Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday I'm In Love... with Cuppow

A few years ago, I got REALLY into canning. I made pickles and jams and butters and processed pretty much whatever I could get my hands on. Some of the stuff I made was really good, while others were just fine (thankfully, I had no horrible disasters). A lot of it, though, just wasn't worth the effort.

That left me with tons of Ball jars laying around. I mean, I use them for all sorts of stuff, but how many Ball jars does a girl need?

Now that I've found the Cuppow, apparently I need them ALL again. This magic piece of plastic turns a glass jar into an adult sippy cup that can handle hot or cold with no problem. My favorite part is that the cup can then go into the dishwasher!!! Try doing that with a fancy coffee thermos!

That being said, canning jars aren't the easiest thing to carry around. My pint jars don't quite fit into the cupholders in my car (which may or may not have resulted in me destroying my garage door opener - it was already pretty damaged before that), and the jars still need some kind of sleeve when they're hot, or they'll burn your hands. I think I need to start knitting jar sweaters...

Photo borrowed from the Cuppow website because I'm too lazy to take a picture of my own.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dirt Candy: A Cookbook

A cookbook that's a graphic novel! A graphic novel that's a cookbook! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!

I'd heard of Dirt Candy, a vegetarian restaurant in New York City, before, but I'd never given it much thought. I'd heard that chef Amanda Cohen had a cookbook out, but what chef doesn't? But then I SAW the Dirt Candy cookbook and I was in love.

Part graphic novel story about life in a professional kitchen, part cooking technique builder, and part typical cookbook with recipes, this book is 100% readable. I don't often sit down and read a cookbook cover to cover, but it's quite possible to do with this one. It's filled with humorous asides and helpful tips, not to mention some mouth-watering foods (some simple and some crazy complicated). There's not much else to say about this book than to tell you to pick up a copy and leaf through it - I'm sure you'll be hooked, just like I was.

As an added bonus, Amanda Cohen will be in Medford this weekend, talking about restaurant life and how to cook vegetables RIGHT. The event is presented by the Friends of Medford Public Library and the Tufts Culinary Society (why didn't we have that group when I was at Tufts?!) and will be held on 12/1 from 3-5pm at Sophia Gordon Hall (15 Talbot Ave) on the Tufts campus. You know I'd be there if I didn't have to work, so someone needs to go and report back to me, ok?

Full Disclosure note: I was given a copy of the cookbook for free by the publisher, but the opinions are all mine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Reading Mouse: Days of Blood and Starlight

It's hard to review a book sequel without spoiling the first book, so I don't even try. But I stayed in bed all day reading, so that should tell you how good Days of Blood and Starlight is.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Reading Mouse: Sandcastle Girls

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian is utterly unlike any book I've read this year. If everyone in my family hadn't already read it, they'd be getting copies for Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Corn & Co, Burlington

I can't quite remember how I heard about Corn & Co a few months ago, but from the moment that I did, I was super excited. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, and flavored popcorn? Even better! And then I learned that they would be opening in the Burlington Mall, not too far from my house - what more could I ask for?

I've chatted with the owners a few times online since then. They've sent me samples of flavors, and I bugged them about when exactly they'd be opening. Every sample I received was AWESOME, but it left me wanting more! Finally, they told me that they'd be opening up on Black Friday. Ugh. No way I was going to the mall then.

But since I have mondays off and everyone was busy buying goods online and not in stores, I managed to make my way into the mall. Corn & Co has set up shop upstairs in the food court wing, where the newsstand used to be (for those of you who are as intimate with the Burlington Mall as I am. Yes, I was a bit of a mall rat in my day.).

When the corn is popping, you can smell Corn & Co from a ways away. The store is still a little bare right now, but they're clearly on their way to getting all set up for the holiday season. Flavors are listed on signs throughout the store, as well as in bowls behind the counter (above). There are pre-packaged flavors if you just want to grab and go, or you can get one of three sizes (small comes with one flavor, medium with two, and large with up to four). Feel free to ask for samples, because they clearly want you to find the flavor that you love.

