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Book Review: Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther

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Title: Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen
Author: Jennifer McGruther
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 978-1-60774-931-8

About the Book:

Broths and stocks have always had a central place in kitchens around the world owing to their ability to comfort, nourish, and heal. In Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen and an authority in the traditional foods movement, illustrates why a good broth or stock is the foundation of amazing and wholesome cooking. Included are over a dozen master recipes for base stocks and then 40 recipes using these stocks in complete meals. These accessible recipes are appropriate for vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat eaters alike and showcase the nutrient-dense, real food that nourishes the body and soul. The Whole Chicken Broth is the perfect base for Springtime Risotto with Asparagus, Green Garlic, and Chive Blossoms, while the recipe for Fish Stock will bring new life to a classic dish like New England Clam Chowder. People are catching on to this centuries old appreciation of bone and vegetable based broths, and Jennifer McGruther shows how these can be made quickly and cost-effectively at home.

About the Author:

Jennifer McGruther is a food educator, the creator of the award-winning traditional foods website, Nourished Kitchen (www.nourishedkitchen.com) and the author of The Nourished Kitchen. She teaches workshops on traditional foods, fermentation, as well as food activism. Jennifer lives with her husband and
son in Washington State.

My Review:

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Book Review: BigLaw by Lindsay Cameronb

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Title: BigLaw
Author: Lindsay Cameron
ISBN: 978-1-63425-027-6
Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Ankerwycke
Pub Date: 9/7/2015

Synopsis:

The Devil Wears Prada meets One L, BIGLAW provides an insider’s view of the cut-throat world of big New York law firms.

Mackenzie Corbett has always dreamed of living in New York City. Now, almost two years into her job as an associate at a premier Manhattan law firm, she’s living her fantasy–big salary, high profile deals, cute boyfriend, designer bag on her arm. The giant bags under her eyes from lack of sleep don’t fit into the fantasy, though. To make matters worse, she’s being tormented by a bitter, bitchy senior associate, her cute boyfriend is annoyed she never has time for him, and now she’s stuck on the deal from hell with a partner whose biggest claim to fame is throwing a stapler at a cleaning lady because she touched his ficus plant.

With the opportunity to secure a prestigious secondment on line, the overachiever in her is determined to endure whatever it takes to close the biggest deal in the firm’s history. But when Mackenzie finds herself the focus of a devastating investigation her dream job begins spiraling into a nightmare.

In this pitch perfect, frightening accurate novel, Lindsay Cameron throws back the curtain to this intriguing world exposing the truth about life in Biglaw.

My Review:

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Book Review: Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart

bread

This bread book goes against the norms of normal bread baking books.  Standard flour will not cut it for the majority of recipes.  I found myself utilizing the internet to provide the required types of grain, which sadly increased the cost of my at home experiments.  Darn those boring normal grocery stores all around me.

Furthermore, I am no expert baker or even a novice bake at that.  All this seemed to quite intimidating to me at first: creating yeast culture from scratch, sprouting wheat berries, and let’s not forget the long prep times to get everything ready.  However, the book handles this well, and managed to keep me from feeling a little in over my head.  It provides a list of useful toots, some history and most thankfully a tutorial of everything you will need to know to perform the recipes.  This was enough to allow me to produce rather edible concoctions.  With more time and experience, I will probably get better at it since this is an art form after all.

The numerous recipes are easy to follow, and most included additional variations as well.  The explanations in the tutorial cover the thought process of the author, which I found really helpful as a newbie bread maker.  This images of the recipes were quite lovely, however I had little luck achieving the same glamour; maybe with time.  One strange aspect about this cook book is the fact it was rather enjoyable to read.

4 out of 5 stars

Review by P.S.

Received a free copy through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review – Beijing Bastard by Val Wang

beijing bastard

Synopsis from back book cover:

A humorous and moving coming-of-age story that brings a unique, not-quite-outsider’s perspective to China’s shift from ancient empire to modern superpower

Raised in a strict Chinese-American household in the suburbs, Val Wang dutifully got good grades, took piano lessons, and performed in a Chinese dance troupe—until she shaved her head and became a leftist, the stuff of many teenage rebellions. But Val’s true mutiny was when she moved to China, the land her parents had fled before the Communist takeover in 1949.

Val arrives in Beijing in 1998 expecting to find freedom but instead lives in the old city with her traditional relatives, who wake her at dawn with the sound of a state-run television program playing next to her cot, make a running joke of how much she eats, and monitor her every move. But outside, she soon discovers a city rebelling against its roots just as she is, struggling too to find a new, modern identity. Rickshaws make way for taxicabs, skyscrapers replace hutong courtyard houses, and Beijing prepares to make its debut on the world stage with the 2008 Olympics. And in the gritty outskirts of the city where she moves, a thriving avant-garde subculture is making art out of the chaos. Val plunges into the city’s dizzying culture and nightlife and begins shooting a documentary, about a Peking Opera family who is witnessing the death of their traditional art.

Brilliantly observed and winningly told, Beijing Bastard is a compelling story of a young woman finding her place in the world and of China, as its ancient past gives way to a dazzling but uncertain future.

My Review: (more…)