Call To Post…Tis Derby Day!

As a born n bred Kentucky girl, the annual Kentucky Derby has always had my attention this first weekend of May–I guaranteed it always would by getting married on Derby Day in 1991. Whilst May 4th is our actual anniversary date, we’ve always celebrated on Derby Day. Strike The Gold was the pony that won that day 19 years ago this weekend–appropos, no?

In honor of Derby Day(from here firmly amid Central Indiana), it’s all about the food. Sure, we’ll give the race a look on tv, but the food…mmMM! In our case, we’re making(and EATING) the signature Kentucky Hot Brown and Kentucky D*r*y Pie(you’re not s’posed to use the word ‘derby’ in there cause that pie name is all copyrighted n stuff).

The classic Kentucky Hot Brown has many variations n personal tweaks, like any other recipe does–and should. This hot brown picture is from the renowned Brown Hotel in Lousiville, Kentucky, where the signature Hot Brown is always featured. I shan’t post the recipe, but you can click on over from the Brown Hotel link up there. Let us just say bacon…creamy cheesy sauce…turkey… all bubbly n hot from the oven…mmmm…yeah, ‘s good stuff!

My personal take is a wee bit different in that I use a coupla cheddar and parmesan cheeses instead of what the recipe calls for…otherwise, ’bout the same–served with crispy potato chips(homemade chips rock but kettle chips work great as well) MMMmmMMM!

Next up is the famous Kentucky D*r*y Pie recipe–the Kentucky Pie is what we’re allowed to call it. Just spectacularly delicious…look at it. Click on over from the pie title there and take a look at that recipe…yum.

Y’all enjoy, now!!

*Cues ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ music*


Hop on over to Beth Fish Reads for more Weekend Cooking posts–yum!

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”

Bound to be good stuff!

Words, Words, Words!

I do so love words–what book junkie doesn’t?!? Whilst surfing about recently, I stumbled upon a blog meme titled ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday‘- one look and I was hooked–especially since I had JUST been driving my family batty-ER with a new word all day!  Take a look at this, just look…



swah-dee-ZAHNG (the NG is not pronounced, but the vowel is nasalized)


: self-proclaimed, so-called


Is that not just FANTASTIC?!? I am SO making that word a frequent visitor in my vocabulary–maybe even a permanent resident! (This particular word came from a ‘word of the day’ gadget I keep on my iGoogle page.)

Click on over to Bermudaonion’s place and enjoy more words!

What’s On Your Nightstand?

In addition to several magazines such as Food Network, Real Simple, The New Yorker, and The Saturday Evening Post, I’ve read quite a few good books lately–mostly from my chair outside in the sunshine, WHOOT!!

Now let’s talk specifics, shall we?

Read and Enjoyed:

The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs–Humorous and interesting, this one was.  The author is constantly experimenting, embarking on personal quests of curiosity; some of which he writes/will write about and most of which drive his wife, Jill, batty. Never a dull moment around there, to say the very least. I’m wondering when one of their three boys will be old enough to start his own ‘speriments–surely Jacobs shall chronicle such for us in some way!

I’m all about living in the moment, purposefully enjoying  this.very.moment. I wish more folks lived life this way, as Jacobs seems to–always questing, enjoying, wondering about different things. There is so much more to life than rotely punching a clock, clicking a remote, falling into routine that isn’t making you happy(not knocking routines, but knocking mindless, joyless routines)…soak up those experiences, notice the details, live them fully.

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff–I enjoyed this one and have already loaned it out twice. Click on the title for my review of a good, sweet read. This one wasn’t what I expected at all, in a good way.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister–Lovely book…click the title for an excerpt that just might hook you into this story. Lillian’s love of feeding others is quite magical in that she somehow knows what each person needs–both in the actions of cooking something and in what specifically they are cooking.

I really loved this book, I identified with Lillian in that I tend to cook by moods–not just my moods but by the moods of those around me. Knowing my girlie is having a rough moment, brownies are in order…knowing the boy seems out-of-sorts, pizza is in order, knowing that Husband o’ mine has had a day full of back-to-back meetings, meatloaf is in order….and a good dessert!

In Praise of Stay At Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger— This is a great cheerleader book for both moms already staying home and those thinking/hoping/planning to stay home.  For those that need some encouragement,  some  ‘retorts’, this book has both in great supply. For those that simply wish to read something positive and supportive, this has plenty of that as well.

