Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why I Love England: An American Anglophile's A-Z

To quote William Blake, England is indeed a "green and pleasant land."

This time of year, I start thinking of my spring or summer trip and, though I have been to many other European destinations and there are places I have yet to see, I always want to go back to England.  

I am an Anglophile through and through.

Other than possibly a past life as an English maiden, I blame it on the "British Invasion" and the Beatles, which is just now enjoying it's 50th Anniversary.  From that moment on, I wanted to wear clothes from Carnaby Street, drive through the English countryside with Emma Peel and marry a Beatle.  I have managed two out of three sans Emma Peel.

Hubby's work used to take him there several times a year, so when I could, I would tag along.  Because of that, we have many friends there and have been able to explore England's many nooks and crannies - not just the touristy destinations, but some truly unique and special places and experiences.

I have worn the town crier's hat in Chester,

(I was informed after wearing the hat and doing my "hear ye, hear ye," that "she who wears the crier's hat in nine months will have a brat."  Thanks, Town Crier, I wish you had told me that before I donned the hat even though having a brat at this stage would be close to an act of god).

spent a few days in a narrow boat on the Oxford canal,

punted on the River Cam with Hubby and my kids,

Looks easier than it is!
Hubby almost fell off right after this picture was taken when he went under a bridge and didn't duck!


toured Stonehenge alone with my daughter
(it was February and snowing and we had it all to ourselves)

driven through the water splash in Yorkshire that was featured in the opening sequence of the TV show "All Creatures Great and Small," 

found the house in Cark in Cartmel where Hubby's father lived before his family emigrated to the United States,

(We were told by a fellow in the local pub it had been used as an ale house, which is basically an illegal pub)!

and took a picture down the pants of a street performer in Covent Garden (long story)!

So in light of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles and the British Invasion, an event that greatly influenced my life, I thought I would share with you a little alphabet book on why I love England.  Perhaps it will inspire you.

Afternoon Tea

How civilized to take a break around 4pm to have a cuppa tea and some sweets.  That will hold you until dinner which in Europe is often after 8pm. 

I can remember one visit where an event was planned at a pub for later in the evening (Skittles, the pub game, not the candy), and I stupidly skipped tea.  By the time dinner was served at the event I was so hungry I kept yammering on to the person preparing the food while he mumbled "Bloody American" under his breath.  (However, I did win the women's prize for playing Skittles).

Tea can be as simple as tea with scones and clotted cream in a village tea house to tea at The Ritz with champagne, sandwiches and assorted sweets - and tea, of course. 

I vote for the champagne and the Ritz.

The Beatles

Duh.  I could go on and on about them, which I have already done in my blog post, "Why the Beatles Matter." 

Suffice it to say, this almost life size poster hangs in my family room as does this Richard Avedon photo of John.

Ignore the Christmas lights!

The Cotswolds

Stanton, often called the most beautiful village in England.

I have been to most of the Cotswolds villages, and I think Lower Slaughter is the most beautiful. 

We spent a wedding anniversary there.  When the tourists go home, you have it all to yourselves.  I have taken the walk over the stiles, through the sheep pasture, to Upper Slaughter many times and I never get tired of it. 

And there are just so many wonderful paths you can take all over England, all by yourself and feel perfectly safe.  No guns!


Don't get me started.

I was a huge Diana fan and when she died, a light went out.  Like the Beatles, she had that certain something that affected people who didn't even know her.  I just liked being in the world knowing she was in it too.  I stayed up all night to watch her funeral and her body being taken to Althorp for burial crying all the while.

Paying respects at Althorp is on my Bucket List.

Here is part of the Diana Memorial Walk in St. James Park.


This is a BBC soap opera about the lives of people living on Albert Square in Walford, a fictional part of London's East End, who gather in the fictional pub, The Queen Victoria (aka Queen Vic).  

I have been following it since it was first shown on PBS over 25 years ago.  Other than the wedding of Luke and Laura on "General Hospital (got hooked while I was home after my son was born)," I am not a person who watches soap operas, but this one not only captured my love of England, specifically London, but captured its "realness."  Here there are regular looking people and senior citizens with huge story lines that mirror real life.  It's gritty, touching and powerful.  It still plays on some PBS stations, but fewer and fewer.  I don't think I have ever missed an episode and loved watching it in "real time" whenever I traveled to the UK.

