Sunday, January 18, 2015

An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, & Tricia Goyer

An Amish Second Christmas is a book of novellas by four different authors.
Let me start out by saying what a refreshing change this book was from most of the books I have read lately.
Not that the other books were trashy, by no means! These stories are just as sweet, wholesome and tasteful as can be.

I was fortunate enough to win this book in a contest held on a blog.
Don't ask me which one, I have forgotten.  Side effects from being mid-forties.

At first I didn't think I would enjoy the four short stories but I quickly learned I was wrong.

All about the Amish's celebration of the day after Christmas, Second Christmas.  Such sweet stories of tradition with a whole love story told.  I was surprised to see all authors make reference to the young couples spending time alone and sharing a kiss.  It made me think of the Duggars.  Their daughters have to side hug and save kisses til the wedding day.  I tthought, there is wholesome and there is WHOLESOME!  I like the Duggars, so no flaming please.

While all the stories are predictable, they are full of the scenery that you imagine (and if you have ever been to an Amish country, it is even more vivid), family and God.  None of which is thrown down your throat.

Each story in unique and makes you want more.  Makes you want to know how they go one and live their lives.

Definitely a good snuggle under the blanket with a cup of cocoa in one hand & this book in another.
It's a must read.

Tell me, what are you reading currently?

Monday, January 12, 2015

January #EatInChallenge Win Some Lose Some

Hey, before I forgot, don't forget about the giveaway going on.

Check it out here: Eat In Challenge Giveaway

So let's get down to business.
We have been doing really great eating at home for our Buchman Back on Track Financially philosophy.  We eat out way to much and I have already seen the kind of money we are saving.

Last night I made a kick ass meatloaf.  Both Bob & I thought it was wonderful.  We had two plates full & I took leftovers with me for lunch.

Today, dinner was a use what is in the freezer/fridge/pantry night.

So decided on Crockpot Italian Chicken.
The original recipe is from Six Sisters.  If you haven't visited the website, run.  They have fab recipes plus great ideas.

My version may vary slightly from theirs.

Chicken Breasts (roughly 2lbs)
Packet of Italian Dressing
Block of Cream Cheese (I did low fat)
2 10.5oz Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup. (Also low fat)

You put the chicken in the crockpot, sprinkle the dressing over.

Then heat up the cream cheese & soup til blended.

Pour over chicken, cook 8hrs.

You then leave whole or shred.  I chose leave whole.
You can serve over noodles or rice.  Noodles was a winner.


It's sort of all one color.
I won't tell you what I think the sauce looks like, actually what the whole meal looks like.

I was super excited to make this.
Matter of fact I think I made it before but I can't remember.

Anyway I took a fork, put that meal bite into my mouth and thought:
"OMG! What have I done!"

While not horrendously horrible, it ranked up there as an Epic Fail meal.
It was a bit on the bland side.  Bobster & the kids added hot sauce and said it made it edible.

So, you may give it a try, perhaps you will like it but in our home...never again!

Tell me do you have any meals you were excited about & then whomp! whomp! Let down!

Let me know.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

January #EatInChallenge & Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card

As I said in my first post for this #Eat In Challenge, it came at a perfect time because my family is on a strict no eating out/taking out/picking up budget.  If it's no already in the kitchen, you aren't eating or drinking it!
Finances are rough but we will do it.
My husband is totally on board & I was surprised by that, but he likes to keep me guessing.

Anyway the other night, I made a smaller version of our family fav...baked ziti.
Everyone has their own recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Sauce (I used jarred much to the Nana's chagrin but hey, it works!)
Shredded mozzarella cheese 8oz bag
Ricotta Cheese (Part skim) 8oz
Egg - 1
Parmesan Cheese
Of course, pasta.  I tend to use Ziti or Penne but once I used elbow mac's & Bobster took a shine to it.

Boil the pasta for just a minute or two under the suggested time.
It will cook more when you bake it.

