Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Street Vegan by Adam Sobel

An interesting look at Vegan cooking!  Unique recipes with flavorful twists and turns.  Personal antidotes from the author are included about how he got started with the adventure of cooking and his food truck.  Sobel includes a handy list with detail explanation on items found in his pantry.  Ethnic foods are listed with ways they are most often used.

While some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar it is well worth the effort to find them and use them in these delicious recipes.  The presentation of the foods in the photographs of this recipe book make your mouth water.  I enjoy how there is a wide variety of flavors, textures and colors in this recipe book.

I received this book free of charge from blogging for books for exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The LIttle Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I have a love/hate relationship with this book.  The hate part is I don't like the heroine's love affair with two men at the same time.  I had forgotten this was translated from French and that their views are much more open about relationships than I am accustomed too.  It rubs me the wrong way to imagine, read about or condone being involved with two men at the same time.  Having said that let me tell you about what I love about this book.

The author creates complex characters that you're not sure if you even like but end up loving.  I enjoyed the way the relationships developed between various characters.  As the reader discovers what each character's hidden pain is you are drawn into the story more and more deeply.  At times the tale felt too heartbreaking to continue reading.  Yet I couldn't stop turning the pages.  The amazing way friendships and soulmates find each other in this book leaves a warm glow in the heart.

The core of this book is about forgiveness to others and to oneself.  Love in many different forms and ways of expression are validated in this story.

The best part of this book is the way that the seemingly random ways one person comes into another's life led to deep healing and profound love over and over throughout the story with a wide cast of different personalities.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bread and Butter by Erin McKenna

What a delightful recipe book!  Erin McKenna shows us the FUN in gluten-free breads!  She gives a tasty array of scrumptious bread recipes that are healthy and safe for the gluten-free person to indulge in.   Maybe you picked up this book because you are gluten-free because medical health restrictions.  I can guarantee you won't be disappointed in this book.  But you don't have to be on a gluten-free diet to enjoy and be enticed to try these amazing recipes.

This recipe book isn't written by a dreamer.  It is written by Ms McKenna who herself adheres to a gluten-free diet.  Not only does she eat these breads herself, she sells them in her own bakery, BabyCakes, in New York!  So to say these recipes are tried and true is an understatement.

The book begins with a chapter on assistance with understanding and stocking your pantry with the correct ingredients.  She explains which ingredients can be swapped and which must be used exactly as prescribed.  The next chapter is a very useful one called:  The Help Desk.  This contains frequently asked questions about making gluten-free breads.  Then we get into the good stuff - the recipes themselves!  Breakfast breads, hearty breads, sandwich breads...but there's more!  Yes, even pizza and focaccia, foreign breads, pastries, cookies and sweets.  She even added a chapter just for dips, dressings, sauces, spreads and butter.  Every recipe is gluten-free and vegan!  Which is a real plus!

I must give a nod of approval to the photography in this exceptional book!  I turned a page and raised my hand to flick off the crumbs from the page.  I literally laughed out loud at myself because it was a photograph of bread with crumbs!

I received this book free from the publishers and was not required to write a positive review.

Once Upon a Summer by Melody Carlson

This book is an interesting look at the behind the scenes workings of a fine hotel.  The reader is drawn into the hustle and bustle of New York City life when Anna arrives from her small hometown.  We see the glitter of the Big Apple through her eyes.  Ms Carlson excels in descriptive scenes not just in a geographical sense but in pull of the heartstrings in her characters.  The description of the characters first day spent together was so amazingly written that I had tears by the end of that section for the pure joy they felt in each other’s company.

I’ve read many books by Melody Carlson and enjoyed every one, this book included.  However, this book, unlike many of her others, did not have the characters in a vibrant relationship with Christ.  I was disappointed in that fact because I really, really liked the main characters and their interactions with each other.  There were only a few times it mentions praying over a meal.  But in their angst to balance their professional lives vs their growing attraction to each other God is not brought into the story at all.  I have seen Ms Carlson do this in other books so I kept waiting for this to be included in the story and it was not. 

The ending of the book was very suddenly almost like the brakes were put on.  The conclusion at the end of this book was extremely abrupt.

I would recommend this book to others as an interesting read with strong, likeable characters and a chaste love story.  But if you are looking for a love story where the characters go to God for guidance this is not the book for you.

I received this book free from the publishers for my honest review and I was not required to write a positive review.