Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Update: August 17, 2014


Hello, friends. It's time for another weekly update. After a beautiful weekend (the above photo is last Sunday's sunset), it has felt like fall much of the week. We've had high temps in the 60's and downright chilly overnight lows. That's perfect for long morning walks, but I'm hoping for more summer-like weather this week.

I started the second half of my #100HappyDays Project on Instagram. Flowers, the lake, books, food and my daughter heading off to Paris have been the subjects of this week's photos. Since I've missed a day here and there, this exercise will actually last a little longer, but I like focusing on small things that make me happy each day.


Read last week//  I had the best day last Sunday! We decided to stay home - all day- and I finished two books. I can't even remember the last time that happened. First was the delightful The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals by Wendy Jones. I had my mother read it, too, but she didn't appreciate it quite as much as I did.


After a few weeks of mostly listening to Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck, I finished it on my kindle. This is the fourth Buck novel I've read and, while I love her historical fiction set in China, this was not quite as good as the other three.

Current reading//  The Classics Club spin dealt me An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. It's a very long book and I've decided to approach it as a read/listen combination. I'm at the 15% mark now and feel full-invested in the story. I look forward to spending some time with it this afternoon.


I also started reading Beyond The Pasta: Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family by Mark Donovan Leslie. Reading this travel memoir (with recipes!) almost makes me feel like I'm in Italy, too.


On the blog//
Weekend Cooking: Seared Swordfish with Lemon and Rosemary Wine Sauce
Review: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Tuesday Intro: An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

In the kitchen//  I tried two new recipes this week. New York Strip Steak with Corn and Avocado Salsa from Weber's Real Grilling  was good, but not great.

The real winner this week - and a big surprise, because I never would have thought of grilling a burger already in a pita - was Spiced Lamb Burgers from the July issue of Bon Appetit. The recipe was posted yesterday at Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking. The burgers disappeared before I got a chance to take a picture.

Watching//  My daughter and I saw The Hundred Foot Journey one rainy afternoon last week - highly recommended. It seems like the television hasn't been on for anything other than news lately.

Later today we'll head to my sister's for my nephew's farewell dinner. Hard to believe he leaves for his first year of college in a few days. Now I want to spend some time with the Sunday papers and have another cup of coffee. What are you up to today?


This post will link to It's Monday, What are You Reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


54 comments:

  1. I'm very curious about the burger grilled in the pita. Sounds yummy! I'm very curious about An American Tragedy and I love the idea of Beyond Pasta. I love foodie books and travel books and a combination sounds perfect! A Sunday at home reading sounds lovely! Have a great week.

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    1. Katherine - I had my doubts about putting a raw burger in the pita and grilling it, but it turned out just fine. Can't believe how much I like An American Tragedy and Beyond the Pasta is like a vacation!

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  2. Hmmm...lamb burgers. I'm intrigued. I saw that post fly by but didn't have time to stop and read it. And I was just thinking this to myself this morning...I AM SICK TO DEATH OF SWEATING!!!!! God it is so damned hot and humid down here, I can't do anything. You know what I would do for 60 degree weather??? Gah! We'll see if I get any reading done today. Can't imagine finishing two books in a day. I'm probably going to rely on audio to get me through the day.

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    1. Sandy - You've got to go back and check out the lamb burger post. They were SO good! Today was chilly again and we may get down into the 40s overnight... a nice change of pace. All the heat and humidity you guys are dealing with would do me in for sure... I get really cranky when I'm hot!

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  3. A busy week, you can also find me on Instagram with the same handle. I loved ' 'Beyond the Pasta' nearly got to meet the author when I lived in Viterbo , but we were unable to. :(

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    1. LindyLouMac - I found you on instagram! I'm loving Beyond the Pasta - it almost feels like I'm on vacation in Viterbo, too. Too bad you didn't get to meet the author :(

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  4. Lovely photos and updates, JoAnn. I must try your swordfish recipe. Happy reading and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - Thanks, that swordfish recipe is definitely a keeper. Hope you have a good week.

