Book Review: This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth?

This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth?
by
Patrick Di Justo

In some ways, I’m what some might consider a “foodie” not in the sense that I just have to try the best restaurants in every city I go to, more in the sense that I love learning about food.  I love learning about what’s in our food, what that does to our bodies, etc. Needless to say, when I saw the title of this book, I just knew that I had to get my hands on a copy.

Stemming from his popular column, What’s Inside, found in WIRED magazine, Patrick Di Justo offers readers a look at exactly what’s inside the food we ingest every day. While many people think they know what they’re eating, Di Justo makes it clear that there are a lot of things we don’t know. Using a scientific approach, Di Justo gives readers insight into what makes up things like Easy Cheese, Hot Pockets and Spam. In the second part of the book titled This Is What You Don’t Put In Your Mouth, he takes a closer look at the ingredients in things such as contact solution, Fix-A-Flat and diaper cream.  All of this information is given in an informative, yet humorous manner and it really makes the reader think about just what is lurking in things we eat or use every day.

What I found most interesting about this book was the reception Di Justo was given by many companies when he reached out to them to get their input on the products their ingredients contained; many were very secretive and vague, with just a handful actually willing to talk with him. It makes you realize that there is a lot going on in the food industry that they don’t want consumers to know and it’s not just “trade secrets.” While I found the information fascinating, it was a bit much to read the whole book all at once.  This is a book that is better savored, giving the reader time to ponder what they’ve learned.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts
by
Courtney Walsh

Abigail Pressman owns a cozy little book store/coffee shop in the quaint town of Love’s Park, nestled in the Rockies.  She has grand plans to expand her shop but those plans get squashed when the financing falls through.  Now instead of looking forward to expanding, she’s faced with closing or relocating her shop when big city doctor, Jacob, buys the building her shop is in.  He plans to convert the building into a home for his new practice. As much as they try to avoid each other, these two just can’t keep from running into each other. The more they butt heads, the more the realize there might be something more lurking under the surface of their relationship. To move forward with any sort of relationship, they each have to deal with their pasts. Can they get over it and move on? Or will their pride and stubbornness separate them forever?

This was a fun book to read, especially since I can see the beautiful Rocky Mountains from my house.  That made it very easy to imagine a cute little book store/coffee shop in a cozy mountain town. I really enjoyed following the story of Abigail and Jacob.  Walsh’s writing was fun and easy to read and she wrapped up the story really well, there were no loose endings leaving the reader on edge waiting for a follow up book. It left me wishing that Love’s Park really existed and that I could take a quick weekend trip there. :)

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Cookbook Review: Clean Slate

Clean Slate
from the editors of
Martha Stewart Living

I’m a big fan of clean eating and I’m always looking for new, delicious recipes to try out so I thought I’d give the latest cookbook from the editors of Martha Stewart Living a try. Clean Slate touts itself as not just a cookbook, but a way to “reset your health, detox your body, and feel your best.” This book does just that. The first section titled “Reset” goes over the basics of clean eating and even includes a 3-day action plan and a 21-day action plan.  The second section is where you’ll find a plethora of clean eating recipes. These recipes range from different juices you can make all the way to sweet treats.  The recipes are beautifully presented, each including a picture. Some of the recipes that caught my eye were Green Goddess Dip and Warm Spinach White Bean Dip. There are many recipes that just aren’t really my kind of food, but they are still great examples of clean eating.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Always On My Mind

Always on my Mind
by
Susan May Warren

I just love being able to catch up my favorite Deep Haven family, the Christiansens. Susan May Warren has way with story telling that delights and engages readers in a way that keeps them coming back for more. In the series about the Christiansen family, readers are always left with a cliff hanger and a knowledge that the next book will address this cliffhanger in part, but not always fully. Always on my Mind is true to form, picking up Casper’s story but not answering all the questions readers were left with when then pervious novel ended. I’d say Susan May Warren has me hook, line and sinker on this series.

In Always on my Mind, we see Casper return to Deep Haven from an archaeological dig in Honduras. He’s come to a point where he’s not sure what he’s supposed to do with his life, but he does know that he needs to try and figure out his feelings for Raina Beaumont, the source of the tension with his brother, Owen. He’s decided that the still loves her and shows up in Minnesota to let her know, but what he finds when she answers the door is something that changes everyone’s lives forever. Raina is pregnant….and it definitely isn’t Casper’s. Casper struggles to do the right thing and prove himself to Raina but that’s a tough thing to do, especially when he discovers who the father is.

I loved this book, the message of hope and forgiveness came through crystal clear. I can’t wait to see what the next novel has in store.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Novella Review: A Brush With Love

This review is part of a blog tour.  To see what others are saying about the book, click here.

A Brush With Love
by
Rachel Hauck

When Ginger moves back to her hometown of Rosebud, AL to take over the local beauty shop, the last things she expects is to come face to face with her high school sweetheart, a boy who seemed to disappear overnight many years ago. When she has to face him again, along with dealing with a childhood tragedy, she realizes that she just may have gotten more than she bargained for.  She wonders if her life will turn out anything like she’d expected…what she can’t see is that it’s going to be even better than she could have ever imagined.

A Brush With Love was the perfect read as I was winding down from the holidays.  It’s a novella so it’s kept short and sweet but still tells a great story. I enjoyed following the antics of Ginger and her high school love, Tom Wells Jr, in the quintessential southern town of Rosebud, Alabama. I was instantly engaged in the story as soon as I started reading and couldn’t wait to see where it went.  I was not disappointed, the way Hauck wraps up the story so neatly and completely left nothing lacking even though it’s not a full novel.

If you’ve never before read any of Hauck’s work, this would be a great place to start!

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Cookbook Review: Dashing Dish

Dashing Dish
by
Katie Farrell

This cookbook had me hooked the very first time I glanced at its cover. I’d never even heard of Katie or dashingdish.com but I knew I had to get my hands on this cookbook. I really love that this book starts out with clean eating tips, including how to eat clean at restaurants and during special occasions. The photos in this book gorgeous and the recipes seem like they are all quite easy to prepare. Some of the dishes I can’t wait to try include the mac and cheese pictured on the cover, No Noodle Lasagna and Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup.

There is one thing that really bugs me about this book and Katie’s take on real eating, her use of low-fat foods.  I am a big fan of clean eating myself, but using ingredients that replace healthy fats with chemicals is not what clean eating is about.  Neither is leaving butter, especially grass-fed, out of your diet.  When I try these recipes for myself, I will stick to real foods, including healthy fat.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Cook Book Review: Supermarket Healthy

Supermarket Healthy
by
Melissa D’Arabian

I remember watching Melissa D’Arabian on the 5th season of Next Food Network Star about 5 years ago.  I was impressed by the simple ingredients and techniques she used to throw together some amazing meals, this is also what helped her to win the show that season and start her own show called Ten Dollar Dinners. I was excited to see her familiar, smiling face on the over of this cookbook and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I was not disappointed.

Supermarket Healthy begins with an introductory chapter that lets readers know what they can expect to find in this cookbook and how to use their own supermarket wisely to start crafting delicious, healthy meals at home. On the following pages are recipes that are simply delicious accompanied by pictures that will make your mouth water.  I cannot wait to try out some of these recipes for our family, I think I’ll start with the Coffee Rubbed Pork Tenderloin! :)

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.