Quick Fix: Add an Egg To Soup!!!

Sometimes when I see pictures of things online, it sparks my imagination. That's why I love Pinterest soooooo very much. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a picture of a noodle soup with a fresh, raw egg in the bowl. I was so intrigued by this picture that one day, I decided to do it.

If you follow me regularly, then you might have seen my beefed up version of rice noodle soup which is something I frequently have for lunch. That's the base I am using for this add on to my soup. There are lots of soups you can add an egg to... though I have to say that I think Asian inspired soups may work the best. Can you imagine a hot and sour soup with an egg cracked in it?!

Yuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmm. Mmmm. M. (Sorry, my mouth was full of wonderful soup with egg.)

I have been eating eggs like they are going out of style. Especially since our ladies have been laying eggs like CHAMPS! So there is no recipe for this really, it's more of an add on to any great soup that you think could use an egg. You can add it to anything, like chicken noodle soup or tomato soup, or noodle soup. It'll add a very creamy quality to the soup and add some extra "oomph!"

All you want to do is add the egg to the soup as soon as you take it off the stove. The hot broth will cook the egg. I stirred my egg into the soup. The whites were visible and the yolk incorporated into the broth...it was AMAZING! Now, if that makes you a little bit standoffish, I get that, so you can also add the egg to the pot in the last minute of cooking. It'll poach it right in the soup and that is also completely delicious! (I've done it both ways!)

Will you try it??? What soup will you add an egg to?? Share it with me in the comments section below and I will try my favorite suggestion and letcha know how it goes!


Bossy Italian Book Review: Devoured By Emily Snow

I have to first confess that this book is the second in the series and I didn't read the first book, All Over You. I am not the kind of gal who normally reads out of order, but there is certainly a first time for everything. Right off the bat, if you decide to read this book out of order, don't even worry! Missing out on the background won't matter because the author does a great job of catching you up.

I really enjoyed the ease of reading this book, and the story drew me in right away. Sienna has to go home to Nashville because her grandmother is losing her house, and when she gets there she encounters an old...shall we say, flame. His name is Lucas and he's the lead singer a very popular band. Sienna has been trying to forget him for two years, but unfortunately for both of them, they are very drawn to one another.

Snow does a beautiful job of creating the sexual tension in this very sexy novel. She doesn't shy away from using the dirty sex words and it doesn't get vulgar, either. SOOOOOO much better than Fifty Shades of Grey because the writing and plot work are solid.

I was page turning this one, people, and it had me hot under the collar. I enjoyed that Sienna was not the inexperienced submissive that can be so cliche in these types of books and neither was Lucas that over powering controlling a-hole that some male leads in this type of book can also be. And it's not very heavy BDSM...not even really beginners BDSM...this was more your "garden variety" BDSM, if you will.

For example, this is the type of stuff that is hot, and sexy, but that you could do with say, your husband or wife. Bottom line? I am an Emily Snow fan. She had it going on in all the right ways: great sex, but not too much, realistic but sexy as hell, good plot, easy readability, and that killer snap at the end that makes you want to "Devour" another book. And a good thing too!

Due out in July: Consumed is coming out and I cannot wait! BUT FIRST--Snow has out a new book, Tidal, which I am now reading....review coming next week! 

I Made Homemade Submarine Rolls!!!!

AHHHHHHHHH! That was an excited scream, just so you know. I have a bread machine so a lot of times when I want to make bread, I just go for it with the machine. It's just so dang handy! But ever since I made homemade sandwich bread with my friend, Renee, I sort of felt like I could tackle my own submarine rolls.

So, on a Monday, I went for it. I have to admit, whenever I try to make bread on my own, it doesn't go very well....I felt like the last time, Renee was my magic to perfect bread. But, ever the conscious food blogger, I was like, "what the heck?! If it's a major fail it'll probably be that much more popular anyway."

I crossed fingers, said a prayer to the carbohydrate gods and got to work. I found THIS RECIPE which seemed really easy. So, right off the bat, I was skeptical of how easy it was. Like any bread it was time consuming, but that didn't concern me at all because if it's one thing I have a ton of it's time. [And for me, cooking counts as working!]



Whipping up this dough was easy, especially with my mixer. It was good to put that dough hook to good use! 