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  5. Wonderful sunset shot! I am envious of your lakeside views...the closest I got to a water view was thirteen years in the foothills near a river...LOL.

    Enjoy your books, your grilling, and your week! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - We've lived here for over 20 years and I never tire of the views. Seems like it's different and wonderful every day. Hope you have a good week, too!

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  6. I have a nephew arriving tonight en route to his first year of college, too. How did that happen??? :) I was going to make Wegman's honey-brined turkey breast for dinner and they've stopped carrying it until the holidays. Grumble. I guess the honeymoon is over. :)

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    1. Audrey - I know... these kids all grew up way too fast! Love Wegmans honey-brined turkey breast, but I'd be surprised if you have to wait until the holidays to get it. At least in our store they'll start carrying it again in the early fall. They might get it for you if you ask :)

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  7. Not to complain, but as Sandy said I can't imagine a 60 degree day. Heat and humidity rule in Florida...ick. When I'm up and cooking again I'm determined to use my cookbooks more.
    Enjoy summer while it lasts, my son starts back to,school tomorrow.

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    1. Anita - All that heat and humidity would definitely take its toll on me! Hope your recover continues on schedule... I know it's hard work though.

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  8. Glad you loved, The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals. I thought it was such an unexpected surprise.

    Lucky daughter studying in Paris (oh..or is it vacation?) either way hope it's wonderful.

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    1. Diane - I just found out there's a sequel to Wilfred Price! Now I need to find out how to get a copy...

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  9. I'm looking forward to watching Hundred Foot Journey. I love movies about food and hopefully the husband and I can watch it this week. Love the idea of staying at home all day - there's so much to do at home too!

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    1. Athira - I would love to watch Hundred Foot Journey again and may ask my husband to go with me.

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  10. JoAnn,
    I wish I could get quality ground lamb. It's just not available within 75 miles of my door, if you can imagine. I've loved reading about your adventures this summer--culinary, literary, and otherwise!
    Judith

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    1. Judith - I am so fortunate to have Wegmans nearby! They have the necessary ingredients for almost anything I would ever want to cook. It certainly has been an interesting summer in my kitchen :)

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  11. Beyond the Pasta sounds like just my kind of book, so I will be looking for that one. (And also the kind that will inspire me to cook and eat noodles.) Happy Sunday evening :)

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    1. Lisa - I haven't tried any of the recipes in Beyond the Pasta yet, but they look wonderful and authentic!

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  12. We seem to be having the hottest weather of the summer right now. I'm not complaining, though because it's been a mild summer.

    I'm going to see The Hundred Foot Journey on Tuesday.

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    1. Kathy - Hope you enjoy The Hundred Foot Journey, I want to see it again. Don't go to the movie hungry ;-)

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  13. What a gorgeous sunset (or rise?) picture! And your Sunday sounds like the perfect day - I would pay an arm and a leg for a day like that...alas, I'll have to wait until the kiddos are a bit older!

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    1. Sarah - That picture is a sunset. I had to wait a long, long time for a day like that...my youngest it 21 now!

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  14. Beautiful sunset! We've had downright cool weather at night too- so unusual for us in August. Weird summer. anyway Beyond the Pasta sounds interesting- travel memoirs and Italy sound like a winner.

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    1. Greg - It's definitely been a strange summer... beautiful weather to begin with, but very fall-like now. I'm really enjoying Beyond the Pasta and will definitely give some of the recipes a try.

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  15. Sounds like you had a great week. I admire your decision to read the Classics. I haven't read very many. You can see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I took mostly science courses in college, but have always loved reading and the classics. Guess I'm making up for lost time now ;-)

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  16. The trailers for the 100 hundred foot journey looks good, I'm glad to know you enjoyed it.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Shelleyrae - I'd love to see The Hundred Foot Journey again!

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  17. I really enjoyed The Hundred Foot Journey as well! It has to be one of my favorite movies this year so far.

