Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I have created a new blog!

 I am very excited to announce that I have created a new blog! Fear not, all my friends and fellow blogger because Brown-Eyed Girl's Glance at the World is not going anywhere. I will still be posting here regularly as this is *my* personal blog where I am free to write anything I feel like.

The new blog which I have created is going to be used strictly for my career.That's correct, I am finally taking my writing public and going to be a freelance journalist. Of course I am also going to be working on my long-standing work as well. But freelance right now, seems to be just what I need to get the foundation set for my writing resume.

If you'd like to follow my professional blog to see what I'm working on, and where I will be published, please feel free to check out the new blog. Of course I would love to hear from you all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Never accept defeat!

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?type=fr_personal&fr_id=35141&px=19899171&post_id=94323&bpg=rlist&pg=personal

Wow!! No matter how many times I think that I've gone as far as I can go with something...a miracle happens.
Lola and I had set a goal of raising $250 for the Bark For Life walk...and our friends were wonderful enough to support us and donate money...even during these days when we all need to count our pennies. The donations were coming in steady and we were approaching our goal faster than I had expected. However then the donations stopped coming.
As the days crept closer to the Bark For Life walk, The funds raised were stalled at $150, and I began to believe that our goal would not be reached as I hoped. (Which was fine, because we did raise a nice chunk o' change for this cause)...but once again, I would be unable to complete something I had set out to do. Yes, I was getting ready to say 'hello' to my old friend defeat.
Then this morning I signed on to take a look at my profile page, and a miracle happened while I had been asleep. My friends Donna & Anthony made a donation, and brought Lola and myself closer to reaching our goal! We have not been defeated after all!
Miracles happen, every day when you least expect it. And especially when you're not looking for it. Our thanks go out to Donna and Anthony...not only for their generous donation. But for also reminding me not to accept defeat so easily.
Please continue to sponsor Lola and myself....our walk is only 12 days away.
Our love, gratitude & doggy kisses,
Rose & Lola

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?type=fr_personal&fr_id=35141&px=19899171&post_id=94323&bpg=rlist&pg=personal

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: Fear Of Driving by Daniella Brodsky

Fear of Driving
What is a family?   Can you escape the things that connect you to yours?  That's what Ruby Reynolds wants to know in ... FEAR OF DRIVING
Throughout Ruby's childhood her mother dragged her clear across the country and back, starting their life over and over again, without ever telling Ruby who her father was and what exactly they were running from. When she was old enough, Ruby moved to New York City and promised herself she'd stay put, at a comfortable distance from her Momma…and the moving vehicles Ruby learned to hate.  But now Ruby’s met someone she wants to marry, someone with whom she hopes to create the kind of normal life she’s always wanted.  The problem is, when she leaves city life behind her worst fears are stirred up.  She has to learn to drive, though this symbolizes so many frightening possibilities about her family history, and she has to learn to make peace with who she really is.  But as Ruby blossoms into life, both on the road and in her heart, creating a “family” of her own along the way, can she ever truly come to terms with herself?

Fear Of Driving by Daniella Brodsky was a bit of a difficult read for me, which led to it being a disappointing read for me. But all in all it was not a 'bad' book. I had selected this book to read because I felt that the protagonist Ruby and I were cut from the same cloth. Granted my mom did not uproot me from the home I knew and take me all over the country, nor was I ever afraid to drive a car. However I am estranged from my father, and in the past never seemed to date the right kind of guy...due to intimacy issues. This I know stems from my 'daddy issues'. And up until two years ago, my relationship with my mother would have been considered less than desirable. I am most grateful that that has changed for the better, and now have to consider my mom my best friend. Again...our main character Ruby in this novel comes from New York City, and there are mentions of Long Island in this book, all of which are part of my life. So when I decided tor read this book, think I was hoping to find some tools in the story which I can apply in my life to get me through the 'speed bumps and pot holes' of life.

Perhaps I am well past the recovery points that Ruby goes through in this tale of friendship, learning to trust her boyfriend, and most importantly, overcoming her fears. Because there was nothing that I can take from this book, and apply to my life. However I did find myself nodding my head and thinking to myself 'yep...been there, done that' when Ruby would cover up her actions or make up an excuse. I also found myself getting annoyed with our girl Ruby tot he point of punching her in the head when it came to her lack of sharing with her fiance, Ed. Here is the great guy (maybe the character was a little too perfect) who goes out of his way to be there for Ruby, being supportive and patient without fail and she just wouldn't let him in. But I also have to play devil's advocate and say that Ms. Brodsky created such a damaged and needy character that maybe Ruby irked me so much because I still see much of her in me, when it comes to trusting a man.

I thoroughly enjoyed the side stories of Ruby creating a new family of friends in her adult life, and the commodorie that the characters share. It was written with enough passions, snark, and empathy to ring true to the real world.

Although I would not read Fear Of Driving a second time, I would recommend it. But only if you want to read a Chick Lit book, and are not looking to maybe walk away with some tools to navigating your own life. I was impressed enough with the style of Ms. Brodsky's writing that I would give another pieces of her work a try.

You can enjoy Fear Of Driving by Daniella Brodsky by purchasing it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble when you visit her site. I know it is available in different formats for your reading pleasure.

