Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Party in Your PJs #220 - Winning Chicken Dinners!

5 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on two different blogs each week.







 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

I did an inventory of the freezer the other day, and realized I have a lot of chicken, so this week, several delicious chicken dishes caught my eye!


One-Pan Chicken Cordon Bleu ~ Dizzy Busy & Hungry




Greek Chicken Pitas and a Greek Food Feast ~ The Kittchen




Cheesy Zucchini Chicken Casserole ~ Low Carb Delish




Chicken with Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato ~ Poinsettia Drive




 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.




Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Party in Your PJs #219

3 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on two different blogs each week.







 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.




Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Garlic & Sapphires - A Simple Celebration Meal (Cook the Books)

9 comments:

The June/July Cook the Books Challenge (hosted by Claudia of Honey From Rock) was to read and prepare a dish inspired by Ruth Reichl's memoir, Garlic & Sapphires.  By far the hardest part of this challenge was trying to narrow down what to make, as almost every recipe and a great many of the passing references to food stirred a longing to make that... and that... and that!

For me, that is what a food memoir should do - it should create a sense of desire and longing to commune with food and the many ways of relating to one another through the preparation and eating of food.

Garlic and Sapphires centers on Ms. Reichl's tenure as the New York Times Food Critic, and it not only peeks into the world of the New York gourmet food scene, it also offers a peek into the highly competitive world of journalism at the Paper of Record.

And somehow... she handles all this without sounding pretentious and certainly without coming across as overly serious about it all.  You see, the famous restaurants of NYC are on the lookout for the NYT food critic and she wasn't having that!  She knew that the service and food she would get as a VIP would not be what you or I would get if we visited.   So, she began to create a series of disguises and the personae to go with them - upper middle class mom who comes to the city a couple times a year to shop; rather lonely catlady type woman who has saved all year for a nice dinner out; a femme fatale she's shocked to discover she can pull off; even her own flamboyant, somewhat problematic mother who will be very familiar to anyone who has read her other memoirs.

Now, this would not normally be the sort of book I'd recommend to my husband, but as I read about what she had to do to get her story, I knew he'd love it.  His career in journalism spanned decades, and this read like the best sort of investigative reporting... only about meals instead of politics. Or maybe this is the politics of meals? In any event, I urged him to read it, he did, and he loved it.

Nice side effect - now I had a willing accomplice to help me decide what  we should make from it.  He was no more able to pick just one thing than I was, so we wound up choosing based on what we had in our freezer.

There was a good boneless leg of lamb in there I'd had no particular plan for, and there, at the end of the book, there is a final menu - a Simple Celebration Meal intended just for her family.  Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Rosemary, Scalloped Potatoes, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  (There was also an amazing Chocolate Cake I can't wait to make - for the two of us, that all just seemed like too much food!)



I'm going to leave you to find the recipe for Scalloped Potatoes - if you don't already have one, I promise you, hers is simple, unfussy, and really good.  The Roasted Brussels are packed with bacon and is another very easy and highly flavorful dish.

Here, I'll share the lamb with you.  It's not a cut we have often, but when we do, we really want to get it right, yes?  This will help do that.  We dined on slices of lamb the first night, and then turned the leftover roast into a curry for the next couple of nights, and it was tender and delicious throughout.

Note: a theme of Ms. Reichl's is how often people change recipes and then wonder why it didn't work - she actually applauds making a recipe your own, while being a bit rueful when the changes are clearly not going to end well.

I confess to being one of those people - although the changes I made still made for a fine roast, it's likely slightly less perfect than hers. First, my lamb was boneless. I didn't trim all the fat as instructed, and I used a bit of dry rosemary rather than go to the store just for a sprig of rosemary.  I think the real key to this recipe is the way the garlic is buried into the meat - it gave it an amazing and succulent flavor and a trick I'll be repeating often.  I cooked this for just about 2 hours.  Below is the recipe as written.

Ruth Reichl's Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Rosemary
Serves 6-8

"The butcher called this a family dinner, but I think leg of lamb is perfect for guests.  It's the most forgiving meat you can cook.  Unlike beef or pork, wich is ruined when overcooked, lambis good in every state: it's wonderful rare and well done, so if your guests are late or you're forgetful, dinner will be just fine.  This recipe is for rare meat; if you like your meat well done, cook it longer." ~ Ruth Reichl

1 small leg of lamb, 6-7 lbs, trimmed of all visible fat
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into 6 slivers each
1 bunch rosemary
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour before starting.

Preheat the over to 350F.

Make 8 small slits in the lamb on each side, and place a sliver of garlic and a leaf of rosemary in each slit.  Massage the olive oil into the meat and season with salt and pepper.

