Archive for October, 2009

Angie’s Amazing Bean Dip now on eHow

Oct 29th, 2009 Posted in eHow Articles, Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

It may sound silly, but I’ve gotten a lot of praise for my bean dip. My family absolutely LOVES it.   I almost decided not to share it, but, hey, it’s better to spread the joy 🙂  I’ve posted the recipe on eHow. Give it a try!

Wine Tasting Party Tips on eHow

Oct 29th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do | one comment »

I just published  my first article. I wrote tips for throwing a wine tasting party in your home. My inspiration was a great hostess of just such an event. Nice job, Connie! One thing I didn’t add, was that the Caramelized Onion Spread recipe in my Good Eats – Recipe archive would be a great addition to any wine-inspired event.

Glad to Bury Angela’s Ashes

Oct 26th, 2009 Posted in Book Review | no comment »

The Lit Ladies Book Club picked Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes, for September. I thought that was a great idea, especially since I was hosting our club meeting and, hey, my name is “Angela.”  Well, my namesake book was by far the hardest read I’ve had in a long, long time. I felt like I was in high school reading Grapes of Wrath or Farewell to Arms.  If I’d had a choice to toss it aside, I would have.  But, as I was forced to in high school, I had a commitment to finishing the darned thing (the last 200 pages I read at lightning speed).  I followed up my reading with a snarky email reminder of the meeting time and date to the Book Club girls. I suggested that anyone who dared to say they liked it, would be shoved outside for fear they were delirious with swine flu!

All that negativity aside, we had one of our best Book Club meetings ever. It was a lively discussion about all of the horribleness that was Frank McCourt’s incredibly poor, disadvantaged childhood in Ireland. We enjoyed digging through some biographies of what happened to Frank and his brother later in life. Some Lit Ladies actually admitted that they were curious enough to perhaps, gasp, read his follow-up memoirs. I was content enough with my research 🙂

OK. Something positive…Angela’s Ashes gives a very no-nonsense view of a very depressed era in Ireland.  I can appreciate that it’s one of the most interesting writing styles I’ve ever endured (not too positive). McCourt makes the voices and dialects and people very clear to the reader. Unfortunately, the monotony of this memoir got to me,and I just wanted to throw the book at the wall when I was done. Maybe too much of a good thing?

In closing, many reviews reference the humor of the memoir. They’ve got to be kidding? It is completely depressing. Perhaps the overbearing Catholic school teachers and fusty old family members would be funny if seen in the comedy sketches McCourt later performed on stage with his brother. In fact, we did laugh out loud in Book Club in retelling some of the occurrences (especially the chapter when “Typhoid Fever” was forbidden to talk through a wall to “Diphtheria”). But those lighter moments failed to bring any joy to the reading. Am I glad I read it? Only in the sense that it brought together a great Book Club session. Otherwise, I would really like those many hours back and cannot recommend it to any friend of mine.

Mingo Serves Up Great Italian Meal

Oct 26th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

I so look forward to my annual birthday dinner out with two of my closest girl friends. Some years I’m boring, but t his year I wanted to adventure to a new restaurant. We thought we’d try Mingo, a newer Italian restaurant in Beaverton.  Mingo served up an excellent Italian meal. I knew it was going to be hard to choose my meal, when I couldn’t even get pass the server’s report of the daily specials to  look at the menu!  I chose the daily special risotto with rosemary and flank steak. Oh so good. I cleaned my plate, much to Brian’s dismay. He was eagerly awaiting a leftovers box…oops.  The portions were nicely done. Very filling, but not overwhelming. Prices are right in there with the likes of Macaroni Grill, yet the experience is so much better. Smaller, more quaint, yet still hopping with people and energy. Next time, I go, and I will definitely eat there again, I will want to eat family style, so I can try more. The salmon, daily ravioli, squash soup all tempted me, but you can only eat or spend so much 🙂 If you decide to try Mingo, definitely make reservations. We had the last booth on a Tuesday night. Only one lonely table was left in the bar.