Case in point: I am a savory girl when it comes to popcorn. I sampled the Corn & Co cheese, and it was AWESOME! Seriously, all-caps awesome. In fact, writing about it, I want more right now. But I was intrigued by the mixes they have on their menu also. I asked for a sample of the caramel apple (green apple and caramel mix, natch) and was equally blown away. Caramel is caramel, fine, but the green apple? Tart and sweet like the real thing. Mix them together and I am one happy girl. I bought some of this one and it was gone in no time.

I would much prefer to grab a snack of popcorn at the mall than a greasy pretzel. I am quite happy that Corn & Co is in town now. And I can only start to imagine the gift-giving opportunities here...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday I'm in Love... with BetterOats oatmeal

I am NOT an oatmeal kind of person. In fact, it usually grosses me out with it's disgusting texture. But somehow I found myself drawn to the hot cereal aisle, and the packaging of BetterOats lured me in. And considering they were only $1.50 for 5 servings (once I tried and loved them, I went back for more, only to find them on sale for $1!), I decided I wouldn't be breaking the bank to try them out.

First off, I love the packaging. Tall and thin boxes filled with tall and thin bags (which double as the water measurement system), decorated with bright colors - they're easy to spot on the shelf. Plus, the top front of the box pops off, making it easy to see how many are in the box and easy to line up a whole bunch of boxes at once.

And the taste? Well, I wouldn't be writing about it if I didn't like it. The pomegranate was my favorite - tart and sweet, especially when I added fresh pomegranate arils on top - until I tried the cinnamon plum spiced. It's SO GOOD - fruity with just a hint of floral, well spiced but not overpowering, and just plain tasty! I guess I can't say I'm not an oatmeal kind of person any more.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are many things I'm thankful for this year, only one of which is the fact that people are actually reading this thing!

Enjoy your food coma!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Acorns

How beautiful are these?! My Pinterest obsession is doing me well and giving me plenty of things to blog about. I was given the Thanksgiving assignment of dessert and opted for the caramel nut bars I first made last year. Only after this decision did I find these adorable acorns and decide that I HAD to make them. Luckily, these are easy to throw together and only takes a few ingredients

Everyone I've shown them to absolutely loves them. Taste-wise, the chocolate-to-cookie ratio was off (at least for me), but they're so cute, that really doesn't matter.

They're very simple to make and would be a cute craft to make with kids. Melt a little bit of chocolate and use it to stick unwrapped Hershey's Kisses to Nutter Butter bites. Once the chocolate has hardened, tip the cookies on their side and stick Hershey's mini chips (they look like tiny Kisses) on with a little more melted chocolate. Let that set up a little longer before serving or packing away.

This is my second entry for the Holiday Pin It and Do It Challenge, from this pin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Reading Mouse: A Long Long Sleep

I love reading retellings of fairy tales. Read about how much I loved A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan over on The Reading Mouse.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cauliflower Not-Pizza

I saw this recipe floating around the interwebs over the summer, and I was automatically intrigued. Pizza crust made out of cauliflower and cheese?! Is that even possible?

Well, not entirely. Calling it pizza is a real stretch. Calling it a delicious cauliflower treat - sure, let's run with that instead.

I can see this being a perfect way to get kids (or *cough* reluctant adults) to eat their veggies. I personally love cauliflower, but I know lots of people who aren't big fans. Top it with enough cheese, though, and they're sure to at least try it. Add that much cheese and you start losing some of the health benefits, though, don't you?

Since I already enjoy cauliflower, I don't think I'll take the time to be making this again. I could just melt some cheese over regular cauliflower for a similar taste.

Cauliflower Not-Pizza (inspired by Mom, What's For Dinner?)
1 small head of cauliflower, steamed and riced
1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
1 tsp pasta sprinkle (or dried basil and oregano)

Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the riced cauliflower, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, and dried herbs. Stir together until the mixture is uniform. Put the mixture onto the lined pan and gently press into a rectangle. Press as thinly as possible - this will help it crisp up.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it starts to brown. Remove from oven and gently invert onto another piece of parchment paper (so the bottom is now the top and can brown). Top with the remaining cheese and bake until cheese is melty and golden. Serve immediately.

