Saturday, April 30, 2016

You are invited to join The Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew in May (#thebookclubcookbookcc)

I am stepping in this month to host another round of The Book Club Cookbook CC to help out Danielle of Mostly Food and Crafts who was the scheduled host.  Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.  It happens to us all so when it does we step in and help each other out.

For those of you who are wondering what the heck I am talking about, let me explain.  Our friend, Cam of Culinary Adventures of Camilla invited 11 of us to join her on a year long journey working our way through the Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.  We each chose one of the books that had been used in developing this cookbook and a month that we would like to host.  Each month, the publisher, provides one of our lucky readers with their own copy of the cookbook.  You will find the raffle below.

We could choose to read the book or just read the section of the cookbook dedicated to the book.  We could make the recipe showcased in the cookbook, a recipe inspired by the words of other book clubs who had read the book and been interviewed or we could read the month's selection and make any recipe that it inspired within us.

When I hosted last October we read "The Three Junes" and had some wonderfully inspired recipes as a result.  You can see all the recipes made in my roundup post.  May's selection chosen by Danielle is 
"Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Image result for love in the time of cholera

If you would like to join us this month, we would love to have you.  It is a simple procedure.  
  1. Draw inspiration from the chosen recipe. (found below)
  2. Blog about it! It doesn't have to be a lengthy post. Just share your dish.
  3. Include a link back to the hosting blog (that's me or Danielle) somewhere in your post. Grab the logo and use it if you'd like.
  4. Your post must be current (during month). And, of course,we don't mind if your post is linked to other events. The more, the merrier.
  5. Email your entries to me at: and include:
  • Your name 
  • Your blog's name and URL
  • The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you'resubmitting
  • Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to"pull" one from your post)
  • Indicate #thebookclubcookbookCC in the subject line 
  • Deadline forsubmission is: May 29th so that I can post the roundup on the last day of the month.
The Cook Book offers two separate recipe selections for this novel that takes place in the Caribbean. The first is for Mojitos and the second is for a Mango, Jicama and Corn Salad.  I have chosen the Mojito recipe for this month's inspiration.

I had just shared a recipe for Mojitos a couple of weeks ago.
I was preparing for our trip to the Caribbean.
I didn't know, at that time, that I would be stepping in for Danielle.

Here is the recipe shared in the Book Club Cookbook.

source: The Book Club Cookbook

10-12 large fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons) – reserve half of the squeezed lime
2 ½ tablespoons Simple Syrup
2 ½ ounces light (golden) rum Club soda

In 12-ounce high glass, lightly mash the mint and lime juice together to extract the mint oils. Add the squeezed lime half, top with syrup, and mix well. Fill the ice and add rum. Mix again. Top with a little club soda and garnish with a mint spring.

I hope you decide to join us this month but if that is not a possibility please make sure you at least enter into the giveaway for this fun cookbook.  It begins tomorrow and goes through the month of May.

This month Danielle at Mostly Food and Crafts along with Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm, this month's co-host, are giving away a copy of the cookbook.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from May 1st till May 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Danielle and Wendy received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

The Prettiest One: An Audible Book Review

Image result for the prettiest one by james hankins

This is the 3rd audio book we have listened to by James Hankins and we enjoyed it as much as the first two, Shady Cross and Brothers and Bones.  I think I liked the characters in this novel the best of the three.  I am thrilled that Frank also enjoys these stories because, now that he is retired, we are normally together in the car and that is where I do most of my listening.  The downside of his liking the books is that I can't listen to them during solitary time while in the car or on the treadmill.

The Prettiest One:  Kaitlyn isn't sure where she is, how she got there or in whose car she is but she does know that her husband, Josh, is going to be very worried about her.  She can't seem to find her phone to call him so she just heads home.

Imagine Josh's surprise when he opens the door and finds his wife who disappeared without a trace seven months earlier.  The police and media suspected that she were dead and that the death were at the hands of her husband.  It had been a hard 7 months but he was just happy to have Kaitlyn home again.  

Kaitlyn is dumbfounded when given the news she has been missing, having no recollection of the last seven months prior to finding herself in the car she used to drive home.  Kaitlyn is carrying a bag that contains fake human hands and a gun.  She is also covered in blood.  After a night of rest, she and Josh, decide to return the car to it's owner having found a registration in the glovebox.

