Riffle – Let’s talk about it, shall we?

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I believe I’ve made it clear that I’m a big reader. I have, haven’t I? Right now I’m reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I know, I know,  I’m about 4 years behind everyone else. I read for fun every single day, without fail. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I never go anywhere without a book and if I don’t read before bed, I can’t fall asleep. I sound like a total nerd, right? Well it’s my lot in life and quite frankly, I think it’s pretty awesome. When I meet people who say they don’t read it’s like it doesn’t compute for me. I just don’t understand at all. Reading is essential to me. In fact, I would give up cooking and baking and eat pre-packaged meals for the rest of my life before I would ever give up reading. Take a moment to ponder that…yeah.

So anyway, my cousin Cress who is a librarian told me about this website called Riffle last year sometime and I’ve decided I want to make it a thing. I want people to like it. I want it to be popular. I want it to be the Facebook/Twitter for nerds like me. So, calling all nerds – go to Riffle, sign up, and follow me and a bunch of other cool people who love to read. I’m still learning how to use it but as far as I can tell it’s an easy way to keep track of books you’ve read, find new cool books to add to your must-read list, and see what other people think about the books you’re currently reading. Search for Maggie Hanson and you’ll find me there, making lists of The Best Books I Read in 2013 and Books to Read in 2014 and fun stuff like that. Do it, do it! You know you want to….

I’m also reading this:

PFMcoverThis lady is great. She’s been featured on NPR a lot and I’ve read two of her other books (Gulp & Bonk) and I love her comedic style. A comedy/science writer, who knew those existed?

So what’s everyone else reading? I’m always up for adding things to my 2014 list 🙂

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Ringing in the New Year with Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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So, no big deal but this is my 100th post. Actually it’s a little bit of a big deal. Just kinda. I started this blog as a late New Year’s resolution last year and I didn’t know how it would go. I had actually started it under a different name and with a different host site way back in 2010 and then only did 3 posts before it sat forgotten on a dusty shelf in internetland so I didn’t know if I would stick with it this time. Turns out that I did and I’m a little proud of that fact. I’ve never really liked anyone to read what I write (especially anything creative) but I’ve always enjoyed the process, so putting this out on the internet was a big step for me. Granted, it’s not like I have a HUGE readership but at least a few people read it and that feels like a big accomplishment. Joining the FFWD and the BWJ groups was such a good decision and I’ve been so happy to try new things foodwise and to meet new people through it. I can’t wait to get going on 2013’s baking and cooking adventures.

But let’s get real for a second. I work in retail and the holidays are…..shall we say draining? Then after the holidays comes the worst thing of all: inventory. It’s terrible because it takes forever and once you commit all the counts to the computer it tells you just how much people have shoplifted throughout the year and that is just depressing. De-fucking-pressing. The other night I came home after a 13-hour day of counting, counting counting only to find that the mac and cheese I had planned on eating had been consumed by another (naughty husband) and this basically happened:

Thankfully I did not kill him with a giant fork or anything and inventory is mostly over so yay! Last night I realized I hadn’t cooked anything for about a week and that just felt wrong. The other day my friend yummychunklet did a post about these cookies since she got the cookbook for Christmas and though I was a tired girl last night, they seemed very do-able (and delicious). I’ve babbled about how much I love this cookbook in a previous post so I’ll try to refrain but seriously everyone, just go get it. There is such great info in it and the recipes! Ooooooh the recipes! It basically makes me feel like this:

So to celebrate the new year and not be cliche and say you’re going on a diet, I vote that you buy yourself this cookbook. I bought myself the Joy the Baker cookbook the other day and I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can try something new. Happy New Year everybody and thanks for reading!

Pure Vanilla

So there’s this blog called Piece of Cake that I’ve been reading for about a year and seriously if you’re not reading it already, you need to start. Shauna is super witty, smart, and has great taste – as evidenced by her new cookbook Pure Vanilla. I got mine in the mail the other day and read it pretty much cover to cover. Honestly, it was really hard to decide what to try first. But since I had a loaf of bread to use up, I went with the Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding. And boy-howdy, was it a good decision.

I had it for dessert last night and breakfast this morning and I plan on finishing it tomorrow morning with my mint-mocha coffee. Yum! I think the next thing I try will definitely be the Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts…or the Vanilla Cloud Cake…or the Tres Leches Cake. See what I mean? It’s hard to decide. Not only is this thing chock-full of really tempting recipes, it also has super useful information as well. One of my favorite tips to amp up the vanilla flavor was to add the vanilla to the fats in a recipe ASAP which is kind of the opposite of most recipes I’ve read. Usually you’re instructed to add the vanilla right at the end and I’ve always wondered why. Turns out, adding it to the fat earlier intensifies the vanilla flavor. I guess some recipes might not want that, but all the ones in this book most certainly do!

So yeah, I think you all need this cookbook. Like now. I know I said I was going to eat it for breakfast tomorrow, but I hear that bread pudding calling my name from the fridge. If you’ll excuse me….