This & That: No. 134

Nov 21, 2014

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~Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

While I am late to the party with this particular book, many readers have recommended it as well as a few of my friends, so it is now on my wish list. Reaching the status of a New York Times Best Seller, writer, comedian, and actress Mindy Kaling takes readers on a tour of her life and her keen, witty and unexpected observations about work, romance and everything in between.

~Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

Upon listening to this broadcast about the upcoming release of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s memoir to be released in December (12th), as a young girl who read her Little House on the Prairie books, I was intrigued to see that a more raw tale existed. Life on the prairie wasn’t always a day at the beach whether in regards to relationships, living conditions, etc. If you too are curious to learn more about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder and not the spruced up television version, you might want to put this on your wish list.

~Francophile Find

~Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir

Okay, so if you want a love story, a real love story to envy, this is it. Samantha Vérant takes readers along her journey of finding love when she at the age of 40, reaches out to a Frenchman she met when she was nineteen. Needless to say, it wouldn’t be a book if it didn’t work out as beautifully and uniquely as it did. Just released last month, this just might be a perfect holiday read.


~The Imitation Game

The day after Thanksgiving, I will be taking in this beauty of a film. Partly because of Mr. Cumberbatch’s involvement, but also because of my love and curiosity of history. Playing Alan Turing the brilliant mathematician that broke the German’s Enigma communication system during WWII, the film follows Turing’s successes, struggles and sadly his vilification upon discovering his homosexuality. Starring alongside Keira Knightley, critics are already talking possible Oscar nominations. Have a look at the trailer below.


~T Tahari White Wool Coat

Winter, wool, white. Okay, maybe that last descriptor isn’t on your wardrobe list, but maybe it should be if the coat looks this good. A beautiful wrap design offering a winter white option to wear over jeans and knee high boots. Warm and sophisticated, no?


~Sole Society Vegan Leather Weekender Bag

For only $70, yep you heard me right, this chic travel bag can be yours. Available in two other colors, made of vegan leather, and ideal for that one or two night getaway before you have to head back to work, your budget will thank you.



So why the lion picture you may be wondering? I must admit this is how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m not sure if he’s roaring or yawning, but I’m going with roaring as I too feel like roaring in part out of frustration, impatience but also eagerness as I’ve been patiently waiting for a handful of things to happen in my life recently and I am beyond eager to let loose. Needless to say, as many of my family and friends know, I am not so wonderful at being patient, and have been itching to move things forward on many fronts.

But as I’ve learned from previous experience, much like the lion remaining on his post, you can’t rush what isn’t ready. Okay, I hate that life truth, but it is true. It will be worth it.  Having been cooped up due to another snow day yesterday, ideas of what to do this weekend are long as my patience again is being tested. However, a day to dive into blog business and creative pursuits was something I immediately was eager to do.

And while this This & That doesn’t have any extra articles to read, I do have the recipe for the Apple Pie in a Skillet on the cover of Saveur‘s December issue below which is served at Boston’s Durgin-Park restaurant. I gave it a shot last night as you can see in my Instagram pic (only made 1/2 the recipe and placed in a smaller skillet), and hands-down, this is a flavorful, perfect-for-a-cozy-evening type of dessert. Mouthwatering indeed. Enjoy!

Apple Pandowdy

serves 6-8

  • 1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
  • 15 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. ice-cold water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple cider
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 12 semisweet apples (i.e. Fuji), cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional – are you kidding! Mandatory!)
  1. Pulse flour, 12 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbs. With the motor running, add water; pulse until dough forms. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/6″ thick; trim edges to make a 9″ square. Cut dough into 3″ squares; chill until ready to serve. Stir remaining butter, sugar, and salt, the cider, cornstarch, molasses, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, and apples in a 12″ cast-iron skillet; simmer over medium-high for 10 minutes. Arrange dough squares over apples and brush with cream; bake 20 minutes (this bake time wasn’t necessary when a small skillet is used). Using a spoon, press the crust into the filling; bake until top is golden, 18-20 minutes. Serve with ice cream.




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