The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which took me about six months to get through. I am a very quick reader, but I just kept laying this novel aside and picking it back up every few weeks to read a page or ten, so it took me longer than it usually would to finish such a small book. I'll try to be as diplomatic as I can about this.......the book doesn't live up to the hype. When it was released it was named one of the best books of the year for 2011. That just shows you how uninteresting the books of last year were.
In all fairness, the author paints a stunning visual picture of the titled circus, detailed descriptions of shows, costumes, meals, and sumptuous Victorian settings are first rate. I just wish she had spent more time and energy on fleshing out the characters and the plot line. The story of a mysterious circus as the venue for two rivals in a mysterious contest intrigued me. But I found myself not caring about the characters and what happened to them. And even though the buildup for the finale is fairly well done, it falls apart at the end, and seems to fly off in all directions with no cohesion.
The movie rights for this have already been optioned. I'm curious to see if Hollywood can do anything to improve it. I say skip the book and wait for the movie.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
RANDOM NOTES FROM AN OFTEN ABSENT BLOGGING PRINCESS
I know, I know, it's been a while since you've heard from me.
Sometimes when you're life is really good, it can make for boring copy. The reason crazy authors are so interesting to read is because they're writing comes from their disarrayed, pained lives. I don't have that. I lack a raging drug habit, arrays of broken love affairs with psychotic men who I just can't seem to forget, and I don't much care for alcohol. My milquetoast life is great for me, but boring for my followers.
So today is all about random thoughts, random pics and as I'm typing this sentence I have no idea which recipe will be featured at the end of the post. That's about as seat-of-my-pants, death defying as I get.
My tombstone will read....Zzzzzzzzz.
I'm in a maudlin mood so, let's go with that, shall we?
People move in and out of our lives like books. Hint: If you don't enjoy reading you may want to skip this part. There are some books that once we encounter them they are with us always, and we could not imagine our lives without them. And some books we read, don't care for and so we do not maintain much, if any contact with that book. And then...then. Then there are books we think we are crazy about, and we lose track of them, and then, we find them again, we're surprised that we ever let them go in the first place.
I really don't have a point about the people/book comparison, just a stream of consciousness thing I have going today.
The cinnamon rolls are out of a tube. But I like the pic.
I feel that life is just as much about your failures as it is about your victories (maybe even more so). And in that vein, I am posting this.....
Life has been very strange. I can't think of any other adjective to use. Turning forty has been even better than I expected. Feeling better and looking better than I ever have. More confident than I ever thought possible. Why can't your 20s be more like your 40s? It would make those early years so much less harrowing.
Anyone who bakes on a regular basis usually has a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe in her/his arsenal. And I am no different. This recipe is so nearly perfect and most importantly, adaptable. The dough makes one hell of a chocolate chip cookie, or can be switched up to contain only nuts and dried fruits, and you can even go down the oatmeal, peanut butter or cinnamon highway, by just throwing in a few extra ingredients. It is the Optimus Prime of cookie dough. The bad thing I can say about this recipe is that, sadly, it isn't mine. Nope, I stole it from Alton Brown. I have taken the recipe, loved it, given it a good home, and raised it up to be a cookie to be proud of. You can always depend on this recipe, it will never leave you in a lurch. It will never force you to run to the supermarket at the last minute for preservative filled substitute cookies. It will hold your hand and be there for you, just the way a great cookie should. Behold....The Chewy.
Do not be fooled by their ordinary facade. One bite, and you will be forever faithful. No other cookie will be good enough for you ever again. Don't take my word for it. Test the theory for yourself. But only if you're ready for serious cookie monogamy.
•2 sticks unsalted butter
•2 1/4 cups bread flour
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 1/4 cups brown sugar
•1 egg yolk
•2 tablespoons milk
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1.Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
3.Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4.Chill the dough for roughly 25 minutes, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutesor until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.