Book 50 of 50 – How to Grill Everything

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Marc Bittman and I go back about two decades. As a newly engaged young lady, I was walking through Michaels with my fiance, looking for wedding favor ideas and other fun things. In a $5 bin, I found Marc Bittman’s classic How to Cook Everything (affiliate link) and bought it. It served me well because I was learning how to cook with eggs and cheese. Previously, I only knew how to cook everything vegan.

How To Grill Everything by Marc Bittman

Great for anybody who wants to master the grill

As I learned who Bittman was – the food editor of the New York Times – and how he wrote an entire series on “how to cook everything” – I grew very impressed with his cooking methods and presentation style. Come to find out, he supports vegetarianism and wrote “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” (affiliate link) as part of his series. Of course, I bought that title, too. Continue reading »

Book 49 of 50 – Baking with Mary Berry

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The Princess of Wales lead me to Mary Berry because I saw a clip of the both of them baking together. As I researched who Mary Berry was, I learned they call her the Queen of British Baking.

Baking with Mary Berry

My copy, purchased from McKay’s, a used bookstore in Knoxville, for $8

Next thing I knew, in one of my visits to a bookstore, I spotted a cookbook by Mary Berry. When you open yourself up to a certain concept, the road veers  and steers you in the right direction for the next step. You just have to take the first step. Providence will supply the next and the next. Continue reading »

Book 47 of 50 – Bless Yourself

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Joel Osteen has written many encouraging books and Bless Yourself (affiliate link to the devotional journal, not the book reviewed here) is just one of them.

Bless Yourself

Bless Yourself

Short, sweet, and to the point, Bless Yourself will lead you on a journey to discover your own limiting beliefs about what God can do in your life. It is one of the books Osteen offers at times on his website and I just cannot find it right now. They only make it available certain times of the year. Any book by Osteen will bless you though. Here’s Think Better, Live Better (affiliate link).

Continue reading »

Book 46 of 50 – Coffee and Cake

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Rick Rodgers has published many cookbooks over the years. Coffee and Cake is just the kind of cookbook that we all need as an indulgence.

Coffee and Cake

Reading a cookbook from cover to cover will transform the way you look at cooking.

The first half covers the history of coffee and different types of coffee, plus the equipment needed to produce them. He also gives many tips for the home baker – invaluable.

I learned that coffee comes from Ethiopia originally, that Brazil produces more coffee than the next three countries on the list combined, and that 120 million people make a living in the coffee industry all over the world. That’s a lot of people. Continue reading »

Book 45 of 50 – The Screwtape Letters

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We knew C.S. Lewis was brilliant and The Screwtape Letters (affiliate link) only confirms it. How did Lewis even come up with this book? God only knows.

The Screwtape Letters

If you do not read anything else by Lewis, read this one.

Screwtape is a devil who is teaching his nephew, Wormwood, how to tempt a young man (a British man named The Patient in the book). The book educates you and shocks you about the way demons look at us humans. Very insightful indeed.

Every letter becomes a chapter which advances the story of the young man. This is a small book and the chapters (or letters) are short. As such, The Screwtape Letters is very easy to read.

The ending will give you chills. Throughout the book though, depending on how much you already understand about the battle between Jesus and Satan, you will have goosebumps.

Teenagers should read this book for themselves, in my opinion. It would help them gain an understanding of the forces at play in their lives as they make decisions.

Book 43 of 50 – Smoky Mountain Black Bears

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Courtney Lix wrote a very useful book about our beloved black bears, Smoky Mountain Black Bears. I call it a picture book for adults.

Smoky Mountain Black Bears

The book is written in FAQ style

The pictures are actual photographs of black bears in the Smokies. The content is strictly nonfiction – different facts about the bears. Continue reading »

Book 42 of 50 – It Happened in the Great Smokies

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It Happened in the Great Smokies (affiliate link) by Michael R. Bradley is a nonfiction book. A collection of stories from the 1700s through 2016, this volume hits home because this area is our home. I wanted to learn more about outstanding people who have shaped the area we live in.

It Happened in the Great Smokies

Nonfiction title with short accounts of how our area developed

The Cherokees and the European immigrants lived together sometimes peacefully and other times not so much. Then the Civil War happened and people got split again, along different lines. Continue reading »

Book 41 of 50 -The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

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Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis-Hearne, a mother and daughter team from Canada, put together a wonderful cookbook with dishes prepared exclusively in a cast iron skillet. Aptly titled The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, this tome contains plenty of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus dessert.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

The cover of the second edition

Last summer, my son asked me to stay away from nonstick cookware and cook exclusively in our cast iron skillets and Dutch oven. Thankfully, we already had several of these workhorses. I was only using them here and there. All I had to do is re-read how to clean and reseason them

This gave me the idea to look for a cookbook focusing on cast iron skillet recipes. The Lodge Cast Iron store in Pigeon Forge sells a cookbook, which you can also get online, but I found the Kramis cookbook through my Libby app. Of course, the Lodge company is in Tennessee and we are strangely proud of that, although we had nothing to do with it.

I made several recipes while I had the cookbook borrowed on the app. Now that it has expired, I will have to get a copy for myself. Lately, I have been collecting and reading cookbooks from cover to cover. There is a lot to learn, even after cooking for 30 years.

My favorite recipe in this book so far is the Dutch baby – a pancake which can be made either sweet or savory. My husband had never heard of this recipe. This made me feel better, because neither had I. And yes, my son loved the Dutch baby.

Book 40 of 50 – From Plant to Plate

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Tami Bivens wrote From Plant to Plate (affiliate link), a vegetarian cookbook which goes beyond recipes. As a registered dietician, Bivens also put together a 21-day menu with the recipes from the book. On top of that, she added ideas and lists of ingredients and tools needed in the kitchen.

From Plant to Plate

Very useful cookbook, especially for the new vegetarian cook

I have been vegetarian for more than 30 years. The health benefits of this diet clearly show in my bloodwork every year. Also, on my face and body. Many people cannot believe my age when I tell them how old I actually am. Continue reading »

Book 39 of 50 – The Einkorn Cookbook

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You might know that I write a lifestyle column for my local newspaper, The Mountain Press. This local couple who reads my column regularly wrote to me about The Einkorn Cookbook (affiliate link) by Shanna and Tim Mallon, in response to one of my columns about eating gluten.

The Einkorn Cookbook

Great book to own

I bought the book because I was already experimenting with einkorn flour and other ancient grains and pseudo-grains. Reading a cookbook from cover to cover proved entertaining, enlightening, and relatively easy. I shall do it again and again. And hey, it counts as a book, right? Continue reading »