Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jamie's Ministry of Food: Anyone can Learn to Cook in 24hrs by Jamie Oliver

Sixty years ago food was in short supply and malnutrition rates were high. The Ministry of Food was set up to teach the public how to make the best use of the food available to them. Fast forward to the present day, where we have unlimited choices and plenty of food, yet we're living in a world of junk food, additives and preservatives. Our war is now against obesity, as most people have little or no idea about how to cook and what makes a balanced diet. We need to learn from the past. We need to look back at the way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers cooked – wholesome, tasty food that was simple and quick to prepare. If you're a complete beginner in the kitchen, Jamie's promise to you is that you'll be making some great dinners within hours of reading his book. A little knowledge and a few basic tools can go a long way, and this book is your first step . . .

Great book for beginners!! I would give this to a graduating highschool/college student as it is perfect for people who have never really had to cook for themselves! It's also great for those people looking at getting back to cooking nutious, affordable, good food.

I also have Jamie's America which is also fun to read! I love reading what Brits think of Americans! :0) For those of you who live in the UK it's on sale at Sainsbury's for 5.99!!

The title of the book has been changed in the US to Jamie's Food Reveloution as the story (above) of the title Ministry of Food doesn't apply to Americans.
I love cook books!!!
If you've read either Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet or The Murderer's Daughters tell us what you thought in the comment area! I unfortunately never got around to reading either of them oops!!! Five hours left on the poll for July/August book!!! American God's is in the lead!!

If there is anything you were wanting to read and think it would make a great book club book let us know!! We love getting recommendations from our followers!! ;0)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pig that Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini

Julian Baggini presents 100 thought experiments - short scenarios which pose a problem in a vivid and concrete way - and invites the reader to think about possible answers for him/herself. Experiments cover identity, religion, art, ethics, language, knowledge and many more. From Zeno's paradox to Groundhog Day (how do you make sense of a life of eternal recurrence?), via the pig that wants to be eaten (so should you eat him?), Plato's cave, Minority Report (is it right to punish people for what they are going to do, but haven't yet done?), and an American Werewolf in London (how can we tell whether we are awake or dreaming?), this book makes philosophy not only mind-stretching but also entertaining.

Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Independent and Independent on Sunday, Prospect and the TES, and has regularly appears on Radio 4 He is the author of several books on philosophy, including What's It All About? Philosophy and the Meaning of Life (Granta).
I love love love this book. It's so much fun to read as it makes you...think. Seeing as they are thought experiments it's very obvious that it would make you think. I started to look into philosophy as I was watching Lost and so I thought it would be fun to get a simple book about the subject. I had a few recommendations from the sales clerk at Waterstones and this was one of them. It's also nice to have just around you can pick it up read an 'experiment' and then set it down to think about it. Some of them make me feel a bit uncomfortable. Which is why I like it! I would recommend it to anyone who just needs to wake up there minds every once in a while!
A few my favorite ones are titled: #3 The Indian and the ice # 8 Good God #37 Nature the artist #45 The Invisible Gardner #54 The elusive I #67 The poppadom paradox

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl

Sophie Dahl, one of the most glorious women on the planet, shares delicious secrets from her slinky kitchen, funny stories and favourite recipes in a beautifully illustrated hardback. With delectable recipes for each season, this luscious abundant take on food will delight women everywhere. In this beautifully colour illustrated cookbook, Sophie shares 100 of her favourite recipes that show that healthy can be delicious and indulgent. Sophie lived out the latter part of her adolescence under the public spotlight as the first anti-waif model. Flirting with every food fad from Atkins to raw food, she experienced both misadventures and victories in her quest to have a healthy relationship with food. Now she reveals the recipes that allowed her to eat what she wants while being sylphy as a sapling. Sophie cooks with gusto and passion and here she takes us on a delicious journey through a wonderful collection of her favourite recipes for every meal and every season - from her Grandmother Gee-Gee's ginger parkin, to her dad's amazing chicken curry to what she serves her boyfriend for breakfast. Try out her mama's baked acorn squash and the delicious student-days favourite 'Paris Mash', plus childhood-fun puddings like Carnation milk jelly or decadent desserts like Chocolate chestnut souffle. Sophie reveals compassionate common sense about food, and serves up a lashing of healthy recipes that celebrate the joy of eating so you'll never want to diet again. Original, funny, intimate, and quirky with a bit of whimsy, this glorious book is full of wonderful anecdotes and delicious recipes, scattered with Sophie's own lovely Matisse-like line drawings that slope off the page.

Sophie Dahl began modelling in 1996, after being discovered by fashion maverick Isabella Blow. In 2003 her best-selling novella, 'The Man With The Dancing Eyes' was published. Dahl has been published in American Vogue, the Guardian, the Telegraph Magazine and The Spectator. Dahl lives in England after an eight year sojourn in New York. She is now a regular contributor to Waitrose Food Monthly Magazine.

I love cook books and for my birthday in May I had a gift card to amazon and spent some of it on 3 new cookbooks! This one was really enjoyable to read and I like how she's real. I also love how her recipes are very obviously well used. The way the instructions are written it's like she's talking to you. A lot of the recipes are very veggie as she is a veggie. She does cook meat for her family members and what not so there are recipes for meat. I love vegetables so I will be using this one a lot I think!! Again I haven't used it yet so I will let you know!!! Click here for her Peanut Butter Fudge recipe!! There are more videos on youtube of her BBC show The Delicious Miss Dahl!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But the lake had been quiet for years...She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires. They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion - within easy reach of her fellow prisoner. She knows he is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet when dawn breaks, she is still alive. And now he needs her to help him survive the day...

