Thursday, May 9, 2019

Book review of Growing Your Own Tea Garden: The Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in Your Backyard by Jodi Helmer

Title: Growing Your Own Tea Garden: The Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in Your Backyard 
Author: Jodi Helmer
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Gardening and cookbook 
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 5

You Love To Drink Tea. Why Not Grow Your Own?

If you’ve ever considered raising your own tea, this comprehensive guide is the place to start. Growing Your Own Tea Garden is packed with inspiration and practical instructions for cultivating and enjoying delicious teas. Author Jodi Helmer helps you plan and plant a productive backyard tea garden, with sample garden designs and cultivation advice. She shows you how to choose the right crops for your soil and climate, starting with the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and going on through a comprehensive survey of tisanes, or herbal teas. Discover how to grow the full range of herbal infusions that make wonderful teas, from flowering chamomile and lavender to chicory roots, rose hips, lemon verbena, peppermint, aromatic bergamot and more. Jodi shows you how to harvest, dry and store your tea to enjoy all year long, along with brewing tips and creative recipes.

Inside Growing Your Own Tea Garden

· Everything you need to know to create a healthy, bountiful tea garden and enjoy high quality tea

· How to grow dozens of crops that make marvelous teas, herbal infusions and decoctions

· Sample tea garden designs, including instructions for growing tea in container gardens and raised beds

· Understanding the differences between black tea, green tea, white tea and herbal tea

· How to dry and store your leaves for consumption on cool autumn days

· Let it steep: how to brew the perfect cup of tea

If you’re like me love growing all kinds of herbs and tea this book is for you. This book will help you learn what leaves have vitamins and nutrients and how to brew them. 

I really enjoyed the history of tea section so informative as a matter of fact, this whole book is full of useful information, heck I never know you could use blackberry leaves in for tea either.

Are you wanting to kick the habit of those carbonated no healthy syrup drinks? Well, grab this book pick some herbs you would like, buy the dirt and containers and get to growing. I plant most of my herbs into containers so they are easy to keep up with and handy to cut off when needed so this book just adds more excitement for me to use more of my herbs.  Oh, and don’t forget a lot of flowers are great in tea, yep, this book covers it all herbs, fruit, and flowers.

Highly recommend to anyone that would like to expand their tea drinking horizons.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Cookbook review of The Keto All Day Cookbook: More Than 100 Low-Carb Recipes That Let You Stay Keto for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner by Martina Šlajerová

Title: The Keto All Day Cookbook: More Than 100 Low-Carb Recipes That Let You Stay Keto for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner  
Author: Martina Šlajerová
Genre: Cookbook
Source: Netgalley
Reviewed by Laurie
Rating: 4

In The Keto All Day Cookbook, best-selling author and creator of the KetoDiet blog Martina Slajerova compiles her best recipes for every meal of the day (even snacks)—plus 17 new ones, accompanied by nearly 40 gorgeous new photos—to help you stay the keto course, deliciously!

Keto is the top-trending supportive diet. Bolstering its reputation is research that strongly suggests that a keto diet may help reverse diabetes, obesity, cancer, and the effects of aging. However, in order to reap the benefits, you need to stick to the keto plan at every meal. That can be challenging when eating breakfast during your commute or figuring out what to eat for dinner after a long day. And what to do about lunch? Especially when your lunch "hour" maybe 10 minutes at your desk. With Keto All Day you won't be tempted to blow your keto diet on a carb-filled snack or a processed convenience meal simply because you are tired, rushed, or just don't know what to prepare.

Enjoy tasty, flavorful recipes for snacks and meals, such Breakfast Egg Muffins, Pizza Waffles, Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Southern Duck Deviled Eggs, Eggplant Parma Ham Rolls, and Taco Frittata. Keto All Day even has recipes for delicious drinks and desserts, including Cookie Dough Mousse, Boston Cream Pie, and Raspberry Lime Electrolyte Cooler.

Reap the benefits of the amazing keto diet in a delicious way with Keto All Day.

After watching the video on Netflix about the Keto diet, I wanted to see how easy or hard it was to live off of this diet, I must say even as easy as this cookbook gave instructions, there is no way, I could do it daily. I guess I am a huge grain eater. LOL

Martina Slajerova knows how to make recipes easy to read and follow, each recipe is very detailed and explained very easy, so anyone could follow and the book has great pictures.

