Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Food Post--FINALLY! Tropical Shrimp Salad



I have very exciting news!  I used my new oven/stove today for the first time.  (sigh)  I've been waiting so long.

But....it wasn't all that exciting, I just hard boiled some eggs for egg salad sandwiches.   But I could cook if I wanted to!!    Hooray!
Last weekend, before I had my new oven in ....  I made a tasty shrimp salad and a marinade for some BBQ chicken.
I had been going thru my own kitchen/recipe notebooks and came across a bunch of BBQ sauce/marinade recipes that I had printed out a long time ago, so I thought it would be fun thru-out the summer to try them all to see what is a keeper and what I need to toss out.

I'll get to that in a minute, but for now?  The shrimp salad?  Oh man!!  It was good and tasty and a little bit spicy.   My friend April raved and raved about it... when my friend Mitzi made it.   So, I called up Mitzi and got the recipe and made it.  It was so good!  It just tasted so 'fresh'....if that makes sense.



Tropical Shrimp Salad

Shrimp  (you can use salad shrimp or whatever you want.  I used a bigger count and took the tails off)
1-2 mangoes,  diced
1/2 red onion, sliced and in big chunks
1-2 avocados,  diced
cilantro--to taste
peach-mango salsa--to taste,  kind of as the dressing
mixed greens

Mix the 1st 6 ingredients and lay on top of mixed greens.
The spiciness only depends on how how the salsa you get is.  I got medium and I got it from the fresh salsa dept in the refrigerated section)

The Handyman  got the chicken too close to the flame!  That and there is a lot of sugar in this marinade, so it flames really easy.
I will put up a picture, but please, don't judge harshly.



This is BBQ Sauce/marinade #1:
Palm Beach Honey and Glazed Chicken

1/2 cup honey
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 green onion, sliced thin
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp minced seeded jalapeno  --or to taste

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 

Combine all ingredients except chicken.  Place the chicken in a shallow pan.  Pour 1/2 the glaze over the chicken, reserving the rest for basting.  Turn the chicken to thoroughly coat.  Cover and refrigerate for  2 hours, turning the chicken after the first hour.

Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Grill over medium coals about 10-12 minutes, turning once and basting with the reserved marinade. Cook until done.

My notes:  this one is  pretty good. Rich  The Handyman liked it.  I used red pepper flakes instead of a jalapeno.  I also doubled the glaze because I  used more chicken.  I would make this one again....it wasn't very bbq sauce like, but it had a good flavor.


I will end with this pic of the books I bought while on our weekend trip up north to our hometown.  I bought them at the Bookworm.  My favorite little used book store.
The Clive Cussler book is for the Handyman.
The rest are mystery/suspense books.
Except for the Look + Cook book by  Rachael Ray.   I BOUGHT another cookbook.  I need one like I need a hole in the head.   But this really  isn't my fault.  Not my fault but premeditated.  I planned all along on getting this cookbook when I was up north.  Again---not my fault.  
If my friend Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen and Kim from Stirring the Pot wouldn't talk so much about the great recipes they've found in this book....I wouldn't have been tempted.  You should hear them....oh this is sooo good.  Amazing!  Absolute heaven!
What was I supposed to do?
IT'S PEER PRESSURE!!!




Just about one year ago today.... I made this asparagus frittata for brunch.    Sounds good.  Maybe I'll make it again this weekend!  Or something from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Monday, What are You Reading?

We went up to Washington State over the Memorial  Day weekend.  (It's about an 8 hour drive for us---I read three books in the car) and as we were driving home today, I thought to myself that I would write up a post for "It's Monday" tonight and be ahead of the game and could post it first thing in the morning.  
And then it dawned on me....it WAS Monday.  Dang it.
So here I am, coming in last--again.

 It's Monday, What are You Reading
Hosted by Sheila of Book Journey,  is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! D This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!





This past week, was a great week for me, in terms of reading.

On the way up to Washington:



Jane Austen Ruined My Life    by Beth Pattillo
This is a light 'chick-lit' book,  but it flowed well and was easy to read, and.....it the story kept my interest.









Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson           
This YA novel was an honor book f or the Michael L. Printz award for excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2000.
It is on the banned book list, so of course I had to read it.   
I thought Anderson did a good job describing how hard it is to be a teenager in high school.  How cliquish it can be and how if you have a problem, it's easy to feel all alone.
The subject matter deals with rape.  Maybe that's why it made the banned book list.   I'll probably buy it for all my teenage nieces.





