Friday, December 2, 2011

#27 and #28: Read Books

I have not updated my 101 in 1001 in a while. But that does not mean that I haven't been doing anything. I HAVE been reading. And I love getting suggestions from people on a book to read in a genre I have never read before and absolutely loving that book. This has happened to me recently. I know want to read more...Historical Fiction. Didn't even know this was a type of book. Crazy I know.

Anywho, here is what I have been reading lately.

In September, an online book club I am in decided to read a book related to September 11 given that is was the 10 year anniversary. 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers was selected.

The story was written from the perspective of people inside the towers. This account was taken from survivors, 911 calls, cell phone calls to loved ones. While this was not the best book ever written, I am really glad I read it. It was definitely hard to get through and very sad, but well worth it.

After reading this I needed something light. Well, light for me anyway. So I read the latest from one of my go to authors Kathy Reichs, Temperance Brennan novels. Flash and Bones is the 14th book in the series. It was not my favorite, but was an easy read. It was also sans the love interest that I like so that was a bit of a let down. However, I know I will read the next book when it comes out.

Then I went on to another favorite, the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. Live Wire is book #10. I know I have mentioned before that I love a series. A lot from past books is tied together here. I think there is going to be a spin-off or there may already be one. It was ok, but I think sometimes people lose their edge in a book series.

Off of recommendations from some internet friends I read the next two books. I thoroughly enjoyed each.

Still Alice is the story of a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. This story was so engulfing. I could not put it down. I was reading this book long after I should have gone to bed for the night. There were some touching moments in this book. You couldn't help but relate it to your own life.

Next I read Empress Orchid. I loved this book. This is the historical fiction I mentioned before and as much as I am not a history fan, I loved this. It is a wonderful story of one of the minor concubines of the Emperor of China. If you liked Memoirs of a Geisha, you will like this as well. I cannot wait to read another book in this genre.

So since September I have read 5 books. I have a long list of others I cannot wait to get through. Thank God for the library.

Monday, August 29, 2011

#27: Read 50 Non-Crime Books

With Death as a narrator, this book was wonderful, dark, and moving. Set in Germany during the Nazi regime, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel a nine-year-old girl during the time. You follow her as she lives and steals. It really was a great book.

Friday, June 17, 2011

#27: Read 50 Non-crime books

Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom by Amy Chua

I first heard of this book on a message board I frequent. There was an article in the New York Times (I think?) comparing Chinese mothers to Western (American) mothers and child rearing. I have no children, but the Hubs and I often discuss how we would raise our hypothetical children. You know how it is. You see a child doing something you would never let your child do or watching/listening to something you would never let child. Yep, we are those people.

The Hubs and I are also have a lot of criticisms of how we see children raised today. The "everyone gets a trophy" mentality makes me want to puke. The sense of entitlement. Well, despite how I think I would be with my kids, I am no Amy Chua. To quote a friend, "that woman is a beast." It all starts on the first page as she lists the things that her daughters could not do.

I will admit I got some pointers and I saw some sides of crazy I don't think I would want to venture to. But it was a good read.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#23: Take an activity class not related to Grad School

The Hubs and I needed to restart Date Night. When you are married, you can get into a routine and sometimes you need to remind yourself that a good marriage takes a little effort. So I was on a quest to find something fun for us to do. I mean, I love going to dinner, but I wanted something a little different.

What did I find...A couples cooking class.

We went to Culinaire and had so much fun. It was a seafood class and we got to make 3 different seafood dishes that we had never had before AND we did it together. We both had a great time and we got to take the recipes home.

Chilled Thai Crab Salad in Endive

Seafood Stew with Garlic Toast

Salmon En Papillotte with Creamed Leeks and Couscous

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vegetarian Chili in the Crockpot

The Hubs and I are trying to get fit. We did a "diet" called the Fat Smash Diet. I discussed it on my other blog. Part of it lead to us eating a lot of beans. And I mean a lot. Well, I got tired of lima beans and was trying to find something different. So I went on the search for a vegetarian chili recipe in the crock pot.

