Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back on Track

So, as most of you know our son had surgery on his skull last week so I haven't been keeping up on my blogging...but I'm back and have lots to share!! I'm going to start out of order, but I think it's best...
Last night I decided to make a nice dinner, so I found a recipe for cubed steaks with gravy and it was yummy!!! I even touched raw meat to make the patties (anyone who knows me should be gasping at that revelation...I don't touch raw meat...ewwww) and they were delicious with onions and gravy from cream of mushroom soup and mashed potatoes (Thank you Vidalia Chopper!!).

I also decided to make a nice dessert, so I found a recipe for Cookies 'n Cream Cheesecake. I really don't consider this cheesecake seeing as how there was no cooking. It's more of a pie with an Oreo crust and lots of creamy cream cheese and whipped cream!!!

Those poor Oreos had no idea what was coming....

You have to love a chance to put the yumminess of Oreos with the naughtiness of butter!! Any recipe with 2 block of Cream Cheese in it is given a chance in this house!! The filling in all it's creamy glory!!

And the finished product...I added the Oreos on top myself, looks pretty, doesn't it??

Who knew there was a culinary artist in me waiting to get out??

Now, on to the books I've been reading...I have read over 10 books in the last 2 weeks with the downtime after my surgery and all the time at CHOC with Fredrick, so I'm not going to give you a lengthy review for all of them. Some of them I have already returned to the library and don't even remember what they were called. I did read a few more Debbie Macomber books, but they were her yearly Christmas themed ones and they were great!! One of them was called Mrs. Miracle and I would highly recommend it!!
My sister-in-law also lent me some books my Nicholas Sparks and one by James Patterson. They were great!! The James Patterson one was interesting and definitely kept me glued to the pages. It was called Suzanne's Diary to Nicholas, I think. The Nicholas Sparks books were A Bend in the Road and I can't remember the name of the other one, but it was great!
I also have 2 books that my mother-in-law suggested that are similar to The Work and the Glory, but are based back in the time period of WWII I think...I can't wait to start those!!
So many great books to read and so little time!!!
And for those of you wondering, our son is doing great and we can't wait for him to heal up so we can shave the rest of his head and get his hair growing evenly =)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Christmas Basket

Oh my!!! I almost forgot about this little treasure I read yesterday!!! Apparently Debbie come out with a Christmas book every year and I happened upon one of them at the library before I had surgery. I had checked it out but for some reason it got left at the bottom of the pile and since I had finished all the others I had no choice but to start it yesterday morning. I guess I was trying to avoid getting to Christmasy since it's still a ways off, but this book was well worth it.

Reading it reminded me of a movie (I think it was on Lifetime) with two families that had grown up on Catalina Island and the kids had moved away and over time the mothers had gotten into a fight and were always trying to one up each other, well the kids fall in love but then have to deal with their mothers who can't seem to get along not matter what....and it turns out the fathers have stayed friends all along!!

Anyways...this book was a gem really. The mothers have been fighting for years over a stolen antique tea set and things just escalated from there...the two kids had been high school sweethearts and were planning on eloping one night but each thought they had been stood up, turns out the note has been slightly tampered with thanks to a spilled can of soda and for 10 years they went on and lived their lives, always thinking the other one had walked away. The daughter comes back for Christmas and while she hopes she doesn't run into Thom he ends up being on her commuter flight....and in the movie theater where she and her sister are throwing popcorn...and at the restaurant....eventually they figure out what happened, but have to work through their mothers hating each other.

The Mothers end up having to work together to make Christmas Baskets for the Salvation Army (Sarah, Noelle's mom has to do it for the service hours required to use the club for her daughter Kristen's wedding) and her and Mary just can't seem to work together...they even get thrown out of the local Value-X (which, if you read Buffalo Valley will sound awful familiar!!) while shopping for things on the list.

Anways, long story short, mothers make up while stuck in a ditch during an ice storm and the husbands find them drunk off some Scotch that one of the husbands had left in his Golf bag and they all make it home to have Noelle and Thom come in with some exciting news. Of course, Noelle and Thom have no idea the families have made up and when they see both sets of cars outside Noelle's home they panic but figure they can kill 2 birds with 1 stone and tell both families the news at the same time, only to walk in and discover that all their worry was for nothing.

