Shish Kabobs and New Jobs

Being a grown-up is hard sometimes. When are you officially considered “Grown-up” Anyways? I wouldn’t consider myself a full-fledge, black-coffee drinking, 9-5 working, suit strutting, grown up yet. I’m too young for that! I still enjoy running amok in grocery stores, and buying dripping ice cream cones covered in rainbow sprinkles. Everyone eventually grows up, and with that being said, one must pick out their nicest outfit and endure the frightful experience called the job interview.

I’ve worked since I was in high school in various jobs which I found to be both pleasing, and challenging. My first “real job” landed me in a retirement home kitchen at the age of 18. I was still in High School, and decided I needed a job to allow for growth of my culinary career. Starting as a waitress, I learned the name’s and favorite’s of the seventy-five residents who called this place their home. Gerry liked getting cheese omelets everyday because of his teeth, but Louise enjoyed poking fun at her husband as she nibbled on bits of carrot. Jean would hide her food in different containers at her table. I once found a piece of chicken stuffed inside of the salt shaker. I kept her table bare aside from her plate from that point forward.

After a month, I was granted reins to the kitchen, solely producing meals for the residents at night. I created my own menus and interviewed the residents about their favorite childhood meals. I loved seeing their reactions when I made Challah just as good as their mother’s. I had a resident sneak into the kitchen one night, as I was baking up some cookies. “Lyndsay, I wanted to thank you for making me that Challah last night. My mother used to make it every Friday night for us, and I’ve missed it dearly since moving here. It’s nice to have such sweet jewish girl in the kitchen now!”

I worked at the retirement home until I had started up my classes at the local college. I had run out of time in my schedule, and school was ( and always will be) my first priority. I started working for the restaurant at the school, and slowly became the front-of-house manager of the student run restaurant. When the restaurant moved into a larger location, I was moved back into the kitchen and worked on the line as expeditor and grill cook.

Not all jobs work out like you hope. When I was living in Oregon, I got a job with a local pizza guy who sold pizzas from a little street cart. I looked upon this new endeavor with hopes of making dough, sauces, and creating unique pizzas. The owner, on the other hand, saw me as a human to roll out 300 mini pizza doughs by hand. At the end of the first day my back was so sore, I could barely stand. I told the owner that I could not work in these physical conditions and he decided to not pay me for the 3 training days I had spend with him.

Another time I was hired on as a pastry chef at a new bakery. I was given the freedom to create whatever treats I wanted, but I realized I did not like working in bakeries. What irked me the most was the assumption that I wanted a full-time job. No. I wanted a part-time job because I was busy. Instead the owner relied tasks to me like I was a partner of the bakery…without the cash benefits. Her and I were the sole work-horses of the place,(With her half the time in the front of the shop) and at the time I was going through a severe bought of depression. I thought working with cookies and cakes would help me. It just made it worse. The thing that really ticked me off about the place was the owner’s husband. He would come in the back and stick his hands into everything I was working on, then change my music I was listening to, to christian rock. He would leave the room, I would change it back to my tunes. And I wasn’t listening to something obscene like Hip-hop or anything, I was listening to smooth jazz! Boom, he would walk in and switch the dial to christian rock. It drove me absolutely insane. I couldn’t handle the pressure of the job anymore and had to step down.

The other day I interviewed for an office position at a local children’s learning center. Although it’s not in the culinary field, I am reaching out to places I would love to work with. Somewhere with air-conditioning and a slower pace than a kitchen. I wanted to include a few interviewing tips for my fellow young adults:

7 Tips to Perfecting The Job Interview 

1.Research

Research the company and it’s main goals. Find out why you should apply to this company, rather than the other down the street. If any of your friends work there, ask their opinions on the place and take their options with a grain of salt. The lazy employee friend might not like the place, but it could be a perfect fit for you.

2. Revise Your Resume

Look over your resume and add any new skills you have acquired, or past jobs that highlight experiences that showcase the job at hand.

3. Be on Time

Always show up for interviews 15 minutes before your appointed time. It’s better to wait rather than to rush in flustered.

