October 13, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things for Fall: Cooking and Reading

I went to the library last weekend, and since then I have been absolutely obsessed with Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. The kind of obsessed where it is constantly in my purse in case I have to stand in line somewhere or wait for something, I’m reading it while waiting for my toast to pop out of the toaster -- maybe I can squeeze in JUST A FEW MORE PAGES. It's weird because I generally shy away from collections of short stories, prefering books with more action and character development, but this book really moved me. It also made me realized I am the world's worst storyteller. I've told you before but whenever I am really into a book Garrett always asks me what is happening in the book and seriously, my summaries of this book have made it sound terrible and boring but it has actually been AMAZING! I woke up at 5am this morning to finish it because I just had to know how the final story ended. I’m a little sad that it’s over.

Speaking of reading and the library, I picked up The Devil in the White City on audio book while I was there and it has also been quite the unexpected delight. It's kind of a historical thriller and I feel seriously efficient when I am listening to a book as I'm running errands and things. It's another book I picked up that I wasn't sure I'd really be into, but have found really entertaining. Audio books feel like such a treat to me, and I'm glad the Carmichael Library has a good selection. Hooray for trying new things!

I’ve been trying new things in the kitchen as well lately so I thought I would post a few that were worth recommending. Most notably:

Pumpkin Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting -- Oh My God these are to die for. Die, die, die. So good.

Red Lentil Dal -- hearty, warm, simple weeknight supper. And hey, it's vegan! (You know, if that matters to you). The flavors are delicious and you can tweak it to be as spicy or mild as you want by adjusting the cayenne and jalapeno. I could eat this everyday!

Chilled Peanut Soba Noodles -- this is a good base recipe and then I add at least green onions and red peppers. You could really add any produce or herbs you had lying around. It is so good and easy to prepare.

Since we are talking cooking and book crushes -- Have you read Molly Wizenberg's book A Homemade Life? Obviously her blog is a staple in my reader but I wasn’t sure I would care too much about the book, but I was totally wrong. Hmmmm…this is becoming a trend isn’t it? Anyway, it’s a very charming memoir filled with stories of her life which include recipes for a million fabulous sounding dishes that I never would have thought of – like roasted cauliflower with salsa verde. Here is a link to the recipe (though not from the author herself) and let me tell you – you want to make this!

I don’t know about you, but fall makes me want to make soup, nest, snuggle, and roast everything! And of course be curled up with a good book on the couch waiting for dinner to be served. Today is the first super rainy day we have had in a while and I can't wait to go home and cook up some stew and start my new book! It's the little things...


Amy --- Just A Titch said...

Unaccustomed Earth is easily my fave book of the past year. If you liked it, I highly recommend Interpreter of Maladies by her, too.

Love all the Fall recipes!

barbetti said...

THE PUMPKIN BROWNIES. NOM NOM. Those changed my life. Yummy.

Daniela said...

Devil in White City was Great. I surprisingly really loved all the discussion re: architecture!


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