This is my first entry for the Holiday Pin It and Do It Challenge, from this pin.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Charcoal Guido's, Waltham

Although I don't usually review (let alone even try) a restaurant the week that it opens, I'll make an exception for the newest pizza place in Waltham, Charcoal Guido's. After stopping in with some friends last night for dinner, I am happy to say that the restaurant is a happy addition to the Moody Street restaurant scene.

We started with a couple of appetizers - arancini and lamb skewers. The arancini were crispy on the outside and had a wonderfully rich flavor. Not at all gummy or dense. The lamb was really fantastic - tender and flavorful, with a very nice spicy sauce on the side. All appetizers are $8, and there are definitely more I want to try.

We then split a couple of pizzas: the Prosciutto and the Salsiccia. The Prosciutto was long and thin and topped with perfectly dressed arugula, parmesan shavings, and thinly-sliced prosiutto. The Salsiccia was a more standard round pizza, topped with tomato sauce, ricotta, and high-quality sausage. Each pizza could serve one (without appetizers); two was perfect for three people. A fourth friend really wanted the Diavola pizza, but the rest of us didn't, so she ate half and took the rest home.

The crust was very good as well, although there are still a few kinks to work out. The Salsiccia pizza was a bit limp under all of it's toppings (a little less ricotta would probably help). The Prosciutto was paper-thin in the middle, with chunky edges on the side - I loved the crispness of the center, but the ends were a bit too doughy by comparison. And because they were cooked in a wood oven, there were some burned spots - to be expected, but still a few too many.

If you really want a drink with your pizza, Charcoal Guido's has a full liquor license, although their cocktail menu is a little uninspired. You might want to take a cue from our evening, though, and head across the street to The Gaff for a good (cheap and tasty) drink.

Service wasn't fantastic, nor was it awful. Given some time, I'm sure Charcoal Guido's will work out its issues and be a solid place to eat in Waltham.

 Charcoal Guido's  on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holiday Pin It and Do It Challenge

Like I said, I'm a little obsessed with Pinterest right now. I've already done a bunch of things from my boards, but just like NaBloPoMo is getting me back into blogging, I'm joining a challenge to start doing more of the things I've pinned.

Between now and the end of December, I'm committing to completing 8 (or more) pins through Trish's Pin It and Do It Challenge. While I'm betting they'll mostly be recipes, I'm sure I'll get some crafts in through my other blog as well. I'll be keeping track of the pins I've done on this board.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday I'm in Love... with Bantam Cider

How have I not written about Bantam yet?! (Oh, right, it was that whole not writing for months thing.) Anyway, I'm a HUGE hard cider fan, and although I don't drink beer, I can be happy that the whole craft beer movement has given rise to more and interesting ciders. Bantam, especially, is at the top of my list for great craft ciders.

Bantam, created by two wonderful women in Cambridge, is the real deal. It's not some overly sweet mess (I'm looking at you, Woodchuck!), and it doesn't have an overly yeasty taste (draught Magners - although the bottled stuff is good!). The flavor of Wunderkind, their first offering, is just the right level of sweet, and yes, it really does taste like apples, but not like you're just drinking regular apple cider. Oh, and the bubbles! It's almost like drinking champagne!

Bantam has another cider coming out soon, a still cider named La Grande. I'm not wild about still ciders, especially since the lovely bubbles are one of the best parts of Wunderkind, but I trust the Bantam ladies to make a good product. (They will also apparently have a seasonal cider with Tart Cherries only at the Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest. I'm hoping someone can smuggle me out a sample.)

Seriously, get your hands on a bottle of this stuff - you can thank me later. You'd be the hero of Thanksgiving if you showed up with a bottle or three. And if you want to give it a try, there are Bantam tastings quite frequently - just keep an eye on their website!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

b.good - Avocado and Orange Salad

All fast food places make salads, but not many make salads that are worth eating. Even fewer make seasonal salads that rival much finer dining establishments. b.good, somehow, manages to do just that season after season.