4. Bring Copies of your Resume

Bring a copy of your resume with you to your interview. You can refer to it throughout the interview.

5. Smile!

This one is the easiest! Smile throughout your entire interview; even if it is a phone interview. People will hire friendly employees over rude employees with good resumes.

6. Dress to Impress

Always arrive to both the picking up of an application, dropping off of an application, and interview in nice clothes. It does not need to be a suit, but a nice fitted outfit presents you as a good employee.

7. The Thank You Letter 

A week after the interview, send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you. This will surely keep you in the front of their mind when making decisions.

 

Ahh! Enough with the adult stuff— Here’s what you really like, food! 

My sister was really craving shish kebabs the other night, and I had to make some for her. We had went to this new meat market earlier in the day, and I was excited to add another CookBook Challenge under my belt … literally.

I decided to marinate the meat in a beer marinade courtesy of “Great Good Food” by Julee Rosso. This 575 page book contains a whopping amount of healthy recipes and ideas. Shish Kabob

The Kebab as a cooking method, derives from 17th century BCE in ancient Greece. It is said the soldiers would grill their meats on their swords over a cooking fire.

This marinade coats the meat in a tenderizing liquid, making the steak juicy and tender. I paired the meat with an assortment of vegetables and a side of rice.

Beer Marinated Shish Kabobs

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients

1 pound Sirloin Steak, cut into cubes

1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard

1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 Cup Beer ( I used Corona)

1/4 Cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons chopped Tarragon

Freshly Ground Pepper

Assorted Vegetables to Grill ( I used Zucchini, Tomato, Mushrooms, and Peppers)

Method

  1. Mix Marinade ingredients together in large ziploc bag, large enough to hold meat and marinade. Add Meat and marinade in fridge for 1-2 hours
  2. Thread the meat and vegetables onto skewers, alternating colors and textures.
  3. Prepare grill for cooking.
  4.  Cook the skewers on the grill for 8-10 minutes, turning accordingly.

This recipe was provided by Great Good Food, Julee Rosso. 

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. — Confucius

lyndsay paige

Advertisements

50 Shades of Chicken

As many of you know: I own a ton of cookbooks. { See cookbook challenge here}. One of my favorites was given to me last Christmas by my friend Dom. I had just finished reading “50 Shades of Grey” (More on that later), and was really excited when I unwrapped the book “Fifty Shades of Chicken” Not only does is include 50 mouth-watering chicken dishes, it is so much fun to read! Some of the intros to the recipes just kill me!

Penned by FL Fowler (so punny) Fifty Shades of Chicken evokes readers to submit themselves over to their love of the chicken. As the chicken poses nude (Gasp!) It’s owner performs different recipes on it like: Popped-Cherry Pullet, Extra-Virgin Breasts, and Thighs spread wide. I kid you not, I was laughing out loud when I read the names of the recipes. This is not a family cookbook.

I read 50 Shades of Grey a few months ago, and truthfully, I do not see what all the hype was about. I felt very on-edge the entire time I read the book, like I was being possessed by a male figure. At the time, I was in a rotten relationship, and he was very possessive of me. He felt the need to always be with me, and only with me. I felt indifferent. I had a family , and other friends to tend to. I consider myself to be an independent individual; a woman who can fend for herself if she needs to. An educated woman with a flourishing path filled with dreams and aspirations. He wanted to settle down, and I wanted to run free. It didn’t last long, but the relationship taught me about myself, and what I wanted. So when I read 50 Shades, and I hated the character, Christian. So did I really foresee in this book the beginning of the end of my relationship? I’ll never know.

All I know for sure is, “50 Shades of Grey” has finally released it’s movie trailer:

Will I see this in theaters? Probably.

I’ve made a couple of recipes from the book already, and I finally photographed the product semi-profesh. The lighting was finally on my side ( We ate dinner at a normal hour, compared to our usual dinner time of 9 pm) and I am getting better at finding angles. Any suggestions regarding photography would be appreciated.

“Into the bowl” he commands, ripping a sheet from a packet of foil. “I don’t do vanilla. I’ve never done vanilla. But tonight we’re doing vanilla.” — 50 Shades of Chicken, page 16

Just reading it makes me blush.

