Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

I listened to the audio version of this novel.  It was from Blackstone Audio and was read by  Wanda McCaddon, unabridged, 9 hours and 45 minutes. 

At first I was rather confused as to which character was speaking until  I realized that each change of character was announced.  Somehow I had managed to mis-understand what was happening.  Once that was cleared in my mind, I was able to follow the story and enjoy it.

Roseanne McNulty of County Sligo, Ireland has been living in a mental hospital for most of her adult life.  As she approaches the age of one hundred years, the staff psychiatrist Dr. Grene is required to assess her and determine her suitability for release.  Over the course of the next weeks/months, Dr. Grene tries to coax Roseanne into telling her story.  She is very resistant.  Unknown to the doctor, Roseanne has been recording her memories in a notebook that she keeps hidden. 

I found myself outraged on Roseanne's behalf.  All she wanted was to be able to love her husband, yet she was blocked at so many turns.    I was also shocked at the in-adequate level of care that Dr. Grene showed his patients.  One would think that after decades of being her psychiatrist, he would have known her history and that he would have established weekly sessions with each patient.  He admitted that he only visited Roseanne once or twice a year to she that her physical needs were being met.

This is an interesting story and it challenges me to consider the role of religion  in personal relationships and also the position of priests and the power they wield.

Thanks to Petty Witter  of Pen and Paper for recommending it to me.

Cover Photo Credit to Blackstone Audio.

This is my 35th and final book for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle of

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Science Fiction novel first published in 1969.  Even though this book was published over forty years ago, it is still a thought provoking read. 

Bill Pilgrim is an optometrist who has a very odd tendency to travel through the times of his life. As a young man, he already knows the time and situation of his death.  During his travels back and forth through time, he is also abducted by extra-terrestrials from the planet Tralfamadore, where he is exhibited in a zoo for many years.  These beings belief that all time co-exists, that it is not linear.  A very interesting concept to ponder (if you have the time, sorry, had to say that).

I found the descriptions of the fire bombing of Dresden, Germany upsetting.  I am not a student of history, and was unaware of this event.  I now have images engraved in my mind that will remain there.

Really not to sure what I think about this book.  I did like the mix of fiction and fact, and the challenge to me to double check which are the facts.  I will be checking hubby's book shelf for other works by Mr. Vonnegut.

Official website of Kurt Vonnegut

This is my 34th read for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge.  This is hosted by Rachelle at Bibliobabe and draws to a conclusion tomorrow.  Be sure to visit with Rachelle and enter her monthly free book contest.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Juggling Projects

I've started workon my newest project.   This week is the blog tour for Marthe Jocelyn's newest work Scribbling Women.   I'll be posting my review on Friday and will show the quilt that I am working on that will complement this book.  To date I have transferred a message from Marthe onto fabric and am in the process of sewing the centre panel for the quilt. 

I'll be writing more about this project as I work on it.  I don't have a final vision of what it will look like, as I am 'winging it' , though I am aiming at a wallhanging about 48 inches square.  Bright colours rule the day, and I am trying hard to avoid the pink and blue sterotypes.

Last week I promised that I'd show both the pillowcases.  I am mostly working on the first and if I have thread left on my needle when I done with that colour on the first, I stitch on the second.  I have finished the yellow flower centres on the first and am ready to start the pink flowers.
I like what's happening with my mystery quilt.  I finished piecing the forty '30something' units, which are a design unit unique to Gayle Bong.   I have placed the ruler on the one unit to show that it needs to be trimmed to 3 1/2 inches square.  Gayle does have a special ruler to do this, though my local store doesn't have it on hand.  I'll try it this way and if I'm as thrilled with the results as I think I am going to be, then I'll definitely order one.  The orangey-peach  fabric shown behind the units is the one that I am planning to use for the 'Scribbling Women' centre panel.

What the heck am I doing with the sushi fabric you might ask?  Well, since I don't have enough on my plate, I decided to make some extra prizes for my Sushi Sock Contest.  First prize will be the socks, second prize will be something made of a 'swath' of sushi fabric and third prize will be made of a smaller piece of this special fabric.  For a chance to win one of these fun prizes, you need to visit the original contest post and leave a comment.  (yes, click the link in the previous line).

