sugar

Book Review: Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves by Robbie Cheadle

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I’m in absolute awe thinking about the creativity within the Cheadle family. Their culinary and literary talents are fantastic. In one of their newer books, Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbookRobbie Cheadle and her children take us on an extraordinary journey to the sugar crystal caves which are in danger of melting. Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet save the day showing us how much they love the world they live in. I need to try one of these recipes in the fall… all the creations look delectable. The stories are adorable. It’s the perfect way to bond with children on a lovely weekend where you stay in to have fun! Come check out all the fun with this book on the Children’s Book Readathon on my blog this week. Thanks!

download (1)

 

For more great creations from Robbie, check out past posts:

Book Review: Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries by Robbie Cheadle

Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Biscuit Art Sailing Boats

Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Fondant Art

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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365 Challenge: Day 290 – Cane

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Cane: (a) the hollow, jointed stem of a tall grass, especially bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan, or (b) a slender stick, especially one used as a support for plants, as a walking stick, or as an instrument of punishment, or (c) a name spelled differently

cane

The word ‘cane’ or ‘cain’ has been prevalent the last few days, which made me want to somehow incorporate it into the 365 Daily Challenge. As I’m away with family this week, the posts are a bit shorter. Why this word, you ask?

  • We put candy canes up on the tree and in some of the Christmas items all around the apartment, but I never ate a single piece of candy cane! I have a few peppermint items, like chocolate bark, but I didn’t eat a candy cane. I will need to do that this week before New Year’s Day!
  • I love ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ enjoying both the TV show and the books. On Christmas Eve, before we left on the trip, W and I stumbled upon an episode of Murder, She Wrote without Jessica Fletcher. It was news to me that she’d taken off many episodes, which meant another detective was the focus on the show. There was a British insurance agent who walked with I thought I was a cane, but later learned was umbrella. As it resembled a cane, I’m going with it. He took the round handle off, and it had a bunch of devices to pick locks. I need one! No questions, please. 🙂
  • Sugar cane is something we’ve all eaten, but I always realize around the holidays how much I consume. Of course, there’s the 5 pounds we put on at the holidays, resolve to take off in January… blah blah blah… yes, that will happen. But I’m craving sugar this year. I had so many cookies at my mom’s on Christmas, desserts  such as pecan pie and English treats from a friend, then I consumed a small cake for my anniversary, and now I’m eating even more while away. It’s too good to resist. My goal in 2018 — to visit a sugar cane plantation to see how it grows and figure out how to cut down this sweet tooth.
  • I like fried chicken and try new kinds whenever I can. I’ve never eaten at a Chick fil a, so while we were back at the airport again yesterday (they forgot to send my luggage… long story, maybe Ryder will rant about it when I return), we stopped for fast food — another thing I rarely do. We saw a Raising Canes chicken location, which I’ve also never eaten at… since it was more local, we went there. It was delicious, except they only had 1 fryer working, so it took a lot longer than expected.
  • Lastly, Cain, spelled differently, was 1 of the 2 brothers from the Bible, whom we have heard a lot about over the years. The classic good versus evil battle — the nice brother and the bad brother. Brothers were at the center of my year, given the family of 5 in my debut novel. But I’m also an only child… so being around my other half’s family this week reminds me of being part of a large family with tons of brothers or siblings. Always a good thing!

Today’s 5 interpretations of the word ‘cane’ seemed like a good path to go… unrelated but related… words that all mean something different to us. Did I miss any that should be here? I’m spending time working on Friday’s author alert… hope you’ll be excited by this one!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 186 – Coffee

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Coffee: a drink made from the roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced

coffee

Since we leave on our North Carolina road trip very shortly, my focus the next few days is planning the final itinerary, closing up edits on the novel and packing. I also need to start shortening my posts since I only plan to post a picture, select the word that comes to mind and riff about it for a few hundred words. Oh, there’s a good word for tomorrow: riff.  And ultimately, we all need a vacation sometimes, don’t judge me!  But today is all about the coffee. I was overly tired this morning and stared at the coffee pot as it dripped, waiting for the luscious flavor to wake me up. I wondered how others feel about coffee…

