Book Reviews, Crafting, Recipes ~ Anything and Everything in between.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Didn't Finish ~ The Winter Sea

I found The Winter Sea on many book blogs with great reviews.  I used to be a big reader of Historical Fiction so I put a hold on this book at the library and couldn't wait till the book arrived. 

I don't know what is wrong, but the story just isn't grabbing me, moving way too slow and the book spends more time on my head board then in my hands.

I'm giving up, I hate giving up, but at this point I feel like I'm wasting my time.  So..... I'm moving on.

Signing off till next time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Smashed Potato

I love these potatoes and they are easy too. 

Small New Potatoes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese


Cook potatoes by boiling in pot until potato falls off knife when pierced. 

Place potatoes in bowl and lightly coat with olive oil.  Place a piece of wax paper to keep surface clean.  Put each potato individually on wax paper and press with the bottom of pot or bowl till slightly flattened.  Place smashed potatoes on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with grated cheese.  Place potatoes in 325 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes until they reach your desired crispness.

Recipe courtesy of Laura Calder. 

Signing off till next time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

400 Miles in 2011 Fitness Challenge 2/13 - 2/19

This fitness challenge is hosted by Ellie at Books, Fitness & Other Stuff  hop on over there for more information.

My fitness this week:

Sunday February 13, 2011 WATP DVD = 1 mile

I had planned on walking at least 3 miles, but just couldn't go past 1 mile.  Oh well at least I completed it, better than sitting on the couch right?

Tuesday February 15, 2011 20 min of weight lifting = 1 mile

My husband, son and I are doing the weight lifting together, we spot each other, count and encourage each other to keep going.  Wow did I feel good after the weight training.

Wednesday February 16, 2011 WATP DVD = 3 miles

My favourite move ~ kick backs.  I started to hit a wall about 1 1/2 miles, pushed through

Thursday February 17, 2011 30 min of weight lifting = 2 miles

This week:  7 miles
Total to date: 10.5/400

Signing off till next time

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Green Beans with Paneer


1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tomatoes, chopped
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound green beans, tips removed
1/2 pound of paneer, cut into small cubes


Put oil in a large skillet, add garlic and spices and cook for about 15 seconds.  Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, stirring well.  Add beans and cook till beans are tender crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In another pan, add oil and place over medium heat.  Add the cubed paneer and fry till golden on all sides.  Gently stir into the finished beans and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of:  Bal Arneson.


Signing off till next time.

Apple Pork Chop with Apple Chutney

Apple Juice Marinade


1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground ginger


Combine ingredients.  Marinade meat all day or over night.  Heat Pork in skillet with marinade until meat is cooked.

Apple-Raisin Chutney


3 royal gala apples
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in saucepan, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Use blender to puree.  Serve with Pork. 


Signing off till next time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lisa's Garam Masala

My husband and I enjoy cooking and wanted to try our hand at Indian food.  I knew that store bought Garam Masala had spices that my family didn't like so I made my own.


1/2 cup cumin seeds
1/2 cup corriander seeds
2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
4 pods green cardamom


Preheat oven to 325
Combine everything on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 minutes
Grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or with an electric spice grinder.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Signing off till next time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meet Me On Monday 14/2/2011

Meet Me On Monday is a Meme hoted by Never Growing Old 
Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

"Its a great way to to meet new friends Monday at a time!!!" quoted by the Chacogirl!! I will make this SIMPLE and FUN!!!

This is my first time participating, so here we go.

1. Did you get any Valentine's Gifts?

No, and I'm not expecting anything this year, I was spoiled at Christmas.  We will have a nice quite dinner at home.

2. What is your favorite topping on something toasted?

I love butter and Raspberry Jam on toast.

3. Do you pick out your outfit the night before?

No, I usually make decision in the morning.

4. What food item do you absolutely despise?

I've givin this question a lot of thought and I cannot think of anything I despise.

5. Righty or Lefty?


Signing off till next time.


Crochet ~ Scarf

I can't believe that it's already the middle of February, Valentines Day tomorrow.  We enjoyed a nice mild day, windows open the birds were singing, can almost feel Spring coming.

Two years ago I purchased some wool to make my sister a scarf to keep her warm, she does a lot of walking in the winter weather.  It's taken me a while but I'm finally done, now all I have to do is see her so she can enjoy it before the warm weather comes. 

Hope you all have a great Valentines Day.

Signing off till next time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

400 Miles in 2011 Fitness Challenge 2/6 - 2/12

I saw this challenge while blog hopping, and decided I'd join as an extra incentive to get fit.  All members of my family are exercising together which makes it easier, at least one of us will want to exercise and push the others to do it.

If you are interested in joining you can visit Books, Fitness & Other Stuff   for further details.

Tuesday February 8 2011:      1 Mile:  Leslie Sansone Walk the Walk
Thursday February 10, 2011:  1 Mile:  Leslie Sansone Walk the Walk
Saturday February 12, 2011:   1.5 Miles:  Leslie Sansone Walk at Home, Walk Your Belly Fat

Total to date:  3.5 Miles / 400 Miles

Walk Strong

Signing off till next time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bone #1 to #9 and Prequel

Title:  Bone Series ~ Book #1 to #9 and Prequel Rose
Author:  Jeff Smith
Finished: February 7, 2011
Edition: Paperback
Genre: Graphic Novel

I read this series as part of the  Take a Chance Challenge,  part #2, loved ones choice.  This challenge is being hosted by Life...With Books.

My son (now an older teen) started bugging me to read Bone when he was 9 or 10.  I've spent a long time procrastinating, always giving an excuse.  When I read part two of the challenge I knew exactly what it was I was going to read.  I figured the challenge is to get you to read something you wouldn't normally read and now I had the chance and it would also finally make my son happy.

