Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 Book Tour and Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

My Thoughts

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is written by author Vickie Burns. It is a devotional, study on Proverbs 31, and cookbook all combined into one God glorifying book.  The author has written this to help women understand how precious we are to God and offer helpful kitchen recipes for the family.

I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover.  It speaks more to the devotional side of the book.  The rich color and jewel are inviting so I wanted to see what was inside.

This 246 page book contains a variety of themes for the devotionals.  There are A Mother’s Love, Working Hands, and Be a Blessing along with three other weekly topics.  Each week contains five daily lessons and a weekend wrap-up.

The daily lesson opens with a one page devotional thought based on a topic from 31.  The next page follows with six questions to ponder and draw deeper.  The seventh question is an activity or question for life application along with space to journal.  Concluding the day is a menu with recipes.  The recipes are accompanied with a personal memory or story.

I extremely enjoyed this devotional.  The writing was nice and easy to understand.  It helped bring Proverbs 31 to  an attainable level.  I felt more self-worth after doing this study.

This would make a lovely women’s small group selection.  Women of all ages will benefit from reading this.  The recipes are an added bonus.  I highly recommend it. My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by a Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

 

About the Book

Book:  Priceless

Author: Vickie Burns

Genre: Devotional/Cookbook

Release Date: November, 2019

Front cover Priceless

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.

For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.

“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.

 

More from Vickie

This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support.

Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare.

As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”.

My prayer for you, as you read this book is:

  • that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
  • that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
  • that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
  • that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.

May God richly bless you and your household.

 

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, January 1

For Him and My Family, January 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 3

Jacquelyn Lynn, January 3

Older & Smarter?, January 4

Texas Book-aholic, January 5

Mary Hake,January 5

janicesbookreviews, January 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 7

Inspiration Clothesline, January 7

Inklings and notions, January 8

Blossoms and Blessings, January 9

For the Love of Books, January 9

She Lives to Read, January 10

Quiet Workings, January 11

Godly Book Reviews, January 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 12

A Rup Life, January 13

Emily Yager, January 13

KarenSueHadley, January 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vickie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Priceless and a $50 Amazon Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f425/priceless-celebration-tour-giveaway

Cooking in 2020, A Healthy Recipe

One of the most popular resolutions for the New Year is to cook and eat healthier.  Anyone trying to do that?  Me, too!  There are many recipes, cookbooks, blogs, and sites out to offer us help.  Honestly, if I used more common sense and less sugar I believe I could figure this thing out myself.  Well, with prayer, too.  Couldn’t you?

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First off, pray for guidance.  Secondly, I know I need to eat more vegetables.  I love them so that should not be a problem.  Right?  Well, it can be.  Creativity is the issue with me.  Do you get bored with the same old way of fixing veggies?  It is time to experiment.

Do you like cucumbers?  Have you tried them in a salad with tomatoes, green peppers, and feta?  Delicious!  With a light dressing this fresh salad comes alive with flavor and has very few calories.  Winner!

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This Fresh Cucumber, Tomato, Feta salad comes from Pampered Chef.  Yes, I’m a Pampered Chef Lady.  My daughter-in-law brings a praise-worthy version of this to family gatherings.  This would make a nice lunch choice.  Even adding a lean protein and doubling the portion of the salad the calories would total less than 500.

The three lowest calorie cheeses are feta, Swiss, and mozzarella.  Bummer about cheddar, I know.  My cheese of choice is Swiss which I substitute in this recipe.  I am an onion fan so occasionally I will toss in a few.

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If I would just eat what God has given us, I know my body would be healthier.  Just look at the historical account of Daniel in the Bible. CEADFDB9-773B-46D3-87EF-4553A1B55134God has provided so many fruits, vegetables, and proteins for us.  Absolutely I love desserts, but I do not need them as often as I indulge.  They will be reserved for a special occasion or treat.  (I may need you to remind me of that later.)

My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit so I need to make 2020 a year of repairs on it.  What about you?  What shape is your temple in now?

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Enjoy the salad recipe!

