The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Mini Apple Pies

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

I have been posting the recipes from the first meeting, but am ending on the last thing we had during that session: Mini Apple Pies

Today’s recipe is one that I’ve shared before, but made mini. It an easy recipe and a delicious one. After all, who can resist pie?

Ingredients:

Pie Crust

  • Pre-made Pie Dough

Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup – 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 6-7 Granny Smith Apples peeled, and cut into slices
  • 1 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the apples. When cutting up the apples, make sure to remove the hard pieces where the seed grows along with any spots or blemishes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°
  3. Combine the apples, with the brown and white sugar.
  4. Add the flour and cinnamon, mixing them all together.
  5. Roll out the dough and using a cookie cutter or small bowl, cut round circles out-large enough to fill a cupcake/muffin pan.
  6. Lay the apples down on the dough in the pan.
  7. Chop the two tablespoons of butter and put a little in each mini pie.
  8. Place the second ball of dough down and roll it out into a large circle, cutting it to create a lattice top.
  9. Add a dash of cinnamon and sugar on top.
  10. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

These were delicious and a great final piece to our tea time. After all, as Mr. Woodhouse says:

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry

For more recipes, go to Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches

For more apple pie, go to Are Dean Winchester and Jane Austen Kindred Spirits?

For more desserts, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more tea posts, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Tea Time Magazine’s Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

We have already had the scones and sandwiches, it is time for a side.

And eat tea treats!

This recipe comes from Teatime’s Teatime Celebrations Autumnal Harvest Tea.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Slices of Bacon
  • 12 ounces of Ground Pork
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Sage
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry, slightly thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons of Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 Cups of Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • 1 Large Egg
  • Garnish: Fresh Sage

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Line a plate and a heatproof bowl with paper towels.
  3. In a large nonstick sauté pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.
  4. Remove bacon, and let drain on the prepared plate, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in the pan.
  5. Add pork, garlic powder, salt, paprika, sage, and pepper to pan; cook, stirring and breaking apart pork with a spoon-until pork is browned and crumbly.
  6. Remove pork using a slotted spoon, and let drain in prepared bowl.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out puff pastry sheet to a 1/8 thickness on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Spread mustard onto puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around all sides.
  9. Top mustard layer with cooked pork, crumble bacon and sprinkle over pork.
  10. Sprinkle cheese over bacon, bring long sides of puff pastry to center encasing ingredients, and pinch puff pastry together to seal.
  11. Turn pastry over so seam is on the bottom.
  12. Pinch the ends of pastry together, and tuck under to form a loaf.
  13. Transfer loaf to prepared baking sheet, seam side down.
  14. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush egg was onto loaf.
  15. Using a serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, make diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf.
  16. Make another set of diagonal cuts in opposite direction, creating a crosshatch design.
  17. Bake until puff pastry is golden brown, 15-17 mins. Let cool slightly.
  18. Garnish with Sage, serve warm or at room temperature.
  19. Using a serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, and slice into 12 pieces.

These were delicious and a great addition to our tea time.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches

For more recipes, go to Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés

For more sides, go to Super Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

For more tea posts, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfst IX, so I will be starting now-and as I started with scones, I’m moving on to sandwiches.

And eat sandwiches!

This recipe comes from Tea Time Magazine Annual British Issue.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Pound of English Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons of English Mustard
  • 8 Slices of Firm Honey Wheat Bread
  • 8 Large Slices of Deli-Style Ham

Directions:

  • Using a cheese slicer, cut very thin slices of cheese horizontally from a cheese block (I picked up cheese from the deli so it was already sliced thin.)
  • In a small bowl combine mustard and mayonnaise, mix well.
  • Spread a layer of mayonnaise mixture onto 8 slices of bread.
  • Arrange 2 ham slices on 4 bread slices.
  • Place cheese slices over the ham and top with remaining bread slices, spread side down, to make 4 sandwiches.
  • Using a serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, trim and discard crusts from each sandwich to create 4.5×2.5-inch rectangles.
  • Cut each sandwich into 3 (2.5×1.5-inch rectangles).
  • Serve immediately, or cover with damp paper towels, place in a covered container, and refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

So my sandwiches didn’t come out quite right, I don’t think I cut the bread as thick as it should have been, as they kept toppling over.

