The Reluctant Entertainer by Sandy Coughlin

“Okay, ladies, let’s have a show of hands. Everyone who feels like they just don’t have what it takes to pull off a successful meal or a party in your home, raise your hand. I see your nervous hands! Now, everyone who feels totally at ease and 100 percent sure of yourself as a hostess, raise your confident hand…. Um, where did the hands go?”

The Reluctant Entertainer is not only filled with delicious, mouth-watering recipes, but it’s also rich with simple solutions in overcoming anxiety when it comes to opening your home and sharing heart-warming hospitality.

I have no idea what drew me to Sandy Coughlin’s book. Maybe it was the simple and cozy cover that invited me into its pages. Maybe it was the title, The Reluctant Entertainer.

I’m so reluctant at entertaining that my hopes were slim to none that Coughlin could help me. Surprisingly, thanks to Sandy Coughlin and her book, I now look for opportunities to share my hospitatlity, even if it is outside of my home.

“One of the main reasons we remain reluctant and isolated is that we have bought in to the thinking that perfection is required in order to be hospitable”.

I love how Sandy dispels this myth. In the course of reading this book I had several opportunities to entertain in my home. The first opportunity was unexpected. And as much as I wanted to turn my guests away, I couldn’t because I kept hearing Sandy’s words.

“The best way to impress others in your home is through genuine care and authenticity-something no killer centerpiece will ever do.”

Sandy brings comfort to the reluctant entertainer. She invites us in and shows us compassion. She shows us simple steps we can take to share hospitality. And she makes us believe, that even someone as reluctant as many of us are, we can be successful.

I highly recommend The Reluctant Entertainer for yourself and for that unique, perfect gift. It is a book every woman should have in her household.

By the way, I wanted to try one of Sandy’s recipes to see how my family would like it before I tried serving it anyone else. I chose her Slow Cooker Chicken, because it was something I could definitely adapt to my gluten-free diet. Her recipe is as follows:

Serves 8 to 10
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups mango salsa (any salsa works)

Spray inside of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place meat in the crock and cover with salsa. Cook on low 8 hours. Do not stir. Before serving, shred meat with two forks. Do not drain the chicken; it will absorb the juices.

The shredded meat can be used for taco, taco salad, or enchiladas. She even suggests that it can be used as burrito filler.

Before our family left for church, I tossed the chicken and the mango into the crockpot. I did forget to spray the sides. Also, I added about a cup of water. Why? Well, before I shredded the chicken I went ahead and drained a good portion of the liquid, along with a bit of chicken, into a mason jar to use as a soup base later in the week.

The slow cooker recipe was a big hit with my group of picky eaters.

Once I make the soup, I’ll share my recipe.

For more information about The Reluctant Entertainer visit Bethany House.

You can also check out Sandy Coughlin’s blog, The Reluctant Entertainer here.

***Disclosure of Material Connection: Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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