Saturday, January 8, 2011

For Lunch: Chard & White Bean Stew

Oh my YUM!  

I just made a batch of Chard & White Bean Stew from smitten kitchen's food blog.  I had planned on saving if for dinner and having my leftover veggie pizza for lunch, but after tasting a bit, decided to put the pizza off until dinner.  This is that good.  Soooooo good.

I love smitten kitchen.  It's my favorite food blog out there and everything I've made from it has exceeded my expectations.  I must have the same taste bud genes as Deb, the blog author.

I won't bother re-creating the recipe here...if you're interested, just hop on over to her site.  Here are the ingredients though:

Swiss chard
olive oil
dry white wine
white beans
vegetable broth
pureed tomatoes
bay leaf
sherry vinegar


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January Book Club: The Invisible Man

Book Club night!  We discussed The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.

My thoughts about the book were right in line with everyone else's.  We agreed that for its time, it was an important book.  It was one of the first to explore science fiction and therefore granted its permanent place in our literary canon.  But we also agreed that it was a somewhat lackluster story.  The characters weren't developed enough or likable enough and there seemed to be something missing.  I felt that it could have done better in exploring the human psyche when faced with extraordinary situations, and was left feeling that there was a missed opportunity to do so.  It was like a brainless action movie that just moves from car chase scene to car chase scene and the people are just the props.  I'm glad I read it though.  It's one of those books that help you understand the history and development of our literature and culture.

Book for February:  The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.  I picked it up a few minutes ago to start reading only to discover that the first 13 pages are missing!  Ai-ai-aiiiiii.  It's a novel about the Civil War.  I'm not a big fan of war fiction, but this won a Pulitzer Prize, so I'm hopeful this will be an exception.  Has anyone read it?  How did you like it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

11 Things for 2011

Eleven things I'm going to do in 2011

They are not resolutions.  Everyone knows what happens with New Year's resolutions. 

1. Travel to Australia.

My brother and I are spending two weeks in April there meeting family on our mother's side who we've never met before at a big family reunion.  We'll finally meet our mom's twin, Uncle Terry, and all of our wonderful, loving cousins.  This goal has been on both of our to-do lists since we were kids, and we're finally doing it!  Our dad gave us the names of all the places that he and our mom went when they were dating, and we hope to visit those spots and walk in their footsteps.  

2. Travel to Wisconsin.
I guess this is "Year of the Family" for me.  I am long overdue for a trek to the homeland.  I'm looking forward to visiting Wisconsin in the beautiful fall month of September and reconnecting with my dad, step-mom and my dad's side of the family.

3. Return to the Clairemont Library Book Club as a regular member.
Book for January:  The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.  We meet on the 5th.  I'll be spending much of the day today reading.

4. Write an entry in my Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal every day.

I got this cute idea from the website Design*Sponge.  Here's there's:

And here's mine:

5. Volunteer at least once a month.
Volunteer San Diego is an awesome resource in finding volunteer projects all around the county.  They schedule many one-day volunteer opportunities on their project calendar, ranging from trail restoration to charity walks to tutoring to special events.  It's a great way to explore San Diego and give back at the same time.  My January project is with the San Diego Resolution Run...that is *registering* the runners and *not* being a runner.  Baby steps.

6. Start and complete my "Thank You, Dad" project.
I won't go into details here, just in case my dad is reading this...

7. Move to a new apartment!
After pipes leaking from the ceiling and rain coming up through the floor, I've had my fill of living in this apartment.  I'm excited to move in June to a waterproof apartment...

8. Get a pet.
...that allows pets.  I can't decide if I want a dog or a cat.  I like both.  One of each?

9. Get bedroom lamps.
I have an adult bedroom with a baby bedside lamp.  Time for an upgrade.

10. Put together an emergency kit to keep in the car; replace the spare tire.

11. Convert my VHS tapes to disc.

Gotta get my home videos watchable again!

Extra Credit:  Get an annual Zoo membership and take regular walks there.
I can't think of better scenery while getting some exercise.  (Okay, well... there are those Chippendales...)

Happy New Year, everybody!!