My honest review of books & other products

I love to read & I love to save money on good products for my family of six. Here, I'll share my thoughts on various books and other products in hopes it may help someone else!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Picky Eaters

I am annoyed by picky eaters.  I don't really make a big deal about it (unless those eaters are my children!), but inside I always think, "Really?  You CAN'T eat this either?"  I mean, really, anyone could learn to at least tolerate, if not enjoy, foods for the simple reason that they're good for you!

So, I'll humbly confess this:  I don't care for winter squashes.  You know, the butternut-acorn-orange-mushy-filling types.  I don't know why, but I've never liked it.  (Oh, I should make an exception:  PUMPKIN--when baked in any sort of not-so-good-for-you baked good.)  When at someone else's home, I'll eat a spoonful, just to be grown-up about it, but I really don't enjoy it.  At all.  I think it's the sweet flavor--it doesn't seem right for a vegetable.  So, I really never cook it here at my own home.  Well, not anymore, anyway.  When I had babies, I used to dutifully cook it, mash it, and freeze it in baby-sized cubes to be served later.  But even then, I never made it for the teeth-bearers of the family.

And, I think I've done my family a huge disservice.  When I used to thaw and feed those baby-sized cubes to my offspring, they gobbled it up with happy, orange faces.  But now, even though I don't voice my own opinion of distaste, those little ones don't care for squash.  I'm thinking there's not been enough exposure...

I thought I'd try to overcome that aversion for all of us tonight.  We received some FREE butternut squash, and I found a non-sweet, mashed-potato-like recipe for the orange veggie.  And I ate it.  So did Chris and all four munchkins.  The one closest to baby-food days must have rekindled a memory of the love for the orange, because he ate it and ate it.  I ate it and didn't dislike it (which says a lot, considering my past relationship with winter squash!)  The others politely ate it (some more politely than others) without too much fuss of dislike (much of that probably had to do with our house rule that if you say you don't like something or otherwise comment negatively about the food Mom made, you receive another serving on your plate!)  In fact, the new dish brought out a response I've never heard at our table before regarding winter squash--"I love it!"  (Yup--littlest guy said that...he's so sweet!)

Overall, I think it was a success.  After all, I can't tolerate picky eating--especially my own!  So finding a recipe for a healthy food that we all can tolerate (and one of us LOVE!) seems like a success to me!!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to experiment on your own family...

3lb butternut squash, cooked and mashed (See below if you need instruction on this)
2 eggs beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers

Combine eggs, cheese, onion, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Mix well. Add egg mixture to the mashed squash and mix well.  Transfer to a greased 2qt baking dish and top with crushed crackers.  Bake uncovered @ 350 for 40-45 min or until knife comes out clean.
Serve and ENJOY!

Best method I've found for baking squash (including pumpkin!):

Wash squash very well (I even use a few drips of soap on mine).
Coat entire squash with olive oil (or another oil).
Put the squash directly on the rack and bake at 400degrees for one hour or until a fork slides in very easily.
Remove, let cool, cut it in half, remove seeds, peel off peel (comes off so easily!) and mash, chop, eat, etc.
(You may want to place a cookie sheet below the baking squash as a few drips can occur.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out of a Far Country--Great Book!

I loved this book!  The story of Christopher and Angela Yuan, son and mother, is incredible and inspiring.  I was amazed at how God rescued a mother, a father, a marriage, a son, and a family.  I've come to enjoy reading about how God impacts the lives of others--and every changed heart is a miracle--but I immensely enjoyed reading about these changed lives and found the miracles encouraging and awe-inspiring!

Christopher and Angela alternate writing the chapters, so their story is told through very different views.  This keeps the story informative and emotionally charged.  I was amazed by the long-suffering, unconditional love that God gave this mother to bestow upon her son.  What an amazing moment when this prodigal son came home to the Father!

This is a great book for anyone struggling with a prodigal child, whether he/she is homosexual, drug-addicted, or in rebellion in any way.  It's also an encouraging story about a man who was a homosexual, but has given that sin to God, through Jesus, and is now sharing Christ with many--great for anyone wondering about the homosexual life.

Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for purpose of review--it was great!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Night of the Living Dead Christian

I'm not a huge sci-fi reader/watcher, but I do enjoy a good fantasy.  So when I read the words of praise for this book, comparing Matt Mikalatos to C.S. Lewis, I was intrigued and ready to dig in.  It turns out, that he's not quite C.S. Lewis, but he's not all bad, either.

"Night of the Living Dead Christian" by Matt Mikalatos is a fictional novel with spiritual truths weaved throughout.  Mikalatos uses various monsters to portray humans of various spiritual levels.  At times, the truths he reveals are convicting and challenging.  And often throughout the book, the author is very humorous--laugh out loud funny, actually (this really kept me going through the book as otherwise, my interest would have certainly dwindled!)  

If you're looking for the next C.S. Lewis, this is not him.  But if you enjoy a little sci-fi/fantasy, you will likely enjoy this book anyway!

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing a complimentary copy to me for purpose of review!