Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie!

Top Ten Tuesday 2

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Favorite Cookbooks/Crochet Books

This week is a freebie, which means we get to pick our own topic for the week.  Cooking and crocheting are two of my favorite non-reading hobbies, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite cookbooks and crochet books!

  1. Crochet Boutique by Rachel Oglesby.  I love how simple and cute all of the patterns are!  There’s this one beret that I made, and I actually want to make a few more in all kinds of colors.  And everything is really simple and great for all crocheters, but especially beginners.
  2. 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea.  I love my crockpot so much…to the point that I have two of them.  I really do use it that much, and I love a lot of the recipes in the book!  Plus, I love that there are so many things I’d never think of making in the crockpot (like fish!  and tofu!)
  3. The Joy The Baker Cookbook.  I love that all of the recipes are brand new, and not pulled from her blog. Most everything I’ve made has turned out amazing- I cannot get the bourbon banana bread cooked all the way through, no matter how hard I try, but it’s still good (well, the ends are good at any rate).  And the brown butter chocolate chip cookies are my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  At work, anytime we have a potluck, I am not allowed to bring anything else.
  4. The Family Cooks by Laurie David.  Everything I’ve made so far has been really simple and I feel like everything is healthy without feeling like it’s healthy.
  5. Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Hayden.  I totally admit that I actually haven’t made anything from this book, but I love that it’s amigurumi (a Japanese-style of crochet that usually involves making really cute animals and creatures) and an odd assortment of creatures like the Grim Reaper and a vampire.
  6. Around The Corner: Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.  So, I don’t own this one, but I did borrow a copy from a friend recently for a crochet project, and it’s a cool book because of the sheer number of borders in it.
  7. The Pioneer Women Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond.  The couple of things I’ve made were good, but I love that it’s a step-by-step guide, complete with photos.  I can see that being slightly annoying after a while, but I actually really like it in book form.  Which is weird, because I’m not a fan of it on blogs.
  8. Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding.  It’s an entire book devoted to bar desserts.  I never would have guessed that there were so many ways to make bar desserts.
  9. Every single Rachael Ray cookbook I own.  She is definitely an auto-buy author for me, and I don’t even bother to flip through her cookbooks before buying them at this point.  I really like her Veggie Meals cookbook and her Big Orange Book.
  10. Crochet One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant.  I love that everything in this book is one skein- although there seems to be a vague definition of that sometimes, because one of the patterns calls for a one pound skein of yarn.  (Side Note: these do exist because I have a couple of them sitting in a storage basket at this very moment).  There’s a variety of patterns, and I like that it’s organized by yarn weight, which is great for when you’re trying to use some of your really large yarn stash.  (Which is basically so I can buy more yarn, but that’s another story).

 

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Book Talk: Cookbooks

Book Talk

Book Talk is a new feature where I talk about non-book review bookish things.

Today is all about cookbooks!  I really like to cook and bake (but I prefer baking), and I feel like I’m always talking about the cookbooks I buy when I do my currently obsessed feature.  It just seems like the perfect time to talk about what I look for in a cookbook and why I’m so drawn to them.

I definitely like simplicity as far as cookbooks go- I like ingredients that I can get at one of the several grocery stores near my house.  I definitely like recipes that are simple and easy to make, and not overly complicated, with a lot of steps or ingredients.  I also look at how much certain ingredients are used- mostly spices, oils and vinegars- because if I’m going to buy cardamom or champagne vinegar or coconut oil, I really want to make sure it’s something I’m going to be using quite a bit.  I just don’t want a random assortment of spices that I only used that one time because it definitely takes away from the space I could be using for things I actually use on a regular basis.

While I’m a big fan of e-books and audiobooks, I actually prefer my cookbooks in print.  I have no problem setting up my laptop on a counter with a recipe I found on a blog or on pinterest.  But it does make me nervous, because I tend to be messy when I’m cooking (much more than normal cooking messes) and knowing me, I’d spill or splatter something all over my laptop.  I don’t mind as much if food splatters over the pages of a cookbook, but I’m really hesitant to have my computer right next to the stove.

And with print, I love pouring over every single recipe to see what I want to make- I just love marking which things I want to make, and adding notes when I do make things.  Things like if I’d make it again, if I made it at all, and any notes I have about the recipe, and why I would or wouldn’t make a recipe again.  I could do these things with a digital copy, but for whatever reason, I’d rather do this with a print copy.

Actually, now I’m curious if a majority of cookbooks are even available as e-books.  I’m sure some are, but it’s not something I’d even think to look at.  For some reason, I can’t see cookbooks being a big thing in terms of e-books.  And cookbooks are pretty visual, which is why I can’t see a lot of them being an e-book.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and if it’s what someone prefers, that’s cool with me.

