Apr 072015
 

When I asked my sister-in-law what I could bring to our Easter dinner, I was told all was covered off except a salad or vegetable.  With a simple main course of pineapple ham and scalloped potatoes, I decided to make a classic layered salad. With so many crunchy vegetables in it, there would be no need for another vegetable dish!  I love making (and eating!) layered salads.  For this one, I added a cream dressing with avocado added.

Classic layered Salad with Avocado cream

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Layered Salad Variations

I have been making layered salads for years.  The beauty of a layered salad is you can add whatever you want or have on hand making each one unique.  Some popular items I DID NOT include are:

  • chopped hard boiled eggs
  • spinach
  • green onions
  • shrimp or shredded chicken
  • shredded cabbage – red or green
  • mushrooms

I have also seen Mexican and Asian versions.  The sky is the limit.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

I started with a mixture of ripped iceberg and romaine lettuce.  I also mixed in some parsley and topped it with a light layer of slivered red onion.  Many people add a thicker layer of onion but personally, as much as I love the flavour, I find it over powering.

Classic layered Salad with Avocado cream

MIxed lettuce with parsley and topped with red onions

I followed the green layer with a layer of colourful red peppers.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Over the lettuce and onion, I added a colourful layer of diced red peppers.

Peas seem to be a staple in layered salads.  In fact some recipes call them “Seven-Layer Pea Salad”.  I almost always include peas.  I love the texture and freshness they provide.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Thawed frozen peas are classic in this type of salad.

Afer the peas, I added a layer of a combination of chopped celery and cucumber.  I put them together because I didn’t really want enough of either to make it a noticable layer.  Instead, I decoratively arranged the cucumbers along the then filled the layer with chopped veggies.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Pea layer was topped with cucumber and celery followed by shredded carrots.

The Avocado Cream dressing tops the layers.  It is important to smooth the dressing right out to the edges to seal the  layers underneath to keep them crisp. For this salad, I used light sour cream, mayonaise, mashed avocado with a splash of lime juice.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Avocado Cream dressing seals the veggies under it.

I do love cheese!  So this salad received a nice thick layer of mixed shedded cheese!

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Cheese layer

The topping consisted of crispy crumbled bacon (second favourite after the cheese), seeded and diced fresh tomatoes and sliced green onions. 

The bowl was then tightly covered in saran wrap and refridgerated for a few hours to meld the flavours.  This also give you time to walk the dog, shower, style your hair before you leave!

TOMATOES:  some recipes make a tomato layer further down but I find it can make things soggy, even if seeded.  In fact, I added the tomatoes jsut before we left the house.

Covering and refridgerating the completed salad for a few hours
or overnight is essential to meld the flavours.

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Toppings of Bacon, Tomato and Green Onion

So pretty!

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

Love the colours!

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream

This style of salad never ceased to impress! AND you make it ahead of time.

These salads are great for picnics and potluck meals.  I also see numerous pinterest posts where they are made in mason jars.  I need to try that sometime!

Do you make Layered Salads?

What’s your favourite must-have ingredients? 

I hope you had a joyful Easter weekend
filled with family and great food!

Please be sure to leave a comment and follow me by using the buttons on the sidebar!

 

 

Joan

Classic Layered Salad with Avocado Cream
Serves 12
A delicious make ahead salad filled with crunchy vegetables and a variety of textures. The best feature of this recipe is you can adapt it to include as many of few layers as you want and vary the ingredients to your taste.
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Prep Time
40 min
Prep Time
40 min
For the Avocado Cream Dressing
  1. 2 mashed avocados
  2. 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  3. 1 cup low fat sour cream
  4. 1 cup low fat mayonaise
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
  1. 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  2. 6 cups of salad greens (iceberg or romaine or a mixture) ripped
  3. 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  4. 2 red peppers, chopped
  5. 2 cups of rinsed frozen green peas (they will thaw in the salad)
  6. 1/2 an English Cucumber, sliced or chopped
  7. 3 celery stalks, chopped
  8. 3 carrots shredded (2-3 cups)
  9. 3 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar or your choice)
  10. 3 green onions, chopped
  11. 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
For the Avocado Cream
  1. Mash the avocado and lime juice in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in sour cream and mayonnaise.
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Set aside or refridgerate
For the Salad
  1. Cook the bacon, drain, allow to cool and crumble. Set aside.
  2. Mix lettuce with parsley.
  3. Beginning with the lettuce followed by layers of peppers, peas, cucumber, celery and carrots.
  4. Top these layers with the Avocado Cream dressing, smoothing right to the edge to seal the layers below.
  5. Add the toppings of bacon, green onions and tomatoes.
  6. Cover tightly with saran wrap and refridgerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Notes
  1. Personally, I find a tomato layer can make it mushy so I add it just before serving as a topping.
  2. I also really love this salad with a layer of chopped hard boiled egg.
Nicer Than New http://www.nicerthannew.com/
Oct 292014
 

