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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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Kyraryker’s quotes

"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Make the hair on the back of your neck stand-up

The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James



“The ghost in Waringstoke is female,” he explained. “She was, apparently, a servant girl who worked for the family. She hanged herself in the barn at the age of nineteen.”


I've been wanting a more creepy Halloween Bingo story and this delivered. Told in first person, Sarah gets a call from her temp agency telling her about a job opportunity. She's to be an assistant to Alistair Gellis, who turns out to be young, rich, handsome, and oh, a ghost hunter. Sarah doesn't necessarily believe in ghosts but she needs the money and has been feeling adrift.


“Please tell me. Why was your husband afraid of Maddy?”

Tears began to course down her cheeks. She seemed hardly aware of them. “He always said—he always said that night she came, she looked like she’d been buried. She looked like she’d come from a grave. My husband believed Maddy was dead before she even came to Falmouth House.'


The story starts rolling right away and keeps a very quick pace, you'll want to devour this story in one sitting. The story is somewhat tight knit starting off with our heroine Sarah, Alistair bringing her into the mystery, Alistair's assistant Matthew, our ghost Maddy Clare, and a handful of townspeople. I immediately started side-eyeing people as their personalities and actions seemed dark and murky. The first person dialogue was a double edged sword for me as it kept the mystery alive but also felt like forced manufacturing mystery and drama. 


Matthew’s words hung between us, the war a chasm that could not be traveled. I could not go there; he could not come back.


The ghost story is pretty front and center but a close second is the discussion of World War I and all the emotional and mental damage that did to Alistair, Matthew, and others. A more distant third was the romance between Sarah and Matthew, I even want to hesitate to call it romance because it kind of pops in jarringly and then hovers at the edges. At times it felt like there were some hitches in the juggling act between the three, I think a longer page count allowing the romance to be given more time and depth and a longer time spent with the characters dealing with PTSD would have given this a more even flow. 


Heels, barefoot, kicking against the wall. Something sat in the sill of the high window, and kicked its heels as it dangled its feet. It was behind me, only six feet away.


I thought the mystery was done well but as an avid horror movie watcher, I've see this type of story done before (a similar movie 



[/spoiler]) and was able to guess what some of the answers were halfway through. You'll be devastated and probably start wanting to bend your moral feelings on accepted justice. The creepy factor was still done really well here and thinking I knew what was going on didn't stop me from looking extra hard into corner shadows as I went to bed. I definitely recommend this if looking for a spooky story that deals with some discussion about PTSD or battle fatigue as it was referenced as after World War I, first person pov that will keep some character mystery alive, a romance that could be described more as intensity, and a ghost that will have her revenge. 


I screamed, but I tasted their blood, she said, as if I had not spoken. Each of the three. They each tasted different. I took orders, but I knew I would taste it again. Every one of them. I will do it, little girl. I will have my revenge.





The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James


Maddy Clare let me escape the barn, where I could finally scream and scream.


This is fairly creepy and has been off and running from the get go. I'm also side-eyeing a whole bunch of people.

Reading Update: 10%

The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James


I nodded. Taking notes, organizing clippings—it was easy enough. “Certainly I’ll help you,” I said.

He held up a finger. “Ah—I haven’t finished. Don’t agree just yet. You said you have no opinion on the existence of ghosts.”

“I’ve certainly never seen one,” I conceded.

His smile was like sun breaking through the clouds.“How lucky for you, then. Because you’re going to see one this week. For me.”

Assassinations, ruby hilt daggers, Richard the Lionheart, and Irishmen

King's Warrior - Kris Kennedy

She stepped to him, pressed her breasts up against him. His thighs were hard against the front of hers, the hilts of his weapons bumped against her hips and belly, and dark, dangerous desire burned in his eyes. She wanted all of it. All of him. “Show me.” She slid her arms around his neck. “For I have been dying to be wanted the way you do.”


The first in the Renegade Lords series and an expanded version of a previously published novella, King's Warrior came in heavy with the steamy sex scenes and finished up with a historical fiction twist. Beginning with an introduction to a group of criminal boys, this story focuses on Tadhg, the one who decides to strike out on his own.


