Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cookbook Review: EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy by J. Price

✰✰✰✰ January is a great time to cook and serve comfort foods. Traditional comfort foods are tasty and familiar foods that often evoke pleasant memories of childhood. Usually these are home-cooked meals that "stick to your bones" and boost both mood and energy.

But what about all the saturated fat and salt associated with comfort foods? The gooey cheeses, meats, and creamed sauces common to comfort foods might not seem compatible with healthy eating at first glance. However, the staff at EatingWell have taken many of our favorites and made them healthier.

EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy: The Classic Makeover Cookbook
includes an introductory chapter for those new to healthy cooking. There are plentiful tips for healthy eaters including: principles of healthy cooking, stocking a healthy pantry, reading nutritional labels, and suggestions for portion size. There are 10 recipe chapters including everything from appetizers to salads, meat dishes to vegetarian, and don't forget desserts. Recipes include classics like Hot Artichoke Dip, Caesar Salad, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, Old-fashioned Chicken & Dumplings, Au Gratin Potatoes, French Silk Pie, and my personal favorite, Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy. Indexes for Makeover Tips and Recipes are included too.

The Bottom Line:
EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy: The Classic Makeover Cookbook features easy step-by-step directions for each recipe. The book has plenty of appetizing color photos. Additionally, nutrition information is provided for each recipe. While the paperback lays flat and makes for easy reading while cooking, the only drawback is that the binding is not very sturdy. Thus, pages tend to fall out of the paperback rather easily. Enthusiastically recommended for home cooks of all levels.

EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy: The Classic Makeover Cookbook by Jessie Price & the Editors of EatingWell. Published by The Countryman Press in 2009. ISBN: 978-88150-887-1

Visit EatingWell for more information and free recipes!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January is National Book Blitz Month!

While looking through Chase's Calendar of Events, I suddenly realized that January is National Book Blitz Month. Who knew? I certainly didn't. So I decided to do a little research. It turns out that there isn't much information available about this obscure celebration.

National Book Blitz Month was originally created by a public relations executive as an opportunity for authors to market and promote their books. However, today the annual event has been expanded to include other activities for readers as well. Enhance your reading pleasure by trying one of the following activities:

  • Hold a family contest and see who can read the most books in a month.
  • Visit a bookstore.
  • Try reading a book in a different genre like a western or a hard-boiled detective novel or even a biography.
  • Give the gift of imagination to someone else; buy them a gift card to their favorite bookstore.
  • Join a book discussion club.
  • Read to a child.
  • Sign up for the Winter Reading Program at your local library.
  • Pick up one of your favorite books and reread it.
How you celebrate National Book Blitz month is up to you. Whatever you decide, set aside some time to turn off the TV and settle down with a good book. Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fulfill Your New Year's Resolutions With Help From the Library

Well, here we are, halfway through January already. As I got a late start to the day, I found myself wondering how everyone's New Year's resolutions are coming along. I started out with a whole list of good intentions including: exercising, reading more books, and being more optimistic. However, somehow I got sidetracked and haven't focused on any of them.

My solution: visit the library. Your local library holds the keys to keeping and fulfilling your New Year's resolutions. Whatever you resolved to do in 2010, the library has resources to help you succeed. The following is a list of the potential resources available to you:

  1. Sign up for a computer class and learn a new skill.
  2. Check out the job hunting resources and update your résumé.
  3. Access the Internet and build your social network. Some libraries even offer free Wi-Fi.
  4. Try a downloadable audiobook or eBook. They are available for check out just like traditional books.
  5. Check out the latest DVDs for popular movies or try a foreign film.
  6. Discover the wide variety of programs for kids from infants to teens.
  7. Learn a new language.
  8. Enjoy a concert.
  9. Taking the ACT, SAT, LSAT or GRE? Explore the test prep materials.
  10. DIYers can check out DVDs for help with their latest home improvement project.
  11. Make new friends by joining a book discussion group.
  12. Sign up for the Winter Reading Program.
These resources and many more are waiting for you today. The best part is that most, if not all, of these resources are free. To find your local library, visit the Public Libraries search page. Good Luck everyone; you can do it!