Profile for Miss Barbara > Reviews

Browse

Miss Barbara's Profile

Customer Reviews: 913
Top Reviewer Ranking: 183
Helpful Votes: 4459




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Miss Barbara RSS Feed (Orange CA)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
KitchenAid KCLI60CRPZ Streamline Cast Iron 6-Quart Casserole Cookware - Plum Zen
KitchenAid KCLI60CRPZ Streamline Cast Iron 6-Quart Casserole Cookware - Plum Zen
Offered by vitatronics
Price: $69.99
4 used & new from $69.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Compares well against its French Named Rival, May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I must confess that I've been using a Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5 ˝ quart Casserole for over 20 years and never thought I'd find anything I liked as well. Not only has the KitchenAid KCLI60CRPZ Streamline Cast Iron 6-Quart Casserole met this challenge but in ways it has advantages. Of course number one is the price. It comes in at less than half the cost of its famous rival. Both casseroles have a solid heft with the KitchenAid outweighing the other by over 5 pounds. I found the Le Creuset handles to be a bit larger and easier to grasp. Otherwise the KitchenAid is equal in every respect.

I found the bottom heated evenly which is important when you're frying or browning. The lid fits snuggly and preserves the compartment heat and moisture when you're cooling low and slow. It doesn't matter if you use the cooktop, the oven or an outdoor grill - I've gotten the same satisfactory results. Remember to use pot holders when you are moving your casserole - the handles can get hot.

Personally, my go to recipe for this professional style cook pot is Cioppino. This is the fish stew where you have a savory tomato base and add your fish, shrimp, shellfish and crustaceans in a staggered order. The pot you use can make or break this very expensive recipe. If it overheats or cools between additions your seafood will turn out over-cooked and rubbery. The KitchenAid did a superb job, allowing me to control this tricky recipe.


Nowhere to Turn (Hidden Identity)
Nowhere to Turn (Hidden Identity)
by Lynette Eason
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.33
104 used & new from $3.09

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, May 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book was a choice of my book club last month. Out of 30 people who discussed the novel - not a single on liked it. It was deemed OK but 3 and the rest said things like "there was no effort put into the writing and research", "they had no sympathy for the protagonist", "they wondered how high the body count was going to go", One person just said "ditto, this book is not worth words to describe it". Horrible.


Outdoor Tech OT1700 Kodiak Mini - 2600 Mah Ruggedized Water Resistant Portable Charger/External Battery (Black)
Outdoor Tech OT1700 Kodiak Mini - 2600 Mah Ruggedized Water Resistant Portable Charger/External Battery (Black)
Price: $24.95
4 used & new from $24.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smaller and lighter than my last unit (but slower, too), May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So far I’m happy with the OT1700 Kodiak Mini Charger. I usually carry a charger with me when I travel to have some back up for unforeseen circumstances. I also live in earthquake country and having some backup juice ready for my phone is part of my day to day protocol.

When I opened the package (which was kind of difficult) I plugged the unit in for an initial charge. This took about 3 ˝ hours. There is a light near the port that will change from red to green when the charger is full. I then plugged it into my phone that was in need of a charge – down to 25% at that time - the charging time was reasonable. I realize this is a backup device and hope I’ll not have to use it too often.

What I like most about the Mini-Charger is that it is so light and hardly takes up any space in my handbag. My current unit is larger and bulkier and I’m glad to retire it – it can stay at home now and I’ll take the smaller Kodiak when I’m out and about. The second thing I like is that it is waterproof. I live close to the Pacific and love walking on the beach or visiting the local piers. Having a waterproof unit is another level of insurance that it will be ready if I need it.

As a negative I must say that the unit is on the spendy side and it only has half the Mah of my last two units which cost about the same. Given that, I still prefer the tradeoff of having a lighter charger to carry around.


Larry Gets Lost Under the Sea
Larry Gets Lost Under the Sea
by John Skewes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.91
54 used & new from $7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for your future oceanographers - and they will hardly notice how much they are learning about the sea., May 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Poor Larry the Pup gets lost yet again in the latest book of this ingenious and informative series by authors Eric Ode and John Skewes. Larry and Pete go to the beach but the inquisitive pup sets out following a “walking shell”, gets wet in the tide pools and is washed into deep water by a wave. Here he dog paddles along exploring the ocean and its peculiar creatures when he is spotted by a marine biologist and taken aboard his research submarine. Larry gets to see the creatures of the deep but is eventually returned to the beach just as the family is getting ready to go home.

