Friday, September 30, 2011

CLASSIC ~Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland~

SO. I decided this month that I would like to start reading one classic novel a month. It's kind of a goal. This month I was going to read The Scarlett Pimpernell but it was taking too long so I grabbed a shorter classic.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  ***
by Lewis Carroll
Book Type: Classic Children's Literature, Fantasy
Summary: Journey with Alice down the rabbit hole into a world of wonder where oddities, logic and wordplay rule supreme. Encounter characters like the grinning Cheshire Cat who can vanish into thin air, the cryptic Mad Hatter who speaks in riddles and the harrowing Queen of Hearts obsessed with the phrase "Off with their heads!" This is a land where rules have no boundaries, eating mushrooms will make you grow or shrink, croquet is played with flamingos and hedgehogs, and exorbitant trials are held for the theft of tarts. Amidst these absurdities, Alice will have to find her own way home. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as a story told to three little girls in a rowboat, near Oxford. Ten year old Alice Liddell asked to have the story written down and two years later it was published with immediate success.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: From what I remember of the Disney cartoon Alice in Wonderland, this story seemed to be very similar. Disney followed the classic fairly well. They tweaked things and added/changed a few things but overall it was pretty spot on. Granted, I haven't seen the movie in FOREVER so I could be totally wrong. But I don't think so. This story was okay for me. Alice was kind of weird and annoying. Her world was pretty much insane. But it has some fun quirky things about it that made it fun to read. I would like to read Through the Looking Glass at some point but I am not dying to get my hands on it. This book is an outlandish tale full of ridiculous wordplay that makes it fun... but isn't my favorite type of book to read. 

Taco Tote

El Taco Tote
location: Tucson, AZ
Okay, when I saw the name of this restaurant I couldn't help but laugh. Because I automatically read it in English first. Don't tell me it doesn't look funny if you read it in English? But, we heard it was good so we decided to go and MAN it was good. It is like a Mexican salad bar! Because you have tacos instead of salad! They basically grill meat for you and make you some fresh tortillas and you do the rest over at the salsa bar. WAY good. I would love to eat there again! YUM. Also, the pricing wasn't too bad for the amount of food you got. But I don't remember what it was like. And I don't know if they have any outside of Tucson. But there is at least one here! :)

Who knew you could love cabbage soup?

Lithuanian Cabbage Soup
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can (14.5 oz.) whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced or thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 lbs. beef soup bones or 3 beef bouillon cubes (if you have any leftover stew meat, you can use that)
  • freshly grated pepper
  • 6-10 peeled, chopped and boiled potatoes
  1. Combine all ingredients but potatoes in large kettle. 
  2. Bring to a boil; simmer for 60 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. 
  3. Serve in bowls over hot boiled potatoes with more pepper! 

    A faster way to make baked potatoes

    Baked Potato Wedges
    • Potatoes, washed and scrubbed
    • salt
    • olive oil
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Slice potato into 6th. You want big chunks.
    3. Place on baking tray, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
    4. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
    5. Can eat with sour cream, salt & pepper. Whatever you want!

    Do you ever just CRAVE chocolate chip cookies??

    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    • 1 c butter flavored Crisco (we didn't have butter flavored so we did 1/2 c plain Crisco and 1/2 butter)
    • 3/4 c brown sugar
    • 3/4 c sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 1/4 c flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 c chocolate chips
    • 1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)
    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. 
    3. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda.
    4. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
    5. Drop by large tablespoonfuls on to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes.
    **NOTE: you can refrigerate or freeze the cookie dough and use it at a later date. Roll into balls first, it is much more difficult to do once it's cold!

    The Kane Chronicles


    Book Type: YA, Adventure, Fantasy
    Summary: The Red Pyramid: Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
    One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
    Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

    The Throne of Fire: Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.
    And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.
    To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.
    First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly? 

