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

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Klorane Bébé Cleansing Micellar Water No-Rinse Formula 500ml
Klorane Bébé Cleansing Micellar Water No-Rinse Formula 500ml
Offered by Boxofcolor Europe
Price: $38.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Splitting the difference -- Klorane Bébé Cleansing Micellar Water No-Rinse Formula 500ml, April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wish I could say I loved this, but it just didn't agree with my skin. I bought the Bébé version, hoping for gentler, purer and so on.

It was fine on my drier areas, but that oily triangle in the middle of my face just went into hyperdrive. Twice as oily as usual. When you think about it, oil that you leave on your skin is still oil. Not washing it off might be great for Bébés or adults with very dry skin, but for the rest of us with combination skin, not so great. Pores will clog, and those still in the acne time of life will be breaking out with a leave-on product. Dirty skin is dirty skin.

I can see using this after an exfoliating mask, or a day at the beach when skin may be extra dry, or in a situation where you don't have running water, but I think for average skin, on a day-to-day basis, it's overkill. I can't give it a bad rating because it's not a bad product, just one with very limited uses, IMO. You know, this would be ideal for use on long plane flights, that dry air really does a number on your skin. But, oh, hey, it's a liquid, can't take it on the plane. Bummer.

I was going to give this only three stars, but then I remembered the one-handed pump dispenser, and increased it to four. If you've never used one of these, they're great -- less chance of contamination of the contents and easy to use if you have only one hand free, as, for instance, when you're diapering a baby. The lid pops us to reveal a slightly concave plastic disk with a hole in the middle. You simply put your cotton ball on the disk and press repeatedly until you have the amount of product you desire. This has been available in medical types of things for a long time, but this is the first time I've seen it in a cosmetic-type of application. Great choice of packaging.


Vogue Knitting on the Go: Vests
Vogue Knitting on the Go: Vests
by Trisha Malcolm
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $1.50

5.0 out of 5 stars So glad i bought this book!, February 4, 2014
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Vests. Sounds dull, doesn't it? Well, I really liked that cover vest, only in my head it was in maybe a light blue with the color blocks in greens and turqouises and even pinks and purples...and maybe it had sleeves. You see, the beauty of vests is that they can easily become cardigans just by knitting sleeves for them.

I tend to buy knitting and crochet books for the variety of stitches/motifs in them, seldom actually knitting the garments/objects in the patterns. But this little book has so many different vests in all styles from classic mens, to cute for kids, high fashion, boho, you name it. I don't think there's a pattern in this book that I don't like. Some of my favorites are:
Red Vest with Lapels – yes, it’s just like a fitted waist suit jacket or blazer with a notched collar, but without sleeves
Baby Fair Isle – perfect way to test the Fair Isle waters with this tiny garment
Checkered Pullover – square neckline and knitted belt
Kangaroo Pouch Vest – just add a hood, although there is also a Hooded Vest pattern
Boys Cable Vest – not at all cutesy, so I think my friend’s nephew will love it

And that's just a few of them. If you like vests there's good variety in the shapes and styles and stitch patterns. If you're not so big on vests, just add sleeves! Either way you'll have some very wearable wardrobe additions.

Great book. If I wear it out, I'll definitely buy a another copy. ;)


The Country Cooking of Ireland
The Country Cooking of Ireland
by Colman Andrews
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $34.72
57 used & new from $18.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle is not the place to render coffee table books, February 2, 2014
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This review is for the Kindle version of The Country Cooking of Ireland. Unfortunately -- where the blame falls is anyone's guess -- the Kindle version seems to be missing a lot of images, and what there are, are displaced by at least a couple pages from the associated text. That's my reason for taking off one star.

That said, I very much enjoy reading the historical and geographical information on each of the recipes. They are classic Irish country cooking, dishes that have been in the culinary repertoire of every home cook for, in some cases, more than a millennium. To those reviewers who complain that there's nothing new here, or the dishes are very plain, or their grannies cooked the very same things I say, "Of course. That's the point."

Ireland has had a grueling history with many very difficult periods for the common man. During much of its history it has been a subsistence economy. That means that people subsisted on what they could grow or raise themselves, like potatoes. And when the potato crops failed, people died. Being a northern island,. Ireland doesn't have the climate to grow a lot of the foods that would have made their cuisine more complex in the southern European style.

You will see a lot of butter, eggs and cream in these recipes because those are the things which even relatively poor families could provide for themselves. Ireland also has abundant fish and seafood while, until recent decades, meats were not as readily available, with the exception of pork -- if you earned income for your family by selling eggs, for example, you didn't eat the chicken, or supplied your family's milk and butter from your or your neighbor's cow, you weren't butchering the animal for steaks and so on. So, don't complain when the recipes don't have a lot of tomatoes, or beef or citrus or whatever. This is Irish country cooking, i.e., the cooking found in the Irish countryside. It is what it is.

That out of the way, Colman Andrews is known for well-researched books that give not only recipes but historical, cultural and social associations for those recipes. Each section is begun with an informative and sometimes amusing discussion of how that particular food fits into the context of Irish country cooking. Many, if not most, of his recipes were provided by the individuals who have been working to document and preserve Irish cuisine by returning to some of the old ways of preserving or preparing food, while giving them a 21st Century spin into the bargain.

The Country Cooking of Ireland is an informative and interesting book, as much a learning experience as a cookbook. I haven't yet tried any of the recipes, but I have read through most of them, and they look pretty accessible. Given Ireland's climate, many of them are what you might call warming, comfort foods. In fact, this book will be a great resource for winter cooking around my house, I'm sure.


Easy & Healthy French Recipes Volume 3: How to cook classic French appetizers
Easy & Healthy French Recipes Volume 3: How to cook classic French appetizers
Price: $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas but not for the novice, February 1, 2014
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I was torn as to how many stars to give this book. For the novice cook, it will be difficult to follow a lot of the recipes, since much is assumed and some instructions are a bit contradictory or confusing. For example, one recipe using blinis as a base starts out heating the blinis if they are cold, then you top with the ingredients for that particular version and refrigerate. Why heat them? Also, crème fraîche may not be readily available in U.S. markets, but it is easily made from cream mixed with a little buttermilk and let set at room temperature until it thickens. Simple, so why didn't she include it?

Also, in the recipe for Gougeres, of mixing in the eggs, a crucial step, she says merely, "Incorporate one by one the 4 eggs in the batter." This needs to be done quickly and carefully so that the eggs are incorporated rather than becoming lumps of scrambled egg. Check any classic recipe for choux paste if you aren't familiar with the process.

There are recipes for verrines, those appetizers served stacked in little glasses which have become popular in the last few years, which is a plus. There are a number of hot and cold appetizers, but what kept my star rating from dropping lower is that they are interesting, had some new ideas I liked, and were mostly pretty easy to make. I'm always looking for new ideas. OTOH, there were several fried appetizers which consisted of cheesy/creamy mixtures in a coating which are probably more of a challenge than I'm willing to take on. But that's me. ;)

If you like contemporary French cooking or want to learn more about it, this is a good book for the appetizer aspect of it. But do realize that you may have to fill in some blanks for yourself or consult one of the classics to understand more about the processes involved.


The Encyclopedia of Fashion Illustration Techniques: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Fashion Design
The Encyclopedia of Fashion Illustration Techniques: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Fashion Design
by Carol A. Nunnelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.23
93 used & new from $4.60

4.0 out of 5 stars An great compendium for techniques and ideas, January 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wouldn't call this an encyclopedia -- it's just not in that format. However, it is an excellent resource from the basics of the various media, how to use them, what they are best for, through color, texture, body - shape, movement, how to draw down to even hands and feet; rendering various types of fabrics, showing folds, depth and movement in garments, so much more. It's just a great resource.

I have a degree in Art, so I know the basics and beyond, but fashion illustration is totally new to me. I think this book is just what I need to get me going in the right direction. My only complaint and the reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that so many of the illustrations are really dated. Back to the 70s! The copyright date is post-2000, so I can only think the author/publisher pulled from a variety of periods to demonstrate the various principles. I found the dated images distracting but would otherwise recommend this book to anyone interested in a really good grounding in all the things you need to begin fashion illustration.


Vogue® Knitting on the Go! Crocheted Scarves Two (Pt. 2)
Vogue® Knitting on the Go! Crocheted Scarves Two (Pt. 2)
by Trisha Malcolm
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.80
53 used & new from $1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun things in here!, January 30, 2014
In the interests of full disclosure, I didn't buy this on Amazon -- I was on the Vogue site when they were having a sale and went for it.

The book starts off with some basic crochet instructions, with illustrations, including standard yarn weights and how to knot fringe, which I think you will agree is pretty much essential in a scarf book.

