Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Foggy skies...

This past weekend, the boyfriend and I got together with a couple that we have just started to hang out with here in our new town. They recently got a new puppy so we decided to introduce our puppies! The beach was the location for our puppy play date. Little miss Emma was apprehensive at first of the tiny puppy; however in no time, Emma was playing with the little bundle. With a few playful swipes of the paw, Emma sent the little puppy rolling down the beach. The puppy jumped right back up and was ready for round 2 with our 60 pound fur baby.

Anyways, the whole point of this blog was to go off about the beautiful beach locale. We walked for two hours along the beach in misty, foggy, wonderful weather. The amount of nature we were witness to was amazing. Heron everywhere and eagles soaring from tree to tree. We even watched a juvenile eagle feeding on something along the hillside. Along with the wildlife, the shoreline was littered with uprooted trees. The hillside has been washed away a number of times, scattering trees along the beach. Some of the trees root work was pretty incredible. This two hour walk cemented in our minds, how lucky we are to live in a place like we do. If you have the time this week, take the chance to go for a stroll somewhere you love, or somewhere new.

Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great online find..

So, a friend and I enjoying discussing books. We chat about what we are reading, what we are going to read, etc. Recently, my lovely friend introduced me to a site called GoodReads. (http://www.goodreads.com/) 

What I love so much about the website is that you can keep track of all the books you want to read, have read, and are currently reading. You can search for friends that are members of the site and see what their book recommendations are, what they are reading and so on. You can also search from lots of other book lists. There is a place where you can make a challenge to see how many books you want to read. I have  made an online goal of 30 books to read for 2011. We will see how it goes. I am on book number 4 so far! :) 

Basically, if you are into reading and want a place to explore and keep track of books you want to read or have read, Good Reads is the place to do it!

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finger lickin' good...

Before I begin I must point out that all recipes that I put on this blog are not mine. I have either found them in cook books, magazines, online, or received the recipe from someone. If I could give the credit where due, I would, but I can't remember for most of them. With that being said, here are two of my standby recipes.

Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients
2-3 cups of rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ (I used bran flakes that I crushed up)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour (I use whole wheat flour)
3/4 tsp salt
Addition ideas:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cranberries
fresh fruit
Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup honey (I add 1/4 cup agave syrup)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 - 1 cup apple sauce *optional
1/2 cup peanut butter *optional
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients together. In a seperate bowl combine wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry ingredients and using hands combine. At this point make sure your mixture is quite moist.
Pat the mixture into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Take out once edges are browning. Cool for 5 minutes, before cutting out. Do not let it cool before cutting out as you will have a hard time getting it out.
*I have played around lots with this recipe. I have tried different combinations. I always make sure the mixture is moist. My first batch were too dry and crumbled. I ended up using it as granola for my yogurt.
Hope you enjoy this goodie!!!

Spicy Maple Grilled Wings

1 package (18-24) chicken wings
1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper, and paprika
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp Thai Chili Sauce

Mix together salt, pepper, and paprika; then season wings. Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Start baking the wings. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, add syrup, sugar, butter and chili sauce. Bring to a simmer, whisky briskly. Remove from heat. Baste wings with mixture. *I adapted this recipe as the recipe called for the wings to be grilled on the bbq. I basically baste the wings every 5 to 10 minutes with the chili mixture. In total I maybe bake the wings for 30ish minutes. Use your judgement with basting and when your wings are done.
This is probably my fave recipe that I have!!! Hope you enjoy!

Here goes...

So with the support....guidance...and help of friends...I decided to try my hand blogging. This blog with follow a variety of things...my obsession with cooking, reading, photography...maybe even little snipets of my battles with a crazy 60 pound puppy...

So to begin...some must read books..

  • The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Follows the character of Aminata Diallo as she is taken from her village and thrown into slavery. This book was amazing. I couldn't put it down. There were moments where I wanted to cry out about the pain and misfortune she suffered. Her strength made her a resilient female character. A MUST READ!!!
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
I read this book awhile ago, but I havent been able to forget it. This novel is about boy soldiers in Sierra Leone. The author has a website where you can learn more about him. http://www.alongwaygone.com/index.html Its a tough read but I really recommend it.
  • In a Sunburnt Country by Bill Bryson
This book prepared me for my trip to Australia a couple of years back. Bill has written a number of books from different places around the world. In a Sunburnt Country, Bill writes about some of the quirks and funny things that people will find when visiting Australia. Even if you haven't been to Australia, is funny outlook on things, makes this book worth a read.

Well thats all for now.... more to come..