Lobster at Home by Jasper White

I posted a cookbook review on Dana Point Fish Company - Lobster at Home by Jasper White. Great info solely on this one seafood.


There are 7 chapters in Lobster at Home with an introduction and mail order source guide. Amazingly enough, of all the suppliers he recommends 21 years ago when this book came out, only 2 look to be out of business or don't have a web presence at all.
The chapters include: The Lobster Primer; Basic Cooking Techniques; Soups, Broths, Chowders, and a Bisque; Hot Appetizers and Small Dishes; Lobster Salads, Sandwiches, Cold Plates and Composed Salads; Classic Main Courses; and Great Lobsters from Great Chefs.
In the first two chapters you'll get a good grasp on Maine lobster fishing, how and when to buy lobsters, lobster anatomy, and basic techniques for boiling, steaming, microwaving (steaming), and grilling lobsters, as well as how to cut up a live lobster and remove meat from a cooked lobster.

The recipes inside Lobster at Home are solid (which is why I snapped it up at a used book store, score!!) but if you are looking for a cookbook with lots of fancy colored pictures for each dish, this is not one of them. There are a few pictures tucked in the middle of the book, though, and all the illustrations of techniques are clear and precise.

White's stories and notes throughout the cookbook add a helping hand to the reader, and also makes for great reading. As for the last chapter, you'll find recipes from other notable chefs with a little history about them and their dish. Rick Bayless, Wolfgang Puck, Joel Robuchon, Daniel Boulud, Larry Forgione, and Emeril Lagasse are just some of them and each recipe brings an international touch to the cookbook.
 All in all, Lobster at Home is a great cookbook devoted to the Maine lobster. Below is book information and a selected recipe adapted from the cookbook.
Read the full review here: Lobster at Home by Jasper White, and try one of the recipes from the book, too.

Book Info:
Disclosure: This book came from my personal collection, and any opinions are my own. Any affiliate links help to support the site, (thank you).



Enjoy,

Renee Shelton
Succotash Reviews
:)
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Twitter: @121degreesC

Pairing Books with Starbucks Holiday Cups

Drinking from a Starbucks holiday cup? The Bustle has a lovely book pairing for the four holiday cups from Starbucks that will give some ideas for your next #bookstagram post.

Book pairing from The Bustle.
Enjoy reading and flipping through all of them here:

4 Book Covers To Match Your Starbucks Holiday Cup So You Can Take The Perfect #Bookstagram


Enjoy,

Renee Shelton
Succotash Reviews
:)
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+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Adult Summertime Book Reading Based on Favorite Childrens Books

Bustle has listed several great reads for adults based on their childhood counterparts or themes. You'll never be longing for a tale to read with this list:
  • Charlotte's Web - Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Unlikely friendship set in 1990s Columbia)
  • Where the Wild Things Are - The Pisces (Merman lovestory)
  • Rainbow Fish - Fat Girl on a Plane (Be yourself)
  • Cat in the Hat - Final Draft ("Step beyond your comfort zone)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Well, That Escalated Quickly (Memoirs and mistakes of an accidental activist)
  • Madeline - The Electric Woman (A memoir in death-defying acts)
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - All That I Can Fix (Bizarre events happen in a town)
  • Velveteen Rabbit - Summer Salt (A little magic)
  • Stellaluna - The Girl Who Smiled Beads (Refugee story)

For the full list, with book cover art and where to buy, visit The New Book You Need To Read This Summer, Based On Your Favorite Childhood Classic. Fun read!

Enjoy,

Renee Shelton
Succotash Reviews
:)
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+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC
Sandandsuccotash.com

Cook Lively by Laura-Jane Koers





Blurb:

Eating clean this summer by getting dismayed because of high-maintenance recipes? Save time in your busy life by skipping trips to the specialty store and using the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. There's no need for fresh passion fruit juice and celeriac when almonds, bananas, and carrots are on hand.

If you're looking for a vegan raw and limited cooking book, but with recipes using everyday ingredients, try Cook Lively!
Everyday pantry ingredients can be mixed to create something wonderfully good for you. Vegan and raw cooking hasn’t been this simple for a long time, making almost every recipe “no excuses” to try it out.
I've reviewed it for Sand and Succotash, and shared the recipe for Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake, too. Yum!

