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September 19, 2018 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Sun Flower

Almost wordless: Finally, a sun flower! I usually have them popping up all over my backyard and never need to plant them. This year there were none to be found until a few weeks ago when one appeared in a potted plant and I moved it to the wildflower garden.

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September 17, 2018 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ September 17th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.
 


Another week just flew past! We have been given a bonus week of summer with temps in the 90s (eeek) last weekend and staying hot most of this week. I like hot, but I like autumn-type warm too, and hope we get some of that and don’t go directly to chilly. Chicago can be erratic that way.

One book this week and I know some of you are thinking, she doesn’t read romances, what’s up. Well, the setting is the University of Illinois (my alma mater) in the past, Chicago in the present, and the lead character is a librarian. That was enough for me to know it would hold my interest, so I requested a copy.

New Arrivals

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves from St. Martin’s Press.

New York Times bestselling author of On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves, presents the compelling, hopelessly romantic novel of unconditional love.

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September 3, 2018 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ September 3rd

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
September already! Summer sure went by fast. Funny how winter seems to linger and linger. A couple of new books arrived last week. I’m really excited to get an early copy of Unsheltered.

New Arrivals

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver from Harper.

The New York Times bestselling author … returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom from Harper.

In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie—the little girl he saved on earth—in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

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August 31, 2018 / Leslie

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, XIII

A Favorite Event

September begins tomorow and that means it’s time for one of my favorite reading events, R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril. This is the THIRTEENTH year for R.I.P. It was created by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings and is now hosted by Heather from My Capricious Life.

The event runs from September 1st through October 31st. There are multiple levels of peril to choose from, even a one book option for the time challenged.

I avoid most challenges; I usually fail at them, plus they add a level of stress I don’t need. But RIP is not a challenge, it’s an event. It’s about coming together as a community. And it doesn’t hurt that RIP books are from genres I enjoy.

There are only two simple goals for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril:

1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

Genres to choose from:

Mystery | Suspense | Thriller | Dark Fantasy | Gothic | Horror | Supernatural

I’m Choosing Peril the First

Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux . . . or anyone in between.

Other challenges to choose from are Peril the Movie, Peril the Short Story, and Peril the Group Read. For anyone new to R.I.P., you do not have to be a blogger to participate. Post anywhere that readers gather.

My Book Choices

  1. Side Life by Steve Toutonghi
  2. This is described as paranoid literary sci-fi. That’s creepy enough for me.

  3. The Astronaut’s Son by Tom Seigel
  4. A scifi thriller.

How to Participate

Sign up at the Readers Imbibing Peril blog.
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© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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August 29, 2018 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Wildflower Garden

Almost wordless: The wildflower garden looks different every year. I don’t make many changes, I just garden around what comes up each year as most of my plants are perennials or self-seeders. This year it’s very full and lush despite all the bunny damage early in the season.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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August 27, 2018 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ August 27th

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
Summer returned this weekend with lots of heat and humidity. I must be getting old because I can’t take it as well as I used to. I was outside early this morning to tend to the garden and now back inside to hide from the heat.

One new book last week . . . a cookbook. I can never have too many of those!

New Arrivals

The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook Season 11 by America’s Test Kitchen from AmazonVine.

This eclectic collection offers foolproof methods for making over 400 kitchen-tested recipes. And in addition to learning how to make great food, home cooks get a glimpse into the origins and inspiration behind many of the dishes.

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© 2018 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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August 25, 2018 / Leslie

Just Add Sauce from America’s Test Kitchen

A Revolutionary Guide to Boosting the Flavor of Everything You Cook

Publisher: America’s Test Kitchen | February 2018
Format: Paperback 328 Pages | Rating: 5 stars

America’s Test Kitchen has put together a new recipe book with over 175 sauces and 100 easy meals. There are so many sauces in this book I’m not sure where to start! Everything from salad dressings and vinaigrettes to multiple types of pasta sauces, barbecue sauces, pan sauces, and dessert sauces to name a few.

Helpful Introduction

The book opens with an introduction plus some helpful information on how to use the book, tools and equipment you will need, how to store the sauces, and other techniques. There are several helpful indexes right at the beginning, before we even get to the recipes. There is a list of food (ie beef, chicken, pork, etc) and what sauces pair with it, plus a list of the sauces and a list of the recipes that use the sauces. At the end of the book is the usual alphabetical index.

Well-Organized and Attractive Layout

I like the way the book is organized. Chapters are arranged by type of sauce, not by recipe. Following each sauce are a few easy meals that use the sauce or a slight variation of it. I found the instructions to be clear and easy to follow. The ingredients are readily available in most areas with a large supermarket.

The layout of the book is attractive and the food is inviting. There are photos of most dishes, but the book is not overloaded with them.Dinners are not overly complicated; many are easy. They don’t hesitate to use the microwave or even a shortcut like canned tomatoes, and I can attest it does not affect the flavor. The Pomodoro Sauce is delicious using canned tomatoes.

Each sauce recipe begins with “why this recipe works” and offers useful information that can be applied to other recipes, which is helpful for those who like to create their own dishes, make substitutions, or experiment. While this is not a beginners cookbook, you don’t need to be an expert either. It has something for everyone.

Sample Recipe

Garden Vegetable Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

2 (28‐ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup extra‐virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
⅓ cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Sugar

Preparation

1. Drain tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Using hands, open tomatoes and remove seeds and cores. Let tomatoes drain for 5 minutes. (You should have about 2½ cups juice; if not, add water as needed to equal 2½ cups.) Measure out and reserve ¾ cup tomatoes separately.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to brown and stick to skillet, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Stir in wine and cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Transfer sauce to food processor, add reserved tomatoes, and pulse until slightly chunky, about 4 pulses.

5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Return sauce to skillet and bring to brief simmer. Stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Makes about 6 cups; enough for 1 pound pasta


wkendcookingThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
Participation 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.


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