Saturday, 31 August 2013

Recipe: Maria's "chinese" rice

a colourful list of ingredients
There is nothing better than chatting about recipes in a spacious balcony by the sea, over pumpkin-seed breadsticks with cheese and olives... (get the picture?)

This past summer, I was at my friend Maria's balcony, reminiscing about all things and nothing.  Inevitably, the discussion came to the subject of recipes. Maria, being a bigger foodie than I am, immediately offered me (thanks dear!) this recipe which, she humbly informed me, was asked in all the potluck dinners she went - if ever there was an indicator of a success recipe, I bet this one is!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pardonable lies, by J. Winspear

Among my discoveries this year, this is one that I think will enjoy during my hectic times ahead. Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries have all the ingredients to make for a wonderful reading, without asking for too much effort.  Great for the beach, perfect for chilly nights by the fire...

My friend Anna introduced me to these novels and by introducing I mean she handed me 6 logs all at once. If there was ever a danger of overindulging, this would have been it - but no.  Little by little I will savour these books, starting (obviously) with the third book in the series.  I found Maisie to be an Agatha Christie reincarnation - and I mean the real Agatha, not one of the characters she wrote about.  Maisie is a girl of humble beginnings who, by virtue alone, manages to climb high up the ladder,  make herself useful as a nurse during the 1st World War and excel afterwards when we find her in 1929's London as a psychologist and investigator.  Her insight into the harshness of the war, the difficulty to adjust to "normal" life by many of those implicated in it, make Maisie the ideal person to go to lengths in order to solve a mystery.

Monday, 12 August 2013

I've got your number, by S. Kinsella

I'M BACK! after a long, a very long absence to be honest, I'm back. Following a series of exams where the studying took up my entire life (to be a bit melodramatic, but maybe not so far from the truth), I'm back to my "normal" lifestyle, where I read literature again... I must admit I've missed it, and I've missed the interaction with the blogosphere too much for my own good. I promise it won't happen again!

I have devoured a number of books to date, but I'll start with one of the lighter ones, perfect for summer reading: I've got your number, by Sophie Kinsella.

Kinsella is famous for her Shopaholic series, depicting the adventures of a seemingly clueless girl, trying to get through a number of surprises... This book follows in practically the same footsteps, minus the financial disasters!
Poppy has lost her engagement ring and tries to figure out what to do, when she also gets her mobile phone snatched!  Yes, slightly over-the-top beginning, but attention-drawing nevertheless.  What I like about Kinsella's writing is that, while it is seriously unlikely any of the situations described could ever happen - if they did, I would probably react the same way.  So when Poppy finds another phone in a dustbin and speaks with the owner of it, she does agree to help out with the situation at hand (would I sing and dance in front of strangers? probably not...)



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