Bix has been worried sick when he opens his door to some guy asking for his fiancee, Katie.  He is trying to figure out who this guy is that is looking for his girl who never returned home last night when suddenly his face lights up with relief as Kaitlyn walks from the car. "Katie" Bix says "Thank God, you're home".

This starts the mystery thriller of the Prettiest One.  Who is Kaitlyn/Katie?  What has she been doing for the last 7 months?  Why did she find herself with a gun and blood soaked clothing?  Who is this Bix, who obviously loves her and from all photographic and physical evidence in his apartment, had spent 7 very happy months with Kaitlyn/Katie or whoever she is........

I am giving this book a 5 star rating.  If you like thrillers in the genre of Tom Clancy, I think you will like the writings of James Hankins as well.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The upcoming week and the weekly menu

Good morning all.  It is a good morning albeit an annoying one.  Yesterday we went and bought a new desk top computer for the house.  We decided to go with a Mac.  We have apple phones and Frank has an Ipad so he wanted to check them out.  They were on sale, bringing them more into line with the other computers that they had so we ended up buying it.

Frank brought it home, hooked it up's broke.....the screen display is all jiggly and it appears as if the pixels are bleeding.  Hey, these are very technical terms here!  Any hoooo....last night he got on line with tech support, who went into our computer remotely and the screen they saw was perfect. Frank is packing it up now and we will be taking a trip back to the store.  The tech guy said they will just give us a new one.  A minor annoyance and an excuse to get in the car for a half hour and finish our audio book...we didn't want to leave the car last night after choir LOL.

Tomorrow, weather permitting we are taking down the old pool in preparation for installation of the new pool we bought during the winter at a tremendous price.

Sunday we will be singing in the morning.  In the evening we are going out to dinner and downtown to the Fox Theater to see the cast of ABC's Nashville perform.  Do you watch Nashville?  We love that show and we are looking forward to seeing them live.  This is our Anniversary celebration as Monday marks our 24th year of marriage.  What a wonderful 24 years it has been.

We are also celebrating a blogging event this week.  #BrunchWeek 2016 starts on Monday and goes all week long.  There will be great brunch recipes and even better raffles for our readers.  I am a little jealous that I cannot enter these raffles.  There are some specatcular gifts being given away.

Tuesday night we are attending Danielle's Spring concert.  Wednesday we are celebrating Frank's Birthday.  Thursday is choir practice. Keeping our fingers crossed that our days will have nice weather so that we can get the yard ready and have Frank's birthday celebration on the deck as we are grilling burgers.

Here is the weekly menu.  Don't forget to stop by for the #Brunchweek event starting tomorrow.

Three Meat Stew
Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Out to dinner and show for our anniversary

Mexican Monday
Chicken Enchiladas

Teriyaki Chicken
Steamed Rice
Stir Fry Veggies

Wednesday-Frank's Birthday Bash
Hamburgers/Hot Dogs/Chicken Breasts 
Condiment Tray
Baked Beans
Seven Layer Salad
Potato Salad by Rebecca
Birthday Cake


Fish Friday
Breaded Cod
Rice Pilaf
Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dandelion Pickles for Food n Flix

Heather, of  All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, is the founder of a cool group to which I belong called Food n Flix.    Heather is also hosting this month and chose the movie Tampopo, a Japanese Spaghetti Noodle Western, as the flix portion this month.  Heather explained in her invitation post why she chose this movie from 1985 and also extends invitations to any who would like to join the club.  It is a great club and we love to have new members.

I was on vacation for much of this month.  When I got home from the first vacation I went to the library looking for this movie and found that they did not have it available.  Then I went onto amazon and netflix neither of which had the movie for streaming but Amazon did have the movie for sale.  I ordered it up but not early enough to get it before my next vacation.  I got home in the wee morning hours of Sunday, April 24th, which is my daughter's birthday.  I grabbed some sleep and then prepared to have company over for her birthday dinner.  Yesterday was catch up day.  Laundry, yard work, shopping, etc.  Finally, today (1 day before the deadline) I sat down to watch the movie.

There is no shortage of food in the movie, that's for sure.  It is in Japanese with English subtitles.  It is a spoofy movie which are not my favorite in English and I think that Japanese spoofiness is completely over my head.  It's not that I don't "get" it....I catch most of the jokes and innuendos, in English and this Japanese version, it's just that I don't "get" it.  I don't think it is funny....I don't like the 3 Stooges, I wasn't crazy about Airplane or movies of that sort...It is just not my type of humor, I guess.  Except for Young Frankenstein....I love Young Frankenstein.  Weird, I know.

