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The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.
Heidi prepping for the party.
Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies, inspired from WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout
I adapted one recipe to create this one:
5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger Brand
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
30 whole walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven at 300 degrees – approximately 5 minutes.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container at 1/2 power. Stir until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar, then add melted chocolate/butter mix and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, stir in with a spoon. Put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. It will firm up! Take a tablespoon of dough and flatten in a circle in the palm of your hand. Add toasted whole walnut and fold over chocolate dough. Roll into a ball, completely covering the whole walnut. Cover the entire ball in powdered sugar. Place dough on greased cookie pan. Bake cookies at 350 for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes gently use a fork to flatten the dough to a 1/2 inch thick. Bake for another 2 minutes, then cool cookies on a cooling rack.
4 cups shredded potatoes
Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes
1/8 cup flour
1 diced small onion (I didn’t use it for this meal, but I do recommend including it for flavor)
Mix all ingredients together. Spray a cookie pan with vegetable oil. Spoon out a 1/4 cup of potato mixture. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is brown – about 10 minutes. Flip over with a spatula and brown the other side.
Recipe used: Martha Stewart
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas
Recipe used: Food.com
Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV
One of the suggestions that Heidi had was for us to collect books and donate them to a school in need. I found about Hmong American Peace Academy, a school in Milwaukee desperate for books and in the middle of a library campaign. The school services over 1200 students in K-4 through 12th grade. Over seventy-five books are already in the hands of students.
We utilized Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner’s end-of-the-year survey:
Click here: Jamie’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey
Q: Best book you read in 2013:
Daughter of Smoke & Bone, In Darkness, The One and Only Ivan, The Testing, The Burning Sky, Sea of Tranquility, Reclaimed, Second Chance Summer, Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Defy, Things I Can’t Forget, If I Find Me, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Where the Stars Still Shine, The Winner’s Curse, Covet, Hopeless, Goodbye Rebel Blue, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Q: Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013:
Etiquette & Espionnage, Easy, Dear Cassie, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Six Months Later, Reclaimed, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Tangled, Alice in Zombieland, Uninvited, Unearthly, Stir Me Up, Ruby Red, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Q: Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013:
Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Allegiant, Champion, If He Had Been With Me, Second Chance Summer, This Song Will Save Your Life, Things I Can’t Forget, Sea of Tranquility, The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, If I Stay
Q: Books you are most anticipating in 2014, non-debut:
The Worlds We Make, No Surrender Soldier, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Landline, Ruin & Rising, Panic, Isla and the Happily Ever After, On the Fence, Ignite Me, Split Second, Into the Still Blue, Dissonance
a Rafflecopter giveaway
When I read a book that I know may have a profound impact on a YA’s life, I have to share it with my readers. JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman is one of those novels. (I felt the same way about Gayle’s other books, IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT. If you haven’t read them, they’re a must-read too!)
So, that is why I am doing a giveaway for JOD. It’s open internationally if your country allows for free shipping through The Book Depository, so make sure you check that. Ends Sunday, February 14, 4:00 PM CST.
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
1. Including Shakespeare’s plays in the novel: Gayle does an amazing job of breaking down the plays that, even if you’ve never read them or seen them, you’ll be able to understand what she’s referring to. And it just might inspire you to go and see one in person or rent one on DVD.
2. The settings: London, Paris, Amsterdam, NYC, and Boston – Gayle captures these cities so magnificently that even if you haven’t been to these cities, you’ll be able to visualize the sights and sounds and tastes and smells. I’ve been to London, Paris, Boston, and NYC and her descriptions brought me right back.
3. There are other books out on the market about how one day can change a person’s life. But what I love about JOD is that the one day Allyson and Willem share in Paris has its highs and its lows. It’s not perfect, which, in my opinion, is a reflection on real life.
4. This is a novel about stepping out of your comfort zone, self-discovery, personal growth. There’s plenty of pain and joy that goes along with these actions, but if there wasn’t, then they wouldn’t be significant. This novel encourages calculated risk-taking, which I am all in favor of at any time in one’s life.
