Feb 102018
 

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This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2018 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Why did I choose this Challenge? Well, if you have followed this blog, you know that I love Challenges, even though I may not complete all the ones I sign up for. I just find it to be fun. Another reason I decided to do this Challenge, is that I realized it has been ages since I have actually blogged, other than posting reviews, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc. Over the past few years, being busy organizing VBTs, I have slacked off with one of the main reasons I joined the Book Blogging Community. At the time, I told myself that I would create a blog just as a way to keep track of the books I read with a few notes on the specific titles. I was very lucky that I met Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who took me under her wing, mentored me and answered all my questions. I went back through my posts to see how it all began in 2009 with my first post, which can be seen here. And 8½ years later, I still thoroughly enjoy being part of this community.


This month’s prompt is: Red

It’s February so that means Valentine’s Day. Thoughts of red roses or red hearts filled with chocolates.

But I decided to share a family recipe, a red gravy, or as some say sauce. My maternal grandmother Rose was a phenomenal cook and baker. She was born in Caserta, Italy and at the age of 3 months entered the U.S. with her parents. She was a petite spitfire, up at 5 am every day and didn’t stop until she went to bed, cooking, gardening, mowing the grass with a push lawn mower, etc. She used to say that she was going to live to be 100, but if we made her mad, 105. She passed away in 2001, 4 months short of her 105th birthday (She is the one in the middle).

As a child, I used to love helping her when she cooked, especially when she was making homemade pasta. I have, which I treasure, a notebook full of her recipes in her handwriting. However, most of her recipes don’t include the exact measurements for the ingredients. When I would ask how much, it would be a little of this or a handful of that.

One of the recipes that got passed down was what she called a red loose gravy. She would tell me that it was a recipe that came from her paese in Caserta.

I have made this many times over the years. However, when I tell people what is in this red gravy, most people make a face. Until they taste it, then they ask for the recipe. Why it’s called a “loose gravy”, I’m really not sure.

The ingredients and I apologize in advance for not being able to provide measurements.
For a pound of pasta:
*2 cans Kitchen Ready tomatoes
*1 can medium black olives
*1 bag pignoli (pine nuts)
*raisins
*Parsley, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, oil, and sugar.

 

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Then simmer for approx 3 hours, stirring frequently especially the bottom of the pan as it sometimes tends to burn. If it becomes thick, add some water.

 

 

The finished product!!!


If you have any questions regarding this red loose gravy, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you try it, let me know what you think.

Bon Appetit!!!

Jan 272018
 

I am taking part in the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

The last Saturday of the month, I will be recapping the books I have read for the month, what I thought and the links to my reviews, and what I hope to read the following month.

January Books Read

This month I also signed up for 2 other Challenges. Winter’s Respite and this weekend’s, 24in48. Since the month is not completely over and participating this weekend in the 24in48, so there may be more books read, fingers crossed! You can see my progress for both Challenges HERE

I was truly hoping to finish more books this month but have been so busy with the tours at Partners In Crime Tours. And speaking of that, we have so many great books that are touring, which you can see HERE. If you see any books that you might be interested in or would like to become a host, you can sign up HERE. Would love to have you on the team!

Now for this month’s reads:

THE SILENT GAMES by Alex Gray
Comments: I am so addicted to this series. This book is the 11th book in the DCI Lorimer series. My review will be posted in the near future.

THE FIX by Robert Downs
Comments: This novella was an interesting read. First time reading anything by this author. The review for this book will also be posted in the coming weeks.

BAD LITTLE GIRL by Frances Vick (click on the title to see my review)
Comments: I purchased this book in Feb. 2017 and read it this month to fulfill some of my other Challenges. It held my interest but I thought that the personality of the “bad little girl” was a bit unrealistic.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Comments: This book was unbelieveable! THis is definitely one of the best books I have EVER read!

February TBRs

There are so many books in my TBR pile, and yet I keep adding to it. I guess that definitely makes me a book collector, or some may say, a hoarder 😉

THE FOURTH GUNMAN by John Lansing (and link to review)
Comments: This is another series I am addicted to and can’t wait to read it.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn
Comments: Another book with a lot of buzz that I’m looking forward to.

? by ?
Comments: What did you finish reading in January? What book(s) do you recommend? What book should I add to my TBR list?

