A Grand read

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Memoir of Food inn the Soviet


wow! I loved this book since I am a foodie and enjoy reading about food!! To say the least I read all my cookbooks!! Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is an original. Anya Von Bremzen has told the history of the Soviet Union through the story of her grandparents, her mother, and herself, with a special emphasis on food.

I loved her other book Product Details

Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook

which is full of  recipes This book covers a wide variety of foods and regions. as well as info from the land.

I was not disappointed with the memoir of Russia. This does have some recipes  in it but it is more like a companion to her other cookbook. This is the story of her life, her family and the Russians during the wa all with  food as the focal point!. Five stars for this and another five stars for "Please to the Table." If you love food and enjoy history, you'll want to read both.This is a must-read for anyone with any interest in the culture and society of the Soviet Union. The book traverses a century of political upheaval, wars, depression, state-sponsored propaganda and chicanery all around the unifying metaphor of food ---

    Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen.A great mixture of food and history. Well worth the read.  This is Something I  will be reading out loud to my sisters while they sew in the evenings. I advise anyone who is fascinated by Russia to read it.

A sample from the book " Guests! They never stopped crowding Mom’s doorstep, whether at our apartment in the center of Moscow or at the boxy immigrant dwelling in Philadelphia where she and I landed in 1974".  There is a little  langue I am not quite sure about but overlooking that  I really enjoyed it! Yet it is not a book to be read all at once but a bit hear and there!This volume will remain in my collection forever and I am afraid will never make it to my sister as a birthday gift!  This is a truly different way to learn about the culture and people of Russia!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mysticism mixed with Christian theology

 The Sacred Year

The Sacred YearMapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice -- How Contemplating Apples, Living in a Cave, and Befriending a Dying Woman Revived My Life

By Michael Yankoski 

I really liked the front of this book so was a little taken back by the authors writing!  I was particularly touched by the idea of writing gratigraphs, letters of appreciation to people who have blessed our lives, from his chapter on gratitude.  

I began this book thinking this would give me some insight into growing closer to the Lord and learning  from others struggles.  I wanted to make  this fall and the yar 2015  a better one!  I also thought this volume would be making me more apt to seek out a more purposeful life for Christ, but honestly I felt none of that as I read it. The only thing the book really left me with was a sense that it was a bit too new age-y for my liking or catholic .  I felt like the author was in another time where men lived a lone like hermits. .

I felt like  Michael focused to much on himslef. Let  me show you an example. . He gains an insight into his own mortality digging a grave by hand. "The fact that I'm going to be down there someday. That we're all going to be down there someday. And the whole world will just keep on going about its business above us, like we were never even here."(pg 114).

I did get one good  quote  an a yummy bread recipe from the book "The God who called you into existence ex nihilo---out of nothing---is the same God who holds you in existence this moment and every moment. Were he to withdraw this hand, you would vanish without memory.....he wants you to exist. And not just exist. He wants you to live life in all its fullness."

I do agree that we as Christians today do need to do more in our lives to really seek the Lord and His will and often times our life is too busy and running so fast that we aren’t still enough to hear His voice
 I don’t agree with many of his viewpoints, Thus in the end I felt like  I was left hanging. Not worth the read
 I received The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Newness of life!

Live: Your Life with Christ Handbook & DVD by Rebecca Manley Pippert

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book and Dvd!To. In five interactive, informal sessions combining DVD clips, Bible study, discussion times and testimony footage, Becky explores the truth and content of the gospel, and how to begin and keep going in the Christian life.

Internationally renowned speaker, evangelist and author Becky Manley Pippert’s newest resource is the What Next and the How To. In five interactive, informal sessions combining DVD clips, Bible study, discussion times and testimony footage, Becky explores the truth and content of the gospel, and how to begin and keep going in the Christian life.

Short chapter questions so this is perfect for Bible studies or for those who do not read!Each session is approximately 10 minutes long so this is perfect for any ones busy schedule! Not oe of those  courses that will sit om  your self never to be sued!. Purchase of the DVD includes access to free downloadable materials that will help leaders facilitate the study more effectively.

Go  to this page to see  a video about this!

*I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for writing a fair review.*

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Trusting the Bible!

I was really blessed to read the third book in this series. I thought it was  well written that I will pass it on to a friend to enjoy and  probably use in their church. I think this would be  good to give to young christians.

These questions are:
1) Does the Bible claim to be God's Word?
2) Does the Bible seem to be God's Word?
3) Does the Bible prove to be God's Word? 
are all answered in this volume which you can get as a paper back or a kindle book!
Too often in books for young believers, Christian values and doctrines are so weak they hardly exist but this book was not like that.

