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Virginia Campbell has commented on (123) products.

The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking by Samantha Seneviratne

Virginia Campbell, August 27, 2015

Author Samantha Seneviratne brings a whole world of flavors to your very own kitchen through the pages of "The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking". When you open your spice cabinet, what do you see? Ms. Seneviratne will open your eyes to new ways to use familiar spices, and she will make you want to explore they myriad spices, herbs, and seasonings available in today's market. I save my spice jars, and I often use little bits and dabs of spices to make my own seasoning blends. Samantha Seneviratne’s travel experience and baking expertise blend well to offer a treasure trove of history, cooking culture, and deliciously different dishes that will be a feast for the senses. Each chapter focuses on a particular ingredient: Peppercorn & Chile; Cinnamon; Nutmeg; Clove & Cardamom; Vanilla; Ginger; and Savory Herbs & Spices. My two favorite spices are Nutmeg and Bay Leaves. Nutmeg reminds me of holidays and happy times, and it just adds an extra something special to baked goods and other foods and beverages. Bay Leaves are aromatic and add a pleasing pungency to sauces, soups, and other dishes. With over 80 recipes, lovely food photos, and interesting and informative insights, this book will delight veteran chefs and novice cooks alike. Here's a sampling of the recipes: Summer Berry Focaccia; Chile-Chocolate Truffles; Parsnip Cake with Ginger; Raspberry Shortcakes with Double Ginger Biscuits; Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate and Sour Cherry Bread; Big Chewy Apricot and Ginger Cookies; Orange Clove Pull-Apart Bread; Gingerbread Pancakes; Sri Lankan Love Cake; Swedish-inspired Saffron Currant Braid; Ricotta Cheesecake with Bourbon-Raisin Jam; Crunchy Peanut Pepper Cookies; Cinnamon, Hazelnut and Date Buns; Salted Cashew Caramels; All-Edges Brownie Cookies; Cream Tea Brûlée; Salt and Pepper Carmel Brownies; Maple Sticky Buns; Frozen Eggnog Pops; Concord Grape Streusel Cake; Hazelnut and Oat Cookie Sandwiches; S'more Pie; Cinnamon Toast Bread Pudding; and Profiteroles with Coconut Allspice Ice Cream and Hot Fudge. SAMANTHA SENEVIRATNE is New York-based food writer, recipe developer, and food stylist. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center and has worked as a food editor in the kitchens of Good Housekeeping, Fine Cooking and Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake (Lovecommacake.com.)

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books
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Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors D'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails by Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors D'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails

Virginia Campbell, August 20, 2015

An "appetizer" is defined as "a small portion of tasty food to stimulate the appetite". Yes, indeed. An "hors d'oeuvre" is noted as an appetizer served before a meal. Why, thank you--I will accept a nice sampler plate. "Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails" offers up tasty tidbits and tempting treats accompanied by lovely libations. This is a glorious graze-fest, done in "Martha Style", and it truly is a fabulous feast for foodies. It also introduced me to one of my new favorite food phrases: "substantial small plates". Oh, goodness! While the traditional image for appetizers and hors d'oeuvres is associated with cocktail parties and social gatherings, I will say that the foods and drinks featured in this book are also mighty appealing for times when you want something really good, but you don't want to cook a full meal. I am writing this review in the sultry days of late August here in the South, and a cold plate of assorted goodies with a nice cool drink seems like the perfect after-work supper. Divided into five sections of recipes--Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites, and Sips--the book also offers rules and tips for party planning and hosting. Organization plus inspiration makes things easier for you and goes a long way to ensure a houseful of happy guests. You can't go wrong serving them delicious delights like these: "Summer Crudites with Green Goddess Dip"; "Cranberry Sparkler"; "Horseradish Deviled Eggs"; "Rosemary Cheese Straws"; "Plum Blossom"; "Mini Cheese Biscuits"; "Salty-Sweet Party Mix"; "Honey-Roasted Salted Figs"; "Gin and Grapefruit Fizzes"; "Turkey and Avocado Sliders"; "Sour Cherry Mojitos"; "Papaya, Mango, and Pineapple with Spiced Salt"; "Seasoned Potato Chips"; "Spiced Nuts"; "Seasoned Popcorn"; "Apple Cider Sangria"; and so much more. Contemporary cuisine has its own casual chic, and eclectic style can be an intriguing ice-breaker.

