Top Ten Tuesday

2 Jan

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

Books I resolve to read in 2013

1. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
I’ve been dragging this book out since forever, I really need to read it now. There are some other Atwood books I need reread and read but this one should really be finished.

2. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
I’ve heard so many good things about this book, I need to finally read it.

3. The Uglies – Scott Westerfield
I’ve been dragging this one along on my to read list for a long time now.

4. The Funny Thing Is… – Ellen Degeneres
For some reason I never finished this.

5. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Because I finally need to read this and the next one is coming out this year.

6. Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
Because I only ever saw the movie for Looking for Alibrandi and I finally need to read some Melina Marchetta.

7. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
This has been in my to read next folder on my Kindle for a while, it’s time to finally tackle it.

8. This is Not A Test – Courtney Summers
Same reason as #8 really.

9. If I Stay – Gayle Forman
Another one I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

10. The Piano Man’s Daughter – Timothy Findley
I really need to get on with my Findley reading this year.

Advertisements

End of Year Book Survey 2012

1 Jan

Image17

Hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

General Fiction: A Dog’s Purpose & A Dog’s Journey
Non Fiction: Eating Animals
Dystoptian: Insurgent
YA: Sloppy Firsts & Second Helpings

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Thumped, I love McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series and the premise of the series is interesting but as much as I wanted to like it, these books just didn’t work for me. Come to think of it, maybe Penelope is a better choice here, I wanted to like it so much because it’s set in college but it absolutely didn’t work for me, badly written, uninteresting characters and just bad all around.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

I guess I went into Between the Lines thinking I wouldn’t like it as much as I did, glad that I trusted friends’ reviews on Goodreads for this series!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I recommended Eating Animals to several friends I knew that would like it and I feel like I recommended the Wilfair books to people and if I didn’t, I’m doing it now because people need to read these!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

The Jessica Darling books because they’re so awesome and everything one wants in YA in my opinion, I’m glad I finally read these!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Lauren Oliver because her writing style is awesome and I finally read Delirum in 2012. Alysia Gray Painter as well because her writing style is quite different from everything else that is out there (as are her books!), she has a wonderful way with words.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

There’s not really a book that I read that is completely applicable but I usually don’t read German books (because I’m so used to reading in English) so I’m going with Zuckerguss by my friend Anica Schriever. If you’re into chicklit and read German, definitely pick up this one! Other than this one maybe Eating Animals because I usually don’t read non-fiction. Well, I do but that’s for my research so I’m not counting that.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I thought it was a toss between Insurgent and Pandemonium but seems like the latter one, read that in one day.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Insurgent, will most likely reread this before the next one comes out.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

The Discenchantments cover is so pretty!

13487082

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

Jessica Darling

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

The Atwood fan in me wants to say I’m Starved for You and Choke Collar because everything she writes is amazing but I have to mention Lauren Oliver as well because her prose is outstanding and beautiful.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer, it opened my eyes about vegetarianism even more.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

The whole Jessica Darling series.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

I never highlight on my Kindle but while reading my last book of 2012, I just had to highlight this passage from Charlotte Sometimes:

Where you some particular person because people recognized you as that?

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Longest Insurgent by Veronica Roth with 525 pages
ShortestFoundation by Ann Aguire with 32 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I don’t really remember actually… I’m going with Insurgent here I guess. I have a feeling there was something else but I can’t remember!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I think Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie, they just work so well together.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

So I don’t put down Insurgent again here, let’s go with I’m Starved for You and Choke Collar by Margaret Atwood.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I think that would be Between the Lines

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 

I’m not really active in the scene besides hanging around Goodreads, should become more active in 2013.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

I don’t write that many reviews so I’m going with this one I wrote for Wit & Fancy about the Wilfair books.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

NA

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

NA

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)

NA

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

NA

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

NA

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

NA

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Alysia Gray Painter’s blog related to the Wilfair books (and not only that) is a cool one to hang around.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I set myself the goal of reading 50 books, ending up with 56 new ones and 4 re-reads and 2 not finished.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

I really need to get on with my reading of Timothy Findley. Also (re) read some Atwood. A must in 2013 or I can’t get ahead with my thesis.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Divergent #3 – Veronica Roth
Requiem – Lauren Oliver
Moppet Shop – Margaret Atwood
Through the Ever Night – Veronica Rossi
Fairwil – Alysia Gray Painter
Scandal – Lauren Kunze
Size 12 is the New Black – Meg Cabot
Horde – Ann Aguire
Raven – Lauren Oliver
Prodigy – Marie Lu

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Read Atwood and Findley.
Read 50 books.
Write more about books.

Photo A Day December

1 Jan








More Brussels Sprouts

28 Dec

Last week polenta with roasted brussels sprouts was on the menu, an easy and delicious meal! Recipe courtesy of Veggie Belly, I basically did all she did with some tiny variations like adding some gorgonzola to my polenta and adding some more garlic cloves and slicing them because I love garlic. As I still had a lot of brussels sprouts left, I made soup with them the day after, recipe from my vegetarian basics cookbook. Really yummy! Both recipes serve about 3 to 4 people depending on how hungry they are.

Polenta with Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients for Polenta
250 ml water
350ml milk
170 gr polenta
salt
butter
grated parmesan cheese
gorgonzola

Usually there are instructions on the package but here you go: boil the water and milk with some salt and when it starts to boil, stir in the polenta (best done with a whisk), whisk until it’s all mixed. Let the polenta cook on medium heat until it’s cooked, stir every 10 minutes. When it’s done add the butter and cheese. It’s best to use a large pan because polenta tends to splutter while cooking.

Ingredients for Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
12 brussels sprouts.
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
clove of garlic, peeled
thyme sprigs (I didn’t have sprigs at hand so I used minced thyme)
salt
black pepper

Pre heat oven to 190C and clean your brussels sprouts. Once done, cut them in half length-wise. Place them in a bowl with all your other ingredients, toss them and then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they’re all in a single layer. Bake until they are browned (about 20 minutes) and half way through toss them.

Brussels Sprouts Soup with Barley

Ingredients

500 gram brussels sprouts1,5 l vegetable stock
1 large onion
100 gr barley
1/4 lemon (I didn’t have one so I used some lemon juice instead)
3 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
parsley (I don’t like parsley so I used chives instead because I had them)
75 gr cream (or more if you like)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt
Pepper

Chop the onion, wash the lemon and cut off the rind, wash the parsley and chop in little pieces. Saute the onion with the lemon rind and parsley for a couple of minutes in butter or oil. Add the barley and cumin, stir everything together and then add the vegetable stock. Cover the pan half and let it simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Add the brussels sprouts (cleaned and cut as small or large as you like them) and cream, stirring everything together. Let the soup simmer until the brussels sprouts are done (about 15 minutes). Taste the soup with salt and pepper. Before serving, heat up some more butter or oil and roast your pine nuts. Serve the soup with the roasted pine nuts, some parsley to garnish and bread if you like. I also added some gorgonzola to my soup which was perfect.

Vegan Challenge 2013

15 Dec

I received the book Vegan Planet in the mail this week, a wonderful surprise gift for Christmas from a friend. Thanks again! Since I’ve become a vegetarian, I’ve been flirting with a vegan lifestyle now and then but never really went through with it. Excuses have been:

* I love cheese too much, can’t give it up. Yes there are some cheeses that I’d definitely miss, like Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, maybe even cream cheeses because they’re so easy to throw on a sandwich to take with me to work. However every time I see another report on what actually goes on in the dairy industry I know that I should get over my love for cheese. There are substitutes and while they might not be like Parmesan or Gorgonzola, they will give me the knowledge of no cows being abused for my cheese.
* I’m lazy. Worst excuse ever, I should just stock up on soy and rice products and do it. I love soy or rice milk as much as actual milk. Still gotta try almond milk. And soy cream to cook works as well as dairy cream. Definitely no need for this excuse.
* Vegan products are expensive. They don’t have to be, there’s no need to buy the expensive stuff and a package of dried beans and lentils will go a long way. Besides I do sometimes eat meat substitutes, not too often because I feel all the ready made stuff is not good for me, and they’ve become so much cheaper nowadays. The only thing that might be expensive here is vegan cheese and the likes but no need for that, I can make my own and I have been told that nutritional yeast is a lifesaver.
* What if I want ice cream? Either try to find vegan ice cream, make your own, eat fruit flavors without dairy or suck it up!
* Some people will think I’ve gone completely crazy. Let them think what they want, it’s my life style and my decision.
* I can’t eat that delicious popcorn at the cinema anymore. Now this one will be hard and I can’t think of any solution. I’ll just have to resign to say goodbye to this addictive stuff and resort to only making my own popcorn at home without butter.
* No mayonnaise with french fries anymore. Well veganaise yes but that doesn’t really taste as good as the real thing, at least the kind that I have tasted. I’ll have to try other kinds and I’ll look into making my own without using eggs.

This said I have decided that in the new year I’m going to do a couple of vegan challenges. I’ll go vegan for 10 days. Maybe 30 after that. Also, I’m going to try at least 52 recipes from the vegan cookbook. There are 400 delicious recipes to chose from in the book, using at least 52 should definitely not be a problem. Obviously with the 10 and 30 day challenges the number of 52 will be quickly adding up and hey, when I end up cooking 92 recipes at least, let’s make it a 100 right? Or maybe more. Maybe this will be the final push I need to become completely vegan. I already don’t eat eggs and honey (honestly the latter only because I never really use it a lot anyway) and I don’t mind leaving out milk and milk products. It’s only the damn cheese that might be a challenge but I’m going to try.

We’ll see how this goes, I’m going for the proposed challenge and we’ll go from there!

Photo A Day November

14 Dec








The list:

Brussels Sprouts Are Awesome

13 Dec

7128644871_1de1ca1b7b_o

Image by Sofie Dittman

I love brussels sprouts, hated them as a kid but absolutely love them now. I could eat them all the time, even just plainly cooked. I professed my love for them and shared some recipes a while back here over at Wit & Fancy. One recipe I shared I got from a friend, it’s pasta with brussels sprouts and gorgonzola. A couple of weeks ago I decided to change that one a bit and make it with rice, turned pretty good but that was to be expected because if you got brussels sprouts and gorgonzola nothing can go wrong.

Ingredients:

Rice
Brussels sprouts
Chickpeas
Gorgonzola
Sour cream
Onion
Garlic
Chili flakes
Salt
Pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Cook the rice and the brussels sprouts. In the meantime saute your onion and garlic and once everything is done, you throw everything together. Then add the gorgonzola and sour cream and keep on medium heat so the gorgonzola can melt. Add some salt, pepper and chili flakes to your liking and sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over your dish once it’s on the plate. Enjoy!