I recently took a three-series class on pasta making, and the culinary teacher recommended this book. We made pasta from the pasta mix recipe in thisI recently took a three-series class on pasta making, and the culinary teacher recommended this book. We made pasta from the pasta mix recipe in this book, and it had a beautiful texture. We made the two-egg pasta dough, and made the spinach pasta recipe. It was absolutely delicious, and I loved the texture of the pasta. I had to own my own copy, but Amazon was sold out of the book version. Patience isn't my greatest virtue, so I downloaded the kindle version. Thankfully, the kindle version is perfect. I need to read this book, for a second time, from cover to cover. I absolutely love all the valuable tips, and the step-by-step photos. I own a pasta maker, and all kinds of tools for pasta making (I'm a kitchen gadget addict). We made ravioli, using a mold, and this book gave me a couple of extra tips that I plan to use, in the future. I wondered if using my stand mixer would work as well, and this book answered that one, too. The author shows different methods of making pasta-- by hand, mixer and even food processor. Terrific! Making colored dough (I learned to make laminated dough, for beautifully colored and striped ravioli) is a lot of fun. This book gives me even more ideas. I want to get the hang of making tortellini, and this book showed me how in a way that I can follow. I'm intrigued by the chocolate pasta dough. I'm on the fence, wrapping my head around that concept, but maybe I'll give that a go when I'm feeling daring enough. I've always wanted to make laminated herb pasta, and there's a chapter on that. Squeeeeeeee! The book focuses, primarily on pastas-- and not necessarily only from Italy. Greece, Poland and Germany, Asia are also included. There's aren't a LOT of sauce recipes, but I'm fine with that. If you're wanting to learn pasta making techniques, this is a wonderful resource, with beautiful photos. This book is well worth the investment. I'll be getting my money and pasta's worth out of it....more
I read "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell" and found that story so sad, that it was hard to get through it. Mainly, it was the physical abuse that both wI read "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell" and found that story so sad, that it was hard to get through it. Mainly, it was the physical abuse that both women endured. The ending... it just left me hanging. When I saw that this book was on special with audible, I decided to try the story, hoping it wouldn't be as sad. Having just finished listening to the story, I couldn't believe it was the ending! I wanted to see the end of the story all the way through. I won't give any spoilers, but the ending left things wide open for a sequel. If there is one, I'd definitely read it. This story was sad, but the difference is that it's told in the perspective of the mother and her son. There are two different narrators. Saleem is a boy who has just reached his adolescence. I had to admire his courage and yet he was so naive with all he went through. This gave me more insight into the plight of our current Syrian refugees, who are desperate to leave a country that is ravaged with war and danger. After reading "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell", I wasn't so sue I'd want to read another book by this author. This book was my favorite, by far. ...more
The narration of this book was excellent. The narrator was able to use different accents, and even did well with female characters. It took a while toThe narration of this book was excellent. The narrator was able to use different accents, and even did well with female characters. It took a while to get into the book, but I finally did. There are American Indians who are being murdered and there is the death of one, in particular, being separately investigated. Rodeo is a tough old cowboy, and a private investigator. He's a man of integrity, stays very level-headed while having a gun leveled at him... and overall, I found the story to be intriguing. I pretty much guessed how one of the Indians died, but the whole plot came together nice and neat. Overall, this was a good listen/read....more
Please know that the one star is for the narration of the book. I think. I found myself unable to focus on the story. I love a British accent, so thatPlease know that the one star is for the narration of the book. I think. I found myself unable to focus on the story. I love a British accent, so that wasn't it. I just felt that the description of everything was too long-winded for me. Too many characters, all at once. I tried, and tried, but three hours into the book I surrendered to just not getting hooked. Luckily, audible refunds books you don't like, so I can choose another. I can see I'm in the minority on this one, and maybe it would be better if read, rather than being narrated. But, my lifestyle doesn't allow the time to sit and read so I have to listen while I do chores or commute. ...more
My three stars if for one of the narrators. I'll give 4.5 stars to the actual story. Lorna Raver narrates the character of Isabelle McAllister. She isMy three stars if for one of the narrators. I'll give 4.5 stars to the actual story. Lorna Raver narrates the character of Isabelle McAllister. She isn't a bad narrator. However, as Isabelle began her wreckless (and somewhat selfish) decision to be with Robert, no matter what... well, I couldn't quite put my finger on what Lorna's narration was starting to get on my last nerve. Then it hit me. She was narrating what was to be Isabelle's 17 year old voice, and it didn't work for me. Ever seen the Bette Davis movie "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"? That was it! Her raspy, old woman voice didn't jive with being a 17 year old girl. Worse, as she began to whimper and cry, I wanted to just smack her! Her narration made Isabelle sound like a spoiled little