Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

Everyone told me I would be disappointed in this book but I wasn't. It was a good ending. I agree though that the end was a bit rushed but it was the end. What more was there then happy as happier ever after you can try to get.
This time unlike the first book it wasn't so horrible. There were still horrible things that happened but I don't think we lived it like we did in the first book. Torture is torture...horrible. I think the twists in this book might still give me nightmares.
I am glad I finished the series.

Broken, Healing and Bent
(way too much murder and death)

Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston

Another good one by one of my favorite LDS authors. This book was hilarious. I feel like I should keep an eye out for sneaky Relief Society Presidents and Visiting Teachers now. Of course they were only trying to help but they went too far and uncovered something illegal while doing things illegal. I can't give anything else away.
This book had it all, romance (well, I guess if innocent flirting and great aunts setting nephews up counts), mystery, adventure, action, comedy, real life drama and of course relate-able typical ward things in an LDS community.

Can't wait for the next one!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Five Minute Artisian Bread

5 minute Artisian Bread

What am I talking about? It is bread made with love.
Technical answer is: Artisan bread is exactly what its name suggests: bread that is crafted, rather than mass produced. Baked in small batches rather than on a vast assembly line, artisan bread differs from prepackaged supermarket loaves in a number of ways. Special attention to ingredients, process, and a return to the fundamentals of the age-old bread-making tradition set artisan bread apart from soft, preservative-laden commercial breads.

Whereas a store-bought loaf of mass-produced wheat bread might have nearly twenty ingredients, artisan bread will have closer to five. The basic building blocks of bread are flour, water, yeast, and salt. Sourdough is added for some breads; eggs and sugar for others.

My sister Kim thinks this is something I need to do.She has the book and extends her stay in Logan one more night so she can teach my daughter how to make it. She pulls out this humongous container for the dough and thinks it will fit in my fridge...I am just rolling my eyes.

THEN I see how easy it is and how delicious the bread tastes!!!!! I am a convert overnight. She was right! The picture above is the bread my daughter made on her third day. It could have cooked just a bit longer but it still tastes so good!

It fits in our fridge because the bottom shelf is where I keep extra bread anyway.

Each day you cut off a chunk of the dough and cook it. It only takes less then an hour. The cooking is just 25 min.

The crust is crunchy and crackly because it is cooked with a broiler pan of water under it, creating steam all around the bread. I just happen to have a stone to cook the bread on and so far so good. You can also use just a thick jellyroll pan or a cast iron pan.

I of course love it with butter and jam but it tastes good with anything you can make into a sandwich.

Now I will have to start experimenting with different seeds and nuts or dried fruit!

I am so happy to have bread! This is going to be fun! Thanks Kim!

Angel Artisian Bread- #3, see the wings. We need to work on our technique.

Mock Apple Pie - zucchini on the sly

For FHE we made a delicious pie that smelled like apple and looked like apple! It even tastes like apple pie, but hidden inside was the bounteous blessings from our garden.

Here is the recipe.

Not too bad.
One kid figured it out right as we were dishing it out with ice cream and he almost had a fit! I don't think he will ever trust me again. He was already suspicious of the dinner and wanted to know if there were mushrooms hiding in it. There wasn't.

The oldest girl decided to put on a nice smile and try it. Surprise, she loved it and even ate a second piece. The little ones were happy to eat and the dad too. Apples are expensive so free zucchini takes the cake any day! (or pie)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jack and the Sunflower-stalk

MMM, Lemon Meringue Pie. I cooked it 3 min. too long so it is a bit dark on the peaks but it didn't taste too bad. In fact I think it was better, kind of like the well done scrambled egg thing. Not too runny or raw.

This was the best recipe for zucchini bread I have tried all summer. 3 cups of zucchini, the more the better. It had a hearty taste because of the wheat flour with a tinge of cinnamon. Sadly, it never comes out of these pans without sticking! I guess I need to invest in some parchment paper. I was making these to give to a neighbor but now will have to eat them both. Darn.

The Sunflower is getting TALL. It doesn't have any seeds yet.

I lost the lemon cucumbers in the garden but after the frost hit I found them way out on the edge of the garden hiding in the pumpkin patch. Mystery solved. They don't taste good this big and they didn't get enough water so they will get thrown in the compost pile. Too bad. My neighbor said this was her kids favorite in their garden. Luckily there will be a next year to try again.

I don't know what this blog is actually about: Here is a last parting picture for you. A DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY! The kids kept running in circles and dancing quoting the Yosemite guy in his scruffy voice. It was awe inspiring.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Five Love Languagesof Children by Gary Chapman

This was a good re-read for a book group. I always learn new things about children, my spouse and people in general when I read these helpful books about love.

This time I learned that my little guy loves to get attention. He will walk up to one of the kids and just wallop them, get a reaction and then keep doing it as they yell and scream even more. BUT if instead of screaming and hitting him back the child give him a really big hug he will happily and immediately go on his way. So is that quality time or physical touch? both?

