Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cookbook Series I - BBQ Style Pork Sandwiches

The sauce was not yummy enough and it came out  bit bland so I added some extra garlice salt, Worcestershire, steak sauce, and chili sauce. 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cookbook Series I - Sweet and Sour Chicken

 3 out of 5. It was ho-hum, a bit bland and this tapioca is not doing anything for these recipes.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Anonymous Sources Book Review

Anonymous SourcesAnonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reporter Alex James is tasked with finding out what she can in the death of Grad student Thom Carlyle only to get caught in a terrorists bombing scheme. James comes off as ordinary and not much of a likable character in my opinion, but then there is this whole bit thrown in about her dilemma as a teen that is suppose to make me feel bad for her, but I don’t. She is not wholly unlikable, but let’s not pretend that she is a great person and I want to be her best friend. Best characters were the tough stand their ground guys, like her boss Hyde, Officer Galloni, and General Carspecken. I guess the thrill comes from what happens next yet this story is not full of action it’s mostly journalism, drinking, reminiscing on teen problem, and being evasive. I’m not usually interested in thrillers, but this one was enjoyable but I found the story unremarkable and it felt like an episode NCIS or similar. It was good, I liked it. Nice in-flight read.

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Release Date: June 18, 2013 Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cookbook Series I - Porkchops with Mushroom Sauce

 Delicioso. 5 out of 5. I don't like mushrooms so I ate the 'shrooms first and savored the rest of the dish. Served with a side of mustard greens and polished off the bottle of white wine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review - Death in the Vines by M.L. Longworth

Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal MysteryDeath in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery by M.L. Longworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wine thief and murderer are on the loose in Aix-en-Provence and Judge Verlaque takes a personal interest in both cases.
Although this is a mystery, as I was reading I wasn’t thinking whodunit, but oh this is so vibrant. One is easily swept away in the vivid imagery. From the clothing to d├ęcor, architecture, and conversation, everything is so accurately described, yet not over detailed, that I feel as though I know it. Never having been to France I am walking the streets of Aix and seeing the pompous Pauline d’Arras. The smaller characters and their relevance to the crimes were just the right combination of humorous and clever. It is only after the crimes are did I have an aha moment and began really thinking about the past events
There were some slow moments and the relationship between Verlaque and Marine Bonnet was dreary and I didn’t care for the medical issue which seemed thrown in. Bonnet really doesn’t become very relevant till later in the book if at all. This book was a great trip and I was entertained most of the way through. If you love humorous mysteries or French countryside, this is the book for you.

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Release Date: May 28, 2013 Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cookbook Series I - Seeded Pork Roast

This was nasty. 0 of 5 stars. Edible sure, but I did not like it. The fennel seed was overwhelming and it was a bit dry. Ate with leftover Ratatouille.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cookbook Series I - Ratatouille

Made true to recipe. This was delicious. 5 out of 5. Gonna make this again. I have to say I don't like eggplant, but am always open to trying a dish with a food I don't like to sway me. I couldn't taste the eggplant and it turned to mush once fully cooked. 

No slow cooker recipes on BHG, but here is a similar recipe for the slow cooker on Epicurious. RATATOUILLE

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Untitled #530

Cookbook Series I - Irish Stew

BHG website recipe. IRISH STEW

Couldn't find a solid piece of lamb at a pound, so I opted for ground veal instead. I just made veal meatballs, that I dropped in the stew. Did not add tapioca, so it was not thick, but the hearty vegetables made up for it.

4 out of 5. My father really enjoyed this one and had a second serving. Definitely making this again.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cookbook Series I - BHG New Crockery Cooker

My quest to make all the recipes in this cookbook. I may skip the beverage section being that it almost summer and the beverages are for the cold season.

First up - Pot Roast Dinner
With any recipe you have to alter it, to make it your own. Instead of tomato juice, I used a couple of cans of diced tomato. I didn't use a teaspoon sugar, but thought it would taste better if I used a tablespoon brown sugar. Also I opted four 2 quartered onions instead of 6 boiling potatoes. After adding all ingredients I thought it looked a little dry, so I then added a cup of water.
Big mistake adding a tablespoon brown sugar. The whole thing was too sweet. I may have to eat the rest with sourdough bread to counteract. I would skip the sugar altogether. The cup of water was unnecessary and I ended up sieving out the excess.
Overall it was okay. 3 out of 5. I will not make this version of pot roast ever again. Here's a better recipe from the BHG website. CLASSIC POT ROAST

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Parallel Book Review

ParallelParallel by Lauren Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Parallel by Lauren Miller © 2013
Release date May 14, 2013
 Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Teen
 Abby just got for a major Hollywood film and regrets missing her final days as a senior and the beginning of freshman year at Northwestern. The night before her 18th birthday she falls asleep only to wake up the next day at Yale living her parallels life.
Our central character Abby is an insecure, methodical, critical, wish-washy teenager. Not all at once, however these do seem to be her central traits. I had a hard time liking her only because most of the time she was a bit high-brow, but then after showed the weakness of a teenager. Yes she is a teen, but like most teens they think they are little adults and have most everything figured out if it all falls to plan. In knowing that she is a teen and with credit to Miller for accurately portraying that, Abby was easier to handle, just not likable. The only characters worth a damn are her Yale roomy Marissa and astronomy professor Dr. Mann.
What Dr Mann proposes is that in a parallel world we may take a different journey, but all roads lead to a final destination. In the story that chapters go from year 2008 to year 2009, with the parallel a year before and the next being the result Abby experiences a year after. The timeline is very important, some may have a hard time following the timeline, but if you pay close attention to the dates it’s straightforward.
The lure of the book is the sci-fi aspect of worlds colliding and the stars and ideas of multiple universes. That all get pushed aside for teenage melodrama and the struggle of choosing which brother to date and supermodel gorgeous yet brainiac best friend. On the whole this is more like a teenage soap opera with a sci-fi element thrown in and used only as a means to rack up the drama and make it seem more insightful. That could only mean I liked it. They say you should never underestimate the knowledge of a teenager, but I can’t help but feel that this is something that would appeal mostly to an under 23 crowd. It is enjoyable just not praiseworthy.

View all my reviews Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Carls Jr Jim Beam Burger Review

Finally caved in and bought a Carls Jr. Six Dollar Burger mostly because I had a coupon for BOGO. Apparently you have options at CJ when you buy a burger. You can get a regular version, double patty, or a Six Dollar which means the use Angus beef. The coupon is not a buy one get one of equal or lesser value, rather it is buy one and get the cheapest version free.
I was under the illusion that if I bought a Six Dollar I would get another Six Dollar for free, but no they gave me the regular version. The only person I should blame is myself, it may have said that on the coupon.
Six Dollar Burger
This is the Six Dollar burger and it was how much? Guess.
Base price $5.49                                Tax Price $6.12
The whole premise of these burgers was supposed to be that you get a restaurant quality six dollar burger for less than 6 bucks. Oh Well.
Regular Jim Beam Burger
When I first opened both burgers I couldn’t see a difference. They are both the same circumference and appear to have the same amount of fixings.Both Burgers are dressed in Jim Beam BBQ sauce, French fried onions, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and bacon. Both burgers appeared to have the same sesame seed bun.
Both burgers only contained one piece of bacon. Call me stingy, but they could've put 2 slices of bacon on the Six Dollar version.

Regular version on left
Six Dollar version on right

When cut in half you can more clearly see the difference in the 2 burgers. The Six Dollar version has a thicker patty and was dressed with more crispy onions. The bun on the premium version is also a bit thicker. They put 2 tomato slices on the quality version, whereas the regular version only got 1. Also the Six Dollar burger had 2 slices of cheese and regular had 1.

The Six Dollar version does have the better tasting Angus beef and with the thicker patty was a better burger. The bun on the premium version was good and sturdy, but still fluffy to the bite. Must mention that the thickness of the bun may be attributed to extra yeast, noticed a more yeasty flavor in that bun than the regular bun.
In both burgers you are overwhelmed with the Jim Beam BBQ sauce. Very sweet and a bit spicy. The spice was mellow; you can taste it and get a slight sting to the lip, however it won’t put off those who don’t prefer spicy. The spice is very mild. Not a hint of bourbon was detected in the sauce. My guess is that they put in a teaspoon per 40oz.
The only things you can really taste in the burger are bread, meat, sauce, and onions. Everything else cancels out to the onion and sauce. I write this more than four hours after and am still burping up onion flavor.
Overall I did really like the burger, but I would just make it again on my own and alter the portion of dressing.                                                                    
4 out of 5