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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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3 04, 2011

Review: Your Time to Cook by Robert L. Blakeslee

By | April 3rd, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen Kulman

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is perpetually on the lookout for a great bridal shower gift. As much as I appreciate a good registry, it’s always nice to wrap up a little something the couple is not expecting. Cookbooks are one of my favorites – they can be paired with any number of registry items and still appear to be a cohesive gift.

Your Time to Cook is an excellent choice for beginners because the author provides instructions intended for cooks who are starting from scratch and does not assume the users have any prior kitchen knowledge. Inexperienced cooks may sometimes be put off by cookbooks that don’t give enough explanation – no fear of that here! The author specifically states he intended this to be useful for “people who are clueless in

25 03, 2011

Review: ThinkFood: Brain Healthy Recipes

By | March 25th, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |13 Comments


Reviewed by Jen Kulman

Posit Science provides software specifically designed to improve the health of the brain. Their entire company is built around making our brains perform better. Did you know that your brain is able to change and grow at any age? The ability to strengthen or weaken is called neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Because dietary factors can play a large role in influencing brain structure, Posit Science came up with the clever idea of creating a cookbook centered around ingredients that may help make the brain healthier. Because these guys are scientists and not chefs, they turned to the blogosphere for some guidance in the kitchen.

Fifty well known food bloggers were asked to provide a recipe using an ingredient that has been identified to possibly provide brain benefits. I think most of us are pretty knowledgeable about

22 03, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Pops! Sweets on a Stick

By | March 22nd, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |127 Comments


Reviewed by Jen Kulman

We could not tear ourselves away from this book, literally! Adorable pops are adorned with a staggering array of toppings and decorations – the result is just a mesmerizing display. Although we have yet to put stick to treat, we’re having a fabulous time pondering the possibilities. I had previously seen and heard of cake pops, but I had no idea how many ideas had sprung forth on this concept. Wilton makes the possibilities seem positively endless!

The first chapter explains the basic principles of pop making. The classic cake pop is crumbled cake (baked, then cooled) mixed with frosting, rolled into balls and dunked into melted candy. Alternatively, you could pack this mixture into silicone molds for shapes beyond simple balls. Or skip the crumbling option and bake cake batter, brownie or cookie dough right in

26 02, 2011

Review: Cookie Swap! by Lauren Chattman

By | February 26th, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

I’m always envious of people who take part in regular cookie swaps. According to Lauren Chattman, “There’s no better way to enjoy the cookie-friend combo than with a cookie swap.” I can certainly see her point – get together with your friends, enjoy some good conversation, and then you’re walking out the door with a big plate of cookies!

With Cookie Swap!, Lauren removes the guesswork and instills confidence by providing us with really excellent cookie recipes and guidelines on how to be well prepared. The very first chapter gives us the lowdown on the swap, explaining the best way to go about organizing a successful get together, how many cookies to bring for trading and sampling, and exactly what information should be included on the invitations. If you are planning to be the host,

14 02, 2011

Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking by Beverly Lynn Bennett & Ray Sammartano

By | February 14th, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Claudia R.

“It’s all pretty simple: if it comes from or was once a plant, it’s vegan, and if it one had a face, fins, wings, or feet, forget about it. ” Beverly Lunn Bennet & Ray Sammartano, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking

I’m not vegan, I’m a veg-head, which means I include fins in my diet, but vegan recipes offer even more variety to my lifestyle ‘diet’, which is why I offered to read and review TCIGTVC. As the title promises, vegan cooking is broken down in simple, easy to understand terms. Readers are supplied with a breakdown of why and what vegan cooking/eating is and should be considered. Terminology is defined, substitutions offered, as well as cooking

20 11, 2010

Review: The Food Substitutions Bible by David Joachim

By | November 20th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

I would consider this to be less of a cookbook and more of a ultra useful kitchen utensil. You won’t find any recipes, glossy photos, or entertaining stories here. This is a thick, plain-jane, black and white 695 pager with a purpose, and I love it! As advertised, The Food Substitutions Bible contains over 6,500 substitutions for ingredients, equipment and techniques. But it does more than just provide straight substitutions – there are also descriptions of ingredients, units of measurement and a little bit of (unintentional?) humor. What I had imagined would be a book to pull from the shelf only when needed, instead turned out to be quite an interesting read.

Even though the layout seems very self-explanatory to me, there is still a nice little section in the front titled “How To Use This

6 11, 2010

Review: Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook by Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman

By | November 6th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

I first heard of the Clinton Street Baking Company when owners Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman were challenged to a blueberry pancake making contest on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Before the contest began, Bobby mentioned that their restaurant had the distinction of having been voted best pancakes in New York City. Based on that and seeing the heavenly pancakes they were turning out, I knew that would be the first recipe I would try when the cookbook arrived.

Not so fast. When I started leafing through the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, it was a much tougher decision. Neil started off with Buttermilk Biscuits, so that’s the very first recipe in the book, as well as the first two photos. I never before have described biscuit photos as breathtaking, but I swear that’s exactly what they

29 10, 2010

Review: Too Hot in the Kitchen by Holly Clegg

By | October 29th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Diet & Weight Loss, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Alice L.

When I opened the package for Too Hot in the Kitchen, I immediately knew I was going to like this cookbook. It was pink, petite, and there was a fun sassy looking animated woman on the cover. It was attention grabbing, not intimidating, and as described by the author Holly Clegg, seemed to be a  “cookbook for all women”.

I was having a play date with four moms and their children the following Thursday, so I looked through the recipes for finger foods that would be easy to cook, forgiving to the waistline, and, of course, would look nice too. After all, as the saying goes, “we eat with our eyes first.” It was the first time I was having the moms over to my house so I didn’t want to screw up.

The recipes

20 10, 2010

Review: Delicious: Two Friends Share Their Most-Loved Firsts Seconds Thirds by Claudia Shaw-d’Auriol and Dominica Yang

By | October 20th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

One of the reasons I think that Delicious: Two Friends Share Their Most-Loved Firsts Seconds Thirds is so interesting is that neither of the two authors, Claudia or Dominica, are culinary professionals. Rather, they are two friends with a shared passion for great food. Claudia enjoys a career at Chanel and is otherwise kept busy raising her family. Dominica manages her own interior design company and is renowned for both her cooking skills and attention to detail. The pair was having lunch together one day when they realized that they were each harboring the same dream – to publish a cookbook of their own recipes. They went to work making the dream a reality, calling upon the recipes gathered and honed from years spent feeding their families and hosting dinner parties.

I like that Delicious takes

14 10, 2010

Review: Fix It and Forget It Kids Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

By | October 14th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For Kids, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |5 Comments


Check back for our reviews of the new Fix-it and Forget-it Christmas Cookbook and an opportunity to win both titles!

Reviewed by Jen K.

An experienced cook like Phyllis Pellman Good seems to be the perfect person to write a cookbook for kids. Author to eight very successful cookbooks in the Fix-It and Forget-It series, she knows what does and doesn’t work in the kitchen. Obviously, she believes kids should work in the kitchen and the slow cooker is a great tool to help them.

The simple truth is that while I think it’s terrific to have kids helping out in the kitchen, that assistance comes saddled with some safety concerns. lt’s easy to line up prep jobs for younger folks that don’t require sharp knives. The biggest roadblock we run into is at actual cooking time, as the oven and