Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Books Read in May 2017

I'm almost up-to-date!


Good month of books!  To be honest, American Gods took up most of the month, but it was worth it.  Despite being a little heavy on the characters and page count, I liked how it ended.  The tv show is meandering even more, but I know it is going to be more than one season.  I hope it works out because I loved how it started.  I hope it keeps up momentum, but I also hope it gets out and gets to come to as awesome of a conclusion.

Books Read and Movies Watched in April 2017

Books read in April 2017


It was a good reading month. It was all romance so pretty fast-reading books. Most were old and I felt like catching up on the series. I learned I'm not too into New Adult fiction. I really liked Maya Banks Highlander series, but then I found out it stalled after two books, but there is rumor a third may eventually be released. Fingers crossed!

Movies watched in April 2017


I really enjoyed Central Intelligence. The others were a fine waste of time. I figured I'd take advantage of the movie channels and made my way through their offerings.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Books Read and Movies Watched in March 2017

Books Read in March 2017

  1. The Talented Mr. Rivers by HelenKay Dimon (NOTE: This is part of the Tough Love series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon (NOTE: This is part of the Tough Love series. The order of which can be found here.)
  3. Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon (NOTE: This is part of the Tough Love series. The order of which can be found here.)
  4. Loving You Easy by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of the Loving on the Edge series. The order of which can be found here.)
  5. Wanderlust by Roni Loren 
  6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Movies Watched in March 2017
  1. Sausage Party 
  2. Beauty and the Beast 
  3. Woman in Gold
Let's see.  I read a lot of sexy books this month, the HelenKay Dimon was m/m romance.  I liked them.  It was more realistic suspense.  I had wanted to read The Handmaid's Tale again for years, and the new TV show and the new administration inspired me.  I got a lot more out of it this time around than in high school.  

Movies ran the gamut.  Little Miss really liked Beauty and the Beast.  I liked the little moments and some of the added moments, but it wasn't quiet as good as the animated film.  I'd still buy it and rewatch though - if only to watch the parts I missed while bringing Little Miss to the bathroom. 
Little Miss wore her Belle gown to the movie. We also met my friend's baby for the first time who also had the same dress so we got the cutest photo ever!

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Bourbon? Veggies? Yes, please.

I tried this recipe this past weekend for my sister, the bourbon drinker. You can find it here

First of all, I cut the bourbon recipe in half so it was 1 stick of butter and a half bottle of bourbon.  I used 8 TBS of the butter (the whole batch) and doubled the veggies.  It made way more, but then I didn't have leftover butter or wasted bourbon.  It says you can reuse the butter-infusede bourbon but ew.  I thought it was a weird mix with the cauliflower, but it mixed well with the sweet corn.  My sister and I think it would be better with corn and maybe onions or red bell peppers, veggies that take to the sweet better.  It's all about the butter though.

Corn and Cauliflower Sauteed in Bourbon Butter 

  • 4 tablespoons Bourbon-Infused Butter, recipe follows 
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-sized florets 
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
 Butter-Infused Bourbon and Bourbon-Infused Butter 
  1. One 750-milliliter bottle good-quality bourbon 
  2. 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter


Directions


Melt the Bourbon-Infused Butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and golden in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the corn, 3/4 teaspoons salt and some pepper, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the corn is just cooked through, about 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Butter-Infused Bourbon and Bourbon-Infused Butter:

Combine the bourbon and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter melts. Transfer to a container and freeze until the butter has solidified. Remove the large piece of bourbon-infused butter and reserve, refrigerated in an airtight container, for cooking. Strain the bourbon through a fine-meshed sieve and coffee filter to remove any remaining particles of butter. Return the butter-infused bourbon to its original bottle and keep frozen to use in cocktails for up to one month.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Food - Tomato Soup

Awhile ago, I bought tomato soup from La Madeleine.  Today, during the snow day, I heated it up.  Little Miss asked to try it and then ate a bowl.  She liked it, but she probably has similar tomato soup taste as I.  I basically want tomato sauce.  I want it savory and thick, not sweet.  It was delicious.  I'm glad she's trying new things - and even liking some!  We'll get there.  I just need to be patient while she finds her dietary way.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Food - Mozzarella Sticks

Honestly, I don't care what the new food is as long as she keeps trying new foods.  We went to NYC last weekend where we had a blast.  Little Miss saw her first Broadway play.  Plus, she did a little shopping at Madison Square Garden.  No lie she has worn this knit cap every day (even the 70 degree days) since the trip.  She's only really taken it off to eat and shower and sleep.

We traveled through lunch and had early dinner reservations so we decided just to nosh.  Little Miss had a piece of cake.  The adults ordered truffle fries and mozzarella sticks.  So, Little Miss decided to try fried cheese and marinara sauce.  So, duh, of course she loved it.  However, neither one of the kids is a big french fry fan so there's no obvious likes or dislikes here.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Books & Movies Watched in February 2017

February wasn't a very productive month.

Books Read in February 2017

Movies Watched in February 2017
I adored A Man Called Ove - so much that I'm watching the Swedish movie.  We also watched The Lego Movie and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief which I've already watched.  Trolls was super cute and already a family favorite.  


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Movies & Books in January 2017

I've been lazy at keeping up with the blog.

Movies Watched in January 2017

Books Read in January 2017
I decided to start listing our Sunday Family Movies.  Every Sunday, we make pancakes and watch a movie as a family.  Most of the time, Little Miss chooses, but we sometimes take turns.  I saw Hidden Figures in the theater with Mom and Sister which was fun.  