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal has been joining me with a Needlework Tuesday post.  She has included a very close up photo of her cross crochet project.  Even though she promises that it's not hard, I'm not sure I believe yet.  It does look great.
Rikki at Rikki's Teleidoscope  has been working on her blue crocheted wrap.  This week she is sharing a sewing project.  Great fabric choice.
You are invited to join us with your needlework post.  It's a regular Tuesday feature.

When Will There be Good News by Kate Atkinson

This is Jackson Brodie at his finest.  Well, actually it's not.  He is in fact rather broken and definitely not 'fine'.  It started out as a simple plan, take the train to the Yorkshire Dales, complete a small 'job' , and then take the train home before anyone noticed he was gone.  It didn't turn out anything like he planned. 

Dr. Joanne Hunter's day didn't turn out as she planned either.  Thirty years earlier her mother, sister and baby brother had been murdered by a stranger, and today she learned that the murderer was now out of jail.

Reggie's goal for the day was to meet with her tutor, have a small dinner and get in lots of studying.  She did get two of three items accomplished before her world was turned on the end. 

It didn't take many pages before I found myself captivated by Reggie.  She had so many stumbling blocks in her road of life, but she continued to pick herself up and and push forward.  Please Ms. Atkinson, don't leave me hanging, I need to know more about Reggie and how she fares in the future with her life and her studies.  Will she meet up with Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe again, or will it be with Jackson Brodie himself.

This third Jackson Brodie novel kept me on the edge of my seat reading.  I couldn't put it down till I knew that Reggie would be safe.  Oh yeah, I did have concern about Jackson and Louise, but they are adults and I had to give them credit that they would land on their feet, though perhaps I should worry a bit more about Jackson.

My reviews of the earlier books in this series:

Case Histories
One Good Turn

Also reviewed at:

DJ's krimiblog

Mystica has posted a review of Started Early Took my Dog, which is the 4th book in the series.

This is my 33rd book for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge.  Visit with Rachelle over a Bibliobabe and enter her monthly free book draw. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Weekend Cooking: New Kitchen Toy

Back in the late fall, hubby was away on a business trip.  I thought I would help him out with a bit of Christmas shopping.  I managed to find myself a KitchenAid Professional 5plus.  Yippee.  Only trouble, I had to let him put it away for the next month and a half.

Fast forward four months.

It's now time to make daughter a birthday cake.  Her friend was over on friday night and the two of them decided to help me.

We selected a recipe for a Lemon cheesecake with fresh blueberry topping.  This was found in a book from Company's Coming, Baking: Simple to Sensational.

The cake baked up beautifully.

Several of her friends were happy to help eat it on Saturday.

I'm a bit late, but this is my contribution to Weekend Cooking which is hosted each weekend by Beth Fish Reads.  Click on over and see what other kitchen fun the other participants have been up to.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Carry Me Down by M. J. Hyland

John Egan is just twelve years old, yet he is the size of a full grown adult.  His teachers and parents find it hard to accept that he is still a child.  Like many children that age, he is pre-occupied with a number of items.  He loves the Guinness Book of World Records and reads and re-reads them.  He yearns to travel to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and visit the Guinness Museum.  He is uncomfortable when people lie to him, so much so that he feels he has become a human lie detector.  On top of growing through the difficult pre-teen years, John's home life is not stable.  He lives with his parents in his grandmother's small cottage.  His father hasn't held a job in three years.  Things go from bad to worse on a day when John is attempting to set a record for the longest time a person spends without going to the washroom. 

I found this a difficult story to listen to.  To me it felt that the adults were not listening to John.  He didn't see anything as changing other than the fact that he was tall.  He was still the same child he had been the day before, yet now his mom was pulling away and didn't want to be hugged.  His teacher's were treating him differently than his fellow classmates who were smaller.  Even his principal centred him out and had private discussions with John.  Talk about making a kids feel odd and out of place. 

Either I missed the back story of John entirely, or all the adults built a mountain out of a mole hill and they contrived to get John into an un-tenable position.  I thought that John was normal and behaving like any boy his age and that it was the parents, and teachers  that were behaving badly.  They expected John to have troubles and by their erratic behaviours, John was forced into positions where he had to mis-behave to accommodate their pressures.

At the end of the book, I felt bad for John that his parents had put him through all those wild gyrations only to end up right back where they had started.

This unabridged version was read by Gerard Doyle.  It is from Blackstone Audio and runs for 9 hours 28 minutes.
Author Maria Hyland's website
Guinness World Records Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Thank-you to Blackstone Audio for the cover photo.