I feel like cookbooks say a lot about people- what they like to cook and eat, and cookbooks definitely say a lot about the people behind them too.  I’ve never really thought about what my cookbook collection says about me- and going off of that, you’d get that I really like to cook, but not that I love to bake.  But other than that…I’m not really sure.  I may have to think about this.

And I’ve never thought about this before, but cookbooks do tell a story- certain smells and foods bring up certain memories, and they’re such a good peek into a certain place and time.  Like, I love seeing recipes from the 1800’s or some other time period.  It’s just so interesting to me to get a peek into a time and place where people ate something completely different than I do, and it’s cool to see how much has changed.

I know I’ve rambled a lot but I can’t help but love cookbooks!  Have a happy Thursday!

Currently Obsessed With: Why Is August Over?

Currently Obsessed With is a monthly feature where I talk about my favorite stuff and interesting things from the last month and also where I talk about what’s been going on in my life!

So.  It’s September!  I’m not in school, haven’t been for several years, and yet it’s weird to me that it’s September!  I just really want it to be 70 degree weather again, because the 80 to 90 degree weather has gone on for too long!

Nails & Beauty:

From Left To Right: Joyce, Kirti, Tammi, Priscilla

From Left To Right: Joyce, Kirti, Tammi, Priscilla

I really like this month’s Maven box!  I particularly liked Joyce, which surprised me, because red isn’t a color I normally go for. And I loved Kirti, which wasn’t a big surprise, since it was the one I figured I’d like.  I don’t know why, but I have been a big fan of the orange nail polishes I’ve worn.  Tammi- the yellow-green- was the one I wasn’t sure about it all, but I liked it a lot more than I expected!  I also bought Priscilla last month, and it’s part of Julep’s birthstone collection.  It really does remind me of emeralds, which is the birthstone for May.  It’s a full-coverage glitter, and I loved it!  As it’s glitter, it was a pain to remove, but it was worth it! And it didn’t chip that much, which is weird for a glitter polish, but I liked that it didn’t chip much after a week of wearing it.

I finally upgraded to the next tier in the Maven box subscription, starting with the September box, and I like the idea of being able to switch out a color I don’t like.  I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but it’s nice to have that option because sometimes, there are colors I’m not sure about, which is great for that random month when I like another color.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts about it once I’ve had it for a few months.

China Glaze's X-Ta-Sea, Left, and OPI's Into The Night, Right

China Glaze’s X-Ta-Sea, Left, and OPI’s Into The Night, Right

I did get a couple of other bottle of nail polish recently- X-TA-SEA from China Glaze, and Into The Night from OPI.  I like both, but I kind of like the OPI one a little bit better.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call, Left, and Fresh Lip Treatment in Honey, Right

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call, Left, and Fresh Lip Treatment in Honey, Right

Also: I am on a weird make-up kick right now, which is weird, because it’s something I wear only every once in a while.  But I LOVE this tinted lip treatment from Fresh.  I like that the color is really light, but it’s really moisturizing, which is awesome, because my lips do get chapped, and it really helps!

I love this eyeshadow from Urban Decay, and have it in Last Call.  I love that how much the color shows up, and even though I’ve only worn it a handful of times, I liked it so much that I just got the Naked3 palette, which I think will be better for everyday life, while Last Call seems better suited for something fun.  (More on the Naked3 palette next month, after I’ve used it).

Crochet:

I started a cowl, which is almost done, and I’m still working on that hat.  It’s taken me a while, and I feel like I’ve been working on it for months.  I think I’ll really like the cowl, and it’s a powder blue…and I’ll be glad when the hat is finished. I have a few other projects in mind, and I’ll be glad when it cools down so I can start working on that blanket again.

Books:

Top, The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson (no, not the country singer), and The Family Cooks by Laurie David

The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson (no, not the country singer), and The Family Cooks by Laurie David

I doubt it’s surprising I got more cookbooks- I just can’t stay away from them!  I do have a few I have my eye on, but I think I’m going to wait a bit, until I cook a bit more from the ones I have.  On the plus side, I should have quite the cookbook wish-list when I am ready for more cookbooks…

I’m probably going to make exceptions for Seriously Delish, because her blog is awesome, and Joy The Baker’s Homemade Decadence.  Joy, by the way, also has an awesome blog and an awesome cookbook!

And my audible credit this month went to You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle, which I’m looking forward to listening to!  It’s an interesting idea, and I’m hoping I like it a lot!

T.V. And Movies:

Last month, I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy, which was so fun to see!  And the soundtrack is just as fun- after seeing it, I knew I had to get the soundtrack.  I ended up seeing it in IMAX 3D, which I actually really liked.  I also saw The Giver and If I Stay in August, but there are spoilers in both reviews, so just keep that in mind if you click on over.