Salad

  • 2   seedless cucumbers, cut into 3″ (7.5 cm) pieces and in half lengthwise
  • 4   plum tomatoes, tops removed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1   yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 4 oz (125 g) chunk feta cheese, cut in half lengthwise
  •  Black pepper

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp (7 mL) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  •  garlic clove, pressed

DIRECTIONS

  1. For salad, cut cucumbers with the Quick Slice, place in a large serving bowl; repeat with remaining ingredients, except pepper.
  2. For dressing, combine all ingredients in Measure, Mix & Pour®. Mix until blended.
  3. Drizzle 1/3 cup (75 mL) dressing over vegetables; toss.  Refrigerate remaining dressing for another use. Top with black pepper, if desired.

Yield:

  • 12  servings of about 3/4  cup /175 mL

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 45, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 170 mg, Carbohydrate 4 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g

 

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Christmas, Cookies, and Memories

Christmas and cookies just seem to go together.  Kids of all ages love cookies.  Don’t you?  From the simple chocolate chip and peanut butter to fancier bonbons and cookie press spritz, a tray of cookies is always a welcomed delight at any home.

I remember making Christmas candy with both of my grandmothers but not cookies.  My mother and I made those along with treasured memories.  Mother is a wonderful cook and baker.  She is also a true Proverbs 31 woman even to this day.  I am blessed to have a Christian mother to teach me many things, especially about Jesus.

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One of our family’s favorite cookies is Spritz or Cookie Press Butter Cookies.  A hint of almond mixed with pure buttery goodness in small shapes of wreaths, Christmas trees, stars, and hearts give the kitchen a heavenly aroma when baking.  These are scrumptious any time of the year.  The best thing about them is the fun I have when making them with a loved one.

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Christmas memories don’t need to be about a gift you received.  Make sweet memories this year by making cookies for family and friends with your mother, daughter, sister, or friend.  Actually, that will be a gift in itself.  I still smile when I travel back in time to a little red brick house and am making cookies with my mother and little sister.   The smiles on faces of friends and family when we gave them a tin of homemade cookies warmed our souls.  Yes, the gift we gave became a gift returned to us.

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Need a cookbook for some great recipes?  Amish author Wanda Brunstetter has a Christmas cookbook that even has a recipe for these cookies:

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I love the Amish cookbooks.  If you are not familiar with Amish, they love to cook, bake, and eat!  Now that is a recipe for a great cookbook.  Get it at Amazon or wherever you normally buy books.

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Secret Ingredient is Love, Bread Recipes

Do you enjoy cooking and baking?  I certainly do.  There is something about taking a number of different ingredients, mixing them together, and creating something yummy.  A creation that makes the house smell warm and inviting.  Homey.  Love wafts out of the pan.  It is so calming.

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For me baking is a way to destress and also to show my family and friends that I love them. I love it when my parents stop by and I have made a big kettle of soup to share.  It warms my heart when family pops by and I just happen to have made their favorite pie.  Sometimes it lightens their load and gives them a smile if only for a short time.
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Does it work like that for you, too?  Do you enjoy cooking?  Do you have happy memories from Times in your kitchen?   Most people that love to cook and bake have precious, “sweet” memories of time spent in the kitchen.  The women in my family taught me to cook.  I loved being with them and they were always in the kitchen.  It seemed natural that the kitchen was a place I would love.  My mother and hers were the two women who taught me the most about cooking.
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Everyone has something special they make or a special added ingredient that like to toss into their dishes.  If I’m cooking a savory dish, garlic is my secret ingredient.  Even if it’s a smidge, I love garlic.  Now baking, that’s a toss up.   Depending on the dessert I will reach for vanilla or cinnamon.  Mmmmmmmm.  They both smell heavenly.  However, the most powerful secret ingredient is love.  People can tell if you made something lovingly.  My Grandmother always told me “if you cook with love, you will always love to cook.”
God makes sure we have all of the things we need for our daily bread.  He sees that we have money to buy ingredients.  There are cookbooks and family members to guide us.    We have been given the ability to put the ingredients together to make all different kinds of wonderful dishes.  All we need to do is have faith it will turn out and add our secret ingredient of love.
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He has given us every thing we need for faith, too.  We have all of the things we need.  The Bible is our instructional book.  Church is our classroom, and other Christians are there to help.  God has the ultimate secret ingredient . . . Jesus.  There is no greater love.

Best Banana Bread Ever

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1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
3 bananas, mashed
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. milk
1 c. chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350º. Beat sugar, eggs, oil, and bananas. Stir in dry ingredients, nuts, vanilla and milk. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Happy Birthday America! Patriotic Desserts for All!

