Reading with a side of…

Hey everyone!

Today’s reading with a side of pairs an old YA classic with comfort food.

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman
Rosie and Skate are sister’s whose single father has been sent to prison for stealing, while drunk. All of their lives, the two have had to cope with their father’s drinking. While, Skate, the older sister (16), is completely done with her father, Rosie (15) still tries to take on the world’s problems and keep her family together. The two occasionally attend an Alateen group, where Rosie is making connections and the two are learning better coping strategies. Rosie begins a precarious relationship with Nick, who is dealing with his own alcoholic parent. She is also learning how to demand what she wants/needs and finally begin thinking of herself. Whereas Skate’s life has all but imploded. The only person she ever counted on was her boyfriend, Perry. She even lived with him and his mother. However, ever since he went away to college, she doesn’t feel as connected to him. She desperately tries to keep her relationship together, while also coping with her own family issues.

These sisters are strong. They both need each other, without being completely dependent on the other. I feel that this novel gets what it is like to have someone dealing with alcoholism and shows a path of hope through those challenges. It isn’t a perfect novel, with all loose ends being tied up and everyone living happily ever after. Each character still has work to do, but there does seem to be a sense of hope.

Rating: Two Fairies

Baked Mac & Cheese by Alton Brown on Food Network
Skate was always lured to Perry’s mom’s house by her homemade mac and cheese. Of course, each time they referenced it, I wanted some, but all we had was the neon orange mac and cheese. I have big plans of conning my sister with her superb culinary skills into making some bomb mac and cheese.

Check out the website where I found the recipe, here:
 Baked Macaroni and Cheese


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

© 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

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