Saturday, January 29, 2011


A couple weeks ago while at Costco waiting to get new tires, I decided to buy a book to read just in case I had to sit for awhile. I figured I still had other repairs to get done on the van at another repair shop and wouldn't mind having a good book to take with me. I decided to buy the book "Matched" by Ally Condie. It's about a Utopian society. Other books I have read in this genre is The Giver by Lois Lowry, and The Hunger Games by Susan Collins.

In trying to keep an ideal society, the topic focused on in "Matched" is coming of age to be given a life partner. Each person can choose for themselves to remain single or to be matched. The government has people that analyze personalities in order to decide who to match with who. With several communities in their society, it is rare that the person being matched knows their new partner.

Cassia is the main character. She turns 17, which is the age they can be matched and received word that they have found a match for her. To everyone's surprise, her match is her childhood best friend! What could be better, right? But she soon discovers they had almost matched her with someone else. In fact, the other guy's picture shows up on her disc of information about her match. The rest of the book deals with Cassia's thoughts and emotions about the decision of her partner and whether or not their society is ideal with so many limitations. Cassia's grandfather leaves her with a secret, and Cassia discovers that many people she knows carry a secret that would cause trouble with the government. Is it fair that the government watches their every move and listens in on conversations.

The book is a real page turner, I rate it 5 stars! Sara snagged the book from me after the first 100 pages and we fought over it through the rest of the book. The cost of the book at Coscto was $11 and that is the same price amazon charges for the ebook. Sara convinced me it would have been much more effective to have it on ebook then we wouldn't need to fight over whose turn it is to read. So, this is the book that convinced me to buy a Kindle! I'd been thinking about getting myself one for a couple months anyway.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spanish Rice

I found this recipe in the cookbook my mom's ward put together many many years ago. It has been a family favorite ever since! I will caveat that I have altered the recipe for ease of my food storage! I have doubled the recipe and taken it to group get togethers and everyone loves it!

2 TBSP oil
1 cup rice

brown the rice in the oil, then add:

3 cups water
3 tsp chicken bullion
2 TBSP dry onions
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
dash of black pepper
8 oz can of tomato sauce

stir well, put lid on pan and let the rice simmer 'til it's done, about 20 min. on medium heat. It will still look like there's a little extra moisture when it's done. This is fine, otherwise it will burn.

I often put chicken breast cut into strips or bites right in with the rice and it cooks up very nicely.

The original recipe used 2 cans chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes, and 1/2 small onion chopped.

I serve this as a side dish, or with the chicken in it for the main dish, or with all the fixings for burritos or other Mexican cuisine! It's delicious!

"The Wednesday Letters"

I recently read "The Wednesday Letters" by Jason F. Wright. I picked it up at Seagull Book for a whopping $1.99 (I love a good deal)! And then I gave it to myself for Christmas. It's a story about an old couple who ran a Bed & Breakfast together and they die at the beginning of the story. As their children gather for funeral preparations, they discover there are boxes and boxes of letters in the attic. The husband promised when they got married to write his wife a letter every Wednesday. Some letters were very short due to lack of time, while other letters were long and personal. Other letters simply recapped things they had talked about or events that had passed during the week.

The farther they got into the boxes, the more surprises they found about their parents, who had been keeping a big secret through the years. The letters showed pain and sadness as they worked through very difficult times.

I'm not going to spoil the story for you. It's a good one. Mixed in with the letters and funeral planning are romance, adventure, mystery and sibling rivalries, yes, even as adults. I personally enjoyed the book very much and would give it four out of five stars! I enjoy relationships and how people react to each other so it was fun for me to see how everything plays out in the end. It's 280 pages and was a quick read.

If you'd like to read this novel, I'll gladly loan it to you! Just let me know.