    The Serpent's Shadow: When young magicians Carter and Sadie Kane learned how to follow the path of the Ancient Egyptian gods, they knew they would have to play an important role in restoring Ma'at - order - to the world. What they didn't know is how chaotic the world would become. The Chaos snake Apophis is loose and threatining to destroy the earth in three days' time. The magicians are divided. The gods are disappearing, and those who remain are weak. Walt, on of Carter and Sadie's most gifted initiates, is doomed and can already feel his life force ebbing. Zia is too busy babysitting the senile sun god, Ra, to be of much help. What are a couple of teenagers and a handful of young trainees to do?
    There is possibly one way to stop Apophis, but it is so difficult that it might cost Carter and Saide their lives, if it even works at all. It involves trusting the ghost of a psychopathic magician not to betray them, or worse, kill them. They'd have to be crazy to try it. Well, call them crazy. 
    summary found on goodreads

    My Review: I love Rick Riordan's ability to take ancient mythology and make it today. Claim that it's real and still occurring all around us, all the time. It's quite the gift. He makes it fascinating! I LOVE the Percy Jackson Series. It is FANTASTIC. So I figured I would try this series which is NOT about Greek Mythology, but Egyptian Mythology. It is pretty cool! The characters are fun. Although the book is constantly going back and forth between the two siblings points of view. Which I found sound pretty much the same except at the very beginning of each chapter. That's okay, I like Rick Riordan's story telling so I still enjoyed it, even if the voices sounded too similar. The characters were so different that the voices shouldn't have sounded anything alike, but that's okay! :) I still really enjoyed these books. Each story was chuck full of action and exciting events. I loved the cheesy love interests in the stories, I thought they were a good example of young love rather than over dramatic teenage love fests. All in all I enjoyed this series, even if I didn't love it as much as Percy Jackson! Check it out for sure! :)

    Half Broke Horses

    Half Broke Horses ***1/2
    by Jeannette Walls
    Book Type: True life novel
    Summary: Half Broke Horses is the story of Lily Casey Smith’s life. Author Jeannette Walls, the granddaughter of Lily Casey Smith, wrote the book from Lily’s point of view. Lily is portrayed as a strong, spirited, and resourceful woman, who overcomes poverty and tragedy with the positive attitude that “When God closes a window, he opens a door. But it’s up to you to find it.” As a child growing up on the frontier in Texas, Lily learns how to break horses. At the age of fifteen, she rides five hundred miles, alone, to get to her job as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. Later in life, Lily runs a vast cattle ranch in Arizona, along with her second husband and their two children. A woman of many talents, Lily earns extra money at various points in her life by playing poker, selling bootleg liquor, and riding in horse races. She also tries to fight injustice and prejudice wherever she finds it, which occasionally lands her in trouble. Half Broke Horses depicts the freedom of rural life, its joys and struggles, and celebrates the courage and spirit of its protagonist. Jeannette Walls says the book is “in the vein of an oral history, a retelling of stories handed down by my family through the years, and undertaken with the storyteller’s traditional liberties.”
    summary found on wikipedia

    My Review: I absolutely LOVED The Glass Castle, the first book that Jeanette Walls wrote. The Glass Castle is a memoir, this book is a "true life novel". The story may not be entirely accurate but it is told as though it is a personal story. It is about Jeanette Walls grandmother. I thought that the first half of the novel was great because the story was really amazing. As a young woman she had a lot of difficult and life-changing experiences. Later in the novel she becomes a little too... I don't know, nuts? She is just so over the top as a teacher that it drives me kind of crazy. And the part about how they would wear their shirts until the fronts were absolutely filthy then turn it around and wear it until the back was absolutely filthy, then flip it inside out and do it again. On top of that they NEVER wash their jeans. GROSS. Even so, the woman is incredible and leads a fairly extraordinary life.


    Beastly **1/2
    Recently I realized how much I LOVE Beauty and the Beast. I saw it on Broadway years ago and I thought it was fantastic, and I've taken the Disney movie for granted for years! But I watched it a few months ago and was astounded by how BEAUTIFUL the music and scenery is. Really, it's amazing. You should watch it again for those reasons alone! Anyway, I decided to give Beastly a chance because of my new found love for the original story. And ummm, yeah, it was okay. They made the kid look uber weird. I mean, he had ugly features but he also had tattoos and deep gashes all over him. That was weird and I didn't really understand why they made him look the way they did. I thought that the actor did a better job in this movie than he did in I Am Number Four, which was good to see! But, that was about the only good thing in the movie. It was only so-so from beginning to finish.


    Unknown ***
    Hmm, unexpected ending. You have no idea where they're going with this movie. This guy is in a taxi going back to the airport when he gets into a terrible car crash and ends up in a coma for a few days. When he comes to there is someone pretending to be him. It was really crazy trying to figure out who is the bad guy, why everything is happening to him, and what's going to happen next. We enjoyed the suspense but didn't necessarily LOVE anything else.

    I've told you before, I LOVE potatoes!

    Classic French Fries
    • 1 lb. Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
    • Salt
    • Freshly-ground pepper (optional)
    • Canola or peanut oil 
    1. Carefully cut potatoes into 1/4″ fries. Place cut potatoes into the bowl of ice water until ready to use. 
    2. Pour the entire bottle of oil into the pot/kettle/deep fryer and bring to 325 degrees over medium-high heat.
    3. Drain potatoes, place 1/2 of the potatoes into the hot oil and stir frequently for 5-6 minutes, or just until they’re starting to show signs of being cooked. Remove from the hot oil and drain on paper towel-lined plate. 
    4.  Bring the oil up to 375, add fries back to the oil in batches and fry for 1-2 minutes per batch.
    5. As soon as they start getting brown enough, get them out of the oil and drain them on the paper towels and give them a very liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper (if desired).

    Cream Cheese in my Mexican Food? Sure!

    Lisa's White Chicken Enchiladas
    •  2 c. cooked and shredded chicken (a roasted chicken from the deli works well)
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 T. butter
    • 8 oz. cream cheese
    • 8-10 tortillas
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 can chopped green chiles
    • 1/2 can of milk (one of the soup cans)
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
    1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Saute celery and onion in butter. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese, chicken, and 1/2 of the cheddar cheese.
    3. In a bowl, mix together soup, chiles, and milk. 
    4. Pour 1/3 of sauce into bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Spread chicken filling down center of tortillas and roll up. Place seam-side down in pan. 
    5. Pour rest of sauce on top, sprinkle with more cheese, cover and bake for 30 mins.

    Full Tilt

    Full Tilt ***
    by Neal Shusterman
    Book Type: YA, Adventure, Fantasy
    Summary: Sixteen-year-old Blake has always been the responsible one in his dysfunctional family -- the one who drives safely, gets good grades, and looks after his wild younger brother, Quinn. Quinn is his brother's opposite -- a thrill-seeker who's always chasing the next scary rush, no matter what the cost. But Quinn and Blake are in for the surprise of their lives when they're thrust into the world of a bizarre phantom carnival -- and their souls are the price of admission.
    In order to save his brother, and himself, Blake must survive seven different carnival rides before dawn. Seven sounds easy. But each ride is full of unexpected dangers, because each ride is a reflection of one of Blake's deepest fears. And the last ride is the worst one of all. Because that's the one that confronts Blake with a terrifying secret from his past -- a secret he's been running from for years.
    Full of roller-coaster twists and turns, Neal Shusterman's latest page-turner is an Orpheus-like adventure into one boy's psyche.
    summary found on goodreads
    My Review: This book had a lot of action in it. It was fun-filled and exciting. I had a lot of fun following along with the main character as he went on ride after ride. They hint at something that happened in his past and it is interesting to find out what really happened to him as a child that made him the way that he is now. Overall it is a short, easy, fast-paced book that is fun to read!