I was really excited to use this recipe because I had everything already in the house. I paired this meal with steamed baby potatoes and garlic scented kale.50 Shades of Chicken

 Doesn’t that bird look absolutely appetizing?!

Roast Chicken with Brandy-Vanilla Butter

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons Butter, softened

1 Tablespoon Brandy

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 (31/2-4 lb) Chicken, patted dry with paper towels.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to a hot 400’f. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, brandy, vanilla, sugar, salt, and pepper. The mixture will look curdled, but whisk farther and it will come together.
  2. Slap the mixture on the chicken and massage the butter into the crevices. Do not forget to add some of the butter into the body cavity.
  3. Place the chicken on a roasting rack, or roasting pan and cook until thigh juices run clear. This took about 1 hour and 20 minutes for me. Take out of the oven, and let the chicken rest for ten minutes before devouring.

This recipe was provided by 50 Shades of Chicken. FL Fowler. 2012 Clarkson Potter. 

 

Instead of Vanilla extract, I chose to use vanilla bean paste, which added a richer flavor; plus it contains those attractive vanilla seeds. Vanilla Bean Paste

I also opted to use Brady I had gotten on my trip to Paris. I love how the bottle is in the shape of the Eiffel Tower!

Brandy

Overall, the recipe itself is relatively easy; perfect for a date night with a significant other. 

 

My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five year old — E.L. James, 50 Shades of Grey

lyndsay paige

Seize The Night

I am a total fan of freebies. Samples, coupons, you name it. So when Houseparty.com asked me to host a party to advertise a new beverage, I couldn’t help but type, “YES!” into the text box.

HouseParty.com is a website designed to promote products/brands in the means of “word-of-mouth” marketing. It’s simple to sign up for, and above all: its fun! I signed up to host a party provided by Desperados — A tequila flavored beer. Although beer and tequila are not my favorite, I decided to give it a go and try it out with my friends. (All over 21+ of course)

#Seizethenight Houseparty.com provided me and my guests with teeshirts, sunglasses, temporary tattoos, (which were more on the permanent side, we couldn’t get them off!) and a gift card to buy party supplies– such as the beer and some snacks. Since Desperados had a mexican feel about it, I felt a mexican fiesta would fit perfectly with the party. I was so tempted to buy a piñata just because I haven’t smacked one in a while; and it fit the theme.

My menu included: chips and a dip my friend Kim made– which was super yummy, sangrias, desperados beer, and shredded chicken tacos with all the fixings. For dessert I decided to make home-made Churros.

Churros

The making of the churros was quite simple, and I found a recipe from Rockin’ Robin at Cooking Mexican Recipes. It’s essentially a modified pate a choux recipe deep fried then rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Whenever I am at a Theme park, I usually buy one of those tasty, soft churros from the cart. It’s nice to make these delicious treats at home– without the crowds of people lining up to buy them.

Churros

 

This recipe uses brown sugar, which gives it a great molasses flavor. We couldn’t help but eat the whole batch! I recommend eating these right away, otherwise they can get a little soggy.

Churros

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, depending on taste

Instructions

Preheat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan to 375 degrees F. In a separate dish mix the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

In a 3 qt. sauce pan add the water, brown sugar, salt, and butter and heat to a good boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stirring in the flour will take some muscle. Mix it in until well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla together and then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until well blended and all the egg is completely mixed in.

Fill your decorating bag with the churro recipe dough and attach the largest star tip you have.

Test your oil by placing a small amount of dough in it. The dough should bubble up right away.

Once the oil is hot enough, squeeze some dough into the oil about 4 inches long. I used my finger to release the dough from the star tip.

You should be able to cook 4 or 5 churros at a time. Cook them about 1 minute and turn them over with a slotted spoon. Cook an additional minute or two. You’re looking for that nice golden brown color.

Remove the churros with the slotted spoon and place them on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath.

While still warm, roll each churro into the dish with the sugar and cinnamon until coated.