If you have a rack, place the lamb on the rack on top of the remaining rosemary and garlic. If you don't, simple put the meat on top of the rosemary and garlic in a roasting pan.

Cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, or until an instant read thermometer inserted away from the bone registers 125F.

Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Check in Cook the Books and see what other bloggers are inspired to create from Garlic & Sapphires!

Happy eating!






Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Party in Your PJs #218

2 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on two different blogs each week.







 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.




Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Arianna's Magic Boots: Underwater Sea Adventure (Review/Giveaway)

8 comments:

At the beginning of the year, I proudly discussed a children's book called Arianna's Magic Boots by Karen A. Gasperini, which quickly became a favorite in our household.

I have finally gotten my hands on her second book! Arianna's Magic Boots Vol 2 Underwater Sea Adventure has been such a welcomed addition to our children's bookshelf!

Just as the first book, the story follows the adorable Arianna who uses her Magic boots (which are her AFO - ankle foot orthosis) to take her on imaginative adventures. 

This time, instead of the jungle, she stomps her feet three times, says “AWAY WE GO!” and finds herself deep in the ocean -- her boots now a gorgeous mermaid tail! Almost immediately she is greeted by three friendly mermaids.

One of the best aspects of this book is the inclusivity and diversity. In addition to the main character's corrective wear, two of the fellow mermaids also allow readers to relate to several experience they or their friends might have. 

Destiny has a cochlear implant and Carmela wears glasses. There is only brief mention of these, when Arianna acknowledges that there are similar items back on land as well. I like that it wasn't a massive part of their story, just a nod to these characteristics, but they are clearly much more than their differences.

Destiny, Carmela, and Xzayah ask Arianna to help locate items on a list needed for a bracelet to be gifted to their oldest sister, Lillian. 

I liked where that was going as it appeared it was going to have an added aspect of counting, which my kids love in books. In one part, the mermaids need five seashells which was easy to count on the page. 

However, in the next part they need six white pearls. There are many pearls shown on the page, but, unless I'm overlooking it, I can't find 6 white ones. This just seems like a simple missed opportunity - and also frustrated my kids!



However, that was such a small thing, and truly doesn't distract from the amazing message of these books!

At the end of the story, the mermaids present Arianna with a special seashell bracelet of her own. Finally, she leaves her new friends, spinning around three times saying, “AWAY WE GO” and when she opens her eyes, she is back on the beach with her parents, and completes their sandcastle.




The fellow mermaids in this book are inspired by Karen's real life nieces, just as Arianna is modeled after her daughter. I love that this family has these books with their likeness in them - how special that must be for them!

I'm not sure what could be better than a series of childrens books filled with characters of color, who are differently abled, and sends a wonderful message! I am saving space on the bookshelf and crossing fingers the story continues many more times.



The book is available on Amazon for $10.99 or Kindle for $4.71

Karen has graciously offered a signed copy of Underwater Sea Adventure AND an adorable seashell bracelet only available through giveaways, book launches and meet and greets. Read on to see how you can enter to win!  











One winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Arianna's Magic Boots Vol. 2: Underwater Sea Adventure, by Karen A. Gasperini, and a child's seashell bracelet.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open WORLD-WIDE and will end just before midnight ET on 8/1. 


The winner will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Party in Your PJs #217 - Coastal Cool Upcycles!

4 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on two different blogs each week.

We just got back last night from Stratford, Ontario - we spent a week there attending the Stratford Festival and sightseeing the surrounding area and up into Toronto. I wish we'd bought tickets for more performances than we did (we'll know better for next time) but should you be up that way this summer, I can heartily recommend The Music Man - it was wonderful!


Speaking of, remember the Music Man themed needlework I did awhile ago? I finally got it framed - I wound up using some unfinished Dollar Store frames I painted blue, and attached some charms to finish them off: a trombone (of course!) for "Great Honk!" and a pair of majorettes for Zaneeta Shinn's favorite exclamation "Ye Gods!"









 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.




Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Party in Your PJs #216: Frozen Treats

4 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on two different blogs each week.

How's your summer going?  We're about to head off on a weeklong vacation to Ontario, Canada!  I've never been to Canada before and I'm so excited!

To get ready, I got my hair cut and colored this weekend, and I'm so happy with how it turned out.








 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

This time of year, my thoughts turn to icy cold frozen treats - and there were several wonderful versions you all shared to try!


Refreshing Orange-Pineapple Popsicle ~ Fivespot Green Living




The Best No-Churn S'mores Ice Cream ~ All That Jas




Blackberry-Yogurt Popsicles (Only 2 Ingredients!) ~ A Bride on a Budget




Easy Italian Ice ~ Mrs. Kringle's Kitchen




 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.