The original recipe calls for shortening, but I don't buy shortening...so guess what I used? BACON FAT! Yes sir. And it worked out beautifully. 


I covered the dough and let it rise for an hour and half in a warm, draft-free place, which turned out to be my attic steps. An unconventional place, perhaps, but I was happy about it. 


Then I made these little balls and let them rest, just like the recipe said.... 


By the time I was rolling out my balls and measuring the length of my sub rolls, I felt like I needed to pinch myself. I couldn't believe that it was working out so well!!! 


I covered my six rolls with a damp towel and let them rise another hour. At this point, I was SURE that they were either going to a) not rise or b) explode and pink ponies would run out... either one. 


Unfortunately, no pink ponies ran out of my loaves. Instead? They actually rose! I felt like a champion. Cham. P. Ion. 

And I baked them. Which smelled like a carb-covered heaven cloud of goodness. 


TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It seriously made my month when my husband walked in, saw these submarine rolls and said, "Wow! Look at these!" I melted. And then I made sausage and peppers and we ate them. 

Feeling like you want to tackle these rolls? Of course you are! CLICK HERE for the great recipe

Radishes & Rosebuds

My mother-in-law and I went to our garden the other day to check on the progress and it was like magic: our radishes were fully grown!! We were definitely pretty excited. We were pulling up our radishes with enthusiasm and love. It was kind of like getting a garden high. Okay, it was totally a garden high.

I love radishes. They are chocked full of vitamin C and they are also tangy little suckers. Another fun factoid: you can eat the greens! They are much like spinach, only with a slight bitterness to them. I am gonna sauté the greens with some olive oil and onions.

Mmmmm hmmm. Yes sir. Yes sir-e-bob. 



So, I come home from my radish picking love fest, and I was just poking around my garden doing gardeny stuff. I replanted my rosemary bush. I put some cute rocks around my garden...and even planted a couple of flowers that are just so pretty! And that was when I found myself just admiring my roses. I guess you could say I took a moment to stop and smell the roses--literally.

I have four rose bushes at my house, and I am just in love with them. Roses make me so very happy. I was so darn happy I wanted to get out my camera and show y'all my radishes and roses. And so I am. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


A beautiful red rose. It's a long stem looking one. Purdy, huh? 


This one is from my orange and yellowish rose bush....


This is what they look like when they open! 


And around the corner.....my chicken Daisy is also stopping to smell the roses. What a chick-a-dee that one is. Must take after me! 

Happy Memorial Day!



I hope that you all enjoy the holiday today! I am doing something I rarely do around here: taking a day off!!! There is lots of great stuff on the blog for you to enjoy--please feel free to take a look around. I hope you make something with a red, white, and blue theme for this American holiday for remembrance. 

Please remember to take the time to thank a military service member today!! For me, I generally thank my husband's dad, who served in Vietnam. I like to tell him "Welcome home!" which is not something that the Vietnam vets were told once they came home.... 

Happy Memorial Day! 

May is National Masturbation Month


When I noticed that May was masturbation month, well, it occurred to me that we talk about sex a lot around here, but not necessarily masturbation. They say the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself, and when it comes to sexual pleasure I find this to be absolutely true. How in the world can someone else pleasure you if you don't know what you like?

This is why masturbation is so important for all people, really, but especially women. I've talked before about the female orgasm; there are lots of women who just aren't in touch with how to make themselves have an orgasm, and that can carry over into their relationships. For a lot of women, their orgasm is attached to their thinking and how comfortable they are....which means, ladies, you got to get cozy with yourself!

American culture makes male masturbation acceptable to a large extent. We see it played out in media a lot more than we do female orgasms, although media IS coming around on that front. Still, even though we are seeing it, mostly in a comedic sense, that doesn't mean that our parents are talking about it with us. Talking about masturbation can be, well, let's face it, a little bit awkward.

Luckily, all you need to explore the subject is a good hand and a little alone time. And since you've got a week left in this awesome month dedicated to none other than the topic of self pleasure, I suggest you get out there and participate! The great thing about a solo sport like masturbation is that there is no one else in the room to make you feel ashamed, awkward or like you are doing something wrong.

