Hi friends! I think it’s pretty clear we’re uh … >.> pretty chill here at ALBTALBS (A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet). Also that blogging has become largely dictated by various aspects of my health. I’m a bit mixed because I feel like I should apologize, but also that I absolutely should not because you know. Medical issues. A) It’s absolutely not something I can control, and obviously if I could I wouldn’t be in the boat I am now. Which speaking of boats, perhaps someone should send one because holy cow all the rain of late.
ANYWAY. That’s the vague update on the “state of things” currently. Now let’s get to the fun stuff which is … books I’ve read from January-June 2018. I’ve already posted Aidee and Babs‘ lists, which you should definitely check out. They had some overlap.
I haven’t been reading as much this year – but it’s been picking up some, and I always hope to read more. So here we go! This list also isn’t set in stone – it’s what I have documented which may be hit or miss. Continue reading →
Hi friends! Me again and my bad, jumping on on Babs’ list, which she :X sent me back on 7/11. I hope you’re enjoying these lists, that you can maybe add (or take!) from your TBR – and possibly find a reviewer that your book taste lines up with. 😀 Cheers!
*EN: Hi friends! I’ve been under the weather and just mblergh, so apologies for the delays and nothingness – but we’re trucking along and Aidee sent me those post about a month and a half ago, but I’m just getting to it now – so apologies to Aidee and the rest of you. Thank you for understanding! <3
I did not keep this list religiously, so it’s not in order, but it is complete, to the best of my knowledge and abilities. I thought I was reading slowly this year, but this list would like to differ with me on that. Continue reading →
Hi friends! Today’s post is on a whim. Yes, the topic is right and true. You can ask me anything. It’s inspired by a conversation I had at RWA. Jamie Beck told me I did something nice – and to be honest I’m still not entirely convinced she meant me – and that she isn’t confusing me with someone else … but it was really nice to hear, so <3.
ANYWAY ideally, this is a time for you to ask anything book related. Blogging, guest posting, reviews, so on. I promise to answer any question you might have about it. “The industry.” Of course, we all understand the answers are all just from my experience/my opinion. I also invite anyone else to chime in with their own answers too! 🙂
You can feel free to ask me a question about anything else as well … but I reserve the right to not answer that.
Ok so I’ve been talking about writing this post for oh … the past four years, basically. Some things have changed, some things haven’t. (You can check out the first post here.) What am I talking about? … STUFF WE ALL GET. That’s right, it’s swag time. [Did y’all know that’s what swag stands for? Well, it does.] Swag is eeevvvveeerrryyywhhere at conferences. Almost every author has some sort of promotional item to give out. Either to leave in the goody room, or to hand out to people they see/meet. Some have special swag if you buy their book at a signing. (Or just at the signings to draw people to their tables.)
*Note: I was going to do two recipes, but this got long, so we’re sticking to one. I have no idea what either of these go with, but, whatever. Szechuan Chicken Salad, and … well, next time is roasted pork belly. Because who doesn’t love pork belly? (P.S. It’s just bacon, but not cured and smoked.)
First up, the chicken salad. It’s good for fall too, although since I delayed so long apples are as in season as they were. But you know, it’s not as if apples are hard to find year round. What do you need? Chicken, celery, carrots, and apples. I’m actually not at all a fan of sweet and savory dishes, so the fact that I can recommend this says something. I was hanging out with my dad one weekend, and he had to bring food to a Bible study pot luck, so I came up with this.
Of course you wash everything – so that’s not really a step. Once done, cut the celery and carrots into 2″ pieces, then julienne it. (Cut it into thin strips.) For the chicken, you can use chicken tenders (we did), or even a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store. We took frozen chicken tenders, and just boiled them. Shred the chicken. The apples, slice them thinly. I’d say halve then quarter each apple, cut out the core, and keep slicing – use a mandolin(e) if you have one or prefer using that.
Add salt and pepper to taste… and now we get to the Szechuan aspect. Hmm… ok, so I guess we’ll do this. Ingredients being more specific… three medium sized apples. Probably five or six stalks of celery, and two large carrots. And a pound of chicken tenders, or half the rotisserie chicken. Now, you need and want sesame oil. Pour about 1.5 T into the bowl and mix. Add Szechuan pepper oil to taste. (If you like extra heat, add in chili oil too.) Mix. Done!
Now… the Szechuan pepper oil is another recipe in and of itself, and can be used for frankly anything savory. Ok… so this recipe can’t be exactly replicated. The reason is… the small peppers we use I’ve never found anywhere else. Google images tells me they might be Bay Leaf Mini Pepper or Pequin Peppers. The latter might be more similar – they’re Sichuan peppers (Szechuan), they’re also called the “Facing Heaven Peppers” or “Heaven Chiles.”
