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Category: book club

  1. Thursday, January 8

    Time for a little “lite” reading

    For those of you who have made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier…my apologies!  I can’t believe how many of my recent posts are centered around dessert.  It’s getting a bit ridiculous. So, today some “lite” reading for those of you on a diet! 🙂

    First off, Mark Bittman has a great article in the New York Time this week, “Fresh Start for a New Year? Let’s Begin in the Kitchen.” It’s great. Go read it.

    Santa brought this sweet little book to Cate this year.

    The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell is my current favorite children’s book…and it’s perfect for adults as well.  It’s simple, funny, with such a sweet message.  Everyone go buy it now. One for yourself and one for your best friend!

    I have another book that I can’t WAIT to share with you…but wait I must as I’ve lent it to a friend and can’t take a picture.  Stay tuned!


  2. Tuesday, June 17

    Book Club…for the writers and wanna-be-writters out there!

    Book Club time! For those of you who like to read and/or write, today’s books are perfect for you as they are are both about writing. If you are an aspiring writer, enjoy reading about the craft, or just like good writing, you will enjoy these books.

    Today’s post is long…so, please click through to read it all. It’s a good post, I promise! The books are amazing. Plus, if you stick through to the very end you get to hear about my most embarrassing, awful moment as a mother. You don’t want to miss that, right?

    Click here to continue to the post and see the books!


    First is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I love this book. It’s wonderfully written. I love Stephen King – his books are PAGE TURNERS. I chose Lisey’s Story for my book club a few months back and it got mixed reviews. I mean, he’s a great writer, but not everyone likes twisted crazy stories. I do, so I loved it. Anyway, Loretta HATED Lisey’s Story and loved On Writing. I’m telling you, On Writing is great no matter your feelings for the King of Horror…

    The first half of On Writing is an autobiography of sorts, where King shares his history as a writer. The second half is all about how to write. It is so so so good. Even if you’re not a writer, it will make you appreciate writing more. It will also make you more critical of the books you read, which is both good and bad (um, like I was reading On Writing at the same time I read the Twilight books…I know I’m going to get everyone mad at me, but as much fun as the Twilight books are, well, I don’t like to speak negatively of anyone….let’s just say if you want to enjoy the Twilight books, absolutely do NOT read On Writing simultaneously.)

    Writing Motherhood is the other book I’d like to share with you. The author, Lisa Garrigues, is a writer and mother herself and teaches a course also called Writing Motherhood. The book is great. A very enjoyable read and full of awesome ideas. It definitely makes me more excited to write about my experiences as a mother. I really think any mom (or dad!) would enjoy this book, no matter your interest in writing.

    New Jersey Moms Blog is “hosting” a book club today for Writing Motherhood. Be sure to go over and share your own experiences, as well as read everyone else’s! Plus the author is commenting and participating as well!

    Here’s my contribution for today’s New Jersey Moms Blog book club (you’re supposed to write either about rules for your children or your most inexcusable/terrible mothering moment):

    My most inexcusable mothering moment in my short 3 1/2 years of mothering was the time Cate fell in a swimming pool. We were at a friend’s house and Cate, ~18 months old at the time, was completely uninterested in the pool. She was in a different part of the yard playing. I turned my back literally for 10 seconds and the next thing I know my dear friend is sprinting across the yard and jumping in her pool fully clothed. I look in the pool and see my little ang
    el literally rolling in the water. I will never forget that sight as long as I live (I can’t believe I’m even admitting to it publicly!). Thankfully she was in the water only a few seconds and was breathing the whole time. But I felt like the worst mom ever. I didn’t want to tell Nate about it. I did, of course, but it was awful. I have never felt more grateful, blessed and lucky in my life for my story’s end. And the experience definitely made me a better mother.


  3. Wednesday, October 3

    Book Club: Time to Host!