Happy 4th of July to you and Happy Birthday to America!   This is the 243rd birthday for this country of ours.  The United States of America is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  Each year on this day we celebrate by throwing a big birthday party!

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What are you giving America this year?  Peace, harmony, and respect might be on her list.  She deserves all three and much more.

Usually the party ends up being a picnic or pool party.  Family and friends gather from near and sometimes far to celebrate living in the extraordinary country.  We celebrate freedom, our freedom.  Summer is in full swing.  The weather is hot with the nights warm.  Fireworks light up the skies to celebrate.

When my family gathers to celebrate we usually have a pitch-in.  Does yours?  We have some favorite dishes and try to make at least one patriotic dessert.  What are some that you make?  Here are a few from our recipe box:

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Recipe for above:

Take any flavor of cookie dough and spread in the Pampered Chef round white stone. Bake according to directions for a big cookie. Let cool. Frost with white icing and decorate with red, white, and blue M&M’s.

Below:

The following is a luscious, light dessert that pleases everyone.  It looks gorgeous, too.

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Flag Red Velvet Cakes:

These Red Velvet Flag cakes are really a hit at the party.  They are easy to make and eat!  Kids and adults love them.  They work for more than Flag Day.

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Today is about much more than red, white and blue desserts, fireworks, and picnics.  Far more.  It is about freedom, liberty, and justice.  Blood was shed so that we might live free.  Never take that for granted.  Our forefathers planned and organized to make certain this would be the best land for them and their descendants.  Their blood was given for it.

While you are celebrating the birthday of this land that I love today, please lift this country, her leaders, and her protectors up in prayer.  They need our prayers daily now just like our founding fathers prayed for them.  Our country and each one of us needs God.  Let’s start with prayer.  That would be a precious birthday gift for America.

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Andrew by Author Jennifer Beckstrand Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Hello!  Today is my stop on Celebrate Lit’s book tour and giveaway for Jennifer Beckstrand’s new Amish book “Andrew, A Lesson in Love”.  It is Book One in her new series the Petersheim Brothers.  Not only will you learn about the book, the author, her thoughts, the tour stops, and the giveaway, but the author has included a recipe for you.  It sounds yummy!  Let’s begin…

My Thoughts

I always enjoy a nice Amish fiction especially when it has an inspirational message.  Book one, Andrew, in author Beckstrand’s new series is an absolute delight!  This contemporary Amish novel is heavily laced with inspiration and life lessons.  It has light romance, humor, a bit of intrigue, and is so well written it is hard to put down.

Author Beckstrand is a storyteller deluxe.  The Petersheim Family was filled with older boys (men) and a pair of rambunctious eight year old twins.  Paternal grandparents had just moved in adding to the frenzy with an ever “helpful” mother-in-law.

I enjoyed the writer’s style.  The pace was great, not rush or sluggish.  The conversations sounded authentic.  There was plenty of dialog which I like.  The characters were so well described I felt like I knew them.   My heart went out to Mary and then to Andrew.  I could imagine them easily and feel their emotions.

The secondary characters were, well characters!  I could see a book being written about many of them.  Mammi was a typical mother-in-law wanting to help by setting things up her way.  Jerry was a fireman that has a secret, Aunt Bitsy has a bunch of cats and blue hair, and so many others.

This is very entertaining but it is also an inspiration book with life lessons.   It deals with choices, hypocrisy, judging, family issues, illness, love, trust, even abortion.  Scripture is heavily quoted and mention of what would Jesus do.  In fact, a lot of the book discusses the difference in helping someone verses judging them.  To say this was a thought provoking read is and understatement.  It has stayed with me weeks later.

I was astonished by how forthright the author was in taking on hypocrites.  It is a topic everyone should read about and address.  This book will give readers a lot to ponder.  It might even change some attitudes.

This gets a glowing recommendation from me.  Everyone should read this book.  I am eagerly awaiting book two and the issues it will tackle.  This book gets a 5 out of 5 stars for the lessons it teaches.  We should all take them to heart.  An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.

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About the Book

Andrew

Book: Andrew

Author: Jennifer Beckstrand

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: June 25, 2019

Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim’s family business has earned them the nickname The Peanut Butter Brothers. But if their matchmaking younger siblings have their way, all three may soon bear another title: husband . . .