Currently Page Turning:

Population: 485 by Michael Perry is a collection of  personal essays about the writer’s rural life. I just started this one a day or so ago and have been enjoying it thus far.

Best American Short Stories 2009–I love this series of short story collections and am excited to get my hands on the latest one from the library. I’m on a mission to read them all, as I’ve enjoyed every one so far–I think I’ve read six or eight, I’ve lost count–but I’m gonna fix that!

Click on over to 5 Minutes For Books for more ‘What’s On Your Nightstand’ posts–I always glean several great book ideas from the folks that participate there!

~~Happy Spring!

Fireworks Over Toccoa

Before I even got my copy of Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff, I had heard bits and pieces of what a good, easy read this book was and book bloggers were planning a fun review blog tour thingy upon the book’s release date. (Unexpected oral surgery has waylaid my post until now, my apologies.) I purposely did not read any of the after-release reviews until I finished the book and got this posted. Allll of that being said, here we go…

The title alone intrigued me–I love fireworks!  The cover didn’t hurt, either–so sweet n summery.

When I learned that this book is basically about a married woman and a chance encounter with a compelling man whilst her husband is away at war, I confess to being very skeptical of whether or not I would like such a read. I’m just not a fan of stories about marriages where ‘irrepressible urges’ and ‘restlessness’ are reason for affairs and the like that inevitably hurt spouses and ruin lives.

HowEVER, I did enjoy this book after all because Mr. Stepakoff managed to create a character in Lily that I couldn’t help but like from the first chapter–his way of spinning her story made all the difference. That and the fact that this was not the tale of betrayal I had worried it would be…not at all. It is truly a love story.

The time frame at the start(I don’t want to give away details), the way the story is introduced and how it unfolds, is the saving grace of such a tale for me. I LIKED Lily and wanted to see how her story played out, therefore the pages turned effortlessly.

I was not disappointed at all that I gave Fireworks Over Toccoa a chance, for it was a sweet, heartrending story with characters that I enjoyed. The story comes together wonderfully–a short-lived feeling of predictability that came mid-reading was dashed away as I continued to read and the story spun into much more than I expected. Lily came to life for me.

In the end, as the last page turned, I wanted more for Lily, more for Jake Russo, more for Paul… I liked the story, I liked them all and wanted much more for them. I think that is telling of a good story when the reader likes the characters and wants more for them, showing that  the true emotion of the story is invoked.

Click on over(again, apologetically belatedly) to 5 Minutes For Books for more reviews of this book.

(I tend to keep my reviews very general, so as not to spoil a book for anyone, but be aware there are spoilers out there!)


**Thanks to Jennifer at 5 Minutes For Books and to St. Martin’s Press for my ARC copy of this book**

I Read It…Amid Sunshine This April!

(imagine book picture here…for some reason it did not want to load today ~shrug~)

I am not sure where I got the idea to check out Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos–I’m thinking I read about it on a blog and also heard about it from a friend. Who knows–I talk books with anyone and everyone!

Love Walked In could be called a love story, but surprisingly, the love story isn’t necessarily between our main character Cornelia and Martin–the man she meets and dates. Tis much more than that…it’s a love story between Cornelia and Martin’s 11 year old daughter Claire, Cornelia and her life-long friend Teo and also that which is Claire and Teo. It’s the story of family, of love, of being there…of belonging–of home. I am such sucker for books that make me feel the deep, snug comfort of home and family.

I enjoyed this book, enough so that I might have to add it to my own shelves to look at now and again, also in case my girlie can read it if she so chooses. I liked the descriptive, even sometimes flowery prose the author used, the style fit Cornelia perfectly. Cornelia is a sweet, funny  and kind person with a sentimental/romantic view of life. Some folks find that type of view ‘pollyanna’ and a turn-off, I do not. In this particular case, with this particular character, I was quite taken with the perspective.

Click on over to 5 Minutes For Books for more ‘I Read It’ posts and fresh book ideas!

~~As The Pages Turn…


Hans Christian Andersen

In noticing the Google homepage logo commemorating the birthday of  Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen today (click the logo to see a different one–there are five total), I –of course–googled Mr. Andersen and was reminded of  so many wonderful tales as well as amazed at how many of them I was not aware are part of  his work.

I knew The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling were Andersen classics, but had forgotten that he also penned Thumbelina(one of my girlie’s absolute favorites), The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor’s New Suit –just to name a few.

I’m such a literary junkie that I had to commemorate this writer and send some of you walking down memory lane with me–do tell me your favorite Hans Christian Andersen tales…