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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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29 03, 2017

Blog Tour: Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis

By | March 29th, 2017|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: , |5 Comments


dishing up the dirt book coverPlease join Andrea Bemis, author of Dishing Up the Dirt, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Sara Dalton

I love new book day. When my books arrive for review, I take some time to sit and open the envelope and revel in each title.  This book came all by itself but I took as much time as I would have for three books. The first thing I noticed after opening it was the texture of the pages. It was not what I expected but it’s exactly what was needed. Though this book is well bound and has gorgeous, full color illustrations on almost every page, they are not slick and glossy. The feel of the pages is perfect for this book. Dishing up the Dirt is written by Andrea Bemis and she, along with her husband, is a farmer. Farming is not an easy life of leisure that will leave you with baby soft hands and clean fingernails. Feeling my baby soft hands rasp over the pages of the book gave me a tangible connection to the author. It felt like a friendly handshake. 

16 03, 2017

Review: The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet by Laura Fuentes

By | March 16th, 2017|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Nonfiction|Tags: , |7 Comments


best grain free family meals book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

When I received The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet, the first thing I did was leaf through it and look at all the gorgeous, full color pictures of the recipes. This is a beautiful book and the pages are sturdy enough to hold up to being moved around and used in a kitchen where they might get spilled or splattered on. My kids also thought the pictures were fabulous and asked to eat some of their favorite looking dishes. The saying goes, “You eat with your eyes first”.

I did something with this book I have not done with many cookbooks before. I read it cover to cover. Part of that was so I could give it a thorough review, but part of it was because Laura Fuentes did include a small story or description about each recipe, along with possible modifications for dealing with specific food needs.

7 03, 2017

Review: Mincemeat by Leonardo Lucarelli

By | March 7th, 2017|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments


mincemeat book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Leonardo Lucarelli has always liked to cook. His father was an exceptional cook, but passed away young. His mother tried, but could never make anything that transcended the merely edible. As a teen, Leo spent free afternoons at home cooking for himself and friends; he realized he was good, but never considered it more than a useful skill. When he received a scholarship to study in Rome, he jumped at the opportunity to leave his home in the country; when that scholarship covered little more than his books, he walked into a restaurant kitchen and asked for a job. So began “the education of an Italian chef,” the subtitle of Lucarelli’s illuminating autobiography, Mincemeat.

7 03, 2016

Review: The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag

By | March 7th, 2016|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Entertainment, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |7 Comments


the chef next door book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

It is never easy to review cookbooks since they are so different from normal books. I decided that I had to read The Chef Next Door because I have been a fan of Amanda Freitag for several years, since I first saw her on the Food Network. She has always had such a kind and knowledgeable demeanor, and I knew that her expertise would translate into a fantastic books. I was not wrong.

I should start by saying that I am not the typical reader for a cookbook like this. I am a vegetarian, and even the thought of fish or anything seafood makes me squeamish. But I do have people in my life who enjoy meat, and I figured that I might be able to learn something from this book. I am

10 07, 2015

Review: DudeFood by Dan Churchill

By | July 10th, 2015|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For Men, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |5 Comments


dudefood book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

I’ll admit that I am not a member of the target audience for Dan Churchill’s DudeFood: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking Kick-Ass Food. Being a creature of habit, I tend to make the same thing over and over (and over) again; I just never feel I have the time to find something new, do the shopping, then actually cook it. I picked up DudeFood because the recipes looked appetizing, the ingredients were common (I didn’t have to find a specialty store for something I’ve never heard of), most of the recipes come with a beautiful full color picture of what the final dish should look like, and very impressively, Churchill has selected ingredients that place a variety of color onto the plate.

Churchill’s rhetoric is humorous. Most recipe books break down the food by main dish,

25 06, 2015

Review: Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard

By | June 25th, 2015|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


picnic in provence book coverReviewed by Alysia George

Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes is the lovely follow-up to Elizabeth Bard’s best-selling memoir, Lunch in Paris. Bard continues to chronicle her life as an American living in France as she moves from being a newlywed in Paris to becoming a new mother and starting a brand new business venture in Provence. Everything is tied together cohesively with the common topic of food, each chapter ending with a few recipes that have been referenced or alluded to throughout that chapter.

As a reader who is not particularly enthused about cooking, I did little more than skim over the recipes. With that admission, these recipes are not as intimidating as I assumed at first glance. In fact, they are fairly simple and easy to follow, with most ingredients being readily available, even in an American

4 12, 2014

Review: Coconut 24/7 by Pat Crocker

By | December 4th, 2014|Categories: Beauty & Fashion, Beauty & Fashion, Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments


coconut 24/7 book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

For those who love to cook and try new things, Coconut 24/7 by Pat Crocker is an excellent cookbook full of tasty and unique food, drink and skincare concoctions. Included are over 100 recipes which all use at least one coconut-based ingredient. Focusing on the health benefits of coconut, the author does an excellent job of describing all the different coconut derived products available and the advantage (or disadvantages) of each one.

Over the last few years, our family has switched over to coconut oil as one of our main cooking fats, but I really enjoyed learning about the health benefits of other coconut ingredients. Besides coconut meat, she discusses coconut water, oil, cream, vinegar, sugar, nectar, milk, flour and more. Many of her recipes have a distinctly Polynesian flair, but I so appreciated that most of

28 11, 2014

Review: Best of Bridge Home Preserving

By | November 28th, 2014|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |1 Comment


best of bridge home preserving book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

I *love* cookbooks!  I enjoy just reading them and browsing through the different categories and seeing which recipes I might want to try. If a cookbook has pictures to coincide with the recipes, even better! In Best of Bridge Home Preserving we get many recipes to preserve and can sweet and savory treats, pictures to go with several of them, and very practical home canning instructions.

The cookbook starts out with the basic instructions on canning, but offers them in such a way that makes canning and preserving not intimidating, as it is typically viewed by many first-timers. Equipment needed, basic terminologies, and tips for success are just a few of the aspects covered in this introductory section of the book. The only negative I found in terms of the way this particular

14 11, 2014

Review: Magnolias, Porches & Sweet Tea by Pat Branning

By | November 14th, 2014|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Nonfiction|Tags: |1 Comment


magnolias porches and sweet tea book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

I am very much a southern gal. Born in Florida, I love southern cooking, the everglades and palm trees, and yes, eve the summer heat! So when I saw this book, I knew it was right up my alley. Magnolias, Porches & Sweet Tea is written by southern native Pat Branning and you can definitely tell she is a woman who loves where she came from!

Magnolias, Porches & Sweet Tea brings the lowcountry to life. For those who have lived here it will bring fond memories while at the same time offering this wonderful gem to the outsiders. Filled with beautiful paintings, recipes that will make your mouth water and little tidbits and portions of history, this book is one you will be able to set on your coffee table for others to browse or

30 08, 2014

Review: 300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes by Jane Sharrock

By | August 30th, 2014|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Nonfiction|Tags: |3 Comments


51tJa+olsPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewed by Meghan Hyden

When people ask me to define myself, my answer is “a blogger, an avid reader, and a purveyor of delectable fare and pulchritudinous confections.” That’s a fancy way of saying that I cook amazing dishes and make beautiful desserts. It is a hobby of mine, one of those things that make me happy and something I do quite often. One of my favorite things to read are cookbooks, an obsession (yes, obsession) that began before I could even read–I would take my mom’s cookbooks off the shelf and hide up in my room (or behind the couch) looking at the pictures. I now read these like a novel and they are what I read when I just want to relax.

One of my favorite things to do is make sweets for the people in my life, so