Jan 132018
 

This year, one of the Challenges I signed up for is Blog All About It, hosted by The Herd Presents. The guideline is basically a blogging prompt challenge. Each month there’s a different prompt that you can interpret as you’d like then create a blog post around it. The 2018 list of prompts can be seen here on my Challenge Page. I will be posting for this Challenge on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Why did I choose this Challenge? Well, if you have followed this blog, you know that I love Challenges, even though I may not complete all the ones I sign up for. I just find it to be fun. Another reason I decided to do this Challenge, is that I realized it has been ages since I have actually blogged, other than posting reviews, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc. Over the past few years, being busy organizing VBTs, I have slacked off with one of the main reasons I joined the Book Blogging Community. At the time, I told myself that I would create a blog just as a way to keep track of the books I read with a few notes on the specific titles. I was very lucky that I met Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who took me under her wing, mentored me and answered all my questions. I went back through my posts to see how it all began in 2009 with my first post, which can be seen here. And 8½ years later, I still thoroughly enjoy being part of this community.


This month’s prompt is: WINTER

Last Thursday, the East Coast had a bombogenesis! I have lived in New England my entire life and had never heard of this meteorological term, however, now that I have experienced it, I’m good!

As I sat on the couch reading, listening to the hurricane force winds and occasionally looking out the window watching the “Blizzard of 2018” dropping 12″+ of snow, I started thinking about how I felt about Winter from years past and what I thought about it now.

As a child, I remember sitting on the couch while it snowed, and waiting anxiously to see if the local news would announce that school would be canceled for the following day. It didn’t matter if there were a few inches or a few feet of snow or how cold it was, I was already making plans. Fun plans that would last hours or even days. As I look back, and maybe it was just a child’s perception, it seemed like we had more snow “back in the day”.

One of my no school, exciting Winter adventures, depending on the time of a storm, would be to go with my Dad as he plowed. I loved seeing how tall the mounds of snow he could make with that plow. And of course, he would always make the tallest one on our property. Does anyone remember the round red “flying saucers”? My sister, the neighborhood kids and I would spend hours going down that snow pile on our saucers.

We would alternate sliding down that man-made hill to make forts and snowmen in our yards, and of course, snowball fights. Hours and hours outside playing never even caring about the cold temperatures. We wanted to have fun every single second of that snow day!

Things have definitely changed over the years. I now watch the news and dread it if that 4 letter word, SNOW, is mentioned. I’ll admit, it is pretty when it does snow and I’m inside nice and warm, but those feelings last only a couple of hours.

I really don’t even have to listen to the weather reports anymore, I have my own personal weather barometer…..my arthritic bones. I have the ability to predict changes in the weather 2 days before it happens. The thing that I find funny is that I will tell my husband about my prediction in the coming days, and he usually comes back with “no it’s not, they (the weather people) are saying no precipitation.” I love saying, I TOLD YOU SO after the fact!

Not only am I not a fan of the snow storms of Winter, as I was as a child, this past week here in New England, it has been bitterly cold, with highs of 5-10 degrees and that is without the wind chill factor.

I also have a tremendous fear of going outside and falling when there is snow on the ground and it’s slippery. My last back surgical procedure was in 2014, a 3 consecutive day operation, being placed in a medically induced coma the latter 2 days, the placement of extensive hardware and months of rehabilitation, an operation that I would never want to go through again. To make it even scarier, on one of my post-op visits, the surgeon warned me and strongly suggested and recommended that I do not take the chance of going outside and risk falling especially since he did find some fractures from previous falls during the operation.

Instead of looking forward to being outside as a child, I now tend to hibernate as an adult. The only positive aspect of Winter, that I can think of, is being on the couch or in my recliner, a warm blanket, a hot cup of coffee and a great read! Now that is the type of Winter activity I can handle!!!

I keep trying to convince myself that Spring is just around the corner but not doing a very good job at it, when realistically I know we have a few more months of Winter. Good thing I have a huge TBR pile, probably higher than the snow mounds my Father would make with his plow!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Winter, now and when you were a child!

Next month’s prompt RED

Dec 172017
 

Happy Holidays everyone

Yes, it’s that time of year…the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Trimming the tree, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping presents, etc. But it is also the time of the year when members of the book community sign up for reading challenges for the upcoming year.

READING CHALLENGES

And if you have followed my blog over the years, you know I LOVE READING CHALLENGES!!!

This year I set up my blog a little differently. All of the challenges I have signed up for, I’m waiting for a few more to add once the hosts post them, will be on a separate page. I will keep track of how I am progressing, what books I read and those challenges that I complete can be seen HERE.

One challenge I signed up for is for the 2018 Book Blog Discussion (I am also thinking I should add Blog All About it. Due to being so busy with organizing tours, for both Partners In Crime Tours and Providence Book Promotions, I haven’t blogged in quite a long time and need to get back to basics for why I joined the book community.

I hope you check out the Challenges that I will try to complete in 2018. And if you are interested in joining some Challenges, check out Reading Challenge Addict where Bev the Challenge Queen, from My Reader’s Block, has listed all the Challenges for 2018!

Hope your Holidays are happy, healthy, surrounded by family and friends, full of love and laughter, lots of good food, and of course, BOOKS!