Posts Tagged ‘The Swan Thieves’
Friday, March 12th, 2010
Every month or so, my sister and I partake in a ritual where we escape our domestic kingdoms for a snug hole in the wall in which we read/write/not talk/stare at other people’s screaming children as if we’ve never had any of our own and indulge in some quiet time with a full cup of serenity. Always chai for her; whatever strikes my fancy for me.
Last week’s rendezvous took place at Higher Groundz coffee shop (in San Luis Obispo)—one of my favorites (because not all coffee shops are created equal, can we agree?). Fortunately for me and the rest of the Central California Coast (the region that lays claim to Hearst Castle, Big Sur, and Santa Barbara, for those of you unfamiliar), this one is heaven. Cozy fireplace, Illy espresso, amazing food, tables, couch, eclectic art strewn across the walls, and music that is modish enough to enjoy without it blaring so loud one need shout over it. And, for the record, no screaming kids.
Just a super cute one named Tobin. Child to the unreasonably gorgeous owners, Garth and Holly (this would be the same brilliant Garth who created the website you are currently staring at).
We wrote. I read. Still working through The Swan Thieves, which, I hesitate to admit, I am not enjoying. However, I purpose to reserve full judgment until I’ve reached the end. But you can expect an upcoming review.
Oh, and we tormented James (our barista) too, despite the fact that he DID make a pretty rockin’ turtle mocha for me and a super lucious chai (something my sister is unbelievably fastidious about). And then we wandered off, back to our respective homes, all the nicer for it.
All right, my beautiful friendlies, now it’s your turn. For the sake of fun, indulge my curious side. Where is YOUR favorite book nook?
(Oh, and if you ever feel inclined toward doing your own tormenting of James the Barista and the rest of the Higher Groundz staff you can go to: http://www.highergroundz.com/, or 3230 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Tell them Mary sent you .)
What’s the mood noise of the moment? David Gray: This Year’s Love
Monday, March 8th, 2010
This is my lazy dinner recipe.
The one I whip out on a rain soaked Saturday when, after a hard week, I’ve absconded to drift off for an hour or two into some work of fiction (The Swan Thieves this time), accompanied by the sounds of thunder and nervous squeals from my children playing hide and seek in the house.
Five o’clock usually rolls around before the four-year-old pokes his head in to holler, “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! What you making for dinner? ‘Cuz I’m hungry and I got big muscles to fight those bad guys and I can give myself a wedgie. Wanna see?”
No. I don’t want to see. And neither does the rest of the universe.
But as to dinner . . . I shall share with you my recipe for Balsamic Chicken with Rice Pilaf. The balsamic addition is mine; the rice pilaf is my friend, Diane’s. Serve both with a salad or broiled asparagus and it proves quite delish.
Oh, except, before you read over it, I’m curious–what did YOU do to relax on Saturday???
- 1 Tab. olive oil
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 yellow onion (sliced into thick rings)
- 4 chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp pepper
Place olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan and heat until garlic is sizzling. Add the onion and sear on high heat for 2 minutes while stirring. Cover and turn the fire down to medium for 5 minutes. I suggest using these 5 min. wisely by pouring a tasty glass of red wine and sipping on it. (Gulping works too, depending on your day.) Add four chicken breasts, the balsamic vinegar and pepper. Replace the lid and leave heat on medium. The cooking time will vary, depending on whether the chicken is frozen or not. Start with a half-hour and go from there. For the last 10 minutes, remove the lid to allow a slight reduction of the vinegar.
Now start your Rice Pilaf.
- 2 coils vermicelli noodles
- ¾ cube butter
- 1 cup rice
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 all natural chicken bouillon cubes
Melt the butter in a tall pot. Stir in the vermicelli noodles and cook until they’ve browned. Dissolve the bouillon in the boiling water and add it and the rice to the pot. Stir, then turn the fire on low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Missy Higgins: Where I Stood
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