Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paperbacks or eBooks?


I saw my friends toting their Nooks and Kindles everywhere. They had a whole library of books taking up less space than one paperback! Such a great idea! My hubby did the research and got me a tablet, downloaded some ebook apps, and I was ecstatic!

I downloaded some books that I really wanted to read, and also some free ones that looked interesting. I was set! That was a year ago. Guess how many I've read? 3!!! I started a few others, but I just didn't get sucked in as easily as I usually do when I read. It also wasn't as convenient as I'd hoped. In the last month I've read 3 paperbacks. I'll  keep trying, but I'm just not loving it :(

Drawbacks of ebooks

I'd put my "book" down and it would turn off. Then I would have to push a button to get the screen back up. Yes, I know it doesn't take that long, but God forbid I accidentally touch the wrong button or the screen. I'd end up back in the library and have to reopen my book. Ohhh, yessss, THE FIX:  I changed my settings so it wouldn't time out so quickly. HA! The battery drains faster!

I took my ebooks to the pool....not so great. Even with the screen on auto adjust, I couldn't seem to find the right angle to avoid excruciating glare. It did work well on overcast days, unless it started to rain. It's not as easy to dry out an ebook!!

I got hand cramps!! You have to hold the tablet just so, or you'll inadvertently touch the screen, which I've already whined about. THE FIX: a case with a great little strap for your hand! Yeah, sorry, that just wasn't comfortable.  Now I was reading a book that was strapped to my hand? Didn't really care for that.

"Real" books aren't without disadvantages

You drop the book, you lose your place. Pretty self explanatory.

They usually cost more. If you're cost conscious you probably don't buy all the books you want to read at once. Of course you could check them out from the library. New releases aren't always available, but I did find out you can be put on a waiting list :( There's also "Half Price Books" and similar stores, but you only get what's in stock. If you've read my other posts, especially Crafts On A Budget, you know I'm a thrifty girl, so of course I've  also found some great deals on books in the clearance bins and my favorite, the thrift stores :)

Books get heavy when you're toting them around! I like to take several books with me on vacation, and not only do they get heavy, they can take up an awful lot of precious space in your luggage....boo!

Speaking of space, they also take up a lot of space in my home. Sure I can donate them or pass along to friends, but they take up a lot of serious real estate until you're ready to part with them.

What to do?

For the most part I'll stick with my good old, print copy, books. I like the feel of a book in my hands. I like turning a real page. I like to read with my son at bedtime without that eerie glow. Bonus....they look nice on my book shelf :)

My tablet/reader is used mostly for email, the internet, some highly addictive games, and writing blog posts. I'll probably read some books on it, from time to time, if the weather is just right and the battery holds out ;) I've checked several ebooks out from the library for my son, and he gobbles them up without complaint.

I suppose this is how previous generations looked at TVs taking over where radios provided entertainment. Or cars taking over where horses, bicycles and feet used to be just fine. You know, the good old days! I wonder what's coming next?!

What's your preference? Do you like books, readers, or are you somewhere in between?

Thanks for stopping by,
Terri

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ham Leftovers Soup


So I couldn't decide what to call this recipe. It started out as Christmas Leftovers Soup, but that sounded sort of scary! I thought I'd just call it Ham and Potato Soup since that's mostly what's in it, but that was kind of blah. Then I considered Ham Dinner Leftovers Soup, which was obviously too long! I know, get on with it already, right? Ok....just a tiny little back story and then I'll share the recipe.

After Christmas dinner last year I made an awesome ham and bean soup, but still had some (ok, A LOT OF) other leftovers, specifically a potato casserole, that I served with way too many meals the following week! I recall having just potato casserole and green bean casserole for lunch a couple times too. Yes, I'm one of those people who always makes too much food! Plus, my husband asked me not to put in all those beans next time LOL! This year I decided to try to fix all that.

I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but decided to take a few pics along the way in case it turned out well, and I have to say it really did! (I was going to put in the green bean casserole too, but just wasn't sure. Maybe after Easter dinner...hehe.) Anyway, here's what I came up with.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups ham, cut into bite size pieces (I put the ham bone in and removed before serving to be sure to get all that flavor)
  • 3-4 cups potato casserole (see substitution below)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 10 oz bag frozen green beans, cut into bite size pieces
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained (seasoned will work fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (you shouldn't need much, if any, salt)

Potato casserole substitution:

  • 28 - 30 oz bag frozen diced potatoes
  • 1 cup green, red, or yellow peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced





Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 - 6 hours.
  3. Serve with slices of toasted Italian bread or bread sticks and a salad for a hearty meal.

Easy, right? The best part about this soup is that you can put in just about any veggies or beans, if your family approves ;), that you have on hand.  This would also work well with leftover turkey or beef.

If you're not going to use your meat and potatoes to make the soup right away, slice up your ham or turkey and put it in the freezer. Your potato casserole can be frozen too. No need to thaw when you're ready to use it. Just place it in the crock pot and let it do it's magic :)

This recipe turned out to be a great way to change up, and use up, our leftovers. What are your favorite recipes for leftovers? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thanks for stopping by,
Terri

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