Electric Arches, Half Baked Harvest & Cooking From Scratch

I’m going to try and combine quite a few reviews for the next couple of posts, so that I can finish off with all the books I read in 2018. Today I’ll be going over a poetry book and a couple of cookbooks.


Goodreads Synopsis: Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the fantastical, Ewing takes us from the streets of Chicago to an alien arrival in an unspecified future, deftly navigating boundaries of space, time, and reality with delight and flexibility.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I am in the universe and it is my hair.”

This is quite an interesting poetry collection that I recommend to you all.

For me, Electric Arches was a 3 star read. There are a lot of things I liked about the collection. I really love the cover for one, I love how magical it looks. I also liked the wide variety of poems within the collection. The poems themselves are whimsical and full of many insights.

I did feel like the overall style and collection was a little scattered, like there was so much going on at times it was hard to just concentrate on the meaning of the poems. Still I think that Ewing has a great style, a unique style that I would love to read more of.


Goodreads Synopsis: Tieghan Gerard grew up in the Colorado mountains as one of seven children. When her dad took too long to get dinner on the table every night, she started doing the cooking–at age 14. Ever-determined to reign in the chaos of her big family, Tieghan found her place in the kitchen. She had a knack for creating unique dishes, which led her to launch her blog, Half Baked Harvest. Since then, millions of people have fallen in love with her fresh take on comfort food, stunning photography, and charming life in the mountains.
While it might be a trek to get to Tieghan’s barn-turned-test kitchen, her creativity shines here: dress up that cheese board with a real honey comb; decorate a standard salad with spicy, crispy sweet potato fries; serve stir fry over forbidden black rice; give French Onion Soup an Irish kick with Guinness and soda bread; bake a secret ingredient into your apple pie (hint: it’s molasses). And a striking photograph accompanies every recipe, making Half Baked Harvest Cookbook a feast your eyes, too.
Whether you need to get dinner on the table for your family tonight or are planning your next get-together with friends, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook has your new favorite recipe.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I think the thing I liked the most about this cookbook were the fantastic photos! I have yet to try these recipes in the Half-Baked Harvest book, but I have tried some of her recipes before from her website.

I look for specific things when reading a cookbook. I look for unique new ideas and tastes, for variety in recipes and I especially look for food ideas that I’ve never thought of before. A recipe or a flavor that inspires me to look into a new cooking technique, or flavor region in the world.  So I think the word that describes this cookbook is best is “meh”.   While the pictures are amazing, and the tone of the writing is cute and fun, I didn’t find many new ideas. A lot of the recipes felt like anything you could find on any food blog anywhere. And while that’s not bad, it just didn’t inspire me like I wanted it to.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. I don’t think this is a book you have to buy, you’d be better off just looking at Gerard’s blog.


Goodreads Synopsis: 120 simple and delicious recipes in a cookbook that’s chock-full of nutritional information and expert advice from Seattle’s popular grocer, PCC Community Markets.

Eating healthy, local food prepared from scratch is at the heart of this cookbook from PCC Community Markets. Going strong for sixty-five years, they are respected and appreciated throughout the NW for their commitment to local producers, sustainable food practices, and healthful, organic seasonal foods.

You will find 120 recipes organized for every meal of the day, including many of PCC’s most popular dishes, such as their treasured Emerald City Salad. The book also includes cooking, storing, and shopping tips -everything you need to know to make the most of the local bounty offered in your area, wherever you live.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I was really excited to receive a copy of this book from NetGalley earlier this year.

Have you ever considered or tried to make food for scratch? If you have and don’t have much experience this book is for you. There are a lot of mouth-watering, easy to cook recipes in here for every meal of the day. From stir fried cabbage with fried eggs, to roasted leg of lamb stuffed with roasted herbs and garlic.  The recipes are all delightful.

While I think that more experienced cooks can also enjoy this book, it wasn’t really written for them. I was looking for more things like how to cook my own pasta from scratch, or more things of that sort. I cook from scratch about 90% of the time and I was definitely looking for more of a challenge from this book.

My only big complain about this book is it’s lack of accessibility. This cookbook is written for those who can afford to buy grass-fed beef, and all organic food as well as more exotic ingredients like hibiscus flowers. I really dislike it when cookbooks are geared mostly towards the upper middle class.

In the end I gave Cooking From Scratch 3 stars.


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