Saturday, April 25, 2015

Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

"Genius Recipes" by Kristen Miglore will change the way you prepare your favorite foods! From Poached Scrambled Eggs, to Wild & White Rice Salad, and even Grilled Cheese Sandwiches...there's something for everyone in this practical cookbook.

There's 251 pages of recipes in this beautiful book, with multiple categories including Breakfast, Snacks & Drinks, Soups & Salads, Meaty Mains, Meatless Mains, Vegetables and Desserts. There's also a handy index in the back for quick reference. Each recipe includes a full color photo and easy to understand instructions.

After close inspection of this book, I have come to one conclusion. Whether or not you are a seasoned chef or just a beginner, you will probably agree that this book is beautiful! The way the pictures look so artistic and are placed just perfectly with the writing... This book is aesthetically beautiful! The author has put a creative spin on some of the most classic dishes. Also, what I found to be fairly interesting is that these recipes are not all created by the author. There are recipes from Julia Child, River Cafe, Alice Medrich, and Heidi Swanson just to name a few. The recipes look simple enough for an average cook to figure out, so you don't have to be too ambitious to attempt this book! This cookbook is also a hardcover book, which I find to be helpful since it will hold up a lot better while cooking. I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Savor by Shauna Niequist

This week I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of "Savor" by Shauna Niequist! After reading "Bread and Wine" last summer, I was eager to read this little gem. What I love about this author is that she's painfully raw. She's honest about every aspect of her life. She lives in the here and now and savors every moment she's alive. I also love that Shauna shares a little bit about her Thursday night dinner/small group nights which is the focus of her previous book, "Bread and Wine."

I think Shauna's take on communion is very interesting. She goes a step further than saving communion for a once-a-month occasion at church. She states: "If we only practice remembrance when we take communion at church, we miss three opportunities a day to remember."  Bread and wine are reminders of Jesus' holiness at every meal.

It's difficult to describe this entire book, since the topics for each day are so diverse. Most days I'm caught off guard by just how honest Shauna is and the mere fact that she gets me! She's not perfect, but she's living each day to the fullest, finding the fleck of gold in each day. She shares her joys and sadness, and sometimes a bit of humor, but I get the feeling that I'm sitting down chatting with a sweet friend when I read her books. And then perhaps best of all, I find delicious recipes nestled in between the devotions. Twenty-one recipes in all, ranging from Blueberry Yogurt Morning Cake, to Spicy Peanut Noodles!

The only thing that I disliked about this devotional is that each day's "essay" is just a bit too short for me. They have great substance, and have noteworthy subjects to think about for the rest of the day, but she writes with such beauty, I just wish there was a little more each day. I think this is a wonderful book that I will come back to time and time again.

I rate this book as 5 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Look Inside the Time of Jesus by Lois Rock

In "Look Inside The Time of Jesus" by Lois Rock, little ones can lift the flap to learn about Jesus' life!

This lift-the-flap discovery book is designed for 5-7 year old's but my 3 year old absolutely loves it so I think it's perfect for younger audiences as well, as long as they are big enough not to rip the flaps.

Each page goes through a different scene in the time and life of Jesus. Readers get to visit where Jesus was born, where He lived in Nazareth, where He taught in Galilee and in the farmlands, and even the temple in Jerusalem. There is a short paragraph included for each page, and multiple lit-the-flaps describing what went on in that place. The book begins with Jesus' birth and ends with His crucifixion, burial and the empty tomb and risen Jesus.

I think this cute book includes just the right amount of words for each page and is the perfect length for a 3-7 year old. The illustrations are colorful and eye-catching, and my 3 year old was entertained for quite a while just lifting the flaps on her own. I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Kregel Publishers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Only God Can Make A Kitten" by Rhonda Gowler Greene

This week I was able to review "Only God Can Make A Kitten" written by Rhonda Gowler Greene, and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant! In this adorable hardcover book, a little boy asks his mother a series of questions on God's creation. Each question is phrased similarly with a cute little rhyme. For example, the first rhyme says "Mama, look! A tiny sprout! Who made this sprig of spring pop out?"

Then the mama answers back in another short rhyme. There are also adorable pictures to go with each rhyme. The cover of the book says it is aimed at 4-8 year olds but my 3 year old absolutely loved it! My 11 month old even sat happily on my lap while I read it. They both loved the rhymes and pictures, and after I finished reading, my three year old requested that I read it again! I was pleasantly surprised at just how cute this book actually is. The story is fairly short, meaning that I could read it in it's entirety in just a matter of minutes. It's a perfect book to snuggle up with right before bed, or to read while eating breakfast! The main characters of this book are a little boy, his little sister and his mom, so I think this book would appeal to both boys and girls alike.

