Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Dairy Good Cookbook by Lisa Kingsley

The Dairy Good Cookbook
Everyday Comfort Food from America's Dairy Farm Families
Author: Lisa Kingsley
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449465032
Hardcover: 256 pages
Release Date: June 2, 2015

About the Book:
The Dairy Good Cookbook is a celebration of the world of the 47,000 dairy farm families and their contributions to American life. The 115 recipes showcase the taste of dairy in many forms, from cheese to yogurt, milk, and butter. The book gives a unique perspective through recipes and photographs of a day in the life of dairy farms, cows, and the farmers who bring us our dairy.

Dairy farming is one of the hardest types of farming there is, and these farmers take a tremendous sense of pride in their work. Ninety-five percent of the 49,000 dairy farms in America are family owned, and many families have continued to own their farms for generations. Milk is in their blood. The Dairy Good Cookbook showcases the lives of these hard-working farmers across the country. This book celebrates not only the love that people have for dairy foods, but it also pays tribute to the dairy farmers—and even the cows that make all this great cuisine possible.

The book is divided into six sections organized by a day in the life of a dairy farmer, beginning with Sunrise and ending at Sundown, along with other special days in the year (including holidays and family get-togethers). Each chapter highlights one of six different types of dairy cows and includes profiles of both large and small dairy producers. Nothing soothes the soul quite like a warm bit of Macaroni & Cheese, Apple Cheddar Pizza, Apricot Dijon Pork Chops, or a taste of Dairyman's Chocolate Cake. The 115 recipes include dishes from the archives of Dairy Management, Inc. as well as family favorites from farmers themselves. Tips on cooking with dairy are included along with family-friendly recipes and myriad photographs of the food and farms.

Unlike other foods that we consume, where our milk originates is probably less than 100 miles from our homes. Dairy is still a small, community-based business, and dairy farmers are the original environmentalists since their livelihood depends on the health and well-being of their animals and where they live. This cookbook has the endorsement and support of Dairy Management, Inc., the umbrella organization to which all of America's dairy farmers belong. Carla Hall from The Chew has contributed the foreword, and it will be released in early June for National Dairy Month.

My Thoughts:

I grew up in dairy country and spent many hours milking, feeding and taking care of cows. This delightful book brought back so many memories: from the life of dairy farming to the wonderful taste taste of fresh milk and dairy and the amazing recipes made from them!

The above description of the book really does a fine job, so I won't rehash what is already there. The recipes I tried were delicious. The Apple-Pecan Coffee Cake, Pepper and Egg Brunch Bake, Creamy Pea Soup, and Cajun Mac and Cheese are ones I will certainly make again. One thing I found difficult was to sit and find just recipe I wanted to try. They all sound soooo good, but even worse for me was the beautiful photography that is throughout. Not only is the food photography superb, but the many farm photos that are sprinkled throughout the book were a tremendous distraction! This book is so beautiful, you could easily put it out as a coffee table book.

Full of stunning photographs, delicious recipes and information about farm life and cows, this book will delight anyone that loves good down home cooking, dreams about being on a farm or someone that just loves a beautiful cookbook to add to their collection. Celebrate National Dairy Month by purchasing your copy in June.

The Dairy Good Cookbook book comes VERY HIGHLY recommended!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude

The Sussex Downs Murder
A British Library Crime Classic
Author: John Bude
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publishing Date:   May 5 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9781464203718
eBook ISBN: 9781464203725
Print Length: 210 pages

About the Book:
'Already it looked as if the police were up against a carefully planned and cleverly executed murder, and, what was more, a murder without a corpse!’

Two brothers, John and William Rother, live together at Chalklands Farm in the beautiful Sussex Downs. Their peaceful rural life is shattered when John Rother disappears and his abandoned car is found. Has he been kidnapped? Or is his disappearance more sinister – connected, perhaps, to his growing rather too friendly with his brother’s wife?

Superintendent Meredith is called to investigate – and begins to suspect the worst when human bones are discovered on Chalklands farmland. His patient, careful detective method begins slowly to untangle the clues as suspicion shifts from one character to the next.

This classic detective novel from the 1930s is now republished for the first time, with an introduction by the award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards.
My Thoughts:

There is something about a good British mystery that can't be topped. From the way the mystery is presented to the inquisitive detective, the Brits just know how to draw the reader in and keep them captive from beginning to end and believe me, "The Sussex Downs Murder" is no exception.

From the opening pages, we meet John and William Rother. Both run a business making and selling lime. When John leaves on a trip, he says goodbye to his brother and his wife, reminding the brother to take good care of the business. John's car is found abandoned with other clues that scream foul play.

Enter Superintendent Meredith... He has been called to lead the investigation and he leaves no stones upturned as he searches for answers - following lead after lead and suspecting first one then another. Full of great red herrings, this book will leave the reader guessing through to then end.

This captivating mystery was written in 1936 by Ernest Carpenter Elmore, an English theatre producer and director who penned his mystery novels under the pseudonym John Bude. He published more than 30 crime novels, this being the 3rd. Elmore died at the young age of 56 in 1957.

Recommended to those that love British mysteries, Agatha Christie, or any well written mystery that has some good red herrings!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Eight Hundred Grapes
A Novel
Author: Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: June 2, 2015
ISBN: 9781476789255
Hardcover: 272 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction

About the Book:
A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she's describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…
My Thoughts:

"Eight Hundred Grapes" delivered something far from what I was expecting. I expected to find an average romance taking place at a winery. What I got was a story that was rich and full and complex but at the same time, so very simple and can be summed up in one sentence. It's a story about what one wants out of life and what will have to be sacrificed for it.

Within the beautiful setting of a vineyard, the story is rich with information of what it takes to masterful at making a great wine and also the lessons of life that come with it. The main character, Georgia Ford discovers herself and her true desires and needs when she returns home a few days before her wedding.

This mesmerizing look at Georgia and her return to find a not perfect family made this a wonderful and hard-to-put down story. Easy to read, yet complex to a point, I found a ring of truth to the situation: when we lose our rose colored glasses and see life for what it is.

I enjoyed Georgia and her struggles and found myself adoring Jacob and Dan. The shifting from present to past was not difficult because the past was in 3rd person and the present was in 1st person. The ending was a bit predictable but was truly satisfying.

If you are looking for a decent Women's fiction book to read this summer, look no further. "Eight Hundred Grapes" is a wonderful book that will entertain you with humor, drama and self-realization.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.