brat who just had to have her way-- and she made stupid, stupid, STUPID (did I say stupid?) decisions with schemes that ended up hurting so many people. Gah. Bahni Turpin, on the other hand was perfect for the character of Dorrie. I found myself anxiously waiting for young Isabelle's chapter to end, so I could hear Dorrie's character. It took about 3/4 of the way into the story to finally become engrossed in finding out WHOSE funeral were they going to? If you're a weeper, then this story is for you. It's tragic. It's sad. It also has a stupid girl, with an unloving mother, living at a time when prejudice was in it's horrific and full glory in our own country. I kept reminding myself that she was only 17, but I had to dig deep with my frustration towards Isabelle. The very end did catch me by surprise, and it was very sad. Isabelle had endured an unloving mother, a deep love for someone who wasn't the same skin color as herself and so much tragedy. If you can handle the narration of an old woman voice, whining and sniveling like an immature girl, then the audio version will do just fine. I almost abandoned the book because of her. Sorry, Lorna, but I think a young girl should have been the third narrator for Isabella. Then I'd be more generous with my star ratings. ...more
I can remember being in my 20's and devouring Danielle Steel novels. But that was looooooooong ago. Audible was having a two books for one credit specI can remember being in my 20's and devouring Danielle Steel novels. But that was looooooooong ago. Audible was having a two books for one credit special, so I thought "why not"? So what did I think of this story? Let's put it this way-- if you like romance novels, that involves the rich and famous...where love happens at first sight, where the man is perfect in every way... in fact, everything is perfect, then you'll love this story. I wanted to scream every time "Stevie" said she "needed to find herself". She said it so many times, I could only roll my eyes. This is a totally predictable story, in every way. I can't fault Ms. Steel's proven track record of hit books, one after another. I guess now that I'm married, with an adult son, (and I am not rich nor famous)-- and I don't see life as being as perfect as this story, I finished the book and thought to myself, "the end". I didn't hate the story, but it was nothing fabulous. Thanks for the memories, Danielle Steel, but I think I've read enough of your novels. The sappy romantics will love this book, for sure. ...more
Now, I see why this book was only $2.99 There isn't one single photograph, and that is the number one reason I won't buy a coNot one single photograph
Now, I see why this book was only $2.99 There isn't one single photograph, and that is the number one reason I won't buy a cookbook. I saw one, maybe two recipes I'd consider (PC chocolate cake), but I just wasted a few dollars. Bummed....more
I have been pressure cooking for about 15 years. I started with a traditional stove top PC, but converted to an electric PC more than ten years ago. II have been pressure cooking for about 15 years. I started with a traditional stove top PC, but converted to an electric PC more than ten years ago. I have never looked back. Finding pressure cooking cookbooks is like looking for hen's teeth. I own a few, but recently added this one. I like that almost every recipe has a photo. Since I'm a food blogger (and "foodographer"), I am highly visual when I look at recipes. The photos are pretty good, and give me a good idea of what the recipe should look like. One of the most valuable paragraphs in this entire book is how to convert most ANY recipe to pressure cooking. I own two electric pressure cookers, now. My old "Cook's Essentials" 8-quart oval shaped PC (still working, but showing signs of wear after 15 years) and my newest purchase of an Instant Pot 6 Quart PC. I have bookmarked quite a few recipes that I plan to make, from soups, to stews, pasta dishes and desserts (I make a great PC cheesecake). There's a bread pudding recipe I'm most anxious to make....more
I'm sorry to say that this book was pretty cheesy. This is the first time I've read a book by Kristin Hannah. I should correct this, I "listened" to tI'm sorry to say that this book was pretty cheesy. This is the first time I've read a book by Kristin Hannah. I should correct this, I "listened" to this book in audio. The narrator was a bit over-the-top, and made the story line sounds really corny. I rolled my eyes a few times. The entire book was loaded with cliche's. Good grief. I almost returned the book for a credit refund, but stuck out the whole 17 hours. Like someone said, in a different review, it was very "Lifetime channel" movie. It's a story about best friends forever, who are very different. It's about chasing your dreams, feelings of abandonment, unrequited love, becoming a mother, success, raising teenagers. It was very predictable, including the end. I could feel it coming. If you're a weeper (it takes a lot to get me there), and love to go through a box of tissues, then this is the story for you. I tried this book, as I kept reading how Kristin Hannah's book "The Nightingale" was voted Goodreads 2015 Best Choice of the year. I had just read two books about WWII, and wanted a break from that. Now, I'm not sure if I'll like the Nightingale. Back to this story. Just okay, very long and glad I can move on....more
