Archive | March 2014

Random Recipe: Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

It was a Saturday and lunchtime was approaching. My husband, lying on the sofa, would soon demand food…

A peek in the fridge determined that he would have portabella mushroom sandwiches with chipolte mayo…and he would like it.

Ingredients
1 pkg Portabella mushrooms
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 Chipotle peppers
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 Avocado
Salad Greens
Potato bread
Provolone cheese

Instructions

Mushroom Caps:
Mix EVOO, salt & pepper together. Brush on mushroom caps. Heat a skillet to medium and pan fry mushrooms, starting with the smooth side down. Cook for about 3-4 mins per side, pressing down on caps with spatula to release juices.

Chipotle mayo:
Mix 1/3 cup mayo with 1-2 chipotle peppers (pick your heat levels, I use 3 but I like it spicy). Chop peppers finely and then mix with mayo.

Portabella Mushroom sandwich

Put it together:
Toast potato bread and then spread on chipotle mayo. Put one-two mushrooms per sandwich, covered with 1 slice provolone cheese. Add slices of avocado and salad greens. Slice in half and serve.

Hero & Quest: “True” Hero vs. Reluctant Hero vs. Anti-hero

What is a hero? What does it mean to be a hero?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty dismayed by the whole anti-hero craze. I’m pretty honest about my dislikes and triggers: bloody, gratuitous violence, violence against women, rape, torture and horror. While the list is short, the implications are large, lol. There’s a lot that I avoid.

And I have added the anti-hero to that list.

In my previous blog post I pondered the “True” or “Mythological” Hero. This is my preferred hero, for the most part. In fact, my favorite series are The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings. Eddings’ MC for this series – Belgarion – gets quite a few points on the mythological scale: I’d score Belgarion at 11/22 points (I credit Belgarion with points 1, 2, 4, 6-8, 10-14).

But some really thought-provoking comments by SophieCale made me think about other types of heroes. There are several types of heroes – not just two. SophieCale mentioned that she enjoys anti-heroes to a degree: Any MC who balks at their “quest”, complains about it, undermines it or bends the rules falls into my anti-hero category. Basically, if they aren’t selfless, courageous, honourable or fair I consider them anti-hero, but that’s just my own personal definition.
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Hero & Quest: What is a “Hero?”

In today’s popular literature, the “anti-hero” has become the new hero. Why? Many claim this is in reflection of either A) reality (i.e. that no one is a “real hero”) or B) a symptom of the uncertain times we live in.

But haven’t we always lived in uncertain times? I can’t think of a single era or culture that was not lamenting the greatness of the past while gnashing their teeth at what they see as the destruction of the future (I mean, did nobody expect the Spanish Inquisition? *snerk*). So why has the tide changed against the “hero” in favor of the anti-hero? I don’t know but I’m desperate to discover why. Especially since my personal taste trends towards the typical hero.

I’m currently listening to a class, “Hero and Quest” taught by Dr. Larry George (subtitled “Heroes and Maidens”). This is a fascinating class thus far and it’s giving me great food for thought.

Today’s discussion was the “Mythic Hero.”

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B&M Bookstores: Atomic Books, Baltimore MD

I’ve always loved bookstores and libraries. I love the slightly musty, stuffy and dry smells that old books produce. I love the crisp smell of fresh cut paper that new books produce. I love looking at books, fingering books, organizing books and starting at book cover art.

I don’t find this strange at all. 🙂 What do I find strange? That other people DON’T do the same things.

I can spend hours staring at books. And if I find a book I find interesting? I love to sit in the middle of the isle on the floor and flip through books.

I love owning books. I am a bibliophile.

So it is heartbreaking to me that the brick and mortar bookstore is being lost in today’s internet focused world.

As a salute to those maintaining the brick and mortar bookstore for the love of books – I decided to start listing any [indie] B&M bookstore I visit.

I recently visited Atomic Books which was recently featured in a Flavorwire post (#14): 45 Great American Indie Bookstores to Support This Holiday Season.