Handsome, hardworking, and godly, Andrew Petersheim has always been sure of his place in his Wisconsin Amish community. He’ll be a welcome catch for the local girl who finally captures his heart. Mary Coblenz certainly isn’t that girl. Two years after “jumping the fence” for the Englischer world, she’s returned, unmarried and pregnant. Yet instead of hiding in shame as others in the community expect, she’s working at the Honeybee Farm, ignoring the gossips—and winning over Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers . . .

For all Andrew’s certainty about right and wrong, it seems he has a lot to learn from Mary’s courage, grace, and resilience. She’s changing his notions about forgiveness and love, but will she in turn accept the challenge of starting over and choose to stay—with him?

Link to purchase book: https://amzn.to/3029xel

About the Author

Jennifer beckstrandJennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sisters series, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, Jessie and James, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

 

More from Jennifer

If you enjoyed The Honeybee Sisters, you’re going to love The Petersheim Brothers, or the Peanut Butter Brothers as they’re known in their small Amish community of Bienenstock, Wisconsin. The Petersheim brothers work their small farm and make peanut butter. The idea for The Petersheim Brothers series came when two of my friends and I were creating The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook. My friend Alicia suggested I write a book about Peanut Butter Brothers, and the idea stuck.

One of my favorite characters in my Amish romances is Aunt Bitsy, the irrepressible, unconventional woman who raised the Honeybee Sisters, tried to chase off all their suitors, and then lit fireworks at their triple wedding. In Andrew, the first book in the Petersheim Brothers series, Aunt Bitsy takes in a girl who has jumped the fence and wants to come back to the Amish community to have her baby. Aunt Bitsy is still protecting her dandelions and her bees, still dyeing her hair all sorts of bright colors, and still praying to Gotte right out loud.

Andrew is about forgiveness, second chances, and learning to love. It will have you laughing and crying, and you might just fall in love with two of the most mischievous little boys in Wisconsin. Enjoy.

In honor of the Peanut Butter Brothers, I want to share one of our favorite family recipes. These bars are perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks. They’re easy and delicious!

Peanut Butter Bars

Cream together:

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

Blend In:

2 unbeaten eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup peanut butter

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Stir In:

2 cups flour

2 cups quick oats

Spread mixture in greased jelly-roll pan or large cookie sheet.

Bake: 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven.

Sprinkle on:

1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Let stand five minutes.

For peanut butter mixture on top, combine:

½ cup sifted powdered sugar

¼ cup peanut butter

2 to 4 Tbs. evaporated milk

Mix well.

The chocolate chips will melt on the bars. Spread melted chocolate evenly. Drizzle peanut butter mixture on top. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, June 26

The Avid Reader, June 26

Moments, June 26

Lighthouse Academy, June 27

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 27

Blossoms and Blessings, June 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Genesis 5020, July 1

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 1

Inklings and notions , July 1

Maureen’s Musings, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 2

Christian Bookaholic, July 3

Pause for Tales, July 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 4

For Him and my family, July 4

A Reader’s Brain, July 4

Mary Hake, July 5

Splashesofjoy, July 5

Vicky Sluiter, July 5

Texas Book-aholic, July 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

janicesbookreviews, July 7

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 8

Older & Smarter?, July 8

Quiet Quilter, July 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e57a/andrew-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Refuge by Ann Gabhart, Book Review and Recipe

The Refuge by storyteller extraordinaire, author Ann Garbart, is a delicious serving of Christian historical romance.  Set in the Shaker Village at Harmony Hill, Kentucky in 1850’s, this 391 page paperback is wonderful!  I found it to be a page turning delight.

If you are not familiar with the Shaker religion, this book will give you a quick lesson.  I love fiction books that teach me new things.  However, this time I was well acquainted with the strange sect that believed in celibacy and did not believe in marriage.  I still shook my head in disbelief and was frustrated with them even though I knew what to expect.

Author Gabhart has a magical way with telling a tale.  Actually, it is a God given talent.  Her words are woven together and I am spellbound.  Within the first few paragraphs I am walking inside the book and captivated.  She teaches me things that I don’t know and always has a healthy dose of faith and inspiration included in the story.  These are two of my favorite things, actually must haves, in historical Christian fiction.

