New Year, New Reviews!

A new year…what to do what to do…??? 

Hey, I know! I’ll do some baking with the kids and Greta the Kitchen Witch for a new review…and then read up on some Swedish living!

I’ll start with….

Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts For Your Exes & Enemies

Sweet Revenge

“Stop your bitchin’ and get in that kitchen” – Heather Kim, Revenge Is Best Served Warm.

I couldn’t wait to open this book. My first thought was, “is this going to have like gummy worms coming out of a scary looking cupcake?” Haha…the answer is…NO! The author is lovingly baking sweet revenge on a very clever adventurous level! 

Mind bubble: “How do I heal all that unresolved emotional pain…..”

The author explains her point of view in “Revenge Is Best Served” and I have to admit…it actually made me cry-in a GOOD way.  She makes great points about what to do with the energy we sometimes misuse because we might be feeling THAT angry at someone else. Why not do something more constructive with it, all in the name of SWEET love!

Mind bubble: “I’ll be sticking it back to you with sugar and pickles-HUGS!”

Now I don’t consider myself a very gifted baker, but I felt VERY adventurously inspired to try at least ONE of these recipes…okay, maybe two. (Include the kids!)

Sweet Revenge Blog 4

The peanut buttercream frosting for “You’re Driving Me Bananas” was a HIT with the youngsters, “Give me more!”

I TOTALLY dig this! 

Sweet Revenge Blog 2

“You’re Driving Me Bananas” cupcake topped with candied bacon and a pickle!

Sweet Candy

Don’t be afraid to melt that candy down!

Sweet Bacon

The butterscotch candy actually DOES clean off pots and spoons easily! Make sure to use parchment paper when assembling!

The kids had a LOT of fun icing these cupcakes-I told my Daughter she would definitely be inheriting this book when she’s old enough! 

Sweet Kids Frosting

The kids did a great job on these!

NOTE for newbie bakers: Don’t forget to SPRAY THOSE CUPCAKE WRAPPERS BEFORE POURING IN THE BATTER – a lesson I myself learned today!

Mind bubble: “I once was emotionally hurt but now I’m…I’m….BAKING!!!!”

The second recipe…hehe….the author lovingly calls, Fruck Off.

Mind bubble: “I could have handled things differently, had I known better…”

This fab & fun recipe REALLY impressed my dinner guests from Europe the other night! They even stated, “This could be served at a restaurant!!!” (Hear that, Heather Kim? You have given us a very delicious GEM here!)

Fruck Off Candy

Seriously, over all the decadent and glorious desserts I tried to impress my guests (AND my kids) with. THIS was the #1 “go-to” winning dessert of the evening! 

Mind bubble: “Fritos meets Reese’s Pieces…I thought it was crazy at first but…

…golly gee, am I pleasantly pleased with these results!”

Fruck Off Dish

Thank you to my friends for trying it and LOVING it!

Candy Friends

Grab a couple of recipes from the book at: RevengeIsSweet

Available at: Amazon.com/SweetRevenge

Another really good detailed review of this book at:
RetroFoodForModernTimes.com

Next up…..

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Live Lagum
Balanced Living, The Swedish Way

Live Lagom

Do you LOVE IKEA? Then you’ll especially LOVE this book!

The first magic that caught my eye here, is that I absolutely LOVE this vintage-like cover! It’s the most beautiful coffee table style book (that I actually really enjoyed reading), that I would also LOVE for my friends to be reading…you know…as they’re sitting on my couch waiting for me to get ready to go out…because it’s just that great of a sit down book. You can turn to any page and get something really cool, insightful and/or inspiring. 

My biggest takeaway here were on balance within extremes and coming from an unconscious excess and waste mindset-sometimes it’s just not our fault, if we are raised a certain way. For me, when I read books on mindfulness and any kind of personal development, I get moved into my own personal evolution via my own inspiration’s and takeaways. I can always make more positive changes. I can always make better decisions that make for a better life experience!

But WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!!