So grab a sexy video, or whatever turns you on, and find your pleasure centers! 

Lady Sybil Is Hurt

If you are wondering who Lady Sybil is, she's one of our Chickens of Downton Abbey. Of course, whoever got hurt or sick first was inevitably going to be Lady Sybil. When my husband phoned me to tell me one of the chickens was limping, I knew it wasn't going to be good. It was only a matter of time before the pecking order began trying to take her out.

Chickens are worse than a bus of middle schoolers, I am telling you. They sensed the weakness in her straightaway and began pecking on her like she was dinner. To isolation for Sybil it was.

My husband with Sybil 
After looking up her ailments on different forums, we were fairly certain that she somehow hurt her leg. There are no bites, there are no bruises, no loss of feathers....nothing except a bent up leg she keeps limping on.

So, my generous dog, Oscar, donated to Sybil his cage as her sick bed. Sybil was put on quarantine not only to keep the rest of the ladies off of her, but also to give her a safe place to rest up and heal. Hopefully she won't go the same way as Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil...but there are no guarantees. She was just chilling in her cage for the most part, until my husband gave her a bath and then didn't dry her off because he thought she would dry naturally.... but she didn't. So then I had to bring her inside because it was 53 degrees yesterday and she was cold. We put her in a box and put a heater on her until she dried out.

My husband is kind of obsessing over the chicken when there really isn't much we can do. He said, "I knew going into this that we might lose a few chickens, but now that this has happened, I feel bad." I sympathize with him. It's human to feel bad, especially knowing that the chicken is in pain.

In all the hullaballoo of her being hurt and on quarantine and not knowing if she will get better the subject of slaughter came up. The thing is, if she's hurt and is not going to get better, then at some point or another it can be assumed that she will die. If she dies on her own, well, we can't eat her. If we kill her, then we can. It sounds a bit morbid, I know, but this is the reality of having chickens.

And if there is one thing I like it's fresh food. Is that bad?

Well, even so, when we were talking about it, (it being the killing of the chicken and all) naturally we began to talk about who would do it. The long and the short of it? Neither of us wants to. For me, it's not that I can't kill the chicken; I absolutely know I could...it's just that, I'm worried about my soul. Allow me to explain.

I once read this book and it had a lot of elements of buddhism in it. It said that the butchers were the lowest people on the karmic chain because they kill the animals. So that has me worried...it's not like we're throwing lobsters in a pot here, this is a chicken that I have petted and tried to heal and stuff. Also, I am afraid that if I do kill the chicken that I will changed in a way that only someone who has slaughtered an animal would be.... it's heavy stuff, you know.

But it's also the nature of things. I would want my chicken to be well killed, if that makes sense. With respect and everything, and perhaps the only person who can do that is me. Really, I am hoping that Sybil lets me off the hook here, and just gets better. If she doesn't, it looks like I've got a decision to make...

What do you all think? Will Sybil get better or not? Should I kill her and eat her or let her die of natural causes and not eat her? Leave it for me in the comment section below.

Quick Fix: Prosciutto Chips!

I love those bacon bit thingys that come in that container and you sprinkle over salad....but there is no way I will buy them because, honestly, who in the heck knows what is really in them. I highly doubt it's bacon. The long and the short of it is that I like bacon bits on my salad, but generally refuse to eat them. So, when my mother in law told me that she made these prosciutto chips and that they were easy, I was DYING to try them.

They are like the no-fuss version of bacon bits on a salad without all the mystery and intrigue. That and they aren't really bacon, they are prosciutto, but they are ham, so....

however you feel about bacon bits, you are sure to love these. They are versatile, too. You can put them on salad, or serve them with eggs. Heck, you can eat them straight out of the oven. Whatever tickles your fancy. I won't tell. Or maybe I will.


I got this prosciutto at BJs, which, incidentally, has the best (and I mean BEST) prices on deli meats. This particular day, the lady sliced everything so thin that I wanted to scream. Because waiting in a deli line for 45 minutes to get meat that is sliced way too thin is infuriating. And because the prices are so low that I somehow justify these atrocities. 


Any-who, once I peeled apart the endlessly thin paper-like layers of my prosciutto, I laid it out my baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I love parchment paper. It's the most awesome stuff. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the oven and ..... 


