Category Archives: Good Reads

A Craving for Flowers. Fun Few Books on Flowers

I love flowers. Love, love, love them. If I could, I would eat flowers for dessert and live in a greenhouse surrounded by them. Sometimes I actually crave flowers. A craving for their lovely colors, textures, fragrance, and myriad flowerfull  beauty. I especially crave flowers in the winter and early spring when my garden is still half-dormant. When I get a flower craving what I turn to are my books on flowers and gardening. Continue reading A Craving for Flowers. Fun Few Books on Flowers

Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity by Uma Swaminathan

Herbal Transformations: Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity Using Herbs and Spices, Yoga, Hygiene and Spirituality. The title says it all. My aunt Uma Swaminathan is the author of this wonderful book that gives you valuable information about Indian spices and herbs and also shows you how to use them to enhance the positive aspects of those spices and herbs. Continue reading Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity by Uma Swaminathan

Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann

Have you heard of FIKA? I hadn’t. Not until a few months ago that is, when I was catching up on my daily world news on BBC.com. I came across an article that read  Why Are Swedish Workers So Happy?.  This article was about FIKA, the Swedish workplace tradition of taking a coffee break with sweet treats and chatting. In many companies in Sweden this coffee break is not only encouraged but in some offices it is actually  mandatory.  Research has shown that taking a work-place coffee break leads to happier and more productive employees.

I know it’s silly of me, but when I read that people take a coffee break every day with a sweet pastry or two, all I could think of is, “Why aren’t Swedish people overweight?”  Eating that much sweet treats every day must have some negative impact on the body. Right?

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The quest for the answer to this question is how I came upon this cookbook Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann. Continue reading Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann

Dark Chocolate Brownies With Salted Carmel

My friend Rose made these outstanding dark chocolate brownies a while back, and they were perfect little bites of pure chocolate joy. These brownies were gooey, chocolaty, and moist with a hint of espresso and they were not teeth-tingling sweet. Why am I surprised these brownies were so good? Rose is an amazing baker – just amazing. Her baked goods can win awards. If only she would open a bakeshop, her goodies would sell out for sure. Rose shared her recipe for these gooey brownies, which she got from trEATs by April Carter. Here is the recipe with a few of Rose’s own tweaks. Continue reading Dark Chocolate Brownies With Salted Carmel

Planting the Seed for Sweet Peas

It’s fall and now is the perfect time to sow sweet pea seeds in our gardens. I know it’s hard to think of planting seeds for flowers that won’t bloom for another 6 months, but spring flowering bulbs and seeds like to be planted in fall so they can develop strong roots and get established before spring arrives when they produce their buxom blooms. In this case it’s sweet pea seeds, which give the lushest blooms when planted in the fall timeframe.

Continue reading Planting the Seed for Sweet Peas

The Healing Garden by Gay Search

The Healing Garden. Gardening for the Mind, Body, and Soul by Gay Search is a wonderful resource on gardening whether you are starting a garden from scratch, or just changing a part of your garden.  Though I bought this book many years ago, I find the information in it to be relevant and applicable even today.

This is an excellent book on how to grow and maintain a garden that speaks to all our senses including touch, smell, color and even spiritual components to the garden are addressed in this book. The author Gay Search looks at many aspects of gardening and shows us how it is more than just plants that go into a garden. She shows us how a garden can be a refuge for us to escape into another world, where for a few minutes you can be transported to a peaceful place. Continue reading The Healing Garden by Gay Search

Chocolat the Movie

I watched this movie on Valentine’s Day with the family.  After a scrumptious Valentine’s Day dinner I convinced the whole family to watch Chocolat with me. I had seen it years ago when it first came out and fell in love with it!  I had forgotten about the movie until recently when I was making decadent hot chocolate from scratch at home.  As I was stirring the dense creamy chocolate into the milk and adding cream, and vanilla; my memories of the movie Chocolat came back to me with a smile as I remembered Juliette Binoche doing the same thing in that movie – stirring creamy hot chocolate to serve to her customers. Continue reading Chocolat the Movie