This book has been well researched.  The author knows a lot about the Shakers, and it is evident she has visited their historic village.  Characters are very well defined and easy to imagine.  I loved feisty Leatrice, daughter of widower Flynn.  Darcie caught my heart and my emotions.  At times I felt trapped like she did with the Shakers.  The variety of personalities in the Shaker sisters was delightful and true to life, I’m certain.

This is a book about romance, faith, trusting God, and friendship.  There are some twists and turns to keep readers on their toes.  Book Clubs will need to come up with their own discussion questions as it does not include any.

I highly recommend this well written novel.  Learning about the Shakers is worth reading it, but there is so much more to glean.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest thoughts.

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About the Book:

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When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.

About the Author:

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Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These Healing Hills, and River to Redemption. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dog, Frankie. Learn more at http://www.annhgabhart.com.

Recipe Time by Nyla Kay:

My paternal grandparents lived near Shaker Town so I have many memories of going there to eat with them.  Among the recipes I accumulated is this one for Shaker Lemon Pie.  It is so tasty and very different.  The key is to slice your lemons extremely thin.

Shaker Lemon Pie

  • 2 lemons (about 9 oz. each), sliced paper thin (rind and all)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 double pie crust

Directions

Combine lemon slices and sugar in a shallow bowl; let stand until lemon slices are juicy, 4 hours or overnight. Remove any seeds that float to the surface.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir eggs into lemon mixture thoroughly.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 pie crust. Pour lemon mixture into shell. Cover with top crust, and crimp edges. Cut decorative steam vents in top crust.

Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Without removing pie from oven, reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cover pie crust edges with aluminum foil, if becoming too brown.

 

 

Yeast Rolls, The Bread of Life, and Auntie June

 

My family is blessed with bakers bakers and cooks.  Is yours?  Are you one of them?  We have so many on all the branches of my family tree that one year I decided it was time to corral all of the recipes into one large cookbook.  What a fun project!

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Going through the old recipes brought the treasured women and men that made or ate each delicacy to mind.  I journeyed back to childhood, to church dinners, and even some camping trips.  Holidays were relived along with weddings.  It’s funny how food and a certain time or person can be connected.

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Take yeast rolls and my sweet Aunt Eva June.  She has not one recipe in my cookbook for them but four!  Yes, she loves hot from the oven, light, fluffy yeast rolls.  Even the smell of them brings her to mind.  Bread is is absolute favorite treat, even above sweets.

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My Aunt is a strong woman of faith and has been blessed by Abba.   It would take pages to describe how exceptional she is.  She has overcome Breast Cancer in a miraculous way.  Only the touch of Jehovah Rapha, our God that heals could provide some of the news she has received.

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Yeast rolls aren’t the only bread she loves.  She loves Jesus, the Bread of Life and is not shy to enlighten anyone of His power.  When we chat she never fails to tell me that she prays daily for us, misses us, and loves us.  The goodness of God is always in our conversation, too.  Acknowledging His plan for her life she says “He must not be finished with me yet and I want to do what He wants.”

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What faith!  To fight cancer in her eighties and keep such a positive outlook.  She doesn’t need any encouragement from others but gladly gives it to everyone all for the glory of God.

 

                  Auntie June’s Best Rolls Ever


Ingredients: 2 pkg. active dry yeast
3/4 melted butter
2 eggs
3/4 sugar
2 1/2 c. warm water
8 to 9 c. flour
3 tsp. salt

Directions: Soften yeast in water. Add shortening, sugar, salt, eggs, and 4 cups flour. Stir and beat until smooth (about one minute). Stir in remaining flour. This will be a soft dough. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator overnight or until ready to use. When ready to use, work down and make into rolls, dipped into shortening or butter. Let rise until double in size and bake. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Mammaw’s Forgotten Easter Cookies

Easter is rapidly approaching. We are at the ending stages of Lent.  It is the time to turn our hearts and minds to Jesus and His journey to the Cross. Being raised in a Christian family Easter was much more than egg hunts and baskets for me. It was Resurrection Sunday.

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I remember my maternal grandmother teaching me the Easter story over a cookie recipe one year. The cookies are good, but the story has stuck with me for decades.  Memories made in the kitchen are priceless and stay with people.

