Reading and Food and Orchids

I really hadn’t realized how little reading I’ve been doing of late. I buy tons of books and then don’t end up reading them. So my TBR stacks of actual books and ebooks are really large. Massive. Enormous. Anyhow, I have been making a strong effort to read more this year. I used to do nothing but read, and then somehow I stopped. I spent more time with the TV and life. I’ve been missing out. So I determined this year to make a point of reading more. Part of the issue is that I used to sit down and read books all through in one reading. Or pretty close. Now I have to space it out over days or a week. Depending on my work schedule and life schedule.

I am happy to report that so far this year I’ve read 9 books. That’s about one book every four to five days. I’m pretty happy with that. If I keep that up, I can read 70 books this year. I never ever kept track of how many books I read before. Seems kind of stupid. Like more about how many than what I read. But I think at this point it might help me remember to turn off the TV or to grab the time instead of thinking I don’t have enough to get reading done.

It’s the same with writing. You can’t always have a lot of time to write, or rather, a large block. Sometimes you have to work it into short snatches. Same with reading. Heck, same with cleaning and life. Anyhow, I need to figure out what I’m going to start reading next. It’s almost overwhelming–I have so many choices. It’s a fun dilemma to have.

In other news, one of my orchids is blooming. This has never happened before. I’m stunned I didn’t kill it. The blooms are not what you think of for orchids. They are small and purple. Very delicate. I’m really excited to see them open all the way.

In other news, I want to figure out something yummy to make this week. Something the kids will like and something new that I haven’t made before. I’ve never made risotto, and am considering that, but I wonder if anyone has other ideas. The kids eat just about anything, though they are not fond of spicy things or lettuce. Personally I hate mushrooms and fish. If anyone has ideas, do offer them.




  • Adrianne

    You’re not the only one with massive tbr piles. I’ve got about 50 paper books I want to read. I’ve got 100 eBooks I’ve paid for in my tbr list, and I’ve got 76 more free eBooks unread. I need to change my buying strategy and let B&N be my tbr list.

    I too am stunned and amazed to have an orchid bloom a second time. It’s a phalaenopsis I got for Mother’s day. I’m in shock! I’ve just learned that the phalaenopsis orchids have little or no scent, while the cattleya’s can have incredible scent. I’m having trouble figuring out how to water them though, and they’re losing flowers rapidly.

    • Di Francis

      My theory on watering less is more. In fact, ignoring them is more. I did a little bit of reading on them and mostly they don’t like attention. I tried spritzing the leaves for awhile but gave up on that. Too forgetful about it. I probably should find some food for them though.

      Congrats on blooming! I know what you mean about being shocked. I’m absolutely stunned.

  • Tine

    Carrot Souffle. It ends up tasting like a dessert by the time you are done. I am not at home so I can’t send it to you but I am sure you could find something online. It has pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in it.

    Here is a recipe that was in one of Illana Andrew’s blogs. It is excellent.

    The Best White Chicken Chili
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of all excess fat
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 8 oz frozen white petite corn (I just use a full bag–I think it’s 8)
    • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, undrained
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 (14 ounce) cans great northern beans, undrained
    • pint of sour cream (Use light)
    • shredded pepper jack, to garnish
    1. In a 5-qt stockpot, combine water with the lemon pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, and olive oil. (I don’t stint on the spices and frequently add a little chipotle powder, but the kids don’t like it so spicey)
    2. Bring to a boil.
    3. Add the chicken breast halves and return to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender and the juices are clear. (I just toss in frozen breasts and let them cook).
    4. Remove the chicken from the broth and cut into bite-size pieces, then return it to the broth.
    5. Add the garlic, onion, corn, green chiles, 1 tsp ground cumin, lime juice, and Great Northern beans to the broth.
    6. Bring to a boil.
    7. Simmer until thoroughly heated, about 45 minutes.Toward the end, stir in the sour cream and let it heat up again.
    8. To serve, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle cheese on top.
    9. Refrigerate any leftovers; this chili is usually even better heated up the next day.

    • Di Francis

      Ha! That’s my chile recipe!And it’s fabulous. I sometimes add a little cream to it too.

      I’ve never even heard of carrot souffle. I’ve never made a souffle. I’m goign to have to go look for that.

      • Tine

        Okay, that is too funny that your chili recipe has come back to you. It is fabulous, even my mom likes it. My husband and I make it quite often.

      • Tine

        Here is the recipe that I like for Carrot Souffle. I got this from my sister in law. Sorry about the copy/paste.


        Mix the following and set aside:
        1 tsp. baking powder
        2 Tbsp. flour
        ½ tsp. salt
        1 tsp. cinnamon
        ½ cup sugar

        Mix together and add to the dry mixture:
        2 cups of carrots cooked and mashed
        ¼ cup melted butter
        3 eggs slightly beaten
        1 cup evaporated milk

        Pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

        Combine the following:
        1 cup brown sugar
        1/3 cup flour
        1/3 cup butter
        1 cup chopped pecans

        Add to the top and bake for another 30 minutes.

        Serves 6-8

        I will either double the first part and keep the topping as described because it makes a lot of the topping or I will halve the topping since it makes so much.

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