Monday, July 28, 2014

Philadelphia Pennsylvania

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Into the Pumpkin

With the Halloween season upon us, I am definitely ready for a cute seasonal story, and this one definitely fit the bill. Into the Pumpkin may be one of the most beautiful Halloween books I have seen. Linda Franklin has created a delightful book with colorful, detailed pictures. It is a charming tale of a Halloween party and all of the invited guests (from spiders to spirits). The party begins with invitations going out, and guests are greeted with a cup of witches brew; soon skeletons begin dancing and ghosts begin singing. In a charming rhyme, the party continues, and Halloween is a delightful night for the pumpkins to celebrate. Although this is a Halloween book, it is so sweet and beautiful that it is definitely worth reading more than just this time of year!

Something Red

During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized. An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous. This is only open to US residents and I will contact the winner for shipping information. Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Chorizo Chili

This chili is so effortless to make, it is almost hard to call it a recipe. It is delicious and because it is made in a slow-cooker, needs no hands-on time…truly the best kind of dinner!
Chorizo Chili 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 can pinto beans, rinsed 1 cup frozen corn 2 links soy chorizo, removed from casings 1 can diced green chilis 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes 1. Pour olive oil into your slow cooker. Spread around. Pour the remaining ingredients into your slow cooker, stir together, and cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 1 1/2 hours.

Seitan BBQ Burgers with Jicama-Apple Slaw

This time of year, I start to long for fall flavors. The cinnamon, squash, maple, and apple aromas of this recipe are the perfect way to transition into fall. While this recipe does take some planning, it is delicious and well worth it.
Seitan BBQ Burgers with Jicama-Apple Slaw 4 hamburger buns or rolls 2 teaspoons oil 3 cups coarsely chopped seitan strips 1/2 cup favorite Barbeque sauce 1 cup jicama, thinly sliced into fine matchsticks or coarsely shredded 1/2 cup apple, peeled and sliced into fine matchsticks or coarsely shredded 2 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise into 4 strips each, and finely diced 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 Tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup 1. Preheat oven to warm hamburger buns. 2. In a medium bowl, mix jicama and apple with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and agave nectar, tossing to coat completely. Set aside and allow to marinate. 3. In a medium skillet, heat oil and add setian. Cook until warmed and beginning to crisp, about 7 minutes. Add Barbeque sauce and simmer with seitan for 3 -5 minutes, or until warmed and fragrant. Spoon BBQ seitan onto warmed buns and top with Jicama-Apple slaw. Serve immediately.

Local Heroes

Local Heroes: Portraits of American Volunteer Firefighters is an inspiring book packed with stories and pictures of some of this nation’s most heroic individuals. My husband was a volunteer firefighter for fourteen years and is still active in the local fire department, so I was drawn to this book. Featuring local volunteer departments across the nation, and profiles of average citizens who go above and beyond the call of duty, this book is captivating. With stories of small town fires and large-scale forest fires, and the brave men and women who stepped up to fight them, Local Heroes is a refreshing glimpse into the world of volunteer firefighting – a field which is so often overlooked with the glamor of the big city firefighters – and the brave individuals who work a full-time job each day and gladly step up to protect their cities around the clock.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple-Spiced Quinoa

This time of year, I start to long for fall flavors. The cinnamon, squash, maple, and apple aromas of this recipe are the perfect way to transition into fall. While this recipe does take some planning, it is delicious and well worth it.
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple-Spiced Quinoa 1 acorn squash 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 2 1/2 cups water 1 crisp apple (Gala or Honeycrip, for example), peeled, and finely diced 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and place each half cut-side down onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or greased aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, turn so that cut side faces up and cook for another 20 minutes, or until golden and tender. 2. While squash cooks, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, diced apple, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and fruit is tender. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash. 3. In a small bowl, mix pecans and brown sugar. Sprinkle pecan-sugar mix onto the quinoa-stuffed squash and serve immediately.