"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Living the Quaker Way

I found this book a really interesting insight on Quakers! When you think Quaker, most people just think the guy on the cardboard tube of oatmeal, but there is much more. The Quaker ideal of simplicity is really why I ended up picking out this book to review. To live simply means to spend your efforts and time on more meaningful things, like a closer relationship with the creator or just time alone to reflect. Definitely a must read for the religiously curious!

I received this book free from Blogging for Books for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Knitting Block By Block

In this great knitting book by Nicky Epstein, there are what seems like a million different types of squares to knit! Some are easier, while some look much more complicated (a fair isle square, for instance). There are lots of step-by-step instructions and lots of illustrations to help you along. The greatest part is that there are a bunch of projects made out of squares from the obvious blanket to a cute child's toy made from just one square. I can't wait to try some of the lovely patterns!

I recieved this book from Blogging For Books at no cost to me, just for an honest opinion about the book!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The New Moosewood Cookbook

I was really excited to see a vegetarian cookbook on the roster for Blogging for Books and I quickly ordered it. The layout is really cool, the pages look handwritten and have little hand drawn pictures. Some of the recipes are a little 70s hippie veg (when the restaurant was opened) and definitely lean a little to strongly on the dairy side for my lactose intolerant tastes. In it's defense, many recipes state the dairy products as optional. There are no really big stand out recipes, just a lot of good, simple, meat free dishes like lasagna and brownies. I can definitely see now why this is a vegetarian classic!

Thanks for Blogging For Books for letting me have this book FOR FREE to review! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The New American Herbal

This book is gorgeous, seriously. Not to mention it's the herb book I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR FOREVER! It literally lists every herb, a to z, and tells you where and how it grows, what it's useful for, as well as the history and background of the herb. I am a big gardener so this is a BEAUTIFUL book (the pictures are amazing, seriously) to add to my collection. I was so excited to share it with my friend who is going to buy her own copy stat. I cannot recommend this book enough to my plant-o-phile friends. ;) 
Thank you to Blogging For Books for sending me this book for free to review!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe

Wow, what a gorgeous book! I really enjoyed the creativity of the recipes, although they are definitely for a "hold all the stops" kind of holiday gathering as opposed to a casual one. The book is divided by what kind of party you would have, including the usual Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as a football party and Passover Seder. I especially loved the recipes for homemade vegan cheeses for the Christmas vegan cheese plate (and the yummy, beautiful Christmas cookies). Each "party" also has a few drink recipes so you can really plan your recipes from this book start to finish. Some things are a little too much work or too fancy for me but the fearless vegan cook will really appreciate the challenge! I recieved this book free from Blogging for Books for my honest opinion.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knockout Knits

I was so excited to get this book in the mail! The patterns are great. I like how they are divided by type; wrapped stitches, lace, and beadwork. There are some awesome accessory patterns that include things like socks, hats, and wraps. There are both easy and more difficult projects plus it includes instructions on some knitting basics. Pick up a copy for the knitter in your life!
I recieved this book free from Blogging For Books for my honest review.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Beautiful Mess

I was so excited to receive this book from Blogging For Books! I love any kind of cheap or DIY home decorating stuff, plus I really like the "A Beautiful Mess" blog. Written by two sisters with different decorating styles there is a little bit of something for everyone! Part easy DIY projects, part inspiration for your own projects, A Beautiful Mess is a great book for those of the funky persuasion. I really liked the pages with a bunch of options, like different ways to decorate a vase or plant pot. There are definitely some projects I can't wait to try!

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books for my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Extra Virgin

Extra Virgin, by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar, is a cookbook of epic proportions! Based loosely on their show on the cooking channel by the same name, it is divided by type of dish (antipasti, pasta, fish, meat, etc..) and has many great dishes I want to try! The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I actually really enjoyed reading the background of all the dishes as well as both authors telling about their food beginnings. The banter of wife and husband is also really cute! There are SO many recipes I want to try, especially since I love Tuscan food. There is so much love in this book! Whip something up in here and I'm sure you'll end up with a suitor or two...or three! 

I recieved this book free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Treat Yourself!

Another awesome free book from Blogging For Books! This one is Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) by Jennifer Steinhauer! Available at Amazon here

This book takes me back to being 5 and begging my grandma for Funny Bones, or the teenage walks to the corner store to pick up Hostess cupcakes. There are tons of awesome throwback "junk food" recipes in this book that I want to try, especially the homemade "Cheez Its"! My husband has already requested a few other recipes. The home made Twix bars and Goo Goo clusters will make awesome Christmas gifts!

The photos (which accompany almost every recipe) are beautiful! Some of them really made my mouth water.

The only downside to this book is some of the recipes are a bit of work for everyday, and would be best as a once in awhile surprise treat. Definitely a great cookbook, and a perfect gift for your favorite junkfood junkie!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kombucha Revolution

Okay, I am pretty addicted to this whole "Blogging For Books" gig! Another free (and awesome!) book arrived on my doorstop this afternoon. While my husband grilled I sat out on a blanket in the sun and pawed through this great little number. Here's my take!

Penned by the founder of the "Kombucha Wonder Drink", Stephen Lee, Kombucha Revolution starts with stories of the somewhat mysterious origins of Kombucha. It also walks you through the process of starting your own brew step by step! As someone who has brewed their own Kombucha many times, I found the directions really informative and perfect for beginners. The recipes use your kombucha in ways I've never heard of or even imagined. Who thought you could use yeast strands from your SCOBY to leaven bread? You totally can in the recipe for 'Harvest Breakfast Bread'. So totally awesome. Kombucha Jello? You betcha! I also enjoyed the multitude of recipes for different infused Kombuchas. I've dabbled in basic flavors like ginger but I'd love to try more interesting blends like holiday spice. That blend includes cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Yum!