This is my 32nd book for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle at  Visit with Rachelle and while you are there enter to win a free novel..

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Fussy Work

You can win these socks.  Be sure to enter my contest to win these popular sushi socks.  International entrants welcome. Click here for the rules.  I am so pleased with the number of entrants that I am going to increase the number of prizes.  Haven't decided yet what I will 'make' but it will be nice and hopefully thematically related.

I did get a bit more embroidery completed this week.  I have decided that I will stick with the leaves.  This week i am working with a slightly darker green.  I can tell in person that there is a difference, but it doesn't really show in this photo.  I have started on the second pillowcase, though am not so far on it.  Next week I'll show a photo with both.

To better accomplish the mystery quilt that I am working on, I bought the Clearview Super 60 ruler.  I could have selected the smaller and slightly less expensive Clearview triangle, but what the heck, for a few dollars more I get the 120 degree angle at the right hand side which should be great for cutting border pieces.  this is from Alicia's Attic though I did shop locally.

If you are following along with the mystery from Gayle Bong, you know why I need this ruler.  If not, check the photo below.  It shows the odd shape units that I had to cut from the background fabric.  It has 30-60-90 triangles cut from two corners.  You can cut with a regular ruler, but you have to be real careful.  Even using this ruler, I did make some mistakes cutting too large. I was able to re-cut and didn't waste any fabric.

I now have 24 of these units completed.  The top one is trimmed to size and the bottom still shows the dog ears.

Next I have to tackle Gayle's signature 30 Something units. I think we make 40 of them.

You now know where I am in my projects, you have clicked and entered my sushi sock contest, and now we get to check in on friends and see what they have been up to.

Rikki from The Bookkeeper is planning to join in the stitching fun.  Her favourite needlework activity is actually done with a hook, but that still fits.  I am looking forward to seeing her crochet projects.  Rikki has a second blog that she dedicates to her crafting called Rikki's Teleidoscope.  Click the link to see the stole that she is working on.

 Marie at Daisy's Book Journal told me last week that she also had some unfinished embroidery projects at hand.  I am curious to see what they might be.  Her latest post deals with the possibility of flooding on her property.  eeks.

Let me know if you'd like to join the three of us for Needlework Tuesday.  We'd love to have you on board to share projects and encourage each other.

Monday, 21 March 2011

My New Blog Address

I finally got brave and changed the url to my blog.  Let's get personal here.

Yep, that's me.  Hubby kindly reserved it for me about 14 years ago when our children were very young.  For the longest time it pointed to his webpage and lately it has been pointed to my blog at the blogspot address.   You will still arrive here using the blogspot adress, I'm still being hosted at blogspot.

I have been wanting to get some business cards made for my blogging activities and this needed to be completed first.

Yippee, I am so happy.

Now to figure out what to put on a business card?
As a blogger, do you have cards?  What did you print on them?
When I talk to authors and store owners, they often ask for my card  and I don't have one.  Handing them a scribble on paper doesn't look respectable.  I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Eucalyptus by Murray Bail

Several years ago, a good friend in Australia sent me a package of Bush Tea.  When I opened it, the pack contained a number of bags of black tea and a bunch of eucalyptus leaves.  The idea being to brew a pot of tea and add a leaf to the pot.  These were about 4 inch long skinny leaves.  I have no idea what type of eucalyptus they were from, but there sure were aromatic.  I loved the tea.  No one else in my house did, so I didn't have to share.

Shortly after relating this story to my sister, so sent me a copy of the book Eucalyptus by Murray Bail.  my mouth watered the whole time I was reading it, wishing I had a pot of bush tea sitting beside me.

This is the story of Holland and his lovely daughter Ellen.  When Ellen is young, Holland moves to a rural area in Australia and for some un-explained reason, he begins to plant assorted Eucalyptus.  By the time Ellen is of marriagable age, there are over 500 different eucalypts growing on the property.  One day Holland announces that his daughter will marry the man who can correctly name all the eucalypts growing on his property.  This is a challenge taken up by men from near and far. 

While this may seem an unusual method of determining the suitability of a potential mate,  people have used worse.  Parents have arranged marriages when their children are but infants.  Others defer to a matchmaker etc..