Anyway the movie would be okay if you liked this type of movie, I guess, but I stopped watching about halfway through until Little Miss awoke from her nap.  I turned it off and had no real compulsion to go back and finish it.

That's okay though because even in the short time I watched it I had a very long list of food:

  • Noodle bowl with 3 slices of Pork
  • Shinachiku (bamboo shoot)
  • Several Noodle Restaurants
  • Rice in Nori
  • Japanese Pickles
  • Seafood Restaurant
  • Sole Meuniere
  • Consomme
  • Quenelle
  • Escargot
  • Spaghetti Alle Vongole
  • Lobster
  • Prawns
  • Egg
  • Whipped Cream
  • Pork and Wonton Dumplings
  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Rice Omelet
  • Oysters
  • Dumpling
  • Steamed Buns
  • Ice Cream
  • Pig Head
  • Chicken with feet included
  • Snapping Turtle
And I am sure that there was plenty I didn't get written down because it is hard to write and read subtitles at the same time.  And that was only half of the movie!!

I knew right at the beginning what I wanted to make.  When the two cowboys come into Tampopo's Noodle Restaurant, they are not impressed with her Noodle Bowl but they are very impressed with her pickles.  Being as I was short on time, had the baby and didn't want to take her to the grocery store....pickles it was going to be.

Tampopo means Dandelion....hence the name of my pickle. There is no dandelion in them at all.  I found a recipe for Fast Japanese Pickles from The Splendid Table.  I adapted it to make one pint of pickles and used the vegetables I had in my refrigerator, baby carrots and red pepper.  

Dandelion Pickles
adapted from The Splendid Table

3/4 c. rice vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
scant 2 T. sugar
1/4 t. chili paste
1/4 t. grated lemon zest
asst. vegetables of choice to fit into pint jar  (I used baby carrots and red pepper cut into chunks)

Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, chili paste and zest in a small bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Pack vegetables into a pint jar.  Cover with the vinegar mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Can be kept in refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Print Recipe

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ooey Gooey Quadruple Fudge Brownies for Secret Recipe Club

Happy Reveal day to all my blogger friends.  I love SRC reveal day but that is not what makes today so special.  Today is also my son, Chuck's, birthday.  He is the big 40 this year and I so wish I could spend the day with him celebrating one of the best days of my life, the day God blessed me with one of the most wonderful guys I know.

Happy Birthday Chazzy. wish we were toasting you today.

I also have some Secret Recipe Club news to share with you today.  SRC will now only consist of 3 groups instead of 4.  I have been moved to Group B and will be posting on the 2nd Monday of each month starting in May.  I am going to miss working with Sarah but am looking forward to being in Cam's group.  For those of you who may be new to my blog and unfamiliar with Secret Recipe Club, you can learn all about it at this site.

So, for this last post in group D, I was assigned to Lynsey's blog aptly named, Lynsey Lou's.  Lynsey has been food blogging since 2008.  She shares the lessons that she learned from her Mom, Meemaw and Grandma.  You can only imagine how many recipes she has to share after so many years.

We were invited to our daughter's house for dinner and I told her I would bring dessert so I knew, at least category wise, I was looking for when I went to Lynsey's recipe page.  My daughter, Amy, loves brownies so I decided to see what Lynsey had available in brownie recipes.  Well....when you type in brownies in Lynsey's search button you get back 235 results.  No, that is not a typo.....seriously 235 results under a search for brownies!!

I went with Quadruple Fudge because Quadruple Fudge!!  And Lynsey describes them as oeey gooey. I cannot resist ooey gooey.  Plus I had several half bags of assorted chocolates so it provided me a cupboard cleanout day.  I made a slight adaptation.  I used white chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks because that was what I had on hand.  Other than that I followed Lynsey's directions and was very pleased with the results.

Talk about Ooey Gooey.
This was almost like eating a lava cake but better!!

Amy had seen that I was bringing brownies and bought some ice cream and hot fudge to go on top of them.  It was a mouthful of Heaven!!

