Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Friend Cookbook Recipe #5, Cherry Dump Cake

I know that everyone has made a 'dump' cake, and that this is nothing new, but...it is number 5 in my FF cookbook countdown. (YAY!)  

I remember the first time I tasted this tho...I thought it was delicious.  Just so yummy!  I had to have the recipe, so my good friend Susie Taylor gave it to me.
Sometimes I get so busy trying to make new trendy things, I forget how good something old and trendy ---for it's time and for home cooks---tasted.
This is one of those things....




Susie Taylor.  Hmmmm....  if I were counting down in order of how long I've known each of my 50 Friday Friends,  Susie would be counted as my 2nd oldest friend  (some family not included of course).
We met when we were 17.  Both of us worked at JCPenney.  She was on the "Fashion Board",   I wore a green and navy blue polyester uniform and worked in the snack bar.  (yes, JCPenny's had snack bars once upon a time).  But that is not the reason we met.  We met because our boyfriends (who also worked at JCPenney) were roommates.
Long story--short version.   We married those roommates and have remained close, close friends ever since.   We did a short stint as  Ricky and Lucy and Fred and Ethyl  ---living in the same apartment building.  Altho it was  a duplex and we shared a bedroom wall.  
I am still married to my JCPenney boyfriend, she is not. (but it's okay.  Everything works out in the end)

She is my children's Godmother---their Aunt Susie
Cooking is not her thing, but when I tasted this dump cake for the first time, I thought it amazing.  Just like her.  We've shared many, many adventures in the past 37  years.



*(notice my cool coffee cup?  It's the Best of Coffee cups, it's the worst of coffee cups.  It has the greatest 'first lines ever' of classic novels on it)

Cherry Dump Cake

2  16 oz. cans cherry pie filling
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 sticks real butter

Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam.  Dump in pie filling. Sprinkle dry cake mix over filling.  Do the same with the coconut and nuts.  Melt the butter and pour over the top.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or just plain is good too.





And now, I give you Friday Friend,  Susie Taylor  with husband Kelly,
and...oh....there is a story about the Elf Ears.  Will explain later.
And it's a side view picture.  People had side view pictures of themselves (sorry Suze), but the elf ears will come into play, and it's a big, big cookbook, so there will be another picture of her somewhere down the line)




2 book clubs in 1 (post)

I have two book club stories in one.  (well 2 posts in one rather)
As you know, I love them.    Enough said.

I did do something stupid the other night tho....  I let one book club 'bleed' into another.   I went to pull the questions for Blue Asylum out of my bag, and I had left the questions for "I am Malala" in there.  Had no idea what I'd done with the correct set of questions.   The nice thing is,   that in this day and age, someone with an Ipod just popped open the questions and we carried on.

It happens a few times a year, when  a couple of my book clubs meet in the same week---this was one of those weeks.  Best weeks of the year for me.


Totally Lit---our annual Miss Hot Dish election!  (where we all bring a casserole, dish to pass, hot dish to share, and elect a winner!)







Lit Wits---just our regular meeting, where we eat dinner, have lively book discussions and laugh a lot.




Yes, that is toilet paper they are holding.    
I saw this ice breaker, where you pass around a roll of toilet paper and just tell people to  'take what they need' and pass it on.

I can tell you they all looked at me rather funny...
then we went around the room and had to tell an interesting or little known fact about ourselves according to how many sheets of toilet paper we took.
10 sheets = 10 facts.
etc.

Some took just a few, but Robin and Nicole?
Way too much! (or so they thought.  It was fun to see what arcane facts they could come up with about themselves---ones we didn't already know)






As I said above,  best times ever!

Oh.... our books?  What did we discuss?






Both of them we would recommend. 
Without reservations!

Have a happy reading week!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie #10





Another in the search for the perfect Chocolate Chip cookie.
This one made with oil.  
I thought...OIL?    What the heck!  I love the taste of butter!  I love the crispy little bite you get with butter (but am searching for that chewy center).  Who needs oil?!   (sigh)  but I was determined  to do as all recipes said.
It came together quick and the dough tasted good  (don't you always taste it? I do.)

