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Proberta Gerber "wine snob" RSS Feed (Sonoma, CA USA)

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Canal House Cooking Volume N° 4: Farm Markets & Gardens
Canal House Cooking Volume N° 4: Farm Markets & Gardens
Price: $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Canal House Ladies Have Another Winner!, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Once again, Christopher and Melissa have created a cookbook that will have your stomach growling and your tastebuds singing. Lovely photos, delicious and usually quite simple recipes, so simple sometimes that you can't imagine why you didn't think of them on your own. As usual, their recipes take advantage of seasonal foods, from veggies and fruit to fish and chicken and meat. This is a great collection of delicious and healthful recipes that will make you feel like you've done something good for yourself and your family. There are even a few cocktail recipes, made with fresh fruits, for those who imbibe.

If you're unfamiliar with the Canal House style of cookbook, use the Sample feature for Kindle to get a free look at a portion of the book. It may be a bit less regimented than you're used to, but the foods!!! Give it a chance.

I've been buying their books since Canal House started, and I will continue as long as they do. Every one a winner!


Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds: 50 Easy, Unique, and Useful Projects You Can Make with Common Tools and Materials
Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds: 50 Easy, Unique, and Useful Projects You Can Make with Common Tools and Materials
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of projects, from classic to rustic, and tons of inspiration, February 7, 2015
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This book is just packed with photos of beautiful garden features, whether they're trellises, planters or even attractive raised beds. And most of them include plans -- descriptions, cut lists, tools needed, step-by-step photos! Just really very well done.

I love so many of the projects in this book, but what I really love about them is that they come with alternative ideas. So, you don't have to make one exactly like the model pictured but can springboard to different looks and styles. Being of the ooh-something-shiny persuasion, I found myself bouncing all over the place with the ideas generated.

Many of the projects are fairly easy, and where some are more involved they occasionally give you a simpler, albeit more rustic approach if you don't have the skills or the tools to complete the more involved version. Really one of the best garden decor books I've seen, and I have quite a collection of them, so I know what I'm talking about. Where most books of this type are filled with great pictures of Joe and Mary's garden or what Hilary did with that really quirky brass garbage pail, IOW things the average human will never be able to duplicate, "Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds" gives you all the info you need to complete all but a very small number of the items pictured.

If you want to spruce up your garden or just create a focal point for added interest, this is the book to buy. Excellent!


Sparkle Paper Towels, 24 Giant Rolls, Pick-A-Size, White
Sparkle Paper Towels, 24 Giant Rolls, Pick-A-Size, White
Price: $25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, a little thin but otherwise get the job done, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'd never used this brand of paper towel before, but I chose it because the price was reasonable and it was eligible for the Subscription program, if I can ever decide just how often I'd need to reorder. ;)

These aren't very thick, but they do hold up for most jobs, being very sturdy. However, I wouldn't want to have to rely on them for mopping up any but the smallest spills -- really depends on your needs.


Good Living All-Purpose Can Opener
Good Living All-Purpose Can Opener
Offered by 10dollarwholesale
Price: $8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Traditional style, maybe a little on the light side, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Good Living All-Purpose Can Opener
After suffering with a seldom functioning Kuhn Rikon smooth edge can opener for over a year, I decided I needed a more reliable model. I went for this traditional model like my mother and grandmother had. I like the idea of the gripper handles so you know the opener is locked onto the can. I can still manage not to cut myself on sharp edges so don't need the smooth edge feature.

This opener works as expected, but it's very lightweight. It's marketed as being ideal for those with arthritic hands, although I'm not sure why. I felt like the grip required a standard to heavier amount of strength to maintain the hold on the can while opening. I'm not suffering from arthritis, but I can imagine that my hands could get sore if, for some reason, I had to open a lot of cans, e.g., making a big pot of soup or sauce. However, it works and is as comfortable to use as these standard openers ever are. Decent product. Let's see how it lasts.