Ooey Gooey Quadruple Fudge Brownies
very slightly adapted from Lynsey Lou's

3 oz. semi sweet chocolate
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 stick butter, cut into pats
3 1/2 T. cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 c. + 3 1/2 T. flour
3/4 c. white chocolate chips

Treat an 8" square pan with baking spray.  Melt the semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate along with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often to prevent scorching.  Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder to combine. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Place eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  While continuously stirring, pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Add the flour and stir just until incorporated.  Fold in the white chocolate.  Turn into the prepared baking pan and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 35-45 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Print Recipe

Here are the remainder of the final Group D posts.

Sour Cream and Green Onion Corn Muffins #MuffinMonday

I love the last Monday of every month.  You know why?  Because it is Muffin Monday.  It is the day we get together and share our muffin recipes with each other and with our readers.  I, for one, love muffins and I am fascinated at all the great recipes the other members of this group share.

Muffin Monday is the brainchild of my friend Stacy of Food Lust People Love.  I think she has been celebrating Muffin Monday since she started blogging and was kind enough to invite some of us to join her.  There are no themes, no assignments, no commitments.  When we have time we make some muffins, blog about it and share links to the other's posts.  A perfect blogging club!

This month I am sharing a muffin that I made to go along with my daughter's birthday dinner.  We had BBQ Ribs, Rice Mingle Salad, a Ramen Salad and these delicious Sour Cream and Green Onion Corn Muffins.  They were the perfect accompaniment to the dinner and I am proud to share them with you. 

Sour Cream and Green Onion Corn Muffins
slightly adapted from:

1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3 grinds fresh black pepper
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
4 green onions, white and light green parts, sliced

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together the sour cream, eggs and butter in a small bowl.  Add to dry ingredients mixing just until combined.  Fold in the corn and onions.  Place into a 12 cup muffin pan that has been fitted with muffin papers.  Bake in a preheated 425* oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

 Don't forget to stop by and see the muffins the others are sharing this month! 

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Home is where the heart is and the Weekly Menu

I love, love, love vacations and you know what I love even more?  Coming home.  It is so wonderful to walk into your home where the dogs are waiting impatiently at the door to get the week of loving that they think you owe to them.

Now, I know my friend, Karen, and I know that my dogs got more attention than they would have had we been home but that doesn't change anything in their minds.....they need a weeks worth of ear and belly rubs and they need it now!!

Speaking of Karen.  I hope that all of you are blessed with a friend whom you can count on any time you beckon.  She leaves her home and stays in ours. Takes excellent care of the animals.  Leaves the house cleaner than she found it and allows us to relax and enjoy our time away with no worries in the world.  I know I have told you all before how amazing Kirsten is, well Karen is another amazing gift brought to us by Kirsten.  We are so fortunate!

I know I still owe you the post about kayaking the mangroves and it is going to be up sometime this week.  I have a lot that I need to say about it but for now I need to get ready for my our week.  It seems so strange to have to think of my days as ours now that Frank is home full time.  Nice but strange.  Now my days include those things that he needs to get done as well.  The trade off is that he is here to help me with my stuff.  Life is good.

Today is Ting's birthday.  Tomorrow is Chuck's birthday.  Frank's birthday is next monty. My sister's birthday is the 16th of May. I am surrounded by bulls!!  Do you place any stock in horoscopes?  I don't put much stock in daily horoscopes but I do like comparing personalities of people born under the same sign to see if there are similarities.  I see a lot of similar qualities in all my Tauruses but I think I also find similarities between people born in the same era also so I think it is all for fun.

We are going to throw some ribs on the grill for Ting's birthday dinner.  Amy is bringing the cake.  I sent out Chuck's package before we left and he received it already.  The week is pretty quiet.  I have Food Pantry on this Wednesday because my friend, Mary Agnes, switched weeks with me while I was on vacation.  Other than that we just have a list of to do's to do LOL.

So I am sharing our weekly menu.  Come back each day when I will be sharing photos, recipes and the kayaking adventure.

Crunchy Ramen Salad
Rice Mingle Salad
Sour Cream and Green Onion Corn Muffins

Meatless Monday
Onion and Apple Frittata
Cafe con Leche Crumpets

Fried Chicken with a Kick
Ranch Potato Salad
Baked Beans


Kielbasa Welsh Rarebit
Tomato Bisque

Fish Friday
Crab Souffle
Spring Greens Salad