A Little of this and that.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Best and Lightest

The Best and Lightest

150 Healthy Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

by the editors of Food Network Magazine

I have watched The Food Network for many years and some of my favorite shows are the ones that showcase healthy and light recipes that I can try out on my family. I was offered to review a copy of their cookbook, The Best and Lightest, as long as I would give my honest opinion about the book. I was thrilled to be able to review this book as I was sure that there would be some outstanding recipes for me to try!

Included in the book is recipes for any meal of the day and best part of that is that they are all under 500 calories. Another thing I really love about this book is that each recipe includes the nutritional information. Not only that but each and every recipe has a full color picture to go along with it. I find myself only wanting to try out new recipes if I can visually see what they look like before I even take a bite.

The book has a very nice index listing of over 150 different recipes. It includes sandwiches, meat, poultry, soups, breakfast, side dishes, sweets, and pasta, so it's easy to find something to enjoy for everyone. Another plus to this cookbook is the recipes you readily available ingredients that you could find at your corner grocery store. You don't have to go to multiple stores to find the ingredients to make a dish. For me that is a huge plus!

The Best and Lightest will be a favorite in my kitchen. We have decided to start eating healthier and with the variety of recipes to choose from I can see myself coming back to this cookbook again and again.

I received this complimentary book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Jeff Davidson

I am not a parent, or a grandparent, of a child with special needs but this book "No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches" really spoke to my heart.  It lets you peek into the lives of parents with special needs children and their community.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know a little more about special needs children or may be in a relationship with someone with a special needs child.  I think it will encourage any reader who may fit in this category. 

I also think if you do not know what it is like to have a child with special needs this will help you find some perspective on it and how to better relate to those you know who do.  I also think it is a great find for parents who are raising kids with special needs of any kind.   The author has a son with various special needs but even if we are not in that situation we can relate to them in the knowing of what it is like as we journey through our life.

It will also make you think hard and look at the way you treat others regardless of their different abilities.  This book made me think about my relationship with loved ones, friends and with God. We may find out that the best things in our lives are the hardest struggles of all.  This book motivates me to be a better friend, neighbor, parent, grandparent, person, and Christian!

This book was provided as a complimentary copy through Book Crash for my honest review.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Delicious Tamales Made Easy


Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals
By Alice Guadalupe Tapp

Tamales are one of my favorite Mexican foods of all. Actually they are one of my favorite foods of all times! This book teaches you how to make delicious tamales with a lot less work and time. If you follow the authors directions you can make tamales in as little as three or four steps. These tamales are also made in a lot less time than the traditional way that I learned years ago. You can have tamales in less than one hour!

There are over 60 recipes in this cookbook so you can try all kind of different tamales. If Chicken is your favorite meat than try the Chicken Mole. You are a beef lover? Then try the Sirloin Beef and Fresh Poblano and Potato tamales.
These recipes will become your family favorites to be enjoyed every day and on holidays. This cookbook will teach you that Tamales are fast and easy enough to enjoy every day, and delicious enough to serve at any celebration.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Furry Logic A Guide to LIfe's Little Challenges

I received the book Furry Logic, A Guide to Life's Little Challenges written by Jane Seabrook from Blogging for Books to review.  

This book is so cute and fun.  I really enjoyed the humor and the quotes and expressions of the animals.  One of my favorites was the hippo.  "When you're in hot water up to your ears... it pays to keep your mouth shut."  How true is that! The penguin that teaches us "Always remember you are unique...just like everyone else."  

The illustrations are quite nice.  Some of the pages are bright in color and other pages are more subdued but still beautiful.  This little book of pure sunshine would make a perfect gift for someone in the hospital or sick or really anyone who needs a bit of humor in their life.  

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

River City Quilters' Guild Quilt Show

I had the pleasure of attending the Sacramento River City Quilters' Guild Quilt Show last weekend at the Scottish Rite Temple in Sacramento, California.  There were over 200 quilts on display. They awarded quilts in over 20 different categories.  This quilt quild is very industrious and puts on a quilt show every year!

There was so many beautiful quilts it was hard to pick my favorite.  I took pictures on my cell phone but the pictures were not very good for some reason.  Usually my phone takes excellent photos but not the other day.  I asked permission from the ladies from Quilt Inspiration blog if I could post their pictures and they graciously agreed that I could.  So thank you again Marina and Daryl!

Geraniums by Laurel Anderson

have had the privilege of meeting and talking to Laurel Anderson before.  She is a very sweet, talented and an award winning textile artist and applique quilt designer.  She came and did a presentation and talk to the Quilt Guild that I attend.  She was to come back and teach a class for us but for some reason it had to be cancelled.    This quilt won Laurel a Second Place in the category Appliqued Large Quilt.  