These “Larry Gets Lost” are wildly funny and informative with, in this case, a whole look at the creatures and biology of the oceans. The main text, in poetry form, is made up of simple words that children from 3 to 7 will enjoy. I like that there is often a build up to a final word (“Some crept and some skittered. Some swam with a flash. Then suddenly Larry was caught by a ……..”) The action word “Splash” is revealed only after the page is turned, letting the child anticipate and call out the answer.

The science in the book that can be ignored, read after the fact or incorporated into the initial reading – as it is presented in “side bar” format. Young children are fascinated by science and are sponges when it is presented to them in such an inventive structure. The hard science in this books will introduce the children to tides, tide pools, sea creatures, kelp forests, sea birds, SCUBA, Oceanographers, The Bathyscaphe, ocean depth/light zones, hydrothermal vents and many more items via the simple illustrations of artist John Skewes.

This is a great book to get for your future scientist. They will love the story of Larry the Pup and hardly notice that they are learning at all.


Silk Pure Almond Vanilla, 32-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Silk Pure Almond Vanilla, 32-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Price: $11.82

5.0 out of 5 stars lightly flavored., April 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like Almond milk. It does not seem to have the questionable side effects as soy. The taste is clean and it does not cause my cholesterol levels to be effected. I like the vanilla - it is very lightly flavored and is perfect in my tea. I use milk in coffee, cereal and tea and am so glad that I switched to Almond milk, I've tried a few brands and to me Silk is the best.


Fishbowl: A Novel
Fishbowl: A Novel
by Bradley Somer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian, the goldfish, takes the ultimate leap of faith. Poor Ian., April 29, 2015
This review is from: Fishbowl: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fishbowl has been my favorite book so far this year. It’s a simple story: There is a big apartment house and a fish named Ian falls from his bowl on the 27th floor. Now, you take that premise and put it in the hands of an author as capable as Bradley Somer and you have yourself a rollicking, funny, sexy, tragic slice of life seen as Ian takes his nose-dive.

The book can almost be told with the longish epigrams that start each chapter i.e.: Chapter 4 “In Which We Meet the Villain Connor and the Evil Seductress Faye”. Or Chapter 26 “In Which Homeschooled Herman Witnesses His First Life-Altering Moment”. There is a lot of the unique humorous style of Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) or Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project) going on in this book.

The residents of The Seville on Roxy are laid out cafeteria style for the reader’s enjoyment – a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Ian, the goldfish was a gift to Connor by his girlfriend Katie. Unfortunately there is a third point on this love triangle, namely the evil Faye. Among other residents in the building there is the super Jimenez who feels invisible and under-appreciated ; Petunia Delilah who is pregnant with sudden tingles in her nether regions; There is a shut-in who has a penchant for naughty words; and Herman, who is quite sure he can travel through time. In all, The Seville on Roxy is a microcosm of life in the Big City. Ian, the goldfish, may be the only one in the building that is willing to take a risk.

One last comment: Great story, great concept, great writing BUT my favorite part of the book is that on the far right hand margin each page has a tiny ink goldfish that if the pages are flipped will plunge down the column like Ian plummeting from the 27th floor. When is the last time you’ve found a “Flip-book”? There is so much I’d love to relate about this book but I can only urge you to read it and hopefully enjoy it as much as I.


Amoretti Natural Creamy Variety Cookie Spread, 3 Count
Amoretti Natural Creamy Variety Cookie Spread, 3 Count
Price: $27.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speculoos was my favorite when swirled in yogurt, April 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This gift set of Amoretti cookie spreads contains three 12-ounce jars of varieties: Speculoos, Graham Cracker and Cookies & Cream. These are not for the low calorie, sugar-free crowd but – they are made with natural ingredients and contain no preservatives.

I liked the Speculoos far better than the other two. It has the spicy flavor of those European windmill biscuits. I found that I liked it swirled in my Greek yogurt and also as a dip for crisp green apples.

The Cookies & Cream and the Graham Cracker spreads had a taste true to the cookie but the texture was a bit sandy. I don’t think I’d eat them out of hand or as a dip. The set did come with a recipe for the Graham flavor to be used to make S’mores Bars. I’ve not tried this this but I’m sure that when used in baking these spreads will be spectacular. In fact, any baking recipe that uses cookies or biscuits as an ingredient will probably be enhanced with adding these cookie spreads to you food processor for an additional boost in flavor.