5. Imperfect characters/no cliched characters: There isn’t one character who is perfect i.e. too handsome or gorgeous, too smart, or fits into a cliche. These are “real-life” characters and maybe you won’t identify will everyone (the family seder and how people interact was very different than my own experiences as an adult with my children – ours our fun. We laugh and people ask to get invited each year – they love my cooking, the telling of the Passover story etc. :D), but you will certainly find someone to connect with on a personal level.
6. Gives the reader a different perspective on what constitutes love. Most of the time, love is not about being swept off your feet and carried up the staircase. Love can be messy and strange and confusing and painful and amazing and inspiring and definitely life-changing. I deeply appreciate how it’s portrayed in JOD.
7. Friendship: Gayle shows the ups and downs between friends, an authentic portrayal of how one can grow close or be distant depending on the stage of your life. Instead of worrying about it, Gayle’s portrayal takes a healthy perspective.
8. Decision making/choices: I love how Allyson learns and chooses to do what’s best for her and not what’s best for her parents. It takes tremendous fortitude to buck the system and decide what is best for you rather than giving into someone else’s dream for you. DREAM big and TAKE ACTION! Love this.
9. Conquering fear: Who isn’t afraid? But if you’re not bold, if you don’t “Dare Greatly” (the title of a book I love by Brene Brown) then it’s very difficult to move forward. JOD epitomizes “Daring Greatly.”
10. The writing/storytelling: Absolutely captivating and brilliant. I love the minute details such as the watch that Allyson wears, the coins that Willem flips over between his fingers. These and many more add richness to the story.
11. The portrayal of adults/parents: Flawed, annoying, kind, welcoming, nurturing, selfish. That only captures some of their characteristics of the adults in this novel. Absolutely authentic to real life.
12. Use of foreign languages: French, Dutch, Chinese – you don’t have to know them to appreciate the language or get the nuance of what’s going on. Gayle clues in the reader beautifully when need be. There will be times when you learn along the way or feel clueless like Allyson does. It’s exactly how it should be.
For more information about Gayle Forman and her books visit her website: http://www.gayleforman.com
Enjoy cooking? Try some yummy food inspired by ten YA novels written by eight awesome authors.
On December 19th, seven Wisconsin YA book bloggers/librarians/book addicts met for our first book club meeting. And what a night we had!!! Heidi from http://www.yabibliophile.com , Rani from Next Chapter Bookstore http://twitter.com/#!/couldberuthless, Jillian from http://heisereads.blogspot.com, Erica from http://www.thebookcellarx.com Sasha http://twitter.com/#!/FzngWizbee, Maggie http://twitter.com/#!/MaggieMelchior and me. We had a blast talking about YA novels we loved from 2011, novels we can’t believe we waited so long to read, novels that surprised us or disappointed us. We talked about the authors who have hilarious tweets and are so wonderful in person. (There are a lot of them!!!!) We talked about how we review books for our blogs and Goodreads. Time flew by! It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time with just the best gals to hang out with and talk books. And I can’t WAIT for our next book club meeting, which is scheduled for February. For more info check out the awesome Heidi’s post! http://www.yabibliophile.com/2011/12/my-book-club-rocks.html
Besides reading and writing YA, cooking is another one of my passions. (I used to volunteer my time and cater events for a non-profit organization. That’s how much I love to cook. ) Whenever food is mentioned in a novel, I pay attention. And so I decided to create a menu and cook a dinner as a surprise for our first book club meeting. All the recipes were inspired by YA novels. Some mentioned a specific food, like mariquitas in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Noah and Mara
Mariquitas and Garlicky Sauce inspired from THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (Click photo to enlarge)
are eating in a Cuban restaurant in Miami, page 222) while others mentioned atype of food, for example Korean in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Lola runs into Mr. Lim and asks him about his Korean restaurant, referenced on page 9. Lindsey Lim is Lola’s best friend.)
