Saturday, October 10, 2009

Food Stuffs!

So I posted a number of recipes in my "Game Day: Foods" post at the pond - if you like food/recipes I hope you do look at it, especially the blooming hibiscus cocktail.

Next... I made a new "pesto"/paste/spread.
[Ok so I wouldn't treat this recipe as gospel since... I don't usually go with measurements. I eyeball stuff. I also googled a recipe - there aren't many- and adapted it to what I wanted. The recipe called for basil too - but I thought that might be a bit weird. Of course you can add whatever flavors you like. I think maybe some flat leaf parsley would add a nice depth - or topping the spread with sun-dried tomatoes...]

1/2 c Edamame, a medium sized clove of garlic, half a teaspoon of salt, 1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes... and I'd say 1/8 c olive oil. Next time I'm going to try to go with some sesame oil too to push the "Asian" flavors. But considering how strong that is, I'd say at most a teaspoon of sesame oil. Oh, and it was pretty chunky and I wanted a smoother spread, and didn't want to use more oil, I added in almost 1/4 c water.

I can't stop eating it. I spread it on a toasted bagel - but I think it'd be great with pita chips too, or toast, bruschetta...

So no, it's not super complicated or uber gourmet- but... it's good. And really easy.

Er, I used my mini food processor to make it. I'm pretty sure it'd work in a blender too. :) I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Review: Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

And... here we go. Real blog content.

I heard a lot about Tessa Dare’s debut book, Goddess of the Hunt, and I definitely think that it lives up to the hype. Ms. Dare has a unique, enjoyable writing voice, and the story is well thought out and engaging. Goddess of the Hunt is a unique “friends to lovers” story, and I’m a major sucker for that trope. (Actually it’s almost more like frenemies to lovers…) I’ll probably re-read the book soon, in fact. Now, on to the good stuff.

Lucy Waltham is a tomboy, and not entirely sensible, but eminently practical. The opening of the book has Lucy going to Jeremy’s room to practice seduction techniques on a mutual acquaintance (Toby). She’s not so much foolhardy, as reckless and young. However, the way Ms. Dare writes Lucy makes her charming and refreshing, rather than totally clueless or TSTL. I admit that Lucy does some things that made me shake my head, but she’s driven by her emotions, and I found that admirable. Generally I don’t like the clueless hoyden heroine, but Lucy is so much more than that. She’s finding herself (she’s only nineteen), and has such a warm heart. You have to forgive her for her mistakes, especially because she realizes she made them.

I love the emotionally stilted hero. He makes me want to smack him, but I love him anyway. Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall is exactly one such character. He feels so much, but past experiences have taught him, and even forced him to be emotionally void. I love that he has so much trouble expressing himself, but is still more emotionally aware than so many of the other characters. Jeremy simply is – he’s comfortable with himself, and doesn’t try to conform to the expectations or opinions of others. It’s a very attractive quality, as is his need to take care of Lucy. (Even though he bumbles it and does come off as rather overbearing.) Jeremy has a very interesting past, and I enjoyed reading about it and seeing how it contributed to the man he became.

Something I really appreciated was the fact that Ms. Dare’s characters are realistic, and sensible. There wasn’t some great miscommunication which dragged the conflict out to ridiculous proportions, or made it worse that it should have been. Even though, for the vast majority of the book, the characters indeed do not communicate with each other, and generally misunderstand the other’s intentions and feelings. It truly should have vexed me, but instead I found myself being entertained. The secondary characters are a lot of fun, and I’m glad they’re in the subsequent books as well.

Although I did feel that the final resolution was a bit rushed, what made me believe the romance was how very attuned to Lucy Jeremy was. He saw her for who she was, and knew her before she really knew herself. I found it very believable that Lucy actually thought herself in love with Toby out of habit. Normally I’m annoyed when the heroine is so sure she’s in love with one person, only to find out she isn’t really. Here, Ms. Dare lays out the plot in a meaningful and compelling way.

