The Break-Up Diet

This single mom break-up story has great potential due to some unique elements. Exotic dancing to pay the bills and homeschooling a misunderstood son while working towards a writing career makes for an intriguing mix. Unfortunately, a few flaws made the book less enjoyable than I had hoped.

It is a compelling story and I had no trouble turning page after page, but the cluttered somewhat clunky writing started getting in the way of my reading enjoyment. Her son is charming and that mother-son relationship is a great piece of the story. There are some great scenes and I was certainly never bored, but I felt like the rest needed a little something.

As with any break-up, it’s easy for an outsider to pass quick judgment on the situation and I found myself in that very position, frustrated that she wasn’t just getting over it already and moving on. One contributing factor was that I just never felt like I got a sense of the weight of the relationship and so found it hard to really feel the heartbreak. And I think that’s essential in this type of tale.

I scored this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This is the review I wrote for the site.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers

By on February 9, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

The peanut says hello to his aunt

Baby nephew Oliver lifts his head to say hey to me!

He loves me already. For the complete Oliver video collection, visit his YouTube site.

By on February 1, 2008 · Comments ( 1 )

Recent high-risk activity

This is the second time in not so many months that I’ve gotten this bright red notice when I log into my credit card account. I actually really appreciate that Citibank is on the ball, but it’s a bit embarrassing running down a list of recent charges and admitting ‘yes, that was me’ to each one.

Import Japanese video game? Yes, yes, I ordered that.

$1.99 from iTunes? Um, yup, bought an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Okay, so I bought another video game. Jeez.

Perhaps it’s time to lay off the ‘Place Order’ button. I may need to stay away from the Internets altogether in my free time. Of course that would mean no updates here, so I can’t very well do that. Am I the only one that gets these calls? Do I really make more online purchases than the average cardholder?

By on January 31, 2008 · Comments ( 1 )

Remember Oliver?

He is my tiny baby nephew. I have been neglecting him on this site in favor of food. Lately he is just too cute, so have a little sample.

I get my daily baby nephew fix at Oliver Everyday.

By on January 30, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Stuck in a food rut

It has been awhile since I’ve added new items to my regular cooking repertoire. Well, I guess I tried the Brussels sprouts, but I’m talkin’ main dishes here. Meals.

I need some inspiration. I don’t get Food Network and PBS is showing ‘Viewers Favorites’ today so there won’t be any Mark Bittman or Everyday Food to study.

In my head, I picture something noodly or rice-based or chock full of beans. I don’t know. Something new and delicious. Sans exotic ingredients.

I know it’s a broad request. Maybe a nice go-to recipe of someone else would fit the bill. A lunch or dinner you’ve got down pat.

By on January 26, 2008 · Comments ( 7 )

Feed me back

I gotta say I am really enjoying all the feedback. So many great ideas for Brussels sprouts. Before that it was the book suggestions.

Generally I think the mission statement for my blog is something like this:

“Keep people far and near updated on the Annie Jo goings on”

Since a lot of friends and family live far away, it’s an attempt to connect. But I like the addition of this ‘forth’ to my ‘back’ (or vice-versa?), so please keep it coming.

By on January 24, 2008 · Comments ( 1 )

This time it’s bread

It turned out delicious. I made the no-knead special.

The first time I tried this, it was brilliant. The second time I made the recipe, the dough was terribly sticky and I later realized that I had measured the water incorrectly, putting too much in. The bread was good, but a dish towel was nearly lost in the process. This third time around I added some walnuts and it produced quite a tasty loaf.

I say, give this bread a try if you haven’t already. If anybody is wondering, I use a 2 quart Pyrex glass bowl with a lid (fairly inexpensive at Target if I remember correctly). I will also mention that I get my yeast from Costco because it’s about $3 for a huge sack of it that lasts for months.

By on January 21, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Adventures in Brussels . . . sprouts

Today’s lunch menu featured roasted brussels sprouts.  I can’t remember ever eating the vegetable before, but we all know of their less than stellar reputation.  I cut them in half, put them in a hot oven with olive oil, salt and pepper and waited for a nice crisp brown exterior.

Honestly I was frightened of eating them.  They were decent.  Some were better than others (the smaller ones).  I bought a bag of them so I had no choice in which individual sprouts came home with me.  I might try selecting them with care and giving them another go.  It takes me awhile to warm to new things, anyway.

Anybody else have experience with the infamous sprout?

By on January 20, 2008 · Comments ( 6 )

Snow day

Even though I am all grown up now, I still get a snow day. Ain’t life grand?

Guess I’ll get to use my new thermal underwear tomorrow.

By on January 14, 2008 · Comments ( 2 )

Baking ‘O’ pretzels for Oliver

Last Sunday I baked some pretzels to take to work as a celebration of my new nephew. Here’s me doing the dirty work.

By on January 13, 2008 · Comments ( 1 )