I also learned a bit from the chapter on Anger and the one before that on discipline. Very insightful. When anger gets all bottled up there needs to be an outlet. The one that is least harmful although harmful in its own way because it is anger not happiness we are talking about, is verbal expression. I would much rather have a child go off yelling and cursing then kicking and hitting or even taking drugs or getting pregnant as a way of acting out or releasing all that anger. My kids don't get very angry but still it was interesting to read and understand the bits that are "anger" times.

Discipline is a time for teaching and showing love. It isn't bad it can be good and constructive. But when it is manipulative then it will backfire and is counterproductive.

I think most of my children need all of the 5 love languages daily. That is a bit overwhelming for one adult, luckily the dad helps with most of the unconditional love around here or we would have a lot of love challenged children .

Whole Book

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Okay, I read it in 1/2 of a day, a night and a morning, so less then 24 hours. It was not as scary and disgusting as the first book. It had plenty of plot twists and adventure but it mostly had a nice love triangle holding the book together. It seemed to be the summing up and jumping point, I think, for the final 3rd book.

The government is going down. Finally people are waking up to the injustices of daily life in this world and they want something different despite the danger for even thinking about revolt. It is really hard to tell who is the good guys and who is the bad guys. The main characters stand strong together and work as a team. This really gets the ball rolling. It was unpredictable to me how the book ended and left us hanging again...I have got to get my hands on the third book!

Broken, healing

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is the first book in the series written for Young Adults. I would like to start out saying, the book was disturbing on many levels and BENT. It is also Broken and possibly a Healing book. I put it in the Bent section, which I rarely read, but this one was for YA's and is very popular with my friends at the moment so curiosity won. My 12 year old son already read it and he didn't like it but couldn't tell me why. Now I know, it has an evil underlining the situation the story is placed in. It didn't come around in the end and get resolved it just left you there wondering what happens next and what could be changed in this hopeless situation. Sadly, the worst parts of the book are portrayed as except-able, where in reality, they are horrible. Death, murder and violence on this level would be rated R in the movie industry, yet the way it was written it subtly would get away with pg-13 and you would walk away with a bad taste in your mouth.

The character telling the story is very likable. I felt sorry for her and her situation. I cheered for her and cried for her. I even saw why she made the choices she did to survive. I sympathized for the other important character despite not knowing his feelings or thoughts most of the time. He seemed to be genuinely trying to choose the right. There is definitely that appealing love triangle going on in this series, like in the "Twilight Saga" but more innocent.

The book had adventure and a bit of science fiction when you get into the advanced technology of this era of the world's future. This left you on your toes. Some of the styles and medical technology reminded me of the "Uglies Triology" books by Scott Westerfeld.

I don't like unhappy endings and I can't get this book out of my head. I will read the second one to see if some of the conflicts are resolved.

BENT, Broken, Healing

Monday, September 13, 2010

State Fair - SLC

Today we ventured down to the State Fair to see what we could see. The kids were excited and we brought our neighbor along. It was HOT and just right for a day at the Fair.

I will start with the most exciting part...

We saw a General Authority, L Tom Perry! He was so nice and the kids got to talk with him. We took a picture to always remember this meeting with an apostle. We can't wait to hear him in General Conference. I bet they really listen to what he has to say this time around.

Then we went to the 4-H building and tried to find all the stuff the kids entered and which ribbon they were awarded. Purple is the highest then blue for first, red for second and white for third...

Here is his photograph of a Bionicle my son entered.

The Cousins Honey!
And photograph.

There are the Blue Ribbons and a happy girl to go with them!

We watched the Sea Lions perform!

Anyone for Butter?

This was my favorite artistic gourd display.

These little car scooter toys were a big hit! I wonder if Santa will bring one?

The little Farm. Fun for kids of all ages!

Farmer Boy!

Horses are measured in Hands. This is how many hands high the kids are.

Sadly the littlest girl got lost when we were looking at the piglets. Everyone was tired and it was hot. I thought she was walking with my son but she wasn't. We looked all around the cows, the sheep and the market buildings but couldn't find her. Then I finally decided I better ask the Fair people and the police. Just as I finished giving a description I see her walking way across the way with a man and my one of my daughters who was looking for her in that area. I say never mind to the cop and run off to catch up with them. She was found by a man and his wife at a booth not far from the piglets but in the wrong directions of where we had been. They told the Fair Staff and then Veronica said that the girl over there was her sister. So they brought her over to her and then they all set off looking for me. Whew.

We also stopped at Aunt Kim and Cindy's home just a few blocks from the Fairgrounds. I had never been there before. It was fun to play with the dog and see the cute little house. After that we stopped at Aunt Danna's house. She wasn't there but would be soon so we waited. She shared her nectarines from the tree in the backyard. They were so yummy and very small. We finally made it home by 7pm. I am Tired!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

(No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 8)

Another one finished. Whew. Really I don't know why I keep reading these books. Nothing very exciting happens. They are just living their lives going about things as usual...I always want to know what the answers are to mysteries. They never get to that till you are at the very last chapter.

Whole Book