Books Travel

Traveling Librarian Eats Her Way through Miami Beach

Recently on vacation I spent a lot of time doing two things:

  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Drinking wine

Ok that might be 4 but wine goes with eating so, it really counts as one. Math.

I figured that you might like to know what I do when I’m not reading. Here are snaps of the meals we enjoyed on vacation in SoBe (South Beach Miami, ya’ll)!


Yellow Snapper at Essensia Restaurant (part of our hotel). With some yummy something something corn and tiny tomatoes. Yum.


Desayuno included a $24 buffet (REALLY) all you can eat. But still, all I could eat was lox and bagel. And coffee. And maybe some warm soy milk. And some fresh squeezed Florida OJ. And maybe some fresh fruit. But that’s it. Outside on the lanai (like Golden Girls)!


That evening, at The Matador Room, I devoured the snapper. Covered with something something and lots of yummy other things. Note, that is NOT cheese, because we are lactose intolerant. Also please note that I don’t know why they call it the Matador Room, I did not see ONE person dressed in those cute lil skinty pants.


Oh yeah. Mr Pam and I shared some crab little something ballies. Yumtastic.

Then we went back to our hotel to enjoy happy hour.


If absinthe is good enough for the likes of Oscar Wilde, then why not Pammy Pam?

The next night I guess I didn’t take a pic of my food. I was too busy watching the flamenco dancer.  I want one.

The next morning, however, we traveled down the street to the Tropical Cafe for the Tropical desayuno.


I surely must be a Cuban at heart, cuz all meals should come with french fries, non?


I don’t know where this is, but Mr. Pam had this. A tabbouleh salad with salmon. I was prolly too busy sucking on more snapper.


Another night we went to Espanola Road and ate pasta. Oh the yummy pasta with little lamby meat sauce. Yum!


Dude enjoyed this farro pasta from Picolo Cucina. He can have the cheese. I cannot. He said it was yummy but needed meat. Carnivores, oy!!


Breakfast at Marketplace at The Edition is served very lovely. Who knew sunny side eggs could look this hoity toity and taste so yum?


Snacking later back at The Palms, I tasted this crab or shrimp something with trout roe and crackers. According to our very upset young server, it may or may not have contained cream cheese. While I went upstairs to rest, Mr. Pam enjoyed the fish taco.


That whole escapade was on the house since they mistakenly may or may not have given me dairy.

That night for dinner I rallied and noshed on more meat:


Baires Argentinian Grill on Lincoln Road mall. 8 oz of Yum. I’m sorry. I’m weak.

So. wow. we ate really well, thanks to a little bit of research and asking around. Great meals.

I’m full until Thanksgiving.

Have you ever eaten at any of these restaurants? What’s your experience been?


Conferences Travel

Librarian in the Kitchen: Conference Preparations; Cooking for the Family

I love to travel! There’s nothing like learning new things and seeing new places.  As a blogger, I love  to attend several conferences and while it’s fun to travel, there is a certain amount of prep work that must be done to get out of the door. One of the things many of us do to prepare for conferences is prepare meals for the family we’re leaving behind.  In preparing for my trip to Sacramento to attend kidlitcon, I turned to my friend Heather, from Real, the Kitchen and Beyond, for food suggestions.

Chicken is very easy to prepare in numerous ways and my only requirement for Heather was that the meals couldn’t have dairy in them which meant no cheese. Boo.  Anyway, after reading Heather’s recipes here, I had my ideas!  We secured 5-8 pounds of chicken in bulk and I set to work cooking. If you’re like me and don’t have a crock pot big enough for all that cluck, you hafta get creative.

crockpot cooking

My family is the epitome of  picky eaters so we only buy chicken breasts. I like to divide up the chicken according to how many people I think might eat this particular thing i’m going to cook.

For the Crockpot, I placed 3 breasts and covered in water.  I added half a bag of Lipton Chicken Soup for flavoring. Once this had cooked, my Pumpkin shredded it and used it for chicken tacos.

Next I pulled out my dutch oven for the stove top.

stovetop cooking

Three or four chicken breasts should do the trick here. I was making chicken chili, so the more chicken the better.

I just use basic seasonings here; pepper, minced garlic (I prefer fresh but jar or dry will suffice in a pinch), and onion powder. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for hours. Chicken should break apart with a fork.  Do not remove chicken from the pot; just break it apart right there with a giant fork or spoon or whatever you have.

