Friday, December 28, 2012

7 Faves, the Jumpstart Edition

I've been neglecting this here blog.  I won't bother you with excuses.  It's been months since I've picked up one of my Nicholas Sparks books.  I've done one project from The Last Song, and that's it.   I've stalled, big time.  I'm determined not to abandon you all, though; I know there are many blogs out there that are pretty much dead in the water because their authors just up and quit and got on with their busy lives.  I'm sorry to say that I spent a good half hour just the other day going through and clicking the "Stop Following This Blog" option on my reading list, and many of those were blogs that hadn't been updated in months.  (Some of them I just quit reading.  Shame on me.)  I don't have many followers here to begin with, and I wouldn't want anyone to do that to me.

Anyway, since it's the end of the year and all, I'm determined to see this through.  Call it a New Year's resolution if you will.  I've had a lot of fun cooking all those Nicholas Sparks-inspired meals and sharing them with you, and do you know what?  It also has made me pay more attention to the food in other books as well (hence my deviation to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; and have you ever read Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas series?  I've been practically drooling at the thought of trying some of the dishes in those books...)

So in a what I hope isn't a futile attempt to jump start Cooking Nick's Books, I'm choosing seven of my favorite posts from the last year and a half or so.  Here they are in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent (click on the titles to link to the posts):


I suppose I should have called this one "Brazilian Chicken with Raw Tropical Sauce," because that's what it is.  Anyway, it's inspired by Rachael Ray (I got to meet her recently; I'll tell you about that soon!  Let's just say I was giddy) and one of our favorite race car drivers.


Shrimp.  Grits.  The Lucky One.  Paula Deen.  And some family photos from like eight years ago.


Delicious.  That is all.


...or, "What I Cooked For Christmas Dinner 2011 and Narrowly Escaped Disaster."  The best Christmas dinner I ever made.  2012's was lame in comparison, I'm sorry to say.


We love shrimp and we love grilling, and the watermelon-pineapple salad is one of our favorite summer sides.  I posted this in November 2011, but I remember the day we made this:  October 16, the day Dan Wheldon died.  Thankfully during dinner we were blissfully unaware that he had been killed that day. We wouldn't find out until later.


My mother-in-law taught me to make this.  You won't get a better gravy (that's Italian for "pasta sauce") anywhere.


I have no idea why I've only made this once.  It's fantastic.

So that's it.  I resisted the temptation to post more than seven, so I guess if you want more where these came from, you'll just have to poke around here some more.  In fact, I would LOVE for you to do that.  And I WILL keep posting here, I promise; I hope you'll put me on your reading list!

(And while you're at it, you can check out my other blog, Musings of a Catholic Mom, where just the other day I shared my ten favorite posts from 2012.)

And for more Quick Takes, be sure to visit Jenn at Conversion Diary!

Happy New Year!