About the author: Rhonda Gowler Greene is the author of over 20 children's books. Her books have received various honors, such as School Library Journal Best Book, American Booksellers "Pick of the List," Children's Book Council Showcase Book, Bank Street College Best Book, International Reading Association Children's Choice Book, Junior Library Guild Selection, Michigan Reads One State One Children's Book Award, and also starred reviews! To find out more about her, please visit www.rhondagowlergreene.com.

I rate this book as 5 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Allergy-fighting Garden by Thomas Leo Ogren

Being an avid gardener and someone who enjoys spending a lot of time in her yard, "The Allergy-Fighting Garden" by Thomas Leo Ogren really appealed to me! It also looked interesting to me because I do have extensive environmental allergies which makes spending time outside a love/hate relationship for me.

The idea of this book is simple really. Plants, trees, flowers and shrubs all have either male or female properties, or in some cases both. Female plants are usually the plants who bear fruit, berries, nuts, or seeds. Male plants are typically the plants that give off the most pollen, causing problems for allergy sufferers. By doing some careful planning, you can create an allergy-free yard your whole family can enjoy! The author also shares some options you can do if you already have an established landscape. Although it sounds strange, there are actually ways you can give your plants a "sex-change" and change them from male to female. Essentially, you want mostly female plants in your yard as they do not create pollen and can actually create a barrier for your yard. Ogren skillfully helps you discover what sex your plants are and includes over 3,000 listings of common plants and how much pollen they give off. I thought it was also interesting that he included plants that attract bees, for those allerguc to bees.

I admit I was a little skeptical before reading this book. An allergy-fighting garden did sound a little too good to be true, but what Ogren is talking about in this book really makes sense. I wondered what good would it do to get rid of the allergens in your own yard? Won't I still encounter them everywhere else? But there is actually some research showing that removing just one or two allergens from your "bucket" can really improve your day to day allergies. Allergies tend to build up in your system. One or two, or even three allergens alone may not be enough to cause you breathing problems, but perhaps that fourth or fifth allergen does. Eliminating small amounts of pollen and allergens from your day can make a tremendous difference.

I think "The Allergy-Fighting Garden" is a legitimately interesting book. What also stuck out to me was that the foreword was actually written by an allergist. That gives me some hope that this stuff actually works. It's a resource I will continue to leaf through for the years to come. I rate it as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Case for Grace Student Edition by Lee Strobel with Jane Vogel

"The Case for Grace Student Edition", the newest book by Lee Strobel and Jane Vogel is aimed at junior high and high school age students. This book is relatively short at only 132 pages, with a compilation of 8 different stories from a wide range of people who have been shown God's grace when they thought they deserved it least.

Many of the stories tugged on my heart strings but especially the second entitled "The Orphan". It was about a young child who was abandoned at only 3 years of age and ended up living on the streets with no one to love her. There are many other themes to the other chapters: "The Mistake", "The Executioner", and "The Addict" just to name a few.

The book ends with a chapter on what the Bible says about grace, and other helpful books that will give readers more insight into grace.

This is not the first book I have read by Lee Strobel but it is the first Student Edition I have read of his. I will say that the Student Edition does not have as much information as the original and I feel that makes it much easier for teens to understand. However, because of the sensitive nature of some of the topics I would suggest that this book be read by young adults 13 years of age or older.

To sum it up, I really enjoyed this book and I think it's an informative read for teenagers.

I rate this book as 4 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book" Review

Despite the fact that I have never used or owned a pressure cooker, I was inspired to request for review "The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. This book contains 500 recipes that range from "Not much Effort" to "A lot of Effort", and each recipe also includes it's cook time, how it releases and how many people it feeds. There are multiple cooking categories including Breakfast, Soups, Meat, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Vegetables, Beans and Grains and Desserts. There is also a 12 page introduction on how to actually use each kind of pressure cooker, which I found to be extremely helpful!

Honestly, I was not aware that you could actually cook so many different things in a pressure cooker, so I was really excited to learn! I can't wait to try out these recipes. There's everything from "Asian Beef Soup with Rice Noodles" to "Shredded Barbecue Skirt Steak" to "Chocolate Pudding"!

I love that there are recipes for those of us who like to play it safe and for the seasoned chefs who are a bit more adventurous! There's a little something for everyone! I read a couple of reviews and saw that some people had issues with the fact that there are not many pictures in this book. There are 16 pages of pictures in the center of the book, but really I don't feel like this book is lacking anything because of that. I think the book is very nicely put together and it's pleasing to the eye. It's super easy to read and follow along. The book is rather large, so if you are using it while cooking, you're going to need something to hold it open. Other than that, I have no complaints! I can't wait to try out these new recipes and learn a new skill!

I rate this book as 5 stars! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.