I haven’t been watching much t.v.- at least, not much on Netflix/Hulu.  I’m slowly making my way through Blue Bloods (still! but I am on season 2 now) and I’ve watched most of the pilot of Flashpoint, which I’ve randomly seen a few episodes of and liked.  Really, I’ve had the Food Network or the History Channel on in the background, because I’ve needed background noise while I stare at pinterest and random things on the internet.  But I am glad that fall t.v. is coming back soon, because I’ve missed my usual rotation…which may cut into catching up on other shows time, but who knows?

Around The Internet:

I’ve seen so many cool things this month!  I’ve decided to go for my favorites and the really interesting posts.

My all time favorite thing I’ve heard about is this letter J.K. Rowling sent to a teen who lost her family in a shooting.  J.K. Rowling is just awesome.

This DIY creepy doll mobile was posted ages and ages ago, but I just came across it for the first time, and I so want to make it!

Apparently, people think that Stephanie Meyer is going to ruin people’s childhoods by producing a movie adaptation of a Lois Duncan book and that makes me so mad, because if it were literally anyone else, no one would even care.  I just hate that people are making assumptions based on their hatred of her previous work, which has nothing to do with producing a movie. I want it to do well, but I have the feeling that if it’s “horrible” (and that’s totally subjective) and it completely bombs, Stephanie Meyer is going to get blamed, even if it has nothing to do with her ability as a producer.

I thought this post about YA and New Adult was interesting.

And I really want to make these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and these sausage muffins.

Finally, I thought this list of books by women under 50 is one to check out!  I really want to read some of these books now.

Music: 

I bought a ridiculous amount of music last month, but weirdly enough, I didn’t get a chance to listen to much of it…mostly because there were some songs I couldn’t get enough of.  I normally pick a few songs to share, but this month, I’ve decided to share the entire playlist, because I just can’t pick a few to share.

Currently Obsessed With #2: February!

I can’t believe it’s time for another round of what I’m currently obsessed with!

One of the big things has been cookbooks.  I’m completely horrible about actually using them, but I still can’t help but collect them!  I’ve added a few to my really small collection.  There’s something fun about flipping through a cookbook, figuring out what to make for dinner (or lunch for work) and shopping and then making something yummy.

Cookbooks

It’s not even funny how much of a Rachael Ray fan I am!  I know there are people out there who doubt the whole 30-minute meal thing, but her recipes really do take about half an hour…at least, they do for me.  And I saw the vegan one when I was looking at vegetarian cookbooks, and since I have a couple of her other cookbooks, I had a feeling this would be another good one to add to my collection.  I’m not vegan, but it’s fun to try new things and new ways of cooking things when you cut out certain ingredients.

Speaking of books…I got the Nook tablet!  My old one still works fine, but…it just seemed seemed like time for a new one! Everything seems so much more clear, and the covers look so much better in color than they did in black and white!  Things were clear on my old Nook, but somehow, everything seems so much clearer and sharper.  I think my favorite thing about it is the cover, which is totally awesome and I can’t stop looking at it.

Nook Cover

The cover is a photo from the archives over at the New York Times, and when I saw it, I knew that was the cover I had to get!

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Etsy lately, and I’ve had my eye on this bag.  And there’s also this other bag that I also really like too.  And I’ve had my eye on a few things at Ruche too.  I also really liked this post about “real” readers over on Book Riot.  I kind of need to be better about bookmarking cool stuff I read on blogs, because I know I’ve read some interesting posts that I totally forgot to bookmark.

Remember that book jar I was talking about last month?  I finally put it together, only to realize the jar I have is nowhere near big enough for all the books I want to have in it.  It’ll work for the time being until I decide to get something bigger…or if I want another one at all.

Book Jar

As for music…I have quite a few songs that I can’t stop listening to!

Like Happy by Pharrell.

And Feel Again by OneRepublic.

And we can’t forget about Dark Horse by Katy Perry.

Or Team by Lorde.

And I still can’t get Let It Go out of my head.

To name a few…you can find the full February playlist on spotify.  (I’m wingedcreature, in case anyone is wondering). I don’t use Spotify all that much, mostly because I haven’t completely figured out to use it.  Other than how to make playlists. But I figured it would be a great place for making playlists, so we’ll see how it works out.

The Olympics!  I almost forgot to talk about them!  I just love the Olympics, and the Opening Ceremonies this year were amazing.  Definitely right up there…they’re definitely my favorite after Bejing.  It’s just so fun watching a lot of sports that I don’t normally watch.  Like the biathalon, where they ski and than stop and shoot at a target.  Or speed skating or curling! And the ice skating was so good this year, especially the ice dancing, which was exceptionally good this Olympics.  And it’s cool that you have all of these countries known for skiing and snowboarding competing, and then some country you wouldn’t expect to have an athlete competing in the Winter Olympics.

Honestly, I think that’s it for this month.  I’ve been so busy watching the Olympics, and I’ve had some stuff going on (that’s all taken care of now) and I’ve been so exhausted that I haven’t really been into a lot of a stuff this month.  Hopefully I’ll have more to share next time!