This product is made in the USA.


Black Glass: Short Fictions
Black Glass: Short Fictions
by Karen Joy Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious and provocative, April 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Author Karen Joy Fowler is a wordsmith who proves herself a titan in the literary community with this collection of fifteen short stories. She had me caught up in her grips in the introduction with the insightful quote: “We all think we had the childhoods we think we had”. She then moves on to present her stories which are mostly about women and their thoughts, feeling and loves; all while staying far away from any sappy Hallmark Channel visualizations.

Black Glass is the title story in which Carry Nation demolishes The Senate Bar while a bewildered DEA agent looks on. Although this story is the one that carries the most critical acclaim I found it to be my least favorite in the collection. The others seized my interest more with succinct and unique storytelling.

There are stories about letters: “The Travails” – these are letters to an absent husband circa 1699 to 1715. In “Letters from Home” - Vietnam, Cambodia, Kent State and Nixon are revisited. “Lieserl” is told in semi-epistolary format to Albert Einstein about his illegitimate daughter.

Father and daughter relationships are explored in “Go Back” via the reading of Uncle Wiggly cards and in “The Elizabeth Complex” in which Elizabeth’s father tells her “You should have been a boy”.

There are imaginative stories of Tonto’s birthday, “The Faithful Companion at 40” and “The Brew”, a tale of Christmas in the Hague with remembrances of Indiana and a neighbor who may have been a British spy.

This collection of vignettes showcase Fowler’s ability to look through a rare lens at the lives of women and their dealings with “the lives they think they have”. The stories are ingenious and provocative.


Par Avion Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tea in Artisan Tin
Par Avion Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tea in Artisan Tin
Price: $24.95
2 used & new from $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The aroma is heavenly. The taste is Divine. Really., April 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I opened the attractive canister and smelled the aroma for the first time I was immediately drawn to exotic places. I put on the kettle to boil some water, made a cup to try and was not disappointed. The flavor is rich, flavorful and very smooth. I added a splash of almond milk and found this tea blend the perfect afternoon beverage. What I’ve not mentioned is that I’m not a big tea drinker. It takes something special to make me praise tea – and Par Avion Madagascar Vanilla Bean Tea is that good. Really.

The ingredient list is: Black tea, flavors, hand-cut vanilla bean, green tea, coconut, and almonds. It surprised me that there is no chocolate in the blend. When I first smelled the loose tea I thought that I’d gotten the wrong blend and they’d sent chocolate instead of vanilla. The taste, though, was certainly vanilla.

This tea blend is quite potent and you only need 1˝ tsp per cup, steep 3 ˝ - 4 min in 212° water. The tea is expensive but a little goes a long way. This is the perfect tea to have with a couple of pecan shortbread cookies. I’m looking forward to trying some of Par Avion other tea blends.


Alive (The Generations Trilogy)
Alive (The Generations Trilogy)
by Scott Sigler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always forward. Always upward. Always looking for a way out., April 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
M. Savage is a 12 years old that awakes in a coffin in clothes that are way too small for her. She soon discovers that the clothes are not too small, she is too big. She is in a room with other coffins and with much effort manages to free 5 other children (now almost adults). One of the common factors is that each of them has a mark on their forehead that must have meaning but it is unknown. They desperately need food and water so with “Em” as the de facto straw-boss they set out to explore their surroundings.

One of the other girls named Spingate has a natural penchant with tools and gadgets and finds an electronic stick with buttons. It seems to be a multi-functional tool that they call a scepter but for the tribe it’s much like a futuristic Swiss Army Knife. Em decides the best way to find an exit is to follow the corridor in a straight line as it inclines upward. After looking into a few of the off-shoot rooms and finding only more coffins with bodies turned to dust Em encourages her fellow explorers to remain on the path. Always forward, always upward.

There is some disagreement along the way questioning the decisions that Em is making and a serious clash occurs but most of the travelers are happy to abdicate the leadership role to Em. At one point they encounter another tribe marching along a side corridor. The two groups join and continue the expedition. Always forward, always upward.

What the children/now adults encounter as the book starts to conclude will make their slow, tedious expedition make sense. Why they could not find an exit. Why they were always marching forward but making no progress, why they were now “big”. I think that the first two thirds of the book could have been edited down somewhat because there was too much of an intro leading to the big reveal; it got a bit tedious. The author otherwise has penned a fluid and attention-grabbing YA book with all the components that will make the reader want to get the second book of the series as soon as it’s available.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20