'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Come And Get It!

It's been pretty quiet here on the Post this week. Not much going on. Very slow reading week. So I thought I'd share what we've been eating around here lately!

Today I made an old snack recipe I haven't made in quite awhile. Very simple and you might already know this one but it's a nice standby snack.

Seasoned Crackers 

2 12 oz. bags of oyster/soup crackers (I have used generic brand on this and personally noticed a big difference. It's worth the extra pennies to go with the name brand crackers)
1 cup oil
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Shake together or whisk the oil, dressing mix, dill, and garlic powder
Pour over crackers and stir until well coated.
Bake on cookie sheet at 200* for 1/2 hour stirring occasionally


Enjoy!




Over the last couple of weeks we've had...

the easiest, moistest, crunchiest Oven Fried Panko Crusted Chicken. I used all thighs. This will be a staple! If you don't have a cast iron skillet I'm telling you run to the nearest store and get one! I don't even put mine away anymore, it just sits on top of the stove.

The day of the big play off game between Green Bay and the Seattle Sea Hawks we had Pulled Pork Sandwiches and coleslaw. We were winning the whole game! Seattle was playing terrible and at the very last minute they perked up and tied the game. We lost in overtime. My heart was broken, but I still love my Packers and I think 5 of them are playing in the Pro Bowl and we topped all the leader boards this season. Next year, fingers crossed!

I found a couple really easy side-dishes. Parmesan Yellow Squash, I mixed the yellow and zucchini. And Ina Garten's Caramelized Roast Butternut Squash that was delightful. I threw in a little extra brown sugar ;)

On the soup front I made a wonderful standby in our house, Rachael Ray's Stuffed Cabbage Stoup. Thicker than soup but not quite stew is what she calls Stoup!  This coming week we are having the Brown Eyed Baker's Minestrone, it's to die for! And she live's in Pittsburgh, we're practically neighbors!

Always trying different pizza dough recipes looking for that one and this is it people! Quick and Easy Dough from The Recipe Critic. So easy and delicious! She was right though if you don't like thick crust don't use it all for one pizza. Make one pizza and use the rest to make her cinnamon roll breadtwists or garlic breadtwists. I loved it, but hubby said it was too thick for him, he likes thin crust.

I tried a spaghetti frittata for the first time and really just looked over a couple different recipes for how to's but mostly used this one from Honest Fare. We didn't like it too much, but to be honest I think I over cooked it, it was too dry. We didn't even eat the leftovers.

I haven't done too much baking lately only these Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from King Arthur flour (the only brand I buy) and they were the best! I put in half butterscotch chips and mini choc. chips though, hubby loves the butterscotch with oatmeal.

Tonight we're having Paula Deen's Hobo Burgers!

So that's what's been on our table lately, how about yours?

Peggy Ann


Monday, January 19, 2015

Go To Helena Handbasket

Back of the Book:
On her latest case, wisecracking Private Investigator, Helena Handbasket, is faced with a lot of tough questions.

Did Robin Banks have a hand in the theft of Evan Stubezzi's jewels? And if so, was the hand one of those packed in ice in the freezer box that was delivered to his brother, Owen?

Is there a serial killer on the loose? Or are all those handless corpses with scarlet fish sewn into their chest cavities purely coincidental?

What shoes should you wear for a meeting with a killer?

Why does her next-door neighbour smell of cheese?

Which of her true loves is her real true love? And, more importantly, is ther anything in the fridge for dinner?

Can our man-loving, cocktail-loving, food-loving, not-so-very-intrepid heroine answer these questions-any of them-without leaving a cliche unturned?

From the git go this parody of crime fiction is off to a manic pace and you laugh yourself silly! There is a jewel theft and a serial killer so there really is crime to solve but oh my what a road to get there! She hits on almost every single stereotype and crime suspects you could imagine...
  • Crime solving cat
  • Obsessive serial killer
  • FBI profiler
  • Body parts in freezers
  • Drinking and eating (every time she makes herself a cocktail she gives the whole recipe for it and it's amazing what she whips up from the 'leftovers' in her fridge!)
  • Long suffering secretary who spoke, beatnik?
  • Unsolved jewelry heist
  • Cars exploding
  • Blackmailing
  • ready to retire cop
  • Sex or the lack of it

The characters names are hilarious! Robin Banks, Owen Banks, Fifi Fofum, Luke Warmwater, Justin Case, Katya Fallingstar, Frank Lee, Hal Litosis, Sally Mander, Gene Poole and more!

If parody is up your alley and you love to laugh this one might be for you! Nonstop silliness and a solved crime at the end.

Here are some excerpts that had me roaring...

'I took my tray back into the kitchen, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I passed. Had I really looked that bad when Owen Banks came into the office? Damn, I needed to smarten up my act, lose a hundred pounds or so, get my hair done, buy a new wardrobe, book myself in for a course of liposuction and some serious plastic surgery. One thing at a time. I combed my mousy brown hair and twisted it into an approximation of a neat, Audrey Hepburn-like French twist. It was the closest I would get to looking like Audrey Hepburn. As it was, I looked as though I had eaten Audrey Hepburn. I definitely needed to find my gym membership card. People say that I do resemble a film star, though. Unfortunately, it's Margaret Rutherford.'

And conversation with Fifi was a riot!
 
'Who was the big lug with the sour puss who just dusted out? He looked down on his uppers and shit outta luck. What was he, some sorta hatchet man?' Fifi nodded her red beehive, backcombed to within an inch of its life, towards what was left of the door. 'He the one who squirted metal and put daylight in the crib door?'...

