Monthly Archives: June 2016
Post by Tracy Kaler.
The 4th of July is a day for Americans to celebrate our nation’s independence, but it’s also a day of picnics, outdoor parties, and festivities in red, white and blue. In the spirit of our nation’s history and the American flag, let’s take a look at some colorful, patriotic bedrooms.
A subtle tone-on-tone stripe on the wall, layered pillows and shams, and vintage accessories successfully pull this bedroom together. The blinds place even more emphasis on the stripe theme. Notice the small stars in the windows on the bed wall.
This colonial beach bedroom in Santa Barbara boasts mixed patterns and a country feel. The quilts, painted walls, antique-looking bed, watering can lamp base, and the basket of hydrangeas add to the room’s relaxed style.
This charming little bedroom combines rustic with modern, and so well. The room could easily take on a different theme by switching out the pillows and dartboard.
A Boone, North Carolina bedroom celebrates the American flag. With leather, dark wood, and ZACK pillows in red, white and blue, this rustic boy’s room is fit for a king. Dianne Davant and Associates designed the space.
I love the simplicity of this farmhouse bedroom in Maryland. The headboard is tall and stately; the American Flag makes a real statement at the foot of the bed, and the remainder of the furnishings are understated. The antique accent rug adds the perfect amount of pattern.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
I’ve never read a book like this before. If it hadn’t come from someone whose recommendations I hold in high regard, I doubt I ever would have approached it. The novel is kind of a piece of make-believe come to life. In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl book, Gemma T. Leslie writes a series of Harry Potter-esque fan fiction stories about a young man named Simon Snow who attends Watford, an English school of magic. Fangirl introduces us to the stories of Simon Snow and his nemesis/roommate Baz and their years together at Watford. Carry On brings all those stories into conclusion as a standalone novel in which Baz and Simon finish their seventh and final year at Watford.
Upon beginning the book, I felt there was something I was missing because I’d never read Fangirl but Rainbow Rowell does a good job of filling in all the pieces you need to make this novel work on its own. Simon is a child without parents, raised in the nonmagical world (sound familiar? Remember, this is meant to be fan fiction) and is discovered by the head of Watford, where he is taken in. Simon is incredibly powerful but has almost no control over his power. Half the time his wand doesn’t even work. Other times, his spell will affect not only the person in front of him but everyone within a wide range.
Simon’s roommate is Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Pitch. Simon’s pretty sure Baz is a vampire but can’t quite prove it. Either way, Baz has spent years trying to kill Simon and Simon can’t wait to be done with all that. I can’t say much more about the story without spoiling it but if you or a teen you know wants a book full of magic, monsters, and the occasional makeout session, Carry On is a wonderfully clever and enjoyable story.
Post by Alison Hein.
Preparing Eggs Benedict is not difficult; rather, it’s a little complicated. Too many things are happening at once. Should I worry about my muffins toasting or my eggs poaching? My bacon browning or my Hollandaise emulsifying? Well, the sad truth is, all these things must be tended if you want to have your muffins crisped, your eggs gooey, your bacon browned and your sauce hot, all at the same time.
This is the occasion to ensure your “mis en place” is well-executed. Assemble your ingredients, gather your pots and pans, perhaps enlist an assistant. Then toast, boil, brown and drizzle your way to a worry-free breakfast in bed.
2 English muffins
4 slices Canadian bacon
Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Split muffins in half and place in toaster. Toast when other preparation is completed.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.
While eggs are poaching, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until warmed through and slightly browned.
To assemble, place two muffin halves on each of two plates. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Then top each with a poached egg and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
4 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) butter, bubbling hot
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it is bubbling hot. While butter is heating, combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor with a couple of quick pulses. With food processor on, slowly stream in the hot butter until Hollandaise emulsifies. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and pulse the Hollandaise one more time to combine.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
The first installment in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a unique, heartbreaking, brutal and captivating story for teens.
Todd Hewitt is on the run from Prentisstown, the only place he’s ever known. Alone with his talking dog Manchee, he’s been sent out into the swamps with nothing but a book from his mother and a big knife. He’s only a few weeks from becoming a man, the last child to grow into a man in Prentisstown.
This is not a normal place. Everyone who moved here became infected with the Noise. You can hear everyone’s thoughts and everyone can hear yours. You can hear the crocs saying, “Food. Food” as they approach. It’s a sickness that destroyed the women and left the men isolated at the edge of a huge swamp. Or so Todd has always been told. So when the two men who raised him tell him he has to leave, and leave now to save his own life, he has no idea what is going on. And when he learns that the holy man, Aaron, is hunting him, he knows he needs to learn the truth behind Prentisstown. Maybe the only one who can help him is the book from his mother and a mysterious girl he encounters in the swamps. He’s never met a girl before but immediately he notices she has no Noise. Who is she and where did she come from?
Full of twists and turns, lovely and brutal, violent but sweet, The Knife of Never Letting Go is not for the faint of heart but it tells a great story. If you want to read this one in bed, I recommend a few funny comics afterward to ease your dreams.