Vegan Chili on a Cold Winter Day

Good afternoon, friends. It is so great to see all of your smiling faces today. Now is that time of year where the weather is cold and rainy, or snowing. It is perfect to try my homemade vegan chili and you are going to love this one. This recipe is a family favorite that I’m passing on to you.

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Here are the ingredients:

Beans

1 cup     dry navy beans

1 cup     dry kidney beans

1 cup     dry pinto beans

1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans

 

Veggies

10 medium sized roma tomatoes (or your choice of tomato about 48 oz)

2   peppers (any color)

1   large white onion

1   large Jalapeno (add more for more kick)

4   large cloves of garlic

 

Spices

4 tablespoons oregano

1 table spoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon ground pepper

 

Last ingredients

1  fresh ear of corn (cut kernels off cobb)

16 ounces ground vegan crumble

 

I prefer to use raw ingredients as opposed to those in a can. The first thing I do is gather them, with the first being the beans. Put all the beans in a crockpot and cover with water and soak overnight.

Rinse thoroughly the next morning and put back into crockpot. Put in enough water to cover the beans and cook on low. I like to use my slow cooker because it doesn’t overcook the ingredients.

 

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If you have a food processor, this is the fun part – Dicing. Use the dicing blade that came with yours. Cut all of your veggies into a few pieces and make sure the centers of the peppers are free of seeds, that is unless you want a more heated finished dish. Put veggies into food processor.   I love watching the machine dice up the tomatoes and onion. No crying on my part. I’ve had my fare share of slicing mass amounts of onions and those days are over. So are cutting up veggies by hand.Mix in the veggies with the beans. Then add the spices (add more to taste if you’d like) and continue to cook on low for about 8 hours. It is best to come in and stir it occasionally, but you don’t need to.

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The time is now yours. Good time to curl up with a good book. I just finished two great reads: Breanna Hughes’ A Fine Mess and Samantha Jacobey’s Christmas Eve. Breanna’s book is a dynamic romance story and Samantha’s is the sequel to Christmas Candy. My review for Christmas Candy can be found in the blog archives here and on blogspot.com. I am looking for discussions for both books. If you’ve read them, share what you liked about them and we’ll go from there. Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews.

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The last ingredients to add are the corn and the veggie ground. Remove the kernels from the cob and add to the chili. Stir in the veggie ground crumble and let it cook for an additional hour. The beans should be soft, but not squishy. You can cook for additional time if you’d like tender beans.

Chili is done and time for you to enjoy. Invite your friends over for this treat. Feel free to share your favorite recipes with us. Also I’d love to hear your chili story.

 

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Seasonally yours,

Lynn

 

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My Review for Linda Bates’, ‘It Drew Pale’

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, for those who chose to join in.  Today  am featuring my review for Linda Bates’ ‘It Drew Pale.’  This book recently debuted, just in time for this holiday season.  Come on in and join us for this fun journey.

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Her greatest asset was her determination, and if you wanted to succeed in something in Oregon, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you had to have plenty of spirit!

Linda Bates

 

It Drew Pale takes place in the 19th century in the rural west. A man named Jack Preston was moving to Oregon to start a new life. Jack is tough but even keeled. He is witty, has a nice sense of humor, and is respectful of others. Jack is as honest as he can be. However, he has a big secret that your going to need to read the book to find out.

Eleanor and Marianne are sisters who enter Jack’s life. They are daughters of a shop keeper and they dress very well. Their beauty radiates and they are both very nurturing.   it’s no wonder that their family business is doing so well. These two women reminded me to stay optimistic. You can’t help but feel good when you are around them. They are both attracted to Jack’s charm. It’s no wonder that Jack is attracted to them. The question is how are they going to feel once they learn Jack’s secret.

All three players are solid. They are brave in their own ways. Marianne, under pressure, never showed any weak characteristics.   Nor did she cry out for a man when she was in an unpleasant situation. Marianne’s heart is as big as the world. Her strength is very visible and I applaud the author for creating her.

Eleanor doesn’t put up with nonsense. She knows how to hold her own ground and get her point across clearly. She isn’t afraid to use force either. She knows what she wants. No isn’t an option for her. If she wasn’t so attached to her family, I could see her going out on her own and starting a life someplace else. I found her to be a bit standoffish, but after learning a few things, I understood.