You might want to do an activity like this for yourself, children, grandchildren, or kids’ group. The message might just plant a seed that will grow into a bountiful harvest. Sometimes a visual makes the Easter story a little more memorable, too. Years down the road they might be recalling time spent with you and lessons from your kitchen.

Mammaw’s Forgotten Easter Cookies

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

2/3 c. sugar

1 c. nuts

pinch of salt

1 tsp. white vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pecans in resealable plastic baggie. Crush pecans into small pieces with a rolling pin. Read John 19:1-3

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe, And said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and they smote Him with their hands.”

Sprinkle salt into egg whites. Read Luke 23:27, 33

“And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him.”

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on His right, the other on His left.”

Put vanilla into a bowl. Read John 19:28-30. “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst.’ Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished’ and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”

Right now this mixture doesn’t look yummy. Add sugar slowly. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Beat with mixer until frothy and add cream of tartar. Then beat on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Add in vanilla close to the end. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with Him.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

“When the night was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and departed.”

Place cookies in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

“Pilate said unto them, ‘Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.’ So they went, and made the tomb sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”

Go to bed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”

In the morning open the oven and take out the cookies. 

Read Matthew 28:1-9.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the tomb. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, ‘Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.’ And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.”

When you bite into the cookies notice they are hollow inside, empty, just like Jesus’ tomb.

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St. Patrick’s Day Musings and Recipe

Well, top of the mornin’ to ya and Happy St. Patty’s Day! ‘‘Tis the day everyone claims to be at least a wee bit Irish,  What about you?  Are you really of Irish decent or just Irish today?

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A sea of green will be flowing everywhere today because most everyone wears green clothes, Irish or not, on this day. It is the day many foods turn green on purpose.  Even the river in Chicago turns green.  This is also the one day of the year that we all put a “Mc” or “O” in front of our surname and become Irish. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick was a soul saver. IMG_1716A soldier for the Lord.  That is what we are really celebrating.  He used a three leaf clover to teach people about the trinity.  St. Patrick turned thousands of hearts, minds, and souls to the one true God.  Now, doesn’t that sound like cause to celebrate!  I think so, too.

It isn’t about having things green and being Irish. No fictional little leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold were there.  This is about celebrating the vast number of Druids, pagans that were saved and became Christians.

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Irish are supposed to be lucky among a lot of other things. You’ve heard of the “luck of the Irish,” right? Hmm, I am not sure about that. Well, I guess you could say the ones that met St. Patrick were lucky, or could you? Was it luck that drew them to St. Patrick or something else?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Personally, I don’t really believe much in luck or leprechauns. Maybe if I keep losing when playing a game I say I have bad luck, but outside of that I don’t put belief in luck. My faith and trust are in Jesus. He is the one that guides and directs me just like He did St. Patrick.

When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He was the Way or rainbow to my riches. I followed Him. My gold happens to be where Jesus prepared a place for me at the end of my earthly life – in Heaven. IMG_3600That is where my heart is, too. In Heaven the Bible says there will be beautiful streets of gold.

My saved loved ones will be there. There will be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears. My Savior, Jesus, is there. Our Almighty God, my Maker, is there. Talk about hitting the jackpot or pot of gold! That is everything I could ever want. Wow, no riches can compare to that. None. So what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21.

Traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dish

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Irish Colcannon, an Irish Treasured Dish

1 lb. potatoes peeled white or unpeeled red potatoes
½ lb. bacon (cut into small 1-inch squares)
1 T. Kosher salt
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (approximately a head)
6 T. butter (four for the cabbage and two for the potatoes)
½ cup whipping cream (or milk)
Fresh parsley chopped finely-a few sprigs will do
A large onion, chopped
5 or 6 scallions or a clump (handful) of chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and peel if you’re using thick skinned.
Cut the potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot of boiling water.
Add the Kosher salt. Boil for approximately 25 minutes.
Stick one of the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re cooked. They should be tender and easy to penetrate with the prongs.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
When they’re finished cooking, add 4 T. butter.
Add the cabbage and onions.
Sauté the cabbage mixture until almost done, with the onions translucent and cabbage a bit crispy. Some people prefer to cook the mixture until everything is soft. It just depends on whether you like a bit of crunch or not. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add the butter and cream or milk, mashing it to silky smoothness—unless you left the skins on, then almost silky smoothness.

Add the onion, cabbage mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Enjoy this Irish classic dish.