Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 book club review

Book Club has become the biggest part of my blog, and I'm more than ok with that.

The idea of being part of a "real" book club out in the world makes me nervous - people?  No thanks.  My book club for one makes me happy.  

In 2019 I read 51 books.  

I started to write that I had read mostly fiction, with a few memoirs and audio books thrown in, but then I decided to review the list and break it down into more general genres to see what I had read.

Memoirs - 20
Non-fiction -7
Fiction by female authors - 11
Fiction by male authors - 4
Audio books - 9

Way more memoirs than I expected!

I also checked back since I started by Book Club tag to see how this years 51 compared to other years

48 books in 2018

41 books in 2017

26 books in 2016

So as my kids get older and more independent, my number of books read increases.  😀

I've got lots of books kicking around the house and a few holds I hope come in the library soon, my fingers are crossed for an even better Book Club year in 2020.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Book Club - High Infatuation by Steph Davis



Above all, climbing has shown me the existence of forces beyond the seen world.  It has taught me to ponder the meaning of reality.  It has shown me that I am small.

Soon days will grow shorter.  Winter will come.  I have to keep moving.

Book Club - Taking The Leap by Pema Chodron



We are all a  mixture of aggression and loving kindness, hard-heartedness and tender open-heartedness, small-mindedness and forgiving open mind.

Life's energy is never static.  It is as shifting, fluid, changing as the weather.  

So words themselves are neutral, it's the charge we add to them that matters.

Nothing is static and permanent.  And that includes you and me. 

Our thoughts, emotions, molecules are continually changing.

Book Club - PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han



If we just hold on tight enough, it will all be ok.

"It's all a million lifetimes ago.  And yet."

"I don't think any man is my equal.  Women are far superior, and don't you forget it."

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup Book 13 - Eat Delicious

Book 13 in my clean up is one of my new favorites - Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott. 

I think I picked this one up from Costco a few years ago.  It's a Canadian book, so yay!

Everything we've tried has been so good.  The recipes aren't always simple, but they are, as the title says, delicious!

For the cleanup, we tried a whopping 9 recipes, some more than once.

The last recipe we tried was the super quick Szechuan-Style Green Beans and Pork - it was so easy and good. 

On the other end of the ease spectrum was the Pulled Pork Ramen - this was an all day, 2 store event that was TOTALLY WORTH IT.   So, so amazing.

The Double Chocolate Skillet Brownies were so wonderful, we made them twice.

The other dishes were all very tasty too - 
Noodle Bowls with Crispy Chicken and Peanut Sauce
My Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies - THE BEST COOKIES.  I made these 3 times.
Pizza Dough
Meatball Pizza
Smoky Beef and Beer Chili - we made this twice - The Boy has become a chili fan.
Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits

This one is a big winner and I look forward to trying lots more from it.  If you see this book - get it!

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -6  Donated - 7

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Merry

Peace and love......

Monday, December 23, 2019

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal



The chill in the air seemed duller by the day, and there were moments of lingering warmth in the afternoons.

Harpreet could think of nothing worse than attending a yoga class with Geeta and her gaggle of friends who spent more time backwards boasting than downward dogging.  

She wondered if he had been lonely when she was away or relived not to avoid speaking to her.

Let him find balance and moderation in all things; let him listen to himself and not the noise of others.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Little grocery shop at Eastuff Grocery

I had a ramen night planned and the recipe called for 3 things not usually in our kitchen: miso, dried mushrooms and togarashi spice, so we took a fast trip to Eastuff Grocery on McGill, across the street from the TCC.

We found everything we were looking for, but I didn't buy the mushrooms because they only had huge bags and I only needed a small handful, and also some instant soups for the kids and the Mister (he got a spicy seafood one), some soy sauce and an apple soda.

The store is tiny and packed full of interesting treats, and the staff are super nice.
They are open 6 days a week - closed Sundays - so go check them out.

Eastuff Grocery Wholesale
1023A McGill Rd, Kamloops

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Book Club - The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle



He has no interest in me, my fears or hopes.  I'm just part of some old story he's tired of telling.

It's like I've been asked to dig a hole with a shovel made of sparrows.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019

my favorites in november

Here's a list of things I enjoyed in November -

On Netflix -

 Daybreak  - ooooh, that ending!

Outlander - guys, what is this show?  These people have the most toxic relationship and cause nothing but trouble for each other and everyone else.  I made it through Season 1, but I don't know if I can keep going.