Now, as for the diet itself, there are ingredients in here I have never heard of or even seen before in my lifetime and that is saying something because I have always used harder recipes with ingredients that made me Google or look up in books, but quite a few of these are just really questionable. I am sure Amazon has every ingredient that is offered in this cookbook, but the thing is I am not an online grocery shopper so if my local Kroger doesn’t carry the ingredient then it’s a no go for me and some of these ingredients are not at my local market.

I would definitely recommend this for experienced Keto cooks.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Cozy Mystery book Review for Murder in an Irish Pub (Irish Village Mystery #4) by Carlene O'Connor

Title: Murder in an Irish Pub (Irish Village Mystery #4) 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by Laurie
Rating: 4

When competing card sharps stir up Siobhán O'Sullivan’s quiet Irish village, a poker tournament turns into a game of Hangman . . .

In the small village of Kilbane in County Cork, for a cuppa tea or a slice of brown bread, you go to Naomi’s Bistro, managed by the many siblings of the lively O'Sullivan brood. For a pint or a game of darts—or for the poker tournament that's just come to town—it’s the pub you want.

One player’s reputation precedes him: Eamon Foley, a tinker out of Dublin, called the Octopus for playing like he has eight hands under the table. But when Foley is found at the end of a rope, swinging from the rafters of Rory Mack’s pub, it’s time for the garda to take matters into their own hands. Macdara Flannery would lay odds it’s a simple suicide—after all, there’s a note and the room was locked. But Siobhán suspects foul play, as does Foley’s very pregnant widow. Perhaps one of Foley’s fellow finalists just raised the stakes to life and death.

With conflicting theories on the crime—not to mention the possibility of a proposal—tensions are running high between Siobhán and Macdara. Soon it’s up to Siobhán to call a killer’s bluff, but if she doesn’t play her cards right, she may be the next one taken out of the game . . .

New author and series to me and I enjoy the story and mystery, it kept me guessing all the way.

I also, enjoyed how clean this book was of cussing and I how the author used terms real Ireland people would use today it made me feel as if I was right there.

What I would have loved to read more of is setting descriptions and a bit of background of the characters even though it can become respective to the people who have read the series but to those of us who just randomly pick a book up, it helps to keep a bit on track of who is who and what they are doing even though it is respective to some. So, if you haven’t picked up this series I would suggest starting with book one to make sure you don’t get lost like I did a few times.

Now, I need to go pick up book one so I can get all the happens, of who is who from the beginning. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Review for Growing Winter Food: How to grow, harvest, store, and use produce for the winter months by Linda Gray

Title: Growing Winter Food: How to grow, harvest, store, and use produce for the winter months
Author:  Linda Gray
Genre: Garden
Source: Netgalley
Reviewed by: Laurie
 Rating: 4

Grow Healthy Winter Produce

Grow your own keeper crops for the chilly days of winter—and you'll be sure of putting the freshest, tastiest produce, packed with goodness, on your kitchen table! Growing Winter Food is the essential gardening guide for those who want to enjoy their garden's output all year round. This easy-to-follow book shows you how to grow your own fruit and vegetables for winter use and includes detailed cultivation advice on each crop, along with nutritional value, recipe ideas, and storage suggestions.

Inside Growing Winter Food

• How to choose crops that you can grow and preserve so you’ll have fresh vegetables over the winter.

• Practical information and growing advice for all the most commonly grown winter foods: roots, legumes, green vegetables, herbs and fruits.

• Easy-to-follow instructions for sowing, maintenance, harvesting, and general gardening techniques.

• All the basic techniques you need to know, from preparing soil to using cloches and containers to dealing with pests and diseases.

• Handy plant profiles cover how to grow, plant, care for, save seeds, harvest, and preserve.

• Perfect for those with limited gardening experience, with gardens big or small.

Although some may see this title as a bit misleading if you keep reading you find this book is based on how to grow food and the best methods of storing for winter for your eating enjoyment.

