Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Post #7, Sunday Soup and My To-Be Read List

This is my Sunday Post #7
The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
I like participating in the Sunday Post, as a way of ......
**I have to disclose that I wrote that earlier in the week, as a  way of trying to be more organized and efficient in getting this Sunday post up.  (you can see how well that went as it is after noon PST already) And now, I have no idea what I was going to say**
I guess I love not having an agenda for a post.  Not Food, not books, not challenges.  I get to just talk about whatever is on my mind.  Of course,  food, books and music are always on my mind.  So with that in mind, I am very excited to have found this:
I'm really excited because  just earlier this week, I had trouble choosing my next book to read--and the Handyman wasn't much help!!  (you can see that post here)  So this meme will help me out with that!
Michelle says:
We sit for hours looking through our TBR lists wondering when we will ever get to that one book we were dying to read when we added it 3 months ago or maybe even a year. As our piles get bigger we realize there is just not enough time in a day to read all the books that we wanted to read. So I had a great idea, pick 3 books from my TBR Pile and have you all pick which one I should read next. This is a monthly MEME and you are more than welcome to join me.
There are of course some rules, but if you want to join in go here to check them all out.
But first..... 3 books from my TBR Pile for YOU to choose:
A stunning new novel of betrayal and forgiveness from the New York Times bestselling author.

Thirty-four-year-old Eleanor Murray is consumed with guilt for causing the accident that paralyzed her sister—and for falling in love with her sister’s husband. But when her boss offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, Eleanor accepts, hoping this good deed will help atone for her mistakes.

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

Winner of the prestigious Loft-McKnight Fiction Award and the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, William Kent Krueger has established himself as a startlingly original voice in thriller fiction. With "Purgatory Ridge" he cements his standing as a suspense writer of the highest caliber.
William Kent Krueger's precise and atmospheric prose, combined with his keen eye for the telling details of small-town life and his vivid sense of the land and seascapes of northern Minnesota, will impress and delight both his old fans and those discovering him for the first time.
This is where I'm supposed to put in  a POLL so you can vote.
BUT.... I am hoping that this month, you can just put a comment in the comment section for me.  Technology and I are acquaintances but, not very comfortable with each other yet. (I don't know that we ever will  be, due to the huge age difference between us).  Okay, I COULD figure it out, but I also have to make an appetizer for a Super Bowl Party and I don't have time to do both, so....forgive me?
I hope I don't get kicked out of this meme on my first try!?
Back to my Sunday Post ramblings---
Super Bowl appetizer. 
I just told the Handyman to be sure and eat some of these hot and sweet sausages I'm making, because I remember the Cheesecake debacle  of 2010!
I  had made a homemade cheese cake and told him to be sure and have a piece, because it IS GREAT!  He gravitated to the host's JELLO cheesecake from a box!!  It looked prettier--as boxy things do.   FINE...mine did have some cinnamon drooling/drooping down the side, but it was FROM SCRATCH!!
He tried to defend himself this morning by saying that he was saving mine for home. More for him that way!
Likely story!!
Watching on TV?  We started Dr. Who.  Just in time for Netflix to quit streaming the episodes.  Because we are always late to the cutting edge of things.  The Handyman started watching "Fear the Walking Dead--I fell asleep.  Not sure why.  I am catching up with Call the Midwife.  I am a season behind.
Song of the week?  I have a very eclectic love of music.  My friend sent me this video and I LOVE IT!!  It's a cover of The Sound of Silence by the Heavy Metal Rock Band, Disturbed.
Here is a link.... because right now Blogger and I are having issues and it will not let me embed it.
I do love this version of the song, but nothing will ever beat Simon and Garfunkle. This is  a very close 2nd tho.
On the blog this week?
The snow is melting---it's supposed to get up into the high 50's by the end of the week!
And now, Some Soup! Because it's Sunday and there should be soup, right?
And a roasted beet salad that was really REALLY  good!!!
Not great pics, but the soup?  OMG!  So good!!

I found this soup in THIS cookbook, which  will mark  #85 in my cookbook shelf.  My TBU cookbook pile  (To be used)

Soup is the best thing EVER!
Cheddar-Corn Chowder with Bacon and Scallions
1 pound uncooked bacon
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 medium red bliss potatoes, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp groud coriander
2 cans (16oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans (16oz) creamed corn
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups heavy cream
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 bunches of scallions, sliced
Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat and add the bacon.  Cooke the bacon until brown and crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside on paper towels to drain.  Discard all but 2 T of the bacon drippings.  Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the drippings and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, stock, cayenne pepper and coriander.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 35 minutes.  Add the whole kernel corn, creamed corn, cheese and cream. Simmer an additional 7 minutes. Season with the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the scallions and crispy bacon pieces.