On Amazon Prime - 

While ordering a part for our shower door on Amazon, I accidentally signed up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.   Since I've wanted to watch the show Catastrophe since I heard about it, I downloaded the app onto my phone, and started to watch - 


I am a big fan of Rob Delaney and was thrilled to get to watch this show.  I zoomed through the whole thing and loved every minute of it.


Super bummed to find out while googling for this photo that there are only 2 seasons.  Boo.

Podcast - 

My Dad Wrote A Porno 

At the gym one morning I couldn't find any music or podcasts I was interested in, so I gave this a try.  Not a good choice for anywhere public - as this is so freaking hilarious, you will laugh out loud and people will stare at you. 

Head massager from Saje

I got this as part of a set with some essential oil and this thing is a treat.  You might think it looks goofy but dang it's relaxing and soothing.

This Irish Beef and Guinness Stew is perfect Fall and Winter cooking.  I've made it twice now, once on the stove, and once in the slow cooker and it's a delicious meal, even better as leftovers. 

Sushi from Eden Bento - my work pals and I treated ourselves and visited the very tiny Eden Bento Cafe for lunch.  So delicious!

Groovy tunes from John Denver - a super good album picked up from the newish record/vinyl/cd shop in the mall.  We listened to it a few times on Sunday - it definitely had a foggy Fall Sunday morning vibe. 


Have a good day and enjoy the last day of NOVEMBER (jc, wtf???)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Breads The Mister has made

I've mentioned before The Mister has taken up bread baking and he is very, very good at it.

Don't tell him, but I've bought him some "bread making tools" for Christmas. 
I'm so excited and hope he likes them and that he doesn't decide in the next month that he doesn't want to make bread any more.

I thought I'd do a round up of some of the breads that he's made lately.

He's mostly been baking from The Hot Bread Kitchen (his favorite) and 100 Breads.  As I type this, there is a preferment in the kitchen from Bread, Bread, Bread for baguettes to go with tonight's dinner.  Like I said, his hobby blesses us all.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup Books 10, 11, 12

After I decided to donate the Pioneer Woman cookbook to the Symphony Book Sale, I thought I would check my shelves to see if there was anything else that I knew I was ready to part with.

I donated 3 more that day - 

Playboy Bartenders Guide - we've had this for a while, but even when I drank, we didn't use it often.  Now I don't drink, and The Mister has his favorites, so this one deserves a new home.

Southern Living - I bought this from the dollar store, but I just have a hard time with these books that have multiple recipes on a each page - they aren't appealing to me.

Kitchen Express - this one and I have a like/hate relationship and even though I've enjoyed some stuff we've made out of it, I'm not sad to see it go.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -5  Donated - 7

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Snapshot - Breakfast in Bed

Saturday morning once everyone was awake, the kids and I ended up cuddling back in my bed, talking about our busy day before.  The Girl, who likes to play restaurant, told me she was going to make me breakfast in bed and I was to stay in bed until it was ready.  
She left the room and I figured she'd be back in a few minutes with some pretend food on a plate, or would lose interest and yell for me to get up and be with her in the living room, but shortly after, she came back into the bedroom  - a big smile on her face, carrying my breakfast.  Her daddy had helped her make toaster waffles and fruit for breakfast for the two of us.
The Mister followed behind her with a plate for her, and once she was up in the bed with me, the boys left us ladies alone to enjoy our relaxing meal.
It was such a special gift - that she thought of me and wanted to do something so nice, and to have a bit of alone time, and her beautiful big smile, so proud of what she had done.
I could have stayed there all day, with my big girl, not a baby any more - almost 5.
How can it be?  
What will come next?

Monday, November 25, 2019

Book Club - To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han



"There is a wall between us now and I can feel her moving farther and farther away from me.  

Love is scary: it changes and can go away.  That's part of the risk.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Symphony book sale

The semi annual sale is back and on now until November 30, at the old Value Village location on Seymour.

We went last weekend and all I came home with was 2 books, and the Christmas one was foisted on me by The Mister.
I'm hoping to get back for another visit and maybe have better luck.
We dropped off 2 boxes of books, and that felt good to get some stuff out of the house.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Instant Pot Mac n Cheese

If you are anyone but my children, you would probably like this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

The bottom photo is mac and cheese with a splosh of my very favorite hot sauce.
 Even better!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Snapshot - lots of bread books

The Misters new hobby blesses us all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sunday Dinner - A very good cheesecake

A blurry picture of a deeeelicious cheesecake.

After our sad Thanksgiving cheesecake fail, I had cheesecake on my mind big time.  And also, chocolate.  Always chocolate.

