The Philadelphia Cookbook by Philadelphia UK

I was searching through our bookshelves while writing the bookcase tour post and I stumbled across this Philedelphia book which I realised I haven’t yet reviewed. I love cooking and having my own kitchen has made that so much easier. I’ve made a dozen of the recipes from this book many times, especially when I’ve had to make dinner for lots of people on a tight budget, so I thought I would share my favourites with you.

Everyone adores cool, creamy Philadelphia, and it’s not just for spreading in a bagel – it’s an incredibly versatile cooking ingredient. Here for the first time are 110 fabulous recipes from the Philly team, from Party bites, Breads and bagels, Soups and light lunches, to Salads, Pasta, Fish and seafood dishes, Chicken, Rice and Risotto, and of course lots of Sweet treats and Divine cheesecakes.

fullsizerender-39Every single recipe has a handy Top Tip, and there are easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for Philly novices and cooking experts alike. Packed with beautiful colour photography throughout, The Philadelphia Cookbook makes an invaluable addition to any kitchen.

I guess the main thing I’ve got to get across, probably like in every cookery book review is that this shouldn’t be another cookery book that just sits on your shelf. Since I got my tiny mitts on this book every time I’m lacking some inspiration it’s one of the first ones that I pick up. The book is split up into lots of sections including, soups, light lunches, breads & bagels, dinners, (including pasta, fish, rice, chicken and vegetables,) sweet treats and a separate section for cheesecakes if you’re into that thing.

So, how is it to use? The book is really easy to use and there are never too many ingredients. I always find that some cookery books have incredible looking dishes but they just have too many things going on. The most ingredient heavy recipe is the butternut, cauliflower and chickpea curry (which is delicious) and even that once you’ve bought the vegetables has mainly things you’ll find in your cupboard (such as chopped tomatoes, stock, olive oil etc.) The top tips are actually really good – some are a little obvious but it does explain some cooking styles (like sweating) or how to change up the dish for different tastes and the photographs are brilliant.

I think the book is really versatile – when I bought this I was a little suspicious about the bagels breads and the cheesecakes, there are the usual suspects (the classic smoked salmon bagel,) but other interesting combinations like roast vegetable and roast pumpkin bruschettas and also some fruit bagels (which don’t taste as odd as they sound,) are also included.

My favourites from the book include the thai green curry which has only a handful of ingredients fullsizerender-41and can be whipped up in only 15 minutes. The creamy mushroom risotto is also a goodun and although takes a bit of cooking tastes incredible and the baked sweet potatoes which are super healthy and also delicious. All have only a few number of ingredients and taste like they’re kinda difficult (but they’re super easy.) The desserts are also extensive and go beyond the sterotypical vanilla cheesecake including summer berry charlotte, a carrot cake and even a tiramisu.

I have to make a quick aside and mention that each of the recipes has a calorie and macro count. I realise for a lot of people that this probably isn’t important but, for me, and for anyone that is trying to keep an eye on their weight it is SUPER HELPFUL. Additionally, cream cheese tends to be pretty bad for you, but I find that a lot of the recipes, especially the soups are really reasonable.

So would I recommend this? Hella yes I would – although I guess if you don’t really like cream cheese it might not be for you? But if it is, then definitely invest in this book. I’m off to make a massive batch of creamy bean soup, I don’t know about you but that sounds amazing.

Linnnnnks

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Walk the Lines: The London Underground by Mark Mason

“A man once said “A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else,” and I might have to agree. I guess it will come as no surprise that since I moved to London books that revolve around London have been cropping up on my radar a little more. I want to talk extensively about my move here at some point and how it’s honestly changed me but for now I want to talk a little about a book I’ve been dipping in and out of not, truly ‘reading’ in giant hunks, but one I’ve enjoyed all the same. Walk the Lines by Mark Mason.

The only way to truly discover a city, they say, is on foot. Taking this to extremes, Mark Mason sets out to walk the entire length of the London Underground – overground – passing every station on the way.

img_1963In a story packed with historical trivia, personal musings and eavesdropped conversations, Mark learns how to get the best gossip in the City, where to find a pint at 7am, and why the Bank of England won’t let you join the M11 northbound at Junction 5. He has an East End cup of tea with the Krays’ official biographer, discovers what cabbies mean by ‘on the cotton’, and meets the Archers star who was the voice of ‘Mind the Gap’.

