Tasty!

Taste and Technique–that’s what every recipe needs. And that’s exactly what Naomi Pomeroy delivers in her book by the same name. From sauces to starters, soups to salads, seafood to lamb, she has a technique for it all, making you feel like a master chef. I recommend this cookbook for those wishing to add a little pizazz to their home-cooking and to those wanting to learn from a master chef with multiple restaurants in her repertoire.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Amazing Grace

Ask my family what my favorite movie is, and you are bound to hear a list of historical fiction or biographical films. At the top of the list–first one to come to mind, as I asked for it almost every family movie night–would be Amazing Grace. This film about William Wilberforce’s magnificent, God-inspired work to abolish the slave trade in England inspires me every time I watch it–and, for how infrequently I watch movies, I watch it quite frequently. If you have not yet heard this story of Wilberforce’s endeavor, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of this movie from your local library and watch it. Tonight.
If you find yourself intrigued by Wilberforce’s life, then you will surely find yourself intrigued by the life of his uncle, John Newton. Known as the hymnwriter of the oft-sung song “Amazing Grace,” Newton led a truly redeemed life–a life dragged from the pits of the slave trade. Inspired by his faith in God’s amazing grace and convicted over his sin, Newton became a pastor and inspired Wilberforce himself to serve God in the political realm.
Yet, little-known to the world, in the midst of the darkest hours of Newton’s life, a romance had the nerve to blossom. And this romance serves as the storyline behind the book Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund. Beautiful Polly, daughter to a pastor, and John Newton, slave trader with the worse mouth on ship, were a quite unlikely pair. Amid Newton’s sailings on the tempestuous high seas between Africa and England, their relationship had to battle storms of its own.
So as not to spoil the beauty of this story (or the suspense in which I hope I hold you now), I will leave my description at that. I believe that anyone intrigued by the history of Newton will find this book fascinating.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Gluten-Free

Before I met my friend Jessi (or, for that matter, my sister-in-law Rachael), gluten-free living was always a far-off, someone-else-does-it reality. But the presence of these two friends in my life made me realize that gluten-free dining wasn’t actually that distant or tasteless, after all. In fact, I learned that gluten-free cooking can actually be more tasteful–simply by merit of the fact that it doesn’t have bland bread of pasta to temper the flavor of the spices, herbs, and natural flavors of its dishes.
For those who have discovered the fabulous world of gluten-free cooking (and those who haven’t yet), Danielle Waller’s Against All Grains Celebrations cookbook is a marvelous find. With sumptuous photographs of recipes like “Blackened Salmon with Stone-Fruit Salsa,” this recipe book is gorgeous and–even in simply eye feasting–delicious.
I recommend it for anyone’s kitchen.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Wee Delights

As an ESL teacher, perhaps I am a bit nerdy. And maybe that quirkiness displays itself just a bit in my fondness for things alphabetical and organized and creative.
The collection of adorable animal-themed, alphabetical postcards “Wee Alphas” by the Wee Society fits just such a fondness. With hidden letters in each animal drawing and writing prompts on the back of the postcards, these letter-writing tools would serve wonderfully in an ESL or early elementary classroom, as well as for families with young children.
I highly recommend the “Wee Alphas” postcard collection.
I received a complimentary copy of this postcard collection from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.