Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Route

Gale Sears was a good friend/mentor as I grew up. Since I have moved away, I started to notice her name popping up on books. I decided to give her book The Route a shot. Here's the book's description:

"Carol, a middle-aged wife and mother, is pondering the meaning of life. On a trip to the grocery store to find some energizing dark chocolate, she sees a sign asking for volunteers to deliver meals to the elderly. When Carol decides to take a chance and help out, she's in for a life-changing-and route-altering-experience."

MY REVIEW: This story,although fictitious, is based off of Gale's experience volunteering at the Meals on Wheel program. The story follows Carol as she visits her elderly "customers" each Thursday.Although this book is a quick read, I am very impressed at the emotion depth Gale portrays in her book. As a volunteer, I know the feelings of eagerness and doubt you feel. I have also felt the sadness that comes seeing the lonley lives people live. Its a tough reality check but I really enjoyed it.

Butter Browned Cauliflower ( AKA Burnt Cauliflower)

This is a family recipe that dates back to before I was born .... probably. It's the only way I'll eat cauliflower. I'm sure it's full of fat but it's tasty! The true name for it is probably just fried cauliflower but I like it went it's burnt so I renamed it.

Burnt Cauliflower
1/2 half cauliflower broken up
4 T butter (or as needed)
1/8 C Water (or as needed)

Place all ingredients in non-stick pan or skillet. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently. Dish should be ready after about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. I like to cook it a few extra minutes and get nice burnt pieces because they taste the best in my opinion.

Here are the results:

A Playdate With Death

While visiting Mexico, I brought along a few books to read while lounging in the sun. A Playdate With Death by Ayelet Waldman was a book I randomly picked from the library, the only criteria was that it was a mystery.

Here's the books description as found found on the author's website:

"No one ever said motherhood was a walk in the park, but Juliet Applebaum is doing her best. She's been showing up (more or less) on time to pick up her daughter from preschool. She's trying (in vain) to discourage her two-and-a-half-year-old son's interest in firearms. And between planning playdates and playing dress up, she's even managed to fit in some much-needed kid-free time, working out with a personal trainer at the local health club. It's going well. She's losing weight. She's even happy—until her trainer commits suicide.

A charming, cheerful aspiring actor, Bobby Katz seemed to have it all—and Juliet just can't believe he died at his own hand. She suspects that there's a much more sinister explanation—and that it may lie with Bobby's parents, who never told him he was adopted. Or with his grieving fiancĂ©, a recovering addict who just fell off the wagon. Or with his birth mother, a woman he had recently started to look for—who had gone to great lengths to ensure that she would never be found. Always up for a task that will get her out of the house, Juliet keeps running down secrets—until, at last, she runs into the truth…"

MY REVIEW: What a "blah" book. Sure there are twists and turns, but really there's no action, just some plot you have to figure out, that of course you can't with the information you've been given, until the very end. Let's not forget the whole " I am woman, I can juggle everything" theme that seems be very prominent through the entire book. Overall, not a big fan and I don't plan on reading anymore from this author. It was fun and interesting to randomly pick a book though!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Provincial Tomatoes

I HATE whole, fresh tomatoes! That said, I'll eat tomatoes any other way. I found this recipe a few years ago and fell in love with it. It's not really an appetizer as it is a side dish. I usually add a little bit of mozzarella cheese (instead of asiago) to hold the toppings together.

Provincial Tomatoes

2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons dried parsley

1.Preheat your oven's broiler.

2.Place tomato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, season with a little salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Mix together the Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, bread crumbs and parsley; sprinkle over the tomato slices. Drizzle a little bit more olive oil over the top.

3.Broil for 5 minutes, or until the top is golden and toasty.

Here are the results:

Chicken in the Headlights

While on our vacation to Mexico (see previous post) we needed something to listen to in the car. Chicken in the Headlights by Matthew Buckley was a hilarious book! Here's the description on the back on the CD cover:

"What are a mother and father to do with SEVEN rambunctious boys under the age of eleven? For the Buckleys, the days are filled with running, yelling, food, wrestling, and burping- even through family home evening. Every night culminates in an epic bedtime battle.
When the school year ends, however, Mom and Dad decide to harness some of their boys' apparently inexhaustible energy and buy some goats and chickens for them to take care of While they are initially thrilled with the 'responsibility,' the boys soon learn that it's far tougher - and far funnier for the reader-than it appears.
If you've ever spent any time around boys, this hilarious and occasionally touching story will have you laughing 'til it hurts and fondly remembering some of your own childhood adventures."

I thought it was funny, but my husband was constantly rolling on the floor laughing his guts out! He grew up with lots of boys in the family and I think it hit close to home. It was a good, CLEAN read that makes you laugh. I would highly suggest it, and we're currently reading the sequel Bullies in the Headlights.

Mexico Trip

One of my most favorite hobbies (and probably most expensive) is traveling! I've been all over the world and now I enjoy going different places with my travel-deprived husband. Sorry about my hiatus from blogging, I was out of the country, literally. Here's some pictures!

Here's the beach where we stayed. As you can see, we pretty much had it to ourselves!

Our turtle friend at the aquarium! It was so cool!
A whale skeleton!
We had a great time!