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The Week in Review: 09.29.2017

September 29, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I readily admit that I don’t cook much these days – partly because of time and partly because both Carl and I are rarely here at dinnertime so I was excited to get QUICK-FIX DINNERS; 100+ SIMPLE RECIPES READY IN 10, 20 OR 30 MINUTES by the Editors of Southern Living.  The beginning of the cookbook shows 25 different ways you can combine recipes from it to create a meal and then dishes are divided by Comfort Food Classics, Picky Eaters, On the Side, Pantry & Convenience, Weeknight Company and Dessert in a Dash.  I was happy to see that a full color photograph is included with each recipe but was a little disappointed to see that a lot of the recipes rely on using pre-cooked or deli meats and items like ready to serve rice, coleslaw mix, or refrigerated breadsticks.  I still found several recipes to try, including this Bow Tie Pasta Toss, which was declared a winner:

There are a few more recipes I want to try, like Blistered Brussels Sprouts with Mint and Roasted Broccoli with Orange-Chipotle Butter,  but I don’t think I’ll be using this cookbook a lot.  That’s not to say it doesn’t have value – I think a beginning cook or a college student would get a lot of use out of it.  (Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.)

After her mother passes away, Lemonade Liberty Witt has to leave her San Francisco home to live with her grandfather (who she’s never met) in Willow Creek.  Willow Creek is known at “the Bigfoot capital of the world” and Lem meets Tobin, a boy her age who owns Bigfoot Detectives, Inc.  The two become friends and Lem joins Tobin in his pursuit of the the elusive creature.  They may not find one but they both find what they need in LEMONS by Melissa Savage, a book I adored.  This book has a fun, quirky storyline and is filled with wonderful characters who I rooted for right from the start.  I laughed and shed a tear or two as I read this sweet story of a young girl looking for her place in the world.  This book is geared toward 8 to 12 year olds but I think many older children will relate to Lem as well.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

THE WEEKENDERS by Mary Kay Andrews is the story of Riley Griggs.  Things aren’t going well in her marriage and she and her husband have plans to tell Maggy, their teen daughter, they’re getting a divorce when they all gather at their beach house.  Riley’s not too surprised when Wendell isn’t on the ferry but she’s shocked when she and Maggy get to their house and find it’s being foreclosed on.  She’s even more shocked when Wendell’s body is found in the water the next day.  Now, Riley must figure out how to put a life together for herself and her daughter.  As I picked up this book, I felt like I’d read it before but I hadn’t.  The story felt very familiar and was pretty predictable.  I felt like Andrews might have tried to cram too many issues into the book – a diabetic daughter, a cheating husband, a gay brother, alcoholism, etc.  The solution to the mystery came out the blue, at least to me.  In the end, I liked this book but didn’t love it – I thought it was missing Andrews lighthearted, humorous touch.  (Review copy provided by Tandem Literary.)


Currently reading:

On the Screen

I thought two nights of Dancing with the Stars might be too much but ended up enjoying Tuesday’s Latin night more than Monday’s Ballroom Night.  I still don’t have a favorite but thought Barbara was the right one to go home on Monday.  I wanted to see more of Debbie Gibson so I was a little disappointed to see her leave on Tuesday.

Off the blog

  • I finally finished my 1500 piece puzzle.  I had a lot going on, so it took a while.
  • Carl and I went to Charlotte to shop on Monday.  We came home on some back roads and passed through the little town where my paternal grandparents are buried.  We made a detour and went by the cemetery but couldn’t locate their graves.  I’ve been in contact with a cousin since then and have a map of the cemetery so we’ll be able to find them next time.
  • It still feels like summer here but we’re supposed to get some relief pretty soon.  I’ll miss the warm temperatures but not the humidity.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 18,500 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    September 29, 2017 7:20 am

    Hope you’re loving Little Fires Everywhere – everyone seems to be!

  2. September 29, 2017 8:16 am

    I am reading the two fires everywhere too!

  3. September 29, 2017 8:49 am

    The pasta recipe you tried sounds good but I have the same reservations about using precooked ingredients, etc. I guess that makes for fast prep though. I agree about the MKA book. I thought the tone was a bit different. Have a good weekend!