The Virgin of Small Plains  By Nancy Pickard
I think I just found my new favorite mystery author!
















this past week, I also had to read for both of my bookclubs.
On Wednesday, for Totally Lit Book Club we read,  The Last Lecture by  Randy Pausch.  We thought it good and inspirational.  "I" thought he was a bit pompous, but you know...... what do I know.  You have to be a go-getter, pompous kind of guy  (he even said as much about himself in his book)  if you write "a Last Lecture" in the midst of terminal cancer.

The most fun thing happened at our Thursday night book club tho....
The Lit Wits.  The Lit Wits read  "Same Kind of different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  It was good, we all enjoyed it, but when we arrived we learned that one of our  "founders"  (for lace of a better word) was in the hospital having her baby!!   We had so much fun.   We ate, drank wine, discussed the book a bit, but mostly we visited, got regular hospital updates and just had a good girl time.
oh..and we didn't know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl.  
A little girl, Harper, joined our book club at a few minutes before midnight, so how appropriate that she was on born on Book Club Night!
Of course, by that time we were all home in bed ---but with our cell phones handy to pass the news via a text message when she arrived.


The Lit Wits is also a "Dinner" Book Club and Eva was running behind as she had been at the hospital earlier waiting for news of the baby.  Her mother told us to  "carry on" with  Book Club.  So we did.

Eva fixed a wonderful  chicken and cheese in pastry braid.



And our book...



And we had a great time waiting for Miss Harper.



Next month I'm SURE she'll be at book club!  After all, she is a book club baby!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA Day #3

Today is the 'interview' day at Armchair BEA.  Where we were supposed to sign up to interview another blogger.

It was really hard to not chirp in with a Tweet on Monday, saying  "me too, me too.  I need an interview buddy".   I didn't because I did not know if I would have  the time...it's  been kind of a crazy  at home and work (renovations/remodels in both places), so instead, I am going to  showcase a few of my favorite bloggers.
(which is okay too....that is the alternative assignment)

My favorite book bloggers, that is.  (I don't want my favorite food bloggers to feel left out)



 Sheila from Book Journey.   I think she will make a lot of 'favorites'  lists. 
I love to go for a walk early in the morning and come home grab my own cup of coffee and sit down at my computer to see what she has written in her Morning Meanderings. And ya gotta admire someone who posts 2x a day, every day!





 Kathy at Bermudaonion.  She comments all the time whenever I write ANYTHING  (plus she has great book recommendations for adults,  YA and children.  I keep track of what she suggests) and I'm not even strictly a book blogger, but more of a random blogger who loves books and food.   Even tho I've never met her, she makes me feel very good about myself.  Almost as soon as I've posted a blog---I hear a little 'ding' for my email and I smile to myself and say  "oh, it's Brermudaonion"  and it always is. 
I'm sure she makes everyone feel as comfortable, but I like to think it's just me.


 Beth Fish Reads.  I love her Weekend Cooking meme/round up.  And I love her reviews too.  She is so prolific and productive.  She makes me tired just thinking about how dedicated she is to reading/books....and....and COOKBOOKS!  She wrote once that she stored most of her cookbooks and rotated them a few times a year, because she has SO MANY.   That made me feel better about my 200 cookbooks.


Those are just a few of the Book Bloggers I read regularly and I love.  It's funny, because between a morning meandering on Book Journey and a Tweet about hot dogs from BEA, I've seen photos of all these  wonderful women having the time of their lives in New York this week.

There are other bloggers, whom I admire, and even more that I've found this week by participating in Armchair BEA.
It's been a fun week!  It'll be fun to follow my new friends too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA Day #2 My Favs for 2011

Yesterday was so much fun---visiting new blogs and learning about new bloggers.  Following Twitter was also a blast--just getting those little snippets of what's going on at BEA.

I don't have anything to give-away today, but be sure and check out the site (Armchair BEA) for some links to great blogs that are doing some give-aways today.

I do have, tho,  my best for 2011 list ready to go!

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown





The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall






Room by  Emma Donoghue




Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by  Tom Franklin




Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult



And....  for my, a personal favorite  Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron.  (if you love a good traditional mystery series, with Southern charm, family ties--this series is for you!)



