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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Read of the Month: The Hunger Games

I know I'm cutting it close this month but it's gone by so quickly. I was caught off guard. Trust me, this book will make up for the delay. I started reading it Thursday night and finished Saturday evening. I only stopped reading because I had to go to work.

I first heard of The Hunger Games from John Green (award winning writer) on the VlogBrothers YouTube channel and knew I had to read it. I had a chance to buy it in the Store Closing Sale for Borders. (When I heard that Borders was closing all of it's stores I literally cried.)

The Hunger Games is set in future North America where the government has divided the nation into different districts. Each district products a specific good that defines the district. There used to be 13 districts but when the people rebelled against the government district 13 was destroyed. So to make sure the citizens know their place once a year the Hunger Games are held. Two names are drawn in each district, one boy and one girl. There is only one winner and survivor because it is a fight to the death. When a child turns 12 they are entered in the drawing for the Hunger Games. Each year they are entered in the drawing an extra time until they reach the age of 18 but most children end up being entered more times because they can receive food rations for their family. This is the story of Katniss Everdeen who volunteers to participate so her 12 year old sister won't be forced to compete for her life.

This book is thrilling from page one. Like I said if I didn't have to go to work I would have read it all day and night. The twists and turns constantly surprised me. Collins does a wonderful job of character building and showing that not everything is as it appears. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a great story about government control and human rights. I am looking forward to reading the final two books in this trilogy.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The most amazing pizza I have ever had!

I am a huge carb fan (it comes from my Italian genetics) and pizza is one of my favorite forms. Homemade pizza is my favorite but time is in short supply. My family has been buying take and bake pizzas recently because of the time issue.

Since it is summer time we have been using the grill almost every weekend so my mom suggested trying pizza on the grill. It's something that could easily be made veggie or meat laden. So tonight we made two small grilled pizzas. My mom found some frozen pizza dough at the grocery store so we wouldn't have to make the dough from scratch.

We stretched out the dough and brushed it with olive oil. When the grill was hot we placed the dough directly on the grill to bake before topping it. When the crust started to brown on the bottom we removed it from the grill. I then topped the browned side of the crust with canned tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and fresh mushrooms. We have a mini herb garden on the deck and decided to use some basil from it. The pizzas were then placed on the grill to finish baking. They only took a few minutes for the pre-baking and the final baking.

I didn't get a chance to take pictures but next time I will. The pizza was so good that I ate entirely too much of it. The fresh basil was definitely my favorite part of it. I can't wait to make it again! Let me know if you decide to try it for yourself.