Friday, November 20, 2015

Coloring With Daria Song

I have always loved to color. There is something very calming and soothing about laying down color, be it marker, crayon, or pencil, on a smooth sheet of crisp, white paper that gives my spirit a lift. That’s why I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Daria Song’s newest offering, The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book.

Song’s illustrations are detailed without being overwhelming or intimidating. The simple story line adds a spark of fun to the coloring experience. (Although I do wonder how many rebels will be coloring the fairy with some other color of hair besides red!) This is an adult coloring book that could easily serve as a way to spend time coloring with a younger artist at your side. I like the fact that she has left room for relative input by readers in some of the images. I also found the hidden pictures key at the end helpful. And if you like surprises, don’t miss what’s hiding under the book jacket!

The paper used in the book is a bright white, smooth, and heavy sheet which will hold up to just about any type of material you choose, including markers. I don't know that I'd try painting in it, that could get messy and potentially interfere with other pages.

I'd like to thank Blogging For Books for the free ARC I received in exchange for this review.

From the Publisher . . .

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in the bestselling Time coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. With her she packs her favorite items, which colorers can find throughout the book’s pages: an owl-feathered pen, a star-scented spray, a time tape measure…even the key to the time chamber itself!

Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.

The Time Chamber features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

About the Author . . .

DARIA SONG is an author and artist with a master’s degree in fiber arts from the Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Fine Arts. Winner of the Kyung Hyang Arts Contest, Song has exhibited at numerous galleries and museums in Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong. She is a lecturer at the Kaywon School of Arts and her illustrations can be found in Amore Pacific and SK Planet. She spent five years of her childhood in San Francisco before returning to Korea, and the sense of wonder and mystery that comes from living in a far-off place inspired her internationally best-selling adult coloring book, The Time Garden.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Food52 Baking Is a Treat

I consider myself blessed to come from a long line of solid cooks who know their way around a kitchen. My mother was in her element baking dozens upon dozens of cookies and breads for Christmas. My grandmother kept a variety of freshly baked treats in her kitchen "just in case company stops by." Both would appreiate Food52's newest offering, Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off In a Snap.

Personaly, I'm thrilled that the 60 treats includes some breakfast treats (I have a love affair with scones going) and some savory delights (pizza dough! Basil onion cornbread! Cheese crispettes!) for times you want a special something that's not sweet. The recipes are divided into seven sections: breakfast, cookies & bars, fruit desserts, custardy cakes & puddings, everyday cakes, special occasion cakes, and savory baked goods. The recipes themselves are clearly written with ingredients listed in a column on the left, an introduction to begin (which often includes serving suggestons, help with less familiar ingredients, and personal anecdotes from the contributor'a experience), and step by step instructions below. Any special technique instructions are also included at the end. (This is why it is always a good idea to read any recipe through to the end before beginning.) For example, p. 63 instructs readers "How to Cut in Butter."

The fact that each section is delineated by a full-spread color photo (try not to drool) and each recipe includes an equally scrumptious image (if only it were scratch & sniff!) had me me ogling the pages like teenaged boys who've gotten their hands on their first swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. What really hooked me in and made me fall in love with this book were the slight twists on familiar treats that made me exclaim things like "of course!" and "genius!" aloud. The addition of cinnamon and yogurt in "Bestest Banana Bread" now seems like something I should have known before. The recipe for Spiced Parsnip Cake (parsnips replacing carrots) is pure genius. And although it sounds really odd, I'm willing to trust the authors that the addition of a can of tomato soup will enhance a spice cake with cream cheese frosting in ways that will leave your guests asking for more.

I'd like to thank Blogging For Books for the review copy I received free in exchange for this review. I am thrilled to add this to my cookbook collection and look forward to baking delicious treats from it for years to come!

From the Publisher . . .

A stunning collection of hassle-free recipes for baking cakes, cookies, tarts, puddings, muffins, bread, and more, from the editors behind the leading food website Food52.

Whether it’s the chocolate cake at every childhood birthday, blondies waiting for you after school, or hot dinner rolls smeared with butter at Thanksgiving dinner, homemade baked goods hold a place in many of our best memories. And that’s why baking shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions.

With this book, curated by the editors of Food52, you can have homemade treats far superior to the store-bought variety, even when it feels like you’re too busy to turn on the oven. From Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies to “Cuppa Cuppa Sticka” Peach and Blueberry Cobbler, these sixty reliable, easy-to-execute recipes won’t have you hunting down special equipment and hard-to-find ingredients or leave you with a kitchen covered in flour and a skink piled high with bowls. They’re not ordinary or ho-hum, either: ingredients you’ve baked with before (and some you haven’t – like black sesame, coconut oil, and lavender) come together to create new favorites like Baked Cardamom French Toast and Olive Oil and Sesame Crackers. Filled with generations’ worth of kitchen wisdom, beautiful photography, and tips you’ll return to, Baking is the new go-to collection for anyone who wants to whip up something sweet every day.