Healthy Eating Leisure Reading Recipes

Summer Reading, Summer Eating


I read a lot.  As in a lot.  I really don’t have any hobbies, so I have a lot of time for reading.  And for the record, I don’t consider reading a hobby.  It’s just what I do every day.  Like brushing my teeth.  However, sometimes the experience is special – like when I add a cup of Earl Grey and a snugly cat.

My recipe for a perfect afternoon

Generally, I have a fiction, a non-fiction and an audio book going at all times.  When I find a good audio book, I can exercise and/or walk for miles and miles. In addition to that, I do my housework, yard work and manicures with the audio book on.  One of the keys to successful audio book “reading” is to find a good narrator.  A narrator can make each voice come to life and describe scenes such that you are not listening; you are part of the story.  I have found that if there is a classic book I want to read, but feel intimidated by the vernacular, an audio book is the answer.

For instance, right now I am reading Red Light Therapy: Miracle Medicine, The Great Believers and listening to Everything That Rises Must Converge.  The books are on my Kindle and the audio book is downloaded onto my phone.

Let’s talk about my love affair with my Kindle. My sisters bought my Kindle as a gift years ago and it continues to be one of the best gifts ever. Along with my Tiffany ring, of course. (Hint, hint, hon!) A stranger entering my home would not know that I am a reader.  There are very few books in my home and the ones you see are décor items.  I honestly feel like books are clutter, and face it, I’m never going to read one again.  It took me a long time to get used to reading on a device and not having the satisfaction of turning pages, but there is something very comforting about the dozens of books that can live on a Kindle at one time.  If I’m on a plane or out of town or it’s the middle of the night, I won’t run out of reading material. As a reader who will not continue reading a book that turns me off, I can press DELETE on my Kindle and it’s gone. If my eyes feel a little tired, I can *poof* magically change the font size to something I don’t need glasses to see. Another guilty pleasure is reading in the bathtub. Now, I’m sure it would be very bad news if I dropped my Kindle in the tub, but it’s so lightweight, it’s easy to handle. So far, a couple of drops here and there haven’t hurt. Last, but not least, I take my Kindle to the pool and read it outdoors. Reading on an iPad with the Kindle app is great to do inside, but hard to read out of doors. The Kindle itself is just like reading a book outside.

No matter what medium I am reading, I check out everything I can from the library and probably purchase less than 10% of what I consume.  That goes for movies we watch as well.  We order online what we want from the library and they email us when it’s ready.  For streaming content, a visit to the library isn’t even necessary.  As with the Red Light book above, not everything is at the library, but I never have trouble getting books from Amazon and I’ve linked them above.

For great reviews, recommendations or to hook up with fellow readers, I use Goodreads.  My friend and fellow-reader Jill encouraged me to use Goodreads more than I had and it’s like a virtual book club. I trust the recommendations I get from friends like her and I enjoy seeing her comments. Some reviews are so comprehensive it’s like getting the CliffsNotes!

Please let me know what you’re reading and what you’ve loved so I can add them to my list.  Follow or friend me on Goodreads.


A little news from the kitchen.  Frankly, in my kitchen you’ll get very little news from me.  I have found since retiring, that having more time for cooking does not make me like it any better than I used to.  Ugh.  But!!!  I made fried chicken, potato salad and wilted greens last week.  I could go the rest of my life without fried chicken but it was a special request from my husband, so I did the whole deal.  Here is a terrible pic, but I want to relate that it was real food and I use lightened versions.  Also please note, in Arizona summers, patio meals are minimized and our indoor tables get used. Ha!

Several years ago Michael Chiarello opened my eyes to the possibility of health(ish) fried chicken and it’s really reduced the guilt of that dish.  I use a cornflakes coating to make it gluten free for my husband, pop it in the air fryer with a bit of avocado oil, and it turns out great with no mess in the kitchen! 

The potato salad is a recipe handed down from our great grandmother.  People who don’t like potato salad, like my potato salad.  It’s tangy and uses very little mayonnaise.   The splash of Tabasco is my addition to the recipe.  I’ll try to write the recipe down, but in the manner of old farm wives, there are no measurements –  it’s everything by taste. 

Grandma’s Potato Salad

  • 5-6 potatoes (I use what I have on hand, many people prefer red, but it doesn’t really matter to me)
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced
  • Chopped celery
  • Finely chopped onion


  • ½ – ¾ c mayo
  • 1 – 2 Tbs mustard
  • 1 or 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Splash of Tobasco
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Sprinkle of Paprika

Peel, chop into bite size pieces, and boil potatoes until done, but still slightly firm (about 15-20 minutes).  Mix together celery, onion (if you’re using them) and dressing ingredients.  This should be enough dressing to cover the potatoes without making them runny.  It’s easy to add a bit of mayo and mustard if you need a little more.  Cover cooked potatoes and chopped egg with dressing.  Garnish with sliced egg and paprika.

I love Skinnytaste for healthy, easy-to-follow recipes, and Gina has a low-carb potato salad recipe. I haven’t personally made it, but I have good luck with her recipes.

For the greens, I used beet tops I had in the fridge, sautéed them in avocado oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes.  I added about ¼ cup of white vinegar and simmered them another 10 minutes.  Yummy!

So, some are reading and some are eating, and I hope you are enjoying the summer and doing whatever it is that relaxes you!

6 Comment

  1. If the title said, “Summer Reading, Summer Eating and a Nap.” it would describe my perfect day!

    Miss you, Friend!

  2. wilted wilted lettuce? cook bacon, pour vinegar in the bacon grease and pour it over the lettuce to wilt it? You used to LOVE that dish!

    1. Susie, you have a good memory. I did love that. These greens are a little healthier. I used beet greens, avocado oil, red pepper flakes and a bit of vinegar.

  3. Good morning Corine, about your summer reading post. I don’t have or have never used a kindle. But since I have been here caring for mom I have done a lot of reading with actual books, I still like the reading from a actual book. I enjoy the smell, turning the pages, picking out a cute book marker and sharing them with friends. My favorite outing is going to Barnes and Noble, grabbing a coffee and wander though the store exploring the new release tables and sale tables. As far a clutter from having to many books.. I love sharing my books with the little neighborhood library boxes or as I say friends. I only keep the books that I know I would love to reread. I am now reading an old classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! Thanks for sharing your Potato Salad recipe, it is exactly like my mom except the tobacco. I love that idea of the tobacco sauce. 😜Keep on reading as we have to feed our brain. Share your books with the little neighborhood libraries. It is fun!

    1. Hi, Chris, thanks for your thoughts about reading books versus ebooks. I agree with everything you said and especially about the little libraries – love them!

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