A-day-in-Hay

Books, Pubs, Flats and Heaven

 

I traveled with my husband on his business last week, a journey which took us to Truro, Cornwall and the County Arms, to Braunton, Devon and The George to Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales and Malsters, all pubs with accommodations,quite nice and the kind of places we generally stay. Once he finished work, we were off to celebrate our anniversary in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, a town of books, where we stayed at Kilverts, the only pub not quite up to snuff on our journey, but nice enough. (They do not have rooms marked by author’s names, as they show on their website, something that sucks a reader in and thinks, cool!) We were here two nights, and my side of the mattress sloped to the floor, so I felt I was rolling off the bed all night. Blimey, they really need to replace that mattress. All the pub rooms had bathtubs, which to me is one of the great things in UK and Europe, as they are deep and long and so wonderful for soaking the bones! Our last night on the road was spent in Hereford. But I’m saving that for the last. Here’s a few bathtub shots…

 

First let me tell you about Hay-on-Wye. This is the National Town of Books for Wales.

There are at least 2 dozen books shops with both new and used books, (including honor shops, where you leave your payment in the box. The stalls at the bottom of the stairs in this picture is an honor shop)

 There are lots of antique and vintage  shops where true porcelain teacups can be found and quite a few good restaurants.

Hay on Wye tea cup

I think someone made a mistake though when they let this bull in a china shop. That might be why they are now closed.

I found books by my dear friend and mentor, Jack Williamson

 

 

 

I even found a book on the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico! (far left in photo)

I also heard someone say, “What the ‘Hay’? Where did all these books come from? How did they get all these books?” The answers bookshop owners gave were so vague, we began to suspect foul play, oh wait, I was in the crime section when I had that foul play thought. So no, not foul play, but really? How do all these books come to be in the little town of Hay in the mid-reaches of Wales? Hmmm….

A proper tea can be found in Hay at The Old Stables Tea Room where they serve their award winning Scrumptious Strawberry and Rose Jam with scones and clotted cream, a cake and tea bread.

And I wonder why my jeans are getting snug??

There was a curious shop with all sorts of old taxidermy creations. Jenny at The Bloggess, one of my favorite bloggers, author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, would love this place! (BTW, her book is hilarious. Seriously, I had to stop reading in a public place I was laughing so hard.)


 

And did I mention Crabbies Ginger beer?

This stuff is fantastic! It’s Scottish, so what else can you expect?

Alcoholic ginger beer, that’s right, baby!

And they have a castle, like all good places in the UK.

Oh, and a bear or two…

And all this leads back to those pub rooms and how they measure up along side our flat and well, how they all measure up to what’s coming…

We are renting a small flat in Bristol while we are here in the UK. This is what it looks like…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a lovely little flat, however, the twin beds are rather hard, and well, it’s twin beds, and a toilet that shares it’s space with the shower (in the picture, see the shower head? the toilet is on the opposite wall, just out of camera range) so when we arrived at Castle House in Hereford, a place we booked at the last minute because they had a Sunday night special and wifi, so we could work there Monday morning before heading home, we had no idea it looked like this…

We were in heaven! We almost missed out on all of Hereford, because we just wanted to luxuriate in that beautiful room. Luckily, there is not much to see in Hereford, but we did see the cathedral…

I stood around admiring the cathedral with this guy…

And then we saw the oldest building in Hereford…

not sure, but that might be the oldest man too, and well the name of the town is Hereford…

And behind our hotel, are the remains of the castle moat and a beautiful home. By the way, the castle is long gone, but they preserved the grounds and it is a beautiful green space in the city.

So we had a spot of tea, but nothing like in Hay, 

and then stayed in our room the next morning until the last possible moment to check out. It was heaven.

Okay, so I’ve broken all the rules of blogging and put different sized pictures and wrote a super long blog, but I filled it with photos, so hope I’ll be forgiven.

I hope you enjoyed the pubs, flats and heaven. If you did, please share! Cheers!

