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Changes are in the works

>> Saturday, September 13, 2014

On Sunday the 14th the migration process to move this blog from Blogger to will begin.

I'll be back on Monday with a whole new look

I'm excited about the change and can't wait for you to see the new design.

You may experience some issues with the blog until the migration is complete. If this happens please come back on Monday.

In the meantime any comments left after this post might not make it over to the new blog so you might want to come back later to leave a comment.


Weekend Update - The Prosciutto Pasta Edition

Weekend Update

This pasta dish has it’s origins in a Sunset cookbook I picked up at Powell’s probably 20 years ago. It appears to be out of print but there are used copies out there.

Fresh Ways With Pasta includes a recipe called Linguine with Prosciutto and Olives. I’m not sure what ever prompted us to try this dish because it just seemed like such a weird combination but it quickly became a favorite of ours.

The recipe as in the book is included at the bottom of this post

Over the years we have modified this mostly by increasing the amount of toppings. We also use dried pasta. A bit more of each ingredient than the recipe originally called for makes for a better balance. We have also discovered that the leftovers reheat well in the microwave so making more than we can finish in one meal is not a problem at all.

Start with Pasta, Green Onions, Prosciutto, Pimento Stuffed Green Olives, and Cherry Tomatoes.
(as always - click on the images for a larger version)

A note on the prosciutto: Have the meat department slice it a bit thicker than they normally slice prosciutto. You’re going to chop it up and give a quick sauté and if it’s too thin it’ll just disintegrate.

Chop up the prosciutto, onions and cherry tomatoes. Drain the olives.

Heat up some olive oil and sauté the prosciutto for just a little bit. Add the onions and keep stirring.

When the onions have softened up a bit toss in the olives.

This will take a few minutes to heat them up. I wait until The Hubster is draining the pasta to add the cherry tomatoes. They only take a little bit of warming up and then it’s time to pour the toppings on the pasta.

Add Parmesan or my preference which is a blend of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago that my local market carries.

We usually have a Grenache or Pinot Noir Rose with this dinner.

Edenvale Grenache and Matello Pinot Noir Rose

Here’s the original recipe which in my opinion doesn't have enough of any of the toppings. It’s kind of weird but so yummy.

Linguine with Prosciutto and Olives, Courtesy: “Fresh Ways with Pasta”

The fragrance and sweet-salty flavor of prosciutto permeate this dish and mingles with the stuffed olives, linguine and bright cherry tomatoes.

8 ounces dry linguine (or one package 9 ounces fresh linguine)
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion (including tops)
1 (3 ounce) jar pimento stuffed olives, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup grated parmesan cheese


In a 5 to 6-quart pan, cook linguine in 3 quarts boiling water until al dente (8 to 10 minutes for dry pasta, 1 to 2 minutes for fresh pasta), or cook according to package directions.
Drain well and transfer to a warm serving bowl.
While linguine is cooking, heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring often until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes).
Add onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften (about 2 minutes).
Add olives and tomatoes and cook, shaking pan often, until olives are hot (about 2 more minutes).
Pour prosciutto mixture over linguine and mix lightly using two forks.
Transfer to a warm serving bowl.
Sprinkle cheese on top to taste.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


Nutshell Review:Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham

>> Friday, September 12, 2014

Photo Credit

Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham

Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham et al

Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Series: #11 in the Jack of Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 201
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 11 is a compilation of issues 701-75 of the comic series.

From the back cover:
Fables Attack

The final battle between the free Fables of the mundane world and the Empire occupying their former Homelands is about to begin, and the scrappy storybook heroes have already managed to even the odds considerably. With his previously unstoppable wooden soldiers neutralized, the Adversary is about to get his first taste of high technology in the form of steel-jacketed bullets and laser-guided bombs. But the ruler who conquered a hundred different worlds didn't do it by fighting clean—and he’s still got a surprise or two left to spring on the residents of Fabletown.

My Thoughts:
Every time I think I have read my favorite of the Fables series I pick up the next one and change my mind.

This time around the war with the Adversary finally happens but not before a couple of side stories. First Boy Blue is finally ready to tell Rose Red how he really feels but has he been in the Friend Zone too long?

Next is a fun espionage tale starring my favorite spy, Cinderella. When you need a spy, Cinderella is the one you want to hire,

The rest of the the volume is the multi-part story of the final epic battle between the free Fables and the Adversary and his forces. It’s surprising, thrilling, and even amusing. The panel layout in the climactic scenes is multiple brightly colored vertical panels that are perfect for increasing the tension and immediacy as the action speeds up to the final moments on several battle fronts at the same time.

As the epilogue fills in the story amid the aftermath there are surprises and hints that despite the downfall of the Adversary things are not going to be smooth sailing in the Fables world.