Three stars isn't an insult, according to my way of rating books. I liked the story. The narrator: good narrator for the female characters. For the maThree stars isn't an insult, according to my way of rating books. I liked the story. The narrator: good narrator for the female characters. For the male... they all sounded the same. Granted, it's hard for a woman to sound masculine without resorting to the husky voice. Every male character had a bit of a "Sean Connery" sort of speech. Minor annoyance. As for the story, it was a good "whodunnit". We begin with Melanie living under the witness protection program. She's now pregnant at the age of 17. The story weaves the background story of her father "Ramsey", who killed her mother and is still at large. (Hence, the witness protection program.) I found the story of Ramsey's childhood both sad and enlightening, to better understand his run-ins with the law. Added to the story line, the reader is given chapters leading up to the day of the murder. Yes, there are twists and turns, and the ending wasn't predictable. To be honest, the audio book on sale for $3.95, so I definitely got my money's worth. I'm not so sure I'd have been as satisfied if I spent a full credit on it. Good read, but not something that made me go "wow" at the very end. ...more
I've been a food blogger for seven years, so I guess I've been following Ree Drummond for almost eight years. I'm a big fan of Ina Garten, Tyler FloreI've been a food blogger for seven years, so I guess I've been following Ree Drummond for almost eight years. I'm a big fan of Ina Garten, Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse-- in other words, I do like sophisticated cooking and like to challenge my self-taught culinary skills. With that said, I still love comfort food for the soul. That's what The Pioneer Woman is to me. I've read plenty of reviewers who are disappointed that most of these recipes are on her website. I can understand that. I'm just so busy nowadays, that I haven't had time to follow many of my favorite blogs-- so lots of these recipes are new. I enjoyed discovering new (to me) recipes, her step-by-step photos, her charming photos of her family, pets and ranch life. It doesn't hurt that I owned horses for 30 years, and while I never owned a ranch, I stabled mine at my humble mini-ranch (sans cattle) and so I feel a bit of a kinship with her. Okay, my review of the book: I know it annoys folks when someone (that would be moi) reviews a cookbook with recipes I haven't tried. Well, neener, neener, neener... lo and behold, I did find some of the recipes I've made (and blogged, and photographed myself, and loved). So there! Page 246: Pork Chops with Wine and Roasted Garlic... made it, loved it, and it's time I make it again. There are a few others, but I'll move along now. I love her recipes with Mexican flair, because well, my DNA is half Mexican and I love it. She also has simple and flavorful pasta dishes-- I've made her pasta with red pepper sauce-- tasty! Recipes I haven't made, but have bookmarked: Page 2: Greek Yogurt Pancakes. I'm always looking for a new pancake version. Page 30: Wild Rice Pancake (see reason above) There are plenty of salads to choose from. My husband loves salads, and I need to make them more often. Page 36: Ginger Steak Salad...I'm in! The freezer food section looks mouth watering. I'm cooking for two, and thank goodness we have an upright freezer. I make a good meatball recipe, myself, but I'm going to try her Ready to go Freezer Meatballs (page 192). Sure, I can buy them, but why not make them from scratch? I like her sweet & sour meatballs, Swedish, and BBQ meatballs variations from that recipe. That's manly food, and looks perfect for a quick work night dinner. The freezer food is totally, classic comfort food: Grilled chicken, Baked Ziti, Mexican Tortilla Casserole, Stuffed Shells, Lasagna Roll-Ups... great for potlucks. I'll be making many of the recipes in the 16-minute meal section: Chicken with mustard cream sauce, black bean burgers, orange chicken, beef with snow peas, cashew chicken...who needs to buy takeout? There's a pasta section, Comfort Classics (think meatloaf, Salisbury steak), Veggie Side section (broccoli cauliflower casserole has me intrigued), Starchy sides (Cheese biscuits and refrigerator rolls...yes, ma'am) and last, but not least-- Quick Desserts. Pudding anyone? Homemade fudge sauce. Rice pudding, Slice and Bake cookies... Like I said, this is comfort food. Plenty of butter, sugar, gravies, chocolate, ranch salad dressing. There are haters out there who poke mean fun at the Pioneer Woman. I think it's jealousy and/or they condemn her use of so much butter. So what? Moderation, foes!
I happen to find her sense of humor, in the way she writes, to be witty and very down to earth. I've never met Ree, but I'm quite sure that if I did that she would be down to earth and friendly. Yeah, I've read people saying that those aren't her recipes. Who cares? I've made at least a dozen (probably) more of her recipes over the years. Know what? They work. My husband and son love her recipes, and that's all that matters to me.
So, there ya go. My very unabridged review of my third book I've purchased by Ree Drummond. Comfort food, baby. Nothing hoity toity, nothing French-- just flavorful, simple easy recipes that I know my husband will appreciate. ...more
Okay. 3 3/4 stars. First, I'll rate the narrator. 5 stars as Piper. 1 Star as Ned. I've listened to many female narrators who are able to carry off thOkay. 3 3/4 stars. First, I'll rate the narrator. 5 stars as Piper. 1 Star as Ned. I've listened to many female narrators who are able to carry off the male voice quite well. Not this female narrator. Her male voice sounded like Ned was stupid... just a low, soft voice without any personality. Bummer. I liked Ned.
As for the story-- it took me a while to get into it. Then it all came together. Piper has given up her baby at a very young age. She's now a writer. She's writing a journal to her daughter "Amanda", telling her about her family history, and Piper's life. Ned, is her new neighbor with an annoying girlfriend. Piper and Ned become very good friends. His girlfriend-- not so much.
The last fourth of the book elevated to five stars. Yes, I got misty eyed at the very end. Mushy, in fact.
I guessed at what the ending would be-- and I was right. However, the way things came together was well done, and not quite what I had guessed.
If you're a weeper, then have a box of tissues on hand. Good read....more