A very cute story =)

92 Pacific Boulevard

It seems that in my quest to discover some new books to read, not only did I discover an author that I really enjoyed, but I lucked out again and discovered that she is a current writer, and she has TONS of books that have been published and that she is working on all the time!!
This book, "92 Pacific Boulevard" is 9th in her "Cedar Cove" Series. Now, I didn't know that when I bought it at Costco (I've been borrowing most of the books from the library, but I happened to see this one at Costco) but as I read the history I was informed that is was only part of a series, and now I am determined to start back at the beginning...only I wish I would have known that before I read this one, since now I know what happend to some of the characters that have been developed throughout the series. Anyways, this was a cute book, and I LOVE the characters!! I just love the way Debbie writes and you can really get lost in her books.
So, I don't want to give too much away and I can't wait to start back at the beginning of the series to see how Faith and Troy started dating again (they were high school sweethearts and then widows who found each other again but broke up after Troy's daughter's miscarriage) and about when Olivia found out she had cancer (she apparently was a judge in the town, a very powerful woman!) and about when Rachel was just Jolene's hairdresser (before she started dating her father and they got married).
I have to say though that while I didn't know the history of any of the characters, not only did Debbie include a short and concise list of characters and their descriptions and roles in the community, but she wrote the book in a way that someone (like me) who was unfamiliar with the series could get right into and have no trouble understanding what was going on. At no point did I feel like I had missed something because I hadn't read the previous books in the series!!
So, this was a great book and if the rest of the series is like it I can't wait to get to the library (hopefully tonight) and check out the beginning of the series!! Also, this book had a plug in the back for her next book in the series that comes out in September 2010 called "1022 Evergreen Place." I'm going to have to go back and see whose address that is so I can know who the story will focus on next time and to see whose letters were under the floorboards in MaryJo's half of Mack's Duplex....and how long it takes for Bruce and Jolene to find out that Rachel's pregnant and what happens...Ooh and what happend with Lori and Linc's spontaneous marriage, did they end up falling really in love??...and will Mack and MaryJo get engaged, again....and does David show up again to try and take Noelle???
AHHHH so many questions and I have to wait a year....good thing I have the rest of the series to catch up on (well, that will take all of a few weeks probably) it's good then that I have the Twilight movies coming out (YAY!!!) in November and June, that will carry me to next September!!
You're all lucky I hadn't started this blog earlier or you would have had to read miles and miles of raving about those books....let's just say that I've read the series about 3 times, maybe 4....I just love the books!!!
Oh, and last night at Home Depot, as a reward for dragging my sorry self out in to the world while still being held together with Steri-Strips Greg let me get a Paula Deen recipe magazine with all her favorite there should be some more baking in the future!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few books I've enjoyed...

I know it's been a while, but this past Friday I had surgery and the few days before that were spent getting everything ready and cleaning up so things wouldn't be a complete mess afterwards when I was recovering.

I have read 3 great books by Debbie Macomber in the past little while and here is what I thought....

The first was Moon Over Water. It is about a woman who was raised to believe that her father had died when she was younger and had just always lived her life "knowing" that. Well, when her mother dies she discovers some old letters of hers that lead her to discover that her father is not only still alive, but that he has been in contact with her mother up until a few years ago.

Armed with this new information she can't think of anything else but finding this father and uncovering why her mother would have lied to her over all those years. She makes a trip to Mexico (against her fiance's wishes) to find him only to be caught up in more trouble than she has ever seen. Between being framed for stealing a priceless artifact from an architectural dig, being chased by a feared drug-lord, and being forced to escape on a boat with a trusted friend of her fathers she ends up finding love (apparently some time out at sea with even the most unappealing options can soften hearts) and discovers what she really wants in life. This is a good read, with some good suspense, at least more so than most of her books.

Next was Back on Blossom Street. This book is about a woman who owns a yarn store and about all her "neighbors" on Blossom Street. The story involves romance and lots of other twists and turns, all revolving around the students that are in the leads knitting classes. There are surprise pregnancies, marriages almost lost and many friendships strengthened. This book remind me a lot of a book I read a while back called "The Friday Night Knitting Club." I had to wonder if one of these authors read the other one's book before writing their own because they both have very similar scenes with cancer and pregnancies and romance. It's an easy read though and it goes easy on the detailed romance scenes, this is a good read for you if you want to smile and be reminded that good things do happen in this world.

Ah, then Buffalo Valley...this one was a cute romance about a man who is going to begin working for his girlfriend after the Christmas Season. He has just been discharged from the Military and has decided to head home to North Dakota to visit his parents and the woman whose son he was named after. He is also headed there because his girlfriend has asked him to check out a nearby town called Buffalo Valley as the company she works for is trying to buy land there to build a mega-store (I picture a Wal-Mart type situation). Anyways, as he spends time there he starts to feel for this little town and for their fight against this mega chain that wants to come in and destroy all their little businesses and hard work. He ends up of course falling for a girl there and after much searchign discovers what he really wants and where his loyalties should lie.

This book is super cute and is an easy read.

OK, I think that is all of them...I am going to start a few more while I am off work and recovering and I will get back to you when I have another one. I am also going to try a few sewing projects while I'm off and we'll see what happens with that!!