Previous month:
August 2009
Next month:
October 2009

Wishful Wednesday: Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea

Wishfulwednesdays

This week I've got my eye on a soon-to-be-published cookbook:

Crockpotcookbook

I've been reading Stephanie's blog A Year of Slow Cooking for a while now. I've tried a couple of the recipes and really enjoyed them, so I am thrilled to see she's putting together a cookbook. I'm even more excited that all  the recipes are gluten-free because I'm thinking of going gluten-free myself to see if that improves my as-yet-unknown-and-undiagnosed-mystery-inflammation problem. The book will be available October 12th, and I can hardly wait to start slow cooking!

 


Teaser Tuesday: A Gathering of Gargoyles by Meredith Ann Pierce

Ttue

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Gargoyles

This week's teaser comes from page 90 of A Gathering of Gargoyles by Meredith Ann Pierce. It's the second book in The Darkangel Trilogy, and is so good I couldn't resist giving you a full paragraph:

They pressed on at once, though Aeriel's limbs were as sore as she could ever remember them. The trees around them grew stunted and shriveled; some had only a thin covering of leaves. Later, they passed many with no leaves at all. Food grew scarcer, and the night-haunts more bold. Then the trees themselves grew scarce until between their ninth and eleventh camps, the road ran mostly treeless, with only occasional stands of scrub.


Future Avacado Tree?

I was making quacamole just now with a couple avacados that T's husband gave us at work a while ago. I opened one that was WAY too ripe to use, but noticed the pit had a tiny root already sticking out of it! So, I took it out and put it in an empty pot with some potting soil, watered it and am hoping I will one day have my own little avacado tree!

Avacadopit

P.S. the guac was delicious!


Chicago Vacation 2009

W6

A couple weeks ago I hung out in Chicago with my friend Jewel for her 40th birthday. (And I'm sure she won't mind me saying that out loud, because she pretty much told everyone we met.) And once again, I fell in LOVE with Chicago! We stayed at the W Lakeshore and had a wonderful view of Lake Michegan, Ohio Street Beach, Lakeshore Drive and Navy Pier:

View


The room was nice, although the beds were uncomfortable (at least mine was; I woke each morning with my back in painful, nearly paralytic spasms), and while the bathroom was nice (LOVE the rainfall shower!), there was no fan, so we ran the water in the sink to cover the sounds of our, ahem, business, and there was a window into the room covered only by shutters which could be opened if desired. Personally I thought that was, well, a bit odd.

W11


Our first day there, Jewel and I wandered along the Magnificent Mile, had an amazing spa experience at Bliss (I had the Youth As We Know It facial and Hair Dew treatment with a pedicure - so, so nice!), and dined at  The Grande Lux Cafe (which, ironically, or convieniently whichever, is directly across the street from where we were dining the next evening!). The food was pretty good, but not, in my opinion, great. Except for the mini chili dog appetizers. Those? Were amazing!

Thegrandlux

The next day, we went to Milennium Park and saw the Cloudgate sculpture more popularly known as The Bean:

Bean6

Bean4

We snacked on chips with guacamole (delicious!) and two types of salsa (the traditional one was watered down and bland, the fruit one was okay) at the outdoor lounge/cafe (The Park Grill & Cafe), tolerated obnoxious tourists and watered down margaritas, did a bit of shopping along Michigan Ave. (or thereabouts), then took an Architechtural Tour of the city via riverboat. That was awesome! Our guide, Joan, was very knowlegable and interesting and had even written a book about the tour (which I totally bought because there was no way I was going to remember all the information she was providing about the various buildings/archetechs/etc.). We agreed that tour was one of the best parts of the trip.

Rt2

Rt38

Rt59

Rt34


The other best part was dinner at Lawrey's The Prime Rib. To say this restaurant is an experience is an understatment! The decor is beautiful - formal-ish with lovely dark, polished wood and Victorian-style prints and patterns - perfect for a fancy dining establishment! - the staff is friendly and courteous (and adorably dressed; the waitresses wear the original costumes!) and go by their surnames (our server was Miss Bowers). And of course, the food is fantastic! Jewel and I had prime rib, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and shared a lobster tail. For dessert, Jewel was presented with a lovely little birthday strata and serenaded with "Happy Birthday". It was one hundred percent perfect!

