Friday Foodie Affair: Tuna Times Two

For some crazy reason I’m on a tuna kick so I hunted down a couple recipes to try, Tuna Pasta Salad and Tuna Quesadilla. I, of course, tweaked both recipes to suit my bland food loving taste buds :-P

Tuna Pasta Salad


8 ounces dry whole-grain elbow pasta (Barilla Plus recommended)
1 cup frozen green peas
5 ounces canned tuna, packed in water
½ cup chopped broccoli
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette


Combine pasta and peas in a large bowl with tuna, celery and balsamic vinaigrette. Season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; mix well to combine. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy this salad as is or pile it over mixed greens.

Note: the original recipe has nutritional information if you’re curious.

My version of this was WAY different because…well I wasn’t really following the recipe. I accidentally used a whole box of pasta instead of half so my proportions were all wrong. I also forgot to buy peas so I used kidney beans instead. Oh, and I substituted vinaigrette for fat free Italian dressing. Like I said WAY different, haha. But the important thing is that it was very tasty even with the differences. This was also my favorite of the two recipes in this post.

My Ingredients:

1 box whole-grain elbow pasta (Barilla Plus)
Kidney Beans
3 cans tuna in water
¼ cup fat free Italian dressing
Reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Tuna Quesadilla


2 small (3-ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
½ cup salsa, drained
½ cup chopped fresh scallions
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 (12 inch) flour tortillas


Mix tuna with salsa and scallions. Fold in cheddar. Divide mixture into 1/3’s and spread each portion over ½ of a tortilla and fold into a half circle. Brown each of the 3 quesadillas on both sides in a hot pan to melt cheese. Cool a bit, cut into wedges and serve.

My Version was pretty much the same as the original except I left out the scallions and salsa. It actually ended up tasting a little too plain, even for me. I’ll have to come up with something else to add to it the next time. I also need to work on my quesadilla browning skills a bit…or I should just pay closer attention :-P

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) by Anna Carey

By Anna Carey

Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 16, 2014

*I received this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads Summary:

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.
Blackbird on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

You wake up on the train tracks and you slowly become aware of your surroundings…

Yep, you guessed it, this book is in 2nd person. When I realized it was a second person young adult thriller I was even more interested. I was excited to get into the head of the narrator. There was definite mindscrew potential. Will you (the reader) be a killer? A victim? What will it be like living in their shoes for a few hours?

Unfortunately it wasn’t like that for me. It’s a great premise for a story but there were only 30ish pages in the book where I was on the edge of my seat thinking ‘oh shit, what’s going to happen next’. The rest of the time I was vaguely interested in what was happening but I had no problems putting the book down to go do other things. In fact, it took me a week to read this when I normally read a book in a day or two.

I think many will disagree with me and rate it much higher but it just didn’t suck me in like I wanted it to.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway HOP

One winner will get to choose one of the below books. 

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I've read each of these books this year and loved them all! 
There's a variety of genre's so I hope you'll find something that appeals to you.



Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures
by Laurell K. Hamilton

Series: Anita Blake #1
Genre: Adult, Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Goodreads Summary:

Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law – as long as they don’t get too nasty. Now someone’s killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees – with a bit of vampire arm-twisting – to help figure out who and why.

Trust is a luxury Anita can’t afford when her allies aren’t human. The city’s most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita’s professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn’t playing along – yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters – both dead and alive.

Guilty Pleasures on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

My initial thought after reading ‘Holy Crap! How have I not read this until just now?!’

I read Guilty Pleasures this weekend after it was practically shoved into my hands by a friend. Well really she wanted to try to persuade me into coming to a book club this week...It worked…I will be going for sure! I ended up loving this book and almost succeeded in reading it all the same day she gave it to me. There's so much action and mystery and I just could not put it down. Only a few hours after finishing it I had the next three in the series in my hand. Now I just need to finish the two other books I started and then snubbed to read this one :-P
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Vampire Trouble Special Pre-Order Gift

Send proof of your pre-order of Vampire Trouble by Sara Humphreys (PUBLICATION DATE: July 1 2014) and Sourcebooks will send you a special Dead in the City bookmark and an “I <3 #NYCVamps” button!