As I revealed in a recent post, I think I have the “original” crockpot from the 1970s.  In fact, it is being described as “vintage” on ebay!

Regardless, I have been using a crockpot / slow cooker for years!  So much so,  I often don’t use recipes for some of the standbys like Beef Stew.  I just buy the beef and whatever root vegetables I feel like and throw them in the pot and turn it on.

But when my  daughter  was home from university  for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, she asked “So what’s the recipe for this?” 

It was then I realized perhaps I should write out the basics and share a few tips I have accumulated  over the many years of slow-cooking.

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

 

My Tips for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

To Brown or Not to Brown?

Many slow-cooker recipes for a BEEF dish tell  you to brown the meat  but I have found it is not  necessary.

Let’s face it, once meat has been simmered in a crockpot for 6-8 hours, do you really notice if it was browned or not… Not in my family.

Precook the vegetables?

Many recipes also say to precook the onions until soft and add in the root vegetables, etc. This too, I have found unnecessary for a stew. 

It is all about layering.

I put the onions and root veggies on the bottom and the meat on top.  The juices and liquids go to the bottom and the onions and veggies  come out perfectly cooled!

Broth or other Liquids?

For my simple, throw it together beef stew, I try to add very minimal liquid.  For the stew pictured above,  I added a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, STRAINED.  Adding too much liquid makes the gravy thin and then you feel as though you need to thicken it.  I like my beef stew hearty and robust.  In my opinion. adding more than 4-8 oz. to a pot makes the gravy runny and dilutes the flavors.

What about you? 

Do you use recipes or just throw it together?

I would love to hear your tips and success stories with slow-cooker dishes.

Joan

Easy Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Serves 8
This is an anything goes kind of recipe, requiring NO PRE-COOKING. You can add vegetables and herbs which suit your taste. This stew makes a lot and can be frozen for later meals.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs Stewing Beef cut in 1.5" cubes
  2. 1 medium onion, sliced
  3. 4 cloves of garlic minced
  4. 4 cups of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac cut in 1 inch chunks
  5. 1 tsp each thyme, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  6. 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with most of the liquid drained.
Instructions
  1. Wash the meat and dry in a paper towel.
  2. Prepare all the vegetables.
  3. Place the onions on the bottom, followed by the chopped root vegetables and garlic
  4. Place the meat on top
  5. Sprinkle the herbs and salt and pepper over the meat.
  6. Pour the tomatoes over the top.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and turn on to the low setting.
  8. Cook 6-8 hours until done.
Notes
  1. For the stew pictured, I used 3 large carrots and 3 large parsnips. I did not have any potatoes.
  2. This method also works with Pork and Lamb stews.
Nicer Than New http://www.nicerthannew.com/
Oct 232014
 

I swear, I have the original Rival Crockpot from the 1970s.  I think I got it for Christmas when I was in college and living on my own.  At that time, crockpots and slow-cooking was all the rage.  Just for fun, I googled “1970 Rival Crockpot” and lo and behold, my crockpot is now “Vintage” on e-bay and the sellers are asking a pretty penny for them.

vintage crockpot

$80 on e-bay!!

However, my “vintage” crockpot  has a special feature.  Last year, one of the legs cracked and broke.  No problem at our house, I used a wine cork to fix it!

IMG_3209

Put a cork on it!

