Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review - An Angel By Her Side

An Angel by Her Side by Ruth Reid
You can read more about Ruth Reid's books Here


Have you ever had a tragedy or heartbreak in your life that you just didn’t think you would ever recover from?  Katie Bender had more than what most people would consider, more than her fair share.  Yet she found grace to deal with each trial from her faith.  Join her on her journey by putting your situation in place of hers, and see how faith may help you with solutions to you trials.

Katie Bender and Seth Stutzman are the main characters of this novel, which takes place in a town called Hope Falls.  Although it is about the Amish traditions and beliefs it is a novel that touches the heart.  You find yourself willing each character to obey the will of God.  The most interesting thing I found about the book was when Elias, the mysterious stranger appeared at times when things were the most upside down, and he seemed to know exactly what was needed.  He would offer them advice, but never demanded they follow his advice.  So not to tell too much, you will be amazed at what Elias does behind the scenes when good versus evil to protect God’s own.  Let’s just say I wish I had him in my corner when the going gets tough.  It also deals with a community that was devastated and how they pulled together to help each other without help from the government. 

Although it is the third book in a series and I have not read the first two, it was easy to pick up from here and quickly become acquainted with the characters.  I would recommend this book if you are interested in faith, grace and how others with different cultural background deal with tragedy and heartbreak.  It is an easy uplifting read.

 Disclosure: I recieved a copy of this book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through  Booksneeze  blogger review program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my reveiw. This reveiw is my own opinion.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

3 - D Papercrafts...Santa, Rudolph, Elfie, Frosty


Sorry for the awful picture, but aren't these just adorable? 


I am not a big fan of "fiddly" but when I saw these I knew my granddaughter would fall in love with them, which she did..  I downloaded the  clip art from Martha Stewart Holiday Paper-Crafts.  Scroll down toward the end of the page and you will see a link for download.  I also made a special box for them so I am hoping she will keep them for a few years.  When I got them finished I embellished them with glitter, gems, and puffy paint for fur.  There was a nut cracker, but I just didn't have time to finish him.  Maybe next year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

I know, I know this is not a card, however cooking is becoming an art, especially in our family.  Time is so limited lately, we are eating on the go.  Literally!   The other day Hubby and I ran in the house grabbed a bottle of water, a slice of bread and lunch meat, folded it over and ran out the door back in the car and ate it as we were backing out of the driveway!  How sad is that?  I finally got my Christmas cards in the mail....such as they are.  Not my usual standards so I didn't even take time to take one picture to share.  I did have a few minutes to start doing some baking.  So far....ginger bread cakes, pumpkin rolls and Choco Dot Pumpkin Cake.  Destination...freezer until Christmas. 
Now having said that, I still don't have my decorating done, no tree yet, a few presents purchased, but not wrapped.  I haven't even planned our menu for our Christmas Eve family dinner.  I'm so far behind.  Can you believe that a cashier at the store today had the audacity to remind me that it was only 13 days till Christmas Eve.  What was wrong with that lady?  Can't she see I'm already stressed?  Sheesh, I know how many days I have.  LOL

Anyway I thought I would share two of our family favorite recipes.  I didn't take a picture of the cheese ball.  I got one from Taste Of Home .  They also have the recipe similar to the one I have.   I can't remember, but I might even have gotten my recipe from Taste Of Home.  I used to subscribe to the magazine. 



Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter not margarine, room temperature
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. brown sugar
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafers or animal crackers. I have used ginger snaps too.  If you like sweet and salty then try serving it with pretzels, salty wheat crackers or Town House Crackers. 

Beat softened cream cheese, butter, & vanilla until creamy. Slowly add sugars until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Place mixture in a plastic container. Refrigerate for 1 -2 hours form into a ball and roll ball in pecans or more mini chocolate chips. It can be rolled in graham cracker crumbs although it is not a favorite of our family.  We prefer the nuts or chocolate chips.


Next up is a long-time favorite of ours.  I have been making this cake since 1975.  It is a favorite of my mother and my husband.  It is a very  moist cake filled with chocolate chips, nuts and pumpkin...Tasty!  I couldn't resist snapping this photo while it was on the cooling rack.  It really is picture perfect.  I am going to put it in the freezer, but when I serve it, I will drizzle it with a confectioner sugar glaze.  Yum!
  

Choco Dot Pumpkin Cake

CHOCO-DOT PUMPKIN CAKE
Printed from COOKS.COM

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. or 1 (1 lb.) can pumpkin
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. Kellogg's Bran Bud cereal  (I use bran flakes)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. coarsely chopped pecans
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, spices and sugar; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add pumpkin, vegetable oil and Bran Buds/flakes cereal; mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients, mixing only until combined. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts. Spread evenly in ungreased 4x10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan. Place on cake plate. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze, if desired.

Hope you enjoy some of our family favorites!