I had to cook the cookies more than the suggested  7-8 minutes.  I always do, because we are high in altitude.  So I wrote increase the baking time to 10 minutes OR increase the temp to 375F.   I did both because there were about 4 cookies sheets worth of cookies.

In my cookbook, I wrote that the cookies were dry but had a good taste.  I can't really explain what I meant about 'dry'---they were soft but not buttery.  I wrote NOT,  next to where it said "soft and chewy".
But then,  the next morning, the morning after I first made them,  the Handyman said,  "these are good cookies",  so I had one again. And then another and then another.  They were SOFT ----but not like a cake cookie, but they had a soft and chewy texture.  They were GOOD!!

They are a keeper!  

Oil.  Who knew?


I will have to change my notes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Oil

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used one cup)
3/4 cup chopped walnut pieces (optional)

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt;  set aside.
Combine both the sugars and oil thoroughly using an electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla, and beat well.  Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating the dough well after each addition of flour.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Place heaping teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350F for 7-8 minutes


First Chapter



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea,  hosts  First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where we share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book we are reading or thinking about reading soon. Care to join us?


I'm pretty excited because when I finish,  Blue Asylum, today ( a book I have to read for book club on Wed. )  I get to read a book JUST FOR FUN!
Not that I don't enjoy every single book I read for book club---I enjoy reading and getting together to discuss---it's just that my own personal TBR list is slow going.  (I should stop joining book clubs, I guess.  4 is enough)

So, here is the First paragraph of the book I am going to start reading this week:

I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K.  It was on a Friday afternoon at the tail end of a Georgia summer so ungodly hot the air felt like it had all been boiled red.  We were both staring down the barrel of an ancient, creaky .32 that could kill  us just as deadly as a really nice gun could.

What do you think? Would you keep reading? 
I will---like I said above,  I am very excited to start:


I had wanted this to be my first book of 2014, but somehow it will be 6th.   It's that old saying:  Life Happens.  (and I was in Washington State unexpectedly when the new year began and this book was here in Nevada.)
So, excited!!!   

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Blogger Hop - 1/24 - 1/30




Book Blogger Hop



I'm not ever sure that I'm supposed  to be doing this  "Book Blogger Hop" as I am not a 'full time' Book Blogger....but I'm about  50%, wouldn't you say?   BUT  I love books.  And I love to answer random questions, so...  here I am.

The Question of the Weeks is:
Do you think you will ever read every book in your TBR stack?


my answer is:

SURE!   If, I never buy another book as long as I live and I live a long healthy life for the next 30 years, I'll get it done.  I know it!

Ha!   As a self-proclaimed bookworm, I think it would be HELL to never buy another book.  Of course, there is always the library... but sometimes (most times) a person just has to have the book on their shelf.  I, for one, cannot have an imaginary TBR list that lives in my head.   This is also why I prefer a 'real' book over the ones on my Kindle.  I like to hold them and touch them and see them.  If they are on my Kindle I can't see them.  I don't like that.  Although I do use the Kindle for travel and when I want something really fast.

The Handyman is just reading his first book on his 'notebook'.  He says....it's just okay.

Being the book nerd that I am, (or maybe just a nerd, because this is not so bookish)  a couple of years ago (2012) I decided to do one book club  with the 'real' books, one with the Kindle and one on audio.
Still didn't make  dent in my TBR pile.

This weekly feature--Book Blogger Hop---is brought to you  by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  You can check it out there to see what other book bloggers and semi-book bloggers  have answered.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Cooking--Cowboy Caviar, Friday Friend Recipe #4


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to visit her site,  grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.



Also linking up with my favorite Louisiana friend, Michelle at Ms. enPlace and her Potluck Party.
Her great grandpa said See ya in the gumbo! 
instead of "good-bye."
It means see ya out there in the mix.

