Monday, March 26, 2012

Dee-licious Chewy Granola Bars

I've been making homemade granola for a healthier snack for several months now. Since then, I've had granola bars on my to-make-someday list, and finally got around to making them today.

So easy. Soo good!

Since we're trying to cut back on the sugar, I debated trying to sub out the brown sugar, but I knew that was what helps make the bars hold together, so I left it in.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

Today, CFBA is introducing Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato.

An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day anothers evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

I haven't read too many seaside colonial novels, but I always have a hard time turning

Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

Today, CFBA introduces Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach.

In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

In the very first chapter, a man who wants to marry our main character tells her that she’d be a spinster if not for her body (in much crasser terms). Not only was love and lust thoroughly confused right from the start, but the writing was awkward and the characters shallow.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Woodcarver DVD with John Ratzenberger - Review and Giveaway

I had the opportunity to review another addition to the ever growing, faith-based films, The Woodcarver.

Matthew Stevenson is a troubled kid from a broken home. When he vandalizes the local church to get back at his parents, Matthew has to repair the damage to the church to avoid criminal charges. While working at the church, he meets Ernest (John Ratzenberger), an accomplished wood carver who created the intricate woodwork decoration that Matthew destroyed. Ernest has become something of a hermit, but reluctantly comes out of reclusion to help repair the church. Now Ernest and Matthew must work together to preserve the church's beautiful antiquity, and along the way, they also manage to restore their faith in God and in life.

Obviously, the family problems are important to the movie's

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

This week, CFBA is introducing The Messenger by Siri Mitchell.

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

I have so many

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pinterest made me! Kiss Pies!

Are you on Pinterest??

Let's just say: fantabulous idea OVERLOAD! ;-)

If you're saying What's Pinterest?! I guess the easiest way to describe it is a visual bookmarking site. Once you find an idea that you love, you 'pin' it to one of your own virtual bulletin boards. You can follow friends or other pinners based on your interests, from food to home decorating ideas to fashion.

I'm a food/recipe follower. Surprised?! ;-)

One of my friends pinned this fun, sweet idea (left) from Picky Palate: Kiss Pies!

I immediately pinned the recipe, knowing I had both pie crusts and kisses in my freezer from my leftover Christmas stash.

I don't enjoy fussy cooking (rolling dough, cutting cookies, pinching dough), but these pretty little pockets were fun. They'd be perfect for a party!

I used regular kisses and sprinkled the tops with cinnamon sugar.

Pin It

I see endless possibilities here. Caramel kisses? Peanut Butter? Miniature Milky Ways?! Nom, nom!!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.

Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.

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