Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: The Bump Book of Lists For Pregnancy and Baby

I got The Bump's Book of Lists For Pregnancy and Baby after already having reviewed The Bump's Pregnancy Planner and Journal. I felt like the Book of Lists was very redundant from what was already available in the Planner and Journal. I personally liked the Planner and Journal better. For the super Type A personality, the Book of Lists might be good, but the Planner and Journal have just as many check lists. I would recommend Planner and Journal over the Book of Lists because the Planner and Journal is more of a keepsake for the baby.

A new mom may find the Book of Lists helpful... however, I'm glad I did not buy it for myself. Instead, I received it for review from Blogging For Books.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Book Review: The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book

The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book by Lisa Barrangou is a MUST HAVE for all new moms and dads interested in making their own baby food for their little ones! This book covers all of your basics, from when to start solids, to making and storing baby food. She even meal plans for 3 months for you! I absolutely love the flavor compatibility guide, which tells you which vegetables and fruits to mix. I could even apply this to even for smoothies for the kiddos and the adults!

If you are wondering when to start solids, or have concerns about feeding your baby solid food, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this book. You can plan ahead and have 3 months of baby food ready by the time your baby is 6 months old and ready to start solids! I really wish I had introduced the variety of flavors and textures that are presented in this book for my little one sooner.  

Good luck! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: The Bump Pregancy Planner and Journal

I was really excited to get The Bump's Pregancy Planner and Journal in the mail yesterday!! It's absolutely adorable and a wonderful keepsake for your child. I really wish I had had this with my first child. It is well organized by month/week of the pregnancy. A few things I find extra helpful are the sections with questions we should be asking the OB, our HR regarding maternity leave, and the Questions for the Hospital. Many times as a mom-to-be, you don't know what you should be asking. This book does a great job laying out the questions you need to be able to answer.

For each month, it lays out "What I did this month", "What I'm Feeling", and a couple other questions to help journal thoughts during pregnancy. I also like the spots available for baby bump pictures each trimester has a folder for keepsakes.

I definitely plan to use this with my next pregnancy! I highly recommend this book for all moms-to-be. What a great gift to your child and to yourself!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review: Salsas and Moles

I am totally addicted to hot sauce... I literally put hot sauce on EVERYTHING... including eggs, soups, chili, pasta, pizza, rice, meats! I am obsessed. I couldn't wait to receive the Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider in the mail! My mouth literally watered as I flipped through this book! 

I've never really cooked with chilies or made authentic Mexican food from scratch, so this cook feels slightly overwhelming. However, "The Essential Guide to Chiles" section is comprehensive, including the types of fresh chilies and dried chilies (including pictures), and how to work with the chilies (choosing, cleaning, toasting, soaking, pureeing, and frying). This cookbook ranges from really easy recipes to very complex salsas and sauces. I don't think I'll be working with the hotter chilies to create hot sauces, but, I definitely plan to use the recipes for the classic table salsas! Yum!!!

I would definitely recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves cooking Mexican food, or those friends who enjoy making their own hot sauces!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Review: The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

I selected The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl+Spoon by Sara Forte because my family absolutely loves BOWL food. Unfortunately, the bowl foods in this recipe book wasn't exactly what I was thinking of in terms of BOWL food. For example, roasted carrots are not something we would eat using a spoon or eat from a bowl.

I love the size of the book, the hard cover, the beautiful pictures of all of the dishes! The recipes seem fairly easy to make. However, the recipes use lots of ingredients and I should have known the type of cooking based on "whole foods" written on the cover. I do like that the recipes incorporates a lots of vegetables, but I would have preferred more recipes for soups/stews/etc. This would be a great cookbook for vegetarians.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Reivew: Bread and Butter

A little less than two years ago, my sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Even though I've been fortunate enough not to have any signs of it, I figured I would check out the Bread and Butter cookbook by Erin Mckenna to see what gluten-free baking was like. Let me first start off by stating that this cookbook is very well made! With the hard cover, full colorful pages, and glossy paper (because we know it's impossible NOT to spill ingredients while baking), the book itself is great! 

I think the most important part of the book is actually in the introduction. Erin goes over the basics about the ingredients used in gluten-free/vegan baking. Many of the ingredients are not my go-to's, so I needed all the help I could get. There is also a section, The Help Desk, that covers frequently asked questions, which is very helpful. For example, the recipes were developed using active dry yeast, so NO, you should not use rapid-rise yeast. 