 

baker-and-barista-bag

Bread and Coffee and Millionaire’s Shortbread, oh my!

Bread and Coffee and Millionaire’s Shortbread, oh my!

Arriving in Ipswich, UK, late one afternoon, I took a stroll around the town to take some pics and see what was going on down by the water. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell, which feeds right into the sea. I then wandered over towards city center and while looking for a restaurant for dinner that evening, I stumbled on The Baker & Barista. Though already closed for the afternoon, I knew there was no way I would be having breakfast in a hotel the next morning, I would be cozying up in this cute little shop because there is nothing better than a warm coffee shop on a chilly morning and this one looked quite special and it turned out to be just that.

The Baker & Barista is a charming little place at 19 St. Peter’s Place. The two young women who run/own this shop were just delightful. They make all the goodies themselves and so it just smells fabulous when you walk through the door. I had a cappuccino, done to perfection, and a slice of their banana/cherry/nut bread, which was just delicious. I bought a Millionaire’s shortbread for later and it was incredible. (Let me just add, Millionaire’s shortbread is over the top deliciousness. Don’t know what it is? I found a recipe for you to try. Click here.) Just as we were leaving, they brought out some hot from the oven cheese scones. I drooled over them as we left the shop, but didn’t purchase. After walking through town, I could not get them out of my head and so went back to nab one before they were all gone. I was not disappointed. They were heavenly delicious.

 

Lots of sweet features in this shop!

If you’re ever in Ipswich, give the Baker and Barista a try. You won’t be disappointed! You can find them here on FB! And if you like this post, please share it with your friends!

travels-with-jane

A Meal to Remember

Sometimes you have to hit the road to find a meal to remember!

Seems like yesterday I was here…

and then here…

and finally…

Monday we hit the road again, but this time, I only had my little blue suitcase, the backpack and a tote. Yay!

Though many meals are just standard fare, we had a meal to remember before we took off Monday afternoon. Sunday night was by far the best meal of our trip and might actually be the best for the entire time we are in England. We ate at Hotel du Vin in Bristol, “A magnificently restored, 18th Century Sugar House,” and it was magnificent. We started with cocktails in the bar, which for me was a cosmopolitan, a drink I have not had in years, but was spot on! Then we were seated in the gorgeous dining room, where the sommelier suggested a light red wine for starters, but for dinner, because some were having beef and others fish, he suggested a different red for the beef eaters, which was a wine from Crasto Winery, so smooth, so velvety, so big, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Yes, call me a wino, because I LOVE a good red wine and will remember this red for a long time.

Starter for me was a brioche with mushrooms, which was delicious…

and one of my dinner mates had the Onion soup

and another the scallops

Then for dinner, I could not resist…one of my all time favorite dishes…one I make very well myself, but have not had in many years…and not a food I have often, so yes, my friends, I had beef, and not just any beef, but big rich beautiful Beef Bourguignon…

and though this picture does not do it justice, this was heavenly! Far better than I have ever made. Braised beef short ribs, Portobello mushrooms, shallots and smoked pancetta with a thick, sticky sauce. It literally melted in my mouth and the roasted carrots were fab as well. 

One of the other dishes at our table was the Lemon Sole and I did sample a little bite of it. Delicious!

Even the steak and frites was incredible. I nibbled a couple of the frites to be sure!

No meal like this would be complete without…drum roll please…

upside down chocolate pot! Oh, just kidding, at least about the upside down part…

(if you are viewing this on a phone or pad, the picture righted itself. Hmmm. Not so on my computer. Had to go in and turn it to get it right)

This little gem was perfect. Baked Valrhona Au Chocolat Pot with creme chantilly! Delicious does not even describe how good it was!

And the other dessert at our table…

lemon tart and raspberry sorbet. Both with just the right amount of tartness and sweetness.