The books were all pretty solid, fast reads.  Three romance and one memoir - all enjoyable.

New Food - Chicken Piccata

Husband makes chicken piccata and roasted broccoli often. There was no reason Little Miss wouldn't like it so, this past weekend, she gave it a shot and ate a whole piece and asked for more. She picked off the capers, but so did I so no complaints there. She's been doing really well trying new things or at least giving them a shot. Sometimes, just explaining what's in the food or why she would like it helps. Throwing in some desserts help, too, even if she doesn't always like them. None of always likes new things, but, as I tell her, it's the trying that helps.

Friday, February 17, 2017

New Food - Kit Kat Fudge

Sometimes, you throw the kid a soft ball.  So, today, we made fudge.  It was 2 1/2 cups semi-sweet morsels, 14oz sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract microwaved until spreadable in 30 second increments.  Then, you place Kit Kats on top and chill.  Pretty simple.  Obviously, Little Miss enjoyed. You can find the recipe here

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nee food - Lemon Bars

The lemon bars were deemed to "lemony".  Next time, the pastry should bake longer, but they came out ok.  I snagged the recipe from here.

Lemon bars
Ingredients
For the pastry base
  • 1 cup cold butter cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
For the lemon layer
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of two lemons very finely chopped
  • cup juice of 2 lemons about 2/3 to 3/4 juice

Instructions
To make the pastry base

Using a pastry cutter or in a food processor blend together the butter sugar and flour.
Press evenly into the bottom of a greased and parchment paper lined 9×13 inch baking pan.
Bake for 20 to minutes at 350 degrees F ( 325 degrees F if you are using glass bake-ware) The bottom should just be beginning to brown slightly at the top edges.
For the lemon topping
Simply whisk together the sugar flour, eggs, zest and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.
Allow the topping to sit for about 10 minutes before whisking together well again and pouring over the baked shortbread base.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about another 20- 25 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the custard appears to be set. Cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool or try adding a meringue topping.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Food - Pork

Little Miss decided on pork loin, but I couldn't find one in the store.  With more planning, I think she would have enjoyed a roast pork loin with maybe a sweet sauce/glaze.  However, we ended up quickly baking up some pork chops.  She said they tasted fine, but she didn't like all the chewing.  They were the most moist pork chops I'd ever baked, too.  So, it's on the maybe list.  We'll try it again.  So far, we're keeping up with it though.  

We are cheating.  Little Miss has had pork, even pork chops, before, but it's not plain chicken or pasta so we're going with it.  She chose uncooked carrots as her side which is fine by me.  I don't care how she eats her veggies as long as she does.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

March on Washington

A very small part of me wanted to March, but I can hardly stand the Metro during rush hour, and chaos and crowds give me anxiety.  So, I stayed home, went to Cheesetique and had some wine and mac and cheese, bought more wine and cheese to bring home and then baked.  In addition to fudge, I made pink cupcakes in honor of those who marched.  They weren't fancy, just funfetti with dyed frosting (6 drops of red and one drop of blue).  I added a little glitter because glitter makes everything better.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Food - Chicken Teriyaki



  • This week, I made chicken teriyaki, jasmine rice, and green beans sauteed in toasted sesame oil and shallots (I added a little water and covered to steam them because they weren't cooking very fast).  I've made these before (see blog recipe though last time I used snow peas instead of green beans), but Little Miss never tried it.


This received thumbs up!  Plus, she said she'd eat it again.  Captain was not into it.  He picked out the rice and didn't eat anything else.

2017 is off to a good start!


Chicken Teriyaki

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger 
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper 
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total) 
Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, mix honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Transfer chicken and sauce to baking sheet. 

2. Bake chicken, skin side up, basting occasionally with pan juices, until well browned and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve chicken drizzled with pan juices.

Monday, January 9, 2017

No New Food

No new food this week.  Little Miss has a touch of the stomach bug.  Captain took good care of her.  While she was in the bathroom, he was told not to go in there, but he sat right at the door and offered her everything he could think of.  He later brought her tissues at her request.  He kept bringing her books.  He was very concerned and asked, "Laura, all right?"  Then, when she didn't answer, he looked at me and said, "Mama, help."  It was so precious.  He's missed his playmate quite a bit and has been extra snuggly with us to make up for it.  He had Husband read him many books and snuggled hard this morning with me.  His sister will be back to normal soon and everything will right itself.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Food - Fried Eggs and Bacon


Little Miss received The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for Christmas. We decided to resurrect the New Food of the Week. And this time, we mean it. To help us keep accountable, I thought I'd revamp the blog and record our findings. 

The first dish is an easy one - fried eggs and bacon. I let the eggs fry a bit longer to avoid the gooey yolk. I also scrambled a couple of eggs as a back up in case she did not like them. She did not. She ate the egg whites and the the scrambled egg on reserve. Obviously, the bacon was a hit as that wasn't a true new food. Originally, the thought was to go through the book chronologically, but there's a whole chapter on sauces and such so we decided to randomly pick recipes. We'll see what she chooses for next week! As when we first started this venture, it still helps that she chooses the food and also helps that she makes it with me. She pretty much made the entire egg portion this week.

P.S.  The serving size was 2 pieces of bacon which I thought was ridiculous.  I gave each kid 3 pieces to look like a hero.  I did not dole out the bonus bacon until after the fried egg was tried though.