Reading Reflections: What’s on my Nightstand

Thanksgiving is officially over and the holiday season is fully upon us. The arrival of December only means one thing in my world...holiday themed books! I have a few favorite holiday books that I love to bring out every year to get me in the mood. I love the holidays, but sometimes it's hard for me to keep that Christmas cheer going all month long. A good dose of Santaland Diaries gives me the juice I need to keep that smile plastered on my face after my kid informs me (for the first time) that Santa will be bringing her a purple plush polka-dot bathrobe the day before Christmas. It's been a little while since I've given you peek at my nightstand and I'm sorry to say that not a whole lot has changed. November has been a slow reading month for me. I've been stuck on the same book for a while. It's not that long. However, it's the kind of book that doesn't really hold your attention, but it's just good enough that you don't want to give up on it. I added a collection of short stories to Keep Reading

In the Books: This Week’s Best Bookish Links

I hope everyone has awoken from their turkey comas, survived your families, and avoided any bodily injuries getting Black Friday deals. The holiday was a success for me. Other than being woken up at 4:30 by my lovely children and cranking out a full Thanksgiving feast on 3 hours of sleep, caffeine and pure holiday-induced adrenaline, everything went very smoothly. It was only me, the hubs, our three rug rats, and two other family members, so there wasn't a ton of pressure. I didn't let a small guest list stop me from making an insanely large meal. There are some dishes that I only eat on Thanksgiving that I absolutely love; most notably my mom's sweet potato soufflé. This being the first Thanksgiving I hosted and cooked on my own (with help from my hubby, of course) I was shocked by the amount of sugar and butter in almost every dish. It was delicious. I did not partake in the annual display of consumer gluttony that is Black Friday. Instead I went to a kickboxing class in hopes Keep Reading

A Book and a Bite: Crazy Rich Asians

Asian cuisine knows how to do soup. Rich and savory broth, steaming noodles, lots of veggies, exotic spices, and the salty-goodness of it all. Taking a whiff of a steam-filled bowl of soup will warm your heart as well as your sinuses. Winter is the perfect time for soup of any kind. In my kitchen, my go to winter soups include hearty chili, creamy chicken and wild rice soup, and a red lentil coconut soup that is to die for. Outside of my kitchen, I crave steaming bowls of pho, ramen, miso and laksa. I've always enjoyed eating foods I couldn't get at home. Growing up, comfort food to me was meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, buttery lima beans, chicken fried streak and anything cooked in Oleo.  I love that kind of food, but as I got older I craved new kinds food. Their exotic texture, spices, and flavors drew me to taste them and search for more. My culinary palate grew exponentially when I met my future husband, who was born in India. My mind was blown when he took me to his mom's Keep Reading

My Favorite Cookbooks and Cranberry Conserve

With the holiday season upon us, one thing is on my mind...FOOD! I was talking to someone recently and they described a friend as someone who ate to live instead of living to eat. I definitely fall into the latter category. I love to eat. I mean...really. love. to. eat...really. If I didn't work out every day I definitely would need a forklift and paramedic team to leave my house. I work really hard for my mediocre body. Needless to say, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love watching the Macy's Day Parade, gathering with my family, cooking in the kitchen together, and (most importantly) stuffing my face until I pass out. I love all of the Thanksgiving food too. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, collard greens, cranberry sauce, banana bread, and lots and lots of pie. I love it all. I don't think I felt like a real adult until I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal (almost) by myself. As I've gotten older, I've evolved as a cook. Gone are the boxes of Hamburger Keep Reading

I Can’t Believe You’ve Never Read That!

If you have ever had any length of a conversation with me, seen me in the waiting room of a doctor's office, passed by me while my kids are playing in the park, sat next to me at a stop light, or peered in my bedroom window at night (creeper!), you probably know that I love to read. I always bring a book with me wherever I go just in case I have a spare second to read. I've read books for school (high school, college, and graduate school) and I've read countless books for pleasure. Then I began teaching English and started reading books for work. I've lost count of the books I've read. But when talking with a fellow bibliophile about our literary conquests I've often gotten the response, "I can't believe you've never read that!". As a voracious reader and former English teacher, I feel a responsibility to have read every notable book out there. Why is that? Should I have read Moby Dick instead of The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club? Should I have read Jane Austen instead of rereading Keep Reading