I wanted to participate in the Read-a-Thon today, but  (sigh) off to a Super Bowl Party I go.
I am hoping they have some great commercials!!
Have a great week!
OH wait.  I have a disclaimer from this previous post:
My son informed me they WERE NOT using the frogs as batting practice. (read the post!)  but rather they were just tossing them back and forth in those hard plastic scooper things. The ones you use to catch a ball with?   And that there was maybe one casualty!
He said that I might as well have called them mass murderers in that post. apologies kids!
NOW, have a great week.
Eat soup, read books, keep warm!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Raven Boys

From Goodreads:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
From Me:
I liked it.  I didn't like it. I liked it again.  I thought--Hmmm, will I continue with the series?  Maybe.  Yes.  No.  Probably.  Probably not.
It was that kind of book for me.
It was good, but maybe I just wasn't in the mood?
Filled with teenage angst and ghosts!
How can one go wrong with that?
I think her writing was good and  in the end it drew me in, so I do want to find out 'the rest of the story'.  (I just don't know how badly or how soon I want to)
3 stars, because I really did like it--don't let my humdrum mood sway you,  if you like YA paranormal, it's really good.
I listened to the audio and Will Patton narrated.  I love his voice and usually like anything he's done and the same goes for this book, except for one female character. It was a little cringe-worthy.  She wasn't a big part and he did other female characters just fine.
Still love his voice.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Friend Recipe #93-- Zucchini Patties

Friday Friend Recipe #93 -- Zucchini Patties
Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.
What is the Friday Friend cookbook: I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 15 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.
Which brings me to this... recipe #93
Zucchini  Patties
I must admit---sometimes I'm at a point where I don't care about what the photographs look like, because these looked and tasted a lot better than they photographed.
It was evening in the winter, dark outside and artificial light inside.
Do I say more?
You get the picture
(and I am amazingly funny with that pun!)
The patties were good.  IF you like zucchini that is.  I did put some olive oil and not Pam in the baking sheet and then... well, I might have left them a bit long and they got crispy on the bottom, BUT, they were really great that way.
I added the cheese, because they were just a bit too healthy for us.  And cheese (as well as bacon and cinnamon) makes everything better! Right?

Zucchini Patties
FF Barbara Brown
Buckeye, AZ
3 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 T grated onion
2 T chopped parsley
1/3 cup parmesan
1 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 cup egg substitute
fine dry bread crumbs 
Heat oven to 350F.  Spray cookie sheet with Pam. 
Squeeze as much liquid as possible from grated zucchini.  Combine it with all but the dry bread crumbs.
Shape into patties and coat with dry bread crumbs.  Place on cookie sheet, spray lightly with Pam and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
*I topped with cheese
*and I coated the cookie sheet with some olive oil.  I didn't feel like being as 'good' as Barb in this recipe.

And now, once again Barbara Brown, the editor of the original Friday Friend Cookbook  (yes, she typed up all 400+ recipes in the first place for me)
Barb has 24 recipes so far--- out of 93.  That's a high percentage.  Don't ask me how high, because that would include me doing math, and... I don't really.
Is you want to check out all of Barb's recipes, just click on the link.
Interesting thing about Barb is that she collects frogs.  Figurines and things.
One time she lived in Monterey, CA--when I first met her. 
We were invited to their home to stay for the weekend, to bring in the New Year.  She and the Handyman were colleagues, managing JCPenney stores in the same district and they liked each other.
I was very nervous.  She had one nice little girl at home, I had three rambunctious boys.
**animal lovers, read no further**
We had a great weekend---it bonded us FOREVER.  We played games and ate good food and brought in the new year.
The kids got along very well --it was just good.
Until one afternoon, Barb's daughter, Kim, came inside and whispered something in her mom's ear.  Barb got up and went outside---of course my intuition knew I had better follow.  It seems that in Barb's backyard, there were 100's of tiny frogs.  Live ones.  They lived right upon a pond or watery path (creek?) that led to the bay, if I remember correctly. Anyway, close enough to water to have frogs.
My boys were.... were..... using the frogs for batting practice.
The. Live. Frogs.
(sigh) I hate to admit that.
Hello, Meet the Stone boys!  Boys will be boys? 
I don't really know what to say, except, how can these sweet little faces (because this is them right around that time)  be frog murderers?
Rest assured, their frog killing time went no further. 
They have went on to have jobs, graduate from college, nice families, hold jobs, make good friends,  and even....EVEN
Have pets of their own!!

This is a photo of Barb and Doug and Kim as we were leaving their home that weekend.  They were probably thinking get the heck out of here!!?
BUT... they did invite us back, so?
It's a good thing  after 25 years she still likes my boys!!
A picture of Barb and her husband Doug....
(at their wedding) 
and now:
(they're still happy, even if they're not smiling!)

 And that's my story!!