Robin McKinley is an American writer who has won many awards in the US, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown, a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword and the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine.She lives in Hampshire with her husband, author Peter Dickinson, two hellhounds, an 1897 Steinway upright, increasing numbers of rose bushes, and a stone's throw from her change-ringing bell tower. Her blog and her website are full of lots more information!

Okay Okay I know I've said over and over again that I am sick of vampire novels, but I have always liked them and a series I won't mention coughtwilightcoughcough has sorta ruined it for me. I have read lots of vampire books when I was but a young person. So, why should I let one series that I did not mentioned above ruin it for me? Plus Amazon was shoving this book down my throat every time I signed on! I think because I have recently bought a couple Neil Gaiman books and he is quoted on the cover saying 'Astonishing...a perfect work of magical literature.' And I assume that it's what brought it up as I hadn't seen it before....beside the point really. My point being that this is a great book. I really enjoyed it and had a hard time wanting to put it down. It was so different from anything I read before. It's not like those other vampire novels. It stays true to vampires with out making them glittery and veggie. Sunshine seems more marketed to the female(s) but there are parts that I could see males enjoying too. Especially at some parts I was thinking to myself (I do think out loud sometimes much to the annoyance of my husband who gets flustered when I just come out with something) how awesome would that be as a video game!
If you follow the links above to her website/blog she's made it very clear that there is no sequel in the making and I have to assume that means no prequels or video games either and hopefully for the sake of my sanity no movie either! Maybe I shouldn't assume as it makes an ass out of u and me; I don't know the author personally and shouldn't assume I do. I think that's the only problem having a personal blog as people read it and assume they know you.

Back to the point...the book I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, scify, adventure novels. Not sure where it fits in genres but that's why I think I like it. There were so many things in this novel that I would love to know more about. Yet I'm not sure I want the author to tell me. I love the world Sunshine lives although a little scary. Sunshine is her nickname but also so much more. A lovely heroine who I would love to be friends with! I didn't find myself personally relating to her, but I rarely do as I usually see myself in the sidekick characters. I don't want to give anything away which is why this is a long post that basically says nothing!  Please if you see this book out and about give it a chance and don't judge it by the hype surrounding vampire stories. 

This is the cover I have as I live in the UK and get different book covers then most of you who read this! I love book covers!! :0)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers

If you love having friends and family round for dinner or simply rustling up fresh, fast food, Mexican cooking is fun, fantastic and full of flavour. One of its brightest stars, Wahaca chef and food writer Thomasina Miers shares the recipes she has gathered since she first fell in love with the country aged 18, reinventing the classics with accessible ingredients to demonstrate how exciting and delicious traditional Mexican food can be.
Whether you're looking for street snacks full of punch, rich, hearty stews, or sensational, spicy wraps, Thomasina's Mexican Food Made Simple is bursting with recipes you'll want to eat and share: soft corn tacos and tostados; little cheesy things (Quesadillas); a great Mexican chille con carne; Grilled Sea bass or succulent Lamb Chops with homemade salsas and tortilla chips; and to finish churros with chocolate sauce.
The book features vibrant food photography throughout, and step-by-step guides to folding the perfect burrito, eating a taco (no knives and forks allowed), making a sizzling table salsa, and much more. And with Thomasina's guide to the world's hottest Chillis, ingenious cheats, and helpful menu planner, Mexican Food Made Simple has everything you need to put together a fantastic Mexican feast at home.

About the Author
When Thomasina Miers first arrived in Mexico aged eighteen, she fell so in love with its food that she went back to live there, opening up a cocktail bar in Mexico City and using her free time to travel the country and cook with some of Mexico’s top chefs. After returning to London and winning BBC2’s Master Chef in 2005, Thomasina opened the Mexican street food cantina, Wahaca, which won the Observer Food Monthly’s ‘best cheap eats’ award, and has now opened three branches. She writes a regular recipe column in the Times and is co-editor of Soup Kitchen (2005) and the author of Cook (2006) and Wild Gourmets (2007). Click Here for a YouTube video of warm sweetcorn salad and look on the side for others!!

I love cookbooks even if I never use a single recipe I love reading about the food of the world! Mexican Food Made Simple is not Tex Mex food but has authentic dishes that had me drooling every time I opened the book. I haven't yet made a dish from this book but have ear-marked several to try soon!! I will let you know how I get on!! I enjoyed reading it as I definitely felt the love she has for Mexican food!! My only problem is my husband is allergic to all citrus and she uses a lot of lemon and lime juice which makes sense being Mexican food, but I just have to wonder how important it is for the dish and what I might be able to substitute with.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This

I know we usually stick to fiction here at Pages of the Mind, but I've been so thoroughly enjoying this book that I had to share it!  Have you ever wondered if salt really enhances flavours?  Or why?  What is the best way to cool a cup of tea?  Stirring or blowing?  Or, which method of hard boiling an egg most effectively centers the yolk?

The subtitle of this book is Exploring the Science of Flavor and that's exactly what This (pronounced: Teese, like geese) does in this book.  I think the phrase molecular gastronomy itself might scare some people off, but please don't be fooled by the name of the subject.  Molecular gastronomy is simply a branch of science that tried to understand the chemical processes that occur during cooking.  Understanding these processes then allows molecular gastronomers to understand how to best accomplish the cooking task. 

Each chapter is one to three pages long - 99 chapters in all.  He begins every chapter with a question and proceeds to explain the experiments that have been done to answer that question, and explains how the conclusions of those experiments translates into the kitchen.  HervĂ© This is French, so there are a few chapters pertaining to food or cooking techniques that I have never heard of, but I still found it extremely interesting to read about them anyway.

July/August Book

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
Sometimes, when you open the door to thepast, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of Gothic strangeness -- featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

July/August Book

American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the time until his release ticks away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break... Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Gaiman's epic novel sees him on the road to the heart of America.

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...