Enjoy,

Renee Shelton
Succotash Reviews
:)
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 +Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Kitchen Matters by Pamela Salzman





A approachable healthy cooking book using good foods and beginning with a well stocked pantry.

A really great book for busy families wanting to cook healthier without worrying about trying to follow a ‘diet.’ Salzman’s step-by-step approach to good cooking makes eating better accessible to everyone.
 Read the Kitchen Matters review on Sand and Succotash, and try a recipe from the book: Skillet Chicken with Asparagus.



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga





If you’ve never started yoga, the breathing techniques, meditations, and poses can be intimidating. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga gives all that’s needed to begin yoga, including a streamlined, 8-week program with pose illustrations and safety precautions to ensure a successful journey.

Read the review on Sand and Succotash: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga: 8 Weeks to Strength, Awareness, and Flexibility by Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, and James E. Groves, MD.



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

The Sweet Potato Diet by Michael Morelli


The Sweet Potato Diet: The Super Carb-Cycling Program - Lose up to 12 pounds in 2 weeks.

Morelli’s story is written from the heart, and he really brings you into his kitchen by sharing his journey. He wasn’t always fit, wasn’t always ‘together’, and soon realized that all those fad diets he was putting himself through weren’t working. Getting healthy starts on the inside, what you put into your body, and Morelli devotes much of the book with educating the reader about basic nutrition. And about carb cycling, and the benefits of the sweet potato.

A great book for anyone wanting to try carb cycling but needed someone to hold your hand through it. Morelli includes three different cycles and shows you how to portion food effectively.
 A full review of this diet and cookbook is up on Sand and Succotash blog: The Sweet Potato Diet by Michael Morelli.

 
+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Skinny Liver by Kristin Kirkpatrick with Ibrahim Hanouneh




Combating fatty liver disease - with menus, diet plans, and recipes. This book was reviewed on Sand and Succotash blog.
With liver disease indeed being a silent epidemic, the more you know about preventing or reversing this disease the longer you’ll be around to enjoy life.
Read the full review and try a recipe from the book, Tuna Patties. Skinny Liver: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse the New Silent Epidemic Fatty Liver Disease – Review. 



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art and Practice of Writing by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem

Blurb:
Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem are no strangers to the writing business. Between the two of them, they have published more than 600 short stories, 20 novels, and 10 short story collections. Not to mention numerous articles, essays, poems, and plays. They've won the World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, and Bram Stoker Award.

In this book they go over everything from the mechanics of writing, to how to find the time to write, to dealing with all the paper writers tend to collect. They discuss plot, point of view, setting, characterization, and more, all in an informal tone that invites you to become part of their conversation. Learn how to find your stories because they are Yours to Tell.
Yours to Tell is a writing craft book that goes over everything from the mechanics of plot and characterization to the occupational hazards of writing (i.e. being buried in paper) and a writer's schedule. Yours to Tell is conversational in nature with each chapter beginning with a prompt, and both Melanie and Steve talking and giving ideas or solutions for it. Different writers will identify with many of the things they talk about, especially when one writer is a saver and a book collector, and the other writer prefers an electronic life.

There are so many things a writer could get hung up on when writing becomes a business. But focusing on the art of simply writing is important. From the book:

"Writers write, whether they're making money or not, whether they're even publishing or not."

Everyone has a story to tell, and each story will have a new and different perspective. And fiction is especially interesting because readers have to believe in that writer's reality to become part of the book. The chapter on Engaging the Reader was probably most important to me as it goes into the relationship the writer has with the reader, providing great examples and ways authors can engage readers.

Overall, a great book on the craft of writing.


Book Info (Amazon):
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Affiliate links help support the site. Thanks. :)



 
+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Pretty Tough Plants by Plant Select


Blurb:

There’s a growing demand for dependably hardy plants that require less maintenance and less water, but look no less beautiful in the garden. Plant Select—the leading purveyor of plants designed to thrive in difficult climates—meets this need by promoting plants that allow gardeners everywhere to have stunning, environmentally-friendly gardens that use fewer resources. Pretty Tough Plants highlights 135 of Plant Select’s top plant picks. Each profile features a color photograph and specific details about the plant’s size, best features, and bloom season, along with cultural needs, landscape features, and design ideas. The plant list includes perennials and annuals, groundcovers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. A chart at the end of the book makes it easy to choose the right plants for specific conditions and needs.

