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Calzones and a New Blender

December 9, 2009

This morning our 9-year-old blender died.  Normally I would say that a 9 year run was pretty decent for any appliance but we’ve used it only about 15 times in those 9 years.  Krups, I am not impressed.  Anyway, after much cursing and banging on the blender in hopes it would miraculously blend the smoothie I was planning to drink this morning, I finally faced the fact that violence wasn’t going to get me breakfast.  

After school today Maya and I braved the depths of Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a new blender.  The store near us is the size of a Costco times 2.  I can’t imagine how they track inventory because they sell every single thing in the world.  LIFO?  FIFO?  I have no idea but I feel for the inventory control people at their store.  Anyway its a good place to waste an hour and that we did.

Did you know that a blender can be upwards of $200?  Me neither.  It didn’t take long for Maya and I to select this one because it was one of the few under $100.  Maya thought it looked pretty.  That was enough for both of us.

I used it tonight to make some carrot soup using this recipe minus the leeks (which I didn’t have).  So far so good.  I really like the touch screen and the compact size.  This blender is much easier to clean than the Krups too.  What I didn’t like?  The name Oster.  Why would a brand choose a name that dates itself so much?  But it was $49.99 and I was able to use one of the BB&B 20% off coupons that flood my mailbox weekly.  For that price I can deal with the 1970 name.   

Naturally Maya refused to eat carrot soup so we made calzones for dinner too.  They are pretty easy and really good if you can eat wheat.  I can’t and I am still bitter about it.   

Start with some Trader Joe’s pizza dough and a 4-year-old who is handy with a rolling-pin.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each into an oval shape.

Meanwhile cook up whatever you want to put inside…we did broccoli, spinach, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese.  Sorry for the unattractive picture but this is really quite good.

 Divide the mixture into four and put it in the middle of each oval.  Fold the dough over and using a fork seal the ends shut. 

Cook on a greased baking sheet for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Ignore your child and husband when they ask you what the “green stuff” is. 

Are there any readers out there?  I’ve started a new page for Book Reviews.  Check out the review I did for the book I just finished: After You by Julie Buxbaum.

After You

by Julie Buxbaum

There is a fine line between chick lit and meaningful chick lit.  While I have nothing against the light, airy nature of chick lit, I often find myself looking for something with a bit more substance.  You know how it is, there is a time and a place for different genres, depending on your mood, your time, and your attention span.  Well I was in the mood for something serious but relatable as well and I found exactly  that in this engrossing novel.

Ellie Lerner’s best friend (Lucy) was murdered, leaving behind a devastated husband (Greg) and eight-year-old daughter (Sophie).  Ellie quickly leaves her crumbling marriage in Boston to fly to London and take care of Sophie and Greg.  She stays on after the funeral to address her own demons – her inability to move past a stillborn child, her parent’s marriage woes, her own seemingly insurmountable insecurities. 

I was very interested in the unique premise of this novel.  Sophie won my heart over immediately as a very likeable and sympathetic semi-orphan.  As a mother, I couldn’t imagine how traumatized a child would be after seeing her mother killed.  The author does an excellent job of fleshing out Sophie’s adult-like character. 

Initially I did not take a liking to Ellie.  Her character wore on my nerves with her indifference to her husband and job and responsibilities back home.  I guess I am the kind of person who moves on from negativity pretty quickly and the fact that Ellie couldn’t get past a tragedy she AND her husband shared really bothered me.  I wasn’t fond of her needy nature.  As the novel progressed, however, Ellie became a lot more likable.  As an impatient mother I appreciated the seemingly endless attention she showered on Sophie…from taking her to counseling to reading The Secret Garden (one of my favorite novels of all time) together.  I don’t want to give anything away so I will say this – with a few unexpected turns in Ellie’s life and surprising information regarding Lucy, the novel quickly became a page turner.

This book left me thinking of all the different messages the author conveyed through the novel: how to move past a tragedy, how to value the people in your life, and how to remember what is truly important in the grand scheme of things.  I highly recommend this novel, if not for just a temporary escape into someone else’s problems, than for the sole reason of reminding us what really matters in life.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2009 9:00 pm

    This looks delish! I am going to make it asap!

  2. Lynn at The Actors Diet permalink
    December 10, 2009 5:11 pm

    i have been meaning to make calzones for a while now. this looks great!

  3. December 11, 2009 12:09 pm

    I wish I had a Trader Joes around here, I am always hearing how good they are! =(

  4. December 25, 2010 4:47 pm

    Ameena I finally finished this novel and it was really a good read. I have to agree with you it was a page turner as the plot thickened. I kept reading 2-3 pages everyday since Ellie’s character was confusing and kinda frustrating me. Additionally I think the author did a swell good job in presenting the character of Philip from Ellie’s perspective. I was second guessing his role in this plot the entire time until the end when Ellie explains that she was the one to completely withdraw out. Sophie’s character was a gem. Every description seemed so real. Loved the book!

    Just out of curiosity have you read Chetan Bhagat’s novels? If you haven’t, I have all his books and can lend them to ya. You should give them a try!!

    • December 26, 2010 9:46 am

      I just checked out Chetan Bhagat on Amazon.com and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of him before because his books seem right up my alley. I will check if our library has them! Thank you so much for the suggestion Priyanka! I am also going to look for Julie Buxbaum’s other book – The Opposite of Love. I’ll let you know how it is if I read it!

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