Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: Simply Grilling

Another Great Cook Book!!!

Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler is a cookbook meant to make grilling simply and inviting. Tons of recipes cover everything from appetizer to dessert.

I really enjoyed looking through this cookbook and have marked many recipes to try. I was especially excited about the salad section. I don’t think salads when talking about grilling but she made them look amazing. Grilled Caesar salad or grilled bruschetta… YUM!

I do think she made many simple recipes but some seem a little less simple than initially implied. A couple of the recipes have two or three things cooking at once and not all on the grill. She also has a few dessert recipes that have nothing to do with the grill. They are just great summer grill out foods. Although they looked great, they didn’t seem to fit into the book.

All in all I am very happy about this book and can’t wait to use it. I am also interested in her other books mentioned in the opening pages.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book from to review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking by Tammy Algood is a wonderful cookbook full of recipes that use lots of locally available produce. Her desire is to get people out of the grocery stores and shop at local farmers markets and with local farmers. She also discusses briefly how to eat seasonally and preserve foods to enjoy all year long.

I was surprised by the amount of recipes in the book. A lot of times when you get a book advocating local produce its 150 pages of someone preaching why local produce is better and then 20 recipes.

This cookbook is many many recipes that all sound amazing. She does not limit it to ingredients only found locally. She does use canned tomatoes, corn bread mixes, etc occasionally from the store. But the emphasis of each recipe is using wonderful fresh ingredient that can be purchased locally.

I also enjoy all of the spotlights she does on local farmers. She has covered most of the southern states highlighting local farmers who specialize in a certain food. These are the bigger companies that sell on a larger scale but still offer an amazing product. With the highlight she includes contact information and the website (if they have one). This a great way to not only learn about the company but to also know where they are for a quick detour on a road trip. I already have a couple stops in mind for our upcoming trip to PA.

Also one of the farms I pass every day (Roger’s Farm in Gainesville Florida) was mentioned in this book. Its nice to know that a local place got a great shout out in the book.

All in all I really enjoyed this cookbook. I am excited to add it to my wall/kindle of cookbooks to use.

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from to review. The comments above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: The 13th Tribe

The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo is a book about a group of people left to roam the world and never die because of a decision they made a long time ago. Thousands of years ago Moses went onto Mount Sinai to commune with God and receive the 10 commandments. While he was up there the Israelites got restless and asked for a God. When Aaron complied and made them a golden statue, they worshipped it. For that sin on having so little faith in God a group of them were banished from the promise land and left to roam the earth forever. They have spent the years being vigilantes for God trying to get back into his favor with little luck.

As they plot what the newest biggest plan, everything falls apart. One of the senior leaders of the group does not agree with the innocent causalities that will occur with the newest plan and so he steals a very important piece and runs. The other scours the world looking for him ending up where it all started.

From the description above this books sounds exciting, action packed, and a little confusing. Unfortunately I was only able to find this book confusing… and very hard to read. The characters are well written and thought out but the writing style just seems to lag. Normally a book like this would only take me a couple days to read. It has been over a week and I am still less than half way through. Maybe the second half will pick up ad I will enjoy it but right now I cant imagine doing that. I think I need to put it down again and try later.

So this is my review of half the book. Its sounds great but lacks the intensity I expected.

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from to review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: Eyes of Justice

They have done it again. Eye of Justice by Lis Wiehl and April Henry is the sad story and loss of a third of the triple threat club. When Cassidy Shaw is murdered, Allison and Nicole want to help and are blocked at every point. Only with the help of private investigator Ophelia do things start to make sense. Right when they have a suspect in custody, another murder occurs.

This is another great book in the triple threat series. I am very sad to see Cassidy Shaw go. I really liked her dynamic character and balance to the group. I think it will be interesting to see where the series goes from here. With their futures looking bright in the end and a new friend starting in the group, the direction of the next books could be anywhere.

As always I would recommend any of the books in this series as a great read. Lis and April have done a great job weaving suspense plots and creating wonderful relatable characters.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: The wedding dress

The Wedding dress by Rachel Hauck is a wonderful story about a wedding dress and four amazing stories of love.
One day when Charlotte is driving around trying to think and she finds herself at an estate auction where she buys a trunk for $1000. Soon after that her life is turned upside down. Her fiancée wants to delay the wedding and a strange man in a purple ascot keeps coming around and confusing her with his words of wisdom. When Charlotte opens the trunk inside she finds a wedding dress in perfect condition. As she searches for the original owners of the wedding dress she finds friends, family, and stories of love.

Emily is a young girl living in 1912. Although she recently excepted the proposal from Phillip, her heart is for another man. Philip comes from a successful established family that will not only benefit her way of life but also her families. Emily is torn between her heart and her duties and the established law of segregation and thoughts of equality. As Emily learns to listen to her heart and God’s will she starts an amazing sequence of events that changes 4 generations of lives.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a feel good book. I know the author meant for the book to hold a lot more deep meaning (man with the purple ascot, etc) but I just read it as an entertaining book and enjoyed it. I do feel like the author tried to throw in too many tie ins to biblical stories and biblical references. They didn’t flow with the story most of the time. They more felt like after math snippets added.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review. The opinions listed above are my own and I as not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book List Update: February

Sally’s 2012 Book List

1. 12 books for
a. This thing of Ours- reviewed in January
b. First Date- reviewed in January
c. Heart of Ice- reviewed in January
d. A Sound Like Fire- reviewed in February
e. Our Favorite Sins- reviewed in February
f. Constantly Craving- reviewed in February
g. Simple Secrets to a Happy life- got on Feb 29th

2. Bible in a year
a. January- In Exodus, on schedule
b. February- Thru Joshua, about 2 weeks ahead of schedule

3. Kisses from Katie- sitting on my kindle waiting to be read

4. 3 spiritual or uplifting books
a. The Cross Centered Life- started in February
b. Isreal my Beloved- sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read

5. 3 self help or organization books
a. Organized Simplicity by Tsh O- completed in January
b. Life Management- completed in February

6. 3 budget or business books

7. Anything else I want to
a. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
b. Ancient Alier Encounters (“proving” the 1st chapter of Ezekiel is actually the first recorded Alien encounter on Earth)
c. 1 book in the JD Robb “in death” series
d. Will love for Crumbs- started in Feb

Book Review: The Simple Secrets to a Happy Life

I first have to say I have never met Luci, I have never heard her speak and this is the only book of hers I have read (so far) but I want to be her friend. The way she looks at life, friendships, what she has determined important in the world is amazing. A lot of the ideas in this book everyone knows and few practice. Her ability to make the tasks and skills simple to start is admirable.

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life is a book by Luci Swindoll outlining 50 simple tasks that make life happier. They are not superficial things like buy a new outfit because she understands temporary happiness is not enough. These 50 things are simple and yet hard at the same time. Things like being content, take care of yourself, giving generously, always be on time, do your homework, always be kind, etc.

There are many things from this book that I will take with me. The biggest thing is a definition of contentment she has in the book.

“Keep your heart free fro hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, and scatter laughter wherever you go. These are the links in the golden chain of contentment.”

Note: I did receive a copy of this book from for free to read and review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for positive reviews. For more information on how you can review books for free go to