This worried her, that she would experience chills of excitement because a stranger had promised he’d return after he dragged the bodies of rogue soldiers to a whorehouse and dumped them for her.

She turned inside to stuff rags in the other men’s mouths.


As usual with Kennedy's couples, they sparked, sizzled, and steamed up the pages. Tadhg (author provides a link to a Youtube video to hear how the name is pronounced) and Magdalena pretty much have an instant chemistry and lust. While the sex scenes were always inspiring, they popped up too frequently in the first half for me; I'm more of a fan of gradual building growth to the bedroom or up against the wall, as was the case at times here. 


The King handed him the dagger. “Take it, Irish, take it and run hard.”


The second half is where we get to the meat of the adventure and the explanation as to why Tadhg is on the run. In this fictional version of history, King Richard just may have paid for a group of assassins to kill the King of Jerusalem. The King of France, Prince John, and Geoffrey d'Argent the Baron of Sherwood are chasing Tadhg trying to get the dagger he carries that will implicate Richard in the assassination. (The author provides this fascinating look at how she took real history, weaved it in and out to create this story) It was fun and exciting to see real historical figures like Richard the Lionheart, William Marshal, Earl of Huntington, Prince John, and Sherwood flitter in and out of the scenes.


He knew now that even if he never saw Ireland again, he’d still somehow found his way home.


With the sex scenes appearing a bit too soon and taking over the first half, the story felt somewhat uneven with the more plot heavy second half. The sex scenes and plot were done well, they just didn't mesh. Magdalena was the stronger character of the two with Tadhg's past resting to much in the shade to give him a flush character feel. However, Tadhg and Magdalena never lacked for passion and I'm wildly anticipating Tadhg's circle of friends' stories.


“It is too good,” she whispered.

“I know,” he rasped, and sucked her bottom lip into his mouth.


Menu Monday

But seriously, where did September go?!?



Shrimp Avocado Taco Salad



Me trying to desperately cling to summer, might be the last salad I make for a while. Can whip this up within a half hour, defrost the shrimp while you're putting together the rest of the salad. Quite tasty.



20 minute Shrimp & Sausage Paleo Skillet Meal



This is another one that you could do in a half hour, I served mine with white rice. I used turkey kielbasa and left out the zucchini. The seasoning had a taste but I left out adding any salt because when the kielbasa fries up, you can taste the salt even more. 



Reese's Peanut Butter Fluff



Hmm, k, not the most photographic food, lol. This is for you chocolate lovers. I used chocolate pudding, which made it very rich, go for vanilla is my suggestion. Or go for chocolate, you wild and crazy people, you! I threw in some Reese Pieces instead of the second helping of peanut butter cups. You do have to let this sit for two hours. The recipe says you can dip stuff, apples, graham cracker, and the like but I just went with a spoon. I wouldn't make this again but what a day it was when I ate some of this. 



BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sandwiches



These are so ridiculously easy and quick to make. If you have a family or friend who is a vegetarian or vegan coming to a BBQ or get together, this would be an awesome food item to have for them. I used Stubbs Spicy BBQ sauce and put a light lathering of cream cheese on the bun with a sprinkle of garlic powder, the recipe has a Cashew cream cheese recipe but I didn't have time to make it. If you like BBQ and sweet potatoes, you'll like this, because that is basically all this is. A super easy BBQ recipe to include non-meat eaters. 



Banana Cream Pie Chia Pudding



Ugh, still out here questing for a morning or snack pudding. This was one of the better ones but still, meh. Has to sit for a least 7hrs after you mix everything together so I ate it in the morning. Ok, but didn't quite have the taste I was looking for. My mashed up banana didn't mix in with everything super well, maybe my fault, and made it a bit lumpy. I added some more banana chunks in which improved it some. A little blah tasting. 



Barbecue Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas



Probably the ultimate winner of this weeks recipes. If you already have some shredded cooked chicken around, these would only take twenty minutes or so, if not add in the chicken cook time. I used Annie's Sweet and Spicy BBQ for these with about a 1/4 cup of Franks Red Hot, Loved the combo. I'm beginning to realize that BBQ sauce and avocados are all I need to be food happy.


