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review 2018-02-06 17:46
Clean Eating
Clean Eating: 365 Days of Clean Eating Recipes (Clean Eating, Clean Eating Cookbook, Clean Eating Recipes, Clean Eating Diet, Healthy Recipes, For Living Wellness and Weigh loss, Eat Clean Diet Book - Emma Katie

My kids were thinking about a bake-off that usually happens in March of a year at a local library. This year was canceled due to babies due dates and not enough people to help work the event. That is okay. I know that it will happen again next year. 


So we had started going through books that I had for recipes that involved baking and I found some good ones in the book and marked them for later trial and error. There were many things in the book that I know that I would not make as well. But that is okay as the book did have about 365 different recipes to make and try. 

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review 2018-01-30 16:53
Orzo Feta Shrimp
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day - The Editors at America's Test Kitchen,The Editors at America's Test Kitchen

I bought this book to get healthy. My cookbook collection consists of doggie treats and vegan cupcakes. I've tried "healthy" recipes on the Beachbody website and they have all been tasteless failures. I wonder if the people who give those five star reviews are the ones who wrote the recipe or someone with no taste buds. . . Anyway, I am so done with Beachbody "recipes". The only one I can recommend is the buffalo cauliflower bites because I drown them in hot sauce and yogurt/blue cheese. 

My doctor recommended this one to us because I am genetically blessed with high cholesterol and no matter how hard I exercise and how much oatmeal I eat, my numbers no longer want to budge. I'm going to give it a go even though I'm a little scared. The reviews say the recipes take forever and I'm lazy. I'll be updating this post as I cook things. My apologies if you see this more than once.

January 30, 2018

Orzo Feta Shrimp: It only took me about 40 minutes or so to get it all together and it was delicious. I did prep the fresh veg and the olives on Sunday to make things go faster on a work night. I'd recommend doing that always. I also found frozen shrimp at Trader Joe's that was already shelled with tails removed. I HATE doing that. It says 4 servings and that the "Mediterranean" plate is much smaller but it made at least 6 servings and I was feeding two grown men who were hungry. Served this with some oven roasted broccoli and peppers. They ate it up with no bitching so 5 Stars.


PS This lifestyle let's you have red wine and dark chocolate. Honestly, that's the only reason I'm trying it!

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review 2018-01-29 11:13
Alice Starmore's Glamourie
Alice Starmore's Glamourie (Calla Editions) - Jade Starmore,Alice Starmore

by Alice Starmore


This is a knitting book with a difference. It focuses on costuming and has pictures of some incredible creations the author has designed. The big difference, however, is that the costumes also have stories attached, so it's more than a craft book.


The author also explains much about how she made each of the costumes and the inspiration behind them.


There is one disappointment though. The patterns in the back are not for the elaborate costumes pictured with the stories. We don't get those. They are for items more for everyday wear, with some elements of the costumes. For example, the Raven costume that drew my attention to the book is truly magnificent, but the related pattern given is for a basic poncho with some of the feather design that was incorporated into the more intricate costume.


Looking at the sale price of the book, I do feel let down that the actual costuming patterns were not included. While someone walking around in something like the Raven costume would be immediately perceived as a nutter in ordinary circumstances, there are events where costuming is appropriate and I would love to make this one for such events.


Having said that, the everyday wear patterns are unusual in their own right and the book is certainly attractive for someone who wants to add some unique items to their wardrobe. Details about stitches are given and I think any fairly experienced knitter could easily follow the patterns.

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review 2018-01-12 14:39
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously - Julie Powell

I wanted to like this so bad. It has been staring at me from the TBR pile for far too long for me to be ok with not especially liking it. I found myself bored at anecdote after anecdote with little to no connection whatsoever to the cooking challenge. I liked reading some of the responses her blog received, but I would really have liked to read some of the blog posts themselves! After all, the blog is a big part of the Project. I did enjoy Powell's witticisms and her humorous outlook on her whole situation. But ultimately, I had to force myself to finish it.

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review 2018-01-05 14:12
Wants to tell too many stories.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through Afri... The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South - Michael W. Twitty

This was on my "must-read" list ever since I heard the promotional marketing well before it was released. Thought it would be a great read about the history of the American South through the lens of food. From slavery to Jim Crow as well as a look at the culture and how the food in this region is different from other places in the US. I had never heard of author Twitter but found his story very intriguing. Waited and waited for the library and finally, I had it. From tobacco (which is not a food but whatever) to sugar to and more it sounded like it could be in the vein of 'Soul Food' by Adrian Miller.


Alas, this book is not that. The marketing and synopsis also wasn't correct. It's really less about the food but Twitty's search for his family history and what he could find. From DNA to genealogy to family lore passed down from generation to generation. Yes, food is important and food plays a big role in his life. But it's really not a "journey through African American culinary history in the Old South" as the cover purports. It's really Twitty's story and family history with how food has played a role in it or what particular foods have a place in his life and why.


Overall, I think the book is a mess. It's interesting at first and sometimes Twitter has some really beautiful writing and or insightful things to say that I had not thought of (I'm not familiar or interested in tracing my family's genealogy or taking those DNA tests so this was interesting). But it gets lost by too many tracts, too many storylines, too many names of ancestors and/or family members. I do understand that there is a fascinating story to be told with a rich history behind it. But I was expecting a *culinary* history as the cover says and what the marketing said it would cover.


Still, I think there is tons of value for the book and Twitty sounds like an interesting guy. But as noted by other people, more resources would have been helpful: maps, maybe a family tree that highlights who he'd be talking about in a particular chapter (there's one at the beginning of the book but I didn't want to keep flipping back and forth), a glossary or index, etc. More recipes (there are some but they are scattered so you'll be disappointed if you think this resembles a cookbook in any way) would have been nice. 


I'm glad I waited for the library to purchase it for their collection and didn't buy it. It could be a good pick or gift for the right person but ultimately this fell short of my expectations/had misleading marketing. Would recommend perusing at the library/bookstore before deciding if this is a book you want to purchase or wait for it at the bargain bin.

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