'One was Fifi. 'Helena, doll, two cackle-broads came in to see you earlier-slinky pieces of homework-friends of Robin Banks with some jingle-brained tale of dipsy doodle. We bumped gums for a while but the twists ankled like shit through a tin horn when they found out you were with the elephant ears."...

'Well sister, here's the lay. from now on, I'm your torpedo from hell to breakfast, so you're Jake. anyone messes with you while I'm onside has a head full of bees and that's flat.'

Sometimes talking to Fifi made my head hurt. I wish she came with her own translator. 'But Fifi, what about the danger aspect? How are you going to protect yourself, let alone me?'

Fifi looked hurt. 'dollface, don't vip another vop. I'm a black belt in Kung Po. anyone threatens you, I'll be all over them like a cheap suit.'

I didn't have the heart to tell her that Kung Po was a chicken dish involving cashew nuts. I sighed and gave in. 'OK, you're hired.'

I could go on and on, but then you wouldn't have to read the book for yourself!

You can read the first chapter here.

Peggy Ann


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Song for Sunday


 Facedown by Matt Redman

Verse 1:
Welcomed in to the courts of the King/
I've been ushered into your presence/
Lord I stand on your merciful ground/
Yet with every step tread with reverence

Chorus:
And I'll fall facedown
As your glory shines around
Yes I'll fall facedown
As your glory shines around

Verse 2:
Who is there in the heavens like you/
And upon the earth who's your equal/
You are far above you're the highest of heights/
We are bowing down to exalt you

Repeat Chorus

So let your glory shine around!
Let your glory shine around!
King of glory here be found!
King of glory!

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Book Coming Soon - A Must Read!

I got an email today about this book and it sounds so good and it's set in Scotland so it counts for the challenge! I am so excited! Doesn't come out though until March;( Wanted to give you all a heads up on it too! You can order signed hardbacks direct from the author until January 31st. Ebooks will be released March 18th and can be pre-ordered at Amazon US , Kobo, Amazon UK and iBooks. Paperbacks will be coming later.

Synopsis

Trust has never come easily to Ellie Jameson. A broken past taught her that self-reliance is the only option—no one sticks around for the long haul. When a fateful letter arrives with news of an unexpected inheritance, she sees a silver lining in the tragedy that seems to follow her. Anxious to leave American city life for the rugged Scottish Highlands, she sets off to claim her fate in a whirlwind of determination. Captivated by the land of stunning lochs, fiery whisky, and a particularly charming Highland local, it seems things may finally be turning around . . .
But nothing could have prepared Ellie for what awaits at the Glenbroch estate, where she soon discovers very little is as it seems. Intrigue, danger, and secrets surround the life of the father she never knew, entangling her in a web of lies and betrayal. As the line between ally and enemy blurs, Ellie must decide what, and whom, to believe. Her independence and survival skills are put to the test as she learns once and for all whether her heart can be trusted.
A modern-day tale of adventure, the struggle to forge a new life, and the beauty of hope, What Lies Between is an intriguing blend of suspense and emotion that keeps readers guessing. This debut novel is sure to both stir the heartstrings and quicken the pulse as Ellie discovers the true meaning of family—even beyond the bonds of blood.

Author's Website

I don't normally pay for ebooks but I might have to pre-order this one!

Peggy Ann

Thursday, January 15, 2015

News Alert for Ruth Rendell

Just heard author Ruth Rendell has suffered a serious stroke. Article here.

Celtic Blood Read-a-long

Over at the Goodreads Read Scotland 2015 group we have planned a read-a-long for the book Celtic Blood by James John Loftus, one of our group members! It is a historical novel set in 13th century Scotland.

James has very graciously set up the ebook for free through Amazon for us. A 5 day Kindle Giveaway, 20th January, to 24th, January, starting, USA, west coast time. It should be available to most all countries. He said to go to Amazon.com to get the Kindle format. He is also doing a giveaway of a print copy on Goodreads and one specific for our Read Scotland group. The general giveaway on Goodreads doesn't start until February 15th though. So if you want a print copy for the read-a-long you might want to try your hand at our contest in the group! You have to be a member there though. Just answer the question James posed correctly and your name will go in the hat for the drawing.

The read-a-long begins on February 14th, Valentine Day, because we LOVE Scotland. If you want to join in but aren't on Goodreads, I thought we could do it here too. Tell me in the comments if your interested in joining in here and I will set up a page for it and we can communicate through the comments.

Here's the book synopsis:

All who dare come ye hither into the dark woods where danger lies. The theme of dangers lurking in the green forest is ancestral, species long, it scares us and fascinates, us, both. Come with me and enter the woods.

A boy once his father is murdered seeks escape amongst the wilds riding deeper and deeper into the green. He is the son of a noble Earl, the great-grandson of a king, and marked for death. He is the last of his line. Alone in the trees bar for one friend who has forsaken him not.

A forest has haunting power. You need God's power and protection in the shadows. And in the deep dark mysterious forest-shadows nothing ... nothing ... protects ... you. 



amazon.com
Paperback is 314 pages
Kindle File Size is 361 kb
You can read a sample there!

General Give-a-away @Goodreads info:
Opens for entries on February 15, 2015
Giveaway dates: Feb 15 - Mar 31, 2015
3 copies available,   Countries available: US, CA, and GB more

Found this nice interview with James about the book from 2012 if you'd like to take a look!


Hope you'll be joining us!
Peggy Ann