Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Bits

This should have been the November round up post for the In Death Reading Challenge, but I haven't finished my book yet, so I'll post that tomorrow. Instead, I have some random bits to share, although since they are all Thanksgiving and Christmas related, I guess they're not so random. Alas.

  • If you haven't already eaten all of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, this is your last chance! The recommended limit for left over roast turkey is about four days if you've handled it properly, i.e., refrigerated left overs promptly after the meal was over and your refrigerator is set to 40 F or below. I roasted a turkey breast for our Thanksgiving dinner and used the whole left over carcass with some meat still on it to make a big pot of homemade turkey broth today. As soon as I post this, I'll be using that broth to make Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice soup.
  • Do you make homemade stock or soup from scratch? Would you like to learn how?
  • No worries about any leftover pie. That always gets gobbled up first! We have one slice each of apple and pumpkin pie left over. And five people in our family... hmm...
  • I shelve my cooking magazines on a shelf with my cookbooks and actually do revisit past issues for recipe ideas. Today I pulled a few December issues off the shelf so I can start to get inspired for some holiday cooking. Hooray for CHRISTMAS COOKIES!
  • Do you bake cookies or other treats for the holidays? What is your favorite to bake or eat?
  • Right now I'm reading Origin In Death by J.D. Robb, Book #22 in the In Death series and it's Thanksgiving in this book! How cool is that?
  • Does anyone know if that means it's Christmas in Memory In Death? I need to know if I need to put the pressure on myself to read it on time.
  • I've read 89 books so far in this year and my goal is to read 100+ books. Am I cutting it close or what? I'm starting to get a little nervous about this... 
  • Did you make a book count goal for 2011? If so, have you met it or are you still working on it? 


  1. I've met my goal so it's smooth sailing for me. I do have 3 more books to read for one challenge so I have to buckle down for that one.
    I love homemade stock. I don't do it enough but I'm so happy when I make it.

  2. Wow! You were all over with that one!
    I'm reading origin, as well & think that memory is another Christmas one. I know one is coming up soon.
    I usually only read about 100 books a year but I surpassed that months ago. It's so much faster to read now with all of my apps in one place!
    I love baking! I've already started. I'm thinking scones, with fresh cranberries.I think I'm hungry.
    Miss you!

  3. Happy belated Thanksgiving Christine. :P

    My family is so big we honestly don't have any leftovers. But at Christmas we do. :P

    Let's see, for Christmas baking my mom makes this Icelandic cake that has prunes in it. Doesn't sound good but it's delicious and everyone asks her to make them a cake, but it's very labor intensive.

  4. Living alone means I don't do any cooking worth mentioning (not that I've ever been much of a cook, mind you :-p ) but I really like baking the orange sugar cookies my ex m-i-l taught me to make oh a couple of lifetimes ago.

    hmmmm maybe this year you'll get some (you missed getting your share at RWA in DC a couple of years ago, woman!)

    Memory in Death is indeed a Christmas in Death novel, and I liked it quite a bit myself.

    I really need to find that reviewing mojo, even if it's for not just-released-this-week books.

  5. You are rockin' in the reading department! Go you!

  6. Great reading year for you Christine. I don't set goals for amount of books read, but I usually read more or less the same - give or take some.

    I love to eat and bake chocolate chip cookies! Hmmm... just thinking of the smell makes me sigh.

  7. Linda :: Congrats on meeting your goal! I have one more challenge book I'd like to read by the end of the year. I hope I can squeeze it in.

    Homemade stock is so rewarding to make, I think. And so cost effective, too!

    Gina :: You mean we're on the SAME In Death book? That's so cool. I'm only on p.197 and want to finish it tomorrow. Grrr.

    Congrats with meeting your book goal for 2011, too!

    I LOVE scones! Cranberry scones sound SO good.

    ames :: Thanks! :)
    Wow, that Icelandic cake sounds interesting and delicious! [I happen to love prunes]. I've never heard of that before. Did you know that there's a movement to call prunes 'dried plums' and not 'prunes.' Get it? Movement? LOL! I'm serious about the 'dried plums', though.

    azteclady :: Orange sugar cookies? Yumm. I love citrus AND sugar! ; ) And I missed my share?! Ack! Well... you DO still have my address, right? ; )

    Thanks for letting me know that Memory in Death is indeed a Christmas novel. I'm going to make a valiant effort to read it before the end of 2011!

    If you find some reviewing mojo, let me know where you find it, because I could use some, too!

    Michelle :: I'm trying!! It's going to be a VERY close call getting to 100!

    Hilcia :: My number of books read creeps up a bit every year. I hope that trend continues in the future. Not because there's any race to read the most books or anything, but because there are so many books I want to get to every year!

