October 24, 2016

Another Round of Foodie Tunes.... the Coffee Edition

Oh my goodness I think I was online, cleaning around the house or just reading all weekend and my brain needs a break so you are getting another round of fun tunes about food.  Here are a few fun ones celebrating coffee!  So pour you a cup and enjoy this fully loaded caffeine extravaganza...

 This last one is a joke.... from a comedian who is, in fact, not r*cist at all.... just take it for what is meant please.  My kids, who are also NOT r*cist, shared it with me some time ago.

I hope there is something here for everyone.... from jazz, country, rap, etc....  do you have a coffee song not listed here that you know about?  Please feel free to share a link with me to check it out.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

October 23, 2016

End of Event Survey... Read-a-thon has ended... awe....

End of Event Survey

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  I gave up and went to bed by hour 17 because I always sleep so I can get to church on time the next day but I was pretty tired at that point and my eyes were crossing.  LOL
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  I know everyone's tastes are different but I think shorter books are best for this challenge so you feel more accomplished and maybe something funny or an exciting mystery would be the thing to keep your brain engaged.  I tend to pick lighter reads for this event.  No Count of Monte Cristo for me!  
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?  I think things are going swimmingly.... it is such a great 24 hours and I always love it.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  The mini challenges were easy but fun and I loved floating around checking Instagram and Litsy this time out.... the photos were fabulous!
  5. How many books did you read?  I finished one and had two more in progress but read a total of 300 pages for the day... even with knocking off at hour 17 and having to leave the house three times for taxi runs.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?  You are Forgiven by the Love God Greatly Group, Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill, and I Wish He Had Come with Instructions by Mike Bechtle.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?  I Wish He had come with Instructions
  8. Which did you enjoy least?  I really enjoyed them all... 
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  Maybe a cheerleader or bring a mini challenge or I might be able to come with a prize.  I will DEFINITELY be participating whenever my schedule allows!

October 22, 2016

The Halfway Mark Survey...

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?
Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill

and this one, too... alternating

I Wish He Had Come With Instructions by Mike Bechtle

2. How many books have you read so far?
Finished one and have two more in progress.... I am working between the two after breaks.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Staying with these two for the duration

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I am a mom.... there are always interruptions to drive a kid here and there or take a lunch or pick someone up but it has been a good day.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

No surprises.... I have done this a lot.

A Book and a Snack... RATMiniChallenge

Reading all day and stopping to enjoy a cup of pumpkin spice caffeine free tea in my cute little pumpkin mug.  The tea came from World Market and that is my cute little stainless steel teapot that I use all the time!  My mom bought it for me lots of years ago.  

Are you reading with me today?

Are you on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Litsy or blogging your experience?

Leave me a link and I will visit!



Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Reading from El Paso, Texas today
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
My new book by Liz Johnson... Where Two Hearts Meet... Prince Edward's Island Dreams series... #2 in the series.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Oh, there will be coffee and if I feel like it I have stuff to make gluten free donuts!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Wife and mom of four.... two adult children, one teen and a preteen... I am a chef but don't work professionally as much as I used to due to health issues but I still cook a lot at home and I also love sewing, crochet, gardening... and reading, of course!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I have participated in many and my favorite times are like today.... where I have a quiet house with the boys all off to scout and band stuff and I get to stay home all day long and just read.  I don't always have this luxury but today just happened to be a day I could block out to just read.  
Check the website every hour for new challenges and winners... www.24hourreadathon.com

Pickling Class with My Farming Grace Friend

I have a friend named Ann Marie.  

She is an Army wife  and a homeschooling mom of three who loves all things yarn, kitchen skills, soap making, gardening, RV traveling and historical re-enactment among many other things.  She started opening her home once a month about a year ago to give classes on all the things she loves.  She is a social butterfly who loves hospitality.  

She is quickly becoming one of my favorite people here in El Paso.  You can find out more about her and things that she sells on her website/blog called Farming Grace,  She is also on Facebook.

She hosted a class on pickling vegetables today and I thought I would share some highlights.

We started our time learning about the different supplies needed for the canning process.

Ann Marie believes in the hands on method so we all got involved with chopping, mixing brines, cooking veg and the whole canning process from loading the sanitized jars to boiling, cooling and labeling them.

We used the Kosher pickling mix and the bread and butter mix and tested them on carrots, cucumbers, and jalapenos.

Here is the Bread and Butter Brine.

There were also lots of snacks to enjoy as we worked... all baked goodies were homemade by Ann Marie

Another lady brought fresh fruit and made a yummy fruit dip.

We also got to sample some pickled peppers and watermelon rind.

Some carrots and cucumbers cooking in the pickling liquid.

Lovely Ann Marie talking us through several things.

Then it was our turn to step in and do the work.

Lovely carrots!

This was the boiling that happened after the jars were filled and sealed.  
This process took about 20 minutes and then they were removed and cooled.

Just a few more shots of the process...

When we were all done we each got to take four jars each home with us.  
They will be ready to enjoy in about a week.  
I plan to do more of this very soon!

Thanks so much to Ann Marie for opening her home and having a giving hospitable spirit!

Next week we make soap!

October 21, 2016

Three Foodie Fiction Reads for Your Friday....

This is not a review post.... I am merely sharing three books from my list of books that I recommend when someone asks me what to read in the realm of foodie fiction.  In anticipation of the read-a-thon on Saturday I decided to share books today.  I have a huge list but today you get three of my favorites.  

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

Bauermeister has actually written several novels in the foodie genre but this is the one I have read.  I have two more of her books in my NOOK for roadtrips reading.

My second recommendation would definitely be...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I love the format of this book because it uses the format of letter writing back and forth between characters for a large part of it.  I savored this one and actually need a reread soon.

