8 Jan 2012

keri: (kit loves to read!)


1. Adios, Happy Homeland! by Ana Menéndez
2. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
3. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
4. Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses from Myth to Reality by Dr. Helen Scales
5. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Of all the books I read last year, these are the ones that continue to resonate with me, the ones that I still think about and feel like I've only just closed the back cover on.

Two are what you might call literary fiction, books that play with narrative and language. Two are non-fiction that really influenced how I view the world and have made me more aware of things around me. And finally there is the wordless graphic novel that does all of the above. It was difficult to order the last four (the Menéndez was easily my favorite book all year), and there were a few other contenders for books that I really love, but they just didn't have the staying power of these five.



LJers: What were your top 5 books of 2011 and why?



Also: if there are any books in my list of Top 5 that I think you should read, they are Nothing to Envy and The Arrival. Maaaaaybe Poseidon's Steed, but it's not as much of a Y U NO READ IT RITE NAO sort of thing. I think Adios, Happy Homeland! and Swamplandia! have a more limited audience of who would enjoy them and everything. They're really really good (obv) but because of the way they play with language and are magial realism (and not-so-realism), I know they're not everyone's cuppa. I do adore them, though.
keri: (kit loves to read!)


1. Adios, Happy Homeland! by Ana Menéndez
2. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
3. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
4. Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses from Myth to Reality by Dr. Helen Scales
5. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Of all the books I read last year, these are the ones that continue to resonate with me, the ones that I still think about and feel like I've only just closed the back cover on.

Two are what you might call literary fiction, books that play with narrative and language. Two are non-fiction that really influenced how I view the world and have made me more aware of things around me. And finally there is the wordless graphic novel that does all of the above. It was difficult to order the last four (the Menéndez was easily my favorite book all year), and there were a few other contenders for books that I really love, but they just didn't have the staying power of these five.



LJers: What were your top 5 books of 2011 and why?



Also: if there are any books in my list of Top 5 that I think you should read, they are Nothing to Envy and The Arrival. Maaaaaybe Poseidon's Steed, but it's not as much of a Y U NO READ IT RITE NAO sort of thing. I think Adios, Happy Homeland! and Swamplandia! have a more limited audience of who would enjoy them and everything. They're really really good (obv) but because of the way they play with language and are magial realism (and not-so-realism), I know they're not everyone's cuppa. I do adore them, though.
keri: (oranges is nommy)
I cooked something tonight WITHOUT A RECIPE and basically invented it and it's the first time I've ever done it!

it came out pretty good, too!

Here is a picture of it that doesn't look nearly as appetizing as reality:



HOPEFULLY THAT WORKS. Trying to pull it from http://twitpic.com/84z792

Anyway, I decided that I wanted a flatbread, and I wanted it to have lots of green stuff in it and also chicken. So I set out to figure it out.

I sautéed the chicken in olive oil separately, then set it aside to drain a bit. I put diced green bell pepper and sliced mushrooms into a wok with olive oil, a pinch of rosemary, and a pinch of tarragon, and sautéed that until it got nice and ... well, not crackly, but the oil was crackling really good. Then I added the chicken and some spinach, and sautéed it some more, until it had a nice strong smell to it, you know how green bell peppers and spinach smells kind of sweet if you've cooked it enough? and the mushrooms and chicken were golden. I figured that was good, so I spooned the mixture onto whole wheat naan that I'd brushed olive oil (with rosemary and tarragon) onto, then sprinkled cheddar cheese over the whole thing. Into the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, to get the naan a bit crispy and the cheese all melted.

It's good! I could've used a bit more tarragon, I think, in the sauté part, and maybe should've baked the naan longer first, to make it even crispier. But the spinach/mushrooms/green pepper are a great combination, flavorful but not too much, and not too many weird textures.

So I'm pleased with myself for having a New Thing that I can cook (meatloaf, Fin's chicken, enchiladas, spaghetti, and now this).
keri: (oranges is nommy)
I cooked something tonight WITHOUT A RECIPE and basically invented it and it's the first time I've ever done it!

it came out pretty good, too!

Here is a picture of it that doesn't look nearly as appetizing as reality:



HOPEFULLY THAT WORKS. Trying to pull it from http://twitpic.com/84z792

Anyway, I decided that I wanted a flatbread, and I wanted it to have lots of green stuff in it and also chicken. So I set out to figure it out.

I sautéed the chicken in olive oil separately, then set it aside to drain a bit. I put diced green bell pepper and sliced mushrooms into a wok with olive oil, a pinch of rosemary, and a pinch of tarragon, and sautéed that until it got nice and ... well, not crackly, but the oil was crackling really good. Then I added the chicken and some spinach, and sautéed it some more, until it had a nice strong smell to it, you know how green bell peppers and spinach smells kind of sweet if you've cooked it enough? and the mushrooms and chicken were golden. I figured that was good, so I spooned the mixture onto whole wheat naan that I'd brushed olive oil (with rosemary and tarragon) onto, then sprinkled cheddar cheese over the whole thing. Into the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, to get the naan a bit crispy and the cheese all melted.

It's good! I could've used a bit more tarragon, I think, in the sauté part, and maybe should've baked the naan longer first, to make it even crispier. But the spinach/mushrooms/green pepper are a great combination, flavorful but not too much, and not too many weird textures.

So I'm pleased with myself for having a New Thing that I can cook (meatloaf, Fin's chicken, enchiladas, spaghetti, and now this).
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