@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary's perspective ...

"My “holiness” wasn’t found in the choice to be obedient … but in the walking of the path that was never mine to plan."

"Merry Christmas and be sure to read my blogging friend Bina's post about a monologue she wrote and performed as Mary, mother of Christ.

It’s a funny thing…saying yes to God. We can say yes, fully sincere in our response but only because we hear what we want to hear…we take His directions on how to cross the street and use that to create a world map."


My story has been told so often.

Repeated in churches and storybooks. I have been portrayed as a woman above reproach.
Well I am here to tell you my story…and it all boils down to one word: control.

You have to understand the real me: five minutes before God’s glory showed up before me, I knew where my life was going. I considered myself fully-grown and fully wise. I was engaged to an upright man and was already doing all the same duties as my own mother. My life was laid out before me and I was confident in where it was going.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sibella Giorello's KINDLE Giveaway!

Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Clouds Roll Away by giving away a KINDLE prize pack worth over $150.00!

One Grand Prize winner will receive:
  • Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com
To enter simply click on one of the icons below! Then tell your friends! Winner will be announced January 3, 2011 on Sibella's blog: http://sibellagiorello.blogspot.com/

About The Clouds Roll Away - "Beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, Giorello's mystery also features well-developed characters..."
—Booklist, starred review 
Find out more here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Pearl of Christmas: Pearls of Patience

Hello - I'm thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual 12 Pearls of Christmas! We've lined up several authors to share their Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along beginning today (Monday the 13th) through Christmas day as Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling,  Rachel Hauck, Tricia Goyer, Maureen Lang, and more share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their life during this most wonderful time of the year.

We are also providing this series as free content for your own blogs (as 12 html posts) - if you'd like to share the 12 Pearls of Christmas with your blog readers email (amy@litfusegroup.com) and she'll send you the content.

AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post or any of the following 12 Pearls of Christmas posts (on any of the participating posts) to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS! You may enter once a day. The winner will be announced on New Year's Day! Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


Pearls of Patience
by Margaret Mcsweeney

As I write by the light of my Christmas tree on a late winter’s night, I reflect upon the poignancy and purpose of this season.  The tiny white lights look like strands of pearls draped gracefully (perhaps haphazardly is a more honest description) across the evergreen boughs.  Tomorrow I will hang the ornaments and at last place the angel atop the tree   

Angels carry a special meaning this Christmas.  My brother, Randy passed away on December 2nd from a heart attack at age 53.  He was feeding a stray cat on his side porch.  Randy was always like St. Francis of Asissi – animals would find him, sensing a kind soul.  And my brother was a gentle and patient soul.  He loved to fish.  He tried to teach me, but I immediately lost interest when I realized worms were involved. And I could never sit still on the banks of a river and just wait.  However, Randy could do that.  He could wait, and waiting is a true gift.  He put into practice the Scriptures.  “Wait upon the Lord.”  “Be still and know that He is God.”  Patience doesn’t have to be passive.  Wait is still an action verb.  Part of the waiting process for fishing is seeking.  Elaine (Randy’s wife of 31 years) told me that Randy said he could see the fish deep beneath the waters.  He actively waited for the right time to catch them.

During Randy’s last fishing trip on earth – just a week before his death, he felt an urgency to take a picture of the clouds with his cell phone.  When he returned home, he showed the picture to Elaine.  They realized that a face of an angel was looking at Randy from the sky – perhaps waiting for God’s timing to bring Randy home to heaven.  Maybe this “angel in the sky” was part of the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds over two thousand years ago.  A Christmas Angel.

The Christmas Angels brought tidings of great joy that Jesus, our Lord and Savior was born.  And because of that incredible gift from God that these angels announced, we all have the promise of eternity. As we await Christ’s return, let us actively wait by seeking fish – not the kind you have to catch with worms, but rather with words.  Words, or rather good tidings, can bring hope to the hopeless and faith to the faithless. 

May each of you be blessed this Christmas season by the words you say, the words you hear and the Word you share.   And may the 12 Pearls of Christmas be a blessing to you, too.


About Margaret: Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband, David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs. After earning a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina, Margaret moved to New York City to work at a large bank where she met David. Charity and community involvement are very important to Margaret. She is the founder and director of Pearl Girls. For more information please visit www.pearlgirls.info. Margaret is fast at work on several fiction manuscripts and her book Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace was written to help fund the Pearl Girl Charities. Connect with Margaret on Facebook or Twitter.


A PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

Follow the rest of the series here!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Win a NOOK!

Rachel Hauck is cooking up something fabulous! 

To celebrate Book 3 in The Lowcountry Romance series, Dining With Joy, author Rachel Hauck is giving away a JOYOUS prize package worth over $185.00! (And see below to find out how you can enter to win a $30 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble!)

Dining With Joy is a fun, yet serious story about a cooking show host who can't cook. (what a nightmare that would be!)

Publisher's Weekly says: A delectable and light tale of finding love amid everything edible, a story that goes down easy. Readers will find themselves hankering for another serving of lowcountry living from Joy's pantry.

Celebrate with Rachel and click on one of the icons below for your chance to win!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook with Wi-Fi
  • Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck Nookbook
  • Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck Nookbook
  • A $15 dollar Barnes&Noble.com Gift Certificate
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form. Be sure to tell your friends about the contest.

    The contest runs from 12/7 - 12/22. Winner announced December 23.

    Want to help Spread the Word for a chance to win an additional $30 BarnesandNoble.com Gift Certificate? Help Spread the Word about Rachel's fun giveaway and we'll put your name into the pot for the gift certificate!

    Share this button on your blog or website (worth 10 entrees!):

    Dining With Joy Nook Giveaway

    Additional entrees can be earned by talking up the Dining With Joy Giveaway on Facebook & Twitter. It's simple. Just use the sample post & tweet below (and be sure to follow the fine-print instructions!).

    SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK: Enter to win a NOOK eReader (just in time for Christmas) in Rachel Hauck's Dining with Joy Giveaway! Enter here on Facebook at this link http://apps.facebook.com/sweepstakeshq/contests/76734. And don't miss Rachel's latest witty tale about a television cooking show host who CAN'T cook! A MUST read! 
    (then email info@litfusegroup.com to let us know you posted to Facebook - feel free to post once a day for extra entrees. Just let us know how many times you shared! You rock.)

    TWEET THIS: @RachelHauck is giving away a NOOK eReader for the release of Dining With Joy - her latest witty read! http://ow.ly/3jN4p #litfuse
    (must use hashtag #litfuse to be entered. No need to email us about your tweet - we will track those via twitter using the hashtag. And as with Facebook you'll earn extra entrees by tweeting multiple days. You rock.)
    Meet Rachel: Rachel Hauck's stories are filled with twists and turns that leave the reader breathelss and longing for more. She is a fresh fiction voice will stir hearts for rachelGod. ~~Debbie Macomber - #1 NYT bestselling author

    I wrote my first story about a girl and her pony when I was ten. It was handwritten in a spiral notebook. My second story was about a girl who wanted to move away and live in New York City. I was twelve and no one had ever heard of “chick lit.” I laughed when I found that incomplete manuscript in an old box-o-stuff. I told my husband, “I was born to write.” Find out more about Rachel at her website: www.rachelhauck.com
    More about the book: Joy Ballard has a secret: she's a cooking show host who can't really cook. Diningwithjoy

    When her South Carolina-based cooking show, Dining With Joy, is picked up by a major network, Joy Ballard's world heats up like a lowcountry boil.

    Joy needs help. Then she meets chef Luke Davis who moved to Beaufort after losing his Manhattan restaurant. A cook at the Frogmore Cafe, he's paying debts and longing to regain his reputation in the elite foodie world.

    Luke and Joy mix like oil and water…until Joy is exposed on national television. With her career and his reputation both under fire, they'll have to work together to fix the mess. Is it possible that they can learn to feast on God's love and dine with joy?

    Don't miss the other books in this series: Sweet Caroline (buy it here for $5.85) and Love Starts with Elle (buy it here, also $5.85)!

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    Have you read ... ?

    I was tagged by my lovely friend Loring in Uganda (who apparently doesn't have enough missionary type stuff to do :) )

    Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

    • Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
    • Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.

    Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

    1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

    3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

    4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

    5 To Kill a Mockingbird

    6 The Bible

    7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

    8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

    9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

    10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - On my bookshelf for someday.

    11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

    12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

    13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

    14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

    15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

    16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

    17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

    18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

    19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger On my bookshelf for someday. The movie was SO stupid. I've been putting off reading it. Should I? Is it good? Anyone?

