My first time eating Migas was only about a year ago, and even though I had no idea what a great plate of Migas tasted like, I knew that I wasn’t sampling the best. But I knew that I would love it when I tasted it, which in fact, was the case months later when I finally had the real deal. Delicious!–honestly I could eat Migas every day. So of course, the next step was to find a good recipe to recreate the scrumptiousness at home.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking (when a bead of water “dances” in the pan), places 2 corn tortillas (cut into wedges) in the oil, along with 1 Tbsp of chopped white onion (or more to test).
3. Pan fry the tortilla wedges/saute the onions, until the wedges start to crisp and onions soften.
4. Crack two eggs directly into the pan and, with a wooden spatula, scramble the eggs together with the tortillas and onions. (Optional, you may also add crumbled chorizo at this point if you wish.)
5. When eggs are almost cooked, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle to cilantro (to taste) and add crumbled Cotija cheese (a couple of Tbsp). (Gwyneth suggested Queso Fresco, which is also very good. Cotija is drier and a bit more crumbly, so it’s a matter of taste.)
There are many novels that tell the tale of a love story, a marriage, a breakup, a divorce–intimate tales of emotion and relationships. But when it comes to divorce, one thing that people often forget–or for that matter, never even consider–is that it’s not about emotions at all. Divorce is about business. Yes, of course, we are often emotional about divorce, but the reality is that it is, at it’s core, a business and legal matter. With that in mind, it was refreshing to read The Divorce Papers, by Susan Rieger, which is the story of a high-profile divorce, told through the literal papers of the divorce–letters, emails, legal documents and filings, pages from the law books of the fictional locale of “Narragansett,” etc.
The book brings out the best and the worst of it’s characters, much like an actual divorce does to those involved, and it offers many moments of much-needed (in the book and in real life!) comic relief. It manages to be both heartfelt and humorous and I felt engaged and invested in the futures of Mia (the client) and Sophie (her lawyer). Rieger kept me reading and I’m glad she did.
The election is over, and whatever your vote, whatever your opinion, whoever your choice for President, I think it’s time we gathered with friends and family–especially those who have tested our patience over these last months–and have a party free of “Parties.”
Here are some things to enhance the festivities . . .
Make sure your guests know that the only things you’re serving are cocktails & escapism.
Shake it up in style with a gold-accented retro cocktail shaker.
Let your guests know that no matter who they voted for, you still think they’re fab . . .
We can’t always get what we want from politics, but from the bar, well . . . the possibilities are endless!
The DC-set TV series Scandal has a soundtrack of classic music, heavy on the Motown; sure to get everyone dancing rather than debating.
So whatever happens in the weeks, months, and indeed, years to come, remember . . .
If you’re anything like me you love trying new beauty products (and you also probably have a drawer full of products that completely missed the mark). But of the years, some of the best, most consistent products I’ve used have been around for a long time and for good reason. A few of these are drugstore items, some are designer, but all of them are worth keeping on hand.
From left to right, top to bottom:
I know you’re probably busy mixing mint juleps for your Kentucky Derby party today, but before post time, be sure that you’re ready for Mother’s Day tomorrow. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to find the right gift to celebrate the mom(s) in your life!
Happy Mother’s Day–to all the many and varied kinds of mothers out there!
I’ve made some headway on my Shelf Life Catch-Up goals. (Not a lot, but some.)
Here are some quick reviews:
I’ve been rapt by everything of Gillian Flynn’s that I’ve read, and this novella is no exception. In the span of a mere 62 pages, Flynn manages to draw you in, make you curious, give you goosebumps, surprise you, and make you question everything. And then make you question everything again. Her characters are so well-developed they are recognizable, knowable, but all untrustworthy enough to keep you questioning them well past the last page.
Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction and Lasting Change
by Louise Phipps Senft and William Sent
(Technically, I read this in the fall, but I’ve referred back to it so many times since I’m not willing to take it off the shelf just yet.) Whether you are looking to improve your business, social, or personal relationships, Being Relational should be at the top of your reading list. A self-improvement book on the surface, it carries a very important message about the good that can come for all when, instead focusing on “winning” in our dealings with others, we focus on sharing the win with the other party (or parties) involved–on creating a win-win result in every interaction. Taking the spotlight off the transaction and putting it on the relationship, the Senfts (who, between them, have decades of experience as mediators and negotiators) have outlined not only a way to improve our personal experience, but a philosophy that can change our society one relationship at a time.
Plumdog, by Emma Chichester Clark
Meet Plum, a “whoosell” (Whippet, Poodle, Jack Russell mix). At times, brave, at times crafty, and always lovable, Plum has been entertaining readers with his stories and antics on the blog Emma keeps for him (of the same name). But whether or not you are familiar with his blog, you will love Plumdog, the beautifully full-color illustrated (by Ms. Clark) diary of a year in the life of Plum. Starting with his new year resolutions (which include “To be braver” and “Not to unstuff my new toys immediately”) and throughout the seasons you will fall in love with Plum and become remarkably involved in his four-legged life and learn a thing or two from his personal dogma.
The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough.
I read the quote above a couple of months ago and I can completely relate. If that is the point of books, then I get it. In fact, if the shelves and stacks and boxes of books that I see at every turn in my home are testament, I live it.
