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The Locavore's Kitchen: A Cook's Guide to Seasonal Eating and Preserving
The Locavore's Kitchen: A Cook's Guide to Seasonal Eating and Preserving
by Marilou K. Suszko
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.44

4.0 out of 5 stars To market - to a nearby market, 18 Oct. 2011
This is a book that wants to help increase the use of local food. It has advice, explanations and recipes. I do wonder how well the book will hold together in the long run. If you bend it back to keep a page open for the recipes, you can see a split starting near the binding.

Marilou Suszko explains what a locavore is, and does a good job on giving ideas where to shop. She gives information about each ingredient and some tips for use in the kitchen; such as; how do you know if the oil is hot enough and how to sterilize jars. How to choose the best, how to store and prepare for cooking is included.

There are no pictures of the recipes and none of the different varieties of greens or squash, which would really help in identification when you go shopping. The index gives ingredients and the dish name. Resources of books and web sites for canning and some state extension services and sites to help find local food are included; but only for the United States.
The book is divided into spring, summer, falll and winter. It includes information for individual foods such as; asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, radishes, milk, whole wheat bread, green beans, cucumbers, salad greens, berries, mushrooms, green tomatoes, pumpkins and squash, among others. The winter section has appetizers, soups, breads, baked goods, main dishes and desserts. Freezing and Canning are also explained.
Recipes that have been a hit with our family are; grilled eggplant rollups with goat cheese, stuffed patty pans, and yogurt bread.
The recipes are not that difficult or complicated and will add different dishes for most cook's repertoire.


The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables, and More Than 100 Heritage Recipes to Inspire Every Generation
The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables, and More Than 100 Heritage Recipes to Inspire Every Generation
by Dr Brent Ridge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A family's cookbook, 18 Oct. 2011
The Beekman brothers have a farm and a TV show, on which they pride themselves with their natural, seasonal and artisan products. This is the cookbook that is a result of their philosophies using heirloom and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Their aim is to have this as keepsake to hand down to your family too. The book has 6 pages with protective covers and inserts to include your own recipes. There are pictures for every 3rd or 4th recipe and also of their home, farm and and the ingredients they use. An introduction is included where they explain their food, philosophies and inform the reader about their lives at Beekman Farm.

Each recipe has a place for you to write your own notes and a few sentences about the recipe itself. Tips are also included, such as toasting nuts and buying and ripening peaches. The recipes are divided by spring, summer, fall and winter. Each section has starters, main dishes, side dishes and desserts.
We have already tried the ham and cheese strata which can be fixed the night before and was a hit with our family; the pumpkin cheese bread is marvelous, with the cheese adding a different flavor than normal pumpkin bread. Other winners were beer-braised beef with onion dumplings. We also fixed harvest beef chili which includes pumpkin and has very interesting flavors, and roast pork loin with gingerbread stuffing and also mushroom pilaf.

All of the dishes we tried and others in the book have unexpected but interesting and different flavors and make for some very remarkable dishes. This would definitely make a great addition for any cookbook collection for you or as a gift.


The Golden Book of Desserts: Over 250 Great Recipes
The Golden Book of Desserts: Over 250 Great Recipes
by Carla Bardi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A plethora of desserts, 15 Oct. 2011
This is a very large, almost 2" thick book; however it is only 6"x8" and here in lies one of its main problems in use. You have to struggle to keep the book open, much less keep it open to see, read and use the recipes. Even a cookbook holder would not keep this small book open. The print is not very large either.

There are pictures for every dessert and many diagrams to help a cook, such as preparing a crème brulee.
Preparation and cooking times are given. Measurements are given both in cups and ml. and Fahrenheit, Celsius and gas marks are given for cooking temperatures. Levels of difficulties 1,2 and 3 are given. Level 1 being easy, 2 a bit harder, but no problem at all for most cooks, even level 3 is not impossible.
Recipes given are: custards and creams, trifles and charlottes, frozen desserts, fruit, meringues, layer cakes and rolls, pies and tarts, crisps, puddings and soufflés, crepes, waffles and fritters, pastries, savarins and brioches and basic recipes such as-vanilla pastry cream and crème anglaise.
Try Eton Mess and spiced apricot cobbler - they have been big hits with our family.

This is a good collection of traditional and also varieties of those recipes, but there are not many extraordinarily different recipes. It was originally published in Italy, so most of the desserts have an European flavor to them. This would be good for those who would like a huge variety of dessert recipes.


