It's the week of Thanksgiving here in America, and that means I'm busy baking and cooking up a storm. I finally decided on the new recipes I'll be trying. I've been told holidays are not the times to test out new-to-me recipes, but I beg to differ. I've only come across a couple of duds over the years, and thankfully they were ones I taste tested before sharing... which means I didn't share those couple of things. But I've found some really great dishes over the holidays through my teens and twenties. Now that I'm in my thirties, I feel like it's practically tradition for me to try something new for Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometimes even New Year's Day.
So the new recipes I'm trying this week are...
* seafood bisque
* praline pumpkin squares
* pineapple cream cheese cobbler
* honey biscuits
The tried-and-true recipes I'm making are...
* eggnog (non-alcoholic)
* pumpkin bread trifle (if the frozen bread is still good; if not, I'll bring this one back another time)
* sweet potato casserole with brown sugar crumble on top
* Tex-Mex (turkey) sausage egg bake
What recipes are you looking forward to trying out this Thanksgiving?
What tried-and-true dishes are you making?
Shortly after Thanksgiving, as in merely a few minutes after midnight, it will be time to turn our minds to Christmas. This means playing Christmas music, putting up Christmas decorations, and watching Christmas movies. I'll be reading a Christmas book or two, but I'm not real big into dumping heaps of those into my reading schedule, as they become predictable after a while to me.
However, I know other readers absolutely love reading lots and lots of Christmas stories during this season. Nothing wrong with that. I think it would be good for getting in that festive mood.
As you might have guessed from the picture at the top of this article, because obviously it wasn't very subtle, the reading challenge for December is to read books that feature characters who celebrate Christmas in the story. It doesn't have to be a huge scene, but there should be at least one sentence within the story that shows one or more characters celebrating Christmas.
Note: I know I have some friends who celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas, and I respect our difference in holiday preference. If you are one of my Hanukkah-loving friends, you may include stories in which Hanukkah is celebrated.
Second Note: My favorite thing about the Christmas season is remembering the reason why we celebrate. Jesus Christ was born into this world of sin in order to save us into eternal life (John 3:16). He is the true Reason for the season, and it's His saving grace that we celebrate as we go through the holidays and wish people a merry Christmas. May the joy of Jesus enter your heart and fill you with a peace that surpasses all human understanding.
What books have you already fallen in love with that feature Christmas?
Which ones are you eager to try?
Blogging Plans for 2020
Over the next month, I'm going to be brainstorming some short stories. I have missed working on those lately, and I want to get back to them and bring you more short-story awesomeness.
Since this will take more creative time than my schedule normally allows, I have to cut something out.
In 2020, I will not be hosting reading challenges.
I'm sad to be taking a break from these fun challenges, but I'm hoping to have one to two new short stories for you every month next year. If I really get on a roll, there may be more, but I'm leaving some Mondays open for book reviews, as you know I won't stop reading completely (book lovers have to read; it's a part of our DNA).
The short stories will most likely (as is my plan now, at least) fit in with the virtues listed in Galatians 5:22-23a (HCSB), which says:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faith, gentleness, self-control.
They might be happy, sad, filled with gratitude, or any number of other emotions. Knowing me, they're sure to contain several different feelings in each short story. But they will, in some way, highlight the virtues above.
I hope you'll keep visiting to catch all the upcoming short stories. In the meantime, please enjoy my final (for now) reading challenge and have a very happy holiday season.
Which of my short stories (found in the right-hand sidebar) is your favorite?
What made it special to you?
Your answers to the above questions might inspire aspects or characters in my new short stories. I love your input!