Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mediterranean Diet Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Healthy Recipes by Shannon Epstein – A Book Review

Mediterranean Diet Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Healthy Recipes  Shannon Epstein


We use our slow cooker – a lot! So, I was really excited about cooking Mediterranean dishes in this convenient manner. I like the way the author in the introductory chapter lists the types of foods we should eat more of, some of, less of, and none of. And who knew that the Mediterranean diet had its own food pyramid! The soups and vegetable dishes are definitely going to be the first chapters I will try out, especially the baba ghanoush and the cream of zucchini soup. I was a little surprised to see regular sugar, all-purpose flour and regular pasta in some of the ingredient lists as added sugar and refined grains are in the eat none of category. Although I must say that in talking about sugar, most of the desserts use coconut palm sugar instead of regular sugar. As in previous cookbook reviews, I wish the recipes included pictures because, as we all know, some things coming our of a slow cooker look more appetizing than others. Overall the cookbook is well organized, and most of the recipes sound appealing with ingredients that are readily available. The prep times appear to be a bit optimistic, but maybe I'm just a slow cook. I am excited to try lots of these recipes, and am grateful to Rockridge Press for providing me with a copy of this cookbook in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Legacy Reclaimed by Robin Patchen - A Book Review

    Robin Patchen


Another book vacation in New Hampshire! Once again I've spotted a few old friends and made some new ones. In Legacy Reclaimed we are introduced to Chelsea Hamilton, heiress to Hamilton Clothiers of Coventry, New Hampshire. Educated in England after her father's murder, Chelsea has returned home following her mother's death in a car accident. Things are not as she expected, the business is failing, rumors abound, and it seems like someone wants to remove her from the equation.

Robin Patchen has once again masterfully woven together a story with memorable characters, great intrigue, and sweet romance. I carried my Kindle from chore to chore, finishing this book in one day as the Kindle read to me. Otherwise, the day would have been a total loss as I would have sat and read, unable to walk away from Chelsea's story.

I am privileged to recommend this third book in Patchen's Legacy series as well as her previously released books. I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Murder at the Courthouse by Ann H. Gabhart - A Book Review

Murder at the Courthouse (The Hidden Springs Mysteries Book #1): A Hidden Springs Mystery by [Gabhart, A. H.]   Ann H. Gabhart


When recently reading Murder Comes By Mail, book two in Gabhart's Hidden Springs Mystery series, I noticed recurring references to the body found on the courthouse steps. Then I discovered that I already owned an electronic copy of Murder at the Courthouse. So, of course I felt compelled to read it. This book was more like what I had come to expect from this author than was book two of the series. I would describe it as a cozy mystery which would also fit into the category of Christian fiction. The characters are loveable, small-town folk, well with the exception of the murderer. Yes, I did figure out “who done it” mid-way through, but that did not diminish the reading pleasure of seeing how Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane came to the realization of the murderer's identity. This author, a fellow Kentuckian, remains among my favorites.

Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients by Annie Markowitz, PhD

 



While we have cut way back on baking, especially on dessert baking, I was very interested in this cookbook because I often take desserts to church related functions, and was anxious to see some healthy choices. Each recipe in this cookbook uses only natural, whole food, plant-based ingredients. They use no refined flour, processed sugar, oil, or butter. These attributes have the advantage of creating foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy nutrients not found in processed foods. These desserts are higher in fiber and lower in sugar than their traditional recipe counterparts.

While flipping through the recipes, I saw many of my favorites: pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and apple pie. Most of the recipes are well-known desserts, just made healthier. Recipes are included for a variety of breads, cookies, brownies, cakes and pies among other categories. I do wish that there were pictures accompanying at least some of the recipes so that I would know whether to anticipate the final result appearing differently than what I may be used to with traditional recipes.

I have made several of the changes suggested in this cookbook already, white whole wheat flour for regular plain flour, and applesauce for oil. As you would likely expect due to the growing number of options on the grocery store shelves, other ingredients being used in these recipes are coconut sugar, flaxseed, coconut milk, almond milk, nut butters, coconut flour, spelt flour, etc. I believe many of these recipes will make nice addition to my make and take file. I am grateful to Rockridge Press for providing me with a copy of this cookbook in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

101 Quilting Tips & Tricks Pocket Guide by Penny Haren – A Book Review

101 Quilting Tips & Tricks Pocket Guide (Landauer) Handy Reference to Penny Haren's Expert Advice on Equipment, Short Cuts, Organization, Using Color, Choosing Patterns, Machine Quilting, & More 


This book contains 101 short, clear, concise, and helpful tips and tricks. While these are absolutely wonderful for those new to quilting, I imagine there are some that even seasoned quilters will say, “Now why didn't I think of that!” I think I will regularly be referring back to this pocket guide, and am grateful to have received it from Landauer Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Healthspan Solution: How and What to Eat to Add Life to Your Years, 100 Easy Whole Food Recipes by Julianna Hever and Ray Cronise – A Book Review

   Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T.   Raymond J. Cronise


This is not your average cookbook, but is one based on science and history. The goal of The Healthspan Solution is to, “deliciously optimize your health, sustainably manage your weight, and to not just live longer, but to live longer with vitality, clarity, and intention.” The authors address how living in a society centered on food impacts our eating and our health. They stress the need to change our habits. Eating habits during the first half of one's life can dramatically impact the quality of life in the second half, but it is never too late to make new habits. The book includes a lot of scientific information to explain its premise, specifically research on aging. Our biggest problem may be overnutrition. Information is also provided on a variety of nutrients, their function, and the best source for providing them to our bodies. Meal frequency and the question as to how often and for how long our bodies need to remain in a fed state is discussed, as is the impact of sleep and activity.

The first recipe doesn't appear until page 96 beginning the chapter on soups. The recipes in this cookbook focus on whole foods. Some of the recipes require ingredients not readily found in our small town grocery, but most sound so delicious that I plan on ordering the necessary ingredients online if I cannot find them locally. Most of the recipes have color photos of the dish that look upscale restaurant worthy. They certainly don't look like diet food, but they do look like delicious, healthy food.

I am grateful to have received a copy of this unusual cookbook from Penguin Random House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Healthy Breakfast Cookbook: Easy, Balanced Recipes for Busy Mornings by Shayna Telesmanic - A Book Review

The Healthy Breakfast Cookbook: Easy, Balanced Recipes for Busy Mornings


First for the positives of this cookbook, Chapter One is packed with basic information about the importance of breakfast and what it should include. The photos that are included make the dishes look very appealing. The recipes are organized by type of food (eg. Granola/Oats/Grains, Eggs, Muffins/Breads/Bars). The recipe instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Now for the drawbacks, I would say that for our household, very few of these recipes would be considered easy for a busy morning. Most would be for the weekends, even with some of the prep done the night before. While the recipes may be healthy for the average person, it would have been helpful for diabetes friendly and heart healthy recipes to have been labeled as such. In my opinion such recipes do not seem plentiful in this cookbook.

I am grateful to Rockridge Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this cookbook. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and received no monetary compensation.