Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: December 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Excited about Eating by Dora Hiers

Yep, you read that right. Today's Excited about Eating post was written by Dora! I gave Ernie the day off. Plus, he doesn't like to talk about himself, so I'm going to do it for him. :)

Since we're all probably rolling from eating too much over the holidays, I decided on a different type of post for today. You all know how much my guy likes to eat. But did you know Ernie's a certified Kansas City BBQ judge? Many Saturdays during the season he travels to judge BBQ events. When he exceeds a four-hour radius from our house, we usually make a weekend of it.

But he's also a backyard smoker. When he cranks up that smoker, I swear our son in DC can smell the ribs. Yum! 

Over the last couple of years, he's been pining for a new smoker, one that doesn't require constant babysitting and feeding of wood chips. He finally decided on a pellet smoker. Load it with pellets, turn it on, put your meat in and voila! The smoker does all the work for you. Well, almost. :)

So this year Santa bought him a pellet smoker for Christmas. 

This puppy arrived in a semi! 500 pounds of smoker, yet-to-be-installed, a few hundred nuts and bolts, and bags and bags of pellets.

Thankfully, Little Man volunteered to help assemble. :)

Little Man even read the directions for Grandpa.
And he volunteered to crawl into those hard-to-reach spots.

What's a lot of work with no play?

The assembly process was a family affair. My part involved a camera. :)
Hopefully, we'll enjoy the goodies coming from this smoker as much as the last one. But no matter. We'll treasure the memories just the same. <3
What was your most treasured gift this year?

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week's edition of Excited about Eating visits Restaurant X in the college town of Davidson, North Carolina. This bistro-type restaurant offers an international menu featuring pub fare, seafood, and upscale beef dishes.
Restaurant X Bistro

Dora here. It's easy to see why they've been nominated six times for the Open Table Diners Choice Award (click link for reservations). Food choices were great, but they also offer several seating alternatives. We chose the covered patio. The plastic screen makes it nice and toasty for winter diners. 

We visited on Saturday during Brunch, so I chose Shepherd’s Pie, meat, vegetables, and gravy blanketed with mashed potatoes. We visit a lot of pubs and I have ordered Shepherd’s Pie many times, but I have to say, this was the best ever! The meat and gravy, with deep flavors and just the right amount of juice, blended very well with the mashed potatoes. It was the type of dish that you just couldn’t stop eating until it was all gone, and that happened quicker than usual because my wife enjoyed it also.
Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's Pie

Dora here. Guilty! I confess my fork kept digging in to that wonderful goodness! I was powerless to control it. The flavors popped and it wasn't overloaded with unnecessary vegies like some. Warm and perfect for a cold day!
Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips
Good thing you also enjoy Fish and Chips, Ernie. Phew! And the fries were just the way hubby likes them, thin and crispy, the kind you can gobble down a ton and not feel heavy or bloated afterward. The fish batter was nice and light, not greasy, with generous portions.

Restaurant X is located on Main Street, along with many other quaint local restaurants. It's a beautiful area, one I imagine we will explore more fully soon. 

Not sure how they chose Restaurant X for their name. What's the most unique named restaurant you frequent?

We rate this restaurant 5 fork out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.
Restaurant X Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week's Excited about Eating visits Fenwick's in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte

Comfortable and homey with meals prepared similar to what your mom might cook, this local place offers a variety of food, all homemade. 

I ordered one of the breakfast specials and my favorite, corned beef and poached (my preference. Dora here. Poached? Ick! Only scrambled for me, please. :) eggs, potatoes, toast and fruit. The corned beef and eggs were cooked perfectly, and the portions hearty.
Brunch Special: Corned Beef and Poached Eggs
Dora here. The Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich was chunky and meaty, not overloaded with mayo, but not zinging with flavor, either. I'm not a fan of honeydew, so I was thrilled to find a place that makes a fruit salad minus the dreaded melon. :) 
Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich
Service was friendly and quick. If it's sunny and warm, plan to linger on the outdoor patio. If not, get there early. Not much indoor seating.

How do you take your eggs?

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

Fenwick's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Excited about Reading...

Or not!

Know the last date I posted a book review? October 13th!

Yikes! How can that be? I love to read!

Lately, though, I'm battling the reading "ho hum's." Usually, while hubby watches TV in the evenings, I read. But recently, I'm quite content to veg out in front of the television with him. I can even spout off all the latest sports news. Big Al with the Charlotte Hornets is out with an injury, but they haven't missed a beat. Have you watched them play? Pure poetry on the court! The Carolina Panthers are smokin' hot! Jeff Gordon said goodbye to racing at the close of this season, and Tony Stewart retires next year. (Bummer!) Sadly, I can't recall the names of the characters of the current book I'm reading. Or not reading. :)

It's not for lack of trying. How many books have I picked up since October? But they just seem to fade on my kindle. What's up with that?

Do you ever feel like you're bombarded with books?

NetGalley overwhelmed me, with all those wonderful looking books calling my name. But I finally surrendered and stopped requesting books because the pressure to write a review by the release date just added to the stress of reading. Also, I download all the freebies that sound interesting, but that just bloats my kindle. Used to be, I panicked when my TBR stack ran low. Not now. I'm stressing because of too many! 


