Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Weekend Book Review

Yay! It's summer! And guess what? I made a 91 on the math EOCT!! I was sure I had made no more than a high C but I didn't! And now I finally have an A in the class! :)
 And now for the real post:
There are three kinds of good books-the ones that are really good and you enjoy them and when you're done you go on with your life. And the ones that have "that thing" which sets them apart from all other books, and you're really sad to finish them,, and you can't stop thinking about them no matter what you do, and they make all other books seem really, really bland. And then there are the books in-between. 

The last book I reviewed, Innocent Traitor, was in the in-between category.It wasn't my all-time favorite book, but I was still sad to see it end.
But, I'm sorry to say, the next book I read, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, wasn't as good.  It was  good...sad, sweet, and well-written, just like all his books. If you are a fan of him, or romances in general, you should read it. However, it didn't have "that thing" that makes good books great or great books amazing. I did enjoy reading it because it was an interesting story, and the characters were very alive and seemed so real. It just wasn't amazing. It was sweet and good, but kind of stale- like a day-old cupcake.

Right now I'm reading Nights in Rodanthe, which is also by Nicholas Sparks. I'll let you know how it is!

Have a great afternoon everyone! Happy Memorial Day! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taco Rice

Woohoo! Only half a day left of school! And all my hard exams are done! I'm soo ready to be done with school, I know some of y'all have a month left, but I have NEVER been to school this late before! It's like all my body, mind, and soul just shuts down on May 19 or 20 and refuses to do school things, and it's taking all of my physical and mental energy just to get up in the morning. (Oh, wait. That's how it's always been.) Snow is stupid!

On to more positive things. Like cooking. Cooking, I think, is good for your mind. You have to concentrate on several things at once and you don't have time to worry. I don't eat for comfort, but I think cooking and baking are kind of comforting.
And today, that comfort comes in the form of taco rice!
I love Mexican food! There are a few Mexican restaurants in my town, but the two I've been to are absolutely disgusting. But it's OK, because I think my mom makes just as good Mexican food as a restaurant. And this dish is one of the best we make.
I also like to think it is somewhat healthy, because it contains three vegetables and brown rice. Some of you are thinking, "How dare you call anything with red meat healthy!" But, the beef I used was pretty lean to begin with, and I drained it thoroughly. But if that's still not healthy enough for you, then chicken or no meat would be good too.
Some people are thinking, "I would never eat brown rice! Ugh!" But, although I'm not much of a health freak, I've never seen what was so great about white rice and pasta. It's not only unhealthy, it has absolutely NO flavor. I don't think people really like it, they just use it because it's cheaper, or maybe because they're scared of healthy food. But whole grains aren't scary, I promise! they are worth the money!
And now, I will (finally) shut up and post the recipe.

Taco Rice
 (serves about 5)

1 lb lean ground beef
half an onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2-3 tsps cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tsps dried oregano
a few sprigs fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 c rice

In large skillet, brown the beef, onions, and mushrooms. Remove from heat, add tomatoes and spices. Cook rice according to package directions. Stir into meat mixture. Top with lettuce and salsa or cheese or sour cream.

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for this lovely photo-it's my mom's.

Have a good afternoon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Until yesterday, I had never had hummus. I know. You're probably thinking, how can i call myself a foodie? But on Friday, I found a can of chickpeas, and so I knew what my weekend cooking project would be. 

Now, up until this point, I'd never had ANY middle eastern food before. Is all middle eastern food as yummy as hummus? If so I should make it!

The hummus recipe adapted from The original recipe call for tahini, which I didn't have. And I added the pepper and fresh herbs. And, you're supposed to make it in a blender, which I don't have, so I mashed the chickpeas with a potato masher and then finished with a mixer. The end result was chunky, is it supposed to be that way or should it be creamy? But anyway it was delicious! And so much lower in fat than cream-based spreads or nut butters.

Here's the recipe:
16 oz can chickpeas
1/4 c liquid from the chickpeas
3 tbsp lemon juice.
1 1/2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Then blend till it reaches the right consistency.

I can't wait to experiment with other flavors! I'm thinking a Mexican-flavored hummus would be really good. Or maybe a Greek one with cooked spinach, feta cheese, and fresh basil? The possibilities are endless!

I just have four more days of school! And I only have to go in the mornings. I feel like we should be done...and we would be if it wasn't for the snow. :( But I can't complain to much because some people have a month left. Still, I'm really ready for summer! 

Questions of the day: Have you ever had middle eastern food?
What's you're favorite type of ethnic food?

Have a good week?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Weekend Book Review

Hello! I really hope your week was better than mine. I wouldn't wish a week like this on my worst enemy. I had a terrible migraine last week, and this week I still did not feel quite right. And i have a sinus infection. I want to sleep all weekend long. 
Wait! I'm 14. I spend weekends partying. Not BAD partying, just partying. I would NEVER make pizza, read a good book, or read food blogs on a Friday night. I don't even know why I'm doing this right now, I mean, I need to go in the other room where the party is! So I'll make this quick.