    Oh, have you tried Kenda's chocolate chip cookie recipe on her food blog? omg SO good. It's become a favorite with the girls in my house. We lurve them!

  8. Hahaha, goals. SO far from meeting a goal. Wonder if I can squeeze 18 or 20 books into the next month? Ya think?

    I'm in the mood for an in Death, but I keep forgetting where I'm at. It's been years.

  9. I never make a book reading goal. I'm too lazy to track my reads well enough to know if I made it :)

    I occasionally make stock from scratch, and love homemade soup. But I'm usually really lazy and just use storebought.

    And oh, don't get me started on baking for the holidays! It's really the only time I go all out. Cookies, pumpkin bread (Jeff's favorite), and a heavenly flourless chocolate cake. Mmmmm.....

  10. I cook up the wazoo for the holidays!! I don't think I have one fave cookie but my hubby and kids love the Italian seven layers so I make them and pignoli too and also these awesome GIANT choco chips mimiced after the ones from Levain's bakery in Manhattan. I usually make panetone bread pudding with rum sauce and a decadent cheesecake of some sort. I go through the cookbooks to find a good one.

    This year besides the lasagna we're gonna give beef wellington a shot! We have to do a test run first though.


  11. Lisa :: I don't know about those 18-20 books in December... you've got your arms awfully full there... ;)

    You could always start with Naked in Death again! I'd tell you to go to the wiki In Death page to look at the summaries to figure out which book you're up to, but you might read a spoiler!!! I did that once.. :(

    Lori :: Well I guess the more books you read, the harder it is to keep track of them all. We go crazy making cookies in December. Even my husband has been asking if we're stocked yet with nuts and coconut and white chocolate and m.mmm...

    Paula :: okay I am so coming to YOUR house for Christmas!!! Or at least I can come taste test everything for you. Beef Wellington sounds awesome! I think I'd pretty much eat anything wrapped in pastry, you know?

    Do you have a pizzelle maker? I love pizzelles.

  12. We went really low-key this year for Thanksgiving. So, not too many leftovers. We ended up freezing some of the left over turkey, so we don't have to worry about the four day window. While I know how to make turkey (or chicken) stock, I have no idea how to make turkey and wild rice soup! Recipe please?
    I bake some cookies for Christmas, and brownies and biscotti (that's our favorite). This year I'm going to try out a fun, quick and easy recipe for a chocolate chip cheesecake ball to be served with graham crackers or cookie sticks. *g*
    I didn't set a reading goal for this year. Some days, weeks are better than others for reading and some you'd think would be better but aren't. *g*

    Hope you and yours are having a wonderful week!

  13. I love baking during the holidays and giving the goodies to friends and family. I like making the shaped sugar cookies - gives me a reason to get out all of those cookie cutters. Bonus, youngest likes helping with the baking. :)

    I also like making holiday type candies and treats.

    As for reading goals, I do try to average 12 books a month with at least a couple off the TBR pile. :)

  14. No I don't, if you can believe it I really don't like pizzelle, my aunt would make them at my gramma's house I loved watching but never ate them. I do struffolli, and grain pie rolling all those tiny balls and frying them is tedious but they're so good drenched in honey!


  15. Brandy,
    the soup is SO delicious. Can be made with chicken too. It is my own recipe that has been modified from a Cook's Country recipe [affiliate of Cook's Illustrated]. I should post it, but I ate all the soup and have no photo to show for it. LOL!

    I love biscotti, too. I make some every year for Christmas and then even make some more throughout the year now and then. That cheesecake ball sounds AMAZING.

    I don't know why I'm so hooked on goals and challenges. It's weird. lol

    I give baked goods away to friends, too. I really love doing that. I used to make sugar cookie cut outs but it's always so much work and a big mess, so I don't do it that much anymore. Although I ADORE gingerbread people. ^_^

    Ooo, what kind of holiday candies?

    12 books a month is a great goal. Heck, 10 books a month would be awesome for me. I might try that next year. But it is what it is...

    I actually looked into pizzelle irons after I asked you about it. They run about $50... an investment I'm not inclined to make. I have a handful of elderly Italian neighbors. I should just ask to borrow theirs in exchange for making pizzelles for them! LOL! hmm.. do you think I should?

    omg I love stuffolli. omg!

  16. So who got the leftover pies? :) hmmm, christmas cookies. All i know is gingerbread :)

    I hope you achieve your reading goal this year, Christine! You're really close. I don't think i'll meet mine (200), but it's going to be really close (I'm at 179). Sigh. Next year!!

  17. nath, I had the slice of pumpkin pie and Maria had the slice of apple pie. We didn't even have to fight for them. :)

    You might be able to make your goal. Read novellas!!! :D


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