Beverly L. (bevychap) - Reviews

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Captive Heart
Captive Heart
Author: Phoebe Conn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/30/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is a romance between a Viking and a french slave girl, similar style to the Flame and the Flower -- in other words, good old trashy romance. Unusual setting and situations for this type of book.


Review Date: 9/19/2012


In July, I received a copy of Celestes Best cookbook and took a couple of months to try some of the recipes.

As background, my family is gluten-free and we also avoid corn products and yeast. I have cooked from many gluten free cookbooks, but never found one that avoided corn as well. So that was my initial interest in Celestes Best. She suggests a corn-free alternative to xanthan gum, has several ways to make corn-free puddings and icings, and best of all, writes all her recipes using baking soda + cream of tartar instead of baking powder (which typically contains corn starch).

But the most unusual aspect of the cookbook, which I didnt even recognize until I started reading through it, is the YEAST FREE, gluten free bread recipes. Real bread, by the way fluffy loaf bread that BENDS and does not crumble. Thats pretty major for any gluten free bread, but especially for one that is also yeast-free. Plus, when I made it, it worked for me the very first time I did not have to develop my technique at all. If you can make muffins, you can make this bread.

Thats not even my favorite part, though. The very, very best part is that over the past couple of months it has become one of my very few go-to cookbooks, one where I trust that every single recipe will work the first time. I would have no problems making an untried recipe for Serious Important Company. I believe all of the recipes were tested by the author unlike many other gluten free cookbooks.

Besides the bread recipes (which also include bagels, hamburger buns, and several styles of pizza crust) and dessert recipes, the cookbook includes a really great selection of entrée items, vegetable dishes, condiments, and appetizers. The selection is what Id describe as realistic not so basic that you could have done it without a recipe but still within the average home cooks reach, most of them on a weeknight. And again, they all WORK. For example, after trying the Stuffed Peppers recipe, my vegetable-averse husband looked at me and said You can make that any time you want!

As with anything, though, there are a few cons along with all the pros. The biggest drawback is that even with a well-stocked gluten free pantry, it took me a long time to get all the special ingredients together. Then, I had to mix up a special flour blend, which is a big peeve for me with many cookbooks if, like me, youre always experimenting from different cookbooks, you could end up with 5 or 6 different blends. I also had to purchase an immersion blender to make the bread.

With all that in mind the extra ingredients and equipment were completely worth it when my husband was able to eat bread for the first time in 15 years! Not just any bread, either, but delicious and easy-to-make homemade bread. Id enthusiastically recommend Celestes Best as an all-around cookbook to anyone with a gluten intolerance, but especially to those with other food sensitivities (milk, soy and and nuts are also avoided, just not an issue for us).


Celeste's Best Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes: Over 250 Recipes Free of Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Casein, Soy, Corn, Nuts and Yeast
Review Date: 9/19/2012


In July, I received a copy of Celestes Best cookbook and took a couple of months to try some of the recipes.

As background, my family is gluten-free and we also avoid corn products and yeast. I have cooked from many gluten free cookbooks, but never found one that avoided corn as well. So that was my initial interest in Celestes Best. She suggests a corn-free alternative to xanthan gum, has several ways to make corn-free puddings and icings, and best of all, writes all her recipes using baking soda + cream of tartar instead of baking powder (which typically contains corn starch).

But the most unusual aspect of the cookbook, which I didnt even recognize until I started reading through it, is the YEAST FREE, gluten free bread recipes. Real bread, by the way fluffy loaf bread that BENDS and does not crumble. Thats pretty major for any gluten free bread, but especially for one that is also yeast-free. Plus, when I made it, it worked for me the very first time I did not have to develop my technique at all. If you can make muffins, you can make this bread.

Thats not even my favorite part, though. The very, very best part is that over the past couple of months it has become one of my very few go-to cookbooks, one where I trust that every single recipe will work the first time. I would have no problems making an untried recipe for Serious Important Company. I believe all of the recipes were tested by the author unlike many other gluten free cookbooks.

