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TBR Challenge – January Book – The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Title: The Glass CastleAuthor: Jeannette WallsDate Started: 1/4/06Date Finished: 1/13/06Genre: MemoirRating: 5/5Number of pages: 304Reason for reading: It was recommended to me by my best friend Ami and I wanted to read it for the TBR challengeBlub from the back of the book: Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What … [Continue reading]

Mandarin Pork and Wild Rice

Just a quick post today as I'm preparing for my Golden Globes party tonight. I just wanted to share this quick and easy recipe with you all. The source is the Jan/Feb issue of Simple and Delicious magazine, and it is exactly what the title of the magazine promises... simple and delicious. If you are looking for a quick weeknight meal that your family will enjoy, give this tasty recipe a try. It was a hit for us! Mandarin Pork and Wild Rice 4 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick and 5 ounces each), cut into strips1/4 teaspoon pepper1/8 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges1-1/2 cups water1 package (6.2 ounces) fast-cooking long grain and wild rice mix1/4 cup thinly sliced green onionsSprinkle pork with pepper and salt. In a large skillet, brown pork in oil. Meanwhile, drain oranges, reserving juice; set oranges aside. Add water, rice mix with contents of seasoning packet, onions and reserved juice to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in oranges; heat through.Yield: 4 servings. … [Continue reading]

Gourmet taste…such a waste!

This summer, my mom told me about her cooking adventures during the time my brothers were young. She told me about watching Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet, on television. As she watched his show, she attempted to recreate whatever gourmet concoction he was making and serve it as dinner for her own family. She would sit my brothers down and present the wonderful masterpiece she had been working on all afternoon. The response?? Not favorable. She'd find untouched plates in front of the children, whining and complaining was the tune to their meals, and requests for just a PB&J were always a plenty. My mom is a fantastic cook. The untouched plates were not because her cooking was bad. The untouched plates were because, as I am finding out, gourmet food is a waste on young children. Their palates just don't appreciate the finer things in life like a fancy schmancy meal. By the time I was born many years later, my mom had finally learned that to get young kids to eat, you need to focus on simple recipes. That doesn't mean you need to sacrifice flavor... it just means that anything that requires ingredients you can't pronounce probably is better suited for a nice dinner with friends instead of a meal with your children. The love of cooking my mom has did rub off on me. I enjoy trying out new recipes and making nice meals for my family. As much as I absolutely love the recipes in some of the finer gourmet magazines, I have found that the recipes that get the best … [Continue reading]


I don't have a whole lot to say today, but wanted to at least post this picture of Ella. Can she look any sweeter? Yes - I can still say that she's sweet even after several nights of being up for most of the night with her. This girl has me wrapped around her tiny fingers, that's for sure! … [Continue reading]

Let’s Celebrate Food!

Jill over at Cookies in Heaven posted last week about all the incredible food related holidays in January. Did you know that there is a food related holiday for almost every day of the year? Yep!  If you love Milk, just down a glass today in celebration of Milk Day. Artichokes? March 16th is your day to celebrate National Artichoke day. September... you can celebrate national Biscuit Month and enjoy a nice glass of rum punch on September 20th.I love the idea of celebrations. In fact, over at 43 Things, one of my goals is to really celebrate the special days and holidays in 2007. I have decided to try and celebrate many of these special food holiday's myself. I've taken the list, added the info to my calendar and in some small way I'm going to try to honor as many of these yummy food related holiday's as I can. I think my kids would have a ball with this. Should be fun times. Want to join me?Jill recently posted the source of her list - Nibble.com. Head on over and check out the list yourself.  If you decide that you need more celebrating in your life, what better way to do it then by celebrating with food and fun?One month ago today I dished about the Coolest Cupcake CourierOver at our family blog, I dished about my really, really Bad Day  … [Continue reading]