Twitterature {September 2014}

9.15.2014


Twitterature is a place to share short, casual reviews of books and I'm linking up to the event over on Modern Mrs. Darcy. Head over there to read more reviews, but be warned that you will fill up your to-read list! I am at 52 books so far this year in my Goodreads Challenge. Not too shabby! Here's what I read over the last month.

The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin

I struggled with whether to give this three or four stars on Goodreads. I loved the writing and want to read more by Jemisin, but I struggled with aspects of the story and setting.


A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki

This was was going along swimmingly, then took a turn for esoteric philosophy and physics, which I wasn't expecting. In any event, I'm glad I kept reading even if all the loose ends weren't perfectly tied up.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain

As with any good historical fiction, this book inspired me to go find out more about Hemingway, despite going in thinking I knew a whole bunch about him.

Enna Burning, Shannon Hale

I am surprised that this is a young adult novel because several passages seemed quite mature for that genre. In any event, I'm a fan of Hale's and will keep reading this series.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

I loved all the sci-fi and fantasy references in this whimsical and quirky book. Although, it's hard for me not to like a book based almost entirely in a bookstore.

Heads in Beds, Jacob Tomsky

Let me save you some time - if you want upgrades and outstanding service at a luxury hotel, tip $20 upfront. There were just too many crass passages in too much of this book, but it is a fascinatingly detailed description of the hospitality business. I also could have done without the sections instructing me on how to steal from hotels.

The Last Anniversary, Liane Moriarty

Maybe I'm just not a Moriarty fan because I just didn't get hooked on this one. I'm reading her most popular novel - What Alice Forgot - right now and I'll see if that one is better suited to my taste.

One Plus One, Jo Jo Moyes

Oh, I loved this one. I studiously avoided everything about the plot before reading, so this clever novel featuring non-standard characters was such a treat. I'm looking forward to reading more by Moyes.

Elizabeth the Queen, Sally Bedell Smith

Don't read this book if you are a Princess Diana fan. It is decidedly pro-Elizabeth and anti-Diana. If you can get past that, this is an interesting history of an incredible life.

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {September 14 - 20}

Click the Menu to see a larger version.
I feel like this week's menu isn't as helpful as usual because I am relying on many of my "members only" recipes. So, um, sorry about that and I'll make sure next week is more link-friendly!

Sunday

Dinner: We joined some friends for a BBQ and brought Southern Peach Cobbler {All Recipes} and the infamous Crack Dip {Plain Chicken}.

Monday

Lunch: Broccoli & Cheese Biscuit Pockets {Momables} - I ate them for breakfast! My new theory is that my kids will eat anything if it is inside a biscuit. Oh, and I roasted the broccoli because that's how my little one likes it.  This was accompanied by mango (the berries I originally planned were served for breakfast instead!) and some cherry tomatoes. (This was also on last week's menu, but didn't make it into a lunch last week....).

Dinner: Skillet Ziti with Sausage and Summer Squash {Cook's Country magazine}

Tuesday

Lunch: Sweet Monkey Sandwich {Momables member exclusive}, Grapes, Sliced Plums - my daughter doesn't like bananas, so I'll use strawberries with nutella for this yummy treat of a sandwich.

Dinner: Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos {Rachael Ray}, Mexican Rice {Food Network} - these chicken soft tacos include bacon and green apple - you have to give them a try!

Wednesday

Lunch: Ham, Swiss, and Apple Wraps {Momables member exclusive}, Carrots, Greek Yogurt.

Dinner: Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Chickpea Salad {Cook's Country magazine}

Thursday

Lunch: Chipotle Bacon Pinwheels {Momables member exclusive}, Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced Plums

Dinner: Thai Style Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry {Cook's Country magazine}

Friday

Lunch: Easy Peasy Cheesy Quiches {Momables member exclusive}, Pretzels, Berries

Dinner: Leftovers

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



What? You don't let your children sit on the kitchen island half naked to make their own tacos? Well, you should. But really, ditch the little packet and use this recipe for Sarah's Tacos instead. You'll never go back.


Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {September 7 - 13}

9.09.2014


Click the image to see a larger version of the menu.

I usually plan meals on Saturday and shop on Sunday, but that didn't happen this week due to a vacation (first world problems, right?). So, here we are on Tuesday and I am mostly hitting the Easy Button this week.

Sunday

My husband rode his bike around Lake Tahoe! So no, we didn't cook or do dishes on Sunday....

Monday

Lunch: Scavenge through the fridge because I did not plan! Booooo!

Back to school madness + being out of town on meal planning and shopping day = Chinese Food for Dinner.

Tuesday

Lunch: Mini Croissant Sandwich with Turkey and Swiss, Grape Tomatoes, Goldfish

Dinner: Sarah's Tacos {Martha Stewart} - I am falling back on an old favorite to get back in the swing of things this week.
Baked Refried Beans {Plain Chicken}

Wednesday

Lunch: Crunch Deli Wrap {Momables member exclusive}, Berries, Yogurt

Dinner: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole from the freezer {Money Saving Mom}
Ritz Cracker Topping

Thursday

Lunch: Party Platter {Momables member exclusive}, Crackers, Carrots

Dinner: Skillet Sausage and Potatoes with Arugula {Cook's Country magazine}

Friday

Lunch: Lunch: Broccoli and Cheese Biscuit Pockets {Momables}, Yogurt, Cookies

Dinner: Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Noodles {Better Homes and Gardens magazine}
Green Salad

Saturday

Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros {Cook's Country magazine}

Eat Out

Star of Last Week





My son said: "Mommy, can you make that again? Because I loved that." Need I say more? I think I added too much bread, but with all that bacon and homemade BBQ sauce, no one noticed. The recipe is from Pioneer Woman and was on last week's menu plan.

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {August 31 - September 6}

9.01.2014


Click on the images to see a larger version

I am totally not kidding around this week, can you tell? I'm trying a new system of planning lunch for my daughter and husband instead of just winging it each day. Luckily, Plan to Eat allows you to expand the planner to include breakfast, lunch, and dinner (or Supper, I guess).

Monday

Breakfast: Apple and Cheddar Mini Scones {Taste of Home magazine}

Dinner: Tequila Lime Chicken, Mexican Rice Casserole, Refried Black Beans {Pioneer Woman}

Tuesday

Lunch: Mini Pigs in a Blanket {Mummy Deals}, Grape Tomatoes, Berries

Dinner: Chicken with Scallion-Lime Sauce and Sweet Carrot Rice {Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals and Everything Rachael Ray}

Wednesday

Lunch: Easy Tortilla Pizzas {Momables}, mangoes

Dinner: Meatloaf {Pioneer Woman}
Oven Roasted Broccoli {Rachael Ray}
Classic Mashed Potatoes {Dinner, A Love Story}

Thursday

Lunch: Turkey, Sliced Cheddar, Triscuits, Strawberry Cheesecake Bites {Momables}, Apples

Dinner: Ravioli Alfredo with Peas {Food Network Magazine}
Cheesy Garlic Bread

Friday

Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Pasta {Momables member exclusive}, yogurt, carrots

Dinner: Leftovers

Saturday

Dinner: Eat Out

Star of Last Week



Grilled Steak and Sweet Potato Salad with Chile Lime Dressing from last week's menu was definitely a winner. When I told my house guest we were having salad for dinner, he seemed underwhelmed, but then kept coming back for more of this salad!


Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {August 24 - 30}

8.25.2014


Sunday

Grill-Roasted Beer Can Chicken for a Charcoal Grill {America's Test Kitchen}
Baked Beans with Bacon and Red Onions {Rachael Ray}

Monday

Grilled Steak and Sweet Potato Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing {Cook's Country}

Tuesday

Sarah's Tacos {Martha Stewart}
Baked Refried Beans {Plain Chicken}

Wednesday


Thursday

Chicken Tamale Pie {Pinch of Yum}

Friday

Leftovers

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week



The star of last week's menu was the Antipasto Chef's Salad. This salad was so yummy that my Dad, who is visiting, asked me to make it twice in one week. One word of caution - if you use regular kale instead of baby kale, make sure you give it a serious massage first. Without that, the kale is hard to eat!

