"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice by Beverly Lewis is the third in a series called Abram's Daughters. I had read the first two books a number of years ago. It is a good series but I will not read the next book for the time being as the story has not grabbed me enough. In this part, we find Hannah becoming baptized into the Amish church while her twin Mary Ruth has chosen her way in the Mennonite faith. Leah goes through life changes finding herself wanting to keep a promise made on her mother's death bed. Sadie contacts the bishop but will she start making a path back home to her family?
Beverly Lewis' description of the surrounding countryside and wooded areas were well done but I found the story less griping as the first two books in the series. It became too predictable for me.

Happy reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Butternut-Apple Harvest soup

I have been adding recipes under the theme of 'Taste of Autumn' and will continue this throughout the month of November. These are recipes that really give us the taste of an autumn day. You can find them all by using the side bar catagory 'Taste of Autumn'.

Butternut-Apple Harvest soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.

Recipe found on Allrecipes.com

I had some friends over recently and made an autumn harvest buffet. It was snacks and soup for our afternoon coffee and drinks. It was fun putting together things with an autumn theme. I included small diced olive cheese which is a special cheese from the north of Holland which contains Italian spices and olives. A basket of fresh and warm ciabatta with Tuscan cream cheese which again is a fresh product from the north of Holland. The first of the recipes I want to share from my buffet is the butternut-apple harvest soup. It is the most delicious soup. I served it in small mugs to start off our buffet.

Bon appitit or eet smakelijk!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mistletoe Murder

Mistletoe Murder (Lucy Stone Mysteries)

I have finished reading my first seasonal themed book for the coming holiday season. I was in the mood for something with talk of Christmas so grabbed this book which is in my stack of books to read before the end of 2011....Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier.

Lucy Stone is a busy wife and mother who works evenings at a mail order company called Country Cousins in Tinker's Cove, Maine. While taking a break, she discovers her boss dead in his car. She works to create a perfect Christmas for her family while also working with local police officer Barney Culpepper to find the killer before the killer finds them.

This books was building up excitement and suddenly it was ending. I think it must be a sign of being good although I would have liked more. I enjoyed meeting Lucy Stone in this first book of the series. I want to spend time this year making space for new books but the next in the series will be on my list for 2012.

Happy reading!