Any food highlights from Sept. or looking forward to making in Oct?


King's Warrior - Kris Kennedy

“Aye?” His voice was thick.

Her cheeks flamed. “Oh, aye. I thought…I thought you were going to…take me,” she finished in a rush, flushing.

One dark brow arched in silent reply, then he nodded toward her body, in front of which he still knelt, her gown still bunched against her belly, one of her knees still hooked over his shoulder. “I consider you taken,” he said, his voice roughened like a knot in silk.


Reading Update: 10%

King's Warrior - Kris Kennedy

The author gave a link to a youtube video of someone pronouncing the hero's name, Tadhg, and now I'm spiraling down an Irish people talking video hole. Not going to ask for help from this one, they're a little more lyrical than my mid-western accent, lol.


The link if you want to hear how Tadhg is pronounced (or at least how this person thinks it should be) - Youtube

Snuck (or sneaked, everyone is welcome here!) in political commentary

A View to A Kiss - Caroline Linden

“No, no! Don’t go.” She retreated to her bed as she spoke. “But why must I stay over here?”

“We hardly know each other, miss,” he said with affected affront. “Keep your distance, if you please.”

Mariah choked back a snort of laughter. “You’re afraid of me?”

“A wise man never underestimates a woman."


I enjoyed this one but the romance felt a bit insta with our hero kind of going all-in with the heroine from simple seeing her. The heroine is instantly intrigued with the hero but with the vast majority of their meetings taking place for only a couple minutes at a time in her bedroom at night, I didn't really believe in their life long connection. The heroine is the one who really pushes for them to be together but her infatuation had a twinge of rich girl rebellion for the wrong side of the tracks guy. 


The mystery, our hero is a spy, was a bit muddled as the circle of spies and their leaders wasn't flushed out quite enough, I struggled in the beginning learning who was who and what was what. Half-way through it becomes decently clear who the villain is and in such a way I think our hero should quit his day job, he was missing the picture for too long. 


My favorite part of this was the author's sneaking political commentary, the romance genre is the best at this. Had a different feel to it, probably due to its little older publishing date 2009, but the hero and heroine didn't have the amount and depth of interaction I typically hope for. 


A View to A Kiss - Caroline Linden

He was quiet for a long time, then spoke again, more seriously. “What is wicked, you ask? A great deal, I answer. To say a man may not vote if he isn’t wealthy enough, and yet still expect him to support the government that gives him no voice. To pass laws keeping the price of wheat high for the benefit of landowners, when people in the cities are starving for want of bread. To declare swaths of society immoral and indecent because they are poor, and then do nothing to help them out of poverty. All those things are much more wicked, to my mind, than anything you’ve done.”


Me thinks we have a Reformer hero

Reading Update: 30%

A View to A Kiss - Caroline Linden

“Feeding her a meal or giving her a warm cloak won’t help. That won’t change the facts of her situation. She’s poor and young and already ruined. What would a meal do for her when she’ll be hungry again tomorrow?” He swept one hand through the air as if flinging something away. “Your offer is kindly meant, but it won’t help. No one person can help. It requires all men, and women, of decency to stand up for her. How noble can a man be if he allows people to starve to death a few streets from his own home and never makes the slightest effort to help? Your father cares for you and your health, but does he even know what other young women in London endure?”

Disappointed in lack of Gothic feel

Bride of a Stranger - Jennifer Blake


“It’s a death gris-gris, and as its counterpart in the hands of the Voodooienne is unwrapped slowly, day by day, it is supposed to cause the cursed one to sicken and die by degrees."


This started off with so much promise but ultimately didn't deliver on delicious Gothic feel. We started off with a sheltered, innocent heroine who is swept away by a dark scarred hero to his on the edge of the bayou plantation. There we meet his at odds with mother, still wearing black for the death of his years long dead uncle, his maybe jealous vengeful cousin, a possible voodoo using maybe ex-mistress, a creepy overseer, a parental but maybe shady housekeeper, and a paralyzed unable to speak father. The red-herrings are all over the place.