The wine sommelier came back around as I was enjoying my pot of chocolat, possibly when I was licking the pot clean (not really, but I wanted to) and so I asked if he had a tawny Port. I am not a fan of a ruby port, but do love a tawny. He brought me a sample of a port that I must, let me restate that, MUST find. A tawny by Krohn, Port shippers since 1865, that was incredible. I have never tasted a Port like this, so smooth, so perfect a blend of flavors, not plummy tasting at all, as some Ports can be, just absolutely lovely. Sigh.

This was a special meal, the kind we rarely indulge in, but it was so worth it for one night! 

Me and our friend, Martin, full and content after a very great meal.

So sorry the pictures are rather poor in quality. I did not have my camera and resorted to an iPhone and in this light, they did not do well.

There are more meals to come. And more of me coming home in three months. I think I’ve gained ten pounds already. Not good, but one must sacrifice for the greater good. Yes?

Cheers!

 

travels-with-jane

An American in England

An American in England! Our adventure began on February 11, 2014, when our flight, which was to be on the 12th, was canceled. Rescheduled for the 14th, with three layovers instead of two, all went without a hitch and we landed in Bristol, England at 9:40 on the 15th. With five bags between us, 2 backpacks and a tote, we found a cart to haul it around and made our way to the taxi stand where our cabbie managed to cram it all in the back of his wee cab. Since we usually travel Europe, each with a carry-on size suitcase and a backpack, I was rather embarrassed to have so much luggage. We looked so…well…American. I found myself explaining to people how we are staying for three months. We don’t normally have this much luggage, yada, yada, yada…Anyway, here we are and after a day and half settling in to our flat in Bristol, we made our way to Birmingham for a trade show.

The Crown Plaza at the NEC in Birmingham, sits on Pendigo Lake. There are little platforms jutting into the lake on which fishermen sit every day. The lake is lovely, but were it not surrounded by large industrial pavilions and a major construction site for a CASINO, it would be better! Someone, someday, must explain to me the draw of a casino. I just don’t get it.

I walked around the lake this afternoon to capture the sun for the brief period it made itself known, and watched the honkers (what I know as Canadian Geese) feeding along the shore. Then as I rounded the far side, a pair were in hot pursuit of a fisherman finishing up for the day. He had dumped the rest of his bait into the water, and one of the pair was quite keen on scooping it up, while his mate honked along 20 yards behind him. Loved watching them. 

So I am, I believe, almost adjusted to the time difference. I am planning to sleep well tonight. I just wanted to get this page set up on my site and check in with you all. So stay tuned for better posts and pictures. I am without my cord to hook up camera to computer, so will be next week before I can get pictures posted.

Looking forward to much adventure in buying, cooking and eating here in England. I’ll be back to fill you in on how that goes soon! XO

instagram CCC

A Memoriam to my mom: Colossal Crescent Cheeseburger

My mom, Neta Joyce McCulloch Thompson, died last Monday night, January 27th. Having been in pain most of her adult life, she is now released from that, but it doesn’t make it easy for her to be gone. I miss her. While getting ready for the memorial service on Saturday, something crossed my mind and I thought, “I have to remember to tell mother about that…” and in an instant it hit me, I couldn’t. No matter how prepared we think we are for a parent’s passing, when it happens, it is far harder than one can imagine.  

My mom was a good cook. Her mom was too. When visiting mama McCulloch, for breakfast we would have homemade jam and fresh biscuits, ham, and sausage, and bacon and eggs. There was always some kind of cake, made from scratch of course, and cookies, and candies. Dinner time would have a table spread with any variety of meats and vegetables. She also would cook up anything my grandfather happened to shoot, like squirrel and dove. Though I only sampled the dove, my younger sister remembers well, getting up early one morning to see four legs sticking up out of the pan on the stove, a raccoon raiding the garage, my grandfather had shot. My mom learned from the best, though there was never any wild animals cooking in our kitchen, just the best fried chicken ever.