This book also features a chapter on “The Swedish Pantry” that features Swedish inspired mindful recipes…and they look SO GOOD! I get VERY excited when I see a recipe that goes deep in to culture, and these recipes I see myself making for my next tea party! This book is VERY special!

So yes! I REALLY enjoyed this book and I encourage you to at least check it out! Learn about the culture of Sweden! Inspire yourself in it’s playful pictures with words dedicated to a balance of work, home and life!

Available NOW at Amazon.com/LiveLagom

Anna Brones Website

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Greta, Magic Herbs and Cuba!

Snapseed
Greta is the name I gave this sweet lady, also known as Rosemary Kitchen Witch. This sweet kitchen helper is part of a collection by Witches of Pendle. She’ll most likely be making more appearances in these future kitchen blogs, so thanks for greeting her with an open heart!
Now moving on to some really COOL new reads for this month starting with….
Ten Spices for Health and Longevity
(REVISED)
By Valerie B. Lull
10 Spices
Hurray!!! Now THIS is the kind of information that seems to have gotten lost over the years that has lately been finding it’s way to us again!!!
Reflecting on reading through this book, it reminds me of an active mindfulness of actual ingredients…where energy gets infused simply by placing our attention to those ingredients and in our preparation of them!
Besides for household uses for the spices she goes into, the wonderful author also goes into traditional uses of each ingredient, followed by a few key recipes! Oh what fun I’ll have making some of these recipes, while practicing mindfulness WITH intention!!!
I love how the author also mentions possible issues with herbs and medications-let’s take back our health!
My first experiment was with the author’s recipe for CAYENNE TEA
Cayenne and Greta
I had been suffering from chest congestion from a cold and tried this one out. Just in the mindful preparation of it caused me to notice what I was experiencing from inhaling the steam from it…I was already feeling comforted.
Whether one believes or not, the energy we are feeling is the same energy we attract so…bring that on! (Achoo!!! Omg…it’s working!!!) Seriosly, even though it’s a spicy spice, it’s relaxing to me (especially after a night of restless coughing). I’m actually finally feeling sleepy!!!
I appreciated all this book’s fascinating and historical to present day uses of the 10 featured spices in this book, and found this book to be very fun AND useful!
I’ll try sage and fennel tea tomorrow (sore throat, colds, flu)
I feel the writer offers a lot in this book, simply through the ten spices for health and longevity she chose, and I feel it’s definitely worth the time to read.
An ideal gift not just for yourself but to a best friend!
**** GIFT IDEA****
A beautiful basket with labeled packets of herbs, Epson salts, a pretty tea cup and this book!!!
Revised version available at Amazon/10Spices
Author’s Website: valarielull.com
Valarie’s Blog: Simplewaystostayhealthy
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PALADARES
Author: Anya von Bremzen 
Paladares
Inspired by private restaurants of CUBA!
Cuban culture…Cuban history…
…an amazing book of stories and recipes, along with many vibrant and BEAU-tiful photos! (Well done, Anya Von Bremzen!!!!)
Of course I decided to try some of these recipes out, due to the fact that everything just looked REALLY GOOD (!) …plus, I feel that the author explained this book and the recipes well -which to me makes Paladares a nice and easy cookbook to follow!
My review here is all about the recipes so…
The first…..
Cuban Drink

Papa Doble Daiquirí

Ernest Hemingway’s regular drink, apparently. This one is called the Papa Doble Daiquirí. What I especially LOVED about this icy double is that there is NO added sugar -or any kind of sweeteners- in this one! A perfect drink for anytime, but especially during a chilly holiday season-one that I happen to be in now…so perfectly fitting!
Uh…
…although the results of my version came out a little bit foamy, it was probably due to my not so great blender. Still, the taste chimed, “Dazzling!” (Cheers to you, Ernest and Cheers to Anya and Paladares for sharing this drink recipe!)
Cuban Drinks
Next up, I made Potaje de Frijoles Negros, with sofrito. OMG…I wasn’t sure how eventful this dish would be but HEAVEN ON EARTH, these were amazing! This would most definitely make a meal on it’s own-very hearty and flavor-filled!
Cuban pre black beans

A photo BEFORE the magic of creaminess happened!

