I have decided to challenge myself to read and use cookbooks from my vast collection. As of this writing, I have almost 45 cookbooks. Many that I have not properly read or used. This ongoing personal challenge will help me assess my collection, evaluate authors, and possibly, give/sell some away.
I am going to make more of an effort on reviewing cookbooks. To help myself and anyone who reads these reviews, I have made some guidelines for myself and for anyone who is interested in these reviews.
Most of these cookbooks are owned by me. Part of the reason I have a collection is that I love hardcover cookbooks. Their photos, their weight, their feel.
Read most of the book cover to cover. This generally means reading all the non-directional aspects of the book including introductions to recipes. This can often be fun as some cookbook authors are good. When I have read a cookbook cover to cover, I will mark it as such on GoodReads.
I have tried at least two to three of the recipes before writing the review. While this is a small number, I think it serves as a good first review. I may review the book in another time. In any case, it’s a good evaluation of my relationship with the book.
Substitutions are sometimes inevitable. I will note that in my review if I made substitutions when testing some of the recipes I used. If not, I try my best to follow recipes as this follows the book closely.
I often convert to metric when making most recipes. Not an issue with many books in my collection which were printed originally in the UK.
Due to time and attribution, I will not generally take photos of what I make or copy a recipe. If I do replicate a recipe for the review, it is a more basic one because this way I am not violating copyright and supporting the author.
In addition to the recipes, I will probably review the prose, techniques, chapters and layouts, the book binding and quality, and the photography if it exists.
Overall, I try to get a “feel” of the book and how useful and inspiring it may be to me or not. I am generally fair even with cookbooks I do not like and will point out their merits. I use cookbooks to learn from, but also to be inspired by.
I am looking forward to it. Hope you come along for the ride. Cheers.
Hello! It’s been awhile since I did a Sunday Salon. I’ve missed it, but life has really gotten in the way.
This weekend has been hotter than the standard here. I love that it’s sunny and bright out, but I like to be in the shade or indoors in this kind of weather. It’s relaxing so I like to read! I read one book yesterday and anticipate more day.
I officially started my job this past Monday. The job is the same one I’ve been doing for a year now, but I was made an employee. This is good for me since I now have some financial security and benefits to boot! Working full-time on this project has been tiring though and does not leave a lot of room for me to keep all my hobbies.
It’ll be easier if I just do a quick run down on things:
Books: I hope to read one more book today and start another. I really have not been reading much this year, but hopefully I can catch up this summer to complete my humble 52 books goal this year. I just have too much other stuff going on in my life.
TV: Was off for a couple days for Canada Day and spent that time and this past week watching: “Sense8,” “New Amsterdam,” “Humans,” “Unreal”, and “The Borgias”. I recommend them all in various ways. Two are airing now.
Movies: I went to see Magic Mike XXL in a cinema VIP lounge experience. As someone who no longer really goes to the cinema, I loved the comfortable and bigger seating. So much so that it makes me think I’ll do it again this year. Movie was really fun as well.
Food: I usually bake at least once or every other week, but I didn’t this past week due to the weather. Made a really nice Orange Ricotta loaf the other week though. I haven’t baked bread in over a month. I made a really good black bean and quinoa salad for lunch last week. Now I’m a bit stumped on what I will eat this week for lunch.
Fitness: I’m not running 🙁 A couple weeks after I completed my half-marathon in May, I noticed some pain in my inner calf. I think it’s a minor stress fracture. I’m going to go to physiotherapy soon to check it out. I have a 10K in early September that I still hope to run. In the meantime, I am trying to ride my bike and I’ve been doing some yoga.
Knitting: Finally finished those socks I started in September. No photos yet. I am really not knitting anymore.
Travel: Maybe heading down to the USA for a couple days in August. I am also planning a holiday back to the UK in the autumn. Hope to get that finalized soon. I can’t wait to travel abroad again!
Real Life: Work has complicated things and I had some issues with my neighour the last two months. I really hope things will be calmer now. My friends and family are still very important so I am prioritizing them more in the warm months.
Whew! I think that should be a long enough update. I will continue to blog about my books. To those of you still reading this blog, thank you!
Have a happy week!