Running to Love: 10 Satisfying Novels of Romantic Suspense
Running to Love: 10 Satisfying Novels of Romantic Suspense

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mixed bag of mostly romatic suspense, February 7, 2015
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Although the title of this bundle, Running to Love, may not indicate it, this is a collection of really excellent romantic suspense novels. Any one of them would be worth the purchase price of the bundle, they're that good.

The writing styles are mixed, the settings likewise, but they all have suspense, excitement, good characterization...they're just all very good reads. Many of them, reading the first line or two, I was inclined to say, "eh, not my thing," and move on, but when I pushed myself, I discovered that, although that particular style of suspenser might not be my usual choice, this/these books were worth the read. Maybe I broadened my reading horizons.

Crimson is a relatively new "imprint," but one to watch. They're quality is, to my knowledge, good across the board. They may not always have the polish or uniformity of tradition big house products, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like that they can play around with stories that might not have fit the mold of a bigger, more traditional print publisher, yet they've kept their quality up. Good going.

Give these a try. You certainly can't beat the price. And if you're at all in doubt, use the "Sample" feature (right up there under the Buy box" to see what you think for yourself. I did that with this bundle and was hooked.


Belkin 50ft. PRO Series Line Cord, White
Belkin 50ft. PRO Series Line Cord, White
Price: $21.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, which is a good thing., February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these to run extensions through our biiig garage, rather than making holes in the sheetrock there, figuring it didn't need to be pretty, just functional. In the past I've ordered the less expensive round cords for use inside the house. They can get knotted and crack and stop working fairly quickly. Thse Belkin PRO flat cords are really sturdy and so far have held up to pulling and twisting and even the occasional misstep of walking on them. Great product!


Set of 5 Ipow® Flexible Multi-purpose Silicone Pot Holder , Trivet, Mat,jar Opener,spoon Rest, Bacon Press and Oven Use(set of 5) , Insulated, Dishwasher Safe and Easy, Heat Resistant Hot Pads and Coasters Cup Insulation Mat.
Set of 5 Ipow® Flexible Multi-purpose Silicone Pot Holder , Trivet, Mat,jar Opener,spoon Rest, Bacon Press and Oven Use(set of 5) , Insulated, Dishwasher Safe and Easy, Heat Resistant Hot Pads and Coasters Cup Insulation Mat.
Offered by NORTHERN LIGHTS USA INC
Price: $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great colors, flexible, could be thicker, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really love the colors in this set. My kitchen is wood and white, just to give a quiet frame to the pops of color I indulge in with smaller items. These look great hanging or set out as trivets.

I didn't give these 5 stars because of their thickness/thinness. They're fine for getting hot pans out of the oven or moving something around on the stove. And they're fine as trivets on my tile countertops, but I wouldn't want to use them on my antique dining table because they heat up fairly quickly and might discolor or even blister that finish. For example, when using them to take a cookie sheet from the oven and move the cookies to a cooling rack, I have to switch to a new pad after just a couple minutes because the one I was using has become uncomfortably hot. For that use, a little more thickness would be better.

However, for most purposes, these pads are fine. Their flexibility makes it easy to grab even smallish helper handles, and, as I said, their colors pop and are attractive. For jobs where you'll be holding on to the hot item for several minutes, I'd suggest doubling up. They're flexible and lightweight enough for that to work just fine. For sensitive finishes, stick to a trivet...although, one of these under your trivet could prevent scratches marring the surface. Might look a little strange, though. ;)

I would recommend these with only these minor caveats.


Death by Sarcasm: (A Private Investigator Mystery Series) (Mary Cooper Mysteries Book 1)
Death by Sarcasm: (A Private Investigator Mystery Series) (Mary Cooper Mysteries Book 1)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Half-Noir, Half Hard-boiled, all Smartmouth, January 27, 2015
This book was included in a bundle for very little money, but it was so good that it deserves to be reviewed separately.

Although the protagonist is female, the tone is noirish and almost hard-boiled, not a harmless little cozy, so don't expect shoe shopping and nights out with the girls. The tone is on the noir side, but with humor, suitably dark, throughout.

