Type A (Positive) Personality.

One word: Venice.

It even sounds romantic. Italy in general holds a nigh universal appeal as the most romantic country on the planet. Ok, mostly. The piazzas, the slickly fashioned men with swooning women. Gelato. Pasta. Tiramisu. Wine. Risotto. Pizza. Truffles. Grappa. Blood.

wait, blood?

Um…

Um, Yes.

Ok, not like the bloodied hands of Brutus, or the the chill in the blood of a visitor to an ossuary in Milan, not even all the scenes in Italy in The Godfather. 

The drinking kind!!

Um…

Yeah!! Italy is OLD AS OLD GETS!! There’re bound to be many

interesting characters.

THANK G-D, AMIRITE? I am a very pale, introvert bookworm. I can only take so much daylight. I also have more ADHD than an entire elementary school, so I have energetic needs. 

And while I’m normally more of a fan of shifters, the exception to the rule exists a few places, most especially, in anything Elizabeth Hunter writes. AND I AM IN LOVE WITH TENZIN. She has freaking permafangs that don’t retract. She’s ittybitty and can kill an army of dudes. She flies. She is ruled by no one. She’s awkward and intrusive and full of piss and vinegar. Ok, not piss, she’s a vampire. Blood and vinegar. Salt and vinegar blood. She’ll make a new crisp flavor!

Which is why I’m so excited that today is the release day for this beauty:

I am singing the Benzin song I made up. It’s a great song. It is to the tune of “X-Gon Give it to Ya.” It fits. Just sub Tenz and Benz every other line for “X.”

The blurb:

All Ben Vecchio wanted was a quiet summer before his last semester of university. Was that too much to ask?

All Tenzin wanted was a cache of priceless medieval coins that had been missing for several hundred years.

And some company.

Phrases like “never again” don’t mean much when you’ve been a vampire for several thousand years. And promises made in the heat of anger don’t outweigh the lure of gold. Ben Vecchio thought he knew everything there was to know about the immortals of Italy. But when Tenzin tempts him into another adventure finding a cache of rare gold coins missing since the nineteenth century, he’ll discover that familiar places can hold the most delicious secrets. And possibly, the key to his future.

happy dance. Benzin song. Salt and Vinegar blood! or not that last one. I’m a vegan. It’s also almost Lent, so, Fridays are out for Carwyn. What does a Catholic vampire eat during Lent? TOO MANY QUESTIONS, BACK TO BENZIN.

A good, heathen vampire. Because I like my vampires like I like my moonshine–entirely lawless and probably poison.

Once again, Ms Hunter’s ability to spin worlds from the closely packed microfilaments of her abundant imagination stupefies the senses and tickles the tender parts of the reader’s intelligence. Elizabeth Hunter’s world-building is so uncommonly spectacular, it’s apparent she’s become a standard to which other writers must reckon by. She continually outdoes her previous installments, and Imitation and Alchemy maintains and expands on that trend. It’s not a romance, per se, but everything about it is romantic. The setting, the people, the nigh folkloric atmosphere of the prose and intelligence of characters is reminiscent of the great Gothic romances of the past. Only entirely more badass. With 100% more Monty Python references.

I love watching Ben and Tenzin’s comlex relationship construct itself into something more. It’s challenging to all of my expectations of what a possible *or not* HEA might look like for them, and it whets my appetite for the next installment like that first beer at the pub. I love how Tenzin manages to pull Ben into the most insane schemes. I love how Ben doesn’t take a bit of her shit without giving it back. He’s not scared of her, even if he should be. They’re like this:

Ok, bad example. Let’s try again:

Imitation and Alchemy is an astonishing fantasy-filled adventure topped to the brim with intelligence, suspense, and delicious, yet morally questionable decisions.

Five stars.

Imitation and Alchemy by Elizabeth Hunter review.

Amazon • Kobo

[bctt tweet=”Review of Imitation and Alchemy by @E__Hunter and Recipe for Cauliflower Risi e Bisi on Reader/Eater. #amreading #paleo”]

For the recipe?