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted each week by
This week's question is:
Does your significant other share your reading passion?
My answer is:
Hmmm.  I think the key word is 'passion'.  He reads, but he does not share my passion for it.  He would say he wasn't a 'nerd', but I think perhaps he is.
About 18 months ago, he/we ended up with my dad's Kindle, which has about 55 books on it.  Rich/Handyman started reading them---but not choosing  which ones he would like first, but rather he began  reading them all in a row!  He just started with one and is making his way down the list. 
THAT IS NERDY and not passionate, wouldn't you say?
(hey he called me weird the other day)
Once in a while he will come upon a book that he's already read and he just passes it and goes to the next one in line.  It's a good thing he and my dad had similar reading tastes.
Another example of reading passion---
when we go on a vacation, he takes 1 book. One.   I take the one I'm reading, the one I want to read next and then a spare, just in case I don't like the next one, or am not in that mood at the moment.  Then I also take a non-fiction and a cookbook or two to glance thru.
(This of course is if we are taking a road trip---Nevada is long and wide and we often spend hours in the car and I am lucky enough to be able to read in a car.)
So, yes, he does like to read, but no, he doesn't share my PASSION for it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Month of Letters and Outdoor Wednesday

It's #lettermo!

The month of letters, in which if we feel so called to take up the challenge, we are to mail a letter, postcard, note-card each day of this month. Excluding Sundays and Presidents Day, so that means we have to mail 24 days this month.
24 things.

My friend Shelly exclaimed TWENTY-FOUR!  That's a lot!
I didn't feel it was too bad.
In fact, I tend to 'overload' because I like to write letters anyway.
February 1st - 2 postcards
February 2nd -- 2 letters and one Thinking of you card
February 3rd-- 1 notecard, 5 letters.

I should pace myself, huh?
I just love real old-fashioned letter writing.

I think I've told this story before, but my daughter-in-law was holding meeting one time, and in that meeting there was a mother (senior citizen) and a daughter (middle aged), and the mother  was talking and said  "I got a letter from Nelva yesterday..." and the daughter looked annoyed and said,  "MOM, you live next door to Nelva!"

BUT, I want to be those weird old ladies.
When I get old that is!
Right now I just want to send YOU a letter.  
Seriously!   If you want a letter, email me your address, I'll do it.
I love  #lettermo
Something fun to do in this bleak, dark COLD dreary Mid-winter.

On Wednesdays I'll sometimes join A Southern Daydreamer and her Outdoor Wednesday meme to share some pictures.
Stop by and check out other great photos of the outdoors!

Just thought I'd share a couple of pictures that I need right now.
I live in the desert. I love the desert. I'm a desert rat, but I also grew up here. (look up)  (up on the screen silly---if you are looking at the ceiling right now, well,that's just weird!)
I spent my summers running wild--back when you could run wild without parental supervision--at this lake.
And I really need it right now.
I need to rejuvenate!
The desert is ugly in winter
AND  it's cold and I'm tired of winter.
I need a good GREEN spring at the lake!
We went up to our family cabin in May last year and it was green, Green GREEN!

This place has my heart!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph

Today is Tuesday--- which means I'll be joining up with Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea and her First Chapter, First Paragraph
Tuesday Intros, 
Where,  bloggers post the first paragraph of a book they are thinking of reading --- and get everyone's opinion to see if it grabbed them from the beginning or not.
Click here to join the fun!

The first time I died was the summer I turned seventeen. I remember the air being so hot you could smell the pluff mud baking in the sun, the scent sulfur-sweet and strong enough to curl your toes, the tall stems of sweetgrass listless, their tips bowed in submission.  Blood sat like melted copper in my open mouth as I rose above my broken body, splayed like a rag doll beside the dirt road.  Let me go, I thought as I hovered, weightless.  But  I felt the pull of a gossamer thread of conscience and retribution that tethered me to this earth.  Before I heard the screams of the sirens and my mother's wailing, I knew I wouldn't stay dead for long.


I think I will keep reading it!

The other night when I had finished a book, this one was in the  pile of 4 from me to choose from! 
I posted this pic that night:
(I wanted help choosing)

I always ask the Handyman for some help choosing a new book to read because it's sometimes hard to me to pick--there are so many I want to read!  But, as usual, the Handyman walks by and taps the first one in line.
(Along the Infinite Sea was first in line, )
but I even asked him if I could read the first paragraph to help him better help me!
Hey--it works for this meme, right?

He said no thank you.
And just looks at me and shakes his head!  
And said....AND SAID that.... said that, "I was weird".

Can this  marriage be saved???

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!
I was in such a hurry last night to get the last 2 books of January posted that I feel I just did this--telling you what I was reading.
I read 11 books in January--it's always my biggest reading month, perhaps its the snow?  I wish I could keep that up all year long--I have so many books in my TBR pile. 4:53pm yesterday, I finished this book:
Then the dilemma began (as it always does)  I don't know what to read next!!!
I posted this on Facebook and Instagram asking for help:
People just 'liked' it and didn't help me decide!!
The Handyman came home and I asked him to help me and he---just tapped the very first book--he didn't even take time to look at them, if you can believe it!!  Just tapped "Along the Infinite Sea".
I fretted and worried and was undecided for another couple of hours...(actually I was making dinner and cleaning up) checked Facebook (no help there friends) and finally, decided around 8:30 (whew, that's a long time to be without a book) to take the Handyman's advice and go with "Along the Infinite Sea", which happens to be the book about another sister from Beatriz Williams, trilogy.  It's not exactly a sequel to Tiny Little Things, but it's kind of is.
So here is what I'm reading this week:

And on audio:
And that's what I'm reading this Monday!
What about you?