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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Link of the Week

Not saying I'll be super diligent about this (because, hey, how diligent am I about anything, really?) but I'm going to try introducing a little series on my blog.

The Link of the Week!

Every Sunday (or if I forget, then sometimes on Mondays) I'll post a link to a cool, fun, interesting, or maybe just crazy website. Today, in honor of the frenzy of baking and cooking we're all about to enter, the site is Tastespotting. This gorgeous site is full of user-submitted food photos, many of which are beautiful enough to grace the cover of Gourmet magazine. Each photo is a link to the recipe, usually on a blog, so there's useful commentary about where the recipe came from and what it's like to make. This time of year, it seems to be heavily weighted towards sweets and desserts, but there are entree recipes as well. It's searchable, and if you're feeling particularly proud of your holiday menu, it looks like it would be extremely easy to upload an image of your own.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Savor Me Slowly

If you're anything like me, you read so much, and have such a huge stack of books already bought and waiting to be read, that your family is afraid to buy you books for Christmas. The solution my friends and relations have come up with is gift certificates to Amazon, Borders, and B&N, and let me tell you, it works great. If you know ahead of time that's what you're getting, you can start to plan your purchases now--and I'm here today to give you a strong recommendation of a book that should definitely make your list.

Savor Me Slowly
is the third and strongest installment in Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress series. As riveting as the previous two books were, (and I was a big fan of Awaken Me Darkly) Savor is better. The only thing about it that doesn’t work is the title—there’s no possible way to savor this book slowly. I turned the pages fast enough to end up with paper cuts, but it was worth it.

Mishka Le’Ace is a heroine unlike any you’ve seen before. Half-human, half-machine, she was handcrafted in a laboratory by a group of scientists to be the perfect weapon. She’s spent her entire life as the possession of power-hungry men, used in the cause of destruction and mayhem until the spark of humanity has nearly burned out of her heart. That spark sputters back to life, though, when Le’Ace begins her latest mission: the rescue of AIR operative Jaxon Tremain. Jaxon’s reputation with the other Alien Investigation and Removal agents is that of a reserved gentleman, but captivity and torture have released his long-repressed inner bad boy. It’s his true self that holds such a dangerous attraction for Le’Ace, and that’s a big part of what makes Jaxon fall for her so hard and fast. Jaxon is mouthwatering as a hero; he’s a fighter, but once he commits to Le’Ace, he is unwaveringly loyal—even knowing that the override system implanted in her brain could force her to comply with an order to execute him.

Some of my favorite Alien Huntress characters show up, including my girl, Mia Snow. It’s fascinating to watch Mia and Le’Ace interact, especially since it turns out they have a history. The big standout secondary character in Savor, however, is Jaxon’s best friend and fellow agent, Dallas, who’s trying to come to terms with his own newly-conferred gift of precognition. Dallas has a sharp, irreverent voice that made me wild to meet the woman who can match him. Here’s hoping his book is in the works, continuing Showalter’s fabulous, inventive series.

Savor Me Slowly hits shelves on December 26th, so it's the perfect gift certificate purchase, as well as the perfect escape from the hell of setting your house to rights after the whirlwind of family visits, ripped wrapping paper, and dirty dishes. Add it to your list right now!

Monday, December 3, 2007

House Hunting

Well, kids, it looks like we're moving. Not far, just to the next town over (the one with the Blockbuster!!), where my husband's new office is. He got promoted, which is yay, but moving is a giant p. in the a.

I want to think of it as an adventure, and it will be, but mostly at the moment I have visions of packing tape and broken china dancing in my head. However, the new town is about three times the size of the town we live in now, and there may even be restaurants and bars we'd want to occasionally spend time in, which would be a giant change. I love to cook, but sometimes it's nice to let someone else cook for you, and bring it to the table, and do the dishes after. And for it not to be pizza or Chinese, which are the only ethnic cuisines on the menu in Norwalk. Sigh. I'm having a craving for Thai food, and there's just not a damn thing I can do about it, short of driving an hour to Cleveland.

Luckily, there's plenty to distract myself with. Furniture shopping online, the ongoing hunt for an electrician who will actually call me back (this is how far my expectations have fallen--I'm not even hoping for an actual in-person visit at this point, with the tools and the fixing and the whole thing. No, if I could just get someone to CALL ME BACK, I'd be a happy girl.), and also some grocery shopping.

Later, I plan to watch a Christmas movie while I fold laundry and otherwise putter. Maybe one of the ones Nick can't bear to see every year (or possibly ever again) like the Natalie Wood Miracle on 34th St., or Meet Me in St. Louis, which is technically appropriate for EVERY season, but I like to watch it at Christmas because I once saw, with my own eyes, the red velvet dress Judy Garland wears to the Christmas dance, while visiting a museum with my mother, and we both teared up. For no good reason other than the sheer fun of emoting all over the place. The other candidate for movie watching today is Christmas in Connecticut. Anybody else ever seen that? It's silly, but I love it. Barbara Stanwyck is a city girl who writes a weekly magazine column describing her fictitious life as a married mother of one who cooks like a dream and lives on a beautiful farm in Connecticut. No one knows it's not true, and when the magazine publisher is put on a diet for his health, he rebels by inviting himself to her farm for Christmas, along with a wounded soldier as a publicity stunt, and hijinks ensue. Thinking about it makes me want to watch it, but I believe, in spite of his protestations to the contrary, that Nick actually somewhat enjoys CiC, especially the luminous Ms. Stanwyck, so maybe I'll wait. (It was remade at some point, I've just discovered, with Kris Kristofferson of all people. Why would someone do such a thing?)

Do you have any little-known Christmas favorites you want to recommend? I'm always looking to expand my holiday DVD collection...

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