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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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21 05, 2011

Review: The Entrees by Gail Monaghan

By | May 21st, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , |13 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Jen Kulman

The Entrees is a very sophisticated cookbook. It’s quite a bit more upscale than my cooking, but I couldn’t bear to give it a poor review just because it’s over my culinary head. In the foreword, it is referred to as a “magnificent tome” which struck me as the perfect description. The Entrees is a collection of recipes from legendary chefs and restaurants, when food was served with a flourish, and calorie count was not a concern. To borrow a phrase from the book: this is the essences of old time gastronomy. These are definitely dishes that take a bit of planning and time, but would yield impressive results and certainly be worth your efforts.

Although I will probably not make many dishes from The Entrees, I still admire the book as a whole. It

14 04, 2011

Review: Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine

By | April 14th, 2011|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |8 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Jen Kulman

Swoon. That’s how you’ll feel holding Sarabeth’s Bakery in your hands. My gosh, there isn’t one aspect of this book that isn’t stunning. The size (lovely ten inch square pages) and heft (four pounds) of the book alone whisper that this one is special. Reading the introduction is like beginning a novel you just know will be riveting, after only digesting the first two paragraphs. The photographs are nothing short of perfection, and the directions are incredibly detailed. But the very best of all, in my opinion, is the writing that prefaces each chapter and accompanies the recipes. Yes, the secrets to some of the most amazing baked goods and techniques are being passed from her hands to ours, but the writing feels as though it is straight from her heart.

My first choice was Apple Cinnamon

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

Rating:

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

19 12, 2010

Review: The Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman

By | December 19th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Nina L.

The Earthbound Cook book is a wonderful collection of tasty, nutritious recipes and eco-friendly kitchen ideas. Brought together by Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound Farms, the country’s largest producer of organic produce, this book contains 250 recipes from starters to sides, meat dishes to breads, salads to deserts, and many more.

Besides the recipes, Goodman also poses questions to enhance the reader’s knowledge of the green kitchen. What does USDA Organic Certification means? How can we better understand Eco-Labels for Meat? What are the benefits of choosing organic dairy products? Should we use the microwave or the stove to heat leftovers? Through her simplified explanations, Goodman shows how little changes made in the kitchen can truly impact the world around us.

Great idea aside, the test of any good recipe book is the recipes. These range

17 12, 2010

Gift Idea: Wilton Cookie Exchange

By | December 17th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , |4 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Alice L.

Wilton Cookie Exchange arrived just in time since I had my first cookie exchange with my mothers’ group last week. There were four people participating so I had to make forty-eight cookies (a dozen for each family, including my own).

Cookie Exchange is not your ordinary baking book. It does have some delicious and easy to follow cookie and baked goods recipes, but the majority of the book is aimed at the more “serious” baker who likes to decorate her creations. I wish I had the book earlier when I was preparing for my daughter’s birthday party! I spent way too long standing in Wilton isles trying to figure out which design I wanted and what size of pastry bag tip I needed.

Cookie Exchange contains so many different ways to decorate Christmas tree cookies, gingerbread

12 12, 2010

Review: Family Comfort Favorites by Kim Warren

By | December 12th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Alice L.

When Family Comfort Favorites by Kim Warren arrived in my mailbox, I could not help but notice how appropriate the cover of the cookbook appeared for its title. The author is smiling wide against an earthy-colored kitchen background – it screamed homemade comfort food to me immediately.

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I was eager to investigate what this cookbook had to offer and it turned out that the inside matched the title just as much as the outside. There is nothing “dolled up” or fancy about the recipes, and instead the focus is on delicious comfort foods. At the end of the cookbook, Kim Warren placed a collage of her family photos, including some old black and white photos. To me, an old picture of a grandparent when they were young is the epitome of

8 12, 2010

Review: Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

By | December 8th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: |3 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Jen K.

The holidays are truly one of the best times to put your slow cooker to use. Typically, the oven is tied up, the stove top is crowded with pots and you still have side dishes to get on the table. What could be better than a hard working, easy to use slow cooker? There’s just the little matter of what dishes can be successfully made in there. Enter Phyllis Pellman Good, that author of the entire Fix-It and Forget-It series, which has ranked among the top ten best-selling cookbooks for over seven years.

This holiday addition to the cookbook line includes 600 easy to prepare recipes pulled from the files of generous cooks across the country. On the whole, I think these recipes are pretty basic – you will not be stumped by

29 11, 2010

Review: The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Meier

By | November 29th, 2010|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Gift Ideas, Gourmet, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |10 Comments

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Reviewed by Jen K.

Technically, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook is classified as a diet cookbook, but really it is intended as a guide to changing the way you eat for life. The Primal Blueprint Cookbook plan focuses on eschewing modern foods and eating the way our ancestors did – as simply as possible. When humans were foragers, they relied on meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. By returning to this primary way of living off the land, your body will naturally receive and benefit from the nutrients and vitamins it requires. Intentionally absent are grains and sugars, and dairy products are limited. A healthy body has no need for the overly processed foods that society has come to rely on due to their convenient nature.

Primal cooking relies on a abundance of fresh vegetable and nourishing