Mother was definitely a product of her generation of cooks. Though she cooked a lot of things from scratch, she took advantage of the quick products that showed up on the grocery shelf. Pillsbury was a prominent product in our lives, from the Orange Danish Rolls we had every Sunday morning for breakfast (seriously, we did) to the crescent rolls she wrapped around hotdogs with a little slice of cheese and mustard, our Pigs in a Blanket. Loved them. But the best Pillsbury recipe was her prize winning Colossal Crescent Cheeseburger.

She entered the Pillsbury BakeOff contest in 1973 and was selected as one of the 100 finalists, who were then flown to California to recreate their recipe for a panel of judges. Bob Barker was the MC for the contest, host of The Price is Right (which my mom watched every day of her life, even after Drew Carey became the host). She won a stand mixer and a range oven. Know what that is? A stove with two ovens. Fancy! She also won $100 and her flight to CA. Though she didn’t make it to the top five, she had a great time and was honored to have been part of the contest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While going through pictures for my mom’s memorial, we found her notebook of memorabilia from the BakeOff. We found an article that ran in the local paper, we lived in Tullahoma, Tennessee at the time, in which she referred to herself as a “lazy cook.” Though my mom was far from lazy at anything in her life, I guess to her, using convenience products was a shortcut that got thrown into the lazy category. I know she didn’t love to cook, as she had so many other interests that kept her busy, but she had some standout dishes that I still remember well. She enjoyed having people for dinner and making something beyond the “lazy” category at those times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oddly, she never taught us to cook. My sisters and I all learned in Home Ec classes the basics of cooking. When I left home my signature dish, okay, the ONLY thing I could make, was chocolate chip cookies, but they were the best chocolate chip cookies around. However, I married young and out of necessity learned to cook far more than chocolate chip cookies. And unlike my mom, I do love to cook. I give her credit for this though, because cooking was such a part of our lives. From a grandmother who showed me the beauty of a big spread, to the times spent with extended family around the dinner table, and my mom’s incredible ability to make some fantastic dishes, I became a foodie. I think there is nothing better than a good meal with friends and family and wish that more people took the time to slow down and just enjoy the art of cooking. 

I did teach my three sons to cook and they are the primary cooks in their families. I love that in today’s world that a man doesn’t have to be a chef to cook, but can cook for family and friends, just like mom’s always were expected to in the past. My younger sister turned out to be the best cook in our family and her daughter, Sierra, follows in her footsteps, as do my boys in mine. Here’s to the fourth generation of McCulloch cooks and here’s to my mom. And for you, her recipe for Colossal Crescent Cheeseburger.

Saute onions, if using; brown meat and add seasoning packet and optional chile powder; add optional green chile

I used this Penzeys Taco seasoning powder instead of a small package. I used 6 Tbs.

This is how your spokes will look

Place last four in middle

Press them out to look like this

Pile your meat and cheese in the middle; wrap spokes up around mixture

It will look like this

Seal it up; brush with milk or water and sprinkle with sesame seeds

And VOILA! Colossal Crescent Cheeseburger!

Below is the original recipe, however, I upgraded this when I cooked it this past Sunday for the Super Bowl gathering I attended. I used organic grass fed and finished bison, mild cheddar cheese, 1/2 a cup of sautéed onions, some green chile, about 1/4 of a cup, and 1/2 tsp of chile powder for good measure. Whichever way you make this, I hope you enjoy!

