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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 10, 2010

Review: The Happy Baker by Erin Bolger

By | October 3rd, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Entertainment, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

The biggest difference between The Happy Baker and other cookbooks is the humor. Up until now, I didn’t own a single cookbook that I would have described as funny. And now I do. What do you do when your love life isn’t exactly panning out? Grease up your baking pans, don a cute apron and drown your sorrows in butter and chocolate. Roast some nuts, lick the condensed milk lid (oh, come on, we all do it) and start the healing process. According to Erin Bolger: dating is hard – baking isn’t supposed to be.

Erin spins some great yarns about her dating disasters, from first crush to being the last single girl standing. She begins with her awkward teen years, through her first real relationship, then onto some dating shenanigans where she looks

27 07, 2010

“The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion” by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark

By | July 27th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

There are so many baking books on the market that it becomes a real challenge to find one that stands out from the crowded bookshelves. Some are fair, some are quite useful and a very few sweep me off my feet. The Perfect Finish fits neatly into that last category, as an absolute standout. Wow. This book really does has all the components of a fabulous cookbook: intriguing stories, splendid photos, great instructions and of course, amazing recipes.

I like that the authors acknowledge that sometimes we need to impress our guests. Thus, they offer big, show stoppers like Mamie Eisenhower’s Cheesecake with a Chocolate Crust or Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea Salt that will stop your company right in their tracks. The Orange Flower-Scented Kugelhopf states “Simply put, this is a spectacular display of your

24 05, 2010

"Substitute Yourself Skinny Cookbook" by Chef Susan Irby

By | May 24th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Diet & Weight Loss, For the Cook, Gift Ideas|Tags: , , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Jen K.

Author Susan Irby is known as The Bikini Chef because her recipes capitalize on fresh herbs and citrus flavors, which are referred to as “figure flattering flavors”. Her aim with this book is to teach us how to make simple substitutions with ingredients to make the same great tasting dishes that contain fewer calories.

To be totally honest, the title of the book had me a little worried that her calorie cutting recommendations would be things like replacing full fat mayo with reduced fat mayo, coupled with a heavy reliance on fat free cheeses. Honestly, those substitutions seem pretty self evident and I’m fairly sure most people could work those out

17 05, 2010

Review: Latin Grill by Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano

By | May 17th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas|Tags: |7 Comments


latin grill book coverReviewed by Jen K.

I love creating dishes in my kitchen. I enjoy baking, sauteing, broiling and the occasional deep fry. I draw the line at grilling. The grill is foreign to me – it may as well be its own country out there on our deck. Occasionally it occurs to me that we are probably missing out on some really good foods due to my grill resistance, but then I stumble across a new bread recipe to try and the thought flies out of my head. Then Latin Grill came along and forced me to take a hard look at what I am missing out on.

Rafael Palomino is from Colombia, where grilling is part of the culture. The intended purpose of Latin Grill is to provide dishes that are full

23 12, 2009

Review: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois

By | December 23rd, 2009|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |1 Comment


Healthy-Bread-in-Five-Minutes-a-Day-coverReviewed by Jen Kulman

When Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was published two years ago, it was an immediate success. The book’s promise was that you could make one big batch of dough, store it in the fridge and use it all week long. You reap the rewards of fresh, homemade bread every night of the week without kneading, proofing the yeast or lengthy rise times. Since then, the authors have really listened to their readers/bakers and tweaked their original idea to bring us… Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day! This book continues with the concept of easy baking, but concentrates on using whole grain flours, high fiber, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to bake breads that are better for your body.

Here’s the basic premise: Mix flour, water, yeast, salt, gluten