I really enjoyed all these books, a few I even LOVE.   A few have been controversial,  one is a bit dark, a couple are funny, all have kept my interest and made me 'not want to do anything else" but curl up and read until they are done.   And....leave me wanting more.  I think that is the sign of a good book....not wanting it to end.

I am not linking to any reviews, because there are reviews galore out there...just giving you a taste of what I like to read. What my Favs have been so far for 2011.
Now off to visit other Armchairers to see what they like to read!

Monday, May 23, 2011

So much to Blog about, so little time--oh,and It's Monday, what are you reading?



Since I know Sheila from Book Journey is in New York City for BEA, this will be a short "It's Monday, What are you Reading" post.  Shhhh.....don't tell her, but I have other things to write about this afternoon.
One would be how much fun it has been to read all the introductory posts for Armchair BEA.   I can't wait for the rest of the week and all of our assignments/events.

Before I get too far away from It's Monday, let me list the books I read last week.


I finished   Ten Little Bloodhounds (the one I had started last week) and enjoyed it very much.   Its number 5 in a 6 book series, so....soon I will be done and there will be no more bloodhounds. The author, Virginia Lanier, has passed away.    




And I read "Death of A Butterfly" by Margarot Maron.  This is her 2nd in the Sigrid Harald series.  I love her Deoborah Knott series and it would be bad if I said I was forcing myself to read the Sigrid series, wouldn't it?   I am not forcing myself....they are good.  I just started with Deborah and it's hard to backtrack. ( I love the Deborah Knott Books.)
Why am I bothering, you ask?  Because in November the 17th Deborah Knott book is coming out and she goes to NYC and meets Sigrid.  So, of course I must know all about Sigrid too.  (there are only 8 in that series--6 more to go before November)

Having said all that.... I do like Sigrid.  She is hard to get to know, but once you do, I feel like she will become a good friend of mine.  (that's how I feel about series mysteries)  Sigrid is a Detective in NYC circa 1970, when women in positions of power were new, there were no cells phones and smoking was common place.  It's kind of a fun read since was a teenager circa 1970's.

Next week, I have to read  "Same Kind of Different As Me" by  Ron Hall and Denver Moore, for my Lit Wits book club and   "The Last Lecture" for my Totally Lit bookclub. 
I'll be busy all week.
******************************************************

Now....back to my birds.  
As you know, I went to Spring Wings  last weekend with my friends, the Bird Nerd Herd and they are  waitig paitently for more pictures and more bird blogging.

Yes, I was a newbie at this bird watching thing.  I have been a backyard birder for some time....but to go on a 'tour'?    Sounded kind of weird to me, but I'm game for anything. 
Guess what?  I had THE BEST TIME EVER!
If you care, here is my first post about the weekend  and here is my second post about the weekend.
And now....I have to tell you...
The Rest of the Story 

This is Carson Lake.




In between and all around these ponds, lakes, puddles are county roads.  Dirt roads.  And it's very big (the wetlands known as Carson Lake).  There are roads that go off of any map--that you can't see on  a map.  The water  ebbs  and flows depending on rain and irrigation.  You have to be very careful, because if it has been rainy, a road could be covered, or if you are caught in a rain storm,  a road you might have taken into the wetlands, could possibly be part of a lake when you try to get out.

Here is a map:





and a more detailed map:


On Saturday afternoon,  we sign up for the tour of Carson Lake, hoping to see some good birds.  Jane is our driver.


Jane is in the middle. In blue.

We are so excited.  Over the whole weekend we saw over 50 species of birds.... and on this afternoon, probably 25 of them.    We are beyond excited!  We go off in search of the Yellow  Warbler!   
Jane takes off.  We are a fun group!  Mitzi and Jolina sing.  We are the singing van tour!  (one thing I've learned is that when you travel with Mitzi and Jolina,  you can break out in song at any moment).  We are having a grand time....Jane heads farther and farther out.... and finally   we come to a thicket of trees and lo and behold, there are Warblers!    We also had to contend with a bull, who was mad!    He thought he owned the thicket where the warblers were.  He didn't care for us being there.



