Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The book is ideal for toddlers aged 1-5, and is partially cut out in the shape of a star. It's a short book--only 6 thin board book pages, but is a cute story with rhyming words and adorable illustrations.
The story begins in present day, with two children looking out into the winter night sky at a bright star. The next several pages talk about the star that drew the Wise Men to seek out Jesus. One detail was not lost on me, and I truly appreciate it--the story shows the Wise Men meeting a toddler Jesus, not a newborn Jesus. Many scholars now believe that Jesus was about 2 years old before the Wise Men reached him and few stories relay that information. The last page shows the same children opening presents on Christmas morning, and the story says how Jesus is the reason for Christmas.
I thought this was a precious book, and my 2 year old really liked the colors and the novel shape of the book. I always like to give my children a book with a new pair of PJs on Christmas Eve, and this book would be make a perfect gift for a toddler. Very sweet, short, but still proclaims the message that Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas.
*I was provided a free copy of this book from Zondervan Publishers in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Since her choice of "Unicorn Princess Rainbow Sparkle" is a little robust for common use, I'm going to start referring to her as Tater. She's always been my little Tater Tot, even before she was born. I actually call her Tater more frequently than calling her by her given name, which is why, at age 3, she was appalled that I would purchase tater tots and feed them to her. She's refused to eat them ever since.
So, Stinker is now Tater. I guess that means she's growing up. If only growing up meant she'd actually clean her room...
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Monday, October 20, 2014
2. I've been to 9 MLB stadiums. Wrigley was iconic, but my seat was right behind a concrete support beam so I'm not entirely sure who actually won.
3. I'm left-handed.
4. If I had to live someplace other than California, it would be somewhere in the South. I love bacon and saying "y'all".
5. I love Jeopardy and at one point (obviously before children), didn't miss an episode for 10 years.
6. I came in 9th place in the State Spelling Bee in middle school. "Spigot" tripped me up...the woman pronounced it "spicket" with an over emphasis on "ick". I was one round away from advancing to Nationals.
7. I don't play any musical instruments, unless you count the harmonica. In high school, I recorded a CD of myself playing Harmonica Hymns. I gave it to people I loved. Looking back, they probably thought I hated them.
8. I have a major sweet tooth, and always have at least 3 kinds of chocolate in my secret stash. (Lately it's been dark chocolate coconut bars.)
9. I traveled quite a bit in my younger years...I managed to visit most of the "I" countries: Israel, Italy, and Ireland. Unless something really drastic happens, I will probably never make it to Iraq or Iran. Iceland is still a possibility.
10. Breakfast for dinner is always acceptable. Especially pancakes. I have a weakness for pancakes. (Try my favorite Blueberry Pancake Recipe!)
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Saturday, October 18, 2014
Having been raised in Southern California, I'd like to think I know a thing or two about good Mexican food. Everyone knows that the best taco shops are the little hole-in-the-wall places, guacamole is a food group, and you should try to scout out the places that make their own tortillas.
Tacolicious is a cookbook from the eatery of the same name in the Bay Area. It's part cookbook, part Tacolicious restaurant history, and part Mexican culture reference. Written by Sara Deseran with Joe Hargrave, Antelmo Faria, and Mike Barrow, this cookbook strives to bring the flavors of Tacolicious into the home.
I love the idea of this cookbook...a whole book about tacos, salsas, and their accompanying side dishes sounds like heaven. But, I was a bit disappointed at how many random or difficult to find ingredients many of the recipes called for, and how time consuming many of the recipes seemed. There were taco recipes using goat shoulder, lengua (beef tongue), and lamb. Recipes also called for lard, banana leaves, and annatto seeds. I appreciate the nod to more "authentic" Mexican flavors, but for a typical home cook or busy mom, these recipes just aren't a reality. The ingredient lists are also quite long for each recipe.
I made two recipes from this cookbook. The Lone Star Breakfast Tacos (p. 143), and the Homemade Horchata (p. 197).
The Breakfast Taco was good, but I had to substitute a green bell pepper for the poblano chiles, since my grocery store didn't have poblanos. The Horchata had good flavor, but despite following the directions to the T, and straining the mixture several times, it was still very chalky. I was disappointed, as I was hoping to replicate the horchata from my favorite taqueria.
I like the front cover of the book-it's a canvas type cover with a beautiful photo on the front. And the photos inside the book are mouth-wateringly good. And while it's probably true you can't rush good food, I would have appreciated a chapter of quick fix, or family friendly recipes for moms on the go, who want to spice up taco night without spending 3 hours in the kitchen.
Bottom Line: 6*/10*
*I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
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