Monday, November 29, 2010

The Odyssey - Check-in the Fourth/Last


Welcome to The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the Fourth/Last (Books 19-24).

Synopsis of Books XIX-XIV
When we left off last week, Odysseus had returned disguised as a beggar, the suitors were getting fairly drunk and rowdy, and Penelope chastised them for taking from her instead of giving gifts.  This week we entered into the last leg of Odysseus's journey which brought back all the action that was missing last week.  Penelope calls Ody into her chamber and they talk about this and that (boy can Ody spin a yarn!).  The nurse recognizes Ody when she's bathing his feet, but Athena distracts Penelope so she doesn't notice (XIX). 

Penelope proposes a contest for the suitors to win her hand--a feat which only Odysseus can truly accomplish.  The suitors are to string Ody's bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axeheads.  Several of the suitors struggle with the bow and call upon Apollo for help.  Ody asks to try his hand and despite much protesting from the suitors, Telemachus gives Ody the bow to shoot (XXI).  Bullseye for Ody and bloody and brutal slaying of the suitors commences--as well as a not so pleasant end to the women who betrayed Odysseus and Penelope (XXII).  Odysseus finally reunites with Penelope after mentioning the secret sign (XXIII) and there is finally peace in the land--after some minor meddling with the gods, again (XXIV).


My Thoughts
Along with the second section we read with all the famous characters, these books were the most entertaining and familiar to me.  There is so much build up to Odysseus's homecoming to Ithaca that it's hard not to be excited about his meeting with Penelope and his unveiling of his identity to the suitors before he starts kicking some serious ass.  Of course we have some setting up that we must endure (not as bad since half of it was carved into last week's reading), but once we get to the contest part--goodness gracious!  Homer doesn't spare anything when it comes to the guts and glory of Odysseus's revenge.  I think this section even rivaled the encounter with the Cyclops!  Of course, nothing is done without ubiquitous help of Athena who lends her hand in stunting the suitors' fight.

I'll do a more focused review of The Odyssey as a whole in a few weeks (or at least that's what I tell myself...still working on that Les Miserables post), but I did want to mention Odysseus and Penelope's reunion.  No matter how I play the reunion in my mind I find myself disappointed that there wasn't more passion between the two.  Sure, the passion is there, but I wanted more yearning between the characters--to see how hard it was for Odysseus to resist his wife after not having seen her for 20 years. 


And finally, what the heck happened with the ending?  Did you feel like the whole story seemed to fall flat with the visit to Laërtes and then the gods' call for peace within Ithaca and then...the end?  I really enjoyed the story as a whole so I'm trying not to be let down by the ending, but I felt like the entirety of book 24 could have simply been left out. 

But in the end?  So glad to have read this and so glad you all joined me.  It was a pleasant switch from the more taxing readalongs I've participated in this year. 

Readalong Interaction!
If you have written a post (not required) about Books 19-24, please link to it in the Mr. Linky below.



Make sure to visit  The Odyssey Check-in the First, Check-in the Second, and Check-in the Third if you missed them!

Thank you all for taking this journey with me!  A special shoutout to Jill and Trisha who originally agreed to this crazy journey when I threw out the idea on Twitter several months ago.  They're talking about continuing the journey in 2011 with Ulysses by James Joyce.  I know I'm crazy enough to have already bought my copy!  You in, too?

Happy reading,



[Still unplugged, but I was thinking about you all on Thanksgiving--hoping that you had a lovely holiday.  Hope to be back soon...I miss this thing they call blogging]

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Odyssey - Check-in the Third


Welcome to The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the Third (Books 13-18).

Well, as of 7:15 on Sunday evening--when I'm writing this post--I have only finished reading books 13-14 for this week.  I won't give you my list of lame excuses, but hopefully I'll be able to edit this post with my update as soon as possible (Tuesday?) and then hop around to each of your posts.  Sorry for the #trishfail and hopefully you all fared better than I did! UPDATE: FINISHED

Synopsis of Books XIII-XVIII
Odysseus finally makes his way back to his home island of Ithaca.  At first he doesn't recognize his homeland and feels betrayed and tricked.  Athena, however, greets him and assures him she has a plan. She disguises him as an old beggar and she goes to fetch Telemachus (Telemakhos) (XIII).  Odysseus, disguised as an old man, finds one of his faithful servents Eumaeus (Eumaios).  Eumaeus doesn't believe that Odysseus is alive, but Ody tries to convince the servant that he has heard word and that Odysseus will come home soon.  Odysseus tells Eumaeus a story of his enslavement in Egypt bahdada ladida (XIV).

