The Heart and Soul of Oprah Winfrey, September 21,
The fascinating story of Oprah's
rise to power in the talk show world is brought to life on six
DVDs. On the first DVD there are three sections. In the
"Beginning" segment Oprah reads from her journal,
explains footage from her first show and talks about former
jobs. The story begins with an interview in her office and then
Oprah remembers guests she interviewed that she will never
forget. "Heartprints" brings a new understanding of
the human condition as Oprah brings attention to anorexia,
breast cancer and sexual abuse. "The Stars, Act 1"
follows with interviews with Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Mel
Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and Jerry Sienfeld.
While I was intrigued with the first DVD, the second has an
extremely emotional start. Once you start watching be prepared
to be swept away into a rollercoaster of emotions. Oprah
explains the beginning of reality TV, uncovers shocking and
horrifying crimes and unveils so much pain in our society. She
faces subjects that are difficult to talk about and Dr. Phil
gives relationship advice. The surprise section is especially
fun with weddings and proposals. After a private tour of Oprah's
home Kirsty Alley's kitchen is completely renovated. Oprah
interviews the cast of Friends, gives Madonna time to explain
the kiss and flirts with Will Smith as he shares advice about
long term relationships.
The third DVD begins with horrifying memories of the holocaust
and then delves into Nelson Mandela's battle for dignity. While
the start is a revealing look at human suffering, the mood
lightens with a captivating interview with Lisa Marie Presley.
Oprah then faces a number of challenges. She goes onstage with
Tina Turner, runs a marathon and interviews Lance Armstrong
while biking. I loved Oprah's music video and the hilarious
moments while she is working at McDonalds. Just when you think
you've seen it all, Oprah goes back in time while keeping her
sense of humor. This DVD has Brad Pitt's first interview and a
radiant Gwyneth Paltrow talks about the birth of her daughter.
DVD four is as shocking as it is revealing. Oprah seeks to
understand prejudice and brings a new awareness to AIDS and
racism. Then she takes on the topic of murder. Quite frankly she
shows extreme bravery and tries to maintain her composure.
During her stay in Texas she looks rather cute in a cowboy hat
as she takes on Free Speech. She then delves into heart-gripping
stories of personal pain as 9/11 unfolds and as Nate survives
the Tsunami in 2005. The second part is easier to watch as Oprah
analyzes her fashion sense and there are some pretty amazing
makeovers. The last segment is either frightening or comical and
you never know which will come next. Brooke Sheilds talks about
Postpartum Depression while Bono talks about America as an idea.
Hugh Grant is especially honest and Jim Carrey takes over the
stage. Robin Williams has Oprah in hysterics and the audience
can hardly contain themselves.
The fifth DVD is much less of a rollercoaster ride and focuses
mainly on three areas of interest. In the first segment Oprah
talks about her struggle with weight loss. The incredible body
makeovers are truly inspiring. Then Oprah talks about her Book
Club and why she loves to read and discuss books. If you have
ever wondered how the Angel Network was started, this DVD has
the answers. As Oprah encourages viewers to make the world a
better place, money pours in as people donate their change. In
the Stars segment Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere and Paul
McCartney make their appearance.
Tragedy and extravagance are themes on the sixth DVD. The first
segment is a birthday bash hosted by John Travolta and Gayle
King. Friends, relatives and celebrities celebrate Oprah's 50th
birthday. The second segment is about Oprah's trip to South
Africa where she gives children a Christmas party complete with
presents for everyone. You can really see how Oprah uses her
power for good in the world. In the third segment a day in the
life of Oprah unfolds in all its complexity. With all the
responsibilities to keep a show going, Oprah still has time to
play practical jokes.
While watching all of the DVDs the thing that stood out the most
is Oprah's heart for the world. She is truly a beautiful soul
who uses her power for good. While watching the DVDs over a
week's time I found myself looking forward to each new
experience. To me watching the 20th Anniversary Collection was
truly an inspirational journey.
~The Rebecca Review
In the Kitchen with Rosie
Two Days Four Recipes
After reading the all the reviews for this book I decided to
take the chance and see how wonderful or bad this cookbook could
be. To be honest, I had mixed results although I'd make three of
the recipes again with modifications.
