it. I'm so glad that I did.

The Good - 

I fell in love with not only the well developed and well written characters, but with the location as well. It made me want to jump in my car and drive across the country so that I could perhaps experience just a bit of what Clark saw every single day. It takes a talented writer to bring a location to life and that's just what Karen Barnett did.

The Bad - 

There was just one little section on the end that made me pause and say, " did that happen? It wasn't covered." I can't tell you what it was though or it would give too much away. Honestly though, it was one sentence among hundreds or thousands so it certainly didn't keep me from finishing the book.

The Summary - 

I loved this book from the first page to the last. I still want to go back and look up the hotels and locations mentioned in the book to see if they still exist. I would love to stand where these characters did and explore the area. Who might be the perfect get away for this writer! 

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, June 4, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Cola Pork Roast

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Here it is...our last week of pork for a while! Summer = picnics, reunions, cookouts, and tons of opportunities to pull out your favorite recipes! I hope some of ours come in handy for you!

Cola Pork Roast:

4 pound pork roast 
1 (7-ounce) can fire roasted diced green chilies
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper 
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cola


Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the meat into the bottom of your cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chilies, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, chili pepper, sugar, and salt. Stir to create a paste, and then smear this mixture on all sides of your meat. Pour in cola.

Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Use your favorite cola! I'm not going to start a soda/pop war by saying which I'd use...hehe

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Book Review: Lucius Fogg - Deadly Creatures

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Deadly Creatures - Katrina Roets - Book Review
Jimmy Doyle is an honorable man who took a bullet for his country and returned home to become a private detective. His boss, Lucius Fogg, is the preeminent occultist who dabbles in solving the more macabre crimes of 1950s New York City. As Fogg’s legman, Doyle is thrust deep into the world of the supernatural, pitting him against everything from disembodied spirits to demonic possessions with a few vampires and werewolves thrown in. He often has to face these dangers alone, for even though the enigmatic Fogg is extremely powerful he can’t take one step outside of his home or he will die instantly.

The first in a new series of novels from comic book writer Dan Wickline.

Do you ever see a book description and think wow, I'd like to check that out and then go to buy it and Amazon says, "Hey, you already bought this ages ago?" No? Just me? Well, shoot. That's exactly what happened with this book.

The Good:

I love a good whodunit and when you in the occult, it just made it all the more fun to read! As a first book in a series, it did a wonderful job of introducing the characters but leaving just enough that you want to read the rest of the series to learn more about them. I need to know more about Lucius and Ariel. So, not only are the characters absolutely smashing, but so is the story itself. It pulled me in and kept me reading right to the end. 

The Bad:

Well shoot. There wasn't a whole lot that was bad about this book. I caught some grammatical things here and there but really, that was about it. 

The Summary:

A fantastic read that kept me guessing right up until the end. If you're a lover of noir, the occult, supernatural creatures or all of the above, check out Dan Wickline's book. I've already wish listed the other books in the series. 

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Maple Glazed Ham

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Crockpot Cooking - Katrina Roets - Maple Glazed Ham

Tired of ham yet? I sure hope not because both this week and next week are all about different types of yummy, sweet glazes! Mix it up! This one goes perfectly sliced and served alongside some pancakes or eggs or waffles or ....well, you get the idea!

Maple Glazed Ham:

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all natural maple syrup
2 cups pineapple juice

Unwrap and place ham into your crock pot, flat side down. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice. 

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If possible, baste ham with collected juice from the bottom of the crock an hour or so before serving. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Slice, serve, enjoy!

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