I’ve noticed that a lot of these English recipes want you to use mustard and mayonnaise, not my favorite condiments. I usually half the amounts as that is more to my taste.

Otherwise they were pretty good and very easy to make.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés

For more recipes, go to Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream

For more sandwiches, go to Cucumber Sandwiches

For more tea posts, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfst IX, so I will be starting now-and as I started with scones, I’m moving on to sandwiches.

Party time!

So this recipe comes from Tea Time Magazine Annual British Issue, and was originally called Cucumber-Blue Cheese Canapés, but I don’t like blue cheese. I think it is extremely gross.

So when I was browsing for a goat cheese substitute I spotted Laura Chenel’s Chèvre Four Peppercorn Fresh Goat Cheese Chabis and boy let me tell you, that cheese is absolutely delicious. So if you want the original recipe, you’ll have to buy the July/August 2020 issue as the recipe isn’t online.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Slices of firm White Sandwich Bread
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon of Laura Chenel’s Chèvre Four Peppercorn Fresh Goat Cheese ( I used way more as I love cheese)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 English Cucumber
  • Garnish: Parsley Leaves

Directions:

  1. Using a serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, trim and discard crusts from bread slices. Cut bread into 8 2.5×1.5 inch rectangles.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, cheese, and parsley until combined.
  3. Spread a layer of the mixture onto the bread rectangles. Add more cheese to your desired taste.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut a cucumber in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, cut 32 very thin lengthwise slices from cucumber halves. I actually did half and half as I love the cucumber cut into circles.
  5. Arrange 4 cucumber slices width-wise in a shingled, parallel fashion on the mayonnaise side of the each bread rectangle, trimming cucumber slices to fit the bread rectangle.
  6. Garnish each canapé with a parsley leaf, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately, or cover with damp paper towels, place in a covered container, and refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.

These were soooo good. I loved the mix of the four peppercorn cheese with the cucumbers. In fact I used the leftovers to make sandwiches the next few days and it was fantastic. This is a wonderful addition to any tea party.

It was delicious, just as I planned.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream

For more recipes, go to Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Scones

For more cucumber sandwiches, go to Cucumber Sandwiches

For more sandwich recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

For more tea posts, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Cucumber Sandwiches, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfst IX, so I will be starting now-and of course beginning with scones.

So last time I made scones I was trying to decide between Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Scones and this one-Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream. When it came to picking out a scone, I immediately went to this one as it was part of a Fall Teatime and because I really, really want to try it.

This comes from Teatime’s Teatime Celebrations Autumnal Harvest Tea

Cranberry-Spice Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Flour (They said whole wheat but I just used regular)
  • 1/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Allspice
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup of Cold Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 1/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries
  • 3/4 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • Sugar for Garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, allspice, and pepper, whisking well.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Add cranberries, stirring to combine.
  6. In a small bowl, combine cream and vanilla extract, stirring well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is evenly moist. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  7. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ¾-inch thickness. Using a 2¼-inch round cutter, cut 10 scones from dough. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  8. Garnish tops of scones with additional sugar, if desired.
  9. Bake until edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes.

Maple Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Cold Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Confectioner’s Sugar/Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup, Divided

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup, beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 hours.
  3. Before serving, drizzle cream with remaining ½ tablespoon maple syrup.

 

OMGOODNESS these were so good! They were just beyond delicious. I loved them and I loved the cream that went with it. All of us at the tea party did and couldn’t stop eating them.

No, stop! Alright.

If you like good scones, you should definitely make these.

For more recipes, go to Brown Sugar and Cream Cheese Scones

For more scones, go to Scottish Oat Scones

For more tea posts, go to Countdown to Christmas: Tea Advent Calendar Swap 2019

I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

So a while back Cederberg Tea Company was doing a giveaway-you know me and free, I just can’t resist.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

Anytime I see a giveaway I have to enter it.