I really bought this book just to find a variety of motifs to play with, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of really fun and interesting designs which I will make. The cover image gives the impression that the designs are mostly kinda cute and vintage-y. Some of them are, but there are also some very sharp, up-to-date scarves that even your teenager wouldn't sneer at. A small book but with a lot of good options, for most tastes and most skill levels.


Vogue Knitting on the Go! Crocheted Scarves
Vogue Knitting on the Go! Crocheted Scarves
by Trisha Malcolm
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from $5.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Some very cool scarves, January 29, 2014
In the interests of full disclosure, I didn't buy this on Amazon -- I was on the Vogue site when they were having a sale and went for it.

The book starts off with some basic crochet instructions, with illustrations, including standard yarn weights and how to knot fringe, which I think you will agree is pretty much essential in a scarf book.

I had been eyeing this book for a good long time, ever since it came out, in fact. I love the cover scarf! I kept hoping to find its pattern sold individually on the Vogue site, hence my visit there. Now that I have the book, I'm very glad I bought it. There are several scarves in here that I like a lot and will make. Of course, there are some ugly or very pedestrian designs as well, but that's only my taste.

I gave it four stars instead of five because I really felt the number of really pedestrian designs was too many for so small a book. However, there are a lot of different styles, from the basic to the kind of wild, to a lacy scrap of something, to my scarf-love baby on the cover. In short, something for most tastes and for most skill levels, too.


Pop-Tarts, (Not Frosted) Brown Sugar Cinnamon, 8-Count Tarts (Pack of 12)
Pop-Tarts, (Not Frosted) Brown Sugar Cinnamon, 8-Count Tarts (Pack of 12)
Price: $23.76
6 used & new from $23.76

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic treat!, January 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought 12 boxes of these, so I can only comment on the usual quality, which is excellent. I chose to buy them on Amazon because there are no stores in my area that carry any unfrosted Pop-Tarts. They're sweet enough for me without the added frosting.

These make a nice snack with a cup of tea or coffee, are great for stashing in your desk at work, too, since they come two to a package rather than 8 of them loose in a box. Handy, too, for road trips when you're trying to avoid too many stops. Nutritionally not as horrible as many snacks, and I like them. ;)


Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Cookies, Montauk Milk Chocolate, 8.6-ounce (pack of 5)
Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Cookies, Montauk Milk Chocolate, 8.6-ounce (pack of 5)
Offered by Cookie Kid
Price: $15.99
8 used & new from $15.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Soft Baked? More like UN-baked., January 29, 2014
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I thought these cookies would be good. I mean Pepperidge Farm, right? Also, after getting multiple bags of crumbs when I ordered the crisp baked versions, I went for these in the hopes they would still be cookies when I got them.

Unfortunately, they are very nearly raw -- just baked enough to barely squeak by as "baked." I hope they didn't use raw or unpasteurized eggs in these things, because I doubt they got enough heat for a long enough oven time to reassure me. They didn't look like the picture, which looks like a regular cookie. They are dark and greasy looking and can easily be squeezed into a very dough-like ball. I don't consider that baked in any practical sense.

If you're a fan of raw cookie dough, well, you will love these. Hmmm. I wonder if I should put them in my oven and give them another few minutes. ;)


Vogue Knitting on the Go: Teen Knits
Vogue Knitting on the Go: Teen Knits
by Trisha Malcolm
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.31
65 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars For teens in munchkinland, January 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The editors at Vogue must be vertically challenged or tjhey've forgotten how tall many teens are. Really, when a cropped sweater is, in the largest size, only 12" long! My goodness, but I was 5.9" before I was 12, and well-endowed, too. That sweater, on me as a teen would have been considered obscene, not cropped.

I've been knitting a long time, and many of the patterns are very simple and easily scaled up, but really. The book should be called Pre-pubescent Knits -- there is no bust shaping in any of the patterns that I noticed on a scan through the book.. Aside from the wacky sizing, there are quite a few cute patterns in there. Not surprisingly, my favorites are designs by Shirley Paden, who is the queen of elegant fashion design.

If your child (there are a couple of "boy" sweaters in there, too) is on the small side, these patterns should be fine. The more basic ones are easy to make longer (or wider) but for a new knitter with a tall kid, maybe not such a good buy. Someone should suggest to Vogue that they put out some errata on patterns like these on their site for those with medium or tall offspring.


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