Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Podcast: Winter Sea and The Night Strangers

Here's my latest podcast!  I am now on iTunes--if you want to subscribe, go to iTunes podcasts, then type in "bookaliciousbabe" as a search word, and you should go directly to my podcast.  Now that I've done this a few times, I'm getting a bit more comfortable with the process and hope to have a regular podcast every week or so.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Pub Across the Pond by Mary Carter

The Pub Across the Pond is a fun read and will keep you entertained for hours.  Carlene is an American who wins a pub in the small village of Balleybeog.  Once there, she quickly falls in love with Ireland and the people of the small village, but the people aren't too fond of her.  And someone is trying to sabotage her pub--stealing kegs, nailing plywood over the bathrooms, and leaving a goat in the pub.  And then there's Ronan, the previous owner of the pub, who's gambling problems caused him to lose the family pub to Carlene.  Their attraction is instant and red hot, but can they make it work?  

I enjoyed this book a lot.  Perfect for anyone who wants to read about Ireland and wants a fun read that is not strictly romance.  The characters are well written and lively, and Carlene's journey from Ohio to happiness in Balleybeog makes this book hard to put down until the very last page.  

Perfect for Moms, Grandmas, and you! This was a nice break from my October reads so far--they're full of dark, dangerous people.  This book is like a warm hug and a cup of hot tea--or a pint :P

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Podcast!

I've decided to try my hand/voice at podcasting, and here is my first effort. Thanks to my friend Ty for helping me navigate the bizarre world of uploads, ftp, and pod bean!

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Friday, October 7, 2011

100th Book: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

I stumbled on this book while reading some other great reading blogs, and it looked like fun.  Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an egalley!  This is a book that I will probably buy, though.  It is chock full of simple ideas to take what looks like a hopeless dinner to something tasty and delicious with just a few simple staples from your cupboard.

The author, Kathleen Flinn, begins her 'cooking school' idea from an experience she has during grocery shopping.  Do you ever look in other people's baskets and carts, to see what they're buying?  I do, and so does Kathleen.  She sees a woman and her daughter carting around lots of boxes of prepackaged meals full of salt and unrecognizable ingredients.  She boldly steps up to this woman and gives her some tips on how to make healthy meals, and even takes her to the meat counter to have the butcher show the woman how to cut up a chicken.  So begins Kathleen's journey to teaching a group of women some simple kitchen techniques that will transform their eating habits. 

What I found so interesting about this book was how so many of the women she taught in her class had definite confidence issues from a lack of cooking skills.  Many of these issues stemmed from either a youth where they did not have mothers teaching them to cook, or relationships with men who did not support their efforts in cooking.  I was really taken aback by the effect this had on how these women saw themselves and food.  Kathleen's cooking school each week showed these women simple skills:  how to cut up a chicken, make soup, cook fish, and make simple loaves of bread at home.  As each class finished, the women's confidence grew by leaps and bounds, and they began to have a different relationship with their cooking and their kitchens.  

This book was fun, informative, and made me eager to clean out my cupboards and freezer.  It's all about putting together simple meals with what you have, and buying quality over quantity so you don't end up tossing food in the garbage.  I learned a lot from this book, and am excited to try some of the simple recipes in my own kitchen.  As someone who cooks every week, I will admit to having nights where it's just easier to order a pizza.  With Kathleen's book, now I know I can make some simple, healthy dishes with what I have at home.