Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yes Please


from Goodreads:

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by

from me:
Amy Poehler is brilliant.
I loved this book.

I notice tho, that it got mixed reviews.
I'm not sure why.
I listened to the audio and loved her narration of it.
She's funny.
She's good at being funny.
It's a little bit uncomfortable -- it's very honest in parts.
It was sad in parts.
It made me laugh.

I gave it 4 stars.

Cookbook Countdown #74 -- Crab Pasta Salad and Cookbook Wednesday



Welcome!

Cookbook Countdown #74
 --  In my own personal Cookbook Countdown!
A very slow countdown it is -- 


If you want to see All of my 74 cookbooks, just click on this link.

It was  pretty, sunny day in the middle of February and I was chopping vegetables for this seafood pasta salad and this just looked....inviting...to me.
It's the little things in life....

This is my  74th cookbook!
Recipes and Memories
"A Taste of  Yesterday for Today"
the Romeo Monday Club


A few years ago -- 10 or so --  there was a cooking magazine called Hometown Cooking.
It might have  been published by Better Homes and Gardens
(I don't really have time to look into it--sorry) but it is not being published anymore, or at least not in the format I had subscribed to it when it first came out.
The magazine featured cookbooks from different clubs, organizations, churches, around the country and then gave information on how to order that cookbook. 
I ended up ordering a couple of them... and this is one of them!
And I decided to make this Crab Pasta Salad and some cookies 
(you can see how many sticky notes I have in this cookbook  that I want to try! )
  and invite my friends to come for lunch.




I have no pictures of my friends but I do have a picture of my granddaughter, Emerson, who joined  us for crab salad.
Although hers, I had to heat up in the microwave.  The thought of cold noodles didn't appeal to her. 
Neither did having her picture taken.
(she is wearing stuff from the dress up box.   The felt hat was mine when I was a little girl.  I must have been stylin' as you can tell )


Back to my Crab Pasta Salad
YUM!!
Yum!
YUM!

This cookbook did not disappoint!  It's definitely a keeper, but then, I guess if you are featured in a Better Homes and Gardens publication, it's a given.

It was the perfect  lunch to serve for friends.
Pasta salad
fruit
rolls


Seafood Pasta Salad

1/2 cup salad dressing (I used miracle whip)
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked corkscrew noodles
1 1/2 cups imitation crab-meat
1 cup broccoli flowerettes, partially cooked
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup green onion slices

Combine salad dressings and set aside. Cook noodles until desired consistency and run under cold water.  When cool combine with crab-meat, broccoli, green pepper, tomatoes and green onions. 
Mix with dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.



The second thing I made from this cookbook, were these cookies titled:
BEST EVER COOKIES.

I just had to try the best EVER cookies.

And they were good.
A sugar cookies.
Great with coffee or milk.
And a book, of course.

 I must confess --- and this might creep some people out--- I eat a bit of raw cookie dough myself and this is one of the best cookie doughs ever!
Who doesn't eat unbaked cookie dough? right?
Seriously?   There are those of you out there who don't?
Never mind then.



Best Ever Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond extract

Mix ingredients together, roll dough into 1/2 to 3/4 inch balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass that has been greased and dipped in sugar.
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.




I am happy to join Louise over at Months of Incredible Celebrations today and  link up with


She does such a great job of  keeping us informed of what's happenin' in the food world.
Food History world.
I love, Love, LOVE her nostalgic look back at food trends, food preparations and recipes.


This is from Louise herself:


For those of you who are new to Cookbook Wednesday, the “rules” are simple. Prepare a cookbook post on your blog or site and link it up (at this website). The linky is self explanatory but if you need assistance, just give me a yell. It would be nice if you include the Cookbook Wednesday Logo on your blog and link back to Months of Edible Celebrations but, it isn’t necessary. If you run out of cookbooks to share or just want to change it up a bit, cooking magazines, cookbook reviews and most anything cooking related is fine. We LOVE cookbooks no matter how they are texted. Thank you all again for joining in on the Cookbook Wednesday fun. Be sure and visit the cookbooks linked. Not only will you discover new cookbooks, you will encourage others to share:) Louise:)

She is kind and helpful and nice if you need help linking up or anything.
I think you should!  Link  up that is.
It's fun!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Friday Friend Recipe #44: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Friday Friend Recipe #44:  BBQ Chicken pizza

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.
Which brings me to this... recipe #44

Barb's 
BBQ Chicken Pizza



About 10 days ago, I sent Barb a text and gave her the choice of two of her recipes in the FF cookbook, for me to make.
She said they were both good and 'which one was I going to make'?
I told her she'd have to be surprised!

