Monthly Archives: January 2013

Book Review: “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More”

Standard

I love cooking, I love baking. I also love cookbooks. I don’t necessarily cook anything in the cookbooks, but I do love them. I like to read them before bed. I’ll read them in a long bath (not that I get many of them). I take them to the doctor with me. I love to look at them at the book store. I prefer the ones with pictures (I’m a lot like my nine year old that way) because it makes the food come to life. I also read them. Not just skim them, but read the ingredients, the directions, the introductions and the hints. I pick up a lot of techniques that way. I also live on a budget. I don’t get to buy the number of cook books that I’d like to. Thank God that there is a library near me.

“The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More”, by Lindsay Landis, was a book I picked up off the shelf at the library. I misread the title at first, I thought it was a cookie book. I was in a rush. The library runs a program for the older kids Tuesday nights and they were there and I only had like five minutes to get books before they would notice that I was gone and would come looking for me covered in glue (that’s not the only thing they get into at the library, last week they were pulling apart baby diapers to see how much water the absorbing parts held).

That being said, I really did enjoy reading this book. I can’t tell you if the recipes are actually any good, but from the amount of reading of cook books I do I can tell you that they are at least very soundly written. And they LOOK good. I loved the pictures. And I have eaten at least one of these recipes unknowingly. My sister (she’s 20 now, so I don’t know that I can call her my “little” sister any more) has made the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles for Christmas the past two years in a row. I love them. And they don’t last for more than an hour once I tell my children they can eat them.

So, as far as cookbooks go, I would say this is a good one to read. The pictures are good, the recipes are interesting to read, the short snippets that the author puts at the beginning of each of them are good hooks to the recipes and the hints are nice and helpful. It’s not a deep or moving cook book (believe it or not I have read them) but it’s a desert book, so that is to be expected. Plus, if you just read the recipes and don’t make them, then you don’t have to worry about the calories from all that cookie dough!

*disclaimer* none of these pictures are mine, click on them to be taken to the pages they came from.

Advertisements

My Favorite Flavor

Standard

So, while trying to think of something to post (something that wasn’t depressing or school related) I stumbled upon the daily post from a few days ago and it got me thinking. The prompt was “32 Flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or something else”. I started to think of my favorite flavors. Chocolate of course is one of the best. My favorite store at the mall is See’s Chocolate, they have some of the best (all be it the sweetest) specialty chocolates around. One of my favorites is the Scotchmollow, the combination of rich dark chocolate, honey marshmallow and thick chewy caramel is to die for.

I could eat a whole pound of those if I would let myself. But that’s probably not the best idea.

Aside from chocolate, I really like apples, especially when mixed with caramel (I’m sensing a theme here), but I recently did a post on apples so I won’t do another one.

But one of my all time favorite flavors is salted caramel. Especially in the winter, because in the winter Starbucks has their salted caramel hot chocolate and it’s just to die for.

The first time I had one of these amazing drinks was a few years ago. My friend who I was with was a bit dubious of the salt that they sprinkle the drink with, but I knew it was going to be good. Salt, as I’m sure most people know, is a flavor enhancer. While most people think of it as a flavor itself, it is the most powerful when pared with other flavors. Think about it. What’s a nice stake with out a sprinkling of salt, a backed potatoes tastes much better with a bit of salt on it and, wither you know it or not, cookies are just that much sweeter when salt is added to the mix. This coco was no exception. The salt, added as a finishing touch to the top of the caramel drizzled cream, enhanced the flavor of the coco. It made it just that much sweeter and richer. At the end of the season when they put away their specialty coco flavors for the summer I wanted to cry. I waited patiently through the summer, sipping passion tea lemon aid and hopping that it would get cold soon…though not just for the coco but for relief from the 100+ temperatures that my area is known for. When the weather did start to turn I was in the drive through line of my local Starbucks, waiting impatiently for the first sip of my coveted coco. It was everything I remembered and more.

Each year I look forward to the colder temperatures so that I can get my favorite coco. Yes, I know that I can make a convincing copy at home. I can get the Starbucks coco powder, chipped cream, caramel topping and fancy salt, but it’s never the same as the first cup of coco of the season, served in a paper cup with an insulated ring of cardboard protecting my fingers from the steaming liquid inside.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth: A book review

Standard
forestofhandsandteeth
I really enjoyed the Hunger Games series. My boyfriend has been on the search for a similar post apocalyptic book for some time now. We’ve read several, “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan is just one of them. This isn’t a bad book, if just could have been so much more.

The idea behind this book is sound. A small village lives cut off from the rest of the world–if there is a rest of the world–after a zombie apocalypse. All of the elements are there. Tails of life before that few believe as more than myth or legend, a “hero” bothered by the statuesque, a cover up conspiracy…but its still lacking.

The obligatory love triangle seems forced. The protagonist comes off as a whiny spoiled brat who is so self centered that she didn’t care what happens to the people she is supposed to love. The “evil” rulers of the village are more annoying than frightening and I ended up feeling sorry for them in the end.

I know this is a zombie book and that pointless death is to be expected, but all the death in the book seemed hollow to me. Mary spends three fourths of the book saying how much she loves and hates the same people. When they die she didn’t morn them or learn from their deaths. They didn’t even seem to effect her at all.

Perhaps this is just the wrong type of book for me. It reminded me of the horror/monster movies that seem to be so popular. Everyone dies brutal senseless deaths, sometimes at the hands of the people who are supposed to care for them, and then it ends. Honestly, I think this book would have been better served with another 50 to 100 pages of character development or plot development. But hey, it’s being made into a movie, so I could be completely wrong on that.