Why am I posting about my old crockpot?  Well, it seems when the cooler temperatures hit, everyone who has one, pulls out their crockpots / slow-cookers and makes yummy, homey, comfort food recipes.  I am no exception.

A few years ago, I decided to buy a new slow-cooker with a removable crock.  It is still the Rival brand and it looks nice and washes easier but to be honest… I don’t like it!

IMG_3198

Same brand — newer model (by like 25 years or more!)

Why?  My issue is the low setting on my newer model  is too hot.  For example, in my “vintage” model, I can set a stew on low and cook for 8 hours and it is wonderful.  In the new version, on low, the stew is done in about 4-5 hours.  Not great for 9 to 5 workers. 

But, on the other hand, for a  pot luck dinner, I love the newer model with the removable crock.  The vintage model is deeper and not conducive to serving at an event … but it is superior in the way it cooks!

So what exactly is my message….

If you find a “Vintage avocado 70s Rival Slow-cooker” at a  decent price….
GRAB IT!
 

It is so worth the hassle of carefully washing!

 

Are you a Crock-pot / Slow-Cooker enthusiast?
 

Are you happy with your model?

 

I just love comments and would love to hear about your
Crock-Pot adventures!

 

Joan

Jun 282014
 

When someone one says “Give me a Break!”  I don’t think this is what they mean..

I posted back in May, for some reason, I was in a funk I could not seem to get out of. I was not able to get at the oh so many paint and upholstery projects I have lined up.  I felt  distracted and shall I say a bit lazy!  Not sure what it was; perhaps that brutally long winter.  At the time, I had been blogging about 8 months and my page views and visitors were up significantly.  But my “followers” were not growing  at the same pace.  Much of the traffic to my blog was coming from my participation in linky parties.   It was becoming clear I was not exploring and taking advantages of other, more productive options available for bloggers. 

So I took a break and did some research, reading and thinking.  Still in a bit of a funk on the work front but was very busy  planning my daughter’s prom / graduation party.

Then, on Friday the 13th,
I got a REAL BREAK!
and not a nice one!

I slipped on a wet floor and went down like a ton of bricks.

I thought I had a sprained ankle because I could put some weight on it but NO… a fractured tibia  (shinbone).

This sucked in so many ways but it could have been worse.  It was my left leg so I can still drive!

Air Cast

This boot is made for walking…

In the two weeks that followed, we had a number of special occasions planned.

We were hosting our last Book Club meeting of the season,  the day after the big break.  Luckily I had set up the dining room for a formal “Great Gatsby” meal before the fall and the meal is “pot luck” and my group is so familiar with my kitchen I had no concerns and was waited on by all 😉 

Then on June 20th, we were hosting a pre- and post- prom party for my daughter and her friends and their families.  You know 45 people mingling around taking photos, eating nibbles and sipping on champagne cocktails.  I could hobble and the week leading up to this, I prepared so many cool things, decor and food, to make it special. 

I was smart though.  I called in a favour from  my bestest friend Gay,  a real estate agent, and asked her if she could be free on Friday to help me.  I do a lot of PhotoShop work for her promotional plan so it was difficult to turn me down. 

OMG without her, I would never have survived the day.  As it turned out the day was PERFECT!!!   Perfect weather.  Perfect food and drinks.  Perfect decor. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

IMG_2111

All the lovely ladies!
(and my peonies in full bloom!)

IMG_2128

This bench by our front door is the location of nearly every “First Day of School” picture for the past 13 years!

IMG_2133

Miss Nice and her Romeo!

IMG_2143

Their school is a dedicated Arts-Only school and this picture shows most of these kids are in the DRAMA program

IMG_2159

That was some limo! A stretch Hummer!

 What was not perfect was I did not get pictures of the decor, the food or the drinks.  I so wanted to do a blog post on it.  You know, get out of my funk.  But NO!  Jusy no time to spare to take photos.  This is definitely a blog issue I will work on… allow WAY more time for things I want to blog about.

Then June 23rd was Miss Nice’s eighteenth birthday and on June 25th was her high school graduation!  Talk about packing it in!

IMG_2256

A grad picture on the bench was a must!