BBC America played it for several years and then abruptly cut us off in 2003 causing fans to go apoplectic, but eventually creating a huge Eastenders community here in the U.S. that exists to this day and many of those folks are my friends.

This Eastenders dish towel hangs in my office as proof that I supported the show when it played on PBS in San Jose.

Fashion and Food

Thanks to Mary Quant, Carnaby Street,Twiggy and the British Invasion, British fashion dominated the 1960's.  Everyone seems to think that the 1960's is all about hippies, but that didn't really start until the late 60's and early 70's.  The 1960's were all about mini skirts, go go boots, John Lennon hats and cool haircuts.

Today we have Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham.

Following WWII, England suffered such deprivation that their food got a bad rap for years.  But now they have Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson, Marco-Pierre White and more who have changed the face of British cuisine.

Wish I could afford to go to their restaurants!

The Globe Theatre

The theatre associated with Shakespeare.  This is as close as this wannabee actress will ever get to appearing there.


Harrods department store is a must, especially the food court.  I bought some items there thinking I would eat them in Hyde Park.  However, the assumption must be that I was taking it home.  The British must think it gauche to eat out of a container, because there were no forks to be had. 

I sat on the grass in Hyde Park and ate my tuna salad with my fingers, happy as a clam and pinching myself that I was sitting on the grass in Hyde Park eating tuna salad!

The Isle of Wight

We went to the Isle of Wight on a trip when we didn't have much money or sense.  Of course we had heard about it ever since the famous music festivals there where Bob Dylan had his first performance following his motorcycle accident (1969) and Jimi Hendrix performed before his death (1970).  We didn't have the money to take the car on the ferry, not realizing there wasn't much to walk to once you had seen the town.

But, hey, we've been to The Isle of Wight!

June Brown

June Brown is an 87-year-old actress who is probably not well-known in the United States, but she is a national treasure in the UK for her portrayal of "Dot Cotton" on the soap "Eastenders (see above under "E").  Though she had a successful acting career and has appeared in many films, "Eastenders" made her a huge star and she is one of the few remaining characters who starred in the early episodes.

I had the privilege of meeting her when she came to the U.S. to promote the show.  The picture above is the picture she autographed for me.  You can see that she started to spell my name "Rosie," and my being a cheeky sort, corrected her and you can see she turned the "e" into a "y." 

I was going through some stuff at the time and remember almost crying when I went up to her and probably said something stupid like "Can we be best friends?"  She was very warm and kind and said something like she hoped I got some help.

Kensington Palace

Home of Diana and some of the other Royals and now home to Prince William, Kate and baby George. 

I remember being in the Kensington Gardens and seeing a woman who looked so much like Diana that I got it in my head that it WAS Diana and I would get to talk to her.  Followed the woman until I realized it wasn't she.  I finally had to ask myself, what in the world would Diana be doing out walking all by herself without anyone else knowing it except me? 

I was (and am) a little nutty about Diana.

Lake District

A gorgeous part of England. 

Home to Wordsworth where he and Coleridge hung out in the Dove Cottage doing a bunch of opium. No wonder Wordsworth "wandered lonely as a cloud," and Coleridge was feeling albatrosses around his neck.  Opium was cheaper than tea!

Oh, look, my natural hair color.  I had forgotten.


The British Invasion didn't just bring the Beatles.  I was gaga over The Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Zombies and the Yardbirds too. 

If they were English, I was a fan and planned to marry SOMEBODY English and move to England! 

How else to explain Herman's Hermits!

Narrow Boats

Imagine six people ranging in age from 20+ to 70, driving and living on a boat on an English canal and nary a cross word was said.  Must have been all of that wine! 

My Swedish cousin and her husband, my sister, my daughter and Hubby and I rented a narrow boat and drove up the Oxford canal. 

We, or should I say Hubby, drove it ourselves, lived on it, took it through many locks, ran into things and it was one of the greatest vacations ever.


City of Spires.  Home of Oxford University and my beloved Inspector Morse.

We tried to go to places where Morse had hung out. 

We had a drink at the Marlborough Hotel where Morse would do and his author Colin Dexter hangs out (the bartender said Dexter always sits in the same chair and if someone else is sitting there, he waits patiently in the lobby until it is available), lunch at the Trout pub, which figured in early Morse mysteries such as "The Service of all the Dead" and "The Wolvercote Tongue." 