A Memoriam to my mom: Colossal Crescent Cheeseburger
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This was my mom's Pillsbury BakeOff prize winning recipe. An easy, tasty dish that is great for a quick evening meal or to take to a party.
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1¼ ounce package taco, chili or sloppy joe seasoning mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 8 ounce cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 5 Slices American Cheese
  • milk
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray pizza pan or large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In large frying pan, brown ground beef; drain fat.
  4. Stir in seasoning mix and water.
  5. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 mins.
  6. Separate crescent rolls into 16 triangles.
  7. Arrange 12 triangles in spoke fashion around pan.
  8. Press remaining triangles in center of pan to cover hole and press to seal.
  9. Pile meat in center.
  10. Top with cheese slices.
  11. Bring dough up over meat and seal the seams by pinching together and using a bit of water or milk to smooth dough.
  12. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  13. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crust is no longer doughy.
  14. OPTIONAL:
  15. Use Bison instead of ground beef.
  16. Add ½ cup sautéed onions to beef.
  17. Add ½ tsp red chile powder.
  18. Add ¼ cup chopped green chiles.
  19. Pile 3 ounces of grated, mild cheddar cheese on top of meat mixture.

 

RIP little mommy!

BUY-COOK-EAT

SEE Bars

energy bars

SEE BARS – Super Easy Energy Bars: This is my new fruit and nut bars with a bit of chocolate. Cut them in bars for a trail snack to keep your energy up, or cut bite size pieces for a small snack. However you roll, these bars are a perfect punch! SEE the difference in taste by using the best ingredients and making the bar yourself; SEE the savings in not buying prepackaged goods!

BUY tip:

*Use natural cocoa, as it is higher in fat, tastes better, and will provide more energy.
*Use a high quality 85% chocolate and no less than 70%
*Look for juice sweetened dried fruit. Not absolutely necessary, but I think they taste better and you avoid processed sugar. 

ENJOY!

Energy Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Energy bar
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Energy bar for a trail snack or cut in small bites for a light treat.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup pitted, chopped dates
  • 2½ Tbs local honey
  • 1½ cups rolled oats, finely ground in blender or food processor
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. oat bran
  • 3 Tbs. ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs. natural cocoa
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 1 c. raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ c. unsalted, toasted pistachios
  • ⅓ c. dried cranberries, preferably sweetened with juice
  • ⅓ c. dried blueberries
  • ⅓ c. dried tart cherries
  • 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate, at least 70% (I use 85%)
  • coconut or vegetable cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Spray 9 in. pan with coconut spray
  2. Place dates in small saucepan.
  3. Add enough water to just barely cover.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Mix oats, cinnamon, oat bran, flaxseed, cocoa and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add nuts and berries and chocolate.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Dates will have absorbed most of the water by now; if more than a tbs or two remains, drain the excess.
  10. Pour dates and honey into blender or food processor and process till smooth.
  11. Pour date mixture over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are moist.
  12. Pat evenly into 9 in. prepared pan.
  13. Bake at 350 for 25 mins.
  14. Cool; cut into bars or small bites

 

Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Kidney Bean and Pomegranate Salad

Friday Foodie: Kidney Bean and Pomegranate Salad

It’s Friday Foodie Time! It’s Friday Foodie Time! Let’s cook and have some wine, It’s Friday Foodie Time! (Some of you are old enough to know the tune this might be sung to. Everyone else, just make up your own.)

So here’s a super quick salad recipe my sister sent me from Azerbaijan. (Say what? A country that used to be part of the Soviet Union. Next to Turkey and Iran. She lives in Baku.)

Azeri Kidney Bean Salad

This is super simple and can be eaten on it’s own or piled on some greens of some kind. I think it would be really great with arugula. Beans are highly nutritious, but get a bad rap because of their gas producing ways, but if you eat beans on a regular basis (one cup a day is what you should aim for) and keep your gut cleared out by eating plenty of healthy fiber, the gas will be little and the aroma non-exisistent. Really! What’s so great about beans? They are starch resistant, good for the heart and should be part of any diabetics diet. Dr. Joel Fuhrman explains it all here. So here’s your recipe. Enjoy!

Friday Foodie: Kidney Bean and Pomegranate Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Azeri
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A quick kidney bean salad. High in antioxidants and fiber.
Ingredients
  • 1 can kidney beans; rinsed
  • ¼ + pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Tbs. chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro and/or mint
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (a white is nice in this salad)
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • substitute: chopped tart orange slices for pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Can be eaten alone or served on salad greens like arugula.

