Friday, August 29, 2014

Going Bananas

I had an abundance of overly ripe bananas and had to make something with them quick. A use it or lose it situation. The recipe in the back of the cooling rack was fairly gross so I won't share it. The second one uses this delicious recipe which I changed just a bit to make it a whoopee pie instead of a cookie. The frosting was softened butter, vanilla, salt and enough powdered sugar to make it not too toothache sweet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry starts with a grieving and grouchy bookstore owner on a Northeastern island. He lives alone above the book shop where books are his only company. This all changes when a 2 year old girl is left in his shop with a note from her mother begging A.J. to care for her. The mother is found washed up on the beach and Fikry adopts little Maya. His life changes considerably when he finds that his heart is open to loving again and he falls for a publisher's agent. This work taps on the love many of us book lovers have for the feel and smell of a book in our hands, the joy and feeling of being where we are incredibly happy and at home while in a bookstore, and how reluctant we are to cede all of that to e-readers and online book giants. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy National Waffle Day!

Today is officially National Waffle Day but Billy has waffles (or the occasional pancake) every day. This was a yummy and very basic waffle recipe from my trusty King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion cookbook. The recipe calls for 2 large eggs, 1 3/4c. buttermilk, 2 tsp. vanilla extract for the wet. Dry ingredients are 2c.unbleached AP flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt and an optional 1/2c pecan meal (I used almond flour)  and of course a waffle iron!
I buttered these and ground some cinnamon sugar (from Trader Joe's and very handy to have around) and some powdered sugar. You can leave all that off if you don't like the sweet.

American Idol concert

We went to see the American Idol concert last night at Marymoor Park, Redmond. This was my mother's day present from Jim and Billy.  The show was pretty good, not fabulous, and was the last stop in their tour. Not a really great production value with the big screen in the background showing the same scenes and commercials repeatedly and a recorded music track. Some of the kids sounded and performed much better than they did on the actual tv show, I guess it is easier when the pressure is off. I thought Alex Preston was excellent. What a talented guy. I was expecting a lot more from Caleb, the season's winner, but basically he was just in the last couple of songs, for the ending of the show.
The weather was perfect for this event, such a beautiful, clear and comfortable night.   

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty was 5 star fabulous. Centered around three very different mothers of kindergarten children in Pirriwee Public School in Australia. There is a dead parent from the school that is cleverly referred to throughout the book in a series of interviews relating to the goings on at the school that led up to this death. So who is it and who did it?
 I felt that I have met most of these ladies in my own school related interactions. There were many really funny lines and lots of heartbreaking situations that kept you caring about what happens to everyone, even the ones you didn't think you cared for all along. I really could not put this book down and I miss Madeline, Cecilia, and Jane already.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two stinkers

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, otherwise known as J.K. Rowling. It is astonishing to me that Rowling could have written such an amazing series of Harry Potter books and then delivered this for the adults. Her detective Cormoran Strike is a wounded veteran from Afghanistan, really down on his luck and not faring so well in the business and romance departments. He takes a case from the brother of a famous supermodel who was believed to have committed suicide by jumping from her balcony. What follows is a series of meandering interviews and an endless parade of characters that you could really care less about, and they never seem to shut up. I thought this book was an absolute torture and will not continue the journey with the rest of the Strike series. Life is too short and these books are way too long.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel. The cover of the book is representative of the polished, perfect lives that NASA expected from the wives of the astronauts. They were real, everyday women with the same issues that all of the other housewives from the 1960's experienced for the most part but they had to portray a sense of well balanced, devoted, All American wifely support to help promote the space race and sell the whole package to the American people. The book does give a little bit of the feel of the 60's, how it was an ever changing world and touched on how the women's movement was gaining voice. It's a shame that the author did not make you feel too much for any one of the ladies in particular. There was such a constant stream of different women, what they were wearing, what kind of house they lived in, etc. It was hard for me to differentiate one from the other after a while. As superficial as the book cover really.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gilner Goose Cookie Jar

I found this cool cookie jar at a yard sale today along with some beautiful milk glass pieces. This is a Gilner, from the 1950's.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mr. Mercedes and The Book of You

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King- A retired homicide detective tries to solve one last case to close his personal book. "Mr. Mercedes" mowed down a group of innocent and unsuspecting folks waiting in line at a job fair, just for kicks. Detective Hodges wants to nail this guy without going through the proper police channels. He is aided by an unlikely duo who put themselves at great risk to help their friend stop this psychopath before he kills again, his last act to be one with massive casualties.
A riveting read! 4 stars
Clarissa has drawn the unwanted attentions of an obsessed stalker. Suspenseful and well written but I found the ending a bit unsatisfactory. 
4 stars

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX and 3d. Totally enjoyably awesome! Excellent 3d effects made it worth the extra $$ and the large screen was fabulously immersive. A Marvel-lous cast of characters with lots of genuinely funny lines and plenty of action. I look forward to the next installment in this series. I always love the little cameos of Stan Lee, very Hitchcockian.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Boys in the Boat

An excellent, 5 star read. The story of the rowing crew from the University of Washington and their journey to the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Berlin. I loved the history of local (to me) Seattle during the Great Depression.