Just because! The picture is of Misty & Mandy, curled up together in the sunshine.
I have just asked for review copies of Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. This is apparently a free-verse novel about werewolves. Should be fun to read! Toby is a Detroit resident & this is his first novel. Another requested review book is a more sobering story about the car accident in Michigan, where two young women were confused with each other for several weeks.
My mother has confirmed that they would like me to bring my family favorite recipes of "The World's Best Green Bean Casserole" and Austrian Raspberry Shortbread (recipe from the Smitten Kitchen). Links above will take you to the original recipes & I'll also mention my variations.
For the Green Bean casserole, my variations included adding in red bell pepper, mostly because I like the color & because I think this dish can use a little extra punch. I also added in water chestnuts, because I love the crunch. You can do the same, or follow the recipe exactly. She's right that the French fried onions on top add exactly the right topping. This recipe is actually quite fun to make & adds that extra fillip of green vegetables to the dinner table.
The Austrian Raspberry Shortbread is quite fun to make, but I will admit that having a food processor to grate the shortbread will save you some time. I hand grated this & it is well worth it. The first time I made the recipe, I thought it was short on the wonderful raspberry fruit spread I used, so I doubled it for the 2nd time. This made the interior of the shortbread a little soggy & The Smitten Kitchen is absolutely right in the amount of time it takes to bake the shortbread. So what I think I will do is split the recipe between two pans and cut the amount of raspberry spread to one & a half small jars, rather than my two jars from last time. It is delicious anyway you make it, even if Annie-the-cat leaves the kitchen while the mixer is running.