Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Reads

I finished the Kindle Single, The Girl In Room Fourteen, I started at the end of January.  My reading has been thrown off since my son has barely been in school due to an excessive amount of snow days this year.  Anyway, I am not usually a fan of short stories, but I wanted something light and quick to read in between Divergent and the second book in that series, Insurgent.  This Kindle Single was just the thing.  It was well written and not too deep.  I enjoyed it and was surprised by the ending.

Then I read Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  This is the second book in the Divergent Trilogy.  I really enjoyed this book, just as much as the first one.  People keep comparing them to the Hunger Games books, but they are quite different in my opinion.  I have read a lot of dystopian novels though, so I can classify them by their subtle differences.

Of course that was followed by Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent Trilogy.  I liked this one as well, although things started to get very complicated in their world(s).  I did not like the ending, but I am glad there was finality to it.
Next I read another Kindle freebie called Medicine Men: Extreme Appalachian Doctoring by Carolyn Jourdan.  This book was a funny collection of stories from rural doctors.  I think it would make a great documentary or tv show to follow similar doctors in their daily practices.  I enjoyed this book, but would have liked to see better editing skills.  There were a lot of missing words and errors which annoys me when I am reading. 
I finished this last book with only three days left in the month, so I'm going to leave off there.  I will start something new, but I'll share about that one next month.  I'll be poring over my Kindle library and wish list to decide what will be my next read...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pumpkin, Valentines & a B-Day Card

On Sunday I tried this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I printed it out a while back, like in the Fall when I want to eat all things pumpkin flavored, but never got around to it.  So, yesterday when I had a sweet tooth I decided I would give it a try.  I am so glad I did because these cookies are tasty.  They have that pumpkin bread/muffin texture to them and the chocolate flavor mixes in nicely.  They will be added to my recipe book and made over and over again.

A couple weeks ago on one of Aiden's many snow days from school we made his Valentine's.  He will pass them out this Friday to all the students in his class.  We went with a simple printable with a Hershey kiss attached with a glue dot.  He enjoyed using my big paper cutter to cut them out.
We also made a special Valentine for his teacher.  I saw this idea on Pinterest, but they used Rolos inside the dynamite.  His teacher has diet restrictions so we went with dry erase markers instead.  Aiden is a very thoughtful guy and he remembered that she could use some more markers for her white board.  He also said she likes dark chocolate, but one Valentine seemed like plenty to me.
My sister's birthday was this past Sunday.  I think she turned 30.  Yikes!  That means I am old!  Anyway, here's the card I made and mailed to her.  I really liked the color combination and the rounded corners at the bottom of the card.  I just bought that teal and black twine at my last crop at Archivers.  I am so sad they will be closing their stores in a few days.

Anyway, it's been a good mix of crafts and kitchen experiments/recipes here lately.  It is good to do things I enjoy and a good way to keep my mind busy and focused on positive things like creating little things for others and feeding my family.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

You Win Some, You Lose Some...

That's how it seems to go in life and in my kitchen.  I try a lot of recipes I fond online. Some are great and become regulars in our dinner menu and others are losers.  Here we have a few recently tried recipes that were losers...

 I thought this was ok, not fabulous, but good, and Andrew did not like it.

I did not enjoy the texture of these muffins.  It was too spongey in my opinion.  I am not used to baking with coconut flour, so maybe that is something that I just have to get used to.  I did feel like they would have been better if I had diced up the blackberries and distributed them throughout the batter.  I put them in the fridge and Andrew ate most of them in a few days as snacks, so at least they didn't go to waste.

These were too dry and boring. We ate them, but I would not make them again.

And now for the WINNER of the week...

This recipe called for roasted coconut chips, which required a trip to Trader Joes.  You would think that would take points off because Trader Joes is not near my house at all.  I had to make a special trip over there and that is a PITA.  However, I loved those coconut chips, they are very tasty and they make this recipe flavorful.  The chicken was juicy and the coconut flavor was just the right intensity.  I really enjoyed it and will plan my side dishes better next time to go with the coconut flavor.