Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Anne Burrell, Calista Taylor, and Stephen Savage

So I got a no from the Diocesan House on the job there and also a no from the PT Recreation job. My paid internship interview with the State Library went well on Tuesday I think, so I'm just waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, I will include my latest couple of books read. 

Where's Walrus? by Steven Savage
One of the selections for the Mock Caldecott, this was one of my least favorite of their selections. The illustrations were cute, but the story left a little to be desired, even the baby got bored with it. In this wordless picture book, a curious walrus decides to leave the zoo and go exploring in the city, while the zookeeper follows him. He finally ends up at a diving competition where he takes the first prize, so the zookeeper decides to built him a diving board so he can do that at the zoo. Recommended for ages 5 month - 5 yrs, 2 stars. 

Devil on a Sparrow's Wing by Calista Taylor
Loved this book, but was disappointed at the suddenness of its ending, hence the four star rating instead of five (though I devoured this book faster than the first). This volume of the Viridis series was more about adventure, though there was a little mystery thrown in from the viewpoint of wondering what would happen next. 

At the beginning of the book, Phoebe has just recently married Seth and they are living together happily. Phoebe has created Sanctis, another herbal concoction based off Viridis that sharpens one's senses. Needless to say, when the two herbals are mixed, there are some interesting outcomes. We, the readers, are finally introduced to Gavin's family who live in the Highlands and are practically a family to Seth as well. After an encounter with Gavin in the Highlands that ends in some inappropriate things accidentally happening, Seth storms off in a rage and is seems to have been blown up in an explosion at the Tinkerer's Guild. Phoebe is devastated and it takes her over a year to get over it. Will she be able to find love again? Is Seth really dead? Will Gavin ever have his love of Phoebe realized? To find out, read this fascinating sequel to Viridis. Kindle ebook, 4 stars. 

The real taste of delicious Indian sweets by Karissma
I love Indian sweets, especially Galub Jamin and Jalebi, so I wanted to give this cookbook a try. The book contains a description of each dessert (though I wish there were pictures with the description instead of with the recipes).The recipes are short and simple, but my gripe is that the author switches from English to metric measurements and doesn't explain what some of the Indian ingredients included in the recipes are. 3 stars. 

Cook Like a Rock Star: 125 Recipes, Lessons, and Culinary Secrets by Anne Burrell
I watched her interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and I liked her before that after watching her cooking show on Food Network. Her cookbook is not conceited like other major chefs, and she doesn't talk down to you like you're an idiot. I knew that she worked with Mario Batali (he wrote her Forward for this book) but I never knew that she had trained in Tuscany. As a result of this, most of her recipes have an Italian slant. I like who she divided the recipes into traditional Italian dining categories (minus the first one): Piccolini ("little nibbles"), Firsts (Appetizers), Pasta, Seconds (Meat Dishes), Sides and Desserts. I love her cheese, mushroom, and prosciutto dishes; esp the Goat Cheese Cheesecake, Parmesan Flan, Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Crispy Prosciutto and Mint, Wild Mushroom Ragu, and the Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi with Fontina Fonduta.  4 stars. 

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