Yummy2Tummy: Food52 Mighty Salads delivers a delicious punch!


I’ve had a longstanding on-again, off-again love affair with salads, but this book may be the one thing that makes me stand up and commit to salads forever, the salads are so stunning.

Promising “60 new ways to turn salads into dinner”, this appetizing book definitely delivers! I love the look of the book itself: it is a great hardcover as attractively packaged as all Ten Speed Press publications tend to be, with stunning visuals accompanying the recipes.

In addition, as Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs explain, this gorgeous book offers, along with yummy, creative salad recipes, “…loads of tips, riffs, variations and some ideas that we’re pretty sure you’ve never seen before.”

(Note: I have no idea what “riffs” are, but I can tell you, I love the little juicy tips that keep popping up as happy little surprises on some of the pages. Take, for example, one of my fave tidbits: how to keep an avocado from browning. I won’t offer up a spoiler, but I can tell you the answer is on the bottom of page 14 and it is surprisingly simple.)

Whether it is the Charred Okra Succotash Salad (“…choose small, pinky-size okra so they’re soft…”) to the Coconut Rice Salad with Mango, Bell Pepper and Lime (“…with a little primp and polish, your favorite side can easily become your main squeeze….”), the writing about the recipes is almost as fresh and appealing as the actual ingredient lists. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since Hesser and Stubbs formerly worked for the New York Times.

I  fell head over heels in love with this book and, as with most infatuations, I just can’t wait to tell everyone about it! Go out and get this book! Are you reading this at night? Put a jacket over your pjs and head on out, or just hunker down and order it online. It’s a treat for your eyes and for your tummy. Do it. Just do it. (And think of me when you try the Spring Vegetable Panzella! If I wasn’t writing this in my comfy bed, after having already consumed more than my share of taste-tested recipes from this book already, I’d be trying this “garlicky three-herb pesto”!)


Chazown: My Review of Craig Groeschel’s Amazing New Book


I am crazy about Craig Groeschel’s book Chazown: Discover and Pursue God’s Purpose for Your Life. I wasn’t impressed with the cover (plain and uncompelling) so I ignored this as a choice for reviewing for awhile, but I finally gave in and boy, am I glad I did!

Groeschel, the founding pastor of LifeChurch, is also the author of The Christian Atheist, Weird, and #Struggles, but this is the only one of his books I’ve read SO FAR. (I’ll be checking the others out soon!) The father of six children with wife Amy, Groeschel says his primary passion is for leading people to Jesus, and with this book, he’s got a good chance of fulfilling that passion.

What is “Chazown” anyway? I admit I was clueless before reading this book. Let me make it easier for you:

Chazown is the “Hebrew word for the dream, revelation, or vision God was thinking about when He made you.” Groeschel begins his book by talking about the end game: who and what will you be at the end of your days? What will your epitaph say about you, or not say about you? Sobering but in a good way, like a splash of ice cold water on a sultry day, focusing on your own particular end is bracing. It gives you a quick kick, and a slow burn all at once. You get to stop majoring on minors and take five, ten, thirty…however many…minutes you need to figure out what you’re gonna leave behind. A legacy? A scandal? Will your life shine or sputter to an embarrassing halt?

Using concrete tools like the “Anger-Bliss Factor” (what makes you angry? what brings you bliss?), Groeschel offers hard hitting, bite-sized chapters that are short enough to keep from boring you…yet powerful enough to keep you turning pages. I’m not going to give away the book entirely because I want you to read it. Get it. Go get it today. It’s worth it, I promise. Because, by the time you read the last page, you’re gonna be a different person. A stronger person.  A person with more personal integrity for having figured out what YOUR Chazown is. A person who will live the rest of your life deliberately. With passion. With purpose. With power.

This book will NOT disappoint. In fact, I’m getting ready to read it again. And, when my bank account is sufficiently flush, I’m gonna buy copies for a bunch of my friends. Because I want them to find their Chazown too. And because when you know what your purpose is, you want to live it, and mine is to point people right to Jesus.

Like this book did for me.

(I received this book for the purposes of reviewing it for Blogging for Books, but the opinions therein are mine.)

Blog Fog: Figuring the ins and outs of blogging


I do not understand the technical issues involved in blogging. Primarily, I don’t understand how to share my blog or how to make it easily accessible. I have created several different sites on this one Word Press based site, just so I could figure out how to do it but all I did was create more confusion.

Do any of you have an idea how to navigate through this ? I’m in a Blog Fog.

I’m a hopelessly inept blogger!


Help! I have apparently no idea how to format a blog correctly. No one can find my blogs. When they do, they can’t share my posts. I can’t even find my own blogs most of the time. Please help me to make this reader-friendly! (And author-friendly!)

Rooted: A Review




In Rooted, by Banning Liebscher, we find a rather unexpected way of approaching growth in our Christian lives: Liebscher takes us to the life of a Biblical character, David, who was said to be “a man after God’s own heart”, and leads us through a protracted path to the end result of a life more deeply rooted, hence the title, in Him. The premise is sound, the writing is careful, the message is clear: growing strong in your faith requires more than lip service, it’s more involved than a drive-by, it will take a cultivated, nurtured growing ground to reap the fruits of a life found strong in its faith. For me, the book was a definite wake-up call to more rigorous effort on my part in finding my faith strengthened and fastened more securely on the God I say I serve. It is a call to read the Bible with deliberation, to study the ancient words that have become near cliches for many. It is a call to honest worship and genuine praise cradling time in the Word that is made a priority.

I love what Liebscher is saying. I agree with him. I totally believe and am sold on his book’s message. The only thing is, it was really really tough for me to stay with the author for the duration of the book. I lost focus more than once, and this book took me more time to read and review than many others. I believe it is in part because I did stop over and over to examine my own life in light of what I was reading, which is a good thing, and I needed the not so subtle kick in the pants to take my Bible reading and study more seriously. But I stumbled a few times and found myself lagging behind several times in my reading.

I give it three stars, because I had such a hard time sticking with it. It requires much the same discipline as planting a garden….one needs to be able to stay the course when the tomato plants are nothing more than tiny green fronds barely lifted above the soft dirt. By the time the tomatoes have come, plump and green, with the faint blush of red creeping over the round orbs, and the plants themselves have grown tall and strong, you’ve waited and watched and had to hold back, watching patiently for the juicy treasure to arrive. Likewise, I was rewarded with the juicy taste of a stronger fellowship with God, but I had to cultivate a patience to make it through. I did it, but some folks, who aren’t reading to review, might not make it to the harvest.

Received a copy of this book to review for Blogging for Books but the opinion is my own.

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