Then add your fave beans. I just used whatever I had on hand: Canneloni beans, Light Red kidney beans, Black beans.  Any beans that you like will do. When I’m making beef chili i don’t drain the beans because I need the liquid but because I’m making chicken and there is plenty of liquid in the pot, I drain the beans. It’s your choice.

After adding the beans, I add

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • sofrito
  • stewed tomatoes that have some sort of flavoring in them for a little kick like jalapeños or similar.

If your family is’t much on spices totally back off on the spicy flavors. Just for fun I added little alphabet pastas because that’s what I had in the pantry.

Cover and simmer for an hour or so, stirring frequently.  The longer it simmers, the softer your beans will be.  When chili is ready, I IMMEDIATELY freeze half of it so I can enjoy a meal quickly one day when I’m strapped for a meal.

Finally, the remaining chicken went in the oven.


I covered the chicken with water and sprinkled a little bit of minced garlic garlic for flavor. Bake at 250 for several hours until tender.  I made no plans for this chicken so that the family could do what they want with it. My husband likes to put chicken on top of his Lean Cuisines or on a store bought salad; my pumpkin likes to make bbq sandwiches,  so I like to leave them with options.

Because my family has weird eating preferences and also because my kids are 22 and 17, I generally tend to cook only on Sundays. The rest of the week they can heat up leftovers or fix their own meals since I am working.

Now that I know my family will have food in the house, I’m free to hit the skies for my own traveling adventures!

What do you fix for your family when you go away? Don’t forget to pop over to Heather’s site and show her some love!



Bookish Traveler and Happy Hour in Aruba

As far as I’m concerned, when I’m in Aruba every hour is happy hour! But I digress.  Every once in a while, Pammy Pam wants a little drinky poo to whet her whistle after a long day of sitting under a palapa reading a book.  To be sure, I stay hydrated with water (ya hear that Mom?) but it’s still nice to have a little cocktail in the afternoon.

Here’s a little orangy thing I had one afternoon at the Serenity Pool.

Happy Hour.jpg


It’s two fer so I got one for me and one for le grand monsieur, which he didn’t want. So I HAD to drink it so it wouldn’t go to waste. I’m saving the planet!

Of course, you can’t go to a foreign land and not drink the drink of their people. I bring you the caiprinha;


Look how cute and green it is!

And then, the day we left, I swallowed my sorrows in a mimosa or two.



I cried and the staff felt sorry for me. Is that bacon on monsieur’s plate?



You might have heard me whine on social media: Ayoo Aruba…



Bookish Traveler Walks the Streets of Aruba and Marriott

THAT got your attention, didn’t it? Yep, I walked the streets of Aruba while enjoying my vacation in paradise.  There’s a reason the island is called One Happy Island.  What could you possibly be unhappy about?

Except sunburn, but that’s your own fault. Buy SPF 50 and use it. And a sun hat.

Here are some sights from in and around the Marriott:

Marriott sights.jpg


You know I had to throw a pic of food in there, right? I didn’t want you to worry that I didn’t eat. Bahahaa

I miss Aruba already.  Did you see that big green iguana?

Him, I don’t miss. Consider him the bodyguard of the hot tub.


Bookish Traveler Eats Her Weight in Seafood in Aruba

Yep that’s me! We recently traveled to Aruba (our FIFTH time!) and I ate my weight in yummy seafood!


Wanna see what I ate?

On the night we’re feeling particularly gluttonous, we waddle over to Texas de Brazil.  It’s at this location where swarthy looking men in guaches and boots offer you hunks of meat served on what look like swords.

Texas de Brazil.jpg

Half the time I don’t know what they’re offering me but who cares? When a man offers you meat on a stick you take it, right? Of course we don’t eat the whole day prior or after to make up for our gorging. It’s way fun.

Another yummy meal we enjoyed was at Yemanja which means sea goddess or something and is a sweet little outdoor restaurant tucked in the middle of downtown Oranjestad. The place is so secluded you forget you’re in the middle of the “city!”


Here’s the meal  le grand monsieur enjoyed. It was a yummy veggie burger with a sprouted bun, some crunchy things, a yummy salad, and a kebab of veggies. He swooned! Why men love food on sticks is beyond me.

Le petit madame ordered fish. I’m all about fish when I’m in Aruba, except when I’m gorging on meat on a stick served by men in guachos and boots.


Doesn’t that look FAB?? It was accompanied by lots of veggies and although Pammy Pam is not a friend to vegetables, I loved them they were SO delish!

Especially great about this place is that locals eat here, so you KNOW it’s good.

Wine and dessert made for a wonderful night!