It has now been two weeks since my big break and the pain has subsided quite a bit.  I quite like the feel of the air-cast when I put it on.   It nice and snug and makes me feel more stable. 

Mr. Nice and I leased a golf membership for the summer at a private club, making this break VERY untimely and expensive.  However, I plan to go to the range this week and see how much it puts me off balance.  We can always take a cart!

Today, I am going to tackle some paint projects because the weather here in Toronto is magnificent!  And I want to go outside!

Similar to my post back in the winter,  Make Like Nike and “Just Do It”   I plan on getting off my butt, out of my funk and be productive regardless of my leg.

In the meantime, I have one more decision to make: 
In the first week of July, do I really want to fly to England to see my in-laws while sporting a cast? or should I go in the fall when Mr. Nice usually goes alone? 

Have you taken a long flight with a cast on?

Have you ever had a bad Friday the 13th? 

Stay tuned for more projects and posts because I believe I am back!

Joan

 

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin! 
and comments just make my day!
(And I could use a break!  LOL)

Feb 132014
 

With Valentine’s day on the horizon, I just had to share a bit of personal stuff about my daughter Little Miss Nice.

She is 17 years old and in her senior year of high school. She is rather artsy as in the performing arts sort of way and has been attending a school for the arts for the past 5 1/2 years. Sadly this school is a significant commute from our home. Fortunately, a few summers ago, she was able to connect with a great group of kids from the local (as in 500 yards from our home) high school. Before Christmas, she and one of the lovely young men in the group began dating.

On the surface, one would think they are so totally different:

  • she’s a musical theatre fanatic and he’s into country music
  • she’s very scholastic and he’s a bright kid who loves to work with his hands
  • She’s traveled extensively and he doesn’t have a passport

Little Miss Nice is lucky because her mom and dad don’t dwell on such things and can look past all the differences.  Besides, he is the sweetest guy EVER!  He truly is a real ROMEO!

For Christmas, he MADE her a ROSE in shop class and at home.

CAM00314

It is made of metal and weight about 8 ounces!

CAM00315

It was welded and painted. How adorable is that?

CAM00316

As a DIYer, this is AWESOME!!!

 Is that not the most romantic and clever gift ever! 
 Little Miss Nice LOVES it, and knowing the effort and thought that went into it just warms her heart.

With Valentine’s Day only 2 days away, Miss Nice decided she needed to get her act together and do something creative for her ROMEO.

Have you noticed I keep referring to him as her “ROMEO”???

Well, that is his name!

ROMEO!

I know it makes people chuckle a little but it is actually a popular French Canadian name.
And one to be proud of if you know anything about
Romeo Dallaire
If you do not know about this former Canadian Armed Forces General,
please follow the link and find out more.

Little Miss Nice checked out Pinterest and this is what she came up with:

CAM00307

She followed a PUN theme… The item at the front is a candy car…

 

CAM00312

How cute it this…

CAM00311

He’s going to love it!

  Her puns are:

  • “You Stole a Piece of my Heart”  with a stash of Reese’s Pieces
  • “I’m a Sucker for You” with a stash of suckers
  • “I’m hooked on You” with a stash of gummy worms
  • “I Love Your Hugs and …” with a stash of Hershey’s Kisses
  • and the candy car with “You’re Wheelie Sweet”

Tonight, is the semi-formal at  Romeo’s school.  As a non-student, attending the event, my baby is nervous but she will look great!

Do you have teens at home? 

If you do, what a journey it is!

Young love is not always easy but when it is going well, your heart could burst!

I would love to hear your experiences with your teens, male and female!

In the meantime,

I hope you have a special ROMEO in your life!

Joan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You may find me linking at these great parties.

Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heavens Garden
DIY Show Off
  Three Mango Seeds party
Monday Funday at TWCS
GiveMeTheGoodsMondaynewbutton
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The Gunny Sack
cozy little house button  
A Stroll Thru Life
House on the Way A Bowl Full of Lemons
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The DIY Dreamer
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 photo 1001954_10101065966207063_96074138_n_zpsa41e371a.jpg Before and After Wednesday Image.jpg vintage inspiration Be Inspired 300  
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Jan 172014
 

Over the past few weeks, it has been bitterly cold her in snowy Toronto.  There were a few nights when the forecast low temperature was  expected to reach -20 Celsius and if you take into account the wind chill, it will feel like -34 Celsius.   For those of you who think in Fahrenheit,  that equates to -4’F and – 29’F respectively.  If you are not interested in numbers, let’s just say it is unbelievably cold out there and I was going NO WHERE!

