Review: The Sunday Girl – Pip Drysdale

The Sunday Girl

The Sunday Girl

Pip Drysdale

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925685824

 

Description:

The Girl on the Train meets Before I Go to Sleep with a dash of Bridget Jones in this chilling tale of love gone horribly wrong …

 

Some love affairs change you forever. Someone comes into your orbit and swivels you on your axis, like the wind working on a rooftop weather vane. And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.

 

Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge. Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: Insidiously. Irreparably. Like a puzzle, he’d slowly dissembled … stolen a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever again. So Taylor consulted The Art of War and made a plan. Then she took the next step – one that would change her life forever.

 

Then things get really out of control – and The Sunday Girl becomes impossible to put down.

 

 

My View:

“You always know where your heart belongs when it gets to Sunday and there is only one person in the whole world you want to curl up with on the sofa.” P.59

 

This is a read in one sitting, forget what’s happening in the outside world as you urge the protagonist to safety. Secretly you smile as her plan begins to form – who hasn’t harboured a little grudge against an ex before? You empathise, you become a silent player in this game of cat and mouse. And then…

 

Well you will just have to read this yourself to find out.

 

 

Domestic noir at its pulse racing best!  This is my perfect read. More please!

Cheat’s Chicken Paella: The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet – Dr Tony Bird, Dr Michael Conlon and Pennie Taylor

CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet

Recipes extracted from The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet by Dr Tony Bird, Dr Michael Conlon and Pennie Taylor. Available now, Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99.

p138 THE CSIRO HEALTHY GUT DIET
11 G FIBRE PER SERVE GOOD SOURCE OF RESISTANT STARCH

Cheat’s chicken paella

SERVES 4
PREPARATION 20 minutes, plus standing time
COOKING 45 minutes, plus rice cooking time

 

Cheats Chicken Paella

olive oil spray, for cooking
600 g chicken breast or thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large red capsicum, seeded, 1/2 finely chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1⁄ 2 cups (375 ml) salt-reduced tomato passata
pinch of saff€ron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water for 10 minutes
150 g broad beans
1 1/2 cups (180 g) frozen peas
150 g green beans, trimmed
1 cup (185 g) cooked basmati rice (see page 41)

2 cups mixed salad leaves, lemon wedges, to serve

Heat a heavy-based frying pan with a lid over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring for 4–5 minutes until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Spray the pan with a little more olive oil, then add the onion, chopped capsicum and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the paprika and cook for 30 seconds. Add the passata and bring to a simmer. Stir in the saffron mixture, chicken and 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and bring to the boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20–25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Preheat the oven grill to high. Line a baking tray with foil, top with the sliced capsicum and grill for 5 minutes or until softened and the skin is slightly charred.

Cook the broad beans in a small saucepan of simmering water for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, run under cold water and double-peel. Add the peas to the pan of simmering water and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cook the beans in a saucepan of simmering water for 4 minutes or until tender but a little crisp. Add the capsicum, broad beans, peas and beans to the chicken mixture.

Divide the rice among 4 plates or bowls, top each bowl with one quarter of the chicken and vegetable mixture and serve immediately with the salad leaves and lemon wedges to the side.

 

Brekky Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Herbed Goat’s Cheese: The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet by Dr Tony Bird, Dr Michael Conlon and Pennie Taylor

CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet

Recipes extracted from The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet by Dr Tony Bird, Dr Michael Conlon and Pennie Taylor. Available now, Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99.

p74 THE CSIRO HEALTHY GUT DIET
5 G FIBRE PER SERVE GOOD SOURCE OF RESISTANT STARCH
UNITS PER SERVE BREADS AND CEREALS 2 PROTEIN 1 FRUIT 0 VEGETABLES 1 DAIRY 1.5 FATS AND OILS 1

Brekky fritters with smoked salmon and herbed goat’s cheese

SERVES 4 (Makes 8 cakes)
PREPARATION 20 minutes
COOKING 15 minutes, plus potato cooking time

 

Brekky Fritters with Salmon

8 thin slices (400 g) smoked salmon

HERBED GOAT’S CHEESE
115 g soft goat’s cheese (such as a small log of Bourdin chevre)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped
flat-leaf parsley leaves

BREKKY FRITTERS
3/4 cup (90 g) frozen peas
500 g potatoes, quartered, steamed
and chilled overnight (see page 41)
1ž 1/2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon light sour cream
150 g cabbage, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
olive oil spray, for cooking

To make the herbed goat’s cheese, place the cheese, chives and parsley in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate until required.