This a book is not only a great reference garden books with lots of helpful tips, but you’ll also find recipes, storing, nutrients, care and maintenance, harvesting and transplanting for each individual vegetable.  I really liked the nutrients, care and maintenance sections, they were all explained very well.

I recommend this book for any level gardeners

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Cozy Mystery review: Dead as a Door Knocker (House-Flipper Mystery #1) by Diane Kelly

Title: Dead as a Door Knocker (House-Flipper Mystery #1) 
Author: Diane Kelly 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Netgalley
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie

The first in a brand-new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville—where the real estate market is to die for.

Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find—and flip—the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: she can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune. . .

Sawdust is the name of Whitney’s cat—of course. Whitney’s passion for gut-renovation may be a mystery to him but one thing Sawdust knows for sure is this: Dead bodies don’t belong in flower beds. So why is there one in this new, albeit old, house? Now it’s up to Whitney, along with the help of hot-and-cold Nashville Police Detective Collin Flynn, to find the truth about what happened before the mortgage property forecloses and Whitney loses her investment. . .and maybe her own life.

Living 20 minutes east of Nashville, I had to try this series, and while it had a slow beginning for me, it did not disappoint very solid mystery.

This is the first mystery I read where you have to wait for a few chapters before the murder happens and I think this is why I felt it being slow, but during that time you get to know more about the characters so while I did enjoy it I was still waiting and waiting for the murder to happen. LOL

Things I really enjoyed, Sawdust personal chapters and yes, the cat has his own mini-chapters so cute, the story settings, characters and since I was never able to guess who done it, I will be on needles waiting for the next murder to happen in Nashville so I can see Whitney in action again. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cozy mystery review of A Literal Mess (Allie Cobb Mystery #1) by J.C. Kenney

Title: A Literal Mess (Allie Cobb Mystery #1)  
Author: J.C. Kenney 
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel 
Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Laurie 

The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .

Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.

Determined to clear her beastie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic's ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .

I really liked the storyline, the setting and I loved the clues the author places for you along the story, what I didn’t like was Allie character seemed to be a bit stuck up from time to time and there are times when she goes to questions suspects that he is a bit out of sorts with them. Allie is also instructed to a bit of romance so you get a bit of romantic dialog too, which was great for the first book in the series. If you have never given thought about what goes on behind the scenes of writing a book this story will take you into some of the things that take place during writing. 

I recommend this book for any cozy mystery lover that wants a light read. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cozy Mystery review of Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery #3) by Misty Simon

Title: Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery #3) 
Author: Misty Simon
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie 

Window of opportunity . . .

Most housecleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she's started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she's standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn't open for business yet—and the man's not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it's going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer's motive. But she'd better be careful, or it'll be curtains for this window cleaner . . .

My first book by this author and I really liked it, it was a bit different read to me as in I have never read a cleaning lady sleuth before so it was quite enjoyable. I liked Tallie she didn’t let anyone stop her from doing what she does best snooping and finding the murder. The author kept me guessing all the way so kudos to her on creating a great mystery.
The only downside is a few of the characters in the story really seems to pick on Tillie and her getting involved with this being the third book this leaves me to wonder if they don’t do it all the time and if they do, this would get my goat.  

This being my first book from the series I never found I was missing anything important enough to have to go back and read the first of the series. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Cookbook review of Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for One-Pan Meals for Any Time of the Day by Lucy Vaserfirer

Title: Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for One-Pan Meals for Any Time of the Day  
Genre: Cooking
Reviewed by: Laurie  

The cast-iron renaissance is heating up, and Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is here to show you how to make the most of these great pans!

Modern cooks are realizing that grandma's had it right when she cooked with the big cast iron skillet. Cast iron has the incredible ability to spread heat quickly and evenly to create a crispy, seared surface that locks in freshness and flavor.

Author Lucy Vaserfirer knows how to work magic on cast iron, and in Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook she shows you how to prepare more than 150 recipes that are definitely not the kind of fares your grandmother cooked up. You'll get to see how to cook up vegetables (something previously thought to not be possible on cast iron); see how cast iron is the perfect vessel for cooking all types of fish and shellfish; and even how you can use your skillet for baking.

Not Your Mother's Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is loaded with recipes that keep up with specialty diets like paleo and no meat, and even includes unique ways to bring your cast iron directly to the table as a serving vessel. So don't wait, just because your grandmother swore by her cast iron doesn't mean it's boring!

