Tuesday, November 11, 2014

{TWD} Palets de Dames: Lille Style

Woo hoo! Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook "Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere" is out and this is the first Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from the book! I am hoping I can stick with this and complete the recipes in the book. If you have liked my posts in the past and thought "hey, I would like to do some baking!" Now would be a good time to jump on the bandwagon. You can click that link right up there are go to my amazon affiliate link to purchase it!

The first recipe selected from Baking Chez Moi was Palets de Dames: Lille Style. These little cookies were the perfect little snack. My kiddos snagged a couple of naked cookies while I was frosting the rest and gave a big thumbs up. There was some chill time for these but they were a snap to put together. The frosting had 3 ingredients and was quick to whip up. The cookies baked and cooled quickly. Apparently I have a problem with sprinkles though. I took a dozen of these to a sweet friend who has been letting my son stay with her after school until I can get him. Her daughter said she ate one before school and that they were delicious! I am hoping to share more of the treats I bake from this book. Don't worry, my family will not be like the cobblers children that have no shoes. They will still get plenty of treats but we do want to share.

Make sure to check out Tuesdays with Dorie and the LYL to see how other bakers around the world liked this recipe!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

{Blogging for Books} Eat by Nigel Slater

We have been kind of crazy lately with school, sports, church, substitute teaching, and just living life. That means I have fallen off the cooking and baking wagon completely! In full disclosure....we ate out every night last week except for the night I made something very, very easy. Dorie Greenspan's new book "Baking Chez Moi" just came out so I am about to jump back into Tuesdays with Dorie. In the meantime though I have been looking for easy recipes that I can cook fast for my family.

Enter eat by Nigel Slater:

When I pulled this out of the package the first thing I noticed was the cover of the book. It is paperback but it feels like fabric, is flexible, but it is more solid than paperback. All that to say it felt right in my hands. As I flipped through the pages I noticed the nice photos and the simple recipes. 

Typically I like to have a very organized recipe that includes a list of ingredients but these recipes seem to lend themselves to a little flexibility. 

Today I tried James's Potato Tortilla. The ingredients list included a potato, shallot, egg, and butter. It didn't say what kind of potato so I used red. I didn't have a shallot so I used a small onion. Munchkin was helping me so she seasoned the egg with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder. The photo of the recipe in the book shows a golden hashbrown type item. Mine turned out gray with egg on the top. It tasted great but was not pretty. :) It was fast though and was  enough to share as a side for all of us. 

In the section of the introduction titled "Recipes" Slater talks about how the recipes are written more as "extended tweets." "The ingredients are listed next to a picture of the finished dish...so you can see, at a glance, what you will need."  You do need to read the rest of the recipe for the method. 

I am trying to be more flexible in my cooking and I think this book is exactly what I need for that. Plus, my kiddos can jump in and help out with quick recipes like these.

If you would like to find out more about Nigel Slater you can click here.

Make sure to check out Blogging for Books if you would like to get books and blog about them too! "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

{Blogging for Books} How to Survive Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters

By now you have probably see the riveting (and by riveting I mean you cannot tear your eyes away for the ridiculousness of the acting, graphics, dialogue, etc... that is happening on the screen) movie Sharknado. If you are a Sharknado aficionado you have probably seen the equally thrilling Sharknado 2: The Second One.

Well, if you have not gotten your fill of Sharks being slaughtered by chainsaws you should check out How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters by Andrew Shaffer.
This was a pretty quick read and made me actually laugh out loud in several spots. If you are worried about Sharks flying through the air you will know what to do. If you are worried about Arachnoquakes, Icenadoes, or Elecktrokragens you are in luck. You will find out how to deal with each and every one of these unnatural disasters.

There is a very handy "threat to humanity scale", a "risk of encounter scale", and "Fin Shepard's WTF (Wow, that's freaky) scale".

After some of the thick books I have read this year this was a fun palette cleanser for the next deep read I take on.

One of the best things about Blogging for Books is that I can request a book and as long as I write a review I get the book provided by the company. All opinions are my own. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

County Fair

Yesterday we decided to take the kids to the county fair. We were planning on going early but it poured at our house and our kiddos were supposed to be cleaning their rooms so we waited until 2:30 when the rain had passed before we headed out.

We purchased ride tickets, checked out all of the fun displays, picked up some free lemonade provided by a church, and got in line for the bumper cars. I am guessing the ride should have closed right before we go on it because as we stood in line the sky began to darken, the wind picked up, and lightning began to flash. Getting on a metal ride with metal poles sticking up was probably not the brightest idea but I am glad we got on when we did. The picture below I snapped just before we got on the ride. 

