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“Farther Away”

Jonathan Franzen, author and “Great American Novelist” (as declared by Time Magazine on its August 23, 2010 cover) has published a collection of 21 essays that fall generally into one of three broad categories: Perspectives on Life and the World, Thoughts on Writing, or Underappreciated Authors and Great Books.  “Farther Away” offers both serious and humorous narratives that stand on their own but collectively provide a broad overview of the issues, authors and books that are important to Franzen as a writer and a human being. Read more »


Butter Baked Marshmallows

Butter Baked Goods of Vancouver make thick, chewy, light-as-air marshmallows in 18 flavors including vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, raspberry, toasted coconut, mint, passion fruit and seasonal varieties.  These marshmallows are not like the “jet puffed” dry marshmallows in plastic bags that most kids covet; Butter Marshmallows are marshmallows for adults (although I’ve yet to meet a child that doesn’t love Butter’s version of this old-fashioned treat). Eating a Butter Baked Goods marshmallow is like tasting butter when you’ve only had margarine your whole life. Who knew a marshmallow could taste this good? Read more »


20 Things That Shouldn’t Be Difficult….

Through the years, I’ve learned there is a difference between aggravations and problems. Most problems are really aggravations and most aggravations we encounter day-to-day shouldn’t be so difficult. Among them: Read more »


“The Invisible Bridge”

At a recent author forum in West Hartford, Connecticut, Julie Orringer spoke about how she came to write “The Invisible Bridge.” An American by birth, Orringer’s roots are in Hungary and the novel is loosely based on her grandfather and his brothers’ lives in the years leading up to and during World War II, before the family immigrated to the United States. As an adult, Orringer realized the stories she heard as a child needed to be told because people – and in particular her family – were deeply affected by the seismic events that took place in Europe in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.  That her ancestors were Jews in a country that was aligned with Germany at the time adds to the sense of horror. Using personal accounts from her family, historical research and a talent for story telling, Orringer wrote the novel “The Invisible Bridge:” a fictional story of a Hungarian family whose lives were shattered because they were Jewish. Read more »


Seggiano Paté: Olive, Sun-Dried Tomato or Artichoke

For those who love olives, tomatoes, or artichokes, Seggiano, the company with the logo “Real Food from Italy,” makes three (3) patés that seem more like tapenades.  The word “paté” conjures up thoughts of liver or meat chopped up and seasoned into blocks of spreadable toppings. But, the paté cooked up by Seggiano does not contain any meat or dairy products; in fact, the three spreads are vegetarian and vegan. But most importantly, the three patés are delicious on crackers, a piece of a baguette, toasted bruschetta and even on pasta. Read more »