Jack has inner strength that is comparable to a super human. Jack isn’t afraid and doesn’t allow physical pain to slow him, especially when fighting for justice. Emotions are well tamed and never take over any situation.   I could see Jack stealth his way across a battlefield unnoticed.

This story is quite an adventure. There is a little bit of violence that made me pause from reading for a moment. The read itself kept me at a slow pace and I had to backtrack a few times so I wouldn’t miss anything. The story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. You are going to want to carve out time so that you can fully experience the entire story without interruptions. And don’t forget to read the introduction before the story. I found it to be very inspiring.

Here are two excerpts from this fine story for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Stepping onto Oregon soil, Jack immediately began to feel the familiarity of it all. It had been eight months since the tired legs had set foot on some good old honest earth. It felt wholesome and fresh. And firm, too, after the bobbling about on the schooner. People were still around to trip over in the busy port-side, yet already Jack felt free. It was certainly a welcome contrast from the life Jack had led back at the claim. There were some real women milling about! Jack was not the type who discriminated against those women who wore trousers and flannel open-necked shirts. After all, in the gold fields it was more practical for a female’s needs, but in Jack’s mind, there was no female figure that was not the embodiment of nature in crinoline and frills! It was the way of it, and Jack had no mind to change the laws of nature. The others, Jack observed, were also viewing the magnificent local scenery.

Excerpt 2 

The busy storekeeper and her sister heard the slam of a door, but were too busy to attend their aggrieved relative. Besides, they had experienced the tantrums of the twenty-year old, and were quite used, after years of the same, to Eleanor’s behaviour. Her father always had the same answer when Eleanor was ‘in a sweat’ as he would call it, and deduced she would desist being out of sorts as soon as she found herself a strong man to calm her temper. And that would anger Eleanor the more her father would vocalise his philosophies. They would never see eye-to-eye on the ideals that matched the general populace, because Eleanor did not see herself as one of the crowd. Rather she was an individual, with needs of her own she had not quite worked out yet.

 

Four Stars!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016

 

My Review of Jenny Frame’s ‘A Royal Romance.’

Good afternoon, everyone and a warm welcome to all of you.  Today I have a special treat for you!  I am reviewing Jenny Frame’s ‘A Royal Romance.’  If you love British royalty, this is a must read!  The main characters themselves will draw at your heartstrings.  Jenny really nailed it on the head and this story is a true champion.  Let’s read on!

 

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“Maybe we can’t always get what we want, Miss Elliot, but sometimes you have to be brave enough to take what is offered freely to you.”

George from A Royal Romance

This story takes place in the future 2053-4.  Britain has changed and now the country is having their first gay monarchy.  In the beginning of the story, the author showed us a  traditional ceremony to set the tone.  Immediately, this gave me a connection to the Royal Family.   As an American I’m not familiar with these traditions and it was delightful experiencing them.  It was refreshing seeing the players being loving towards each other as opposed to the coldness of the old British sovereignty.

George is a member of the royal family and is next in line for the throne.  Her father, the king, passes and now she is now head of Britain, hence the new queen.  Her gentleness is felt from the first page and I was touched in one scene where she receives a letter from a young girl.

As I read on, I felt compassion for George and understood her role as Queen.  She is a real woman with real desires.  As much as she loves her country at times she feels stifled.  She longs to do things that many people take for granted such as walking into an establishment without security and a mob scene.  In her eyes, very few people can “see under the crown” as the author states.

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I fell in love with George. The author showed some sensitive issues that made me feel admiration for her.  George finds “common ground” with everyone she meets and leaves a positive influence on them.  Even more, she is kind to her staff, treating them with respect.  It was beautiful watching George unfold and her kindness never ceased.

Beatrice is the head of a hospice charity and loves her work.  The new queen takes an interest in her and makes Bea her escort to visit all of the hospices’ branches in England.  Bea is very professional in her manner is no-nonsense. She is a republican and disagrees with the monarchy and isn’t afraid to voice her opinions.  She has a past that could destroy her if put into the wrong hands.  The fire in her really fuels the story.

The family relations between Bea and her family are priceless and the reader can feel the love and sincerity. Bea and her mom are able to have heart to heart talks that filled my eyes with tears.  I love mother-daughter relationships in books because it is beautiful to see two grown adults understanding each other as well as helping one another.

