December 21, 2014

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop (Open WW)


Welcome to the Midwinter's Giveaway Hop (December 21st - 31st)

In the bleak mid-winter you can either hibernate or, in case you're not a bear, make yourself comfy in front of an open fireplace and finish the book. Which one? This one.

Finish This Book (Keri Smith)
Please note: This giveaway is open worldwide, but only for countries TBD offers free shipping to - please check here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 28, 2014

Non-Fiction Friday - Chop Suey, USA

Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America
(Yong Chen)
November 25th 2014, Columbia University Press


American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-consumed cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption.
Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food’s tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience, which is why they preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald’s, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.
The rise of Chinese food is also a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance. Barred from many occupations, Chinese Americans successfully turned Chinese food from a despised cuisine into a dominant force in the restaurant market, creating a critical lifeline for their community. Chinese American restaurant workers developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They streamlined certain Chinese dishes, such as chop suey and egg foo young, turning them into nationally recognized brand names.

November 24, 2014

Did somebody say hibernation?

Just a short note to let you know that The Book Garden will be in hibernation until March 2015. There will be the odd post here or there (two more scheduled this week) and I will be participating in some giveaway hops during that time, so stick around folks and see you all again in full swing next spring!

Source

November 21, 2014

Non-Fiction Friday - Liquid Intelligence

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail
(Dave Arnold)
November 21st 2014, W. W. Norton & Company


In Dave Arnold’s world, the shape of an ice cube, the sugars and acids in an apple, and the bubbles in a bottle of champagne are all ingredients to be measured, tested, and tweaked.
With Liquid Intelligence, the creative force at work in Booker & Dax, New York City’s high-tech bar, brings readers behind the counter and into the lab. There, Arnold and his collaborators investigate temperature, carbonation, sugar concentration, and acidity in search of ways to enhance classic cocktails and invent new ones that revolutionize your expectations about what a drink can look and taste like.
Years of rigorous experimentation and study—botched attempts and inspired solutions—have yielded the recipes and techniques found in these pages. Featuring more than 120 recipes and nearly 450 color photographs, Liquid Intelligence begins with the simple—how ice forms and how to make crystal-clear cubes in your own freezer—and then progresses into advanced techniques like clarifying cloudy lime juice with enzymes, nitro-muddling fresh basil to prevent browning, and infusing vodka with coffee, orange, or peppercorns.
Practical tips for preparing drinks by the pitcher, making homemade sodas, and building a specialized bar in your own home are exactly what drink enthusiasts need to know. For devotees seeking the cutting edge, chapters on liquid nitrogen, chitosan/gellan washing, and the applications of a centrifuge expand the boundaries of traditional cocktail craft.
Arnold’s book is the beginning of a new method of making drinks, a problem-solving approach grounded in attentive observation and creative techniques. Readers will learn how to extract the sweet flavor of peppers without the spice, why bottling certain drinks beforehand beats shaking them at the bar, and why quinine powder and succinic acid lead to the perfect gin and tonic.
Liquid Intelligence is about satisfying your curiosity and refining your technique, from red-hot pokers to the elegance of an old-fashioned. Whether you’re in search of astounding drinks or a one-of-a-kind journey into the next generation of cocktail making, Liquid Intelligence is the ultimate standard—one that no bartender or drink enthusiast should be without.

November 19, 2014

Funny photos? Photo fun(ia).

Downtime between meetings? Slight case of boredom? Or maybe in actual need of, say, a profile pic for a social media site of your choice? I think I have just the thing you need then.

PhotoFunia allows you to create amazing photo collages and spruce up your pictures with different effects in seconds and for absolutely free. Who could ask for more? What's that? Book related, you're saying? Now would I be blogging about this if that weren't one of the many options you are offered? *shakes head in disbelieve*

Here's one of my favorite selfies from way back when ... if you ask me, the combination "me + old book" totally rocks!



Were you already familiar with PhotoFunia? Which of the many effects would you choose for a profile picture or just to generally play around with? 

November 17, 2014

Monday Five's - Why I'd rather read on a Kindle than a physical book! (Part II)

Last week I let you in on why I prefer to hold an actual book in my hands, the kind that trees had to die for. While my reasons for this more traditional approach to reading described in Part I are something not easily surpassed by an eReader, these sleek gadgets do have a thing or two going for them too. I guess what it all boils down to is that I do like them both, each for different reasons. Now why is that? Here are my main reasons why eReading rocks.


I
The storage of a gazillion books that don't take up any physical space.

II
The ease with which you can read 1.200+ pages monster tomes.

III
The gratification of instant downloads.

IV
The option to change font sizes.

V
The forests that don't get chopped down to make books.*
*Though, admittedly, I have no clue how "environmentally friendly" the production of an eReader is.

Do you prefer reading on an eReader or are you a die-hard fan of physical books? What advantages do you appreciate about a Kindle or Nook? And if you had to choose to only read physical books or eBooks, which would you go for? Please share!