Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Was a White Knight...Once

So, when a friend asks you to write a review of their book, you should read it right away. Don't delay! Don’t procrastinate and let those little things like…life, moving homes, losing your job, or getting lost in a steamy romance novel, distract you from what is really important; reading a friends creative work. That is my lesson learned! This is a long overdue review of, I Was a White Knight…Once: An Uncommon Memoir by Nathan Timmel.
Timmel is a good friend, professional comedian, and an excellent writer. Having followed his blog for quite some time, I knew this would be a great book. However, I was surprised at the candor and openness he displayed in writing his memoir. If you have ever sat and wondered, “Am I the only one who has held onto a crazy doomed relationship like this?” Or, if you have ever sat and listened to a comedian and wondered, “Where the hell does he get this stuff?” Then, you are the perfect person to pick up this book and settle in for a great read. Nothing is held back as he bares his soul in reflection. Somehow he manages to make you laugh in one sentence then he draws you into the frustration and anxiety experienced in the next part of his story. Timmel takes you through his growing up, his parents divorce, crazy stalkers, horrible relationships; this book has it all!
Intermingled in the tale of his upbringing, you will hear stories from a different side of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Timmel has traveled numerous times overseas to entertain our troops to help lighten their heart and mind, if only for those moments; doing his part to support the troops. It is different reading the perspective of the war from someone who steps into the active war zone for brief periods of time in a totally different role. He ends up being witness to active attacks, dizzying helicopter rides and real moments of emotion with those he encounters.
I’m not one who regularly reads memoirs and this would not be my normal choice in reading material. In fact, I admit to reading this purely because it was Nathan. I’ve seen him perform numerous times, and love how his routine has changed and grown over the years. He is one of the best comedians I have ever seen and so I wanted to read his book out of curiosity. As a reader, you get sucked into the emotion and realness of his story. Sitting in my reading chair, I was giggling to myself through parts, rolling my eyes at his crass nature and shaking my head in wonderment. I challenge you to pick up this book and promise you will enjoy it whole-heartedly, just as I did.  
Purchase your copy of I Was a White Knight…. Once: An Uncommon Memoir on Amazon.
And check out Nathans blog and upcoming performances at:
PS~ In case you were wondering, Nathan is a vegetarian so he earned his spot on this blog.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Save that Fruit!

Okay, so I love buying lots of fresh fruit because it looks delicious and is tasty this time of year. However, I am not always great at eating it before it becomes overly ripe. I end up with browning bananas, bruised apples, and berries that do not look quite as appetizing as the perfect shiny new ones. Faced with the high price of organic fruit and loathing letting it go to waste, I have found a few ways to save that fruit!  Here are some time and money saving tips to take care of your fruit.

Freezing is a great solution for bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Make sure you wash your berries and trim any spots that may be worrisome. Peel the browning bananas and put the fruit into a zip lock freezer bag or other freezer container. Frozen fruit is perfect for morning smoothies. If you have lots of fruit you can portion it out into a few days worth of smoothies with a mixture of bananas and berries in each Ziploc. 

Eating a healthy vegan diet means making sure you get enough fruit and vegetables in your day. When the season is right and your organic favorites go on sale buy them in bulk! Why pay $6 for a pound of organic strawberries* when you can get them fresh on sale during the summer, and freeze in all of those delicious nutrients for later.  I’ve had some fun bagging up an entire case of fresh delicious peaches for freezing. They make for great winter cobblers and crisps. If you do this, make sure you put a date on your frozen goods.

Ripe berries also make for fabulous sauces ~ Strawberry Shortcake is one of my favorite summer time treats. Preparing the sauce is really simple. Clean fruit, slice it up, sprinkle some sugar, let it sit, and wha-la you have berry goodness. 

Apples and pears are delicious when baked. If your fruit is a little bruised, go ahead and cut out the brown spots and make dessert! Here is my quick and easy apple or pear dessert solution:

Baked Apples or Pears
1-3 Pieces of fruit halved
½ cup water or apple juice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

1.     Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Wash and prepare fruit, slice off any bruised areas. Cut in half and core center.
3.     Place fruit along with ½ cup of water or apple juice in a shallow pie pan.
4.     Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over fruit. You can leave out the sugar but I find it helps create a “syrup” that is great over the baked fruit.
5.     Bake for 40 minutes until fruit is soft
6.     Serve hot over soy ice cream or alone with the juice drizzled over the top

Do you have a favorite way of putting your fruit to good use? Please post other ideas and recipes in the comments section!

*Always buy organic strawberries, this is one of the top fruits you want to spend the extra money on for the organic label.