 

farmer's market veggies

A New Year; A New Beginning

Those of you who are regular readers might notice the new header on my blog: Buy, Cook, Eat. I am taking this blog in a bit of a new direction this year. I sort of dropped off the radar the last few months and wasn’t sure where I wanted this to go. You see, I love being a health coach and encouraging others to eat right, but I’ve discovered, most people don’t really want to change and that’s OK! Anyone who wants to get healthy has to decide for themselves to do this and just do it. I will still coach anyone who wants to sign up, but my true love is buying, cooking and eating food, so why not share that here. My most popular blogs are Friday Foodies so it only makes sense to do what I love and what others love as well. I will be back with my video blogs soon, but Apple went and changed iMovie so I have to figure out again, how it works. Why do they do this and give you no directions? Hmmm. Frustrating! So here we go….

Buying: Grocery stores are full of so many different products how do you ever know what to buy? Where are the best places to shop and how do you tackle a super sized store? Also, since I will be living in England for three months this year, I will share with you my adventures in shopping there!

Martigues mkt

Cooking: I had a grandmother and mom who were really great cooks, each in her own way, both definitely products of their environment. I taught myself to cook after I left home, venturing far from my early roots of Hamburger Helper and packaged taco seasoning, to fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains and all their possibilities. I’ve learned shortcuts that make the job faster and easier, but also know the joy of a meal that takes time and effort to cook. 

squash and carrot soup

Eating: I love to eat! Come on, who doesn’t? So there will be lots of talk here about eating. Eating real food. Healthy food and the occasional indulgence. I also believe in the importance of eating together. Make time to have meals with your family, friends, relatives. Share in the joy of eating, relaxing and visiting.

jane on b'day

I hope you will continue to follow the blog. You can unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you’ll stay on board.

I’d love to make this a forum for asking questions and sharing your own buying, cooking, eating, tips! Let me know if you have a topic you would like me to cover and I will do my best to give you the ins and outs. I look forward to hearing from you!!

Peace and Joy!

1319

My 2013 Book List

Happy New Year!

Every year, I am asked to share my book list. Goodreads has made that easier than ever with the ability to share on my FB page. You can find that here: JaneAnnThompson and see my full list of reads, but I thought I would share with you my favs for the year, out of the 54 read.

I know, I know, you don’t have time to read, but that’s a matter of opinion. Here is how I manage to read at least 52 books a year.

1. I always have some sort of spiritual or inspirational read going. I read from this book every morning. I do not watch television in the morning and I get up thirty minutes earlier than I would have to so I can drink my cup of tea and read. Try it. Your day will be better for it.

2. I take a book to work with me and read during my lunch. This is usually when I read non-fiction either for building my business or about health. I get at least 30 mins in usually. On days I work from home, I do the same, but allow myself an hour.

3. I read every night before bed. We do not have television in our house. We have a monitor on which we watch movies, and do watch something most evenings, but no matter, we still go to bed and read for at least thirty minutes each night. Though some nights I am so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open, most nights I manage to get in at least 30 mins. Studies show that people who watch television in bed or stay on the computer until getting in bed do not fall asleep easily and do not sleep as well. Also, to my couples friends, having a television in the bedroom means that  what should be happening in the bedroom is often times neglected. Move that television out of the bedroom and give it away. Same for your kids. READ!

Still not convinced? Time yourself and see how much time is wasted on Facebook and other social media. I’m as guilty as the next person, but try really hard most days to limit the time. Seth Godin has a really good blog on this today. Check it out! 

So here’s my favs and find the entire list with reviews here.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

The War of Art is not listed on my Goodreads summary for 2013 because technically I read it on New Year’s Eve, 2012, but I considered it my first read of the year because it was so impactful for my year. A small and concise inspirational read of completing your ART, no matter what that looks like for you. I have reread a couple of times, and because my copy got loaned out, I am ordering an extra to have on hand. 

