Thursday, May 25, 2017

Food52: Ice Cream & Friends



Food52's Ice Cream & Friends is dedicated to providing an array of ice cream and frozen treat recipes. When I received the book, I devoured the cookbook. As I poured through each and every recipe and it's lovely photographs (I ended up looking it over multiple times), I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes.

This ice cream cookbook doesn't have recipes for the typical flavors you would buy at a supermarket like strawberry, cookies and cream, coffee, so if you are looking for that, this isn't the book for you. This cookbook offers 60 recipes of very unusual and exotic ice cream flavors, such as Lemongrass Chile Ginger, Peanut Butter Curry, S'mores, Saltine Cracker-Brownie Sandwich, Black Pepper Feta, Burnt Toast, and many more. I have to admit, I was very afraid of trying many of the recipes because they sounded so unusual. So for my first recipe, I opted for a safer recipe: Mango Lassicles. I love mango lassi so I figured I would love a mango lassi in popsicle form. It was delicious and very easy to make! I also made the Homemade Sprinkles recipe. While store-bought sprinkles are so convenient and cheap, being able to make my own sprinkles for the children seem healthier.

I love this cookbook! I love having a cookbook just dedicated to ice cream. One of these days, I will muster up the courage to try out the Peanut Butter Curry Ice Cream recipe.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Crazy Upbringing: A Review on Crazy Is My Super Power by AJ Mendez Brooks


AJ Mendez Brooks' current memoir, Crazy Is My Super Power, was a fascinating read. Despite growing up dirt poor with irresponsible and dysfunctional parents, Brooks turned her life around. I don't watch WWE or know anything about wrestling, but I found Brooks' determination, self-awareness, and scrappiness very refreshing and compelling. I loved how Brooks' dream was to be superhero, and she found a way to make that happen in her own way. Her writing is very real. She didn't sugarcoat anything nor did she shy away from all the embarrassing and ugly parts of her childhood. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and especially to young girls and women.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters


Emily Esfahani Smith's book, The Power Of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, was a powerful and insightful read. Through her research, Smith argues that a person's pursuit of life's meaning can be achieved by making connections with people to feel like you belong, finding a purpose in life, making sense of our experiences through storytelling, and seeking transcendent experiences.

All the stories in the book were all very touching and compelling, from the veteran whose life spiraled out of control but used his pain and suffering to help other veterans to a young gay man's story at The Moth about how his parents refusal to accept his sexual orientation lead him to put a pause on his life. All the stories perfectly illustrates the four pillars of meaning (Belonging, Purpose, Storytelling and Transcendence), according to Smith.

After reading this book, it is making me seriously think about aspects of my own life (areas that I need to work on) to achieve the meaning in my life that I want. I highly recommend to book to anyone who is interested in a self-help book or just a book that will get you thinking about your own life and what it means to you.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Moth Presents All These Wonders


I had only recently heard of the The Moth Storytelling when I was watching Lena Dunham's "Girls". On one of the episodes, Dunham's character goes on The Moth to tell her story about her break-up. When I got an opportunity to review The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown edited by Catherine Burns with foreward by Neil Gaiman, I jumped on the opportunity. I LOVE short stories because it works well for my short attention span when it comes to fiction.

The stories in this compilation are all very raw and honest. Some stories are sad and some are more happy and funny, but all the stories are very compelling, and I just couldn't put the book down. There are 45 intriguing stories in this compendium. The stories range from a child soldier from Sierra Leone to a child surviving the concentration camp to more lighthearted stories about an author writing a controversial children's book that was meant for the parents.

All the stories in this book were originally told live in front of an audience. That is the whole premise of The Moth, it is live storytelling. I imagine these stories were even more dynamic and captivating when they were told live. I would love to attend a Moth live storytelling one day.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Review of Democracy In Black by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.


Democracy in Black by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. was a thought-provoking and eye-opening read. This novel comes at such a troubling time in America when unarmed black men were being gunned down by police officers at an alarming rate. Glaude argues that in our society there is a "value gap" where we value white people over colored people. Glaude also argues that everyone has "racial habits," and it's our racial habits that shape us and our lives which reinforces our value gap. To uproot the racial inequality in our value gap and value habits, Glaude offers up three components of a revolution of value: (1) change the view of our government; (2) change how we view black people by changing how we see white people; (3) change what matters to us as Americans by telling better stories.

This book couldn't come at a better time. With all the chaos that has been going on with our government, I can't help but evaluate my own thoughts, feelings, values, and concerns about our society and our culture during this time. I don't know if our society will ever find peace and equality, but we need books like Democracy in Black to push us to evaluate our own personal values and to look into our racial habits in hopes to achieve racial equality one day.


Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Review of Disaster Falls by Stephane Gerson


Stephane Gerson's memoir, Disaster Falls, is a tragic story about the author's devastating lost of his eight year old son, Owen, during a family rafting trip on the Green River in Utah. The book chronicles the family's loss and how each family member (Stephane, Alison, and Julian) deals with losing Owen. Gerson also researches the history of the Green River and discovers how dangerous it is. The rafting guide the Gerson's went with assured them the trip was safe. Gerson had a bad gut feeling that it might be too dangerous but decided to go through with it anyway. Following Owen's death, the Gerson's decide to make a pact to stick together no matter what. Usually, the lost of a child would tear just about any family apart. The way the Gerson's stuck together is a testament to their strong bond. This book was a raw and heart-wrenching look into a family who had to endure the unimaginable and survived.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review of The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook by Helen You



Let me just start off by saying I LOVE DUMPLINGS! I was so excited when I saw The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook by Helen You was available to review. I jumped at that chance. What perfect timing too because it's almost Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster) so it's time to make DUMPLINGS! First and foremost, I didn't realize The Dumpling Galaxy is actually a restaurant owned by Helen You in Flushings, Queens, New York. I wish I lived in New York so I can try You's famous dumplings.

Since I live far away from New York, I will have to make my own dumplings using You's cookbook. I love all the unusual dumplings; there are so many! I am only familiar with the basic pan-fried pork dumplings (potstickers) and dim-sum's pork dumplings (shumai) or shrimp dumpling (ha-gow). Helen You presents some classic dumplings like Pork and Chive Dumplings, Chicken and Cabbage Dumplings, Pork and Mushroom Shumai. There are a number of unusual dumplings that I have never heard of like Pork and Century Egg Dumplings, Pork and Pu'er Tea Dumplings, Dried Octopus and Chive Dumplings, Cod and Fish Roe Dumplings, Lamb and Pickled Mustard Green Dumplings, and many more. You's dumpling recipes ALL look scrumptious! I can't wait to try them.

The cookbook is broken up into six sections as follows: Chinese Dumplings 101, Classic Dumplings, Green Dumplings, Faraway Flavors, Dessert Dumplings, Sauces and Sides. I've only made dumplings once, and it wasn't as daunting and scary as I thought it would be. My children and I are going to make You's Pork and Cabbage Dumplings for Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Rooster everyone! Now, go get some dumplings!

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.