Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
When I agreed to read this book for review, I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. I have been reading it aloud to my 7 and 9 year olds for a few weeks and we are all caught up in the story. They always ask for "just one more (chapter)" and I usually read another chapter because I am enjoying it so much too.
We are only about half-way through reading A Drop of Hope, but I can whole-heartedly recommend it. The characters are well developed and their stories so well connected that we are left wanting more at the turn of each page and at the end of each chapter. We usually stay up a little longer so we can read "just one more".
A Drop of Hope is a Scholastic publication written by Keith Calabrese. I read that his seven year old daughter dared him to write a children's book so he did. He is a screenwriter by trade.
"Told from multiple points of view, A Drop of Hope is a book that shows how a single act of kindness can create waves and remind us how powerful a little hope can be."
It is refreshing to find a book that is both enjoyable for young and old alike making it a great family read aloud book. You can find A Drop of Hope where children's books are sold and at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, BooksA-Million, iBooks, Audible, and Google Play.
I love this kind of recipe. The kind when you don't really even need a recipe. You just need an idea and a basic understanding of simple cooking methods.
Lemons were on sale and it felt like a fun springtime purchase so I bought them. I bought a whole bag of them without knowing what I would do with them. They sat on my counter for a few days and then I had an idea, Lemon Chicken! I had chicken and green beans in the freezer. So this easy peasy lemon chicken skillet was born.
So easy and delicious! All you do is saute chicken in one skillet and beans in another and then marry the two together to serve. Delish!
2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make large, thin pieces
2 lemons, one for juice and zest, one for garnish
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 bag of whole frozen green beans
Serves 4-6 (Depending on how much chicken you use)
1. In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil (a couple of Tablespoons) over medium to medium high heat.
2. Saute chicken until both sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked through. While cooking, juice and zest a lemon over the chicken. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a little garlic powder. Continue to saute until done.
3. Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat a little olive oil and saute green beans until heated through and desired tenderness is reached. Salt and pepper to taste and add a little garlic powder while cooking.
Add a pat of butter if you like.
4. To serve place chicken over beans and garnish with lemon slices.
I have been thinking about Lent for a while and have decided this year that I would try to follow a low sugar diet. I am avoiding white sugar and allowing coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup. I will still eat some dark chocolate. This means I have to read labels and make more of our snacks. I am excited to take on this challenge. I know it is not really much of a sacrifice to switch sweeteners, but Lent is a time of renewal and improving my diet will lead to better health which will renew me physically.
I am also excited for the Lenten season and the opportunity to draw closer to Jesus! My Jesus Calling devotional is already part of my routine, but this year after going through the Welcome women's retreat and a year of formation (formerly known as Christ Renews his Parish), the Bible has become a part of my routine too. Rediscover Jesus is another great Lenten resource.
I am also participating in No Greater Love, a biblical walk through Christ's passion, Lenten reflection series at church. So this Lent, I will have more reading than in the past, but also more prayer and reflection. I know this will be a lot, but hopefully I can keep up with it and enjoy more peace in his presence. I am starting another graduate class this week which brings added stress and time constraints, but I have found that when I spend a little time with God and ask for help with my assignments I am able to work through them.
Since I am avoiding sugar, I have to really pay attention to the ingredients in processed food. These are two foods I have recently discovered that I can still enjoy on my low sugar diet. I break off a small piece of this chocolate bar for a delicious treat. The only sugar on the ingredient list is coconut sugar. I love this Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread which has no sugar and is delicious toasted with butter. I buy both of these at Kroger. (The bread is sold in the frozen case in the health food aisle.) Please feel free to share your favorite no sugar foods!
I love making homemade meals for my family, but in this busy season of life, I also need to keep things simple. This recipe was born from needing to get something warm, healthy, and filling on the table quickly and from a beautiful chinese cabbage that a friend harvested from his winter garden before a big freeze and generously gifted us.
I have made these brothy beef and cabbage bowls with chinese cabbage and regular green cabbage and it is delicious either way. This is so easy because I literally put everything in my dutch oven and cook on the stovetop until meat is browned and cabbage is tender. Easy...one pot meal and so yummy!
You can make this more brothy by adding some broth or water or less brothy by not adding any extra liquid. In our current freezing cold weather, I vote for warm, extra brothy bowls. (I did not add extra broth to the beef and cabbage bowls pictured.)
Delicious, hearty, healthy, and so easy to make! Enjoy these warming Asian inspired brothy beef and cabbage bowls.
