Devotions From The Kitchen Table

Featured

Edwards, Stacy. Devotions From The Kitchen Table. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Filled with 90 devotions surrounding the kitchen, Devotions from the Kitchen Table invites readers to rest a moment, pause with friends, gather at the table, and enjoy the many blessings bestowed in the comforts of home. Supper, pinwheels, crumbs, gardening and fingerprints are just a few of the many two-page devotionals included in this new book by the author, Stacy Edwards. Coupled with gorgeous photographs in each short yet full devotion, the pale pink ribbon only magnifies further this beautiful and inspirational devotional.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Charming, delightful and brilliant describe this warm and pleasurable devotional. With thicker, shinier pages full of colorful photographs, a short message themed around a Bible verse, scripture references and a prayer to keep close to your heart throughout the day, I would be happy to receive as well as proud to give this stunning book. Based on thoughts from the kitchen (dishes, desserts, coffee, laundry), when joined with scripture and personal stories, this devotional seeps relief, contentment and happiness. The only thing that could possibly have made this even more enjoyable would have been included recipes for the lovely pictures. Well done!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Devotions From The Kitchen Table from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

A New Way To Dinner

Hesser, Amanda. Stubbs, Merrill. Food 52: A New Way To Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
With busyness surrounding us everywhere, everyone could use some help…especially when it comes to dinner. Authors and co-founders of Food 52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, set up dinner for each week with seasonal favorites, a grocery list, full weekday meals, complete recipes and accompanying photographs. With the premise of making a week full of meals on the weekend before, there are also informational tidbits, personal stories, additional recipes for the included ingredients and cooking helps. Printed on sturdier paper in a well organized manner, A New Way To Dinner may make life a bit easier and definitely more delicious…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
What a useful cookbook! With fresh recipes according to seasons, Food 52: A New Way To Dinner is a beautiful book sharing the necessities of cooking for the week on Sundays. Following the full menus is easy with creative recipes full of inventive recipes yet common fare. Perfect for busy families, traveling couples or retired seniors, it would make a wonderful gift as well as kept for personal use. Ease and innovation paired.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A New Way To Dinner from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Earth Psalms

Rivers, Francine. With Buursma, Karin Stock. Earth Psalms: Reflections On How God Speaks Through Nature. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2016.

earthpsalms

SUMMARY:
Paired with beautiful photographs of nature, Earth Psalms is filled with 52 devotions celebrating God and His world. Each three page devotion offers a thought linked to a Bible verse. With reflections, applications and reconnections with God included in each section, several of the accompanying pictures also share a brief tidbit on the topic. Wonderfully encased in hardcover with a golden ribbon bookmarker, this stunning devotional by New York Times bestselling author, Francine Rivers, speaks directly to the heart.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Gold trimmed, glossy paper and colorful borders throughout the book lend to the overall beautiful feel of this new devotional. Based on nature (pets, wildlife, landscapes, plants), it was perfect. Pleasing for personal use, it would also work well for a Bible study, youth ministry, church library or an attractive gift. Expecting nothing less from this author, she delivered yet again in her newest book, albeit a different genre than her usual. Gorgeous! (See below for author information)

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Earth Psalms from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

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Biography

“New York Times” best-selling author Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, a mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote “Redeeming Love” as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books and then rereleased by Multnomah Publishers in the mid-1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, set during the time of the California Gold Rush, is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the CBA’s top-selling titles, and it has held a spot on the Christian best-seller list for nearly a decade. Since “Redeeming Love,” Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all best sellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for inspirational fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. Francine’s novels have been translated into over 20 different languages, and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa. Francine and her husband, Rick, live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their three grown children and taking every opportunity to spoil their grandchildren. Francine uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Photographs From The Edge