Lawrys3

Lawrys1

Meandbff


On our last day in Chicago, I was determined to visit Navy Pier - a goal I've had since first visiting Chicago two years ago - so I set out mid-morning to do just that. It was only a few blocks from the hotel, so I was able to walk (and find the way under the uber-busy Lakeshore Drive!). My first stop was at the Ohio Street Beach so I could dip my toes in Lake Michigan:

C5

C6

C4

The water was cool, but no more so than at Pismo Beach in January. In between the Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier was a nice park with biking/jogging paths, lovely mosaic benches, a dancing fountain and a frolicing children sculpture:

Np7

Np18

Np19

Another goal of mine was to ride the ginormous ferris wheel I could clearly see from our window. As I got closer, however, I became intimidated by the sheer size of it and may have (MAY have, mind you) had a small panic attack. I'm a little scared of hights.

Np17

Np8

I started talking myself out of riding it almost immediatly: I wouldn't bother waiting if the line was too long (we had to check out of the hotel and drive back to Ohio after all); I wouldn't waste too much money on it, etc. Well, when I got up there, the line was next to nothing, and it was only six bucks to ride, so pretty much all my excuses flew out the window and I hopped on.

Np12

 

It was pretty awesome, but kinda scary at the same time. It was really REALLY high! I just prayed it wouldn't break down or crash or something equally horrible. Of course nothing happened and I was back on solid ground in no time!

Jewel and I scheduled a late check out, so we could take our time packing and making sure we had all our things before leaving Chicago for the long drive back to Ohio. I was really excited to see the kitties, and Dash, Esme and Fester were pretty excited to see us, too! (Well, they were probably more excited to see Jewel than me, but still ...)

Dash4

Esme3

Fester

I spent a relaxing couple of days at Jewel's house in Ohio before coming home. It's always nice to be back, but it's still sad to have a vacation end. Coming back to reality can be a bit abrupt and depressing, but I can always go back and look at all the pictures and remember the good times!


New Photos in the Living Room

Mom and I were tired of the old, Romanesque/Architectural prints we had hanging over the sofa in the living room, and decided to enlarge some of my photos and hang them up instead. We were also sick of the gaudy gold colour on the frames, so we spray painted them a matte black before doing anything else. Picking photos was difficult, but I finally just decided on two pictures (I believe they're Linda's roses, but they could also be T's roses, I am not sure) that I reversed for a mirror image look. We had the pictures enlarged at Staples for only $60.00, put them in the painted frames, hung them up and they turned out really nice:

Livingroompictures


Friday Finds for the Week

Fridayfinds.jpg

This week's finds are:

Crockpotcookbook ToscaMarceloCrown

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea is a book I'm really looking foward to buying. I've been reading her website for some time now and would really like to start using my crockpot more. I understand the recipes are gluten-free so they should be really healthy also.

I've been a fan of Tosca Reno for a while now - ever since discovering the Clean Eating magazine, falling in LOVE with it and subscribing to it. Now she's got a new cookbook out - Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook - and I simply MUST get my hands on it! Also, I can't wait till it cools down around here so I can actually start BAKING again!

The next two books - Marcelo in the Real World by Fransisco X. Stork and Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith - I discovered at Kristin Cashore's (Graceling and the soon-to-be-released Fire) blog. They both sound really good and I'm putting them on my TBR list, though when I'll get a chance to read either of them is a mystery! My TBR list is HUGE!!


Teaser Tuesday: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Ttue

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Life

My teaser for this week comes from page 19 of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer:

It was still our moon and it was still just a big dead rock in the sky, but it wasn't benign anymore. It was terrifying, and you could feel the panic swell all around us.

I'm not even 100 pages into this book, but I highly recommend it. It's similar to Exodus and Zenith by Julie Bertagna in that it's about suriving a natural disaster, but it's told by a 16-year-opld girl right now, not many years into the future. What's more terrifying is that while this exacty thing might not happen, something equally disasterous could happen, and I find myself really thinking about what I would do if it did.


Teaser Tuesday: A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

Ttue

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Lion 

My teaser this week comes from pages 153 and 154 of Gregory Maguire's A Lion Among Men:

A good deal of what happened next - the Matter of Dorothy - was a story he didn't choose to dwell upon. How declasse, to arrive with a crippled human decked out with tin prophylactics and with a Scarecrow, sweet enough but clueless as to his own origins - though who wasn't? Burr liked Dorothy, though.