 The storm that blew through actually missed the fair completely but lightning in the area caused closure of all of the rides for awhile. A few notes on the fair:

  1. It is as rednecky as you might think in the best way possible (think pig races and lawnmower demolition derby).
  2. My kids will stand and watch an egg hatch for quite awhile.
  3. Spell check may not have been used when making the banner for the place we got our drinks.
  4. Running power cords through giant puddles is totally acceptable (or not removing them from water after rain).
  5. People will debate what kind of lawnmower is being driven in the lawnmower demolition derby.
  6. Everyone goes to the fair!
  7. Ride tickets are expensive.
  8. Food is terribly expensive.
  9. Deep Fried Snickers are delicious and 1 is plenty to share with 3 people.
  10. Abe Lincoln had a long drive home in the rain. 

Bobby and Little Man went on the Ferris Wheel and could see the stands filling up for the demolition derby from the top. Munchkin and I went on Rock and Roll while they were high up in the sky. As a side note, I used to love roller coasters. Even after a bad experience at a fair in California (My friend Nicole and I ended up on The Hammer for 20 minutes just swinging back and forth almost high enough to flip but not quite. That ended in vomit.) I loved roller coasters at amusement parks. Then I had kids and started having motion sickness. So, I went on this ride with Munchkin and once it was over I needed a moment to compose myself so I did not vomit at this fair. Once I was ready we headed off to the demolition derby. My son adored the derby! He thought it was hilarious that the cars were smashing each other! A couple of notes on the derby:
  1. It appears the object was to smash the competitors cars and be the last one still moving.
  2. Some competitors will help out a stalled car by pushing from behind, as futile as it may be.
  3. Some competitors will smash the side of your car to try and get you unhooked from another car.
  4. Demolition Derby is kind of exciting!

Once we were done at the derby we went to spend the rest of our tickets. We had 14 left and the kids wanted to ride Rock and Roll so we headed back to the other side of the fair. Bobby stayed in line with the kids until they got to the steps and I am glad he did. The line was crazy and bunch of people got in line in front of them while they were out of my line of vision. Both kids were so very excited for this ride. Little Man especially as he had not ridden it yet. Munchkin as well since she got to introduce him to it! They got off all smiles. Since we only had 4 tickets left and didn't see any rides that both kids could ride we headed for the gate. We picked a little girl at the ticket booth and gave her our last tickets hoping she could use them. It was late, we were tired, and ready to get home when all of a sudden we say Abe Lincoln in the school house! The kids wanted to see him so we ran in for a moment. Abe lost his allure a bit when he ignored us. I asked for a picture though and he complied. It was the last day of the fair and I am sure he was tired and hot after being in character all day. As we started toward the gate it started to rain, by the time we were in the car it started to pour! I am so glad we got to spend the day hanging out together as a family and were able to get home safely after a long hot day. :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

{Nashville Food Bloggers} The Southern

It has been a couple of months since The Southern opened its doors to the Nashville Food Bloggers for a delicious breakfast and obviously I am way behind on blogging. Our family is always looking for a good place to have breakfast and it seems that this restaurant, conveniently located near the Music City Convention Center, would fit the bill.
Not only did they provide us with beautiful fresh fruit, fried chicken, waffles, bacon, and grits they also told us all about how they use sustainable methods in their restaurant.

Some of my favorite Nashville Food Bloggers were also there: Southern Fatty, Nita the Bruncher, and Dinner with Nerds. I got a great breakfast and even better conversation.
Check it out next time you are in town! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Photo Challenge Day!

It is the 4th week of summer vacation. The first week we relaxed and wound down from school. We went swimming and to the library. The second and third week Munchkin was at band camp so Little Man and I hung out and played cars, went to the library, read, went to the wave pool with band camp, baked cookies, went to the beach and a spray park, and just enjoyed getting to spend time together. 

This week I have been reading the new Diana Gabaldon book "Written in My Heart's Own Blood" so the kids have been doing a great job of entertaining themselves. Sure, they have had time to watch a little TV and play a few video games but that is pretty limited. They have read, done chalk art on the side walk, done crafts, and have eaten all of the snacks in the house. So today when they asked what they should do I sent them on a photo challenge. They started out in the backyard but then went all around our block to see what kinds of images they could capture. Their challenge consisted of flowers, yard art, and leading lines. These are the top 4 for each kiddo. I think they rose to the challenge! :)

Munchkin's top 4

Little Man's top 4

Now while I post this they are watching Frozen only this time in Spanish.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


This is Critter. He was a stray that adopted our neighbor and has been loved on by everyone in the neighborhood. Critter used to be very skittish around people but because of the love shown by our neighbors he grew to like people. At Christmas he got hit by a car. A trip with the neighbors to the vet showed he was bruised but no worse for wear. Over the last two years he has shown signs of his age in his vision, hearing, and bladder function. A family walked by one day and asked if he was OK because of the way he was walking. Everyone on the block knows Critter, loves him, and knows to just pick him up and move him to the yard if he is out in the street. Today, Critter is going to the vet and will not be coming home.

We talked to the kids yesterday about Critter. Munchkin (my tenderhearted girl) immediately started to tear up. She went out to go see him and to take some pictures of him. The big picture up there is hers (the small one is from two years ago). Little Man (also tenderhearted) took a little while longer to process but then sobbed at bedtime. Both kids have loved Critter and having him on our street. He will be missed. :(