TA DA! These prosciutto chips came out perfect! So perfect that I nearly forgot about the 45 minutes I spent in the deli line and the disappointingly thin meats. Almost


YUM! I did sneak a bite before I took this picture. No shame in my game. 

Now like I said, you can totally put this on a salad. OR, if you are feeling frisky....... 


You can serve it between some polenta and eggs, like I did!!! This was SO good. 

CLICK HERE for the polenta recipe. Fry up some eggs and slap them on top and you've got yourself a breakfast that is so good, you might need to go back to bed afterward. 


YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSS SIR! 

Easy Prosciutto Chips

Time: 12-15 minutes | Makes as many as you have! | Difficulty: Easy 

You will need: 

A baking pan lined with parchment paper 
Prosciutto 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Lay out your prosciutto slices in a single layer on your lined baking pan. 

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until crispy. Realize that it was so easy and break out into an evil "muah ha ha ha ha" laugh. Because you can. 

Serve crumbled over a salad, or with eggs and polenta!!!!! 


Bossy Italian Book Review: Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Image from Beautifulcreaturesnovels.com
Beautiful Chaos left me hanging on, big time. So I downloaded and started Beautiful Redemption PRONTO! I had to know what happened to Ethan. This book was a little bit different from the other three in the way that it was set up--and I really liked that right off the bat. When I started reading, I immediately knew the set up had changed: I was getting a story from both Lena AND Ethan's points of view.

I enjoy when author's do this. After all this time, hearing Lena's inner monologue was refreshing, and the perspective changes were a good was to mix it up from the format of the other books.

The suspense was still rich, and I was, of course, still rooting for Lena and Ethan, even with the circumstances being what they were. I don't want to give anything away, but there was a very bittersweet quality to this book, and that was good for me.

I hate when everything ends too neatly, if you know what I mean. I want at least a little bit of grit, and this delivered the grit right up until the end. It ends well and it ends not so well...depending on who your favorite is.

In the end, this series was a great read and it's completely worth seeing through to the end. It can't be easy to write four books that tell such a great story of love, power, and light and dark, but these two ladies have done a great job. And, well, that got me to thinking....in the first book, we learn that Lena will be claimed, either light or dark. Everyone is sort of waiting to see what will happen, and they aren't sure which way she will go.

Now, I know we aren't a bunch of casters, we're all just mere mortals...but for us, it's the same. We've got the same light and dark within us all. I don't know if we've got a choice which way we fall; sometimes you just have to wait and see until you're claimed. So in that way, we're all Beautiful Creatures waiting to be claimed and see what our fate holds. 

Ham & Egg "Muffins" Recipe

Since we got chickens, we've been cooking a lot of egg dishes. And by "we" I mean me, although I will say my husband is brilliant at eating them. I have been experimenting with these "muffin" style eggs, and I have to say, I am in love. They are so easy that anyone can make them, and they are delicious!

Also, I am obsessed with things that are in muffin form, or miniature form, so this all really works out for me. I can get pretty intricate in the kitchen, so I enjoy when something is simple and straightforward, and that is what this recipe delivers.


To begin, Pam (or grease) your muffin tins. I am making four of these for two of us, but you can make as many as your little heart desires. Or your big heart. 


Next, line your muffin cups with your lunchmeat. I used ham. 


Then, crack your eggs into the ham cups and pop the whole thing into the oven (which should be preheated to 375 degrees) and you are going to bake them for 10-12 minutes for runny yolk, 15 for non runny yolks. But you want the yolks runny, right? I mean who doesn't want their yolks runny? 


Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with toast. 


YUMTASTIC. Eggscellent. And also, let's take a moment to appreciate that I made these eggs and still burned my toast. UGH. But I blame my toaster...it has a mind of it's own. I need a new toaster. So if anyone wants to gift me one, I'm down. 

Ham & Egg "Muffins" 

Time: 15 minutes start to finish | Serves 2 (easily increased) | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need:

4 slices of ham 
4 eggs
1 muffin tin 
Pam or butter to grease tins

Method: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Grease your muffin tin. 

Place ham in four of the muffin tin cups. Crack eggs into ham-lined muffin cups. 

Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes for runny yolks, and 15 minutes for non-runny yolks. 

