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I’m going to write up an entire blog post about this book. It may be one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s a memoir by Pat Conroy (an author I’ve long admired). He died a year or so ago – sad, that. In order to get the most out of My Reading Life, I recommend you BUY THE HARDBACK. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s an autobiography of sorts, but not really. He never wrote one, I don’t think, and I doubt he would ever have written one as he likely didn’t believe anyone would want to read about his (sad) life. In this memoir, he chronicles the books (and the people who recommended them) that influenced his life. Starting at his mother’s knees and continuing through influential teachers and mentors and friends. One of my book clubs read it, and I devoured it, cover to cover, with little plastic flags inserted all the way through to re-read some of the prose. Pat Conroy was a fabulous writer – he studied words from a young age and used them widely and wisely throughout his writing, but better than most authors would. He adored his mother, and hated (with venom) his aviator military father who physically abused everyone in the family, including his mother. They all took it like stoic Buddhas. I’m going to have to read Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel because of reading this book. I’ve never read it. Conroy says that book’s first page is the best first page of any book he ever read in his life. Wow. And maybe my book group is going to re-read Tolstoy’s War and Peace (Vintage Classics) too because of the chapter on that book. We might have to assign that to a 2-month or longer read. If you have friends or family who are avid readers, this would make a great gift, this book, My Reading Life. If YOU are a reader, it needs to be on your bookshelf, but in hardback, so you can go back to it and re-read his stories. It’s a series of essays, each one about a sub-section of his life. A must-have and a must-read.

Also read The Towers of Tuscany by Carol Cram. It was a bargain book through amazon or bookbub (e-book). Back in the Middle Ages women were forbidden to be artists. Their only place was in the home, caring for children and sewing and cooking. But the heroine in this book was taught to paint by her widowed artist-father (in secret, of course). When her father suddenly dies, all hell breaks loose and she must fend for herself. Much of the book takes place in Florence as she disguises herself as a boy in order to continue her life’s passion – painting. Very interesting story and worth reading.

Also finished The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin. It popped up on a list I subscribe to and was available for $1.13 as an e-book. As it begins, you’re hearing from A.J., a grieving widower who owns a bookstore on an obscure island off the East Coast. He’s angry, rude and every other negative adjective you can imagine. A book rep comes to visit and he’s awful to her, yet she perseveres and manages to sell him a few books. You get to know his friends (a friendship with him is full of sharp points) and one day an abandoned toddler is found in his bookshop. In between the story line about A.J., the book rep, the little girl and others, you will learn all about A.J.’s book tastes. If you’re an avid reader, you’ll really enjoy that part. It’s a charming book; loved it.

Also read a quirky book, Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel by Rachel Khong. She’s a new writer (newly published, I guess I should say) and this story is about Ruth, a 30+ something, trying to readjust to life without her fiance, who’s dumped her. She goes back home to help with the care of her father, who has Alzheimer’s. Written in a diary style, it jumps all over about her life, her mother, the funny, poignant things her father says on good days, and the nutty stuff he does on not-so-good days, her ex-, and her very quirky friends, too. Then a woman flits through who had had an affair with her father –  you get to observe all the angst from the mom about that. Mostly it’s about her father, as he’s relatively “together” early in the book, but then he disintegrates. Reading that part isn’t fun, although the author is able to lean some humor into it. I’m not sure I recommend the book exactly – I read it through – and felt sad. It doesn’t tie up loose ends – if you need that kind of book – you may not want to read this one.

 

Tasting Spoons

My blog's namesake - small, old and some very dented engraved silver plated tea spoons that belonged to my mother-in-law, and I use them to taste my food as I'm cooking.

Scroll down to the bottom to view my Blogroll

Recipes highlighted in red are some of my all-time favorites. The chicken and turkey recipes are divided up in several sections. Click on the title below to go to that section. If you’re interested in Chicken Soups, go to the index for SOUPS.

Casseroles!

Baked Chicken and Prosciutto Casserole
Bombay Chicken
Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Pudding with Pea Gravy (an old-time English recipe)
Deep Dish Turkey Chili Pie (uses ground turkey)
Turkey Hachis Parmentier


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Chicken Breasts Only!

Almond Crusted Chicken Breasts with Lemon Aioli
Almond Crusted Chicken Breasts
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Thai Green Curry Sauce (easy)
BFF Crispy Coated Chicken Breast Strips
Chicken on Greens with Chile Buttermilk Dressing
Chicken Breasts Santa Fe Style
Chicken Breasts with Alabama White Sauce
Chicken Breasts with Asian Lemon Sauce
Chicken Breasts and Chipotle Rice with Cilantro Sauce
Chicken Breasts Flambe with Tarragon Tomato Wine Sauce
Chicken Breasts with Apricot Onion Pan Sauce
Chicken Breasts with Bacon and Mushrooms
Chicken Breasts with Chianti Mushroom Sauce
Chicken Breasts with Emmental & Arugula
Chicken Breasts with Maple Mustard Sauce
Chicken Breasts in Milk with Sweet Potatoes
Chicken Breasts with Panko and Mustard Crust
Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto Mushrooms and Basil
Chicken Breasts with Spinach and Gorgonzola
Chicken Chili
Chicken Cordon Bleu Rolls with Lemon Mushroom Sauce
Chicken Madeira (healthy – something like the Cheesecake Factory’s but healthy)
Chicken Relleno (not chile rellenos, but relleno style chicken)
Chicken Saltimbocca with Basil Butter
Chicken Sausage and Mushroom Pot Pie
Chicken Tacos
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Breasts Tikka Masala Sous Vide 146°
Chicken with Garlic Lemon Crust
Chipotle Mayo Chicken Breasts
Cilantro Chicken
Cajun Chicken Breasts with Creole Sauce
Crispy Mustard Chicken Breasts
Curried Maple-Mustard Chicken Breasts
Fresh Herb-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Lemon Caper Sauce
Lemon Basil Chicken Breasts with Tomato, Cucumber & Basil Beurre Blanc
Lemon Chicken Breasts
Oven-Fried Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Oven-Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu Bundles (with broccoli and bacon)
Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken
Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Gorgonzola
Parmesan Chicken with Spinach and Gorgonzola Sauce
Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Corn and Blueberry Salsa
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Seared Chicken Breasts with Lemon Chive Pan Sauce
Shiitake Crusted Chicken with Sauce
Sous Vide Red Chile Chicken Breasts
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
Tequila Chicken Pasta
White Chicken Chili


