Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coming: 11-11-11

Isn't the due date perfect?!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Greatest Love Song

The Beauty of Who You Are
By: Marc Broussard

Sometimes you can't find the words and a song comes along and says what you've been wanting to say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: The Love We Share Without Knowing

Title: The Love We Share Without Knowing
Author: Christopher Barzak
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction;Short Stories
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads.com:

"In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.

On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man’s life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.

From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing."

This novel has some heavy topics. At times, I wondered if I should even keep reading. Not because it was boring, or gruesome, or anything like that. It was just... heavy. It made my heart hurt at points. Yet, it made me contemplative, and I am so glad that I kept reading. I hope you all give this one a try. You won't be sorry.

Some notable quotes:

     "She'll only understand the parts of me that she wants to see. Every other piece of me, she'll disappear."

     "The terrible thing about love that it takes away your safety net, your balancing pole. Even the tightrope you walk upon will disappear beneath you, yet love expects you to keep walking anyway, arms outstretched, one foot after another, or nothing more than air."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recipe: Creamy Taquitos

Chicken Taquitos

It is so easy to overeat these suckers. Simply put, they are delicious. There are a few steps to get these right, but so worth it. I promise you, these will become a favorite. The best part, make a ton of these and freeze what you don't eat. Then you have an already prepared meal for when you don't feel like cooking.

I got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I did adapt just a little. And since we eat Mexican food like 7 days a week, the crock pot shredded chicken recipe is what I will be using from here on out.

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken:

- 1 lb. frozen chicken breasts
- 1 juiced lime
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
-1/4 C. water

Cook on high for 5 hours.  Shred with fork. This can be made a head of time too. (This is the best/easiest/tastiest way to do shredded chicken.) If you don't like all the seasoning, just put it in your crock pot with some garlic salt and pepper. It is so juicy. Yum!

Once your chicken is cooked and shredded, make the mixture to go inside of the taquitos.

Taquito Mixture:

- Shredded Chicken
- 6 oz. cream cheese; softened
- 1/4 C. green salsa
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Cup shredded pepper jack cheese ( you could probably substitute any type of shredded cheese)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

Mix together into a creamy mixture. Once you have your mixture made, you will need to prepare your corn tortillas. They will need to be soft enough to roll without cracking. The only way this has been successful for me is to lightly fry them up. Heat some vegetable oil on med. to med-high heat. Place tortilla in oil for about 5 seconds per side. They will be hot to work with. Scoop about 1 Tbsp. of chicken mixture into the tortilla, roll and place onto a baking sheet, seam side down. Sprinkle with garlic salt (or kosher salt). Bake at 400 F, for 15 minutes or until they become browned around the edges and crisp.

We eat these with homemade guacamole, Cholula, sour cream, or salsa. Serve with a side of homemade Mexican rice (recipe to come soon), and black beans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review:Water for Elephants

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Pages: 331
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Jacob Jankowski is in his ninties as he is recalling the events of his life surrounding him joining The Benzini Brother Most Spectacular Show on Earth.  After a life changing tragedy, Jacob finds himself in the world of the circus as a veteranarian. The story follows him through this journey of heartache, love, passion and hatred.

I loved this book. When I started reading it, I had no idea what the book was really all about, and didn't know what to expect. Obviously there was an elephant in the mix somehow, but that is basically all I knew. Some people loved the book and others were on the other end of the spectrum. When that happens I always take caution when reading, but I am so glad I finally gave this a go.

I finished the book in two days essentially. I am a terribly slow reader so that says a lot. I found the story to be captivating and very smooth moving even though it moved back and forth from past to present. I also loved the characters. It was very easy for me to "get lost in the book" so to speak.    

Do you ever feel like you have to justify why you love a book so much when others just thought it to be just okay?

Anyway, I am really looking forward to the movie coming out. I just love Reese Witherspoon, and I can tolerate Robert Pattinson. Although I would have prefered Jude Law, but really, who wouldn't prefer Jude Law? So here he is totally unrelated to Water for Elephants. And you can thank me in the comments.