Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein with Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein and Issace Bleicher

The cover of this recipe book made my mouth water!  Mmm! Was the thought that ran through my mind.  I have to get this book was the other thought.  I was not disappointed.  This recipe book was started by George and finished by his daughters are a loving tribute to the man who remarkable recipes grace these pages.  

This book really does have Baker’s secrets such as how to thaw chilled dough quickly without ruining the texture and how to make pastry dough thinner and wider without breaking it, etc.  These “secrets” along with the well- organized sections for various types of pastry was a hit for me.  There are also sections on correct tools to use for specific types of pastry cooking and descriptions of ingredients and why one kind works best in a certain type of pastry over another.  The recipes also come with “variation” instructions.  For example if you’re favoring apple over blueberries the recipe will tell you how to change that part of the recipe and still have a delicious finished product.  Or the variation could be from different countries how an item is made such as Belgium or French method for Puff Pastry.  The only thing that detracted from the beauty of this book was the lack of photographs of finished pastries inside the book.

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Story of God's Love for You by Sally Lloyd-Jones

When I say this is the best book ever, ever, ever!  I could keep on going with the "evers".  This book is the text only edition of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  This edition is for appeal to older children and teens.  I understand this because I first read the illustration version as a Kindergarten teacher and thought "Everyone should have this book!"  I wanted it for myself as a devotional book.  The way the author writes is just pure genius, pure love and warmth and comfort.  Every single page pours out God's love to you in a personal way as you read the story of humanity from Creation to the Fall to all the ways God endeavors to show us His love all the way to the cross where Jesus brought God down to us in His body broken for us.  If I only had one book to give someone (besides the Bible itself) to help someone see God's unconditional and relentless love for us it would be this book.  The beauty of it is that author created an illustrated version that very young children will enjoy and this version for older children to absorb and treasure.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Near and Far by Heidi Swanson

Reading this cookbook is a little like making friends with the author in her hometown in California and then getting postcards from her as she travels the world.  Her world recipes come from Japan, India, Italy, France and Morocco.  What I found fascinating about this book is that with each recipe she had a side stripe that gave interesting tidbits from history and culinary insights to the "rare" or "exotic" ingredients used in the recipe.  This was a fun addition to the cookbook.  The recipes sound delicious and the photographs will make your mouth water.  At first I thought the recipes would be too hard to actually make and that I would just enjoy browsing through the photographs and learning about new ingredients that I'd never tried.  But the recipes are not difficult to follow and in fact are much simpler to create than they look.  The little bit of effort to find the unusual ingredients is worth it.

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

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Luther and Katharina by Jody Helund

Surprising details of the personal life of Luther are given in this enticing tale of the Reformation.  A hard look at the real life weaknesses and fears of the great leader are given in a story woven with sentimental romance and earnest religious zeal for truth.  Luther and Katharina had anything but a typical courtship, yet the strong devotion they had for each other is evident in the pages of this book.  Read this book to discover how God can still use people even with all their blundering errors and misguided pride to change the world.  The amazing true historical facts contained in this novel will make you want to learn more of the heritage of the Protestant Reformation Movement.  This book also speaks to the fact that there are always good and evil are both sides of a disagreement, war or reformation.  It brings out the great longing of the human heart to find a place of safety, love and belonging and points to God as the one who truly gives this to us.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.