Yummy Peanut Wings!

Excellent meal.  I am way full.  Creative Slow-Cooker Meals, page 70.

~*~

Peanut Wings

1 c. orange juice
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 lbs chicken wings
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 cup crushed peanuts for garnish

  1. Combine orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, pepper, and garlic in slow cooker. Mix well and add chicken wings. Stir to coat.  Cover and cook on low for three hours*.
  2.  Add peanut butter and stir to combine. Cover and continue cooking on low for one hour.
  3. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve over brown rice.

*Not all crockpots are created equal.   Truth to tell, I cooked this in the oven at 375° for an hour, then added the peanut butter and cooked for another half hour.   Delicious!

Creative Slow-Cooker Meals

I cook it, Amoeba eats it.  Lately I have been cooking two crock pots at a time!  That doesn’t mean we have been eating twice as much, but we have been eating twice as good!

When my schedule gets busy I’ve always relied on a a couple of favorite crock pot soup recipes.  I also have crock pot recipes I prefer for roasting beef, pork and chicken, but until I discovered Cheryl Moeller’s cookbook, Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Dinners, I only used multiple crock pots on my holiday buffet table.

Many of the recipes in Moeller’s book are actually brilliant suggestions.  Do you have trouble keeping enough tortillas warm and at hand when you’re serving your favorite Mexican dish?  Then check out page 175 and marvel at how easy the solution is.  If  you’re like my sister-in-law and don’t care to eat food that’s been simmering in a pot all day, this cook book is still for you.  Many of the recipes have 2 to 4 hour cook times.  Some even cook in an hour or less.

And did you know you can bake homemade bread in your crock pot? This weekend I will be baking whole wheat bread using the recipe on page 180.   I’ll let Amoeba pick dessert, Apple Upside Down Cake (p. 246),  Caramel Baked Apples (p.224) or maybe the Molten Lava Pudding (p. 253) from the gluten free section.

My new favorite crock pot recipe can be found on page 228.  It is Hungarian Goulash, and we scarfed it down with crock pot baked biscuits.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the Spaghetti recipe on page 138.   I guess what I am trying to say is, this isn’t a recipe book that will spend a lot of time languishing on the shelf.  It’ll be working in the kitchen.

~*~

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

 

 

and the book:

 

Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cheryl Moeller is a seasoned mother and a standup comic. She is also a syndicated columnist with her own blog (www.momlaughs.blogspot.com) and contributes monthly to several online parent websites. Cheryl has coauthored two books on marriage with her husband and has written for www.mops.org and Marriage Partnership. Cheryl does comedy for parenting classes, MOPS groups, wedding or baby showers, church retreats, women’s conferences, and those in line at the grocery store.

Visit the author’s website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


From the celebrated coauthor of The Marriage Miracle comes a new kind of cookbook and a new attitude toward planning meals. With an eye toward the whole menu, not just part of it, columnist Cheryl Moeller teaches cooks to use two crockpots to easily create healthy, homemade dinners.

Don’t worry about your dinner being reduced to a mushy stew. Each of the more than 200 recipes has been taste-tested at Cheryl’s table. Join the Moeller family as you dig into:

  • Harvest-time Halibut Chowder
  • Salmon and Gingered Carrots
  • Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
  • Indian Chicken Curry
  • Apricot-Pistachio Bread
  • Shrimp Creole
  • Rhubarb Crisp

… and many more! Perfect for the frazzled mom who never has enough time in the day, Creative Slow-Cooker Meals gives readers more time around the table with delicious, healthy, frugal, and easy meals!

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Spiral-bound: 272 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736944915

ISBN-13: 978-0736944915

AND NOW…THE FIFTH CHAPTER (click on pages to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Way Back in the Country Garden by Kay Moore

My Thoughts:
If you enjoy going through people’s photo albums and looking through old country cookbooks, you will love, Way Back in the Country Garden, by Kay Wheeler Moore. The stories were funny, sweet, charming and/or heart twisting. Each of them highlighted some aspect of country life and the self-sufficiency of family.

All of the recipes call for fresh ingredients, most of which can be found in your own orchard or garden — or your local farmer’s market. I have a couple of these recipes earmarked for when my garden is ready to harvest, but Amoeba and I already had the Stuffed Green Peppers (p. 190) for dinner the other night. They were a big hit.

