The Productivity Project

9781101904039When I heard about Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy of the book because I had heard a lot of great things about it; however, once I actually had the book in my hands and began reading it my mood quickly turned lukewarm.

My hopes before I started reading The Productivity Project was to discover some new tips or skills when it came to being more productive; however, the information was more of the same of any productivity book I have read in the past: Discover your purpose, write your goals down, do the hardest task first, create a to-do list, etc.

Each chapter is set up at the beginning to give you a brief synopsis about what the chapter will be about to get your mind thinking as you read, followed up with questions at the end of the chapter to help reinforce what you have learned. The questions were fine, but because they were the usual run-of-the-mill type of set up that I didn’t even bother answering the questions.

Although the book was written in an engaging matter that kept me reading, I found myself reading just for the sake of reading and not learning anything new. I would, however, recommend this book for those who have never read a productivity book before and are struggling to get things done in their life; on the other hand, if you know what to do to get things done and you’re not doing them, then you’re just a procrastinator and this book is just distracting you from getting things done.

America’s Best Breakfasts

9780553447217With the publication of America’s Best Breakfasts, I can now consider myself a breakfast junkie and fanatic. I grew up with the notion that breakfast can be consumed anytime of the day, and some of my best dinners consisted of an egg or French toast casserole, or what I recently discovered—the strata. Other than Ramen noodles, my college diet consisted of breakfast items. An article written about the Horseshoe sandwich by Jane and Michael Stern reinforced my desire to explore the world of early morning eating even more.

If I could have a culinary travel experience, my choice of dining would be breakfast. Breakfast is one of those universal meals that is highly neglected, and yet so rich in diversity, creativity, and flavor; America’s Best Breakfast brings all those things together by creating a breakfast menu from restaurants all over the country to be recreated at home.

I’m a southern chick, so I appreciate a classic southern breakfast recipe; however, it was nice to learn what other people’s ideas of breakfast is as well as the many spins on traditional breakfast dishes. A lot of the recipes I was able to recreate at home with no problems because I already prepare them now, the only difference was maybe a substitution here or there. My favorite to prepare was the Oeufs En Meurette, a Swedish dish. It was sort of a hybrid of breakfast and lunch/dinner, but my goodness was it good. I literally had to hide a plate from my family otherwise I would not have gotten seconds. The recipe includes a sauce which made me nervous because me and sauce do not work well together—to this day, I still have problems making hollandaise sauce whether it’s on the stove or a blender—but the step-by-step instructions helped me feel more comfortable making it, but not by much. Sauces hate me.

I liked the combination of traditional breakfast dishes and nontraditional dishes because I think, like with mixology, breakfast is one of the cuisines you have total freedom of creativity; the creativity with some of the dishes in America’s Best Breakfasts has definitely left its mark on me and my kitchen.