Awesome in February

Awesome in February

Can we get some sunshine, please? I’m ready ready ready for this nasty rain and snow to go away. I got to throw a last minute party for a dear friend this, and it was a blast. I got to make Swiss & Bacon Dip, and that’s always a good thing. Then I got to attend a beautiful wedding for that dear friend and watch her smile and laugh the entire day, and it was absolutely perfect.

Since the weather was so nasty, I watched approximately one billion movies. One of my favorites was Arrival. If you have a love of language and you haven’t seen this film yet, do not wait another minute. It was beautiful to look at and so thoughtful. 

I’m almost finished reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood. Her books are so frighteningly relevant right now. If you haven’t been terrified by the Handmaid’s Tale recently, I suggest you pick up a copy.

Internet foods were on fire. This chocolate truffle cake is just bonkers, you guys! 

These pretzel dogs with cheese sauce are making me hungry. Gimme.

If a cupcake could ever be elegant, it would have to be this Valentine’s Surprise Chocolate High Hat Cupcake. It’s just beautiful. 

Chicken Parmesan from Awesome on 20

Your favorites this month were Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, Chicken Parmesan, and Passion Fruit Green Tea. Can I come over for dinner?

The days are getting longer, and I’m excited to see what’s coming my way. Be awesome, friends.

Blender Pancakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Havarti & Dill Popovers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Harvarti & Dill Popovers and The Perfect Egg

Havarti & Dill Popovers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I freakin’ love eggs. There are few things in the world that can’t be improved by putting an egg on it. I mean, what’s sexier than a runny egg yolk? I love them on toast, on hash browns, on burgers, on nearly anything. I even convinced my husband to let us get two chickens just so I could have fresh eggs any time I want. It was a brilliant idea.

When I saw that Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park from Spoon Fork Bacon were doing an egg book, I knew I had to check it out! The Perfect Egg is everything I hoped it would be. The photos are just as beautiful as you’ve come to expect from these two, the recipe headers are personal and endearing, and the variety of recipes is truly awesome.

The Perfect Egg

There’s a bit of background knowledge about eggs, some tips on basic egg preparations, and a whole host of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The recipes range from simple and familiar to complex and exotic. There are way too many things I want to try.

The first thing I hit up was the Harvarti & Dill Popovers. I’ve always loved the idea of popovers but have never tried making them because I don’t have the required pan. But since I had fresh dill in my fridge and this book gives an adaptation for making them in a regular muffin pan, I decided to give them a go.

They turned out pretty great for my first try at a dish that is known to be finicky. The only thing I’d change would be to hold back on the added salt just a bit. Cheeses can definitely vary quite a bit in saltiness, so I say, taste your cheese first before adding any extra salt to your batter.

Havarti & Dill Popovers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

 If you’re an egg lover, I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy of The Perfect Egg. It’s pretty awesome!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Havarti & Dill Popovers
Yields 8
Crusty, fluffy, cheesy, and awesome, these Havarti & Dill Popovers can be made in a regular muffin tin.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  2. 1/4 shredded Havarti cheese
  3. 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 cup milk
  6. 1 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 and brush the inside of 8 cups of your muffin pan with the melted butter. Be sure to get complete coverage.
  2. Mix together the cheese and dill and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and remaining melted butter until combined. Add the flour and gently but quickly stir it in with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. A few lumps are okay.
  4. Put one scoop of batter into each prepared muffin cup then add a fat pinch of cheese and dill to each one. Top up each muffin cup with the remaining batter.
  5. Bake your popovers at 450 for about 15-16 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 10-11 minutes until your popovers are brown and puffy.
  6. Allow the popovers to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove and serve warm.
Notes
  1. Make your life easy and cut your dill with scissors.
Adapted from The Perfect Egg
Adapted from The Perfect Egg
http://awesomeon20.com/
10 Awesome Books to Read and Read Again

10 Awesome Books to Read and Read Again

10 Awesome Books to Read and Read Again

Money spent on a good book is never wasted, and for that matter, neither is the time. When you’re feeling a bit hermity, what could be better than visiting some old friends in a far away place? And all for the $10 you spent five years ago. Books are an investment in happiness, and in my opinion, you can never have too many of them.

Some books are only good one time around. The plot is simple enough to fully embrace the first time, or they depend on suspense to provide entertainment. But other books beg to be read again and again. Worlds that are rich and deep, plots that are complex with too many characters to count, or words that are just so beautiful, you want to bathe in them again and again. Here are 10 books I love re-reading!

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling— I’ve actually lost count of the amount of times I’ve read through the entire series. I never ever get tired of it. When I’m stressed or anxious, Harry Potter always calms me down and makes me happy. I laugh and cry each and every time.
  2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein— An excellent combination of rich worlds and rich languages. I love a book or series that starts out with a map. You know you’re dealing with someone who takes world building seriously. I promise you didn’t catch everything the first time.
  3. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin— I actually don’t super love the writing and think that Martin could have benefited from an aggressive editor, and yet I still can’t stop myself from re-reading. These stories are so deep with so many plot twists and hidden agendas, I don’t think I’ll ever figure it all out. And that’s unacceptable.
  4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke— This book is completely mesmerizing. Every time I open it up, I feel like I’ve been put under a spell. It’s not exactly an action packed adventure, but it’s so exquisitely written, I can’t put it down. Even the second time around.
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald— I’ve been re-reading this book since I was 18, and it never stops being completely beautiful and completely heartbreaking. It takes my breath away every single time. If you think this novel is just about booze and fringe dresses, you’re seriously missing something.
  6. Watership Down by Richard Adams— I’ve been trying to get my husband to read this book for years. Yes, I know it’s about rabbits, but it’s an incredible adventure. This is on my current re-read list, and I’m going to give it another turn soon.
  7. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant— I love a strong female lead, so to read the story of strong women in a time when women were almost completely powerless is definitely fascinating. The language is also quite lovely. 
  8. Night by Elie Wiesel— This is a book I taught every semester while I was an English teacher, and often I read much of the book out loud to the class. How someone can write so beautifully about something so brutal and tragic is nearly incomprehensible, but I am deeply moved each time I read this book.
  9. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston— Another strong woman in a powerless situation manages to take control of her happiness, if only for a moment. If you’re into audio books, I highly recommend the version of this novel read by Ruby Dee. It’s just too much to love.
  10. A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman— This is the only non-fiction book on my list, but this collection of essays is an amazing mash up of science and poetry. You can open it to almost any page and find yourself reading something completely fascinating. It never gets old.

These are just the first ten books that came to mind. What are your favorite books to read again and again?

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