~*~

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Way Back in the Country Garden

Hannibal Books (May 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Jennifer Nelson, PR Specialist, Hannibal Books for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Author Kay Wheeler Moore has written and spoken widely on the subject of relationships and family life. She is the author of Way Back in the Country; When the Heart Soars Free, a book of Christian fiction; and Gathering the Missing Pieces in an Adopted Life, based on her Houston Chronicle newspaper series that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She has also been a newspaper city editor and a reporter for United Press International.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Hannibal Books (May 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934749710
ISBN-13: 978-1934749715

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter 1: “We Were Rich”

The screen door to the farmhouse creaked open and then quickly slapped shut.

Without glancing up from her ironing board Grandma Harris knew the next sound would be that of feet pit-patting from the front porch into the living room and halting abruptly at her dining table.

Those feet, Grandma knew, could belong to any of several of her grandchildren, whose stopovers at her house were part of their regular home-from-school itinerary.

“Oh, yum, she’s got a fresh bowl full,” Grandma heard a high-pitched squeak emerge. That would be Mable, the youngest of Grandma’s daughter, Mattie, who lived across the pasture with her family.

“I was here first, Mable,” a slightly older voice cajoled. Frances, Grandma’s namesake, got irritated easily with her smaller sibling. “Don’t hog the crackers so I can have the first dip.”

“We’ve all gotta be quick before the others get here,” the oldest one, Bonnie, warned her younger two sisters. They glanced over their shoulders to see whether any of their cousins were hungrily making their way onto Grandma’s porch.

“Girls, I got plenty of tomato preserves fer ever’one—for you and yer cousins,” Grandma gently chided. She stepped from the kitchen to hug her granddaughters, who competed for the first taste of the thick, sweet treat that awaited them as an afternoon snack. “Take turns, now, so I won’t have t’ tell yer mama ya didn’t share politely.”

Grandma Harris had put out the new batch of tomato preserves earlier that day after Grandpa fetched several jars from the storm cellar which had housed them since the summer’s canning. Grandma’s long, hot days of putting up delightful red tomatoes from their garden had yielded a treasure trove of preserves Grandma could share throughout the fall and winter.

In mid-afternoon Grandma had opened the first jar and ladled its contents into a wide-rimmed, cutglass compote that stood on a gleaming, glass-stemmed pedestal in the center of her dining table. The cutglass glistened like diamonds as it reflected the sun’s light filtering through the room. Into a separate dish Grandma had set out some saltine crackers. On this particular afternoon her red-haired granddaughters—Bonnie, Frances, and Mable Miller—were the first snack-seekers.

No doubt they’d soon be followed by some of the youngsters of her other sons and daughters whose homes were also nearby.

Ultimately Grandma Harris would go on to begat 52 grandchildren in all, but she never ran out of treats for them or resourceful ways to prepare the many vegetables that she and Grandpa Harris grew in their everlastingly prolific garden. Every Sunday Grandma prepared an enormous, after-church dinner for all of her 11 children and their families who could attend.

Because their farmhouse was closest to Grandma’s, the “Three Red-Haired Miller Girls”, as many in their community of Brushy Mound knew them, hardly ever missed a Sunday—or an after-school afternoon—at Grandma’s house, where her good cooking always abounded.

* * * * * * * * * *

A century later the Harris farmhouse built on the rich, black soil of Delta County, TX, has long ago crumbled down. Grandma’s abundant garden has been plowed under with only a few derelict weeds to mark the spot where those sweet-ascandy tomatoes grew so bountifully. For more than 65 years grass has grown unbidden around the tombstone marked “Frances E. Harris”—the Miller girls’ beloved “Grandma”.

But down all the decades, the memory of Grandma’s delectable tomato preserves served in the sparkling, pedestaled compote would remain fresh in the mind of her namesake—little Frances, who was still recounting the tomato preserves story well into her 103rd year on this earth.

“We were rich,” Frances recalled to us nieces and nephews, who discreetly pumped her for just one more of her “olden-days” country tales before night would fall on her memory forever. This font of family lore was the last surviving member of that generation of our kin. At 102 years and 1 month of age Frances could still describe picking melons the size of basketballs, okra rows that were city blocks-long, and cornstalks that seemed to stand tall as skyscrapers.

Although farm families such as hers usually lacked financial means, the garden insured that no one would go hungry. Just before supper each night Mama faithfully sent Frances and her sisters out to see what was ready to be plucked from the vine and cooked up for that night’s meal.

“We had no idea we were poor,” Frances mused from her wheelchair, “because we always had food from the garden.”

* * * * * * * *

At the time Frances related her last tomato preserves story before her passing in May 2009, people everywhere were turning to backyard patches of earth again for the same reason the Miller girls and their mama and grandma did in the early part of the last century.

