Wilbur’s—Goldsboro, NC—Erin’s favorite Down Home BBQ

In the South—barbecue is always a noun, never a verb.

http://www.wilbersbarbecue.com/home.html

Open 7 days a week—Are you hungry yet?

Don’t forget to check out Wilbur’s Hog Blog—http://www.wilbersbarbecue.com/hogsblogs.html

What’s your favorite BBQ joint?

For behind-the-scene photos from Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.

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The New York Beauty #Quilt

The pattern now referred to as the New York Beauty started life with multiple names—Rocky Mountain Road and Crown of Thorns. This pattern was first documented in 1850, but it was the Mountain Mist company in the 1930s who revamped this classic pattern and adopted the New York Beauty title.

The traditional design includes four quarter circles, or arcs, with points radiating outward. It is considered to be one of the most advanced pieced quilt patterns. The quilt was often quilted utilizing overlapping circles.

Quilt historians trace the pattern from New England in the early to mid-19th century down the Eastern Seaboard to the South and farther west to Texas.

12.18.04 Quilt NYB 1
For more quilts and behind-the-scene photos from Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.

Why I Wrote Beneath a Navajo Moon

9781426757990Several years ago, God put it on my heart to get serious about this secret dream of writing I’d had since I was a child. In fact, He compelled me to take the stories that had been swirling in my imagination and write them down. That story became Carolina Reckoning. My second novel, Aloha Rose, was the result of a God-ordained reunion and now in March Beneath a Navajo Moon releases.

Olivia’s story came to me in its entirety in a dream. The Navajo put great stock in their dreams; God often reaches them through the kind of dreams with which He once visited upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I think maybe we’ve grown too sophisticated to hear His voice either in our nighttime or waking dreams.

Sometimes people stop themselves for reaching for their dreams because of fear of failure. Whatever your dream, I am the living proof that there is no expiration date on dreams. Rather in my life, God carefully orchestrated my experiences with me being at a place that would bring Him honor through my writing offerings.

The desire for the God-planted dream overcame my fear of taking a risk—to risk a maybe failure versus the certain regret of never having dared to reach. I want my life to be more than a dash between two dates. If there is some dream God has given you, my advice would be twofold: 1)obedience is yours to choose; the outcome belongs to the Lord, and 2)examine your motivation for the dream. God honors those who honor him.

Questions to ponder—Does your life proclaim Christ or self? Will this dream if realized honor God or self? Are you willing to allow God to billboard your sufferings and difficulties so that the light of His glory is able to shine? How transparent are you with your weaknesses, cracks, and wounds?

II Corinthians 4:7-9 reminds me that when I give back to God my plans, goals, and dreams—offering all on the altar of service to Him—He shines all the brighter through my cracked, broken jar of clay.

God requires complete consecration. This consecration begins with an awareness of God’s presence—Are you listening? When God speaks, He will ask you to do something. This dream consecration continues with total abdication of self without reservation to His purposes—all you are, all you have, all you dream of. And because an altar (Romans 12:1-2) implies sacrifice, consecration finally demands the hardest thing of all—giving to God what is most precious. That person or thing and most especially the dream itself. If not submitted, that object has usurped God in His preeminent position in your life. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. This is the painful lesson Erin Dawson learns in Beneath a Navajo Moon; a lesson I’ve also wrestled with.

We must learn to trust God more than we trust ourselves or want this dream. Whatever your talents or desires, we are here on this earth for His glory. God blesses us with dreams and abilities so that we may use what He’s given us for His purposes, not our own. And we should prepare ourselves for the probability that His purposes will take us places—on wonderful, scary, exhilarating adventures—that we couldn’t have begun to imagine.

And so, I write. Stories given by God of incredible loss and unforgettable triumph. Humanity in all its weakness. So that others might see their great need of Him and find healing and the truest of all loves in Jesus Christ. The ultimate paradox is that although I proclaim His worthiness, each story brings me to my own weakness and unworthiness. Perhaps this is indeed the moment we become of use to Him—when we’ve reached the end of our confidence, the end of ourselves and our own sufficiency. When we embrace Who He really is and accept who we really are. It is as Erin remarks in Beneath a Navajo Moon often “a long obedience.”

What about you? What has God appointed for you to do? Are you satisfied with the easy life filled with comfort? Or are you willing to embrace the hard life of great significance for His kingdom? Will you live a life of blessing to those around you? Will you choose obedience so that you might make a difference in this life and in the life to come?

What dream is He calling you to in 2014?

For more photos on the inspiration behind Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.

Let’s Go Hawaiian—Malasada Donut #Recipe

The donut of choice in the Hawaiian islands—most recipes are family favorites, handed down from Portuguese ancestors who made Hawaii home.
malasadasIngredients: Makes 1 dozen
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup water
1 cup evaporated milk
6 eggs
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Extra white sugar
Directions:
  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; set aside.
  2. In small bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
  3. Put flour and salt in large bowl, making a well in the center. Into the well add yeast mixture, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter, milk, 1 cup water, and salt. Beat thoroughly to form a soft, smooth dough. Cover, let dough rise until doubled.
  4. Do not punch down. Turn dough over and let rise again.
  5. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop dough by big teaspoonfuls into oil, fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, shake in a brown bag containing extra sugar to coat, and serve hot.
  6. If malasada centers are too doughy, turn down heat on fryer and allow donuts to cook longer before removing from oil.

Enjoy. Remember—Kai Barnes says only haoles add nutmeg or cinnamon to sugar mix used to coat hot donuts.