George looked at her picture and the image of the beautiful woman did not look like trouble to her. “Cammy, does this young lady look like trouble to you? Major Fairfax thinks so.”

Captain Cameron looked over the young woman’s picture. “No, Ma’am. She looks like a bonnie wee lassie.”

Hmm…intriguing, thought George.

The dance between the new queen and Beatrice is breathtaking.  There are some really beautifully sculpted scenes.  Beatrice was able to put herself aside and be present for the Queen, who at times does shows us another side of her.

There is plenty of drama in this story.  One supporting character is so wrapped up in her jealousy for another person that she can’t see that she is broadcasting her insecurities.   The conflict between these characters is very intense to the point that it kept me on the edge of my seat.  I wanted to scream out, “Stop!”  At the same time, it added depth to the story.  Not to mention I got to see the behind the scenes, some of which were not so pretty.

The sensual scenes were tasteful and well thought out.

The players are marvelous and I could clearly see them; this blurred the line between fantasy and reality.  The author really grabbed my attention right away and got me emotionally involved with the story.  Needless to say there are page turning scenes throughout.  You are going to need to carve out some time for this story as it is on the long side.  At the end, I wanted more of the action.  I’m ready for a sequel!

Five Stars

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review of Suzie Carr’s ‘The Dance.’

Hello Everyone and a warm welcome to you all.  Earlier this summer I finished Suzie Carr’s The Dance.  This book is the talk of the town so stop on by to see why.

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“You can tell a lot about a person by the way she dances,”  

Brooke from ‘The Dance’

Jacky is a dog whisperer who is very successful and loves her job.  Her family relations are strong and family comes first.  Jacky is sexually deprived which frustrates her.  Although she tries, she has little success.  She is quick to react and the tiger in her really emerges.  She is stubborn and does not back down very easily.   Despite this, she is a natural when it comes to the dogs and is able to get them to change their negative behavior.

A twist comes which totally changed the course of the story.   The author clearly describes Jacky’s frustration and her thoughts about her desire to turn back time to the place where she felt complete.  At the same time, she is forced to accept that some actions cannot be undone.

Brooke is a beekeeper who lives with her grandparents.  Her entire life is bees and it shows in her calm manner.  She hires Jacky because she cannot control her dog, a beautiful beagle who has been an asset to her life.  The tone of her voice is gentle, which reached out to me.  This character was an example of what a wise woman would be like, soft spoken, positive, and lives the life she wants the world to see.

Sophie is Jacky’s step daughter who lives with her.  She is very intelligent and grounded and mature for her age.  Her demeanor is very soft and peaceful.  A decision changes the course of her life, making her a strong young woman.  I was impressed by her determination for her long term vision.  Her fearlessness shows the reader that nothing is impossible.  It was beautiful watching this character develop.

However, Sophie is haunted by her past and ritualizes a strange memory that reminds her of why she is hurt.  Will she ever escape her pain?

 The Dance Book Cover

“Even her skin tickled as the light breeze blew in through the window, covering her in the romantic scent of a heartfelt high.”

Suzie Carr The Dance.

All of the characters are dynamic and complex.  The players are so well described that you get a sense that they are actual living people.  You will get into their heads and become aware of their desires and experiences.

The ‘mother-daughter’ relationship really takes hold right away.  The emotion that both characters share set the tone in these greatly written scenes.  It is easy to understand both sides to the story.  Both of them lead the reader along, wondering about the when.

Many times I was educated on certain facts as I was reading.  I picked up this book knowing nothing about bees and was actually a bit fearful of them.   Here the author goes into great detail about the experiences the characters had when around bees.  She visited a bee apiary for research, which is clearly seen in the story.  I applaud her for being brave and going for it.  Because of this, the characters are living the story instead of just playing along.  By the time I finished the book I had a much better understanding about bees. They add greatly to the story and the reader can see the affect they have on the characters.

The author offers many words of wisdom throughout the story that will enhance your reading experience.  You will feel your soul expand.

The author offers a sense of humor several times.    It will have you laughing.  The laughs are all in the right places and well thought out.

By the end of the story I felt like I had been on this incredible spiritual journey.  Suzie is a very passionate and positive storyteller who will grab your heart.  Plan your next free day for the ride and allow yourself to be swept away into the depths of your imagination.

Five Stars.

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016.