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October 16, 2020

Looking Back - Remember Me

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals. 



Fiction
1999 Henry Holt and Company
Read in January 2000
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

In the tradition of Barbara Kingsolver and E. Annie Proulx, this enthralling first novel tells the story of a woman who trusts nothing except her own ability to survive.

Meet Rose Devonic, the wily and ferociously determined twenty-nine-year-old who is as unorthodox as any in recent fiction. Rose lives in the tiny mountain town of Queduro, New Mexico, where she--like most others--makes her living selling embroidery. But Rose has no home or family. In winter she sleeps in a cold cabin in a mostly abandoned motel, and in summer she lives out of her car. A tragedy in her past, which serves as a constant reminder to neighbors of their complicity, has made her an outcast. Determined though she is to make a fresh start, Rose is haunted by a past that continually threatens to engulf her. Only by facing down her ghosts--and her hometown--will she learn to accept the ultimately liberating challenges of belonging, identity, and love.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Very good novel! I wish it weren't Hendrie's first - I want to read more of her books! It reminded me a little bit of Barbara Kingsolver and Kent Haruf's writing. Thought-provoking topics (aging, nursing homes, etc.). Sad, yet well-worth reading. Engrossing.

My Current Thoughts:

I've had a copy of this book on my shelf for 20 years, with great intentions of reading it a second time. It will be on the top of my re-read stack for my personal challenge in December. I remember it so fondly and hope it stands the test of time.

October 12, 2020

Blood Harvest

 


Mystery
2010 Minotaur Books
Finished on October 8, 2020
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

The Fletchers' new house--built between two churches in a small village--ought to be paradise, but they've barely settled in before they find that someone seems to be trying to drive them away with increasingly dangerous threats targeting their oldest child, ten-year-old Tom.

The adults in his life try to help, but there are hints that something isn't quite right in the village, starting with the mysterious deaths of three toddlers over the last ten years. It's not until Tom's younger siblings go missing that the village's secrets turns the family's dreams into a nightmare.

With Sacrifice, Awakening, and now Blood Harvest, Bolton displays her remarkable talent as a beguiling storyteller, a master of thrills, and the mistress of her own brand of modern Gothic tale. 

Blood Harvest was a perfect selection for this year's RIP challenge. This atmospheric mystery includes creepy voices in an old church and graveyard, unexplainable events and missing belongings, all of which add up to a chilling read. It was much spookier than I anticipated (with a supernatural Stephen King vibe) and I discovered that I couldn't read it late at night. As the mystery began to unfold, the tension ebbed and flowed ever so slightly and I was able to enjoy some of the light humor and tender scenes between Harry (the vicar) and Evi (the psychologist). I would love to see more of them in another book by Bolton.

Speaking of S.J. Bolton (aka Sharon Bolton), I didn't think I had read anything by her, but as I got further into this book, the more I sensed a familiarity to her writing. It turns out I read Awakening in 2011 and while I enjoyed it,  Blood Harvest was much better. It looks like she has seven stand-alone novels, as well as a couple of series. Yay! I'm looking forward to reading more by her.

If you enjoy Gothic mysteries, you'll love Blood Harvest. It's one I won't forget and may even read again in a few years. 

I read Blood Harvest for the RIP XV Challenge.




October 9, 2020

Looking Back - The Tiny One

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



Fiction
1999 Knopf
Read in January 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

With clarity, sensitivity, and striking authenticity, Eliza Minot adeptly captures the voice of a vibrant, intelligent child swept into a sea of sorrow and confusion in The Tiny One.

Via Mahoney Revere is eight years old when her mother is killed in a car accident. Confused by anguish, bewildered by her mother's absence, and mystified by the notion of death itself, Via retells the day of her mother's death in minute detail, trying to discern the crack in the world through which her mother must have slipped. She takes us through the seemingly ordinary moments of her day, from a cold-cereal breakfast to math class, when she is called to the principal's office to hear the news. Every small event of the tragic day calls up earlier memories from Via's young life, resulting in a beautifully patterned portrait of a comfortable childhood guarded by a warm and loving mother. Via attempts to grasp "how something so big could fit into such a little thing as a day."

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Difficult to get interested in at the beginning, but once I got about 30 pages read, I was hooked. Sad story, but fun to read through a child's eyes. Her mother has just died and the book Via's recollection of that the entire day. As she remembers details of that day, she remembers details of other events in her life. This book brought back a lot of my own childhood memories.

