Archive: June 2008

Today was my first true program of the summer. I based it around this fantastic book of poems, The Bookworm’s Feast by J. Patrick Lewis. Lewis did not write all the poems in the book, the last page gives credit to some other writers. But the general idea is that a gentleman bookworm throws a party for his friends, and they dive into the most delicious literature. The poems are about books, animals, lots of great things. I read a selection of poems to the kids, including “The Gentleman Bookworm,” “The Framboise Fair,” “Read…Think…Dream,” and “Two Good Books.” Then I finished with “The End of the Bookworm’s Feast.” The illustrations by John O’Brien are enjoyable, and I think most of the kids liked the poems.

Read more on The Bookworm’s Feast Program…

This is one of those recipes I’ve made a bunch of times and haven’t gotten around to posting. It is Adam’s new favorite dinner, from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook-which is awesome, by the way. My mother gave it to me last Christmas, and everything I’ve made from it has worked, been a delicious hit, and been incredibly easy to make. I tweak everything until I get it the way I like it, but the recipes as they are are pretty yummy.

So here’s the recipe-which is actually called Skillet Ziti With Chicken and Broccoli, but I’m either a rigatoni or penne person. Penne works best for this. It says it serves 4 to 6 as is. If you’re cooking for 1 or 2 people, this makes really delicious leftovers. Or just halve everything. Plus, this is a one-pot meal, which are the best kinds of meals.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces ziti (2 1/2 cups) *or penne
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 lbs), stems discarded and florets cut into 1-inch pieces
*I never use this much broccoli. I wouldn’t be able to fit it all into the pan. I use maybe half this much or even 1/4. Eyeball it and add as much as you want.
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and sliced 1/4 thick *Again, I eyeball the quantity for this. It’s usually a little less than a cup.
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (optional) *I tried to make this once without, and it really wasn’t the same.

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I literally stumbled upon this book. I bumped into our cart of discarded books yesterday afternoon and noticed The Boy,The Bear, The Baron, The Bard sitting on top of it. The cover art was great, and our copy was in good shape. I couldn’t figure out why it was discarded. Turns out it wasn’t, it was misplaced on top of the cart. We can’t figure out how, but none of us had heard of this book before. So I read it, and I loved it.

Read more on The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard by Gregory Rogers…

Earlier this week-before the delerium that came with green cards and summer reading-I mentioned a Mom Trifecta. I only got around to posting about the amazing anniversary quilt that she made us before spacing out. Here is the next cool thing my mom delivered to our door.

Read more on World, Meet Annie…

I’ve tried, people. I really have. I tried reading Eragon on paper. Now I’ve tried listening to the audio book. I cannot get past chapter three. If any fantasy reader comes into my department saying, “There’s a third one!” I’m the first person to answer back, “Brisingr doesn’t come out until September 20th.” I want to read it and talk to the kids about it. But I just can’t bring myself to wade through this series.

Read more on Me and Eragon…

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