Many of my online friends are clearly tea drinkers, so I will perhaps focus on tea as the 365 Daily Challenge word in the future. As for coffee, my earliest memory of it was going out to the diner with my grandparents when I was about 8 or 9, asking for my own cup. I was not allowed to drink it at that age, often told it would stunt my growth. I vividly recall coming back from the doctor one day after he told me I’d probably grow to about 5’11. I continued to beg for coffee (maybe that’s where Ryder gets his begging from…), which eventually led to a small compromise. My grandfather would pour the creamer from those tiny little cups into his coffee, then pour coffee into the creamer cup for me. It was smaller than a shot glass, but I felt so special that I was able to drink coffee with the adults. I all honesty, I’ve been an adult even when I was a child. I skipped over childhood for some reason — I think I just liked socializing around my older family members rather than cousins or even friends sometimes. I was am weird. We’ve all got problems, right?

Anyway, the doctor was wrong. I topped out at 5’7 which has always bothered me. I wanted to be 5’10 or 5’11. I blame the coffee. What else could it be? Silly genetics? No one else in my family was tall. Ah, coffee, I’m easily distracted again today. My mom drank Folgers so I drink Folgers, but I’m open to almost anything. She yells at me now when I buy a canister in my grocery store which usually retails for about $6.50. I’m too lazy to check the size, but you probably know it — typical canister of coffee. OK, fine, I went to check: 11.3 ounces or 320 grams. You can’t call me lazy anymore. She now buys it for me on Long Island and delivers a few bags when she visits on Sundays. I think she gets it on sale for around $2.99. How awful is that price difference? Better yet, it’s probably even less in other parts of the country. There’s a whole different post one day… how can prices vary that much??? Yikes, I am all over the place today. Go ahead and laugh.

W likes Community Coffee from Louisiana, so we occasionally buy a few bags and have them shipped. His stepmother once sent us a huge bag, and it was really good. I had tried it when I was down there, but you can never tell from one cup, plus my memory is bad with those types of things — unless we talk about it, I forget it. I have too much to remember about characters and plots to even try to hold on to the mundane things like which coffee I like, how to put my socks on, you need to put the key in the door before you turn the knob… We even ground our own beans from that bag, which is definitely a fun thing to do. Thank you Joni if you are reading this!!!

I’m a 3 to 4 cup kinda guy each morning. I use a fat free hazelnut or french vanilla creamer, which means I don’t need to use any sugar either. Sometimes I’ll have another cup in the afternoon if I need a pick me up. Rarely at night. Not sure how/why I’d drink coffee after dinner, seems like it would wake you up more than increase your metabolism so your dinner is processed for sleeping. Eh, what do I know? Anyone have a good reason for nighttime coffee? Better question… anyone know how coffee was invented? It didn’t just suddenly show up in a cup on some office worker’s desk one day. I think I have some research to do while I’m on the plane. Unless we can all agree coffee was just materialized into a cup one day by someone brilliant named Mr. Coffee and leave it at that. If there can be a Mr. Burpee, there can be a Mr. Coffee.

The point today of this post… how does everyone else like their coffee? I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to drinking this beverage of choice. I can’t handle it straight black, just a little too bitter for me. I’ve slowly been able to stop adding a teaspoon of sugar and just include milk or creamer. Beyond that, anything’s fair game. I’m not a coffee snob, but I do appreciate those who are. I find it respectable! Tell me more as I want to try a few new things. When do you drink it? Hot or cold? How many cups? What brands? What roasts? What do you put in it? Grind or no grind? What coffee shops do you love or hate? Do you go for all the fancy stuff or just plain dark coffee? Looking forward to all your responses! Thanks in advance.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 25 – Obsessed

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Obsessed: preoccupied with or constantly worrying about something

There are varying degrees to which someone can be obsessed with something or someone, ranging from healthy to serial killer. [No, I’m not one]

I’m in that range somewhere. After 24 days, I suppose you think you know me well enough to pinpoint roughly whereabouts I’d fall in that scale. I’ll make it easy for you… it all depends on what I’m obsessing over. I have been known on occasion to be so obsessive, it is scary. Not scary in “he’s gonna go pyscho,” but scary in “did he seriously just do/say/eat that AGAIN?”

