Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Book of Jonas Book Review

 This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

The Book of Jonas, written by Stephen Dau, isn't a long book, nor is it a difficult read.  I found it a bit vague.  The main character, Jonas/Younis is from an unnamed Middle Eastern Country, and there are many other things that are shadowy and unspecific in the book.  Part of me didn't like that, but what I did like is how Stephen Dau got straight to the business of what was going on in the emotional lives of his characters.  He gave us just enough of their particular stories to explain why, but at the same time, by jumping around in the story, he kept us wondering about what really happens.  Why is Jonas so tortured by his past, what really happened to Christopher, is Rose ever going to find closure?  Where is this all going to end up?

The metaphor of the gazelle and the lion is perfect.  What hit home for me with this book is how Dau pointed out the stark differences in cultures while showing how they're all blurred all together.  As different as we all are, we're all human.  We all feel pain and loss and even the worst of enemies who share a tragic loss can, at least for a time, share in their grief and give each other what they need in that moment.  But when that moment comes when the lion lets go just long enough for her instincts to take over, what will be the lifelong consequences of those actions.  It could go so many ways.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's a cooking with what I've got kinda' day......

On Easter day I cooked a ham - even though I was home all by myself, just because I wanted the leftovers.  So this morning it was my challenge to come up with a good yummy breakfast for my girls and I using some of that ham, and whatever else I had in the house.  I decided no shopping allowed.  Figure it out with what you've got and this is what I came up with:
Tater Tot, Ham, Cheese and Egg Casserole. 
First I layered the bottom of my greased casserole with thin slices of ham.
 Then I topped the ham with four slices of Tillamook sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese.
 Then I mixed together 4 eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/4 chopped onion and 1/4 chopped celery and added some garlic powder (about 1 tsp), 1/2 tsp salt and fresh ground pepper.  Then I poured that over the cheese and ham.
 I topped that with frozen tater tots. 
 Then I grated some fresh parmesan cheese on the tater tots.  I had the oven preheated to 350 degrees and baked the casserole for 45 minutes. 
 This is what came out of the oven.....

My oldest rated the casserole a 7 out of 10 - good enough for her to eat two huge servings!  I think we'll be using this recipe again. 

Then, my little one came in a few hours later and said, "I want pizza!".
So, once again - the challenge was - how can I make that with what I've got - so I pulled out some sourdough bread, a jar of marinara, some mozzarella and parmesan, pimentos, onions and tomatoes.  And this was lunch - She downed 2 whole slices - which is a lot for her!

Now, I'm off to finish up working on my navy beans soup and some corned bread.