There’s a winner!

The winner chosen for the giveaway below, who will receive a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer is…
Rae who said…
“I do struggle with comparing myself to others and feeling that I don’t measure up to what guests might expect. I am so very content with my simple life, but having guests over makes me think of all the things that they take for granted. And I find myself tempted to rush around buying this or that to try to live up to expectations… and then hospitality is no fun at all.”


Congratulations Rae! Please send me your snail mail so you can start enjoying this lovely book soon.
Today I’m so happy to have my good friend, Sandy Coughlin, here to share a recipe and tell you all about her beautiful new book, The Reluctant Entertainer. Sandy is as sweet as they come, and full of wisdom we can all take a note from. Even though I just met her in February, she’s already like a sister to me. I think you’ll soon see why. (There’s a giveaway too!)

Take it away Sandy…

.When Amy asked me to write a post for her blog, I immediately thought about her beautiful photography and how mine doesn’t compare to hers. It doesn’t even come close! But that’s okay because I have a secret that I want to share with you today.

I’ve learned to NOT compare and get all hung up on what others do.

When it comes to living out our passions, we have to figure out what makes us tick or what inspires us. And then as we learn to let go of the imperfect, which often robs us of our potential, we embrace the freedom to be ourselves and move forward with confidence and clarity.

By the way, have I told you how much I adore Amy? We’ve seen each other 3 times this year.– BlissDom, Napa Valley, and Park City. We still have 2 trips planned later this Fall. I appreciate the friendships I’ve made through Blog-land. I’ve learned so much from some very special ladies! (Love you, Amy! Thank you for having me here today.)

Anyway, I just wrote a book released this week, The Reluctant Entertainer, and it encourages women to be real with their entertaining. It offers great wisdom to those who get caught up in the comparison trap and gives savvy entertaining ideas.

Since Amy asked me to talk about my book, I thought I’d share my “Best Strawberry Bread” recipe that is featured in the back. Yes, along with wisdom, advice and ideas for the reluctant entertainer (anyone will enjoy this book, even the seasoned entertainer), I have some very yummy, tried and true recipes …

I went to my strawberry patch last night, as it’s growing thin now, and picked these beauties. I just love how the little white blossom fell into the bowl right as I was finishing up.

My daughter helped wash, stem and slice up the strawberries and we added some raspberries to create a more unique flavor

Mixed together and tossed it in the oven.

I love making extra loaves for my neighbors.

And then a large loaf for the family.

Raspberry Strawberry Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooking oil
– Mix by hand. Add the berries at the last. (**)
– Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes in small loaf pans, or around 60 minutes in 2 large loaf pans. Remember each oven is different, so make sure and UNDER-SET your timer, so you don’t over bake the bread!
– Serve and enjoy!

Hospitality is about helping others to feel warm and welcomed. It’s not about being the perfect family or entertainer. And to me, on this night, it was also about sharing a loaf of bread with our neighbor.

Do you struggle with “perfect” or the comparison trap, to where it stops you from inviting others in?

** True confessions: When I made this bread I forgot one simple step. Make sure and add the berries at the last, and then mix the batter by hand. It’s much better with chunky bites of fruit!



Thanks Sandy! This looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it, and soon! I think I may have almost all the ingredients on hand too.

And guess what?!? One person will be randomly selected to receive a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer, by my friend, and guest, Sandy Coughlin. Just leave a comment answering Sandy’s question above…

Do you struggle with “perfect” or the comparison trap, to where it stops you from inviting others in?

OR share a tip for no stress entertaining.

Can’t wait to hear comments and ideas!

***Be sure to leave your comment before Wednesday, August 4, 2010 midnight PST. One comment (entry) per person. Winner will be randomly selected and announced sometime on Thursday, August 5, 2010.


By the way, if you’re looking for an easy peasy chicken recipe, that would be a perfect compliment to Sandy’s yummy bread, check out this guest post I did for Tasty Kitchen where I tried out a recipe for Lazy Chicken. It’s easy and tasty! Tasty Kitchen is a great place to find all sorts of recipes and you can join (for free & no strings attached) to submit your own favorites to share with us all!