Salt & pepper and serve with toast! 

Tips for Cooking Fresh Clams

When it comes to cooking fresh clams, there are a few simple tips that will get you well on your way to perfect clam eating. It's not rocket science, but when I was cooking my first round of fresh clams, I had trouble locating tips and tricks for cooking with fresh clams on the internet...and  you know that motivated me to take down some tips for my readers!

I live at the beach, so summer is seafood season, and I want everyone--no matter where you live--to enjoy fresh seafood. I want you to feel confident in the kitchen when you are preparing your fresh seafood. These little things will make a big difference for your clams.



Tips for cooking fresh clams! 

1. Discard the dead ones
The first thing that you want to do is go through your clams and take out any that are open like this. If they aren't closed, it means that they are dead, and you don't want to eat them. 

Also, a quick story here. One of the clams shared the living crap out of me by opening and closing itself. I almost died. I literally jumped across the room and screamed. Then, my husband says that the clam was "gasping for life" and I told him to shut up! I know that they are alive, but geez...the graphic nature of my husband's comment was clearly not what I wanted to hear. 





2. Salt water soak 

Get a half a cup of kosher salt and mix it with a big, big bowl of cold water. 


 Put your clams in the salt water and allow them to sit there and soak for about a half an hour. 


3. Scrub 'em good 

You want to scrub them really well at this point, and I like to do it under water because it gets alllll the grit off. I also used my potato scrubber and my rubber gloves because I didn't want my hands to smell all clammy. Hehe. 

And don't skimp on this step--really. Seriously. Especially if you are making a sauce and want to have the clams in there. Because nothing ruins a sauce like a sandy bottom. 




 Check out this awesome shell. It was the only one like it in the bunch, so of course I had to snap a picture. Beautiful, right? 

4. Cook those clams!!! 

There are a variety of ways to cook your clams. I just threw my in my sauce ( I was making a white clam sauce) and put the lid on. It took about ten minutes and they all opened up. 



YUM! 

So do YOU have any tips on cooking fresh clams? Are you a fresh clam pro?? I would love to hear your tips for cooking with fresh clams! Leave it in the comments section below! I love to hear from my readers! 







We Need To Talk: About Lube


It’s funny because I don’t remember where in the world I learned about lube. It wasn’t like my mom ever told me, “hey there is this great stuff called lube.” Even still, somewhere along the way, (in high school) and might I add early on, I discovered Astroglide and my [sex] life was changed. Changed.

I started using lube about the same time I started having sex. Why? Because I like to have sex, and the more lube you use, the longer it lasts...and the more times you can do it. And it feels good, too. Still, I feel lke a lot of women don’t know about lube or don’t use lube because they think it means they are dried up or something.

I want to put that myth to bed: it doesn’t mean that you are dried up. It means you are getting it on and you like it wet. Wetter. There is nothing not to love about lube. It's a va-jay-jay's bestie.

Now I can just see you all behind your computers being like, “Okay, I’d like to try this lube, but when do you put it on? How do you put it on without ruining the mood?” For me, I just like to say, “Hey, can you put on some lube?!” before the big insertion happens, but I realize that some of you might not be comfortable being that brazen about it.

For a more subtle approach, you can introduce lube during foreplay, which I think has to be the easiest way. So, when you are giving a hand job, squirt a little lube on the tip and keep right on handing it. Your man will be happy because it will feel great and then you are basically ready to go for the intercourse portion of your newly lubed up evening (or morning, or afternoon, or both.)

Now that we have that covered, we should also talk about kinds of lube because there are all kinds out there, and they can all be a little different. I am a huge fan of Astroglide because it’s the closest thing to the real thing, if you catch my drift. No scents, no fuss, just lube. I also enjoy KY products, which tend to be a little fancier...KY has this really great warming one, which gives a little heat on contact that really makes my day. When it comes to choosing lube, though, the best way to pick it is to try it for yourself. Try a couple different ones and see what you like the best.

Now, I know that buying it in the store can be a little awkward...which is why I like to turn it around and make the cashier feel more awkward than me ( I do this with condoms, too). For this strategy, I pick the youngest male cashier in the joint and I only buy the condoms or the lube. And then I stare at them while they check me out. It makes them feel really awkward and it’s hilarious to watch them squirm. I especially love when they ask, “Is that all?” and I reply, “YES! That is ALL.”

