Monday, April 23, 2018

THE LION OF THE SOUTH--author Jessica James transports readers to the Civil War-Era with a poignant and intriguing historical romance

With beautifully descriptive language, an amazing eye for historical detail, and a great love of subject, author Jessica James transports her readers into the very lives of characters who lived long ago. "The Lion of the South" is a compelling Civil War-Era romance--filled with thrilling history and suspense, and enriched by a poignant love story. Near the midpoint of the Civil War, Julia Dandridge comes home to Virginia from a life in Washington City to a find world in turmoil. People and places held so very dear are now forever changed. A bold and mysterious figure known as "The Lion of the South" makes daring, seemingly impossible strikes against the Union Army to rally the Confederacy. As Julia's concerns grow for her despondent friend, Landon Graham, and for her own brother, Gideon, she becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue and great personal risk. When circumstances force her to choose between her brother's life and the fate of the man who has stolen her heart, how can she bear to lose one to save the other? A highly recommended treat for lovers of historical romance, as are Jessica James other works "Noble Cause" and "Above and Beyond".

Book Copy Gratis Author


Sunday, April 8, 2018

PRAYERS FOR EVERYDAY OCCASIONS--lovely and inspiring book from Ellen Banks Elwell

"Prayers for Everyday Occasions", by Ellen Banks Elwell, is a beautifully-crafted little book of inspiring verse and comforting spiritual guidance. As the author states: "Sometimes, listening in on another person's thoughts and words helps us make sense of our own." Included in the book are 176 prayers divided into four sections: "For Specific Occasions"; "From the Bible"; "From Hymns"; and "Across the Ages". Vintage-style nature illustrations are scattered throughout the pages. The prayers cover many aspects of everyday life, both happy and sad, and they guide readers in praying for others as well as for themselves. "Prayers for Every Occasion" is a book to keep for yourself, and it would be a thoughtful gift to others

Book Copy Gratis Tyndale Blog Network


Sunday, January 21, 2018

'MY PARIS KITCHEN" and 'L'APPART"--World-renowned chef David Lebovitz shares his life in Paris, France...and the food is fabulous!

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

In 2004, David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes.

In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

MY REVIEW:   Who better than acclaimed chef and writer David Lebovitz--living in France for the last decade--to give us an up-close, first-person view of the "food life" in Paris. "My Paris Kitchen" is filled with fabulous food, intriguing local flavors, beautiful photos, and a real feeling for the author's everyday life in "The City of Light". A gifted and entertaining writer, David Lebovitz invites us in, takes us on a taste-filled tour, and enlightens us with his culinary expertise and food insights. His knowledgeable, useful explanations for ingredients and kitchen equipment are a cooking course themselves. The recipes and recipe notes are equally delicious, and the accompanying stories are charming. The recipes range from rustic to elegant, and you will long to be seated in a real Paris kitchen--taking in the amazing scents, sights, and the sounds of the language--as you await an exceptional eating experience. Here are some of the wonderful recipes included in "My Paris Kitchen": "Salted Olive Crisps"; "Onion Tart"; "Fresh Herb Omelet"; "Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche"; "Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries"; "Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic"; "Butternut Squash Crumble"; "Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse"; and "Paris-Paris"--a recipe for scrumptious eclairs. As the author says: "There are two kinds of butter in France--good butter and great butter."

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz

Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes.

When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country—under baffling conditions—while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there

MY REVIEW:  As his life in Paris continues to unfold, world-renowned chef David Lebovitz discovers that living in his adopted country of France requires not only learning how the French think, but thinking like a Frenchman himself. He details his trials and tribulations, along with humor and acquired patience and acceptance in “L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home”. Seeking to renovate his apartment and create his dream kitchen finds encounters with local bakers, chocolatiers, and fresh market sellers giving way to negotiations with building codes and contractors. Interspersed with his adventures are delicious recipes (with helpful index) such as these: Cherry Flan; Bacon-Green Pea and Tarragon Quiche; Swedish Meatballs; Lemon-Yogurt Cake; Chocolate Soufflé; Mojito Sorbet; Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies; and Swiss Chard Gratin. While it took Lebovitz several years to fully recover from his experiences, he states that in the end, “L’appart”, renewed his Francophile status, and he is fulfilled by his instinctive life choices. The following quote from the author himself paints a telling picture: “Lastly, the story and descriptions are of a certain time in Paris. Paris changes frequently, so some of the incidents, social and business customs, and places mentioned in the book may not be the same as they are today.”

Book Copy Gratis via Blogging for Books


David Lebovitz is a sought-after cooking instructor with an award-winning food blog ( Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium, David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for twelve years. He now lives in Paris, France, where he leads culinary tours of the city.