    Super 8

    Super 8 ****
    This movie was rated one of the best movies of the year, Russ' mom really liked it, and it had aliens... So we figured, why not? Overall I thought the movie was really good. My brother described it as being like The Goonies, with an alien.Which is kind of true. BUT, it was done well. EXCEPT for two things. In my mind. One, there was WAY too much swearing, especially from the fat kid. That bugged me. And the other thing was the ending. It wasn't very good. To me. It was cheesy, corny, kind of ridiculous. Honestly? I think that the alien should have just gone nuts and killed everybody. Yep. That would have been better. Haha, anyway, like I said it was a good movie except for the swearing and the ending. I thought the main character was really cute, the other kids were funny, the movie was suspenseful and creepy at the right moments, the alien was pretty creepy. Lots of fun!


    Rio ***
    This movie definitely had it's moments. It was pretty funny most of the time, we got a kick out of it anyway. There were some very funny lines, mostly from Blue. We enjoyed it for the most part but it felt like it was lacking something... Ehh.

    Quite a Tasty Soup

    Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream 
    • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
    • ½ cup chopped onion
    • ¼ cup chopped celery
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin, divided
    • ½ tsp. chile powder
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • ¼ tsp. pepper
    • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • 1 T. minced fresh cilantro
    • 1/ tsp. grated lime rind
    • 1 T. lime juice
    1. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 tsp. of drippings in the pan and setting the bacon aside. 
    2. Add onion and celery to the pan; cook 5 minutes or until celery is tender. 
    3. Stir in ¾ tsp. of the cumin, chile powder, and garlic; cook 1 minute. 
    4. Stir in pepper, beans, tomatoes, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. 
    5. Place 3/4 of bean mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl with the rest of the soup and keep warm until ready to serve. 
    6. Combine the sour cream, remaining ¼ tsp. cumin, cilantro, rind, and juice in a small bowl. Drizzle cream over soup and sprinkle each serving with bacon before serving. 

      Just another version of french fries

      Baked French Fries
      source: blogchef
      • 1 large potato
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • ½ teaspoon paprika
      • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
      • ½ teaspoon chili powder
      • ½ teaspoon onion powder
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      1. Pre-heat the oven to  400 degrees. Cut potato into wedges.
      2. In a large bowl mix olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder and salt. Coat fries with the spice/oil mixture and place on a greased baking sheet.
      3. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Flip wedges on their other side half way through cooking.

      Friday, September 16, 2011

      This is ABSOULTELY delicious.

      Lisa's Lemon Chicken
      • 2 c lemon juice
      • 1 c Olive oil
      • 1 tsp. Oregano
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp Pepper
      • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
      • 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
      • Chicken thighs and legs, 4 of each (we love breast tenderloins!)
      1. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
      2. Broil on the top rack for 8-10 minutes or until brown, remove from heat and dip it in the marinade.
      3. Turn over and put back in the oven and cook until brown, another 8-10 minutes.
      4. Dip in the marinade one more time and put back in oven for another 2-3 minutes.
      **WARNING The marinade does have oil in it SO make sure to open your windows and get your vent going before you begin. Expect A LOT of smoke. But OH MAN is it WORTH IT! :)

        Saturday, September 3, 2011

        I don't know if I can ever have fish another way again...

        Parmesan Crusted Fish

        • 5 medium fish fillets
        • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
        • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
        • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
        • 2 eggs (beaten)
        • ½ cup white flour
        • 1 pinch salt
        • 1 pinch pepper
        • Oil (for frying)
        Lemon Sauce
        • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
        • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
        • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
        • 1/2 teaspoon basil
        1. For the sauce – In a small bowl combine mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest and basil. Mix well cover and chill.
        2. On a pie plate combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper. Mix well. On a separate plate combine flour, 1 pinch salt and pepper. Mix well. Beat eggs in a shallow dish.
        3. One at a time coat each fillet by rolling in flour, then dipping in egg mixture and then rolling in the bread crumb mixture. Make sure fillets are fully coated evenly.
        4. Deep fry 2 pieces at a time at 350 degrees in a deep fryer. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until fillets are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon sauce.
        I found this recipe on the best BLOG ever. I seriously love this guys stuff. YUM.

        Just another sewing attempt...

