Monthly Archives: September 2018

09/12/18

3 Audio Books So Good, you’ll do just about anything to just keep listening…

Do you listen to audio books?

I didn’t either. That is, until recently.

I mean, I was a physical, paper copy of a book or die type of reader. I don’t even do the Kindle or e-Reader nonsense that others are so crazy about. I just love the feel of a book in my hands. Plain and simple.

But, there are so many occasions which I don’t have a book in my hand, or can’t: in the car, at my desk, in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, running errands, out on a walk. But, my audio books can travel all those places with me… and so much more!

And, I want to make another point about audio books very clear. Listening to books on audio is NOT cheating. Actually, to your brain, listening is pretty much the same as reading a physical copy.

So, here are 3 audio books that are SO GOOD, you will keep folding loads of laundry, take an extra lap around the track, walk down 1 more lane at the grocery store, or sit in your car for just 5 minutes more until you reach a chapter break.

Anne of Green Gables audiobook cover art

Who doesn’t love Anne? 

Truly, one of my most favorite literary heroines of all time. And this audio book version that is narrated by Rachel McAdams is absolutely delightful!

It will make new readers fall in love with Anne and all her whimsy, dramatic ways, and repeat readers remember why they fell in love with her in the first place.

Truly, a wonderful, wonderful rendition. Highly recommend! It will have you laughing out loud!

I remember the first time I read The Help several years ago and I absolutely inhaled every single word of this book. I cried at all the hilarious parts and cried at all the heartbreaking points, and there were plenty of those too. These characters were impossibly real to me and I wished deeply to have an Abilene in my life, marveling at her wisdom, wit, and steadfastness.

I have long thought I’d love to re-read this instant classic, and so I listened to it. With 4 narrators, including Octavia Spencer who was in the feature film, this audio book is just as much a triumph as the work itself.

Echo audiobook cover art

Echo was a 2016 Audible Award Winner, and one can certainly understand why!

Amazon Synopsis: “Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this virtuosic, genre-defying tour de force from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each becomes interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. How their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

Richly imagined and structurally innovative, Echo pushes the boundaries of form and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. With music by Corky Siegel.” 

While this book is classified as Middle Grade, I am of the firm belief that it is one of those books all adults should read as well. Absolutely enchanting!

So, keep reading… or listening.

xoxo

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09/06/18

Gameday Tailgating Recipe Roundup!

It’s that time of year again!

Chills up and down my arms.

Heart rate picks up a bit.

My wardrobe suddenly consists of primarily black, white, red, and shades of gray.

When Monday morning conversations around the water cooler start with, “Wow! Did you see that play?”

Image result for uga football

It’s the return of college football, y’all! And if you are anything like me, you have had a countdown going for the last 30 days or so. Or, if I am being honest with myself, I have had a countdown going since mid-January.

So, in celebration of this time honored tradition, I am spilling all my favorite tailgating recipes in this Tailgating Recipe Round-up to get you ready for all your future game days! Because we all know that a great game day starts with a great spread…a great tailgating spread that is.

So, whether you are tailgating beneath the cover of an oak tree, under a tent in a parking lot, outside on a patio, or right in front of your television, here are some recipes that I rely on. These are recipes that are tried and true, delicious at room temperature, transport well, and feed all the hungry fans!

Best Ever Texas Caviar 

love this stuff! I eat it before football season, during football season, long after football season has ended… I eat it year-round!

Image result for best ever texas caviar

It is so fresh, so easy to make, and even easier to gobble up. Pack a few extra bags of chips… you are gonna need ’em!

Hot Chile Corn Dip 

This was my all-time favorite tailgating dip recipe from my former dairy-full life. I loved this dip! Still do, just have to be careful about the quantity of cheese anymore. But, all that to say, I dream about this dip!

Creamy, ooey, gooey, spicy, and rich. Everything a warmed dip should be and so much more!

Make Ahead Party Sandwiches 

These simple make-ahead Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, or as we refer to them, “Party Sandwiches” are a snack that my grandmother has been making since I was young, and at any family gathering that they appear at, they are instantly swarmed and consumed.

They are a cinch to make, and my favorite part of this recipe is that you can prep them the day before, layer them in a foil, disposable pan or a Pyrex dish, keep in your refrigerator covered, and then just heat and serve when you hear the whistles sounding for kickoff!

Special Cheez-Its 

ingredientsimage_1

An addictive munchy, crunchy, salty & tangy snack that I just can’t seem to get enough of! These were shared with me my freshman year at UGA by my sorority sister’s father and I make them just about every season. It’s a taste of nostalgia for me. But, I enjoy them even more when Kacina and I are together for a UGA game!

Also, these are great for road-trip games! That is, if the bag even makes it to the tailgate.

Apple Dipping! 

Spiced Caramel Apple Dip Recipe. YUM.

One of my tailgates would simply not be complete without a sweet apple dip. It’s a family tradition for about 10+ seasons now. In fact, Mom used to slice apples on Fridays, dip the slices in lemon juice, and place them in huge gallon sized Ziploc bags ready for the tailgate the following day. And it was, inevitably, the first snack to go on game days.

I have two dips that I love- a Caramel toffee dip & the new-comer, an Apple Pie Spice dip. Both have similar ingredients and both will keep you coming back for more!

Classic, Southern Deviled Eggs 

Easily, these are my father’s favorite buffet items at any social gathering- tailgates, church picnics, family reunions. And these are simple and absolutely perfect!

Finally, we have to round out these savory items with some sweet bites!

Red Velvet Cupcakes 

Red Velvet for 2 very important reason…

  1. They are delicious.
  2. They are bright bulldawg red!

Triple Chocolate Brownies 

Yep! You read it right.

3 kinds of chocolate in 1 delicious (and easy) homemade brownie mix.

These are so good, and the flavor is so complex, that you will be ditching the boxed mixes.

And, one more idea…

Sometimes your kickoff is early in the day and your tailgate could consist of non-traditional items such as coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, and bagels. So, for those early kickoffs, I have a few ideas for that as well!

Pumpkin Muffins 

What says “fall” quite like a pumpkin muffin?

Nothing!

So, whip up a batch of these the day ahead of game day and everyone can enjoy this baked good with coffee and great conversation.

Homemade Granola Bars 

Every fan can appreciate the energy that these granola bars will give them as they cheer on their team!

So, do you have any fan favorite game day recipes? Share them with me! I am always looking for new ideas and recipes.

So, have a great Week 2 and….

Georgia, Hail to Thee!

GOOOOO DAWGS! Sic ’em….

xoxo

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