Jun 28, 2011


Great article about a chef and restauranteur - The Spotted Pig.

Jun 27, 2011


I made this dish of eggs in mushroom caps the other day accompanied by a side of roasted cherry tomatoes.  So perfect and summery.  Will be doing it again!  (And maybe will marinate the caps the next go round).

Jun 26, 2011


I have such a fondness for Julian Fellowes - he knows his stuff.  He writes about high society in England.  I enjoy the drama of society.  What he really gets so right is the interaction between people - husbands and wives, acquaintances, in-laws.  His descriptions are so freaking spot on sometimes.

Snobs is about a regular girl who ends up marrying into the aristocracy.  Her welcome is less than warm.  It's set in the modern day.  It's a pretty fun read - although I prefer his novel Past Imperfect a good bit more.

Fellowes is also know for writing Gosford Abbey and the screenplay for Downton Abbey.  Best of all, he played Kilwillie on Monarch of the Glen - one of my favorite shows. 

Snobs gets a 5/10.

Recent culinary adventures

The boy-o and I recently hosted a PB&J potluck with some adventurous friends (including the amazingly talented Andrea!)

We made these dishes:

Spicy Peanut Soup - Makes WAY more than four servings!
PB&J Wings - can't find recipe but seriously good
Prosecco Jelly with Nectarines & Blueberries
Deep-fried rolos - the next great fair food?

We also did loads of beer tasting, and two of my new faves are Wells Banana Bread Beer and Rogue John John Ale.  Love our potlucks!

Jun 25, 2011


I think I need something like this.


Sorry for a link to a partial article, but it's so good!  Transmission from Camp Trans is one of the essays in the book I'm currently reading Read Hard (more on this later). 

This article was one of those dips into a world I don't know much about but completely loved learning about.

Jun 20, 2011



She has the prettiest voice.

Jun 18, 2011

Jun 17, 2011

So bad

Go take a listen to this cover of Lucinda Williams' Just Wanted to See You So Bad.  Loved it!

Jun 16, 2011


The Tillman Story broke my heart.  It dives into the controversy surrounding his death which I thought was interesting.  What really held my attention though was the family.  What a strong and admirable group they are.  It just felt so honest.  8/10.

Jun 15, 2011


I fear that I've become spoiled.  Halfway into Cod, I put it down and never re-opened it.  I like history when its told from an odd angle.  However, I like to interested and entertained.  I blame Mary Roach, Sarah Vowell, and Bill Bryson. 

Life is too short to soldier on through a book that doesn't interest me.  2/10.

Jun 14, 2011

Wild ride

Bad Monkeys is kind of a wild ride.  It's told as an interview of a woman who is either crazy or the member of a super secret organization.  She says that her job is to take out criminals aka "bad monkeys".

The tale rips along despite being told as a series of questions and answers.  There are some unexpected turns throughout, and overall its a pretty fun read.  I particularly loved the various department names - all as clever as the Bad Monkey Dept.  6/10.

Jun 13, 2011

Not that kind

Over the weekend, my niece looked askance when I had her get out the eggs for breakfast. "I don't eat those kind of eggs!" Those kind being brown.

She also gravely informed me that she didn't drink cow's milk.

Poor child. We ended up eating brown eggs and drinking cow's milk and all sorts of stuff that she was sure wasn't gonna be good.

Picky eaters confound me. Luckily, she survived.


Threads of Feeling is an exhibit of fabric scraps from the London Foundling Hospital. Its scraps from fabric that were left with abandoned babies. The hospital had a rule that if the mother changed her mind and wanted her child back, all she need to do is bring a scrap of fabric that matched what the baby wore when received at the hospital.

Gorgeous and thoughtful.

Jun 11, 2011


Chew is so very very gross - but I still enjoyed it.  It takes place in a future world where the FDA operates like the CIA.  Lots of dangerous investigations and double agents.  The principal character is a man who gains information by eating things - a very bad talent when what needs investigated is frequently corpses.

Every gross alley you can imagine - it goes there.  But the illustration and writing are sharp and the world is really well imagined.  I'm two books in and interested to see where it goes next.  6/10.

Jun 10, 2011

In which I over-use the word "wicked"

Downton Abbey is wicked smart and fun.  I adore upstairs / downstairs dynamics and this does not disappoint.  Julian Fellowes created the series, and I am a big fan of his work.

Maggie Smith is fantastic as wickedly funny and frequently awful mother-in-law.  Watch it!  8.5/10.

Jun 4, 2011

Missed connection

Comic strips based on the the missed connections ads - I Saw You is a cute idea.  5/10.

Jun 3, 2011

Less than warm

Mr. Peanut is not a book that gives you warm and fuzzy feelings about marriage.  It delves into three unhappy, complicated relationships.  It starts with a man accused of murdering his wife, and then it delves into both of the detectives lives. 

I thought all three stories were interesting although some felt skimped on and others drug on and on in spots.  I liked the concept of the book but wish the stories had been layered a bit differently.  It just felt a bit clunky in how it meshed (or didn't really mesh at times).  5.5/10.

Jun 2, 2011


After a wee bit of a reading slump, I picked up The Magicians which I loved loved loved.  Even the author doesn't shy away from comparisons to Harry Potter and Narnia - he references both in this novel about a teenager who is accepted to a secret school for magicians.  What this book does differently is that it welcomes the messiness and all out angst of teenage life.  These students are disaffected youth.  They rage at their parents, do stupid hurtful things, and hate their lives.  This sort of thing drives me mad in a lot of literary fiction when its attached to adults.  However, I give a lot of leeway to fictional angry teens.  8.5/10.

And happy news - the author has a sequel due out this fall.  Yay!

Laugh your ass off...then go cook!

Jun 1, 2011

Dog's view

When a friend handed me The Art of Racing in the Rain, my first question was, "Is this going to make me cry?"  Her answer was "Well...... not really."  Two pages in, I could feel my eyes welling up.  But she was right, once I past some initial hard stuff the novel was not going for easy low blows (I'm looking at you Marley & Me.)  In fact, I think this book does a great job dodging schmoopy-ness.

This novel combines the life of a dog and his family with the story of a race car driver.  Dogs - I love.  Race cars - I could give a crap about.  Still this was inventive and interesting.  In fact, the dog is the story's narrator which was an extra point of interest.

I read this book in practically one sitting.  It's really hard to put down. 6/10.