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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Two teachers quit their jobs and decide to build a house themselves in a remote Vermont town on land that used to be owned by witches. This book had a really interesting take on the whole haunted house trope – the freshest execution I’ve read in a while. It was a bit sluggish at times, and I didn’t love the writer’s style in the beginning, but by the end I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened!

This book was super creepy. Something bad is going down in the cities of the world, so the MC is on her way to pick up her aunt to take her to her sister’s compound, where they hope to stay safe. Except she gets in a wreck on the way, and can’t remember what was going on, how her wreck happened, how she got her injuries, or how she ended up in a secret mansion hidden in the woods with a strange man.

There’s so much suspense while you’re waiting for the reveals to start rolling in, because there were so many ways this one could have gone. Then it lost me a bit at the end for a couple of reasons. I won’t be reading the sequel, but I very much enjoyed this one.

I just started:

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Friday’s Flavors: Fried Green Tomatoes

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

I’m not going to lie. The first time I tried making Fried Green Tomatoes years ago was because I love the movie (even more than the book, which is rare for me!).

But the reason I’ve kept making them is because I like the flavor. And while there are MANY different ways to make these, some more labor intensive than others, this recipe cuts down on the work without cutting down on the flavor!

Ingredients:

2-3 green tomatoes

2 cups bread crumbs

1.5 cups flour

2 eggs

salt

garlic powder

old bay

garlic salt

pepper

oil for frying (I use peanut)

Preparation:

Wash and slice tomatoes. Salt both sides and allow to sit for at least ten minutes.

While tomatoes are resting, lay out your flour and breadcrumbs. (For yeast free breadcrumbs, add a couple Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Biscuits to a food processor. I’ve used rice ‘bread’ crumbs before, and they don’t have the best flavor.) Season both flour and breadcrumbs with the old bay, garlic powder, garlic salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, beat your eggs.

Heat your oil over medium high heat.

You’ll find your tomatoes are now sitting in a puddle of liquid. Wipe both sides of your tomatoes, removing the salt. Dredge in the flour, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs. I do them all at once and set them on a piece of wax paper, but you can dredge, dip and dredge as you go if you want.

Add your tomatoes to the oil, working in batches. You may have to turn the oil down in temperature as you go.

Remove from oil using a metal spatula or spoon and allow to dry on a paper towel lined plate. And that’s it!

For dipping sauces, I like ranch dressing mixed with chili powder or tzatziki. They taste best freshly fried, and while still tasty, will be a bit soggy the next day.

If you try it, please let me know if you like it!

Check back next Friday for another Foodie Flavor!

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book is strange and weird but also kind of wonderful. It wasn’t the crazy spoof I was expecting – it’s about a pair of twins who spontaneously catch fire. There are so many ways that plot could veer towards the absurd. But rather than being silly, it was touching and full of heart. I think the author does a great job in the way he crafts this story and his characters. I’d definitely read more by him.

This is about a girl who attends a prestigious school on scholarship, is inducted into an elite social group, and whose bestfriend is murdered freshman year, but doubts about the identity of the killer arise her senior year.

This one was good, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and thought certain aspects of the plot were a bit too far fetched. I did want to know what happened, and there were just enough red herrings to keep me reading and guessing, but it was always going to be one of two suspects. I wanted more.

I just started:

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Friday’s Flavors: Easy Chicken Pasta From Leftovers

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

I don’t think it’s any secret that I LOVE pasta, but I’m not a huge fan of red sauce, and I don’t eat chicken in my pasta. Never. Not Ever. Until now.

Let me explain.

I hate wasting food. Quite often I’ll clear the refrigerator out on the weekends and make what I call a ‘garbage pail’ lunch. (Recipes that call for ‘a tablespoon of tomato paste’ drive me crazy, because tomato paste doesn’t come by the tablespoon. Which means I have to save the rest and find something to do with it.) But every once in a while the odds and ends from the meals I cooked over the week align into a shining ray of recipe gold. (In this case, the leftovers were bowtie pasta, chicken from a whole bird I roasted in the air fryer, tomato paste, and some large capers that had to be used within a week of opening.)

This one was so good I’m looking forward to making it again! AND – I finally have a go to for my chicken leftovers!

Note: Garlic, shallots, cooking wine, and pine nuts (gotta love Amazon for the great prices on those) are staples in my kitchen. I grow my own basil so I always have plenty of that on hand. And I tend to cook an entire box of pasta at a time and freeze portions because I live in Florida and nothing makes the house quite as hot and humid as a big pot of boiling water.

Ingredients:

leftover chicken, chopped or shredded

tomato paste or sauce

1 shallot

3 cloves garlic

cream sherry or other red cooking wine

fresh basil

pine nuts

capers

olive oil

nature’s seasoning

pepper

pasta (I usually cook the whole box at once and freeze extra portions.)

optional: shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

In a medium to large frying pan sauté the shallots, capers, pine nuts and garlic together until shallots are opaque. Add a dollop (about 2 tablespoons) tomato paste or spaghetti sauce, whatever you have leftover on hand, into the pan, and a splash or two of red cooking wine (I use Cream Sherry) and stir until well mixed. Add your spices (I use Nature’s Seasoning because it’s a nice blend). Add your chicken and cook until hot. Add your pasta (if using leftover pasta, stir until the pasta is hot). Add fresh basil and stir. And that’s it!

Super easy and surprisingly delicious! I sprinkled a little shredded mozzarella on mine and couldn’t have been happier with this gourmet ‘garbage pail’ lunch!

If you try it, please let me know if you liked it!

Check back next Friday for another Foodie Flavor!

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