SURPRISE BARB!!

I made the BBQ Chicken pizza.
It was very good.
The consensus around the table was  -- that it was very  good.

5 people around the table.
5 people said "this is good"

I accidentally bought square pizza crusts and it STILL tasted good.




Barbecued Chicken Pizza
Barbara Brown
Buckeye, AZ

1 lb boned/skinned chicken breasts
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
salt/pepper
8-10 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 10inch baked pizza crusts (like Boboli)
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup diced green chilies
shredded jack cheese
1/2 tsp hot chili flakes

Tear cooked chicken into bite-sized chunks.  Mix with bbq sauce.  Cook bacon.  Spread each pizza crust with  4oz cream cheese.  Spoon chicken in sauce, evenly over crusts. Top with the rest of the ingredients.
Bake at  400F for about  20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Cut and serve.





And now --- on to Barb.
As you know, she very kindly typed up all the recipes in the FF cookbook.
If not for her, I probably wouldn't be doing these blog posts, this countdown.
(because there wouldn't be a cookbook to count down from)
Barb and the Handyman, who said I would never do this. (I'm showing him alright!)
To see all of Barbara's previous recipes


It seems like you can take the girl out of Mexico, but you can't take Mexico out of the girl!



Barb is always on the extreme left.
In the photos, not necessarily her political views.

That could be my fact about her this time.
Barb is not political.
As well as:
She would be the definition of  'live and let live'.
She's a very positive person and laughs All The TIME! 
She makes us laugh.
Laughing is good for the soul = Barb is good for the soul.

Seen here below with the Handyman and I and FF Mitzi (click here for her recipes) and her husband Larry.
At our FF Weekend at Wallowa Lake.
We were having a traveling cocktail party.
The five of us hosted the 1st stop.




I have no idea who these people  are.
Except for Barb on the left.
I really don't.

Hmmmmm....

Barb managed a JCPenney store for many years ( a few of them) (so did the Handyman, that's how we met) and some of her old JCPenney manager friends (women only, I guess) take a yearly vacation.
And that's what they are doing here at the Mariachi Bar!
Vacationing!
This is my best guess.





Termination Dust


From Goodreads:
The virgin landscape along the Yukon River has hardly changed since the gold rush began in 1897. Frostbiting winds slice the rugged terrain, and, like a shroud, the first dusting of snow covers the low hills. Braving thick snow on the Top of the World Highway--where one slip could mean a fall down thousands a cold-blooded killer. His only witness is Jim Hampton, a rugged canoeist whose vacation has abruptly ended. And Jensen's only clue is an 1898 journal--detailing an eerily similar murder--that Hampton discovered on the killer's path


From Me:
This is the 2nd in the series by Sue Henry (the first was Murder on the Iditarod Trail) 

One of the reasons I read series mysteries is because of the sense of place. 
I love that feeling of 'being there' and getting to know the setting.  You can really feel the author's love for where the story is set and I appreciate  that so much--the love of place.  It makes me love it a little bit even tho I've usually never been there, to where the story takes place.
  I truly feel this in Arnold's books-- her love and sense of place.
I also love the character development that a series gives to it's characters, but sometimes you have to be really committed to the whole series to see that play out.

 I  enjoyed getting to know  the main characters Alex Jenson and Jessie Arnold in both books,  this one was just okay. It moved a bit slow for me.

I'm going to give this book 3 stars.
And then say I probably won't read any more in the series.  I just can't play catch up right now.  
So many books, so little time....

**also I can't really make sense out of the Goodreads description.  I think they missed a couple of sentences.  I just copied and pasted that -- but??

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Spool of Blue Thread


From Goodreads:
From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author--now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career--a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family's life. 
     "It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon." This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family--their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog--is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red's father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.


