My Sunday afternoon walking buddy is also one of the best kinds of buddies -- the kind that passes along a book they think you will enjoy. I just finished one she loaned me; Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas. When I am loaned a book, or one is recommended, I frequently don't read the synopsis on the back or anything else about it. I prefer to just let the book unfold on it's own and learn what it is as I go. I did the same with this one, and found myself surprised by the ways the book became a different type of book a few times throughout. I mean that as praise, since most books are basically what they seem from beginning to end. I wasn't expecting it to get off into sort of a crime drama kind of thing, but it did have elements of that. Along with being firmly historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genres. This was my first Sandra Dallas book, but I expect to search out more of her stuff. My walking buddy had it absolutely right, thinking it was something I would like, and I very much did!
Also, while on the subject of reviewing things... a recipe review. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had amazing Pastitsio at Anna's Greek Restaurant last week. It left me determined to find a recipe and make it at home. I went first to AllRecipes because I've had some very good luck with their recipes recently. Without too much searching, I found this recipe for Pastitsio. In the photo, it looked virtually identical to the dish I had at Anna's. It seemed like quite a bit of work, but apparently that is the nature of Pastitsio. Luckily Hubby is on vacation this week and I knew he wouldn't mind to be my sous chef, so I decided to tackle it. We made it today, and I have to say, as far as taste goes, it was amazing. I am puzzled, though, at how they got this recipe to look like the photo. Maybe it was a stock photo? I'm not sure. Here is ours, and while it was beautiful, it didn't look like the photo with the recipe.
I'm not sure how they got such a thick cream layer on top, as the recipe didn't call for thickening it up any before putting it on. Does anyone have any ideas? As I said, though, it was really delicious. The all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon seasonings gave it a very unique flavor, very much unlike most baked pasta dishes. Though there was some tomato paste in it, the tomato flavor was not pronounced. It was a little work to get it done, but it was definitely worth it.
Columbus is still plagued with the bitter cold weather, which means no one wants to be outside. Including me. My Achilles Tendon is still injured, but I had thought to walk for 5-10 minutes today, just for the fresh air. Then I thought differently when I got outside and discovered how cold and windy that fresh air was. The only thing to be said about this kind of weather is... it's past mid-February, it can't last that much longer. Godspeed, Spring!
The upshot, though, is that it's great for cozy book reading in a warm apartment on a soft couch, which is just what I'm planning for the rest of my evening. I bid you adieu, folks... stay warm!