Saturday, October 11, 2014

Birthday Breakfast: A Food Post

I promise, there will be actual bookish posts soon.  Really there will.

But I had THIS for breakfast today....

and it's just kind of too good not to share.

The original recipe for these Double Chocolate Brownie Batter Pancakes is from Chocolate Covered Katie.  It's a tiny batch of not-too-sweet chocolaty goodness.

Adding strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles makes them AMAZING.  (Though I should point out that we only add the syrup and sprinkles for birthdays at our house.)

For those who hate doing math, like me, here's the recipe x16 (which feeds out family of 6 [Pixie doesn't count yet] with leftovers), with math courtesy of my husband, the human calculator.

(I should point out that the original has healthier ingredient options, such as using applesauce in place of the oil.)

4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oil
3 cups milk
1/3 cup vanilla

Mix and cook!  If you're feeling fancy, make Mickey Mouse pancakes. :)

And a happy birthday to this crazy boy-

Happy birthday, Mister!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

It's 9/11 once again.

And once again we remember, we cry, we try to explain...

In my house, I'm actually the only one who really remembers.  My kids are all too young-- not only did it happen before they were born, but they're young enough it's not something we've talked a lot about-- and my husband was actually out of the country on an LDS mission when it happened.  So not only was he not here (which makes a huge difference) he was also a missionary (not really a lot of tv watching) and 9/11 was right around the time he became ill-- ill enough to be hospitalized in Argentina, honorably released from his mission, and sent home within a couple of months.  His main experience with 9/11 was how awful it was to fly back to the US just months afterward.

It's a little weird feeling like you're the only one who remembers.

But it's not just that-- 9/11/2001 was the last birthday my grandma celebrated before she died (in October) followed by my other grandma in December.  It was a rough few months... a rough school year.

BUT (and I've posted this picture book every year I think) like the kids who wrote September 12th We Knew Everything Would Be All Right... I know everything is all right.

My kids are healthy (for the most part, lol) and happy.  Life is good.

Oh, and this little bundle of sweetness is a month old today:
So yes, we never forget.  We should never forget.

But we also remember that the sun came up the next day... and everything will be all right.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

3 stars
R- 2
copy received for review

Kind of a weird book... Feels like the '40s, and yet takes place today. Main character is a smoking, swearing, bully of an almost-10-year-old... that was hard for me to get past. I have an almost 10-year-old and no, just no.

Also a weird paranormal vibe... except that in 258 pages there are only 2 incidents and a vague referencing of a third... so the book didn't feel paranormal and they just felt weirdly out of place.

My copy is an uncorrected proof, though, so it's possible that some issues were resolved before publication. (Certainly hoping the punctuation/spacing/spelling issues were all caught, lol.)

Overall it was an interesting format, covering just 24 hours and using repetition to create a certain atmosphere.  The writing was good, I just couldn't really get into any of the characters enough to really love it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences by Mark Siddall

3 stars

So I saw this on the new arrivals display at the library and it looked manageable in my pregnant I-can't-think-enough-to-read state.  Filled with quick anecdotes about various poisonous or toxic critters it seemed like easy bite-sized chunks perfect for reading in the doctor's waiting room.

But I only managed part of the intro at my final appointment... and ended up reading the rest after having the baby.  Like... while feeding the baby in the middle of the night.

Problem with that is, you're not super coherent on pain pills at 3 am.... and when the anecdotes are rambling and incoherent to begin with that's a rough combination.

And it wasn't just me.  I reread some sections during the day, wide-awake.  And then I read parts to my friend.  Yeah, she didn't get it either.

Some sections were better than others that way.  Some were really all over the place.  Some were a little too focused on wordplay and not enough on making sense, lol.

(Though really, you've got to admire someone who can use the phrase "erroneously erogenous coital conjecture" without sounding completely insane.)

This review is starting to feel incoherent and rambly too...

A little more background on the author and how/when/why he put together the book would have been nice at the beginning instead of buried in the end.  Knowing going in that he's a field biologist would have made some of the sections make more sense.  By the same token, more of his personal anecdotes might have been nice.

Overall, some of it made me nuts, some of it was creepy, and some of it was really interesting.  It was a random collection that way.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

5 stars

This was a HUGE hit in my house.  Across the board.

Mister enjoyed it, Boo LOVED it, I found it hilarious.

When Dad leaves for milk and takes forever to come home, he needs a good story to explain the lengthy absence.  The result is part Hitchhiker's Guide and part... craziness, lol.  But fortunately, the milk. :)

Boo is THRILLED that it's the first book up when Great Reads for Girls resumes at our library in September.  (And since it features a dad, dads are invited.  Which works nicely with the whole "new baby" thing in our house.)

I think we probably need to own this one.  It's definitely that good.

HIGHLY recommended for ages 4-ish on up through great-great-grandparents.  If you're starting to think about Christmas book-giving, this one could work for almost anyone on your list. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Pixie!

Weighing in at a tiny 6 lbs 14 oz, Pixie ended up being a much more apropos nickname than I realized it would be, lol.

We're doing well and I'm already finding my post-baby reading groove. :)

Just for giggles, here's a quick look at the older monkeys as babies:

I have cookie-cutter children, what can I say.  :)

In other news, school starts in a few days, hooray!  I need to post some more Summer Reading updates for sure... Or a wrap-up at any rate.