December, 2018

  1. Instant Pot vegan garlic mashed potatoes

    December 31, 2018 by Angie

    I’ve tried several vegan mashed potatoes recipes and they are always good because potatoes are inherently wonderful but they’re never great. Until now! I made this twice, including once for Thanksgiving, and they were fantastic both times. I especially like that I can make them completely in the Instant Pot thus freeing up much needed stovetop real estate. I mostly followed this recipe from The Veggie Queen. I successfully doubled this for Thanksgiving.

    Mashed potatoes


    4 Yukon Gold potatoes

    6 cloves of garlic

    1 cup vegetable stock

    Unsweetened plain soy milk, about half a cup

    Vegan margarine, about 4 tablespoons

    Salt and pepper

    Dried parsley


    1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop them into smallish chunks.
    2. Crush the garlic cloves individually under a knife so that you can peel them.
    3. Place the potatoes, crushed garlic, and vegetable stock in the Instant Pot.
    4. Lock the lid and set it to Manual pressure cooking for 4 minutes. Do the quick release method then open when the thingie falls down.
    5. Use a potato masher to mash everything up right there in the Instant Pot (turn it off first though!).
    6. Stir in the soy milk, margarine, salt, pepper, and parsley.
    7. Eat the creamy, starchy goodness right away!

  2. 2018 books part 2 – July through December

    December 31, 2018 by Angie

    I reviewed the first half of 2018’s books earlier here. I’m not counting cookbooks, pattern books, and similar things here, although I read and reviewed some on Goodreads. Last year I read 32 books which was a new record, breaking the previous record of 27 books set in 2016.

    This year I was in a huge reading rut. I barely cracked twenty books with a grand total of 22 books read in 2018. I think I will set next year’s goal at 30. I think I have a few good ones set aside to start 2019 off right!

    2018 Reading

    My favorite: How to Be Safe by Tom McAllister

    Five star winners: How to Be Safe by Tom McAllister; The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason by Chapo Trap House; Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Bernie Sanders; A How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley

    My least favorite: A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith

    The longest: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah at 435 pages

    The oldest: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson published in 1948

    Nonfiction: 8

    Fiction: 14

    Here is the second half of the list in the order I read them. I’ve included reviews for some and ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 stars for all. I’m still co-running a book club at my library and attending a class for work that involves reading a book then meeting to discuss it and watch the film adaptation.

    15. The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason by Chapo Trap House – Edelweiss – 5 stars

    16. Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Bernie Sanders – OverDrive audiobook – 4 stars

    I wish Bernie had been the narrator for the whole time because I prefer him so much more than Mark Ruffalo. Bernie read the first half and then came back and finished up the end. I learned a lot I didn’t know as far as Bernie’s biography and details of the 2016 campaign. The book reinforces what we all already know – Bernie would have won.

    17. The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane – OverDrive audiobook – 4 stars

    I knew very little about Gucci Mane and now have very many Gucci Mane facts. He has led an interesting life. The narrator of the audiobook was great.

    18. Florida by Lauren Groff – NetGalley – 4 stars

    This is a book of short stories set in various parts of Florida. As most short story collections go, some were better than others, but none were bad and some were fantastic. I highly recommend it to all the short story lovers out there.

    19. Strangers I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara – OverDrive/library book club – 4 stars

    I chose this for my library’s book club. It was too dark and grisly for most of us. I’m glad I read it but I was definitely scared of my house at night.

    20. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson – books to films book club – 4 stars

    I should probably give this one five stars because I loved the characters so much. I missed them when the book was over. One of the only truly great novels I read this year.

    21. A How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley – NetGalley – 5 stars

    This book is pretty terrifying. It’s a wonderful primer on fascism in general with specific examples from history and today. It’s easy to understand and engage with because it doesn’t assume the reader has a wealth of political theory or history knowledge yet it’s still informative and interesting.

    22. City of Thieves by David Benioff – 3 stars

    I wasn’t really feeling this one. A little too much bros trying to make it with chicks for the siege of Leningrad for me.