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Review: Brieftons Spiral Slicer

Brieftons Spiral Slicer

I’ve been fascinated by spiral slicers since I first saw one, but I had never used one until recently. The Brieftons Spiral Slicer is a hand-held unit that has two different julienne sizes – one on each end. The unit also comes with a finger tip guard that grips the vegetables. A small brush helps clean out the hard to clean places in the spiral slicer. I love the idea of easily being able to make delicious veggie noodles. As soon as it arrived, I jumped into trying it out with zucchini and carrots from our CSA box.

Leftover Zucchini

The Brieftons Spiral Slicer creates beautiful strands of zucchini, but it does create a good bit of waste as you can see above. I just chopped up the “stubs” and cooked them separately as I didn’t want to waste anything. The spiral slicer was quite easy to use with the zucchini. You just place the zucchini in the spiral slicer and twist like a pencil in a pencil sharpener.

Spiral Zucchini

You end up with beautiful zucchini noodles that can be used either raw or cooked. I chose to cook them with some basil, olive oil, and fresh-pressed garlic. It’s a fun way to eat zucchini, and it completely changes the taste/texture of the zucchini.

I tried using the spiral slicer with carrots, but it did not work for me. I don’t know if my carrots weren’t fat enough or what the issue was, but it was not a successful endeavor. The finger tip guard is okay, but it doesn’t really grip the veggies all that well. For the most part, I used it without the finger tip guard.

The Brieftons Spiral Slicer is a compact unit that works well for creating beautiful spirals from zucchini, but in my experience, it does not work well for carrots.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Review: The Kitchen EcoSystem by Eugenia Bone

The Kitchen EcoSystemSpecial thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of this book.

Book Description:

The Kitchen Ecosystem (affiliate link) will change how we think about food and cooking. Designed to to create and use ingredients that maximize flavor, these 400 recipes are derived from 40 common ingredients–from asparagus to fish to zucchini–used at each stage of its “life cycle”: fresh, preserved, and in a main dish.

About the Author:

EUGENIA BONE is the author of At Mesa’s Edge and Italian Family Dining. Her work has appeared in Saveur, Food and Wine, Gourmet, the New York Times, and many other publications.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385345127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385345125
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Retail Price: $27.00

The Kitchen EcoSystem by Eugenia Bone

My Thoughts:

I love the idea of treating a kitchen as it’s own ecosystem by using everything and wasting nothing, so this cookbook immediately appealed to me. The concept is using food while it’s fresh, preserving some of the food, using that preserved food, and then using any “waste” to make more food (like vegetable/chicken stock). It’s bringing us back to a time when people used everything they could possibly use because it was not a throw away society. They couldn’t afford to waste any food.

In this cookbook, Eugenia Bone takes us through her process of waste not, want not in the kitchen. Each “chapter” is based upon one food (fruit/veggie/meat). The chapter features a chart that shows which recipes utilize one of the four different methods: Eat Some Fresh, Preserve Some, Use the Preserves, and Use the Scraps. Most chapters, but not all, feature all four methods. She even includes a chapter on making your own condiments.

After all of the recipes, there is a complete section of different methods of preservation as well as a section featuring a variety of recipe techniques. In other words, Ms. Bone gives you all the tools you need to be successful in the kitchen. She even talks about substitutions at the beginning of the book. She encourages you to make the recipes your own. The only caveat to this would be in the preservation stage as you want to make sure you’re following safe preserving techniques which means following specific recipes for canning.

The recipes are delicious, and I love being able to look up ideas for specific veggies and fruits based upon what we receive in our CSA box for the week. The full-color images are scrumptious and encourage me to test out even some of the unfamiliar recipes.

The one thing that I would have like to see with this book is for it to be an enclose spiral binding to allow it to lay flat. Because it’s such a thick book, it doesn’t like to stay open. You definitely need a recipe book stand for this type of book if you plan on using it while cooking.

The Kitchen EcoSystem is a beautiful recipe book for those who love to not only use fresh ingredients but also preserve food while at it’s freshest point. If you want to fully utilize the foods coming in to your home and not waste anything, this is a cookbook for your kitchen. It will help you think just a little differently about your food – even the scraps.

Disclosure:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. A positive review is neither expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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Wordless Wednesday: Munchkin’s 2nd Book

Munchkin Reading Book 2

Munchkin Reading Book

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Review: Once A Day Bible Chronological Edition

Once A Day Bible Chronological EditionSpecial thanks to BookLookBloggers for providing a review copy of the Bible.

Book Description:

The NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition (affiliate link) organizes the New International Version Bible—the world’s most popular modern-English Bible—into 365 daily readings placed in chronological order. This softcover edition includes a daily Scripture reading followed by a short devotional thought written by the staff at the trusted ministry Walk Thru the Bible.

