First, let me say that "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse" by Mimi Thorisson, is a visual pleasure. Mimi's husband is a photograpFirst, let me say that "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse" by Mimi Thorisson, is a visual pleasure. Mimi's husband is a photographer, and the stylish photos reflect a level of professional sophistication. In her introduction, Mimi states she wants to introduce people to the region of France where she lives, and "encourage people to take risks and to follow their dreams, whether that means picking up and moving to an old farmhouse in the French countryside or simply trying a new recipe for dinner." I definately fall into the latter category, although dreaming of visiting France is something I do frequently. Mimi is the creator of the award winning food blog Manager, and has shows on French television. Her mantras in the book are ingredients are important, and waiting for fresh, seasonal foods. She believes eating in cycles breeds anticipation and gratefulness, and I happen to agree. Although unlike Mimi, I buy tomatoes year round, and do not enjoy them only when I grow them myself. The book is divided into seasons, and recipes fall into their seasonal categories. Mimi begins with Spring, and one of her favorite recipes of Fava bean soup. I thought the onion tart on page 30 looked really appealing, and may be brave enough to try the recipe. Some of the other recipes I may actually try are Bugnes with orange flower waters, coffee cream puffs, pumpkin soup, and butternut gratin. Things like calves liver, fois gras, escargot, or quail grilled over grapevines are a bit beyond my appetite or capabilities. Overall, this is a gorgeous book for serious cooks to savor and enjoy. Although I enjoyed looking at it, I probably will not be trying many of the recipes. I received this book from Blogging For Books for my review. ...more
What a fantastic cookbook for people who want to eat tasty food, but eat healthier and in moderation! Unlike most people, I was not familiar with theWhat a fantastic cookbook for people who want to eat tasty food, but eat healthier and in moderation! Unlike most people, I was not familiar with the author Gina Homolka's blog www.skinnytaste.com, so this book was a refreshing introduction to her philosophy of food, healthy eating, and cooking! Gina had tried diets, was not successful, and although she appreciated Weight Watchers, she wanted healthy "non-diet" food to feed herself and her family. A graphic designer, she started the Skinnytaste blog for fun and to share her recipes. It is now her full time job! The book gives you a brief introduction into her food philosophy, which is eat in season whole foods, focus on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, modest amounts of meat, fish, or dairy, and cut back on salt, refined sugars, white flour and partially hydrogenated oils. All worthy goals! She suggests that you plan your menus for the week, and make a shopping list before grocery shopping. When picturing your dinner plate, Gina says 1/2 the plate should be salad and veggies, 1/4 meat (protein) and 1/4 whole grains. Simple, yet good advice. The book is structured into chapters for breakfast, soups and chilis, sandwiches, appetizers, main dish salads, poultry, lean meats, fish, side dishes, and sweets. I loved how she has a simple key: Q for quick (30 minutes or less), SC for slow cooker, FF for freezer friendly, V for vegetarian, GF for gluten free. Gina also partnered with a registered dietitian Heather K. Jones to provide nutritional information about the recipes. Each recipe has a box on the lower right hand corner of the page detailing calories, fat grams, cholesterol, carbs, fiber, protein, sugars, and sodium. The serving size, example 1 cup, is also specified. Another basic recommendation - all salts are not created equal, and Gina recommends Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. I also like how she has hints she calls the "skinny scoop" liked simple substitutions, how to wrap before freezing, etc. She also has "perfect pairings" to suggest how to serve dishes, or what sides compliment the main dish. Finally, the recipes. Looking at the cover, which featured "Kiss my Shrimp and Grits" on page 219, I knew I was going to find a lot of dishes I wanted to cook. I love breakfast, so the make ahead Western Omelet "muffins" caught my eye, along with the Apple 'n spice baked oatmeal. There was also a winter potato, kale, and sausage frittata that I would serve for dinner. Pumpkin vanilla glazed scones, rustic Italian gnocchi soup, Buffalo chicken melts, Pear and brie grilled cheese. My mouth was watering just reading these recipes! The book also contains a lot of great, high quality photographs, so you can picture how the dishes should look. My highest praise for this book is that although I received my copy free from Blogging for Books (in exchange for an honest review), I recommended that our adult non-fiction librarian immediately purchase it for my library, and I plan to buy a copy for my daughter who recently graduated from college and is working and living in a new city. This book makes a great addition to a library collection, or your personal cookbook collection. ...more
I hate when a book is hyped as being great - I am inevitably let down when I read it. That sums up how I feel about The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. If yoI hate when a book is hyped as being great - I am inevitably let down when I read it. That sums up how I feel about The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. If you are still into the young adult dystopian, love triangle, strong female kick-ass character, grab this book! The one big difference is the alien aspect, but other than that, it felt like Hunger Games redux for me. I read this for my first book club meeting with a local high school, and the kids chose the book. Not my cup of tea, but honestly, I am enjoying discussing the books with them and want the kids to chose what they read! ...more
I waffled on Like, or "it was OK". I really enjoyed the Legend series, but The Young Elites, just did not hold my interest. I felt like it was a dystoI waffled on Like, or "it was OK". I really enjoyed the Legend series, but The Young Elites, just did not hold my interest. I felt like it was a dystopian novel, but she tried to set in Renaissance Italy. The love interest? meh. Sorry, Marie Lu, but this one was not my cup of tea.
I had looked forward to the publication of this book, and was disappointed. When I read Tina Fey's "Bosspants" I literally was slapping my chair I wasI had looked forward to the publication of this book, and was disappointed. When I read Tina Fey's "Bosspants" I literally was slapping my chair I was laughing so hard. There was no laughing that hard when I read "Yes Please" and frequently, I was wondering why Poehler chose to include portions she did. For instance, her drug use. TMI Amy - I don't want or need to know. The prologue tells us "how hard it is to write a book" and maybe the clue should have been, if it's this hard, it's not good. It felt very forced, and I just did not enjoy it. I pushed myself to finish it, and to be honest, it wasn't worth the time. ...more