Review Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books
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The Wood's Edge (Pathfinders) by Lori Benton
The Wood's Edge (Pathfinders)

Virginia Campbell, July 1, 2015

Author Lori Benton's lyrical prose brings to vivid life the conflicts of cultures and the struggle for power that shaped the expansion of the American Frontier. "The Woods Edge", set in the New York Territory of the late 1700's, richly details the consequences of one irrevocable decision made during a father's moment of profound grief. The lasting effects of his actions will ripple through many lives until they become a pounding wave of tormented emotion. Major Reginald Aubrey thinks to spare his wife's health and sanity by switching their own dead newborn son for the living child of a former captive woman who had given birth to twin boys--one Indian and one white. Giving the blonde infant to his wife brings her peace, but this deception will bring tumult to all those involved. As their personal lives unfold, so does the history of America, as the frontier's bloody battles will ultimately merge with the great upheaval of the Revolutionary War. The people of the Oneida Nation faced severe repercussions for allying with the British, and their place in American history is given due attention. Stepping back into history to touch our roots is of immeasurable importance to our present day and our future. Splendid storytellers like Lori Benton who revere history and have a deep, abiding faith are to be treasured. "The Woods Edge" refers to a ceremony in which strangers approaching a community were met at the "town limits" or edge of the woods by a delegation who would approve their entry or send them on their way. This book is the first in "The Pathfinders Series" from wonderful writer Lori Benton.

Review Copy Gratis WaterBrook Press via Blogging for Books
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The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop

Virginia Campbell, June 12, 2015

A lovely literary journey traveled through waters and words, "The Little Paris Bookshop" is a charming, poignant read from author Nina George. Monsieur Perdu is a bookseller extraordinaire. He doesn't just sell books--he prescribes them--after diagnosing just the cure for what ails the book seeker. His magical, medicinal matchmaking of book and reader is uplifting and life-changing, and the doctor is long overdue for a dose of his own medicine. After twenty years, a chain of events will propel Monsieur Perdu to seek out the woman who broke his own heart. Along the way, he will collect an assortment of comrades, experience new adventures, and finally come to terms with his own very personal issues. Nina George writes with warmth and spins an atmospheric tale that will appeal to romance readers, food lovers, and armchair travelers. Recipes are included, as well as a special selection of emergency remedy reads from Monsieur Perdu's Literary Pharmacy.

Review Copy Gratis Crown Publishers via Blogging for Books
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The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

Virginia Campbell, March 19, 2014

The American Frontier of the eighteenth century is a rich source of amazing factual events and fascinating folk history. Author Lori Benton's beautifully descriptive writing and love of subject allow her readers to walk in the footprints of the past. "The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn" is a thrilling and compelling historical romance in which a young woman of privilege leaves behind all she has known in order to escape the cruelty of an obsessive and ambitious stepfather. Tamsen Littlejohn knows that she cannot accept an arraigned marriage when she longs to choose her own path. A heartbreaking tragedy and discovery of secrets about her very identity compel Tamsen to risk all in a daring flight for freedom with a frontiersman she has just met. Jesse Bird is a principled man of faith, and he is captivated by the beautiful Tamsen. Realizing the dire situation Tamsen faces, Jesse agrees to take her to a safe place away from her stepfather. Thus begins an amazing adventure through the rugged North Carolina frontier which will lead Tamsen and Jesse on an odyssey of survival and spiritual growth. Unexpected events along the way will take them to heights and depths that neither of them could have ever imagined. Will the love of a lifetime be their ultimate redemption and reward? Immerse yourself in this richly-told tale, and let author Lori Benton take you on an unforgettable journey of the heart and soul.

Review Copy Gratis WaterBrook Press via Blogging For Books
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