While in Oxford, I purchased "The Oxford of Inspector Morse and Lewis" by Bill Leonard, and planned to watch every single Morse mystery with the book to see the places we had been and learn more about them. 

Still on my to do list.

A librarian aside:  while working as a research librarian pre-Internet someone asked about a quotation in one of the Morse mysteries (Morse is one of your more literate detectives and is forever throwing quotes around under his breath).  After perusing countless quotation books (yes, the actual printed page), I decided to write to Colin Dexter and ask him myself.  I found his home address, wrote him a letter (this is also pre-email) and several weeks later, he wrote back in his own hand to inform me the quote was from "the greatest book ever written, 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens."  He also said he loved librarians and I should look him up if I was ever in Oxford.  Rumor had it he loved librarians to buy his drinks!  I was hoping he would be at the Marlborough!


I just love the pub culture of England and, I know what you are thinking.  Of course she does.  She enjoys the occasional tipple.  But that's not why.  The pub culture in England is all about the village, the neighborhood, hanging out with your friends, socializing.  If they can walk to their "local," there are few old folks living in isolation in England unless they want to.  The bartender in the second picture befriended us in London, and when I said, "This is just like the Queen Vic ("Eastenders," see above), we were treated extra special.

The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II was only 26 when her father, King George VI, died unexpectedly and she was called back to England from her honeymoon to become Queen.  She has ruled Great Britain and the Commonwealth realms for 62 years.  She only has two more years to go until she beats Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch.  I think she will go for it and Charles will just have to wait.

Her coronation was the first to be televised and it never ceases to bring out emotion in me as I think of her taking on this daunting task at only 26.  No matter how you feel about the Royals, she has certainly taken her oath to serve seriously.  How long she has served was brought home to me while viewing an exhibit of her life at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  They had erected a timeline with her on one side and all of the heads of state around the world who have come and gone since she became Queen. 

Quite astonishing.

The Royal Family

Again, whether you like the Royals or not, Prince William, Princess Catherine and Prince George embody the "It Factor" that was Diana.  I will enjoy watching their lives unfold.

And hey, what's wrong with a little pomp and circumstance now and then?


Can't do an alphabet book on England without including Shakespeare.

Fun Fact:  On his gravestone, he curses anyone who tries to rob his grave:

"Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare, / To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones."


When I am in England, I indulge.  I just can't help myself.

The Underground

Fastest way to get around London.  Safe and easy.  Sure wish we had something like this in Seattle.  However, one thing to keep in mind.  When you spend most of your time on the Tube, you don't get a very good sense of where things are. 

One time I took it and realized it had only taken me across the street!

Victoria and Albert Museum

Called England's Attic (and also the V & A), this museum has everything from teddy bears to mummies to fashion and if they can have more than one of something, they do!

I thought I had big hips!

Windsor Castle

One of the worst flights we ever had was one that arrived in England at 6am. 

Imagine the jet lag!  And what is there to do in England at 6am?  We couldn't check into our hotel, nothing was open and we were pooped.  Hubby's work was about 60 miles west of London so we headed out and made Windsor our first stop. 

Besides being home to Windsor Castle, one of the Queen's preferred abodes, Windsor is a lovely little town with Eton nearby.  We dragged out weary selves to Windsor, found a little hole-in-the-wall café, propped our eyes open with some toothpicks and enjoyed our cheese toasts and tea.  If you have to be jet-lagged at 7am, Windsor is not a bad place to hang out.

You might even run into the Queen!

Now we just have to stay awake for another 14 hours!

Xmas in England

One thing I have not done is spend Christmas in England which is still on my Bucket List. 

I want to shop in London and enjoy all of the lights and decorations and then gather my family together to spend the holiday in a lovely little village with the locals and pretend I am English.

Perhaps Father Christmas will make that wish come true some day.


York is a walled city with Roman ruins.

Walking the wall.

An old ruin lying on an old (Roman) ruin in York.


They say "zed" for "z." 

I think that's cool.

Thank you for taking this trip with me.

Do you have any fond memories of England?

See you Friday
 when I will share some romantic movies for your Valentine's Day viewing -
and, of course, reviews!

Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Our Mothers and The Movies, A Baby Boomer's Perspective - and The Week in Reviews

[I review movies "Labor Day," "Blue Caprice," "Last Vegas" and "Don Jon."]