I read the first book, finished it in a few hours and felt guilty that I would use something so easy for the challenge, so even though there were actually 10 different books, I'm counting this as just one read.

Bone #1 Out From Boneville

From the Publisher
After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins - Fone Bone, Phoney bone, and Smiley Bone - are separated and lost in a vast, uncharted desert.  One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures.
Eventually, the cousins are reunited at a farmstead run by tough Gran'ma Ben and her spirited granddaughter, Thorn.  Little do the Bones know, there are dark forces conspiring against them and their adventures are only just the beginning.

Bone #2 The Great Cow Race

From the Publisher
Fone Bone and his cousins plan to return home after visiting the village of Barrelhaven with Thorn and Gran'ma Ben.  Phoney Bone risks everything on one last get-rich-quick scheme for the town's annual Great Cow Race.  As usual, Phoney's plans go disastrously awry, and Boneville seems farther away than ever.
Meanwhile, ominous signs indicate that a war is brewing, and Fone Bone finds himself helping his friends defend their idyllic valley from a formidable enemy.

Bone #3 Eyes of the Storm

From the Publisher
Life in the valley isn't getting any easier for the Bones and their new found friends.  Lucius, Smiley, and Phoney are attacked by the rat creatures and barely make it back to Lucius's tavern.  then it doesn't take long before Phoney is back to his old tricks.
Back at the farm, Fone Bone and Thorn are troubled by strange dreams, and Gran'ma Ben's reaction is stranger still: She reveals long-kept secrets and unexpected dangers.  In fact, they may have to leave the farm forever.

Bone #4 Dragonslayer

From the Publisher
The forces of evil are growing stronger.  Could our heroes' worst enemy be Phoney Bone himself?

Bone #5 Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border

From the Publisher
Fone and Smiley Bone try to return a rat creature cub to the mountains, where they meet yet another adversary: the sly and mighty mountain lion, Rock Jaw.

Bone #6 Old Man's Cave

From the Publisher
The showdown between the Hooded One and they people of the valley begins.  Thorn and Phoney Bone seem to be at the centre of the maelstrom.  Will they survive the Hooded One's sacrificial ceremony by the light of the blood moon?

Bone #7 Ghost Circles

From the Publisher
The Bones, Gran'ma Ben, Thorn, and their loyal rat creature cub venture on a journey through the mysterious ghost circles to Atheia, the old city of the royal family.  One wrong step could change the valley's fate forever . . . .

Bone #8  Treasure Hunters

From the Publisher
The Bone cousins, Gran'ma Ben, and Thorn reach the city of Atheia, where they prepare to battle The Lord of the Locusts.  Meanwhile, Thorn's visions are becoming more threatening and Phoney Bone is conviced Atheia is rich in gold, and he is determined to find it.

Bone #9  Crown of Horns

From the Publisher
It's full-fledged war as Briar, the rat creatures, and the Pawan army storm the city of Atheia where the Bones, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben are up in arms to defend the royal city.  When Thorn hears a voice urging her to seek the Crown of Horns, Thorn and Fone Bone embark on another dangerous journey as they race to find the one thing that may save them all.

Bone Prequel:  Rose

From the Publisher

When a terrifying dragon attacks the small towns of the Northern Valley, Princess Rose must defeat the bloodthirsty beast, who is possessed by the evil Lord of the Locusts.  While Rose faces the danger with honor, her elder sister, Princess Briar, follows a more sinister path.

My Thoughts

After approximately 8 years of giving my son one excuse after another, I've finished the Bone Series by Jeff Smith.  I went through the first book very quickly, having to ask my son for the next book within hours.  He stated with a sly smile, "you enjoyed the book did you Mom?  I told you".  I had some trouble at first, my eyes would always go to the wrong speech bubble , so my son had to teach me, follow them from top to bottom. 

The artistry in these books is phenomenal, I haven't read a book with pictures, in years, LOL. I think I still like reading novels better, can't ever imagine me picking up a graphic novel again.  Don't get me wrong the story line was fantastic (to my surprise), I found that I was stay awake at night to finish the book I had started earlier, I guess I would then call it a page turner for sure.  I would also class the story as epic, many times I felt I was reminded of The Lord of the Rings.

Would I recommend this series?  Most definitely and have already.

Signing off till next time

Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: 2/4-2/7

Book Blogger Hop

Instructions and rules for this hop are taken from Crazy-for-Books.

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo  at Crazy-for-Books,  post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list on  Crazy-for-Books!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! They get over 200 links every week!!


Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List on Crazy-for-Books
In your link, please state the main genre that you review: eclectic, contemp. fiction, ya, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc.

Example: Crazy-for-Books (contemp. adult fiction)

2. Post about the Hop on your blog. Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier! In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!).

"What are you reading now and why are you reading it?"

My Answer:
I'm reading the Bone series by Jeff Smith.  The genre is graphic novel.  There are nine books and one prequel.  I'm reading this series as part of the Take a Chance Challenge, section #2, read a book of a loved ones chosing.

3. Visit other blogs in the Linky List! Make new friends! Follow new book bloggers! Talk about books! Rave about authors! Take the time to make a quality visit! Check out other posts and content, make a new friend! Don't randomly follow someone if you never intend on actually following them! No spamming please! (Please do not leave your link and not visit other blogs - it's just not cool and not in the spirit of the Hop!)

And just as an FYI - this event is not something you should feel that you have to participate in every week. If you want to join in and link up once a month, GREAT! It's up to you how often you participate!

So, have fun HOPPING and enjoy your BOOK PARTY weekend!!!

Signing off till next time