The Alchemist is one of the first book written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho – first published in 1987, and then reprinted and translated into 67 languages (the greatest number of languages a book has been translated into while the author was still alive).
The Alchemist is the story of a young shepherd boy from Andalucia, Spain who sets out to fulfill his “personal legend,” a quest to find a treasure that is supposed to be at the pyramids of Egypt. Guided by signs and unlikely strangers, the shepherd persevered and searched his treasure for (I believe) over a year.
I really enjoyed The Alchemist and the idea behind it – to follow your dreams and not to give up. The story almost had a fairytale-like quality to it – it was filled with adventure, courage, faith, and a bit of magic.
As I read, I could picture the scenes in my head, which says a lot about this new author. I look forward to checking out some of Coelho’s other books, which have hopefully been translated into English!
Book Club: Inspired by the little boy from Andalucia, we had a tapas party for the book club meeting. Here’s the menu!
Bright cranberry and white chocolate flavors and a dough sweetened with coconut flakes make this oatmeal cookie stand out above many others.
Let’s talk about Thanksgiving traditions, shall we? Are you Team Pumpkin or Team Pecan? Me? I grew up in a house on Team Cranberry. There was never a Pumpkin or Pecan Pie on the dessert table unless a guest brought it over. Instead, we gravitated toward wonderful fall cranberries, with a Cranberry Pear Tart always sitting in the center of our holiday table.
Alongside that tart were these cookies, which are so delicious that we enjoy them all year round. These Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies stand out from the typical oatmeal cookie, as the coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries create a sweeter cookie than the standard oatmeal cookie. And the best part? They freeze incredibly well (I actually prefer them a bit frozen) and are still soft and chewy after freezing. The trick is to hide them in the back of the freezer, behind the frozen vegetables, so that they don’t disappear when you’re not looking. 😉
1 lb. white or cremini mushrooms; washed; trimmed; and quartered
5-6 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt.
Let mushrooms cook undisturbed until liquid released from mushrooms evaporate, 5-7 minutes. Mushrooms will be golden brown. Stir; and continue sauteing and stirring until the mushrooms are browned, 3-5 more minutes.
Lower heat slightly and add garlic. Stir.
Add vinegar. Stir, scraping the pan to release the bits stuck to the bottom. Vinegar will evaporate.
Remove mushrooms from heat. Toss with parsley and season with more salt, to taste.
A while back, a couple girls and I started a book club. We’re pretty informal. We alternate who chooses the book for the month, and that person hosts the book club meeting. November was my month. In honor of The Alchemist, whose main character is a boy from Spain, I chose to do a tapas party.
The menu: For those that don’t know, tapas are “small dishes” served in bars and cafes all over Spain. Tapas could be anything, from a little plate of olives to calamari and meatballs. Since there’s only a few of us, I couldn’t choose all my favorites, but below are a few that I enjoy.