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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Thankksgiving to all of our friends!

We hope you had a safe and beautiful Holiday.  Remember to balance your diet with lots of fresh green vegetables amidst all of the other stuff!  

8:48 pm est 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Green Books Campaign 2010 - Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today is the day when 200 bloggers unite to review books that are green (eco-friendly) through the Green Books Campaign
Launched in 2009 by Eco-Libris, this campaign is aiming to promote “green” books by reviewing 200 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using environmental paper, we want to raise the awareness of book buyers to this issue and encourage them to take it into consideration when purchasing books. 

This year the campaign is supported by Indigo Books & Music, the largest book retailer in Canada, as part of its efforts to draw attention to the need for more environmental paper in book publishing. This is a core goal of Indigo's environmental program and is reinforced by Indigo's industry leading environmental paper policy. 
As part of this campaign I am reviewing the following eco-friendly product, which incorporates the use of recycled materials and environmentally friendly inks.


COFFEE, The World's Great Recipes, Stories and Histories
Published by Ghigo Press
boxed reference deck  $15.95
Boxed set of Coffee Cards
6" x 2.5"


Product Description:

COFFEE, The World's Great Recipes, Stories and Histories by Ghigo Press offers delightful coffee recipes as well as fascinating lore and history of one of man's favorite drinks.  Each card is illustrated with beautiful color photographs as well as the informative and lively text.


My Opinion:

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love coffee, so I couldn't resist requesting these cards when I saw them on the Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign.  I was even more excited when I cracked the box open and saw the amazing variety of coffee facts and recipes that were included.

In the past I haven't been very adventurous with ordering new coffees, in part because I lack the knowledge of what goes into each kind of coffee.  I think these cards will go a long way toward remedying that, and in addition will provoke me to be more adventurous in my own coffee creations at home.

The forty cards in this collection feature historical information about different types of coffee, and cultural information about coffees from all over the world.  Recipes featured on the cards include both the traditional and modern.  There are recipes for many coffees some of which I've heard of, and some of which are unfamiliar to me. For example, there are seasonal coffees (like Valentine coffee or Christmas coffee) and coffees by country (Turkish coffee, Irish coffee, Swedish coffee, etc.).

What I like most about the cards is that each gives some historical background about either the coffee, the country, or the holiday tradition that is celebrated. The photos on the flip-side of each card are also lovely to look at.

These cards would make the perfect gift for the coffee-lover in your life.  Ghigo Press also has a line of calendars, including a companion coffee calendar.


Giveaway:


8:09 pm est 

Green Book Review: Spice (45 illustrated reference cards)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Book Review: Spice (45 illustrated reference cards)

"This review is part of the Green Books campaign.Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on the Eco-Libris website." --Text suggested by Eco-Libris campaign.

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I received the Spice deck from Ghigo Press. The deck is made with 20% recycled paper and printed with soy ink.



While the deck is beautiful: glossy box and cards, sharp color photographs of the various spices on the front, the real gem was the witty and informative writing on the back of the cards.

As I perused the cards, I found myself quietly laughing from such statements as:
"BAY LEAF Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, bay leaves come from the branches of the tall laurel tree. In the ancient Greek world the highest honor for a champion athlete was to be crowned with a laurel wreath. In Rome, Caesar was said to have found the ritual appealing as it concealed his creeping baldness..."


and

COCOA
"... The Aztec King Montezuma first introduced the glories of the cold cacao drink to Cortes and the Spanish Conquistadors. After destroying his empire, they returned to Europe with the wonderful spice in tow..."


The Spice cards also inspired me to add Cinnamon to my morning smoothie, and I look forward to learning more about and experimenting with the spices described in the deck.

The Spice deck would make a great gift for anyone interested in food (so, pretty much everyone) and it's only $15.95.

Ghigo Press also makes beautiful decks for Wine and Coffee lovers. (All 3 decks also come in a full size calendar version.)



Everything Ghigo Press sent is beautiful and I'm grateful to have been part of this campaign.
8:06 pm est 

Green Books Campaign: Vinifera, The World's Great Wine Grapes

Green Books Campaign: Vinifera, The World's Great Wine Grapes (boxed reference deck)

Green-books-campaign This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

I was quite excited to be asked to participate in the Green Books campaign.  After all, I love books AND the colour green :) And I was even more excited when I saw the list of books I could choose from.  I'm a total card deck nerd - flash cards, reference cards, inspiration decks - if it comes in card form, I have it.  And on the list of available green books was Vinifera, The World's Great Wine Grapes (boxed reference deck) from Ghigo Press.  Oh, aside from being a card deck nerd, I'm also a wine geek.  I used to have a fairly substantial collection of wine and I love learning about wine, particularly the different types of grapes.

Vinifera-wine-cards-Ghigo-Press The Vinifera deck consists of 45 different cards - covering both the more popular grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc) as well as more local and less well known varietals (at least to me) like Albarino from Spain or Nero d'Avola from Italy. The front of the card is a close-up of a cluster of grapes - the photography is good and rich, you definitely get a sense of the colour and texture of the grapes in each particular variety.

The back of the card contains a collection of information about the grape variety: usually starting with its parentage/origin story as well as its growing history - for example, I learned that one of my favourite white varietals, Viognier (a varietal from the Rhone region), has its origins in grapes originally imported from Dalmatia (a part of Croatia) in the 3rd century CE.  My family is from Croatia - perhaps I have an affinity for this grape in my DNA?

There will then also be some interesting historical context about the varietal on the back.  For example, I learned that the Mission grape is a popular varietal for use in sacramental wine. And I also discovered that the Refosco grape is a parent grape of Marzemino which happened to be a favourite wine of Mozart!

And finally each card makes a recommendation about what food pairings would go with each varietal.  I love this information because some wines take big gamey roasts and stews and others really only can handle a nice slice of cheese.  The pairings are nicely directional and modern - no old-fashioned red=beef/white=chicken nonsense.

I'm really enjoying these cards and I look forward to sitting around with my wine geek friends, grokking out over the parentage. history and lore of grape varietals. Oh, and of course appreciating Ghigo Press' commitment to environmental publishing choices. Their card decks are printed on at least 30% recycled and managed stock and use environmentally-friendly inks. 

Now, some good news for you!

The super-nice folks at Ghigo Press also sent me a couple of their calendars that I'd like to give away to you. They sent a COFFEE wall calendar and a SPICE wall calendar - these calendars contain the same photography and content that are on their reference decks, plus they are also green - Ghigo Press' calendars are made with 100% recycled stock and printed with soy ink.  If you'd like to be entered in the random draw to win one of these calendars, just leave a comment letting me know what your favourite type of coffee and/or favourite spice is (depending on which calendar you're keen on - and yes, if you leave a comment about both, you'll be entered in the draws for both).  I'll close the comments on Wed, Nov 17 at noon Pacific time and do the draw before the end of the day on Friday, Nov 19.

Calendars
Thanks again to the Green Books campaign and Ghigo Press! Make sure you check out the full list of publishers and bloggers over on Green Books site. And thanks to Indigo Books & Music (yay, Canada!) for supporting Eco-Libris' Green Books campaign and for their commitment to forest conservation.

8:05 pm est 


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