Sesame oil, szechuan pepper corns, dried chiles (anything quality and not smoked), dried shitake mushrooms, and some sort of grinder. A coffee or spice grinder suffices. The picture to the right, incidentally, is the peppers we used that you can’t seem to find anywhere. (My uncle gave us a plant.)
Toast the szechuan pepper corns. Once they’re cooled grind them with the shitake mushrooms, and dried chiles into a fine powder. Heat the sesame oil – not to the smoking point but right before. It’ll shimmer. Dump the powdered ingredients into the pot and leave it until cooled. OR here’s an easier method: dump everything in the cool oil, cook on low, then once it starts smelling good, cook for about 10 more minutes.
NOTE: If your tolerance for heat isn’t that great, leave the peppers (pepper corns and dried chiles) whole so you can fish them out. Once you can smell it, flip the whole chiles over so you can get all the flavors and essential oils from them. (The bottoms of the dried chiles will possibly be darkened or blackened.)
Once the oil is cooled, put it in a clean jar. If your heat tolerance isn’t that great, make sure you strain out most of the peppers before you bottle it.
So there you go! I hope that made sense…
LASTLY! I discovered these Two Degree bars… they’re really good, and all natural – and what’s really cool about them is that whenever you buy a bar, the company also gives food to a hungry child. I know for sure they’re available nation wide in Whole Food stores.
As you can see there are Cherry Almond, Apple Pecan, and Chocolate Peanut. I’ve tried the Apple Pecan and am saving the others – I might cave and try the Chocolate Peanut tonight.
and bent the cover. >.< Nope, not a euphemism. In fact other than coming to my computer that was basically the last thing I did and that’s how my day has gone. Sick and headachy, I finally feel human, glue myself to the TV after eating something, and watch Bones and Burn Notice. So a good day other than the majority of it. 😛 My first few hours were spent tweeting and being horrified at world news and all.
Recipes will have to wait for Saturday.
But poor battered book. You see why I don’t do print books anymore? No space, no room, and I become a book abuser. 🙁 What about you? I think most of you read print and e? Do I have that wrong? In fact – tell me please, I’d like to know. Also, anyone else willing to share shameful secrets/confessions of book accidents? One of my friends freely admits to breaking the spines of books. I call her a book murderer. But don’t worry – I won’t judge any of you. I just like messing with her.
And why you’re all here 😉 the winner of Joanna Chamber’s book is Jeanne Miro! Jeanne, please email me and let me know what format you’d like the book in by this Sunday please! (The 13th.) Just use the contact form at the top.
And my last question – do you care if recipes match up? Like if I share more than one should they be able to go together and make a meal? Also, how good are we all with cooking/recipes and precise measurements?
I’ve been reading Harlequin Presents, as you well know, but this week I’ve been reading a lot of them. Like, one a day. O_o Some are really good. Some are ok. Anywhere from D to B- grades. (B- is really good for me, just to give you some context.) I know there are books I need to read and review, or re-read to review… I’m just having trouble with that part. Which is why I’m “outsourcing.” 😛 Did I mention that? I’ll have to do a more formal post, but if you’d like to review for me send me a sample review and we’ll talk.
I’ve also got not much else, so – if anyone wants to be in the drawing for a LoveSwept ebook, that hasn’t won one from me yet, leave a comment letting me know so.
And now, the winners from many of the guest posts. They were all chosen courtesy of randomizer.org.
Hi everyone! So the winner of the $10 GC to Book Depository from Eli’s Guest Post is Chelsea B. Please send me your info by Tuesday, October 25 to claim your prize. (There’s the contact form at the top.) Eli told me that she read each and every comment – she just wasn’t able to leave one of her own/respond to them. (More technological issues abound!)
I’m also asking all of you to open your hearts a little and considering doing your part to help out with a really sad situation. Gently used toys, books, clothing, box tops/labels from every household goods and foods, money, whatever. And if that’s not enough incentive, Sarah M. Anderson is also going to give away a book to someone. She’s a Harlequin Desire author. 😀 See? I really want you guys to try some categories! 😉
So that’s what’s going on! What about all of you? Anything planned for the weekend?
Hopefully fun for you too. I’ve been wanting to do this because it seems like a cop out post.. but it really isn’t! You know all those kooky author interviews I’ve had posted? Well I love those questions.
Also I feel like we have no idea who each of us is. So… today, you get to ask me any question you want. The kicker is though, that you have to answer it as well! Come on – what strange and silly things can you think of? I’m happy to give my opinion on say, sauerkraut to biscotti. Whatever. (I can’t think right now.)
Ready? Set? Go! [Oh and you see that tag? Yeah. Someone’s going to win something.]