Gumbo is a mix of various ingredients.  
And no two people make it the same way.
To "make a gumbo" means much more than cooking.  When someone says "I'm making a gumbo," it means family and friends are invited.

 Ms. enPlace



I have a homemade notebook, cookbook which includes recipes of my friends (The Friday Friends) and I making my way thru it, making every single recipe.
This is not a fancy cookbook, nor are the recipes fancy, but they are some that people make every day and eat on a regular basis.  Some are old family favorites, some are new finds, some are trendy, some are vintage, but they are one's my FF's love.

This recipe is for an appetizer, Cowboy Caviar, turned in by my sister-in-law, Meghan Stone.  Meghan has always LOVED to cook and entertain  (this is not true of all my Friday Friends---some turned in recipes under duress).
Meghan even has a small catering business, where she cooks and delivers meals to busy families:
Our concept is to provide families with delicious, homemade meals delivered to your doorstep. With sports, school projects and other activities, a lot of families find themselves grabbing food on the run. It is our goal to provide with you with healthier choices, while still paying about what you would for takeout. Most dishes can be reheated within 30 minutes, some even faster on your stove top.

It is called MaKeefe's and you can find it here.  (really, click on it and check it out.  I am so proud and envious of her!!  She's one of my favorite relatives ever!)  And her daughter?  My niece?  She loves to cook on her own, as seen here.

But first, before I give you the cowboy caviar,  I will show you the Friday Friend Cookbook,  compiled and edited by ME and typed and published by Barbara Brown.  (I crack myself up---but it really was compiled by me and typed up by Barb)




See?  Not fancy at all, just a little blue notebook binder.   But like I said above, filled with tried and true recipes from people I love.

Now, on to the Cowboy Caviar  (I think you can decipher the recipe from the photo, right?)
This is so, so, SO good.  It can truly be a meal.  We say it's an appetizer to eat with chips, but I've seen people just take a spoonful or two to eat like a salad.
My friend Robbie,  was just scooping it up on a cucumber the other night. She loved it and I  know you will too.  It is just so fresh and light and ----GOOD.
The black beans and avocado and corn!  Yummy!!








and now I present Friday Friend: Meghan  Stone (one of my FAV sis-in-laws) with her husband Mike.  (not sure why she has  a tiara on?  Her birthday maybe?)




I am Malala

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was an interesting read.  Such complicated history there.  The question remains---even tho the story of Malala has raised awareness in  America and the rest of the world, can one girl really make a change?


View all my reviews


We were all (the UMW--United Methodist Women book club) glad we read this book, and the consensus was that we all liked it.  Or thought it was interesting or we were glad we read it.  
Can one girl really change the world?  That was the discussion this morning----we agreed that one person can bring awareness to a subject, but people need to join up to help get things really changed.
There were some really deep discussion questions brought up:
Would you be brave enough to stand up for what you believed in?
Why do you think the Taliban is growing stronger still?
What do you think makes 'women' so scary to men in the middle east?
Why do the 'oppressed' become the oppressor (after gaining their freedom)?  (It has happened a lot thru-out history)

We all agreed that Malala is a very brave young woman, but give credit to her father for being an independent thinker.  He believes that his country will stay ignorant if not educated...both boys AND girls.
He instilled that thinking to his daughter and it is carried on by her.

It is a 'recommended' book.

A picture of my UMW bookies...(minus me, who is taking the pic)   now I have photo proof of all my book clubs!



Saturday Snapshot


Our oldest son lives in Arizona and we travel there a couple times a year from Northern Nevada.  We used to have to travel over the Hoover Dam,  As did everyone who went that way.  Most times it was slow going, one lane and security checks over Hoover Dam.  But then they built a new overpass, as you can see here in this photo.  (in the process of building it four years ago)
I thought it was so high I would be scared to DEATH when we crossed it. 
The truth is---it IS very high---frigging frackin'  (my new words to mean extra very) high!
But when we took the new road, you are over it before you know it AND you can't see down, so you can't be afraid. 
It's just like driving down the highway.
It was very anti-climatic for me.  I was ready to be blown away with height fright.
The Handyman said, "we're over it"
I said,  "That was it?"