I learned here that when they say to “simmer” until tender, that really means (at least according to my own stove), to simmer on medium heat where it’s slightly boiling (like a low boil). That gave the best results for me!
Next up, Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (Chicken & Rice). I was moved by the book’s photo of this dish! I was also intrigued by the Annatto spice, along with all the other interesting ingredients like wine, lager-style beer, saffron, capers, etc…
Oh wait…speaking of wine and lager-style beer, I think it’s time to try the other drink that I also bookmarked….the Mojito!!!
Yes yes-this particular Mojito tasted TRULY AUTHENTIC! Meaning not American-ly sweet and BIG STYLE minty. Still, the California gal in me just couldn’t resist muddling in a lot more mint in my glass. My guy chose to stick with the authentic recipe. Either way, this one was another winner for us both!
Mojito for blog

Mojito

Yum!
Now back to the Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera
I didn’t actually go for using the chicken thighs this recipe called for, due to I couldn’t locate any at the grocery store I was in, so I went for an already cut up chicken.
I’ve got to say that this dish was really FUN to prepare and cook. The whole experience reminded me of growing up watching my Mom make her famous Trinidadian curried chicken…..which at this point got me to look up that Cuba is only 1,327 miles from Trinidad via air travel.
Anyway…
By the end of my results….I recreated this REALLY BEAUTIFUL DISH…just don’t forget adding salt,  like I did…or maybe it’s the  kind of dish that’s even BETTER the next day where flavors get more enhanced! (Usually for me, these kinds of dishes are).
Still, the flavors DID stand out as a new and unique tasting experience for me-a total PLUS! Now I’m very much looking forward to trying the many other recipes in this book that I’ve already bookmarked!
Cuban Collage 2
That’s my review for Paladares! Many “Cheers!” to YOU for reading, and PLEASE feel welcome to share what YOUR favorite Cuban drink or dish is, in the comments below!
Cuban drink Tom

“Solud, por que la belleza sobra”, says Tom Richards as he holds up the Papa Doble Daiquirí

“Salud, por que la belleza sobra” means…
“To your health, since you’re already so beautiful”
– HuffingtonPostUK
PALADARES is available at Amazon.com/Paladares
For MORE books by Anya Von Bremzen, please visit AnyaVonBremzenBooks

QUICK LINKS

 

10 Spices

 Cuban Cookbook

Questions, Consciousness and 1967!

Parents
I bought my copy of this book at a conscious parenting event 2017-the title really spoke to me. I had even told the author this! She was so sincere and easy for me to chat with. It means a lot for me to get to review her book now so….here I go…
As a conscious parent, I realize that I’m still trying to raise myself as the teenager I feel I stopped at. For years I’ve struggled with feeling like a victim and that no one understood me, yet I knew I was a good person. Those inner struggles I had felt were something I faced on a regular basis.
Now as a parent of young children today, I refuse to live with that kind of energy around my kids.
This book was everything I had hoped for! A long awaited glorious read to help me understand myself better in this future I NOW live in with my own children. I really feel this book is a great read no matter where one is, as far as their own personal development. It’s extra wisdom and communication.
I especially love all the questions, examples and exercises provided in this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone evolving and healing themselves, as well as for the young adult wanting better communication with their parents and to be understood on a whole new level!
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The Daily Question
By WaterBrook

Daily Question
I LOVE to journal! The thing that I especially love, is when a book provides you with questions you might not be thinking of for yourself. This gives personal growth an extra way to thrive…and for the next 5 years!!!!
For anyone who feels that cannot afford one on on coaching or counseling, but would LOVE that service, PLEASE consider purchasing this book for yourself as a start! This is personal growth that you literally use a pen (or other writing tool) with…that actively includes the heart and mind!
This is the kind of journal writing gets you clear and focuses your attention on what you truly desire! Remember, “The energy flows where attention goes”. You seriously can only go right on this one!
Highly recommended for yourself, as well as for a friend you dearly love. I will definitely recommend this book for my own clients, who want more fulfillment from their lives.