Over the course of several hundred miles, Mark contemplates London’s contradictions as well as its charms. He gains insights into our fascination with maps and sees how walking changes our view of the world. Above all, in this love letter to a complicated friend, he celebrates the sights, sounds and soul of the greatest city on earth.

As the blurb suggests the book follows Mason who has lived in around London during is twenties and thirties and like many Londoner’s (I assume) has become interested in the ever changing and evolving map of the Underground. Wandering around where he lives, he travels up a side-street he hasn’t before and realizes if he continues he’ll create a triangle back to his house – a realization he hasn’t made before. Through this realization he decides to walk the entirety of each length of the line in a type of homage to the city. Line by line and with the help of his friend Richard he beings to walk these tube lines and learns and tells us a lot about the city I bloody adore.

I just want to put in a little aside here – Mason only walks 11 of the London Underground Lines refusing to walk the Overground Line and the DLR (which I find a little unfair – definitely still part of London.) Mason wanders the line giving snippets of local history, miscellaneous facts that might one day help on a pub quiz and changes in the line themselves. He is a really entertaining narrator (especially in the beginning of the book) and I found myself desperate to undertake the walks myself especially the Circle Line Pub Crawl.

I guess it’s important to explain I haven’t finished this book and it’s one of the reasons why I’mimg_1962 also yet to finish a Bill Bryson book (which this author certainly reminded me of.) The beginning of the book is really interesting, it’s new ground, it’s a non-fiction book written in a fiction style (in terms of the narration) but soon, as you can imagine we do end up walking through endless housing estates and then leading back into the same famous central locations that we all know and love. As the lines cross we do get quite a bit of repetition.

Due to this a lot of stations do end up being cut; the first couple of stations take up a couple of chapters but as we go further in stops between Whitechaple and Upminster take up a quarter of this. I think a big selling point to this (unless you live along the DLR or the Over Ground shrugs) is that you get to pick out your station and read about it, but many don’t get the coverage unless they’re big names (ie Wimbledon or Morden.) Finally, Mason appears to get a little bored with his own story; although the pub crawl is fun it does feel as though Mason realized that he’d lost a little passion and needed something to inject to make it fun. Following this certain walks are undertaken in the snow and done at night (which does stop the author seeing a lot of the highlights.)

I think a main problem is that it doesn’t really reference people, it references buildings and so it lacks a little passion. I’ve seen it described in context with Bleeding London by Geoff Nicholson but they have two very different ways of telling this story that don’t really overlap.

So, what did I think. I really enjoy dipping in and out of this book – read one tube line, put the book down for a bit, read another tube line, put it down for a bit. It’s not a book I think I could physically read in one go because for me it just lacks a little something. A little bit of a human touch. However – perfect gift for a new Londoner and even more perfect gift for a walker who might be tempted to walk the 11 (cough) lines. For me a great dip in and out but not quite there.

LIIIIINKS

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Week Commencing Nov 21

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I’m currently sat writing this in my writing spot (i.e. the bed) with cup of tea and a bowl of cinnamon grahams and it feels so good. Like so, so, good. I haven’t mentioned but T is currently taking an intensive French course on a Saturday (which kind of sucks) but allows me a couple of hours to get the house sorted – he’s so messy and also get some lazy blogging done. I’ll insert a picture of my set up but it’s basically me blogging and then I have T’s laptop playing a film in the background while I eat my breakfast? Perfect – yes pretty much. These are the other things this week that have made me happy.

Getting back into Photography

Since starting my blog I haven’t been the biggest photographer. It’s something I’ve wanted to change for a long time but I just haven’t put it as a priority which is silly of me. I’ve been ill this week and when I got up to make tea I managed to take a couple of snaps of my breakfast and the light in the lounge was perfect. This Saturday is going to be spent taking hella load of photos.

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Tea in bed

I managed to get the lurgy this week which sucked. However, for the first time since we moved in T brought tea in bed after seeing how much pain I was in. Perfect morning.

Gym Gym Gym

I went to the gym last week and managed to smash my lovely iPhone 5C on the treadmill and I’m just too broke to fix it; but I did finally get hold of a gym bag and a padlock so I can finally start using the gym without having to drag everything next to the treadmill. I’m actually really enjoying it – which is a sentence I never thought I would hear myself say/write.