Athena brings Telemachus home and Ody tells Eumaeus more tales of his capture and exile (XV).  Upon his return, Telemachus goes to visit Eumaeus and meets the old beggar.  After Athena's nudging, Odysseus reveals himself to Tele and they come up with a plan to overthrow the suitors (XVI).  Dressed as a beggar again, Odysseus makes his way to the great hall of his own palace and eases his way in with the suitors.  He's assaulted but also shows his strength and Penelope asks to see the beggar in private (XVII-XVIII).
 
My Thoughts
Well, I miss the action from the last six books.  The familiar stories and adventure were much more exciting to read--even if they were a bit sensational and contrived.  I realize that most of what happens in these books helps set up the ending of The Odyssey, but the chapters seem overly drawn out.  Last week a couple of the readalong folks noticed the change in tone between the first six books and the second six, and while I'm not sure where exactly the third six fall in terms of tone, they seemed so much choppier to me than any of the others.  The focus is constantly switching from character to character within the same book rather than focusing on one overarching theme, and some of the details like Odysseus's capture in Egypt seem to come entirely out of the blue. Or maybe it was just my distracted state of mind.

Athena was absent during last week's reading but she's back again and working her powers on all those around her.  I had to laugh when Telemachus is trying to convince his father of his strength and will power because it still seems evident to me that he is a rather weak young adult.  The reasons why Athena sends Telemachus away seem contradictory--on one hand to make a name for himself but on the other to keep him out of danger.  Because of the timing in which she brings him back, it seems even more evident that Athena sends Telemachus away not to become a man or to instill personal growth but to save his ass!

I'll be most interested in the last section of reading to see the interaction between Penelope and Odysseus.  In the last book she makes a speech against the suitors and how they take from her instead of shower her with gifts.  Of course prior to the speech Athena refreshes her: "With ambrosia/she bathed her cheeks and throat and smoothed her brow--/ambrosia, used by flower-crowned Kythereia/when she would join the rose-lipped Graces dancing".  Does Athena have to fix everything?  Are we mortals completely helpless to determine our own fate? 

Penelope

Readalong Interaction!
If you have written a post (not required) about Books 13-18, please link to it in the Mr. Linky below.



Make sure to visit  The Odyssey Check-in the First and Check-in the Second of you missed them!

Happy journeys! See you next week for the last check-in for Books XIX-XXIV (19-24).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Apple Pie - Weekend Cooking

I have designated myself as the “Apple Pie Maker” in my family. Not that I make a particularly awesome apple pie, but it seems to be the one stress-free dish I can consistently make without screwing it up. Well, except that one time when I added too much sugar to the top of the pie without first adding water. Luckily my family was sweet enough to discreetly push aside the burnt pie top and concentrate on the yummy goodness below.

Apple Pie is surprisingly easy to make. Washing, peeling, coring, and slicing the apples is the most tedious part of the whole business.

Fresh Apple Pie

Ingredients:

8-inch pie
Pastry for top and bottom of pie pan (usually I cheat and buy the premade pastry)
½ cup Sugar
3 tbsp Flour
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Dash of Salt
5 cups peeled and thinly sliced pared tart Apples (about 5 medium)
1 tbsp Margarine or Butter

9-inch pie
Pastry for top and bottom of pie pan
¾ cup Sugar
¼ cup Flour
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Dash of Salt
6 cups peeled and thinly sliced pared tart Apples (about 6 medium)
2 tbsp Margarine or Butter

Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare pastry.

Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples until apples are well coated and ingredients form a sticky residue.  It's OK--use your hands--it's messy but it's the best way to coat the apples. I've also put all into a large ziplock baggie, but the apples tend to break when I use this method. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate and dot with margarine.


Cover with top crust and cut slits into crust so pie can vent. Seal the edges and flute. Dab water on top of pie crust and sprinkle lightly with sugar.


Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil.


Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, 40 to 50 minutes (25 with foil, 15 without).


Serves 8-10 people.

