Monday, November 29, 2010

Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009, a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and the author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the Gems of Wisdom Companion Guide from Journey Press, the Creative Cooking Series including the new release of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance from Westbow Press.

Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She volunteers as the American Christian Fiction Writer's Publicity Officer. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain, but she is also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. She is married, has a combined family of six grown children, two grand children. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the Gems of Wisdom Companion Guide releases May 2011 from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint.

Interact with or learn more about Angela Breidenbach at these sites: on Wednesdays each week

Angela has graciously agreed to kickoff our Christmas celebration with a sneak peek into December. Enjoy this special "treat" and join us next month, where it's "Christmas" every day!

Welcome, Angela! What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?

In Montana, it looks like the pictures on all the Christmas cards. We have deer in our yard, usually snow, gorgeous mountains, and pine trees.

Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?

We love to have Christmas Tea with all the fun finger foods. I spend a few days in advance creating it, but the looks on my family and guest faces are all worth it every year! Also we make caramel corn. I couldn’t get away without making some for each person as a gift under the tree. We give a lot away too. Friends give back their tins asking for it again the next year. We dutifully keep the tin and return it full. We’ve had to replace some tins because they’ve gotten too old and worn, lol. But they keep giving them back. So I suppose caramel corn became a funny tradition for my family.

Do you have a favorite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?

Oh I love Christmas carols. They’re filled with joy and rich, rich melody. Each one makes me feel like I’m soaring in worship. My favorites are Silent Night, Breath of Heaven, and Joseph’s Song. I think about what it would have been like to be Mary or Joseph and live in faith and wonder.

If you could spend Christmas any way you could, how would you celebrate?

Exactly how we do. Christmas Tea, midnight candle light service, and family.

Do you have any special memories of Christmas?

Some of my most wonderful memories are singing with my children for Christmas Eve services. They have beautiful voices and it’s such a treasured joy.

What does a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day look like for you?

Usually Christmas Eve morning is a rush of last minute work, shopping, and meal preparation. Then mid-afternoon family starts to show up. We nibble on all the Christmas Tea treats until everyone is there. Then we open presents, laugh, play with the family babies, and nibble more on tea treats. We pack up our family and head to midnight church services that really start about 10:30 p.m. My family usually sings several of the pieces for the service because we’re night owls ;-) After the last hymn of Silent Night and candlelight, we go home and sleep until late morning. Christmas morning is very lazy. I’ve made orange rolls ahead of time. (They’re in the cookbook.) We eat them for breakfast as an old family tradition and just enjoy a very quiet day. No rush, no crazy running around. Simple, quiet, family time.

Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?

We often choose a movie to go out to on Christmas Day. It lends to the simplicity and often lots of fun discussion afterwards while we eat the Christmas Tea leftovers. Caramel corn tends to be hiding in pockets when we go to the movies ;-)

Tell us a little about your book:

Creative, gorgeous, elegant recipes to make inexpensive meals by a Weight Watcher Leader/Ambassador. Includes notations for Celiac, IBD (Colitis, Crohn's, IBD), and Weight Loss. Full color photos for each dish including some step-by-step photos. Luscious uses for left overs, special Christmas treats, international flavors mixed with great American style made with easily found ingredients. Food that tastes like it's been handed down for generations (well, some recipes have.) Try Swedish Pancakes, Quick & Easy Eggdrop Soup, Bruchetta Ensalada, Sweet Potato & Apple Streusel, Mexican Lasagna, Blooming Chicken Savories, and Grandma Bigelow's Orange Rolls. Just don't forget to make the Caramel Corn for your Christmas gifts, if you can get it out of the house!

Where did you get the idea for Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance?

The print version came out of many requests because I’d created ebooks and cd books of it first. But the original idea came from two sources, people who wanted to know how to cook simple, elegant, and inexpensive meals and my illness. I desperately wanted to eat the same foods as my family but colitis was a huge hurdle. Over time I began to ferret out the foods we could all eat and how to combine them into fun recipes. These recipes and tips brought joy back to my table and health back to me.

Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?

When you’re eating your Christmas feast, think about how much Jesus enjoyed feasting too. Consider that meal a way of experiencing communion with your family and with Jesus. We use sparkling juice. Get the words to the service of communion. Read them and act out what they mean. Now think about the innocence of baby Jesus and consider how Christmas and Easter are connected. Share and talk about that with your family. Celebrate communion around the Christmas dinner table and end the meal with a birthday cake or petit fours to acknowledge who the day is really about, and what it really means.

Thank you so much for inviting me to be with you today. May your tables be filled with joy!

Angela is giving away a copy of her book Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

1 comment :

  1. What a delight to be here visiting with you today.
    I hope a lot of people comment for their chance to win the cookbook :-) It's sitting here ready to go to the lucky winner.


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