Wolfe, Art. With Sheppard, Rob. Photographs From The Edge: A Master Photographer’s Insights On Capturing An Extraordinary World. New York, NY: Amphoto Books. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Author, speaker, educator and award winner photographer, Art Wolfe, teams up with author, editor and photographer, Rob Sheppard, to share a book full of stunning photographs, educational and interesting information about each picture, and photo tips on best capturing the image. With gorgeous pictures covering half page, full page and two page spreads, the topics range from wildlife, to landscapes, to people- all full of brilliant color, strength and emotion. Animals, cities, cultures, celebrations and many more grace the pages with an account of each, information about the pictured topic and photo suggestions. An elaborate feast for the eyes with so much more…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Not only did I enjoy paging through this book and reading about the surrounding moment of each photograph, I learned quite a bit about each subject. The accompanying photo tips were so user-friendly; rather than lecturing on the camera, lens, film, etc to use, Art Wolfe mentions the angle, level, distance and thought-process to capture a genuine picture. (He suggests watching and anticipating the animal’s actions and behavior; thus, achieving a more intimate photo.) Overall, an excellent book with so many facets that I will keep yet share with others.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

* I received a complimentary copy of Photographs From The Edge from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast

Siegel, Noah, Schwarz, Christian. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
With hundreds of different types of mushrooms identified, including detailed information about each piece, color, size and texture of the mushroom, Mushrooms of the Red Wood Coast is a textbook of fungi. With additional material on ecology, edibility, toxicity and commonness, each studied mushroom also contains a stunning photograph depicting exquisite detail. Through extensive fieldwork and knowledge, authors Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz take the guess-work out of finding, identifying and enjoying over 750 species found near the coastal Monterey County to the Oregon border.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With the current interest in mushroom collecting, this large, beautiful, organized book is perfect for beginners and experienced mushroom collectors alike. The added comments, glossy pages and general fungi facts complement the other data of each species. Though not yet a mushroom collector myself, this book would serve as a wonderful addition to the library of mushroom hunters.  The elements and design of the book obviously brim with a wealth of knowledge, time, interest, detail and pictures. Very well done.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Modern Potluck

Donnelly, Kristin. Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food To Share. New York, USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Certainly not your typical church-potluck cookbook, Modern Potluck brings the potluck supper current. With a modern trend toward sustainability, more vegetable and plant-based items in meals, and an open inclusion of food from around the world, food writer and recipe developer, Kristin Donnelly, shares her contemporary reinvention of the potluck supper. Included with the recipe instructions, there are also hints and tips, accompanying photographs, and personal briefings on each recipe. From snacks, dips and drinks, to salads, main dishes and sides, the recipes and ingredients span slow-cooked meals, casseroles, sauces, and of course, sweets.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the modern manner of eating changes, so too, must the cookbooks. As a result, author Krisitn Donnelly takes the stereotypic potluck suppers into the present stage of cooking. With added vegetables, less processed foods, creative ingredients, additional seasonings as well as family friendly options with ease, Modern Potluck looks and cooks differently. Allowing for special-diet options (gluten-free, vegan, low sodium), these recipes are easily adaptable to any lifestyle, needs and preferences. Favorites recipes? Green Things and Potato Salad (potatoes, asparagus, and sugar-snap peas in lemon sauce) and Sweet-Spicy-Salty Snack Mix (popcorn, rice cakes, pumpkins seeds and sunflower seeds in a delicious sauce). Absolutely a book I will use often and recommend.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Modern Cookbook from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Food With Friends

Cyd, Leela. Food With Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings. New York: USA. Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
In a simple yet special compilation of sweets and treats for gatherings with family and friends, author, cook and photographer Leela Cyd shares her collected recipes from childhood and many travels. With an emphasis on food that looks and tastes good, healthy food is also a component of several of the recipes. With beautiful photographic artistry and tasty ingredients, Foods With Friends is the perfect accompaniment to those memorable get-togethers, both simple and elegant…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though many of the full recipes were a bit beyond my time limits due to busyness, I did find several tidbits to try and/ or add to recipes. A few of the included recipes are ones I will definitely add to my weekend menus (Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Blood Orange and Feta Stacks, Purple Cauliflower Hummus, Chard Empanadas with Pistachio Crema). Perfect as a gift, a planner for a bridal/ baby shower, or a casual gathering of friends, this inventive, creative cookbook is one to impress yet enjoy.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies.