If you haven't started this series you should.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5


Wordless Wednesday #255

>> Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bench with a view
Yachats, Oregon

bench with a view
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

>> Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Mysterym Short Stories
Series: #4 in the traditional canon of Sherlock Holmes
Publisher: The Floating Press
Publication Date: 1892-1893 (this edition 2009)
Pages: 207
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
Another collection of short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes as told by his friend Dr. Watson.

Why I Read It:
I started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and books a couple of years ago and really enjoyed them. Most of them are a collection of stories so having them on my phone and ereader makes them great for always having something to read when I have a few minutes.

The Book:
From the Dover Thrift Edition:

Boasting some of Sherlock Holmes's finest adventures, this classic 1894 collection was originally written in serial form. Eleven of the most popular tales of the immortal sleuth include "Silver Blaze," concerning the "curious incident of the dog in the night-time"; "The Greek Interpreter," starring Holmes's even more formidable brother, Mycroft; and "The Final Problem," the detective's notorious confrontation with arch-criminal Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.

Holmes and Dr. Watson remain history's greatest detective team, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's portrayals of male comradeship, the thrills of the chase, and the misty precincts of Victorian London remains unmatched in detective literature.

My Thoughts:
These stories are great for when I have a few minutes here and there or as a break between longer books. I enjoy Watson's asides and comments about Holmes.
I don't think you need alarm yourself," said I. "I have usually found that there is was a method to his madness.
The stories are varied and do not follow a chronological order. It was interesting to meet Holmes' brother Mycroft and have him show up again to assist with an investigation. In one the answer is truly that "The butler did it".

Another of them is notable because of how Sherlock Holmes gets it completely wrong.

A couple of the stories are of Holmes first cases and took place before he met Watson. In these, rather than Watson telling the story as he experienced it he's simply telling the reader what Holmes told him..

The final story was the most fascinating to me since it was my first introduction to Professor Moriarty.

I am enjoying reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and books. I’m looking forward to the next one which is The Hound of the Baskervilles.

4 stars Rating 4/5


It's Monday What Are You Reading?

>> Monday, September 8, 2014

This weekly reading roundup is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I have managed to end up reading a whole bunch of books at the same time. I'm kind of bouncing back and forth between all of these right now and thoroughly enjoying every one.

Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone

This is an interesting one about the early days of aviation.

The Competition by Marcia Clark

This is the latest in the Rachel Knight series. After a frightening opening of a mass shooting at a high school the investigation is quickly turning up surprises.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I'm reading this one for a readalong and so far I'm definitely intrigued.

Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse

I like having a short story style book on my phone for those times when I get stuck somewhere or on the train for a few minutes of reading. It's been a while since I read any Wodehouse and these stories are quite enjoyable.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Because when you're already reading five books, why not go ahead and start another one? I just started this one last night for yet another September readalong. I've always wanted to read it but just never got around to it until now.

Currently listening to:

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Narrated by Ralph Cosham

The latest in one of my all time favorite audio series. This latest one feels like a bit of a fresh start after the last one wrapped up many long running story arcs. If you haven't read the series before this one could work well as a starting point.

What are you reading?


Weekend Update – The It’s Football Season Edition

>> Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend Update

I love College Football. I haven’t followed NFL football much for years because for some reason since Portland doesn’t have a football team the networks have decreed that all of us here are going to be forced to be Seattle Seahawks fans and well . . . nope. I don’t really have a favorite NFL team but as for college I am definitely an Oregon Ducks fan. This is the first season in 20 years that we have not had season tickets to the games in Eugene. It feels weird but at the same time we’re managing to watch the games with our friends. Many years ago we had a block of seats together but a remodel of the stadium turned that into a walkway. We ended up being scattered into pairs of seats around the stadium. We still had pre-game and half-time with our friends but it definitely made the games different.

Football party
Who needs a stadium for tailgating?

Now that we’re not going to Eugene for the games we are getting together with the “Tailgating Group” for several games instead. Now that all of the games are televised it’s something we can do. Yesterday was our first Home Tailgate of the season. It seemed a little weird to be watching a home game on TV but it was so much fun to be able to watch the whole game with our friends. Another added benefit was that instead of spending half the day on the highway between Portland and Eugene we also managed to watch a whole bunch of other games. All in all it was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday.

Also – The Oregon Duck as the guest picker on ESPN’s College Gameday was hilarious.

What else have I been up to?

I’m reading a whole bunch of books right now. I’m enjoying all of them. I need to update my currently reading section on the sidebar and put together a post about them for tomorrow.
currently reading
click image to view larger

I’m getting ready to start a new crochet project. I asked a mom-to-be to pick out a yarn color this week so now I need to get the yarn ordered so I can start a baby blanket.
Paton's Astra Ocean Mist

The weather has been warm again and I discovered that there’s a fabulous view of Mt. Hood from the top of a parking garage near my office. I need to remember to go back up here with my regular camera when we get a clear day this winter after there’s snow on the mountain.
Mt.Hood from downtown Portland

We went to southern Oregon last weekend. We visited Trium Wines for both their excellent wines and excellent view from the tasting room.
Trium Wines Tasting Room view

We also saw Richard III at the Oregon Shakespeare festival. Dan Donohue was just as excellent as Richard as I had expected him to be.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival

This afternoon we’re going to see Guardians of the Galaxy. We rarely see movies in the theater. I honestly can’t remember the last one we went to a theater to see. I have been looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the first trailer.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.


Audiobook – How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

>> Friday, September 5, 2014

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery
Series: #9 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Publication Date: 2013
Length: 15 hours, 2 minutes
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A missing woman with connections to the village of Three Pines brings Armand Gamache back to town while at the same time he's fighting to keep his job and his department intact.

Why I Read It:
This has become one of my favorite series and I can't stop now.

The Book:
From the publisher:
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?

My Thoughts:
As always with this series, I thoroughly the audio version narrated by Ralph Cosham. Cosham's voice is Armand Gamache to me even though the books are not written in first person.

This one feels like Louise Penny is wrapping up several long brewing story lines from the series. There is a new mystery regarding the death of Myrna's longtime friend but that's only part of this book.

Along with this is the continuation of Gamache's years long battle of wills and wits with the corrupt leadership of the Sureté du Quebec. They're pushing him to retire and he's still trying to prove corruption in high levels. The threads go back years and Gamache's former protégé Beauvior has become a puppet of the wrong side of this intra-organizational war.

Penny weaves the mystery of the death (and identity) of Constance in and around the building tension of Gamache's efforts to determine exactly what his boss has been plotting. In fact, it's really a minor plot compared to the wrapping up of many stories that have been building over the previous 8 books in the series. There were several times while listening to this that I mentally applauded the author for surprising me with a plot twist.

Once again Ralph Cosham's narration was excellent. I can't imagine reading these in print after experiencing them in audio. This continues to be one of my favorite all time series.

I have already started listening to the next one (The Long Way Home) because after the buildup of tension and final chapters of this one I just had to see where Armand Gamache's story would go next.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration


The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

>> Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Genre: Mystery, Humor
Series: #1 in the Izzy Spellman Mysteries series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 358
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Izzy Spellman works for her family's Private Investigation firm and it's amazing that they have any time for outside jobs because they spend a lot of time investigating each other.

Why I Read It:
I laughed so much reading Heads You Lose which the author co-wrote with David Hayward that I just had to read more of her work. I had heard that this was a fun series.

The Book:
From the publisher

Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors—but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.

My Thoughts:
Yes it's a bit (no a lot) over the top but I was had so much fun reading it I didn't care.

The Spellman's are a unique family and that's probably a good thing. Dad is an ex-cop. He and Mom started their PI business and the kids all grew up as both family members and employees. Then there's Uncle Ray with his drinking and gambling problems and random disappearances. Izzy's older brother is now an attorney but that doesn't mean he's completely away from the family business (and antics). Her teenage sister Rae isn't old enough to really work much on the family's jobs but that doesn't keep her from honing her skills with some free range spying.

When Izzy decides she's had enough of being followed and spied on by her own family she tells her parents she's quitting. They make her take on one last cold case.

This was a lot of fun just for fun's sake. A good portion of the book is spent establishing background and history but it finally gets going when Izzy's younger sister Rae disappears.

Lutz's style clearly shows her screenwriting background but that also works to give it some snappy and quick dialog and action. I'm looking forward to reading more of the Spellman family's adventures. Now that the background has been established in this first book it should be a fun ride.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5


Wordless Wednesday #254

>> Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yachats, Oregon

Sunset - Yachats, Oregon
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here


Another September Readalong – The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I know. I know. I am a serial Readalong failure but I have now managed to sign myself up for not one, but two September Readalongs.

I’m already committed to reading The Sparrow with Trish at Love, Laughter and Insanity.

Then along comes The Estella Society to announce their September Readalong of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

This book has only been on my TBR list forever!

I might be crazy to commit to two readalongs in one month but this one is not that long. I picked up my copy at Powell’s on Friday and it’s only 246 pages.

I can do this.



September Photo a Day Challenges

>> Monday, September 1, 2014

September Photo a Day Challenges

I'm continuing with what has been working well for me.

Several months ago I decided that no single photo a day prompt list fully worked for me. I chose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I'm happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I'll be using for August:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

Check out my Photo a Day history on Shuttercal where today I'll post my 900th daily photos

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

Here are the most liked of AugustPhoto a Day photos:
black & white
August 3rd - black & white
August 6th - symmetry
depth of field
August 10th - depth of field
August 22nd - delicate
August 27th - macro
school supplies
August 29th - school supplies

If you're not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you'll consider it because it's a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won't be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.


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