Recipe inspired by Cooking-Mexican-Recipes.com

#Seizethenight

I am not fan of beer. Disagree all you want, I can’t stand the taste. Give me a nice cider or a glass of wine and I’ll be happy. Or even a nice liquor based drink and I’ll be singing my praises…literally (Mojitos are my absolute favorite!) So when I tried Desperados tequila flavored beer, I didn’t have high hopes for the taste. I first smelled the beer– my family always makes fun of me because I examine my food before I eat it, or in this case drink it. It smelled a little strong, but I mustered up my courage and took a sip. It was sweet, with a beer high note, and finishing off with a smooth aftertaste. I would drink it if I had too, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. The rest of the night I nursed my glass of citrus sangria, munching on churro bites, and socializing with my friends.

He was a wise man who invented beer. – Plato

lyndsay paige

When Goals do not go as Planned

Two years ago, on July 10th 2012, You would have found me in a long winding line at the casting office at Walt Disney World, awaiting my fate. I cannot believe it’s already been two years since my Culinary Internship experience at Walt Disney World, because it seems like it was just yesterday I was meeting my new roommates, and training at my new job.

I had learned about the program during my high school culinary classes. During our senior year, we were required to present a report regarding a secondary learning institution regarding culinary arts. I was hooked when I read through the brochures and surfed the web, deciphering all the information I could find. I created a goal for myself: That I was going to intern at Walt Disney World.

A week after my high school graduation I started attending summer classes at Cascade Culinary Institute– a school I would earn my degree from two years later. I signed up for a wedding cake decorating course and fell instantly in love with my school. Our small class sizes promoted one-on-one peer and instructor learning. I became friends with my teachers and my fellow classmates quite easily; each class was four hours long, four days a week for a month and a half. I loved my culinary school with such vigor, I applied myself to extra activities such as: social media director of the junior ACF club , and an active participant in various competitions. I had a plan since high school: Graduate culinary school and intern at Disney.

Student Chef

ACF Student Chef of the Year 2012

One truth I have to share with culinary students looking to apply to Disney: 9/10 participates do not work in fine dining. You know, the dining that was stuffed into our brains during our stay at culinary school. I worked in my school’s restaurant for two years, and was nominated as a student chef of the year by the ACF in 2012. I was one of the four students to be given this recognition of the western thirteen states. I was beyond excited to work in a restaurant at disney, working on the line and prepping for fantastic chefs. Instead I told them I would be open to work with quick-service. I just wanted to make a good impression and get to Disney. When I heard I was working in quick-service, I was devastated. I knew I wouldn’t be working at a fun, fancy restaurant, but at least I was still at Disney.

When my family and I had moved down to Florida from Oregon, my grandfather had been living here for a few months, soaking up the sun and flirting with all the ladies. A few weeks into my program, my grandfather passed away. My grandfather was my culinary hero; he taught me how to make caesar salad from scratch ( with anchovies!) and crepes. We would sit together and watch the food network together, while flipping through the pages of Cooks Illustrated. I miss him dearly. It’s still surreal when we receive mail to his name; like he’s on a long vacation.

I worked at All-Stars for a month and a half diligently, making burgers and baking muffins. I was surprised to find out I was selected to work at Epcot for their food and wine festival. I was completely overjoyed. I had met friends at All-Stars, but I was never challenged food-wise. I was challenged everyday production wise — breading 2 cases of chicken breast a night in an hour– but I never left work feeling fulfilled in the terms of making a great dish.

I started out working in Epcot in the country’s booths. During our orientation however, I got severely dehydrated and overheated from standing in the direct heat. I still wasn’t used to the florida weather compared to that of Oregon. A few days later I was working and it happened again. I kept getting tunnel vision, and would break out in severe sweats. This job was making me sick, and I wound up seeing a doctor, who advised me to seek a different job setting. I called the head chef and set up a meeting, and was thankful he saw potential in me to continue working. They placed me in the production kitchen (air-conditioned!) and I found my new calling; this is where I needed to be.

