Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook by Joan Porte (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Virtual Book Tour Cafe, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook by Author Joan Porte!

Author Guest Post

Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook
By: Joan Porte

Note: In her cookbook, Joan shares many of the recipes she learned as a child in Totowa, New Jersey including her mother’s spaghetti “gravy.” It isn’t sauce if it is from New Jersey. Today she shares some insight into the astrological makeup of her home state.

Astrological Stars over New Jersey

We Jerseyites have the reputation for being bold, in your face, out-there, and bigger than life. We let you know that we are around! Look at the astrological chart for our state and you will know why we are a small state that packs the punch.

When New Jersey became part of the Union by being the third state to ratify the Constitution on December 18, 1787 it did so under some interesting skies. With our Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Aries, both fire signs, we are not going to be a wilting flower or take second place to any other piddling state no matter what they think.

The ruler of Sagittarius is Jupiter – the largest planet that for astrologers exudes the energy of intense honesty. Sagittarians have built deep within a strong “no bull meter.” Never ask a Sagittarian If that dress makes you look fat because they will tell you – and exactly how fat you are in it. Therefore, what for other people might appear to be uncouth, it is simply Jerseyites doing what the stars command. We lay it on the line and tell the honest, hard truth.

In addition to our Sun, the State has Mercury, the communicator, and the North Node, our souls’ destination point in Sagittarius. Can you say honesty and truth to the third degree?

The Moon over New Jersey is even more complex and hair trigger. Ruled by Mars, the god of war, Aries is the astrological epitome of raw male energy. Nothing shaded nothing shy. When the Moon is in Aries, people are always ready to react. Aries do not suffer fools lightly and take no “guff.” Add to this mix a Mars -Uranus conjunction in retrograde. A planet in retrograde is trying to redirect the energy it is emitting to Earth. The energy is mottled and needs help finding its path. Uranus is a temperamental quick-change artist. Can’t you just see all of that energy churning – just waiting for someone to rub us the wrong way?

However, the key to real Jersey – the Jersey strong -- is Venus in Capricorn. Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn, the sturdy reliable Goat of the Zodiac keeps climbing that mountain, no matter what the obstacles, no matter how high the peak. Backing down, giving up just not in the constitution of our people. So they can make fun of our directness or touchiness but what they never will forget is our strength, determination, and downright refusal to cry uncle no matter what the path holds.

About The Author

Joan Porte started "playing" with Astrology when she was in grammar school. She always had a fixation with the planets - Pluto being her favorite (surprise she is Scorpio Sun!) Yes, Pluto is still a planet to her! She put her astrology "toys" away when she grew up and went into the "real world," sadly convinced that it was time to do more important things. The universe and her North Node in Sagittarius woke her up in her mid-thirties after which she began an intensive study of Western astrology.

According to Joan, "Modern Man takes for granted the Sun and how its energy propels and sustains life. Moon energy controls the tides yet we ignore the other more personal influences it has on our bodies and lives. We have lost the art of appreciating and reading the stars as messengers from the god and goddess. Humanity has disconnected from its source and consequently suffers emotionally, spiritually and physically."

"Each person is born with a map - a soul map - that is his or her astrological chart. It is a map through the maze of life that shows the karma we need to balance our soul's desire for a life that leads to enhanced soul growth. I simply read the map - illustrating where you have been and where you are going to make your journey through life less bumpy." With this cook book Joan is combining her astrological knowledge with her lifelong love of cooking in her own inimitable way.

She is the author of the blog Karmic Astrology.

Her other book is Fortyish: Lessons For the Ages From a Baby Boomer.

Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook by Joan Porte ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Virtual Book Tour Cafe

Book Review

Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook by Joan Porte
Publisher: Blue Horizons / Soulsign Publishing
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
Format: Paperback - 296 pages
ISBN: 0978853512
Genre: Astrological Cookbook

BUY THE BOOK: Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Virtual Book Tour Cafe.

Book Description:

A new breed of cookbook that combines personal astrology with a love for preparing and sharing delicious meals. Astrologer and gastronome Joan Porte brings a new, fun twist to cooking by showing anyone who loves to cook how to personalize a menu for your family and friends. Beautiful photographs complement the more than 120 featured recipes organized by zodiac sign. Choose a dish or plan a multi-course meal with selections from: Appetizers, Soups, Pasta, Veggies & Fruit, Meat & Fish, and Dessert for each of the twelve signs. Signs of the Tines is a heart-warming and mouth-watering invitation to eat in alignment with our stars! – Adam Gainsburg / Soulsign

 “The Perfect Gift with excellent recipes for holidays!” ~BK Walker

The 295-page book with more than 120 recipes is written to celebrate a unique pairing of food and astrology.

Discover why:
• Scorpios have a craving for pasta puttanesca
• Librans feel grounded when they dig into a chocolate mousse parfait
• Cancerians stand tall with their bowl of Brunswick stew
• Virgoans set aside their healthy-conscious habits when faced with chocolate raspberry ramekins
• Aquarians respond to the sustainable fish used in Pollock with berry prosecco sauce
• Pisceans beat a common ailment when feasting on quinoa with roasted root veggies.

"These recipes are taken from a number of sources; some are family gems, others I've concocted and tweaked over the years," says author Joan Porte.

The home cook will discover how astrology as a source for new food ideas and new ways to entertain friends. And the astrology enthusiast will discover how cooking can be a new use for astrology as a way to add more meaning to the daily ritual of eating we perform to survive and thrive.

Book Excerpt: 

Tomatoes Stuffed With Artichokes & Feta

Taurus is a bit confusing when it comes to color. Bulls are drawn to the color red; however, the color associated with Taurus is emerald green, symbolizing the pastures in which they love to laze comfortably. Therefore, I offer here a very red veggie dish with a dash of green.