The story is also filled with short, unfinished tales.  These are told by one of the suitors.  I likened them to the trees.  There are all yet unfinished; they have much growing and unfolding to do.  Ellen listened to all these tales and was left wondering, how did they end, who were all those people and how did they relate to each other.   I still don't really understand the inclusion of all those tales.

I did enjoy reading about the variety of the eucalypts.  Some as tiny of shrubs and others some of the largest trees on earth.  Colours that ranges a whole spectrum and truncks that could be as smooth as a baby's skin or a rough and ragged as a stone field.

It seems to me that Holland related better to his trees than he did to his daughter.   Neither of them were much  for conversation.    I enjoyed reading this unusual story even if I didn't understand all the parts of it.  I am left wanting to know more about eucalyptus. 

Eucalyptus was the 1999 Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book.

This is my 31st selection for the  Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle at

Thursday, 17 March 2011

International Contest - Win Sushi Socks

At the beginning of the month, in a Recipe Thursday post, I talked about an assortment of items.  One was a big hit.  You loved my sushi socks.

I loved all the comments that were left.  You all made my day.
  Now I want to make someone else's day. 
I went back to that store, Delirium Clothing, and bought a second pair.

The socks are a peachy pink colour with forest green heels and toes.  Sized to fit most ladies feet.

Contest Details

Yes, you can win this pair of socks.
To enter, leave a comment and tell me something about sushi: your favourite, least favourite, why your love it, why you don't love it, why you've never tried it, first time you tried it.  Anything about sushi, sashimi, maki rolls.

You don't have to be a follower, but it would be nice.  International entrants welcome and encouraged.

For an extra chance to win, blog  or tweet about this, and leave a second comment with the link.

Be sure to include your email so that I can reach you if you are the winner.  Contest closes April 4, 2011.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Miss Scarlet Announces a Winner

What a fun blog tour that was.  Glitter and rhinestones littering the internet. 

Time to announce the winner of my contest to win a set of both Kathy Cano-Murillo's novels: Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing and Waking Up in the Land of Glitter

I went to to determine the winner.

The winner is:  Zoey

Don't fret if you didn't win.  I will have a new contest starting tomorrow (Thurday 17, 2011.  It will be announced in my regular Recipe Thursday post.  See you then.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Needlework Tuesday Extra - TVKim- Watching: Kim's Picks- The amazing quilter

A friend sent me this link and I was curious. So I clicked. Wow. If you have ever had a moment of doubt about whether you could do a particular project or learn a skill, then you should watch this video. It will be an eyeopener for you. Wow, again. It's only 5 minutes and well worth it.


TVKim- Watching: Kim's Picks- The amazing quilter

Needlework Tuesday - A Mixed Basket

It's a mixed basket for you to enjoy this week.  I enjoy when I finish a project, and it's even better when there are more than one to complete.  This week was wonderful.  Finished some items that have been sitting around far too long.

 Ages ago I teased you with some pictures of Betty Boop fabric that I had cut and was yet to sew.  I have finally finished the first item.

This pair is for son.  For some reason he really enjoys this motif.  He has about 6 pairs of boxers with Betty on them and more to come.
This handsome pair is for my hubby.

Last year my in person quilt guild decided to have each member of the guild make a quilt block for the outgoing president.  This year's president has chosen dusty blue, dusty pink, and white for her colours.  I selected a block from Judy Martin's Knockout Blocks and Sampler Quilts.  Click the title to see my earlier review.  Block I made last year for the outgoing president.  I still wish that I could sew from this book every single day.

This picture shows all my cut pieces.  First to sew a whole bunch of half square triangles.   Now lay them out in the order to be sewn together.

This finished block is a variation of the block titled  'Rise Up so Early in the Morn'.  It's a very straight forward double star, but when you play with the colours you get something totally different.

A few weeks back I told you that I had bought some pre-printed pillowcases for embroidery.  I dug them out on Thursday and got started.  Stem stitch for the vines, and satin stitch for the leaves.  This is the first green completed, the other leaves will be done in a slightly darker green.  A small trick to get the satin stitch to be a little 'puffier', you need to add a few running stitches to the area before doing the satin stitch.  I have shown a close-up of this in the next photo.
Now to do satin stitch over the top of those running stitches.  I really does make a difference.

A heads up to all my Needlework Tuesday readers, I will be starting a new contest on Thursday.   Be sure to visit my Recipe Thursday post to see what I am offering.