Here’s the menu and the YA novels that inspired the food:
A NOVEL CUISINE (All recipes are vegetarian except the chicken tikki masala, but feel free to substitute tofu)
Pita Chips (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)
Chummus (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)
Guacamole (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles)
Mariquitas w/ Garlicky Sauce (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
Hot-Sour Soup (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman)
Chicken Tikki Masala (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)
Brown Rice (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)
Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi inspired by LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins (Click photo to enlarge)
Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)
Moelleux au Chocolat (Molten Lava Cakes) with Strawberry Sauce
(Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)
Sprecher* Cherry Cola (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Duff by Koby Keplinger)
Hot Mint Tea (Timepiece by Myra McEntire)
Water with Sliced Lime (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
*Note – Sprecher is a Wisconsin favorite local brewery. Try and find their soda if you can. Once you taste their cherry soda, will will never want to drink Cherry Coke or Cherry Pepsi again!
Click here for ALL THE RECIPES: http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1015
This is a very quick post, my friends, but I need to share with you some YA novels that have blown me AWAY!
Gayle Forman’s Where She Went – the sequel to If I Stay – OMG incredible. So absolutely amazing. Can’t stop thinking about these books, can’t stop talking about them.
Here’s my comments about If I Stay as posted on Goodreads: This book received the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor – Superb! Do you have a choice to live or to die? How does one continue on when everything is lost? This is an emotionally charged, powerful YA novel perfect for YA and adults. The voices are powerful and intense, the characters interesting and passionate about life and music. Don’t miss this novel!
My comments about Where She Went: I loved WHERE SHE WENT, every word. I started it around ten and stayed up until I finished it three hours later, and I can’t stop thinking about it. (I had a hard time falling asleep after that, so I reread some of my favorite parts.) Seriously, I don’t think you could get any more perfect than this novel when it comes to depth of character, emotional baggage, authenticity of voice.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but what’s there to criticize about this book? In my opinion it doesn’t get better than this. WHERE SHE WENT had to be one of the most gut-wrenching books ever written. Perhaps I’m experiencing sympathy pains as an author – knowing what it’s like to put everything into your characters and have your characters put everything into you, into your book – THIS IS IT! WHERE SHE WENT is lyrical and beautiful. I love Adam and Mia. Wow, talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes.
I know IF I STAY is being made into a movie – and I do wonder if this book will be incorporated. I could visualize every scene, all the heartbreak. This one will haunt me for a long time. Incredible, absolutely mind-blowing incredible. Do not miss IF I STAY or WHERE SHE WENT.
Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere – Loved it! A few weeks ago I stood in Borders and recommended this to so many teens. Had a frank discussion with quite a few girls and all of a sudden we had a nice crowd and an amazing time talking about this book and other favorites. Here’s what I had to say about it as posted on Goodreads: Oh yeah, I loved this book! It’s not too often that I go back and reread sections of a novel, but I did with this one! So vivid, heartbreaking, lovely, romantic! And wow the creative storytelling through poems written on scraps of paper, trees, benches, napkins, paper cups . . . loved it! This is a novel that takes you in, holds you close, and takes you along page by page on an emotional roller coaster! Hop on, you’ll love the ride!
Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Delirium – Two absolutely extraordinary YA novels that I’ve recommended over and over and over again. And Lauren, your endings get to me every time! Holy wow!
My comment as posted on Goodreads about Delirium: DON’T READ PAST THIS FIRST LINE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DID AT THE END!
This book was so extraordinary. Loved the characters, the settings, the premise of LOVE being a disease. Lauren Oliver is a BRILLIANT writer. I read the ending at least 10 times. I cried and cried and cried and cried! Then I paced the living room floor, headed to the bathroom for tissues, and started over again! OMG! Truly one of the most mind-blowing endings I’ve ever read. I could picture it perfectly in my mind. This book takes hold of your heart and doesn’t let go! WOW! JUST WOW!
My comments about Before I Fall: Impossible to put down! Another must-read for teachers, parents, and of course HS students. BEFORE I FALL will leave you breathless and wondering until the very last page. Brilliant, extraordinary… the characters will jump off the page and become a part of you. This is a novel you need to read more than once because you don’t want to miss any nuance or angle. Lauren Oliver-a standing ovation! Before I Fall is an honors winner for the Milwaukee County Teen Book Awards (MCTBA) for 2011! Well deserved.