A great book for gardeners looking for water-wise plants in tough to grow gardens. Read the full review for Pretty Tough Plants on Cultivate to Plate, and check out the page set up with a sample page layout of the book.


Book Info:
Note: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Affiliate links help support the site. Thanks. :)



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Field Guide to Coastal Fishes


Blurb:

From the Arctic waters of Alaska to the southern tip of California, this fully illustrated guide captures the stunning diversity of fishes along the western coastlines of the United States and Canada. The combined work of renowned marine science illustrator Val Kells and distinguished ichthyologists Luiz A. Rocha and Larry G. Allen, A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California is this region’s most current and thorough fish identification guide.
Whether you are an angler, scuba diver, naturalist, student, or teacher, you will find every fish you’re trying to identify, each shown in lifelike detail. The book’s coverage extends from shallow, brackish waters to depths of about 200 meters.
Key features include· Over 950 illustrations of adults, juveniles, and color variants · Descriptions of 157 fish families and almost 700 species· Text presented adjacent to the illustrations· Concise details about the biology, range, and distribution of each species 
Poised to become your go-to reference, this guide will find a welcome spot on your boat, in your backpack, or on your bookshelf.   
Great compact book focusing on the coastal intertidal fishes ranging from Alaska to California. The full review for Field Guide to Coastal Fishes is on Dana Point Fish Company.

Book Info (Amazon):
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher, and any opinions are my own. Affiliate links help to support the site. Thanks. :)



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Beauty of the Beast: Fairy Tale Retellings, Book One by Rachel L. Demeter


Blurb:

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.
Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.
Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Beauty of the Beast is a magical retelling of the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast. But unlike other versions, there is no fairy magic where the hero is entranced by a sorceress, or where there is a chance the beast may turn into his former handsome self at the end. Adam is tragically physically disfigured and his formerly happy life destroyed. He feels he himself is a beast and shuts himself in his castle from the outside world for two decades.

We are introduced to Isabel who puts her family's well being over her own by becoming engaged to Raphael in exchange for medical care for her ailing father. Raphael is arrogant, wealthy, and very cruel. Raphael causes Isabel great physical pain and heartache yet I felt a twinge of sorrow for him because of his own upbringing. However, as the story progressed it became obvious he wasn't deserving of any sympathy and was too far gone to save.

By the time Isabel comes into Adam's life, he wants no part of the outside world. She finds a way to escape from the obsessive Raphael but ends up as a prisoner in the castle. Then the questions arise for both of them - if whether beautiful people can become beasts, and can beauty be hidden by physical scars.

I enjoyed this version of Beauty and the Beast immensely because it wasn't just a tale about a beautiful girl and a beast of a man, but rather it was about whether people can find beauty on the inside and overlook physical appearances. 

Beauty of the Beast is a classic Gothic love story, and the author does a wonderful job with imagery. Stories like this remind me of why I love this genre so much. A truly captivating and riveting retelling of a beloved tale, and I look forward to the author's version of the next fairy tale.




Book Info
Disclosure:  This book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own. Any affiliate links help to support this site. Thanks. :)


+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques, and Barbecue Wisdom


Blurb:
Pitmaster is the definitive guide to becoming a barbecue aficionado and top-shelf cook from renowned chefs Andy Husbands and Chris Hart.
Barbecue is more than a great way to cook a tasty dinner. For a true pitmaster, barbecue is a way of life.
Pitmaster is the definitive guide to becoming a barbecue aficionado and top-shelf cook, whether you’re new to the grill or a seasoned vet. Recipes begin with basics, like cooking Memphis-style ribs, and expand to smoking whole hogs North Carolina style.
There is no single path to becoming a pitmaster. Barbecue lovers are equally inspired by restaurants with a commitment to regional traditions, competition barbecue champions, families with a multi-generational tradition of roasting whole hogs, and even amateur backyard fanatics.
This definitive collection of barbecue expertise will leave you in no doubt why expert chefs and backyard cooks alike eat, live, and breathe barbecue.
From the All Q'd Up blog:

"The chapters go into styles of barbecue, and delve into the main regions: Backyard Barbecue; North Carolina; Kansas City; Texas; The North; and Competition Barbecue. As far as recipes, this book has the classics from the above regions that are the go-to ones, with nothing extra that doesn’t fit. You’ll find favorites like barbecue rubs, sauces, and sides to the actual meats that define the barbecue regions – Butcher Paper [Beef] Brisket from Texas, and Whole Hog Eastern North Carolina Style."