Cinnamon Grahams

I’ve been tracking my calories for a couple of weeks now; it’s not an obsessive thing but when I try to lose weight at the beginning I make sure to track to get myself back into the swing of it. I did however take a look at the vitamin section and for the last year I’ve been getting no-where near enough Calcium. So, I BOUGHT CINNAMON GRAHAMS (so, so, so good,) and I’ve been having them with yoghurt and milk #calciumgoalz screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-16-43-30

Dinner at Brasserie Blanks

We took my Grandma for Dinner at Brasserie Blanc in Milton Keynes and it was bloody lovely. I started with bread with oils, olive tapenade and aioli and then followed with beef bourguignon. Oh my. Fantastic. Will definitely be back because it was a stunning meal.

So there’s my week – full of amazing food, cereal and the gym. How was your week?

 

 

Week Commencing: Nov 7

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Hello readers – I’m here, on a Tuesday with another Week commencing. I realise I haven’t written a book review in a little while but now that we finally have internet I spent the weekend having a content update so look forward to some new reviews cause after having a 5hr commute for three weeks (OH MY LIFE,) I have a lot of new reviews to write. But for now, another week commencing because I really enjoyed writing the last (and they will be my new Monday post! Not Tuesday ;))

Cannalo at Casa Cannoli

(Twittttter)

One of the beauties from Greenwich Market (which we might not be able to get away from in these weekly updates because oh my life – I adore Greenwich Market.) T bought three of these; pistachio, lemon and hazlenut.) These were honestly incredible – hazlenut was definitely my favourite but even though we’d eaten hella burritos at the market we couldn’t help but dig into these.

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Fried Eggs (and lots of toast)

Maybe this is a little, I don’t know odd. But I have never really been a massive breakfast person. I’m kind of the grab an apple and diet coke can as I ran out the door, but I’ve been making a lot of effort to make breakfast every day and I have fallen in love with fried eggs. This (below) covered with hot-sauce #yaaaas.

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Vietnamese food (specifically baguettes.) 

I mean look at this. Lemon grass chicken, a hella load of sauces, crispy onions, cucumber and whole load of other bits and bobs. This was delicious.

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MERMAID TAIL!!!

Okay – I bought a mermaid tail blanket and honestly – no regrets. This blanket is warm and snuggly and both T and I have been loving it. I think the New Look one I bought it now out of stock (probably because the fantastic Hannah Gale gave it a shout out.) But I’ll let you know if they re-appear!

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Flannel shirts (and Autumn in general!) 

Gah – I adore a flannel shirt and a cosy coat combo. This is my favourite I’ve been rocking for a couple of week but I utterly adore it. Snuggly leggings, flat shoes (I mean London can hurt your toes) an over-the-shoulder bag. YAAAS.

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I tried to get this out on Tuesday but I just didn’t have time. I’m so busy with 10000000 other bits and pieces. But I hope you enjoyed this post – without further ado I’m off to finish reading the new Lisbeth Salander book – cherrrio.

Fear’s Revenge by Lynn Case: A guest post for MLBB

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Hellllo readers hope you’re well – I apologise that the blog has been a little off for a while there’s a reason for that and it’s also the reason they’ve been a lot more guest postings but I will get into this. I currently have very little internet and unfortunately before that day came that the internet just wasn’t there I had quite a few scheduled up to post so I apologise it’s been a little heavy on guest postings recently. Today I have a fantastic guest post from Lynn Case and it’s a brilliant interview so I hope you won’t mind! Enjoy 😀

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, I’m, just a country girl at heart, I have lived most of my life in California.  Except for a few years spent in Alaska while my husband, Dan, was serving in the U.S. Army. We have two grown children and many pets. Multiple dogs, cats and a very curious cockatoo named Clyde. I love to cook, if you follow my blog on my website www.lynncasebooks.com you will see a few recipes that I like to share and I love to write.  I don’t always make public the things I write, but some I do.

We have traveled across the country and have visited thirty eight states in the U.S. some multiples times.  Through our travels is where I get some of the inspirations for my stories. Writing short stories here and there while growing up, being a private person, I never shared my writings, even with close friends or family.   Much less allow them to be made public.  I was strongly encouraged to publish my first novel, Fear’s Revenge in September 2013.

I received tremendous feedback from readers so I decided to release my second novel, Return to Lily Cove in March 2014 and just his past August I released my third novel, Gabrielle, lost and I am currently working on my fourth novel in the series, Feathers in the Wind.  Hopefully, I can get this one done and released in early 2016.

