Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe: Moroccan Chicken Stew

From: Campbell's Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 (4 ounce) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted


  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepot over medium high heat. Add the chicken in batches and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the saucepot.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until they're tender-crisp. Add the cinnamon and curry and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the soup and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the saucepot. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the raisins and chickpeas in the saucepot. Cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the almonds.

My modifications: 
- used 1 white onion instead of 2 red onions
- used 1 chicken breast sliced in half instead of thighs. The perfect amount for me and my husband.
- used 2 jalapeno peppers instead of green peppers
- used regular raisins instead of the golden kind
- skipped the slivered almonds because I didn't have any...
- I did add 1.5 cup of cauliflower for the last 10 minutes, and it came out delicious! I didn't have to dirty an extra pot to make the veggie and it gave the cauliflower great flavor! 
If you use 2 chicken breasts, this will serve 4! I served the stew on top of plain couscous. It was absolutely delicious!
Definitely would make this one again!!!  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: A Year with God by R.P. Nettelhorst

A Year with God
By: R.P. Nettelhorst

I was really excited to get this book from BookSneeze in the hope that I would find a devotional that would help me with my quiet times... as I opened the book, I was glad to find that the book is broken into different themes, such as Hope and Fear, Love and Hate, Perseverance and Quitting, etc, but the unfortunate part is that it is consecutive... so you would be reading for weeks on one topic... eek. Months of devotionals on Loyalty and Betray!

The devotional is daily, not "dately"... so you can start at any point on the calendar. The devotional has a passage from the Bible where God spoke directly. I enjoy the passages. The author used many different Bible translations... but if you're dedicated to only one translations, this might be an issue. I liked how the author used larger passages for the daily devotionals instead of just a verse or two. I was not moved by the writer's writing style or the commentaries in the devotionals. I felt that they were very opinion based and read into the emotions of the Biblical character's thoughts and feelings that weren't always clearly portrayed in the Bible...

I would not recommend this book a new believer.

I plan to keep this one on my bookshelf for when I may need a reference on passages that refer to specific topics, but for right now, I have a feeling I will not be following this devotional for a WHOLE year...

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Squares with Oat Crust

I found this Pumpkin Squares recipe on: http://southernfood.about.com/od/browniesbars/r/bln67.htm

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • Filling:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (16 ounce can)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice *


Combine oats, flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the baking soda, and the butter; beat until mixture is crumbly. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture and press remaining mixture into a lightly buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.
Prepare filling. Beat filling ingredients until well blended and smooth. Spread filling over the crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes longer. Cool and cut into bars.
*The following can be combined to make pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 

  • My Notes: I pretty much followed this recipe to the T, including the pumpkin spice substitute! One thing I did do.... I beat the egg really good before I put it into the puree... to ensure that I didn't have pieces of egg in my bars! I chose to use pecans because that what I had in the house! These came out absolutely delicious! My husband actually said he liked this better than pumpkin pie!!! The bars are a bit soft like pumpkin pie so I would keep the bars in a pan until it is time to serve, instead of transferring them onto a serving plate. The topping/crust was a hit! Very very good!!! I would suggest making a little extra topping! I ran out and couldn't cover as much of the squares as I would have liked... but still delicious! 

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Book Review: The Secrets Beneath by Kathleen Fuller

    We recieved our first book for review from http://www.booksneeze.com

    The Secrets Beneath by Kathleen Fuller

    This book is written for young teen females. It is a very charming book that opens the doors to the Amish culture. Bekah is an Amish girl, growing up in the countryside of Ohio with her family, when her cousin comes to live with her without explanation, and a mysterious man moves next door. Bekah tries to solve two mysteries:
    1) Why is her cousin living with them?
    2) Why is her new neighbor in his backyard in the middle of night digging holes?

    Even though the plot/mysteries aren't too captivating, the characters are charming. At first, I found the use of the Amish terms distracting, but after getting further into the book, I enjoyed the use of the Amish terms. The book did not focus heavily on Christian beliefs except in two small paragraphs. The book does take time to talk about God answering prayers and how God's answers looks in different situations.

    Even though the series of this book is called "The Mysteries of Middlefield", this book was far from the Nancy Drew Mystery classics.

    This would be a great book for a young teen girl who was interested in learning more about the Amish community or going through some family difficulties, such as dealing with parents with depression, separation, divorce, etc (which are all addressed very lightly in this book).

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Craft: Holiday Salt Cookie Dough Ornament

    Yesterday, I was talking to my neighbor, and she mentioned that her mom used to make "Salt-Cookie-Dough Ornaments"... and since last night, that has been the ONLY thing on my mind...

    I googled to find out a bit more about it... and found this great blog!


    This blogger not only put the recipe up, but also step by step instructions, and pictures... this really helped because... well... it was my first time making them and really didn't have a clue on how to create them!

    I have to confess... I basically copied her designs because they were so cute!

    I halved the recipe because I thought 4 cups of dough would be a bit overwhelming... and I was right! With only half the recipe, I was still able to make a good 16 ornaments!

    Other than the halving of the recipe, I followed it to the T... and it was perfect to work with!

    You can definitely do some fun things by coloring the dough before cutting! I do have one piece of advice... it may be easier to mix the water with the food coloring before you mix it into the flour and salt. I had to kneed for a while to get the coloring to be evenly distributed!

    Though... at 250 degrees... it's taking quite a long time to bake....

    About an hour and a half later...

    Once the ornaments are cooled and dried a bit longer... I will paint them, put wiggle eyes on the snow man, and then spray them with varnish. VOILA!

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Movie: Princess and the Frog

    Growing up, I was always a fan of the Disney princess movies... so when "The Princess Frog" came out, I just had to watch it! I was utterly disappointed with the movie.

    First of all, this movie was very dark! The "magic" that turns the prince into a frog is "voodoo" magic, and the dark magician summons "demons" to capture the frog when the frog escapes. When the dark magician was not able to meet his end of the bargain, he was dragged "down into the earth"! 

    My husband and I both agree that this movie is not appropriate for young children! Parents should definitely screen this one before they allow their kids to watch it!

    Even as an adult, I thought some of the scenes were very scary, with all the references of dark magic, evil spirits, etc, I was uncomfortable! I couldn't imagine any of my preschoolers watching this movie without getting scared... or even some of the elementary school kids! Should not have had a G rating! It should have been rated PG or even PG-13!!! 


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