    Last week I hosted Book Club…it was bittersweet as it’s most likely the last time I will do so (Nate will be done with his PhD very soon). I will miss my book club dearly when we move. The book I chose was “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King. It wasn’t the biggest hit, but made for good conversation. If you like creepy, weird, Stephen Kingish stories, then you’ll like it. 🙂 I think I liked it best of everyone in the group…which is no surprise considering I’ve always liked being scared, even as a kid (remember Watcher in the Woods? I LOVED that stuff).


    I promised last week I would share my menu, so here goes (click on the names of each item to link to recipes). For appetizers I made BOBs. They were perfect – I can eat a whole tray of those puppies.


    For main course I made Oriental Chicken Salad, Orange Bowknots and some fresh fruit. A nice light meal, but still filling.



    5 of our 6 book club members are Libras – birthdays all within about 2 weeks of each other! So, this was also our annual birthday book club. Karen (the only non-Libra of the bunch – poor girl, having to put up with all of us!) always brings us a delicious dessert, and this year was no exception. She made Pumpkin Coffee Cake, which was moist and had the perfect amount of pumpkin in it – not too much, not too little. A great dessert for a fall evening. Thanks, Karen!


  4. Wednesday, September 5

    Book Club: Gotta Love Italy

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a book club post, so thought it would be fun – you know, back to school, time to hit the books!


    The last two books we’ve read have been pretty good, but I must say that the food has been divine, which is I why I’m posting! Both books lent themselves to an Italian food-inspired dinner – we have definitely been eating well at our meetings this summer. Can’t wait to share the food with you!

    For July we read Eat, Pray, Loveby Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a non-fiction account of Elizabeth Gilbert’s ventures through eating in Rome, meditating in India, and finding love in Bali. She’s a good writer and the book was fun…wasn’t my favorite and there was something about Ms. Gilbert that bugged me, but at the same time I found myself quoting the book all the time while I was reading it!

    What was truly great about this Book Club meeting was the food…Karen (far right in picture) cooked up a feast for us that was to die for. Seriously, everything she made was awesome, but I’ll just highlight 3 of the things, with links to the recipes (click the name of the food)! My most favorite was the Tuscan Bread Salad with Olives. This was SO GOOD. The main dish was Artichoke & Spinach Manicotti, which was also very tasty. For dessert she served Fresh Berries with Ricotta Cream (she used other berries in addition to strawberries – get creative!). I loved it, and let me tell you, for me to love a non-chocolate dessert is really saying something! Thank you Karen for your hard work and introducing us to some awesome recipes!!!

    While discussing Eat, Pray, Love in July, Loretta (2nd from left) mentioned that she felt Under the Tuscan Sunby Frances Mayes did a much better job capturing the feeling of Italy…so she picked it for August for us to compare! This book was nice & relaxing…poetic descriptions of Tuscany, the house they rennovate and the food. Not much personal story, but if you’re interested in travel or Tuscany, it’s an interesting book. Ms. Mayes is an excellent writer, so the language is lovely. There’s not really a story and Harry Potter was much more tempting for me to read that month, but I’m still glad I read the book. (Side note: I have NOT read the 7th HP book yet, so if you have, NOT A WORD or I may be forced to use an Unforgiveable Curse!) The book (Tuscan Sun, not HP) is really nothing like the movie, by the way, which may or may not be a selling point for you (it was for me!).

    Loretta hosted dinner at a beautiful local restaurant in La Jolla Shores called Barbarella. Awesome Italian food, great atmosphere – little twinkle lights everywhere. They don’t have a website, but if you live in San Diego, definitely take a visit! She said Halloween is especially fun, for your kids too! Barbara the owner stopped by our table and had read both of these books, so shared her own opinion. It was fun. Pretty much everything we ate was AWESOME. Loretta’s favorite is the thin crust pizza, but I think mine was the Lemon Cream Ravioli. It really was perfect for me that night.

    Why is Italian food so dang good? What a fun Italian-themed summer for a Book Club! I’m in charge next month…how will I ever top this!?!


