For the past two months, we have had team challenges on Amy Clipston’s Bakery Bunch. For the month of April, we have been given an individual challenge to re-read a book of Amy’s and write a review. She has also asked us to include an Amish recipe for the challenge as well, and since you know my love of Amish cookbooks, that will not be a problem for this girl.
I chose “A Hopeful Heart”, the first book in Amy Clipston’s Hearts of the Lancaster Grand series. It had been a while since I read this book, so I thought it would be a perfect series to read again.
Here’s a preview of the story:
“Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy.
Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief.
Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband’s brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah.
A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.”
Here’s my review of “A Hopeful Heart”:
Hopeful – you see this throughout Amy Clipston’s “A Hopeful Heart”. You see how the main characters, Hannah and Trey, lean on God and follow his ways to find hope again. Having to leave everything you are accustomed to and follow God’s lead had to be hard on Hannah especially when children are involved. She doesn’t take her family or faith lightly, and she has some pretty hard decisions to make. Amy Clipston’s story does not sugar coat life’s real problems, and she shows that the Amish have issues just like we do. You will see how God is always there for you in the darkest and happiest times. This is definitely a must read, and once you finish this book, find the rest of the series. You will not be disappointed.
I hope you’ll pick up a copy of “A Hopeful Heart” and read this great story for yourself. With the weather being nicer, grab your book and a blanket and enjoy some fresh air outside while you read.
Now for my Amish recipe – I think this part was harder to do than choosing which book to review, since I fix quite a few delicious dishes out of my Amish cookbooks. I decided to pick the chicken casserole recipe out of the Cooking with the Fishers Cookbook. This is something that is easy to fix and feels up your belly. I usually just fix a vegetable with this casserole, and there is dinner.
2 lbs. (1 quart) cooked chicken (or turkey)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Place in an 8”x8” cooking pan. In a small bowl, mix the soup and sour cream together. Pour over the meat. Melt the butter and mix with the crackers. Sprinkle on top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
If I get into a pinch and don’t have cooked chicken in the freezer or time to bake some, I will pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store on my way home. I’m all about making my life easy in the kitchen.
Let me know if you give this recipe a try or if you read Amy Clipston’s “A Hopeful Heart”.