So I commented I wanted Chai tea (as my entry) and won this package of Classic Red, Green Rooibos, Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, Rooibos + Chai, and Rooibos + Ginger.

Now I didn’t pay close attention when I entered the giveaway and didn’t realize it contained Rooibos in it. I avoid Rooibos after I had the one by Tea Forté, and it did not agree with me. I resolved to not drink any again, until I saw that this was Rooibos.

That’s not good.

Well I won it and needed to review it, so I decided to stop wasting time and start drinking some tea.

I drank some…and loved it!

The other one I had must have had something wrong with it or something, because these were fantastic. I expected to like the Chai, but was just blown away by the Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla. I drank it and drank it, until I realized I only had one teabag left.

I mean you know how I feel about Earl Grey Tea:

But I was just drinking Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, at least until it was all gone.

The others were good too, but that one was the best!

Delicious!!!! I know I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

For more giveaway posts, go to I Won the Madsen Creations Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

And eat scones!

Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I try out new teas. 🙂 As this is Chai teas and Rooibos, I tried to do my best to connect it with books that are set in Africa or India.

Tea #1: Classic Red

This Classic Red was a wonderful tea. It had everything you wanted in it and I enjoyed it so much I finished it before I realized it-picking up the cup to drink some more and finding it empty.

You can tell at first sip why it is a “classic”.

Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite books and an amazing classic. It is the story of mysterious, wealthy Phileas Fogg being bet to travel around the world in 80 days. It was to be an interesting challenge-made more so when he is mistaken to be a bank robber and followed by a detective; along with having some people try to sabotage him from winning. It has action, adventure, romance-everything you could want and more! It is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Phileas is going to make it or not!

One of my favorite parts is when they go to India and the group rescue Aouda, an Indian princess, from her dead husband’s evil relatives trying to sacrifice her so they can inherit everything. This is a great scene because in it we see Phileas change from his “mechanical” way of being (everything planned and thought out) as he steps out to help, becoming a “classic” hero. I love him and Aouda together-you know me and biracial relationships. A great book and great tea.

For more on Around the World in 80 Days, go to Happiness is Having a Library Card: Another 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

Tea #2: Green Rooibos

This tea was exactly how I expected green tea to taste, no surprises-but I mean that in a good way. It’s nice to have something and know you are going to get exactly what you want to get.

This tea made me think of Death on the Nile. Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite Agatha Christie novel as to me there wasn’t any big surprises or truly innovative or amazing characters (except Cornelia Ruth Robson). But like this tea, sometimes you want the predictable, to get exactly as you expect.

The story is of Linnet, a wealthy woman, who marries her best friend’s boyfriend, Simon Doyle. For their honeymoon they go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (he never gets a vacation). He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them and they ask Poirot for help. He declines, but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip on the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters. Linnet is found dead (of course), and everything points to the two characters who could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? Poirot is on the case.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Shame Book Tag

Tea #3: Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla

So I thought I would like this tea, as who doesn’t love vanilla? But OMGoodness I was not prepared for how amazing this tea was. It was so delicious I just drank it and drank it and before I knew it, I had drank it all up. It was sweet, wonderful, and smelled so good.

What I felt for the tea, I felt the same way about this book. When I saw the art deco style cover, I thought I would enjoy this mystery, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The story is of Perveen Mistry, female Indian lawyer, in the 1920s. She is sent out to a small princely state to speak to the Dowager Maharani (grandmother) and Maharani (mother) about the young Maharaja’s schooling. She is the only one who can as the ladies are observing purdah (and cannot speak to any men not related to them). Preveen travels out there and finds things are not well in the palace. The Dowager Maharani and the Maharani are both fighting for control, the circumstances of the older brother’s death are very suspicious, and Perveen believes the young prince might be next-especially after a monkey eats her bread and dies. Will Perveen be able to figure out who is responsible in time to save the prince, or will she be next?

Not only is this an intriguing mystery, but Perveen has an interesting and heartbreaking backstory. It was fantastic and so easy to have your attention captured-and keep flipping pages to find out what happens next.