The atmosphere was set nicely with descriptions of the bayou, heat, bugs, and general out in the middle of nowhere. There was a voodoo scene with the slaves performing a ritual that was kind of creepy but other than that, there wasn't enough played around with to make you wonder if the heroine was losing her mind or if the voodoo was real. 


The heroine and hero basically spend no time together, which I thought was kind of odd, so you're not reading this for the romance aspect. There wasn't enough creepy, spooky feel for a Gothic either; the mystery has the heroine in bed for most of the book.


Helene, that arrogant, time-ravaged beauty, had been in love with her husband’s brother, so in love that ten years later she could still weep her heart out over a mask of his dead face. Her husband’s brother, a married man with a son, a man who was shot to death in a duel with his nephew, Helene’s one son!


I kind of got the feeling the author was going for a nothing proves more terrifying than family dynamics. I can't really dispute that. 


The mystery could have been better if the heroine would have been able to move around more and the characters given more depth, basically this needed a higher page count as the basic storyline and atmospheric writing was there. The ending gave us a villain info-dump as to why and how that gave it super flop feel and red-herring characters simply deflated like balloons. I can't really recommend this one because the Gothic mystery and the romance was severely lacking, maybe if you like your heroines reclining in bed because of bruised ribs and possible poisonings and/or voodoo curses. 

*I almost forgot to mention the jaguar! Yes, there is a jaguar that lurks around, two or three mentions but it is there, lol.

A plague on ALL your houses!

Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer   Wright

Previous Updates:


Antonine Plague


Bubonic Plague


Dancing Plague


Small Pox


Syphilis, Tuberculosis, and Cholera


Leprosy, Typhoid, and Spanish Flu



Encephalitis Lethargica


There is still no cure for EL, and its rise and subsequent disappearance is still regarded as something of a mystery.


I have heard of this before but only in the obscure and morbidly fascinating sense, think more horror movie than documentary. The unknown-ness of this one draws me and repels me away. Reading about how it affected people's personalities, bodily functions, and sent them into comas is frightening. 


If you are interested in following a line of thought on interrelated diseases, though, some scientists today think that EL is related to streptococcal bacteria, so that’s a fun thing to consider when you get strep throat.


I have never heard and this and can I just say WHAT?!? Reading about how adult's showed after effects of Postencephalitic Parkinson’s disease which led them to L-dopa as a cure and how it initially worked, the woman waking up from a coma years later and thinking it was early 1940s when it was late 1960s, was wild. I think this "plague" was added to just scare the crap out of everyone as there is still no known cure but I guess it hasn't made any more appearances? This is one I'm going to have to investigate further because how freaking wild that it seems to suddenly appear in 1916 and disappear in 1920s. I guess I'd put my bet on Aliens.




Somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of lobotomies were performed on women, despite a greater percentage of men being institutionalized.


This probably shouldn't have been included in a plague book but it is important to discuss, so I'll allow it. I'm against lobotomies, so I had no problem how the author discussed Freeman, the physician behind the start, procedure, and craze of them. The accounts of how he went about them, snipping here and there, until he got the desired amount of not quite comatose in patients, is horrifying and rage inducing. 


A charismatic demagogue was elevated and trusted because he was captivating and because researching facts, as well as listening to dull doctors who have done their homework, is hard and time-consuming. 


This quote, I can't tell you how much I feel this quote down into my soul right now. Reading about how women who were listed as menopausal or hysterical, by doctors that didn't even converse with them but rather their husbands and given over to Freeman for lobotomies had me fighting tears. This chapter was all about making sure there are committees, watchdogs, or the like in place to stop charismatic, mad medical field individuals from dazzling people with their "science".




Well, herd immunity works for most diseases only if about 80 to 90 percent of the population is vaccinated. With some diseases, like measles, a 95 percent vaccination rate is necessary.


Again, vaccinate your kids. 