The last photo is of the Handyman looking down at the Colorado  River from Hoover Dam, with the construction of the new road in the background.
We are kind of obsessed with rivers, he and I.  


I am sharing today with  Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads who hosts Saturday Snapshot.

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a link at West Metro Mommy Reads.   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.





Friday, January 24, 2014

What makes a bookworm?






So, what do you think makes a person a 'bookworm?'
I have a good friend who is a reader.  She reads faster than me and she reads a lot.  But she doesn't LOVE her books.
She reads all the time, but when I asked her yesterday what she was reading, she said,  "Oh, I'm reading something I left at home...I can't remember the name of it."

SERIOUSLY??

She said,  "I just finish one and then on to the next."   
"I don't keep them, I give them to my  mom, who then passes them on to my aunt."

She doesn't keep ANY books.  But yet, she loves to read.  But, she can't remember what she is reading.  But, yet she reads more than me.

Hmmm.   She is a borrower, while I am buyer.  Of books, I mean.

I try to tell her how much I LOVE books, but she doesn't get it.  She said, if I had as many books as you, it would drive me crazy...just another thing to clean.

I love her.  I just don't understand her relationship with books.

How about you?  Do you have a friend like that? 
How do you define the term 'book worm?"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hot Chocolate vs Hot Cocoa



Because I had nothing better to do today, I decided to compare and contrast hot cocoa and hot chocolate.  I always thought (tho I should have known better) that the terms were interchangeable.  Of course, this is not true.  Cocoa and Chocolate are two different things.
I found this comparison article in an old (December 2007) Fine Cooking magazine I have   (I don't have the magazine--I don't keep them THAT long-- but I tore out the article and stuck it in my recipe notebook.
The article states that:  Cocoa is by no means a lesser product than chocolate.  On the contrary, it's a purer form of chocolate  (who knew?). 
and then  blah blah blah blah blah blah, So ounce for ounce cocoa powder packs a bigger punch of chocolate flavor because you're getting more cocoa solids and less cocoa butter.

It was a fun experiment to do.  Very tasty.
Here are my findings:

The hot chocolate was like drinking melted chocolate.  It was very thick. Or thicker than  Swiss Miss out of a packet anyway.
The Hot chocolate was rich.  Like a warm dessert.  It's all that cocoa butter.

The hot cocoa was very chocolaty, but not too rich.  Neither of these were very sweet tho, which surprised me.  If I were doing from scratch again, I would probably add another tablespoon of sugar to the cocoa pan.  And a dollop of whipped cream on each!  

I liked them both, as did my daughter-in-law (I made her drink/taste both), but where as she liked the hot chocolate best, I kinda went for the hot cocoa.
Neither was hard to make, and just took a few minutes from start to finish.
The truth is tho....I am not a purist and I would probably just grab a packet of Swiss Miss instant cocoa, but make it with milk (never water!) and be happy.
And then there is no pan to clean up!    We like what we are used to, don't we?
You'll have to decide for yourself. 

Can you tell which one is which just by looking at the photos?
The one on the left is the hot chocolate, the right, with the marshmallows is the cocoa.




Classic Hot Cocoa
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 to 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk

Put the cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.  Pour in  1/4 cup of the milk and whisk continually until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.  Pour in the remaining milk and whisk to combine.  Set the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking frequently, until hot, 4-5 minutes.
For best flavor, do not let the cocoa boil. 
Serve hot, topped with mini-marshmallows, if you like.

Rich Hot Chocolate
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 Tbs granulated sugar  (chocolates vary in sugar level, so feel free to add another tablespoon if necessary)
pinch of salt
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Put the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Cook, whisking frequently, until the sugar is melted, about 2 minutes.  Continue to cook until the milk nearly reaches a boil, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes more.
Turn off the heat and add the chocolate to the pan.
Whisk constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.



