posts may contain Amazon affiliate links, which earn me a small commission when you buy (but doesn't cost you anything extra). Occasionally I receive free products and/or run sponsored posts—this will always be stated clearly in the post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

This website contains some quotations, excerpts, and screen clips from copyrighted material. These uses fall well within the copyright doctrine of "Fair Use".
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Red Beans and Coconut Rice

Red Beans and Coconut Rice
This month's Progressive Eats menu celebrates the foods of the Caribbean. Aaaaah, the Caribbean...home of all sorts of places that I long to visit, but probably never will. Unless I win the lottery that I usually forget to play. But that doesn't mean a girl can't armchair-deskchair-kitchentable travel!

Even though there are all sorts of wonderful ingredients and dishes I could have chose from, due to last-minute-itis, I kept it simple and made a Jamaican staple, red beans and coconut rice. This dish may look unassuming, but since it is simmered in coconut milk and infused with the heat of a Scotch Bonnet chile, it is both rich and nuanced, as well.
Monday, August 29, 2016

Craving Fall Buddha Bowls | A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice

Craving Fall Buddha Bowls
Today I'm hosting a book tour stop for A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: a Memoir in Four Meditations by Christine Hale. This book is a little different than my usual read, and left me a bit puzzled when it came to writing my review. So, while the review that follows may seem a bit abbreviated, that is exactly the way that I wanted to present it. I hope you'll give it a chance.

Memoir for poetry fans. At first a bit of a turn-off, but the further I got, the more I became accustomed to her writing style.

Read like angst poetry or journal entries. A way to purge and let go of guilt, shame, self-doubt, neediness, hurt, codependence, and shortfalls.
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar) | Let the Right One In

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar) | Let the Right One In
It's time for the August edition of the All Vampire Book and a Movie Challenge! This month's picks were Let the Right One In, a novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist and the Swedish movie adaptation by the same name (screenplay also written by the author). There was also an American remake of the book/film called Let Me In. Today I'm going to talk a little bit about all three.

I'd seen both movies, each when they first came out on dvd, but I only remembered bits and pieces. This was my first time reading the book. Also worth mentioning is that there have been a couple of stage adaptions of the book, as well as a comic book series, and a reported television adaptation.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cactus Pineapple Smoothie (for Nick) | Fear the Walking Dead

Cactus Pineapple Smoothie inspired by Fear the Walking Dead
Welcome to the September edition of In the kitchen with Zombie Fiction! My intentions were to share a recipe inspired by Fear the Walking Dead with you last weekend to go along with the mid-season premiere, but time just kicked my butt and I never made anything. However, I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because watching that episode (S2:E8 "Grotesque") made me change my mind about what I was making and inspired today's recipe.

If you're not familiar with this spin-off of The Walking Dead. It's a prequel that takes us back to the beginning of the zombie outbreak, with different characters, set in a different part of the US. Our crew started out in Los Angeles, but have made their way into Mexico and were split up in several different directions at the mid-season finale.
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bucket of Garlic (Fries) | Hotel Transylvania 2 #FoodnFlix

Bucket of Garlic Fries | Hotel Transylvania 2 #FoodnFlix
This month's Food 'n Flix pick is the family-friendly, animated Hotel Transylvania 2, which (surprise!) picks up where Hotel Transylvania left off. Drac has accepted that his daughter loves a human, and Mavis and Johnny are married. Humans and monsters are coexisting throughout most of the world—even in Drac's hotel.

Fast forward a bit to a pregnant Mavis, and eventually baby Dennis. Dennis has big, curly ginger hair like his dad does, and seems human. But Vampa ("vampire grandpa"), aka Drac, believes that Dennis is just a "late fanger", since fangs might not pop out until a vampire's fifth birthday. But Mavis wants her dad to accept that Dennis is human and thinks that they should move to America, to be near the human side of the family.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Brown Butter Nut Bread | #RedwallAugust

Brown Butter Nut Bread | #RedwallAugust
Hey, hey, it's #RedwallAugust!'s what now?

I very well may be the last person to hear of this series of 23 children's fantasty novels written by Brian Jacques, and first released in 1986. But, not only is it a popular book series, there are also a bunch of adaptations that include about 10 "related" books that like The Great Redwall Feast, The Redwall Graphic Novel, and The Redwall Cookbook (which I just checked out from the library). There has also been a Redwall television series (1999) and even an opera based on the first book in the series.
Monday, August 22, 2016

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream inspired by The Branson Beauty

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream inspired by The Branson Beauty
The book tour stops here today for The Branson Beauty, the debut novel by Claire Booth. The first in a planned series, this mystery is set in the Ozark region of southern Missouri, during the wintertime. Recently appointed sheriff Hank Worth responds to an emergency call, where a popular local attraction The Branson Beauty, a showboat, has crashed and its paddlewheel has been wedged into some boulders.