For more recipe and behind the scene photos of Aloha Rose, visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

Let’s Go Hawaiian—Hawaiian Wedding Cake #Recipe

cake slice

Ingredients

Yellow Cake Mix

20 oz. can of crushed pineapple

1 package vanilla instant pudding mix

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Kool Whip

Instructionsweddingcake

1. Follow cake mix directions and bake in 13×9 pan.

2. After removing from oven while cake is still hot, punch holes in cake with a fork.

3. Spoon pineapple over cake.

4. Prepare pudding mix using milk.

5. Add cream cheese to pudding.

6. Blend well and spread over pineapple.

7. Cover cake top with Kool Whip.

Enjoy.

For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Aloha Rose, visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

Let’s Go Hawaiian—Maui Chicken Recipe

Tired of Thanksgiving turkey? Try this or bring some aloha flavor to your turkey leftovers.

Island home of Tutu Mily and Teah—Here is a favorite chicken dish from Mauiimages

Ingredients

6 boneless chicken breasts

2 Tbsp oil

20 oz pineapple chunks

1/4 vinegar

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 minced clove garlic

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup water

Red or green peppers optional

Directions

1. Brown chicken in oil.

2. Combine remaining ingredients.

3. Pour over chicken.

4. Cover and cook at 400 degrees 30 minutes or till cooked through.

Best served with rice.

Enjoy.

For more recipes from Aloha Rose, visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

qol-400



One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January’s Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Let’s Go Hawaiian—Hula Pie Recipe

2012_04_02_302How about a shaka cool, Hawaiian way to usher in the holidays?

Ingredients:
•9-inch chocolate pie crust
•Half-gallon of macadamia ice cream
(substitute with vanilla and chopped macadamia nuts if necessary)
•4 ounces chocolate fudge topping
•1 shot of espresso or Kona coffee
•6 ounces of macadamia nuts
•Whipped cream

Directions:
1. Allow fudge topping to warm to room temperature.
2. Scoop ice cream into prepared shell. Smooth mound into a high bombe dome.
3. If substituting vanilla ice cream—soften slightly and mix in by hand chopped nuts according to taste.
4. Warm espresso or coffee and mix into fudge topping.
5. Warm knife or metal spatula to spread topping evenly over bombe.
6. Freeze until ready to serve.
7. Cover hula pie with a layer of whipped cream and sprinkle chopped macadamia nuts before serving.
Enjoy this favorite dessert from the tropical paradise of the 50th state.

For more recipe and behind the scene photos of Aloha Rose, visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

qol-400



One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January’s Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Aloha Style Spam Sliders

spamIngredients
1 can (12 oz) Spam® Luncheon Meat
Mayonaise
12 lettuce leaves
12 pineapple slices
King’s Hawaiian Sweet 12 pack dinner rolls
12 slices American cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, sliced
12 thin slices dill pickle
Instructionsrolls

Slice Spam into 6 slices. Divide 6 slices into 12 smaller slices.
Using a large skillet saute Spam until lightly browned, remove to paper towels.
Spread mayonaise on both sides of each roll, layer remaining ingredients on the roll bottoms & cover with the tops.

sliderEnjoy.

For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Aloha Rose, visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

Why I Wrote Aloha Rose

Quilts_of_Love_Aloha_Rose

After twenty years, I reunited with a college friend, who shared with me how she’d located her birth father in Hawaii and how a wonderful, new chapter in her life had opened. Through a difficult personal journey, she and her family had come full circle. As we laughed and cried, rejoiced and remembered the pain along the way, that very day, the seed of Aloha Rose, was born.
Like a lot of us, Laney and Kai of Aloha Rose are both on a journey, seeking family, a place to belong, a connection. A huaka’i—the Hawaiians call thisno matter what our journey, that requires truth, heart, and extraordinary courage. The kind of courage Laney and my friend displayed in traveling halfway around the world to find a family. The kind of courage required of those who seek God. The courage intrinsic to all to seek a place to belong and someone to love.

Kai and Laney both at turning points—forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. How answer this determine whether free of pain of past and find God’s best for them. Like Kai, there are a lot of people trapped inside wounds that have scabbed over but never healed. They yearn to be free of their own gaping pit and the hole that scars their life.

At its heart, Aloha Rose is about grace and the power of the cross. Its sufficiency to save. Where guilt meets His forgiveness. Where confusion meets His peace. Where loneliness meets His companionship. Where the lost find direction. A place for the hurt and wounded, like Kai. A place for restoration of relationships, like with Laney and her birth family.

To choose to trust the cross is to never be afraid again. Easy to say. Hardest thing in the world to do.

My hope is that Aloha Rose will make you laugh. Perhaps make you cry. But most of all,  warm your heart with the greatest love of our life, God’s.

For behind-the-scene photos of Aloha Rose visit http://www.pinterest.com/quiltsoflove/aloha-rose-by-lisa-carter/.

Let’s Go Hawaiian—Rainbow Shave Ice

What is shave ice?2012_04_02_287

Hawaiian shave ice resembles snow cones, but instead of using crushed ice, shave ice is made from shaving a block of ice. This difference results in a fine, snowlike texture that absorbs the flavored syrup instead of allowing the syrups to drain to the bottom of the cone. Therefore, a straw is not necessary and locals eat shave ice with a spoon.

All the usual flavors can be ordered, but my favorite is the Rainbow. The rainbow ice reminds me of all the beautiful rainbows in this tropical paradise and the beautiful faces of the Hawaiian people who represent a rainbow of ethnicities.

But since this is Hawaii, you can order shave ice in some uniquely tropical flavors such as pineapple, coconut, guava, mango or passion fruit. Japanese plantation workers brought this delicious dessert from their homeland to the islands. They used heirloom swords to shave the blocks of ice.

If you’ve never had a Hawaiian shave ice . . . well, then you must add this to your bucket list. You’ll be glad you did.