Atomic Books
3620 Falls Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21211 USA
410.662.4444
info@atomicbooks.com

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Review: The CarbLovers Diet by Ellen Kunes & Frances Largeman-Roth

The CarbLovers Diet

PhotobucketThe editors of Health Magazine (and top nutrition scientists) have big news: Eating carbs is the best way to get and stay slim. Breakthrough research revealed in this book shows how certain carb-rich foods-especially those with the amazing natural ingredient called Resistant Starch-act as powerful metabolism boosters and appetite suppressants. Rather than making you fat and bloated, as decades of low-carb diet gurus claimed, CARBS make you thin. They shrink fat cells, especially in your belly; boost fat burning; increase muscle mass; curb cravings; keep you feeling full longer than other foods; control blood sugar, and lower cholesterol and triglycerides!

Health Magazine, the expert when it comes to healthy living, takes this revolutionary new science and turns it into an easy-to-follow, real women-tested, dietitian-approved road map proven to melt off 10, 35, even 100 plus pounds forever. Our test kitchen chefs and registered dietitians also developed 85 delicious, simple recipes and foolproof meal plans that help you lose weight while you enjoy the foods you’ve craved for years.

I love carbs. LOVE. CARBS.

I love breads, cakes, flaky pies, potatoes, muffins, pasta… I could go on for days. Especially pasta…and bread…and cakes. Especially those carbs.

My conundrum is that I also love to work out, lift weights and look sexy.

And just about EVERYBODY tells you that there is no way to both love (and enjoy) carbs and look sexy at the same time. No matter what diet and no matter what exercise program – just about all of them tell you to avoid carbs.

This gives me the sads. 😦

So when I stumbled upon The CarbLovers Diet I had to check it out. The cover is a bright and happy pink with a picture of a fork full of pasta. Yum! The back cover mentions “revolutionary new science about carb-rich foods” and promises that the reader will have “pasta for dinner and chocolate torte for dessert.” Come on! Who doesn’t want that??
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Random Recipe: Rotisseried Chicken

Since both my husband and I work full time, I try to cut down on the amount of time I spend cooking during the work week.

One of the things that saves me time and energy when cooking for the week are whole chickens. I used to be rather afraid to cook whole chickens – I used only buy butchered parts – but damn I love whole chickens now!

When I cook whole chickens, I either bake or rotisserie them. My favorite is definitely the Rotisserie. It’s super fast and easy! I received my rotisserie as a gift but you can buy one for about $80 and up.

Rotisseried Chicken

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (4lbs or more)
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary

Rotisseried Chicken Whole

Rotisseried Chicken Whole

1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp basil
season salt (to taste)
2 1/2 tbsp butter
poultry seasoning (to taste)

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SPA-F: The Madness of Hallen (The Khalada Stone, #1) by Russell Meek

The Madness of Hallen

Half a millenium ago, the mind of Husam al-Din was ripped apart and scattered beyond the borders of the known lands. Although secured by bloody war, the peaceful legacy he brought has begun to collapse, and the world once again starts a slow descent into chaos. Against all who betrayed him, al-Din will be forced to reclaim those who survived.
There are none who can prevent his return, but there are three who would control him. All that stands in their way is their own sanity, and everyone they love.

In the mountain city of Brunn, a darkness gathers around Ohrl. Restlessness, a sense that his life should mean more than it does. On his first journey beyond the mountains he begins to understand that destiny cares not for his petty desires. It is vicious and brutal, and it will not stop until either he, or it, are totally consumed.

Na’ilah’s search is almost over. She can feel his mind pulsating here in the city, but she cannot take it through strength of arms alone. Her armoury is cunning, manipulation and betrayal. Her will is to be obeyed, and her cruel heart will show no mercy to those that stand in her way.

His mind will be a vessel for the betrayals of his kind, and in time he must decide upon their right to survive. Yet before that decision can be made, Faerl must release the six most powerful men that brought this curse upon them, men who died half a millenium ago.

The Khalada Stone is the first of four epic novels following the lives of two brothers in their quest against the rightful heir to the mind of Husam al-Din.

Amount Read: Prologue and Chapter 1

What did I think? Well, I feel like I have previously established a relationship with Russell Meek. When this book was originally released, Meek posted about it in a group I belong to. I thought the cover was really pretty and his website is beyond beautiful…I love his website. Everything is so polished and professional and branded that it was astounding that Meek is self-published. The blurb was horrific but Meek’s demeanor and professionalism really intrigued me. My biggest issue at the time was that there was no ebook available (that has changed) and Meek is a New Zealand author. Shipping from New Zealand is…cost prohibitive.
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