Nice book with the torrid history of rum and the distilling process described. The author also includes a number of Caribbean Islands' history and itsNice book with the torrid history of rum and the distilling process described. The author also includes a number of Caribbean Islands' history and its relationship to rum and the distilleries on each of the islands in little sections. There is also an extensive list of rated rums that the author has tried which he has rated on a five star scale with key flavor notes. One little problem I had with it is that its a hard cover, kinda big (hard to handle), but it has lots of pictures.
Perfect book for the beginner or those looking to refresh their basic knowledge regarding the basics of gardening. Easy to read, clear and well organiPerfect book for the beginner or those looking to refresh their basic knowledge regarding the basics of gardening. Easy to read, clear and well organized, and it has pictures!
Out of several books checked out from our local library for beginning gardening this is my favorite....more
If you're a cook that loves apples and/or have an apple tree (in other words - what to do with all those apples?) this is a book that you should have.If you're a cook that loves apples and/or have an apple tree (in other words - what to do with all those apples?) this is a book that you should have.
It also has resources on where to find apples (for those not blessed with a tree), different kinds of apples, as well as her favorite applejack and hard cider suppliers. Fun stuff!...more
Nice book with loads of pictures and gardening projects. It's also well organized. However, there is not a lot of information on how to actually gardeNice book with loads of pictures and gardening projects. It's also well organized. However, there is not a lot of information on how to actually garden. It's really an overview. Great book to pick up from the library or possibly for teens or older kids....more
A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and gThis review was originally published at Layers of Thought.
A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and great pictures.
A thing about trying and tasting punch recipes is that you either have to have a party, drink a whole punch bowl yourself, or break down the ingredients into smaller portions. To save my sanity and liver I resorted to the later - and regardless of the lack of a party I had fun doing so. How could you not, especially if the recipes are tasty?
I tried the authors’ versions of some classic drinks - Pimm’s Punch (a low-alcohol version of the Pimm’s Cup which I love and gives the drinker a taste of an English summer); the Old Fashioned Manhattan Punch (a delicious cross between the two classic cocktails which also uses orange juice as an ingredient); a Skinny Moscow Mule (a low-cal version of the Moscow Mule with diet ginger ale and vodka); and Jungle Juice (a variation on the potent College Punch that is a combo of six juices and four different kinds of booze). The last one really packed a punch (pun intended), but all of them were refreshing and delicious.
As for the book’s appearance and usability, it’s a hardcover and a small book so it’s easy to handle. It only has 112 pages. But it packs a wallop with 50 different punches. Almost every recipe has an additional corresponding page with a pretty idea-laden photograph of the punch. With each recipe there’s a short description, the ingredients listed logically, then simple yet specialized directions.The authors have also included tips for ice molds (which are suggestively and gorgeously pictured throughout the book) and directions on how to make the specialized simple syrups (a homemade water and sugar blend) needed for the punches. There is also a page that lists punches by types of alcohol and lastly an index that includes names of each punch as well as the individual ingredients so that you can find each punch by its name or content.
The recipes are broken down into Classic Cocktail-Inspired Punches (which includes the above punches that I tried), a section on wine called Sangrias and Champagne-Based Punches, Tropical and Exotic Drinks, Lazy Sundays (including a boozy iced tea called Palm Springs), Height of Summer (that has an interesting-sounding Spiked Spa Water), Fireside Cocktails (including Aztec Chocolate Punch which is a spicy hot chocolate drink with tequila), and Nonalcoholic Punches (which includes an orange juice and ice cream combo called Fifty-Fifty Punch) which are perfect for a children’s get-together.
As you can see that this is a fun book that I had a blast researching it. It’s a perfect gift for a host or hostess which can come in handy during the upcoming holidays or for any party or season. I give PUNCH BOWLS a 4-star rating.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. If you have a blog you can sign up too. ...more
I liked the fact that it covers the entire Mediterranean including Africa and that the author includes little snippets of her expeExcellent cookbook.
I liked the fact that it covers the entire Mediterranean including Africa and that the author includes little snippets of her experiences, sharing cultural insight and regional practices around the recipes. The best part is that since the Mediterranean has a natural tendency to focus on vegetable dishes for a meal, the book does not feel like it's excluding meat. It's just featuring vegetables.
It's perfect for omnivores looking to include more vegetable based foods in their diet. But the book does includes some cheese and eggs in the recipes which the resourceful vegan can tailor to fit their diet restrictions.
For fun, there's some suggestions for light libations (like a splash of pastis with water, and wine mixed with juice)from several of the Western European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain that are rather nice and civilized....more
A terrific and simple vegetarian cook book with many basic recipes for standard French recipes (like white and bechamel sauces) as well as notes aboutA terrific and simple vegetarian cook book with many basic recipes for standard French recipes (like white and bechamel sauces) as well as notes about the monastic life. ...more
Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 3Original review posted at Layers of Thought.
Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 32 different seasonal cocktails. And best yet it has lots of pictures!
Eric Prum and Josh Williams are best friends and have a design company called W & P Design in Brooklyn NY. And since they love cocktails and have created a cocktail shaker called the Mason Shaker (pictured on the book’s cover), it stands to reason that they would write a book on how to make cocktails too. But don’t worry, you don’t need to purchase one of their nice $30 shakers to make yourself cocktails - you can use a clean mayonnaise jar instead!
The duo has a premise on which they base their cocktail making - it should be “fun, simple, and social”. And the book is social since all the recipes are based on making a two-drink batch so that you can share. There are 8 cocktails for each of the four seasons, many using fresh local ingredients, so there are a lot of tasty ways that you can have fun. The book is also simple, broken down into the basics of cocktail crafting with fundamentals such as stocking your bar (where they suggest 12 different types of moderately priced booze); what types of glassware to choose; what types of ice and sugar to use; how to muddle; and, of course, techniques on how to “shake”. And since the book is mostly pictures it adds even more to the simple and fun feel.