My Current Thoughts:

I enjoy books told from a child's perspective (The Bear and Room are two that come to mind), but while I don't remember anything about this book, the synopsis and my notes don't inspire me to read it again. It looks like the author has only one other published novel (The Brambles), but it doesn't sound promising, either. 

October 6, 2020

A Month in Summary - September 2020

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
September 2020


It's hard to believe that summer is over, especially since we finally have some warm weather here on the coast. We saw temps in the 80s last week and it actually felt hot while walking on the ocean path. Crazy weather, but I'm not complaining, especially since we had several days of rain earlier in the week. 

Every month in 2020 seems especially long and September was no exception. We started the month off with a terrible windstorm on Labor Day, which caused a power outage and downed trees in our neighborhood, in addition to terrible air quality due to local forest fires. It was very unsettling for several days, but we had luck on our side and didn't have to evacuate our home. 

The big news of the month was Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. Such a loss for our country. I still have Notorious RBG on my nightstand, but won't get to it for a few more weeks. I'm sure it will be a bittersweet read.

My husband is still recovering from his broken arm. He had a CT scan a couple of weeks ago and has since been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. We're trying to stay optimistic, but he may be facing surgery in the coming weeks. Sigh.

With all that's been going on in our lives and the world at large, I managed to have a pretty good month of reading; only one dud and a couple of books that I couldn't get interested in. 

Books Read (click on the title for my review):

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin (4/5)

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (4/5) for RIP XV

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica (2/5) for RIP XV

When My Time Comes by Diane Rehm (4/5)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4/5)

Elevation by Stephen King (2/5) for RIP XV

Abandoned:

Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

First Lines:

North of Boston they followed the sea. (The Summer Guest)

Pinch myself and say I AM AWAKE once an hour. (Behind Her Eyes)

They say that death comes in threes. (Every Last Lie)

Death was a part of my life at an early age. (When My Time Comes)

The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister's room and told us to come downstairs. "Your father has a friend he wants you to meet," she said. (The Dutch House)

Scott Carey knocked on the door of the Ellis condo unit, and Bob Ellis (everyone in Highland Acres still called him Doctor Bob, although he was five years retired) let him in. (Elevation)

Movies and TV Series:


Bosch - We finished the series and thought it was excellent. I'm going to miss those characters!


Goliath - We watched one episode and decided not to continue.

Van der Valk - Not as good as Bosch, but still pretty good. (Only 3 episodes.)


Enola Holmes - I know I'm in the minority, but I wasn't impressed. I'm not a big fan of breaking the fourth wall.


Can You Ever Forgive Me - OK, but not great. 


Mystery Road - Watched a couple of episodes and decided not to continue.


New Recipes:

Puzzlemania:





I love Pomegranate puzzles and I especially enjoy those of Charley Harper's artwork. This one was so much fun!

Outings:

We've been getting takeout from a couple of our favorite restaurants during the pandemic, but last week we decided to go out to lunch! We ate outside on the patio and felt relatively safe, but it sure felt strange. We wore our masks until it was time to eat and were careful to sanitize before handling our food and drinks. We agreed that the tables could have been spaced a little further apart, but all in all it was nice to have a meal out while sitting in the sun. The food was exceptionally good, so we plan to go back before it gets too chilly to eat outside.


Stay well and please wear your masks!

October 3, 2020

Elevation

 



Fiction
2018 Scribner
Finished on September 30, 2020
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

The last time I picked up a Stephen King novel was in 2014 when I read 11/22/63. It's a great book, especially for those who enjoy speculative fiction or time travel stories. I wish I could say the same of Elevation, which I initially borrowed from the library for my husband, but decided to add to my RIP XV reading challenge stack. This small volume is more of a novella and can be easily read in one sitting, for which I was thankful; I doubt I would have continued, had it been any longer. It started out fine, and I was curious about what evil forces could be causing Scott's unnatural weight loss, but after a couple of chapters, I felt it was too trite and sappy, as if Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom had gotten together to write a horror story. When it's time to compile my year-end summary, Elevation will go down as the weirdest book I've read since Aimee Bender's bizarre novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

I read Elevation for the RIP XV Challenge.


October 2, 2020

Looking Back - A Patchwork Planet

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.