Since this post could go on forever about different types of obsession, I’ll share a few things where I find myself obsessed, but ultimately, I’m going to blog about my obsession with food and drink. Things I’ve noticed obsessions over:

  • Test Results: whether it was in school waiting for a grade, getting blood work or updates from a doctor, or DNA results from Ancestry.com, I would check every hour to see if something was new (if it was online, that is… I’d never actually call and ask someone the same question every hour — I do have some level of self-control).

  • Updates: Checking to see if the dial has changed on something (anything… temperature, stocks, points, votes, etc.), I check way too frequently to see if the number has increased or decreased since the last time I saw it. And if the WiFi or screen freezes for any moment, hell hath no fury like an obsessed Jay!

  • Email: At my last job, I looked at my mobile phone every few seconds to see if a new email came in as I was freakishly paranoid about missing it and not getting back to someone timely. I carried it in my hand (not in my pocket) — with the volume off of course (see post on quiet) — just so I could feel the vibration and know I was needed. It rested under my pillow while I slept too.

But… today I am choosing to focus on foods and drinks. So here is the problem… I’m very self-conscious about looking good and being healthy, so I am often balancing my diet, working out and generally trying to maintain a stress-free life. (Note, for another day I’ll cover stress: my opinion is stress causes all the disease and physical pain to manifest in our bodies. You may already have the gene markers in your DNA for it to happen, but cutting out the stress could help prevent it from developing or getting worse) — not a doctor — just my opinion from research and observation!

What foods and drinks am I obsessed with? And by obsessed, I don’t mean I eat them all the time and can’t stop thinking about them. What I mean is… if it’s on the counter or in the closet, I will eat it ALL. I therefore try really hard not to buy these things… and when my mother brings them over on Sundays, I just hate myself. 😛

  • Desserts (cakes, cookies, anything sweet)
  • Chocolate
  • Champagne
  • Cheese
  • Bread

If I open the bag of cookies, I will eat the entire box in one sitting. But I won’t go to the store to buy it every day. If I open a bottle of champagne for dinner, I have to buy at least two: one for me, and one for the other person. And I hope that (s)he does not finish all of theirs so that I can have more. And if I buy cheese and crackers as a pre-dinner snack, I do not believe in wrapping up the remaining cheese for another day. If it’s been opened, it is meant to be consumed. I’ll shove 3 or 4 pieces in my mouth at once. I’m a freakin’ monster when it comes to foods that I love.

And while it’s happening, I’ll reason with myself while sitting on said couch. Typical conversation with myself:

ME: “You had ten, that’s enough.”

ME AGAIN: “One more won’t hurt.”

ME: “OK, just one.”

… [scramble from the couch… into the kitchen… gone longer than should be… back on the couch]…

ME AGAIN: “You had just one, right?”

ME: [can’t speak because mouth is full]

ME AGAIN: “You didn’t, you pig!”

ME: [head hangs in pseudo fake-shame]

ME AGAIN: “How many did you eat?”

ME: “The better question is how many are left!”

That is obsessed. And it leads to a few moments of “got to go work out NOW” and “I feel sick,” but I still do it every time in the future when the opportunity presents itself. Gluttonous is most appropriate word to use. That said, a few interesting  sidebars I’ve noticed:

  1. It doesn’t show because I am probably almost as obsessed with working out, taking vitamins and eating healthy otherwise. I need to balance it out somewhere.
  2. Alcoholism and diabetes run in my family, which means I’m keenly aware of the effects over indulgent behaviors. As a result, I have always been cautious and aware of the risks… and I’d like to say I would never become dependent on these things. Yes, I obsess over some of them, but I also know enough to stop when I need to. (I only do that crazy cookie eating thing once a month!!!!!!)
  3. It makes me human. Perhaps I’m not so peculiar after all… though we all have some crazy in us.

I’m curious why I do these things… why I allow myself to become obsessed? Since it happens beyond just eating and drinking, it’s not some missing vitamin or mineral or chemical in my internal biology! 😛

Am I needy? Am I bored? Am I wanton of things I don’t have? Nah… I think everyone does things like this from time to time. We let our minds control us for so long on certain topics until we decide to just accept or forget the supposed importance. Obsessions just show how much you love something, right? Assuming you keep it healthy and non-impacting to anyone else, then it’s all cool, right? The other people are wrong.