For as long as I can remember I have been a bibliophile. I love books–everything about them. Most of all I love falling into them and losing myself, learning something, or being inspired. Sometimes even all three.
I am never without reading material and usually I read a couple of things simultaneously. I know that reading more than one book at a time sounds odd to some, but I have fiction books that I read before bed or when I need a break from work or when I have some time to relax; not to mention non-fiction that I read for business reasons, health research, educational purposes, etc. And I always have something on me to read if I find myself with a few minutes to spare, waiting on someone or something, or if I need a brief escape.
I devour magazines of all kinds, literary journals, and my daily Wall Street Journal (on paper, thank you very much). And though I thought I would never succumb, I did eventually buy an e-reader years ago, which has since been augmented by apps on my tablet and smartphone, so I really always have reading material on hand. (I also keep a book of short stories in my car. . . just in case.)
Sometimes, all of this reading makes me feel like I might come to a similar end as Cervantes’ Don Quixote, who “from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
With all my reading, you’d think I wouldn’t have an unread book in the house. But I do have a few. Actually, more than a few. Okay, okay . . . a lot more than a few. I’m know I’m not the only reader out there who has a hard time keeping up with their “to read” list.
But lately, the reading I do for my work as a book editor has taken up so much time that my pleasure reading has waned, much to my dismay. The bookcase in my office is overfull and I have stacks in other rooms as well. Books are almost literally closing in around me. It seems the occasion to catch up on my reading is long overdue. No time like the present, I say.
So, starting with my office bookcase, I’m going to make an effort to catch up–or at least make a significant dent in my ever-growing cumulative page count.
Here’s what my bookcase looks like now:
I know . . . overwhelming.
After removing the books I’ve read, and some of my reference books, this is what i looks like:
I’ve left some reference books as well as some volumes that I’ve read but refer to from time to time on the shelves, but those only take up about two shelves.
Still plenty to read.
And that’s what I’m going to do. Read. . . . .More. . . . A lot more.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. But in the case of my reading backlog, I think I owe it to my bookshelf to commit to reading, if not all, then at least a lion’s share of the volumes still waiting. So come January, get ready for more reviews and recommendations and hopefully, we’ll watch the bookshelf’s unread contents will slowly dwindle together.
Wish me luck!by
When I first started reading Sara Taylor’s The Shore, I was unsure what to expect, but one thing it could never have been was a peaceful escape in an idyllic island community.
Spanning centuries, Taylor follows two island families through generations as they survive the struggles of poverty, isolation, and the burdens of community.
At times it’s easy to forget that the stories are interconnected, each perfectly able to stand on its own. (Thankfully for me the author includes family trees at the front of the book for reference.)
The Shore‘s characters are real people, their emotions, desires, worries, insecurities, strengths, and weaknesses all masterfully crafted by Taylor. The relationships between the characters are portrayed with taut and meaningful dialogue, which exposes their fragility and tenuous nature.
It’s not always an easy read–characters experience domestic violence, drug abuse, rape, and and an epidemic, for example. And there’s a deep sense of loneliness in many of the characters that comes through very clearly.
Most significant, though, is the relationship that the residents have with the Shore itself. All of the characters are, each in their own way, bound to the land and the generations of family history. It is a love-hate relationship that in no small part defines them all.
The first time I heard this expression “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” I didn’t get it right away–I thought I was missing something. Then I realized it tells us “don’t bother simply wishing for something if you’re not going to do anything about making it happen.” In other words, wishes alone are folly.
Sounds like good advice. After all, a wish is often described as a “goal without a plan,” and I don’t know about you, but in my experience, not having a plan is a terrible plan.
Then there’s the cautionary proverb that tells us to be careful what we wish for, lest we get it.
It’s true we need to take actual care in choosing our words. Our words are powerful because they are expressions of our thoughts, and because they become our actions. Our actions determine our reality.
When talking about wishes, it’s difficult to forget the traditions of wishing upon shooting stars or breaking off the better half of the wishbone on a Thanksgiving turkey. Think about that, though–the idea of having a wish come true is considered so unrealistic that it’s been simply left up to the random chance of seeing the elusive shooting star or having a better grip on the fourth Thursday of November.
So I’ve tried to not use the word wish so often. I’ve curbed that kind of thinking and made an effort to replace it with a thought process that is more creative, one that will help me actually create my life the way I want to live it.
In practical terms, there’s no more waiting for opportunities to present themselves, no more wishing for things or experiences; there is only creating the opportunities for myself and making my own plans.
But I don’t mean to imply that wishes are bad, or that I’ve stopped wishing. Having a wish or a dream is important–anything really is possible. It’s just that I think it’s a good idea to do more than wish. Only sometimes it can be difficult to remember that . . . old habits do indeed die hard.
Recently I came across this necklace in a shop.
And as much as I had been thinking about wishes, it made me smile.
There is was–a way to remind myself that wishes are good–and pretty. But they are things of which we must be conscious, with which we must be careful, and which we should actively wear if we want to see them realized.
So, yes, I bought it.
And when I put it on I think about what I wish for, what my goals are.
Most importantly, I think about how I make wishes, and what I will do to make my wishes and goals as real as the one around my neck.