  5. Wednesday, July 18

    Featured Recipe: Cookies Galore

    We had a book club picnic last Friday, which was great fun. I was in charge of dessert, so I made two of my all time favorite cookies. Thought I’d share the recipes with you! (click on the name of the cookie to link to the recipe).


    First, Chocolate Swirls. These are ADDICITVE and full of all kinds of fat (butter, cream cheese, chocolate, bring it on!). Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve NEVER met a person who doesn’t like these. I got the recipe at a cookie exchange – no idea what person or what cookbook it came from, but so happy I have the recipe!!!

    Second, Mexican Wedding Cookies. These are basically butter balls rolled in powdered sugar. Really, how can they NOT be good? These are pretty common, but I got the recipe from my sister-in-law Cora’s mother, Nicki.

    Enjoy!!


  6. Monday, April 9

    Book Club: The History of Love & Homemade Pizza

    Now that Easter and Passover are behind us, all the food has been cooked and the dishes are done (maybe), it’s time to take a little break and curl up with a good book…

    “The History of Love: A Novel”by Nicole Krauss is one of my favorites. This book is beautifully written and has a creative and touching story. And I sobbed at the end. And then I sobbed just telling Nate about the book. I was a mess, but in a good way – trust me, you WANT to read it!

    Jen was the hostess that month and served up make-your-own pizzas. It was loads of fun and delicious! This is a great idea and a definite crowd pleaser, for kids and adults alike!

    Pizza was on last week’s menu, but Trader Joe’s was out of crust, so I had to break down and make it from scratch. If you haven’t before, it’s not hard. Visit Recipes-Main Dishes for a recipe from my friend’s Italian uncle.

    Please check out Maren’s comment on yesterday’s Easter post and share your hammy ideas! And please post your menus on the weekly menu posts…any menu welcome any day of the week!


  7. Saturday, March 24

    Book Club: ‘Precious Bane’ & Butternut Squash Soup

    In addition to music, I love reading. One thing that keeps me reading is my monthly Book Club, made up with 5 of my dearest friends. Each month we take turns hosting at our home, choosing the book and serving up delicious food. It is a feast every time. Since the books and food are always amazing, I think I need to share! We’ve been meeting for a long time now, so I have plenty of goodness to pick from. Hopefully Book Club doesn’t mind! 🙂

    First, let me introduce you to Book Club! Top, l to r: Loretta, Barbara, Karen. Bottom, l to r: Jen, Me, Sarah. Aren’t we cute?

    The first book and recipe I would like to share is from a night Sarah hosted. She chose Precious Baneby Mary Webb. Hands down everyone LOVED this book. The dialect is tricky, but you do get the hang of it and it is so worth it. This is a BEAUTIFUL story, a must read. Sarah served up the most amazing Butternut Squash Soup for us that evening. We’ve all made it since – it is soooo good.

    Happy Reading & Eating!


  8. Book Club: ‘Precious Bane’ & Butternut Squash Soup

    In addition to music, I love reading. One thing that keeps me reading is my monthly Book Club, made up with 5 of my dearest friends. Each month we take turns hosting at our home, choosing the book and serving up delicious food. It is a feast every time. Since the books and food are always amazing, I think I need to share! We’ve been meeting for a long time now, so I have plenty of goodness to pick from. Hopefully Book Club doesn’t mind! 🙂

    First, let me introduce you to Book Club! Top, l to r: Loretta, Barbara, Karen. Bottom, l to r: Jen, Me, Sarah. Aren’t we cute?

    The first book and recipe I would like to share is from a night Sarah hosted. She chose Precious Baneby Mary Webb. Hands down everyone LOVED this book. The dialect is tricky, but you do get the hang of it and it is so worth it. This is a BEAUTIFUL story, a must read. Sarah served up the most amazing Butternut Squash Soup for us that evening. We’ve all made it since – it is soooo good.

    Happy Reading & Eating!