While the pasta is boiling away, mix the ricotta cheese, egg & S&P, in a bowl til fluffy.

Once the pasta is done, drain & throw back in the pot.  (Less dishes to do).
Toss in the ricotta cheese & however much sauce you like.  We only like a smidge or a tinge.  Just enough to make it lightly pink.

Stir it up.  Add more s&p if you deem necessary.
Then add most of the mozzarella (leave a little for the topping).

Once all mixed up, pour into a greased 8x8 dish.
Pour some mozzarella cheese on top, shake some parm on top as well.  Adds a great flavor mix.

It will look like this:

Place in the oven & bake for 30-35 mins.  Depending on how brown you like your cheese.

It will come out looking like this:

Easy Peasy, Mozzarella Cheesy!
45 mins start to finish.


This fed Bob & I that night (Cheeks ate plain noodles & Chris was at his mom's house).  I even had leftovers for my lunch the next day.

This can be made super cheap as well.  Just watch the sales.

Now onto the good stuff.

Oh yea.

I am participating in & you get the chance to win.

Check it out.

January Eat In Challenge Networking Perks is challenging more families to eat at home with the Eat At Home Challenge. Sitting down and eating together as a family is important; we take this time to disconnect from all the daily noise, technology, and social media, while reconnecting as a family. Meal time is also important that we provide delicious and nutritious meals to eat. Finding the balance between work, day-to-day activities, and meal planning isn’t easy, which is why we at Networking Perks want to start 2015 with the Eat At Home Challenge. Enter to WIN a $25 Amazon Gift Card while at the same time building your recipe archive with delicious meals. Make 2015 the year of the family. a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Networking Perks will be responsible for product shipment to winner of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

Monday, January 05, 2015

January #EatInChallenge 2015

I don't know about all of you BUT we have made 2015 to be the year of the Buchmans Back on Track (financially).
One of the easiest ways for us to get back, is to cut out eating out & take out & drive through.  We love it, I hate to admit & at the end of a long work day, it's easier than cooking.

Anywho I am participating in the Eat In Challenge with Networking Witches. Who, by the way, are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.

So today we did roast the slow cooker.

 (not my photo...from

Here is what I did.

Roast Beef...mine was probably about 5lbs. (we feed 6 with stretched, I have no idea how! LOL)
Minced Garlic

I do not, I repeat, I do not brown my roast before putting it in the slow cooker.
I am lazy.
Yes, it's true.

So I place the roast in the slow cooker (which is lined with those Reynolds Slow Cooker invention EVER!), then I fork stabbed it to death.  I then season with S&P and about 1TBS of minced garlic.
I added a bit of water, probably about 1/2 inch in depth.  It's always good to have a lil liquid in with what you are cooking.  Plus it helps make an awesome aujous!

When I get home from work it was done.  It takes about 6-8 hours in the slow cooker.  My husband added some cut up potatoes when he turned it on.

We served the roast beef, potatoes, mac & cheese & mixed veggies.
It was a hit...sans the lima beans in the mix one likes them.

Tell me what did you make for dinner tonight?
Are you participating in any sort of challenge?

Let me know.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Saving Grace by Jane Green

So I tried to post all the books I read last year.
I did well, then fell off the turnip truck.
I am back this year.
I just finished this one yesterday:

Fortunately, I won a copy and I am so glad I did.

This book will keep you up at night. Not because it's scary but because you can't wait to see what happens next.

The story centers on Grace, one half of a literary power couple.  Has the life of Riley until Beth, a new assistant, comes into her life.  Things start to go haywire and crumble for Grace, causing her world to spiral out of control.  

I feel the story has overtones of The Hand hat Rocks the Cradle.  The antagonist is definitely a character defined by her swarmy ways while the protagonist manages to make you feel as if you are in her shoes every step of the way.

I would recommend as a good read for those winter nights ahead, I also urge you to never hire an assistant.  Just saying.

Tell me, what are reading right now?