Showing posts with label a book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label a book review. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

10 Spices That Are So Easy to Grow & Great in Recipes

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, there are so many spices that are so easy to grow!  Let's review some of these spices and maybe they might help trigger some creative cooking too!

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Gardening is about enjoying what you and the earth can produce.  Nothing tastes as good as fresh from the garden.  That's why many people decide to go out to the country on the weekends to stock up on fresh from the farm goodness.

Having a spice garden is relatively easy and when it really starts to grow, it can become bountiful.  What a tasty treat for all your home cooked meals.  Let's get on to the list of easy to grow and great to enjoy spices that are just a few steps away from the kitchen.


10 of the Most Used and useful spices:


1.  Parsley:  either curly or flat leafed.  Wonderful for dressing up salads, potatoes, stews, and more.

2.  Chives:  Great with stuffed baked potatoes, salads, soups and more.

3.  Peppers:  These can be hot (hotter than Hades) or sweet as in bell peppers.  Some can be used for a meal as a vegetable and others for spicing things up.  Be careful, some of the peppers that are being grown today are so hot, you need to handle them with rubber gloves.

4.  Basil:  There are several varieties of Basil, from large Green Leafed Basil, to Purple Basil and even small leafed basil.  One thing is certain, tomatoes with fresh basil is a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

5.  Dill:  Great for making home made pickles, but also added to salads it adds just a little bit of a different taste sensation.

6:  Cilantro:  This is one spice that you either love or dislike(dare I say "hate").  It depends totally on your own taste buds.  Some people when eating anything with cilantro will taste a "soapy" flavor.  They are sure not to like this spice.  But others find cilantro to be refreshing with a crisp clear taste!  Great in salads and stews, soups and even sandwiches.

7:  Mint:  There are all kinds of mints available and all of them are really easy to grow.  Some might even be considered invasive.  Mints can be used in cooking as well as making teas (hot or cold) to enjoy on a hot summer's day.

8:  Sage:  Pretty in green or purple sage has a very strong flavor that will pack a punch of flavor in your cooking.

9:  Oregano:  Easy to grow and will often overwinter.  A great spice for all Italian dishes from spaghettis to pizza.  Added to soups and stews it adds a lot of flavor with a tangy zesty taste.

10: Rosemary:  this spice is easy to grow and can be used not only for cooking but as a decorative plant.  It prunes really easy and can be used as small topiaries.  This spice is great for lamb and grilled or roasted vegetables.  Taken indoors for the winter months, it will continue to grow without any problems.

This is my list of 10 favorites, but there are so many more and each one will add a dimension to your cooking that you may not have realized yet.  Below you will find a "cookbook" to help you make the most of the spices you grow yourself and the ones that you need to purchase because they just need a climate that we don't have.  Either way, home grown spices will definitely make you think twice about the way you cook and the way you enjoy your meals with your family.


Guide to Using Spices


If you are looking for help in pairing spices to make your recipes pop and sizzle, then I would highly recommend this Cookbook!  I use the term "Cookbook" with a certain amount of caution, it is not so much a "cookbook" as a real guide to using spices in combinations that will make your food preparation and your family's taste buds sing.


With a rating of 4.5 stars from Amazon, and over 1,000 verified purchases (mine included), I know that you will enjoy this addition to your cookbook collection!  As with many books today, there is a "Kindle" edition.  Alas, the Kindle version does not get very good ratings at all. (This decline in ratings I'm sure dropped this from a 5 star to 4.5 star rating) With the Kindle book, there is not the same ability to skip to other pages easily and quickly.   Some books just need to be in a paper version!

This truly is a REFERENCE BOOK  that every kitchen should have.  You will use it more often than you ever thought possible.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It's National Blueberry Month All Around the World

Today is National Blueberry Muffin Day!  Just as these plump little berries are coming onto the market, it is time to get some great recipes, so you can fully enjoy these delicious little treats!  



Let's Review some of the best recipes that are out there on the World Wide Web, for all of us who love to consume this delightful bit of heaven on earth!
Blueberries are one of the best fruits for you!  Full of lots of vitamins and minerals, it has also had a lot of reported health benefits as well!.Blueberries are pretty to look at and taste even greater than they look.  Naturally native to North America, blueberries have been attributed to longevity and strength.  They are low in calories and high in taste!  A great combination for sure. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of blueberries you can check out a link right here!