, July 13, 2008
The recipes I tried include:
Spiced Bran Muffins
Vegetable Barley Stew with Lentils
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Chicken
Chocolate Tofu Cake
Some of the reviewers commented on the amount of ginger in the
Bran Muffins. I have to agree, ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon would be
preferable. I tried them with the full amount and thought they
were a bit spicy. The texture was good and they are very low in
fat so they would work on a low-fat-high-fiber diet. I'll
definitely make them again.
The Vegetable Stew was interesting but I'd advise you to leave
out the lentils because they take so long to cook. There is a
lot of barley in the recipe and tons of delicious vegetables. It
is very healthy but you might need to use an entire bottle of V8
juice and an additional 3 cups of water because there are so
many vegetables it needs more liquid. I added two teaspoons of
garlic salt for flavor.
The Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Chicken was my favorite
recipe but I adapted it so the sauce was a little richer in
flavor. To adapt the recipe just use 2 tablespoons butter in
place of the cooking spray and use an additional tablespoon
flour. I also added 1 teaspoon of garlic salt for flavor and
used whole milk in place of the evaporated milk. I didn't use
the pepper flakes because I didn't want it to be too spicy. My
husband also liked this recipe the most and it freezes well (I'm
cooking for two not four so I freeze leftovers).
The Chocolate Tofu Cake is more like a cheesecake and was my
least favorite recipe. The cake only turns out to be about ¼ of
an inch thick. So if you are on a diet this might be a good
option if you like tofu. I'd recommend serving it with a rich
chocolate sauce to add a little more chocolate flavor.
I'm of the opinion that if you find one recipe in a cookbook it
is worth the price. I found three and I'm sure I'll try more in
the coming months. I wouldn't recommend this to new cooks as
some of the recipes do take quite some time to put together
(also, lots of dishes to wash) unless you adapt them - like the
Vegetable Soup "without" the lentils would be much
quicker to make.
~The Rebecca Review
7/23/2008 - I made the "Un-Fried" chicken and it was
delicious. I left out the cayenne pepper and creole seasoning
and used poultry seasoning in place of the herbs. After dipping
the chicken in yogurt and then in the seasoned bread crumbs I
placed a teaspoon of butter on each piece of chicken before
putting them in the oven. The entire house had a warm buttery
savory scent. My husband couldn't wait for dinner.
An Essential Oprah Biography
I've read quite a few Oprah Biographies and this is one of my
favorites. It focuses on all the main events that made Oprah who
she is today and gives interesting details about her childhood.
I especially enjoyed reading about how she spoke in churches at
a very young age and how she managed to convince her mother to
buy her new glasses. He antics were quite humorous and
definitely got her mom's attention.
, June 23,
As you read this book you can truly get a sense of what it was
like for Oprah to make it through a difficult childhood. In a
way she was given ever-increasing challenges to develop her
character as an adult. At one point she had to take three buses
just to get to school.
This book also explains how she met her lifelong friend Gayle
King and it addresses her struggle with her weight. What is
amazing is how Oprah dreamed her life into existence. When she
decided she wanted to be an actress doors opened for her in
unique ways. She took all the right jobs and lived her life with
passion. This book shows a side of Oprah that we can all truly
~The Rebecca Review
Oprah Winfrey Biography
Scarlett Johnson seems to know Oprah's history,
desires and beliefs pretty well and she is able to write with an
intuitive understanding about who Oprah really is. Many books on
Oprah are merely quotes and you have to figure out the pieces of the
story yourself. This book goes many steps further and incorporates
Oprah's life and meaningful quotes in a way that is easy to
One of the main things I got from reading this book was that people
want to be validated. Until recently I did not realize I was doing
that each time I spend time with a book and reviewed it. Authors
would say they either laughed with joy or cried from happiness. But
Oprah, who started me reviewing back in 2000 finally explained the
validation idea and I think it is true.
Scarlett Johnson also gives the impression that Oprah believes we
are all divine. My only thought on that is that the world is in such
chaos so much of the time if we are God why are we not doing
something about the mess we are making on this planet.
While that goes beyond the purpose of this lovely book, I wish
people would instead see that the world is in trouble and that we
need to help, not just tell ourselves we are divine.
Otherwise this was a beautiful book with lots of insight and
meaning. One of the best books on Oprah I've read recently.
~The Rebecca Review
Oprah's New Cookbook