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RiceV "ebe14" RSS Feed (Cambridge, MA United States)

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Castle Hangnail
Castle Hangnail
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $9.78

5.0 out of 5 stars A Testament to the Power of Stomping Boots and a Can-Do Attitude, April 22, 2015
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This review is from: Castle Hangnail (Kindle Edition)
You'll laugh, you'll think, you'll gain new respect for bats, moles, and the local garden society. If Vernon didn't take that one uncalled for swipe at daylilies, the garden society would find this book quite perfect.

If you aren't part of the garden society, the swipe at daylilies will go right past you, and you'll have a lovely time.


Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
Price: $2.51

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for inspiration and everyday baking. Not as fantastic for ice cream., June 22, 2014
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I have Jeni Britton Bauer's first book, and I use the ice cream recipes from it all the time. This book's actual ice cream recipes aren't compelling, possibly because there are almost no repeats from the first book, which includes all the classics and then some. The frozen dessert recipes might be useful to someone else, but I'm cooking for kids, and people with coconut allergies. Absinthe meringue ice cream and coconut oil-based Creme Sans Lait aren't happening at my house. Then again, perhaps they are on at your place. They seem like potentially strong selling points to people who aren't me.

There are a lot of excellent everyday baking recipes in here. Bauer doesn't go in for complexity or fancy technique, so the bakeshop section is full of tasty things that just aren't hard to pull off. I can testify that the Wiseman's Chocolate Cake and the Lady Cake are good solid recipes that produce great results, without requiring fussy execution. I've used the chocolate cake twice now (one half-recipe in a 6-inch cake pan, split into layers and filled and frosted with whipped cream; one full-size monstrosity, with mocha ice cream, caramel sauce and cookie crumbs for a crowded potluck), and I can see it being the go-to special dessert around here for some time to come. It's a great, fast cake that you could whip together on a Tuesday night. The Lady Cake is subtler, and not as high-rising, but was delicious split, and layered with strawberry jam and ice cream. I am considering trying the chocolate truffle cookies and the biscuits in the near future, and I think the cast-iron pancake needs to make an appearance in our lives.

The "Sundae Bar" section strikes me as being composed more of suggestions than recipes. There's some useful information on putting an ice cream cake together, and some ideas for things you could do with ice cream and baked goods or liquor. You could copy her exactly, and I'm sure the results would be fantastic, but you might choose to just glance at the pictures and go your own way. I've done that a time or two, and it has also been fantastic.


The Day the Dinosaurs Died: I Can Read Level 2 (I Can Read Book 2)
The Day the Dinosaurs Died: I Can Read Level 2 (I Can Read Book 2)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hideously Depressing, December 6, 2013
Spoiler: All the dinosaurs die. I know it says that on the cover, but maybe you haven't really thought through how that might play out over 48 illustrates pages. If you're wondering that now, the answer is "variety." Dinosaurs are hit by meteors, burned in fires, crushed by trees, and drowned by tidal waves. A few canny survivors hide underground. They starve to death and are eaten by rats. The opening pages suggest that it was dumb of Tyrannosaurus Rex not to run from the meteor impact when it had the chance, but by the time you close the book, you'll be sure that T. Rex got off easy. Also, your kid is sleeping in your bed tonight.

Try to be prepared with an age appropriate discussion of death, dying, why we aren't worried about meteors hitting Earth now (incidentally, why *are* we not worried about that?), and why people read sad things sometimes. Or you could save yourself the trouble and read something else.

My kid picked this out in a bookstore and bought it with his own allowance, and since that day, I have been looking for a way to move it to the outside trash. If we had a dog, I would feed this book to the dog. If the basement ever floods, I'm taking the book down there and throwing it in.


Bouchon Bakery
Bouchon Bakery
by Thomas Keller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $29.00
76 used & new from $23.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baking for the Bold, November 20, 2013
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This review is from: Bouchon Bakery (Hardcover)
This book starts out, quite adorably, with a recipe entitled "Pecan Sandies for My Mom," and then goes on to cheerfully advocate aggressive dishwashing ("work clean," a mother's joy)... and a technique for bread crust that requires ten pounds of river rocks, ten feet of industrial chain, and a super soaker. Whoever got those guys to adulthood needs a drink.

The book breaks down baking techniques by all the steps, and provides really helpful photos for some techniques, but sometimes it does go beyond the capacities and equipment that a home baker is likely to have. Read the recipes all the way through in advance, don't underestimate the importance of mise en place, and don't be afraid to modify where needed (particularly on the finished size of baked goods - the cookies, muffins and scones are gigantic).

My biggest complaint is that ingredients are all listed by weight and volume, but it would be really awesome if someone would just say how many eggs should be involved.


Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
by Peter Wynne
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $36.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Organized Cake Projects for Every Occasion, March 29, 2013
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I've had this book for years, and used it extensively. The recipes I repeat most often are the chocolate peanut butter cake, and the orange grand marnier cake, but I've also made the orange grand marnier cake, the one-bowl chocolate and ice cream cake, the strawberry butter cake, and the dulce de leche cake.

The recipes are really well laid out, and easy to follow. Each cake is a discrete project, no flipping back and forth through the book to get all the pieces together (unless you want to mix things up). The cakes are impressive in terms of results, but can mostly be accomplished in the course of an afternoon, with the obvious exception of the wedding cakes. (The ice cream cake needs a few hours in the freezer at an intermediate stage, but doesn't require an overnight.)