Besides the bread recipes (which also include bagels, hamburger buns, and several styles of pizza crust) and dessert recipes, the cookbook includes a really great selection of entrée items, vegetable dishes, condiments, and appetizers. The selection is what Id describe as realistic not so basic that you could have done it without a recipe but still within the average home cooks reach, most of them on a weeknight. And again, they all WORK. For example, after trying the Stuffed Peppers recipe, my vegetable-averse husband looked at me and said You can make that any time you want!

As with anything, though, there are a few cons along with all the pros. The biggest drawback is that even with a well-stocked gluten free pantry, it took me a long time to get all the special ingredients together. Then, I had to mix up a special flour blend, which is a big peeve for me with many cookbooks if, like me, youre always experimenting from different cookbooks, you could end up with 5 or 6 different blends. I also had to purchase an immersion blender to make the bread.

With all that in mind the extra ingredients and equipment were completely worth it when my husband was able to eat bread for the first time in 15 years! Not just any bread, either, but delicious and easy-to-make homemade bread. Id enthusiastically recommend Celestes Best as an all-around cookbook to anyone with a gluten intolerance, but especially to those with other food sensitivities (milk and nuts are also avoided, just not an issue for us).


Cinematherapy Goes to the Oscars
Cinematherapy Goes to the Oscars
Author: Nancy Peske, Beverly West
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/12/2007


Fun!! Lots of great ideas for girls movie night, and a fun read, too.


City of Ash
City of Ash
Author: Megan Chance
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/8/2011


This is the third Megan Chance book I've read, and I'm starting to think that she's reworking the same book over and over again. The setting in this one was more detailed and made for a richer historical novel, but overall it had the same elements as The Spritualist and An Inconvenient Wife: the same abusive husband, the wife's need for esacape, laudanum, accusations of insanity, the lover, and a good dose of suspense in the end. All good things, if you read each book individually.


The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook: Every Recipe Is Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, and Eggs
Review Date: 9/17/2013


Accessible yet interesting collectin of recipes - Really balanced collection that includes apps, breakfasts, sweets, meals, components (like dressings and frostings), breads, and 'fakes'. I really want to try the pumpkin bars with oatmeal crust.

Note, many recipes contain corn.


The Complete Gluten-Free Whole Grains Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes from Amaranth to Quinoa to Wild Rice
Review Date: 8/7/2013


The most interesting part of this cookbook was actually the 'cold salad' section, where the author has several creative recipes for cold salads made with grains - including faux barley.

The rest of the cookbook was practical, but in some ways basic. I saw recipes for arroz con pollo, stir-fried rice, baked chicken and rice... As an experienced gluten free cook, I kind of have the rice dishes covered already. However, the great pictures and accessible, nearly-one-dish recipes should make this a favorite cookbook for many.


Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals
Review Date: 11/26/2012


This cookbook was, in a word, adorable. You can clearly tell this mom is trying to tempt her son to eat - at least I hope that's how she came up with pancakes covered in warm cinnamon goo, sloppy joe stuffed potatoes, sandwiches using waffles as the bread, and some of the most inventive desserts I've seen in a while.

What it isn't - a book of quick meals for a busy mom. You might find a few such recipes - but in general, while accessible, these recipes will all take a little work.


Cool Wheat-Free Recipes: Delicious & Fun Foods Without Gluten
Cool Wheat-Free Recipes: Delicious & Fun Foods Without Gluten
Author: Nancy Tuminelly
Book Type: Library Binding
  • Currently 1/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/3/2013


This was a children's cookbook, part of a series, with a total of seven - SEVEN - recipes. Very disappointing.


Crochet Boutique: 30 Simple, Stylish Hats, Bags & Accessories
Crochet Boutique: 30 Simple, Stylish Hats, Bags & Accessories
Author: Rachael Oglesby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/17/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Very accessible - good crochet book for beginners who already know the basic stitches. Also good as a "quick projects" book for a more experienced crocheter - even though simple, these projects LOOK sophisticated.

While the photography was stunning (and possibly the main appeal of this book), there was a lack of diagrams. Sometimes, the photos did not even show the full finished piece.