One of the first dishes I made when I was a kid were tomatoes stuffed with chicken and tuna salads. I thought they were just the neatest things. As I grew as a person and a cook, I encountered many recipes that stuffed tomatoes with some kind of creamy spinach messes or ones that were all breadcrumbs and cheese.

This recipe is my grown-up version of the stuffed tomato that embraces the artichoke as well and is easy enough for the sometimes lazy Taurus to make. (Did I say lazy? Oops. I hope they don’t stampede.)

6 large firm tomatoes*
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 14-ounce cans un-marinated artichoke hearts, diced
3 shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 big basil leaves

Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the stems off of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp, leaving the shell. Set the pulp aside in a small dish. Drain the artichoke hearts in a colander.

Heat the oil in a medium saut̩ pan over medium heat. Rough chop the tomato pulp and add to the pan; cook down until most of the moisture of the tomato is gone. Add the shallots and garlic and saut̩ until soft Рabout 2 minutes. (You may have to drizzle more olive oil into the pan to keep the veggies from sticking.)

Remove the cooked vegetables to a small dish to cool and add the artichoke hearts to the pan. Cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Squeeze the juice of the lemon in a small dish (watch the pits) and pour over the hearts. Let the lemon juice cook down and add the olives. Stir in the oregano and remove immediately from the heat. Add all of the vegetables together in one dish and let the mixture cool to the touch.

Fill the tomatoes ½ way with artichoke mixture, add a layer of feta, fill the tomato to the top with more artichoke mixture and top with more feta. Place a basil leaf on top of each tomato.

Place tomatoes on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and lightly brown.

Serve warm.

*Depending on the size of your tomatoes you may have some artichokes left over. The mixture is great reheated and used as a topping for steaks or salads.


Gram’s Cranberry Pie

Every Christmas my friend, Diane Stoy, makes her Gram’s cranberry pie as a way to keep her grandmother’s memory alive. It is a wonderful tradition – to be appreciated by tradition-bound Cancer, and a very good pie! This is what Diane has to say about her Gram’s pie. “So you thought cranberries were only for use in cranberry sauce??

Here is a famous original recipe for cranberry. Gram lives on in many ways, but especially in this recipe. Over the years, her granddaughter shared this special treat with many others in Washington, D.C. Now this delicious memory can be enjoyed by friends everywhere. Thanks, Gram!”

1 ¼ cup fresh cranberries, washed
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg (2 eggs if you want a fluffier batter)
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup flour
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup walnuts or pecans (optional. Diane leaves these little buggers out when she brings this to my house.)
1 cup whipping cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

Makes one 8-inch pie

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the cranberries in a plate and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar. In a large bowl mix all of the other ingredients well except the ice cream or whipped cream and pour on top of the berries. (Batter may be thick.) Bake for 45 minutes in a greased 8-inch pie plate. Serve warm or cold with the whipped cream or plain.

To serve with the whipped cream just beat the cream with an electric blender until it becomes cream and dollop on top.

You can also serve with vanilla ice cream.

*Sample of More Delicious Recipes

My Book Review:

Sign of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook by author Joan Porte is a culinary astrological delight that astrology buffs and passionate foodies are sure to enjoy.

Each chapter in the cookbook is dedicated to one of the zodiac signs from Capricorn to Sagittarius, with intriguing reference information and list of famous people born under each zodiac sign, mixed with delectable photos and mouthwatering recipes from a-z (appetizer, soup, pasta, veggies and fruit, meat and fish, healthy meal, and desserts).

I have always been fascinated by astrology, and I am a passionate foodie who loves to cook, so when I received this book to review, I immediately went to the chapter featuring my zodiac sign, Scorpio. I loved the intriguing reference information that the author provides for each sign, I was nodding my head in agreement as I read the information about the Scorpio traits that people born under that sign have, knowing that she pegged me dead on!

Each chapter begins with a brief focus on the reference information on the featured zodiac sign. Then the author takes you through a richly descriptive and visually appealing full course meal plan of tantalizing recipes that will simply make your mouth water. What I liked the most about this cookbook was the wide variety of recipes that the author has included to whet the reader's appetite. There is sure to be a favorite recipe to suit everyone's individual taste. But what I loved most of all was the diversity of the recipes, they simply piqued my interest to try new flavors and food items, from comfort food to fine cuisine, this delightful cookbook with an astrological twist has it all! Bon appetite!


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

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Signs of the Tines


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Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

October 27 - Introduction at VBT Cafe Blog
October 29 - Reviewed at Immortality & Beyond
October 31- Guest Blogging at Reviews By Dee
November 1 - Guest Blogging at Reading Cubby
November 4 - Reviewed at Slashed Reads
November 6 - Interviewed at KWOD Radio 5:30pm MST
November 6 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
November 8 - Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
November 11 - Reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
November 13 - Spotlight at Rose & Beps Blog
November 15 - Reviewed at Frankie Blooding's Blog
November 18 - Reviewed at 4 Covert 2 Overt
November 20 - Reviewed at 3 Partners In Shopping, Nana, Mommy & Sissy Too!
November 22 - Reviewed at Livia Ellis Bookish Writer
November 25 - Spotlight at Brooke Blogs
November 29 - Reviewed at My World
December 2 - Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
December 4 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words Book Blogger
December 6 - Interviewed at The Bridge of Deaths
December 9 - Review & Interview at Writers With Books
December 13 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
December 16 - Reviewed at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

Special Event:
Week Long Appearance at Is History The Agreed Upon Lie? 
7 Women Who Fell Through The Cracks
November 30 - December 7

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event I loved this cookbook and I am glad to add it to my collection. :)