Read the full review from the All Q'd Up barbecue blog, and try a recipe from the book.



Book Info:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking--Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka by Uri Scheft


Breaking Breads Blurb:
Named one of the Best Cookbooks of the Year by Food & Wine, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, The Washington Post, and more
 

Israeli baking encompasses the influences of so many regions—Morocco, Yemen, Germany, and Georgia, to name a few—and master baker Uri Scheft seamlessly marries all of these in his incredible baked goods at his Breads Bakery in New York City and Lehamim Bakery in Tel Aviv. Nutella-filled babkas, potato and shakshuka focaccia, and chocolate rugelach are pulled out of the ovens several times an hour for waiting crowds. In Breaking Breads, Scheft takes the combined influences of his Scandinavian heritage, his European pastry training, and his Israeli and New York City homes to provide sweet and savory baking recipes that cover European, Israeli, and Middle Eastern favorites. Scheft sheds new light on classics like challah, babka, and ciabatta—and provides his creative twists on them as well, showing how bakers can do the same at home—and introduces his take on Middle Eastern daily breads like kubaneh and jachnun. The instructions are detailed and the photos explanatory so that anyone can make Scheft’s Poppy Seed Hamantaschen, Cheese Bourekas, and Jerusalem Bagels, among other recipes. With several key dough recipes and hundreds of Israeli-, Middle Eastern–, Eastern European–, Scandinavian-, and Mediterranean-influenced recipes, this is truly a global baking bible.
Read the full review on the Pastry Sampler blog, and try one of the recipes.

A really great baking book here. From the Pastry Sampler blog:

"Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft gives spirit to old favorites, and is a reflection of the author’s travels. Traditional challah, laminated breads, flatbreads, and stuffed breads are all greatly described and made, and he mixes contemporary ingredients with traditional methods. And it’s not just about yeast breads – we are presented with wonderful treats for afternoon tea or coffee, too, and all the things to serve them with,  a surprising focus on the savory here."



Book Info:



+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC

More Than a Slave by Anaelle Gadeyne


Book Blurb:
Alexander Anderson has a reputation that would strike fear into the heart of the devil himself. And now, Aria Starbird is his property. Aria has spent only a few months as a lowly slave, but already her happy childhood memories were starting to fade under the weight of her brutal existence. 

When she is sold to Lord Anderson at an auction, she cannot help but be afraid. Lord Anderson is known for his cruelty. He is fiendish and handsome and as wicked as he is wealthy. However, as she gets to know her new master, she realizes there is more to him than meets the eye. Over time, she is able to penetrate his tough exterior, and begins to understand the struggle of a man who believes love is a weakness, but whose heart is now yearning for something unknown. 

As the two let down their walls and discover each other’s truths, will Aria be able to tame Alexander's inner-beast? 
This is a story of a girl who is sold off to ease her very poor parent's burden. And while the story had elements that were good, the violence was a little over the top, and seemed wholly unnecessary at times. We are introduced to the heroine being sold off to two different men, and the hero nonchalantly talking about killing four slaves in a week.

It's hard to put your heart into reading a historical romance with really so much violence going on around the slaves. The issue here isn't actual slavery, but the attitude of sadistic violence that all the characters employ. (Spoiler: there is an actual torture dungeon in the house, and the occupants can hear the screams.) The main characters regard torturing someone as a non issue, so much so that it was hard to like anyone. The writing and the dialogue between the characters seemed disjointed in places making it hard to follow along, and the ending fell flat. 

I try to find the good in most books, though, and I was truly amazed that Aria seemed to hold her own even though she was sold by her poor parents into lifetime servitude (although she never really much acted like an actual slave throughout the book) and she had endured so much torture and abuse. That by itself shows her strength.



Book Info:
Disclosure: this book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own.


+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC