Archives for the month of: November, 2012

An invaluable resource for dog owners.


Looking for a valuable stocking stuffer for the dog lover on your Christmas list? “BetterFood for Dogs”, a new release from Robert Rose books ( is an excellent guidebook that is part cookbook and part dog care manual.

Would you believe you can turn out  wonderful dishes from your very own kitchen such as Chicken Fricassee, Texas-Style Chili, Chicken Fried Rice and an assortment of good-for-fido dog treats ranging from Carrot and Cinnamon Cookies to Pumpkin Biscotti? Dogs love variety in their menus and this book will inspire you to give them a break from canned and dried fare at least once in a while by turning your kitchen into a doggy cafe.

Better Food for Dogs by David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Grant Nixon,DVM – Gotta Love It!

Another great guide from The Complete Idiot’s Guide Series


It’s not too early to think about New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a book that might inspire you to take  a few baby steps toward a healthier and more earth-friendly existence in 2013, the second edition of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano (

The friendly, conversational tone of the authors encourages the readers to weigh all the benefits of consuming a low-fat, high-fiber vegan diet, with plenty of practical tips as well for being as cruelty-free as possible in other areas of your life, from choosing beauty products to your wardrobe. Nice assortment of easy to prepare recipes as well.   Vegan Living is an eye-opener on how to choose options that are friendly to your budget as well as the planet!

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living – second edition – Gotta Love It!

Use Sandeman port with apple cider to create a festive cocktail.

Don’t invite family or friends over to share some holiday cheer until you’re sure that the bar is well stocked with Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto (

Not only is this luscious port a satisfying libation to enjoy poured directly into your glass , it also pairs perfectly with cheeses and assorted nuts as a dessert course, or you can blend it with apple brandy, apple cider, raspberry syrup and lemon juice to create a festive Harvest Sour Cocktail!

Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto — Gotta Love It!



Nuggets come in milk chocolate and dark chocolate with almonds.

Hershey’s Nuggets (  look like individually wrapped gift packages and make a fantastic offering for the sweets section of your buffet!

The milk chocolate Nuggets are wrapped in silver paper with a red bow and the special dark chocolate with almonds come adorned with a green bow, each piece sized just right to unwrap and pop into your mouth to savor the sweet and creamy goodness of Hershey’s original chocolate. They look great stacked on a plate in alternating colors or pour them into serving bowls and let your guests get their chocolate fix for the holidays!

Hershey’s Nuggets in Milk Chocolate and Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds – Gotta Love It!


Napkins provide an inexpensive way to dress up your dinner table.

If you don’t have a lot of money to dress up your dinner table, Denise Vivaldo’s wonderful new book, “Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds” ( will have you working miracles with the common dinner napkin!

Birds nests, fortune cookies, loot bags and parrots are just a few of the things that you can create using a napkin and Vivaldo’s easy to follow directions and full-color photographs will guide you to be a napkin artist in no time!  The ideas in this book, suitable for a wide range of budgets, reminded us of the kitchen creativity that was rampant in the 60s and 70s – happy days are here again!

Top 100 Step-By-Step Napkin Folds by Denise Vivaldo – Gotta Love It!

Char Crust Helps Seal in Natural Juices.

Seldom have we heard so many raves around the dinner table than when we’ve used Char Crust Dry-Rub Seasonings ( on our chicken, pork chops and salmon!

Athough Roasted Garlic Peppercorn is our favorite Char Crust seasoning,  this seasoning first created at Al Farber’s Chicago Steakhouse, has several different  versions to bump up the taste and flavor of your seafood, meats, game and poultry dishes including Java Buzz, Original Hickory Grilled and Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil. Easy to use, just store in a cool, dry place and each package has enough rub to generously coat about 8 to 12 pieces of meat or fish. Now we’re spoiled and can’t imagine  baking, grilling or broiling our poultry, fish or meats without Char Crust.

Char Crust – Gotta Love It!




Idiot’s Guides Come In A Wide Variety of Topics.

If it’s time to shake up your life a little and try something different, TheComplete Idiot’s Guides ( can show you the way.

If you can’t afford private lessons or don’t have the time or budget to go back to school, these guides serve as your armchair teachers so you can explore a new activity or adventure and go at your own pace.

From learning to play an unfamiliar musical instrument to exploring Walt Disney World in Florida to getting more exercise, The Complete Idiot’s Guides are easy to read and make learning fun.

Some of the guides even come with audio CDs to assist in the learning process while others allow you to also view online video instruction as a complement to the written text.

The Complete Idiot’s  Guide To Series – Gotta Love It!



The original comfort food!

As the hunt begins for the perfect holiday gift this season, we present two new cookbook offerings that are gift-giving worthy!  “300 Sensational Soups” by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds ( features a wide array of homemade soup creations from chowders and hearty bean stews to cold-busting chicken soups and dessert soups perfect for a sizzling hot summer day.

Guaranteed to satisfy every Cookie Monster.

The other new cookbook features a sweeter comfort food category, homemade cookies, “Simply Sensational Cookies” by Nancy Baggett ( Great ideas for sturdy cookies that ship well for those far away, as well as show-stoppers to feature at tree-trimming and holiday carolling parties and some cookie classics you may remember from childhood. Either cookbook will be a welcome addition for anyone on your gift list regardless of their level of culinary skill!

“300 Sensational Soups” and “Simply Sensational Cookies” – Gotta Love It!


A delicious addition to any cook’s library!

Recent events have made it a very appropriate time to focus on comfort foods on menus, so this week’s cookbook pick of the week is Jean Anderson’s wonderful “From a Southern Oven: The Savories, The Sweets (

Not only does Anderson provide excellent descriptions of the most important ingredients used by Southern cooks, including grits, oysters, persimmons, hickory nuts and hominy, she also provides recipes for  an array of stick to your rib Southern dishes such as Georgetown Rice and Shrimp Pie with Bacon and Sweet Potato Biscuits with Toasted Hazelnuts or Pecans. The historical, trivia-filled comments which introduce each recipe are also engaging and there are plenty of gorgeous color photographs to get your mouth watering.

From a Southern Kitchen: The Savories, The Sweets – Gotta Love It!