I just finished up the latest (and yes by latest, I’m almost a year late) of the Kim Harrison Hallow’s book series. It’s the 9th and probably my favorite yet, until those last few paragraphs. It’s got witches, demons, vampires, werewolves, fairies and a dramatic lack of glitter, which is kind of how I like my paranormal creatures. All in all they are ok books, light, easy reads before bed. Something you could kick out in a night or two, or just slowly pace your way through. There isn’t an urgency to rush, or rather a need to.
The Hallows books are (or were the last time I stepped foot in a brick and mortar business) filed under horror, but they are not at all scary. More a little action story that happens to have characters that could toss a magic missile if they needed to. Most importantly, they aren’t filed in romance.
Here’s the killer people, I can’t do romance. I read Laurel K. Hamilton’s Vampire Hunter until they became all about the boomshakalaka and gave up. I got 132 pages into one and realized there had yet to be a plot point, put the book down and never looked back. I kind of like the J.D. Robb In Death books because I can just skip the pages with the steam and not miss a beat of the story. And I am not yet ready to take on the biblicaly portioned Game of Thrones novels Handsome tore through.
So what’s a girl to do? What do you recommend? I need something light, enjoyable and not packed with 27 vampires, 14 werewolves and a slew other other creatures all lusting after one blonde. Help!
Slow Cooker Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup
- 2 onions, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 0z shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
- 1 ½ lbs boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 3 3-oz packages ramen noodles, flavoring packets discarded
- 6 oz baby spinach (about 6 cups)
- 2 tbs white miso, plus extra for serving
- 2 tbs low-sodium soy sauce, plus extra for serving
- 1 tbs mirin
- 1 teas toasted sesame oil
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
Microwave onions, garlic, and oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes transfer to slow cooker.
Stir broth and shitakes into slow cooker. Season pork with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
Transfer pork to cutting board, let cool slightly, thin shred into bite-sized pieces. Let soup settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Stir in noodles and spinach, cover and cook on high until noodles are tender, 3 to 8 minutes.
Stir in shredded pork, miso, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil, and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with additional miso and additional soy sauce to taste. Serve with scallions and sesame seeds.