In a county that's low on both fund and resources, rescuing the 100 people on the boat, most of whom are elderly (some in wheelchairs) in freezing weather conditions proves to be a challenge...which turns out to be minor compared to the dead body of a beloved young local track star he finds locked in the boat's private dining room.
Friday, August 19, 2016

Green Goddess Fish Burgers | #FishFridayFoodies

Green Goddess Fish Burgers
Yesterday I mentioned that I recently took the Healthy Heart Pledge, promising to add seafood to our menu at least two times per week. Today I'm back to share a delicious dish that fits beautifully into our new routine. This recipe is also part of this month's #FishFridayFoodies theme, chosen by yours truly since I'm hosting this month - fish and seafood burgers!

Here's the scenario: it's summer, the grill has been fired up over and over again, and more often than not, you wind up throwing some burgers over the flame. That's fine and dandy, but a girl's gotta have options. Maybe you're tired of regular burgers. Maybe you have a guest who doesn't eat red meat. Maybe you recently committed to a challenge that encourages you to use fish and seafood two times a week in new and exciting ways.
Thursday, August 18, 2016

One-Pan Swordfish w/ Ratatouille

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Seafood Nutrition Partnership. All opinions are 100% mine.
One-Pan Swordfish w/ Ratatouille
Over the years I've mentioned my penchant for seafood, which I think really took hold after my trip to Scotland's Inner Hebrides. I imagine any coastal location has a way of making you a believer—eating seafood moments after it was pulled from the water is an experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. But alas, I don't reside in a coastal area.

Fortunately it's easy to get your hands on good quality fresh and frozen seafood in this day and age. Flavor factor aside, eating fish and seafood just makes me feel a tad more virtuous. While I'm sure that's part mindset, it's actually a truth, since seafood is high in Omega-3s, healthy fats that are essential for heart and brain health.
Monday, August 15, 2016

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars inspired by #GREATERmovie

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GREATER Productions; all opinions are my own.
Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
I've created and shared alot of recipes and posts inspired by movies over the years, but today is the first time I'm sharing one from an inspirational movie. GREATER, which hits theaters on August 26th, tells the incredible story of Brandon Bulsworth, a boy who declared he was going play for the Arkansas Razorbacks when he got older, and to everybody's surprise (but his own)—he did!

I've always been a sucker for an underdog story. In Brandon's case, he was a huskier kid with a ton a passion, but not a lot of "given" talent. His time on the middle school football team was mostly spent warming the bench, but when he did play, he always gave it his all.
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gullah-inspired Red Rice w/ Shrimp, Bacon & Fennel | Vanishing Time

Gullah Red Rice w/ Shrimp, Bacon & Fennel
Have you ever had an author sort of sneak up on you? That's basically what Katharine Britton has done to me. I was first introduced to her books 5 years ago when I reviewed Her Sister's Shadow as part of a book tour. A few years later, I reviewed her novel Little Island, again as a part of a book tour. I really enjoyed the honest, down-and-dirty quality of her stories and characters, but then she did it—snuck up and became one of my favorites.

I read her latest book, Vanishing Time, on the plane to New York and back last week. And darnit all if I didn't have to hold in the tears a couple of times. I kind of thought that would happen after reading the description, though. It's a story about Cama Truesdale and her pursuit to find her son, who she believes deep-down is still alive even after her ex-husband was found dead, seemingly from a boat fire that happened on a "boys only" fishing trip the two were taking.
Monday, August 8, 2016

Udon w/ Grilled Fish & Scallions | The Ninja's Daughter

Udon w/ Grilled Fish & Scallions
Today I'm happy to be hosting another Shinobi Mysteries book tour stop, this one featuring the latest book in the series by Susan Spann called The Ninja's Daughter. I was first introduced to Spann's writing when I hosted a stop for book three in the series last summer, and couldn't wait to read the latest installment in this series that takes place in 16th century Japan.

While this is a mystery series, Spann seems to focus on an aspect of Japanese culture and weave it into each story, infusing them with a bit of history (which I love)—this one being Japanese theater, the previous being the production of sake. Our main characters, as always, are Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest and his "translator" and protector Hattori Hiro, a shinobi assassin.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Peaches 'n Cream Stuffed French Toast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Land O' Lakes, Inc. All opinions are my own.
Peaches 'n Cream Stuffed French Toast
Summer...lounging by the pool, fresh produce everywhere you turn, glowing skin, cook-outs and bonfires...longer days to connect with family and friends. Sunshine and beautiful days are glorious things. But there's a dark side too all of that sunshine too, and it manifests itself in butter dishes on kitchen counters across the country in the form of a pool of melted butter.