The Vanishing Mind of Ruth Swerdloff - Fran Lewis, Author

1:02 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Baked Parmesan Chicken
(Mom's Favorite)

2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko or dried coarse baguette breadcrumbs
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix the mustard, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat completely; set aside.
In a medium shallow bowl, combine the parmesan and panko. Dredge the chicken pieces in the panko mixture, coating evenly and heavily, and pressing the coating into the meat.

Put the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet, spray with a quick burst of cooking spray and put the sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting or serving.

The Vanishing Mind of Ruth Swerdloff - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

How do you say goodbye when you are still here?  How do you say goodbye before your thoughts, desires, and wishes disappear from your mind?  What happens when all that's left of you is a human shell?  Everyone invites guests to their homes for dinner, or just to talk.  But, some guests overstay their welcome and others are just plain annoying.  Uninvited guests can be escorted out and asked to leave, hopefully never to return.  One uninvited guest mad its way into my mother's mind and refused to leave.

I've known people who have family members that have literally lost their minds.  Or better yet, lost everything stored within their minds.  They forget where they are, where they are going, who they are and who the strangers that keep showing up might be.  They forget to eat or can't remember if they did eat.  They forget the names of their favorite food and even their own children.  As the days go by they lose more and more of what took years to fill their minds.  Eventually that full mind is empty and hollow.  What causes this?  You've probably already answered that question with that terrible disease called Alzheimer.

I've personally never been exposed to Alzheimer but after reading The Vanishing Mind I feel that has changed.  The way the Author combined the experience as a caregivers/family member and the journals written by her mother when her mind was still there enough to write, you can't help but feel as if you're a part of the family or at least a close friend.  The insight I found through this book has me watching my own loved ones more closely with the possible chance that they may show some of these signs.  I'm also watching myself too.

Author Fran Lewis goes one step further in helping those who are faced with this dreadful disease.  She has included tips for the caregivers stressing on how to speak in a way that may be a little easier for them to understand; how to help them with simple things like eating, dressing and bathing;  how to find activities that they may understand and enjoy;  and she even gives you a list of agencies that can be beneficial in helping you with their care, understanding their problems and most important - how to deal with your own feelings.

This is a book that I recommend to everyone - young and old.  It might just be the book that will help you better cope with those you love who just might experience this heart breaking disease called Alzheimer.

Girl With Pencil, Drawing - Linda Maria Frank, Author

1:45 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Irma’s Apple Cake
(An Annie Favorite)

4 to 5 apples, peeled and sliced
5 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
Combine and set aside.

In another bowl, hand mix the following:
3 Cups unsifted flour
2 1/3 Cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 Cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 Cup Orange Juice
8 oz. can walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a Bundt Pan.  Alternate batter and apples in pan, starting with batter.
Bake 1 1/2 hrs.


Girl With Pencil, Drawing - Review by Martha A. Cheves Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

He busied himself rummaging through the kitchen drawers, two sets of panic-stricken eyes following his every move.  He found some emergency candles and went into the small dinette adjoining the kitchen.  He lit them, let the was drip onto some paper plates from the counter and affixed the candles to the plates.  There were six candles in all.  Was he into satanic rituals?  He came back into the kitchen and turned on all the gas jets at the range and the oven, leaving its door ajar.  He blow out the flames, letting the gas escape freely.  "Bye, bye, ladies."  He hurried out the back door locking it behind him.

When I was a young girl I loved reading the Nancy Drew mysteries and to this day I still enjoy the style and mysteries of the young 'detective' but you can only read them so many times before you know them by heart.  Well... Author Linda Maria Frank has brought my young memories back.  Annie Tillery is today's Nancy Drew!  In fact, she is great at getting herself into trouble but working it out in a fashion that would make Nancy proud.  In Girl With Pencil, Drawing Annie goes to art school and finds that her instructor/teacher is mixed up in a murder that Annie doesn't believe she committed.  Can she prove her innocence without getting both of them killed?  What do you think?

This the second book in the Annie Tillery Mystery Series.  I've read the first, loved it and couldn't see how it could get any better.   Well it does.  I'm now looking forward to reading the third book to see what Nancy, oh excuse me, Annie gets into and how she gets through it.