Friday, October 16, 2009

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions

Author: Maria Liberati
ISBN: 978-192891102-9
Publisher: Art of Living, Prima Media, Inc.

Author Maria Liberati does a superb job at bringing great food and ambience to life. In The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions, Maria shares classic Italian recipes with a hint of memories. The book is divided into eight sections. Each segment consists of menus for special occasions including: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, and Carnevale. It also contains an interesting story on how and where Carnevale began as well as the legend of Valentine's Day, and another surprise legend celebrated in Italy.

Holidays and special occasions are a special time to get together with family and friends. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions is a perfect book that demonstrates easy steps on how to create an everlasting memory for you and your guests. It is sure to bring you plenty of compliments and good spirits—not to mention great food!

Ever dream to visit Italy? Dream no more. Maria Liberati takes you on a front row seat. Not only will you learn a little Italian, but you'll feel like a great chef.

The book includes ingredient recommendations, tips on wine, and decorating the atmosphere to set the mood. The first chapter introduces the first course, second course, and Dolci (desserts). Preceding the first chapter are countless recipes and tips from Maria's Kitchen. Maria brings sophistication and delicious meals to the table, and at the same time she shows her readers how to make an endless impression on special occasions. The only drawback is having to decide which recipe to try first!

The Glossary of Italian Words, and suggested meals are a nice touch. Even if you aren't a cooking enthusiast you will enjoy reading Maria's heart warming short stories. Experience the recipes as Maria did and get to know Italy's finest foods at its best. If you don't already love Italy and Italian food, you will after reading The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions.
As a former international supermodel, Maria Liberati never dreamed that she would go from being a fashion diva to a domestic diva. Maria became closer to the simplicity of life and food in the country setting of her family’s vineyard in the mountains of central Italy. She began writing food articles and restaurant review columns. She was soon asked to conduct cooking programs while in Italy and then in the States. Maria divides her time between her office and residence in the USA and Italy.
Reviewed by Martha Ramirez

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Van Alen Legacy

Author's Name: Melissa de la Cruz
ISBN: 978-142310226-7
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

The Van Alen Legacy, Melissa De La Cruz's fourth book in the Blue Blood series, is filled with a fast-paced plot and lots of secrets and adventure.

The story revolves around Schuyler Van Alen, a sweet girl who has no idea how strong she is or how beautiful. She is on the run from the New York Coven. Lawrence Van Alen is dead and Schuyler, his grand-daughter, is blamed for his murder. She believes that Leviathan, a demon that Lawrence himself burned in stone a millennium ago has been released, and that that same demon killed him. They would rather believe Schuyler had deliberately killed Lawrence than that a demon stalked the earth once more. Now she has to discover The Van Alen Legacy on her own.

Oliver Hazard-Perry, the human boy with the wry sense of humor and flawless wardrobe, aides in helping Schuyler solve the mystery of The Van Alen Legacy. At the same time she tries to seek guidance from the European Coven.

Bliss is robbed of an entire year of life as the Visitor dwells within her. She is forced to remember who she is and all that has happened while dealing with Lucifer's presence.

Told in three different points of views, it makes for an interesting read on how Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss perceive the story. An engaging and unpredictable read.

Along the way, a stunning twist is added and a unique bonding ceremony is introduced. A revelation of Allegra, Schuyler's mother is revealed. Allegra often comes to Schuyler in her dreams, without saying too much I'll let you read the whole book to find out the twist.

All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place as author Melissa De La Cruz reveals revelations and the true story behind The Van Alen Legacy. Not only will fans be spellbound with The Van Alen Legacy, but it will leave them anxiously waiting for the next installment in the Blue Blood series.
Author Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.She majored in art history and English at Columbia University.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney's, TeenVogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and Fox News.Melissa divides her time between New York and Los Angeles. She resides in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.