This book works for great for a beginner and an advance cast-iron cook. The first part of the book introduces you to how to care and use your cast-iron then comes the great recipes from breakfast to dessert this cookbook will give you a recipe for every meal.
Let me just say the biscuit recipe alone is totally worth the kindle price that is how amazing they were. I am not a newbie to cast-iron and have backed several different recipes of biscuits in my cast-iron but nothing like the amazing taste of these.  
Recipes are easy to follow the only downside to the books was it just needed more pictures of the finished products. 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Claws for Celebration (Cat Lady Mysteries #3) by Linda Reilly

Title: Cozy Mystery review of Claws for Celebration (Cat Lady Mysteries #3)  
Author: Linda Reilly
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by Laurie  
Rating 5 

Feline deadly this Christmas . . .

Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, celebrates all things Christmas, and few things are more beloved than the town’s annual holiday cookie competition. Lara Caphart, who runs the High Cliff Shelter for Cats with her Aunt Fran, is waiting for the green light for a brand-new category: pet-friendly cookies. But when the woman filling in as a last-minute judge dies after sampling someone’s Santa-themed treat, Lara’s recipe for healthy cat snacks will have to be put on the back burner.

The victim, Gladys Plouffe, was the town’s roundly despised former home economics teacher. The chief suspect is the mother of Lara’s best friend, who was hellbent on walking away with the bake-off’s cash prize. Cryptic clues from beyond the grave only deepen the mystery, pointing to a cat with striking blue eyes—a cat who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lara’s mysterious Ragdoll. As Lara begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse, not even her significant other may be able to stop a perfectly clawful killer from getting away with the purr-fect crime . . . 

Linda Reily creates great characters and edge of your seat mysteries that will keep you coming back for more. I totally love this series and hope it never ends.

Caws for Celebration, is my favorite so far, in the series. I enjoyed the twist of the cookie contest and I really enjoyed how the mystery began, who would have ever thought a library book would be the start of an awesome mystery.

If you love cozy mysteries this series is a must try. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Dump Cake Magic: The No-Bowl, No-Mess Method of Fuss-Free Baking by Anne Schaeffer

Dump Cake Magic: The No-Bowl, No-Mess Method of Fuss-Free Baking 
Author: Anne Schaeffer
Source: NetGalley 
Genre: Cookbook
Length: 128 Pages 
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating 3 

Short on time or just looking for a quick and easy dessert? With no dirty bowls and no tedious mixing time, you can toss together a delicious dessert in just minutes. No wonder dump cakes have skyrocketed in popularity lately--they're perfect for busy bakers. All you have to do is layer your ingredients right in the pan that you are going to use to bake, and pop it in the oven. What comes out is a delicious treat! Dump Cake Magic offers more than 75 creative recipes for tarts, pies, cookies, bars, cakes, and more. Perfect for spur-of-the-moment baking, moist dense cakes like Lemon Blueberry, cobbler-type desserts like Peachy Butter Pecan, or rich brownie creations like Orange Chocolate Truffle are a "piece of cake." Layer upon delightful layer, desserts have never been easier. And clean-up? It's a snap!

 I was really looking forward to this book, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. I did enjoy that each recipe had images and that they walked you through each step, but I didn’t care for the complete image of the featured recipe being at the end of the recipe. I guess I am used to the standard all images of the full recipe being at the beginning of the recipe.  

The majority of the recipes you have to use store-bought cake and cookie mixes and with times being like that are now, I along with many others have quit buying all of the processed foods so I was again left disappointed.

When I review a cookbook or baking book I always at least make one or two recipes. I chose to make the Chocolate Mocha Cake and wasn’t impressed with the taste or texture.

I am sure this book is great for a lot of cooks out there, but it’s just not something I would keep on my cookbook shelf to grab every day. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Cozy mystery review of Death and Daisies (A Magic Garden Mystery #2) by Amanda Flower

Title: Death and Daisies (A Magic Garden Mystery #2) 
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Length: Novel
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating: 4  

Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.

Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland—complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent.

But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach.

The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.