Who or What inspired you to start writing this book?

I kept having scene run through my mind and after a few days of it repeating itself I decided to start writing them down.  Day after day until the first book was done.  Then it was onto the next story.

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What three words would you use to describe this book?

Roller coaster ride, maybe? That’s what one reader said about it.  I really liked that description. 

Who is your target group for this book?

My books are about women in their late 30’s.  Because basically us women are never older than that, right ladies?  So my target group is women 18 and over.  I feel that some of the chapters are a little graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend them for younger audiences. 

Tell us about this book.

Allison Symms had forgotten everything about that night over twenty years ago.  The night she was held captive in an old cabin in the woods. Last thing she can remember is running through the woods and crashing head on into something, falling back knocking herself unconscious.

She doesn’t remember anything about that night until one day she gets knocked over by a city bus taking a turn to sharp and hits her head against a flower planter and goes unconscious once again.  Then she begins to have horrific nightmares and flashbacks to events that she can’t remember.

After seeing her therapist and undergoing hypnosis, all is revealed about the lost events of that one traumatic night. Allison decides to take the law into her own hands and take Fears Revenge on the four boys that held her captive.

As each detailed step of revenge Allison takes against, Cole, Tyler, Tony and Bobby she is beginning the healing and growing process in more ways than she bargained for. 

Do you have a favorite chapter from this book?

In Fears Revenge my favorite chapter is definitely chapter 15.  I think I was laughing the whole time I was writing the main scene. 

What do you hope people will gain from reading this book?

Well, I hope they enjoy reading my novels for stories themselves.  I do hope the readers ultimately get the message that regardless of what or how your life has turned out we make our life what we want.  If we don’t like what we have been dealt with in life, we have the inner power and strength to change it.  

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?

All my novels are available in print in perfect bound, hard bound and in ebook for those readers to download on their iPads, tablets and smart phone.

What advice would you give to other Writers?

Write, just write.  Write it down.  Whatever comes to mind, it may not make sense to you right now, but later on it might.  Just keep writing, never give up something you love doing.

 Tell us the link where potential readers can buy this book.

My books re available pretty much everywhere.  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, Xlibris and my website www.lynncasebooks.com 

Any additional links?

My website :  www.lynncasebooks.com

Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/Lynncasebooks/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lynncasebooks

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcq2uOH7XoyU8P6UEBvaCqw

 Is there anything else you would like to share about this book?

 Yes, It has been reviewed and had a Hollywood Coverage completed and is available for movie or television.

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So there we go readers – a fantastic interview with a really fantastic author. Have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope you enjoy the post later today too!

 

Street Preacher by Aaron Davis

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Helllo readers, cheeky little Sunday posting for you. I’ve got a really exciting post for you next week which I’m going to be typing up tomorrow *eeee* but for now, a really super lovely guest post from Aaron Davis and the book Street Preacher.

When John begins shouting his sermons in the middle of crowded downtown sidewalks, his only goal is to collect enough money for some food and a place to sleep.

. . . INSTEAD . . .

. . . he finds himself on the path to faith, a path that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Can you describe your book to my readers in three ish sentences?

Street Preacher is somewhat inspired by Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” That is to say, I was reading that a lot while I wrote my novel. Mine, however, is about the struggle to find faith beyond just simply saying “I believe” or affiliating with a church. This struggle is observed by various characters that each reflect different views of faith. There is John who is the protagonist. George who has no faith. Marty who is a sort of jaded, ministry-worn sort of Christian. Jennifer is an idealist. And Walter usually comes into the book to speak truth, though he is not without his faults.


Who is your favourite character from the book and why?

My favorite character is Walter, because he authentically loves others despite his own homeless situation. It was tempting to make him perfect so I had to add a bit of pride to him, but I think that is common. Even at our best, we all struggle somewhere.

Is there anything in the book you wish you had changed now that it’s out there in the world; a different sub-plot or maybe a new character completely? (I love asking this question!)

If I were to add more to this book, I would have developed Marty a little more. He runs the shelter, so he cares, but he also has an almost jaded view from working there so long

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So is this the only book in the series? (Or will there be more?)

This book is not part of a series, no.

Do you have any other books, or plans to write more?

I have two other projects in the works.  I am writing a book of my own struggles with depression and I am writing a novel about a police detective tracking down a serial killer. The theme of that book is vengeance vs justice.