This is an excellent read. Heartbreaking and frustrating, but so worth it.
Read this on my Kindle when I went backpacking this year. Though she does some pretty stupid things (I suggest not following her lead for backpacking and get some expert help) this is a great read. I loved the adventure and the thought of being out on my own, though I was with a group of nine.
One of my favorite non-fiction reads this year, Moss exposes the food industry and how they have hooked us on unhealthy food.
After reading Wild, I decided to read this book my Strayed also, and just loved it. She has some great advice for everyone. She wrote an anonymous advice column for sometime, and this is the best from the blog.
Diaz is one of my new favorite authors and I will read anything he writes in the future and actually read this year, everything he has written and there was not a bad one in the bunch. Originally from the Dominican, he writes of family and friends like no other.
Need a good laugh? This will do it. One of the funniest books ever, I read this while traveling in England and got strange looks every time I started guffawing (have never used this word before, but truly, there is no better way to describe the laughter this book induces) out loud. Short, sweet and hilarious!
Heard this was a best seller in Europe and decided to check it out. This novel pulls you in like no other and keeps you riveted to the end (well except for maybe a few pages here and there where the author digresses, but no biggie).  It’s a story of the ocean and the men who went to sea and the women who stayed home.
Brilliant. Read it!
Never saw the movie, had no desire to, but my sister told me she read it and liked it, so picked it up to take to the beach with me and could not put it down. Tells what happens as the world comes back from the zombie apocalypse. Great beach read!
I liked this book a lot. A very compelling story. I have read her others books and liked them too, so when a friend sent us an early reader’s copy, we jumped on it.
Really great non-fiction about the men and women who saved the art stolen by the Nazis.
Spooky! A 1984 for our day. Read it!
Another fav non-fiction about how our brains work and why exercise is so important.
Just saw the movie, and though good, the book beats it to pieces. You need to read it to really get his full story. Excellent! And it’s a short fast read.
I am a huge fan of writing about food writers. They were the last of an era and this book gives lots of the details of how their opinions and actions have affected us since the 1970’s. Has some weak points, but I just loved it.
Um, you don’t have to be on drugs. You don’t have to be unhealthy when you die. You could do like generations in the past and just get old and die in your sleep. Finished. Kapoot. The end. Read it. Live healthy till you die.
Who knew shame and perfection were so closely linked? Brene Brown’s research is so eye opening and this book gives you some easy ways to deal with it. Though simplistic in someways, I still enjoyed it and have learned a lot. I will reread again soon.
AND drum roll…..most beneficial book of the year:
Want to be the star in your own life? Want to be indispensable at work, on the job, in your family? Can’t say enough about this book. Will definitely reread and reread and reread….
Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar

Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar

You are going to LOVE these. Super simple and quick to make, they are a great breakfast bar or an afternoon snack.

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Friday Foodie: Breakfast or Snack Bar
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is a quick and easy recipe that even your pickiest breakfast eater will enjoy.
Ingredients
  • ½ c peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ c almonds
  • 4-7 pitted dates
  • ¼ c dried cherries,
  • 2 Tbs. natural cocoa
  • ¼ c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ c raw pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • 1 c rolled oats (not minute or instant)
  • optional: ¼ c raisins or chopped nuts
  • optional for snack bars: ¼ c dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat nut butter and banana until nut butter is softened and completely combined. Remove from heat.
  4. In a blender or food processor, coarsely chop almonds, dates, and cherries.
  5. Add coconut flakes and process a few seconds to break up flakes.
  6. Transfer to a bowl.
  7. Add oats and pepitas and any optionals.
  8. Pour banana mixture over dry ingredients.
  9. Stir till combined.
  10. Press into loaf pan.
  11. Bake for 30 mins.
  12. Allow to cool before cutting.
  13. breakfast bars or cut into bite size pieces for a healthy snack.