I decided to make a cheesecake for Sunday dinner for my family and then also so I could have some leftovers to take to work for treats.
This cheesecake is easy and delicious and so chocolaty.  Everything you want in a cheesecake.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup Book 9 - The Pioneer Woman Dinnertime

Book 9 is The Pioneer Woman Dinnertime.

I have 2 PW books, I think, and I think I bought this one secondhand.

Her books, if you have never seen one, follow a very photo heavy, step by step process.  Every step in every recipe is accompanied by a small photo, so you can have anywhere from 4-12 or more photos in a recipe, plus pictures of the finished dish and her personal photos of her life.  
There's a lot to look at.

I found it not too hard to make a list of things I wanted to try from the book, and the first recipe  - Greek Yogurt Pancakes - were really, really good. 

The next recipe - Chow Mein - was pretty boring.
And since then this book has sat for probably 3 months, as I've had no desire to try any more dishes.

So this one is going to head out to find a new home where it can be appreciated.  
I'm sure it's a good book, it's just not for me.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -5  Donated - 4

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Two very good soups

It's Fall; the clocks have gone back, darkness is everywhere, 
it snowed so I've had to stop wearing sandals (although if the snow keeps melting they might be able to be worn a bit more.....), my office swings from freezing cold to boiling hot on the regular, 
it's soup season.

I started us off with a batch of  One Pot Beef Pasta E Fagioli  which was easy and delicious.

Even better was the Sausage and Kale Soup  here, SO GOOD.  
It made a huge pot and I was happy to eat the leftovers for days and days.  This is a great recipe and the instant pot is so good for making soup.

The Mister blessed us with fresh bread for both meals, we everyone was a winner, baby.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Book Club - The Know It All



In a tribe on the island of Santa Maria, old men used to stand by with bows and arrows and shoot every dance who made a mistake.  The perfect way to raise the stakes on American Idol.

"Never say "no" to adventures.  Always say "yes" otherwise you'll lead a very dull life."

Let me tell you: it's a sad sad day when the Encyclopedia Britannica is hipper than you.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019


My dad - aka The Grandpa - had a hankering for a brisket, so he made a deal - he would buy it and I would cook it.  I had never cooked a brisket before, so I combed the internets for a good recipe, and found one that had oven and slow cooker options - I was pushing for the slow cooker version to ensure it was nice and tender.  The Grandpa wanted the oven version, so I nervously went that way.

The brisket turned out pretty darned tasty - although I did not put enough liquid in the bottom and it started to get crispy in there, so I wasn't able to add any of the juices to the sauce, but it was amazing - AMAZING anyway.

And The Grandpa like it so much he went out and bought a corned beef brisket, so now my recipe search has started anew.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pretzel bites

Here is something to know about me and The Mister - we love soft pretzels.  LOVE 'em.  If they are on a menu, we'll order them.  We've made them a few times over the years, but they are a lot of work and in the Spring and Summer it's easier to buy them from our favorite baker at the farmers market.

We wanted to make some a couple of weeks ago, but the recipe we thought we wanted to make, we decided we didn't like after all.  So instead we made pretzel bites.

They are still a fair bit of work; you have to make the dough and cut the dough and boil 4,000 little bites, but it went quickly and we ended up with a large batch of tasty pretzels to go with our soup and veggies.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Remembrance Day ceremony - Riverside Park 10:30

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pumpkin pancakes

For Thanksgiving last month I was thinking about making a pumpkin pie, because that's one of The Mister's favorite desserts.  
I was talking dessert at worth with some pals, and one mentioned she was going to make an no-bake pumpkin cheesecake for her dinner.  That sounded even better, so she sent me the recipe, and I showed it to The Mister that night.

He didn't think that particular recipe sounded good, but we were both on board with pumpkin cheesecake, so we found another recipe to try, a swirled pumpkin cheesecake bar.

We made it for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was AWFUL.  
We all hated it.
I was bummed.  We should have made the recipe from my friend! 

I went to work the next day, having decided to keep my bad dessert story to myself, but when my friend showed up, she had her own sad story - the pumpkin cheesecake SHE made was terrible TOO!
Sometimes you just can't win.

I used up the leftovers of the can of pumpkin that was wasted on that awful dessert on these very delicious pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 TB butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat a pan over medium heat.
Whisk the puree, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just smooth.
Add a but of butter or oil to the pan, and spoon in your batter in the size you like your cakes.
Cook, flip, and eat!