Tea #4: Rooibos + Chai

This was absolutely delicious and just what I wanted in my chai tea-spicy but not too much, sweet but the right amount-i.e everything I wanted. It was so good that after I finished the bourbon one, the chai was gone just like that “snap”.

Like the tea, The Sign of the Four has everything you could want in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You have a beautiful woman in need (Watson notes she is very attractive [he’s in love with her]), a disappeared father, jewels, a mysterious note, a secret treasure, a peculiar mansion, a villain with a wooden leg, a puzzling death, a bloodhound, and the sign of the four.

It is an amazing mystery, Holmes and Doyle at their finest, and like I said gives you everything your could want. It also is what I believe The Great Mouse Detective was based on, so if you love that movie-you’ll love this book.

For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tea #5: Rooibos + Ginger

So I didn’t think I would like this tea as ginger tea is often too strong, but this was not overpowering but the right amount. It was enjoyable but still had a bit of a kick to it. It’s not something that I would drink all the time, but is perfect for every now and then or if I have a stomachache.

I felt this book was perfect to pair with it as it is a good story but the sam time has a “kick” to it that gets you thinking…I will actually discuss the book fully below.

So it has been over three months since I did a book club book review, I was only a few behind but then things happened and I fell behind.

 

I am 13 books behind…

I know, I know-stop looking at me like that. I just will have to try harder to catch up.

Hmmm…

Anyways…so quick recap for those who haven’t heard of my book club.

So as you all know I started a book club a few years ago, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books and need to be around others who feel the same.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time our member chose:

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken

So as I read this book 13 months ago, I was hoping to reread it as it had been a while and I wanted to make sure I got the timeline right. So I went to the book from the library…but it turns out the person who checked it out never returned it. Called (I work in the library) and sent notices but the book has not been returned.

Seriously??????!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE when people do that!!!!!!

I then thought I would ask the other book club member, (one member had borrowed my library book) but she lent it to a friend who never gave it back.

So I’m doing this all based on what I remember from reading this 13 months ago, hopefully this go well. Right now I apologize for anything I write that is wrong.

So the first thing that struck me about this book, was the title. “Insanity of God”? What does that mean? Why did he choose that title?

The story starts off with Nik Ripken (a pseudonym) sharing how he came to know Christ. He was a kid that loved baseball, but God took a hold of his life and set him out on a new path.

He ends up going to a Christian college and meets and marries a pastor’s daughter. After both graduate, they both feel the strong call of the mission field and when they ask to be sent out, they are asked for their qualifications. For Nik, he quotes the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

That part made me laugh so hard.

As Nik hadn’t been raised in church he didn’t know what exactly was being asked. They want to know his education, spiritual journey, youth mission trips, background, etc-but Nik is confident in that the Great Commission tells you to go all throughout the world and he wants to answer the call.

If he was on his own he would have been denied, but his wife knows the lingo and what is being said so they are able to be sent out. They both have a heart for Africa and get sent to Somalia in 1992.

Nik and his wife aren’t able to have a “church” but are sent with an aid group, of which they try and preach to people but find it extremely difficult. Christianity is illegal and having a church is illegal, and anyone who becomes a Christian is often taken away and never seen again. Nik and his wife really struggle with questioning what they are they doing there, is it right being here? Are they helping people?

Things get more unsettled in the country, and the Somali Civil War breaks out. His charity group requests the UN to come take action, and when they do send help, he is one of the people that helps map out the unknown areas of Somalia. I remember him describing the villages and the horror-but one really sticks in my mind. There was a village that was full of kids and had no parents and one of parents with no children, so they went and took the kids to the adults.

Also it was really hard to get the people in need the supplies as the leaders and soldiers would steal them and sell them or use them, and the people would continue to go hungry and without. War is sad and hard.

Ripken’s father didn’t care for him becoming a minister, but when Black Hawk Down came out, he was suddenly proud of his son telling all his friends that Ripken made that happen-the military going in.