Hehe.

Everyone Deserves To Find Their Own JOY!


On the surface, this seems like commonsense, right? Everyone deserves to find their own joy. Simple. On the surface. If we dig a little deeper, though, and if you are anything like me, it’s deceptive in its simplicity. Let me start with a bit of a confession: I’m a fixer. This isn’t necessarily bad or good, or even unique. Nonetheless, there it is...I’m a fixer. Well, I’m actually a fixer in recovery.

If someone has a problem, is unhappy, or vents to me about what is going wrong my first inclination is to find them a solution--a way to fix that. At work? Great asset. Personally? Not so great. Hence, the “fixer in recovery” title. I have been on a personal journey and one that has brought me a great amount of joy in my life. When I find something I love, I just want to share it so badly. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to open, ready, or willing to hear what brings me (or you) joy. And that is okay.

When it comes down to it, people are going to have problems. I can dish out a million great solutions for them, but in the end, they have to go out and find their own solutions that lead them to joy. When you are a natural fixer, like me, you might feel the inclination to offer unsolicited advice to people at one time or another. This is really where it sticky.

Sometimes people will be happy about this advice...but other times? Not so much. Because not everyone is on the same page, path, or wavelength. Sometimes people just flat out don’t want to hear what you have to say. I’ve been on both ends of this equation, and I have to tell you, it’s not really all that great from either end.

When I see someone that I care about doing things that are contradictory to what I think may make them the happiest, I know it. Once you know something, well, you can’t un-know it. By the same token, though, others feel the same way about me at times...and they aren’t always right. You can’t shove solutions down people’s throats, and to go one step further, sometimes we are just wrong about what makes other people happy.

In other words: people have the right to go out and find their own joy. They have every right to screw up, to be down in the dumps, to make decisions you don’t understand, and to learn and grow and emerge who they are. When I find myself in these moments, as part of my “recovery” from being a fix it, I try to turn inward and focus on my happiness and my joy.

So tell me, are you a fix it? Are you in recovery from your habit or do you find that you just can’t help yourself? What’s one way you can focus on your path of joy today? Leave it for me in the comments section below!

Bossy Italian Wife Vs. Your Bad Decisions [VLOG!]

When it comes to your bad decisions, do they define you? How do you tell the difference between a bad decision and a bad habit? Today I am going up against your bad decisions. Watch the video. Join the discussion by commenting in the section below!

If you are viewing on a mobile device, CLICK HERE to go to my YouTube channel and view the video!

video




Quick Fix: Peachy Angel Food Cake Recipe

So, you may have heard that you can mix a box of angle food cake with a can of pineapple and bake it up. Well, I decided to do something kind of like that, except different. So basically, I did something different... Mostly I don't buy cake mixes, but call me curious. Ain't no shame in my boxed cake buying game. A Bossy Wife has to do what she has to do, and that day...it was dessert.

Last season, my canning group, We Three Canners, canned a ton of peach nectar. Ever since, I have been relishing using them in drinks, and this particular day I had some nectar left over from bellinis. That was when I decided to throw a couple of cups of peach nectar in the cake mix, bake it and see what came of it. Guess what? It totally, totally worked.

If you didn't make your own peach nectar, you can buy it in the grocery. I love this because there is no butter in it. I love when I can substitute out other stuff for butter. Also? This recipe is perfectly sweet and has a nice peach punch that will have you loving life. You can serve it with whipped cream or just all by itself. I like to eat with a nice cup of tea.

However you eat it, there is one that is for sure: you will do it with a happy smile on your face because this angel food cake is heavenly and as close to healthy as a cake is gonna get. All is right in the world!

Billie's Peachy Angel Food Cake 

Time: 35 minutes (bake time on box) | Makes: 2 loaves | Difficulty: So easy you'll be happy happy! 

You Will Need:

1 box of angel food cake mix
2 cups of peach nectar 

Method

Mix cake mix and peach nectar in a bowl. Yep. That was easy, huh?

Pour into two loaf pans and bake according to the directions on the box. 