Fiction
1999 Ballantine Books (first published in 1998)
Read in January 2000
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

In this, her fourteenth novel--and one of her most endearing--Anne Tyler tells the story of a lovable loser who's trying to get his life in order.

Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people's houses. It wasn't the big loot he was after, like his teenage cohorts. It was just that he liked to read other people's mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos.

But for eleven years now, he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to old folks and shut-ins who can't move their own porch furniture or bring the Christmas tree down from the attic. At last, his life seems to be on an even keel.

Still, the Gaitlins (of "old" Baltimore) cannot forget the price they paid for buying off Barnaby's former victims. And his ex-wife would just as soon he didn't show up ever to visit their little girl, Opal. Even the nice, steady woman (his guardian angel?) who seems to have designs on him doesn't fully trust him, it develops, when the chips are down, and it looks as though his world may fall apart again.

There is no one like Anne Tyler, with her sharp, funny, tender perceptions about how human beings navigate on a puzzling planet, and she keeps us enthralled from start to finish in this delicious new novel.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Wonderful story! Eccentric, quirky, memorable characters. I loved the idea of Rent-a-Back. What a great idea for a business. Barnaby is a fun, interesting character.

My Current Thoughts:

I might have to get a copy of this from the library for a re-read. 

October 1, 2020

The Dutch House

 



Fiction
2019 HarperAudio
Read by Tom Hanks
Finished on September 29, 2020
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

The Dutch House is the second book by Ann Patchett that I have read this year. In July, I read State of Wonder, which I thought was outstanding. As with State of Wonder, I was quickly drawn into the narrative, eager to see where the story would lead as I came to know the characters. As the final pages drew near, I realized that there would be no big surprise or twists of fate. This is not an action-packed novel, but rather a quiet character study, very much like Patchett's earlier work, Bel Cantowhich is another favorite of mine. We come to know the characters through their conversations, but there is little in the way of action to propel the narrative, just lives lived, one generation not really any different than the previous: birth, school, marriage, divorce, remarriage, work, and ultimately, death. 

Patchett's novel is comprised of numerous themes including love, betrayal, abandonment, jealousy, obsession, revenge, and forgiveness. Sounds a bit bleak, doesn't it? And yet, it isn't. I enjoyed the story (and even felt sympathetic toward Danny and Maeve), never once feeling the urge to quit reading.

On abandonment:
To grow up with a mother who had run off to India, never to be heard from again, that was one thing--there was closure in that, its own kind of death. But to find out she was fifteen stops away on the Number One train to Canal and had failed to be in touch was barbaric. Whatever romantic notions I might have harbored, whatever excuses or allowances my heart had ever made on her behalf, blew out like a match.

I've never done a read/listen combo, but after hearing great things about the audiobook, which is narrated by Tom Hanks, I knew I wanted to listen rather than read the book. As it turned out, I also wound up with a print copy, so I decided to listen on my walks and read at night. It was the best of both worlds; I was able to mark a few passages in the book and have Hanks entertain me while I walked. Speaking of Hanks, he is a great audiobook reader! I appreciated that other than softening his tone for the women, he didn't try to alter his voice between characters; no dreaded high-pitched female voices, which is so annoying. Hank's pacing was perfect and he was able to convey feelings with authentic emotion, whether it be humor, surprise, anger or sadness. I'm not sure whether Hanks became Danny or Danny became Hanks, but his voice rings true. If he (Hanks) ever wants to give up his day job, I would gladly listen to more audiobooks narrated by him!

As I began writing this review, my initial reaction was that while I enjoyed reading The Dutch House, it wasn't an outstanding book. Danny and Maeve are well-developed characters, but neither is terribly likeable. I was entertained, but the ending fell short of my expectations. The novel was selected by my book group for our October discussion, so once I finished, I dove into the internet and started reading reviews and author interviews. I still feel that the ending was too neat and tidy, but having done said literary research, I gained a greater appreciation for Patchett's work. The Dutch House is a sad book about a broken family, but in the hands of this accomplished writer, it's one that I couldn't put down and didn't want to end. I'm looking forward to my book group meeting and I have a feeling there will be quite a bit to discuss and analyze.

Highly recommend!

