Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Amish Family Cookbook by Jerry & Tina Eicher

I received this lovely cookbook to review some time ago with the First Team of Reviewers.  I didn't receive it in time to review it along with the others on the team and was asked to review it when I could.  Well, of course, I wanted to try out some recipes first.  Unfortunately, life has been so crazy that I have only tried two recipes out.  And both were pie crusts.  So, my review is based on what I see in the cookbook and on what I experienced with the two pie crust recipes. :)  YUM!

The pie section starts on page 175 and covers 12 pages and includes 21 recipes, 2 of which are are pie crust recipes.  They are called Pie Crust and Never-Fail Pie Crust.  I made Mini-Pumpkin Pies using the Pie Crust recipe and my family liked it and thought the pie crusts were delicious.

Today, I decided to surprise my family with a homemade Apple Pie.  I had canned some Apple Pie Filling a couple of years ago and have a couple left, so I pulled one out and pulled out this cookbook as well.  I flipped to what I thought was the recipe and pulled out and measured out the flour and salt, then added the shortening.  I was in the midst of mixing this, when I realized it wasn't the same recipe!

I was shocked by the next ingredient... can you read it?  It's VINEGAR!?  And then milk.  So, since I had already started, I figured why not finish?  Since I was doing an Apple Pie, I wanted a top crust as well, so I doubled the recipe.   After you mix the ingredients, the recipe says to chill for 30mins.  When it was time to roll it out, I thought the mix was a little hard and was afraid it would crumble and fall apart, but as it warmed a little it did fine.  I put the first crust into the pan, filled it, then topped it with the second crust. Unfortunately, I am not very good at making those pretty edges on my crust, but ya' know what?  My pies usually get eaten anyhow. So, here's a picture of it going into the oven.

I had a little bit of extra crust left over, so I rolled it out, brushed it with melted butter and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar.  I figure my kids will love it as an after school snack.    Let me show you something:

Isn't that BEAUTIFUL!?!  Wow, so flaky.... and pretty.  And it tasted good too! :)

I wasn't sure how long to bake the pie, so I just watched it.  When it was almost done, I pulled it out, brushed it with butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on it.  Voila!

As I said, my decorative pinching of the crust leaves a lot to be desired, but the pie looks great (ignore that OLD pan it's on!).

Here's a glimpse at the rest of the cookbook:

The table of contents... 


Some Amish Wisdom                                                      And Wit:

The wisdom pieces are scattered throughout on just about every page (not quite) and the wit is at the beginning of each to section.  

I love the simplicity of this book.  There are lots of "sweets" and desserts and honestly, there aren't a TON of different recipes (in other words, different from what I would normally make).  BUT, I love anything Amish/Mennonite and I collect cookbooks, so I am thrilled with this book.  I look forward to trying MORE recipes besides just sweets.  

To Purchase:  The Amish Family Cookbook at Amazon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

About A Merry Little Christmas: 
Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.

Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart-that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?
Link to buy the book:   

Meet Anita:
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find out more about Anita at

"Funny how women have this way of turning boys into dragon slayers."

My Review: 

What a beautiful, moving story just in time for Christmas!!  It's a story of love, hurts from the past, overcoming those hurts and overcoming adversity, even when it's daunting.  This book really moved me... it kept me smiling and yes, there were a few tears along the read.  I came away from reading this with a contentedness in my heart and a renewal to be thankful for my family and the life God has given me.  

As far as I can tell, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas is the only other of Ms. Higman's books that I've read, but I will be reading more!!  She has such a gift and way with words.  Please, find this book... buy it, read it and pass it along!!