Hello! It has been awhile since I wrote a Sunday Salon post. I have dropped off a bit with my Little House series readalong and fell behind actually. I may try to catch up this week.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gradually knit less. I even started a pair of socks over a month of ago, but I’m just one third through the foot. I should have picked an easier pattern to return to knitting.
I have many hobbies and interests, and of late, my social life and running/fitness has taken over. I am the most fit as I have ever been in my life. It’s taken me a couple years to have this kind of social network; I only had a couple of friends here three years ago. I even started a new work contract recently. I still watch some TV shows. I’m interested in “Outlander” and “Black-ish” these days. I have not seen a movie in a couple months though.
The saddest aspect is that my reading has dropped off significantly this year except for during my holiday to China in May. I took my reading goal down from 70 to 52 books, and even with that, I’m struggling at 31 right now.
I will always love reading and consider myself a reader. Lately, I’ve found it hard to be one. I don’t want to force myself to read either. I think it’s just a transitioning time for me, and I’ll definitely go back to bibliophilia when the time is right. Hopefully soon.
Have a great week!
Last Sunday, I finished A Storm of Swords and yesterday I read The Only & Only by Emily Giffin. Review up in a couple of days.
Today, I am reading… work stuff. I need to catch up as I got a new project and deadline. If I manage to do some work, I may read a little. Not sure what since I have so many books on the go, and I admit it: I’m in a bit of a reading rut.
Many of the books I am reading are not interesting me, and the new ones I start have been only so-so.
I ran yesterday and on Wednesday which is great! I went very slowly on Wednesday too and a lot less than my PB yesterday as well. Still, my knee felt funny so I’m going to rest it for the next few days and see how it. I would hate to skip out on my Saturday runs again.
Back to work now. Hope everyone has a great week!
I had planned today to take a bike ride to a farmer’s market, but at dawn, there was a wicked thunderstorm. Now it’s a real rain day. I really needed the exercise too. My running has almost been non-existant, and I have a 5KM race in two months that I want to make good time on. I don’t like running in the summer though.
In book news, I am trill trying to read a giant biography that was interesting when I was in China, but no longer. I think I’ll switch to Kim today and see if it works. I’m am starting to itch for fantasy or lighter books though. I’m looking at the Song of Fire & Ice series. Hmmm.
Crafting: Lost all my knitting mojo. I have a giant coat that I started in the winter, but I’m just keen on knitting these days. I still like browsing knitting books, but no desire to work on my stash. I may work on a t-shirt bag though.
What are you doing this weekend?
Since last Salon, I haven’t had time to think about the blog very much. In fact, I didn’t even know the comments were broken and a visitor kindly contacted me about it. Thanks, Susan!
Yesterday, I finally did write a couple of posts on some books I read in May. I have a couple more posts to write then I’ll have caught up for those posts. I am still not reading though. I’ve been too busy.
I’m working at home these days which is not something I have done in awhile. I made progress this week, and did some cleaning and laundry as well. In fact, I still have to clean some more.
Knitting: Haven’t done any in months. I have to be careful otherwise my muscle memory will forget like it did five years ago. I’ll have to make time for it.
Fitness: Started running again on Thursday and I ran this morning. Just 4km each time, and today was better. I’ve got a 5km race in September, but I find running in summer difficult because of the heat. Hopefully I can get back to doing a regular 6km on weekends.
TV: Finished the new season of “Orange is the New Black”. I enjoyed it, possibly more than season one.
Later today, more chores, maybe some gelato, but now, finish the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. I would have posted this post much earlier if I hadn’t been watching. I’ve got a soft spot for the Dutch!
Have a great week!
Hello, everyone! I am back for a late Sunday Salon. I got back June third, but I am still adjusting to life back in North America. I am recovering from a bad cold and jetlag.
This domain also just recovered from a downtime and being misplaced for at least a week.
My trip was both boring and stressful at times. I would like to say that I will post photos or blog about it, but I have learned I am a quite a bad travel blogger. I still have not posted the photos to when I was in NYC last year.
I will, however, blog some books reviews of the books I read while on my trip. I read 12 books in a little over three weeks. It was a good time to catch up on mostly fluff reading. Since I can group the books and I’ve forgotten a lot of the nuanes to them, it will probably only result in couple of book reviews in the near future.
