Tasty Tuesday – Amish Cookbook Giveaway

Welcome to the first Tasty Tuesday post in September!  I cannot believe it is the first week in September already and that autumn is just around the corner.  Our weather this past weekend sure did feel like fall.  We were camping, and boy oh boy, it was chilly except for yesterday.

And since we were camping this past weekend, I didn’t get a chance to fix anything for a Tasty Tuesday recipe, so that’s a plus for you.  This week, I’ll be giving away a copy of a cookbook I’ve used several times on my blog – “Seasonal Garden Cooking & Family Favorites”.

garden-cookbook

I picked this cookbook to give away since it has a nice selection of pumpkin recipes for the fall as well as all sorts of other items available now in your own garden or at your favorite farmer’s market…apples, cabbage, beets, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, and peppers to name a few.  The pages in the first half of the cookbook are broken down by food item (each fruit or veggie has its own section), and the second half is broken down into breads & breakfast, dips & beverages, soup, salads & sandwiches, meats & main dishes, cookies & bars, cakes & desserts, and homemade basics.  It is a cookbook full of wonderful sounding and tasting recipes.

And for your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment with the dish, baked good, etc. that you are looking most forward to fixing this fall.  For me, it’s either a pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread and maybe even zucchini bars.  What about you?

You have until Sunday, September 10, to leave your comment, and I will announce the winner on next week’s Tasty Tuesday.  Good luck!

Blessings…

 

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Winner of my It’s All About Amy Giveaway

Happy September 1st!  Can you believe that fall is just around the corner?  And our weather right now sure feels like fall instead of what this time of year normally feels like.  We have definitely had some weird summer weather.

I have a winner for my It’s All About Amy giveaway.  Random generator picked out isaiahsbiblejournal – Cynthia Fernstaedt.  Congratulations Cynthia!

I will get this package of Amy Clipston goodies into the mail for you once you send me your mailing address via a private message on Facebook.

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Look for more giveaways over the next several weeks.  I think next week’s Tasty Tuesday post might have one…just saying…

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

Blessings…

 

My Review of Phoebe’s Gift by Jerry Eicher

“Phoebe’s Gift” by Jerry Eicher is his second book in his Peace in the Valley series.  Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

phoebe's gift

“Dreams Never Die When You Believe in ThemPhoebe Lapp’s grandmother was anything but ordinary. Before her death, the eccentric elderly woman purchased three Assateague ponies, seemingly for no reason. But after her passing, Phoebe learns of her beloved grandmother’s wish to start an Amish pony farm in a lovely little valley near the Adirondack Mountains for hurting Englisha children. That dream now lies with Phoebe if she decides to fulfill it, but a teaching position is available as well. Which path should she choose?

Further complicating her decision, before her passing, Grandma Lapp asked a neighbor, David Fisher, to be involved in running the farm and help Phoebe. David agrees, but his sister Ruth has yet to abandon her rumspringa, and the only reason she hasn’t left the church already is because of Grandma Lapp’s kindness. Unbeknownst to Phoebe, David has secret hopes of attracting her affection, but Ruth’s decision to stay or jump the fence could make things difficult for him.

Phoebe knows she has choices to make—whether or not to honor her grandmother’s legacy and what to do about David’s growing attentions toward her. But she’s not alone. God is with her every step of the way.”

And here is my review:

In Jerry Eicher’s book, “Phoebe’s Gift”, you meet Phoebe Lapp who has been taking care of her sick grandmother.  Her grandmother passes away, and that is when Phoebe learns of her grandmother’s dream of her running a pony farm on her grandmother’s property to help hurting English children.  You also meet David Fisher, the hired hand who has been helping on Grandmother Lapp’s farm and also is included in her dream of this operational children’s retreat.  Phoebe and David work together to make Grandma Lapps’ dream a reality and learn about each other’s quirks in the process.  Both have been looked at differently in their communities, and with the help of each other, they learn how to move on from that.

Jerry Eicher brings his characters to life.  I felt like I was at Grandma Lapp’s farm with Phoebe, David, and the children as they experienced the horses and Amish life the first time.  It didn’t feel like Mr. Eicher wrote a story – it felt real.  The one thing I came away with from this book is that it’s amazing what one can do when they have faith and believe in themselves.  Mr. Eicher shows us how to do just that – put faith in yourself when you think you can’t do something, be lifted up by those around you.

