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Profile for Jeanette L Chen > Reviews

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Grace's Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli
Grace's Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli
by Grace Massa-Langlois
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.44
41 used & new from $7.54

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grace's Sweet Life makes Italian desserts accessible to the home cook., June 16, 2012
An impressive collection of Italian dessert recipes laid out in a clear, easy to follow format. I really like how the components of each recipe are laid out uno, due, tre, etc. as are the instructions. The photographs and presentations are beautiful and inspire the home cook to prepare some of these treats for company. I especially liked reading the headnotes for the recipes where Grace shares tips, suggestions and family stories.


Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time
Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time
by Christina Haupert
Edition: Paperback
76 used & new from $0.01

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy, fun read., August 8, 2011
When I was first asked to review Carrots `N' Cake, Healthy Living One Carrot And Cupcake At A Time, I was instantly intrigued. Written by Tina Haupert, a healthy living blogger, Carrots `N' Cake (named after her blog) chronicles different experiences throughout her life and how she has managed a (mostly) healthy lifestyle. As a healthy living blogger myself, I couldn't wait to read about Tina's healthy living story.

As soon as I received the book in the mail, I thumbed through it and knew it would be great fun to read. Interspersed with Tina's stories are over 50 recipes, ranging from a Blueberry Smoothie to the ultimate reward, Grated Carrot Cake.

What I like most about Carrots `N' Cake is Tina's honest and practical advice about eating healthily and working out. Tina's story is all about balance - having fun, and trying to stay healthy, recognizing that there are tradeoffs that can be made so you can have fun and indulge once in a while, yet stay on track overall. She shares her ups and her downs, her struggles to eat healthily, as well as her successes.

The stories in Carrots `N' Cake include Cookie Friday, Date Night, Happy Hour, The Cookie Swap, and Travel Eats, in which Tina provides practical tips on how to enjoy yourself without overdoing it, or if you do overindulge, how to get back on track. My favorite story is Cookie Friday where Tina allows herself to have a treat once a week so she doesn't feel deprived.

Carrots `N' Cake is an easy and fun read, and puts the reader at ease. Tina's down-to-earth approach makes the reader realize that it's okay (and normal) to slip up or overindulge once in a while. The important thing is to plan ahead and hold yourself accountable so you can get back on track. (Mostly) healthy living is about checks and balances. We're all human, and once in a while, we're going to indulge in an extra cookie (or two) or muffin, and that's okay. We just need to be aware of what we're doing and make adjustments, through exercise and healthier eating to balance things out.

After reading Carrots `N' Cake, I got myself off the couch and went outside for a nice long, fast paced walk. It felt really good! Then I proceeded to make a few of Tina's easy, healthy recipes.

Carrots `N' Cake is all about eating your carrots and having your cake too!


A Life in Balance: Delicious Plant-based Recipes for Optimal Health
A Life in Balance: Delicious Plant-based Recipes for Optimal Health
by Meg Wolff
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.30
67 used & new from $0.01

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Way To Start A Plant-Based Diet, December 1, 2010
For a complete review with photos of recipes I tried from A Life In Balance, please visit: [...]

I first came across Meg Wolff at the Huffington Post where she writes regularly, featuring stories about the positive impact of a plant-based diet on health, as well as anticancer recipes.
A Life In Balance is Meg Wolff's third book, this time a cookbook with a collection of easy, approachable plant-based recipes. For anyone who is new to a plant-based diet, or just trying to increase plant-based foods in their daily meals, Meg's cookbook is a terrific introduction.

Meg Wolff, a two-time cancer survivor (first bone cancer, then breast cancer), switched to a plant-based diet 12 years ago, after doctors gave her virtually no hope (she endured a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation).

This compact cookbook, published by Down East, offers over 120 easy to follow recipes, including 31 recipes from guest contributors, including Rory Freedman, bestselling author of Skinny Bitch, Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet, and John Salley, three-time NBA champion.

The foreword is written by Dr. Colin Campbell, author of "The China Study," a study which provides scientific information on the overwhelming health benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Dr. Campbell writes, "Meg's book tells a real-life example of the power of a plant-based diet, not only to prevent but also to reverse chronic disease. We are reaching a tipping point, and a critical mass of success stories like Meg's is accumulating."

As Meg notes in her introduction, it only takes small steps to add up to better health over time. The recipes are easy to follow and range from basic recipes for beginners like Amazingly-Good-For-You Brown Rice and Oven-Roasted Veggies, to more adventurous recipes such as Black Bean and Corn Bread Casserole, and Sweet Potato and Arame Salad with Asian-Style Tartar Sauce. Sprinkled throughout the book are helpful tips, variations on recipes and notes, such as "Even Small Changes Can Make A Difference" and "Snacking Strategies."

The recipes are divided into seven sections: Grains, Bean and Bean Products (tofu, tempeh, seitan), Vegetables, Soups, Sea Vegetables, Salads, and Snacks and Desserts. I chose a handful of recipes to try, including several with ingredients I had either never tried before or was not that familiar with, such as delicata squash, arame, and tempeh. I also made a few recipes which were much more familiar, including Lemony Hummus and Glazed Brussel Sprouts.

I have to say that I was not a tempeh fan until I tried the recipe for Good Egg Café Tempeh Hash (contributed by Mary Ledue Paine, owner of The Pepperclub/Good Egg Café in Portland, Maine). This dish is one of Meg Wolff's favorite treats when she dines at this cafe, and now I know why. Another taste-altering dish was the Glazed Brussels Sprouts.

My 8-year old, who is not a brussels sprout fan, liked the sweet glaze on the sautéed brussels sprouts (he also gobbled up half of the Lemony Hummus as an afternoon snack). All of the recipes were easy to follow, and I was thrilled by the end of my mini cook fest to have an assortment of dishes to choose from for several meals to come.

I love Meg's inspirational and encouraging tone throughout her book. The clear and easy to follow recipes make taking steps towards a plant-based diet completely within reach.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2011 12:30 PM PST


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