Vegas is an odd place. I’ve been there a few times and always had a fantastic time—for a few days. To me, Vegas is about as American as we can get. Why go to Paris when you can see the Eiffel Tower, have a huge, complimentary breakfast, walk across the street to pop by Lady Liberty, and then have margaritas at mid-day while you play a few slots.
My BFF Suzanne’s Vegas experience is very different from mine. In her new book, To Vegas and Back, Suzanne tells the story of her childhood and her mother’s life as a Vegas Showgirl in the 70s. I do believe that lends a whole new meaning to the term “Yummy Mummy.” The story starts out in the suburbs of Philly—the suburbs where most of my friends grew up. Suzanne’s mother is an exceptionally beautiful woman who gets a divorce and moves to Vegas to be a showgirl! I know—it sounds surreal, but it’s true.
Then the story gets even more bizarre.. The man who takes her to Vegas, promising to make her a showgirl, gets murdered! This stuff normally only happens on TV, but this really happened.–Suz’s mom eventually lands her dream job as a showgirl in the famous Tropicana’s Les Follies Bergere. (BTW, the “eventually” in this book is some titillating reading! It also gives us the inside story of what life was like for the showgirls at that time. VERY interesting!)
If only the story could stop there, with the fairytale ending! But no. She meets another man who was oh, so charming and delightful on the outside. He promised a life of comfort and care for her and her three kids. We have to remember that this was the 70s, and that is what most women with three kids did—they got married; they weren’t Vegas showgirls. Unfortunately, her new husband turns out to be a twisted, alcoholic, physical, emotional and verbal abuser of the worst kind. For the next six years, the entire family is trapped in the whirlwind of the abuse cycle.
I am not a reader. Let me rephrase that. I don’t read a lot of novels. Toss me a “personal growth” book and I am all over it. Even though this book is non-fiction and fits my preference of “personal growth” or memoir, it reads like a novel, and I could not put it down. In fact, I found myself emotionally munching because I got so involved!
Because I am sure that you are not going to want to MOVE when you start reading this book, I’ll offer you my favorite perfect paring with To Vegas and Back—Zucchini Bread and vervain tea which is not only calming, but healing . It’s also very French.
To celebrate the launch of To Vegas And Back,
Suzanne is offering one lucky reader a hard copy of her book! Yay!
All you have to do is the following:
“Like” her page on Facebook <<==== click here to Like!
Make sure you are on my mailing list << === click here so you don’t miss out on any Nutritional Musing!
Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
(scroll down, you don’t want to miss this recipe!)
Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
Why I love this recipe?
Not only is it gluten free, but its FILLED with vegetables!
Makes 2 breads
1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium-sized, shredded)
1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup quinoa flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Butter for greasing the pans
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8×4″ loaf pans.
Trim the ends of the zucchinis and shred them on a box grater or mandoline.
Take all of the shreds, place in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to press out as much moistureer from the zucchini as possible.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sweeteners, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
Toss the zucchini and any extras (nuts, raisins, chocolate chips) in the flour mixture. Pour the liquids on top.
Gently stir and fold just until no more flour is visible. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.
Bake 45-50 minutes (until golden brown on top).
Try the “fork test” (poke a fork or a toothpick in the middle and when it comes out clean, it’s done).
Let them the loaves cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. and Run a knife around the edge to loosen and turn them out onto put them on a wire rack to cool completely.
The bread will keep in an airtight container for several days.
OR you can slice the loaves,them and wrap each slice individually in tin foil or plastic wrap, inplace in [ Not sure if this is what you meant.]a glass container and freeze for up to 3 months.
The slices are easily thawed and toasted.
In the comments below, I would LOVE to hear about your Vegas experiences!