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Eat cheap but eat well(book review)

17 Feb

From Publishers Weekly

Perfectly timed for the current economy, Mattocks’s book provides an assortment of approachable, repertoire-expanding recipes for affordable dinners. The author divides the recipes into practical chapters on popular foods: chicken, meat, fish, eggs, vegetarian dishes, a few desserts. Spices and international flavors keeps things interesting, and recipes like ginger chicken with avocado; Mom’s Jamaican curry with dumplings, rice, & peas; pecan-crusted tilapia with mango-salsa salad and coconut rice; and ratatouille with couscous are tempting takes on everyday fare. Each recipe is keyed with a price for two or four servings, but unless readers have well-stocked spice cabinets and pantries, some of the estimates are a little too optimistic: for example, it’s tough to believe someone could pull off four servings of sunny shrimp curry, made with a pound of shrimp, peas, two tomatoes, chicken broth, fresh ginger, lime juice, shredded coconut and more for less than $7 total. There’s also a little too much repetition—the same tip box shows up in multiple recipes a few pages apart, and most of the pull quotes don’t deserve double attention. But among the recipes readers will find more than enough variety to inspire the wallet-friendly habit of cooking at home. (Apr.)
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Review

“Perfectly timed for the current economy, Mattocks’s book provides an assortment of approachable, repertoire-expanding recipes for affordable dinners… readers will find more than enough variety to inspire the wallet-friendly habit of cooking at home.” (Publishers Weekly, January 5, 2009)

“Perfectly timed for the current economy, Mattocks’s book provides an assortment of approachable, repertoire-expanding recipes for affordable dinners… readers will find more than enough variety to inspire the wallet-friendly habit of cooking at home.” (Publishers Weekly, January 5, 2009

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Escaping the glass cage(book review)

17 Feb

Kathleen Schmidt, author of Escaping The Glass Cage: A Story of Survival & Empowerment from Domestic Violence was born in Seattle, Washington, in October 14, 1968.  She is number six of eight children.  The dream of becoming an artist, of some form, has burned within her all her life.  She knew at age thirteen she would write a book, she just didn’t know what it would be about at that time.

Kathleen married young; divorced her first husband at age 25 after fleeing for her life from nearly 6 years of extreme abuse, and began again.  She learned to scuba dive while in a shelter for battered women and later won a trip that gave her the opportunity to dive with sharks.  Kathleen has also been swimming with dolphins, climbed halfway up Mt. Rainier and wants to go to Australia in the very near future to dive with the great white sharks.

In 1998 Kathleen completed thirty-six hours of training on domestic violence issues with DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women’s Network), a non-profit in Seattle designed to train staff and volunteers to run the “hot-line” for women in crisis.  Her intent was to help women in need, but in turn, the training helped her.  Kathleen believes life is like a salad bar, so many choices to make, and the freedom to take only what you want.

Armed with a high school diploma, Kathleen likes to say her college is “The University of Hard Knocks” and her major is in “Common Sense and Life”.  She loves to read and averages reading 2-3 books a month, despite a busy schedule.  She believes there is ALWAYS time to read.  Books have become a valuable tool for healing, learning, expanding the mind and discovering new ways to think.

With her debut book Escaping The Glass Cage, she helps answer the tough questions regarding Domestic violence such as:  How does a young girl end up marrying someone, who over time and severe abuse, nearly costs her her very life? How does she escape and learn to rebuild her self-esteem? Why is Domestic Violence still a rampant problem in today’s society?

In it, Kathleen shares her own story and how she created a new life, new beliefs and new dreams to move forward into.  One can either stay in the past, or forge a new life and find ways to help and empower others.  She is also donating 20% of the proceeds from her book to a local non-profit in Washington State called Save Exploited Women Foundation (www.saveexploitedwomen.org).

Kathleen is the creator of Embracelets of Hope (www.embraceletsofhope.org) in which 100% goes to Save Exploited Women Foundation.  Each Embracelet is green and white swirl, green represents healing and white is for peace.  They are each debossed with Dream, Believe, and Achieve.  She wears a silver bracelet on her right wrist, the same one she tried to cut so many years before.  It also has the same words on it.  Her personal affirmation with her Embracelet is:  “Never give up on your Dreams…..for with the Belief in your dreams….you will Achieve more then you could have ever imagined.”

She has also recently started Project Empowerment on Blog Talk Radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/projectempowerment). Her show airs weekly on Wednesday’s at 9 AM PST.  The focus is to shine the spotlight on the professionals and organizations that are making a difference in our world with education and empowerment regarding Domestic Violence, child abuse, human trafficking and so on.  They’re big topics and her hope is to help others learn more about it and how they can help.  Her belief is that all healing and empowerment begins from within, and by providing tools and resources, we can “be the change we wish to see in the world” (Gandhi).

She is also training to climb Mt. Rainier with the goal to summit in the fall or next spring of 2010-2011.  It is her Climb For Empowerment to raise awareness for Domestic Violence as well as funds for Save Exploited Women Foundation.  She has no mountaineering skills and is starting from ground zero as far as her training is concerned.  But her belief is this; there is a great deal of physical work in preparing for this journey just as there is mental preparation.  It is a daily effort, just like it is for women who is slowly taking her power back.  It takes work, effort and time to move on and make a new life.  So for every step she takes up the mountain will represent every step a victim takes to empower her life to become a victor and a leader.

Kathleen has since remarried and has been with her husband now for over 11 years.  They live in Seattle, Washington with their two young sons.  Both of her boys have Type 1 Diabetes.   Raising children is a full time job in itself, but adding diabetes to it has allowed many creative challenges, as well as strengths.  She has used this experience to learn more about proper nutrition, not just her for her own children, but to write about it at her website/blog as well for Charles Mattocks, creator of The Poor Chef and The Healthy Dish.

Kathleen taught herself to cook by reading cookbooks, not being afraid to ask questions and trying recipes herself.  She enjoys the creative process of making healthier meals for her family, by learning about how to use fresh ingredients, herbs and spices.   She also enjoys gardening, hiking, camping with her family, spending time at the beach and enjoying each day to the fullest.  You can learn more about her work at www.kathleenmschmidt.com.