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"Catching Christmas" Book Discussion and Cranberry Pecan Christmas Muffin Recipe

I wish to inspire readers, teachers, and book clubs to bake along with their reading and promote discussion about the books we've enjoyed.

catching-christmas-book-discussion-and-recipe

Finn is a failed restaurant-owner turned cab-driver who generally despises most people and Christmas (but especially people who prefer to take an Uber over a cab, and Most especially those who brag to him about it).

Sydney works at a law firm and is just trying to keep her overly demanding job. Unfortunately, she also is trying to balance caring for her grandmother Callie, whose mind is suddenly slipping, along with her filter of what things shouldn’t be pointed out about others nearby. Finn gets a call to pick up Callie from her home to a doctor’s appointment to uncover the mystery of her quickly degenerative ailment, and finds the woman cannot do much for herself, from getting to and from her wheelchair, to remembering what she is doing at the doctor's office in the first place.

Filled with hilarious, sarcastic humor from a man in a backwards baseball cap, innocent judgements from an elderly lady, and reevaluations of life choices culminating in needed positive changes, Catching Christmas is a quintessential Christmas romantic comedy to cozy up with. Perfect for fans of Hallmark Christmas movies.

Perfect for fans of

  • Hallmark Christmas movies
  • cozy romantic stories
  • romantic comedies/dramas
  • inspirational fiction
  • faith fiction
  • eccentric old ladies
  • lawyer drama
  • sarcastic wit
  • helping neighbors
  • making new friends

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the differences in qualifications between being a cab driver versus an Uber driver? Why did Finn get so bent out of shape being compared to Uber drivers?
  2. How did Finn and Miss Callie meet? How did he go beyond for her? Why?
  3. What happened to Finn’s mom and why did he consider himself an unlovable coward? Could this have contributed to his hatred of the Christmas season?
  4. How did Sydney have to set aside what she personally believed about her client in order to defend him?
  5. What did Finn formerly do for a living?
  6. What were some of the “errands” Miss Callie had Finn driver her around to do?
  7. Why did Finn think Sydney could and should find a better job?
  8. What did Callie get for Sydney? For Finn? What did Finn get for them?
  9. What were Callie’s final wishes? Why?
  10. Which of Miss Callie’s most offensive statements did you find the funniest? How did she get away with them every time?

The Recipe

For Christmas day, Finn picked up cranberry dressing, frozen pecan pie, and the turkey and side dishes.

Finn also made muffins to take to Callie the morning after Christmas.

To combine these ingredients into a delightful Christmas morning breakfast, I created a cranberry pecan muffin recipe below.

Cranberry Pecan Christmas Breakfast Muffins

Cranberry Pecan Christmas Breakfast Muffins

catching-christmas-book-discussion-and-recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil or melted butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, Greek yogurt, or heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6-8 oz fresh cranberries, depending on how much you like them(or dried, soaked in water for 30 mins and drained)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cranberry Pecan Christmas Breakfast Muffins

catching-christmas-book-discussion-and-recipe

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, combine sugars and oil for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. To the mixer, add the Greek yogurt or cream and vanilla extract and mix for one minute. Drop the speed to low and add half of the flour mixture a little at a time. Add one egg. Mix for half a minute, then add the rest of the flour and the last egg. Mix on medium speed just until all the flour disappears and appears mixed in. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula if any of the flour is sticking to the walls of the bowl.
  2. Stop the mixer and add the pecans and cranberries (if you love cranberries, use 8 oz; if you tolerate them and want less of them, only use 5-6 oz). Mix on medium-low speed for one minute. Scoop the batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Makes 20 muffins.

Rate the Recipe

Cranberry Pecan Christmas Breakfast Muffins

catching-christmas-book-discussion-and-recipe

Similar Reads

Other books by Terri Blackstock include Sweet Delights: For Love of Money, Chance of Loving You, the Seasons collection beginning with Seasons Under Heaven, The Heart Reader of Franklin High, the If I Run series which begins with the title book, Last Light (Restoration Series 1), Cape Refuge, Never Again Good-bye, and many more.

A book character mentioned within this one is Boo Radley, from the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Other snarky, fun Christmas romantic comedies to try are Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber, Christmas with You: An Anthology by Nora Roberts, Christmas in New York: An Out of Time Christmas Novella by Monique Martin, The Cavalier's Christmas Bride by Lauren Royal, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, or Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe or Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop both by Jenny Colgan.

For more Christian romantic fiction, try The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans, A Christmas Secret by Katherine Spencer, A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson, When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury, The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron, The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, or A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Notable Quotes

“I’m not a violent man, but I have a dozen reasons for pulling my cab over and throwing the chattering man in my back seat onto the curb. His cheesy Christmas outfit is one of them. His love affair with Uber is another.”

Good enough is really what you want? How about excellence? You watch TV on six-inch devices, you read your news on blogs, you eat fast food rather than cooking. You’re happier with two all-beef patties than you are with fine restaurants or—here’s a concept—home-cooked meals.”

“Are my thighs that big”?

“You can always justify not being with someone who depresses you because they’re not how you like to see them. But one day they’re just gone, and then there’s nothing you can do about it.”

© 2018 Amanda Leitch

Comments

Naude Lorenzo on December 07, 2018:

Two of my favorite ingredient, cranberry and pecan, what a smart combination, thanks Amanda for this recipe, I love it.

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