Pageviews last month

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Baked Delights: Cookbooks to Please the Palate

     Here are some new books featuring baking; some are written for beginners, some for the experienced, and the rest for everyone else.

Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes from my Home Kitchen to Make Year-Round, written by John Barricelli, contains over 100 baking recipes using fruits and vegetables available by season. The author is the owner of the SoNo Baking Company in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Your Time to Bake: a First Cookbook for the Novice Baker is written by Robert L. Blakeslee. This is a beginner’s text that explains it all: definitions, needed equipment, techniques, baking products and their substitutes, and more. There are over 1500 photos used with the step-by-step instructions for 150 recipes.

Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes from the Best Little Bakery in the South. The authors, Cheryl and Griffith Day, are the owners of a bakery in Savannah, Georgia that is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Their desserts and breads have been highly praised by Chef Paula Deen, who writes the foreword for this book.

The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle, by Tom Douglas, includes stories, photos, recipes and more. The author is a prize-winning Seattle restaurant owner and chef.

A Year of Pies: a Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies is written by Ashley English. She starts with the basics and then continues with 60 recipes for pies and tarts, based on ingredients available seasonally.

Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Recipes and Ideas for Preserving Your Family History, by Rebecca Miller Ffrench presents Norwegian-based baking recipes, while focusing on activities family members can enjoy while preserving their culinary heritage.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kinsey and Me: Stories

     Author Sue Grafton takes a break from writing her “alphabet” mysteries featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, and presents the reader with a collection of short stories. Included are nine stories about Kinsey, written between 1986 and 1993, that offer us additional insight into Kinsey’s personality. Then, the second half of the book (“and me”), contains thirteen autobiographical tales featuring the character Kit Blue, written as an expression of Grafton’s conflicted feelings about her dysfunctional family that was headed by two alcoholic parents. Grafton shows herself no mercy as she probes her feelings about her mother’s early death from lung cancer and alcoholism-related illness.

     Sue Grafton’s continued achievements in skillful writing, including well-drawn characterization, original plot and vivid language, leave the reader looking forward to her next novel.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Thirteenth Tale

     This novel, written by Diane Setterfield, is a gothic-style narrative set in England during an undisclosed point in time. It is the story of Margaret Lea, a young woman who runs a rare book store with her father and is an amateur literary biographer. It also is the story of Vida Winter, a famous and reclusive writer who has hidden her past from the world for over sixty years. Now that Vida is dying, she has decided to reveal the truth about her life to Margaret, who will write it as biography; but the fantastic tale she shares is so astounding that Margaret wonders if it is another work of fiction. We learn about the Angelfields, a wealthy upper-class family whose members are totally dysfunctional. There are hints of incest, scandal, violence, murder and more. Is Vida a member of this family? Which feral twin sister could she be? And Margaret has secrets of her own. Her own twin sister died at birth, a secret kept from her until she accidentally discovered it during her childhood, and has affected the bond between her and her mother.

     Lush physical descriptions and an air of the unknown add to the atmosphere; multi-dimensional character descriptions draw the reader in. Settle down to read this book and watch the pages fly by.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February is Heart Health Month

     Expand your knowledge of heart health with these books.

New American Heart Association Cookbook, 8th Edition, by the American Heart Association, offers over 600 heart-healthy recipes, 150 of them new, with accompanying nutritional analyses. Also included is updated information on diet, exercise and lifestyle.

The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease – and the Statin-Free Plan that Will, by Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra, presents a four-part program to minimize and manage heart disease, not by relying on statin drugs to control cholesterol levels, but by easing such risk factors as inflammation, triglycerides, belly fat, high glycemic levels and more.

Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease, written by Janet Bond Brill, a dietician, who describes her plan to prevent further cardiac issues by prescribing such menu choices as Mediterranean-style diet, good carbs (i.e. oatmeal, popcorn, etc.), fish and red wine in moderation.

The Buena Salud Guide for a Healthy Heart, by Jane L. Delgado, a physician and president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, identifies the ten points of a heart-healthy lifestyle, and then follows with brief descriptions of various cardiac problems. A section on diagnostic tests and procedures, and where to get further valid information follows.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!: the Mayo Clinic Plan for Preventing and Conquering Heart Disease presents the 10 steps to heart health, the types of heart problems, diagnostic tests to recognize them, and activities to boost your nutritional, physical and mental health levels.

The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Speaking with Your Cardiologist, written by Curtis M. Rimmerman, describes how to choose a cardiologist, the different cardiologist specialties, and the various diagnoses, diagnostic tests, treatment options and medications available.

Best Practices for a Healthy Heart: How to Stop Heart Disease Before or After it Starts, by Sarah Samaan, a cardiologist, helps the patient take charge of his or her cardiac health through the monitoring of weight, cholesterol and sugar levels, avoiding addictions, exercising, dealing with stress, and more.