I wanted the recipe to be as healthy as possible and made from dried beans. I was surprised that it was hard to find a recipe that was made from dried beans and not canned. After searching and searching, I found 2 recipes that I modified to come up with my recipe. I am sorry, but I do not remember where I got these recipes.

Vegetarian Chili in the Crock pot

  • ~ 1.5 cups pinto beans (dried)
  • ~ 1 cup kidney beans (dried)
  • ~ 1/2 - 1 cup kidney beans (dried)
  • 32. oz vegetable broth
  • water
  • 28 oz. crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • red/yellow/orange pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 - 1 onion
  • 2 - 3 carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. frozen sweet corn
  • salt (as desired)
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, chives to garnish (if desired)
  1. Rinse dried beans thoroughly.
  2. Place beans in a container. Completely cover with water and soak beans overnight (at least 8 hours).
  3. Rinse beans until water runs clear.
  4. Place beans in crock pot.
  5. Put 32 oz. of vegetable broth on beans. If beans are not completely covered with liquid, add water until they are. Add salt if desired.
  6. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, chop onions, carrots, and peppers and set aside.
  8. After 3 hours, add diced tomatoes and all diced veggies.
  9. Add liquid from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Depending on desired hotness and chipotle peppers. (I like mine rather mild so I only add 1 pepper. If you like yours really hot, I recommend blending the entire can into a puree and then adding to crock pot.)
  10. Add salt if desired.
  11. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Until beans are soft.
  12. When almost done (last hour), add frozen carrots.
  13. Season to taste with salt.
Verdict: The Hubs and I love this recipe. You can eat it alone or put it over brown rice. It is very yummy. I made this when we were doing the Fat Smash Diet and we were on a limited diet. I also use all organic ingredients from the beans to the veggies. I usually cook this overnight. About 3 hours before I go to bed, I will start the beans. Right before bed I will add the rest of the ingredients. The Hubs gets up for work about an hour before me and he will add the corn. When I get up I turn the crock pot off and the meals is done. This will last us an entire week. Delicious. And this recipe is easily customizable. You can add whatever veggies you like. You can add potatoes. You can do whatever you want.

Friday, May 13, 2011

28: Read 100 Books

I have read 2 books in the past month. Both crime related. I seem to fly through this type of book. Even when I am exhausted I keep reading.

First I read Chosen to Die. This was given to be by a co-worker when I was still reading The Count of Monte Cristo. When I fiiinally finished that book I hoped right on to this one. This is what I consider my light reading. Ha ha.

The day I finished this book I jumped right in to Patricia Conwell's Port Mortuary. It is the 18th book in the Kay Scarpetta series. I absolutely love a series. I think I have mentioned that before.

Oh. And can I say I am really loving the library. While I love my Kindle I am trying to be more money conscious. I can request the book at the library and go pick it up. Free and easy.

I love reading.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

#28: Read 100 Books

I debated on whether or not to classify this book as crime or non-crime. I decided to count it as crime. Really it is a classic, but definitely crime and revenge based.

I finally read The Count of Monte Cristo. I never read this in school. It was always on the list of optional/select the book. Seeing as it is a million pages and I always procrastinated I never was able to read it. I read things like "Snow Goose" or something like that because it was less than 100 pages. Well, I finally decided to tackle this book. I really liked it. It was a million pages and due to work obligations and life it took me to read, but I finally made it through.

It was even better because I never watched any of the movies on the book, so I really did not know what would happen. I also like that it as real literature. Language has been "dumbed down" as I have gotten older and to read a classic, literature book was...refreshing. It makes me want to read more classics.

On to my next book.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Helllooooo World

Hello Blog World.

Wow. I have been away for a while. Part of that is I have been really busy. Another part is laziness. Another part, the biggest part, is that I have not completed much of my 101 in 1001.

But, at last, I have completed some tasks and every day I will be posting about what I have completed.

If you started a 101 in 1001, how are you doing with it? I know for me it is hard to stay motivated.