My Goodreads Bookshelf!

This Is How You Lose Her
And the Mountains Echoed
Backseat Saints
The Valley of Amazement
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors
The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook
The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life
Julie of the Wolves
Signs & Wonders
From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Woman
Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir
Teacher Man
The Bridges of Madison County
Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda
Shadow Tag
Paul Strand: Masters of Photography Series
Fat Chance
Giving up America
The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action

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Archive for Uncategorized

Oct 2011

Three Cookbooks

posted in: blogs, books, Uncategorized

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Yesterday, I saw Aaron Sanchez on the Today Show, making garlic-chipotle love sauce. Ok, anything named love sauce has got to taste damn good. So it got me thinking about cookbooks. Do you think of cookbooks when you think of writing? I do. To me, cooking is really important. I like to nourish my family and pass on my heritage through real food. Here’s three Latino cookbooks you might want to check out.


Sanchez’s cookbook is Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours (the book is written with JJ Goode). The term “Mexican-inspired” gives me pause because it makes me think of yucky Mexican restaurant food that caters to American tastes. I’m picky like that – nothing my family has ever served featured a giant helping of sliced black olives, okay? But Sanchez’ skills were passed on to him by his mother, also a chef, so I’m going to look this one over as soon as I get my hands on it. I’ll definitely be trying the love sauce.

Sanchez is a Food Network star and owns several restaurants in New York. His other cookbook is La Comida del Barrio.







I flipped through Eva Longoria’s book, Eva’s Kitchen, when I saw it on the store display a few weeks ago. I have to tell you, I was pretty skeptical. So I skipped over to the recipe for arroz rojo. (The ultimate test.) I don’t measure when I cook mine, but the recipe seemed right on. You also see a personal side of Longoria when she includes her disabled sister’s favorite recipe.

So then I looked at the recipe for red enchiladas. The recipe called for making the sauce from scratch. Who am I kidding? My sauce comes courtesy Las Palmas or El Pato. But if that recipe came out tasting like abuela’s I’d be over the moon. This one is going on my Christmas wish list.








Image: ericx!


The next cookbook hasn’t come out yet. But you can go to the blog the book came out of, Muy Bueno Cookbook! I saved the best for last because this blog rocks. This blog is a family affair and features authentic recipes and beautiful photos. My mouth waters every time I click over.

One day I decided that my mom needed one of her favorite comfort foods, so I set out to find a recipe for capirotada, which I’ve never made. I’m googling this over and over to try to find something authentic, and I found this website. I adapted their recipe for capirotada (it’s not easy to find piloncillo in Alabama, so I used brown sugar), and it was delicious.  If you don’t know what capirotada is, it’s a bread pudding that uses day-old bread, cheese, raisins, brown sugar/piloncillo, and other ingredients depending on your personal variation. It turns out sweet and salty and you have to try it even though it sounds weird.






Okay! I’m hungry now. Go forth and cook something good today!


Sep 2011

Parts of Alabama Immigration law in effect

posted in: Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

Image: Fibonacci Blue

I live in Alabama, a state that passed the harshest anti-immigration law recently. It was challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice, various church leaders and civil rights groups. Today, a judge finally made a decision on the challenges and shockingly ordered that most of the law should go into effect after previously enjoining the law (temporarily stopping it so it won’t go into effect). Here’s a summary of my understanding of the ruling, as the local coverage is slightly confusing.

This is what is changing:

*Contracts knowingly entered into with undocumented workers will be nullified

*It is a felony for an undocumented worker to apply for a license plate, driver’s license, or business license

*Law enforcement must determine immigration status during traffic stops

*Drivers must produce their license; if they don’t and the officer can’t verify they have a valid license, they will be arrested. Law enforcement then has 48 hours to determine citizenship through federal agencies; if the person is undocumented “the person shall be considered a flight risk and shall be detained until prosecution or until handed over to federal immigration authorities.”

These parts didn’t go into effect:

*The state cannot stop workers without authorization from seeking employment.

*The state cannot prosecute those who help undocumented workers.

*The state cannot stop businesses from deducting the wages they pay to unauthorized workers.

*The state cannot create a new class of protected workers (the law sought to punish employers who either don’t hire or fire citizens or authorized workers while also employing an undocumented worker).

*The state cannot bar undocumented workers from enrolling in public universities.

A press release from the driver’s license division forwarded to me indicates that a system called AlVerify will be used in verifying whether a person is here legally in processing license tag renewals.

It is my understanding, though local coverage didn’t mention anything, that businesses will now be required to use E-verify for new employees.I actually went to a meeting with a representative of the DOJ (I do volunteer work here for the Hispanic community) and he clarified that E-verify should only be used for new workers – if it is used on existing workers, they should notify the DOJ of discrimination.

Local businesses and farmers are already complaining of not having enough workers to plant spring crops, and probably won’t have the manpower to harvest them in the springtime, either.

I’m a little too shocked and angry about this to editorialize right now, so I’m just giving you the facts. Que barbara!


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