This is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to sit down since I got home and take a few moments for myself, as I have just put him down for bed. I love being a mom but it wears me out. I will say that it is nice to be able to talk to other moms about what I’m going through, as I know they have experienced the same thing at one time or another.

The coolest thing that happened today is something that actually started a week or so ago. I had a Young Adult author send me a message on Goodreads and say that he thought I had an honest opinion in my book reviews, and asked if I had ever reviewed self-published materials. I told him other than a few free books for the Kindle, I had not, but I would love to review his book if he wanted me to. So he mailed me a free copy and I got it today at work, so that was a pleasant thing to come into today. Here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.

I recently finished, but am still copying the recipes for Mark Bittman’s latest work The Food Matters Cookbook. For those who might not know who he is, but he has a column in the New York Times called The Minimalist.  I like this recent book because he advocates eating more fruit/veg/whole grain and less red meat and processed foods. He has some fabulous, quick and variable recipes, such as the one featured below:

Tomato and Bread Soup with Fennel and Fish

This soup combines two Mediterranean soup, bouillabaisse and papa al pomodoro. Makes 4 servings; Time: 40 minutes.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish

Two 4-ounce fillets any firm white fish

1 large onion, halved and sliced

2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp minced garlic, or to taste

Salt and black pepper

3 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine: drain and reserve their juice)

1 to 2 cups vegetable stock (can also use water or the liquid from the tomatoes if you’re using canned – or a combination)

1/2 loaf (or more) day-old rustic bread, preferably whole wheat, cut into cubes

1/4 cup torn fresh basil, optional

Put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. A minute later, add the fish fillets, raise the heat to high, and cook for 1 to 3 minutes on each side, until the fillets are opaque and seared on the outside but still nearly raw on the inside. Remove the fish from the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until everything is fragrant and the onion and fennel soften and turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces break up, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and add it along with the stock and bread to the tomato mixture. Bring to a gentle boil, bubble for another minute, and take the pot off the heat. Cover and let sid until the bread is saturated with the soup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil if you’re using it, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide the soup among bowls, top with a drizzle of oil and more black pepper, and serve.