It's Monday...What Are You Reading?

Labor DayLabor Day by Joyce Maynard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

( 3 stars does not mean it's bad.)  I did like it!!  Someone once said to me, "I'm sorry  you didn't like it, you only gave it 3 stars"  But the truth of the  matter is,  out of the 537 books I have on Goodreads, I've only given 3 or 4 a Five-Star rating, and  I would have given it a  3+ if there were such a rating.    I like coming of age books, which is what I feel this was.  Nostalgic and heart-felt.    I would recommend it to my friends!  I can't wait for the movie. 
I did a quick email to all of my book clubs to see if any one in them wanted to do a "Books to Film" book club this year.  We would all read the books on our own and then go see the movie together if it comes here.  (Notice I said IF and not WHEN?  It's a small town in the middle of nowhere)
I guess I didn't have enough book clubs in my life!

View all my reviews

Yesterday I started reading,  "I am Malala".   I am finding it very interesting so far.  I have to finish it by Saturday morning for the UMW book club and then start on Blue Asylum which we will be discussing on the 29th at the Totally Lit book club. 

So, that's what I'm reading this Monday and the rest of the week... what about you?


Doesn't this look like a wonderful place to be?  A comfy chair by a bookshelf?  And of course,  a cup of coffee to seal the deal!

Go check out Book Journey to see what everyone is reading this week.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekend Cooking and Chocolate Chip Cookie #9


The Search goes on.....



.....for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  This is  #9 in my search.  For the most part, I am making my way thru this book (the one in the photo above), but am also adding any recipe I find for a ch chip cookie that speaks to me.  (it will say, I'm GOOD.  TRY ME.  Or the blogger/owner of the cookie recipe will say BEST EVER! )

I still haven't found that perfect cookie.   My mom's is the perfect one.  And to be perfectly honest,  I am very, very slow when it comes to making my way thru a cookbook, but I guess slow and steady wins the race.   This recipe  was okay.  I mean, how can you go wrong with  butter and sugar and chocolate chips?  So, it was okay--the cookies got crunchy after a day.  Some people love hard and crunchy  (my father-in-law) and some people love cake-like cookies (my husband, the Handyman) but I love crispy when you bit into them and chewy on the inside.  These cookies my father-in-law would love!  The Handyman, while he didn't love them, has been eating them because, like I said above, you can't really go wrong with butter, sugar and chocolate chips.  

Here is a poem by William Steele --

They're made out of sugar and butter and flour;
    You put 'em in the oven about a quarter hour,
But the thing that gives 'em their magic power
    is the chocolate chips inside.

You can't eat one; you can't eat two;
    Once you start chewing, there's nothing to do
But clean your plate, and eat the crumbs too,
    then go and find some more.

If you want to make a friend,
    you don't need beauty or money to spend
Give 'em all your love, but be sure to send
    Some chocolate chip cookies too! 




Chocolate Chip Cookies 
from the book "The Search for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie" by Gwen Steege.
Page 40

2 cups plus 4 T flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup butter or margarine, softened till almost melted
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Sift flour with baking soda and salt. Add sugars, eggs, vanilla and butter. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, placing cookies about 2 inches apart.   
Bake at 375F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.
Remove to wire racks to cool.




I am linking up to Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish  Reads.
Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Snapshot

The desert has wonderful sunsets.  But I guess you have to give and take----we don't have trees to block our view.

I just thought this was pretty as I was driving home from work.  I stopped at the park down at the end of our street.

I'm linking up to Saturday Snapshot.







Friday, January 17, 2014

Crazy Question Answers


Sheila from Book Journey asked these crazy questions this morning..


Half Marathon Questions....

Any advice from runners out there?
Is it crazy to do my first BIG run in Minnesota in February? (Probably do not need an answer to this one... ;) )
What is the longest distance you have run? (and yes to the bathroom does count)

Flowers In The Attic questions...