September 26, 2020

Chicken and Rice Soup

 

Willie's Chicken and Rice Soup


My husband had back surgery a few years ago and our wonderful next-door neighbor brought us a huge pot of this soup, along with a  batch of sugar cookies. It was the best "Get Well" gift for both of us! Of course, I requested the recipes and they both became our favorites. The soup is so easy to make and once the weather gets chilly, I make it a lot. Now that fall has arrived, it's back in my dinner rotation!

Ingredients

1 rotisserie chicken
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 package Spanish style Rice-A-Roni
Garnish with diced avocado or grated cheese (optional)

Remove cooked chicken from bones and shred/chop.

Place bones, skin, and juices in large pot and cover with water. Add chopped onion.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2-4 hours.

Strain broth into a separate saucepan. You will need at least 6 cups of liquid. If necessary, add water to equal 6 cups.

Melt butter in the first pot. Add the Rice-A-Roni (including the seasoning packet but not the water as called for on the package) and saute for 2 minutes.

Return broth to pot with Rice-A-Roni and add shredded chicken.

Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add more water if the soup is too thick.

My Notes:

If I have time, I like to prepare the broth the day before. This allows me to chill it in the refrigerator (in the cooking pot, once it's cooled down), so I can skim off some of the solidified fat. 

The seasoning for the Rice-A-Roni is fairly salty, so don't add any extra!

This freezes well, but you may need to add water to thin once you defrost it.

Click on the link in my sidebar for more of my favorite recipes.

Please visit The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

September 25, 2020

Looking Back - Marchlands

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



Marchlands by Karla Kuban
Fiction
1999 Scribner (first published in 1998)
Read in December 1999
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Sophie Behr is carrying the child of a Mexican ranch hand on the thousand-acre sheep ranch where she lives with her tough, bitter, and unstable mother, Willy. When Willy reacts to the pregnancy with an act of astonishing cruelty, Sophie flees and embarks on a search for her long-absent father. Her encounter with him, however, proves to be another painful step in her journey from childhood to adulthood; his disturbing revelations about the family's past quickly drive her away. Finally, finding refuge with her grandmother, she gives birth to her baby and returns to her beloved ranch with a new found strength and determination.

My Original Thoughts (1999):

Fair. Wouldn't recommend. I didn't care for the author's writing style. The narrative jumped around a lot. Free association? I finished the book, so it wasn't terrible, just not worthwhile.

My Current Thoughts:

Nope. No memory of this book at all. I wonder what in the world possessed me to read it?

September 24, 2020

When My Time Comes

 


Nonfiction
2020 Random House Audio
Read by the author and contributing guests
Finished on September 19, 2020
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

From Diane Rehm, renowned radio host - one of the most trusted voices in the nation - and best-selling author: an audiobook of candor and compassion, addressing the urgent, hotly contested cause of the Right-to-Die movement, of which she is one of our most inspiring champions. 

Soon to be a public television documentary of the same name, featuring the author.

Through interviews with terminally ill patients, and with physicians, ethicists, spouses, relatives, and representatives of those who vigorously oppose the movement, Rehm gives voice to a broad range of people who are personally linked to the realities of medical aid in dying. The audiobook presents the fervent arguments - both for and against - that are propelling the current debates across the nation about whether to adopt laws allowing those who are dying to put an end to their suffering. With characteristic even-handedness, Rehm skillfully shows both sides of the argument, providing the full context for this highly divisive issue.

With a highly personal foreword by John Grisham, When My Time Comes is a response to many misconceptions and misrepresentations of end-of-life care; it is a call to action - and to conscience - and it is an attempt to heal and soothe our hearts, reminding us that death, too, is an integral part of life.

I've been listening to NPR for almost 30 years and it was there that I first heard The Diane Rehm Show and quickly became a fan of this intelligent and charming woman. I've had my eye on a couple of her earlier books (Finding My Voice and On My Own), but it wasn't until I spotted her latest release of When My Time Comes that I decided it was time to finally read one of her books. I downloaded the audiobook and was quickly engrossed in the interviews. Rehm discusses the subject of death with dignity (also known as medical aid in dying) with two dozen individuals, handling the interviews with compassion and empathy, even with those with whom she disagrees. Her emotions are true and her kindness authentic as she speaks with family members who describe the intimate details of their loved ones' final days. She asks personal questions, yet doesn't probe gratuitously. She is one class act.