The book opens with the murder of Los Angeles P.I. Mary Cooper's uncle. Uncle Brent was a standup comic for decades, apparently not a very good one. She's determined to find out who killed him and why, and her search takes her through some of the seediest comedy clubs around, the kind where old, bad comics go to die. From just about page one, she butts heads with the hard nosed female cop who jumped Mary's detective ex-boyfriend before she was sure she was really done with him. You never find out where his loyalties lie, he seems to waffle a lot, but the conflict keeps the humor level high, as when she's labelled a sex offender against senior citizens and is prohibited from going anywhere the oldsters might hang out.

Did I mention that Mary is compulsively sarcastic? She just can't keep those wisecracks to herself. It runs in the family. They're quite a crew. As she goes on her quest for the killer, she starts looking at her uncle's old buddies, standups, all of them -- some with lasting success but most long forgotten. Unfortunately, her suspects/potential informants have a habit of dying violently, leaving Mary all to often the one to make the 911 call. Lots of angst and smart-mouthing of hard-nosed female cop ensues.

This story moves along at a good clip, with lots of clues, lots of action and lots of different SoCal settings. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and Mary's off-center humor. I'd recommend Death by Sarcasm to anyone who likes a sarcastic humor and a smart mouth P.I. Hilarious!


Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Lid Lifter, Black
Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Lid Lifter, Black
Price: $15.22
19 used & new from $14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great product if you don't care about opening cans, January 15, 2015
Upfront: I did not buy this through Amazon so this review is for the product only.

The Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Lid Lifter has so many flaws I hardly know where to begin, but I will.
Ergonomics:
There is only one, solid handle, so no having two handles to get a secure grip on the can being opened.

You have to start with the opener at a specific angle or it won't grip properly, meaning it either drops the can or doesn't cut properly.

This whole thing operates on the horizontal, so it's even more of an awkward process getting it into the proper alignment and cranking that handle to, one hopes, open the can.

It doesn't work the same on all types of cans. When I first got it, it opened dog food and tomato sauce cans quite well. However, tuna fish cans? Not really.

Does it open the cans?
It took many times around on tuna cans and constant readjustment of the angle of operation before the can would be open enough to get the tuna out. And there was no way to drain the water while the tuna was in the can, just a total mess. I may not use tuna that often, but I don't expect to take 20 minutes and risk severing an artery (had to cut it open with my chefs knife ;) just to get the stuff out of the can. And forget solid tuna. You might as well buy grated, because it will be in flakes before you have it out.

After about three months of opening maybe 3-4 cans a week, even the dog food/tomato sauce cans weren't opening with less than two to three tries. A lot of grinding of gears, and readjusting of angles, and pushing down on the handle, or pulling up on the handle -- in short, a lot of wrestling around before I could get the lid off..

Now, after about a year, I have about a 30% chance of getting any can open. Mostly gear grinding no matter how I angle it, or press, or lift...just not cutting it, literally or figuratively.

I would not recommend this product to anyone.


Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press
Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press
Price: $36.32
34 used & new from $36.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pros: large,heavy duty, easy to clean; Cons: LARGE, HEAVY DUTY, January 15, 2015
Upfront: I didn't buy this through Amazon, so this is strictly a review of the product.
This is a big, heavy duty, easy to clean, garlic press.

You don't have to peel the garlic to get a good result because this is a very heavy duty gadget, crushes right through, skin and all.. You do lose a certain amount of garlic this way, but I bag and freeze the leftover peels to include in a cheesecloth bag when I'm making soups or broths -- a fair amount of flavor and no guilt about waste. ;) However, there's nothing stopping you from peeling your garlic, if you're less lazy than I.

To clean, you just pull the two handles as far apart as they will go, and the grid basket swings out for complete access. How simple is that?

I didn't give this five stars because its size and heavy duty aspect are also drawbacks if you have small/weak hands or arthritis. It really takes a very strong grip to press the garlic with the skin on, less so if it's peeled. But this is a sizeable tool, and it's going to be hard going for a lot of people. I don't have especially small hands or arthritis, but I still find I have to use both hands to get it to close/press if the garlic clove is at all on the large size.

So, excellent product, but it takes a certain amount of strength to use.


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