Wednesday, May 27, 2015

daily greens: recipe book review

• On Amazon, Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse: Jump Start Your Health, Reset Your Energy, and Look and Feel Better than Ever! by Shauna Martin, with foreword by Mayim Hoya Bialik.

daily greens coverI'm delighted I decided to read the book description and a couple of reviews before deciding this book wasn't for me, which almost happened because of the "Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse" title. I've heard of various fasts and cleansings, but never undertaken either, but then when I realized author Shauna Martin included recipes for smoothies, salads, and a few other dishes, I figured Daily Greens would be useful and helpful in any case. I especially appreciate the first part of the book where Shauna (whose diet is completely plant-based) explains some of the rationale behind cleansings and fasts. Interesting stuff, as are her lively descriptions of various mostly green super-foods such as the currently super-popular kale, the eternally green fave spinach, (not really green) ginger root, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, etc. This is about wisely eating seasonally, which means expending fewer $$$ while enjoying better tasting, more local, frequently organic, healthier fruits and veggies. All the recipes are simple, which adds to the book's appeal and utility. There also are several categorized shopping lists and an index.

daily green back coverA lot of the full-color photography, the text, and page design conveys a verdant, green, growing, and alive sensibility! Besides greens of differing hues and intensities in the layout and design, some of the backgrounds are a lovely, appealing cantaloupe color. Gorgeous full-page photos, lovely smaller pics, too. As a graphic artist-designer and as a reader, I appreciate the open layout of the pages with lots of literal "white space" so it's not cluttered like a pennysaver ad. I also like that the hardbound book stays open on its own. However, as interesting and almost essential as the descriptions and commentary are, given that recipes are the main thing, why not format ingredients and how-to instructions in a larger font that's easy for anyone to read? Even the introductory text to each recipe is in larger type than the recipes themselves!

Despite those reservations, I'm happy to own a copy of Daily Greens, with so many literally good enough to eat photographs, and especially knowing the recipes and ideas will entice me to shop and try some of Shauna Martin's smoothies and other creations.

• My Amazon review: greens & other earthly goodies

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

complete children's cookbook

Complete Children's Cookbook by DK on Amazon
sunflower loaves

tomato soup

mint chocolate pots

four ways with kebabs

Complete Kids' Cookbook coverYou know there's no such thing as a Complete Cookbook – or a complete any kind of book – yet in 304 pages, this attractive, hefty hardbound book provides over 150 not difficult, easy to follow (for almost any age from about third grade on up) recipes for standard North American favourite dishes in nine categories. Happily, this Complete Children's Cookbook from DK, a Penguin / Random House imprint, includes some vegetarian options. Every single photograph is in vivid full-colour; for the most part, you get a full page photograph of the dish on one side of the page, smaller pics with detailed preparation, cooking, and serving instructions on the opposite page. This cooking book also is fabulous for time- and imagination-challenged grownups who keep hearing or telling themselves, "make something tasty! quick!" You can discover and create something tasty quickly that's not obscure, exotic, pretentious, or requiring impossible to find ingredients. Too bad the gorgeous pics aren't edible!

Following the steps to fix each dish is easy, though I wish they'd formatted details of the numbered procedure or "method" in larger type for younger kids or for oldsters looking over the shoulders of youngsters to help them. As a graphic designer I love Love LOVE the page layout and book design, but I'd very much like easier to read page numbers. I truly get how fun it is to enclose pagination within a fun design, but please either make it larger, or leave the typeface the same basic size but leave it plain and clearly readable. Human (and food, too, I assume) models are from Capel Manor College in Enfield, Middlesex, UK.

my amazon review: beautiful and practical