"GOOD THINGS" FROM MARTHA STEWART--four cookbooks featuring slow-cookers; vegetables; appetizers; one-pot cooking, and more!

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker: 110 Recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test- Kitchen Tips and Strategies

Leave it to the experts at Martha Stewart to figure out the best ways to use this favorite appliance. The 110 recipes in this book make the most of the slow cooker's assets (low heat, hands-off cooking), while also uncovering its hidden potential. Readers will find that they can not only braise cuts of meat until meltingly tender and let soups and stews simmer away untended, but also gently poach fish, cook up creamy scalloped potatoes, and bake a perfect cheesecake. This book has everything home cooks need to maximize flavor and make life a whole lot easier.

MY REVIEW:  When it comes to preparing food with slow cookers, there are usually two types of cooks: those who regularly make use of this wonderful kitchen helper, and those who dust the cooker off now and then for holidays, pot-luck dinners, and the occasional pot roast. Slow cookers come in a wide range of sizes, functionality, and visual appeal. I still have my original Crock Pot (avocado green), and it still works quite well. I have newer cookers, one small and one large, but the “green machine” is still my favorite. It holds a lot of memories of good food and good family times. “Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker: 110 recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test-Kitchen Tips and Strategies” shines a new light on this old kitchen favorite, making it a “go to” meal-maker for modern families. More than a year’s research went into developing recipes and cooking techniques which make the most of the slow-cooker’s steady, even heat, minimal pot-watching, and the added benefits of less fat and more moisture in the prepared dish. Try poaching root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets (Root-Vegetable Confit), and serve them over cooked grains, or as a flavorful side dish. Slow cookers are unbeatable at taking tougher, less-expensive cuts of meat like flank steak and turning them fork-tender (Ropa Vieja). Fish fillets will cook to perfection (Indian-Style Fish Curry). For richer flavor and deeper color, brown meats and sauté onions before adding them to the slow cooker (Persian Lamb Stew). It goes without saying that soup is a slow cooker classic, and you can make a spectacular vegetarian version (healthy, hearty Italian Ribollita Soup). For your sweet-tooth try delicious desserts (Cinnamon Buns) which are made even more scrumptious by the moist heat of the slow cooker. This is a delightful cookbook filled with mouth-watering food photos and recipes that will have you rethinking your tried & true menus and meal preparations, and you will appreciate the savings of food costs and time.


Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books 


Martha Stewart's Vegetables: The Essential Guide, with Recipes  

An essential resource for every cook
In this beautiful book, Martha Stewart—one of America’s best-known cooks, gardeners, and all-around vegetable lovers—provides home cooks with an indispensable resource for selecting, storing, preparing, and cooking from the garden and the market. The 150 recipes, many of which are vegetarian, highlight the flavors and textures of everyday favorites and uncommon varieties alike. The recipes include:

   • Roasted Carrots and Red Quinoa with Miso Dressing
   • Swiss Chard Lasagna
   • Endive and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
   • Asparagus and Watercress Pizza
   • Smoky Brussels Sprouts Gratin
   • Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Martha Stewart’s Vegetables makes eating your greens (and reds and yellows and oranges) more delicious than ever.

MY REVIEW:   Step up to the plate, and eat your veggies. The "V" in "Martha Stewart's Vegetables" stands for vibrant, versatile, and veggielicious. We eat with our eyes first, and then with all of our senses, and the beautiful color photo accompanying each recipe will definitely tempt your taste buds. The layout of this book is clean, uncluttered, easy-to-read, and easy-to-follow. The chapters are divided by the type of vegetable, such as Bulbs, Roots, Stalks & Stems, Leaves, and more. "Tubers", featuring potatoes and sweet potatoes, is my favorite--yes, I love my spuds. Each chapter is prefaced with a mini-bio of the vegetable group, and then followed by "The Basics"of varieties, storage, usage, and cooking. "Four-Onion Soup with Ginger" is perfect for those not shy about their fondness for onions. "Herb-and-Scallion Bread Pudding" is a savory side dish for roasted meats. "Moroccan Vegetable Soup" is hearty and surprisingly quick to prepare. "Carrot Fries" are oven-baked and crisply satisfying. "Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes Anna" is simple and combines the best of both worlds. "Roasted Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Apples" is the fantastic flavors of Fall all in one pan. "Sweet Potato Yeasted Rolls" and "Potato Dinner Rolls"--make both, and serve with lots of creamy real butter. "Caldo Verde" is a filling stew of kale, potatoes, and sausage. "Broccoli, Shrimp, and Shiitake Stir-Fry" offers a bountiful bowlful of tastes and textures. The fruits that we call vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peppers and chiles, and more, are also given a shine by the spotlight. "Skillet Steak Peperonata" is sirloin steak cooked with a skilletful of peppers and onions. "Corn Soup" made with half-and-half and bacon-and savory seasonings-invites you to pick up your spoon and dig in. All together, "Martha Stewart's Vegetables" includes 150 recipes for main dishes and sides. You may not embrace a total vegetarian lifestyle, but incorporating more vegetables into your food intake will be more healthful, and it will expand and enhance your daily menus. MARTHA STEWART is one of America’s leading lifestyle experts, and she is the author of more than 80 books on cooking, entertaining, crafts, homekeeping, gardens, weddings, and decorating.


Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books


Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails

Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together.

MY REVIEW:  An "appetizer" is defined as "a small portion of tasty food to stimulate the appetite". Yes, indeed. An "hors d'oeuvre" is noted as an appetizer served before a meal. Why, thank you--I will accept a nice sampler plate. "Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails" offers up tasty tidbits and tempting treats accompanied by lovely libations. This is a glorious graze-fest, done in "Martha Style", and it truly is a fabulous feast for foodies. It also introduced me to one of my new favorite food phrases: "substantial small plates". Oh, goodness! While the traditional image for appetizers and hors d'oeuvres is associated with cocktail parties and social gatherings, I will say that the foods and drinks featured in this book are also mighty appealing for times when you want something really good, but you don't want to cook a full meal. I am writing this review in the sultry days of late August here in the South, and a cold plate of assorted goodies with a nice cool drink seems like the perfect after-work supper. Divided into five sections of recipes--Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites, and Sips--the book also offers rules and tips for party planning and hosting. Organization plus inspiration makes things easier for you and goes a long way to ensure a houseful of happy guests. You can't go wrong serving them delicious delights like these: "Summer Crudites with Green Goddess Dip"; "Cranberry Sparkler"; "Horseradish Deviled Eggs"; "Rosemary Cheese Straws"; "Plum Blossom"; "Mini Cheese Biscuits"; "Salty-Sweet Party Mix"; "Honey-Roasted Salted Figs"; "Gin and Grapefruit Fizzes"; "Turkey and Avocado Sliders"; "Sour Cherry Mojitos"; "Papaya, Mango, and Pineapple with Spiced Salt"; "Seasoned Potato Chips"; "Spiced Nuts"; "Seasoned Popcorn"; "Apple Cider Sangria"; and so much more. Contemporary cuisine has its own casual chic, and eclectic style can be an intriguing ice-breaker.
Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books 


One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More 

The editors of Martha Stewart Living take 30-minute meals and everyday food to the next level with one-pot meals; more than 120 innovative, comfort-food recipes make use of just a pot, a sheet pan, a skillet, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker for meals that are delicious, satisfying, and quick to clean up, too.

MSLO's latest cookbook features something everyone wants more of: all-in-one meals. Packed with 120 gorgeous images and recipes for one-pot wonders (including their food hack for One-Pan Pasta that went viral over the summer), this cookbook helps you get in and out of the kitchen with only one vessel to clean. From chicken and vegetables that roast on the same sheet pan to skillet lasagna, baked risotto, soups, and down-home casseroles, this is the volume that gives you the biggest flavor payoff with the smallest efforts. Here, too, are a dozen recipes for one-bowl desserts that can be ready when you are.

MY REVIEW:  "One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More" is simply a pleasure from cover to cover. This delightful cookbook from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living is one that you will reach for time and time again. With its trimmed-down size, easy-to-read font, and clean layout, this tempting collection of "one pot" meals and delicious desserts is definitely user-friendly. Each recipe is accompanied by a full-color photo. The cooking categories are: Dutch Oven; Skillet & Saute' Pan; Slow Cooker; Roasting Pan & Baking Dish; Pressure Cooker; Stockpot & Saucepan; and Desserts. Each of the different type of cooking pots is featured with a photo and usage directions and tips. Preparation time and clean up is reduced, and the convenience of preparing good-for-you comfort food encourages more shared family time around the dinner table. Here's a sample of the irresistible recipes included in "One Pot": "Chicken with Creamy Corn and Bacon"; "Sausage with Acorn Squash and Onions"; "Pork with Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes"; "Rib Eye with Root Vegetables"; "Pasta with Lentils and Greens"; "Corn and Shrimp Chowder"; "Salmon with Cabbage and Kale"; and "Mustard Salmon with Cabbage and Potatoes". Now, on to the wicked-good desserts: "Rustic Apple Tart"; "Skillet Chocolate-Chip Cookie"; "Molten Chocolate Cupcakes"; and "Baked Blackberry Custard". With such appealing spirit and style, and fabulous, family-favorite foods, "One Pot" is one terrific cookbook.

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books