Winner of Everything I Learned…

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest for Sarah Wendell’s book Everything I Learned About Love. It was so interesting hearing the widely varied responses for what your favorite read so far in 2011 was. And I love that some of you named Carina Press books. Yay!

Without further ado, the winner of Sarah’s ARC, a Carrie Lofty book, Carina Press downloads and a book of her choice from the list in this post is Alison

Congratulations, Alison! I’ll be contacting you for details of where to send your loot.

For those of you who didn’t win, stay tuned both here and on my Twitter. I have an entire bookcase full of swag and loot I need to get cleared out of here (including three ereaders!) so I’ll be holding a ton of contests on Twitter, via my newsletter and here on the blog!

Summer Cooking: Chicken Breast ideas #dinnertip

This past weekend I asked Twitter for some good summer ideas for using the chicken breast in my fridge. I ended up doing the Key West chicken and Cilantro Lime rice I blogged about here, but I got such good ideas, I wanted to share them for those of you searching for summer cooking ideas!

@heathterwpetty Grill and shred for salads/tacos? (Or bake and shred, if your oven doesn’t heat up your kitchen too much.)

@SpiceBites Poached and shredded to use in tacos & salads!

I love Asian too esp. for summer. Do a poached chkn brst & raw veggies salad w/fish sos, lime, ginger

@DebNemeth We do a lot of chicken Caesar salads in the summer too. And chicken fajitas are always good…

Greek-flavored chicken souvlakia: marinate breast strips in oregano & lemon, saute in olive oil, serve on fried pita(continued)

w/ tzatziki (cucumber/yogurt/garlic/dill) sauce, tomatoes & sauteed onion. Serve w/ tabbouleh

@rlarocque andoori – marinate in plain yogurt and spices overnight, then BBQ. Not too spicy, either.

@HeleneYoung Tandoori chicken breasts, slow roasted, served on a bed of couscous with a green salad 🙂 And a drizzle of natural yoghurt!

@Yvena I like hammering them flat, adding spices, cooking in a pan. Maybe with a cucumber salad?

@DeniseJTompkins Fajitas and use the leftover meat to make fajita quesadillas. Mmmmmm. 🙂

@Shelley_Watters Citrus chicken: zest and juice of 1 orange & 2 limes, melted butter, garlic, salt & pepper. Cover breasts with sauce and bake.

@TrishB chk breast recipe wrap chk w/bacon mix brown sugar, pineapple juice & lil mustard baste while grilling. My kids favorite

@CarolynRosewood Cooked and cut up into cubes for a salad with tomatoes, cukes, etc. Can use almost any dressing on it including oil & vinegar.

@SilverLily I love them with pesto and melted provolone on top

@LizabethSTucker I grill them with pieces of pineapple and orange juice. You can also add some fresh coconut to give it an island taste.

@nancyevertz fajitas. Lime, honey and cilantro marinade. Probably some oil in there. Messy on the grill. Grill the breasts and then slice.

@cpblackburn Lemon pepper both sides of the chicken and bake it. That has a definite summery vibe to it.

@HillaryJacques Cut in strips, marinate in balsamic vinaigrette, then grill. Perfect on salad or rice

@Chumplet Toasted club sandwiches or chicken Caesars.

@CristalRyder Next u in Toronto, grab bottle PC Memories of Tuscany from Loblaw stores, great on chicken. I have fab creamy mustrd chkn rcpe

@beth_caudill Grilled with barbeque sauce over them is real good.

From Facebook:

Tori Scott wrote: “Marinate in Zesty Italian dressing and bake, broil, or grill. Serve with sliced avocados.”

Chiron O’Keefe wrote: “Marinate in taco seasoning, grill and make tostadas or tacos.”

Emily wrote: “Grill them and slice onto a salad with sliced strawberries, crumbled bacon, and goat cheese with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Yum.”

