Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Frightfully-Fun Recipe Round-Up

Ahhh Halloween night. A perfect time for tricks, treats, ghosts, Draculas and of course amazing food! We love to snack on candy all night, but we also always serve up a hearty favorite to keep those trick-or-treaters full as they out scaring up some fun. Warm soups & chilis, hearty sandwiches or cozy just can't go wrong!
So tell us...
What are YOUR favorite HALLOWEEN treats?
Share 'em all in today's Recipe Round-Up!

Fill up your ghouls and ghosts a big serving of Meatball Sub Casserole before they head out gathering all that candy. This tasty classic from 101 Cozy Casseroles is a sure-fire favorite.

Meatball Sub Casserole
This recipe was shared by our good friend Christi Wroe of Bedford, Pennsylvania. Christi writes, "We love to serve this casserole with a fresh green salad and buttery, tasty garlic bread. It's like eating your favorite meatball sub with a fork!"
101 Cozy Casseroles1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1-lb. pkg. frozen meatballs, thawed
28-oz. jar pasta sauce
1 c. water
Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 13"x9" baking pan; set aside. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings; spread over bread slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese; set aside. Gently mix together meatballs, spaghetti sauce and water; spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

Click here to see a printable version of this recipe.

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Perfectly pinnable!
Gooseberry Patch Halloween Recipe Round-Up

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Something Sweet & Something Spicy

Time is running out to get in on this Gooseberry Patch Hometown Harvest Cookbook giveaway.  I'm also going to share with you a sweet and spicy yummy today. You'll get two for one today.  

English Toffee Cookie Bars p. 158

This cookie bar is quick and easy. That is what I love about most of Gooseberry patch recipes.  I did alter this recipe because I didn't have exactly what the recipe called for but it turned out none-the-less very yummy.

1cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 - 1-1/2 oz. milk chocolate candy bars, broken into pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts

1.  Blend butter and brown sugar.  Add egg yolk and vanilla; Mix well.  Add flour and mix well.
2.  Pat dough into an ungreased 15/10 jelly-roll pan..  Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 min.until edges are lightly golden.  Remove from oven.
3.  Immediately place chocolate pieces on top.  When chocolate is melted spread with a spatula, like frosting.  (I used the candy melting discs.  in place to the candy bars; melted them in microwave and spread it on)  Sprinkle on chopped nuts.  (I used pecans because that is what I had available.)  Cut into squares.  Makes 2&1/2 dozen.

Spicy Meatball Noodle Soup p. 39
This was a spicy soup no doubt about that.  You win some and loose some.  My hubby isn't a soup fan and through the years his spice intake has gone down.  I didn't use all the cumin and garlic that the recipe called for either.  My young, adult daughters on the other hand loved the soup. I served with cheesy garlic biscuits.  I also used elbow noodles because I didn't have the other pasta the recipe calls for.

6 - 14&1/2 oz. cans chicken broth
3 - 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
4 & 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced and divided
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1&1/2 lbs. ground beef
3 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt & pepper each
8 oz. fettuccine pasta, uncooked
4 oz. whole wheat linguine pasta
3 cups zucchini, diced

1.  In large soup pot, combine broth, tomatoes with juice and 3 teaspoons garlic and cumin.  Bring to a boil over med. -high heat.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 min.
2.  In mixing bowl, combine, beef, remaining garlic, 1 & 1/2 cups. cheese, salt and pepper.  Form into 3/4 inch meatballs.  add to broth mixture.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Break pasta into 2-inch pieces;  add zucchini to soup pot.  Return to a boil.  cook til pasta is tender about 10 min.  Serve soup topped with remaining cheese.  Make 10-12 servings. 

Check out Parmesan Pork Chops here
Check out Garden Fresh Chili here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd like to thank Gooseberry patch for giving me the opportunity to review this book.  They provided me with a copy of this cookbook plus one for the giveaway.  I was not compensated in any other way. This is my honest review.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another yummy recipe another chance to win

There are a few more days to get in on the Gooseberry Patch Hometown Harvest Cookbook giveaway.  I'm also going to share with you another recipe today. 

Parmesan Pork Chops

I didn't get a picture of all the ingredients before putting the pork chops together.

click on picture to enlarge the recipe for viewing
Tip at the bottom of this page is...
Tuck Indian corn, bumpy gourds, colorful autumn leaves and bright sunflowers into a Thanksgiving cornucopia for a festive addition to the mantel.  

These pork chops were absolutely wonderful.  I did however, fry them because I didn't have time to bake them as the recipe said.  I didn't realize they were to be baked and so I didn't allow for the time.  Shame on me.  None-the-less they were still gobbled right down by every member of the family.  