To make the fritters, cook the peas in a small saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender, then drain and set aside. Place the cooked potato in a large bowl and roughly mash with a vegetable masher. Add the milk and sour cream and roughly mash. Add the peas, cabbage and spring onion and stir to combine, then fold in the
flour.

Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and, using lightly floured hands, form into patties.
Heat a large non-stick heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, then spray with olive oil. Dust both sides of each patty lightly with flour, then place in the pan and cook over low–medium heat for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in batches.)

Serve the fritters warm with smoked salmon and herbed goat’s cheese.

SERVES 4 (Makes 8 cakes)
PREPARATION 20 minutes
COOKING 15 minutes, plus potato cooking time

Tangerine Tempter: Fizz Boom Bath – Isabel Bercaw & Caroline Bercaw

Fizz Boom Bath!

Images and text from Fizz Boom Bath by Isabel Bercaw & Caroline Bercaw, Quarto US, RRP $27.99. Photography by Evie Abeler

 

Fizz Boom Bath © 2018 by Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Da Bomb is a registered trademark of Da Bomb, LLC. “Sisterpreneurs” is a trademark of Da Bomb, LLC. Photography: Evi Abeler. First published in 2018 by Rock Point, an imprint of The Quarto Group 142 West 36th Street, 4th Floor New York, NY 10018 USA.

 

 Tangerine Tempter

 

Tangerine Tempter (Page 21)

 

MAKES 3–4 BOMBS

 

“WHO DOESN’T LOVE THE TANGY FRAGRANCE OF A FRESH, RIPE TANGERINE? THIS VIBRANT FIZZER WILL HAVE YOU CANCELING YOUR EVENING PLANS IN FAVOR OF A SOAK!” p. 21

 

2¼ CUPS (497 G) BAKING SODA

1¼ CUPS (288 G) GRANULAR CITRIC ACID

¼ CUP (24 G) CORNSTARCH

¾ CUP (180 ML) OIL

1 TEASPOON TANGERINE FRAGRANCE

½ TEASPOON ORANGE LIQUID COLOR

3–4 SPHERE-SHAPED MOLDS

 

1 In a large bowl, mix together the baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch, and divide into two equal parts.

 

2 Separately, combine the oil and fragrance, and divide into two equal parts, coloring half orange and leave the other half uncolored.

 

3 Add the oil mixtures to each batch of dry ingredients and combine.

 

4 Mix each batch separately with your hands until each mixture becomes the consistency of wet sand. Wash and dry your hands between each mixing segment. (If you don’t like to get your hands messy, you can wear rubber gloves for this part.) The more vigorous your mixing style, the better the ingredients will be distributed, so don’t be shy. Five minutes of stirring, compressing, and kneading should do the trick.

 

5 As you press the mixture into the molds, gently swirl the orange and white mixes together with a spoon handle.

 

6 Press the mold halves together and let the bombs dry for 24–48 hours.

 

7 Once they are completely dry, remove them carefully from the molds. If you only have one mold, you can also gently remove the bombs as you make them and lay them out to dry on a flat surface. Try not to touch them until they harden.

 

 

Review: Fizz Boom Bath – Isabel and Caroline Bercaw

Fizz Boom Bath!

Fizz Boom Bath!

Learn to Make Your Own Bath Bombs, Body Scrubs, and More!

Isabel Bercaw,  Caroline Bercaw

Allen & Unwin

Rock Point

ISBN: 9781631064623

 

Description:

From fizzers to scrubs, masks to soaps, bubble bars to shower melts, Fizz Boom Bath! is your how-to source on all things bath-time beauty.

