Monday, March 23, 2009

A weekend of pies

For some reason, I was inspired to do some baking this weekend. On Saturday, Mich's brother Nathan and sister-in-law Sarah came over with the kids for birthday dinner for Sarah - Mich made French onion soup, and I made a coconut cream pie:



It should have cooled more, it was a little soupy. Yummy, though...

On Sunday, my America's Test Kitchen Family Baking book tempted me to make a bacon, Camembert and potato tart. Great thyme aroma, and I added some asparagus for a little color:



Delicious, but seriously full of calories...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Summer in Gascony

A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France by Martin Calder


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Martin Calder's story of the summer in his twenties that he spent working at an auberge in rural Gascony ranks as one of the best books on life in France that I've read. His feel for the country, the level of detail he remembers about the life and language, was remarkable. One of the best things I can say about a travel book: He made me want to go there.


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Black Butterfly

Black Butterfly: A Lucifer Box Novel Black Butterfly: A Lucifer Box Novel by Mark Gatiss


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another Lucifer Box outing (had to finish the series), this one dealing with Boy Scouts, a drug ring, Istanbul, and, well, world domination, as usual. We'r also introduced to Box's son, who, due to some revelations at the end, may be poised to take over any sequels.


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Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Uncle Oswald

My Uncle Oswald My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, one of Dahl's "adult" books. Turned out, I liked it - it was silly, fun, and endearingly raunchy. It's the story of the narrator's Uncle Oswald, and how he made his fortune with the cunning use of a rare aphrodisiac, some cutting edge science, and a few compatriots. Fun...


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Devil in Amber

The Devil in Amber: A Lucifer Box Novel The Devil in Amber: A Lucifer Box Novel by Mark Gatiss


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
Didn't like the second Lucifer Box novel quite as much as the first one, but definitely more of the same fun. Ridiculous, but fun.



This one centers takes our hero to the shores of America, and a fascist cover for a plot to raise the devil himself. Shenanigans ensue.


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sofia's princessy day

After meeting Miss Nevada at the Sparks Top o' the Mornin' fun run this morning:



Mich decided to make her a princess bed/fort/castle area thing. She strung pink fabric up all around the hide-a-bed in the living room, and with the leftover fabric, made a little wrappy dress for Sofia.



She was apparently allowed to have a tea party in there:



And, after wearing this ridiculous outfit to Buenos Grill for lunch, she did a little jumping on the trampoline in it...

video

Girls...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think the reason that I don't read a lot of mysteries is that there aren't a lot of mysteries out there like this. I completely fell for the protagonist, Flavia de Luce, an 11 year old chemistry prodigy from a down-at-the-heels aristocratic family. Set in 1950's England, it's filled with mind-boggling but somehow charming detail, and chronicles Flavia's thought process as she puzzles her way through clearing her father of a murder charge. Unfortunately, this book isn't out for a month or so; if it were available today, there are at least three people I would buy it for immediately.


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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Performance Nutrition for Runners

Runner's World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever Runner's World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever by Matt Fitzgerald


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was MUCH more what I was looking for than The Runner's Diet (also put out by Runner's World.) Where it was focused on someone who was getting into running specifically to lose weight, Performance Nutrition for Runners was written for established runners looking to fuel correctly to improve their running. I really appreciated all the info on fueling and hydrating while running, pre-race, and recovery eating. I was hoping for a little more on everyday eating - maybe some general meal plans and such. I think, though, with the knowledge I've gleaned from this book, I can do a pretty good job setting up a plan for myself.


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Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Vesuvius Club

The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel by Mark Gatiss


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lucifer Box. Libertine, frustrated portraitist, spy. From turn-of-the-century London to the volcanoes of Italy, this is a saucy, hilarious tale of betrayal, revenge and frivolity.


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats: A Novel (Felix Gomez #1) The Nymphos of Rocky Flats: A Novel by Mario Acevedo


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fun little book about a recently turned vampire coming to terms with his - uh, vampirehood (?) and trying to make a living as a private investigator. Lots of twists and turns, silly sexiness and supernatural hijinks. Not sure if I'll go on with the rest of the series or not..


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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Callisto

Callisto: A Novel (P.S.) Callisto: A Novel by Torsten Krol


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
I didn't think I was going to make it through this, but by the time I decided that, I was to far in to quit. Kinda glad I did finish it, though, Not sure about all the comparisons on the book jacket - Sinclair Lewis, John Kennedy O'Toole, and Stephen Colbert - but it was entertaining.


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