But first

Our Mothers and the Movies:
A Baby Boomer's Perspective

Today is my mother's birthday.  She would have been 106.
Even at my age, it seems strange to have had a mother born in 1908. 
Her Dad was born in the 1800's. She was 40 when she had me and since I didn't start my family until I was 32 when I had my son, I figured we skipped a whole generation somewhere.

I recently reviewed a book for "Library Journal" called "Mom in the Movies: The Iconic Screen Mothers You Love (and a few you love to hate)" by Turner Classic Movies with critic Richard Corliss.

It's a coffee table book that movie fans will love, but I also couldn't help but think of how these movie Mom images affected me and my view of my own mother. 

Her parents were Swedish immigrants and she strived to better herself.  Though she couldn't go to college, she always revered education.  There was never any doubt in my mind that I would go to college.  She had strong opinions about pretty much everything (must be where I got it from!) and was horrified if someone who was educated used bad English.  She would correct them right to their face! 

As was typical of the times, when my parents had children, my mother stayed at home as a housewife.  Before that, she had been the secretary to the president of the local bank and we never heard the end of that.  Though she was a product of her times, this was a woman who would have had a successful career.

But failing that, she threw herself into being a good housewife.

Monday was washing day, Tuesday ironing day, etc. She hung the wash out on the line so we had fresh smelling sheets, she ironed her sheets and pillow cases, baked pies, produced delicious Sunday suppers, got up every morning to make my Dad's breakfast, was home when I came home from school, catered to my food dislikes, volunteered in the community and kept her house immaculate.

I certainly didn't appreciate her at the time.

I am horrified now at how my brother treated her and I wasn't much better.  My brother called her "Witch Hazel" to her face, "Haze," for short (I think from the Looney Tunes character).  As the younger sister, I thought that was hysterical.  Maybe he called her that because she would chase him with the broom when he was really outrageous. And we both liked to sneak up on her when she was ironing in the basement and scare her.  She would jump a mile and we would laugh hysterically.  It was your typical "wait until your Dad gets home" scenario, but unfortunately, my Dad didn't want to get involved.  Must have been hard for her.

She also personified the Swedish reserve and didn't ascribe to any modern psychological notions such as talking about "feelings."  I can remember saying to her, "Mom, I feel depressed," and she would answer, "What do you have to be depressed about?"  So much for wanting to help your young daughter work through her emotions.  But that was the way it was then.  You didn't complain.  And I learned that if you did, no one wanted to talk about it.

I watched a lot of TV and many movies.  There was June Cleaver, June Lockhart ("Lassie"), Jane Wyatt ("Father Knows Best") and Donna Reed, all understanding, perfect mothers.

No flesh and blood Mom could compete with the Moms and actresses on TV and in the movies. 

I once wrote a letter to Elizabeth Taylor and told her I wished she was my Mom. Not sure now why I equated her with "Mom-dom."  Maybe I just wanted to have a glamorous Hollywood mother I could hang out with.

She sent me this glamour shot.

All of that movie watching I did as a child must have really affected me and my views on motherhood.

Who could be as long suffering as Ma Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath,"

(She would silently put up with whatever I dished out)

or as gallant and "stiff upper lip-ish" as Greer Garson in "Mrs. Miniver
(she was so good she won an Oscar!)"

(Her strength and courage would protect me from everything).

or as comforting as Irene Dunne in "I Remember Mama," 

(I bet SHE would care about my feelings).

or as self-sacrificing as "Stella Dallas?"

(She would step aside so I could marry a rich guy and have everything I ever wanted).

Because of the movies, we expected our mothers to be stoic, gallant, comforting and self-sacrificing.  Our Moms never had a chance.

But on the other side of things,  I am sure our mothers had happy expectations of us, too, but instead sometimes got something quite different.

There might have been days when our mothers thought we were like

murderous Rhoda in "The Bad Seed"

or selfish Veda in "Mildred Pierce."

Or cute but deadly little Damien from "The Omen."

We might not have had a choice who our mothers were, but we also need to remember that they didn't have a choice on how we would turn out either!

"Mom in the Movies" makes the point that even though the financial constraints of the film business dictates a focus on a young male audience, "mother movies" will always be around. 

"Children must be shown where they came from, and from whom...  [Mothers] deserve the affirmation of popular culture for their important, impossible job.  All of us need images in films to reflect and enrich, challenge and validate, the ones in our hearts.  On that screen, we demand to see our better selves: our mothers."

