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Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: Killing Lions

Killing Lions is a departure from Eldridge's normal writing style.  This book is a conversation between John Eldridge and his son Sam who is in his 20's

Eldridge gives honest insight to his son who discusses his college and post college struggles in his journey to learn what a Man of God is and how to make the decision to strive for that in his own life.

Covering subjects honestly such as relationships, dealing with money, getting married and life calling as you read this father's caring words for his son you will find wisdom to be spoken to your own sons as well.

Eldridge identifies the decade of your 20's as the "season of the warrior". As he describes his journey he discovers that "courage and process" were the repeating factors in feeling validated as a man. Written in a way that any male will be drawn in and identify with the author truth is spoken clearly and bluntly.

My husband is a college football coach in the south and as we discussed this book it was clear that the subjects covered in Killing Lions are absolutely relevant to the Millennial male.  This book could be read individually, would make a great small group book or mentoring book.  This would make a great graduation gift for a high school senior as well.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bzz Agent: Arla Dofino Manchego Cheese

As a Bzz Agent I was given the opportunity to review Arla Dofino's new line of cheese which are available at Kroger stores.  My particular Kroger did not have all the selections available and so I settled on 8oz of Manchego cheese.  I was a bit shocked to discover that the cheese was priced at $10 for the 8oz, but purchased it anyway.  (My free coupon had a limit on it)

I've never tried Manchego cheese, but remembered that Rachel Ray had a recipe for mashed potatoes I was interested in trying.  Manchego cheese is described as a cross between parmesan and cheddar making it a perfect pair for potatoes!  Creamy and slightly tangy.  The recipe I've included below is Rachael Ray's and it was delicious!  I used fat free evaporated milk instead of cream.

I found this cheese to be very easy to grate, incredibly tasty, and easy to find in the dairy section of my Kroger store.  There were some interesting and unique choices that would be great as appetizers, but I couldn't figure out how to use them in a recipe.

All that being said, it's not in our family budget to spend $10 on cheese, so I don't think this will be a repeat unless it is a holiday!

Manchego Cheese Mashed Potatoes

4 pounds baby red-skinned or baby Yukon gold potatoes
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 to 1 cup milk or cream
2 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese, about 3/4 to 1 pound of cheese
Black pepper
Halve large potatoes, small ones can be left whole. Place potatoes in a deep pot, cover with water. Place a lid on potatoes and bring them up to a boil. Uncover, salt the water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and add back to the hot pot. Add butter, milk or cream and cheese and smash the potatoes to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Cookbook Skinny Taste

I have been a Skinnytaste fan for awhile now, so I was excited to get my hands on this cookbook!

From the start author Gina Homolka reminds the reader of why her blog is such a great go to resource for great tasting, healthier recipes.  The intro to this cookbook should not be skipped.  Tips on purging the pantry, items to keep stocked up on and best of all, Homolka takes the reader through plan ahead for a week of healthy meals.

The cookbook is divided into 12 recipe groups and each section is full of tasty sounding recipes I can't wait to try!  One thing I would say is that I wish that each recipe had a picture attached to it.  The pictures that are included are very clear and look amazing.  Each recipe includes a breakdown including serving size, calories, fat and carbs. 

From breakfasts to dinners, appetizers to desserts I would be shocked if you didn't find more then one recipe to make a new family favorite!

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Review: A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home is an adorable book by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.  The sisters have a blog which highlights home decor, craft and life style items.

This book is packed full of information.  I love the way it is organized, by subjects.  The table of contents have pictures to jog your memory about what each section is about.  Each chapter then starts with a large room picture followed by close up pictures and explanations of the room presented.

The sisters have created an eclectic array of crafts, recipes, hospitality tips and above all, easy DIY crafts for every room in the house.

If you are looking for inspiration for decorating any space in your house or apartment, this book will help you to think outside the box.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Book Review: God's Story For You

God's Story for You by Neil T. Anderson is the first book in a 8 part series labeled the Victory Series.
This book is a workbook for study as an individual or in a group.  Divided into 6 sections, there is a small amount to read and several questions to answer.  This could easily be done without much preparation prior to meeting as a group.

As this is book one in the Victory Series Anderson begins with creation.  The author's goal in this book is to reveal the true character of God and the purpose behind creating humans.  The first section overviews creation of humans, sin, the nature of God and much more.  As the book continues there is a short overview of many subjects covered including Sin, Salvation, and Sanctification.

I found this book to be unbiased in it's presentation of scripture.  The author explains what the most excepted thoughts are surrounding each subject.  Additionally, the scripture is used throughout.

Because each section is a very brief explanation, I would suggest using this for group study in order to explore each subject deeper.

I recieved a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Draw-A-Saurus

What do you get for the 2nd grader who loves to draw, has great attention to detail and loves dinosaurs?  This book.  I was very impressed with the comprehensiveness of this awesome drawing book.  Author James Silvani takes the reader step by step through drawing several different dinosaurs at many angles.  I found the instructions and explanations on how to draw each part to be very specific and easy to understand.  Further, not only does this book discuss drawing dinosaurs, but it also gives instruction on how to draw the surroundings including vegetation that a dinosaur would be in.

This book is for the more advanced drawer, the details take patience and sharp pencils.  Over all, if you are looking for a book on how to draw dinosaurs this is your tool!

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recipe: Freezer Smoothies

The fall can be a crazy time for our family and unfortunately we all know that when life gets crazy one of the first things to change in our eating habits.  This year I'm working harder to make sure we stay on track with eating healthy and one big change is breakfast.  Instead of waffles and cereal I've decided to make sure Coach is off to the office with a smoothie.  

As you can see there is a few smoothie recipes here and if you look closely the middle, bottom smoothie shows the greek yogurt not quite stirred in.  

Method: Pull out mason jars and line them up.  Add 1/2 c of greek yogurt to the bottom of each jar.  (this is really just to save space in the blender and the step can be avoided if you prefer to add the yogurt to the blender.)

Pull out ingredients and fill blender.  Add blended smoothie to jars leaving room, stir, close and freeze.

When you are ready to consume the smoothie pull out of the freezer and either let thaw or put in the microwave with lid off to speed up thawing.  

I have discovered putting my mason jar in a sock keeps it from sweating all over the counter.

Recipe for 1 smoothie:

1/2 c vanilla greek yogurt (Yoplait Light and Fit has been my choice due the the low Carbs)
1/2 c Silk Vanilla Almond Milk with Protein and Fiber
1 T chia seeds
1-2 C frozen fruit

This has a minimum of 17 grams of protein per jar.

Recipe for 1 smoothie:

1/2 c Silk Vanilla Almond Milk with Protein and Fiber
4 T PB2 or Chocolate PB 2
1/2 tray ice cubes
1 T chia seeds

This has a minimum of 14 grams of protein per jar  (you could add the vanilla greek for an additional 12 grams of protein if desired, I like to have dairy free options for days when I have fruit and yogurt for breakfast and a smoothie for lunch)

If I add the yogurt to the jars I can make 4 smoothies at a time making a week's worth of smoothies for 2 people less then a 30 min process.