Vicki Keire’s Recipe Reads: Creamy Crock Pot Chicken and The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

Hello readers, it’s time for another Recipe Reads, and this week, I’m making one of the best crock pot recipes I’ve ever encountered. We were lucky enough to have our fabulous friend Shelby cook for us this Halloween. She supplied me with the recipe, and it is absolutely amazing, and super easy. Most of these ingredients are probably sitting in your fridge and pantry as we speak. You can serve it over rice, noodles, or even mashed potatoes.

Creamy Crock Pot ChickenThe Recipe: Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

Ingredients:

2 packets dry chicken gravy mix

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups water

1 pound chicken breasts (fresh or frozen, but we used fresh)

Garlic powder, salt and black pepper, to taste

½ cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Turn your crock pot to low. Add gravy mix, cream soup, and water. Stir until blended.
  2. Season each breast with the spices. Then place in the soup mixture, making sure each breast is well coated with liquid. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (This gave me plenty of time to finish the book, but I had to stay kind of focused to do it. No wandering off or TV breaks.)
  3. Shred each breast using the two forks method. Stir in the sour cream, and mix together. Serve over rice, noodles, or potatoes. (We had potatoes with this and it was seriously delicious. Served with cinnamon apples, pumpkin quesadillas, and Soul Cakes, a traditional Pagan festival food.)

 

girl on the trainReview: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

I don’t usually like psychological thrillers, but my daughter has been dying to read this, and so I sneaked a peek myself. It’s a dark book, but in a good way…. Kind of like a rainy, overcast day that forces you to make tea, or to simmer something fragrant on the stove for a long while. Maybe pile on the blankets, and round it all off with a good book and a roaring fire… (Okay, forgive me, I’m from Florida, and we tend to romanticize the cold the way sane people do the beach.) But really, it’s a bit of a grim book, and it was just Halloween, after all. Plus with the time change the days are quite short and dark, so, in short, this book quite fits my mood, this early winter.

What’s great about this book is the twisty way it bounces between narrators, and in how you’re never quite sure where you stand until almost the very end. Prepare to be perplexed and even a bit jolted as you switch between the three female leads, with their very different takes on the event at hand. The writing here is quite masterful, with Hawkins leading you from one point of view to another effortlessly. It’s very easy to get immersed in the characters and story. I even lost track of time, and was late to a meeting.

Rachel is a bit of a mess. She’s an alcoholic, and a bit of a dreamer. Every day as she rides the train she imagines the lives of a couple who looks, to her, to be perfect. At least on the outside. Rachel’s ex-husband of two years is married to the woman he cheated on her with, and together they have a child. This woman’s name is Anna, and she is also one of the narrators. To make things extra twisty, (remember that you were warned: this is a seriously twisty book), Tom- Anna’s current husband and Rachel’s former one- is now having an affair with the neighbor, a woman named Megan, who is also (you guessed it) one of the narrators. Then one day one of the women goes missing, and it’s even twistier from there.

Overall, if I had to describe the book in one word, it would be: Hitchcock. It’s got the same psychological tautness. There’s an economy of language at work that’s quite absorbing, making the writing lyrical but not flowery. Quite the absorbing read, don’t start this late at night.

Vicki Keire - Author PicAbout Vicki Keire

Vicki Keire grew up in a 19th Century haunted house in the Deep South full of books, abandoned coal chutes, and plenty of places to get into trouble with her siblings. She spent the last decade teaching writing and literature at a large, football-obsessed university while slipping paranormal fiction in between the pages of her textbooks.

Published works include the bestselling Angel’s Edge series, which includes Gifts of the Blood, Darkness in the Blood, and Blood Redemption, The Chronicles of Nowhere series, and the stand-alone novel Daughter of Glass. She is included in the Dark Tomorrows anthology with J.L. Bryan and Amanda Hocking, and the Primetime anthology with J.R. Rain and Anita Exley.

When not reading and writing about all things paranormal, she enjoys other people’s cooking and keeps vampire hours. She’d rather burn the laundry than fold it, and believes that when an author wins the Newberry, he or she gets a secret lifetime pass to Neverland. She is fond of lost causes and loud music. She currently resides in Central Florida on a lake-front farm full of many furry friends. She loves hearing from readers and can be reached on most social media sites or through her blog (link: http://www.vickikeire.blogspot.com/), of which she is awfully fond.

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