Where can my readers follow more of your writing?

People can learn all about my writing, plus read blogs and poetry at www.authoraarondavis.com

So there we go, a lovely little post with the author Aaron Davis! Have a fantastic evening and thank you to this wonderful author for letting me feature his book on MLBB!

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3 days, 3 quotes, tag! Day 2.

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Hellllllo and welcome back to the THREE DAYS THREE QUOTES TAAAAAAGGG. After being tagged in this many a time I’ve decided to finally to complete it and share some fantastic quotes with you.

I want to do a life update soon because there’s quite a few things I have to share with you and I want to write a post about it, but I really want to cover wherever I live with hella bookish quotes. Not just these ones but a selection – maybe some of these will make it because I tend to prefer less well known quotes but we’ll see.

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I’ve chosen this quote because, I feel like this is a bit of a book that has been forgotten. The noughts and crosses series was the first YA book/series that I really, really read. I adored this series of books and yet I don’t this it’s got the recognition it deserved. I also adore Malorie Blackma’s writing just generally and I really need to read more.

If you haven’t read/heard of the Nought’s and Crosses book here’s the blurb, although I hope you have! It’s a fantastic series.

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Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

^ this book broke me and the series even more.

SO, today I’m tagging M from M Read’s Books so complete this tag and come back tomorrow for another quote! 

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Quick Tips for Uber Drivers from a Passenger

Hellllllo readers, hope you’re having a lovely Friday. It’s been a long week but blogging honestly has been getting me through. I think when I took by blogging break I forgot how therapeutic writing about something, anything other than how you’re feeling really freaking works.

So today I’m going to write about blogging – and I found this on the fantastic ‘Read At Midnight,’ which is looked after by the equally wonderful Aentee. It’s a beautiful blog and one you should go take a look at. 

How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging since April 2013 – SAY WHA. I can’t believe how long it’s been honestly, it’s slightly terrifying. I think which means I’ve been blogging 3 and a half years? It feels a lot longer than that but in a good way. Totally.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

Honestly, I don’t think there’s a time when I won’t be blogging or writing somewhere. I think over the past year my blog has really changed and I was really worried about it moving away from books but now I’ve taken a blogging break I think there’s definitely more I could be doing to take this down a more vibrant but definitely bookish path.

What is the best thing about blogging?

Really? That I get to share my personal opinions on books and getting to read more fantastic books than I ever could have imagined. I’ve met some pretty fantastic authors too who have always made me feel pretty wonderful.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it OK?

I can’t lie I’ve never been very social and or made a hella load of friends via this blog because it’s not the kind of person I am. I struggle enough to maintain friendships with the people I love offline. I’ve struggled at times with the blogging community and the negativity that does appear at time.

I’ve always been able to separate the two things but I’ve seen mean things said, I’ve seen things taken in a much more negative way than they should have been, I mean I was almost ‘named and shamed once’ because of something I wrote.

I think eventually I would like to contribute more and make more *friends* but for now I’m happy in my own little world.

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How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

It depends. I tend to rely on this type of image that doesn’t take too long ^. I do want to start taking my own new photographs but we’ll see.

Who is your book crush?

Amber from The Chocolate Run, she is almost everything that I’m not and almost everything that I want to be. She’s insecure but she has this air of self-confidence that helps her through those wobbles. She also is so good at being on her own – I FIND IT SO BLOODY HARD. 

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Though she would intimidate the shit out of me and I would never be able to even look her in the eye, let alone ask questions, I would love to have Catherynne Valente and her beautiful mind featured on this blog. I love her books, I love her personal blog, I just love every single word that she produces.

What do you wear when you write your blog post?

PAJAMAS, or if I’m blogging on my lunch break some kind of legging/cardigan/top/necklace combo. I’m sure I probably look alright though.

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How long does it take you to prepare?

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

what does that even mean?! I am a spontaneous kinda gal. We’ll see how it goes.

How do you feel about the book blogger community?

It’s fantastic – BOOK BLOGGERS are bladdy fantastic. The rest of the blogging community can get a little stressful sometimes. I know we’re all bloggers but the book bloggers are just so much nicer.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Someone that blogs to share, to create and to be a nice human. That is all you need to do

So there you go – my thoughts on the whole blogging lark. Didn’t mean to get too grumpy because ya know not my kinda scene. Have a fantastic Friday lovelies and please tag me if you decide to do the tag!!