Check out Garden Fresh Chili here
Check out English Toffee Cookie Bars here
Check out Spicy Meatball Noodle Soup here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I'd like to thank Gooseberry patch for giving me the opportunity to review this book.  They provided me with a copy of this cookbook plus one for the giveaway.  I was not compensated in any other way. This is my honest review.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Christmas Quilt
Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)
Vannetta Chapman

A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.


Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Greetings fron the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Greetings from the Flipside
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
Rene Gutteridge


Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


Hope Landon has been rewriting other people's greeting cards since she was six years old -- there's always a funnier caption. She's all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can't write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple's month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral -- everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it's not that easy to rent a place when you've been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization's humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of >Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

It'a an AUTUMN kind of day...

It was an AUTUMN kind of day when this book arrived in my mailbox.  I was so excited to get started testing the recipes.  Now I'm going to share one that I tested and offer you a chance to win your own copy of Gooseberry Patch's newest cookbook...Hometown Harvest.  The recipes are endless and so are the tips in this book. Each page not only has a yummy recipe but also a fun tip.  This recipe was the just perfect thing to start off the Autumn season with.

This Garden-Fresh Chili submitted by C.T of Batesville, AR was just the thing my family needed on a fall crisp day. Unfortunately our tomatoes in the garden didn't do much this year.  We didn't even get green ones for green tomato pie or relish.  The few we did get didn't get much bigger than a golf ball.  Pretty disappointing this year.  Anyway, this Garden-fresh chili said to use home-canned tomatoes or store bought....So guess what we had to use?  Yep, store bought ones.  However, it was delicious none-the-less. 

  • 2 & 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups. home-canned tomatoes, or 2 to 3 - 14 & 1/2 oz. cans whole tomatoes
  • 2 - 1 & 1/4 oz. packages chili seasoning mix
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • Garnish:  shredded cheese, cornbread or corn chips
  • optional: if you like chili with beans just add a can or two of kidney beans
In large stockpot over medium heat, cook beef, onion and green pepper; drain.  Stir in tomatoes with juice; mash tomatoes until well blended.  Add seasoning mix and water; stir until mixed.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.  cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.  garnish bowls of chili with cheese.  Serve with cornbread or corn chips.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.  I added the beans; however, I did a chili bean and a kidney bean.  We love beans in our chili.  And we loved the cheese on top it melted so nice.

Tip at the bottom of the page - On a crisp autumn afternoon, load up a thermos with chili and toss in some lunch-size bags of corn chips, shredded Cheddar cheese and spoons.  Take a hike in the woods, then enjoy a portable picnic of chili ladled over the chips and eaten right from the bags.  Kids will love it. 
Check out Parmesan Pork Chops here
Check out English Toffee Cookie Bars here
Check out Spicy Meatball Noodle Soup here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd like to thank Gooseberry patch for giving me the opportunity to review this book.  They provided me with a copy of this cookbook plus one for the giveaway.  I was not compensated in any other way. This is my honest review.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Spook-Tacular DVD giveaway

Win a copy of one of the following Spook-Tacular DVDs
 (Prize will be chosen randomly from the titles below!)
• Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for your Rife!
• Regular Show – Fright Pack (V4)
• It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition
• Tom and Jerry: Tricks and Treats
• Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween
• Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
• Tom and Jerry: Halloween Hijinks
• Sesame Street: Elmo Says Boo!
• Adventure Time – Jake the Dad (V5)
What is the best part about Halloween?
The pumpkin carving? The costumes? The free candy? All are amazing, but whether you are the bunch that loves dressing up and scaring the neighbors or you plan to stay-in, Warner Bros. has a line-up of Spook-Tacular Movies to get you in the holiday spirit. From classics like It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown & Scooby-Doo The Goblin King to Adventure Time – Jake the Dad, you can count on a spook-tacular selection that the entire family can enjoy!
Before you and the kids take the neighborhood by storm, get in the mood by sharing some spooky stories! Download copies of the Spook-Tacular Story Time PDF, fire up the flashlights, and gather in a circle..... this Halloween it's STORY TIME! Perfect for kids ages 7 to 73! 
 Each household is only eligible to win 1 WB Spook-Tacular Family Movie [CHOSEN AT RANDOM] via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Giveaway open to the U.S. & Canada.  Winner will be chosen Oct. 28th
 The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. The assets included within this message were delivered to promote Warner Bros. Warner Bros. supplied these material.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bride for Keeps
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2013)
Melissa Jagears


A Word From The Author:

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.

My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.


A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers!

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride for Keeps, go HERE.

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A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Plain Disappearance
B&H Books (September 1, 2013)
Amanda Flower


Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.


USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

If you would like to read the first chapter of >A Plain Disappearance, go HERE.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Honest Heart
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
Kaye Dacus


Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.


Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her.

Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Honest Heart, go HERE

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

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