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Grilled Chicken!

Bademiya’s Chile Cilantro Grilled Chicken
Big Daddy’s Tandoori Chicken
Cha Cha Cha Jerk Chicken
Chicken Breasts with Alabama White Sauce
Chicken with Artichokes and Olives
Greek Marinade for Chicken
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Belize Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Citrus and Honey
Grilled Chicken Grand Marnier
Grilled Chicken with Jalapeno Jelly Salsa
Grilled Lemon Chicken
Grilled Marinated Drumsticks
Moroccan Spiced Chicken Breasts
Orange Sesame Glazed Chicken
Peruvian Grilled Chicken
Spicy Garlic Cashew Chicken


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Ground Chicken or Turkey!

Cabbage Patch Stew (make with ground turkey and either mashed potatoes or the “cauliflower” mash)
Chicken with Poblano Peppers and Sauce
Cousin Gary’s Turkey Chili (healthy)
Italian Chicken Sausage with Bell Peppers
Piccadillo (a ground meat mixture to serve over a carb – use ground turkey)
Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Turkey
Thai-Inspired Turkey Larb Salad
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
Turkey Meatballs
Unstuffed Sweet and Sour Cabbage


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Roasted and Baked Chicken!

Chicken a l’Orange (eh)
Chicken Bamako
Chicken Barbere(an Ethiopian spicy chicken)
Chicken Bouillabaisse
Chicken-in-a-Pot (it’s French)
Country Captain Chicken
Ina Garten’s Coq au Vin
Italian Crumb-Crusted Chicken
Mustard and Herb Chicken
Oven-Fried Chicken
Roast Chicken – the best I’ve ever made (tender & moist)
Roast Lemon Chicken
Roast Potatoes Better than the Chicken (eh)
Rustic Lemon Onion Chicken
Sheetpan Chicken Thighs with Cabbage
Spicy Chipotle Chicken Breasts w/ Panko Crust
Spicy Garlic Cashew Chicken
Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken & Vegetables


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Salads and Sandwiches!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Almond Edges
Cornish Game Hen Salad
Curried Chicken Salad
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salad
Roast Chicken Salad a la Zuni Cafe
(Updated) Fumi Chinese Chicken Salad


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Stovetop (mostly all in one pan)!

100 Almond Chicken Curry
Bal’s No-Butter Chicken (Indian)
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Jalfrezi (a curry and peppers dish)
Chicken Supreme (no oil, with Benson’s herb blend)
Chicken with Aged Red Wine Vinegar
Chicken with Leeks, Candied Lemon and Walnuts
Chicken with Piquillo Peppers
Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar Sauce
Chicken with Sage and Pesto
Creole Jambalaya
Crispy Fried Chicken
Dinah Shore’s Chicken Curry Without Worry (could substitute turkey)
Fesenjen (slow cooker)
Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken with Pasta
Indian Chicken with Green Chiles
Indian Pepper Chicken (black pepper, not veggie peppers)
Lemon Chicken with Herbs & Orzo
Mexican Chicken and Grapes Uva
Murgh Korma (Indian Chicken Curry)
Pecan Crusted Chicken with Rosemary Orange Sauce
Quick Chicken Tikka Masala (using left over chicken)
Quick Coq au Vin
Risotto with Turkey Sausage, Corn, Leeks, Tomatoes and Spinach
Saffron Chicken Curry
Saffron Chicken Tagine
Sicilian Stewed Chicken
Spicy Chicken Thighs with Shallot Sour Cream Pan Sauce
Very Lemony Chicken Thighs


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Turkey!

Dry-Brined Turkey Breast
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
Turkey – Kosher
Turkey & Pancetta Gravy
Pancetta, Sage & Rosemary Turkey
Spatchcocked Turkey (partly deboned – easy for Thanksgiving)
Turkey Hachis Parmentier (fantastic casserole for left over turkey)
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey Tetrazzini (adapted from Pioneer Woman)
White Turkey Chili


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Other!

Pizza with Chicken, Red Onion and Kalamata Olives
Chicken Broth from Penzey’s
Crockpot Chicken Paprikash
Pasta with Artichoke Hearts, Broccoli, Chicken & Lemon
Steeping Chicken (a preparation for chicken breasts – easy)

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