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The Betty Crocker recipe has never failed to please, but I’d love to hear what spices your recipe calls for and what kind of apples you like to use?

I usually pick up whichever apples look pretty in the store (McIntosh for this pie), but my cousin Michelle told me she mixes her apples and I was thinking about doing the same for Thanksgiving next week.



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Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  "Weekend Cooking 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."  Hope you'll join the fun!

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On another note, I'm going to Unplug for the rest of the week and possibly month.  I'll still be putting up the Readalong Check-Ins for The Odyssey and maybe Wordless Wednesday, but otherwise I need to focus on some pressing professional obligations that I've grossly procrastinated on.  I plan to be fully back and in motion come December. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Non-Fiction AND Literary? Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

If you’re looking for the Apple Pie I promised you today [Friday], you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow. I had totally planned on switching back and forth between Weekend Cooking and Literary Blog Hop on Fridays as I’m not a fan of posting on Saturdays, but I couldn’t pass up this week’s topic of “Literary Non-Fiction."  One of these days I'll convince all those non-believers that non-fiction can be fabulous.

The Question:

Does Literary Non-Fiction exist? Well sure! And how does one define Literary Non-Fiction? That’s a little more complicated.

I haven’t really wanted to pin myself down to a definition of “literary” because it’s one of those nebulous terms that tends to change and morph depending on the conversation. I’m not even really sure I’d define “literary” the same way for non-fiction as I would for fiction. But, in a very basic sense, “literary” to me is when authors make conscious stylistic choices for a more aesthetic feel to a book.  How about that.  A vague description for a vague word.

How does that translate to non-fiction?  Memoirs and exposés immediately come to my mind--especially as authors are trying to find creative ways of telling their story.  Some examples  (links to my thoughts):

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote


A Rumor of War - Philip Caputo 

 The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

What do you see as being "literary" non-fiction?

Click over for more participants


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Odyssey - Check-in the Second


Welcome to The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the Second (Books 7-12).
I'm so thrilled after last week to see that so many of you are enjoying the Odyssey journey so far!  I'm having a blast and this second was even better than the first.

Synopsis of Books VII-XII (spoilers below)
We were left last time when Odysseus comes to the land of the Phaeacians.  Here, Ody meets Alcinous, the king of the Phaeacians and he welcomes Ody and even offers his daughter's hand in marriage (7).  After a night's rest, the Phaeacians assemble and hold a Pentathlon in Ody's honor--every time Ody hears of Troy he weeps and a strapping fellow, Seareach, challenges Odysseus to competition in the games.  Prideful Odysseus shows his strength and the folks later celebrate over food and music (8).

Odysseus openly grieves at dinner--especially after the Harper's tales of Troy--and King Alcinous asks to know who Ody is.  Finally begins what we've all been waiting for--Odysseus's account of his journey from Troy to the land of the Phaeacians.  Along his journey, Odysseus and his men run into the following unsavory characters:

Lotus Eaters--those who eat from the lotus have no desire to ever leave (9)

Cyclops - a terrifying and savage cannibal who traps Odysseus's men and even eats a few! "Caught two in his hands like squirming puppies/ to beat their brains out, spattering the floor./ Then he dismembered them and made his meal,/ gaping and crunching like a mountain lion--/ everything: innards, flesh, and marrow bones (9, 313-18).

Cyclops

Aeolus - Warden of the winds.  Gives Odysseus a gift of wind, but Ody's jealous men open the bag and blow the ship back to Aeolia.  Aeolus, understandably is annoyed and refuses to help.  Ha! (10)

Circe - The beautiful witch who turns Odysseus's men into swine.  After tricking Circe, Odysseus and his men stay a year.  Circe provides valuable help to Ody upon his departure.  (10)

Circe

Shades of the Underworld - Too many dead people to mention!  Ody's mom, soldiers from Trojan war, other heroes, and  most important to the story - Teiresias who tells Odysseus his fate and how to get home. (11)

Tiresias in Underworld

Sirens - sea nymphs who draw sailors in with their beautiful songs (12)

Sirens

Scylla and Charybdis - An ancient "Rock and a Hard Place."  Think about the worst possible situation, and this is it.