Enter this fall's offering at b.good - the Avocado and Orange salad. I'm not usually a big fan of oranges in my salad, but the other ingredients (including avocado, pistachios, and goat cheese) were enough to sway me into ordering. And besides a few pithy bits that I cut around, the oranges actually tied things together very nicely! I loved the combo of creamy goat cheese, crunchy nuts, sweet fruit, and unctuous avocado, all served over bibb lettuce and radicchio.

And the dressing! Dear god, that stuff was good! Minty and creamy and yet quite light, I'm pretty sure I could drink this stuff. I want all my salads to be topped with this from now on.

Seriously, go grab one of these salads from b.good before they're gone for the season. (Although if it is, I really like the southwest chicken salad as well, served year-round.) And don't forget to join their family and get free stuff!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reading Mouse: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

We can agree that usually the book is better than the movie. But what if it's about even? That's how I felt about The Perks of Being a Wallflower - read about it on The Reading Mouse.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Making Islands: Mother May I Go and Swim

I made this embroidery for my mother over the summer. Check it out at Making Islands.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Geeky Cookie Cutters

Cake? Meh. Pie? Tasty, but unnecessary. Cookies? Lifeblood.

As evidenced by the multitude of cookie recipes on this site, I LOVE baking cookies of all kinds. Although I never find roll-out cookies the tastiest of the clan, I love what they're capable of in terms of decoration. I have bags of cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes, but my favorite are always the geeky cookie cutters.

I have Portal cookie cutters (above), Star Wars cookie cutters, and my beloved ABC Gingerbread men (which I have even turned into zombies).  There are more that I want to buy: the Labcutter set, GingerDead Men, zombie, the Pac Man set.

But in reality, if you want to get really geeky, you've got to go to Etsy. There's My Little Pony, Hunger Games, Bacon and Eggs, and a latte cup, not to mention the countless makers who will create cookie cutters to your specifications.

Do you have favorite geeky or unusual cookie cutters? I want to hear about them!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pizza Crisps

Today was one of those days when I don't eat enough early enough, and by the time I actually get around to eating, I'm so hungry that I'll eat whatever's in sight, good or bad. I argued with myself for pretty much the entire drive home from work about stopping for take-out. I managed to make it home without picking up something, but I was SO hungry by then that I couldn't even wait to make the recipe I had planned (cauliflower-crust pizza). 

But pizza was on the brain. I had pinned a tasty-looking snack on Pinterest for pizza crisps, made with wonton wrappers, and there just happened to be a whole package of wonton wrappers sitting in my fridge. Hallelujah!

Think of these as pizza nachos. They're crispy and cheesy and just what I needed. You can add whatever toppings you like (I had a few with crumbled bacon, my favorite pizza topping), but I would avoid tomato sauce, which will just make the wontons soggy. Go for real tomato pieces if you want that flavor.

Pizza Crisps (from Wendy See Wendy Do)
6 wonton wrappers
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
your favorite Italian seasoning mix
additional toppings (pepperoni, veggies, etc)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay wonton wrappers on sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Top with cheese, a sprinkle of seasoning mix, and any other toppings you'd like. Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges are browned and cheese is melty.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Reading Mouse: Meanwhile

Do you want to know about the most epic graphic novel ever, which just happens to start with the question chocolate or vanilla? Then read about Meanwhile by Jason Shiga over at The Reading Mouse.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday I'm In Love... with Mint Chocolate Polar Seltzer

I have recently cut all soda out of my life, and while I'm not missing the actual soda, I am missing the bubbles. And although I've been a big fan of seltzer for a while, I've really fallen back on it as of late.

Polar Seltzer is by far my favorite seltzer, aided by the fact that they're local and they come up with awesome seasonal flavors. During this past summer, I guzzled their ginger lemonade flavor by the bottle.