Basic to Brilliant, Y'All: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company
Basic to Brilliant, Y'All: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company
by Virginia Willis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cooking in Dixie, 15 Oct. 2011
Virginia Willis has created a cookbook updating and `dressing up' southern recipe standard dishes. She writes a few sentences about each recipe and inserts some information along the way such as; sugar stages- what sugar becomes at each higher temperature and the different sizes of shrimp. The big minus in this book is the lack of pictures, especially for those who are not familiar with southern cooking and might have wanted to create something above the usual comfort food level standard. At most there is probably only one picture for every four recipes.
The sides seemed to be the best part for our family, when looking through this. The okra cornmeal cakes are wonderful, and for a second try, for breakfast I actually substituted oatmeal and they were a hit that way too. The version of Sally Lund bread is very good, especially because of the pecan-brown sugar topping; it tastes great and looks outstanding. It is funny that pineapple upside down cake has made such a comeback - a version is included in this cookbook.

The recipes themselves are not terribly complicated, although a beginning cook might be overwhelmed with some of the more time consuming preparations. Included are recipes for: fundamentals - such as chicken stock and puff pastry, starters and nibbles - with not a cheese straw to be seen, salads and slaws, eggs and dairy, fish and shellfish, birds, beef, pork and lamb, rice grits and potatoes, vegetables, soups and stews, bread and desserts. There is an index that lists by dish name and also ingredient, and a measurement conversion chart.


Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America's Pie-Baking Champion
Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America's Pie-Baking Champion
by Michele Stuart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.56

4.0 out of 5 stars The Pie Lady, 14 Oct. 2011
Michele Stuart is a multi-award winning pie maker. This book presents an assortment of her pies. They all seem wonderful and the recipes good. The ones I have made have turned out delightful --raspberry crumb pie, maple walnut pie, which I have also substituted other random varieties of nuts in and it has been fine, chocolate-peanut butter dream pie and the ham and pie quiche where I shaved Spam as a substitute for ham and everyone still loved it.
As I look through the ingredients of many of the recipes, they are not that different from the pie recipes I normally use. She does have 2 pies that are sugarless using Splenda, which taste very good and are a huge boon for diabetics and those trying to cut down on calories.
Only a few recipes have pictures, the ones that are done are wonderful. A few sentences describing each pie and what awards it won, if any and an introduction is included for each section. Types of pies and recipes included are: crusts and toppings, farm stand pies, nut pies, cream pies, party pies, savory pies and toppings like caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, chocolate whipped cream and a yummy bourbon sauce.

An introduction to Michele Stuart and her successful pies is included. Kitchen tools and basic ingredients are explained. Each pie is divided into degrees of difficulty: easy =1hour or less prep time, moderate=1-2 hours, difficult=2 hours or more. Tips are added throughout: baking with tapioca, light corn syrup vs. dark corn syrup. Very good pictures and instruction are shown for making a lattice crust and putting the shell into the pie dish.

I was disappointed that she did not have a modern version of chess pie or some of the other old-fashioned type pies. This is still a good book for those who wish to make pies and have some nice recipes.


Sunday Roasts
Sunday Roasts
by Rosbottom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunday dinner and more, 14 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Sunday Roasts (Paperback)
What a book... especially if you love roasts and even if not, it will teach you how easy they are and what a wonderful dinner they make for your family or company. These can be for special occasions or just for dinner with wonderful leftovers to look forward to; and these even gives leftover tips for each recipe.

This is a nice compact book, and despite the fact that it is paperback it seems solid and well put together even if you bend it back so that it will stay open at the page you are working at. It contains: beef, pork, lamb and veal, poultry, seafood, sides and extras such as apple chutney and chunky guacamole salsa. There is an introduction with some personal stories and tips, information about equipment, preparing and cooking the roast and carving. Each section has an introduction and each recipe has a few sentences about it. Recipes have serving size, cost (inexpensive, moderate, splurge). Prep time, start to finish time- which is a huge help in preparing roasts, suggested sides (recipes for them and pages are given), leftover tips and market notes- what to ask for at the market are all included.

About every 3rd recipe has a picture. There is a roast directory which shows meat equivalents in the US and the UK, roasts and pages are categorized by time and occasion, costs, calories. The index lists dishes by ingredient.
This book would be suitable for beginning and even experienced cooks. It would make a great addition to any cookbook collection.


Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible: The New Classic Guide to Delicious Dishes with More Than 300 Recipes
Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible: The New Classic Guide to Delicious Dishes with More Than 300 Recipes
by Paula Deen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £29.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down South, 14 Oct. 2011
Paul Deen has put out her Southern Cooking Bible. It is a nice size, almost square. One wonders as you look through this what Melissa Clark did, she is given no credit for anything, except in the acknowledgments for helping to shape the book and on the cover.
There are repeats from Deen's other cookbooks, especially `The Lady and Sons' and even some that were familiar from the Deen Brothers grilling book. There are 2 sections of 8 pictures, other than that, no recipes are pictured. There are some line drawings to diagram such as; rolling a jelly roll, and the chicken on the beer can. There are hints on many pages about sauces used in grilling, flipping fish, and tartar sauce. One of the hints is confusing though - she says to get shells out of crabmeat put it in the oven and the shells will turn red - most of the shells in crabmeat that are bothersome are the inner shells which are white and transparent and will definitely not turn red.
She also has one or two sentences about each recipe and a few pages explaining each section of food. An introduction tells you about southern food. Her dirty rice is one of the best versions and easy too, so is her basic meat loaf, Beaufort shrimp pie, is also a winner.

Types of recipes included are; starters, salads and slaws, soups and stews, brunch, egg and cheese dishes, pasta and rice, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, grilling and barbecue, vegetables and beans, breads, quick breads and biscuits, coffee cakes, griddle cakes, and doughnuts, pies, cobblers, and crisps, cakes, cookies and bars, puddings and frozen treats, candies, preserves and beverages, sauces, dressings and relishes.

If you want help with southern cooking this is a good resource, especially if you are a fan of Paula Deen. However there is a southern living cookbook that gives more basic recipes and different versions of many southern dishes rather than just one version of a southern dish. Both would add to a cookbook collection.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2013 8:57 PM GMT


The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing: Long-distance Motorcycling's Endless Road
The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing: Long-distance Motorcycling's Endless Road
by Melissa H. Pierson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand", 10 Oct. 2011
Melissa Holbrook Pierson loved motorcycles and then didn't ride for 11 years. Ultra long distance rider John Ryan gets her back on a bike and the result is this book. It describes the Iron Butt Association the building of miles - 1,500 miles in 24 hours among other destinations traveled.
This would be a minor ride to John Ryan, who has traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Key West, 5,645 miles in 86 hours, and 31 minutes. Pierson describes Long Butt rides, the people who ride, and her motorcycle in almost a stream of conscious style. There is not much detail or even descriptive passages; but if you are not aware of this motorcycle culture, perhaps this will make you understand.
She describes the rules and requirements, the hazards, the toll on the mind and body that these rides can take. Contrary to what many might believe, Harleys are not the bike of choice for long distance rides

Who hasn't wanted to head off for the horizon, see how far you can go, have the wind in your hair and face. Only some will know and identify the feelings Pierson expresses.


The Tale of Gulliver (Gulliver's Travels)
The Tale of Gulliver (Gulliver's Travels)
by Emily Sollinger
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars A tale, 8 Oct. 2011
This book uses pictures from the motion picture starring Jack Black. It is designed for children who are reading on their own. It does have plenty of photos from the movie and tells the tale simply in 30 pages.
At times the story is a bit confusing for young readers and there is definitely some discussing that should be done with a young child concerning
Gulliver's copying article and passing them off as his own. There is only a brief mention of his intended girl's upset at this or why it is wrong. There also seems to be little ramification for the fibs Gulliver tells.
This book, between the confusing story line and the so-what attitude of fibbing is not one I would recommend.


My First Ladies, Thirty Years as the White House's Chief Floral Designer: Behind the Scenes with First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara ... Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama
My First Ladies, Thirty Years as the White House's Chief Floral Designer: Behind the Scenes with First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara ... Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama
by Nancy Clarke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First in flowers, 7 Oct. 2011
Nancy Clarke worked in the White House for over 30 years, first as a volunteer and finally as the chief floral designer. She tells her story from the days of Rosalynn Carter to the beginnings of the Obama White House. For those readers looking for juicy gossip, it is not here. Clarke follows the principle that if you can't say something good...
She describes the style of the First Ladies, how they chose the flowers and place settings for dinners and celebrations. We learn how the White House functions in this sphere. There are problems and solutions and tactful descriptions of all the first ladies and people that she worked with.

Clarke begins by describing how she came to this position. There are illustrations throughout of the handwritten notes she received from the First Ladies and their family members. Best of all there are several sections (32 pages total) of colour photos of the designs, the White House, Clarke and the first family.

She does a good job in explaining the reasoning and requirements for the elaborate decorations and floral arrangements and how each First Lady handled the events taking place at the White House, some at Camp David and the family weddings. She does touch upon how Mrs. Clinton handled herself (nicely) during the Lewinsky scandals and what happened on 9/11 and the days after.
There is an appendix with copies of dinner menus, invitations, notes and letters; an index is also included with names and the rooms of the White House.

This is a book that those who enjoy reading about the inner workings of the White House, floral and decorating design would enjoy.


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