Scylla and Charybdis

Finally, Odysseus and his men go against ALL forewarning and eat the "beeves" on Helios's island.  Well, Odysseus claims he was asleep---suuuuure.  All his men perish and Odysseus lands on Calypso's island bringing us full circle. (12)

My thoughts:
Well Odysseus sure makes himself out to be faultless, doesn't he?  Even after he has suffered so much on his journey he is still quite boastful to the Phaeacians.  I couldn't help but smile when Shelley (Book Clutter) last week mentioned all the crying.  Now I see it everywhere!  A bunch of whining men--when they're not acting prideful that is!  Regardless, I absolutely loved these chapters.  If I hadn't worn out my "honey, listen to this" with Les Miserables earlier this year, I'd be telling every detail to poor Scott.  I did tell him the "Nobody" bit but hardly got a smile.  Ha!  My mom told us the story of Odysseus when she was taking a literature class when we were little, so it was neat to revisit these stories again.

The women!  Sylvia (Classical Bookworm) made a joke that perhaps Homer was a woman, but after reading this week's section I'm not sure I can agree.  These women--or creatures--or witches--or whatever they may be are terrible!  Or maybe female Homer just really hated men and wanted to torture them?  Ha!  I did get a good laugh, though, when Odysseus bedded Circe!  That poor crying Penelope--she should treat herself to a little action as well instead of moping over her weaving!  But even in the Underworld we see one woman after another who has done some misdeed.  That Clytemnestra who brutally murders Agamemnon--sheesh! 

All in all I was glad to see Athena mostly out of this section.  Though, it was still repeatedly apparent how heavy a hand the gods have in nearly every point of the story.  I can't help but be reminded of the scene in The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett when the gods all gather to play a board game with the mortals as their pawns.  Despite the manipulations, it does have me itching to read more Greek mythology to hear the stories of the gods who are briefly alluded to in this tale.

How goes it for you guys?  Can't wait to read all your thoughts. 

Readalong Interaction!
If you have written a post (not required) about Books 7-12, please link to it in the Mr. Linky below.



And please make sure your comments are working--I don't want to call anyone out, but someone's comment form was not allowing me to make comments last week.  :( 

Make sure to visit  The Odyssey Check-in the First if you missed it last week!

Happy journeys! See you next Monday for Books XIII-XVIII (13-18).



*all images in this post from various searches on Wikipedia.org

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Salon 30 - Blogging Celebration


Good morning Saloners.  What exactly am I celebrating today?  Well, I'm a bit early but I'm celebrating 500 posts.  Today is #499, but since #500 will be tomorrow's The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the Second, I thought--I'll celebrate early!

I started blogging on June 5, 2007 at Trish's Reading Nook.  Shortly afterwards, I created a personal travel blog, Love and Travel.  January 2010 I created Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity when Love and Travel didn't cut it anymore.  In March 2010, I followed suit with Trish's Reading Nook and combined all my posts into this one blog.  The transition was a really tough one--going from over 500 subscribers to 20, but now I couldn't be happier with the decision.  Sometimes I still have to remind myself that it's my blog and I'll blog how I want to.  And as my coworker says "I am not an octopus."  I cannot be everywhere at once--some weeks I can only be here and barely here at all.  The guilt of not being able to be a rockstar commenter anymore is mostly gone now, and I am finally allowing myself to just be.  Amazing how it took 499 posts to come to these realizations!

Over the past three and a half years and 500 posts, I've shared a lot with my readers (and how lucky I am to have THE best readers in the whole of the blogosphere).  I've shared my reading thoughts and book reviews, I've shared the trips I've taken, favorite recipes, my first machine quilted quilt, the exciting things in life and the not so exciting.  I've hosted three reoccurring challenges (The Classics Challenge, The Non-Fiction Five, 100 Mile Fitness), joined many of your challenges, and even suffered through a few readalongs.  I've added hundreds of books to my shelves, joined that thing called Twitter, and met so many wonderful people.

500 posts.  For some this is a drop in the bucket, but personally I didn't think I'd stick with blogging this long.  There were times when blogging took over my life and times when I discarded it completely.  But what an outlet it has been--I realize that while I'm not a "writer" I do love writing and exploring thoughts through the written word.  How lucky I am that people are actually listening to my drivel?  Ha!    I asked around on twitter the other day on how to celebrate 500 posts and got two great ideas--my top 10 posts and ask me anything.