. The "Questions Christians Ask" series is extremely helpful in answering pressing questions facing Christians today in a biblically-focused manner. I highly recommend this book and series to every pastor, professor, Sunday School teacher, and anyone else seeking answers to  questions of the Christian faith.
This book is great and I will recommend it to others. Cooper also dispels the claim that the Gospels are merely legends.While the book is very short (a small book with 81 pages), it really is substantial and fairly complete.This is a great book to read and understand, and small enough to finish in one day. Highly Recommended!

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review

Iceland cooking

 This is a great winter cookbook! From the pictures of scenery in this book I realized I  must some day visit this place and conquer my fear of the cold!
 This book is an eye opener to a culture we did not know about. Many of the recipes  have to do with fish but there are still some dairy ones which you can make! A beautiful copy table volume, even if some of the recipes are too difficult for the average American to make.
. Even if I do not make  most of the  seafood recipes I  drew  inspiration from this cookbook. My favorite chapter was collecting seabird eggs. This is such a neat insight to the land.This is one of the most beautiful cookbooks you will ever find. The photography of the food, people, and landscapes are breathtaking. The recipes are surprising.
Not so much as  the kinds of recipes   but the chapter titles  !
The Bacalao Producer 
The Arctic Char Smoker 
The Rugbraud Baker
The Fisherman 
The Seabird Egg Collector
The Barley Farmer 
The Dairy Farmer
The Birch and Mushroom Forager 
The Sheep Farmer
The Hardfiskur Producer 
The Salt Maker 
The Goat Farmer 
The Blue Mussel and Dulse Harvester 

I loved how the author who has a  restaurant honors the people of the land.  "This book celebrates the cuisine and nation of a forward-thinking chef and the producers who supply his restaurant." Try this recipe and then order your book!
Bacalao Potatoes 
with fennel Ribbons and Sorrel Ash
Serves 4  |  Preparation time: about 1 hour (plus 24 hours to rehydrate the cod)

On a visit to northern Iceland, Gunnar and I stayed in an inviting apartment on the outskirts of Akureyri, the second largest town in the country (at a whopping eighteen thousand inhabitants) and Gunnar’s birthplace. The only thing our cozy abode lacked was blackout curtains. Not surprisingly, the blinding July sun that drenches the country in light twenty-four hours a day results in severe sleep deprivation for anyone not accustomed to it. Gunnar, of course, is accustomed to his nation’s days of perpetual light and slept soundly each night. Perhaps because he was not bleary-eyed by dinnertime (and because he is a naturally hospitable fellow), he took charge of the evening meal.

One of the first things he made was this creamy potato recipe incorporating Elvar’s bacalao. It was not his intention to prepare it every night, but we couldn’t seem to get enough of its comforting virtue. The bacalao infused it with just the right amount of brininess, and the pungent horseradish perked up any sleepy brains. It’s hearty enough to work as a main dish and also makes a fantastic side. One night, Gunnar served it on toast; on another, he substituted smoked haddock, an ideal replacement for the cod. The profusion of herbs he added was dictated by whatever we foraged that day. This dish, which is inspired by a popular lunch item at Dill, is festively attired with fennel ribbons, a soft-boiled egg, and sorrel ash—the latter a mainstay of the Nordic kitchen.

1 pound (450 g) salted cod
1 pound (450 g) waxy potatoes
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream, warmed

Sorrel Ash
Leaves from 1 bunch sorrel

To Serve
4 carrots, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces, and roasted
2 fennel stalks, cut into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler (see note)
4 eggs, soft boiled
Freshly grated horseradish, for finishing

To make the potatoes, immerse the salted cod in cold water to cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water several times to remove as much salt as possible. Remove from the water and, if skin and bones are present, remove them. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and roast the cod until warmed through, about 8 minutes. Once it is cool enough to handle, break into flakes, and keep warm.

To make the sorrel ash, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the sorrel leaves in a single layer on the prepared pan and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until blackened. Let cool to room temperature, then pulverize the leaves in a spice grinder, transfer to an airtight container, and store at room temperature until serving. The ash will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Boil the potatoes in salted water to cover for 18 to 20 minutes, until tender. Drain the potatoes, let cool just until they can be handled, then peel them, keeping the peel intact if possible.

In a saucepan, mash the warm potatoes and cream together until smooth. Add the warm cod and stir gently to incorporate. Keep warm.

To serve, spoon the potatoes into a bowl. Top with the carrots, a generous handful of fennel ribbons, a soft-boiled egg, and a spoonful of horseradish. Dust with sorrel ash.

To prevent browning, immerse the fennel ribbons in acidulated water until ready to use.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Displaying Revelation Cover (Web Front).png I found this book to be well rounded.  The history about the churches was very good. the 7 churches  are in Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine to the north and Syria, Sreal and Saudi Arabia  to the South.  I enjoyed how the author brought out the fact that this book refers to the number 7 a lot ; 7 churches, scales, trumpets, persons, vials, dooms and more.

