Friday, 28 December 2012

Review of I Love My Slow Cooker

I Love My Slow Cooker
by Beverly leBlanc
Published by Duncan Baird Publishers
received to me from netgalley in ebook form

           This cookbook has a great base of recipes. I felt that many of the recipes were easily brought together with ingredients that are stocked in most pantries. The pictures were fantastic and showed the finished product in a mouth watering light. Most interesting to me beyond the great number of entree choices was the back to basics approach of the cookbook. The introduction included a wealth of information regarding best choice of slow cooker models, even providing the serving amounts for the different capacity crockpots. A section explaining how to use your crockpot to enhance flavors or to cook legumes, poultry or vegetables was also included. Cooking times and even the best meat cuts are explored in this great cookbook. The recipes are well presented with great photos and easy to understand step by step instructions promising super results. Several types of dishes are highlighted from soups and sauces to Thai fish with coconut curry. This cookbook is a must for your crockpot enjoyment, it is the perfect gift for those new to the crockpot and the crockpot pros. This recipe book gets a solid 4 of 5 star rating .

Profile of a Bookie

            It has circled through my mind a few times while walking around in bookstores and office supply outlets that Bookies have a special commonality. I have noticed in myself and certainly in others that many avid readers have little quirks. They all seem to begin their reading journey long before they pick up the actual book. They scour book reviews, library shelves, websites, bookstore windows and earmark their future reads on a long and ever evolving mental list. The look of the cover is a key factor- it is the first peek at the portrait of the story and it pulls the potential reader in, enough at least to read the back cover or to open the book to the front page.  The quality and cut of the paper and its pages are a deciding factor as well. Uneven page cuts are unacceptable as they are difficult to turn the  pages individually. They feel rough and distract the reader from the jewel that lies within.  Any reader will tell you that if they are unfamiliar with the author or the book they will check out the back cover first and if this peeks their interest they will perhaps take note of the publisher. Then they will move on to the dedication or even to the front page. This is the last chance to pull the person in to the story, this is where the voice begins. I always read the first few paragraphs to get a feel of the book's rhythm. These quirks lead readers to their next novel and author discovery.
     I have also noticed that many readers have a love for paper-they love a good colour, quality and texture of paper. The matching of envelopes to the paper is also a special find. Pens by their style,design and writing flow are also very appealing to most readers. It is interesting to note that the cost of the pen does not affect the choice. I have hunted through my purse, scoured the desk and junk drawers in search of the famous favourite pen just to jot down a quick note and have refused the offer of other pens from other people simply because it is not my pen. I have loved the two dollar  pens as much as the ten dollar pens and I am usually a blue ink kind of girl but have lately been using a black ink pen and have enjoyed that as well.
      Finally I should comment on the bookmark---some people need  to have their special bookmark to start their new book . While others just use the same type each time. I have used all different kinds from a piece of embroidery floss, to a scrap of paper. I have fancy ones with a magnet attached to the inner flap that looks so nice against the page. I also have tried the kind that slide onto the corner of the page and look quite respectable. I have even been guilty of  dare I say it.....folding down the corner of the page...yikes! I have even memorized the page number - but now that I have hit my 40's I know better than to rely on such a silly thing as my own memory.
       Bookies are indeed a special breed of people that share numerous traits with one another. A true bookie can be spotted quite easily in any book store for they are the people that are so absorbed in their hunt for the next book that they are oblivious to all others in the store.
        Happy reading fellow bookies!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Review of The Lost Art of Mixing

The Lost Art of Mixing
a novel by Erica Bauermeister

    This sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients was a great read. I loved the way Erica described food and people. She masterfully took the plain and dull and transformed it into something spectacular. The richness of life and relationships were told in a truthful and honest light. The delicate notes of flavor enhancing ingredients brought Lillian's restaurant to life, as the most simple dishes lured the reader into a wonderful journey. Several times I found myself deeply inhaling expecting to smell the aromas from the restaurant and anticipation of the link to the next character. This novel has it all -sorrow, romance, death, denial, joy and rebirth. I found myself reading slower as I neared the end of the book, I was in no hurry to say good bye to any of the people from Lillian's restaurant. I lingered over the last page in the same way I would finish the last few bites of a great dish! I think this book deserves 4 stars !! Look for this book from Putnam to hit the all bookshelves for January 2013


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Hello fellow bookies! My name is Kari, I am a Canadian girl from a small town. I am married and have two fabulous children. I have been a bookie since grade one or two. My interest in reading began in my twin sized bed under a blankie :)  it then grew to include a wonderous invention- yes a flashlight! Some of my best getaways in life have been through my reading adventures. I soon found that night time reading was not enough for me so I began to take on new spots to read. I discovered the perfect corner of the couch, the best comfy chair in the house, the car, and most treasured to me was the bench like shelf in my bedroom closet- absolutely magical! As I grew and matured I found even more places and times to dive into the pages that were waiting for me to discover. Bookstores (back in a time when the store owner frowned at people that did more than just skim through), the front porch and swings and even on the floor in front of my bed with music blaring. I also discovered the great joy of  walking home from the library book in hand and head in book -now known as texting and walking-and there's even an app for that! All readers will agree that sometimes the chance to read does not always coincide with a great place to read. I have found myself with a tear stained face behind my book while sitting on a bus, or laughing my head off in the middle of class while secretly reading a novel rather than the textbook. I have also had a babe in one arm and a book in the other and been caught trying to decide if I should burp the baby or turn the page. Please join me in my adventures of reading, joy of books and the delight of words on pages.