Joining me for Needlework Tuesday is Marie at Daisy's Book Journal.  She has posted an update of her sock knitting progress.  Be sure to leave her a comment about her gorgeous socks.

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami

Toru Okada is in the midst of much more than a mid-life crisis.  He quit his legal job and has yet to search for a new position.  His wife, Kumiko, has been acting out of character and is fretting about their lost cat.  To top it all off, an unknown woman has been calling him on the phone and is making very suggestive conversation.

I listened to the Naxos Audiobook version read by Rupert Degas.  Great job on the various characters.  I had no trouble telling when characters changed.  At 26 hours, this is a very long story, though it seemed as though it was several novellas all linked together by common elements of flow and water. 

Mr. Murakami has put together a most unlikely group of characters.  Right from the first, I didn't like Kumiko's brother , Noboru Wataya.  He didn't seem to have any human qualities.  More a logic machine than something alive.  May Kasahara was a gem.  She was that precocious teen that had a question about everything and wanted a true answer.  I looked forward to her appearance in the story.  I think that my favourite character was Lieutenant Mamiya.  When he told a story, I wanted to pull over to the side of the road and just listen.  I didn't want to have to pay attention to the traffic; I just wanted to listen.  His stories were fascinating and quite likely could have been true.

It was interesting that while Toru was trying to hang onto his marriage, all sorts of other females kept intruding into his life.  May,  the unusual physic sisters Malta and Creta and the mysterious Nutmeg.  With no attempt at enticing them, all these women seemed to flock toward him.  Why?

All in all, I found this an unusual book.  It kept coming back to 'flow'.  That un-resolved issues in Toru's life had interrupted his 'flow' and that until he corrected them, his life would not be settled.  I would have had a hard time reading a paper version of this book.  It wasn't something I could listen to in huge chunks of time, but rather for shorter periods, with lots of time to digest what had happened in the various chapters.  If you have tried to read the book and found it hard to stick with, give the audio book a try in smaller bits.  It worked for me.

Author Haruki Murakami's website

Winner of the 1995 Yomiuri Literary Prize

Additional Reviews of this book can be found at the following sites:
Distant Heartbeats

Bookcover image from Naxos AudioBook

This is my 30th selection for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle of  Visit to enter her free monthly book draw.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Recipe Thursday - 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson

I find it a challenge to get appetizing and nutritious meals on the table every day, especially when there are after school activities requiring me to pick up kids all over town.    Add one vegetarian body builder to the mix and it gets that much more difficult.  Thank goodness for my slow cookers.  I can put together a meal in the morning, turn on the slow cooker and ignore it for several hours.  When we get home, dinner is ready.  This is exactly what I have been doing for the past month.

Cookbook author Judith Finlayson has provided me with with one solution.  Her 2004 book, 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes became my best kitchen friend.    This book includes recipes for: Starters, Soups, Casseroles and Stews, Beans and Lentils, Grains and Sides, and Desserts.  There is helpful introductory section that talks about how and why slow cookers work. Note, there are over 60 vegan friendly recipes in the book, and many more can be made vegan by omitting the cheese or eggs.  I tried seven very different recipes from this collection and have already selected several more. 
"Artichoke, Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Spread"
While actually an appetizer, we used this as a main course.  I had to visit a few stores to find suitable artichokes, most stores only had the tiny jars of oil packed ones, but I did find a can that was packed in a water based broth(?, it didn't seem like a brine).  I served this on toasted french bread slices as well as a few different types of crackers. 

"Orange-Spiced Pecans"
I have been searching for a recipe for these for ages.  My sister loves these and buys bags of them locally when ever she comes for a visit.  They were very easy to make and tasted wonderful without being overly sweet.  I will admit that I didn't have an orange on hand, so had to omit the grated orange rind.  There was still orange flavour as you roast the pecans in orange juice prior to dredging in the sugar mixture.

"Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup"
Loved this one.  My family practically licked their bowls clean.  I did buy a large bag of frozen butternut squash already peeled and diced to save on kitchen time.  I added 1/2 of a Scotch Bonnet pepper and found that it added enough 'heat' without being over powering.  Serve this with hearty bread and a bit of cheese and it becomes a main dish.

Recipe for this soup follows.