And aging actresses need juicy parts!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

 Who was your favorite on-screen Mom?

The Week in Reviews

***In Theatres Now***
An escaped convict kidnaps a depressed woman and her son and love ensues (naturally).
I so, so wanted to love this movie. 

You know with my penchant for Lifetime Movies, I thought it would be a natural or at least so bad it was goodIt was neither. This was farfetched and laborious.  I mean, he forces the mother and son to take him to their house, and the next day he is changing her oil, scrubbing her floors and teaching them how to make peach pie. And that was just the first day! By the time the Labor Day weekend is over, Winslet and Brolin are in love and running off together.  I guess a lot can happen in a weekend!

Speaking of the pie, it seemed they were going for something like the pottery wheel scene in "Ghost," but if so...nope.
This is based on the book "Labor Day" by Joyce Maynard, who might be more famously known for her controversial 1998 "kiss and tell" book ("At Home in the World") about her love affair, at a young age with J.D. Salinger (he liked them young). Coincidentally, she was featured in the documentary on him "Salinger," which played recently on American Masters on PBS and is available on DVD.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I am a big Kate Winslet fan, but watching this movie, I felt like I was in labor.

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)

Blue Caprice (2013)

Dramatization of the lives of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo, also known as the Beltway Snipers (2002).

Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond do a good job with what they have to work with, but the film is ultimately disappointing because Muhammad's transition from hard-working, caring father figure to a cold-blooded killer is just not explained.  The title derives from the tricked-out car they used to carry out the attacks undetected for so long.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are expecting to understand these senseless killings, you won't find the answer here.

Last Vegas (2013)

Four childhood friends, now in their 70's, meet up in Las Vegas for a bachelor party.

You would think that with Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline we would be in for a treat. Doesn't always work like that. This is "The Hangover" for the geriatric set, and though there are some laughs to be had, it is ultimately disappointing.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Didn't pass the "Rosy Test."  I didn't laugh.

Don Jon (2013)

A New Jersey player only cares about his pad, his car, his church, his family and... porn.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (my how he has grown since "Third Rock from the Sun!") wrote and directed this film about a guy addicted to porn, to the point that he enjoys that more than sex with a real live girl.  Naturally, he realizes the error of his ways with the help of an older woman, Julianne Moore, in a not quite believable role.  The revelation here is Scarlett Johansson, who plays the gum-chewing love of his life Jersey girl.  Her characterization would do "New Jersey Shore" proud.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a fun 90 minutes, but remember it's about porn so there's lots of porn. So don't say I didn't warn you.

***Book of the Week***

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou (2013)

From the author of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and countless other memoirs and books of poetry, Angelou tackles the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.

Her mother sent her brother and her away when her marriage fell apart, and when they were reunited, Maya was angry and bitter. But her mother patiently worked to win her love.  Angelou's prose is spare and tight, reminiscent of Hemingway.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a slim volume full of the redemptive power of love.  If you are an Angelou fan, this rounds out her story.  If not, it's time you discovered her!

That's it for this week. 
See you Tuesday.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cooking in an Empty Nest

When I am at loose ends, I like to cook.  It relaxes me.

And as a newly retired, "empty nester," I am often at loose ends!

I love reading cookbooks and collecting recipes.  I have a little folder of all of the recipes I have cut out of magazines or printed off the Internet that I want to try, and I probably have over 100 cookbooks.

I even made myself my own cookbook. 
You might try this.  Find a big photo album, one of those with the plastic page covers and instead of putting in photos, add your favorite recipes that you have cut out of magazines or written on cards.  Voila!  Your very own cookbook of favorite recipes.

I am also the "Casserole Queen."  I just love making casseroles. 
Who knew?  I am not sure where that came from since I hated casseroles as a child.  When my mother would make a casserole, if my mother couldn't tell me every single thing in it, I would not eat it.  Sometimes she would try to fool me and not tell me about an ingredient I wouldn't like, but it didn't take me long to sniff it out.  I was a real "fussbudget" as my mother used to call me.  Now I love making and eating casseroles, but the issue with casseroles is that they usually feed 12, which is not a good thing when you are cooking for two.

So the big problem with my need to cook is...when I cook, I REALLY cook!  Like four or five or six dishes at time!