I have to say, I'm not sure I knew Polio came from contaminated water or food, kind of like typhoid. That is how well we eradicated it, I didn't even know what caused it!  The author talked about live virus and killer virus vaccines and the rivalry between Salk and Sabin to get there. I've heard of Salk before because of how he used unwittingly mental health patients for clinical trials, which the author mentioned but after saying he should be considered close to a saint. I'm not quite there on him but I'm a grey shades person and as long as you mention the shitty aspects I don't have a problem stating all the good he also did. Seems wild in today's atmosphere of people dying because the price of their insulin is too much money that he didn't patent his vaccine but I'd like to read more on the legalities of if and how he could have. 


My favorite part of this section was the focus on how representation matters and how FDR gave hope and pride to fellow Polio survivors. 



Those who had AIDS survived because they, like Mr. Crumpton’s No Nose’d Club for syphilitics, founded groups like the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP to fight for their right to live. They supported one another. They protested. They yelled. They made people extremely uncomfortable.


I'm not a scientist or in the medical field, so there was definitely new information for me to gain from reading this. I went in thinking this was going to be a drier, informative read but realized very early on that my expectations needed to be changed. This is more of a coffee table book where casual readers can just pick it up and learn some interesting facts that will either make them popular on trivia night or send them down a drier text reading rabbit hole. 


The author has a sarcastic, pop culture heavy tone that could turn some people off as we discussing real horrible deaths but I'm a bit of a gallows humor gal myself, so except for a couple times, I wasn't put off or offended. I do think the pop culture references are going to date this and age it out of future circulation. 


All in all, I learned some facts, was intrigued to research some, and enjoyed this more surface look into diseases. This book is not for experts in the field but the average person could definitely get something out of it. However, if you're an anti-vaxxer, you'd probably get huffy over the author's constant reminder that you should probably reevaluate your thinking (I completely agree with her). 




Menu Monday

I've just been rereading old favorites as I've been too busy to do much else, but the light at the end of the tunnel is there and next week I should be able to get back to Halloween Bingo and reading posts, basically existing on BLs again :)  Let me know if I missed anything too exiting or yummy!



Sweetcorn Soup with Chili



If I remember right, I got this recipe from BrokenTunecheck her out if you're looking for some great soup recipes. I was a big fan of the broth with the spices, the chili veggie mix was tasty, I added some chili powder too. The cook time suggested didn't fully cook the potatoes, so they were raw and crunchy which was kind of weird. I'm not sure if that is the way it was supposed be or if I should have just added more time and cooked them fully. I'd definitely make this one again, the hardest part was converting the measurements from g and ml ;)



Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon



With the thawing of the salmon and then the 20mins of marinating, this takes a little bit of time but I thought really worth it. Sweet and spicy tasty and the suggestion of broiling to add some crisp was ideal. Such great flavoring with this one. I served with rice but the suggestion of asparagus would make a more complete and fancy dancy meal.


Smothered Baked Chicken Burritos



Holy mother of god these were good. I used the slow cooker chicken recipe and did the low for six hours. Magnificent. Don't skimp on the sauce either, so so so so good. As you can see I dropped some hot sauce on top with avocado and made the whole thing that much better. I'll be making these again and you should too. Obviously a plan ahead meal because of the slow cooking but super easy and goes pretty quick after the chicken is done.



Rolo Chocolate Chip Blondies



Your dessert monstrosity. These were easy to make but unwrapping all those damn Rolos will make you question what you're doing in life and I couldn't even fit them all in the pan, I had about seven left over. I also had to just about double the cooking time listed because the dough remained doughy for a lot longer for me than the recipe creator. They turned out pretty rich but not the usual unbearably so and since it is only an 8X8 inch pans worth, not a lot to guilty eat. Probably won't make again but fun while they lasted. 



Baked Parmesan Carrot Fries with Chili Mayo Dip



So the smothered chicken burritos are the obvious hit of this weeks recipes but these were the dark horse and they sooooo delivered, even the bf liked them. I did 2 tbls of Greek yogurt with 2 tbls of mayo because I'm not a big mayo fan and added extra sriracha because I am a big kick fan. There were pretty simple to make and with cook time, I'd say only took a little more than half an hour. I don't know about complete healthiness because of Parmesan and dipping sauce but they sound healthy if you tell anyone about them, so a win? I'd make these again.