Let me just give you the highlights!  100 grams of blueberries contains about 57 calories. for those who are not in the metric system that equals about a half cup.  Blueberries are full of anti-oxidants and dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. These dark blue berries even  help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels. They pack a big bang for your grocery dollar. Many people feel that blueberries add years to your life and life to your years.  Added to other berries like strawberries and raspberries, the colors alone will make your mouth water.

What's even better is that you can use blueberries in so many different ways.  You can eat them just as they are, like grapes, or add them to a dish of ice cream for a real treat!  Blueberries can even be used in savoury dishes too! They are great in gravies, soups and stews or to add some flavor to venison dishes.   Just make sure you wash them well, just like any other fruit.

Blueberries can be cooked into a jam or jelly, baked into a cake or tart, or frozen for later use.  If you have a farm near you, I would highly suggest that this fruit is one you should go out and pick.  The time for that is right now!  Berry season this year looks like a great one.  We've had the right amount of rain and sunshine so that these fruits should be available without any problems. The height of the season is June through August.

Now let's look at a few ways that you can make the most out of this incredible berry season. Eating blueberries just as they are is wonderful.  Add other berries to make a lovely colorful flan, fruit cups, and mixed berry jams and jellies is a great idea too!  But don't stop there.  Blueberries can also be used in smoothies and making wine!  My personal favorite is Blueberry Muffins.  I like the flavor, texture and look of these muffins!  Yummy for breakfast or as a dessert for the family.  You will find so many recipes that use blueberries in this cookbook! 

Blueberry muffins are so good and easy to make, I just know you will enjoy this recipe!  Sam Monaco, a friend and great cook shared this recipe on his blog "Sam's Place"  I've made them lots of times and I never get tired of the ease and the great taste of these delightful muffins.  Enjoy!  Sam's Blueberry Muffins

By the Way,  just for some added fun, the next time you play a game like Trivial Pursuit, you can awe your family with the knowledge that Canada is the largest exporter of blueberries in the world.  Bet you didn't know that!



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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Every Dog is "As Good As Gold" : A Review

Can we all agree, every dog is "As Good As Gold" !

I had the pleasure of reviewing a few children's books by author Patricia Furstenberg a while back.  I loved those books with their colorful and quaint illustrations.  The stories were cute as well.  If you want to know more about those books you can read my review right here.

Now Patricia Furstenberg is back with a whole book of poetry that just makes you relax and smile.  Here is my Review:


As Good As Gold is being launched today May 23rd and I'm so pleased to be part of this massive roll out!  This book is light hearted and a delight.  Humans who have had dogs often wonder what their dogs are thinking.  As Good As Gold may give you just a little inkling of what is going on in that mind!  Dogs who are cared for seem to have minds that are always sharp and ready to find the "new and different".  In this book Ms. Furstenberg gives those dogs a voice.  I'm sure when you are reading these words, you will agree, quite possibly, this is exactly what my dog was thinking.


https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/every-dog-is-as-good-as-gold-review.html?spref=fb

The poems in As Good As Gold, will make you smile and think to yourself, "Ahhh, that's what was going on in my fur baby's mind!"  

I really enjoyed seeing all things from snowflakes and autumn leaves, to other creatures in the garden, through all these dog's eyes.  What we consider normal and everyday for our puppies and our older dogs, may not be so ordinary and normal.  Maybe we could learn from the excitement of our dogs, a new "wonder" in all the things around us.  Like children our fur babies are busy learning about their world.  

How many times do our fur babies find themselves in "trouble" of some sort?  With the heart of an innocent, these poems written by Pat Furstenberg, bring a small modicum of understanding when they get into something they don't understand.  Meeting frogs and birds, snakes and cats, and many other animals in their "world", makes their innocence even more poignant.  Dogs often they get into mischief or mishaps, just because they are curious.  When that happens, maybe we should stop and think, putting ourselves into their paws (so to speak). Reading this book of poetry reminded me to never lose that sense of exploration or learning something new.  Dogs are masters at teaching us to enjoy the simple things in life and the beautiful things around us.

Some beautiful Haiku at the end of the book will make you settle down with a loving sigh......They are the diamonds to keep you smiling long after you are finished reading.  This is a great book to enjoy with children.  I'm so sure that the children will relate to learning new things just like the dogs are doing.  It's a fun and enlightening read.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Clicking on the blue As Good As Gold in this review will take you to the Amazon link where you may purchase this book if you like!


                                                          OCEAN
                                              Undecided water
                                   Moving between sky and sand.
                                            Lullaby, hush, hush.

                                                                P. Furstenberg (from the book)
as good as gold, pat furstenberg, grammie olivia, review this
                                                                                             picture courtesy of Pexels.com







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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