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {August 17 - 23}

8.19.2014



I'm changing it up this week and starting my menu on a Sunday instead of Monday. This just works better with my shopping schedule, so there you go!

Sunday

Apricot Gorgonzola Cheese Spread - sorry for getting you addicted. My bad.
Spanikopita Burgers {Rachael Ray} - these are a whole bunch of work, but they are ever so yummy. Just don't make these on a weeknight!
Chips
Green Salad

Monday

Leek and Gnocchi Bake with Three Cheeses and Crispy Prosciutto {Rachael Ray}
Green Salad

Tuesday

Antipasto Chef's Salad {Food Network Magazine}

Wednesday

Pork Tenderloin, with Corn, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Salad {Cook's Country magazine}

Thursday

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs {Taste of Home}
Perfect Cheesy Garlic Bread {Center Cut Cook}
Green Salad

Friday

Leftovers

Saturday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week


The star of last week's menu was certainly the Cashew! God Bless You Chicken From Rachael Ray. This is one of those recipes that we just keep coming back to! If you don't have or can't find hoisin, any bottled stir fry sauce will do. Give it a try!

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

Twitterature {August 2014}

8.15.2014



Twitterature is a place to share short, casual reviews of books and I'm linking up to the event over on Modern Mrs. Darcy. Head over there to read more reviews, but be warned that you will fill up your to-read list! Here's what I read this month (fair warning: I was on a tear!).


One & Only, Emily Giffin

Too. Much. Football. I was bored and just couldn't get invested in the love story. Not a win for me.

The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert

So much had happened halfway through this novel that I was exhausted and could not fathom that there was still halfway more to go. Some portions also felt unnecessarily prurient.  For the record - I might be the only woman in her 30's that hasn't read Gilbert's famous Eat, Pray, Love.

Quiet, Susan Cain

This is a book I have to talk about with everyone I see. As an extroverted parent to a sensitive, introverted child, I found this book fascinating and insightful.

Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart

I have a problem. Once I start a series, I have to finish it. The joy in finishing it outweighs any pain from reading something I don't love. However, I found that the second installment of this series was actually better than the first (which I didn't love). I am proud of myself for abandoning the next one in the series though, because I was so totally not into it.

Landline, Rainbow Rowell

Despite the gimmick, this is an engrossing love story. It was nice to read a book at the beginning of the wave of popularity instead of reading it years later..... I think I might be in the minority as someone who loved this book, but I think I might be the target audience!

The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin

I knew I didn't like Charles Lindbergh much (other than his brave trans-oceanic flight), but after reading this historical fiction and being inspired to do more research, I like him even less. This novel made me want to read more of Benjamin's writing, though.


The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty

I spent the first half annoyed that I didn't know the secret and the second half annoyed that I did know it, so I think I'm not cut out for this type of book.

A Room with a View, E. M. Forrester

I had a tough time listening to this one on audio, maybe because of the different cadence and the introduction of so many characters at once. It was predictable, but lots of tongue in cheek fun.

The Wedding Night, Sophie Kinsella

The novel from one of my favorite chick lit authors didn't get the best reviews, but I thought this book was delightfully silly. Maybe it was because I listened to it as an audiobook, with some lovely British accents?

The Astronaut Wives' Club, Lily Koppel

This felt more like a string of historical facts rather than a cogent story. I was somewhat disappointed because, done right, I think this could have been fascinating. Instead, it was just like reading a textbook.

Parnassus on Wheels, Christopher Morley

When I finished this little novella, I had a warm heart and a smile on my face. It was so nice to read a story so simple, yet so intricate, too. It was published in 1917 and I'm not sure I ever would have found it without my Quarterly Book Riot subscription!