Thursday, March 31, 2011

Really Big News!

This is a very big day in the Presnell household. Andrew was just sworn in as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force! He will be participating in the Air Force Health Professionals scholarship program. They will pay for the rest of his schooling (2 1/2 years including his internship) and then he will serve as a psychologist for the Air Force for 3 years with the opportunity to re-enlist at that point if we decide that's what is best for us. It has been a big decision and we have mostly kept it quiet, because it was a competitive scholarship and we wanted to wait until it was official. I am so very proud of him. It is an opportunity to help our soldiers in a way that is very needed. And a way for us to get some great experiences and opportunities. So that's about all we know for now. I'll share any more details when I have them!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book #22 of 2011

Book #22 was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I loved this book! And I was really excited to find out it was the first in a series of 7 books. The heroine of this book is Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old aspiring chemist living in a picturesque English village in the 1950s. When a dead body turns up in the garden of her family's estate, it turns out that Flavia is pretty good at solving mysteries, too. Reading this book was just fun. I highly recommend it to pretty much anyone. 5 stars

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cadbury Creme Deviled Eggs

Usually, I hate deviled eggs. Just thinking about them now kind of makes me want to gag. But THESE are some deviled eggs I could get behind. Although I'm pretty sure I could only eat about half of one of these sugary concoctions, made from Cadbury Creme Eggs and buttercream frosting. If you want to make them, check out the info over at Serious Eats.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ferris Bueller Board Game

I love this Ferris Bueller board game! So fun, colorful and creative. I have seen this movie probably 100 times (at least). I'll stop every time I see it on tv. "You're Abe Froman? The sausage king of Chicago?" Click on the picture to see a larger image. From Max Dalton.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Books # 20 & 21 of 2011

Well, I'm now a fifth of the way through my goal for 2011! Book #20 was The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. I thought the movie looked pretty good, and I always like to read the book before seeing a movie if possible. I thought the book was pretty good, although there was a little too much lawyer-speak for me. I was hoping there would be a little more action and less focus on the courtroom proceedings. 3 stars

Book # 21 was The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Ranch Wife by Ree Drummond. Ree is one of my very favorite bloggers. Her website,, is full of great photography, recipes, and other fun and pretty things. However, this cookbook was just ok. I didn't feel like it offered much past what is available on her website. In fact, I think there are some much better recipes on her website! 3 stars

Monday, March 7, 2011

Books #18 & #19 of 2011

Book # 18 was Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Mirjam Pressler. This is a young adult book translated from German. To me, the subject matter, about a teenage girl who learns about her grandfather's involvement with the Nazi party, had more potential than the writer was able to live up to. While I'm sure it's possible that the writing could have suffered in the translation, the novel was disjointed and at times confusing, going back and forth between the main character's inner dialog and actual advancement of the plot. However, this book does offer an interesting perspective of how the German people are dealing with the sins of their fathers (and grandfathers). 3 stars

Book #19 is Runaways Deluxe Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn. This is maybe the best graphic novel I've ever read, or at least my favorite. A group of teenagers learn that their parents are super-villians and set about an attempt to thwart them. Published by Marvel, Vaughn sprinkles in some fun references, including Captain America coming in to "save the day" but really not doing anything of the sort. I can't wait to read the follow-ups to this first volume. 5 stars

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thought for Today

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apple Butter Banana Bread

I love this banana bread recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The apple butter adds an extra little something that makes it taste better than regular old banana bread!


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (2 small)
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup canola or cooking oil


1. Grease and flour the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of the flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, sugar, banana, apple butter, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes: 1 loaf (16 servings)