The third one for today is...

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

This is more than a foodie book... it is also a Paris book, a book about books, travel in Europe and a love story.

I have many more on my shelves that are unread and have a plan to read most of them in 2017 as my own personal challenge.  Would anyone else be interested in a foodie reading challenge with me?

Please feel free to share your favorites with me in the comments so I can look for them to enjoy them, too.  

October 20, 2016

The October Dewey's Read-a-Thon is coming on Saturday

So, I thought I would take a moment to share my stack for Saturday.... two novels and three non-fiction books that I am working on right now.  Most of these are review books but one is a second in a series that I have already read the first book from so I am looking forward to reading it very much.

I know this is not a food post but I will be blogging a little extra on Saturday with the reading challenges so I am taking a break to share this and give you a link in case you wanted to join us.

Prayer 101 by Warren Wiersbe
I Wish He Had Come with Instructions by Mike Bechtle
What is Reformed Theology by R. C. Sproul
Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson
The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

You can find out more about the read-a-thon at Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon blog or on Facebook.  Feel free to join in the pre-event warm-ups, too.  :)  Let me know if you are doing this one if you would, please.  I would love to follow you as you read, too.

October 19, 2016

Random foodie pics from my camera... and recipes from around the internet

This is orange cashew chicken that we eat often around here... I basically use this orange chicken recipe and tweak it for my diet.  I sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce and I use tapioca starch instead of cornstarch.  I will often leave out the sesame seeds and add raw cashews to saute with the chicken once it is browned.  I add the cashews before the sauce.  I also add honey instead of brown sugar most of the time, too.  This is a very flexible recipe and you can add or leave out any of the spicy ingredients to get the heat or lack of heat you prefer.  I serve it over rice and add a vegetable or blend of veggies that I can stir fry to go with it.
I have taken to making my own "takeout" so I can control what goes into it.

Showing off a new tablecloth I picked up at Walmart and a table runner I crocheted that I shared the other day with you guys.

This was inspired and very close to the recipe found at Julia's Album website.  It was very Autumn festive and delicious!  I think this is going to happen again for Thanksgiving.

My hubby is the grillmaster so I took photos of these delicious pork chops he grilled.  I marinated them in a balsamic honey vinaigrette I made.  I will do a post on vinaigrettes sometime for you.

Just another shot of the food

I made these gluten free pumpkin donuts for us for a Saturday morning breakfast not too long ago.  The recipe is not mine... I got it here at Food By Teva (and yes, I used her version so I could use the Bob's Red Mill Gluten free 1to1 Flour)  No one missed the gluten and they did not last long!

I tweaked this to fit my diet but here is my homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte inspired by this site's chart.  I used almond milk and I have also used cashew milk and left out the cocoa from this one above.  I am super crazy good at shipping almond and cashew milk into a froth but you need to warm the milk slightly and use a good whisk.  Coconut milk does really well, too.

This might be one of my favorite things in the world.  I made some Paleo Coconut Shrimp, grits and Brussel sprouts on a weekend when I was home all day Saturday by myself.  I was playing with food and this just happened!  LOL  Coconut shrimp is AMAZING and even more so with grits!

Another "takeout" dish I make regularly.... sweet and sour chicken over rice.  You can probably see little bits of broccoli in there, too.  I love a one bowl meal!

Made a stop this past weekend at my favorite grocery market called Sprouts (yes, even more so than Whole Foods because until the grand opening tomorrow that is all we had in the "health food" realm of full markets)  I had a special helper with me.

We just recently got one on the east side of town.  There is one on the west side, too.  I had not visited the east side one until this past weekend.  Their produce is beautiful and always reasonably priced compared to just about everyone in town.

So, there are some highlights from my October cooking adventures.

What are you up to in the kitchen this month?

Do you have any special things you like to make in October?

Do you have a favorite place to shop for foodie stuff?

Share with us in the comments below!

October 18, 2016

Pear & Apple Autumn Oat Crisp - Gluten Free

I made a dessert for our family meal Sunday.  
I love making Crisps and Crumbles and this time of year 
is always great for finding fresh apples and pears to use in such things.

I bought this book some time ago at Barnes and Noble in the sale racks.  I think I paid about $8.00 for it and it is fabulous!  If you are looking for a good Gluten Free baking book this is a great choice.  It uses basic ingredients for all the recipes so you don't have to have more than a gluten free flour instead of wheat flour.  It is super easy to find gluten free flour these days, too.  I used the Bob's Red Mill Cup4Cup GF flour for this one.  It also has a section in the front with how to make your own blends.

This is the one I chose to do yesterday and I used Bob's Red Mill GF Oats and Cup4Cup Flour.  Anywhere you are told to use a cornstarch you can also use a tapioca starch/flour instead.

So, here is his list of ingredients...

and his instructions...

and here is how I changed it.... 
because I change stuff all the time based on what I have on hand and what I can eat.  LOL

My recipe was doubled from what he made.

5 Bartlett Pears 
4 Granny Smith apples 
peeled and chopped 
and then tossed in sugar (about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup, 
cinnamon (maybe 1 tsp or a little more if you like),
tapioca starch (1 to 2 TBSP depending on how thick you like the juices)
You could also add some cardamom instead of cinnamon... I think it is really nice in fruit desserts 
you could also add some dried or fresh cranberries or blueberries if you want.

The topping is made from 
 1 cup of GF flour 
1 1/2 cup GF oats 
 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 
a pinch of salt, 
1/2 cup coconut oil instead of butter for my fat.

I did not put any of the oats on the bottom and my dish is well seasoned so it needed no oil to keep it from sticking.

This is how it turned out... a great Autumn dessert for a Sunday dinner occasion or anytime, really.

He has a few videos on YouTube, too


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