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Book Club Brunch

Book Club Brunch

In May, the monthly (ish) book club I’m a part of decided to add brunch to its menu. Personally, I thought it was a fabulous idea.

What is unique about our book club is that no one dictates what anyone reads. It’s a free for all. We all read whatever we feel like and then we get together and tell the others what we loved, hated, and everything in between, about the books we read since we saw everyone last. I think this format works well when you have a group of friends who like to read, but aren’t all obsessed with a genre (Twilight, romance, Sci-Fi, etc.). I’ve been a part of many book clubs with different measures of success and this one stresses me out the least, since I don’t have to go along with the pace of the other readers at all. Prior I would read the book really fast and then forget what it was about by the time we met again or I couldn’t finish it, so I felt guilty about going and just listening in on the conversation.

Books aside, the brunch aspect was great. We had quite a collection of foods, from bagels to quiche and fruit to crock pot French toast. Eric made us lattes, which was nice touch, and, of course, there were mimosas.

Baby Bea listened intently, as she realized just how intriguing book talk can be. I’m looking forward to meeting again soon as I’ve been pretty busy reading this month—everything from Fifty Shades of Grey (decidedly overrated) to My Life (so far) Without a Date (pretty amusing).

Cheers to readin’ and brunchin’!

 

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Homemade Pasta is Always Best!

11042282043_3c26c6e091_oBy Tiffany Young

After Bird’s Barbershop’s Besties Party, my friends and I weren’t ready to say goodbye, so Eric & Lisa invited Christine and I over to make handmade pasta at their place with their little one, Bea. To be honest Baby Bea did not make a lot of pasta, but she was a fun addition to the night of playing games, eating and enjoying each others’ company.

Lisa had already made the dough, so the hard part was over. We used her new pasta maker for the first time, via trial and error. Lisa gave us the challenge: We could either watch Baby Bea or we could figure out how to use the pasta machine. Not feeling up to the challenge of caring for a small child, we decided using the pasta maker would be our challenge for the night. I don’t think either one would have been that challenging, but I tend to feel more comfortable in the kitchen than with bodily functions.

We immediately took to YouTube to get things started. This was the best one we found:

It was a little challenging not getting the pasta to stick together at first, but then we learned to add more flour than we thought to keep it from sticking. It turned out beautifully! Eric did the actual cooking part, chopping up mushrooms and sauteing garlic to make a traditional alfredo sauce: http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/The-Real-Alfredo.

 

He made two batches–one without mushrooms and one with. They were both delicious.

Hanukkah With Rock Love Austin

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah and we got a super-sweet invite to Rock Love Austin‘s Hanukkah party.

Previously, I had attended a Messianic Synangogue but had never spun a dreidel or had latkes.

Let me tell you, if you have never had a latke before, you are missing out! Our host, Zack, made latkes with traditional sides of sour cream or apple sauce. Latkes are splendid little potato pancakes made with onions, flour and egg. Zack went with the staple brand Carmel and they were superb.

Our hostess, Caitlin made a delicious Dr Pepper cake.  This cake, filled with Dublin Dr Pepper, is moist and has a thick layer of frosting. The recipe is on super-secret lockdown but I highly recommend you making this cake for your next party (Tiffany: You can get the box from Dublin Dr Pepper).

Zack and Caitlin created the perfect atmosphere. Zack had spent the previous week creating the perfect playist of 50 Hana songs aptly titled, Chanukah Playlist! For the Jews and their Goy friends on Spotify. Zack lit the Menorah for the first day of Hanukkah and rallied the troops to spin the dreidel. You will quickly find that I take driedel spinning quite serious. That’s what happens when you get competitive!