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Carol Y has commented on (5) products.

Patchwork City: 75 Innovative Blocks for the Modern Quilter 6 Sampler Quilts by Elizabeth Hartman
Patchwork City: 75 Innovative Blocks for the Modern Quilter 6 Sampler Quilts

Carol Y, March 21, 2015

After I noticed this book was rated #1 Best of 2014 on the Sew Mama Sew site by readers, I bought it sight unseen, something I rarely do for quilt books. I was not disappointed. From the visual block index in the beginning, to the piecing basics at the end, the layout is completely logical and efficient. Each block has two pages of succinct instruction, including an easy-to-read chart of fabric requirements, numbered instructions, and solid color diagrams. Each block is also pictured in three different fabric-ways to demonstrate color and contrast alternatives. There are 25 different blocks in each of three sizes, for a total of 75 different (and non-traditional) blocks, which is a lot for one book. Also included are instructions for creating 6 sampler quilts using combinations of the blocks, with close-up pictures that show the quilting. The photography is well done. I think this book would work for motivated beginners, who have access to Elizabeth's basics book, or for any intermediate to advanced quilter. It would be hard to get bored! The blocks would also work for any style of fabric, from modern to solids to traditional. My only wish is that there were instructions without using freezer paper templates, but she does state that the instructions are written with scrappy piecing in mind. I imagine using these blocks in different quilts, maybe as borders or frames, or maybe with more negative space.
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The Model Bakery Cookbook: 75 Favorite Recipes from the Beloved Napa Valley Bakery by Karen Mitchell
The Model Bakery Cookbook: 75 Favorite Recipes from the Beloved Napa Valley Bakery

Carol Y, November 5, 2013

The Model Bakery is a 30 year old treasured institution in the Napa Valley and I've been visiting them for 25, so I might be a bit biased in my review. The best thing about the recipes are all the tips, which help the home baker get reproducible results. The recipe for my favorite Morning Buns is included, among many other goodies and breads the bakery is known for. The instructions are clear and thorough, but concise. The pictures are gorgeous, and the stories are interesting. Some of the recipes may be a bit basic for some, but there are several unique ones that will please an intermediate baker. A worthwhile addition to my cookbook collection.
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The Declaration of Independence & the Constitution by Roger Pilon
The Declaration of Independence & the Constitution

Carol Y, October 22, 2013

Pocket sized book (3.5" by 5") of the two greatest documents in our country's history. Durable cover for portability. Really handy to highlight, carry around and refer to.
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Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan and Julia Child
Baking with Julia

Carol Y, October 22, 2013

Thankfully I got this used, because while it is based on Julia's TV series, it lacks her voice and talent due to the fact it was written by Dorie Greenspan. Really only the forward was written by Julia. The recipes are fabulous and some the techniques have been edited for 'normal' home bakers. The color pictures are gorgeous. I'll keep this book for sheer breadth of talent of the many contributors that appeared with Julia on her show. There is a great variety of excellent recipes.
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The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen by Cook's Illustrated
The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen

Carol Y, October 22, 2013

Disclaimer: I love science. I realize this cookbook will not enthrall every home cook, but I found it very enlightening and incredibly useful. The science behind Good Cooking provides the why behind basic techniques and helps you avoid cooking disasters of the past. The book is laid out like a textbook, organizing chapters by method, which can be a turnoff, but it has a secondary table of contents, indexing all the recipes. I found it more approachable to start by looking up what I wanted to cook and then reading the science behind the method. Not quite as entertaining as the show, but the recipes are just as delicious. I gave it a 4, because I would have liked color pictures of the finished dishes and scientific 'experiments' (there are some B&W of the experiments). If you're a fan of America's Test Kitchen and/or Alton Brown, you'll love this book.
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