I really enjoyed the second book in this series.  You can read this book as a standalone novel if you don’t have the first book in the series available.  Characters from the first book aren’t included in his second book.  It was kind of nice not trying to remember who did what from the first book, since it is all new characters.

I recommend grabbing this book for your reading enjoyment.  You won’t be disappointed.

Blessings…

My Review of “The Promise of a Letter” by Kathleen Fuller

Letter writing, it seems, has become a lost art with the ease of texting and e-mails, but I still love to write letters and mail cards.  Something my momma instilled in many years ago and I still find myself curled up writing a letter or addressing a card every week.  There is just something about getting a happy piece of mail in your mailbox.

promise letter

In Kathleen Fuller’s “The Promise of a Letter”, her second book in her Amish Letters series, two letters are written by a grandmother to her grandsons.  But these letters aren’t given to the grandsons until their grandmother passes away.  Ever had that happen to you?  Receive a letter after a loved one has gone on to heaven?  I haven’t, but in Kathleen’s book, you feel the high emotions that run by doing so.

Here is a synopsis of the story:

“A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay.

Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don’t go as planned, Roman’s prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn’t plan to stay for long.

Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional–strange, even–Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she’s never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn’t mind. She is content being single.

But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the structures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good?”

Here is my review of “The Promise of a Letter”:

In Kathleen’s “The Promise of a Letter”, Leanna Chupp has a job most men usually have – a mechanic repairing small engines.  She’d much rather work in the shop than work on her domesticated skills of cooking, cleaning, and catching a man’s eye.  I love how she skates to and from work.  I see Amish quite a bit on rollerblades up in Lancaster County.  If I’d try that, I’d be on the ground in no time.  I could just picture Leanna swaying back and forth in her travels.  Roman is a piece of work.  He comes back after receiving word of his grandmother’s death – too late for her funeral though.  He then gets the letter that starts him out on a path he doesn’t really want to take.  But during all of this, Kathleen’s writing sucked me into this story so much that I didn’t want to put my Kindle down.  I wanted to know what happened next and went to bed quite late two nights trying to find out what Leanna does about a rumor being spread about her and her boss and how that gets handled and how Roman handles the reconciling part his grandmother requests and his feelings for Leanna.

I definitely give Kathleen Fuller five stars for this excellent story.  I loved the characters and all the emotions I felt while reading page after page.  And now I want to curl up and write a few more letters to my friends that I’ve neglected the past few months.  I want them to have that happy feeling when they open up the mailbox and see something that is not a bill or advertisement like I do when I get my mail.  Thanks to Kathleen for keeping letter writing real.  And in the Amish community, letters are really a big thing.  The Amish love their mail.  When we are visiting our Amish friends and their mail lady has stopped by, someone immediately goes out to the mailbox to get the mail, and they go through it even with us sitting there.  It’s quite funny – where I’d leave the mail until company left, they open the mail right up and read their letters.  Gives us a chuckle every time.

You can read “The Promise of a Letter” as a stand alone novel, but why not pick up  the first novel in this series, “Written in Love”?  I find it more fun and interesting when I start with the first book in a series.  The third book in this series, “Words from the Heart”, will be available in February of next year, so you have plenty of time to catch up on this series.

Happy reading!

Blessings…

 

 

It’s All About Amy Clipston!

Let’s talk Amy, Amy Clipston that is.  She is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors out in the writing world.  Her Kauffman Amish Bakery series has been my favorite series she has written.  It so reminds me of the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop in Lancaster County.  When we stop there for baked goodies or a yummy homemade soft pretzel, I think of Amy’s characters in this series.  And then Amy wrote her Amish Heirloom series and that quickly became another favorite of mine.  There are four books in the Amish Heirloom series – “The Forgotten Recipe”, “The Courtship Basket”, “The Cherished Quilt”, and “The Beloved Hope Chest”.

I think one thing I enjoy about Amy’s series she has written is that the characters get carried over in each story.  You’ll learn about certain people in the first book and then they’ll be included in most of the series.  I love when you can see characters grow and what they become.

