12 Books Recommended for Summer Reading

Here are 12 Books Recommended for Summer Reading— shared by my big sister Susie.  She is a huge reader…. HUGE.  She plows through books like crazy– all year long.  Trust me when I say that Susie is awesome at reviewing and recommending good books.  She keeps a journal of all of the books she has read, and she gives them letter grades.  These books shared today all received an “A” grade by Susie!  I hope you find a few books in her list that might interest you for summer reading.  Please let me know if you like this feature, and I’ll have Susie share her book recs more often!

Summer Reading

A note from Susie– How I choose the books I want to read:

  • I find books primarily through Goodreads and Amazon’s books of the month. Goodreads sends me an email at the beginning of each month. I read about the books in their fiction and historical fiction categories. Then I go to Amazon and put the ones I think I’d like on my book wish list. I check out Amazon’s Best Books of the Month list in the Literature & Fiction category, too. Many of the books are the same and I do the same thing with putting ones that look good on the wish list. (Many of the books on the list haven’t been released yet.) I also sometimes look at magazine reviews and sometimes NPR has good lists. If a book keeps showing up over and over, even if I didn’t think it sounded so great, I’ll add it to my list. Then when I need new reading material, I’ll typically go to the wish list and download 4 or 5 samples and go from there. I have so many books on my list now that if I’m not grabbed by the sample, I’ll typically move on. If I buy a book and then read a reasonable chunk of it and am not liking it, I no longer force myself to finish it. There are far too many great books out there to waste time on ones you don’t enjoy!  Following are my reviews and recommendations of 12 books that would be great for summer reading…

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Weekly Menu Plan #2

Good Morning RecipeGirl Readers! I’m receiving great feedback about this new feature I’m offering on Saturdays: weekly menu planning to help you decide on what to make for dinner. Here is our Weekly Menu Plan #2– I hope you find some things you’d like to try this week!

Weekly Menu Plan #2
Just click any of the recipe titles or pictures to get the recipe.  A weekly menu plan will be posted every Saturday morning so be sure to check back each week! Here is the menu for week #2 >>

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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This is the perfect recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream– a great base for topping with goodies!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I’ve always been a vanilla girl.  I’d choose blondies over brownies, I’d much rather be eating white cake than chocolate, and I’d eat vanilla ice cream over chocolate ice cream any day of the week!  So a homemade tub of vanilla bean ice cream… churned freshly in my favorite ice cream maker… doesn’t last very long in my house.

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Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See

Here’s another one of everyone’s favorite posts of the week! >> Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See

20 Best Brownie Recipes

On Parade Magazine‘s blog, I shared a delicious post last week:  20 BEST BROWNIE RECIPES EVER CREATED.  There will definitely be some chocolatey treats in that collection that you may wish to bookmark to make later.

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Grilled Chicken Summer Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Here’s a summer salad recipe that you must try! >> Grilled Chicken Summer Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Summer Salad

There are so many things that I wanted to include in the title for this salad, but Google makes you come up with something sort of short and succinct, so a summer salad it is!  Let me describe it for you:  It begins with fresh greens.  Fresh peaches, raspberries and a little cheese are added in.  It’s topped with grilled pesto chicken and grilled corn, and a few simple-to-make candied sunflower seeds are sprinkled in too.  The whole thing is tossed with Newman’s Own® Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Weekly Menu Plan #1

I’m introducing something brand new to you today:  a Weekly Menu Plan!!  Read on for details…

Weekly Menu Plan #1

Planning meals for the week can be super challenging.  Having some new ideas at hand and a little bit of guidance can be helpful.  So I’ve joined forces with some of my favorite food bloggers to begin an amazing weekly menu plan! We will all be sharing some of our favorite recipe ideas for you to use as you are planning out your meals for the week. Just click any of the recipe titles or pictures below to get the recipe.  Our weekly menu plan will be posted every Saturday morning so be sure to check back each week!

Here’s Week #1:

from these bloggers >> The Girl Who Ate Everything | Lil Luna | The Recipe Critic | Recipe Girl | Real Housemoms |
Creme de la Crumb| Favorite Family Recipes

Monday

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
strawberry_chicken_salad_-650x975

Tuesday

Mexican Lasagna
Mexican Lasagna

Wednesday

White Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups
white-chicken-lasagna-rollups-1

Thursday

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Philly-Cheesesteak-Sandwiches-Recipe

Friday

* DATE NIGHT *

Saturday

Peanut Noodles
peanut-noodles-recipe-42

Sunday

Grilled BBQ Pork Roast
Grilled-BBQ-Pork-Roast_Real-Housemomswith Cheesy Zucchini Rice
Cheesy-Zucchini-Rice_Real-Housemoms

Dessert

White Chocolate Lasagna
white-chocolate-lasagna-1

fav bloggers pic 2 The Girl Who Ate Everything | Lil Luna | The Recipe Critic | Recipe Girl |
Real Housemoms |Creme de la Crumb|
Favorite Family Recipes

I hope you enjoy this new feature on RecipeGirl… you’ll be able to check out a new menu every Saturday morning.  Let us know if you try out any of these recipes this week!


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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Dads love these.  Kids too.  Ok, I love them the most! >> Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

If you are looking for something to make for dear ‘ol Dad this weekend, this is it.  Dad likes pancakes, right?  He’d be crazy not to love these pancakes.  They are fluffy, they have a delicious, cinnamony flavor, and there are bananas added in for good measure… because adding bananas to pancakes is the best idea ever in the entire history of ideas.  Well… I guess not exactly that extreme, but let’s just say that pancakes with bananas baked into them is a darn good idea. 

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Cubano Sliders

Here’s a slider recipe using grilled pork… make it for your fun summer parties!  >>  Cubano Sliders

Cubano Sliders

I’ve had a Cubano sandwich a few times in my life.  It’s a Cuban sandwich filled with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and mustard.  You’ll find them in abundance in Florida- and you’ll spot copycat versions all over the US.  But there really is nothing better than a truly genuine classic Cubano… made by someone who knows what they’re doing!  I decided to surprise my husband this year and make his favorite sandwich in slider form:  Cubano Sliders.  I’m not Cuban, and I’ve never lived in Florida, but these little sandwiches are my best copycat.

Sliders 1

The pork used for the recipe is from Smithfield’s line of already-marinated pork.  I used the Peppercorn and Garlic Pork Tenderloin for my sliders- it’s 100% fresh pork slow marinated in peppercorns and garlic.  I love that it comes pre-marinated… it saves me time in the kitchen when I’m crazy busy assembling dinner! You’ll be able to locate Smithfield’s already-marinated pork tenderloin, loin filet and pork sirloin at your market.

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