Rock Harper The production kitchen produced all of the food and drinks for the food and wine festival. It also ran the celebrity chef parties on certain nights. I was in heaven. I met friends, and challenged myself daily making new recipes and preparing a wide variety of dishes. I met some great people, and awed at the celebrity chefs who visited. Some friendly, ( Michael Voltaggio is a babe!) and some not so friendly (Andrew Zimmern was so rude!). Earlier in the year I had met Rock Harper, Hell’s Kitchen winner, at my student chef of the year competition. He had told me he was working at Epcot for a party and to get in contact with him during that time. I got to work with him during a “Taste of the Senses” party, which happened to be a huge highlight of the program for me.

After the food and wine festival was over, I was sent to Chef Mickey’s to work the buffet line. My entire schedule had changed to mornings, where my food and wine schedule for the past months had been late night shifts. My friends had left. My new boyfriend was moving back home. I spiraled into a depression and I terrified myself one night, sitting in my room contemplating what to do with my life. I called up my parents crying and went home for a few days to recuperate. I decided my time at disney had been fulfilled, and that I would no longer benefit anything from working at Chef Mickeys. I was in a dark place, and I always have pulls of regret not finishing my program fully. Most programs are 3-4 months, however my program was to last 9 months. I lasted 5 months before I quit my time short. I spend the day with my family at Animal Kingdom and moved out the next day. I became isolated from my other friends that were still on their programs for another three weeks — mainly my roommates whom I never got to spend enough time with. We had completely different schedules and I feel like I had different goals during this program than they did. I looked at the program as my career first, fun second. I was trying to grow up faster than I needed to. I pressured myself to be the best, and was let down when I looked upon as a failure when I quit, even when I needed to for my mental well-being. Although that depression took a little while to let go of, I finally got rid of it when I started back at school. I knew my education was not done yet, and I guess this was the universe telling me to further my education and go to a University; a school that I had never even thought I could attend because of anxiety problems.

Looking back now, I would have never been where I am now if it wasn’t for the Disney Culinary Program. I would have never moved to Florida, and I would have never taken a few months off to reevaluate my life goal. I began writing about my experiences and felt happy when I finished reading a great story, or wrote a fun article.

Today I am happy; which means the world to me. I am pursuing a different goal, a goal which suits me better both mentally and physically. I can challenge myself with words and phrases, making the story the best it can be. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” And by pursuing new goals, I am happy.

lyndsay paige

Cauliflower Linguini

It’s summertime in Florida! Which means rain, rain, and more rain. It’s been absolutely boring lately– I’m in an online writing class, but other than that, I’ve got my summer free. My mother, brother, and I took a trip to the farmer’s market the other day to get some fresh fruits and veggies. The market is home to a variety of farm animals including: goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, and donkeys. I wanted to say “hello” to the goats and kneeled down next to the fence. A goat ran up to the fence and instantly sputtered its lips, drenching me in spit. Then it’s demon eyes stared into my soul. According to medieval folklore, goats were seen as the devil. And I think they were right about this one.

We moved on to the pigs and fed them peanuts, watching the jowls spit out the hulls.

At the food side of the market I picked up a nice head of cauliflower. I’ve only had it in a mixed vegetable medley, but decided I would make a meat-less entree for that night’s dinner.

I had received Molto Gusto by Mario Batali as a gift for a birthday. All of his recipes are basic, and follow the italian culture of food; let the fresh ingredients speak for themselves. Everyone knows Mario for his bright orange crocs and likable smile. Don’t hate on the croc until you work in a kitchen twelve hours a day. Those puppies helped my back throughout culinary school. He currently co-hosts on “The Chew” one of my favorite foodie talk shows.

Cauliflower

 

Cauliflower is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and vitamin B6. Providing digestive support and anti-inflammatory benefits. This recipe utilizes the whole cauliflower; including the core and the green leafy exterior.

Cauliflower

This recipe originally called for penne pasta, but I had some linguini noodles on hand instead. And by linguini I meant half a box of linguini and half a box of spaghetti. Nothing says lazy than two different pastas.

Cauliflower

 

This dish is filling, without that bloated down, ” I just ate my weight in noodles”. I was curious what a ragu is classified as, and found out the dictionary defines it as a meat based sauce. So not a “technical” ragu, this cauliflower sauce packs flavor to the pasta without a heavy sauce.

