Monday, August 29, 2016

Library Loot #9: Russian History is alive...

...and well in Simon Sebag Montefiore's historic masterpiece The Romanovs: 1613-1918. I've read biographies on Catherine the Great and Tsar Nicholas and his family (really, who hasn't heard of at least Grand Duchess Anastasia?) but I haven't read the story of the founding of the dynasty and all the people that came before Catherine, and after up to Nicholas. I haven't finished the book, but what an immense, colorful, checkered history of murder, deceit, and the few who struggled to do what was truly right not just for the country but for its people. It makes me wish I had a dash of Russian heritage. Oh well, one can dream, and read on.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Food for thought...

It's not Wednesday, but....

Ellie's Kitchen: Creamy Lemon Sauce with Egg Pasta, Corn, Leeks & Peas

     I would love to say that I create my own amazing recipes and we all leave the table happy, full, and deliciously fat. Sadly, this is not the case. I can but mimic the efforts of other excellent cooks, and reap the rewards of praise from family and friends. I am okay with this. And so I will continue to share recipes we have tried and heartily enjoyed, so that you may enjoy them as well. And I will bask in your tummy's happiness.
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Creamy Lemon Sauce with Egg Pasta, Corn, Leeks & Peas


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ears corn, husked, kernels cut from cobs (I used frozen.)
  • 2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, quartered and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles or tagliatelle
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 lemons, zested (about 1 tbsp.) and juiced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, one turn of the pan, over medium-high. Melt the butter into the oil, then add the corn, leeks and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks soften, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, stir in the wine and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  3. Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook to al dente; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream, zest and juice to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally; remove from the heat.
  5. In the large bowl, toss the pasta with the corn mixture and the lemon cream; season. Serve with the cheese.

Lulu's Library #8: Rod Espinosa's 'Courageous Princess' series

     We found a new-to-us graphic novel collection that the whole family loves, the Little Bit especially, as it has adventure, magic, exploring, greedy dragons and a talking porcupine all rolled into one. Rod Espinosa's Courageous Princess, MabelRose is snatched by a dragon determined to keep her in his castle forever. Instead of waiting for rescue (because what kind of intelligent, adventurous, brave princess does that?) she forms her own plan to escape and return to her homeland. And the rest is a story of high adventure written joust for young readers. Or older readers, and my husband and I read it to our little boy, and a couple days later our 19 year old was reading it as well.

(These loaded in the wrong order...the bottom one is actually book 1...and my computer is not cooperating. I apologize.)