PPS: Breakfast Cookies- Bread and Wine – Shauna Niequist

PPS: Breakfast Cookies-  Bread and Wine -  Shauna Niequist

Breakfast Cookies at Cowaramup, Easter 2013.


I made these delicious, easy to make, sugar free breakfast cookies from  Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist  for Angela, Jason and Rachel when they came to stay at Easter ( the dogs loved them too!) This is a recipe that can easily be adapted – add your own favorite nuts or dried fruit – dried cranberries and white chocolate for a decadent touch!

I dont think I will have the time to try the toffee before they leave.





Do You Feel that your Life is on “Shuffle”?

Busy, today in fact the past few days have been busy.  Does your life resemble an mp3/4 player on shuffle – a little bit of this and a bit of that? Reading….blogging, book reviewing and making an awesome beef and eggplant curry (yes you guessed it we have a glut of eggplant at the moment), a bit of housework…a bit of eating, drinking coffee….and relaxing in the sunshine. Perfect. I like this sort of busy.

Tomorrow – time to make pasta sauce – it is very satisfying work making your own sauces, jams, pickles and is a really great way to use up that fridge full of home grown fresh produce.

My Pasta Sauce has no exacting recipe – the most important part is making sure you use a really large pan to cook the sauce in- too often have I been caught out with overflowing saucepans , having underestimated the need of my ingredients. Take on large pan, add a good slug of EVO, some roughly diced onions ( 3 or 4), 1 or 2 roughly diced capsicums, a few cloves of  crushed garlic, cook till onions are translucent and then a few kilos of skinned chopped tomatoes  and a pinch or two of salt and sugar, (you can even add a few diced eggplant if you have them handy). Let mixture come to the boil and then simmer till reduced, lid off, stirring occasionally –this process usually takes a few hours. This sauce is delicious as a pizza base, as a pasta sauce or add some chili and a some cooked beans and you a yummy bean dip or a vegetarian bean mains to have with rice.

Books: I have been very pleasantly distracted by my ebook reader these past few days, I am always on the hunt for a new author to follow, a new world to immerse myself in and this I found in two very different reads; The Bitch Called Hope by Lily Gardner ( I have an advance copy)- a book I could not put down. And Then Go Straight Forward by Bill Johnstone – another murder/mystery written from the perspective of the investigative journalist. My reviews follow.

A Bitch Called Hope – Lily Gardner

ISBN: 9781938120978

Synopsis (Diversion Books)

A Bitch Called Hope is the poker term for drawing the queen-eight in Texas Hold ‘Em. There’s not enough luck in the world to build a winning hand with those cards, but it’s so tempting to try.

Meet Lennox Cooper. She’s a smart poker player, a smart detective, but she’s got issues. A year ago her affair with a married cop got her fired from the Portland Police. Now she’s trying to build a new life as a private investigator, but all she’d landed so far are surveillance gigs.

The murder of a wealthy developer gives her a chance to re-establish herself as a homicide detective. During the course of the investigation she meets Mr. Right. Only problem, he’s on the short list of suspects. Lennox bets on her lover’s innocence. The odds aren’t much better than drawing A Bitch Called Hope.

My View:

The title drew me in– the poker  reference had me intrigued and I was not disappointed. What a ride! What a hand Lennox Cooper had drawn! A roller coaster ride of action and intrigue, violence mixed in with the humanity of human failings and the universal need for love. Lennox Cooper is a modern day Kinsey Millhone – she is gutsy, heroic, smart, good at her job; the woman just needs a break and Mr Right.

This novel is a well crafted, a fast paced explosion of action and drama. I didn’t guess the killer. I didn’t guess the ending. I didn’t put the book down till I had reached the (almost) satisfying end.  What a debut novel. I cannot wait for the next book and to follow Lennox Cooper on her next adventures. Lily Gardner where have you been hiding?

Then Go Straight Forward – Bill Johnstone

ISBN: 9781478397236

Synopsis (Provide by Amazon/Createspace)

The shooting of two apparently innocent tourists on vacation in northern Florida and a fire in a wealthy neighbourhood of Washington, DC are two seemingly unconnected incidents. However, they prove to be strands in a mysterious pattern involving organized crime, a children’s charity, the clergy and a dead security agent. Together they trigger an investigation by journalist Mike McCabe whose news instincts determine he follows the clues to the bitter end. The book is the sequel to another Mike McCabe adventure, White Collar Option.

My View:

Johnstone weaves an intricate tale of murder, arson and intrigue which at first is a little confusing and dislocate.  I had to force myself to read past the opening chapters – these read like mini books, I could not connect the dots….could not weave the strands together.   Perseverance paid off, suddenly I found myself engrossed and reading fervently; the pace increased, the story unfolded smoothly and all became clear. I finally engaged with the story and enjoyed the book from that point on.

What are you reading now – anything worth recommending? I prefer contemporary thriller/crime and am not adverse to perhaps a little paranormal in the mix and a glass (or two) of fresh cool Sav Blanc to lubricate the mind as one reads. 🙂

Me to You

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Carol and I live in a wine growing region in the south of Western Australia.  It is a beautiful location and the lifestyle is relaxed and peaceful. Here I have more time for me; I am transitioning into retirement.

More time for me is something we all aspire to have one day and for me that one day is now. It has been an interesting transition; it has taken some adjusting to the different perspective of time and how to use that time. It has been difficult to walk away from the constant lure and beckoning of the computer screen and that potential new project and spend time doing other things, finding other things to do with my time.   

Broadly speaking Me Time means I can read (and read and read to my heart’s content), cook (not just the sustenance foods of the everyday meal but slow cooking, cooking for pleasure, cooking to explore ingredients, cooking to take advantage of our bountiful fresh home grown produce; making pasta sauces, pesto, beetroot chocolate cakes, curries….whatever takes my fancy) and of course drinking wine – so many to choose from. It is time to explore and discover some of the many great local wineries in this region and later to pack up that caravan we are going to buy and visit some of the wine growing regions of the Eastern States.  Bob the Dog will love these adventures, he already has acclimatised to camping and loves the adventure (and the beaches, and the walks and sleeping on our bed). 🙂 

So bon appétit, cheers and let’s get reading! I look forward to sharing more of life’s little pleasures with you soon.