Yes I Read a lot BUT Do I Get It?

I read a lot.  Obviously I write this blog about reading. I try to read one to two books a week but that really depends on what is going on in my life.

I read for many reasons; relaxation, escape and knowledge just to name a few.  I used to read just fiction but recently I have delved into the world of non-fiction and I am glad.

I came to a realization.  You can read a lot but you may not be getting everything the author is trying to communicate with the reader.  I found this to be particularly true when I read the book Wicked.  It was a book club selection and I am glad because I just didn’t get all the deep hidden meaning or maybe it wasn’t deeply hidden.I just didn’t see it.  So while I liked the book when I read it, I liked it a whole lot more after having our discussion.

The author took certain situations or scenes that are common in many books.  For example characters sitting down eating.  I remember reading the dinner scene in the book coincidently entitled The Dinner.  Two couples, family members get together at a restaurant where as they sit and eat a serious discussion ensues. The dinner while appearing outwardly to be just an ordinary dinner really is a tense situation at which difficult decisions need to be made and not all are in agreement.  The author did a great job of using a dinner gathering to bring the characters together to tell the story.

When I saw this book I just knew I had to read it.  It is very interesting and very readable and very helpful.

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Thanksgiving update

brussl sprouts

As expected there was lots of mashed potatoes left on Thanksgiving.  They were not very good.  But everyone gave the meal high marks despite the fact that the green bean casserole dish was missing and most of the sides were veggies.  The half potato half veggie pancakes flew onto the plates and into people’s stomachs so that was great. I wasn’t going to make my brussels sprout dish because well, quite frankly some people find them offensive.  Glad I did, they were the first to go!

All and all I think things went well.

But I do have a confession.  I had a small piece of pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is served once a year so I figured I couldn’t miss the opportunity.  I went for a walk to compensate.

Over all it was a great Thanksgiving.  I got to spend time with the people in my life that mean the most to me.  That is what it is all about.

 

 

Stuffing oneself on Thanksgiving

Veggies

This past summer my husband went to the Doctor for a physical and his blood pressure was up and when he stepped on the scale, well let’s just say wake up call.  He came home and said he needed to make some changes and my daughter and I jumped on the band wagon.

For the women of the house the pounds are coming off so slow it is unbearable but we are not giving up.  Like most men his weight loss is very obvious.  That brings us to Thanksgiving our most beloved holiday and meal.

I have decided to modify the meal.  Turkey is turkey.  Into the oven it goes keeping it very simple just herbs, salt and pepper.  The modifications are the side dishes.  Sorry Campbell’s soup no green bean casserole this year. The green beans are fresh and i have added some red onion, fresh mushrooms fresh garlic and a little olive oil.

The stuffing, you must have stuffing so I am cutting the amount of bread in half and adding a lot more carrots, celery and onions.  No sausage in the stuffing this year.

There will be mashed potatoes but no  butta (that’s butter in Long Island ease) just low sodium chicken broth.  I only made a small amount knowing they probably won’t be eaten.  Just a hunch.

Lastly I am making a potato pancake but it will be mostly shredded zucchini.  All this will mean squat if we put mounds of food on our plate so portion control is the buzz words of the day.

I will let you know how they like the modified meal.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I am Not a Crafty Person But!

Red leaves and a gray day

I don’t consider myself a crafty person but a lot of my friends are and so they sort of rub off on me.  Well maybe just a little.

Last night I went with a good friend, one who is extremely artistic, my daughter and her daughter.  I think we all had a blast even though I found it a bit stressful.  You know all that pressure to get it right.

Mine is the one on the left. At the very least I hope you can tell it is a tree with red leaves. All in all I think it was a success.

I have other friends who can turn almost anything into something wonderful.  Case in point take a look at these earrings my friend Pam helped me make.  Can you believe they are pennies.  Thank you Mr. Lincoln.

Pennies

So when I was browsing and looking for good things to read I found these fun crafts. Check out these Projects.  Creative people are so awesome and when they take everyday things that probably wold get thrown out and make them into something wonderful it is so inspiring.  Enjoy!