This is all fine.  This is all good.  But.... we then have to find our way back thru the maze of roads.  We were late to begin with....but then...then we couldn't find our way out.  We kept going down roads that led to nowhere.  Dead ends.  The sun was setting  (not really, that is literary license to exaggerate), but we were late!  We were also hysterical.  Not in the  "I'M LOST PLEASE HELP ME" kind of hysterical, but   laughing our arses off  kind of hysterical.   We all had to go pee!   We were late.  We were being stalked by a bull. And we couldn't find our way back to the town.   But we were having the best time.

More pictures of our weekend

In the (lost) van.
Pat, Mitzi and Maris



Mitzi and me with our BIG CAMERAS


Maris and Jolina with their little cameras.



Let's go look at birds!!

The Black Ibis



The Long Billed Curlew  (I think)  Or maybe  A Willet


Hot Chicks!   Oh...I mean, me, Jolina and Mitzi.


Black Necked Stilts (my favorite) and Phalaropes



A Snowy Egret



Mitzi took this pic with her BIG LENS.



Most of the time, we all looked like this:





Pretty Birds!








and finally....Our tired hosts.
Who did so much for us! 
Thanks Maris and Tim.





The end.



Welcome Armchair BEA

Book Expo America (sigh) ....I wish I was there.  But this is the next best thing! Armchair BEA.
(for those (4) of you, who read my blog regularly--this week I'm participating in Armchair BEA.   For all of us who couldn't go to the Book Expo America convention in NYC,  today is an introductory post)


At first look, you might think...what the heck? this doesn't look like a book blog, more like a food blog.   Well, this blog kind of has an identity crisis.  Books, food, gardening, bird, etc.    But if you look at it closely, books are  in, out, and all around this blog.  Books go good with food  (especially baked goods).  Books go good with gardening...I mean what's better than having a nice garden to go read a book in?  We hang a hammock and that hammock and a book?  It's HEAVEN, I tell ya, Heaven.   And while lying in that hammock, eating a homemade chocolate chip cookie, (which I have most likely blogged about), besides reading my book, I am noticing all the different birds which come into my backyard.  Books go good with EVERYTHING.

So, there you have it.  That is the introduction to me.  Debbie. I like to read, cook, read, garden,watch birds, and spend time with my grandchildren. I have 9 of them. Oh...and my kids too.  I have 4 of them.

I guess by now you have kind of figured out that I don't 'review' books per se, but I love books more than anything, and so when I found out about Armchair BEA, I thought---why not participate!    Even tho I'm not an official book blogger, I have worked in libraries in the past  and now I'm on the library board in our little rural Nevada town.  I love to talk books.  I belong to  5 bookclubs:
The Lit Wits  (we cook too.  It's a book and cook club)
Totally Lit
Word Shakers on line book club
The Literary Guild
and my church has a quarterly book club that I participate in. 

I think I pretty much read 'across the board'.   If I had to pick a favorite genre, it would be  series mysteries.  I love the character development.   But I read everything.

The BEA organizers wanted us to post a random fact about ourselves.  This is really hard because I think I blab everything about myself all the time.

Ummmm.....  in the fall of  2009, I did the  Susan G. Komen 3Day-60mile walk for breast cancer.  It was the most amazing thing I've ever done.
I've walked in the "Bay to Breakers"  12k walk in San Francisco 3 times.  Also an amazing  thing.  (and so much fun!!)
Last month, I walked in the March of Dimes walk for babies in Sparks, NV.  It was also amazing, because my little twin grandchilren walked (they are 2).  They were born 8 weeks premature, but are now growing and thriving and walking in a 2mile walk.  Amazing!

Walking seems to be a theme of my life also.  I do like to walk.
I  used to watch a women walk and read a book at the same time. Thank goodness we now have Ipod's so we can walk and listen to a book.  But she held a paperback in her hands and walked and read.  She would walk all over town reading while walking.
I thought I would try it. 
It didn't work for me.  It's not an easy thing to do.    Can you do it?

Last but not least.....for a random thing about me.   My license plate on my car says:




That is BOOK LOVER , not book liver.  and yes, I do need to wash my car.

and that is it for this introductory post.   I'll be back later today to participate in  "It's Monday" and to tell more about my birding weekend.  (no laughing, unless you've tried it)
Come back later and check it out.  (much later---like tonight)

My Big Backyard (on Thursday instead of Wednesday)

Because I'm a nerd, I want to see how my backyard changes throughout the year. So! I'm going to take a few pictures of it ea...