"Cheesy Rice and Mushroom Casserole with Spinach"
My son had asked for a rice dish but hold the spinach.  I should have smashed the pepper corns a bit finer, otherwise I followed the directions exactly.  Son ate this three days in a row.  He felt that the cheese and brown rice combination gave him the correct amounts of protein and carbs to sustain his gym workouts.

"Sweet Potato Barley Risotto"
I would say this was the most adventurous dish that I tried.  I did have to add one extra cup of broth as it was cooking.  It didn't have the same 'creaminess' as a traditionally made risotto.  Probably not a repeat for our family, though I liked it, the others didn't come back for more.

"Lentil Sloppy Joes"
You'll want to double this recipe.  It was gone so fast that I didn't have a chance to take a picture of it when served on the crusty rolls.  Simple and tasty, and you can use either self cooked or canned lentils.

"Rice Pudding with Cherries and Almonds"
This is my first try at dessert in a crock pot and it won't be my last.  I opted to use 5% cream instead of 2% milk.  The recipe suggested for a creamier result to use half and half.  Instead of cherries, I substituted dried cranberries (also as suggested).  I was anxious about this dish.  I wanted to stir it, but the recipe said that the pudding would 'set', so I figured no stirring allowed.  In the end, the rice settled to the bottom and much of the creaminess set on the top.  Due to the high cooking, the sugars caramelized around the edge which made it taste fantastic.   I have a little bowl hidden in the fridge for my lunch.

We have already selected another half dozen or so recipes to try from the is book.

Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger root
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed (or 1/2 tsp ground coriander)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 cups acorn or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, or 4 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 can (14-19 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained or 2 cups dried kidney beans, cooked and drained
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, including juice, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 to 1 chili pepper, preferably Scotch Bonnet, finely chopped, you can also use Habanero Pepper.
1 14oz can of coconut milk
Finely chopped parsley or cilantro

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger root, chili powder, coriander seeds, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add sugar and stir to combine.  Add squash or carrots, kidney beans, tomatoes with juice and stock.

Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours, until vegetables are tender.

Add green pepper, chili pepper and coconut milk.  Cover and cook on high for another 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro if using.

Excerpted from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2004 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

I bought this book for my son last year when he first decided to become a vegetarian.  It's a shame that it sat un-used on the shelf for so long as we have missed out on lots of tasty meals.

Hop on over to Beth Fish Reads for a new edition of Weekend Cooking.   There you will find links to all sorts of food related posts.  You are invited to add your own current link and share your foodie inner self.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Needlework Tuesday - A Day Late but Finished

If you haven't done it already, check out yesterday's review of Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo and then enter the contest to win a copy of this book as well as her earlier one Waking Up in the Land of Glitter.
I know, I'm very late with my Tuesday post.  eeks, it's already dinner time on Wednesday.  I have a good reason.  I wanted to finish off my socks and graft the toes shut so I could model them for you.    I mostly stick to the pattern with the exception of stitching four extra rows before starting the heel, and I made the foot length 1/4 inch shorter than suggested. 

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal has made great progress on her socks.  Foot one is finished and she is at the heel on the second.
It didn't take long to get caught up on the mystery quilt that Gayle Bong is offering on her blog.  I sewed 12 square in a square blocks and some number of half square triangles.  The next step is posted; I'll be cutting some very unique shaped pieces.  Still debating whether to buy the Clearview ruler or not.
Now that I have a handle on Gayle's mystery, on to the next.  I received a copy of Scribbling Women by Marthe Jocelyn.  At the beginning of April, Tundra (the Publisher) will be hosting a blog tour and contest to celebrate the release of the book.  They suggested that we might want to do something special to accompany our review. 
First I should tell you a bit about the book.  Women's writings have not always been equally valued as those of their male counterparts.  Some even complained about them as shown in this quote from the Tundra website:
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, complaining about the irritating fad of “scribbling women.” Whether they were written by professionals, by women who simply wanted to connect with others, or by those who wanted to leave a record of their lives, those “scribbles” are fascinating, informative, and instructive.
Quilting is often dismissed as just something that women do and very little value assigned to it.  A woman might spend 300 hours on a quilt and a man will walk up, look at it and expect to pay a mere $150.00 for it.  arg.  An idea jumped right out at me that I should make a quilt of words.

Now haven't I got your attention.  Come back next week and see what progress I have made on this new adventure.  Depending on what I get done, I'll reveal bits and pieces to you, but the final unveil will occur during the tour for Scribbling Women.