I was fortunate to meet Amy at a Christmas Tea a couple Novembers ago at the Guardian Angel Book Store in Richfield, PA.  She is so down to earth, and talking to her was like talking to a good friend.

amy tea with me

Her mom, Lola, is a very sweet lady too.  This year, the Guardian Angel Book Store is having another Christmas Tea on November 18th, and I can’t wait to see Amy and her momma again.  Also, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Long will be at this tea as well.  So looking forward to this wonderful Saturday in November and hanging out with these three authors and some of my Facebook friends.

Now with all of this talk about Amy, I figured I’d offer a giveaway with two of her Amish Heirloom novels – “The Courtship Basket” and an autographed copy of “The Cherished Quilt” as well as some postcards from Lancaster County and two Amy Clipston pens.

amyc-1

To be entered into this drawing, just leave a comment telling me if you have ever read a book by Amy Clipston, and if you have read some of her books, which was your favorite.  I will draw a winner on Friday, September 1.  Perfect way to start a new month!

Good luck!

Blessings…

Tasty Tuesday – Lemon Buttered Broccoli

Now before you go and say ewwww after reading this title, read today’s Tasty Tuesday first.  I thought the same thing when I looked at the recipe, believe me.  But since I had everything to make this recipe in the kitchen, I decided to give it a try.  We like everything called for in the recipe for Lemon Buttered Broccoli, so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too weird of a combination with broccoli and lemon juice.  This week’s recipe again comes from the “Seasonal Garden Cooking and Family Favorites” cookbook.  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks to go to, since part of the book has recipes divided up by foods – broccoli, cranberries, lemons, strawberries, corn, peppers, etc.

broc-3Here is this week’s recipe if you want to brave the world of strange combinations and give it a try.

Lemon Buttered Broccoli, page 69, Anna Mary

1 head broccoli, chopped

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. water

Salt and pepper to taste

In sauce pan, heat butter, juice and water.  Immediately add broccoli and put lid on.  Simmer on low 5-8 minutes, then let steam with lid on till broccoli is just tender.  Add salt and pepper.  Options:  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or sesame seeds.

broc-2  Instead of chopping up my broccoli, I left it mainly as florets, because we like eating broccoli that way.  I also added the parmesan cheese option.  I have to say this broccoli was actually delicious even if cooking it stunk up my house.  Ha!  The lemon juice mixed with the butter isn’t overpowering to give it a big lemon taste.  And the addition of the cheese just sealed the deal.  Hubby and I both enjoyed the recipe, and I will definitely fix it again.  Glad I decided to give it a try.

broc-1  And you can see in this picture that we are still enjoying the homemade lemonade.  This was the last of it with our dinner.  I still have some lemons, so I might make up another pitcher of it.

Hope you have a great week!

Blessings…

 

 

 

Tasty Tuesday – Lemonade

It has been so hot and humid that I’ve been craving lemonade, so while at Aldi on Sunday, I picked up a couple bags of lemons to mix up a batch or two. I choose the lemonade recipe out of the “Recipes of the Hearts and Homes from the Amish and Mennonites of Wisconsin”. I picked up a copy of this book at Springville Foods in Kinzers, PA. It’s a quaint Amish owned grocery and bulk food store that carries all sorts of foods, greeting cards, cookbooks, and lots of baking items.

lemon-2

If you’d like to mix up a batch of fresh lemonade, here’s the recipe…

Lemonade 2, “Recipes of the Hearts and Homes from the Amish and Mennonites of Wisconsin”, page 364, Loretta Zimmerman, Platteville

6 1/2 c. water

1 c. sugar

1 c. lemon juice

Mix well.  Serve cold.

Yield:  2 quarts

For our batch, I used Stevia instead of sugar.  It still tastes nice and sweet with that kick of pucker from the fresh lemon juice.  It really is delicious, and I know hubby will enjoy a nice glass of it when he gets home later tonight.  He loves his lemons.

lemon-3

And my new pitcher I got for free from the Goods Store with their August mystery coupon came in handy for our lemonade.  Perfect for it!

lemon-1

It’s really easy to mix up a batch of this refreshing summertime drink.  The hardest part is squeezing all the lemons to get the right amount of juice.

So, are you feeling parched?  If so, grab some lemons and start squeezing away.  Soon you’ll have a tasty drink to wet your whistle.

Have a great week!

Blessings…