(Makes about 4 servings)
1 lb. ground beef
1 head cabbage (green or chinese), chopped
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced
2 T. ginger paste
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. oyster sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable or beef broth, optional to make it brothier
Green onions, optional for garnish
Combine ingredients ground beef through oyster sauce in a dutch oven or other large pan and cook over medium heat until beef is browned and cabbage is tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add broth or water and warm through if more broth is desired. Garnish with green onions.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Abreva, Emergen-C, Lipton, Robitussin and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #SickDayTips #CollectiveBias
I know I have written about my love of shopping at Kroger before, but I really do love my Kroger store. I love it because it feels like a small town grocery, but has everything I need. I even have a favorite cashier. Her name is Barbara and I will wait in a longer line if it means I get to check out with her. She is so sweet and always chats and dotes on my two year old who loves her right back.
Since Kroger is our go-to store, we always get our prescriptions and wellness products in the Kroger pharmacy. I love that I can grab broth, bananas or juice while running in for a quick pharmacy pick–up.
On a recent shopping trip I stocked up on these trusted comfort products so that we can quickly get back on our feet again when sickness hits.
Conveniently located next to the pharmacy and in the tea aisle, it is easy to be prepared for cold season with these comfort items on hand.
Be prepared for those pesky cold sores with Abreva. It’s not for temporary symptom relief, but for healing, delivering the best results when used at the first sign of a cold sore. It’s the only FDA approved OTC medicine to shorten healing time. In fact, it’s proven to heal cold sores and shorten the duration of pain, itching, burning, and tingling.
Emergen-C Immune+® Super Orange Gummies supports your immune system with key nutrients your body needs, such as Vitamin D, Zinc and lots of Vitamin C.
Emergen-C Immune+® Super Orange Gummies with natural fruit flavors are a delicious way to support your immune system.
And this is my favorite. Saying that I love tea is an understatement because I’m pretty much crazy for tea. I drink hot tea all day when the weather is cold and iced tea in the summer.
Since I drink so much tea, I am kind of picky about the tea I drink and Lipton Daily Support Herbal Tea with turmeric, echinacea, and ginger is delicious. An excellent source of Vitamin C, this herbal infusion helps support your body’s natural defenses.*
Carefully selected botanicals are blended with natural essential oils making self-care a part of my everyday routine.
If you have children, then Children’s Robitussin® Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM is a medicine cabinet essential. (Remember, Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold and Children’s Robitussin® Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM should not be used at the same time.)
Help your child feel better with effective cough relief plus real honey! I was really glad to have Children’s Robitussin® Honey on hand this week. My oldest has been coughing and this has helped give him some much-needed relief and quiet his cough.
When cold and flu symptoms get you down, try Theraflu for powerful relief without a prescription. (Remember, Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold and Children’s Robitussin® Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM should not be used at the same time.) Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold fits right in your routine. Compatible with most single-serve coffee makers, these fast-relieving pods work on even your most severe symptoms. Press. Sip. Relief.
Head to your nearest Kroger and stock up on these wellness essentials to get you back on your feet when cold season strikes.
Disclosure: Theraflu-© 2018 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older. Use all products only as directed. Read label and follow directions. Abreva, Emergen-C, Robitussin – Use only as directed. Read label and follow directions.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
Slow cooker split pea and ham soup is one of our old favorites. It has actually been here on the blog for 8 years, but needed some updates.
This delicious and nutritious soup is really easy to prepare using your slow cooker. It's also budget friendly and comforting on cold winter days. My boys love this hearty warm soup for dinner and always clean their bowls.
This is so easy to make and so delicious! Hearty, flavorful and loaded with healthy vegetables. I have been making this soup for my family for years, but recently started adding vegetable broth for half of the water. I think it is even better now.
I made a quick youtube video showing how easy and affordable it is to make split pea soup in the slow cooker. Be sure to check it out.
1 lb. package dry split peas
1 onion diced
1 carrot sliced
1 rib celery sliced
2 potatoes peeled and diced ( I don't always peel them)
8 cups water or 1 (32 oz.) carton vegetable broth (4 cups) and 4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. or more freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. salt (I just grind some salt in)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 ham hock or 1/2 lb. diced ham
1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cover, cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
3. Remove bay leaf and ham hock before serving.
4. Debone meat and cut into small pieces to return to soup.
5. Stir meat into soup and serve.
If using diced ham instead of a ham hock, put diced ham into cooker in step 1. You will be finished after removing the bay leaf in step 3. I have made this soup both ways and it is delicious either way.
This soup is delicious and an easy way to get your kids to eat some vegetables. My children love it. It is also really good leftover.
Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post.
