Monday, February 27, 2012

Inheritance Series

Inheritance **
by Christopher Paolini
**This is book number four in the Inheritance Series**
Book Type: YA, Fantasy

Summary: Not so very long ago, Eragon--Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider--was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT. This book is 850 pages long. There were maybe, MAYBE 100 pages in the entire book that were worth reading. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. They were fun. But by the third book I was getting sick and tired of the story, I just wanted to finish it! Which is the ONLY reason I read this book. You feel no connection to any of the characters it anymore. Eragon is like this super human... and he has no personality anymore. There are so many frivolous details, random boring scenes that are dragged out for several pages. The story moves SO incredibly slowly. Oh my gosh. If you decide to read this series, read the first 2 books and then the 100 pages where Eragon battles Galbatorix. Don't waste your time with the third book or even most of this book. Oh yeah and the romantic tension between Arya and Eragon? I'm going to do you a favor and let you know that they do NOT end up together. How LAME is that? Super lame. There was nothing that I enjoyed about this book. Everything was disappointing. EVERYTHING. Oh goodness. I can't even begin to describe how much I hated the way Paolini decided to end this series.


Ranch Potatoes
source: blogchef
  • 8-10 medium potatoes (cut into ½” cubes)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • salt and pepper
  • 6  bacon slices (cooked until crispy and crumbled)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add potatoes to a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender. Drain.
  2. Lightly grease an 13×9 inch casserole dish. In a bowl mix together cream of mushroom soup, milk, ranch dressing, 1 cup of the cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes in the casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon over the top. Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Delicious Veggies

Charred Asparagus Tips

sourceRachael Ray
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed at stem
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Spread asparagus on small baking sheet and dress with a liberal drizzle of olive oil and season with salt. 
  3. Roast the spears in a hot oven until tender and ends are crisp and slightly brown at edges, about 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Asparagus should remain bright green.

We LOVE this!

Pepper Crusted Tenderloin with Mushroom Cream Sauce
source: Rachael Ray

  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 4 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 white mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
  • 1 T white grape juice concentrate
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • Chopped parsley leaves or chives, for garnish
  1. Take the chill off the meat then pour the black pepper onto a small plate. Heat the EVOO in a nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. 
  2. When oil smokes, press each steak into pepper to coat then place peppered side down in the skillet. Sear and caramelize the meat 3-4 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes more for rare, 3 minutes for pink.
  3. While the meat cooks, heat a small skillet over medium flame and melt the butter. Add mushrooms and lightly sautè them for 4-5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and add white grape juice concentrate to the pan. 
  4. Reduce the liquid by half, then stir in the cream and warm it through. Reduce heat a bit and let sauce thicken 2-3 minutes.
  5. Spoon sauce over meat.

Fallen Series

Fallen **
by Lauren Kate
Book Type: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Summary: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her

summary found on goodreads
My Review: OH boy. So I decided to read this book because of the cover. Really, look at it. Pretty cool right? Yeah, the book is no good. I barely made it through. I pushed through to the end because I felt like it might get interesting at some point, but it didn't! Luce is a major creeper in this book. She is a stalker who has no sense of self-preservation. She is a majorly annoying main character. A guy acts like he doesn't like you, get over it, move on! This girl does NOT give up. Oye. SO SO SO irritating. There is SO much drama with the two boys and the wrap up at the end is so lame and pointless. It's like the author is just trying to push this sappy love story on you. She is pushing so hard it isn't real! Seriously. Don't read this book. Can you believe I read the second one? I can't! Oh! And p.s. I could care less what you're wearing! Why do these books dwell on outfits so much??

Torment **
by Lauren Kate
Book Type: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Summary: Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.
At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

summary found on goodreads
My Review: I gave the first book 2 stars. And yet I read the second one. Why you ask? Because I'm a glutton for punishment. Seriously. I hate starting a series and not finishing it. But this one is painful, so I won't be finishing it. This book was just as bad if not worse than the first book. You think the drama is over because Luce gets her angel boyfriend. NOT. Even more drama ensues and it is not well developed. Also, so many people love the main character and I can't figure out why! She is so irritating. Blegh. I think the most irritating thing is that Luce is obsessed with her boyfriend whom she barely knows. She makes comments like "he would never do this!" When really, she doesn't know him well enough to make those types of comments. Oh, and all they do is fight and kiss. That is their relationship. Stupid stupid stupid. I really didn't like these books. Love will determine the outcome of the world! Whatever. Don't read these books. Ever. Ever. Ever.
p.s. Did I mention how tormenting it was to read these books? The title is entirely accurate. Listen to the title.
p.p.s. Have you ever heard the saying "don't judge a book by the cover?" That statement is just as true for books as it is for people. Don't trust this cover!

Kind of like simplified lasagna

Ziti Parmesan Bake
source: Lisa Hawks
  • 1 lb. box of ziti, cooked according to directions, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small carton ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 c grated mozzarella
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 3/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 bottle spaghetti sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the ricotta, parsley, basil, and Parmesan cheese. Stir in the cooked pasta. 
  3. Pour half of the sauce into a 9x13 cake pan. Spread pasta on top; layer the rest of the sauce.
  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
  5. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Great way to eat potatoes!

Salt Potatoes
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 3/4 c salt
  • 2 T butter
  1. Wash the potatoes and set aside. Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom. 
  2. Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain; cover to keep hot. 
  3. Place butter on potatoes and allow to melt. Eat hot.

This is an amazing comfort food!

Roast Beef and Gravy
source: Lisa Hawks
  • Roast
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  •  1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 t. parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorn
  • 2 c. beef broth
  • 1-2 c baby carrots
  • 3-4 c beef broth
  • 4 T flour
  • 4 T water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oven or crock pot to 325 degrees. Put butter in pan. Brown the roast on all sides. Put in a roasting pan or crock pot.
  2.  Put celery and onion in pan you browned the beef in. Add more butter if you need it.
  3. Add thyme, parsley, and peppercorn. Stir together well. Put on top of roast.
  4. Pour beef broth into pan and scrap up bits of beef and seasoning. Pour over the roast. Cover.
  5. Cook for 2 hours. Check on the roast occasionally, spoon juices over the top to keep roast from drying out. 
  6. After 2 hours pull out the roast and shred it. Strain the juice over the roasting pan or crock pot to get out the peppercorns and veggies.
  7. Put the roast back in the pan with the juices. Let it cook for another 45 minutes. Throw in baby carrots and cook for another 45 minutes.
  8. Take out the roast and baby carrots.
  1. Add the beef broth for the gravy to the juices left in the crock pot/roasting pan.
  2. Mix the flour and water together and add to beef broth. Cook and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper as needed.
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! :)


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