Top 10 Favorite Posts:

Ask Me Anything?

500 posts and  no About Me section?  Lisa suggested an "Ask Me Anything" session.  You ask me anything, and I'll tell you the answers.  Sure, many of you know me better than my own mother (slight exaggeration)--I'm a bit of an open book, but anything [appropriate] goes.  Questions don't have to be "about me" material, but hopefully I can get some prompter questions to get an "about me" section started.  I'll write up the answers in a separate post.

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I hope everyone's having a really lovely Sunday and next week I'll be back with a regular Sunday Salon--maybe even the Taming of the Shelves Part 2 I've been wanting to do.  In personal news, I am working diligently on a professional course I have been putting off for an embarrassingly long time. If I'm commenting less (which face it, my comments are few and far between), returning comments slower or not at all, or even if my posts slow down, it's because I'm deep in insurance world.  As I say on Twitter, #beingadultsucks.

Happy Sunday!



Friday, November 12, 2010

Literary Blog Hop - Holy Cow that was hard to read

Literary Blog Hop

Since this week has been pretty slow--and things aren't looking up unless I can write some posts this weekend--I thought today would be a perfect day to participate in the Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase. The hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion. A small note that I don't feel I need to discuss further--I do not agree with the exclusionary definition The Blue Bookcase provides for "literary". /endrant

Today's topic comes from Debbie Nance from Readerbuzz (who I met last month at the Texas Book Festival!).  She asks:

What is the most difficult literary work you've ever read? What made it so difficult?

I've always kind of prided myself on enjoying a good challenge when it comes to reading.  Sure I like the mindless stuff as well, but I need to be mentally stimulated and reading is one of the avenues I choose to acheive this.  There have been several books I've read that are pretty difficult, but I think you guys probably know my answer...

Brothers Karamazov.  Hands down.  I just posted my review last week in which I admitted I just didn't really get the book.  Do I need to explain why?  Take a look at Dostoevsky's outlining for Brothers Karamazov below. 

Dostoevsky's scrawlings (from wikipedia)

 
Other books that come to mind are Zorba the Greek, Middlemarch, and Les MiserablesZorba because I never really understood what was going on--the writing was beautiful but...Greek.  Ha!  Middlemarch because of the length as well as some life timing as well as not fully understanding the social climate in which the book was written (political things).  Les Miserables sheerly because of the length and some passages that were incredibly long and dry.  I ended up really liking Middlemarch and loving Les Miserables.  Wish I could say the same for Zorba and Brothers K!

What's the most difficult book you've ever read?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Cutting a Green Pepper


No seeds, very little waste.

I'll never "gut" a pepper again.

Happy Wednesday,


PS--how is this month a third of the way over?  #idontgetit

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Odyssey - Check-in the First


Welcome to The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the First (Books 1-6).

It's not too late to sign up if you haven't already!  I'm thrilled about the turnout and hope that you guys are enjoying your reading so far. 

A Brief Synopsis of Books I-VI (note I am using the Fitzgerald edition so spellings may be different)

Several years after the Trojan war, Athena notices Odysseus still has not made it home to Ithaca. Odysseus is trapped by Kalypso's spell and cannot leave her island.  The gods agree to free Odysseus from Kalypso's spell while Athena tends to Ody's son, Telemakhos.  She encourages him to find word of his father to hopefully push out the suitors that are seeking his mother Penelope.  Telemakhos journeys to Nestor's home then to Menelaus's home (he's married to Helen who started the whole bit) for word on Odysseus.  Meanwhile Odysseus frees himself from Kalypso only to crash onto another island where the fair Nausikaa seems to find Ody suitable for a husband!  I smell drama ahead!

Ody and Kalypso

Some Questions for you to Ponder
(These can be rhetorical but I'd love to hear your thoughts--either on your own post or in the comments below!  If you have questions you'd like discussed for next week, I'd love to include them--email me by Sunday).

1. How does your reading of The Odyssey compare to your expectations?  Any surprises?
2. What are your thoughts on the interaction between the Gods and Mortals?  Specifically Athena's involvement in the story.

