Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Amazing cookbook....Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each SeasonThis is an amazing cookbook! From the very first page I was fascinated by the colorful and appealing combinations of vegetables pictured.
This is definitely a cookbook which not only earns an important place in the kitchen but also deserves a spot on the coffee table! I read the entire cookbook in one sitting, and look forward to spending the year gracing my table with beautiful color-coordinating displays. From spring to summer, fall to winter, each season is showcased perfectly. The author has such artistic talent. As an artist, photographer and cook myself, this book is a five-star for me!
Needless to say, I recommend this book to all, culinary enthusiasts and new cooks alike.
Some of the wonderful recipes in this book are...Spring Pea and Pea Shoot Omelet, 
 Rhubarb Ginger Fizz, Nasturtium Salad, Like Fresh Chickpeas on Toast;
Grilled Trout with Green Tomato Relish and Roast Chicken with Spring Onions;
Tomato Fennel Soup and Smoky Red Pepper Soup; Pasta with Nettle Pesto and Blistered Snap Peas; Chocolate Truffles with Bee Pollen, Chocolate Pots de Crème with Lavender and Sea Salt.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

book review: Edwin High King of Britain

Edwin: High King of Britain (The Northumbrian Thrones #1)Edwin: High King of Britain by Eduardo Albert
This is a fascinating historical fiction novel set in 7th century pagan Britain! Although I have studied this time period in the past, I was not too familiar with the historical character Edwin, high king of Britain. I think it was a wonderful idea of the author's to create a novel about this character.
Edwin is caught up in tricky situations involving battles between other kings. In the midst of a quiet spell, he, a widower, decides to wed a queen from another region. Little did he know, but this action would change his entire life and kingdom. Edwin's new queen brings with her the ''religion of the Romans'', a religion of one God. As a faithful follower of her God, the queen can scarcely help but influence those around her..
Read this exciting book, the first in the author's new ''Northumbrian'' series and see what happens further!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Worshipping with Calvin
by Terry L Johnson
This chunky book may seem intimidating but it contains such an interesting amount of information that I found my attention captured for its entirety. It is well laid-out and comprehensive for the most part. It gives and excellent and trust-worthy history of the Reformation- its great men of faith, its doctrines, its influence. 
Primarily, Worshipping with Calvin seeks to deal with current problem of churches forsaking the God-glorifying traditions of the past in the aspect of worship. The author's goal is to open the eyes of Christians who have been letting a 'pop' attitude taint their worship. 
I thought it was very good in that the author didn't lift Calvin or the other reformers up but always brought it back to God's word. It was because of Jesus that anything good took place during the Reformation. 

Although a great book, I have my doubts that it will reach further than the audience which already believes the majority of what is put forth in this paperback tome! I know that ''reformed'' Baptists and especially Presbyterians will love this book. 
But if the vision of the author was to reach the contemporary church I think he failed in his goal. The book is simply too large to capture the attention of most readers. Rather, it will appeal to Christians who are used to devouring 500-page books.

Lastly, I do have an issue with a portion of the book which will obviously not bother many of the readers of the book. I cannot agree with the portion on baptism. It is argued, as usual, that peudo-baptism is the New Testament equivalent of circumcision. Yet there are many errors in that view. 
Because of Jesus, we New Testament believers are in a whole new ''era''. No longer do we experience grace as a covenant people or even as covenant families but as individuals in covenant with God.  Each person is responsible to God for his sin. There is no guarantee or promise that a Christian- no matter how faithful- will see each of his children come to Christ. There is no promise that a Christian's offspring are elect. By God's grace, it often happens that way. But not always. And there is definitely no promise in Scripture. 
Baptizing your children as infants is a stumbling block to the poor children. They grow up thinking they are somehow under special grace when in truth, until Christ saves them there is no life in them! It is so similar, by the way, to the Arminian influence on children. In both groups, hundreds of children grow up thinking that they are going to heaven and that all that is needed is perhaps ''affirmation of their faith'' or sanctification!
Salvation doesn't come quietly or unnoticed. Not that every person will have a Saul-like conversion. But becoming a new person doesn't just happen gradually or secretly. An unsaved person is dead and a saved person is alive. It's so distinct. 
Secondly, I thought this was pretty bad: page 190 quotes from a historic Presbyterian church's beliefs...''Emergency baptisms, those for dying infants were discouraged because of their magical implications. The infants of believers are already part of the covenant of which baptism is a sign, and are not at risk if the die before being baptized.''
If infants are indeed 'safe', then why not abort all our babies, so they can go to heaven?
And if infants or believers are safe, why are they not just as safe as 8-year olds, 14 year olds, 20-year olds? What makes the difference? Aren't we all born in sin?

The book also says: ''Because it was recognized that God's covenental dealings embrace believers and their children (Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:38-39), the Reformers affirmed the propriety of infant baptism.
Below is Genesis 17:7... Christians of the New Testament should not take Old Testament covenants such as this Abrahamic covenant and try to apply them to themselves! In this verse, God is speaking to His chosen people the Israelites.
Genesis 17:7
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

As for the second verse, I quote from this article: (by a reformed Baptist pastor)

''Acts 2:38-39, which actually contains a promise to parents that if their children (or anyone 
else for that matter) repent and believe, they too will have their sins forgiven and be saved...''

That is just my little attempt to explain what lay heavily on my heart as I read this otherwise great book. I know many more people who can explain it better. 

I was very pleased to receive this complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GREAT cookbook- Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed

   Vibrant, brimming with flavour, Afro-Vegan is a fresh approach to some of the best flavours in the world: African, Caribbean and Southern. By blending each of these traditional cuisines together, famous chef Bryant Terry has created a scintillating eating style which is sure to please all palates. Although I am not a Vegan, I eat as many vegetables as I can possibly fit into my diet, and I always appreciate awesome vegetable recipes! I also have a passion for world cuisine.
The book begins with instructions on how to make many of the renown spice mixtures used in the recipes- berbere, zaatar and more. The rest of the book is packed with colorful recipes such as Cinamon-soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots; Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with okra, corn and tomatoes; Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes and peanuts...
If you love flavours, you will love this book.
If you love the cultures of Africa, the Caribbean and the South you will be delighted by this book.
If you want to update your vegetable recipes, you NEED this book! No longer will you be confined to the same repetitive vegetable recipes you've relied on day after day!

I thought the cover of this book especially intriguing with its colorful design and friendly photograph of the author. Inside the book, beautiful photographs depict the recipes marvelously. Each recipe has a suggested 'theme song', or 'soundtrack'. I thought that was neat.

I am so excited about this unusual recipe book!

I was pleased to receive this book through the bloggingforbooks program in exchange for my honest review.
Pictures of some of the amazing foods we created using recipes from this book....
Lemongrass peanuts

Dukka spice blend for bread

Smashed Potatoes with peas corn and chile-garlic oil

Cinnamon cocoa cake (made with avacado-mmm!) with coconut ganache

More about the book...
African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like
Smashed Potatoes with Peas Corn and Chile-Garlic oil from Afro-Vegan cookbook

Smashed Potatoes
Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice  Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache (currently the best cake we've ever had!)
Amazing Cocoa-spice cake from Afro Vegan!

, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan’s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.

 "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."