Saturday, March 19, 2016

Irish Cooking

This review was honestly due a couple of days ago. But a jam packed rough week leads to not writing it until now. I may or may not have mentioned before that I love to cook BUT I hate the clean up after. Which means I really don't cook often. BUT I received this amazing new cookbook from Ambassador International and I can't wait to try some of these recipes.

I don't have another Saturday off for a couple of weeks but the first one I have I am planning on cooking up a storm and doing something I have not done in a long while- cooking breakfast for my family. "Favorite Flavors of Ireland" is filled with great recipes for every season and every meal. One of my favorite so far is Blueberry- White Chocolate Muffins. This recipe combines two favorites at my house. And they are easy to make.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp Kerrygold Irish butter (or regular butter)
4 oz white chocolate
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups blueberries
12 tsp prepared lemon curd (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease a standard muffin pan and dust with flour, tap out excess
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and white chocolate. Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring just until melted. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Stir in the flour mixture and then stir in the melted chocolate, lemon zest, and blueberries.
5. Divide the batter into the prepared pan and place a tsp of the lemon curd on top of each one (if using). Bake for 23-25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 mins.
(Recipe found on page 59)

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try! Nutty Brown Bread, Beef in Ale with Cheese Cobbler, and Bramley Apple Cake with Toffee Sauce are just a few. Also in the book are stories of Irish traditions and holidays. If you love all things Irish, I would buy this cookbook. If you are just wanting to cook for St. Patrick's Day (next year), I would buy this cookbook. Basically, I would just buy this cookbook as a staple for your kitchen.

**I received this cookbook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wandering through the Wilderness and a Curious Faith

Walking in a wilderness is a pretty apt description of the last several months of my life. Decisions made, things revealed, and lots and lots of hurt to sift through. Then one of the women that truly inspires me wrote a book that just hit home."Curious Faith" by Logan Wolfram is releasing March 1st and I have been ready to share it with you since before I read it.  I will confess that I started and stopped this book several times because this book kept hitting a nerve that, honestly, I just didn't want to deal with yet. But I kept going back to the book. At one point, I realized that I was stopping to highlight more than I was reading each time I sat down with it. And when I reached the "wilderness" section of the book, I found myself soaking in every word.

Photo Credit: Christin Slade

I have felt forgotten more in the last 6 months than I have ever before. By friends and family but mostly by God. I have felt like I was lost in a wilderness that no one even cared to look in for me. And while I realize that no one actually forgot me and that God never abandoned me, there were times when it literally felt like I was completely alone. I am a true believer in the saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" but sometimes I find myself drowning in what he thinks I can.

Photo credit: Courtney Szollosy

Through every hard minute of the last several months, I have asked myself if any of it was worth it and really where was all of this leading. I am starting to see where that path was leading. And in a hallway of possibilities, I am starting to see open doors where all there were before were closed ones.

"Every decision in my life felt like it was stuck. I was trapped between hope for an indetermined future and the day to day of living in my present brokenness."  

These two sentences from Logan Wolfram perfectly summed up where I have been the last several months. Wandering in a wilderness trying to find my path and reclaim a faith that used to be strong and I thought unbreakable. I lost my curiousness about a major part of my life. This book was basically placed in my hands at just the right moment. And this woman, who I love to see in South Carolina, who has made me cry tears of joy and tears of brokenness, and who has inspired me more than she will ever know- has given me another gift that I will never be able to repay. 

And I really want you to buy this book so that you can see what I'm talking about. I know that I say buy this book it's a great book alot. But I don't want you to buy this book because it's a great book. I want you to buy this book because it is a blessing in disguise. I want you to buy this book because I know that when Logan sat down and wrote it she prayed for everyone who would read her words. And I think that matters. So click on the picture below and be prepared to be curious and to realize you are not forgotten. 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Thin Ice"- {a review}

This new novel by Irene Hannon was a great way to start my new year reading! 

Christy watches her sister's house burn with her sister inside shortly after her parents are killed in an accident. Or so she thought. When it seems Ginny may still be alive but held captive by someone, Chrissy turns to Speciel Agent Lance McGregor for help. Together they work through a bigger mystery than either of them bargained for. 

I love Irene Hannon and her writing style! This book kept me captivated throughout and surprised me several times. I highly recommend any book by Hannon but this has been my favorite to date. 

Definitely add this one to your 2016 reading list! 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I do this resolution thing and this one word thing. Well this year I'm not. I am setting a goal. One. Because every other year I feel like I set myself up for failure with all these big "resolutions" that are honestly just unrealistic for me. 
So I am setting one goal that basically covers every aspect of my life and doesn't bring a lot of stress and pressure with it. 
So my one goal for 2016 is to get healthy. 
I'm not going into how that covers so much or going into details but it's a goal. And it's obtainable. (It only took me 8 days to decide on it too.) 

So here's to 2016 and all the possibilities that come with it.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Schools today

Since changing jobs this summer, I am finding that since I am not as active in homework that a lot is slipping through the cracks. But I am also noticing a trend with teachers. They are giving homework assignments through text messages and emails after school hours and it is stuff that one teacher "forgot" to mention in class and is due the next day. Well my child does not have a cell phone and unless he asks he does not have access to internet and email in the evenings. And it is putting him at a disadvantage. But no matter what I say to his teacher or to him, it is not something that looks like it will be fixed. I have a huge problem with this. Not every child has a cell phone and some of us as parents find that giving their children too much internet access is not the responsible thing to do. Technology is great. I know that I need it for this blog as well as several other aspects in my life. But I don't think that a school should be allowed to solely base homework on texts and emails. If you have an assignment that needs to be printed out- print it and hand it to the kids. I don't care that they are in high school. My high schooler does not have a "family" computer to use and will not have a cell phone so you are excluding him from a required grade.

And I am certainly not putting all the blame on the teacher. My child needs to be more responsible and speak up about not being able to receive an assignment if it is sent out via text or email at night. But if a class is going to make this a requirement then the schools need to make sure that every child has the same thing at home in order to receive it. 

And now I am getting off my soap box.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

And then it became a we

Road Dog Creations started as A hobby for John. Well now it has become a family business. There is just something distressing about stringing all those beads. We have our last live event for 2015 this weekend and I have already announced Christmas deadlines. It's a great problem to have. I joke that this side business has taken over our house and our lives but I honestly don't mind. Well except the fact that the workers at Michaels know me by name and I get texts when certain items come back in stock. Apparently that is a little strange. So I am introducing a new line at Road Dog Creations today. Here is just a small sampling of Hentown Mama for Road Dog Creations (creative title, I know). And in celebration, I am hosting a giveaway! All you have to do is like the Hentown Mama and Road Dog Creations Facebook pages. There is a button in the side board for Hentown Mama for you to click and like my page and for the moment (I am on my phone) you will have to search for Road Dog Creations. One winner will win a pair of our original bullet rim earrings with your choice of birthstones as well as an original beaded necklace. 

 I am also working on updating the look of the blog and adding a link to our shop, it's just seems to be taking me longer than I planned.
I am enjoying this new adventure and also the fact that I can make all of this sitting in my recliner or at my dining room table. It is the perfect hobby for me right now. So for now- go like our pages on Facebook and enter to win unique Christmas gifts for yourself or a friend.