My husband is creative by nature. I am always amazed at how he can just pick up a pencil and sketch anything you ask. He has drawn countless dinosaurs and dragons in his tenure as a parent and I am sure the requests will keep coming for years to come.
When I was asked to write about Winsor and Newton art supplies, I asked my husband if he would like to try any of their products since he really enjoys artistic pursuits. He of course said YES! and chose the Winsor & Newton water colour marker collection and the graphic marker collection.
These Winsor and Newton Marker Sets are perfect for creatives who like to experiment with new media. These are good quality sets so my husband will be utilizing them in his landscape design class this semester.
At first we didn't realize that the water colour set came with a pad of water color paper. (We later discovered the paper under the plastic tray.) My husband tried using some art paper that we had, but it wasn't good enough to get the soft water color effect he wanted. So he went to the bookstore, bought some water color paper and played around with the markers and a brush and water. He thought it was easier to get the desired effect with better paper, but not the same as using actual water colors.
Still, if you want quick and easy delicate "paintings" these water colour markers will do the trick. They will be perfect for adding soft strokes, shading, and blurred lines to my husband's landscape drawings.
My husband also chose the graphic marker collection which comes with extra smooth surface paper so you can start creating right away.
He played around with the graphic markers and came up with this neat Ohio State design which I think brilliantly portrays how vivid and clear they color. He will have a lot of fun with these.
A Winsor & Newton gift set would make the perfect Valentine gift for the aspiring artist in your life. You can find them at WinsorNewton.com, Amazon, and fine art stores such as Blick.
Friday night we went to a dinner/party for my husband's work. It was a family friendly casual affair with giant aluminum pans filled with home-cooked (catered) favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Upon leaving this super fun work/family outing (which included a full-size indoor basketball court where I lost a game or two of PIG), we were offered a giant pan of mac & cheese. Up for the challenge, I figured I could do something with it and came up with this delicious loaded macaroni and cheese. To be honest, it was a LOT of macaroni, more than we could use so I shared with a friend when her son came over to play and still had to freeze some.
This is one of those "you don't really need a recipe" kind of recipes. Simply mix in your favorite flavors and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You end up with this amazing mac & cheese casserole that is good enough for company, a potluck or even the super bowl.
If you're not into macaroni, I think a loaded cauliflower casserole would be amazing. I am going to try it sometime and will let you know how it goes:)
You will need a big pot of macaroni and cheese to start. I recommend homemade style over the box. If you are trying to throw this together quickly, you could always purchase prepared macaroni and cheese in the deli or the prepared refrigerated foods section of your grocery store. Don't use a cold macaroni salad sold with potato salad. It will likely be seasoned with a vinegar type of dressing. You can also make some macaroni and cheese ahead and refrigerate for a day or two until making the casserole.
Several cups Macaroni and Cheese, depending on how much you make (I probably used 6-8 C.)
1 lb. bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Large handful fresh spinach leaves
2-3 cups shredded cheese (depending on how much you make and how cheesy you want it, I used mexican and parmesan cheese)
2 T. butter, optional
Salt and pepper
1. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Crisp all but 3 slices of bacon, crumble and set aside to top casserole.
3.. Over medium heat, saute 3 slices bacon, chopped up with onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. If needed add butter or extra bacon grease from the previous crisping to the skillet. My bacon didn't produce enough grease to saute the onion so I added butter.
4. Remove bacon and onions from skillet, leaving bacon grease in the skillet and saute spinach to wilt.
5. In a large bowl, mix macaroni with bacon/onion mixture, wilted spinach, shredded cheese saving some to top casserole, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Scoop mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with extra cheese and extra crumbled bacon.
7. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.
It's always fun to look back on the year and remember all of our favorite recipes. Here's a look at our top 10 favorites from 2018.
It's always so hard to pick just 10. I had to leave out so many more wonderful recipes. But you can find all of my recipes using the recipe drop down menu at the top of the page. What were your favorite new recipes over the past year? Feel free to add your links in the comments.
January 2019 update: I wanted to update this recipe because it is still a favorite, but I make it a little differently than I did two years ago. I now use 6 cups vegetable stock instead of 5 to make it a bit thinner (like my broccoli soup) and I use my emersion blender to puree it more. Also, I previously used chicken broth, but have since switched to vegetable broth which I think has more flavor.
The newer pictures in the brown soup mug show the more pureed thinner soup and the older pictures in the small crocks show the thicker soup. You can make it either way, we just prefer the more pureed soup. It is so good that the kids literally scrape every last bite out of the pot. We seem to have just the right amount for our young family, but as the boys' appetites grow as they get older I predict I will be making double batches of this yummy cauliflower soup.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned work at home Mom blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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