Monthly Archives: September 2014


Easiest (and tastiest) Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken

Small Group location has changed and now meets at mine and Katie’s apartment.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We absolutely love when Monday nights roll around and all our girls (including 2 new precious faces we added to our group recently) come over to have fellowship, share some stories, and then have honest and genuine prayer & study time together. It’s a precious way to start your week. Monday nights have almost become sacred. That is how much we cherish them.

Our group has been together about a year now, so we have our routine down to a science, so every now and then, it’s nice to shake things up and go above and beyond for our girls! So, this week, Katie and I made dinner.

It’s a special thing preparing a meal and then sharing it with ones you love. There really is no substitute for that time spent elbow-to-elbow around a dinner table.

So, since Katie and I both have full-time jobs and wouldn’t be home until much later in the day, we made a crockpot meal.


This might just become your new favorite recipe.

Easy Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches 


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts {for us 6 gals, I used 5 very large boneless, skinless chicken breasts…and Katie and I still have leftovers)
  • 1 cup  of your favorite BBQ sauce {I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Sauce}
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing {I use Newman’s Own}
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 heaping tbsp Apricot or Peach preserves
  • salt & pepper to taste (I season both sides of the chicken breasts before placing them in the insert


1. Place chicken breasts into insert of your slow cooker. Season chicken breast lightly with some sea salt & pepper.

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2. In a mixing bowl combine BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, preserves, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined.

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3. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-7.

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They will shrink up a bit as they cook & remain nice & tender.

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4. Once time is up, you can serve the breast whole, or shred with 2 forks. If shredding, recover and let cook in sauce for about 20-30 more minutes to soak up all that delish flavor.

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They get these nice caramelized “burnt ends” from the brown sugar in the sauce. I have to say, that is my favorite part.

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5. Serve on toasted or warmed buns like we did, but it’s also delicious over a baked potato, in wraps, on a salad or eat a plateful as is!

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We served ours alongside spicy sweet potato fries, broccoli slaw, and classic brownies for dessert topped with ganache and fresh berries a la Katie.

So simple, so perfect, so yummy! We had such a sweet time together & I know you and yours will too.

Enjoy this quick & easy weeknight favorite!



Meeting “Miss Karon”

jan sign

And then the big day had arrived- the Meet and Greet with Jan Karon, NY Times Bestselling author that will debut at #2 on the list this week!

Christian fiction {historically} isn’t supposed to be on that “very distinguished” list?!? Isn’t that just amazing?!?

It was a foggy, drizzily day.

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So majestic the way the fog settles in so thick in the mountains.

tentNestled in all cozy on a chilly, almost-wintry fall day inside a white-topped tent we heard from Jan. A high of 55 degrees. I loved pulling on that sweater!

The Mayor & First Lady of Blowing Rock gave Jan a key to the city of Blowing Rock. She exclaimed that she had been “dying to receive a key to the city!”


You could tell it meant so much to her. Blowing Rock was, after all, her home for 15 years while writing the majority of the Mitford series. Many of the names & locations, even characters of idyllic Mitford have real, concrete origins in real-life Blowing Rock.

So much of her inspiration came from this little mountain town that stole her heart.

I can see why.

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She shared her heart, her witness as to why she writes, the messages she feels compelled to share, a bit about her writing process, and even how the characters come alive to her.

As an aspiring writer myself, I soaked it all in.

She said she never begins a new novel without first determining a title- it sets the tone for the entire work.

The idea of Father Tim, the central character to all Mitford books, came to her all at once. She woke up early, way earlier than usual, but something compelled her to get out of bed. As she prepared her coffee and shrugged into her house coat, she glanced outside her window and the image of a man materialized, but not just anyone, a slightly pudgy man with thinning hair in a cleric’s collar. And a large black, furry dog followed not far behind. She said at that moment her and Father Tim began to become acquainted.

And that is where it all began…

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She really is a remarkable woman, so full of life, so enthralling, so raw and honest. Unapologetic regarding her faith and desires only to be used by Him. Writing is her passion and God-giftedness.

And I will be the first to admit, I entered this contest because of Mom’s fanhood of Jan, not mine. It’s not that I am not a “fan”, I have read one of her books, the very first At Home in Mitford and the characters were real and gritty; people you wanted as neighbors, people you wanted to be friends with, and visit with at luncheon after Father Tim’s sermon at Lord’s Chapel. But after hearing from her and meeting her, I have already asked Mom to dig out books 2 & 3 in the series so I can read them.

Then, we all lined up to have a chance to spend a few minutes with Jan. One on one.


Jamie & JanShe is so genuine. So real. A very friendly woman who profusely thanks her fans and tells them in any way she can.

What other NY Times Bestselling author would spend well over 90 minutes meeting and greeting their fans one by one, signing books, and taking pictures?

She was inspiring.

Also on site was the Mitford Bookstore, aka the Penguin Books trolley.

book store

As you undoubtedly guessed, that is where Mom headed next.

book store 2Thank you to Penguin Books & the entire Jan Karon’s Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good marketing team for an extraordinary weekend for Mom and I. It was so nice meeting all of you and you truly made us feel so very special, so taken care of. We truly found ourselves somewhere safe with some very good people.