The Book of Jonas

I mentioned previously that I signed up for the Blogher Book Club and will occasionally be presented with opportunities to read and review new books. I initially signed up because I love to read and liked the idea of being introduced to new books not necessarily on my radar.

The Book of Jonas was exactly the kind of experience I hoped for when I signed up for the book club. It’s a book I would not have thought to pick up, but one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I couldn’t put it down all weekend, especially with the underlining mystery running through the entire book.

The Book of Jonas is the debut novel of Stephen Dau. Jonas is a Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a US military operation. He is eventually rescued and with the help of a relief organization, he is sent to America, setup with a family, and slowly adapts to American life. Because of his troubled past, he is ordered to see a counselor who is unable to get Jonas to speak about the American soldier credited with saving Jonas’ life. As the book continues, bits and pieces of the story are revealed.

I’ve raved about the beef rolls at 101 Noodle Express but I’ve never actually done a complete post on the restaurant. We usually just order the beef rolls as take out but on my last few visits to the Irvine location, I was really tempted to sit down for a full meal because the menu has a diverse amount of dumpling and noodle soup offerings and the staff seemed really friendly.

We recently had to  attend a wedding and would be passing through Orange County and decided to stop at 101 Noodle Express for lunch.

The staff was as welcoming as I remembered and the lady taking our order was super friendly and fluent in English.

No stop would be complete without the famous beef rolls. The rolls here are huge, like burritos and at about $7 an order, it’s priced cheaper than many other competing restaurants who serve inferior rolls.

Thin slices of marinated beef, cilantro, are wrapped together with a savory chinese pancake. This alone is a meal in itself. At the table, they also have a cilantro jalapeno sauce which I highly recommend adding to the roll. It really enhances the flavor. For some reason the sauce is never included with take out orders. You have to specifically ask for them to give you a few containers.

They have quite a few steamed soup dumpling fillings. Usually the only ones I see on a menu are pork or crab. At 101 Noodle Express there was also fish, duck and a few others. I attempted to order duck but they were out. So I opted for the fish.

A few weeks ago I saw this post on Buns in My Oven for homemade oreo cookie spread. Genius!

I love Biscoff spread and Nutella spread, so why not Oreo cookie spread? I immediately had to try it out. But for some reason spreading it on some bread and eating it for breakfast seemed wrong. So I decided to make some cookie and cream scones for dessert and of course I needed to put some spread on the scones, so now I had an excuse to try out the oreo cookie spread.