When it is this cold,  a tasty, body warming soup is called for.  Soup seems to warm the soul but when you add ginger, it is like aromatherapy for your senses and your tummy!

I have been making this recipe for a few years and have adapted it to make it very healthy with lots of “greens”.  Hence, little Miss Nice refers to it as “Swamp Soup”  LOL.  Regardless, it is one of our family’s favorites.

Living in Toronto, a very multicultural city, I am able to find all these ingredients at any of my local supermarkets.  Hopefully, you can too because this soup is DEE-LISH.

Basically, I heat broth with most of the ingredients and then add the dumplings near the end. 
If all of the soup is not going to be consumed right away, I only add the dumplings needed. 
If I add them all, and then refrigerate the leftovers, sometimes the pasta part of the dumplings disintegrates
making it not so attractive and authentic.

soup09
If I plan ahead, I make the broth without the greens and dumplings in advance. 
This really intensifies the flavours.
Then when we want to eat it, the greens and dumplings can be added while you heat it up.

Hmmm … Maybe this is to much information. 
All I am trying to say is you can can be flexible and adapt the recipe to your pantry and your schedule..

soup10

If time permits, I add all the ingredients on the left to the chicken broth
(not the bok choy) and let it simmer to intensify the flavour.

soup13

If I am making in advance, once the broth has simmered,
I add the “greens” and simmer for a few minutes until wilted.

soup11

At this point, this could be a delicious vegetarian soup!
Otherwise, I add the dumplings and cook
for the recommended time on the package.

In the evening meal rush, I forgot to take a picture with the dumplings!!!! 

Freshly made, the soup’s greens are bright in colour as you can see in the photo above.
The next day or if it has been frozen, the colour is much duller and not as appetizing to look at.
Hence my daughter refers to it as  “Swamp Soup”.

Regardless of the colour, it is so yummy!

CAM00202

Lunch the next day! Sill delicious!

I hope you try one of our family’s favourite. 

If you do, please let me know how you liked it!

Joan

Chinese Dumpling Soup
Serves 6
Delicious and nutritious Asian Style soup.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 750ml Cartons of Chicken Broth (6 cups)
  2. 8 medium shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  3. 6 baby bok choy, out leaves discarded and chopped
  4. 8 ounces of baby spinach (about 5 handfuls)
  5. 6 green onions chopped on the diagonal
  6. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  7. One 3-inch piece of ginger, cut into thin 1 inch slivers
  8. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more or less depending on your taste
  9. One 16 oz package of Chinese pot stickers or dumplings, any flavour
  10. 1 tbsp Soy sauce, reduced sodium or to your taste
  11. 1 tbsp of sesame oil
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Add mushrooms, bok choy, spinach, green onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
  3. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and wilted.
  4. Add dumplings and cook according to package directions.
  5. Before serving, add soy sauce and sesame oil.
Notes
  1. Any type of greens could be added.
  2. The spinach looks like a huge amount but it wilts down to next to nothing.
  3. For vegetarians, firm tofu could be used instead of dumplings.
  4. If you wish to freeze for later, do not add the dumplings. The green colour will darken.
Adapted from Not Your Mother's Weeknight Cooking
Nicer Than New http://www.nicerthannew.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You may find me linking at these great parties.

Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heavens Garden
DIY Show Off
  Three Mango Seeds party
Monday Funday at TWCS
GiveMeTheGoodsMondaynewbutton
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home Metamorphis Monday  
The DIY'ers
The Gunny Sack
cozy little house button
A Stroll Thru Life
House on the Way A Bowl Full of Lemons
Photobucket SoMe2
Ivy and Elephants
The DIY Dreamer
frog tiny
MamaBuzz
Photobucket  
 photo 1001954_10101065966207063_96074138_n_zpsa41e371a.jpg Before and After Wednesday Image.jpg vintage inspiration Be Inspired 300  
Nancherrow
startathome
 photo grabbutton2_zps7d635a69.png
Creativity Unleashed Link Party
jenrizzo  
birdsonawirebutton The Thrifty Groove DIY Vintage Chic Craft Dictator The Shabby Nest
  Tickled Pink at 504 Main Chic on a Shoestring Decorating Furniture Feature Fridays
  nestwegg2 nestwegg2
Too Much Time On My Hands DIY It's Overflowing Live Love Create  
RRbutton125 TDC Before and After  

Jan 112014
 

Beginning with this post, I am going to share my love of reading by writing about my book club and as time goes on, the books we are reading and the food we eat at our meetings.  I have added a tab / page at the top where I have listed the books the Good Friday Book Club  have read to date.

To be honest, our Book Club is one of the most dearest, important aspects of my life.  The bond and dedication the members have never ceases to amaze me.  As the main organizer, I am often taken aback at the importance our little book club has in each members’ life.

A Bit of History

Our book club began as a group of moms whose children were involved in competitive dance.  It came to light we were all dying for some non-dance related fun and mental stimulation.  Our daughter, Miss Nice, was involved in Competitive dance for 12 years!  Needless to say, the studio was like her second home.  As dance parents, we saw many children grow and mature into lovely teens and adults.

We watched Miss Nice grow from this

2002 "Sweet Nothin's" The most adorable 5 year olds ever!

2002 “Sweet Nothin’s”
The most adorable 5 year olds ever!
Miss Nice is on the left

To this:

2014 Gorgeous!

2013 – Gorgeous!

It was at the dance studio where I met my most amazing friend Grace. One night, while waiting for our daughters to finish lessons, I noticed she was reading a book I had recently finished. We began discussing it and other books we had both read and liked.   I also could not help noticing all the notes and scribbles in the margins.  She was preparing for an upcoming book club.  As time went on, whenever  we met up, we always seemed to get into book discussions.

About a year later, she told me her book club was falling apart.  I have always thought a book club would be fun, so we decided to propose starting one with the studio “dance moms”.  The response within our dance-mom circle was incredible!  This was in February  and Dance Competitions are mostly in the early spring months so when we tried to find a free date, it was difficult. 

We finally all agreed to meet Good Friday, 2009: our first meeting.
The book was “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls. 

book

Now nearly 5 years later, we are still at it and oh how we have evolved!  You see, Grace has a Masters Degree in English Literature and she takes her reading and discussing very seriously!  Along the way, we lost a few lovely members but we also gained a few.  With Grace’s leadership and encouragement, we have all grown and we are now much more discretionary, insightful readers.   Not to mention, we all seem obsessed with our book club!  NO ONE EVER wants to miss a meeting!

Unlike many book clubs, ours now includes MEN! 
I know, this sounds almost sacrilegious to many book clubs but for us it works.  

I had the most appropriate house for hosting because all our darling dancers could  dance and carry on in our large family room while we met in the living room.  As such,  Mr Nice was always there and he too is an avid reader.  After a couple meetings, other hubbies wanted to participate.   So we now have 4 men and 7 women.

I believe what makes our book club special is our original connection to each other was dance and not much else.  We don’t live in the same neighbourhoods, we don’t work together and now, only Grace still has a child in dance.  The occupations in the group are also far reaching… Accountant, speech therapist, opera singers, teacher, engineer, real estate, etc.  So each of us brings a very unique perspective to the discussion.  

Our meetings are a blast! 

For each book, we try to pull out a theme or food or drink .  Sometimes it is easy and sometime not. 
One of the best meetings was when we read Eat Pray Love
We had a YOGI! come in and lead us through yoga class! 

Our next meeting is in a couple of weeks and the book is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. 
Interestingly, since Glass Castle, this is the first non-fiction book we have read.

Devil

Have you read it?

Are you part of a Book Club? 

What has been your favourite book to date? 

What was your least favourite book discussion? 

I would love to connect with other book lovers and book club members! 
Be sure to leave a comment and follow me on Bloglovin or Pinterest where I will be setting up a book board.

Happy reading!

Joan

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