    20 Middlemarch - George Eliot I've been half finished with this for 15 years!

    21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

    22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

    24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

    25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

    26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

    27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

    29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

    30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

    31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

    32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

    33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (shhh...don't tell anyone)

    34 Emma -Jane Austen

    35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

    36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (shhh...don't tell anyone)

    37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

    38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

    39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

    40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

    41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

    42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

    43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

    45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

    46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

    47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

    48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

    49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

    50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

    51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

    52 Dune - Frank Herbert

    53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

    54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

    55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

    56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

    58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

    59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

    60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

    62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

    63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

    64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

    65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas On my bookshelf for someday.

    66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

    67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

    68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

    69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

    70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

    71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

    72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

    73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

    74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

    75 Ulysses - James Joyce

    76 The Inferno - Dante

    77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

    78 Germinal - Emile Zola

    79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

    80 Possession - AS Byatt

    81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

    82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

    83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

    84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

    85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

    86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

    87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

    88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

    89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

    91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

    92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

    94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

    95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole I tried to read this like 5 times. Couldn't get into it.

    96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

    97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

    98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

    99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

    100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

    Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

    The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

    In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

    Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

    No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

    It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

    In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

    Abraham Lincoln

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Get in my Belly! Kickin' Chili

    This is a great recipe for an unusual yet super tasty chili. So good. Promise.

    I tweaked the original recipe just a bit. Notes below.

    Kickin' Chili

    Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Potlucks 2007
    Prep Time: 20 Minutes
    Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
    Serves 12


        * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
        * 4 pounds ground beef
        * 4 cups chopped yellow onions
        * 3 tablespoons chili powder
        * 1 tablespoon ground cumin
        * 2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
        * 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
        * 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        * 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
        * 1 bay leaf
        * 2 tablespoons minced garlic
        * 4 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer ( NOTE: I use 2 bottles and 24 ounces of beef stock. Using 4 bottles makes the chili have a 'funk' to the taste. Just our opinion).
        * 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed
        * 2 tablespoons tomato paste
        * 1 tablespoon salt
        * 1 tablespoon brown sugar
        * 1-ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
        * 6 cups cooked red kidney beans (see Chef's Note) or 4 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
        * 1 cup grated Cheddar, for garnish
        * 1 cup finely chopped green onions, for garnish
        * 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


    Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off as much fat as possible. Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Serve with the cheese, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.

    Chef's Note: To make 6 cups cooked red kidney beans: Soak 1 pound dried beans for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Get in my Belly! Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

    Another super tasty recipe by Grace Parisi! Wow. Everyone loved this and it makes a ton. I halved it for my  family (of 4) and we still had 2-3 servings left over.

    Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

    Prep time 45 min. & cook time 45 min. Serves 12


             1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
             2. 1/4 cup canola oil
             3. 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
             4. 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
             5. 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
             6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
             7. 3 pounds ground beef (I used organic beef - so much better)
             8. 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
             9. 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (I left this out)
    © David Malosh
            10. 4 1/4 cups self-rising flour
            11. 5 1/3 cups milk
            12. 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth (I used beef stock)
            13. One 10-ounce package frozen peas
            14. 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)


       1. Preheat the oven to 450° and position a rack in the upper third. Line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any drips.
    2. In a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the oil. Add the onion, carrots and parsnips; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the beef, thyme and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains and any liquid has evaporated, 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the milk and the stock and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes.
    3. Put the remaining 4 cups of flour in a large bowl. Cut in the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheddar. Stir in the remaining 2 1/3 cups of milk until a smooth dough forms. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, arrange 18 mounds of the biscuit dough on the filling in each baking dish.
    4. Bake both potpies on the top rack of the oven for 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 minute or until the biscuits are golden. Let the potpies rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Tuesday, November 09, 2010

    reckon ed

    razed & raised
    i have been re purposed
    gut checked. purchased.
    humbled. shedding,
    turning from
    ever ending futility.
    oh, long suffering & i was still such "a long way off..."
    unfettered restoration pursued
    securing right to use.

    © amy lathrop 2010

    Get in my Belly! Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast

    This is the perfect fall meal. And it is digesting in my belly right now. My very full belly. Is it really that good you ask? My husband asked if we could have it again tomorrow night. Yep. It's that good. The flavors explode in your mouth.

    Food & Wine Magazine published this recipe in their What to Cook Next section in an article, How to Feed 12 People Fast. The recipe was created by Grace Parisi. (Thank you Grace!)

    Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast 

    © David Malosh
    Prep time, 75 minutes - prep/cook. Serves 12 and is a fairly healthy recipe. Can be made ahead.
             1. 2 pounds butternut squash in 1-inch cubes (from one 2 1/2-pound squash)
             2. 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
             3. 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
             4. 1 cup canola oil
             5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
             6. 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
             7. 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
             8. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
             9. 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
            10. 4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
            11. Warm naan, for serving


       1. Preheat the oven to 450° and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. In a very large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the brussels sprouts, onion wedges and 1/2 cup of the canola oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large, sturdy rimmed baking sheets.

       2. In the same bowl, combine the cup of yogurt with the ginger, garlic, curry powder and the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until thoroughly coated. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the vegetables are nearly tender and the chicken is nearly cooked through. Pour off any accumulated liquid in the pans and roast for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter and serve with warm naan and yogurt.

    Make Ahead
    The chicken and vegetables can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.

    Saturday, October 09, 2010

    Get in my Belly! Banana Crunch Muffins

    I just ate one of these - still warm from the oven.

    Can you smell them??? Mmmm...

    This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook


        * 3 cups all-purpose flour
        * 2 cups sugar
        * 2 teaspoons baking powder
        * 1 teaspoon baking soda
        * 1/2 teaspoon salt
        * 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
        * 2 extra-large eggs
        * 3/4 cup whole milk
        * 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
        * 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
        * 1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
        * 1 cup small-diced walnuts
        * 1 cup granola (I used a ginger cashew granola)
        * 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
        * Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't over mix.

    Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

    (photo credit: littlewhitekitchen.blogspot.com)

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Suzanne Woods Fisher's The Waiting Kindle Giveaway!

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

    The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

    One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a Amazon.com gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

    * A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

    * The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

    * The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

    * A $15 dollar Amazon.com Gift Certificate

    To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

    Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page. 

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    The Memories and Movies Giveaway from Sarah Sundin!

    Sarah Sundin presents The Movies and Memories Giveaway in honor of book 2 in the Wings of Glory series. A Memory Between Us is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold. From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


    To celebrate Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Movie and Memory Prize Package! One grand prize winner will receive:

    * Make-your-own-photo book from Mypublisher.com (Capture your own Memories)

    * Netflix Subscription (New or Nostalgic Movies delivered right to your house)

    * Starbucks gift card (To keep your engine revvin’)

    *Gourmet chocolate (A favorite in the 1940’s and now)

    * British specialty teas in carved wooden box (Timeless tradition)

    * Miniature model of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber & C-47 cargo plane (Everyone needs a few toy planes)

    *Big Band music CD (Break out your dancing shoes)

    * WWII authentic poster playing cards (Cards – a perfect game for two)

    * Keep Calm and Carry On (Uplifting sayings WWII, a boost for troubled times)

    To enter simple click on the icons below (contest runs 9/27 - 10/17!)

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway with Julie Lessman!

    It's a Giveaway Extravaganza! Kindle Giveaway, Facebook Party and Book Bomb - OH MY!

    Visit the Roaring 20’s with Julie Lessman in the Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway! Julie’s latest series has just ‘shimmied’ it’s way onto the scene with book 1 in The Winds of Change series, A Hope Undaunted! 

    Find out more about the book, Julie here.

    Enter The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway!

    One Grand Prize winner will receive a KINDLE preloaded with Julie Lessman's latest title. The Prize Pack (valued at over $150.00) includes:

    * A brand new KINDLE, with Wi-Fi
    * A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
    To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form and be sure to tell your friends about the contest.

    Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 7th.

    Not only is Julie hosting the fabulous KINDLE giveaway, but also a FACEBOOK  PARTY and a BOOK BOMB!!!

    Are you ready for PRIZES GALORE??? Then come to the Facebook Party!

    How does a gift certificate and a signed book given away EVERY 10 minutes during an hour-long Facebook party sound? (Yeah, we think it sounds pretty great too!) On October 7th at 5pm PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST, & 8:00 EST) Julie is inviting you to attend the A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party! She'll announce the winner of the KINDLE and in addition to the prizes every 10 minutes, she'll also be giving away great prize baskets filled with even more Romance and Technology (Netflix, Starbucks, Amazon.com, Champagne body Lotion, Pearls, & more!)!

