Sunday, January 14, 2024

Selected for the Writers' Room Residency 2024

Guess where I'll be writing this year? I've been selected to participate in the Writers' Room Residency program for 2024, so I'll be tippy-tapping away in the Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi Writers’ Room at the Seattle Public Library! Whoot!

Inside the Writers' Room
Seattle Public Library

Want to read more about it or apply next year? Check out more information here: -writers-to-apply-for-prestigious-writers-room-residency-program/

Monday, January 08, 2024

Altered Cookbook

 My collection of recipes comes in all shapes and sizes: torn out magazine pages, printed copies, hand-scrawled recipe cards, and on a variety of scratch papers...and they all ended up in a big box that I'd pull out and dig through before cooking time.

Honestly, I enjoy the process of thumbing through the pile of odd notes. Well, I should say I did up until more cooks entered my kitchen. Then, too many hands were sorting and moving recipes around, adding to the time it'd take me to find what I wanted. It became apparent to all us cooks, that we needed a new system.

Handwriting all my recipes onto index cards wasn't an option and regular school-type binders weren't cute enough. I discovered the blog Fresh Vintage by Lisa S and got down to the business of finding my own copy of the ring-bound Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book from the 50s. 

I wasn't fortunate enough to find one at the thrift store, or patient enough to wait around. I went ahead and ordered a used version from Amazon, paying top dollar (*cough-cough*)...but I was happy with the quality and relatively clean condition...considering it's a used cookbook and all.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Published January 1, 1953

The first step was to peruse the cookbook for pages to remove...and I can say with confidence that the recipe for the Liver-sausage Pineapple below (without any pineapple whatsoever) would never be made by moi. Goodbye to the recipe, but the photo has so much vintage-goodness that I set it aside in case it makes the cut later.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, circa 1953
Page 61, Appetizers and Beverages

The opposite page boasts, "Served with hot coffee or chilled juice, [these snacks] put people at ease, spark good conversation." I bet!

Pardon me as I go back in time for a spell to jelly molds, green olives, and casseroles... I'll be back soon with more work-in-progress photos.


Scrapbook paper options from Echo Park Paper Company:

Country Kitchen by Carta Bella

Farmhouse Kitchen by Echo Park Paper Co.

Farm to Table by Carta Bella

Homemade by Carta Bella

Monday, January 01, 2024

Fabulous Five: Favorite Reads for 2023

I've read over 300 books for the 2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge, which is a HUGE number for me mainly due to my Picture Book BINGO Reading Challenge last October. Due to the quantity, I easily picked out five of my favorites.


1.) The New Rooster by Rilla Alexander
4.) Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor
3.) I Want to Be Spaghetti by Kiera White-Ruiz
4.) Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl
5.) Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite by Ashley Spires


Picture books and easy readers aside, I read so many good books that I honestly had a hard time choosing five favorites. But after some mulling, five books rose to the top:

1.) My all-time 2023 favorite read goes to this SPECULATIVE FICTION...

Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter

2.) Best read from a local PNW author is this MEMOIR...

Rough House by Tina Ontiveros

3.) Wonderful audiobook and great hook into a MYSTERY series goes to...

Out of Range by C.J. Box

4.) Best COMING OF AGE / DYSTOPIAN read goes to...

Deadlands by Victoria Miluch

5.) A gem! I highly recommend this CHRISTMAS ROMANCE audiobook...

Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel