Everything is The Worst. [PINNED POST]

August 17th, 2017 4:06 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Ginormous Blueberry Lavender Oven-Baked Pancakes

November 24th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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It’s funny how, in a marriage or partnership, both people just organically assume certain roles and responsibilities. Sometimes very specific roles and responsibilities. With Shane and I, our cooking was almost always divided down certain lines: I was the designated baker of sweets and pasta goddess. He baked the pizza and flipped the pancakes. I made the ice cream batter, and he churned the ice cream. And so on and so forth.

Which is all to say, I haven’t had pancakes in over a year now. (There’s a larger story here, but I’m coming off a carb high and thus not quite feeling up to the task. So, another day.)

I’ve been craving pancakes off and on for a few months, and the dried blueberries from Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit gave me the perfect reason to dive back in. Rather than make regular old pancakes on the griddle, I decided to start off easy by revisiting my ginormous oven-baked pancake recipe. With lavender, because it’s aces with blueberries, and a topping made of cooked strawberries, strawberry syrup, and powdered sugar, because why not.

The result is hecka delicious and very filling – so much so that I could only devour half a pancake in one go!

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I especially love how these baked pancakes get to crispy around the edges and on the bottom. Such a pleasant deviation from the norm.

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tweets for 2017-11-23

November 24th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-22

November 23rd, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-21

November 22nd, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: 30 Days to Peace: A One-Month Creative Journal by Waterbrook (2017)

November 21st, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Best suited to practicing Christians.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Blogging for Books.)

30 Days to Peace is a bit of a short-term project, as far as journals go; as is evident from the subtitle, users are intended to work through its thirty prompts in a month (although nothing’s stopping you from taking a more leisurely pace with the exercises). Each prompt is focused on one aspect of peace: for example, how you define peace, how you find peace, what signals your body gives to indicate that it is or is not at peace. Though I usually take a much more scattershot approach to jounaling – writing whatever comes to mind – I can appreciate the benefits of a more focused path. Meditation on a single narrow topic is likely to promote enhanced understanding.

What I didn’t particularly care for is the journal’s explicitly Christian focus. Between the Galatians 5:22–23 quote featured on the book’s listing at Blogging for Books and the publisher (Waterbrook is the Christian imprint of Crown Publishing), I really should have known better. Actually, that first did give me pause, but I decided to give the journal a try anyway, since it was free for review and all.

The result is kind of a mixed bag. It wouldn’t even be accurate to shelve this journal under the more general label “spiritual,” since the Bible pops up in many of the quotes and illustrations that pepper the book. That said, only five of the thirty prompts explicitly mentions God or the Bible; and only one is necessarily specific to the Christian faith (i.e., the Bible prompt). So I’d say that 30 Days to Peace is best suited to practicing Christians, and perhaps spiritual New Age types too. Which is a shame, because I think we all could use a little more peace in our lives, whatever our religious identity may be.

As far as the book’s design goes, it’s a little on the small side, at 5 3/4″ by 7 1/4″. Usually this drives me bonkers, but the book is rather thin and thus not terribly difficult to write in. (When you’ve got a small but fat book, your hand ends up falling off the bottom off the page about a third of the way down. Not fun.) The pages aren’t lined, ostensibly for doodling and more free-form/artistic writing. The book itself is lovely, with a soothing and richly textured cover design. The pages are mostly white with green illustrations, adding to the spa-like feel.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2017-11-20

November 21st, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-19

November 20th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-18

November 19th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-17

November 18th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Blueberry Almond Pecan Breakfast Cereal Granola

November 17th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

2017-11-12 - Blueberry Granola - 0003 [flickr]

In one of her most recent care packages, my mom included a few boxes of hippy-dippy cereal that I totally got hooked on. It’s not exactly a cereal in the traditional sense of the word – or at least not how I think of it – but rather a mix of cereal-type flakes, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. It’s almost like a granola mix watered down with cereal. Anyway, it’s sweet and delicious and even though I extended its life by mixing it in sparingly with my bran flakes – just enough to spice them up – it was gone way too soon.

I decided to approximate the experience by making my own granola-cereal mashup. This recipe has all the regular granola ingredients – rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts – along with a few types of store-bought cereal, just for fun. Normally I go with dried cranberries or homemade apple slices for the fruit portion of the mix, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the dried blueberries gifted to me by Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit! (If you worry that your dried fruit will get a little too dry during baking, you can always mix it in at the end.)