        Someday I will actually remember to take a picture of something AS I'm making it. So I can actually explain how to make my crafts rather than just showing the finished project and saying "look what I made! I'm so cool!" Okay, I will probably never ACTUALLY remember, but I'll try!
        This skirt was way easier than my first skirt, but it didn't come out quite as cute. Mostly because the fabric isn't as good and I didn't have as much to work with. But basically all we did was cut out straight strips and triangles and sew them all together. The waist looks kind of funny because we sewed in a stretchy band rather than dealing with a zipper again. Hmm, it turned out alright. Hopefully it looks cute when I wear it!
        p.s. Yes. This is the leftover fabric from the purse I made for relief society back in the day... Ummm, we had a little mishap and bought WAY more fabric than was necessary... At least I found a good way to use the left overs! :)

        Sweet Tomatoes

        Sweet Tomatoes Souplantation
        locations: Various
        This restaurant is a buffet. You walk in and there is this HUGE salad bar, all delicious. Then you walk into the restaurant and they have like 10 different types of delicious homemade soup to choose from. They also have a fruit bar, bakery, and soft serve ice cream machine. It's all yummy and all you can eat! It's a little pricier, about 10 bucks per person for dinner. Lunch isn't much cheaper, but it is a little bit better priced. Russ and I really liked the food and atmosphere. Souper fun! :)

        easy but delicious classic

        Beef Stroganoff
        • 1 1/2 c egg noodles
        • 1/2 lb hamburger
        • 1/4 c onion, chopped
        • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
        • 1/2 c sour cream
        • 2 Worcestershire sauce
        • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
        • salt and pepper to taste
        • 1/4 c fresh or canned mushrooms (optional)
        1. Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles.
        2. Meanwhile brown hamburger with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
        3. Add onions and cook a few more minutes. Dran fat.
        4. Stir in soup, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce. Serve over noodles.
        We found this in the Mormon Pantry: Cooking for Two by Debbie G. Harman.

        Damar Books

        The Blue Sword ****
        by Robin McKinley
        Book Type: Fantasy
        Summary: Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the homelanders and the secretive, magical Free Hillfolk. When Corlath, the Hillfolk King, sees her for the first time, he is shaken-for he can tell that she is something more than she appears to be. He will soon realize what Harry has never guessed: She is to become Harimad-sol, King's Rider, and carry the Blue Sword, Gunturan, which no woman has wielded since the legendary Aerin, generations past. . . .
        My Review: I really enjoyed this book. It's fairly fast paced, a lot happens in a short amount of time. I love books that have a strong female lead. I don't know what it is, it's kind of empowering. This is definitely a book about girl power! :) This girl just thinks of herself as awkward, gangly, unattractive, and different. When she finds herself in a new world that she knows nothing of she takes it in stride. She cries once and accepts her circumstances, never complaining, never trying to fight her destiny. She becomes incredibly powerful in a short time and is able to save the people she loves in a feat she didn't know she was capable of. It's a beautifully created world full of mystery, legend, and magic.

        The Hero and the Crown ****
        by Robin McKinley
        Book Type: Fantasy
        Summary: Robin McKinley's mesmerizing history of Damar is the stuff that legends are made of. The Hero and the Crown is a dazzling "prequel" to The Blue Sword.
        Aerin is the only child of the king of Damar, and should be his rightful heir. But she is also the daughter of a witchwoman of the North, who died when she was born, and the Damarians cannot trust her.
        But Aerin's destiny is greater than her father's people know, for it leads her to battle with Maur, the Black Dragon, and into the wilder Damarian Hills, where she meets the wizard Luthe. It is he who at last tells her the truth about her mother, and he also gives over to her hand the Blue Sword, Gonturan. But such gifts as these bear a great price, a price Aerin only begins to realize when she faces the evil mage, Agsded, who has seized the Hero's Crown, greatest treasure and secret strength of Damar.
        summary found on goodreads
        My Review: This book is as great as the first one. For all of the same reasons! Haha, it's a powerful female lead who feels that she is an outcast and turns out to be incredible! Aerin changes the world just by doing what she knows is right. Plus she is a dragon-killer, how cool is that? Most people who fight dragons need a lot of people to help fight, but Aerin does it all by herself. She is strong, determined, and honestly-cool. :) The only thing I didn't like about this book is that she randomly has sex with one of the other characters, there aren't any details or anything... But it just kind of bothered me that it was thrown in there. It doesn't add to the story at all. But whatever, it's still a really great book!


