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Steak Quesadillas (and a Book Giveaway!)

Let’s start with the book giveaway first, ’cause that’s fun!

(Also, do you like the new header?  I like it about ten thousand times better, and it’s also a preview of a freakin’ delicious recipe I made this morning).

Back to the book.  I think I have blogging attention deficit disorder.

Cynthia Langston sent me her new novel to review (extra conveniently in a Kindle-compatible file!).  She’s the author of Bicoastal Babe and this book is entitled The Very First Bite.

It’s a book about a woman, Lanie Albers, frantically trying to prepare for her upcoming high school reunion by (you guessed it!) battling through frenetic workouts and crash diets, trying to figure out why her boyfriend won’t commit, and dealing with personal demons from the past.  The book is funny and quick (I read through it in a few days before Christmas), and a perfect vacation or beach read.

I definitely enjoyed reading it, and I love supporting authors since I’ve been a bookworm my whole life (I won the award for reading the most books in third grade, and I specifically remember that I didn’t write half of them down since I didn’t want to look like a dork.  I failed).  The book made me laugh out loud more than a few times.

I had one issue with the book, and it’s honestly more of a personal thing than anything to do with the writing.  The book has a lot of negative self-talk from the first-person perspective of Lanie about her weight and self-image, and as you might predict, there’s a resolution of her issues by the end of the book (I don’t want to give away the ending!).  It was nothing beyond what I’m sure many women really think (myself included), but I definitely noticed myself thinking more negatively than usual before I finished it.  I think this is most likely just how ridiculously susceptible I am to those types of thoughts.  Like I said before, though, there’s a touching ending that will leave you feeling good.

So, Cynthia Langston has decided to offer a free copy of the book to one of you guys!  She’ll either send you a copy or the digital version–whichever you prefer.  All you have to do to win it (US/Canada only, sorry!) is leave a comment telling me the title of one of your favorite books.  For a second entry, you can go “like” Cynthia’s Facebook page and leave me a second comment telling me that you did.  Easy peasy!  I’ll randomly chose a winner on Wednesday morning (edited to Friday afternoon due to my bad timing of a giveaway!).

(also edited to add–if you are international and have a Kindle, you can enter the giveaway–no shipping with a Kindle-friendly file sent via email!).

Free books, man!  It’s the bomb dig.

Onto the recipe!  This quesadilla uses just a few ingredients that, if you’re lucky, you already have in the fridge or pantry, including the cornmeal crusted steak from yesterday.  It’s more of an idea than a recipe, so I’m not gonna be too specific with the details.


Steak Quesadillas (makes two)

  • 2 whole-wheat tortillas
  • a few ounces leftover steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 1/3-1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 C pickled hot or sweet peppers (I opened my last jar of canned hot pickled peppers)


Lightly grease a frying pan and layer the steak, cheese, and peppers over half of the tortilla over medium heat.  Fold the top over and cook until the tortilla is crispy, the steak is warm, and the cheese is melted.  Repeat.


Use a pizza cutter to slice.  It’s easier than a knife, trust me.


The best part? The sweet pepper and salty cheese combo, with just a little bit of heat.


Sometimes the easiest recipes are the best.  I will definitely be making these for Fritz, cause I know he’ll love the heck out of these.


Might have to make a new steak first, though.

And just for you, a picture of what Henry has been up to all weekend:


That’s right.  Sleeping in a cat nest on the bed.

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  1. Kaylin

    One of my most favorite books is actually as Lily called The Sex Life of Food. It was very iinteresting!

  2. Kaylin

    *book called The. . . .

  3. CaitlincC

    I read a lot as well and this past year my favourite book was Esi Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues.

  4. HJ

    I loved reading “The Help”. One of my favorite books ever!

  5. Dionna

    I really like the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I just read it because of all the hype the movie caused and I was taken back by how beautifully written it was! A truly touching story.

  6. Hillary

    Don’t really have a specific favorite book, but any book by Nora Roberts has been awesome to read.

  7. Kiran

    Recipe looks delicious. Must try it one of these days!

    My favourite book is probably The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood.

  8. Rebecca

    Love your blog Lauren I made the sweet potato cinnamon rolls today! My favorite book is Brothers Karamazov

  9. Wanda

    I just happened upon your blog. I think I’ll stay and take a look around. I have enjoyed several books. Loved The Help. I also enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha.

  10. Luba

    My favorite right now is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn… so good!

  11. Luba

    I “liked” Cynthia’s Facebook page:)

  12. rachel

    Love hearing about new books and great food :)

  13. Katlyn

    This bread looks sooo good! My favorite book is anything by Nicholas Sparks. (:

  14. Katlyn

    I liked Cynthias Facebook page.

  15. Lisa White

    I really liked “Defending Jacob”. Read it! I had been really disappointed in several books that I had read lately because the endings just didn’t work. “Defending Jacob” ended, in my opinion, just as it should. I think you’ll like it.

  16. Lisa White

    I also “liked” Cynthia’s fb page. : )

  17. Liz B.

    It’s the Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry.

  18. Nuts about food

    Catching up after the holidays and happy to see the giveaway is for your international followers (that would include me!). There are so many books I love, so I decided to write down the first that randomly popped into my thoughts: Angela’s ashes. Wishing you a very happy new year!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I thought about you when I realized I could include international people! I’m waiting for the winner to reply, but if she doesn’t soon, I’ll pick another!

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