Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fair Game - Patricia Briggs

Fair Game
Patricia Briggs
Ace Hardcover
Copyright: March 6, 2012

The product description:
Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, "always enchants her readers." (Lynn Viehl, New York Times bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey...

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...
This is a re-read occasioned by the mass-market paperback release of Fair Game, and also the hardcover release of Frost Burned, the latest book in Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series. My last review of Fair Game is here.

As with my previous review, I found that I absolutely couldn't put the book down, reading it even when I was telling myself I needed to be reading my textbooks instead. This is one of my favourites of the books in this world - and the cliff-hanger at the end was just as compelling. It's really going to be rocking the world in the upcoming Mercy Thompson book as well as in future Alpha and Omega books (the spin-off series).

Anna and Charles are both extremely compelling characters and even on a re-read I was hoping everything would work out well for them, something I find myself saying with nearly every book set in this world.

The world of Mercy Thompson is one of my favourite urban fantasy series, and I know I've said this before, but if you haven't given any of the books in the series a try, you should, starting with Moon Called, the first book in the main series.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quick Breads - Linda Collister

Quick Breads
Linda Collister
Ryland, Peters and Small
Copyright: August 2007

The product description:
No kneading, no waiting for the dough to rise--these breads are the easiest of all to make. The ingredients can be assembled, mixed, and ready for putting in the oven in less than 15 minutes. Linda Collister tells you how to make a wonderful variety of quick breads using fresh herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables for texture and taste. There are Savory Breads to serve with lunch or supper, with soups and salads, or toasted for breakfast. These include Quick Rye Bread, Watercress and Arugula Loaf, and Sri Lankan Coconut Roti. In Cornbreads, you will find recipes that use milled and fresh corn. This section features hearty option such as Buttermilk Cornbread and Texas Hot Pepper Cornbread. Old-fashioned Blueberry Gingerbread and Sultana Almond Bread are among the novel ideas for Breakfast Breads. For snacks and lunchbox treats, turn to Small Breads. From Maple Pecan Scones to Quick Spiced-cider Doughnuts, these recipes are so good you will want to try them all. *The recipes are simple enough for the absolute beginner to follow and satisfying enough to please the seasoned bread maker. *Beautiful photography by Kate Whitaker.
 I've had this book for a while now, and the more I use it, the more I love the recipes. I haven't tried them all yet - not sure if I'll ever manage that, but some of the different breads have become repeat staples in my kitchen.

So far, they've all been incredibly simple and quick to make - just as the title suggests. The soda bread and the molassas-oatmeal bread are my two favourites, even with the time investment on the latter. This loaf takes more than the 15 minute time-frame given in the blurb. Even with that, it's my favourite to date. The loaf is dense, a little sweet and wonderful with cheese or jams - especially something like homemade blackberry jam or plum butter.

The soda bread is one of the simplest recipes I've seen, and it's quick baking, making it handy for lunches and dinners - wonderful served with soup, especially when it's warm out of the oven.

The most recent recipe I've attempted is the pumpernickel and fig loaf, which was delicious. I've got to make this again - with cheese or jam, it's incredible. Very similar to the molassas-oatmeal loaf, but with chopped figs for added sweetness.

It's been a while now, but I remember the fresh orange and nut loaf to have been a success as well, every time I made it. The same thing for the lemon, almond and raisin loaf - I've made it several times. Although, this is a recipe I'm somewhat cautious with - one time my fingers slipped while I was grating the lemon zest. Suffice it to say, that hurts!

If you like baking, Linda Collister's book is almost a must-have, I'd have to say. I know I've had more success with these than I have with trying to make actual yeast-breads. Although, I haven't given up on trying to make those.

Still, this is one of the cookbooks I refer to frequently, sometimes more often than others, depending on my mood. An impulse buy that I'm really glad I bought.


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