Economic woes in the United States and around the world have caused family incomes to plummet. Home-gardening has become a passionate new interest for people who have never planted a seed or worked a hoe. Even the wife of the U.S. President at the time, as an example for others, grew vegetables in her own White House garden. Heads of households can gaze on small stretches of garden dirt and comfort themselves in the same way Frances’ family did. After all, the Great Depression, which clouded the Miller Girls’ youth in rural northeast Texas, did not sting as much to those who could till the soil and cultivate its yield. With food from the garden, they could always feed their families and feel “rich”, no matter how lean the times or how thin the pocketbook.

My earlier cookbook, Way Back in the Country, emphasized that food, the recipes for how to prepare it, and the stories of people who cooked them are all interwoven into the fabric of family life. Way Back in the Country encouraged families to preserve not just their legendary recipes but the lore of the loved ones—such as the indomitable Grandma Harris—who made them popular. Through tales of the Red-Haired Miller Girls—my mother, Mable, and her two sisters, Frances and Bonnie—and six generations of their farm kin and the recipes that have been regulars at family gatherings for decades, Way Back in the Country inspired others to get their tape-recorders out and investigate why “Great-Aunt Gertie” always brought lemon pound cake whenever their extended families dined.

With gardening surging in popularity once more, the time seems right to revisit the Miller-Harris legends and recipe chests—this time to celebrate the role that food from one’s own soil has always played in American homes and how, in the Tight Times of this Great Recession, it makes us feel “rich” with hope and comfort afresh. Way Back in the Country Garden again will intertwine six generations of my family’s anecdotes with cooking instructions that will probably remind you of some of your own family favorites.

So prepare to laugh, cry, and traipse down memory lane once again with the Red-Haired Miller Girls and their progeny—through yarns my family told—yarns that I didn’t always witness firsthand but can try to recreate as I can envision them happening in my mind’s eye. May you soon be preserving some country gardening tales of your own and savoring the memories and tastes of yesterday.

Copyright © 2010

All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express written consent of the publisher.

Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, by Lynne Tolley & Pat Mitchamore

Tennessee is renowned for many things, most notably it’s music, scenic beauty, walking horses and Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. -foreward

More than just a cookbook, more than just a history, more than just a memoir, Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, Volume 1, embraces all of those genres and goes beyond them to create a book that is charming, informative, entertaining and functional. I received this cookbook in the mail five days ago and have already prepared several of the recipes. So far the Grilled Lemon Chicken (p. 120) has been our favorite, but right now the Black Label Sirloin Roast (p.107) is in the oven and it’s smelling pretty darn good!

The Macaroni & Cheese Puff soufflé (p.111) didn’t puff. In fact, it sunk.  The flavor was great and Amoeba said he would love to see it again for dinner, providing I follow the directions next time.  The thing is, following the directions is dependent upon understanding them.  I didn’t.  “Light bread crumbs” means the bread needs to be freshly crumbled and not toasted.  The dried bread crumbs were too heavy for the soufflé.

This is not a cookbook for beginners or lazy cooks.  Each recipe takes time to prepare. Many of the directions are implied.  Steps are skipped.  These are recipes shared by real cooks who have been making these dishes for years, perhaps even generations, and what seems automatic to them is not necessarily so to someone meeting the recipe for the first time.

Another drawback, in my opinion is the organization of the Index.  There is a section marked “Chicken”, but not all of the chicken recipes are in it.  I find the same to be true of the other categories. One has to pretty much remember the name of the recipe if one wishes to revisit it.  I found it easier to put sticky notes on my favorite pages.

Mashed Potato Casserole & Grilled Lemon Chicken

Mashed Potato Casserole (p.71) & Grilled Lemon Chicken (p. 120)

Not all of the recipes in the book require Jack Daniel’s Whiskey.  A few ask for other alcoholic spirits.  Most of them require no alcohol at all.

One of my favorite features of the book were the historic vignettes and captivating photographs.  Never before have I sat down and read a cookbook for the story and the history within.  I have a half-dozen more pages marked for recipes to try.  I am especially looking forward to making the Party Pecans (p. 32).

So, in summation, I have had the book for less than a week.  I have recreated six of the recipes.  Amoeba liked them all and specifically asked that I remember a couple. The book already has food stained pages, is full of sticky notes and other scribbles, and has become my all time favorite cookbook to date.

On sale now at Amazon.com

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free copy of this book to review.