Now that their winter flavors are out, I have something new to obsess over - mint chocolate seltzer! I've had chocolate seltzer from other companies before, and it was gross and fake-tasting. This, however, is not like that at all. I was quite surprised at how refreshing this seltzer is. The flavor is light and not at all cloying. It even can take the place of dessert if you just want a little bit of sweet after a meal.  In fact, I have already started stockpiling this flavor for when it disappears in a few months.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Voltage Coffee, Kendall Square

I have been wanting to visit Voltage Coffee in Kendall Square since they opened. I simply can't say no to a well-made cup of coffee, and everything I've heard about Voltage told me that they make one damn good cup of coffee.

So finally, finding myself near Kendall on a rainy morning, I finally stopped in for a leisurely breakfast and some time to read. The space was clean and bright (even despite the gray outside), and there was plenty of seating. I ordered a latte and a muffin and took a seat by the windows.

The wait for my coffee was longer than in other coffee shops, but then, other coffee shops aren't making lattes like this. I first ordered a Paper Plane (cardamom, rose water, honey), which I adored. I would have liked the rose flavor to be stronger, but I know most people don't like it as much as I do. If you've never tried cardamom in your coffee (even just in brewed coffee), give it a shot - it's way tastier than the cinnamon that many people put in their morning cup. 

To eat, I ordered a plum muffin with crumble topping. There had to be a whole plum in there, chopped into little bits. Although the muffin didn't have much structural integrity thanks to all that fruit, the flavor and texture was impressive. I especially liked the textural difference between the soft cake and the crispiness crumble.

I stuck around long enough that I wanted another drink, so I ordered a Beyond The Sea (homemade caramel and salt). Starbucks' salted caramel has nothing on this one. The caramel flavor wasn't overly sweet, and the salt (big, flaky crystals sprinkled on top) added a pop on the tongue whenever I encountered one. This was one damn sophisticated drink.

It's places like Voltage that make me miss spending time in Boston/Cambridge as much as I used to. You can bet that, if I lived or worked nearby, I would be in this coffee shop ALL the time. And while their drinks aren't cheap, right now they're offering a card worth 12 drinks for $28 - all in all, a pretty good deal. I'm not sure how long they'll be offering these cards, but if you're nearby, you'd be smart to grab one while you can.

Voltage Coffee & Art on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back to Pinterest

When Pinterest first popped up, I jumped on the bandwagon like everyone else. I enjoyed it for a while, but I wasn't using it in a way that I found helpful. I deleted my account and never looked back.

Until, of course, the week before Halloween this year. I was informed that a friend who is planning her wedding had joined, and all of her bridesmaids were adding to her wedding board. I rejoined to follow the progress, but before long (like, within minutes), I was obsessed with everything Halloween that the internet had to share. And now? I have boards for recipes, boards for holidays, boards for work, boards for travel, boards for crafts, and boards for laughs. I'm obsessed again, and I don't see it waning as quickly as last time.

Are you on Pinterest? Really, I'm only asking so I can steal all your pins :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cherry Pie for All!

What's more American than apple pie? For me, it's cherry pie :)

Happy election day, everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bon Chon = Meat Candy

You've been to Bon Chon, right? No?? You've at least heard about the crazy-addictive fried chicken there, right? I HATE chicken wings, but I will happily eat them at Bon Chon. They are crispy and moist and delicious and everything fried chicken should be.

But my favorite thing at Bon Chon is not the wings or the drumsticks, but the chicken strips. I know that people are pretty firmly divided between white and dark meat, and that dark meat people won't even touch the strips at Bon Chon. But they're missing out. These are no chicken tenders you'd find anywhere else. These are, truly, meat candy, especially if you opt for the soy glaze instead of the spicy. They're sweet and crunchy, and the chicken is so thin, it's almost like a tender jerky.

I went with a bunch of friends for dinner tonight, and we gorged ourselves silly on chicken and other delicious things for about $20 each. I had really forgotten just how good Bon Chon could be. I haven't actually eaten there in a year and a half - it was the last restaurant I ate at with my brother before he died. Ann and I took him on a Friday night, so of course there was an insane wait. He thus dubbed the meal "forever chicken" because that's how long it took to get food. For a while, I thought that there was no way I could ever eat at the restaurant again. Tonight, when the waitress showed us to our seats (much quicker - thanks, Monday night!), I wasn't entirely surprised to see our group headed for the exact table where we had sat with Ron. In fact, Ann and I took the exact same seats at the table, and the one right next to me, where I introduced Ron to forever chicken, was empty.