E for EVERYONE!!!

The first page of The Daily Question: My 5-Year Spiritual Journal starts on January 1st and ends 5 years later on December 31st.

Available NOW at Amazon/TheDailyQuestion
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The Great Book of 1967
The Great Book of 1967: U.S. Yearbook Full of Interesting Facts & Events from 1967!
This is a book that I really enjoyed getting lost in! Not only has it been engaging, but I’m feeling super energized from reading it!
1967…a time where an entire generation came of age and were turning into adults, in one of the most pivotal years of the 20th century.  It is the key year of the 1960’s where everything seems to change from black and white to color.  With the incredible changes happening all over the place, we could see how people were creatively reacting to it all….almost chilling in a way.
I really appreciated the breakdowns of Vietnam war events, musical turns that were happening, the musician’s that were taking their first big steps, movies of the time that were game changers, celebrities either born of that year or whom were really BIG at the time…the author even included a brief history on their parents!
My top favorite chapters were “The Top Music of 1967”, “Influential Albums” (broken down by date!), and the author’s Fun & Fascinating: “Selected Band and Artist Profiles”, which includes some really cool trivia!
There is something for EVERYONE in this book, so if you are ever looking for a nice gift for someone, even if they weren’t actually born in ’67, (because that just does NOT matter!!!), please consider this one! It’s FAB, even for a young kid! I highly recommended The Great Book Of 1967! Talk about FUN history!
Available on Amazon/1967

Chef Style Munchies to 5-Sensory Eating

Munchies
Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs

by JJ Goode and Helen Hollyman

A book playfully put together by inspiration of Chef’s Night Out.

To note, a lot of these “munchies” are made from scratch. If it’s late at night and your looking for something FAST, I suggest you find something else to eat (and/or drink) and just read this book (ALONG with your other late night snack!) Seriously, though, I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a lot of fun reading!

You see, I mislead myself in thinking it would be filled with “easy munchies” recipes….but please know…it’s SO MUCH MORE!

The chapters go through drinks, sandwiches, things with tortillas (THINGS, lol), Morning After recipes and….uh…a chapter called Hardcore! There are 8 chapters total, all the way to desserts!

Munchies took me completely in to another fascinating world built creatively in it’s photos, storytelling and sometimes “strong” words (lol, again), and VERY INTERESTING ingredients! Be prepared-in a playful way!


I feel this book would make a FABULOUS gift to anyone who loves the art of cooking and who has a great sense of humor!

Highlights for me were-

How to make a burrito (the right way and the wrong way)

Poutine Your Way

Best Pizza

Available at Amazon.com/Munchies

EXTRA LINKS

More Munchies Recipes at MUNCHIES/Recipes

Watch Chef’s Night Out at ChefsNightOut/EPISODES

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VEGAN Instant Pot Cookbook

101 Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for your Instant Pot
Thom Logan

Vegan Instapot

For me, I think the recipe selections are GREAT in this book-nothing is too fancy or too “out there”, yet eventful and easy enough to cook in any instant pot! 

So if you have an instant pot, want to focus eating towards MORE PLANT BASED foods AND still want the PLEASURE of eating to be EVENTFUL, please consider this cookbook! 

Seriously, in my opinion, I really feel that the author did a beautiful job inspiring the reader on how EASY cooking can be with one instant pot and plenty of yummy nourishing plant-based ingredients!  

Available at: Amazon.com/VeganInstaPot

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How We Eat With Our Eyes And Think With Our Stomach

Learn to See the Hidden Influences That Shape Your Eating Habits

Melanie Mühl, Diana von Kopp

How we eat with our eyes

I LOVE…LOVE…AND LOVE the information in this book! It’s like mindful eating on speed!  I can’t imagine NOT telling someone to get this book!!! How We Eat… is heading for GREAT SUCCESS! 

This amazing book is so well written and covers SO MUCH about the psychology of eating, emotional connections with food, all sorts of sensory experiences associated with food, and illusions of authorities, how we think of ourselves around others, food noise phobias, music validations and how it can affect our time spent in a restaurant, what and how we order off menu’s, delights vs. disgust psychology, how forks may be more trouble than their worth, and so so so much more-and so much more that one review could possibly never cover! 

I seriously cannot put this book down and I HIGHLY recommend it both for yourself and every friend out there! 

Available NOW at Amazon.com/HowWeThinkWithOurEyes

Also available on Audible at: Amazon.com/HowWeThinkWithOurEyesAudio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURIFICATION…RAIN….EVOLUTION

My intention here is to share an experience that might resonate with you. Sometimes we hold on to things because we think we need them…
….sometimes because we feel we are “missing” something, and filling up a space that might feel incomplete. For me, those “things” were actually distractions, like boulders, disrupting my receiving of inspiration and creation.
As always, I invite YOU to share with ME your own experiences of little to big evolution’s and experiences of your own awakening!
Hearts
So my story starts last Friday night, after an EVOLVE conference. I had a dream about fire. The smoke from this fire was dark and grey and covered a large amount of a city off in the distance, and was said to be coming our way…I said a short prayer before turning away from the window to heading back to sleep.
When I awoke, I went back to the window and saw HUGE flames burning furiously just a few houses away from our home!
flames background
Waking up for real this time, I looked up fire in dreams. I found a word that truly spoke to me: PURIFICATION.
Purification
Purification Definition: 
To make pure; free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates,or 
contaminates: to free from foreign, extraneous, or objectionable elements: to free 
from guilt or evil. to clear or purge.
There was also a healing stone that I had acquired from the EVOLVE event and written on it was HOPE.
HOPE stone
HOPE was not really speaking to me so I went and looked it up, in case I was missing something. I certainly was. It was TRUST.
The next day, back at the EVOLVE event, I had so many CLARITY aka, “AHA!” moments and realized I had to let some things in my life, things I’d grown attached to, – go.
Two days later…many of what I now call “distractions” were lovingly set free. It was seriously like MOVING BOULDERS!!!
Boulders
Boulders in place of what was in the way of my being available to RECEIVE. 
As soon as that space was open, I received SO MUCH INCREDIBLE INSPIRATION at INCREDIBLE SPEEDS! OCEANS of ideas were there, patiently waiting for me!!!
Alive! Present! Grateful! Inspired! Creative! Action! As Is! Doing! Awake! Aware! Breath. Breath. Breath.
Today….it rained….and that rain felt SO GOOD on me….like washing ASH from FIRE.
The Grass and ash
I am receiving again, continuing an evolution in every moment through the experiences of physical body and mind….
Inspiration was ALWAYS there-the space was just blocked from to receiving it.
THE WHO "Reign Over Me"

The Who “Reign On Me”

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Thank you to the following resources-
Evolve2017
The Who
***Photo in rain by KingCobra Richards

Cookbook Review Blog…

Baking Class by Deanna F. Cook

 

Baking

 

Explore this extraordinary magical world of baking for kids, all rolled up in this new release, Baking Class! This baking book of fun recipes is so thorough with it’s baking tips, baking tools, baking lessons (with photos!), and ideas to make baking an exciting event. I think the author had WAY TOO MUCH FUN putting this book together, because it truly shows! From simple and savory baked items to pies, cakes and all sorts of various sweet treats, this book is on it!  Any child even with the slightest bit of interest in backing, will absolutely LOVE this book-even if just to flip through. A+ on Baking Class!

***PLEASE check out Deanna’s website

Available NOW on: Amazon/BakingClass

Author and Her Other Works: Deanna F. Cook Page

Author’s Website: deannafcook.com

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The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking by Natalie Perry

 

Slow Cooking

 

***

Hard to beat Paleo in a slow cooker!

Wow-this book has it ALL, and the best part is that it focuses not just on Paleo cooking but Paleo INGREDIENTS which have recently been my go to for replacing foods that don’t agree with me.

I had a lot of fun going through this book. The recipes are appealing and pretty dang easy! It’s not just a “throw a bunch of recipes together” kind of book, it truly focuses on what it stands for and offers nice personal notes with each recipe.

From all the cookbooks for this months reviews, I chose to try the slow cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower (from page 106). Since it was totally on a whim, I had everything except the main ingredient-chicken. Turns out, I also was short tomato paste and 1 more Tbsp. of Cumin but I proceeded with the recipe anyway, knowing I could just freeze the marinade and red bell pepper sauce (separately) and then put it all together later. HA!

The day  before I made this Tikka Masala with Cauliflower dish, I defrosted both the marinade and the red pepper sauce. I added the raw boneless chicken to the marinade to let it sit overnight (to make the chicken more flavorful, as the recipe suggested).

This recipe did not photograph well AT ALL for me, so we chose to stick with making a video instead.

NOTE: We paired this recipe with a NON SWEET, more on the side of a fruit forward melon/papaya and fresh citrus zing Argentine Torrontés (white wine), and it was a PERFECT match!

A lighter and healthier recipe like this really pushes me to appreciate how fresh food and wine pairings can really highlight each other!

CLICK FOR VIDEO!

LNT4

***Please check out Natalie’s website

Available NOW on Amazon/BigBookOfPaleo

Author’s Website: Perry’sPlate.com 

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The New American Heart Association Cookbook

 

Heart Assoc Cookbook

 

Even though this book is chalk filled with tons of recipes, I DO miss not getting to see any photos (except on the outside of the book itself). But I DO like how each chapter gives a rundown of the recipes coming in that particular chapter-especially since there are so many recipes IN each chapter.

I also LOVE that each recipe comes with a little “forward” to make the recipe a little more interesting….since the recipes to me are just not that-at least not for me.

Updated or outdated? The recipes themselves seem a bit “old” or from the past. I don’t mean the past of ham in jelly but more like 80’s’ish…if that makes sense. Just not very appealing or exciting to my own personal tastes, BUT there may be PLENTY of folks who DO love recipes like the ones in this cookbook, so of course, I encourage reading other reviews if you have an interest in this heart healthy cookbook.

So another big bit of a put off for me was that this book encourages the use of white flours, cereals, aluminum foil, vegetable oil, (Please check out this funny video, “Why Coconut Oil Kills”) low fat/fat free….free with additives (!)…it just seems so odd to me that in this day and age…could these recipes be stuck in old habits….old ways?

This book is indeed intended to be about heart health, but I ALWAYS encourage anyone I know and care about to not just get their doctor check-ups but to also stay food educated and to put more focus on what works, in regards to your own personal body. Doctors don’t know everything and that’s okay, that’s what nutritionists are for-and there are so many different ones out there to choose from. Simply put: Educating ourselves is KEY!

So that is my review for The New American Heart Association Cookbook. Thank you so much for reading!

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

More about the author: The New American Heart Association

Available on: Amazon.com

Attracting Miracles!!!

I had the great honor of meeting both Gregory Downey-The GREATitude Coach, along with Dr. Joe Vitale last year at a weekend retreat/live event. I am so excited now to see this new book release with both of their names on it!!!

There were so many great takeaways for me just in that one weekend but my hands couldn’t seem to take notes fast enough! I really enjoyed that live event, as both of these guys are exceptional live speakers!

Attracting Miracles Gregory

Stay tuned for my FULL review of this book! I’m already looking forward to learning more about how Gregory changed from a mindset of abusive surroundings to attracting miracles and where he is today. I know for a fact that he changes people’s lives-he’s certainly has changed mine, as my own coach!

Be excited like me Sunshine Face 2, as we venture in to his step by step, how to attract miracles in to our lives!

Attracting Miracles and my secret life as a miracles coach is now available on
Amazon.com

***I’ve also heard that this book will soon be available through Audible.com!

The Tunnels by Greg Mitchell (Blog by Tom B. Richards)

As a child growing up in the 1970’s I was always fascinated by (not to mention downright scared!) by the Soviet Union and the possibility of a nuclear war.  But to be around in the early 1960s, when the world was arguably closest to disaster, was entirely different thing – when a key selling feature of a new home was a bomb shelter!
tunnels-large
In this highly detailed account of an era that those who weren’t around may never understand, Greg Mitchell’s storytelling featuring detailed accounts from those who were there – making you feel as if YOU were actually there!
His research is deeply extensive and rich, providing a full picture of the times from virtually every perspective, painting a rich canvas of detailed account that for the first time, tell the WHOLE story.
What really captured my imagination while reading this book were the stories of those that actually escaped – all were riveting, many inspiring, and some heartbreaking. I was truly fascinated by some of the ingenious ways people were able to escape! The determination and bravery told in the stories by those who survived, and those who put their lives on the line time and time again to assist with the escape effort – some giving the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. While hundreds may have died in their attempt to escape (or help others escape), over five thousand made it to safety on the other side. Pretty amazing to hear that one of the escapees who was responsible for creating the tunnels went on to participate in the building of the Chunnel between France and England!
What I also found deeply interesting was the level of competition between the various American news reporting agencies to get the story – and even more bizarre to me, what lengths the US government went to suppress them (and makes you wonder how much of that still goes on today – probably a lot!)  That said, Mitchell tells their side of the story too, and you truly get a feel for the urgency of the times to not make tensions between the Soviet Union and the US even worse than they already were.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in 20th century history, particularly around WW2 and The Cold War.  I also think that people who like spy novels and political espionage would find a deep appreciation for this highly engaging and informative book.
Again, I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.
Available at Amazon: The Tunnels
Authors Page: Greg Mitchell 

Like Money, Candy is Energy

It was through the passion of my ego’s annoyance that inspired me to write about the experience of last night’s adventure. It was through the observer, my higher consciousness, that I decided to write about the same experience and to release the pain I was choosing to experience.

Through this writing was when I discovered-or uncovered-the obvious. That like money, candy is energy!

halloween-blog-photo-2
The story begins when my family went trick or treating. We had strolled peacefully through a few streets in our neighborhood while our kids gathered candy from the homes of strangers -ones who had made big candy purchases just to serve random people in costumes exclaiming, “Trick Or Treat!”…and of course adding the courteous, “thank you”, that comes after the magical candy drop.

 
After our hour or so of candy collecting and fun Halloween Decor visuals, we walked over to visit some friends who every year, pass out candy from their very own spooktacular decorated driveway.

 
It wasn’t long after we had arrived that our friends realized they were almost out of candy to pass out. Their street had never seen so much foot traffic on Halloween night.
My guess, is that it was because this year Halloween fell on a Monday night. People have to work, after all. I soon asked myself as I noticed the time, why the heck are all these kids and grown-ups still out walking around and gathering candy so late?

 
It was my 10 year old Son who stepped up and graciously decided he wanted to share his own collected candy to save the night. We all kept asking, “are you sure?” He was VERY sure. Our whole party felt so much inspiration from his selfless decision. Our host was even so inspired that he went and presented a gift to show gratitude for this boy’s beautiful act.

 
Love.

Ego.

My immediate experience of the moment was of course, witnessing the JOY of my Son’s act. He gave his candy away so lovingly and with so much care. He reminded me of a feeling. An authentic and pure experience in the act of giving. Giving from the heart before EVER “learning” anything else.

I remembered what it felt like before I learned what it was to be attached to “things”. Before fear and any sort of  “lack of” mentality mind-set came to be. Through my own programming, the ego would have something to say about this one. It would be taking notes to wake me up with in just a few hours. I would soon be teetering endlessly from JOY to PAIN.

I fell asleep remembering the cute appreciative kids that my Son gave his candy to, but soon the ego would come wide awake with IT’S say in the matter, and it was already remembering everything it didn’t like….

…everything like the witnessing of parents gathering candy for their 1-year old …and the other group with their newborn, admitting the candy was really for themselves. The ego remembered the several cars desperately searching for houses with lights still on. It seemed like they were searching for a candy lottery or something-in search of as much candy as they could get while they could still get it. They’d park…grab candy….say thank you, of course, and leave.

 
And there was my Son still giving his candy away…to them.

 
I was experiencing feelings of pain within myself of what I judged as greed from others. It was all going over and over in my head-and in my heart, reminding me of how people feel about politics-the assumptions…the judgments…the expectations of others….IT’S ALL THAT SAME ENERGY! Why do I feel so sure about it? Because it FEELS like the same energy-festering and vibrating on it’s extremely low and dangerous setting.

My Son was not suffering for his kind act. I was.

Through writing this blog post, I would understand that through those who accepted candy from this beautiful spirit of a kid, where accepting the candy for his benefit. The true and pure authentic JOY IN GIVING would awaken as the experience that this little guy chose all by himself.

Lesson learned, Mom. All is well.

Big Bad Breakfast, indeed!

And it’s a Big Bad Breakfast for ANY time of the day!

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My rock-star Husband got a hold of this book before me and he immediately LOVED it! LOL! Now THAT’S confirmation that this could be a FABULOUS book for the man in your life (friend or otherwise).

As for me, I LOVED the idea of this book, simply based on the cover and it’s title. Breakfast is not a course I usually tackle, but I was willing to take on a dish in this book- only because everything in this book looks worth making!
Reading through this cookbook the first time through, my eyes and my mind felt pure delight! The stories and the recipes have great themes to them. The pictures do a great job alluring the reader to want to attempt them all….well, in my world!
I also noted that the author really appreciates cooking from scratch as much as possible-which is something I usually cut corners in. Still, I feel many of the recipes in this cookbook are approachable for anyone who loves to cook, and there are so many highlights on flavor, via spices and fresh ingredients.
For our cookbook recipe taste test, I chose to take on a less traditional (and less ingredient) “breakfast” recipe called Shakshouka-a dish well known in the Middle East.

SEE VIDEO HERE
SHAKSHOUKA RECIPE TASTE TEST VIDEO

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The challenges I faced while making this recipe were the cooking times. The times of cooking listed in the instructions of the recipe were pretty much three times longer for me-each and every time! Maybe because I don’t have an industrial kitchen. Either way, the description of what the cooking should do FOR the ingredients were explained within the recipe-that was what I was going on at that point.
The end result was my presentation looking more like a fifties or sixties retro dish with my eggs more cooked than the recipe and the cheese more cooked than the recipe-hmmm…

As far as the taste of the dish-IT WAS AMAZING! It was still very flavorful (nothing tasted burned) and the food didn’t feel heavy at all! It was more filling, than anything else! Made a great lunch for the next day!

So….

Would I attempt another recipe from this cookbook? HECK YES! There are some FUN and more traditional/southern-style dishes going on in this book that caught my eye (and tummy) that I feel are worth attempting for breakfast, brunch OR dinner -egg bakes, Benedict’s, quesadillas, salsa/sauces, enchiladas, migas, scrambles, specialty brunch beverage favorites (with their own twists), all kinds of pancakes, breads and cakes…actually there is much more than that, and it’s NOT overwhelming at all. Just enough of everything that would look great on a restaurant menu.
I rarely eat meat and there were plenty for me to choose from, in this book. These are the kind of recipes I’d cook for beyond my own family-these are recipes I’d WANT to invite friends over for….a Big Bad Breakfast!!!

***I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.***

Big Bad Breakfast Cookbook available NOW on Amazon.com
John Currence Website: http://chefjohncurrence.com/
John Currence Restaurants: http://chefjohncurrence.com/restaurants/