Sourcebooks will send these gifts to anyone who shows them their pre-order receipt until June 30th, or supplies run out. Just email your receipt to

Additionally, everyone who sends us their proof of pre-order will also be entered in arandom drawing to win a necklace just like the emerald one Maya wears in Vampire Trouble. These necklaces will be given away as the preorders hit the 250, 750, and 1,000 preorder mark!

And if preorders hit the 2,000 mark, then one lucky entrant will receive a $250 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Be sure to follow Sara Humphreys on Facebook, Twitter, and her Website for more details leading up to the release of Vampire Trouble, including more exclusives, and MUCH MORE of her fabulous paranormal romances!

The winners of the jewelry will be announced on Sara Humphreys Facebook page and website as each threshold is reached!

So spread the word about #NYCVamps!

Pre-Order your copy today! (Links below)

Bea Wrap Up Part 2

In case you missed it, you can find my Part 1 post HERE.
Day 4 in NYC, Friday
BEA Day 2

The morning again brought waiting 2.5 hours for the show room floor to open and last minute schedule revisions. We also spotted Becca Fitzpatrick while waiting so of course I had to have a fan girl moment and bug her for a quickie selfie!

  Highlights of the Day:

-          Meeting Anna Carey, Michael Grant, and Cora Carmack

-         Meeting Chelsea Cain! I read two of her Gretchen Lowell books years ago and I STILL remember some of the things her serial killer did to the victim *shivers*! I am way overdue for a reread of that series and I’m very much looking forward to One Kick, the first in a new series.

Chelsea Cain!
Books of the Day:

After BEA ended for the day we headed back to the hotel and then we were off to the Blogger Picnic. We, unfortunately, weren’t able to stay long but it was still a great experience so thank you to the lovely organizers for putting it together. It was also my first time in Central Park so that made it extra nice.

Day 5 in NYC, Saturday
BEA Day 3/BookCON

By this time the exhaustion had settled in hard core so half of the time waiting to enter the showroom floor was spent staring into space. Once the showroom floor opened it was stressful to say the least.
The combining of the two events created way overcrowded conditions. I hate crowds to begin with but when you throw an extra 8,000 people in the mix with a topping of exhaustion, yeah I wasn’t really a happy camper. I would go to an event, then I’d have to leave the floor for a while, then go back for an event, then go hide in a corner somewhere. That’s essentially how I spent my day, going back and forth. BUT I have to admit that I was able to get a few great books so maybe it was worth it. Maybe.
Just for fun, here are some grumpy gals on BookCon day...
Grumpy Me

 Left: Grumpy Anna, Right: Grumpy Krista
Highlights of the Day:

-          Meeting Jeaniene Frost, she's so nice!

-          Snagging a photo of Cary Elwes *fangirl sigh*

-         Meeting Sara Humphreys, she told me about a preorder promotion for Book 2 in her Dead in the City series. Check back here next week to learn more.

-        The Bad Boys of Romance panel with Jennifer L. Armentrout, Jeaniene Frost, Cora Carmack, and Sara MacLean. I will be reading Jeaniene’s Night Huntress because of this panel…apparently book 2, chapter 32 is ah-mazing.
Cary Elwes!!
Books of the Day:

Blogger Shout Outs (in no certain order):

Karen & Kevin (For What It’s Worth)
Tabitha (Not Yet Read)
Rebekka (Endlessly Bookish)
Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts)
Nicole (Feed Your Fiction Addiction)
Jess (Midsummer Night’s Read)
Jess (Lovin’ Los Libros)
Debbie (Snuggling on the Sofa)
Caroline (Big Book Little Book)
And last but not least, my roomies...

Anna (Annaberry Reads)
Val (Stuck in Books)

I hope I didn’t miss anyone!

To those of you I met this year or last, you all rock and I hope to see you again!

