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Review: Dashing Dish by Katie Farrell

Dashing Dish by Katie FarrellSpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a sample copy of the book.

We’re big into clean eating around here. Do we do it perfectly? Not at all. We still have too much sugar in our diet as it’s a process to transition to natural sweeteners. I’m always looking for good recipes to add to my collection.

Many of the recipes featured in this book were similar to ones that I already make, but I really liked the fact that the recipes were either naturally gluten free or easy to convert to being gluten free. She uses oat flour in her recipes which I like. The recipes that I tested tasted really good.

There were a few of things that I didn’t like. She uses low-fat, light, reduced-fat, and non-fat dairy ingredients. We only use full fat dairy at our house. She also states that butter is an unhealthy fat which is not true. For the most part, she only uses egg whites which is something that I prefer not to do when possible. Obviously, the dairy ingredients are no big deal as I can just substitute what we normally use. The egg whites are a little more complicated.

Katie includes nutritional information for each of the recipes. The book begins with a guide to healthy, clean eating for those who aren’t familiar with clean eating. Katie does a wonderful job laying everything out for her readers. While I may not always agree with her definition of clean eating, she does explain her way of thinking well. (Most people I know don’t consider things like lunch meat part of clean eating. While we have lunch meat in our home, I personally do not consider lunch meat a part of a clean eating diet.)

One of my favorite parts of the book is that each recipe has a beautiful, full-color image. Side note: I had to laugh at the fact that the recipe for a cake batter protein shake featured an image of a shake covered with non-pareils sprinkles as it looked beautiful but didn’t exactly fit with the sugar-free, clean eating theme.

Book Description

The Dashing Dish is an inspirational cookbook chock-full of healthy, innovative yet simple recipes, most of which are gluten-free, sugar-free, and abundant in whole grains.

Like many of us, twenty-four-year-old author Katie Farrell has struggled with her weight and healthy eating. As a teen she went through yo-yo dieting and was prone to eating disorders. But through God and a passion for food and cooking, she hit upon the formula that would transform her from unhealthy girl to confident woman.

In warm, accessible language and beautiful photographs, Katie shares 100 recipes for clean eating. Every recipe is simple to make and delicious to eat. Katie uses gluten-free oat flour in place of wheat flour, cottage cheese and yogurt in place of fat, and Stevia in place of sugar. Her tips are practical, her tone inspirational. Anyone looking to eat better for the rest of their life will want to own this book.

About the Author

Katie Farrell is the author of Dashing Dish, a healthy recipe website and ministry to women. Katie is a registered nurse from Michigan, where she lives in Brighton with her husband of five years. Dashing Dish is a combination of Katie’s passions-helping women find their identity in God and ending misconceptions about healthy eating. Katie wants to inspire women to find the balance between spiritual and physical health, all while enjoying the journey!

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718021614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718021610
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Retail Price: $26.99
  • Digital Editions are also available

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as a member of BookLookBloggers to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review. All opinions are my own. A positive review is neither expected nor guaranteed.

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Writing Prompts and Themed Notebooking Sets

In an effort to make it easier to find my writing prompts and themed notebooking page sets, I’m working on putting all of the links on one page. Just click on the image to be taken to the set.

Valentine's Day Writing Prompts Winter Writing Prompts Cover Fall Writing Prompts Literature Notebooking Pages Horse Notebooking Pages Names of Jesus Study Martin Luther King Jr Copywork Pages




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Review: Two Renegade Realms by Donita K. Paul

Two Renegade Realms by Donita K PaulSpecial thanks to Zondervan for providing a sample copy of this book for review.

Welcome to a world were certain individuals, realm walkers, can cross between different realms through portals. The realm walkers are paired with a mor dragon, a constant, to help them during the travels, assignments, and adventures. Unfortunately, the current Realm Walkers Guild is corrupt and seeks to do more evil than good. The old ways and good is slowly perishing to the evil that is consuming the realms.

It took me a little while to get into Two Renegade Realms, book two in the Realm Walker series by Donita K. Paul. It wasn’t because it wasn’t interesting, but rather because I was trying to recall all that had happened in the first book. Three years have passed since the series of events at the end of One Realm Beyond. After I had refreshed my memory, I dove right into the book and couldn’t wait to see where it lead.

The book continued to develop the characters and some relationships that were started in the first book. Quests were continued while additional quests were added. Time was of the essence due to some impending doom across the realms.

I enjoyed seeing how some of the characters had grown and changed since the end of the last book. The story was intriguing with a variety of twists along the way.

Dragons, magicians, realm walkers, spells, healers, and individuals are constantly torn between good and evil. Will they serve Primen or will they serve the evil one? Sides have been drawn and there is no middle ground. People aren’t always who they appear to be, and everyone must be aware that spies could be in their midst.

I look forward to reading the conclusion of the Realm Walker trilogy.

Book Description

From bestselling author, Donita K Paul, the second installment in a fantasy series that follows Cantor, a Realm Walker, chosen to battle the corrupt Guild.

In Two Renegade Realms, the second installment in Donita K. Paul’s Realm Walkers Series, Cantor, Bixby, and Dukmee must band together to find the storied realm walker Chomountain after a devastating attack by the corrupt Realm Walkers Guild. But what they discover while traveling turns their mission upside down: the great wizard is not as he once was, and they must now find a way to restore Chomountain before they and he can restore the Guild once more.

