Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meatless Mondays

Note: I am a BzzAgent. I got this item free from BzzAgent (but have previously bought on my own). All of my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Are you looking to save money? Or maybe trying to be a little healthier? Or maybe just looking for something healthy that your kids will eat?

I'm always looking to do ALL of these things!  We try to have at least 1 meatless meal a week. Does that mean we starve for a day? haha No way! Sometimes it is meatless spaghetti, sometimes salad, or sometimes veggie burgers.  Most of the time I make black bean burgers (with a very simple recipe - I hate cooking), but  Morningstar Farms has a super easy alternative!

These burgers stay frozen until you are ready to cook.  Then you can cook them in the microwave! Add sweet potato fries and you have a meal that my kids will even eat without complaining!

Here is the recipe from Happy Herbivore that I use for my burgers:



Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until mostly pureed but still some half beans and bean parts are left. Stir in condiments and spices until well combined. Then mix in oats. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into thin patties. Bake for 7 minutes, carefully flip over and bake for another 7 minutes, or until crusty on the outside. Slap into a bun with extra condiments and eat!

Jesus Pure & Simple

I recently received "Jesus Pure & Simple" by Wayne Cordeiro from Bethany House Publishing.  While I received the book free, the opinions below are my own. 

Summary from
“Pastoral help for Christ-followers who want to live a life of significance! Offering encouragement, stories, and practical guidelines for God-centered living, Cordeiro helps believers focus directly on drawing near to Jesus. A welcome message for Christians looking for simplicity and peace in their anxious, over-scheduled lives.”

My Review:
When I received “Jesus Pure & Simple” I was really excited to read it! The back of the book asks, “Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions?” Why yes, many times I do! I’m sure many people feel that same way these days! There are so many good things to be a part of now that it is hard to know when to say no.  I am learning that there are many projects and ministries that are good, but just aren't for me right now. And that is ok! 

Back to the book…I started reading it, and was frustrated within a few pages. The author has many good stories and illustrations, but he jumps back and forth constantly.  I kept reading hoping maybe it was just the first chapter, but it wasn’t.  It just didn’t flow easily from subject to subject.  The stories were great and encouraging, but I like books to flow.  I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t love this book since I had such high hopes.  If you like to read short encouraging stories, you might enjoy this book; otherwise, you might want to keep looking for a different ‘simple’ book.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

52 Ways to Wow Your Husband

I recently received "52 Ways to Wow Your Husband" by Pam Farrel from Harvest House Publishing.  While I received the book free, the opinions below are my own. 

Summary from
"Add spark to your marriage with best-selling author Farrel's woman-to-woman advice on how to support - and surprise - your spouse! Filled with inspirational stories and godly advice, her creative "wow" assignments, wisdom, and dates are perfect for any wife who wants to deepen her spiritual, emotional, and physical bond with her husband."
My Review:
"52 Ways to Wow Your Husband" is exactly what you would think.  Every week you get an assignment, wisdom, and a date.  The assignments are simple, quick things to do to make you think about your husband.  The wisdom is scripture or stories from other wives to encourage you in your marriage.  The date suggestion-sometimes as simple as spending time together.  The book offers encouragement and ideas to help push your marriage in the right direction. Many of us want to 'wow' our husbands and make them feel appreciated, but many times we just don't know where to start. This book is a good starting point!  This book could be used by the newlywed or the 50 year married couple!  It's a quick and easy way to show your husband he is loved every week of the year!

The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer

I recently received "The Captive Heart" by Dale Cramer from Bethany House Publishing.  While I received the book free, the opinions below are my own. 

Summary from
"Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?"

My Review:
"The Captive Heart" is book #2 in 'The Daughters of Caleb Bender' series. The first book was "Paradise Valley" (you can read my review for it here).  Dale Cramer is a great writer in my opinion.  This book series drew me in from the beginning.  It is based from a true story, which draws my curiosity automatically.  The story is very detailed, from the bandits and wars to the love stories that seem to blossom all around.  The hardships and sacrifices in this story are amazing. I cannot begin to think of myself in many of the situations that these Amish families face in "The Captive Heart".  I would recommend this series and this author to anyone, but especially those who love Amish fiction.  These books are even suited to a teen and in my opinion would be enjoyable to them as well.