I enjoy the mystery sounding the minister’s death and Fi’s sister being added in the story brought a good hominess to Fi and I enjoyed her continued love interest with the chief inspector, they seem so great together, but I missed the whimsical elements that were in the first book surrounding the garden. You do get a few clues about the mystery of garden in this instilment but the garden was not center of the mystery as it is in the first book.

All, in all, the story is very entertaining I just missed reading and learning more about the garden and the magic it holds in the town and I look forward to the next installment.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by Karyn Gerrard

Title: Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by 
Author: Karyn Gerrard 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical romance 
Rating: 5
Sexual: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 

He's as dangerous as he is irresistible...

The heir to his family's fortune, Aidan Wollstonecraft is ready to put his prodigal ways in the past and prove himself worthy of his illustrious name. Going undercover in a factory to expose the wretched working conditions, Aidan believes his noble act will lead him to a better future. Until he's reunited with the sweet beauty who saw him through his darkest days. Cristyn Bevan stirs him like no other woman before. Makes him yearn to claim her, despite the damning curse that dooms any Wollstonecraft wife to an all-too-early death...

To fall for Aidan would be her undoing. Yet, something about the blue-blooded scoundrel draws Cristyn to him like a moth to a deadly flame. Is it a desire to heal him that keeps the lovely nurse close? Or her secret hope that somehow, some way, Aidan can let go of his dark past and see the light—and the love—waiting for him?

This book is an emotional roller coaster that will take you into our past and even present working conditions.

First off I want to say kudos to the author for the amount of research that she had to have put into writing this book. People tend to think child labor was thousands of years ago, but it really wasn’t and even in the 1920’s America corporations was still using child labor and even today several countries including China still uses child labor so keep that in mind while you are paying for cheap goods.

I have loved Cristyn’s character since I first meet her, I knew she was a strong willed and minded woman of her time and she just proves this in hers and Aidan’s story.  These two go into horrible working conditions to help those that don’t have the means to help themselves and before you know it they are working together to fight for those less fortunate, this is true romance at its best.

Warning this story is not for the faint of heart if you love kids, but for those of you who buy cheap goods, you really need to read this to find out what real child labor is all about and this is why I look high and low for made in the USA or any country goods that don't have child labor and I will pay more for these goods because of things such as this.

I recommend this to everyone, you need to remember our past and present in child labor and you get a good romance story along with it. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cookbook review of Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker by Nancy S. Hughes

Title: Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Review by Laurie 
Rating: 3

Team up with your Instant Pot (or any other brand of electric pressure cooker) to control or lose weight with the quick, delicious, and waist-conscious recipes of Thinner in an Instant.

There are loads of Instant Pot cookbooks. However, almost all are filled with rich recipes that taste decent but deliver a nasty caloric punch right to your waistline.

Here's a tasty and good-for-you alternative. In Thinner in an Instant, Nancy S. Hughes, one of the most-respected and best-selling cookbook authors in the US on health-related topics, offers up the first and only book that will help you watch or lose weight by cooking with an electric pressure cooker.

Each recipe maxes out at 350 calories per serving and comes with a complete nutritional analysis, including calories, fats, cholesterol, salt, and other information that is important to you if you are a health-savvy or weight-conscious cook—or if someone you cook for needs help losing a few pounds.

These are soul-satisfying dinners that won’t leave you hungry: Beef Burgundy on Sweet Potato Mash, Seafood Gumbo, and Greek Lemon Chicken with Asparagus, to name just a few. Plus, there are delectable, yet lo-cal, desserts, like Upside Down Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake and Lemon-Berry Bread Pudding, to round out the meal.

At last, weight-watching and calorie-conscious cooks and eaters can enjoy the speed, convenience, and ease-of-use of the Instant Pot and its cousins

** spoiler alert **
The nutrition facts for each recipe is great, the recipes are very easy to follow and I also like the tips in the front of the cookbook, but there are only 50 recipes and none of the recipes have images. 

Now, my biggest problem is the sodium content in each recipe, a lot of the recipes has over 500 milligrams of sodium and for someone wanting to watch their sodium intake this something, you’ll have to consider before buying.
If you are new to pressure cooking and you are just concerned about cutting a few calories than this cookbook would really work for you, there are quite a few great recipes from Sandwiches and Wraps, One-Dish Suppers, Main-Courses, Sweets and Desserts and more. 

