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On Meeting Both of My Favorite Authors

with Brandon Mull, April 22nd 2014

For long months (years? Yes, years) I have been jealous of the UT, AZ, NV area getting so many book signings with Brandon Mull, the brains behind Fablehaven, the Beyonders, the Candy Shop Wars, and the first books in two other series I have yet to feast my eyes upon. The jealousy has ended! Tonight I went to see him and three other authors I had never heard of do live scene readings from each of their books and attend a signing afterward. He was just as magical as his books are. He was SO nice, so friendly, and very talkative. I have officially met the two best authors ever to be.

Oh, and Joe and I were definitely the oldest non-parents in attendance.

with Gail Carriger, November 8th 2014

I am still smitten over meeting Gail twice last fall (fingers crossed she comes back to Seattle for this year's release!) and most recently asking a question on the Facebook party for the new Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel (Pip and Tee being collectively my third favorite author(s) ). It is SO hard for me to come up with questions! It took me several months...

Cheers to book nerds! Who are your favorite authors?

(Truffled) Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Green Onions

Growing up, deviled eggs always made an appearance at holiday dinners. My mom garnishes them with halved green olives and while those will always be the best way to make them, I think it's fun to mix things up every now and then.

Tomorrow for easter dinner, Joe and I are driving one sweetly short hour south to spend it with my sister and her husband. My job is to bring dessert and deviled eggs. With four options (regular with bacon, regular with green onions, truffle with bacon, and truffle with green onions) I'm hoping everyone can find room for a new favorite.

Deviled Eggs and Truffled Deviled Eggs
makes 2 dozen

1 dozen eggs, cooked and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon white truffle oil
2 slices cooked bacon
1-2 sliced green onions

Halve eggs lengthwise and remove the yolk, reserving the whites. Add the yolks to a mixing bowl along with the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Mix for a few minutes on medium speed until smooth. Spoon half the mixture into a pastry bag (or add to whites with a spoon) and add to 12 of the egg whites. Leaving the other half in the mixing bowl, add the truffle oil and mix well. Fill the remaining 12 egg whites with the truffle mixture. Be sure you know which is which!

Garnish half of each with bacon and half with green onions. Keep refrigerated.

Sloppy Joes, Two Ways

I came upon an easy recipe for sloppy joes a few years ago when looking for quick and easy dinner ideas, this one being mostly beef, ketchup, and chili powder. Simple enough for me.

Last fall this simple recipe inspired me. I knew I could add a few more ingredients and have something really special. Aside from hot dogs, I've never been much of a fan of meat, and this recipe redo is one that kind of started the ball rolling on my new thing with beef.

iPhone pictures, look away!

Sloppy Joes

8 slices bacon
1lb ground beef, extra lean
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
~ 3/4 cups ketchup (make it as light or juicy as you would like)
~ 1/2 TBSP chili powder (adjust to your tastes)
cheddar cheese
~ 4 green onions, sliced
Hamburger buns or bread

First, cook your bacon. I like to do it in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet: 17 minutes at 375 F.

While the bacon is cooking, cook the onions and ground beef in the same pan on medium heat until beef is browned. I like to spoon off most of the fat rather than dirty more dishes by draining in a colander.

Make a well in the beef and onion mixture and add the garlic, cooking 30 seconds to 1 minute. Mix together.

Add the ketchup and chili powder; mix well. Add 4 slices of the bacon (roughly chopped) and mix again.

Use the additional bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions as toppings.

Then this evening I got an even wilder idea. Scratch the bacon (stay with me), swap out a wrap for the buns, and add avocado and romaine lettuce. Amazing! I can't decide which one I like best, I suppose it depends if you're in the mood for a heavier or lighter meal.

Bon appétit.

ECCC 2014

My first comic con. Certainly not my last. What got me excited was an appearance by Cary Elwes, who plays Robin in Robin Hood Men in Tights, one of my most favorite movies of all time. Unfortunately he dropped out a few days before the show and that made me extremely sad, but life goes on.

We kicked off the weekend of Emerald City Comic Con on Friday with a Q&A with Alan Tudyk, who plays Wash in Firefly, and a viewing of the movie Serenity. It was amazing. We were in the third row which was great for the q&a and not so great for the movie on the huuuuge screen Cinerama has.

Mostly Saturday was me getting bailed on yet having a great time by myself. Just kidding, getting bailed on wasn't the whole part. It started with Joe wanting to sleep in instead of being there when it opened, so I met up with two friends without him. We walked around for a bit, taking it all in, and Joe came few hours in. Shortly after he came down, the other two ladies decided they had had enough and were going home. Shortly after that and lunch, Joe left also. Fine with me, it's easier to spend money that way! ;-)

I had such a good time just looking. I found a few great artists I had never heard of, bought a shirt and tote bag (that came with a free book! I'll always take a free book!), a notebook, and pins with kitty Sherlock and Watson. I die.

Next year I would definitely like to do the three day pass. I'll be able to spend a day browsing, a day checking out panels, and another day people watching. We live within walking distance of the convention center so I do not have the burden of finding a hotel room or a parking spot.

Already dreaming/saving for next year!

2014 Books Read - Round 1

I decided to finally document the books I've been reading. I get a lot of ideas of what to read from blogs so maybe I can be of some help. In order of books read, here's what I ready in the first quarter of 2014:

1. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

The fifth out of six books in a series (or as I like to call them as they really are- a double trilogy) about Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, warlocks, and the like. These books are easy to get caught up and lost in and are a great read. They aren't revolutionary, just a great escape. The earlier books had me rationalizing incest so that has to count for something. I actually read this book when I did because I thought the final book was supposed to come out at the end of February but it was pushed back to May. One more month! A movie came out based on the first book, City of Bones, by the same name and I think it's worth a watch.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Just catching up on my classics. The movie and watching Boardwalk Empire has me crazy for all things 1920's so it was fitting. I bought the paperback of this book when in Minneapolis last year for a friend's wedding so there are fun travel memories that go along with it.

3. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

I feel like this book is what my insides look like. If you haven't read This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, you should definitely check it out.

4. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

I've been a huge fan of the movie practically since it came out and was shocked to discover that it was based on a comic! I don't know if it's because it came first for me but I much prefer the movie to the book. It's perfect. Watch it.

5. The Hobbit Graphic Novel

I'm scared to read the Hobbit and LOTR because of the overwhelming descriptions and this was my compromise. It isn't as pretty as the movies but I still enjoyed the read.

6. Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

These books! !!! They are quickly taking place as my second most favorite book series, the first being the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger and the formerlysecondnowthird being Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. Dawn's Early Light is the third of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances books and they are so, so wonderful. Full of Steampunky goodness and English sass, I can't get enough!

7. Fairy Debt by Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger. Enough said.

No really though. She's the greatest and this was a fun little short story of hers. This was actually my first audio book and I have to say that I am a fan.

8. How to Make Love Like A Porn Star by Jenna Jameson

This was $2.99 and I thought I'd try something a little different out. This reading ended up being the story of her life up until her second marriage with pictures and odd transcripts of Jenna, her dad, and her brother reminiscing about years gone by. The writing was cringe-worthy at times but I got through it. No surprise, I don't recommend this one.