My thoughts:
I'm surprised at how easy The Odyssey is to read!  It still takes me some time to read each book and I've resigned myself to the fact that I probably won't get much else read this month, but the verse is very readable and easy to follow.  I'm also surprised that Odysseus doesn't make a grand appearance until Book V--I had forgotten how Telemakhos gets involved through Athena's urging.

And what's up with Athena anyway?  I feel like she's a meddler--sending Hermes to get Ody off the island with Kalypso and she sending Telemakhos on the chase to find word of Ody?  And I have a feeling that nothing good can come of Athena getting Nausikaa involved!

Note: I found this great resource by Least Tern that gives a book by book synopsis as well as a character list.  This resource is based on the Fagles translation.

Readalong Interaction!
If you have written a post (not required) about Books I-VI, please link to it in the Mr. Linky below.  I hate to make this disclaimer, but please link directly to your post.  I'll be deleting any links that do not go directly to a Odyssey post (sorry).



Happy journeys!  I look forward to catching up with you all and meeting up again next Monday for Books VII-XII (7-12).



Question: Is the pace too quick?  Let me know your thoughts on ending as scheduled on November 30th or pushing back to December 13th to give us two extra weeks??

Picture of Calypso found on the Newburn Wikispace

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Salon - Reading Thru Author's Canon


The original plan was to comb through my shelves this weekend and write up a recap of all your great comments on taming the shelves and picking your next read.   A bad shopping experience yesterday, though, sent me to bed to watch my Law & Order: SVU backpile while drinking a Sonic creamslush.  So...the shelves are still untouched.  Maybe next week. 

In glancing at the shelves, though, I can't help but notice that I tend to collect books by authors--whether I've read the author or not.  I have several Joyce Carol Oates but have never read one of her books!  But I also collect authors' books when I've read the author and have had a good experience.  Collecting books by authors you enjoy isn't necessarily unusual.  I bet most of you do the same. 

But, the strange thing?  I hold on to these books and only allow myself to read maybe one a year.  Crazy?  Kind of.  But what if I read through them too quickly and then am left with nothing by this author?  This is especially true for authors who are no longer writing or have died.  But what about the others?  What if they suddenly stop writing?  Then I'll be left with nothing.

Pleasure delayer?  Possibly.  So...Sunday's Question:
Do you like to read through an author's canon?  Or do you like to read a variety of books just testing one or two from an author?  And more importantly, am I the only one in the world who delays reading books by an author she loves for fear that I'll run out of new things to read?  Need an example?  Margaret Atwood.  I totally pleasure delay in reading her books.  What if she stops writing (nevermind the fact that she's a pretty dang prolific writer)?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Looking Back to Last Week:
-You guys told me how you pick your next book
-I broke the news that I'm pregnant and you overwhelmed me with congrats!
-Finally I reviewed Brothers Karamazov
-And shared a recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies with a Hug

Looking Forward to Next Week:
Other than the first The Odyssey update Monday, I don't have anything planned.  Maybe a good thing as I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately trying to keep up with the ole blogosphere.  There are several posts I'd like to write, but whether I find the time is a different story.  I may just allow this week to be a quiet week.  We'll see!

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday.  Any fun plans for today?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies with a Hug - Weekend Cooking


Must be my maternal instincts kicking in...or just my sweet tooth, but I've been in the baking mood recently.  After pondering on Twitter if chunky peanut butter would make good cookies and getting a resounding Yes!, I just had to make these cookies--a family favorite.  I'm sure it's a common recipe, but this one came from Mom.  Of course Hersey Kisses are the more common choice for these, but white chocolate sounded more tempting.

Peanut Butter Cookies with a Hug

1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 10 oz bag of Hershey kisses
Preheat oven to 375º.

In a mixing bowl, smooth together the shortening, peanut butter, sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Once shortening mixture is smooth, slowly add the flour mixture.  Don't overmix!

Roll mixture into tablespoon sized balls. Roll each ball into a bowl of sugar to coat evenly. Cook for 10-12 minutes.  Take out of oven when still soft.

After removing the cookies from the oven, press a Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie before removing cookies from the cookie sheet.  Immediately move to cooling rack.

Makes 5-6 dozen




As soon as these came out of the oven, Scott and my brother Nick kept begging for more.  I think there were some full tummies after I baked these!  The left overs came up to work.
Enjoy!




Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  "Weekend Cooking 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."  Hope you'll join the fun!
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