If you are like me and have way too many cookbooks on hand now and are really watching your sodium intake, I would suggest looking at more cookbooks like this one before you decide to get this one, even if you have to pay a bit more for it. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Title: Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Rating: 4
Reviewed by Laurie 

Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect.

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .

Amish Candy Shop Mystery has become one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series I love the characters and settings.

Amanda Flower is a very talented author. You don’t find many authors that can create different worlds and different characters in different series. Most of the time when you read different series by the same author you’ll read either the same likeness of characters or somehow the storyline will feel like you’ve read it before. This is one reason I love reading books by Amanda Flower because you don’t feel like you read the same book or characters before.

So far, this story is my favorite book in the series, the twist and turns in this mystery had me coming back for more until I was done and shocked as to who done it. Bailey relationship picks up more as she and Aiden get close, but with Bailey’s new job offer we are left with a lot of questions as what is going to happen next, which leaves me with I can’t wait for the next installment. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Health and fitness reference book review of The Healing Powers of Superfoods by Cal Orey

Title: The Healing Powers of Superfoods
Author: Cal Orey
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Health and fitness 
Length: NoveL
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 

Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?

Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt--even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you've always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they're affordable--plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.

With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.

*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried.

*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!

*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.

*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas.

*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed.

Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature--enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!

The Healing Powers of Superfoods, is more of a reference book than a cookbook although you will find quite a few recipes to indulge yourself in during each chapter and a whole chapter of recipes before the end of the book.

Cal Orey takes you through each superfood per chapter and she dives right into each nutrient, history etc of that certain superfood and before the chapter ends she gives you a recipe or two.

You will also find chapters for shelving life of foods, five-day menu plan, and much more. If you are looking for a book to help you figure out what superfood is best for you, this book will do the trick.

There has been new progress with superfoods over the past couple of years and I believe Cal Orey gives you an updated superfood reference book. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Romance Review of Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) by Elizabeth Jordan

Title: Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) 
Genre: Romance
Length: Novel
Source: Purchased at Indie Romance Convention 
Rating- 4
Sexual- 1

Lady Caroline Alton is young, beautiful and in London for her first season. She is excited about her first foray into society, but family secrets seemed to be piling up around Caroline more and more each day. She thought she might discover the great secret in her own life one day, except when she did, she had a feeling that it just might change everything. When she meets Lord Thomas Steele at her home in London, she is immediately intrigued by the handsome, dashing young barrister, who is a friend of her father. Each time she sees him, she becomes more and more aware that he, too, is deeply involved in the secrets that surround her, and she sets out to prove to him that she has the courage to face whatever it is and to stand beside him as he confronts the evil that threatens him.

Thomas, the youngest son of a Marquis, has been fighting an uphill battle against vampires most of his life. London is under attack and Thomas is the captain of the guard of Orion’s Shield, a clandestine group of vampire hunters sanctioned by the Prince Regent himself. Having been attacked and bitten by a beautiful and seductive vampire at a young age, Thomas struggles against the forces of darkness that have never stopped trying to consume him. An ancient and powerful evil has come to England, and a physical battle, as well as a spiritual one, must be waged against it. If the battle is lost, it will leave Regency England vulnerable to hell on earth. And yet in the middle of the fray, two souls try to find their way both to the light and to each other before the darkness destroys whatever happiness they may find.… Can love truly conquer all, or will evil consume them both?

Enthralled is a true romantic gem, I couldn’t wait till my reading time each day so I could dig back into the story.

If you love the older type of vampires that enthralls humans, kills humans, drinks blood, you can kill them by stakes through the heart, you’re bound to enjoy this.

Elizabeth Jordan writes a loving yet harsh world where Lady Caroline and Thomas has to deal with lawlessness vampires and let me just say Lady Caroline is no dismal in distress, nope she knows how to handle herself around them even though she has no clue vampires exist beforehand.

My only reason for not rating it a 5 is the majority of the time I felt like the story was set in modern times by the way they talk to each other, but yet I am very picky so, some of you may never notice this.

I recommend this to anyone that loves action pack clean romance.