        location: Logan, UT
        We heard several great reviews of this Italian restaurant in Logan, Utah so we decided we needed to try it at least once before we moved! It was pretty tasty. Russ and I got calzones. They were really big and full of pretty tasty pizza toppings. The sauce was decent but not the best I've had. The price was also decent, they had some pretty good deals for 2 or 3 people. I think our calzones were about 7 or 8 bucks each? We also got side salads which were HUGE and a bunch of garlic bread. Which was delicious. That was the best part, the garlic bread. YUM. Anyway, they had pasta, pizza, calzones... All of which sounded super yummy!

        Friday, September 2, 2011

        A More British Shepherd's Pie

        Shepherd's Pie

        • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
        • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
        • 1 medium onion sliced
        • 1 clove of garlic minced
        • 1 jar Heinz beef gravy or one packet beef gravy mix or mix: 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 cup chicken stock and 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt and fresh black pepper to taste
        • 1 carrot (optional)
        • Mashed potatoes
        1. Preheat oven to 350F 
        2. Using a skillet on stove top and medium heat, brown the meat. Break up all clumps until it is evenly crumpled.
        3. Drain the grease from the meat and remove meat from skillet to set aside for a few minutes. Wipe out grease from skillet using paper towel. 
        4. Pour vegetable oil in skillet and sweat onions (soften but not colored) and add garlic. 
        5. Pour ground beef or lamb back into skillet with onions and garlic and combine.
        6. Add gravy, carrot, salt and pepper.
        7. Raise the heat and bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes (until carrot is softened). 
        8. Remove from heat, place meat in 9-inch deep baking dish and top with prepared mashed potatoes. I also sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top, yum!
        9. Bake Shepherd's Pie for approximately 45 minutes (bubbling around edges and mashed potatoes turns a deep yellow almost brown color) 
        10. ENJOY!
        I definitely found this recipe on MuggleNet, you KNOW that makes me cool.

        Lord of the Freaking Flies

        Lord of the Flies **1/2
        by William Golding
        Book Type: Allegorical Novel, Fiction
        Summary: Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding. It discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British school-boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. It has been "labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse." (goodreads)
        My Review: Most people read this book in school. I somehow missed this book, among many others. Really? Where the heck was I when everyone was reading this book? I've heard a lot of debate on this book because of it brutal portrait of human nature. Controversial books intrigue me so I HAD to pick it up and see what it was all about. And I was disappointed. Not gonna lie. I put the book down and thought "what? really?" Okay okay, I know a lot of people really love this book. I'm just not one of them. There are too many innately good people in the world for this book to really reflect human nature. Yes. We talk about the natural man in the LDS church all the time. But I don't believe it is a part of our nature to KILL people. There are few people in the world who are naturally that sick and twisted. Most get there because of how they're raised, their mental history... I mean, the type of person that would turn out like the boys in this book are few and far between and generally labeled kind of nuts at a young age. I mean really? This book just was so extreme that I couldn't really enjoy or get into what Golding was trying to say. I didn't feel that the point Golding was trying to make was accurate. It was dramatized and quite frankly offensive. Maybe he has a problem if he thinks everyone is naturally inclined to kill their neighbor, or be so destructive and horrible. Did he ever see a psychiatrist? Oh, and on top of this major flaw, the characters were so lack luster and under-developed. I don't know if he did that on purpose or he is a poor writer... Either way, it turned me off from the story. I'm just saying.
        If you ever try one of our recipes we would love to hear your feedback! Let us know if you like them or if you make any changes! We love comments! :)


        Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...