I love reading. You may have noticed. Recently, I finished Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir. It is about Lady Jane Grey. I loved it! But I'm a nerd and I like long, historical fiction books. With deep thoughts. Well, sometimes. I love sad, romantic girl books, too. But if you like reading about the old kings and queens, then I really recommend Innocent Traitor. It was very well written; sometimes history is boring but Alison Weir's characters are just so...alive. And believable. And unlike a school history textbook. 

Questions of the day: What are your favorite books to read? Which historical eras/people do you think are interesting?

And now, I really must get back to my cave. PARTY! Because all teenagers party.

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Sandwiches


It was a lovely day today. And-you guessed it- I have no pictures! Ugh! Have I mentioned that I really, really hate this computer? I mean really. Ugh!

But you know what I DO love? A good sandwich. Not a pbj or a fake ham and american cheese on regular bread. A GOOD sandwich. I love to experiment with different cheeses, meats, toppings, and breads. 

For lunch today, I broiled half a multi-grain ciabatta roll with pepper jack cheese, and added a piece of bacon and homegrown lettuce. It was amazing! I love the contrasting textures...the crispy bread, the gooey melted cheese, the chewy bacon. And I think broiled sandwiches are way better than grilled. But I do like grilled sandwiches! And so for supper, we had this amazing meal that my mom created last summer:

Chicken Panini
4 chicken breast halves, grilled
4 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I used cabot's)
Cream cheese ( I used Laughing Cow lite creamy swiss)
4 leaves of cabbage
fresh basil to taste

Grill till cheese is melted and bread is browned.

I love most anything in the ice cream/frozen yogurt family, (I eat a lot of it even when it's snowing outside.) So, for dessert, I had a Jamba Coconut Pineapple yogurt and sorbet bar. It was very good! I had never tried that brand before. And it has only 90 calories per bar.  These are now one of my favorite frozen treats.

 I'm really ready for summer! Just 2 more weeks of school, and the last week I only have to go in the mornings. It seems sooo long. But my cousin has like a month left, so it could be worse. It still seems long.

Questions of the day: What are your favorite summer foods? What's your favorite part of summer?

Have a good night!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I love my mom!

She's awesome!

Except I fight with her like all the time. :(

But I still love her...even when I don't.

For Mother's Day, I baked her a chocolate meringue pie. I am NOT posting a recipe. I don't LIKE meringue pies, they taste like pudding, and I see no point in posting a recipe I wouldn't eat.

What I AM going to do is give a huge shout out to all moms, grandmas, godmothers, etc. out there for being amazing!

Go hug your mom, or bake her a pie, or buy her a card, or all three. 

Because you should love your mom.

Even when you don't.


Friday, May 6, 2011


read a list of "Things I know to be true" and it got me thinking. What are some of the most important things-both serious and not- that I've learned in almost 15 years?
It's hard to name just a few. I mean, I've learned a lot just since I came to high school nine months ago. But I'm going to put down a few significant ones.
Things I've Learned So Far:
1. Friendships do not last forever.  They may last a long time and they may be really fun while they last, but your chances of finding a true "forever friend" are literally one in a million.
2. Healthy food often tastes just as good or better as full fat/full carb food.
3. Balance adventurousness with caution.
4. Before you say anything, ask yourself: 1. Is this mean? 2. is this stupid?
5. Don't let people see you cry, especially when you're mad at them. Be strong and don't let them see they hurt you.
6. Pilates are the best way to exercise.
7. Don't join activities on impulse. Because your parents might make you do it for 3 years. And you might be soo miserable by the beginning of the second year that you lie awake at night thinking of ways to get out.
8. Even if a class is full of scary people you might find a normal, sweet person to hang out with.
9. Things never go the way you planned.
10. Cooking mishaps sometimes have happy endings.
11. If you enjoy something don't let anything stand in your way of doing it.
12. People (and things) are never what they seem.
13. People in authority hardly ever deserve power. (That includes pretty much every teacher/administrator at my school)
14. Always have your stuff for school or church ready the night before.
15. A little kissing up and a few family connections go a long way...
16. but eventually, the kissups will suffer somehow and the honest people will be rewarded. At least, that's what I keep telling myself, for the sake of my sanity.
17. Whoever said "every cloud has a sliver lining" didn't have too many clouds. Cause the silver lining doesn't take the cloud away or make it easier.
18. Reading is the best way to relieve stress.
19. Don't buy a cheap bookbag just because it's cute and affordable. Because then it might break, and you might have to carry a hideous one that screams "I AM TRAILER TRASH!"
20. Don't use tanning lotion if you are a generally unlucky person. Because then, no matter how carefully you put it on,you might have to go to school with a terrible streaky tan.
What are some things YOU have learned so far?

Happy Weekend,