    I too, have been feeling autumn in the air. It's coming!

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    1. Quixotic Magpie - The Hundred Foot Journey will be on my list of favorites this year, too! I might take my mother and go see it again.

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  18. Oh, your pictures are just beautiful. I really wish I would stop and take more pictures in life. That sounds like a great project.

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    1. Jennifer - Thanks, I love how this project makes me focus on the little things each day.

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  19. I definitely want to see The Hundred Foot Journey - I love Helen Mirren. That Wendy Jones book looks interesting...going to have to check that one out!

    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. Kristin - I'd go right back to the movies tonight and watch The Hundred Foot Journey again if I could! Wendy Jones books was an unexpected surprise.

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  20. Sometimes a whole relaxed day at home just makes your whole week better, doesn't it?

    I haven't read An American Tragedy, but I look forward to seeing what you think of it!

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    1. Lindsey - Every now and then an entire day at home is the best! An American Tragedy is long, but I really like it so far.

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  21. I love to see your photos, and the lake one is gorgeous. Glad you had a relaxed, enjoyable Sunday. I was thinking of watching The Hundred Foot Journey too. Your grilling recipe sounds good (we don't eat any meat but turkey or chicken so I would substitute). Have a great week ahead, and enjoy the rest of summer!

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    1. Rita - Glad you like the photos... just taking them makes me happy. The Hundred Foot Journey is my favorite movie so far this year. Hope you get a chance to see it. Also hoping the move went well today!

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  22. My parents saw The !00-Foot Journey this week, and also loved it. I'm looking forward to it coming out on DVD.

    The Lamb Burgers sound fantastic! I wish I liked to cook more than I do.

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    1. Carrie - I'll definitely be watching The Hundred Foot Journey again when it's available on DVD! Cooking has really grown on me over the years. When the kids were younger, they were so picky that I hated to try new recipes. Now they'll all eat just about anything once ;-)

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  23. Sounds like you had a great week and I hope this one is too!

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  24. That first picture is so gorgeous! When we were in Ontario two weeks ago I started spying a few changing colors in the leaves and was stunned that fall is just around the corner for y'all. While we've had a mild summer (meaning high 90s but few days over 100), we still have a while to go before chilly. Fall is always such a welcome change here!

    I don't know anything about American Tragedy. I hope that you're enjoying it! I look forward to a small commute when I can listen/read books. I love that combo. Enjoy!!

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    1. Trish - The changing leaves are becoming more and more noticeable around here this week. I'll have my crock pot out again before you know it!

      An American Tragedy is a surprisingly good story. Maybe a little long-winded, but I'mr really enjoying it and look forward to reading or listening.

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  25. Gorgeous photo! photography and the "little things" are my happy place ... will have to look at the #100happydays. I'm looking forward to trying that marinade from the seared swordfish and I'm going to give the lamb burger in pita a try ... good to know it worked well for you too, I wasn't sure lol
    Have a great week and happy reading :)

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    1. Teddyree - Yes, all those little things add up to so much happiness if we only take the time to be aware and appreciate them! The swordfish recipe is nothing short of amazing and those lamb burgers are the biggest recipe surprise I've had in quite some time. Hope you have a great reading week, too!

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  26. Lovely post. The sunsets have been great, yes? And it needs to be hotter and I usually try not to complain about the weather. sigh... That Europa title is fab - is it quirky? and Just saying 'An American Tragedy' depresses me...

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    1. Care - Oh, these sunsets...so much beauty! Cool weather again today, but I don't think we can write off summer just yet. Mother Nature always gets the last laugh. The Europa title may just be my biggest surprise of the year... not exactly quirky, but unusual and delightful. Just found out last night that there's a sequel. Not sure if it's available in the US yet, but I'll be on the lookout. An American Tragedy is really good so far. Still, I'm bracing myself for the worst...

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  27. The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals is a wonderful title. :-)

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    1. Irene - Oh, I agree... great title!

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