Includes a lot of hats and scarves, a few simple clothing items, and items for the home. Cowl people, this is your book.

Update 10/2/13: I have made 2 of these projects and it is quickly turning into my favorite crochet book ever! The directions are easy to understand but the finished pieces all look special and polished.


Crochet for the Kitchen: Over 50 Patterns for Placemats, Potholders, Hand Towels, and Dishcloths Using Crochet and Tunisian Crochet Techniques
Review Date: 9/17/2013
Helpful Score: 1


The content of this book was almost all potholders with a few placemats. Most (not all) of the patterns seemed to rely heavily on color changes rather than pattern to provide interest. No diagrams, but clear detailed photographs.

This would be a great pattern book if you are really, really into crocheting potholders. I was hoping for more/different placemats and perhaps other kitchen accessories like coasters, trivets, tea cozies, etc. (Maybe I should have read the subtitle more closely).


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4422
Review Date: 1/12/2007


I read this as part of a book club, and to be honest, I didn't really want to read it at first. I was really surprised at how drawn in I was to the lead character's POV, and how interesting the plot development was. This was a good, enjoyable read - no deep thought required, unless you want to.


Dark Stranger (Slater Brothers, Bk 1)
Dark Stranger (Slater Brothers, Bk 1)
Author: Heather Graham Pozzessere
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 3/19/2008
Helpful Score: 2


My favorite thing about this book was the unusual setting - "Bleeding Kansas" during the civil war. Strong female characters, lots of trashy stuff. The male characters weren't as compelling.


Data Driven: Profiting from Your Most Important Business Asset
Review Date: 7/7/2011


Very academic, reads like a textbook that nobody ever expected anyone to apply anywhere.


Daughter of Fortune
Daughter of Fortune
Author: Isabel Allende, Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 206
Review Date: 1/28/2007
Helpful Score: 7


This is one of those rare books that I can appreciate both on a literary level at the same time as I wallow in the romance and suspense. [Warning: cliche coming] I couldn't put it down! Seriously, you have to read this one - and ignore all her others, Allende appears to be a one book author.


Deliciously G-Free: Gluten-Free Cooking You've Just Got to Taste
Review Date: 5/20/2012
Helpful Score: 3


Remarkably authentic and accessible for a celebrity cookbook! I found a variety of foods, all with a home-cooked feel, and all with ingredients that were both easily obtainable, and truly gluten free. Many kid-friendly recipes as well. Even though I've been cooking gluten free for a while, I came away with several new ideas and recipes to try.


Desktop Yoga: The Anytime, Anywhere Relaxation Program for Office Slaves, Internet Addicts, and Stressed-Out Students
Review Date: 3/9/2011


Thin in volume and content. This book offers some very basic stretches for office workers, a few comments on ergonomics, and not much else. Most disappointing was its failure to compose any kind of yoga practice out of the individual stretching exercises.


Dragon Bound (Elder Races, Bk 1)
Dragon Bound (Elder Races, Bk 1)
Author: Thea Harrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 129
Review Date: 1/14/2012


Great concept, good writing, and lots of steamy romance (They get busy about page 47), but "being chased around" as a plot device doesn't play well with me. That puts it somewhere around 3 1/2 stars - with the recognition that it really is a personal peeve of mine getting in the way.


The Dress Lodger
The Dress Lodger
Author: Sheri Holman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 216
Review Date: 1/14/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Really fascinating, well written historical novel. Not terribly romantic, however.


Easy to Crochet Potholders: Over 25 Patterns for Everyday Use, Handmade Gifts, and Holiday Fun
Review Date: 12/21/2011


The patterns in this book were NOT easy to follow. Sometimes, they didn't even give turning instructions, and they didn't list the recommended type of yarn.

I have been doing crochet for years, yet could not get one pattern to work out at all. Finally, I was able to make the waffle potholder -- I suspect only because I have done waffle patterns in the past, with much better instructions.

The patterns really weren't particularly cute or creative either.

Overall, good idea for a quick-project book, but not user friendly.


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