Another thing I liked about the book is that it is a paperback with those nice cover flaps which makes it easy to save your place when browsing or making several cocktails at once. The index is also accessible and broken down by cocktail name, spirits, and key ingredient. Out of the thirty-two cocktails (several non-alcoholic) some examples are the Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Spiced Rum Old Fashioned, Pickleback Me (two shots – one pickle juice and one tequila), and the Flat Ditch. The Flat Ditch is my favorite so far out of the 10 or so that we have tried – it combines dark rum, lemon juice, fresh ginger, and strong ginger beer. Another plus is that most of the ingredients (or reasonable substitutions) can be found in your local grocery store and won’t tax your wallet too much.
It’s a book that I would consider for the newbie-cocktail-drinker, or for those looking to expand their drinking repertoire from the standard wine, beer, and basic store bought cocktail mixers. It’s an entertaining guide that I’d rate 4 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to trying more of its cocktails and recreating favorites once again.
A complimentary book was received in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. If you are a blogger you can get copies of books in exchange for reviews too. Just visit bloggingforbooks.org....more
A dramatic and messy high-profile divorce is told via documents which are facilitated by a twenty-something female attorney.
Description: Sophie Diehl is a young criminal defense lawyer who gets drawn into a high profile divorce case because the other lawyers who would normally cover family law are out of town. The wife from the wealthy couple seeking the divorce chooses Sophie even though the woman knows Sophie has no experience in family law. And the firm’s senior partner keeps Sophie on the case because the divorcing wife is the daughter of a favored and major client for the firm.
Told through emails, legal documents, personal correspondence, office memos, articles, and notes, the messy divorce, internal office politics, romantic entanglements and the main character’s personal growth dramatically unfolds.
Shellie’s thoughts: This is one of those intellectual chic-lit books which was very compelling for me because I love epistolary novels and enjoy legal aspects in my fiction reads. This may be a problem for some readers since the book is in part told via a number of legal documents, which for some may become tedious and boring. For me, contrarily, it was a book that I found difficult to put down (even including the legal documents) and I devoured it in a few sittings.
It gets predictably messy between the divorcing wife and the husband, with egos and revenge working in the emotional soup from the fall-out of the break up and the fight for legal custody of their daughter. It’s one of those stories that features a train-wreck-and-I-can’t-look-away aspect for the reader. But what becomes a key theme for the story is the internal workings inside the main character’s mind as she works on the case. She begins to question her own relationships and experiences growth in unexpected ways. This gives the book its traditional chic-lit connection.
A fun read although I am not normally a chic-lit reader. I would imagine that the book is not going to be enjoyed by many typical readers of the genre. And from looking at the reviews available for the book it looks like it’s a book that the reader either really liked or hated. I am from the former camp, it was a 3.5 star read for me. I liked it a lot. ...more
A fun, delicious, entertaining, and good-for-you cookbook that features plant-based foods that don’t contaOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
A fun, delicious, entertaining, and good-for-you cookbook that features plant-based foods that don’t contain meat or dairy products.
Description: Bryant Terry “remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.” He is a “food justice activist” with food justice defined as “the basic human right to fresh, safe, affordable, and culturally appropriate food in all communities.”
Thoughts: Before I received this book I found Afro-Vegan’s recipe Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens in our local San Francisco Examiner’s Sunday food section. Needless to say it was delicious. And when Afro-Vegan, became available for review I jumped at the chance. From there we have tried (I cook and eat, my husband just eats) a handful of recipes – such as Summer Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs with Pomegranate-Peach Barbeque Sauce, Stewed Tomatoes and Black-Eyed Peas with Cornbread Croutons, Glazed Carrot Salad,(in its raw alternative form) and most recently watermelon juice and Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rinds and Jalapenos. All have been winners. And the best yet is that I have barely scratched the surface of what’s in this healthy treasure of a book.
I loved Afro-Vegan,. It’s thoughtfully and logically organized, divided into sections like – Spices, Sauce and Heat; Soup, Stew and Tagines; Greens, Squashes and Roots; Cold Drinks, Tonics and Cocktails. It also includes gorgeous and colorful pictures throughout. With its small hardbound cover, it’s easy to hold and it stays open easily, so you can refer to it while cooking. Each recipe has a clearly outlined list of items needed for the cooking and easy to figure out instructions. I liked that every recipe has its own separate page, where Terry has added his entertaining thoughts and descriptions about the recipe; and there is even some fun non-foody content - he’s included music for each recipe to listen to while cooking or eating, as well as books for some of them. And, importantly, all the books and music included are created by black artists. The only thing I can say that was difficult about the book is that the recipes may be a little complex and time consuming. But I believe that after a few times cooking one of the recipes an experienced or determined cook will be able to make a few changes to make the dish easier for themselves.
Overall, the thing I liked best about Afro-Vegan is that the author has a wonderful and subtle sense of humor. Bryant Terry has added fun to the book by including recipes for some wonderful sounding cocktails such as the Amy Ashwood, the Black Queen and the Congo Square,, all of which he suggests “will promote lively conversation, dancing, and frolicking.” And for more fun he’s included menu suggestions for celebrations and get-togethers for events like a Juneteenth Sweet-and-Savory Brunch and Saint Bob Marley’s Birthday. Best yet is the book is not preachy but is educational around the need for a plant-based diet to optimize health, as well as the inequalities of food access for a significant number of US citizens. A special book with delicious flavors that has health and social activism at its heart. It’s a 4.5 star for me. ...more