Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- A Love Story

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- A Love Story
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- A Love Story by Ree Drummond

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ree Drummond has created a great brand with her cooking, her writing, her photography. Her love story reads just like all of her other writing on her blog.
While there were moments where I really felt like the details were a little over the top, overall I really enjoyed her story.

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Chicken Corn Chowder

Last night for dinner I made chowder, chicken corn chowder to be precise. It was delicious. No, no pictures, bad blogger, bad. However, here is my recipe!

Chicken Corn Chowder
6-8 slices of bacon - diced
1 onion - diced
1 red pepper - diced
2 chicken breasts - cubed
6-8 potatoes - cubed
1 bag of frozen corn
2 TBS butter
4-6 cups milk
1/2 - 1 cup half & half
1 TBS chili powder
1/4-1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper

In a dutch oven, render the bacon, set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
Add the onions and peppers with a bit of salt and pepper, cook til soft, set aside.
Add the butter, chicken, salt and pepper, and chili powder, cook through.
Add the bacon, onions, and peppers back to the pot, and add the diced potato and corn, mix.
Stir in 4-5 cups of milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are almost done.
Mix the flour and some milk to create a slurry, add to the pot, allowing the mixture to thicken.
Stir in the half & half for richness.
Taste and season salt and pepper.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Review: Deadly Sanctuary

Deadly Sanctuary
Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book snagged me right from the beginning, "Oh... my... god. What have I done?" I immediately wanted to know what s/he did. It set off a chain reaction of wanting to know what happens next that ended with me finishing the book in one sitting.
There were many twists, and while too many twists can leave me feeling lost, this had just enough. Every time I thought I had it figured out, a wrench was thrown in my deductions.
Kendall O'Dell makes a great lead character, she is witty and smart, on the ball when it comes to her job, but a bit self-deprecating which is borderline acceptable, too much more and I would find her whiny.
All in all, a great fast read. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

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Monday, October 03, 2011

Trapp Cabin 5k - Recap

I ran my first race since the Stoaked Standard Triathlon on September 24.  The Trapp Cabin 5k was part of the Stowe Trail Running Series and a lot of fun, made even better by the fact that they shortened it to 4k to make the overall series distance 15k (the previous 2 5k's came in at 5.5k). Also running that day was Allie, a fellow blogger from Burlington. Only Allie was running the 10k, and her awesome friend Marlaina was running with her!
View from Trapp Cabin - photo courtesy of Allie West
Allie (in the white) and Marlaina (in the pink) are fantastic! I can't wait to hang out with them again. They were so full of energy and good vibes, it was incredibly contagious. Allie and I had been tweeting back and forth ever since I found her blog, Healthy Balance, Healthy Life a few months ago, and the timing was perfect to meet up.

Marlaina, Allie, and I goofing around before the race - photo courtesy of Allie West

Since I was brilliant and forgot my camera at home, I have no pictures of my portion of the race or of me finishing. That is ok. I killed it in 28 minutes and 34 seconds. I have no idea how I ran that fast, even with my walking breaks. I must have been chased by wolves! 
I did manage to snag Allie's camera from the car after my run, allowing me to get these great finishing shots of the girls. They were fantastic! 
Marlaina and Allie coming in hot and fast - photo courtesy of Allie West
After a quick stop for cider donuts at Cold Hollow Cider Mill, it was time for a beer and food at The Reservoir in Waterbury.  This was perhaps the best part of the day. I love sitting around and enjoying friends company.  As we walked to our cars in the rain, I hopped in to start up and pull away, only my car wouldn't start. Somebody left the lights on. Allie got a great mini-lesson on jumping cars, and I got home safe and sound. It was a fantastic day!
Cider Donuts, The Reservoir, and the joys of jumping a car - photo courtesy of Allie West