Currently, I am still trying to read Kipling’s Kim, but I have also added Balzac’s Pere Goriot, and a biography on Deng Xiaoping. All three books that I have not touched since I got back from my trip.
Blogging to resume soon.
Have a great week!
It’s been awhile since my last post. I have not been blogging or reading very much the last couple of months. In fact, I’ve been trying to read Kipling’s Kim for over a month now. It’s not engaging me, but I actually do not have time.
I have been preparing for a trip to China. In fact, I will be gone from the blog and most of the internet until June 4th.
The good news is that I have loaded up my Kindle and bought a new book for the trip. I rarely buy new books. I’ve actually resolved not to buy any books until Christmas, but I had to buy these books as they were French! It was special occasion. I bought Balzac’s Pere Goriot and how could I resist the urge to buy the classic Le Petit Prince.
All my other hobbies have fallen to the wayside as well. I don’t knit as much, and I am taking a break from running until I get back. I have been doing some hot yoga though. I still watch a lot of TV shows.
With summer coming – my traditional reading season – I can hit the books more, work out, and have more hobby and outdoor time.
Be back in June. A la prochaine!
Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I did a Salon post or even blog. I have been very busy this month: ran my 10km, celebrated a birthday, worked a lot, socialized, and worked out.
The last week was rough as I injured myself so am resting my leg and a bunch of other silly annoying things happened. I’m glad it was done with. Yesterday, I ended it by watching the new Veronica Mars movie. I really enjoyed it and
Today, I went to hot yoga and rewatched the movie and read some fanfiction. I couldn’t resist. I remember watching the show for the first time eight years. It reminded me how addictive I found it. I also downloaded the Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line ebook and audiobook. I’m listening to it now. I’ll put up a review of the book when I’m done. I’ll probably devour the ebook at some point.
I have not been reading very much this month either. I’ve been too busy doing the aforementioned activities. I’ve lost some reading mojo as well. I really need to start my Classics Spin novel: Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Will tonight be the evening?
Hopefully I can read and blog more in April. I know I won’t be blogging in May because I will be in China. I will not be taking my laptop. I’ve loaded my Kindle though and bought a new camera lens.
Now back to some books. Have a great end of March!
Hello, everyone! It’s been a busy time for me, both with work and personally. I have been recovering from this cough that I’ve had for a month. It was very cold earlier in the month, but we had a milder week. Still, I’ve felt a touch of the January blues with my work load and personal responsibilities.
Today, I am going to read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.
Yesterday, I went on my first run in about 5-6 weeks. It felt good, but the last 1km of the 6km was a bit tiring! I hope to get back to shape for my first 10km race in two months time. I started swimming lessons which were really difficult for me. I didn’t go this week, but I really hope I get proficient soon as I want to become at least decent at it.
In book news, I read Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring over a week ago. It was average and had some nice Heyer moments, but nothing worth a blog post.
This week, I watched Netflix’s Norwegian-American comedy show “Lilyhammer” based on a friend’s recommendation. It is quite funny and I enjoy watching a foreign show with a touch of American influence. Sometimes, it was a bit too violent and dark more than funny, but still entertaining.
How is your January shaping up?
Hello! I hope everyone is having a good holiday so far. I’ve been quite busy and even sick the last couple of weeks. It feels a lot has happened. I’m not working until the 6th which is great but a bit strange since I’ve been working so much the last couple of months.
Yesterday, I read A Little Princess and the review for it and the 1995 movie will be up tomorrow. Today, I think I’ll read John Green’s Looking for Alaska.
I plan on doing the Classics Club Readathon on January 4. I won’t read the whole day, but I’ll definitely make a concerted effort to read a classic that day.
For the rest of my time off, I’ll be seeing some friends, organizing my Filofax planner(s), making job applications, and cleaning my desk and filing cabinet in anticipation of the new year.
Yesterday, I started drafting up my 2014 reading goals and challenges. I usually do a review of 2013, but I may not do it this year because I am busy. I completed most of my reading challenges for 2013 and have tweaked my 2014 goals accordingly. How was your 2013 reading goals? What do you plan for in the new year?
Not much to relate as I am still quite busy these days. I am still not finished with Anne Bronte’s novel, but perhaps by next weekend I’ll have started something else!
I saw this book survey on Planet Millie. It’s been awhile since I did a survey about books and one that I like.