Any yummy food to tell of?

Menu Monday

Super busy week, so this is running a little late. I'm giving a bonus Raiden pic to make up for it :)



Peanut Butter Dog Donuts



Very easy to make and Raiden seemed to enjoy them but he LOVES food so not the best judge. I didn't "ice" all of them at once because I feared the yogurt would make the donuts too mushy, just put it on right before I gave them to him. I sprinkled some bacon bits on top. I also cut the recipe in half and it made five, they lasted about a week and a half.



Sweet Potato Nachos



I love sweet potatoes but still, these were freaking amazing. Love, love, loved them and they were filling. I ended up adding some salsa along with the cheese, black beans, and avocado. If you like sour cream, I think that would be a great addition. The cook time and temp worked perfectly for me. Can't say it enough, I loved these.



Taco Pizza



I'm fairly certain I've posted this recipe before but if you missed it the first time around, here you go again. I use ground turkey and add some extra taco seasoning to the sour cream and cream cheese layer. The crescent roll base make this almost sweet tasting but it works. It also makes it so it gets soggy a bit easier, so there is only about one to two day life in these. I always end up putting mine in the oven for about two to fives minutes to heat everything up together but this works as a cold pizza too. 



Crock Pot Buffalo-Ranch Shredded Chicken Sandwiches



I did only a pound of meat, it made four sandwiches, but I didn't halve anything else. Turned out very hot, as you can imagine. Made my nose run a little bit but nothing outrageous, unless you aren't into heat. I added some dry coleslaw mix, Monterrey cheddar shredded cheese, and some ranch drizzled, this helped tone down the heat. Nice for a lazy Sunday.



Monster Cookie Pudding Parfaits



As I said, busy week, so I wanted a super easy dessert and ta-da! This was super rich but easy and fun to eat. I let the pudding sit in the fridge for about a half hour to form up more. 



Spicy Chickpea Veggie Burgers



Ok, so they don't photograph well, lol. I didn't add the zucchini, made up for it with adding more jalapeno (yippy-ki-yay!). These definitely live up to their spicy name. Oats aren't my favorite backbone for veggie burgers but these were ok. I let the burgers sit in the fridge for about 20mins and still had some problems keeping them formed. Ok for something different but there are better veggie burgers out there.


Have a busy week like me or were some fabulous meals created?


Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer   Wright



Leprosy is a bacterial disease, caused by Mycobacterium leprae. The Norwegian doctor Gerhard Hansen identified the bacterial cause in 1873, and the disease today is often called Hansen’s disease.


Leprosy is one that current generations probably have more of an inkling about because of the term "Leper" and how it is used to describe an undesirable person. This is one that I thought the author went further into depth, in relation to the other plagues discussed, about what causes it, how it affects the body, and who helped fight it, along with her usual social focus. 


The most notable feature of leprosy—and in many cases the first symptom of the disease—is the loss of the sense of touch.


How horrifying, thinking about not being able to feel a cut on your foot or hand, then having it get infected seems like such an awful seemingly innocuous symptom that manifests to a major problem. When I think about lepers, most of my imagery comes from few historical photos and how movies/tv shows choose to depict them, the wrapped hands and feet make more sense. 


But Damien is a reminder that you don’t have to be a genius or a brilliant scientist or a doctor to help in this war against disease: you just have to be someone who gives a damn about your fellow man.


I did not know about Damien and only faintly remember hearing about the leper island of Molokai. His decision to stay on the island and care for the inhabitants so intimately is completely commendable and makes me think a bit reckless in regards to own health. 




At the turn of the century, if untreated, the disease resulted in death about 60 percent of the time. Today, antibiotics reduce the risk of fatality to almost zero.


Another Oregon Trail villain!


The Sherlock Holmes figure in this case was a sanitation engineer named George A. Soper.