The book of Revelation is a love letter to the church. Yet most view it as troubling, and many misunderstand what the Lord is trying to tell us. Didn’t the Jews in Jesus’ day have some of the same problems? 

Follow Joh as he is sent to  the isle of Patmos in the Agean Sea 30 miles  off the west coast of Turkey. Then see what visions the Lord gave him. In the first chapter you will see a description o who Jesus is . Chapter 2 tells  what is happening  in the churches during John;s  life.  

Revelation: The Best is Yet to Come provides a simple running commentary and interpretive guide for the beginner. Our hope is that laypersons and preachers not familiar with the book of Revelation will be encouraged to do a more in-depth study. The material takes an unashamed pretribulation, premillennial position within a traditional dispensational framework.

I felt like the author did a good job and it was worth the read, even if I am not dispensational or premillennnial. Check it out at http://www.lifesentencepublishing.com/revelation-blog-tour/
Thanks for the free book to review cid:image001.jpg@01CF4CCA.91C734D0

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Frustrating read.

I was terribly saddened with this read. He Michael,  tried to show us that we can be of the world and still be of Christ One idea which shocked me was that of  surfboard church. A meeting on the beach for surfers  so they can attend church and still go surfing after. Or the "mall church" for the men who wont go to traditional church. They get a church service in the mall with prayers and songs and any one can speak a word of advice.  Then this group of men would go preach a traditional service for the ladies.

I read it three times to try and glean some ideas from real life stories but I just could not! It   did not  fit in with my theology . God calls we do not have to spruce up the church to attract  people. I did not care for the way it was written either.  In Being Church Doing Life: Creating Gospel Communities Where Life Happens, Michael Moynagh explores the practical nature of taking the influence of the gospel into the heart of the culture . True but he did it in his own way.

I leave you with one good note! Communities are God's strategy for individuals to make a difference.”  If you want to read get it on line  instead of ordering it. Then decide if you really want it

I received this book free from the publisher http://www.kregel.com . I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dating or courtship?

I am very interested in the authors ideas on this subject and he did a good job!

"There are thousands of Godly young people who want to get married, are ready to get married, and should be married… indeed should have been married long ago… who are not married. Their church, their friends, and their families have all prepared them for marriage, for early marriage, for early, fruitful marriage… and they are not married.  This caught my attention and so I read and saw that many times we do not know  why we o something.  Right now I see why s many seem to fall back into dating when courtship does not work.

"Scripture provides clear answers to this crisis: which we have ignored because they run counter to our culture. It is time that we began to take every thought captive to Christ, and throw off the chains of bondage to this world. It is time we ‘let them marry’."

This book pints out  what dating, courtship and  betrothal are and lets the reader  decide which one to follow. I loved how there were conversations  between different characters. I felt like I was with them and could really relate to them.

Even though i did not agree with all of the authors  beliefs I was very glad to have  been given a free copy of this book to read! Think twice about why you want to court. what is the most important part the start of a courtship or the engagement. Which one is more of a surprise to you. Read this book for Biblical answers!

Understanding the Psalms

I was delighted with this book.  I believe the book of Psalms  is vitally needed for  life. I was happy to learn that  the whole Psalm is about Christ. This is a book about the first 8 Psalms. I hope  the author continues and write many other books about the other Psalms as I would purchase all of them. And recommend them to every one!!

I was moved  to meditate on the Psalms and  make them a subject of prayer.   I learned  some valuable lessons which I never knew one being  that Psalms 1 and 2 are originally one Psalms. You too will find many nuggets, you never knew about. It is good to have books with reminders of things one already knew but it is ever better  to have volumes with information in it you never knew. This enhances ones knowledge of  Christ the Lord!!

By the end of the book I wanted more so i could delight my self in God's law. For now I will re read this book and use it in my quite time so that I can be obedient to it. For Jesus set  an example , by praying and  meditating on the scriptures. May I be like Him!

Thanks  for the book!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Missionary to Colombia!

This is the sequel  to Rusell Stendal  and how he returns to Colombia as a missionary! Can two arch-enemies reconcile? One man found they can if someone will demonstrate grace, mercy, and faith. 

I found his well  written and quite good. Some day I hope Rescue the captors  two books will be bound as one story.  This also follows the life of his family and  his daughters marriage and stay in the country! Overall, I'd recommend this book to those interested in what God's doing in Colombia.
About the Author
Russell Stendal, a former hostage of Colombian rebels, is a lifelong missionary to that same group in the jungles of Colombia. He is an influential friend to military and government leaders in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. Russell’s ministry shares the gospel via twelve radio stations, hundreds of thousands of Bibles, books, and movies distributed through airplane parachute drops, and numerous speaking engagements for groups of leaders, prisoners, and individuals. Russell goes wherever the Lord leads, whether it’s to speak with a president or to go deep into the jungle to help an individual in trouble. He has witnessed the Holy Spirit at work as thousands commit their lives to Christ.
You will be changed, inspired, and awed by these Christian Biographies. Russell has been ambushed, shot at, chased through the jungle and threatened by every means. Yet in all these dangerous and precarious hostage situations, God has supernaturally protected him. In seemingly hopeless situations, Russell has seen Hope! Russell is a regular speaker at Voice of the Martyrs conferences.
You won't be disappointed as you see God's hand working in this grand story full of pictures! Very inspirational.  It's written in an event-based journal style-- which I enjoyed. Check it out at http://www.lifesentencepublishing.com/rescue-the-captors-2-blog-tour/.   

Thanks LIFE SENTENCE Publishing for the book to review!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The New Indian Slow Cooker- a cookbook by Neela Paniz

The New Indian Slow Cooker: Recipes for Curries, Dals, Chutneys, Masalas, Biryani, and More  I had to try this cookbook since I love Indian food!
The rich and complex flavors of classic Indian dishes like  chicken in a creamy tomato-butter sauce can take hours to develop through such techniques as extended braising and low simmering but with the crock pot this recipe was so easy to spin out. In fact we loved the sauce so much we had it the following day on meatballs!

The newest book in Ten Speed's best-selling slow cooker series, featuring more than 60 fix-it-and-forget-it recipes for Indian favorites.  So I was excited as soon as I heard that Ten Speed Press was bringing out an Indian slow cooker book.There is so much information included in this book and I suggest that you sit down and read it all before you get started on any of the recipes( who does not read a cook book any way?)The pictures are amazing! I do so love cookbooks with pictures to make you get into a cooking mood!!

Although I did not try this recipe it sounds good! Chicken Soup with Rice, Spinach, and Tomatoes murghi shorba

One of the more popular dishes we served at the Bombay Café was murghi shorba. I wanted to offer a soup beyond lentils, so using the basic method of another popular dish, Sautéed Chicken with Green Mango Powder (page 40), I came up with an Indian version of chicken and rice soup. Like any good chicken soup, it is a wonderful comfort for those ailing with a cold—and the addition of chiles certainly clears your sinuses!

If you are looking to make a stock without the flavors of the whole spices, just leave them out. If using this method for the chicken stock required in the Mulligatawny Soup recipe on page 41, do not add the ginger, chiles, cardamom, cassia, or cloves. 
1 (4-to 41⁄2-pound) chicken, skinned and cut up 
(see page 21)
10 cups water
1 large yellow onion, 
cut into 6 pieces
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 serrano chiles, with seeds, 
cut into 3 pieces each
1 carrot, peeled and 
cut into 1-inch rounds
1 tomato, quartered
4 whole black cardamom pods
1 (2-inch) piece cassia, 
broken in half
8 cloves
8 to 10 whole black peppercorns
11⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 cup hot cooked rice
1 large tomato, seeded and diced small
10 to 12 large spinach leaves, julienned
1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro,
for garnish
1 serrano chile, minced, 
for garnish (optional) 
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges, 
for garnish

Before prepping the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on to the high setting for 
15 minutes, until the insert is warmed through.

To make the stock, add the backbone and wing tips of the cut up chicken to the heated slow cooker along with the water, onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, carrot, tomato, cardamom, cassia, cloves, peppercorns, and salt. Turn the cooker to low and cook for 4 hours.
Add the rest of the chicken pieces, turn the cooker to high, and continue to cook for another 2 hours.

Transfer the pieces of chicken to a platter. Strain the stock and set aside in a saucepan; keep hot on the stovetop until ready to serve. Shred enough chicken to make 11⁄2 cups; reserve the rest for another use, such as Sautéed Chicken with Green Mango Powder (page 40).
Prepare 8 soup bowls with equal amounts of the rice, tomato, spinach, and shredded chicken. Pour hot stock into the bowls, garnish with cilantro, minced serrano chile, and lemon wedges, and serve.

 Note To cook chicken for Sautéed Chicken with Green Mango Powder (page 40), increase the number of chickens to two, weighing about 3 pounds each, skinned and cut into 6 pieces each. Reserve the resulting stock for another use.
Neela Paniz
Neela Paniz - The New Indian Slow Cooker
NEELA PANIZ grew up in Bombay, India. After moving to the US, Paniz opened Chutney's Indian take-out and the hugely successful Bombay Cafe in Los Angeles, and a contemporary Indian restaurant, Neela's, in Napa. She is also the author of The Bombay Cafe, which put her on the national map as one of the leading voices of contemporary Indian cuisine. Since selling her restaurants, Paniz has appeared as the winning contestant onChopped, taught cooking classes, provided recipes for many magazine articles, and been a presenter at The Culinary Institute of America.

This book will make a lovely gift for my sister in a few weeks!
 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."