BLAHBLAHBLAH BOOKS COOKING

Playing Catch-up!

July 10th, 2013 No Comments

Since it has been so long since I posted a “real” post, I am writing this as a little catch-up.

Pictures:  I will save those for the next post.
Tutorials: I have been in a crafting slump lately.  I am hoping my craft mojo comes back soon.
Etsy and CafePress: I think these always suffer along with the craft mojo.
Books: Now, here’s something I can write about!  As you may (or may not) know, I am in a book club which reads 1 book per month.  I am also in a book challenge to read 52 books a year (or 1 book per week).  I have been keeping up with book club, but not the book per week.  Here’s the books I have read this year, including a brief review.

    • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Dyer.  I loved this idea of this book, but it took a very strange twist toward the end.  Almost to the point that I started disliking the book.  I did finish it, and will try reading the 2nd book just to see if I like where the story goes.
    • The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan.  These did keep my interest, and I finished all 3 in a week.  The issues I had with the series was that the main character seemed to have a harder time dealing with a breakup with a boyfriend than she did with physical and mental abuse at the hands of family members.  It reinforced the idea that a female cannot be whole without a man.  But, for a book about high school romance, it wasn’t horrible.
    • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. This was the book I had picked for book club.  I really enjoyed it.  I liked that it was the perspective from a sympathetic German family dealing with Nazis.
    • May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy. This was another great book.  I had a hard time putting it down.
    • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.  I will be honest.  I did not finish this book.  I found it quite boring.  But, from what understand, it had a surprise ending that made everyone mad at Hemingway.
    • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. This was a good book.  I found it confusing at first to see how all the characters were going to come together, but everything seemed to come together well in the end.
    • Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate.  Enjoyable book, though I found some things unbelievable.  The main character talked a lot about being concerned about money and how to pay all the bills, but also talked about boats, club memberships, etc.  Just seemed unrealistic. Also had some problems with the references to Missouti (where the book was set). It seemed to me as though the author had never actually been to Missouri.
    • Feast for Crows by George RR Martin. I am currently re-reading this book.  I had started it, and made it though about 60% before I got sidetracked.  Seriously, if you have not started the Song of Ice and Fire series, you should absolutely read it!  These are not light reading books.

Food:  OMG the food!  I have been trying to make healthier decisions about what I am eating.  I have been making more vegetarian choices (for myself as my family has a huge attachment to eating meat).  I have cut out all red meat and am severely cutting down on all other meats as well.  Along with healthier choices for what I am putting into my body, I am making healthier choices for the planet and helping support the local farmers by attending the local Farmer’s Markets to get all my produce.  I can’t believe how much better the quality and taste is compared to the supermarket! I am also trying to get my kids to eat more vegetables (isn’t this the fight of almost all parents, ha!).  Here are some of the recent recipes I have tried.  Sorry there are no pics this time around.  I will try to be a better blogger and take pics in the future.

  • Kale Pesto Baked Zucchini – This was delicious.  I made it for lunch and think it may have been a little more labor intensive than I would normally do for lunch, but I would absolutely make it again as a dinner. Might add more seasonings next time.
  • Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties – Huge hit with the whole family! I used regular spaghetti noodles because that’s what I had.  I also skipped the tomatoes because the kids don’t like them.  I do love that you boil the broccoli with the spaghetti, so you’re not losing all those great vitamins along with the water!
  • Vegetable Noodle Soup – Ohmigosh guys! I am so in love with this soup! I cant count the number of times I have made this.  I have no idea why, but it is the most delicious veggie soup I have had in a LONG time!
  • Quinoa Oatmeal – I dig the spin on a standard oatmeal.  I think I cooked my oats for too long and they became mushy. Will definitely be trying this again.  Also, this guy is hilarious!
  • One-Pan Pasta – I was seriously skeptical about this dish.  I LOVED it!  I love how simple it was.  And the starch from the pasta makes a creamy sauce.  Hubby loved it too, but the kids weren’t as impressed.
  • Ultimate Chicken Fingers – Made with Bisquick, I thought these would be a HUGE hit with the kids.  Neither one really liked them.  I was shocked!  I used a generic pancake mix, but it didnt seem to alter the end result in any significant way.  I liked these, but probably won’t make them again since the kids didn’t like them.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Baked Apple Chips – These would be such a delicious, healthy snack … if I could manage to make them without burning them.
  • “Fried” Honey Banana – These are seriously delicious!  In fact, I really want to run out to the store to buy some bananas just so I can make these!
  • Baked Zucchini Chips – These are also delicious, though I have the same problem with these as I do with the apple chips.  I love how these taste like pumpkin seeds without all the hassle of gutting a pumpkin.
  • Crispy Kale “Chips” – I love these.  I have been making them for a couple years now.  They are just so much better with farmer’s market kale – even if hubby doesn’t agree.
  • Roasted Parmesan Green Beans – I made these on a whim.  My kids will eat green beans, but not without whining about it for a few minutes first.  They cleared their plate and barely whined at all!  I will be making these again!
  • Zucchini Parmesan Crisps – I love, love, love these!  They are cheesy and delicious! Even my veggie-hating son likes them!
  • Quinoa “Burrito Bowl” – this is seriously fantastic! I made this for myself one night when my son requested a dinner that contains smoked sausage (I can’t eat smoked sausage anymore – it plays havoc with my belly).  I have made it many more times since and loved it just as much each time.  Even my omnivore hubby liked it – and said he liked it better than the sausage dinner!

Okay, I think that’s enough links and wall-of-text for today!  I am thinking about keeping track of my fitness plans (My Journey to Healthy) here as well.  We’ll have to see how brave I am sharing personal things like my weight and my struggles with starting an exercise routine.  I’ll play that one by ear for now.

What have you been doing lately?  Do you have any tutorials, recipes, workout/weight loss stories, or books to share?

xo
Stephanie

 

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