BEA Wrap Up 1 of 2

I debated if I even wanted to write this post considering all of the recent drama surrounding BEA ARCs and the bloggers who have them but I decided to go ahead anyway. The point of BEA and other events is to share the love and excitement of books with others so that’s what I’m going to do, not brag but share my excitement over a great event, awesome bloggers, and yes beautiful, precious books. I will be doing a day by day recap divided into two posts, stop back Friday for Part 2.

Day 1 in NYC, Tuesday

Krista (Krista’s Dust Jacket) and I drove to NJ, parked, and took the train into the city. We checked into the hotel and went to hunt down Pie Face as recommended by Karen (For What It’s Worth) after BEA 2013. We then met our first roomie, Anna (Annaberry Reads). I was so excited to meet her in person for the first time and she’s just as awesome as I expected :). Next came our 4th roomie, Val (Stuck in Books), and then we all headed out to meet up with Tabitha (Not Yet Read) to have dinner at the cheesiest, touristyist (that’s a word right?!) restaurant, Jekyll & Hyde. I say it was cheesy but there were some fun parts, like the mad scientist and the bathroom which was hidden in a hallway of books….come on, what book lover wouldn’t check that out!?

On the way back to the hotel I totes paid to have my picture taken with a sad is it that he's taller than's a short shit problem I suppose ;). I also spotted a peep show (get it? Peep show? Hahaha).


And if I ever have to live in the city this would wind up being one of my favorite places, especially at night. I say 'have to live' because I'm not a city girl and would never voluntarily live offense to any city lovers out there.

Day 2 in NYC, Wednesday
BloggerCON Day!

This was my first experience with BloggerCON and I THINK I may need to pick my panels better next year. It’s not that the panels were bad per se but just not right for me. I’ll pay closer attention to panel descriptions next year if I attend. The post BloggerCON celebration included some mingling, books, and entertainment provided by Tiger Beat. *Sings* “I want candy…..I want candy”

me and Tabitha

Krista, I have to say that I never thought I'd ever be considered the sane one in our friendship (LOL) but the below pic proves that I just may be.

Afterwards, Anna and I made our way to the Teen Author Carnival event. We were late and missed Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl :( and a decent chunk of the first panel BUT I’m very glad we caught the Us vs Them panel with Jennifer L. Armentrout, Julie Kagawa, Cara Lynn Shultz, Claire Legrand, and Lenore Appelhans. I took two books to have signed, bought three, and was lucky enough to win two.


Day 3 in NYC, Thursday
BEA Day 1

First thing in the morning included gawking at the gorgeous banners hanging in the Javit's, waiting 2.5 hours for the show room floor to open, last minute schedule revisions, and then the mad rush into what can only be called book heaven.

Highlights of the Day:

-          HarlequinTeen signing with Jennifer L. Armentrout, Julie Kagawa, Dawn Metcalf, Alexandra Adnornetto, and Adi Alsaid…so much awesome at one time!

-         Meeting Amy Plum because really, when am I ever going to have the chance to see her again?!

-          Meeting Amanda Brice because she killed me…fictionally of course!

First pic is Krista and Amy Plum, the second blurry pic of Amanda Brice and me :)
Books of the Day:

After a short rest at the hotel we headed to dinner at John’s Pizzeria...good pizza, gorgeous building, and fabulous company.

 (Left to right) Anna, Rebekka, Krista, and Val

Then it was time for the dreaded mid-week trip to the car. Lugging a suitcase full of books down flights of stairs because the escalators had been turned off is not something I would recommend! But we survived and collapsed into bed right after the adventure.
I'm trying to keep it short(ish) so that's it for this recap post, stop back Friday for Part 2.
A few things to expect in my Part 2 recap:
  • BEA Days 2 & 3
  • Some minor fangirling over Chelsea Cain
  • Photos of BJ Novak and Cary Elwes *Sigh*
  • A few more NYC pics
  • A quick shout out to some bloggers I saw this year
See you Friday!