Monday, July 20, 2009

A Light and Fluffy Summer Read

I'll read just about anything I get my hands on: literary fiction, dramas, ethnographies, mysteries, thrillers, horrors, girlie right of passage books, biographies, text books. You name it I'll read it with one exception. I don't do straight up romance.

It started in the fifth grade when I went to the library and read every single book they had on Harriet Tubman and I learned that they were all entertaining. Books have the power to transport you, to educate, to entertain you. They can show you perspectives from people in places you'd never get to see otherwise. In my mind, there is nothing more valuable and representative of a particular culture than their books and art.

And because today is such a glorious and sunny day I'd like to share one of those fun girlie beach books with you. There is nothing deep and award winning about it. It is what it is - a great beach book; the kind you can read in a few hours, get a bunch of laughs, a few eye rolls from and be utterly entertained. I like to think of these kind of books as my lifetime movies - a little cheesy but when your brain is fried or you've been super stressed they're the perfect fix. So, this weekend plan to soak up some sun in your backyard or at your favorite beach spot and immerse yourself in Agnes and the Hitman.

Its a romantic comedy that centers around Agnes, a food columnist and cookbook writer, who is struggling to put on a wedding for her mafia princess Goddaughter at her new dream home. Everything that can go wrong does and she finds support and love from an oddball cast of characters. If you've ever read and enjoyed any of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels then you're sure to enjoy this light read too. And because a picture says a thousands words here's a few that reminded me of Agnes and her many mishaps...

{clockwise from left: I could picture Agnes running around in this red kitchen cooking and jotting down her to-do lists on these notepads with her ugly flamingo pen, wearing this lovely embroidered apron with a cute little red frying pan (her weapon of choice) pin pinned to it and pushing up her red glasses as they slipped down her nose while she leaned forward to check the ingredients in a recipe from her mafia cookbook.}

Straight from Agnes' kitchen to yours, one of her recipes from her Cranky Agnes' columns; exerts of which are found at the start of each new chapter. To read more of Cranky Agnes' recipes or columns head over here.

Cranky Agnes’s Poor Woman’s Hot Fudge Sundae
- Jello Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding Mix (NOT INSTANT)
- Skim Milk
- Almonds or walnuts
- The lowest fat vanilla ice cream you can find that still tastes like ice cream.

1. Make the pudding according to the pie directions on the package using skim milk.
2. While it’s cooking (in the microwave, of course), chop some almonds to whatever fineness you like. You should be eating six almonds a day, so if you haven’t been, you have some to make up for. And the oil in the almonds is good oil, so your heart is safe.
3. Scoop up the ice cream, being generous in proportion to the fat calories: the lower the fat, the more you can sling in there.
4. Dump the chopped almonds over the ice cream and then pour the thickened pudding over that.
5. Eat.

What you’re getting here is a lot of calcium—skim milk and low fat ice cream—with the added boost of the almonds. This is not health food, but it’s a hell of a lot healthier than the real deal and may give you the hot chocolate and creamy vanilla fix you need to keep from going toward the light. No, that’s not your next door neighbor’s porch fixture, that’s death.

Eat your spinach.

{top image: books via etoile's photostream}

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