  4. September 29, 2017 8:50 am

    The cookbook looks interesting but I’d be disappointed to find a lot of pre-made ingredient type things in there, too. There’s a line of cookbooks called “semi-homemade” that I think does a similar thing and it’s just not super helpful to me. If I’m going to cook at home I don’t need to get stuff with a ton of salt and chemicals already in the ingredients!

  5. September 29, 2017 9:51 am

    Unlike most seasons, Barbara was the only obvious choice for 1st one out. I think now there will be disappointments each week.
    I will have to read Celeste Ng some day.

  6. September 29, 2017 11:14 am

    I plan to start Little Fires Everywhere soon….and I’ve been wanting The Weekenders. It’s been too long since I took a journey with Mary Kay Andrews.

    You had a great week! Enjoy the weekend.

  7. Patty permalink
    September 29, 2017 11:43 am

    I do not like using prepared foods either…do you just grab dinner out on most days? That would be fun…

  8. Beth F permalink
    September 29, 2017 12:28 pm

    That cookbook sounds like a winner — I need some quick ideas

    • Beth F permalink
      September 29, 2017 12:30 pm

      Oh gosh, I just reread your review of the cookbook — I got locked into the pasta photo and the brussels sprouts recipe. I didn’t notice the first time through that many recipes called for deli meats and pre-made foods. That’s not my style either.

  9. September 29, 2017 2:19 pm

    The Weekenders sounds so interesting. I like it when the main character thinks they know what’s going on, but they really don’t.

  10. September 29, 2017 2:26 pm

    I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about Little Fires Everywhere.

  11. September 29, 2017 3:19 pm

    Happy Friday, Kathy! I’d like to read Little Fires Everywhere. Congrats on all of the Fitbit steps! Have a terrific weekend.

  12. Lauren Becker permalink
    September 29, 2017 3:21 pm

    I could really use some quick-fix meals. I hear good things about Little Fires Everywhere; hope you enjoy it!

    And I can’t WAIT for the fall weather coming!! It’s been too hot for me. haha


  13. September 29, 2017 3:27 pm

    I was going to start Little Fires but got sidetracked by the Sleeping Beauties read along.

  14. September 30, 2017 8:26 am

    Th packaged lunch meats wouldn’t be a hit with us but I ceratbinly like your pasta dish.

  15. September 30, 2017 8:26 am

    That must be a cookbook for the current state of the nation: over half of American food dollars are spent on food that is prepared outside the home. And, as your post points out, we need a cookbook to figure out what to do even with pre-prepped stuff!

    best… mae at

  16. September 30, 2017 8:36 am

    I don’t use pre-cooked items, either, but agree that this might be a good beginning to cook book. You get in A LOT of steps each day! 😉

  17. September 30, 2017 6:16 pm

    Kathy… I have missed you! I promise to be more loyal in the future. I just love this post. At this stage in life, I’m surprised how rarely Geoff and I are home for dinner. And I adore that puzzle! Mostly, I admire your consistent walking schedule. I’m trying to work my way back to a three-mile walk every day.

  18. October 1, 2017 8:00 am

    For a really quick dinner to throw together, I guess you really have to use some jarred sauces and prepared foods. It might be good for every now and then for family meals, but when it’s just two of us, we can throw together something that might not be considered “dinner” for a cookbook author! At least two nights a week, we’re not eating dinner together, either, so it’s just salad or leftovers.

  19. October 1, 2017 8:51 am

    I like simple recipes, but don’t think the ones with deli-meats would be too exciting. I love your puzzle and wonder what you do with them when they are complete.

  20. October 1, 2017 5:53 pm

    I’m with you. I don’t like recipes that use lunchmeat or pre cooked foods.. I do like recipes that can be made quickly though

  21. October 1, 2017 8:52 pm

    I’m jealous that you are reading Little Fires Everywhere already. I’m not sure when I will get to it! I was super disappointed to see Debbie go home on DWTS, but I didn’t vote because I never get to watch it live. I just got two puzzles as a birthday gift and can’t wait to start them!

  22. October 3, 2017 6:43 pm

    Wow that puzzle seems wonderful. What a great picture. 1500 pieces is a lot, kudos! I hope to read Little Fires Everywhere soon too. Cheers.

  23. October 4, 2017 6:51 pm

    Your puzzle surprised me – it looks like a gorgeous picture! Very good. I love the sound of the cookbook, probably for the reason you dislike it. I’m looking for every possible shortcut these days and I’m not above using deli-cooked or precooked chicken, etc. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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