This is book review # 4 for the Chick Lit Plus 2011 Challenge. Remember, it's never to late to start to read!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Please sponsor Lola and I in the BARK FOR LIFE WALK for Cancer

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11National?px=19899171&pg=personal&fr_id=35141

Have you ever wanted to do something nice for someone? Perhaps you thought about 'paying it forward' but felt a little odd paying for someone to pass thru a toll booth after you on the thru-way. Well here is a *great* opportunity for you to help a stranger, help the world.

On Sunday, April 10, 2011 Lola (the puggle) and myself will be walking in the cancer fundraiser BARK FOR LIFE, in Riverhead. Cancer is such a terrible disease, and no one regardless of age, sex, gender or nationality should be a victim of it. The fact of the matter is more likely than not in one form or another we all will be touched by this disease. Either by knowing someone or even contracting the illness ourselves. I myself have to go for an exam twice a year because I have precancerous cells, and am being monitored. Due to my wonderful doctor being on top of my condition and the break-thru's the medical world has come so very far. But we can still do more.

Please click on the link to go to mine and Lola's web page for this vent and sponsor us. Any little bit will help and is greatly appreciated.

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11National?px=19899171&pg=personal&fr_id=35141

Thank you.................... Rose & Lola

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

HOORAY! IT'S MARDI GRAS!



I have to say that I'm a bit prejudiced and in awe of how they do it. But it appears that Italy really knows how to celebrate Mardi Gras or better known as Carnevale. Masquerade balls, pageant's, jugglers and stilt walkers, singing, dancing and fireworks all are part of the festivities in the country shaped like a boot. The people of Italy however do not limit their merrymaking to one night. Weeks before Ash Wednesday the festivities start and do not end until 4 days after Mardi Gras!   Although the Netherlands celebrate Mardi Gras, the people do see it as a preperation for the sacred Easter season. And Sweden has a totally different name for Shrove Tuesday, which is Fettisdagen. Their tradition was that Fettisdagen was the only day to eat Semla, which is a traditional pastry made in various forms in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden[1] and Norway associated with Lent and especially Shrove Monday or Shrove Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, no matter where you spend it is just a f un day to be celebrated regardless of your religious beliefs or nationality. The traditional foods and drink are easy enough to make or be had, and you can celebrate as quietly or outlandishly as you wish. This year I cooked from morning to night for the special day...kicking it off with pancakes, and then making Jumbalaya and King Cake from scratch. Instead of having mojito's or Hurricanes to drink, I went traditional blue-collar American and served beer with our meal. I do suggest if you want King Cake, it's easier to buy than make as it takes a very long time to prepare. But if you do decide to bake it...it is very well worth it. Below are the two recipes I used for today's feast. Bon Appetite!

KING CAKE:

4 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
1/2 oz yeast, use two 1/4 oz packets
2/3 cup(s) water, warm (about 110°F)
1/2 cup(s) sugar, granulated, divided
1/2 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
5 cup(s) all-purpose flour, or as little as 4 cups (see instructions)
2 spray(s) cooking spray
1/2 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup(s) raisins
1/2 cup(s) (chopped) pecan halves, chopped (or walnuts)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, melted
1 cup(s) powdered sugar
3 Tbsp water
3Tbsp sugar, granulated (use 1 tbsp each purple, green and gold decorating sugar)

To make dough, combine milk and 4 tablespoons of margarine in a small saucepan; set pan over medium-low heat. Heat mixture until tiny bubbles appear around edges of pan. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, 2/3 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; let stand 5 minutes. Beat in egg substitute. Beat in cooled milk mixture. Beat in remaining granulated sugar, salt and nutmeg.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix until blended and no longer sticky (this will take 4 to 5 cups). Using dough hook attachment on your mixer, or your hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes with dough hook and 8 minutes by hand). Shape dough into a ball.

Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Add dough and turn to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

When dough has risen, punch dough down with your fists to let air out. Roll into a large rectangle, about 14 X 18 inches; set aside.

To make filling, combine brown sugar, raisins, nuts, cinnamon and melted margarine in a bowl; combine until mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, to within 1/4-inch of edges of rectangle.

Starting from wider side of rectangle, roll dough up tightly, like a jelly roll. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval-shaped ring.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place dough ring on baking sheet and pinch ends together to form a seal.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using a serrated knife, cut slits 1/3 of way through dough all around ring, 1 inch apart, to let steam vent. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and insert plastic baby doll into bottom of cake so it is completely hidden. (You can substitute a whole pecan or walnut for the doll.)

To make frosting, combine powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.

While cake is still warm, spread frosting over top and sides. Sprinkle colored sugar over cake, alternating colors. Cut into 24 pieces and serve.


JAMBALAYA: 
1 spray(s) cooking spray
2 1/2 oz raw turkey sausage chopped
1 large onion(s), chopped
1 stalk(s) (medium) celery, stalk, chopped
1 small green pepper(s), chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
2 medium chicken breast, cooked, skinless, cubed (about 2 cups)
28 oz canned tomatoes, whole, plum, peeled with juice
2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
1 cup(s) uncooked white rice, long-grain
Coat a large, nonstick saucepan with cooking spray. Over high heat, sauté sausage until crispy on edges. Add onion, celery and green pepper; sauté until tender.

Reduce heat and stir in cayenne, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic; sauté until garlic is fragrant.

Stir in chicken, tomatoes, broth and rice. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.