Sunday, December 04, 2022

Sunday Salon #HolidayMovies #Books

Hello and happy Sunday!  I had a lovely break from blogging and  no regrets quitting social media. It's finally gotten brisk enough here to wear my favorite coats and we have been able to walk a bit more.  Today I thought I would catch up with Sunday Salon and chat about movies and books.


 One of my favorites, and also one we haven't watched in a couple years, is It's a Wonderful Life. It's old and corny but I love George Bailey.  He's always had love, respect and support it but it took Clarence to to give him a different perspective.

Love, Actually has unrealistic situations and outcomes yet I look forward to it every year.  Also every year Doug and I say we could live in that cottage in France.

Die Hard - how can we not watch both Die Hard movies with Christmas settings? We like action movies and this is a pizza night movie for sure.

The books I've enjoyed recently are

Lost for Words Bookshop featuring a bookshop in York England (how could I resist that one) 4.5 stars
Foster by Claire Keegan - the setting is rural Wexford Ireland. 5 stars  

I abandoned The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex.  It sounded interesting about the mystery of the three Scottish lighthouse keepers who disappeared without a trace.  It's still a mystery, no one knows what happened the men. Be Warned:  There is animal abuse which I discovered would be fairly graphic so, nope....I stopped reading. 
I'm mentioning this in case that's a deal breaker for anyone so you don't invest time in the begining chapters.

The highlighted links go to my Goodreads accounts with the reviews.

Linking up with Deb at Readerbuzz for Sunday Salon.

Friday, December 02, 2022

Chicken Gnocchi Soup from Pantry items

Hello world.  I took a break from blogging for a bit and decided December was a good time to  get back to it.  Honestly, I thought I'd just abandon the site but found I missed some components of this virtual socialization.  

That said I still tried out a few new recipes and stayed active in the kitchen. I've been reading quite a bit, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking bread and things like that.

Here are a few things I prepared and remembered to snap a photo.

These crab cakes are a treat. We don't have them too often but when we do, I always ask Doug to make cheese grits.  I didn't grow up with grits and instantly fell in love with them when I tried them back in the 1980's.

Recently I made Outback bread (recipe Here) This bread is yeasty and hearty.  As it makes two loaves I freeze one.   When my son lived nearby I'd give him the extra loaf. 

I also experimented with a gnocchi based soup recipe.  "Recipe" below....

I had about 8 ounces of uncooked leftover boneless chicken so I cut that into small pieces.  Browned the chicken in a bit of olive oil then set aside.

Tipped some chopped onions and white mushrooms into the pan and cooked until soft.  Add the chicken back in, salt, pepper, oregano and roughly 3 cups of broth.  
Add a package of gnocchi and let simmer about 15 minutes.

Take a measuring cup and scoop out some broth, then add a bit of cornstarch mixing well.  Tip that broth back into the pan and your soup will thicken.  

That's it.  Simple and hardly any measuring.  The Outback bread went well with it.  Also I  tossed a small amount of fresh Parmesan over the soup once served. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Take a Break


I'm going to read, watch the birds, go camping, try new recipes, play Wordle, do jigsaw puzzles and see where that takes me. 

I'll see you later on!

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Sunday Salon - Did you turn back your clocks? 🕰

It's that time of year when the clocks get turned back.  Messing with our time and causing me aggravation trying to change the clock in the car. I just wish they'd pick one time and leave it there.

Social media changes / I'm no longer on any of it.  I did have Instagram for awhile but took umbrage with a privacy issue.  The only one left which I previously enjoyed was Twitter.  After 7 years I have deleted my account there as well.  So.....just blogspot, LibraryThing and Goodreads for me :-)

Kitchen happenings / This past week I posted about an Apple and Honey Rice Kugel which did not work out for me. I will stick with the Moosewood Collective noodle kugels in the future. Trying a chicken stew recipe from Taste of Home this week.

Tech stuff / I posted a request for suggestions on how to add a separate URL to this blog so I may keep my book chat separate.  So far I can't figure it out and suspect I will just post about books one day a week. If you have any suggestions please read this post and let me know!

Books / I finished these two in the past 9 days:  Secrets Between Friends and The Lost English Girl. I also had two DNF titles and have now moved on to Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea as recomended by Jackie McGuinness

Amusing Daylight Saving video - Click HERE - the end is what happens to me every time!

Linking with Deb at Readerbuzz for Sunday Salon.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Book Chat #NetGalley

Here are two books I recently received from NetGalley.  Eventually I will figure out what day to do book posts but for now, it's a Friday event. 

Secrets Between Friends by Tracy Buchanan

What attracted me to this book was the old house, a murderous secret between friends and the setting in Cornwall.  Sounded a bit like a Kate Morton vibe.

Liz and Tasmin are from very different worlds socially and economically but became very good friends in their early teens.  There is a murder, that's the opening scene, and eventually Tasmin moves away.  Fast forward 20 years and Tasmin is now back.  Liz works as a postie delivering mail  They reconnect, both knowing the secret which can ruin them both.

I think I am probably in the minority on this but I didn't love the book.  I grew bored with the plot and felt the character development could have been better. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced readers copy of this novel.  This was published October 25, 2022 by Amazon Publishing U.K. Genre: General Fiction, Woman's Fiction and Mystery/Thrillers.

The Lost English Girl by Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly never lets me down with a good historical fiction. The year is 1935 in Liverpool England. Vivien Byrne is an 18 year old pregnant Catholic girl and about to marry a 19 year old Jewish musician.  If you want to really hate on a character please read this book as Viv's mother is deplorable.  She casts judgement and looks down on everything that isn't Catholic and "proper," is manipulative and ...just awful!

I had much empathy for Viv's situation and very much liked the character development of her Jewish in-laws.  This is the second book I have read recently which mentions the evacuation of children during WW II.  Vivian's daughter was relocated and there are some twists about that situation which come near the end.

The setting, characters and writing kept me reading. 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copyadvanced readers copy of this novel.  This will be published March 7, 2023 by Gallery Books.  Genre: Historical Fiction.

Linking up with

Joy's Book Blog for British Isles Friday

Marg at The Intrepid Reader for the 2022 Historical Reading Challenge

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Help requested with blogspot, please :-)

Does anyone know how to merge two blogs?  Here's what I hope for but can't figure it out.


One domain, two URLs, separate content displayed in each blog.

Clear as mud?  While I didn't want to keep up with two different sites and so have abandoned Turn the Page  - I would like to keep my book natterings separate from the life/foodie content.

What I'd like is to import the book site URL to a separate tab at the top of Squirrel Head Manor.  The adding a page option doesn't allow for individual posts, just a long running single page. 

I'd like to post about books but have it publish to the bookish "tab" and not appear on this site.

Anyone have any ideas to keep this blogspot URL and do some sort of redirect for a different URL right here on Squirrel Head Manor?  On a tab? Perhaps this is not possible.

Any advice would be apreciated!!

In the meantime, until I can figure this out I will try and limit bookish things to one single day here.  

Sunday Salon #HolidayMovies #Books

Hello and happy Sunday!  I had a lovely break from blogging and  no regrets quitting social media. It's finally gotten brisk enough here...