So if you go, order some forever chicken meat candy. I did, and it made me quite happy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Reading Mouse - Rage Reading

Do you rage read? I rage read, and I don't fully know why.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Making Islands - Muppet Time!

As promised, I'm writing on my other blogs as well, but I'll be cross-posting them here to keep all NaBloPoMo posts in one place.

Wanna know about the muppet I made with my friends? Check out my post on Making Islands.

Friday, November 2, 2012

ATXBOS Swap 2012

This post is far overdue, but again, thanks to NaBloPoMo, I have a reason to sit down and finally write this post!

Just like last year, the Boston and Austin food bloggers staged a food swap, pairing up folks from each city. I sent Sarah from Land of Abe a box full of my favorite goodies (although after I packed it, I thought of twice as many things I had wanted to include). For full details on what I sent, check out her post (including an adorable picture of her daughter!). One thing I had to include: hand-picked honeycrisp apples! They're my favorite kind of apple, and Sarah, who spent some time up in New England, had mentioned that she loved apples. Of course, it helped that apple picking always gives you more apples than you can really eat, so I was happy to share.

I told Sarah I was going to be away at the beginning of October, so she waited a bit to send her package. When I had already been home for a week, though, and it hadn't arrived, I got a sinking feeling.

And then I got the weirdest phone call ever, late in the evening on a Friday. "Hello? I'm calling from the USPS center in Boston. I have a package for you here. It's in the drying vent right now."

"The what?"

"The drying vent. Something in it broke and everything is all wet. You need to come down here, near South Station, and pick it up."

My response was, I think, mostly stupified. I'm sorry, you're calling ME on a Friday night and telling me I have to drive downtown for something YOU broke? Eventually, they called back and said they dried off what they could and would send it along.

A few days later, Sarah's box, wrapped in multiple plastic bags, finally arrived. Inside, I found a bag of Hatch green chile tortilla chips, Queen Bee Caramel and Sea Salt marshmallows, peach preserves from Fredericksburg Farms, and Bar-B-Que sauce from Salt Lick(!). I dug into the tortilla chips right away - they were mildly spicy with just a little bit of sweetness. It's a good thing they don't sell those here in Boston, because I'm pretty sure I would buy them all the time :) The marshmallows were light and fluffy, with little veins of caramel throughout. I'm saving the preserves and sauce for later - especially the sauce for when we can grill outside again. I'm sad that I didn't get to see the other things Sarah sent along, but I'm very happy with the things that did make it :)

(Uh-oh. Just found out that Food Should Taste Good, which makes the sweet potato tortilla chips I sent to Sarah, also makes Hatch Chile chips. They're also located in the town next to where I work. This could be my downfall.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo-ing My Way to Writing

NaBloPoMo November 2012

It's not March anymore, is it. I can give excuse after excuse why this blog hasn't been updated in months, but let's just chalk it up to procrastination and move on, shall we?

In an effort to get back on the blogging bandwagon, I am joining NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Since I have two other (equally neglected) blogs as well, I will be writing on one each day, but will be posting links to the others here as well (so for my family members who only know this blog, you'll soon see my opinions on books and crafts as well). I have done NaNoWriMo multiple times before (yes, two completed novels in draft form, both pretty damn terrible), but I figured this would be the perfect way to breathe new life into this blog.

As a quick catch-up (and introduction to any new readers I might gain), I am a bookslinger (what, I love me some Stephen King!), both at a local indie bookstore and now as a teen librarian (!!). I can (and do) talk books all day. Over the past few months, I have also gotten to go on some incredible vacations - London with my brother and his kids, and Italy with my parents for the trip of a lifetime - but I will probably post more on those (well, Italy, where we ate ALL the good food) later.

I guess I'll leave it at that for now, but if there's anything you want to hear from me this month, just leave me a comment - after all, I'll have 29 more posts to fill before the month is up ;)