Lava Lamp also by Laurel Anderson and Lin Squires


This quilt was inspired by designs of the 1960's.  The fabric colors move from dark to light in 9 shades with shimmers of gold and silver. Laurel has a pattern available at her website that I had previously purchased.  Now I really want to make a quilt like this!  This quilt won her and Lin Squires a 2nd place ribbon in the category of 2-person quilt -Pieced and Appliqued.

Twilight Star of Indonesia made and quilted by Susan Kooiman

This quilt was paper pieced and based on a pattern by Judy Mathieson.  It was made of beautiful batiks in orange, red, gold and deep blue violet.  The border of the quilt is flying geese in a circular design.   The very center of the star had a beautiful gold brooch with a purple stone.

View of Arles with Irises by The Fab 5 Group (Carole Pirruccello, Cathy Brorby, Phyllis McCalla, Jan Bawart and Jan Soules)

This quilt was comprised of five different panels that represented five different views of the flowers in the fields of Arles, France.  Each artist worked on their section of the project on their own and completely independently.  The fabrics are appliqued on with three dimensional pieces.  They were trying to render  Vincent Van Gogh's "View of Arles with Irises".  I think it is wonderfully done and can't believe that they did such a great job!

Mediterranean Sunset by Phyllis McCalla and quilted by Laura Jansen

Phyllis McCalla was the featured artist at this Quilt Show.  Phyllis is a quilt teacher, Fiber Artist and Consultant.  She previously taught classes at Cloth Carousel and several years ago I had taken a few of her classes.  She started teaching quilting classes in 2006 but I took my class from her several years later.  She is also a member of the Pins and Needles Art Quilting group.  

This quilt was longarm quilted by Laura Jansen.  Laura is a member of the Quilt Guild that I attend. She does beautiful custom work and her Feathers and leaves are gorgeous.  

The Skinnytaste Cookbook

This is a great cookbook for those who want to both eat great tasting food and have it be healthier too!  I was not familiar with the author Gina Homolka's blog Skinny Taste so this book was an introduction to her philosophy of food, cooking and healthy eating.  She had tried diets and like most people was not that successful with them.  She also wanted healthy "non-diet" foods to feed herself and her family.  She started her blog for fun and to share her recipes with others like her that was looking for healthy low calorie recipes.

The section The Skinny Basics is an important part of the book to read.  I read it over twice to make sure I got it all.  It goes into great detail about Planning Ahead and Eating Healthy All Week, Taking Charge of Your Kitchen, Dump the Junk, Fall in Love with Real Food, Keep it Simple, Forget the Fads and Serve Up Perfect Portions.  The Kitchen Makeover is another good part of the book.  It goes into detail as to what type of things you should stock your pantry with and what things you should get rid of.  It also has great freezer and pantry tips that we can all use.

I would compare this book to similar books like those in the Cooking Light series.  The book uses pretty easy to find ingredients that are in most peoples pantries already and easy to follow recipes.  Most of the recipes can be make in less than an hour and there is a lot of recipes that can be made even faster.  There are lots of great pictures too.  

A few of the recipes that I have made so far, thoroughly enjoyed eating and will definitely make again are:  Slow Cooker White Bean Chili Verde, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Mongolian Beef and the Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken.  I plan on making the Cheesy Baked Penne with Eggplant and the Baked Bananas Foster a la Mode this weekend.  I would definitely like to try a few more of her dessert recipes as I am all about the dessert! 

"This book was given to me for free for my honest review from Blogging for Books.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why Dogs Are

This is a beautiful children's fiction book with beautiful illustrations.   It is a story about a dog that helps a boy who can't see or hear.  God sends him to Earth to teach the boy, Brian, that he loves him. I agree that God loves us all.  I enjoyed the part of the story that tells you that dogs are wonderful, lovable and helpful companions.  I totally agree that dogs are great!  I have always had a dog in my family and consider my dogs part of my family.

"Go to Brian and just love him.  Stay by his side.  Let him lean on you.  Help him walk with confidence.  Let him hug your neck".  Then it goes on to say "From now on I will call you DOG - that's God spelled backwards".  

I really did not agree with the way the author wrote the story that Brian needed a helper so God sent him to Earth to help the little boy out.  The story then goes on to state that because the dog did a good job God decided to send other dogs to Earth.  I really didn't care that the book took something about God and Heaven and made it appear as a fact when in fact it has no biblical basis.  I was really bothered with that part of the book.

I read the book to my six year old grandson Connor.  I believe that Connor enjoyed the pictures and hearing about how much this dog loved the little boy Brian but he was confused by the fact that the book says "God then shouted after him, If you do a good job, I will send more dogs to Earth".   He was totally confused by that and I had to explain to him that it was just a story and not actually a fact. 

I thought the illustrations were very nicely done and any child who likes dogs will enjoy looking at this book but I really wouldn't recommend it to others.  You can find out more about the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Thank you to BookCrash for providing this book to me for free for my honest review.