Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten I Want To Reread*

1. White Oleander -- One I've had as a favorite for many years but have never re-read.

2. Perks of Being a Wallflower -- Another favorite. One I think everyone should read. I think I should re-read to write a review.

3. Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes -- I need to re-read so I can read the sequel.

4. The Scarlet Letter -- I rushed through this during High School, but remember there was something to be learned from it. I have to re-read to refresh this.

5. Ella Enchanted -- The movie wasn't anything like I remembered the book being. I need to re-read this to see if I'm missing a story in my reading history or the movie left a lot out.

6. Sloppy Firsts -- I need to reacquaint myself with Mr. Flutie and Jessica Darling so that I can finish the series.

7. Black Beauty -- This was one of my first chapter books as a kid. I remember loving it so much I read it over and over in First Grade. But... that's about all I remember. I need to remind myself why I was enamoured.

8. Candide -- One of my favorite classics. It was witty, funny, and TRAGIC. (I think that's a great combination for a classic.) BUT, it was quick, ultra quick, and the details have all slipped away.

9. Crank -- For a while I was on a verse-novel kick and I want to know if I liked this because it was as moving as I remember or it was just part of my youthful obsession with sad poetry and verse.

10. Twilight -- I don't care what anyone says. This series is wonderful because it is full of love and a wonderful escape which I read whenever I need a break. The details of writing quality or the obsessive nature of the love is breaking down the pieces of something that is only wonderful as a whole. Twilight series is just like a caramel frappuccino: it isn't exactly good for you, it is an indulgence, a delicious treat, and everyone needs that every once and a while.

*TBTB Top Ten Tuesday

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Olive Garden

Hi, I have spent 5 hours cooking today! I am taking a break now then probably cleaning for another two. Anyhow I wanted to share this.

Did you guys know that Olive Garden's website has some of there long standing recipes listed?
Well this is their recipe for the Chicken Milanese sauce. It is very popular with my guy even though theres spinach in it!
I love this sauce, a couple tweeks I do though: all roasted garlic, no tomatoes (he wouldn't go for that), and twice the spinach. Try it it's delicious.


½ cup butter, unsalted

4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 Tbsp)

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

¼ tsp black pepper, to taste

½ tsp salt

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup spinach, chopped

8 roasted garlic cloves, minced (or 4 Tbsp)

MELT butter in sauce pan over medium heat.

ADD minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and stir well until well-blended.

ADD white wine, chicken broth, heavy cream and cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture starts to thicken.

ADD roasted garlic, pepper and salt. Stir until well blended.

ADD tomatoes and spinach to sauce and allow to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten Everybody Else Has Read, but I Haven't*

I am only including books I haven't read YET. All of these are on my TBR list, although some of them for years.

Stealing these from TBTB Kelly because my Highschool didn't assign them either:
1. The Catcher In The Rye
2. The Great Gadsby
Also never assigned:
3. To Kill a Mockingbird

The big one everyone's on about now:
4. The Hunger Games

5. The Liar's Society
Debut Authors 2011, I loved these ladies blog tour. Of course, all the hosting blogs raved about the book but I had already choosen my challenge list so I added it to the never-ending TBR pile.

The reveal that is going to shock everyone:
6. Any Jane Austen

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I'm seeing reference to this a lot but I still don't know anything about it except it has a great title. Not sure if I want to read this one.

Alright, well I am getting settled in my new place and can't think of any others at the moment.
*TBTB Top Ten Tuesday

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ten Recommended by Bloggers*

Before I read Book Blogs I was a part of the BookDivas forum. The BookDivas gave me an outlet for my bookish ways and introduced me to the internet world of relationships bonded in bookish-nish. They introduced me to great books, great book challenges, and as a result the book blogger community. So I wanted to add the great books they led me to.

1. The Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard -- Somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me, I guess the secret is out now though. (I stopped after number four though because I didn't like the plot twist at the end. The series should have ended there, I think.)
2. The Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray -- The best fantasy I've come across. I was so swept up in these. Thank you Libba Bray, you are a queen of literature.

3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold-- If you haven't read this you should, enough said.
4. Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson-- Was so much fun I soon after got addicted to Maureen Johnson. I've read a few more wonderful books she wrote and her blog (and coresponding posts about her post-it obession) is golden.

5. Finding Alaska by John Green-- I read on the recomendation of Maureen Johnson. John Green deserves every award he recieved for this. Finding Alaska was beautiful and shocking and inpacting. This is a don't miss book.

Also from Maureen and the BookDivas I was introduced to The Story Siren's epic yearly challenge that encourages us to support debuting authors. The Debut YA/MG Author Challenge has introduced me to some great books. I fully believe in supporting authors and keeping the book world supplying me with wonderous new reading options so I buy all my books new. This challenge has it all for me: a goal (12 debuts per year), a cause I love, and a huge selection of new writers to get exposed to. Through it I've found and loved:

6. You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay (March 2009) -- I bought this one night and started reading it after dinner.  It was the perfect dessert. I couldn't sleep until I engulfed every bite.

7. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (March 2010) -- It starts out like Groundhog Day, but stick with it it's worthit. In fact read my review.

8. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky (May 2011) -- This is a book I wish I wrote. I am actually in the middle of it but being in the technology feild I wish I could see more technology that works for us to bring us together instead of pulling us apart.

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth (May 2011) -- Wonderful take on dystopia. Great twists and beautiful word play. This was another one I couldn't put down.

AND this book was so promoted I thought it was too good to be true. The hype was rightly deserved. So thank you to all book bloggers for recommending

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

*TBTB Top Ten Tuesday

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Buggy Bites

I recently learned that many shiny American candies are coated in secretions from the Lac Beetle and dyed red by crushing the carcasses of yet another bug, the Dactylopius coccus, ice cream filler is sometimes made of human hair, ground beef has up to 15 percent pink slime* and my canned tomato sauce most likely has at least 3 maggots inside. All of this is legal by the FDA standards. Not only is this allowed, none of it has to be on the label because practices are classified as natural flavors, preparations, or unavoidable defects.

Now, in response to this I feel a little sick and a lot grateful to the people who gathered this knowledge and honestly reported it. I am also a little surprised by the other responses to this heresy. The majority of the comments to this reporter were indifferent to the food industry’s omissions and instead attacked the article’s author. They called the author a “germaphobe”**. Commenters stated that these practices were ok because these are the standards we’ve had for food for years in the USA, and the government continues to claim that this “food” is safe.

I began to comfort myself by saying I could change my own eating habits, and ignore these indifferent eaters. Then I thought about my job. I will soon graduate and start a career with Intel. I will work in one of their Fabs***. I will go in everyday and cover my street clothes with a clean-suit complete with hair and face mask, and booties. I will work in treated air so purified that no dust dare disturb the environment. We have spent and spent to build these facilities clean because we have accepted that a speck of dust can corrode and destroy a computer chip. We build technology in all this safety, but in the substance that sustains us we accept “Levels of Natural or Unavoidable Defects in Foods”. We accept this statement of no health hazard in the midst of a health epidemic and the proposal that these defects are unavoidable when we won’t let dust disturb our electronic parts. Why do we accept this conflicting information? Aren’t the things we eat more important than the things we work on and play with? How can we expect to produce at our greatest potential without fueling our brains and bodies with the highest quality of pure sustenance?

* See this article http://www.alternet.org/environment/144904/yummy!_ammonia-treated_pink_slime_now_in_most_u.s._ground_beef/?page=1 for the 4-1-1 on this microbe infested, ammonia treated mess.


***A fabrication plant for making silicon chips