In the Kitchen with Bob Christmas Collection

I am a QVC fan.  During the holiday I would say I buy most of my holiday gifts from QVC and Amazon.  Ok I am a QVC Junkie.  I got hooked on QVC when I was pregnant with my daughter and I couldn’t sleep at night.   Now with netflix, cable and satellite TV there is tons of things to keep you amused but back twenty years ago there was crap on at midnight.

Then I discovered QVC. Kathy Levine became my best friend figuratively speaking of course.  My second favorite host was Bob Bowersox.  He had a show on Sunday called In the Kitchen with Bob where he demonstrated how to cook while selling great kitchen gadgets. The good thing about Bob was he was trained as a chef so he brought some credibility to the show.  Bob has since left but he did write a Christmas Cookbook.

What I like about this cookbook is it is divided up into different types of holiday meal.
The recipes are also designed to feed 15 to 20 people.  This is great because ordinarily I cook for only 3 to 4 people and cooking for a large group can be intimidating for me.  It just seems that the recipe never tastes as good if you double, triple or quadruple the ingredients.

So if you are cooking for a crowd check out Bob’s Book.

 

Thank God for Betty Crocker

Usually I like to sink my teeth into Holiday romance novels.  I like the feel good themes of them.  They are usually set in some snowy wonderland and the couple always is happy in the end.  So like real life.  Yah right!  It’s all about fiction people.

This year I decided to mix it up a little by throwing cookbooks into the mix.  I love to entertain during the holiday season and I am always looking for interesting dishes to add to my repertoire. So I went searching for some good holiday cookbooks.

How many of you out there learned to cook using the Betty Crocker cookbook?  I did.  Maybe it was because it was the only cookbook my Mom owned (wedding gift) or maybe it is because a lot of the recipes were basic and pretty straight forward.  Either way I don’t care it was there and I used it as my foodie bible. Turns out that Betty Crocker also has a Christmas cookbook. There are a few interesting recipes, nothing that is really gonna wow you but it is worth a look.

For those of you interested, there is an updated Betty Crocker cookbook called Betty Crocker Cookbook: 1500 recipes for the way you cook today. There are a lot of wonderful cookbooks out there but the Betty Crocker cookbook is truly designed for those who are either new to cooking or who are like myself, cooking challenged. So you may want to give it a try.

And don’t think for a second that I am going to give up on my quest for the perfect holiday novel.  If and when I find one that is worth sharing I will let you know so keep an eye out on my blog.

Amazon built a Store. Why Bother??

If you follow what  Amazon does and since I am a prime member I do, you probably know that they opened a “bricks and mortar” store.  How disappointing! I mean I was impressed that Amazon conducted its business completely online.  Now they open up a store.  Why?  It’s not like it’s a huge warehouse.  It’s a smaller sized store located among other stores.

From what I read, it is like the bookstores that use to be in all the malls but don’t exist there anymore.  Maybe because Amazon kinda sorta put them out of business.  It used to be fun going to the mall and browsing those book shelves then finding a book bringing it up to the cash register, maybe find a book mark to use and scurry home to read my new book.

Now to be truthful, I don’t have the time to go to a mall and browse.  In fact, 85% of my holiday shopping is being done online.  The boxes are being delivered as I write and all I have to do is go home and wrap.  I got free shipping and did not have to use gas in my car or fight for a parking spot.  Win, Win and win.  And all the people on my list who don’t live close to me, why they are in my address list on the websites and all I have to do is click and it is sent to them.  No Post Office run for me.  Again, win.

Right now Amazon has only one store.  People are lining up to enter the book store. It only accommodates 150 at a time therefore the line. Allegedly and I have no proof since I did not go to the store, the stock consists of mainly new releases.  Again I say Why and Why bother?  Furthermore, why would people continue to go to the store.  After all these years, Amazon has trained us how to search and click.

Maybe Amazon will open other stores.  Maybe one will be located near me.  But unless Amazon changes how it operates online, I think I will stick to purchasing online. Don’t get me wrong, I probably would go once.  I mean I don’t want to be completely close minded to this idea but what would get me to go back?  This is the question every marketing person for a store tries to discover.

And again for maybe the third or fourth time,  I ask Why? Why Amazon would you open a physical store when you do online better than almost everyone else?

In case you are interested in someone else’s opinion you can read This man’s opinion on Amazon’s Stores.