Book Details:

  • Series: Once-A-Day
  • Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780310950950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310950950
  • ASIN: 0310950953
  • Retail Price: $19.99

My Thoughts:

I’ve had several Once-A-Day Bibles over the years, but it was the idea of a chronological Bible that really had me intrigued. The 365 readings are placed in order according to when they happened in history rather than the traditional books of the Bible. It means that in days 1-3, you’re reading from Genesis. While days 4-15, you’re reading from Job. These types of sequences allow you to view Biblical history from a slightly different perspective. You tend to see more of a big picture as Biblical history – our history – unfolds before your eyes. Because the time in history is not known for certain on some passages, they are placed when the text was written instead.

Each day has the scripture passage(s) to be read and then a short reflection on that day’s readings. Because the days are labeled 1-365 instead of specific dates, you’re able to pick up whenever, or if you miss a day, you can just jump right in where you left off instead of being concerned about a specific date.

This paperback edition does have fairly small print which is something to keep in mind if you like a larger print for easier reading.

BookSneeze Disclosure Statement

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Review: Switched on Schoolhouse Consumer Math

Switched On Schoolhouse Consumer Math Review

Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) is a computer based learning program from Alpha Omega Publishing. There are a variety of core subjects as well as electives available for all grade levels which allow the teacher to create a customized learning environment for their student(s).

Installation and Setup:

Before you can start using specific subjects, you need to install the main Switched-On Schoolhouse software on to at least one computer. You have the option of running the entire program on 1 computer, or you can install the main program on 1 computer and then install the teacher and student programs on another computer. If you decide to install it on more than one computer, the additional computers must always have access to the computer where the main program is installed. We decided to go with installation on one computer as it was just the easiest option given that we may not always be near more than one computer.

While the installation takes a little time, it went smoothly on our Windows 8.1 computer. Upon completion of the installation of the SOS program, users then install the different classes and then assign the classes to different students. In our case, we installed and assigned the Consumer Math program. The installation of the course was quick and easy.

There are two components to the program: the teacher and the student. Each person has their own login screen and desktop. The desktop can be customized to fit the personality of the person using it. The teacher can also add and subject various aspects that are placed on the student desktop.

You can find a list of the system requirements here.

Consumer Math – Description and Content:

Teach your child how to manage personal finances with Switched-On Schoolhouse Consumer Math for grades 9-12! This fun-filled, practical one-year Alpha Omega curriculum covers daily math applications like family finances, taxes and insurance, investments, travel, and a basic math review. Easy-to-follow topics include step-by-step instructions and clear explanations to help build your student’s understanding. And SOS has interactive, exciting learning tools to engage your child in learning! Your child will study multimedia-enriched lessons which include video clips, learning games, and animation. No typical, boring, textbook lessons here. Your student will actually be excited to learn math and finance with this colorful, motivating computer-based course.

Grades 9-12
Retail Price: $98.95

Content includes:

  • Basic Math Review
  • Personal Finance
  • Statistics
  • Taxes and Insurance
  • Banking Services and Investments
  • Banking and Credit Costs
  • Purchase and Sale of Goods
  • Leisure, Travel, and Retirement
  • Job Related Services

Switch-On Schoolhouse Consumer Math

Consumer Math – Student:

As a general rule, Munchkin is liking the Consumer Math program. Using the program as easy as logging in, reading the material, watching the videos, doing the problems, and taking the quizzes. The material, for the most part, is presented in an easy to understand manner with manageable size lessons.

That being said, there are a couple of things that she doesn’t like.

  1. Video Format: She’s not a fan of the format of the videos as she feels the animated presentations are a bit cheesy. She would rather they be presented by a real person. There are times the voice is a little difficult for her to understand.
  2. Grading: There are times that she has the correct answer, but the system will mark it as incorrect due to not having a comma, not having enough decimal places, having too few decimal places…. There was even a time when the system said to round to three decimal places, but it marked it as incorrect because the answer they gave rounded to two decimal places. This was extremely frustrating for her.

She is definitely learning even if there have been a few hiccups along the way.

Consumer Math – Teacher:

I found the teacher portion of the program fairly easy to use. I liked that they have tutorial videos to help with areas where I had questions, and when I had to call customer service regarding a technical issue, they were very polite and helpful.

I appreciate the fact that I can go in and reassign select problems or entire assignments as we take a mastery approach at our house. Plus, Munchkin likes to truly understand a concept before moving on which means she wants to get everything right before moving on to the next learning concept.

What I would like to see that I didn’t is the ability to mark a problem correct if the program incorrectly marks it wrong.

AOP Military Discount


Overall, we are liking this Consumer Math program even if there are a few features that we feel could be improved.

Alpha Omega Publishing is offering military families a 30% military discount on their products.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the program to help facilitate the writing of this review. A positive review is not expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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