What's my problem? I want to read. I just can't seem to make myself follow through with an actual book.

Maybe, after months and months of editing, I'm just plain burned out on reading. Now that I finally uploaded Roping the Marshalmy second self-pubb'd book, and can move on to finish writing the third, I'm not sure I'll remember how to actually create. lol. 

Or could it be that since I juggle writing Christian romance and mainstream contemporary romance now I fall between the reading cracks? Seems every mainstream book I pick up, I reach the 30% mark and ram right into a sex scene. 

Remove from device! 

Many Christian books seem too tame, borderline preachy, while contemporary romances ratchet my spice-ometer past acceptable.

Help!! Do you go through reading slumps? How do you get your reading mojo back?

Here's how I hope to spend my weekend. How about you?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Happy reading!

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us north to the City of Salisbury and to Palms Cafe
This local neighborhood eating establishment offers breakfast, a large variety of sandwiches, and specialty coffees. You must order at the counter (no trouble seeing the menu, it is written all over the walls) and the food is brought to your table.

I chose the New York, New York hot sandwich, roast beef, corn beef, pastrami & turkey stacked high with Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on grilled rye bread with a side of homemade potato chips. Hearty and filling, the different meats mixed well with the dressing. The chips were seasoned well and firm enough to dip in the ranch dressing. Overall, great!
New York, New York hot sandwich
Dora here. The Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad offered a generous portion of chicken salad, fresh greens, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and mandarin oranges with a sesame oriental dressing. I'm pretty picky about salads. I don't like a lot of extra stuff, and this salad worked for me. The chicken salad was creamy, sweet and delish! I enjoyed the texture of the sunflower seeds, and the oriental dressing rocked! And what a value at less than $8! That leaves a little extra for dessert, right? Especially since I had my heart set on that Palms Java shake...
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
The Palms Java shake was a mixture of espresso, java chocolate chips and vanilla Gelato. I would have liked the shake to be a little thicker. 
Palms Java Shake
Dora here. I'm with Ernie on this one. I expected the shake to be thicker and more coffee flavored, but, hey, Gelato and coffee...:sigh: thick, thin, who cares? Nice way to cap off the meal. 

Palms Cafe is one of those comfort restaurants, the kind you go to after a long day and don't really know what you want. They have a menu with options sure to please everyone.

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What's your go-to restaurant for comfort food?

Palms Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Plan Versus God’s Direction by Jennifer Hallmark

Happy Tuesday, friends. I'm thrilled to welcome Jennifer Hallmark to Fiction Faith & Foodies today. Jennifer is one of those dear friends who always has an encouraging word and lights up the Internet with her smile. Pour another cup of coffee and prepare to be blessed. :)

Photo Credit: Pixabay
I’m a planner. Give me lists, charts, and organization and I leap for joy. Spontaneous is not in my vocabulary. I like to make my plan and see it through. Think Hannibal Smith on “The A Team” when he says, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
However, God’s Word doesn’t line up with my way of thinking.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV).
I plan. God directs. Sometimes my plan lines up with His direction but sometimes they don’t. At this point, I must make a choice.
My plans or His direction. Often, I want to march when He wants to dance.
In a crowd of people.
With me.
Not really my comfort zone but so rewarding when I let go of my plan to follow His lead. Early in my marriage, I was faced with a dilemma that I share in the book compilation, Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. I needed healing from a large cyst and a troubled pregnancy. I wanted both. I received a healing from the cyst. Then I miscarried.
I don’t know. I had a choice to make. Be angry at God for not following my plan or take his extended hand, be healed, and dance again. I chose to dance. Will you?
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand (Proverbs 19:21 NKJV).
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3 NLT).
Have you had an experience when your plans and God’s didn’t line up? What did you choose? What was the outcome?
Jennifer Hallmark is a writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines, and been part of four book compilations: A Dozen Apologies, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Unlikely Merger, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. She is currently shopping her contemporary southern fiction novel, When Wedding and Weather Collide.

Purchase Link

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage

Our society understands how terrible the loss of a child is when that child is out of the womb, but what about when a child dies before birth? Or what about the emptiness that comes when a very-much-wanted child is never even conceived?

These quiet, private losses are hard for those who have not experienced them to understand. And these losses leave those who have suffered them feeling alone in their grief.

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage is a resource both for those who have suffered through these experiences and for their friends and relatives, who want to understand what their loved ones are going through.

This collection contains true stories that are:

  • sensitive, and yet honest 
  • angry and raw, but not despairing 
  • unique, and yet relatable 

The contributors to this book are male and female, old and young, some who eventually had children and some who never did, and yet despite their differences, they share a common grief and a common faith.

No experience of miscarriage, infant loss, or infertility is like any other, yet by reading these painful and hope-filled stories, you’ll be comforted by knowing there are others who understand the journey you’re on, the loss you’ve suffered, and you will find that even though your loss is uniquely yours, you are not alone.

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