Have you ever read this book?
Have you read the new release of it?
Are you planning on seeing the Lifetime movie?
What snacks do you plan on eating if you are? :razz:


These are my crazy answers:
I am not a runner, so I can't give running advice. Although in 2002 I went to the New York City Marathon with my friend Stella who is a runner and was running in the marathon.   I cheered her on.  Afterwards we went to the top of the Empire State building ----it was very late at night, her feet were sore.   Her toe bled.  Out of her toenail.  It was not pretty.
We took the elevator to the top of the  Empire State Building.  (actually they don't let you take the stairs)  and on top we ran into someone who knew us from California. 
How weird is that?

I think it's crazy to do a marathon in Minnesota in February.  Or March, or August for that matter.  Your toes could bleed!!

I ran in the Stone Family Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving.  It was a family  run around the block.  So, I made it around the block. 
BUT---walking I can do.  I did the  3day/60mile walk 4 years ago.
And I am planning on doing the Columbia Gorge Marathon (1/2 marathon) walk this October.

I have read Flowers in the Attic, but it's been years ago.  I think i was in High School.   
I want to see the movie.  I will probably DVR it.

Snacks?  Hmmmm..... perhaps I'll have this.  Or this.

Cookbook #63 and Pina Colada Zucchini Bread






Trying to work my way thru my 250 cookbooks but in this cookbook, I could be bogged down for quite some time.  I have bookmarked about  30 recipes that I want to try.  How can one go wrong with  Taste of Home Award Winning recipes?
The first thing I made was this quick zucchini bread.  Zucchini/coconut bread. Zucchini/coconut/ pineapple bread.
I know the coconut will be a turn off for a lot of people, but  if you do like it, you'll enjoy this bread.

The end.  I mean...what more can I say about the bread?  Great for a snack. Great for breakfast.  It was very moist.  Very good.  Award winning, I would say!

I am going to link this to my Cookbook Countdown.  You could check it out and see all of the cookbooks I've used so far.
I go long periods without updating the cookbooks I use, so I'm going to try for at least 2x a month not 4x a year.  
A new year resolution!





Pina Colada Zucchini Bread
from the Taste of Home Winning Recipes edition

4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 tsp each, coconut, rum and vanilla extracts
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup canned, crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1.  Line the bottoms of three greased and floured 8x4 inch loaf pans with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and extracts. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the zucchini, pineapple and walnuts.

3.  Transfer to prepared pans.  Bake at  350 for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Gently remove waxed paper.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doctor Sleep

On Tuesday night, my little library book club met...at the library, of course... and we discussed "Doctor Sleep" by  Stephen King.

I loved it.  I love his character development and his  'good vs evil' themes.

In this little book group,  most of the ladies are over 60  (not all , but most),  2 are sisters, 2 are retired teachers, 2 of them never like any book we read,  and only 2 of us like  Stephen King.  One of the sisters mentioned, when I said I love King's character development and his descriptions, that she thinks he repeats himself again and again and again.  She said she read the first 1/4 of the book, skipped to the last 1/4 of the book and she still knew what happened.

Is that true of Stephen King?  Does he drag on?



I don't think so---I think it's all very important.   
The book also bothered some in the group--when King describes torture, which I thought was not overly bad, it was really only  2/3 of one page.  It was important to the story, I felt.

In this book club, we keep a notebook where we  make note of important comments and then, after the discussion, we each have to  "recommend"  "recommend with reservations"  or "not recommend" the book for that month.
Even for the 2 of us who LOVE Stephen King, we recommended with reservations.   Those reservations were that  "people who love Stephen King, LOVE Stephen King,  those who don't won't like the book".
I also have a reservation about how much he uses sex in his books. Sometimes it seems a little over the top.
I just pretend he is speaking Russian when it gets too much for me and move on... because when all is said and done, I do love Stephen King.

This is a photo of my little Library Book club.