Thursday, May 30, 2013

Case of the Terribles (for our waistlines): Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Pizza

While trying to get some work done and utterly failing, an Internet ad appeared on the side of my browser.  Creepy Big Brother they KNOW me.  I'm both totally grossed out, and totally want to try Papa Ginos new pizza, the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Pizza.  I mean...check out the word picture they paint:

So gross, right?  And much do you want to try it?  I mean, I dare you to say no to this face:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tidbits (and a running case of the terribles)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Passage, by Justin Cronin: Don't judge a book by its cheap lookin' dress (or try to make vampires; bad idea.)

The Passage
Justin Cronin
New York: Ballatine Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780345516862

Oh hey, girls and boys.  Let’s talk about The Passage, shall we?

I’ll be the first to admit that I wrote it off at first glance.  I was convinced it was some tricksy Hay-Zeus agenda book, masquerading in a mass-market paperback dress.  There’s no shame in being a cover judger!  That’s also not to say I’m 100% certain there isn’t some secret to-be-revealed agenda of a fictional religious sense, because at a short 800+ pages and a cliffhanger, this OBVI needed to be the first in a trilogy.   Persnickity snark aside, there is enough other stuff going on that moved this book from the supermarket checkout line in my mind and into an an esteemed position on my summer reading list (for the win!).

A recommendation from J.Hawesome, who knows what I like (I blame her for Outlander) and reads what I tell her (J - you’re welcome for Twilight), this is not a mere vampire novel.  It is part dystopian exploration of an decimated United States now afraid of the dark, part ethically and morally questionable scifi experiment gone horribly wrong, and yes, part beach book thriller.  My friends, I am no slow reader.  This book, no exaggeration, took me fooooreeever to read.  While I at times resented the fact that I was still reading it, I did find myself wishing I could find the time to hole up and spend some quality time with it.  I’d be lying if I didn’t start to work about infection myself when I caught myself dreaming about it, which is kind of horrifying, if you’ve read it (but I didn’t have THAT dream, phew). 

Because I’m too lazy to take this seriously in the same week I am throwing a pop-up book store (okay, a summer reading book fair), here is how I summarized it on my list:
 There is nothing sparkly about the vampires in this epic novel. After something goes
horribly awry following secret government experiments on human subjects, a plague is
unleashed that alters the DNA of humans to become horrifying blood-thirsty creatures.  Humanity is nearly extinct, but a few souls have survived, and may be closer to a cure than they realize.
In short, I put this on my summer reading list because it holds great appeal to kids of a certain type (generally those pumped to be reading huge thriller type of books; see also: boys), and is highly readable.  It is, quite literally,  heavy lifting (unless you go for a digital copy too), but it ain’t hard, if you catch my drift.   The main maturity requirement is in commitment, so I’d recommend it to really avid middle and high school readers, who can hang with the stiffs (ahem, adults).  It’s a fun summer read!

For those of you who are now obviously convinced from my awesome summer reading list blurb that you want this to be your hawt summer read, you are done (with this review), son.  Go and get thee a copy!

Let’s let the big boys and girls play with some spoilers now, shall we?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Recipe 9: Asparagus, Ricotta, Lemon Soup

Spring is still springing, and I can’t stop thinking about green, and bright things, like sunshine.   I realized last week that I hadn’t had nearly enough asparagus this spring, and was fixing to just get some and roast it, when I met some friends at a local watering hole with nibbles on the menu, saw a chilled asparagus ricotta soup on the menu and promptly failed to order it.  I mean...what was I thinking?  Huge fail.  I should probably also add that sometime in the past month I also developed an overwhelming, inexplicable, and insatiable craving for ricotta.  Double what was I thinking, right?  

Not ordering it was probably the best thing I did all month.  Why?  Because I had to have it, guys.  I just had to.  You know how it is!  I promptly started recipe plotting in the background of my life, and realized that this recipe would be a real winner.  It is super easy.  It is super quick.  It is super simple.  It is (probably) super healthy, being comprised primarily of vegetables.  And, amigos, it is a super celebration of a lot of the things that are the most delicious parts of spring: the green colors, the bright flowers, the sunshine, the spring vegetables, the crisp and warming air, the ricotta (okay, fine, this one is an every season thing).  

Prep probably takes longer than cooking (if you have maybe just tripped over a root while on a run, skinned your hand, and rage cried your pain out in a public place; this will, I assure you, slow things down considerably), but the rest of the process is probably a 30 minute cooking and blending window.  If you are a fast chopper, you’ll probably disagree with the previous statement.  All in all, I give it an over under of about an hour well spent on the road to springtime delight.  The best part?  This soup tastes great hot or cold.  That is to say, it is a rare soup that tastes the same hot or cold.  It just depends on how you want to eat it!  Options!

I have only two other tips besides be careful out there runners; roots can be real witches with a b.  Tip the first is to start with 5 cups broth, and add a bit more, up to 6 cups if you feel you need it for the soup to blend well, or want it to be more liquid than solid.  Tip the second?  I used store bought ricotta.  If you use fresh ricotta, I have a sneaking suspicion this will blow your mind.  If you are able to use fresh, and then are able to form a sentence, do tell me if my suspicions are sound.  Bueno?  

Asparagus, Ricotta, and Lemon Soup
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