December 7, 2018

This Week's Recipes

Here are this week's new additions at Country at Heart Recipes.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Featured Author Jean Peterson shares her recipe for Elk Chili.

December 5, 2018

Christmas Traditions

After Thanksgiving, we decorated our house for Christmas, and I thought it might be fun
to share a few Christmas traditions. In our home, we have a few special traditions that we take part in -- tea parties, building gingerbread houses, baking cookies, collecting ornaments, and even playing tricks with Elf on the Shelf. Below are a few facts about Christmas traditions and how some of them began. 

Christmas Tree - originated in Germany in early 1500's. Some say it began with Martin Luther when he was out walking and came across a group of evergreens dusted with snow and shimmering in the moonlight. He then took a tree home to his children and decorated
it with small candles to honor Christ's birth.

Candy Canes - originated in Cologne, Germany in 1670 when a clergyman and choirmaster gave children hard white candy shaped with a shepherd's crook to keep the young quiet during church service.

Holly - Its sharp edges are symbolic of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at his crucifixion. The red berries represent blood.

Santa Claus - originated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th century bishop and patron saint of children, who threw gifts to them through their windows. He began a feast day for children on December 6. The tradition of giving gifts also came from the wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus.

Nativity or Creche - said to have originated in 1223 by St. Francis of Assisi, who set up a manger scene in the woods for his people to commemorate the nativity of Jesus. Included in the scene was a manger, hay, an ox and donkey.

As we decorate our homes for the holidays, "may we never forget to see in our hearts the little Babe of Bethlehem who came to save us from our sins", and who is, after all, the one and only reason we celebrate this Holy Day. 

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:4-7

December 3, 2018

Book Preview ~ The Bride of Ivy Green

The Bride of Ivy Green, by Julie Klassen

Much has happened in idyllic Ivy Hill in recent months, and while several villagers have found new love and purpose, questions remain--and a few dearly held dreams have yet to be fulfilled.

Jane Bell is torn. Gabriel Locke is back and has made his intentions clear. But Jane is reluctant to give up her inn and destine another man to a childless marriage. Then someone she never expected to see again returns to Ivy Hill. . . . 

Mercy Grove has lost her school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires seems out of reach. Should she uproot herself from Ivy Cottage to become a governess for a former pupil? Her decision will change more lives than her own.

A secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, but the ladies soon suspect she isn't who she claims to be. Will they oust the imposter, or help rescue her from a dangerous predicament?

In the meantime, everyone expects Miss Brockwell to marry a titled gentleman, even though her heart is drawn to another. While the people of Ivy Hill anticipate one wedding, an unexpected bride may surprise them all. Buy the book HERE.

Julie Klassen worked in Christian publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Julie has also won the Minnesota Book Award, Christian Retailing's Best Award, and the Midwest Book Award, and has been a finalist in the RWA RITA Awards and ACFW Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit

November 30, 2018

This Week's Recipes

Here are this week's new additions at Country at Heart Recipes.
Have a great weekend!

Featured Author, Gail Pallotta, shares her recipe for Polynesian Sweet Potatoes

November 26, 2018

Book Preview ~ Catching Christmas

Catching Christmas, by Terri Blackstock

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year's if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she's in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can't say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn's biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn't remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he's quite sure that she's never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He's willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie's Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it. Buy the book HERE.

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at
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