Chocolate Croissiant Bread Pudding from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

This is delicious.  And very easy.  The hardest part is finding stale chocolate croissants at a reasonable price.  Fortunately, they are sold stale daily in six-packs at my local Safeway.  (That was what the kids call shade.) Basically, you put a bunch of torn chocolate croissants in an oven safe bowl.  Best if these are stale croissants but the ones Safeway sells have worked very … Continue reading Chocolate Croissiant Bread Pudding from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

Chocolate Coffee Volcano from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

You need to read all of the instructions first with Nigella Lawson.  You can just look at the ingredients, skim the recipe and begin.  You’ll be in for a nasty surprise if you do. The first time I tried the Chocolate Coffee Volcano from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson I had my work cut out for me.  You have to start with … Continue reading Chocolate Coffee Volcano from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

It’s Time to Fight Dirty by David Faris

Begin with this…..The Democrats have been the majority party, by millions of votes, for the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives for most of the last seven election cycles.  By majority I mean they have received more votes total than the Republicans.  Yet they are the minority party in all three. How is this possible? What can be done about it? This is … Continue reading It’s Time to Fight Dirty by David Faris

Savory Blue Cheese Crackers from How to Become a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Nearly all recipes begin with turning on the oven.  So that’s what I did.  Set the oven at 400 degrees. Then begin mixing everything together to make the dough: one egg yolk, blue cheese, butter.  Add flour and cornmeal. Form into a flattened disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. But, Nigella, the oven is already on.  Should I turn it off … Continue reading Savory Blue Cheese Crackers from How to Become a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Tomb Song by Julian Herbert

Contemporary Mexican fiction is the place to be. If we’re still including Roberto Bolano in the category, which I am. Julian Herbert’s new novel Tomb Song, translated by Christina MacSweeney, shares a love for language with much of the contemporary Mexican fiction I have read.  What language can do, the way it can excite, anger, frustrate, is something I’ve found to be a common denominator in … Continue reading Tomb Song by Julian Herbert

A Brief History of Paper Moons

At the end of nearly every school year, someone cleans out a classroom closet and leaves a box of books on the table in the faculty room. Take whatever you want. Typically, they are pretty slim picking. There’s really no use, beyond collage, for old textbooks anymore.  But this year I found a copy of Hal Morgan and Andreas Brown’s book on early real photo post … Continue reading A Brief History of Paper Moons

Census by Jesse Ball

This book was not what I expected. Even though I had no expectations at all when I started it.  I had no idea what it was going to be about.  I read it because it’s part of The Summer Reading Challenge at The Morning News.  I didn’t even read the inside flap; just started reading. In his introduction Mr. Ball writes about his brother who … Continue reading Census by Jesse Ball

Espresso and Walnut Cookies from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

So yesterday I wanted to bake something but I didn’t want to go to the supermarket to buy ingredients.  Looking through the kitchen cabinets and my newest cookbook, Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess, I found that I had just the right things for a batch of espresso and walnut cookies. The of espresso powder and the half bag of walnuts were left … Continue reading Espresso and Walnut Cookies from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Queen Christina: Ms. Garbo is Ready for her Close-up

It’s all about the close up.  Not quite, actually, but nearly. Queen Christina, the 1933 movie about the 17th century queen of Sweden, was a perfect vehicle for Greta Garbo.  Very loosely based on historical events the movie tells the story of the queens ill-fated romance with the Spanish ambassador.  The final scene of the movie, a very long, intense close-up on Ms. Garbo as … Continue reading Queen Christina: Ms. Garbo is Ready for her Close-up

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

You probably already know all you want to know about Tayari Jones’s novel An American Marriage. It’s an Oprah pick with starred reviews in major publications.  It’s even part of this summer’s reading list at The Morning News which is why I read it. You rarely go wrong with The Morning News’s Tournament of Books, so I decided to give their Summer Reading Challenge a go. … Continue reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Clos Pegase Winery in Calistoga, CA

Some people explain things to their dogs.  Rather than just say, “No, stop that” they sit the dog down and go into detail about why they shouldn’t dig up the garden, how it damages the plants and remember how much you enjoy marking all the flowers once they’ve grown, so wouldn’t it be best not do dig up the bulbs, that’s a good boy.” That’s … Continue reading Clos Pegase Winery in Calistoga, CA