Five years ago, I read Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's eye-opening book on the elderly, nursing homes and death. His exploration of how we treat our aging parents was a valuable lesson and one that shaped not only my mother's future, but also mine and my husband's. We moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to the Oregon Coast in 2017 after my husband retired. With her blessing, we decided to move in with my mom (who was 84 at the time), thus allowing her to remain in her beautiful home, near her friends and community. Like Gawande's bestseller, Diane Rehm's book has given me a lot to think about with regard to aging and end of life choices. Rehm asks each interviewee what they believe is a good death and I would like to think that my father and stepfather (both of whom died of cancer) died the way they wished, surrounded by family, in their own homes, under the care of Hospice. That is my wish, as well.

As I listened to the book, I kept wanting to highlight specific passages to discuss with my husband, so a print copy is on order. However, I'm glad I listened to the audiobook, which reminded me of Rehm's radio show. I'm anxious to tune in to her podcast, On My Mind, as well as view the documentary based on this new book, which will be available for viewing in January 2021. When My Time Comes and Being Mortal would be great companion reads, leading to deep discussions on how we feel about the final chapters of our lives. Highly recommend!

Note to self: When asked which celebrity or famous person in history I would choose to have at a dinner party, don't forget to include Diane Rehm!

September 23, 2020

COVID-19

 


As of September 22, 2020 there have been over 200,000 deaths in the United States. That's equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days.

Unbelievable.

Heartbreaking.

Unforgivable.


September 21, 2020
Photo Credit: Time
 

Just four months earlier...

Photo Credit: New York Times and Marcel Dzama

Wear your mask.

Wash your hands.

Stay at least 6 feet apart.

Vote!

September 22, 2020

Every Last Lie

 



Thriller
2017 Park Row Books
Finished on September 16, 20
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.

"The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us."

Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

Every Last Lie is another psychological thriller that's been on my shelf for a few years. I received the ARC from the publisher, probably through a giveaway on Goodreads, although I don't remember for certain. I added the book to my list for this year's RIP XV challenge and was excited to dive in as soon as I finished Behind Her Eyes

Every Last Lie does not have the annoying internal monologue device that Behind Her Eyes did, nor does the main character have a drinking problem, but Clara and Nick are both unlikeable characters and the narrative is drawn out far too long. I grew impatient with Clara and her paranoid suspicions (not to mention her lack of parenting skills) and felt the ending was weak with far too many loose ends. I'm sorry I wasted my time reading to the very end and I have no intention of reading more by this author.

I read Every Last Lie for the RIP XV Challenge.


September 20, 2020

Lemon Chicken Piccata Meatballs

 

Lemon Chicken Piccata Meatballs

I discovered this wonderful recipe on JoAnn's blog (Gulfside Musing) this past summer and finally got around to giving it a try a few weeks ago. My family loved the flavor of the meatballs, which I served alongside some lemony orzo and sauteed zucchini. They loved it so much, I made it again this week! I learned a few things with my second attempt, so be sure to read my notes for some helpful hints.

For the Meatballs:

1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs or Panko
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

For the Sauce:

1 Tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves (crushed or minced)
1 cup chicken stock (or 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup stock)
2 Tbsp. capers (optional)
1 Tbsp. parsley (chopped)
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

With wet hands, form meatballs into the size of golf balls.

Heat a large pan or skillet over high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.

To make the sauce, melt butter in the pan and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add the stock (and wine, if using), capers, parsley and lemon juice. Allow to come to a simmer.

Add the meatballs and cook for another 7-10 minutes, coating the meatballs in the sauce until they are cooked through.

Season to taste and serve.

My Notes:

For the meatballs, I mixed all the dry ingredients together first in order to evenly distribute the seasonings before adding the wet ingredients (chicken & egg).

I baked the meatballs in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, rather than frying them in a skillet. The first time I made the recipe, I place the meatballs on a large cookie sheet and added enough chicken broth to coat the bottom of the pan. The second time, I omitted the broth and placed the meatballs on parchment paper. I prefer the first method, as the meatballs were a bit dry when I didn't include the broth. 

For our dinner, I made a meatball bowl with orzo and zucchini. I prepare the orzo (minus the shrimp) from my Shrimp Scampi & Orzo recipe. For the zucchini, I used Smitten Kitchen's Quick Zucchini Saute. The combined flavors are so good!

Click on the link in my sidebar for more of my favorite recipes.

Please visit The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

September 19, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

Rest in Power
November 18, 2020