Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

The debut cookbook from Cathal Armstrong featuring 130 recipes showcasing modern Irish fare, along with stories about Armstrong's journey from Dublin to Washington, DC, and becoming an internationally recognized four-star chef, the owner of seven successful food and drink establishments, and a leader in the sustainable-food movement.

With its moderate climate and amazing natural resources, Ireland is a modern-day Eden, boasting lush, bountiful produce, world-renowned dairy, plentiful seafood, and grass-fed meats. In My Irish Table, sustainable food movement leader and four-star chef Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington DC, where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.
Featuring 130 delicious recipes—from Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips to Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mam’s Apple Pie—My Irish Table draws on Armstrong’s Irish upbringing as well as his professional experience and French culinary training. In his hands, Irish food is comforting yet elegant, rustic yet skillful, and My Irish Table invites you into his kitchen to explore the vibrant traditions and rich culinary landscape of the Emerald Isle.

Where to Purchase:
Amazon - Kindle: $16.14 Hardcover: $24.92
My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve

I love food, I love cooking, and above all, I love cookbooks.

This one just had to be part of my kitchen, and I'm thrilled that I got a chance to review it.

Filled with interesting tidbits and background on the author, where he came from, how he got into the food business and became an internationally acclaimed chef. 

Combining these two things, I was able to sit down and actually read the cookbook from cover to cover, not only enjoying the story behind it, but the beautiful photography and the delicious recipes it contains.

Best part?  Recipes made from scratch, and I mean absolute scratch.  Want to enjoy Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day?  He teaches you how to do that, from the cut of beef to how to cure it.  Same with boiled bacon.

Slow Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage

Another favorite of mine is Irish Soda Bread.  Yum!!!

Irish Soda Bread

There are quite a few other recipes that I want to try, I've actually sat down and jotted all the recipes and page numbers, and I think I may have one from pretty much every page.  I can't wait.

If you're looking for a cookbook that you will truly enjoy, not only for it's contents but for the sheer beauty of it, then this is it.

For more information, go here.
For the author's bio, go here.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a review copy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{ Liar, Tempress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott }

Belle Boyd
Emma Edmonds
Rose O'Neal Greenhow
Elizabeth Van Lew

In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War.

Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives.

Abbott's pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War–era history. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor NapolĂ©on III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

This book.....oh this book was amazing.

You all know how much I love history and research and all that shebang, right???

If I tell you that this book satisfied every single area of my history fiction genre, would you believe me???

Because it did. It absolutely did.

The story centers around 4 women who in way or another, manage to contribute or rather aid their causes during the Civil War.

I love what the author did here, she managed to tell a great story but also teach a good history lesson, I walked away knowing so much more and actually knowing things I had no idea about the war.

I usually prefer a fiction book over a non fiction, but when I came upon this one I knew that I would love it, as my fascination with the civil war era has no end. 

We have Emma, a woman who disguises herself as a man to work the front lines.....she was able to hide her true identity but what happens when she starts to have feelings for two of the men she works with????  You gotta read to find out.

Belle, Rose and Elizabeth did pretty much whatever they had to, in order to achieve their objectives, if it meant seducing, lying, cheating, jail time, it didn't matter, it was done. 

Fascinating book, told in chronological order, that left me wanting more by the time it was over.

If you love history and you love the civil war era, you have to read this one, I am sure you will enjoy just as much as I did.

Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy for review.

{ Treacherous Trust by L.V. Delcid - Book Review }

Holly McLairn is still struggling to overcome the tragedy that left her a widow two years ago. However, all that changes when she rescues a mysterious and embittered stranger from a fiery helicopter crash, Now that act of kindness has not only put her fragile heart in danger, but her life as well.

I was recently contacted by Lola Delcid, back when I was still on Facebook, and asked if I would consider reviewing her first book.  Lola is the mom of one of my friends on Facebook and so I immediately said yes, I love helping out new authors and if they are related to someone I know, then even better.

I didn't quite know what to expect from the novel.  Obviously when I read a book that is the authors first, I have nothing else to compare it to, previous work, word of mouth, reviews etc.

I consider it a bit of a test to see if I can stay with it, or if it is not to my liking.

I was pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed the book from the very beginning and quite liked the main character Holly, she was spunky and funny.

The story is well written, it was an easy read and I didn't find that I got bored or that I was faced with dry material.

For it being Lola's first book, I think she did a phenomenal job and I'm quite looking forward to the next book in the Tropical Skies series.

If you want to get your hands on a copy, head on over to Amazon.

If you would like to know more about the author, then be sure to visit her website.