Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Love Food & Live Well by Chantel Hobbs


I just finished up this book and I really enjoyed it.  I am a big fan of Chantel Hobbs.  I read her first book Never Say Diet over a year ago and it totally changed the way I view losing weight.  This book is no different.  I have read tons of weight loss books and hers by far is my favorite.  Her writing style is easy to read...like you are her best friend and she's merely giving you some weight loss advice.  About 10 years ago, Chantel found herself at 350 lbs and at the end of her rope.  She surrendered her battle to the Lord and He helped her to change her life one step at a time.  She has kept the weight off all this time and is now using what she has learned throughout her journey to help others.  She doesn't teach a lose-10 lbs-by-tomorrow sort of plan, but a lifestyle change through good old exercise and healthy eating.  Her book contains information about calorie counting, recipes, body types, and even exercises (with pictures!) to help you as you start your own weight loss journey.  This is a great read for anyone who is wanting to lose weight and live a healthier life.  I found it so encouraging!

In addition to teaching readers about the physical aspects of weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle, Chantel also teaches the importance of inviting God into your journey.  God created food for us to enjoy, so why should we feel guilty about enjoying our meals?  Of course, we must use reason and self-control when eating so we don't self-sabotage our efforts to lose weight.  Through this book, Chantel teaches us that we really can Love Food & Live Well!

If you would like to read Chapter 1 of Love Food & Live Well, click here!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

I received another complimentary book from Booksneeze.com and was asked to review it!  (Did I tell you I LOVE their program??)  Anyways, the title of the book is The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn.  I got it in the mail yesterday, and finished reading it in just a few hours!  It was a great book!  At only 140 pages, it was a quick read, but well worth it! 

The story starts out with Jonathan Rush, who is the CEO of a very successful businessman from Miami, traveling to Alaska to search of some answers concerning his birth mother. His mother had given him up for adoption at the age of 4 and 31 yrs later, he still doesn't know her reasons for it. He knows nothing about his mother, not even her name, and only has a couple of memories concerning her. As an adult he has struggled with anger and bitterness, which has caused him to have three failing marriages, an addiction to painkillers, and almost his life through an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Jonathan's pastor counsels him and suggests to go to Fairbanks, Alaska to find the answers from his past.
Without giving away the end of the story, I will say that it is a happy one! It is a story about how Jesus gave us grace and offered forgiveness to us for our sins, and we, as Christ-followers, can do the same to others!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin Rolls

My FIL & BIL came over for lunch today and I made a pumpkin roll for dessert.  I LOVE pumpkin rolls...actually I just really like the cream cheesy goodness in the middle of them, but since it's wrapped up in pumpkin cake, I eat it too.  I have made pumkin rolls each fall for the past 2 years and it's sort of a tradition now.  I usually make quite a few of them and freeze them.  They make a great dessert to take to dinner parties or to pull out of the freezer when unexpected guests stop by for a visit.  One warning though...they are addicting!  lol  This recipe is for 1 roll, however I decided to double it and make 2 rolls.  I used a 29 oz. can of pumpkin and only used about half of it, so I think I have enough pumpkin left over to make 2 more rolls!!  (YAY!)

Pumpkin Roll (found at About.com)

Yield:  1 roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese - softened
4 T. butter, softened
1 c. powedered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with a mixer until thick and light yellow in color.  Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.  Add to egg mixture mixing well.  Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10x15pan. (Jelly roll pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  Remove from oven.  Cool for 15 mins.




Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar, with waxed paper side up.  Cool 10 mins longer. Remove waxed paper from cake  From 10" side, roll cake up in towel.  Set aside.




While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling.  Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.  Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. 



Roll up cake (without towel).  While I rolled up the cakes, the girls helped with clean-up (aka licking every iota of frosting off spatulas!)


Wrap in plastic wrap.  Cover and chill at least 1 hr (if you can wait that long to indulge in a piece...I couldn't)  Slice before serving. 

Keep leftover slices refrigerated.  To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap, then wrap in foil.  Let thaw on counter prior to slicing and serving.



So one pumpkin roll is now gone thanks to my family and we have one more left.  My son suggested taking it to our neighbor who is recovering from an automobile accident, which I thought was so generous of him!  I want to stock our freezer with enough to last us through the holidays, so I will be working on that over the next couple of weeks.  Don't be intimidated by them, they really are easy to make...and you will impress your friends and family for sure!

Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe, so I have two for you!  This Mexican Lasagna recipe is one of our favorites.  I have a confession to make:  I'm a bit of a recipe junkie!  I LOVE looking through Taste of Home magazines looking for the next great recipe.  So I copy it down. (I used to do this at MIL's house since she had a subscription for it...but now I have my own subscription and I don't have to write them down before trying them out!) Then I shove it in with all the rest of my recipes and....I forget about them.  One day a few years ago I was looking for some inspiration in the cooking department and found this recipe and decided to try it.  This one actually came from Rachel Ray...I'm thinking her cooking show, but I'm not sure.  It was love at first bite!  I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb ground beef or chicken
1/2 onion (optional), chopped
Taco sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or can use kidney or pinto)
1 can corn (or can use frozen)
Shredded cheddar cheese
4 Flour tortillas, cut in half to make 8 pcs total
Cumin
Chili powder

Brown mean in skillet with onion.  Add cumin & chili powder (don't have actual measurements on this...so just sprinkle some in!) and 1 c. taco sauce.  Mix.  Once meat is browned, add black beans and corn.  This last time I made it I added a can of diced tomatoes, so feel free to add those too if you'd like!



Put 1/2 of the mat mixture in a 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1 c. cheddar cheese.  Layer with 4 tortilla halves.  Repeat layers 1 more time.  Finish with 1/2 c cheese. 





Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins until heated through and cheese is melted.  Serve with sour cream, and any taco fixings you wish! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It is Dangerous to be Right When the Government is Wrong by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

I received a free copy of It Is Dangerous To Be Right When The Government Is Wrong - The Case For Personal Freedom by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano from Booksneeze.com and was asked to review it. I picked this title to review because I do not consider myself to be very knowledgable when it comes to the government. I have heard so much from older generations about how our personal freedoms are being taken away and hoped reading this book may give me some insight into why they feel this way. Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is a Senior Analyst for the Fox News Channel and Host of Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Network, however I had never heard of him nor seen him on tv prior to reading this book. One thing I learned through reading his book, is that he is VERY knowledgeable about the government and how they are trying to steal our personal freedoms one at a time, without us even realizing the extent of it.




I will be honest, I did not enjoy reading this book. Not this is doesn't contain a lot of true and helpful information, but the author's writing style just did not appeal to me at all. As I read the Introduction, I knew this would not be a very easy book to read. The book is full of useful information, but makes for very dry reading. Please do not let this review sway you into not reading this book for yourself, but be warned that if you like books that are written in a way that is easy to read, then you may want to get this one on a CD or choose a different title.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The verdict is in...well, sort of

It's been well over a month since I started my experiment with the oil-cleansing method. I am back to tell you that I failed miserably. Notice I didn't say IT failed miserably. It was totally ME that failed. I failed to test the method for a full 30 days for many reasons. Here are couple of them:

1. I couldn't seem to find the right schedule for doing the oil-cleansing method. I read that a fellow blogger only used it once a day which posed a lot of questions for me. Do I do it only at night? But my face is usually way oiler feeling in the morning...should I do it then? And what do I do after a run when I'm all sweaty and my face is in desperate need of washing? I did try it in the morning for a few days, and I tried it in the evening for a few days. I just couldn't seem to get on a schedule with it.

2. Remember the step where you heat up the washcloth with really hot water and then stick it on your face? Well...that is hard to do in the shower! If you just use water that is the same temp as your shower, it doesn't seem hot enough. The alternative is to move the shower head out of the way and turn off the cold water completely, then soak your washcloth and stick it on your face and hold it there for 1 minute without getting scalded by the water coming out of the showerhead. Then wipe the oil off and turn the cold water back on a bit so you can actually stand in the stream of water again. Then cross your fingers and hope that there is enough hot water to finish tending to the rest of your body! (This happened to me today by the way)

3. I am pretty sure I am suffering from the effects of peri-menopause a few month on and a few months off. Well after about a 6-month hiatus, it decided to return. With it, it brought mood swings and acne. So I just couldn't bring myself to put more oil onto my already icky looking oily face. Plus I was just plain hormonal and the last thing on my mind was using the oil-cleansing method. lol

So...even though I didn't last the whole 30 days using only the oil-cleansing method, I do have a couple of positive outcomes:

1. During the time I used this method, I did need any moisturizer. I actually found myself THINKING I needed it only because I am so used to using it each and every morning, but my skin did not feel dry.

2. My skin felt softer.

3. Since I have completely stopped using this method (for probably the past 3-4 weeks) my skin feels so dry and just looks drab. It seems that I can't use enough moisturizer and honestly it just feels irritated all the time...almost like I'm having a reaction to something. So today I thought I'd give the oil-cleansing method a try again to see if it would restore my skin to what it once was. I tried it, and my skin once again feels hydrated, soft, and not irritated.

So...from my short-term experience, I'd give the oil-cleansing 1 thumbs up for all the beneficial effects, and 1 thumb down only because it's such a pain in the hiney to work into my schedule! lol I need to keep reminding myself that these new products are not loaded with chemicals and ickyness, so of course it's not going to be the SAME as what I'm used to. I am going to give this method a go once more and report back my long-term conclusion!!

Have any of you tried this yet??