Summer dinner: Key West Chicken and Cilantro Lime Rice

I don’t mind BBQ chicken, but it’s not something I want to eat often. So when I knew we were having chicken breasts on the grill for dinner tonight, I went looking for something else I could do. On AllRecipes.com, I found these two recipes, which were easy to prepare. I marinated the chicken for only a half hour, as recommended. The chicken and rice together were amazing, the flavors perfectly complemented each other. A perfect summer meal. I would have loved to have some sliced mango or a tropical fruit salad to go with it. Next time.

Key West Chicken

*note, it would be easy for the soy sauce to take over in this recipe, so I suggest tasting before you add the chicken, to make sure the lime juice is coming through. Also, you don’t have to use fresh lime juice, just buy a bottle of lime juice and make it easy on yourself! Although comments on the recipe say they marinated overnight, be very careful about marinating too long. Chicken marinating in soy sauce can be marinated too long.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions

  1. In a shallow container, blend soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic. Place chicken breast halves into the mixture, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade, and grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (Use Jasmine. No really. Use Jasmine. Yum!)
  • 2teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I did use fresh lime juice for this portion)
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil; stir the butter and rice into the water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Make it right in your rice cooker.
  2. Stir the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro into the cooked rice just before serving. Taste and add more lime juice or cilantro, as needed. I let this sit, covered in the rice cooker, about 5 minutes while we got everything else ready, and it allowed the flavors to really permeate the rice.
  3. You may wish to sprinkle lightly with sea salt before serving. I have this spiced salt, Florida Sunshine, which was wonderful for this.

I’m making fish tacos for dinner on Tuesday, and will keep the leftover rice to serve with (or in, as people prefer) the tacos.

What’s your favorite #DragonBook?

This afternoon on Twitter I asked: What’s your favorite book that prominently features a dragon. Either as a shifter, character, etc. Keyword: prominent

I have absolutely no reason for asking other than general curiousity. I was browsing Amazon (avoiding cleaning my closet, like I’m supposed to be doing on Vacation Day Two) and something caught my eye. I can’t even remember what, now, but it got me to thinking about dragon books.

So I asked the question. I purposely didn’t say romance, fantasy, YA. It could be any genre, I was just looking for people’s favorites. Because I fail at Twitter today, I forgot to hashtag the question, so I gathered all of the responses so far and am posting them here. My apologies if I missed any! If you have favorites, you’re welcome to post them in the comments here or add them to Twitter, hashtag #DragonBook.

(note: When a series is mentioned, I’ve tried to link to book one in the series/trilogy, in the Kindle format)

The top 5 mentions so far:

Anne McAffrey’s Pern series

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series

The Aisling Grey series by Katie MacAlister

(side note: I’ve read all of these except Anne McAffrey and I bought her first one, Dragonflight, earlier this week)

Books, series or authors that got multiple mentions:

Eileen WilksWorld of the Lupi books

Shelly Laurenston/GA Aiken (one author, two pseudonyms)

Dragon Heat and The Black Dragon by Allyson James

Dragonlance series by Weis and Hickman

Hurog duology by Patricia Briggs

Inheritance trilogy by Christopher Paolini

The Hobbit (by some random dude)

Tea with the Black Dragon by RA McAvoy

Patricia C Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Ursula K. LeGuin’s Tehanu and The Other Wind

Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb

Dragon Prince (and subsequent books) by Melanie Rawn

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (YA)

Barbara Hambly Winterlands series

And books recommended (very enthusiastically) by only one response:

The Dragons of Fyre by Janet Lane Walters

Tamora Pierce, Immortals quartet (YA)

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

The Dragon and the George by Gordon Dickson

Master of Dragons by Angela Knight

Eternity and a Day by Aline Hunter

Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick (YA)

A Book of Dragons, anthology

Deborah Cooke, Dragonfire series

Alison Goodman, Eon series (YA)

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller Liaden Universe series where family is known as Tree and Dragon

Minerva Wakes by Holly Lisle

Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner (YA)

Jane Yolen’s Pit Dragon Trilogy (children’s: Brianna used to love these books. I loved reading them to her!)

A Dragon’s Awakening by Aya Knight

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

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