There has been some talk that Ms. Dare’s writing is reminiscent of Jane Austen’s, and upon further reflection, I think it’s because of her characterizations and settings. (In fact I’ve mentioned it before.) There’s the house party, and well, you have to read it. Of course Goddess of the Hunt also follows the general story line of Pride and Prejudice, where the spunky nobody heroine Lucy/Elizabeth marries the wealthy, coveted gentleman Darcy/Trescott. (However there’s the major difference of a lot of sexual tension, and much more fun, improper behavior.)

Although this is a minor issue, in a way I’m most impressed that Ms. Dare made me like Sophie, who is the heroine in her next novel, Surrender of a Siren. Sophie is “the other woman” initially in Goddess of the Hunt, and I’m quite loyal to cannon, so I started out disliking her. Sophie seemed too perfect, and then… well a bit strange. (I’m looking forward to reading about her eccentricities.) Sophie’s story has a great twist in Goddess of the Hunt which lays the framework for Surrender of a Siren, as well as A Lady of Persuasion.

You have to admire and be impressed with an author who manages to subtly, yet decidedly lay the foundation for a trilogy in the first book. It helps they’re all being released back to back, because I don’t think I can wait any longer to get my hands on Ms. Dare’s books. I really enjoyed Goddess of the Hunt, and recommend it to fans of the genre, as well as romance in general. There’s something refreshing about Ms. Dare’s writing that I think should be experienced.

[Ginger kid, this one's for you ;)]

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I want my life back, and I want it now.

I don't want to be writing briefs or reviewing them or memorizing them or reading cases on the [First and] Fourth Amendment.

I don't want to be dealing with professors, authors, publishers, charities, or tests. I don't even want to write my thesis, but I have to.

I want my life back. I want time to read. I want time to eat, sleep, and to BREATHE.

I want my life back.

:) But on the plus side, I guess I've got one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well now!

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. Apparently this list is labeled as "classics" but as a fallen book snob, I still cannot accept that. Regardless. Or, as I liked saying -heh- IRREGARDLESS.

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Tally your total at the bottom.

Here's the list:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (X)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (X)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (X)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible (-)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (X)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (X)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (X)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (X)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (-)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (X)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (X)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (X)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (-)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (X)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (X)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (X)
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (-)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (X)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (X)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (X)
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (X)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (-)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (*)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (X)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (-)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (X)
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

32 X's
6 -'s; which means I've read part of the book but not all
1 *, meaning I haven't read *that* book, but I read (and translated) the original Latin. Hah!

So, 39ish total... which is still a failing grade :(

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I feel chatty, and ... unmotivated. Nothing new, yes?

So anyway - my "wow" is the Kindle 2. I talked a lot of trash about the Kindle 1 and how it was uglier than sin. And said the Kindle 2 looked like a graphing calculator on steroids. And... I still don't think its as pretty as the Sony. However, the backing and shape has changed, and I like that you can get on wiki.

And that you can get free books for the kindle - amazon, don't disappoint me now! So, Kindle 2s are up for preorder. Time to get one now!

Then report back - although I might have one then... or not. Hopefully the laptop hangs on, as it is deeply needed.

And now...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You Scream, I Scream...

It's not about romance or novels or anything... I'm talking about one of my true loves ;)

I just made myself (hah - "made") a rather large bowl of Strawberry Breyer's ice cream. I haven't had it in a long time, and it's so very good. I heart ice cream. A lot.

Jeni's Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio is one of my favorite places. And Dolce Zza in Georgetown, DC is one of my favorite gelaterias.

Yay. Now I'm off to do "important things" and eat my ice cream - while freezing my fingers off. Joy!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Generally I'm a pack rat, but maybe it would be nice to have a place where everything is transitory and I'm constantly weeding things out. I also feel guilty with so little content, but then, why should I? It was my choice to compartmentalize my life.

I also tried to blog "deep thoughts" and facets to an unfamiliar crowd, and got burned. But then, what can you expect from the internet? There's a reason so many conflicts occur, because there is no tone or inflection.

Technology, I heart you. Perhaps I shall use this space to ponder about books, and all sorts of other things. Or not. Still, I should use it for something, yes?