All-in-all, the recipes are easy to follow, and if you are on a gluten-free or vegan diet, I would recommend checking this cookbook out. However, if you aren't, I'm not sure this is the right book for you. Personally, I am not on a gluten-free or vegan diet. It seems like a lot of work to make homemade gluten-free/vegan English muffins when I can easily go buy a pack at the store. I will be giving this book to my sister, since she's been craving carbs and loves to bake!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: Inspiralized

I've heard a lot of great things about the spiralizer, but I'm still not sure I'm convinced yet... so I decided to take a look at the Inspiralized cookbook by Ali Maffucci to decide whether or not I want to invest in one of these kitchen gadgets. The spiralizer is basically a $30 veggie cutter that cuts in 3 different ways (ribbon style, fettuccine style, and linguine style). 

This specific cookbook provides of a list of various veggies that can be "spiralized" and creative but easy recipes using those veggies. The book is filled with beautiful colored pictures of the dishes, hints and tips, and easy to follow directions. There are plenty of recipes for breakfasts, snacks/sides, soups/stews/salads, sandwiches, wraps, casseroles, "rice" dishes, pasta/noodles, and even desserts! The recipes exclude butter, dairy milk, cream, sugar, mayo, cream cheese, and white bread! There are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo recipes (clearly classified as such)! 

I think this book, along with a spiralizer is a great gift set for your cooking friends and family who are looking to eat healthier. However, personally, I'm not sure I'm convinced to invest in the Spiralizer. I'm not sure I can really turn in my pasta for zucchini quite yet. There are plenty of recipes using other veggies and fruits, such as beets, broccoli stems, butternut squash, carrots, celery root, cucumber, parsnips, radish, apples, pears, etc., but I'm just not convinced yet. 

If you already have a Spiralizer, I would recommend checking out the book. You may find some great ideas for other ways to use your Spiralizer!  

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Book Review: The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

Before I begin my review of the The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, I should first begin by saying that I actually don't have a pressure cooker... YET. I selected this book mostly out of curiosity and to educate myself on the option of cooking with a pressure cooker. My mom and grandma always cooked with one, but out of fear, I just never have.

This book has a great introduction of do's and don'ts when it comes to cooking with a pressure cooker. The intro alone was enough to inspire me to actually order an electric pressure cooker (my person preference due to all the bells and whistles to the newer models). The book is broken down into chapters by breakfast, soups, meat, poultry, fish/shellfish, vegetables/beans/grains, and desserts.

There are a few things that really stand out about the recipes:
1. SUPER easy steps. Most of the recipes are only a handful of steps!!
2. Ingredients I can pronounce! I can't stand cook books with 15 ingredients I've never heard of! Most of the ingredients used are items I would have on hand or would mostly use for other dishes as well.
3. HUGE soup recipe section. Soup is one of my personal favorite foods, and I love the variety of recipes. The best part, even though I may not have a pressure cooker yet, I can still adapt the recipes for either on stove cooking, or even crock pot cooking!

All-in-all. I love the cookbook! This is such a great gift idea with an electric pressure cooker for your food/cooking loving family and friends!

Looks like I know what I'll be adding to my Christmas this year!

Happy cooking!

I received this book for review from blogging for books!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Review: The Paleo Chef

Last October, I tried WHOLE30 eating plan. I was fairly successful at losing weight on the WHOLE30 plan. However, the menu got boring really quickly. I was looking for a book that would give me some ideas. Even though I'm no longer on WHOLE30, I still like to make WHOLE30 recipes. I decided to get The Paleo Chef because the principles are fairly close to WHOLE30.

The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans is absolutely beautifully put together. There are pictures for every recipe. However, I was very disappointed by the actual recipes. They required too many ingredients I don't have in the house. I don't foresee myself making many of the recipes because of the ingredients list. I will do some substitutions here and there, but if I had seen the recipes for the book prior, I would not have purchased this book.

If you enjoy using unique ingredients and are looking to expand your paleo menu, this might be the book for you... but for our family, this cookbook was not what our taste buds were looking for.

I received this book for review from Blogging For Books.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Review: The Dawn of Christmas

I didn't realize I had already read this The Dawn of Christmas in the 3 book compilation of Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall. As I started reading it, I thought the story line sounded sooo familiar. And long and behold, I already read it! 

Here is the review of The Dawn of Christmas.

The Dawn of Christmas is the story of Sadie and Levi. Levi's former sister-in-law left his brother and nephew. His focus is on helping his brother raise his nephew, his job of toy making and training horses. Sadie, heart broken from the deception of her ex-fiance, she focuses on making soaps and raising money for mission trips. When Sadie saves Levi after being thrown from a horse, they decide to pretend to court to stop the pressuring from their family. As Sadie's ex-fiance ends up being Levi's business partner, trouble stirs. 

I absolutely loved the book and would recommend it for women of all ages!