Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post featuring five things that attracted my attention this week.
1) The merry-go-round of "what to make for dinner" is really wearing on me. I just don't feel inspired to try to new recipes, but on Wednesday I decided to make Pioneer Woman's Bruschetta Chicken. Many of Ree Drummond's recipes can be less than healthy, but this one looked relatively healthy and easy to make. You cube three cups of crusty bread, bake it for five minutes. Dice roma tomatoes, garlic, basil chiffonade, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic glaze or reduction. Fry chicken cutlets, put on a platter. Add bread cubes to tomato mixture, place on top of chicken, drizzle more balsamic on top, add basil leaves to garnish. It was delicious, so fresh tasting. I will make this one again.
The full recipe is here.
2) I started following a new Facebook group, View from my Window, which is just what it says. During the lockdown in March, a woman started a Facebook group where people would submit photos taken from their windows. I saw a story about it on the Today Show, and ordered the book the creator made from submitted photos. I ordered the book on Tuesday and it arrived in NYC from Belgium on Thursday. Isn't that crazy? I sent a book from NYC to my friend in Elmira, NY on December 7th and she received on January 8th. You can see the story on Today with Hoda and Jenna here.
3) BookReporter.com hosted a Bookaccino Zoom on Wednesday. Carol Fitzgerald from Bookreporter.com puts together a monthly presentation on upcoming books that would appeal to book groups and clubs. If you are a reader, this is a great way to find out about new books, and if you join the presentation live, you can enter to win some of the books. A few of the books discussed that I'm interested in are:
The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson
When Harry Met Minnie by Martha Teichner
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline
You can find out more about Bookaccino here.
4) I'm watching two new sitcoms. NBC's Mr. Mayor with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter, is created by Tina Fey and has that 30 Rock sensibility and humor. I have laughed out loud at some of the one-liners. Ted Danson is perfect as a retired wealthy businessman who becomes mayor of Los Angeles, and it's great to see Holly Hunter (his nemisis whom he makes his deputy mayor) doing comedy.
In ABC's Call Your Mother Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) plays a retired Iowa schoolteacher who moves to Los Angeles where her two adult children reside. It's from the creator of The New Adventures of Old Christine, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom from the mid-2000s. (Scott and I DVR episodes of that from TV Land and watch it very night before bedtime- it is hilarious!) Episode one was good, I like the cast, Kyra and especially Patrick Brammell as the landlord. It shows real promise.
5) I finished two books this week- Serena Burdick's historical novel, Find Me in Havana, a mother-daughter fictionalized account of the life of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban actress who came to the United States as a teenager, and made films (mostly Westerns) in the 1950s. I had never heard of her before this book, and her story, particularly her return to Cuba during the revolution, was very interesting. (Che Guevara does not come off well here.) The author interviewed Estelita's daughter for this novel, so there is a real ring of authenticity to it. My full review is here.
Katherine Seligman's At The Edge of the Haight is a novel that won the Pen/Bellwether Prize for socially engaged fiction. She tackles the issue of homeless young people living in San Francisco. One young woman finds a young man in the throes of death in the underbrush of the park, and a man standing over his body. The man threatens her, and now she must live with the fear of his finding her, in addition to all of the other daily stresses of life for a person without a home. Seligman pulls the reader into the everyday life of these young people, finding food, shelter for the night, and even clean clothes. You feel true empathy for these young people, even if you don't always understand them. These characters will stay with me for awhile. My full review publishes on Tuesday.
Stay safe, healthy, wear a mask and wash your hands, get a vaccine when it's your turn and we'll get through this together.
I shared this post at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader's Weekend Cooking blog posts.