The first part of the book was on his mission trip and they later were moved out of Somalia into South Africa, but were moved again. A big milestone in their life and faith was when their son grew ill and because the conditions of their home they lived in aggravated it, their son died. After this, they became heartbroken and returned to the states.

They return to the United States and teach at a bible college to young adults going out into the missions but feel really mixed up. Did they help anyone? Going through trials and tribulations every day was hard and wore them out-how do they keep people going? How do they bloom, survive, and keep going when everything is bleak, when it would be easier to give up and go home?

Ripken then goes on a quest to get this information, to speak to people who have had to go to trials and survived still praising God.

There were two incidents in the quest that really struck me, and I can’t remember their names exactly-but I remember pieces.

The first one took place in Russia. This man was jailed during the communist reign, when Christianity was outlawed and the only religion allowed was the worship of the state. He was thrown in jail-often in isolation, but the thing that kept him going was writing down the word of God. He wrote verse after verse that he remembers, helping to lock it in his brain. The beatings, isolation, lack of food, cold, etc-it was all bearable when he could get a scrap and write something down. That is what got him through.

Ripken later goes to China and their he mets several secret churches, as the church is illegal there. These Christians actually delight in getting thrown in jail or having tribulations, as they feel that is a real marker of being a Christian and consider that is when they go to “school” and recieve their “theological education”. Before anyone can be a pastor they have to have been thrown in prison.

When Ripken leaves he asks what they need and all they want is bibles, a bible. He gives them his and they take the pieces apart and hand them off to different people so they have a book to memorize, and it reminded of how they memorized books in Fahrenheit 451.

It also makes me think of how lucky we are in the United States, how many bibles are available in my home, in my parent’s home, for free, online, in a phone app, etc-and here are people begging for a page.

Wow!

The rest of the book has different stories-and I enjoyed it. It defintely made you realize how lucky you are to be in the United States and how grateful we should be for everything we have, even in the midst of COVID-19.

At the end of the book, I concluded that the insanity was not in reference to God, him being insane, but how we feel as humans. We can only comprehend so much of what God’s plan is with our tiny human brain-it seems insane, but God has a plan for us-a bigger picture.

Hmmm…

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Chasing the Wind

For more Christian novels, go to Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

For more nonfiction, go to The History of England By a Partial Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian or is Jane Austen a Precursor to Drunk History?

For more bible verses, go to Literary Tea Parties

Skinny Chai Tea Latte

It is winter and cold and what better thing to do than to have some chai tea?

Especially if you have won a giveaway that has a box of tea, including chai tea.

Yes, I’ll be reviewing this at a later date, but for now I have this recipe to tide you over. This recipe comes from a book we added at the library, Lose Weight By Eating: Detox Week by Audrey Johns. I was flipping through the book, processing it, when this recipe caught my eye and I had to make it.

“Oh, the irony…I’m typing this at a coffeehouse. I’m just trying to be honest here, because though I don’t often visit coffeehouses, I do once in a while when I need a quiet space to work. I made this recipe earlier today, then figured, “What the heck, let’s make sure it is as good as Starbucks,” so I headed on over to my local spot and ordered-you guessed it-a chai tea latte. So here I am, drinking my second chai tea latte of the day and typing up my recipe, which I think tastes exactly the same.

I whisk the milk by hand, and it’s very easy. It only takes a minute and you’re done (and by the way I’ve had two wrist surgeries in my whisking hand, so I assure you anyone can handle this mild activity).”

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chai Tea Bags, with the Paper Tags Cut Off
  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 cups of water.
  2. One heated, remove from heat and steep 3 bags of chai tea for five minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium-low heat. As soon as the milk is simmering, whisk it.
  4. Pour the tea into two cups and and add sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener.
  5. Top with frothy milk.
  6. Sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice (if using).
  7. Congratulations, you just saved yourself $5.04.

I thought it was really good, but I had way more milk than tea. I don’t think the author planned for how it grows when heated and whisked. I had to make additional cups of tea to use it up-but otherwise, it was delicious!

For more tea posts, go to Blueberry Matcha Smoothie

For more recipes, go to Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies