Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Good Reads: Double Whammy

Double Whammy (A Davis Way Mystery, #1)Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is another fun mystery solving romp from Henery Press. The author has obviously done extensive research on casino operations and the security behind the scenes. I could easily see the casinos and characters in my mind while reading this well written book.

The heroine was almost a anti heroine. She took her inquisitiveness to stalker levels on many occasions and frequently overstepped the bounds of normalcy. I think this was supposed to make her endearing, but didn't work for me.

Several times quick changes in thought processes or characters' actions made it hard for me to follow the plot.

I can recommend this book for a light, enjoyable read.

ARC provided by Netgalley.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Frugal Kitchen: Easy, Fast Chicken Parmesan

This is a surprisingly simple recipe, but packs a big taste punch.  I hope you enjoy it.


4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or substitute boneless pork chops)
2 cups marinara
1/4 cup bread crumbs
grated parmesan

Coat the bottom of a casserole with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and garlic.  Pound the thick side of the chicken breasts until both sides are the same thickness.  Lay chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of casserole pan.  Cover chicken with marinara.  Bake at 350-375 F for 25 minutes.  In a bowl mix bread crumbs with remaining olive oil until oil is evenly distributed; season bread crumbs with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of chicken and sauce, then cover the top with a thin layer of parmesan cheese.  Bake another 5-10 minutes until top is browned.  Serve the chicken and sauce over spaghetti.

God bless,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Good Read: Follow Her Home

Follow Her HomeFollow Her Home by Steph Cha
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a well written, fast paced mystery with a flawed, but strong heroine. She is Jennifer Song, a Korean American woman with no career aspirations and living an aimless life after a family tragedy. When one of her dear friends asks her to investigate his father she is thrown into a world of Asian fetishist corruption.

Song investigates the mystery that unfolds by channeling her hero, Phillip Marlowe. There is deep sadness in the outcome of her investigation, but Song is left with a new calling and direction in her life. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author.

ARC provided by Netgalley.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Neighborhood Grist Mill

In the first half of the twentieth century pretty much every southern neighborhood had a family owned grist mill.  Everyone would grow their own dent corn and when it was dry would haul part of it to the mill for grinding into meal and grits.  Going to the mill was a social occasion and a good time to catch up on the local news.

There are not many of the old mills working anymore, but it is well worth your time to seek one out.  The taste of locally grown and ground corn is superior to any bought in a grocery store.  Try to find the closest mill to where you live to ensure a fresh product.

The closest working mill to me is Bradley's Country Store in Tallahassee, Florida.  They not only grind their own corn into grits and meal, but they make and smoke their own sausage.  Their products are of a great quality.

The fresh ground grits are larger than those found in the store and take longer to cook, but it is so worth the time when you taste them.  Creamy, with a good corn taste and a bit of bite to them.  Served with a dollop of butter they make a meal unto themselves.

The sausage was nicely smoked and, even though I ordered the mild, had a bit of heat.  There was a time when just about everyone in Florida had a homemade smoker in their back yard.  Most of the people I knew had converted an old refrigerator into a smoker to smoke mullet (an oily fish) and other meats.

The foods of the past were hard work, but they had a wonderful flavor.  I am afraid that our children may grow up in a world where mediocre quality food is the norm.  It's worth it to find a mill near you, so your family can experience real food.

God bless,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Good Reads: Muckross Folly

Muckross Folly (Evelyn Morgan, #2)Muckross Folly by J.L. Austgen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Muckross Folly had everything that I love in a book: a strong, capable heroine, suspense, mystery, action, intrigue, political maneuvering, villains you love to hate, and ambivalent bad guys. It is also well written and well edited.

Even though it is the second book in a series (the Evelyn Morgan series) it read as a stand alone without any problem. I intend on getting the first book and to keep up with this series.

I highly recommend this book.  Be warned that there is violence involving guns in this book.

ARC provided by Netgalley.