From Me:
I would agree that you enter an Anne Tyler book, you just don't read it.
You get to know and understand and recognize the characters and you can love them even if you don't like them --that happens in families right?
Tyler can make you feel for the characters in her books/stores, just the way you feel for your own family.

But sometimes her stories are very melancholy.  Like, a lot of the time.
I like a good melancholy read tho -- it makes me ponder the meaning of  things; life, love, happiness.

I enjoyed listening to this book.  She had some quirky characters, but if I stepped outside of myself, I can see some of those quirky characters in my extended family. 
And yours.
She's able to capture that honesty in her characters and her writing that keeps me captivated.

I liked it very much.
Still -- if you've read Anne Tyler before, you will understand when I say melancholy, right?
Her books just are.

Saturday Snatpshot




On Wednesday, I shared some photos of our most recent drive out in the country  (see Outdoor Wednesday)  And I had mentioned that there were mines and mine shafts in the hills of Nevada.
 I  think I mentioned that they creep me out!

For Saturday Snaptshot, I thought I'd share  a few more pics of a mine shaft...
.... and see if you don't agree with me, about the creepiness.

This is the landscape I'm talking about:
(you can hardly see it, but that's a cow walking along the ridge)



The Nevada Division of Minerals as well as the Bureau of Land Management has done a good job of fencing the mine shafts in, but there are a few not fenced --considering there are hundreds all over the state, they do the best they can.



It just gives me the heebie jeebies to see a mine shaft.






No one knows where it ends!
I'm even nervous to walk the ground outside of the fencing.
If you fell down there,  you'd be a gonner for sure.




So this is what I'm sharing for Saturday Snapshot.
Let me know if you get the heebie jeebies!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Friday Friend Recipe #43: Green Chili Enchiladas#1

Friday Friend Recipe #43:  Green Chili Enchiladas

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.
Which brings me to this... recipe #43

Shelly's
Green Chili Enchiladas



This is good.
Chicken, cheese, sour cream cheese, salsa, cheese.
Did I say cheese?
How can it not be good?

In the Friday Friend cookbook, I have  8 versions of this recipe.
EIGHT!!
And none of them are exactly the same -- just a tad bit different here and there, so I have to make them all.
Just to be fair too all the cooks, right?

(we are going to weigh 300 lbs by the time I'm done with this cookbook! )
(Better get to walking!)





Green Chili Enchiladas
Shelly Noble
Winnemucca, NV

8 flour tortillas
1 can cr. chicken or cr. mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream (or more)
2 lbs shredded chicken meat
8oz shredded jack cheese (or more)
8oz shredded cheddar cheese (or more)
Optional:  green chilies, black olives, salsa
Mix all and roll into tortillas.
Place in a 9x13 pan, top with cheese.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
(good prepared 1 day ahead)







and now... 
Herrrreeee's  Shelly!  Michelle.  Shel.
(we call her lots of names)
The one who submitted this version Green Chili Enchiladas -- version #1.

Shelly has many recipes in the FF Cookbook.  She probably ranks #2 in recipes in the book as well as blog posts.  
So again, what facts/stories to tell each time, as I have many more to go?

Shelly is an Washington State University Alumni.
Can you tell?

She is also a faithful mother who sits at her son's baseball games each spring.
He's in college now --- but she has sat at many sports games in all kinds of weather, in all kinds of schools (elementary, high school, college), at all kinds of venues.

Spring is cold!  Brrrrr.

To see all of Shelly's recipes so far, click here.
(I know you want to, so go ahead)





I just keep plugging along with my Friday Friend Cookbook.
As I said in one of my recent posts --
--this blog isn't about me doing great original recipes
---it's about friendship!

AND
to see all of my friends and their recipes
click here!







Meatballs part 2


Ta Da!  (I made the Stroganoff)


Just in case you really did turn in from yesterday's meatball post!
I decided on the Russian version of meatball stroganoff.
Although I am not too sure how close it comes to real Beef Stroganoff. 


The Handyman's opinion?
He loved the meatballs.
The sauce?  meh...   he said it was just okay.

I agreed with him.
The meatballs, for how simple they were, were great.
I would make them again (but try to keep them 'round' and not lumpish, as my meatballs tend to be)
The sauce was okay---   2.6 stars.

That's it for now!