It’s Venice (sometimes) bitch. Gotta be Risi e Bisi. Only better. Cauliflower Risi e Bisi. Not so risi, then. SCREW YOUR EXPECTATIONS! It’s a Venetian dish typically made with rice and peas. Mine uses riced cauliflower for a new flavor exploration and fewer carbs. It’s so good.

delicious cauliflower risi e bisi

 

 

Cauliflower Risi e Bisi

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: saute gluten-free low-carb paleo vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower, chopped into a fine dice.
  • 1 leek, topped, tailed, and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tbsp butter or earth balance spread
  • 1 cup cubed and cooked pancetta or 1 cup chopped and sauteed porcini mushrooms (saute in a bit of oil without salt on HIGH until browned) (about a large fist full, my UK friends. Or a cuppa.)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

DO NOT PRE STEAM YOUR VEG

heat fats on stove on medium high

stir in leeks and cauliflower

cook 5 minutes

lower heat to medium low and add garlic

stir

slowly add stock, a little bit at a time until absorbed

stir in mushrooms or pancetta

salt and pepper to taste

stir in peas and remove from heat.

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quote me on it.

Happy Galentine’s Day!!

Statistically, Fridays are GREAT days for reveals and VERY SHORT POSTS unless those posts are reveals. So I’m going to do something fun and fresh. A post, fuck-full of graphics, that I love, a PALEO dessert that will rock your Val/Galentine, and a NEW BOOK REC!!

And now….fun with quotes: Cat’s favorites edition. (Though, honestly, if I put it on my blog, we have to assume it’s going to be my favorite. I have lots of favorites. In general, I hate the term “slut,” because it indicates that a love of sex equates a less-than worth, but in this instance, I’m a total Quote Slut.)

Joe Hill NOS4A2

Jane Austen

ee cummings

haruki murakami

 

margaret atwood

Now for the book rec! My and my PSM, Amy’s awesome book club We Ran, We Read, We Rummed, *JOIN* read an OMG SUCH A GOOD BOOK!! (review to come!)

 

And now? The recipe.

Ok, so I agreed to do a one week Paleo challenge, and despite one horrible idea I had that I could combine the butter and the coconut oil the night before and blend it into my coffee the next day, it went really well. I ate 94873948673948639467 nuts. I had 934876394673469 eggs. I ate 394876934867 sweet potatoes, and I found so many more uses for schmaltz and bacon fat. While I don’t think the diet is for me, (I am more of a Nordic-style/Mediterranean-style eater) it wasn’t awful. I don’t think I could live without my cold-pressed canola (rapeseed, for you europeans) oil, farro, or oats. While I try to eat mostly whole-grains, and even make cookies from them, giving them up entirely will simply not happen.

One thing that will keep happening? Bulletproof coffee. One cup of coffee with one tbsp of schmancy unsalted butter and one tbsp virgin coconut oil, blended to high heaven. It’s actually delicious. *Unless you combine a new coconut oil you’ve never tried with butter the night before, then it tastes of sadness and pain.*

Another thing I won’t give up? 72% chocolate. OMG. IT’S SO GOOD. When you add raw cacao nibs and almonds? huminahhuminah.

My kids are dairy-free, so I am forever in search of new treats that are SAFE for them. Yes, my son can handle baked butter if I feed him enough probiotics to clean Elvis’s gut, but it’s easier to avoid. I’ve seen tons of chocolate-dipped clementine oranges, but most used typical dark chocolate and then topped with salt. I decided to do a little more. I topped them with chopped salted almonds and raw cacao nibs. I also sprinkled some with cinnamon, and others with chipotle powder.

Paleo Chocolates

paleo chocolates paleo chocolatesThese are simple. Just peel and separate the seedless clementines (lets say 4 of them) and strawberries, (depends on size and amount of yummy chocolate you have) lay on a paper towel, top with a paper towel, and refrigerate. When they’re extra-cold, and extra-dry, melt 6 oz 72% chopped dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high for 30 seconds, stir, and keep doing this in 15 second increments until it’s smooth. Dip each piece in the chocolate and lay on a sheet of parchment or wax paper and then top with chopped nibs and almonds, if you’re adventurous, dust with cinnamon or chipotle powder. When they’re solid, EAT THEM. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Tri-ing To Read, Here.

Ok. This is another book review post, but I felt as though I’ve been neglecting telling you about my workouts as of late, so I’m going to do a quick re-cap with where I’ve been in this arena recently. Right now I’m taking it a bit easy, mostly playing with my kids, and chasing them … Read more