So my weekly routine usually includes my cooking several new recipes from that folder I keep.  I want to see what they taste like!  But then I make the recipe, taste it and move on.  Steam comes out of Hubby's ears and he goes mental when he sees all of the food I have prepared, especially when we can't fit all of the leftovers in the fridge.

"Who is going to eat all of this?" he will shout.

I slink off to the upstairs to watch some cooking shows.


There is also the issue of gathering all of the ingredients needed to try these new recipes.  I like to have everything I need on hand at all times, so whenever I find a new recipe, I automatically add the ingredients to my grocery list, even if I am not going to make that recipe in the near future. A friend once housesat for us and later asked me if I was a Mormon, because of all of the food we had stockpiled.  I said, "No, I just like to cook."

I can rationalize that if I spend a few hours cooking on the weekend and make several dishes, then I don't have to cook during the week when I don't want to.  Hubby can find something to eat on his own when he wants some lunch instead of bothering me while I'm getting caught up with "The Housewives" or doing some other important task.
So I know that what I am doing is not a particularly thrifty, healthy or smart thing to do since it's just the two of us.

And it doesn't help in the never-ending quest to lose weight to have all of this food on hand!


So what's a budding chef to do with the kids grown and a need to only cook for two?

Here are some ideas I have come up with:

  • Though I think it's a good idea to spend some time on the weekends cooking so that Hubby and I will have leftovers to eat during the week (and I will only have to cook when I want to), if the dish will not be consumed in one sitting, limit myself to one or two of those larger dishes per week.

  • When making a large dish, freeze half of it.

  • Probably should stay away from Costco.

  • Cut the recipe in half

  • Buy a cookbook aimed at cooking for two (just what I need, another cookbook!)

  • Or just forget about it and go out to eat instead

Any other advice?

In the meantime, here are some new cookbooks I have discovered recently and some recipes I plan to try (some habits die hard):

One Good Dish by David Tanis

Written by a New York Times food columnist, this cookbook deconstructs comfort food and elevates it to a gourmet level. 

From "Eggs in a Hole" to "Spaghetti with Bread Crumbs and Pepper," this is the kind of cookbook you will enjoy reading as much as preparing the recipes.  In his "Snacks" chapter, he shares a recipe for "Cucumber Spears with Dill," just small cucumbers, salt and pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme leaves, white wine vinegar, fresh dill and lime juice. Nice snack for those who shun carbs.

TIP:  Speaking of carbs, he recommended using a waffle iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches.  Why didn't I think of that?

Michael Symon's 5 in 5 by Michael Symon

Symons is one of the co-hosts of "The Chew," a cooking show I actually don't like.  It's a bit too frenetic and cutesy for me.  I am much more of a "Top Chef" kind of girl.  I like food competitions better than just watching someone prepare food.

Anyway, this is a fun and easy cookbook in that each recipe only uses five ingredients.

He shows you how to use those five ingredients to make several different recipes, all in just five minutes.  He covers pasta, meat skewers, sandwiches, steaming food in packets, egg dishes, grilling and more.  One recipe that caught my eye was "Pappardelle with Mushroom Cream Sauce."  It's just pappardelle pasta, olive oil, mushrooms, red onions, sour cream and fresh tarragon (I know that's more than five ingredients.  Herbs must not count).  Love pappardelle pasta, love mushrooms, not so sure about the cream sauce. 

What's for Dinner? Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life by Curtis Stone

I am usually not a fan of the celebrity chefs (Except for Tony and Gordon), but this is the first cookbook I have come across in a long time where I want to cook every recipe...so I bought it!

He includes recipes for every day of the week and has divided the cookbook into chapters: Motivating Mondays, Time-Saving Tuesdays, One-Pot Wednesdays, Thrifty Thursdays, Five-Ingredient Fridays, Dinner Party Saturdays and Family Supper Sundays.

It's a beautifully produced book, with wonderful photos of the food (a must!)

Here is a taste:

Grilled Shrimp with Rice Noodle Salad
Seared Ham Steak and Eggs with Smashed Potatoes and Sourdough Toast
Slow-Cooked Pulled Port Sandwiches with "Fireworks" Coleslaw
Banana Cream Parfait with Gingersnap Strusel


So I like to cook, I like to eat, I want to lose weight.

I'm doomed.

See you Friday for
"Our Mothers and the Movies"
and The Week in Reviews

Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.

Check your local library for the books mentioned.