Visitor

I always watch the birds on my feeder and try to figure out what they are. In the last couple years, I went on a couple actual birding trips and saw how much I hadn’t been seeing–how many birds there were out there that I didn’t know. I’m constantly surprised. These birds are in my backyard in Vermont–if I stop and look for them!

This is a Black-throated Green Warbler that was in the willows along my deck this weekend–a new bird to add to my life list.

                               IMG_1964
And a little closer:
                            Black-throated Green Warbler2

Summer Books

As the summer winds down and a more regular schedule begins, I thought I’d mention a few of my favorite books from the summer.

Unwind (Unwind, #1)  UnWholly (Unwind, #2)I began the summer rereading Unwind  so I could read the sequel, Unwholly by Neal Shusterman. I loved reading Unwind for the second time. Great action, characters, and idea. Unwholly takes place immediately following the end of Unwind so I’m glad I read it again.

Doll BonesDoll Bones by Holly Black is just the right amount of spooky and just the right amount about growing up. What’s not to love about a spooky doll locked in a glass case?

Lincoln's Grave Robbers I loved Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb last year. I love that he always makes me understand a time in history better than I did before. He does it again with Lincoln’s Grave Robbers. I had no idea how popular grave robbing was or why it was done. I also didn’t know the impact of counterfeiters at the time of Lincoln and how counterfeiting and robbing Lincoln’s grave were connected.

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3)Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter is #3 in the Heist Society books, a series I look forward to. Kat is a teen from a criminal family and is very good at planning and carrying out involved heists. This latest installment is as much fun as the others, but read them in order!

Vampire BabyFinally, a picture book: Vampire Baby by my friend and classmate Kelly Bennett is about a young boy who believes his baby sister has become a vampire when she gets teeth and begins biting everything. He sets out to prove this to his parents. Funny and oh, so true. Youch!

Here’s a fun book trailer for Vampire Baby:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acEzh7iOhVU&;feature=youtu.be

Mexican Chicken

chicken (about 2 lbs.)
6 med jalapeno chiles
1 onion
1 garlic clove
2 T salad oil
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1 pint sour cream
1 8 oz. pkg. corn chips
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1. Place chicken in pan just large enough to hold it. Add 2 : water; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover saucepan & simmer 35 minutes (for whole chicken) or until chicken is fork tender (no pink). Remove to large bowl; refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Discard skin & bones; cut meat into bite sized pieces. Set aside. (Refrigerate broth to use in soup another day.)

2. Remove stems and seeds from chiles; dice. Chop onion, mince garlic.

3. In 10″ skillet over medium heat in hot salad oil, cook diced jalapenos, onion, and garlic until tender. Stir in cumin. Cook 1 minute. Stir in undiluted soup, frozen spinach, and salt; over high heat, heat to boiling, breaking up spinach with fork. Reduce heat to low; coverr & simmer until spinach is cooked. Stir in chicken and sour cream; heat through. Remove from heat.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large casserole dish, arrange 1/2 of the corn chips; top with 1/2 shredded cheese and chicken mixture. Then rest of corn chips and cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until mixture is heated through. 

Serves 8!