Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recent reading...

When I am ill or incredibly busy, my preferred reading leans to nonfiction... especially beautiful cookbooks, decorating ideas, and eye candy magazines.

So that may explain why these books are what I devoured in my recent illness.  Although truth be told... I'd read them again when feeling great!  ;)

Inspired You; Letting God Breath New Life Into Your Heart and Home
by Miss Mustard Seed

The first thing I thought of when reading Inspired You was how similar it was to reading Manuela's blog!  But that is a good thing...  The author is a pastor's wife who writes about interior design, DIY projects, etc. on her blog called Miss Mustard Seed. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it... ummm... before I gave it to my daughter-in-law as a gift.  Okay, I know you do the same thing!

I'd say there are two different types of people who would enjoy this book.  The first is anyone who loves doing DIY projects for their home.  The second is (like my daughter-in-law), a new homemaker who could use basic interior design ideas as well as getting inspiration for the projects.

Well, a third type of person is anyone who loves reading about the decorating of homes no matter how long they have been a homemaker... like me.  ;)

Inspired You can be found on Amazon... here.

Homemade: Irresistible Homemade Recipes For Every Occasion 
by Clodagh McKenna

I love, love, love this book!

Clodagh McKenna is an Irish cook-chef who studied at the famous Ballymaloe cooking school.  I first came to know her on her PBS show about Irish farmer's markets.

Well, one day when I was waiting for my husband at Barnes & Noble, I saw this book and immediately had to peruse it.  It was love at first sight.  No, really... it is the kind of cookbook I enjoy with wonderful recipes, pictures, and stories about cooking.

Homemade stayed on my coffee table for a couple of weeks.  I can't tell you how many times when I was sick that I picked up this book and just read through it, dreaming of feeling better and trying some of the recipes.  Oh, and as I told my daughter... it has a yummy chapter on Afternoon Tea so you know it has to be a good book!

This is a great cookbook for anyone who loves cooking.  I know a certain granddaughter who is going to receive a copy for her eleventh birthday (can she really be that old?).

Homemade can be found on Amazon... here.

Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook: The Food We Love From the Times We Treasure
by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine

I remember when Southern Living magazine was hard to come by here in the Northern states.   When I was a young wife, my sister lived in Virginia and would smuggle copies to me here in Yankee country from time to time until she decided it was easier to just give me a gift subscription.  :)

I knew of no other magazine that inspired me more with great recipes and ideas for "entertaining".  I especially loved the November issue as it was full of recipes for the Holidays (which I thought was brilliant, giving you a chance to think ahead before December).

I also came across this book at Barnes & Noble (should I tell them I bought the books on Amazon cheaper and with credit... probably not a good idea).  Although I was there to buy a few British magazines with Christmas money so they did get my dollars!

As I sat at one of their comfy chairs and read this cookbook, it was as if someone had taken everything I loved about Southern Living through the years and placed it all in one book.

The primary editor of this book is the daughter of a woman who also worked at the Southern Living kitchens through the years (as she does now).  So the touch of nostalgia which comes through is a combination of her memories as well as those of the reader.

The book contains not only favorite recipes from the past but essays about cooking and entertaining from Southern Living.  I loved the "now vintage" photos from past decades.  This is a cookbook one can... and I did... curl up with and read just for fun.

But it also is a treasure trove of recipes I remember and that I'm looking forward to trying again.   Most of the recipes are very easy and use ingredients found in the pantry.  One new idea that I loved is when they... from time to time... showed the original recipe (Mom's Way) and modernized it (Your Way).

Where Homemade opened many new ideas to me, this Southern Living cookbook gave me a lovely trip down memory lane.  It is valuable just for the vintage recipes it contains.

Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook can be found on Amazon... here.

I'm now back to reading books without pictures and they will be part of a future Recent Reading post.  :)

All the above titles are now parked on my Amazon widget, too.


Vee said...

I enjoy magazines,cookbooks, and decorating books, too. However, I get myself into a lot of trouble reading cookbooks, though. You sound like a friendly mother-in-law any gal would be blessed to have!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Those sound great!

I think I'd like all of them!


Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

So lovely to hear you are on the mend dear Brenda! I do love your posts and this one...along with the links...has me sooo motivated! I've just come from Amazon where I looked through all the lovely books you've reviewed and put the first two on my wish list! I love Miss Mustard Seed but haven't visited much in the past year thus was very happy to know she has a book! And yes, I have to agree with you about it being reminiscent of Manuela's amazing blog...similar spirit and energy and creativity (not sure if MMS has the garden category or not as I read only through the sample pages provided by Amazon). OHhhh...and the HOMEMADE cookbook is amazzing! I think I may splurge and order it today as it is absolutely up my alley!!! Thank you sooo much for your reviews, I know I've said it before but they are such a pleasure and a treat, as well as a practical way for me to sift through all that's offered as I LOVE your taste in such things!
P.S. I laughed SO hard at your comment about reading the books we buy as gifts before giving them...doesn't everyone?!!! ;)))

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Mmm...well now I'm intrigued by the Miss Mustard Seed book and downloaded a sample to my kindle! :D

I like looking at cookbooks - they need to have photos though. So many cookbooks don't have enough photos. But what I really find that inspires me to actually get in the kitchen to cook are youtube videos or watching shows on Amazon or Netflix. I always want to cook something totally amazing after watching some "River Cottage" episodes or "The Little Paris Kitchen". Actually the Paris Kitchen videos made me go out and buy some red lipstick!

Hope you're feeling better today.


Front Porch Grace said...

Oh Brenda,

I just want to hug you! While reading your post I was thinking in the back of my mind that I needed to write down the names of a couple so that I could look them over at Barnes and Noble before buying them on Amazon. Then I thought that it might be wrong to admit that, worried about how someone else might take that and then, boom!, you wrote it instead. Oh, I am not alone! I literally laughed right out loud!

I do buy books from Barnes & Noble when they are priced to fit my budget. We enjoy coffee or tea as we browse the store. But when the books are more than my budget, I do buy them from Amazon instead.
I often use your widget, too! So convenient!

Anyway, thanks again for the post and your candidness.

I so enjoyed Miss Mustard's book. Not only quite beautiful, but very inspirational. As a matter of fact, I am stealing, no borrowing, her kitchen back-splash idea and will be painting mine in with chalkboard paint come spring, Lord willing!

Your book reviews are so cozy.

Have a wonderful day!