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A place to talk about the books we love, hate, and are randomly thinking about reading!

A Review: 5 Ingredient Fix

Posted By Kate Parham on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:33AM

What I’m Reading: 5 Ingredient Fix by Claire Robinson (Food Network Host)

Full Disclosure: The lovely folks over at Grand Central Life & Style were kind enough to send me a review copy of this beautiful cookbook.

Initial Thoughts: This is one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I’ve seen in a long time. The photos are absolutely stunning and the layout is so warm and welcoming.  The cookbook opens with a letter from Claire, followed by her 5 ingredient philosophy (which I think I can totally get on board with) and even a section on Kitchen Basics.

Then we jump right into the recipes.  While I wish there was a photo for every recipe in the book, the ones that do exist (of which there are many) are of such high quality, it makes up for the pages with just text.  Every recipe is formatted in the same way: Paragraph style instructions down the center (I usually prefer numbered steps), with the 5 ingredients on the left. Serving size just below the ingredients and then, my favorite part: “What makes this recipe really sing” and “What to toss in if you have it”.  I love this.  When you’re only cooking with 5 ingredients, it’s important to know why the chef chose the few ingredients she did and how you can make them really shine.  I love that these recipes are complete with just 5 ingredients, but that Claire acknowledges that adding a sixth can sometimes make the dish even better.

The Plan: I’ve decided that the best way for me to get the most from this cookbook will be to quite simply cook my way through it— while taking you guys along for the adventure, of course.  So for the next several weeks, I will be cooking from the pages of this bad boy and sharing my experience with you all here.

Stay tuned for the first menu after Christmas.  I think I’ll start with:

  • Roasted Beets with Oranges and Goat Cheese
  • Buttermilk Pecan Chicken
  • Tomato & Vidalia Onion Gratin
  • Frozen Lemon Whip with Blueberry Sauce


To follow along with Kate (& Claire!), visit Kitchen Couture, a blog for fashionable foodies who love a good bargain!

Where the Willow Gows in Transylvania

Posted By RosaAlexander on Nov 27, 2011 at 5:55PM

New book release, Where the Willow Grows in Transylvania


Help Choose the Book Cover for Geek Girl

Posted By geekgirlwriter on Sep 15, 2011 at 2:41AM

My publisher has sent me the top 5 options for the new cover for Geek Girl. Go to my blog and vote for your favorite. The winner will receive an autographed copy when it is released December 8th! Thanks :o)

East of Eden- John Steinbeck

Posted By pink-elephant on Aug 18, 2011 at 4:05PM

     I first received this book as a birthday present a few months ago, and all I can say is Wow! I have literally not been able to put it down! I have already finished with one reading and am now halfway through my second reading. John Steinbeck is really a gifted author and this story is among his finest works. And in my opinion, his best. It is a story that takes a modern stance on the original Cain and Able tale. It speaks of love, hate, jealousy, favoritism, sibling rivalry and love, sin, choice and redemption. An excellent read!

The Hunger Games

Posted By igboprincess on Jul 5, 2011 at 3:02PM

One book series that I am so glad I read is the Hunger Games Trilogy! The movie is coming out soon, so I suggest you read the first book before seeing it because the book is always better : ). Here's a summary for you!
Suzanne Collins has created a future where there's no United States, because the entire continent of North America is now named Panem. This dystopian country is dictatorship run by President Snow from the Capitol. The rest of the country is divided up into 12 areas called districts. Every year for entertainment, the Capitol hosts The Hunger Games: a bloody fight to the death that is televised and mandatory to watch. Two tributes from each district are selected and forced to enter the arena in a battle for their lives. 

Katniss Everdeen is the protagonist and she basically kicks butt. When her sister Prim gets picked to be a tribute, Katniss takes her place in the games to save Prim's life. She gets really close with this really hunky bread maker guy named Peeta, who is the male tribute from District 12, but that's a problem because she already sorta kinda has feelings for her really hunky hunting partner named Gale (did I mention that Katniss is a wicked cool huntress? She's like, one with her bow and arrow. A modern Artemis or something) and there's a lot of emotional confusion and dilly dawdling between the two equally hot young men. That part is kinda Twilight-esque, but the rest of the Hunger Games is jarring violence and suspense that will keep anyone furiously flipping through the pages. Even though it's characterized under "Young Adult" it's really not. These books are for anyone who is literate and wants some interesting drama in their life.

Reading: Memoirs of a Geisha...

Posted By dark chocola on Feb 13, 2011 at 4:18AM


After finishing this amazing novel, i came to a conclusion that I myself lives my life as a geisha!
A breath taking act and it really caught me since the 1st chapter, describes familiar girlhood foolishness, disappointments, life mesory and many other feelings that go through woman's mind in such fantastic expressive way

A new E-book to read (Fiction)

Posted By mindyfaith on Dec 3, 2010 at 12:04PM

I  usually read non-fiction but lately my life has been so serious, I needed to read some fiction to soothe the soul.  I plowed through the light L.A. Candy series and enjoyed them enough, but yet again and am left with nothing I am really interested in reading at present.  I was suggested that I read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" but I just can't get into it.  Also, Steve Martin's new book, but am not sure.  What do you think?  Any suggestions for a new book to perk up my spirits this holiday season?

Favorite Summer Read: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Posted By 21inSF on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:33PM

Although The Secret History by Donna Tartt was published over a decade ago (in 1992), it remains my go-to summer read. The novel follows a young man named Richard Paper, who begins his college education at an elite school in Vermont. From a modest background, Richard quickly becomes intrigued by an upper-class group of boys who have created an Ancient Greek curriculum of their own, through the guidance of an unconventional mentor and professor. Since the novel is set on a college campus, most of the action revolves around the social networks of the school, and focuses on this small and select group of pupils, which Richard eventually becomes a part of. The novel opens with information about one of their murders, and unfolds quickly and intelligently through the rest of the plot. Part murder-mystery, part ancient Greek tragedy, and part social study, The Secret History is a relevant and thought-provoking novel that is impossible to set down after the action begins.

Need New Books Now

Posted By Nicci Freeman on Aug 2, 2010 at 12:46PM

Okay so I just finished all of the Stieg Larsson books, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and the Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest, and I loved them.  The problem is I am now having great book withdrawal.

Does anyone have any recommends?  I'm leaving for vacation in a couple of weeks and laying on the beach without a good book is unacceptable.  For that matter so is flying.  Or waiting line at the DMV (something I have to do this week).


My Favorite Summer Read: Summer Sisters

Posted By shannoninsf on Jun 18, 2010 at 1:00PM

I have a packed-full Summer reading list for the next couple of months, and am determined to consume as many books as is humanly possible. I just finished Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake and picked up David Nicholls's One Day the other night, but there's an old favorite hanging out on my bookshelf that I can't wait to dig into: Judy Blume's Summer Sisters.

The first time I read Summer Sisters was in 2002 after finding it on the shelf of a used-book store. Until that point, I'd only known Judy Blume as the writer of things I'd read in middle school, like Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, but this book opened me up to Blume's more mature writing. It chronicles the friendship of besties Vix and Caitlin as they weather growing up and the complications of female friendship. I could more than relate to competition in friendship, plus Blume paints an engrossing and seductive picture of two fleshed-out women, mostly set against Martha's Vineyard Summers (it's always been my goal to visit, BTW).

In any case, it's the book I've read the most times as any, always reaching for it when I'm in a slump or when the weather heats up and I need a reliable beach read. It just never gets old, and my heart breaks and soars each and every team I read about Vix, Caitlin, and their sandy coming of age.