Though this stuff takes the better part of an afternoon to make, the end result is so worth it: sweet* and savory granola, made to your own specifications, and for a fraction of the price of store-bought stuff. The cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and other goodies in this granola really make it stand out from some of the other versions I’ve made. And yes, it works wonders for ye ole boring bran flakes!

* But not too sweet: if you really want a cavity-maker, double the maple syrup, or add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar!
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tweets for 2017-11-16

November 17th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-15

November 16th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-14

November 15th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1) by Mira Grant (2017)

November 14th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

No one does mermaids like Mira Grant.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Did you really think we were the apex predators of the world?

“You still chasing mermaids, Vic?” he asked.
“I’ve never been chasing mermaids,” she said. “I’ve only ever been chasing Anne.”

I’m a huge Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire fan, and her mermaid stories are among my favorites. (Zombies are grrrrrrate, but no one does mermaids quite like Mira Grant.) When I saw the prequel to Into the Drowning Deep, a novella called Rolling in the Deep, I snatched it up…but, being a mere 123 pages long, it just left me wanting more: more science (fiction), more killer mermaids, more heart-stopping suspense, more blood and gore and viscera. Somewhere in between a short story and a full-length book, it lacked the crisp concision of the former and the delicious, drawn out horror of the latter.

Enter: Into the Drowning Deep, which is exactly what I was craving. Pro tip: read Rolling in the Deep as if it was a prologue to Into the Drowning Deep. It’ll feel so much more satisfying that way.

In 2015, the Atargatis set off on a scientific expedition to the Mariana Trench. Ostensibly, their mission was to find evidence of mermaids. Really, though, they were there to film a mockumentary on behalf of their employer, an entertainment network called Imagine (think: SyFy). The hoax quickly turned into a bloodbath when they discovered what they were/weren’t looking for.

The Atargatis was found six weeks later, floating several hundred miles off course, completely devoid of human occupants. The only clue as to what became of her two hundred crew and passengers was a smashed up control room and shaky film footage showing what looked like – but couldn’t possibly be – a mermaid attack.

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tweets for 2017-11-13

November 14th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-12

November 13th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-11-11

November 12th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @hspaulds: From the book All The Rage by Courtney Summers, which I’ve been thinking about a lot today https://t.co/bKS6jAuic7 ->
  • RT @Freeyourmindkid: So George Takei pretty much admitted that he committed sexual assault when he went on the Howard Stern Show.

    :-/

    ht… ->

  • RT @Cool_Mintz: There was a written plan for that little boy and they didn't follow it, someone has to go to jail https://t.co/TttYUa2cIg ->
  • RT @tywrent: sending love to trans & non-binary folks who deal w sexual harassment/assault & stay silent bc trans bodies are seen as public… ->
  • RT @Mary_Trujillo: His name was Jason Pero, he was in the 8th grade. He was a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He wa… ->
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tweets for 2017-11-10

November 11th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Zucchini Bread With Dried Blueberries

November 10th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

2017-11-06 - Zucchini Bread with Blueberries - 0003 [flickr]

So this is a little off-season for me, but I last week I inexplicably found myself craving zucchini bread like mad. (“Inexplicable” because it’s been at least two years since I’ve last eaten the stuff. Why here? Why now? Why me?) I also wanted to try it with Mags who, if you remember, is one fussy-ass eater who is partial to sweet breads, among other things.

Since I have ten pounds (give or take) of dried blueberries hanging out in my pantry, I decided to experiment with blueberry zucchini bread. Spoiler alert: it is predictably delicious, though I did find myself wondering about other variations: zucchini blueberry lemon, perhaps? Or maybe lavender blueberry floats your boat? Two words: blueberry peach. Okay, so they’re all a little summery, but when it snows on Halloween for the first time since you relocated to the Midwest, a taste of summer is most definitely in order.

Anyway, point is, this recipe makes two loaves, so feel free to try out your own rad combos. Blueberry and cinnamon, fwiw? Totally a winner.

Thanks go out, yet again, to Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit for the delicious dried blueberries.

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2017-09-17 - Gourmet Nuts Blueberries - 0005 [flickr]

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They’re also wonderful in oatmeal, and the dogs love to snack on them, too!

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tweets for 2017-11-09

November 10th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato