What’s Cookin’ in the New Year

Happy New Year!

January is shaping up to be a busy month and 2011 has kicked off to a great start so far. Our doctor appointments have been going well, the geekling’s heartbeat has been nice and strong every time we get to hear it. The doctor is pleased with everything about our progress so far! We have another check-up next week, but the most exciting appointment is coming up next month, when we find out whether we’re having a boy or girl. I’m still confident it’s a girl, and I think even Lucas believes we’re having a girl. Time will tell! Who knows, the geekling may surprise us… we’ll let you know!

The holidays treated us well, and it was good to spend time with family and friends. We both got everything we wanted and more, and are looking forward to next Christmas when there’s a little one to spend it with us.

Having a big holiday break with some extra time off paired with a new cookbook means we’ve been trying a lot of new recipes lately, too.  The new cookbook that we got for Christmas is called Taste of Home Freezer Pleasers, and while the link there goes to it on Amazon, it’s not that same exact edition. The one that I have is by the same authors and under the same name, but it’s a more recent version that has 343 recipes instead of the 325 that the older one had.

From the cookbook we’ve tried homemade Turkey (chicken!) Potpie, and Turkey (chicken!) Cheddar Bake. The best part about the cookbook is that you create enough for 2 dishes (so two potpies or two casseroles at once), and you immediately bake or prepare one, and put the other in the freezer to thaw and eat at a later time. This means I was really making dinner for four nights each for the two of us with both dishes I made from the cookbook, since the potpie and casserole were two nights’ worth of dinner each. This was really helpful once Christmas break was over and I was back to work. The book has more than potpies and casseroles, though; there’s also soups, jams, breads, lasagnas, and desserts to choose from as well. If you can get your hands on the latest edition, I highly recommend it! (The potpie we made can be found on page 22, while the casserole was found on page 31.)

It’s Sunday, and of course we’re trying yet another recipe; cheddar broccoli potato soup. This one is a crock pot recipe from a different cookbook that I’ve had for awhile. (Pg 158.) Something about the warmth of soup in the dead of winter just goes together well. I’m even considering some homemade bread if I’ve got time. Just call me Suzy Homemaker!

One of my most favorite Christmas presents this year has been a Kindle. I’m telling you, I am devouring books at an alarming rate since receiving it. I also enjoy that I can put all of my PDF patterns for knit and crochet on it to take with me everywhere I go instead of having to print (and re-print) patterns every time I make something. The PDF readability of the Kindle has looked great on all of the pattern PDFs I’ve put on it so far, too.

The Kindle is also a lot thinner and lighter than I was expecting. It weighs less than most books I own and slips easily into my purse, so I take it everywhere with me and love how much more I’m reading lately because of it. And I swear I read books faster on a Kindle than I do in print. Just before Christmas I was reading How Not to be a Perfect Mother by Libby Purves (Hilarious book, by the way) and I had it in paperback. Trying to read in bed while lying down was a pain, and I remembered why I didn’t read as much in bed; having to hold the book open and adjust all the time made it uncomfortable. With the Kindle there’s no shifting necessary to keep my arms from getting tired once I get into a comfortable reading position, and I flip through pages much quicker than having to physically turn a page and re-adjust the spine to keep it open every time. I realize I now sound a bit like a paid advertisement here, but I promise I’m not. I can’t help it; I really am enjoying a cup of tea and a good book curled up on the couch to wind down at the end of the day lately.

I was recently introduced to the author Scott Westerfeld, who writes the Leviathan series (among others), thanks to our friend Kara, who got me Leviathan for my birthday. I finished it pretty quick and was hungrily left on a bit of a cliffhanger so I just *had* to run out and buy the second book for my Kindle immediately. The third book in the series is due to come out later this year and I can’t wait! Thanks for getting me hooked, Kara!

Now that I’ve babbled on and on, I’ll leave you with my Goodreads profile in case you’d like to keep up and share books, get or give book recommendations, etc. I’m trying to hold off on purchasing another round of books until I get through the current stash I’ve recently purchased, but I’m always looking for more good books to read and am open to suggestions.

So that’s it for now, hope you and yours have had a Happy New Year so far, too!