    BUT WAIT … there’s more (and no, this is not an infomercial … it’s WAY better!).  If you participate in the Book Bomb on October 7th you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com. All you need to do to participate is buy a copy of A Hope Undaunted on October 7th and send your receipt (just transaction number from store, store name & date) to amy@litfusegroup.com! Each book purchased equals one entry, buy 10 books get 10 entries!

    All this fun begins with Revell’s blog tour SEPTEMBER 19-25, when 122 blogger/reviewers will post reviews about A Hope Undaunted, followed by the Book Bomb and Facebook Party!

    So mark your calendars with these important dates:
    September 19-25: A Hope Undaunted will be making an appearance on blogs across the country (and beyond!) in Revell's blog tour!

    September 20th: The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway launches (contest runs 9/20 - 10/6)

    October 7th: Book Bomb Day (where everyone is encouraged to buy the book online at the same time!) and Facebook Party - meet and chat with Julie, win some great prizes & find out who won the KINDLE!

    Want to help us spread the word about all this fun and be entered to win a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate?

    Share Julie's Giveaway Extravaganza on Facebook, Twitter or your blog and we'll enter your name into our random drawing to win 50 smackers to Amazon.com!

    Once you've tweeted, posted on Facebok or added the button to your blog/website - simple email Amy and let her know you helped spread the word. Easy.

    Here is a sample post for both Twitter/Facebook:

    Tweet This: @JulieLessman is giving away a KINDLE and tons more during her giveaway extravaganza! Details here: http://ow.ly/2Czbn Pls RT

    Share on Facebook: Julie Lessman is celebrating her new release, A Hope Undaunted by giving away a KINDLE, having a Book Bomb and a Facebook Party! Prizes Galore - don't miss the fun! http://ow.ly/2Czbn

    Or add this button to your blog or website! Simply copy and paste the code in the box into the HTML screen of your blog or website. Then email Amy and let her know you did!

    A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Win a Kindle in the Share Your Storm Contest!!!!

    Cheryl Ricker is hosting this great contest over at her website during the blog tour for A Friend in the Storm, Zondervan’s latest innovative gift book of quotes, Scripture and poetry that leads to lasting hope!

    Since this book covers matters of the heart, Cheryl wants to hear from YOUR heart! In the midst of any type of loss, grief or crisis, A Friend in the Storm takes you on a healing journey where you experience Christ’s love in a fresh, memorable way. Now she invites you to submit an original poem, story or snippet about a time when someone was a friend in your storm… and she's giving you the opportunity to win a KINDLE to do it!

    Head on over to her Contest Page on her website to find out how to enter!

    On October 3rd, she will randomly select one winner to receive a brand-new KINDLE! She's also choosing 5 more names at random to receive a signed copy of A Friend in the Storm! The winners will be announced at her Facebook Party on October 4th. The party will take place on Cheryl's Facebook "A Friend in the Storm" Page - go here for all the details.

    Share Your Storm Kindle GiveawayThe Facebook Party will be a blast!  Not only will she be announcing the
    Share Your Storm Kindle Giveaway winners, but she'll also be chatting with party goers, hosting fun trivia contests, and giving away even more prizes every 10 minutes – including signed copies of A Friend in the Storm, and gift certificates to Amazon.com and Starbucks.com!

    Oh, and check this out - Cheryl is also giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate! Simply help her spread the word about the contest; Facebook Party. Interested? It’s easy to enter! Here’s how:

    Share this on FACEBOOK: Want to help someone who’s hurting? “A Friend in the Storm,” Zondervan’s latest gift book of quotes, Scripture and poetry, is helping thousands find lasting Hope! Go here http://ow.ly/2BYiN to enter to win a KINDLE!

    Post this on TWITTER: A Friend in the Storm by @cherylricker heals hearts in tough times. Enter 2 win a KINDLE http://ow.ly/2BYiN here! #litfuse (You must use hashtag #litfuse to be entered.)

    Share this as many times as you like – just email amy@litfusegroup.com by October 4th and let her know how many times you tweeted/shared on Facebook, twittered or blogged about the contest. Each ‘sharing’ represents one entry into the contest.

    Another way to ‘share’ the contest is to add this button to your blog or website.  Adding the button is worth ten entries into the contest!

    Simply copy and paste the code in the text box below into the html screen of your blog/website, then send Amy an email letting her know that you added it along with your URL and she’ll toss your extra entries into the pot.

    Share Your Storm Kindle Giveaway