I know. It's too easy. It makes me want to cry tears of joy. 

Bossy Italian Book Review: Beautiful Chaos By Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Image from Beautifulcreaturenovels.com
Well as you might have guessed from the title, this book launches the whole town of Gatlin into total and utter chaos. Things are not as they should be. Link is different, Amma's cooking doesn't taste the same, and after everything that happened in the last book, well, we want everything to be normal--blissful for the characters-- but that just isn't the way things came out.

Of course there are new shenanigans--like Ridley dealing with incorporating into the world of Gatlin. And there are bits that made me smile, laugh out loud, and once again cheer on the love between Ethan and Lena.

There are lots of great surprises in this book, one of which is Sarafine's backstory. We learn more about the complicated family tree, as well as the real motivations of some of the Incubus characters. We also get more layers to the John Breed character which unfold in some unexpected ways.

Lena has an ever-complicated relationship with her dark casting mother, and has since the beginning, but it all comes full circle in Beautiful Chaos. This book is decidedly much darker than the other two books. I got a sense that maybe it was a getting a little too dark--as though things in the plot couldn't be fixed. There were even parts that straight creeped me out.

Ethan is dabbling in some seriously suspenseful stuff in this round of things and the way it's written makes him seem not only like a Wayward, but also pretty fearless. There are new tunnels to be explored, new characters to meet, and new hurdles for the characters to jump. Good twists lead to even better turns.

The writing is consistent, just as it was in the other books, although I really felt this book had a touch more suspense in many places. For instance, I may or may not have looked over my shoulders or felt a little creeped out.  I might have been a little afraid that the book was screwing with my dreams when I read it before bedtime. I maybe thought that Incubuses were sucking my dreams. But then again, when you are into a series of books, that just sort of happens, and I like that.

Toward the end of the book, I wasn't sure how it was going to end. I had a few theories, of course, but once again the authors pull their punches at the conclusion, or should I say cliffhanger, of the book. Just when I was thinking to myself,  "maybe I will read another book in between the last one and this one," the ending sucked me in and gave me no choice.

Beautiful Redemption is the next book in the series....maybe the last? Who knows! Onward and upward!

Sausage & Pepper Skillet Recipe

I love sausage and peppers! At any given time I generally have Italian sausage in my fridge or freezer...so I got to thinking one night that I wanted some sausage and peppers, but I wanted it a little fancier than just on a bun with mustard. That was the basis of how I came up with this recipe. This is a fancy panst way of serving those great Italian sausage flavors with a little extra somethin' somethin'.

And for some reason that makes me wanna throw in a "hubba hubba!" Rock it out.

Let's cook, shall we?


Cut up your veggies and sausage!! 

In a skillet, you are going to cook your sausage. I don't use olive oil because the sausage really has enough of it's own fat. Also, I wanted to take a quick second to talk about the seasoning in this dish because there isn't much. The Italian Sausage has a lot of flavor in it so it flavors the dish nicely. That is all. 


Once the sausage is nice and browned, add your veggies to the skillet. 


Let them cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are becoming translucent. 


Add your pint (or small can) of tomatoes, with the juice! 


Season and allow it cook and bubble about 5 minutes, or until you are ready to serve. 


I served mine over polenta, but pasta is a great option too. If you aren't much on carbs, you can also go with a bed of cabbage, or even serve it by itself with veggies on the side! Be creative! 

Billie's Sausage and Pepper Skillet 

Time: 30 minutes, start to finish | Serves 4 | Difficulty: Easy 

You will need:

4 Italian sausages, sliced into 1 inch rounds 
1 "heavy" cup of sliced bell peppers (CLICK HERE for my tips on freezin' in season!
1 onion, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1 pint tomatoes with juice
salt & pepper
parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

Method:

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add your sliced sausage to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the sausage is nicely browned.

Add your sliced onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook and stir for 5-7 minuets or until the onions are becoming translucent. Sing a little "Glass Onion" to your onions to coax them along...or if that isn't your favorite Beatles tune, you can also sing, "I'm looking through you....." *singing optional.

Add your tomatoes with the juice. Bring it all to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until heated through.

Serve over polenta or pasta with a green salad. I like to garnish mine with parmesan cheese, but you can do whatever your little heart desires.