In closing, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone thinking of getting started in home kombucha brewing. I also think veteran brewers could find something to gain in the book as well such as new flavorings or uses for their kombucha. Two thumbs up!!

Have you ever been interested in brewing your own kombucha?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nourished Kitchen

I recently joined the "Blogging For Books" website and this was my first review copy (free books, weeee)! Check out the Facebook for The Nourished Kitchen here.

Doesn't the cover just look yum?

If you are familiar at all with the "real food" movement I'm sure you've checked out Jennifer's blog before. I have been a fan for quite awhile now, and I was so stoked when she announced she was coming out with a book. I've gotta tell you, if you are into cooking REAL homemade foods from scratch with locally produced ingredients (sometimes as local as your own backyard), you should pick up a copy for yourself!

To start off with, all the pictures are absolutely gorgeous. They made me very VERY hungry! There are so many recipes I can't wait to try, like the potherb and goat cheese pie with potato crust, fresh herb frittata and the rabbit pie with bacon and chanterelles! So many pages are dog eared already. I also especially enjoy the way the recipes are organized. They are in categories like "from the garden", "from the larder", etc. This book has also inspired me to give sourdough starter another go. 

Most of the recipes use seasonal ingredients, or show you how to preserve a seasonal ingredient to make it last (for example, sauerkraut). Basically this book was right up my alley and I am still, SO, SO excited to have received this review copy! I would give this book 5 (million) stars!

What new cookbook have you picked up recently? Do you have any favorite "real food" recipes?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garden Update

Oh man, between work and the husband working nights I have been oh so very busy! Since he's asleep later in the afternoon I have to do the second animal rounds, plus all the garden stuff. I will be so glad when that ends this week.

Anywho, a few pictures for your enjoyment. :)

We picked our first cabbage!

From front left to right; garlic, potatoes, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes & marigolds (plus baby cucumbers by the arbor)

if zucchini were currency we'd be rich!
Our asparagus bed has been hit by ASPARAGUS BEETLES so I've been weeding like crazy and applying DE to the bed and am getting ready to go out and apply BT to kill the larvae. I'm just glad I can use a pretty natural thing to kill them because if not, I'd just let them have lunch. ;)

On the crochet front, I've been making baby stuff for all the ladies at work who are pregnant (we have THREE!). Yesterday I took a break and made myself a bikini top, which is totally awesome.

Egg production is WAY up and unfortunately most people who buy eggs from us don't want duck eggs so we've had those piling up. Finally we have someone to buy them and just ditched three dozen this morning. Thank God, because I couldn't fit much more in the fridge.

So, that's about it! How is your garden doing?

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Monday, April 28, 2014

What's New

I can't believe it, but I think spring might ACTUALLY, FINALLY, be here! I planted my peas this weekend, and got my other two beds ready to rock.

It was cold and rainy, but I got out there anyway. When we went to the produce stand for grocery shopping they had onion sets so I bought a pound of those (1.19, I think I can swing it). Red onions to be exact! I've never planted them before but my husband's 75 year old grandfather assured me now would be the time to do it. He is also giving us his rotating barrel composter (yes!!). I asked him about how well it works while we were visiting this weekend and he replied with, "you want it? you can have it.". Spring turkey hunting starts this week so that'll be something else for the larder. We've been getting near 10 eggs a day now that the ducks are laying. It was crappy that they didn't lay at all during the winter but without fail when they start laying we get 4 a day from those ladies. We've been selling them to a few ladies at work which is nice, helps pay for the skyrocketing feed. 

What's new in your neck of the woods?

xoxo Stacie

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Liar, Liar, Pants on FIRE!

I am a huge frickin' liar.

I totally wanted to go start this awesome blog on wordpress...but then I had to make Christmas presents...and shovel snow...and, and, and, the list goes on. Basically I was just too lazy to start over again!

So here we are, the month of April! We had a few really nice days that had me itching to go plant some seeds and I wake up this morning...SNOW. I have had it up to here (wait, you can't see me?), UP TO MY EYEBALLS (crap, I'm 5' 1", that isn't very high...okay you get the picture) WITH WINTER. I am so tempted to tell Maine to suck it and move somewhere warmer. But that one 70 degree day was so nice....but I digress. What else is new? We broke down and got 6 baby ducks at TSC (chocolate runners and khaki campbells). Also we hatched some of our own eggs which was pretty much the most awesome thing we've done so far. My garden right now consists of some chives that just popped up and microgreens on the window sill. My spider plant is starting to look tasty, I'm that desperate.

We started revamping our guest bathroom...in October...why didn't anyone tell me how expensive this crap is? Thankfully, with some 5$ mistint paint in hand the beast has almost been slain, huzzah! I've been working on another rug made out of old sheets, and we've been hanging laundry again to save some dough. We've been thinking of selling the dryer (stupidest purchase EVER) but it seems like such a waste to have only had it a year. We'll see. I found out you can make BREAD IN THE CROCKPOT so that's helped cut down on the oven usage.

That's about it. Still poor. Still hoarding animals (please don't call PETA). Still having this love/hate thing with Maine.

What have you been up to?

Until next time,

xoxo Stacielynn