About the Author

Donita K. Paul retired from teaching and took up the mantle of grandma. She loves her new career as author of stories her grandchildren devour. Winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado, enjoying friends and family, pets and beautiful scenery. Her favorite part of writing is the readers.

Book Details

  • Series: Realm Walkers
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310735815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310735816
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Retail Price: $12.99

BookSneeze Disclosure Statement

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Wordless Wednesday: Making Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Making Lemon Meringue

Lemon Cupcakes

Making Meringue

Filling Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Filling

Adding the Meringue

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

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Review: Let Us All Eat Cake by Catherine Ruehle

Let Us All Eat CakeSpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a sample copy of the book to test out in my kitchen.

One of the things that many people miss when they go gluten free is all of the baked goods they used to eat prior to going gluten free. Special occasions can be a little difficult when you can’t eat with everyone else. If you’re able to come up with good alternatives that are great for gluten free and non-gluten free people alike, then you have a win-win situation for everyone.

In Let Us All Eat Cake: Gluten-free Recipes for everyone’s favorite cakes (affiliate link), Catherine Ruehle and Sarah Scheffel tackle the task of creating great cakes that everyone will be able to enjoy. The recipes are gluten free and many (if not all) provide a dairy free alternative. While she does provide an egg replacement, it won’t work on the egg heavy recipes.

What I liked about the book.

Let Us All Eat Cake is a beautiful book filled with gorgeous pictures. The pictures make you want to try to make the cakes. While not all recipes have pictures (bummer), many of them do.

The book is broken down into 7 sections:

  • Breakfast, Snack, and Coffee Cakes
  • Layer Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Plated Slices and Little Cakes
  • Decorated Special Occasion Cakes
  • Essential Frostings, Fillings, and Glazes
  • Tips, Tricks, and Decorating Techniques

It’s easy to locate whatever type of cake you may want to create.

The ingredient list is shown on the side, but it’s not necessarily the entire ingredient list for the recipe. (See what I don’t like below.)

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

What I didn’t like about the book.

I hate it when I have to flip all over the book to create one recipe. My teen daughter made the lemon meringue cupcakes.  The lemon curd ingredients were featured on page 92 with the directions for the entire cupcake recipe. The cake batter ingredients as well as instructions for the cake batter are featured on page 38. The cake batter recipe called for the flour mixture featured on page 191. The swiss meringue icing recipe (ingredients and directions) was featured on page 165. So basically, the only new thing about the recipe was how things were assembled. It was highly annoying to have to go all over the book to locate the needed ingredients and directions for the components. In fact, it was so annoying to my daughter that she ended up typing up her own recipe that put everything all on two pages for her to easily complete the recipe. The results were good – especially after the cupcakes had been refrigerated over night. (The cupcake texture was odd without refrigeration.)

I’m not a huge fan of flour mixtures that are simply tapioca starch, potato starch, and white flour. The “whole grain” version was not much different as it was just sorghum flour, white rice flour, and potato starch.

The recipe above called for three cups of the first flour mixture which meant I had 1 cup of the blend left over. (Yes, we could have figured out how much of each ingredient we needed by dividing it all out, but my daughter was already a little overwhelmed by the complexity of the lemon meringue cupcakes. We just took the easy way out.)

Overall thoughts on the book.

I’m slowly transitioning to the measuring by weight as I’ve found it can be much more accurate for gluten free baking, so I missed seeing the weight equivalents in the recipe. I’m not deducting anything for this as most American cookbooks do not have this, but it would be nice to see in the future as it’s more likely that everyone’s recipe will turn out the same. We had a few issues because of being high altitude, so the addition of instructions for high altitude would have been nice as well. (Once again, not deducting anything for this as most cookbooks don’t feature this either, and it’s not something I would have thought about prior to living in a high altitude area.)

This is a nice recipe book for gluten free cakes. It features a wide variety of cakes from easy to complex. It has a little something for everyone’s taste buds. I’m not a huge fan of the layout of the recipes or flour mixtures. The photographs are beautiful, the pages are sturdy, and the book is well put together. In other words, I’m a bit torn on how I feel about the book as it has both pluses and minuses.

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own based upon my personal experiences in my home. A positive review in neither expected nor guaranteed.

Book Details:

A delightful collection of gluten-free takes on your favorite cake recipes, from everyday coffee cakes, layered cakes, and cupcakes to show-stopping special occasion masterpieces.

Celebrate your favorite holidays and special occasions from birthdays to bake sales, Halloween to Christmas—and even the everyday—with delectable gluten-free cakes. In this delightful collection, Catherine Ruehle, a pastry chef and cake artist turned wellness foods chef, shares sixty classic cake recipes that are every bit as indulgent as the gluten-heavy ones we adore, but gluten-free, all-natural, and with alternatives given for vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free renditions. A few of the luscious cakes that await: Pink Velvet Strawberry Cake made electrifyingly pink with strawberries instead of food dye, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes that children of all ages will be thrilled to find in their lunchboxes, and a dramatic White and Dark Chocolate Checkerboard Cake that’s a cinch to prepare in advance. With positivity and careful guidance, Ruehle provides basic and advanced decorating, piping, and plating techniques to take your cakes from pretty to breathtaking. So go ahead: lick the frosting off the beaters, cut yourself a nice big slice, and let us all eat cake!

About the Author:

Catherine “Cat” Ruehle is a renowned pastry chef, television personality, cake decorating teacher, and holistic health coach who has made it her mission to give everyone’s favorite foods a healthy (and delicious!) makeover.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607746298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607746294
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Retail Price: $24.99
  • Digital Edition also available
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