My only quibble is that the whipped-cream based frostings used in some of the recipes won't hold a three-layer cake together throughout the entire process of slicing and serving. If you want to impress your guests, this is something you need to keep in mind when making baking choices, but otherwise? Shut your eyes and eat your cake. You'll be glad you did.


In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
In the Garden of Iden (The Company)
by Kage Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.15
67 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Gateway for an Amazing Trip, July 11, 2012
Seventeen year-old Mendoza - immortal, intellectual, and insufferable - thinks she's doing a fabulous job of posing as a late medieval Spanish adolescent. There's just one problem, as her mentor, Joseph, points out: "You *are* a late medieval Spanish adolescent. There's that crucial little distance you're missing." But what self-respecting teenager would ever take romantic advice from a ten thousand year-old cyborg?

Mendoza's a cyborg herself, of course, an orphan rescued from the dungeons of the Inquisition by representatives of a time-traveling corporation, and surgically altered to be an immortal genius. Between starving orphan-dom and hormonal (if cybernetic) adolescence, she's spent her time studying botany so that she can save interesting plants from the marauding extinctions of human history. Alas that the Company couldn't somehow implant the common sense God gave a doorknob before they sent her off to England, to study the flora, and try and navigate the tense political and religious climate of Bloody Mary's reign.

The novel is funny and heartbreaking by turns, the way first love is. It works beautifully by itself, and even better as it sets the stage for the rest of Baker's wonderful series.


Flora's Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light
Flora's Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light
by Ysabeau S. Wilce
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from $0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars It's rare that a 500-page book leaves you gasping for more..., May 9, 2012
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...but this one does. This is hypothetically the last in a series, but gosh I hope that's wrong, because it's work of astounding complexity, sprinkled with new and exciting information about the most richly detailed fictional universe I can recall.

I devoured the book in a single evening, staying up far later than I should, drinking in every new detail about Buck and Hotspur and Hardhands and Flora/Nyana. I would definitely recommend reading the first two books first, but they're fun too. You won't regret it.


Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit 1/16 Size, Hardwood Fittings, Prelude Strings
Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit 1/16 Size, Hardwood Fittings, Prelude Strings
Price: $113.60
8 used & new from $105.16

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In re: Bridge, December 15, 2010
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I ordered this violin recently, as a holiday gift for my son. It arrived today, and I am (so far) very satisfied.

A previous reviewer complained about a lack of bridge. The violin is packaged for shipping without the bridge installed, in order to prevent damage to the strings. My bridge was wrapped in tissue paper, and tucked under the fine tuners on the tailpiece. The included bridge was appropriately shaved, with notches for the A and E strings and pencil marks for G and D. Installation is simple - simply stand the bridge up under the strings. Even a very rough tuning is plenty to hold it in place. Obviously, if you can't find a bridge in the case, you should contact Amazon's customer service or the manufacturer.

On other fronts, I am pleased with the instrument. Tuning pegs are easy to turn, but don't slip, and sound quality is quite good considering the size and price. We'll have a great time with it.


Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition
Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition
by Barbara Lynch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.99
125 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Unpretentious and Yummy, March 10, 2010
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I got this book about a week and a half ago, and I like it so much that I've been lugging it around the house like a security blanket. I bought it in the first place because I ate at one of Lynch's restaurants. It seemed worthwhile to pay for the chance of recreating those gnocchi at home. Lynch is very generous with her most popular recipes - she gives up the secrets to a best-selling bolognese sauce, the gnocchi that every single reviewer of Sportello raves about, and the dish that pretty much made No. 9 Park famous. The recipes run the full cycle of seasonality, and many can be dressed up or down as you like. (Some are harder to dress down, but it seems that the key to dressing a lot of food up is serving it in small containers.)

Some of these recipes are very simple. The gorgonzola fondue isn't a whole lot more than melted cheese. The marinara sauce can be thrown together out of kitchen staples in under half an hour. A number of the soups (particularly the white bean and hazelnut and the spicy tomato) look interesting and uncomplicated. Tomato jam and tomato confit are on my experiment list for tomato season. Some of these recipes, by contrast, look like they would take a few hours a day for most of a week for a home cook to construct. Lynch likes olives more than I do, but she's the kind of cook who makes me wonder if maybe I'm just wrong about olives. She uses a lot more fat than I do, but I can see ways to trim it.

Best of all, Lynch has a charming willingness to draw back the curtain and expose the machinery of her work to the reader. Some of the recipes come neatly apart into building blocks for other recipes (the chicken soup could be a weekend lunch with whatever vegetables you have on hand thrown in), and she includes a few actual building block recipes (homemade pasta, chicken stock, tomato confit, cooked white beans, homemade ricotta). In many places, you have the option of using store-bought ingredients or making your own. The recipes are easy to follow: the results may look intimidating, but the instructions don't.

I think it is unlikely that I will ever make prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras sauce, but the chances have increased by an order of magnitude since this time last week, so who knows what will happen.


If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay: How  to Know if Your Child's Injury or Illness Is Really an Emergency
If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay: How to Know if Your Child's Injury or Illness Is Really an Emergency
by Lara Zibners
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.30
95 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for New Parents, February 24, 2010
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I wish I had had this book *before* the first time I spent an hour in the ER with a kid whose scalp wound would close itself before a doctor got around to looking at him. For parents who've been through it with a child or two, this book is all old stuff, but for new parents, it's a fantastic reference. When you need a guided a tour of everything that could be wrong, and reassurance that, really, it's fine, this is the book for you.


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