 

Have you ever found yourself staring longingly at a table full of scrumptious-looking bath bombs, shower melts, or lotion bars for sale and thought, “Gee, it would be fun to make these at home, but where the heck would I begin?!” Teenage “sisterpreneurs” and creators of Da Bomb Bath Fizzers are here to take the mystery out of bath and body recipes and give you all the tools you need to crown yourself Archbishop of Bathtopia.

 

Isabel and Caroline will hold your hand every step of the way—and then exfoliate it with some sugar scrub when they’re finished! This book will teach you how to create all kinds of delightful, natural, homemade bath treats. Fizzers, scrubs, masks, soaps, bubble bars—Fizz Boom Bath! has you covered.

 

 

My View:

This book is a delight for all the senses J  I love the intense rich palette of the images in this book – there is something delicious and inviting in the designs, the finished products here are art in themselves.

 

If you are into making bath bombs, body scrubs and other bath and beauty products then this book is for you. If you just want to appreciate this beautifully designed and photographed book, buy it, it would make a great coffee table or Christmas gift purchase.

 

I’ll share a few recipes with you soon and if you make them please let me know how they turned out.

 

 

 

Review: The Children’s House – Alice Nelson

The Children's House

The Children’s House

Alice Nelson

Penguin Random House Australia

Vintage

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Marina, ‘the gypsy scholar’, a writer and academic, and her psychoanalyst husband, Jacob, were each born on a kibbutz in Israel. They meet years later at a university in California, Marina a grad student and Jacob a successful practitioner and teacher who has a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a shelter run by elderly nuns.

 

Outside the house one day Marina encounters Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, and her toddler, Gabriel. Unmoored and devastated, Constance and Gabriel quickly come to depend on Marina; and her bond with Gabriel intensifies.

 

When out of the blue Marina learns some disturbing news about her mother, Gizela, she leaves New York in search of the loose ends of her life. As Christmas nears, her tight-knit, loving family, with Constance and Gabrielle, join Marina in her mother’s former home, with a startling, life-changing consequence.

 

Alice Nelson skilfully weaves together these shared stories of displacement and trauma into a beautifully told, hope-filled, outstanding novel.

 

 

My View:

Can a book both be intense and yet subtle? Can it be meditative yet urge you to take action? Can stories of displacement, war and war crimes, isolation and suicide have a more or less happy resolution? This highly complex yet very easy and engaging read broaches many contemporary issues in an eloquent and unassuming voice; this is accessible literary fiction at its best.

 

A fantastic read.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: At Dusk – Hwang Sok-yong

At DuskAt Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925322934

RRP $27.99

 

Description:

In the evening of his life, a wealthy man begins to wonder if he might have missed the point.

 

Park Minwoo is, by every measure, a success story. Born into poverty in a miserable neighbourhood of Seoul, he has ridden the wave of development in a rapidly modernising society. Now the director of a large architectural firm, his hard work and ambition have brought him triumph and satisfaction. But when his company is investigated for corruption, he’s forced to reconsider his role in the transformation of his country.

 

At the same time, he receives an unexpected message from an old friend, Cha Soona, a woman that he had once loved, and then betrayed. As memories return unbidden, Minwoo recalls a world he thought had been left behind — a world he now understands that he has helped to destroy.

 

From one of Korea’s most renowned and respected authors, At Dusk is a gentle yet urgent tale about the things, and the people, that we give up in our never-ending quest to move forward.

 

 

My View:

Reading At Dusk transported me to another region, a different society and gave me a view of a little bit of history. Despite all the differences between the landscapes I live in and that of Hwang Sok-yong, there was a unifying theme surrounding aging, regret and hindsight.  As we age (I speak from my own aging experience) we do question decisions we made in the past, how things might have been and question what is important in our life now?   Reflection on relationships, life choices abound. Whether we live in Korea, London or Cowaramup Western Australia these themes surrounding ageing and the meaning of life apply universally; Hwang Sok-yong has subtly reminded us of our similarities, humanness and frailties.

A sobering read.