Like with lepers, most people have heard of "Typhoid Mary" or know what the phrase means. I had never learned about George A. Soper before and reading a synopsis of how he tracked down Mary as the source of typhoid breakouts was interesting and I'll probably see if I can find a book on him. 


Mary herself was an interesting character, her forced confinement was hard to read about, just as her decision to change her name after released and work in a hospital, knowingly infecting more people. 


Even with these interesting people I was more excited to see Dr. Sara Josephine Baker discussed and someone I have read about and I think doesn't get read about enough. Reading about how she sat on Mary to force her to stay in the car to bring in for testing, makes you think about what a sight that would have been. 


Really, though, this section to me was all about WASH YOUR HANDS.


Spanish Flu


By 1918, 35 percent of people dying from influenza were in their twenties.


The healthiest population dying at 35%, frightening. The author did a good job again talking about symptoms and how the disease overwhelms the immune system and triggers a cytokine storm, which is basically too many immune cells flooding to a part of your body that causes the problem. Interesting stuff but like the wash your hands dominating the last chapter, this one was dominated by the author talking about the government didn't want to start a panic so they were putting restrictions on what newspapers could print about it. 


In all likelihood, the Spanish flu was an all-American plague hailing from Haskell, Kansas.


I'm not sure the veracity of this comment, "in all likelihood" has a lot of wiggle room, but what a discussion a classroom could have about the how and why it is called the Spanish Flu instead of the Kansas Flu. A discussion that involves World War 1, Spain's neutrality, censorship, patriotism, and plenty more. 



Menu Monday

 If you like to eat out of bowls, you'll like this weeks list :)



Vegetarian BBQ Burrito Bowl



I halved the rice in half to make this more of a two person meal but since I like stronger tasting things, I left the rest of the amounts alone. This is why mine looks a little more soupy but I thought the spicy BBQ sauce I used made this taste like a vegetarian chili, super good. I highly recommend adding in the chips as I thought they added a lot. Very tasty and would definitely make again as very simple and not time consuming.



Spicy Vegan Jambalaya



Good taste but cooking the brown rice takes around 40mins so a bit time consuming. As this was based on jambalaya, I thought shrimp or sausage would taste great in it, lol. As it was one of my no meat meals, though, still pretty tasty. 



Cajun Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese



This took around an hour and half and I thought was a bit stressful. There are a lot of moving parts, three burners getting used on the stove top! and you're kind of in motion not having time to relax as you make it. The good thing was that it was worth it, the mac and cheese was very smooth (maybe I did a better job whisking the flour) and the shrimp nestled in with it chummily (I was going to create the word "yummily" here but chummily came up as spelling correction and I couldn't resist). I thought the Cajun seasoning could have been stronger and if I was going to make it again I would come close to doubling it. I don't know if I'll make it again because what makes it good is the copious amounts of butter and cheese in it, lol. I also drizzled some Sriracha on top, for say it with me, an extra kick.



Snickers Rice Krispie Treats



These were, obviously, so bleeping good. Doesn't take a crazy amount of time to make but unwrapping all those caramels was a sanity test (what am I doing with my life???). I actually would suggest cutting these up before the chocolate hardens because of how after, the chocolate cracks and kind of slides off the bar. Makes a ton and while I enjoyed eating all of them, too much and would halve recipe next time.




 Peanut Butter Cheesecake Overnight Oats




Still out here questing for some good overnight oat recipes. These was tastier than the last but didn't work for me as a breakfast, way too sweet and dessert like. A nighttime snack would be more ideal for me. I added chocolate chips because we all deserve chocolate. I only had mine soak for about two hours and that seemed sufficient enough.



Loaded Creamy Ranch Dip



This made the perfect amount for me, about two days worth, and I loved the hell out of the taste. I used plain Ruffles chips and I ate until my stomach hurt, because I had no other option. I left out the olives in my portion and added them to the bf's, he actually said he thought the without tasted better but when I saw how much of the chopped olives he added, well, he may have went overboard overwhelming it. I also used the Spicy Ranch seasoning because, I WANTED SOME KICK. If your weakness is chips and dip like me, make this delicious dip.


What delicious concoctions did you all come up with this week?