Linguini with Cauliflower Ragu

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-in. dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. linguini
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs, sautéed in 1 tbs. olive oil until golden brown
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Halve cauliflower. Remove leaves and cut out core and reserve. Cut cauliflower into small bite-size florets, reserving stalks. Chop core, leaves, and stalks.
  2. Combine oil, onion, garlic, and cauliflower core, leaves, and stalks in large pot, season with sea salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until leaves are just beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are just tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower florets, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup water and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is almost falling apart, 22 to 25 minutes. Add butter, stirring gently until it melts; season well with sea salt. Remove from heat.
  4. Bring 6 quarts water to boil in large pot and add 3 tbs. kosher salt. Drop in pasta and cook until just al dente.
  5. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/3 cup pasta water. Add pasta and 1/3 cup reserved water to ragu. Toss over medium heat until pasta is well coated (add more pasta water to thin sauce). Stir in cheese.
  6. Transfer pasta to serving bowl, sprinkle with bread crumbs and rosemary, and serve with additional grated cheese. Serves 6.

Recipe inspired by Molto Gusto Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner 

The passion of the Italian or the Italian-American population is endless for food and lore and everything about it. – Mario Batali

lyndsay paige

June Reading

 

I love to read. When I get hooked into a book, I can sit in the same spot for hours immersed in the altered reality the book provides for me. Here are the books I read in June.

june books

 

-12 Years a Slave-

I borrowed this book from the University library one day while I was browsing their general section. I have yet to see the movie, but I am assuming it is as heart-breaking as the book. This gut-renching tale is of a free man getting sold to slavery in the 1800’s.

According to Goodreads: “Solomon Northup was a free-born African American from Saratoga Springs, New York. He is noted for having been kidnapped in 1841 when enticed with a job offer. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him into slavery. From Washington, DC, he was transported to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner from Rapides Parish, Louisiana. After 12 years in bondage, he regained his freedom in January 1853”

At some points, the written language of the book is confusing to read, but it adds an authenticity to the memoir.

Last summer, I visited a plantation in North Carolina, and walked along the same dirt paths as they had. It was an emotional experience, and I suggest its one everyone should experience.

 

-Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief-

This is my current Textbook for my Creative Writing course. It provides great examples and concrete terms to guide the reader through the text.

According to Goodreads: “How can students with widely varied levels of literary experience learn to write poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama — over the course of only one semester? In Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief, David Starkey offers some solutions to the challenges of teaching the introductory creative writing course: (1) concise, accessible instruction in literary basics; (2) short models of literature to analyze, admire and emulate; (3) inventive and imaginative assignments that inspire and motivate”

I like the ideas the textbook provide; ideas to brainstorm ideas, to methods to write poetry.

 

-Gone Girl-

THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC. This physiological thriller was glued to my hands; I could not put it down. My sister is currently finishing this book up. Hayley can you read it faster so we can gossip about the characters!? 

According to Goodreads:On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?”

As a Goodreads 2012 Choice, It’s a prize-winning book full of thought provoking commentary on the psychology  of relationships — and how much you know your partner.

I heard some gossip that this novel is in the works of becoming a film, and low-and-behold there is a preview! Enjoy:

 

I do hope this movie adds up to the emotional outpour of the novel. Although all book lovers know: The books is always better than the movie. 

 

-On Writing-

This was one of my required readings for my Theory of Creative Writing Class during the first 5 weeks of my summer classes. I had read only one of Stephen King’s books : 11/22/63, and loved his style of writing. Although lengthy — 11/22/63 contained over 600 pages, I flew through the story enjoying the writing and the character development.

This book, however was a memoir and writing class all bundled into one. I learned the struggles King endured, and the persistence he had to publish his writing.

According to Goodreads:Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 — and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, “On Writing” will empower and entertain everyone who reads it — fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told

I’ll be posting soon an update of my July books soon. I haven’t gone to the library in a few days, and I’m itching to pick up another novel. I am open to  suggestions, and would love to hear your favorite summer reads.

lyndsay paige