*I received a complimentary copy of Food With Friends from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Bandelier National Monument

Secord, Paul R. Bandelier National Monument: Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Through many black and white images, photographs and sketches, author Paul Secord presents the history, archeology and anthropology of Bandelier National Monument.  Found just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, the history of the area and people are explained and linked to the present day ruins. With precious ancestral preservation, named for anthropologist Adolph Bandelier, Bandelier National Monument received national recognition in 1916. Depicting the social environments of Native Americans, the book also shares pictures of the cave dwellings, area topography, tourist experiences and visitors. Part of the Images of America series which celebrates history across the country, this latest addition truly educates and inspires…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having visited, experienced and researched Bandelier National Monument, I was thrilled to see this newest book in the series. Loaded with interesting, relevant and unique history, tidbits, pictures and people, I devoured this book cover to cover. Perfect for anyone visiting the area, a school library or a history buff, Bandelier National Monument was outstanding. Planning on keeping this book for my own collection yet also sharing with family, I also hope to discover other books by this author.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Bandelier National Monument from The History Press for my honest review*

My Mother’s Quilts

Richards, Ramona. My Mother’s Quilts; Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith. Franklin, TN: Worthy Inspired Published. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
“A quilt is love that serves a purpose”…written with this as the main theme of her newest devotional book, author Ramona Richards shares her personal stories, scripture verses, artful prayers, and beautiful renditions of her mother’s quilts. Full of heartfelt sentiments, precious memories, thoughtful legacies and aptly named quilts, each three to four page devotion is complete with a Bible verse, personal memory, starter prayer and lovely photography. With glossy pages, a satin bookmark, and a charming book cover, My Mother’s Quilts is perfect for quilters, mothers and special friends.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Beautiful!  Not a quilter myself but certainly able to appreciate wonderfully created artwork, the quilts and surrounding stories are exquisite. Though I enjoyed reading each devotional, of course I had a few favorites- the Dutch Doll quilt contains quilted dolls dressed in the author’s clothes from high school, the Storm at Sea quilt is designed of patterns of blue and purple, and the Turtle quilt is a tic-tac-toe pattern of turtles in various color schemes. Packaged in a quality book, I would be proud to share this book as a gift, although, I plan on keeping this copy for myself.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of My Mother’s Quilts from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

The Bee-friendly Garden

Frey, Kate. LeBuhn, Gretchen. The Bee-friendly Garden: Design an abundant, flower-filled yard that nurtures bees and supports biodiversity. USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
With more than 30 percent of our food crops as well as 70 percent of the foods we eat depending and benefiting from bee pollination, all types of bees are vitally important to the earth. Stress, parasites, pesticides, habitat loss, and urban development have all recently led to the loss of our friends, the bees. Through tackling myths and facts, describing the basic needs of bees, detailing their importance and helping to generate and preserve the bees’ environments, authors Kate Frey and Gretch LeBuhn share the importance of healthy gardens full of bee-friendly plants. Complimented by gorgeous photographs of bees and gardens, The Bee-friendly Garden is sure to inspire…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having recently studied the importance of bees and their landscape needs, this beautiful book was perfect as the next step. Along with learning about bee habitats, I also learned quite a bit about all the different types of native bees, from markings and colors to flight patterns (the Honeybee is capable of flying in bad weather due to their ability to shiver and raise their temperature). Not only interesting but so necessary in the preserving of the bee, this book is sure to delight, teach and improve gardens country-wide…I know my front garden will be all the better for it!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Bee-friendly Garden from Blogging For Books for my honest review*