Sep 212019

Fix-It And Forget-It Slow Cooker Champion Recipes: 450 of the Very Best! - By: Phyllis Good

Fix It And Forget It Slow Cooker by Phyllis Good

Format: Loose-leaf 3 Ring Binder | 604 pages
Publication date: 19 Apr 2016
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

450 of the best slow cooker recipes from the New York Times bestselling Fix-It and Forget-it series!

Here are the best-loved slow cooker recipes all in one place. These are the champs. These are the ones that surprise you—because you didn’t realize you were cooking when you made them. Because everyone at the table wants more! You can cook with these easy-to-follow, quick-to-prepare taste-stunners. If you already know you can cook, allow yourself to be surprised by the layers of flavors you can make in your slow cooker when you handle it well.

You can trust these recipes because they are:
Collected from some of America’s best home cooks
Tested in real-life settings
Carefully selected from thousands of recipes

As I’ve said many times on this blog, I LOVE my slow cooker. I thought it had bit the dust so my son bought me an Instant Pot which I love, but  he also looked at my SC and it was a simple fix (yea!!!) so now I can use both of them.

When I saw this beautiful hardcover spiral bound cookbook I had to buy it.

This book is big and heavy and shiny and I love it! I’ve already marked a lot of recipes to try like

Herb Roasted Chicken

Bavarian Beef

 There are photos throughout the book and most of the recipes have only a few ingredients and just a few steps.

I can’t wait to start cooking from this cookbook!

Weekend Cooking

May 252019

Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes (& True Stories) from a Food-Obsessed Actor

Back To The Kitchen by Freddie Prinze Jr.

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (June 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623366925
ISBN-13: 978-1623366926

Most people know Freddie Prinze Jr. from movies (She’s All That, Scooby Doo, Star Wars Rebels) and as one half of beloved Hollywood power couple with Sarah Michelle Gellar. But to family, friends, and co-stars he’s always been a terrific father and skilled home cook who prepares delicious meals for his family every night.

Freddie grew up in New Mexico cooking with his mother and eating dishes with a ton of flavor and spice from his Puerto Rican heritage. His eggs come New Mexico style, served with from-scratch biscuits and green-chile gravy. His tacos are the real deal: soft tortillas, homemade salsa, filled with steak layered with quick-pickled cucumbers, or spicy fish dressed with watermelon and thai chiles. Now in this family-focused cookbook, Freddie teaches fans to cook his mainstays, the recipes that he makes on even the busiest weeknights, as well as more luxurious date night meals.

With personal family photos from Freddie and Sarah’s beautiful LA home and Freddie’s hilarious stories about the life of an actor, husband, and father in Hollywood, Back to the Kitchen shares more than just recipes. It’s an inside look at a beloved movie and TV personality who has acted, cooked, and eaten his way around the world.

I was a fan of Freddie Prinze and when I first saw his son Freddie Prinze Jr. on tv I became a fan of his too, so, when I saw this cookbook at my library I grabbed it.

The book has a lot of recipes that I think I’d like to make like Thai Chicken Curry Soup, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Marinated Skirt Steak with Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado Salsa, and more.

The book has great photos of some of the food and “Secret Tricks” for a lot of them. There are some interesting stories of his family and friends. Freddie is married to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and has two children, a boy and a girl, and there are also photos of them in the book.

I just got the book yesterday and haven’t had time to make anything yet but I will, and I’ll post about the recipes when I do.

I love this cookbook and am thinking about buying a copy. The recipes don’t have a ton of ingredients and sound easy to make, which is a big hit with me.

May 072019

The Complete Keto Diet Cookbook For Beginners 2019 by Mandy Cook

The Complete Keto Diet Cookbook For Beginners With 21-Day Meal Plan by Mandy Cook

File Size: 1341 KB
Print Length: 167 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: January 19, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

Do you want the healthy lifestyle you have always dreamt of?
Do you want to go keto , but don’t know where to start?

In this cookbook you will learn: My personal journey and struggles with diets. What is the ketogenic diet – what foods you can and can’t eat. What are the main benefits and how you can maximise them Tips and ticks how to make living on the keto easier. 21-day meal plan to make the start of your journey easier. 75 healthy, quick and easy to make recipes
All of these recipes are made with common ingredients that deliver great flavor and stunning aromas. They are approved by my husband and my guests who often come over for dinner. They are designed to guide you every step of the way in order to prepare the best keto foods ever.

This book was full of recipes that look very easy to make but they had a lot of ingredients that I rarely if ever use and the directions were not very clear on some of the recipes. I like recipes that use more simple, everyday ingredients. I also wish there were photos for at least some of the recipes.

Jan 062018

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come And Get It by Ree Drummond

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; First Edition/First Printing edition (October 24, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006222526X
ISBN-13: 978-0062225269

Crazy delicious recipes for a crazy busy life from the #1 New York Times bestselling author and Food Network star.

For home cooks, nothing beats spending a long, relaxing day preparing dinner for your family, savoring every flavorful step. But few of us really have the time to do that anymore, with school, sports, work, and appointments keeping us running and pulling us left and right. What busy home cooks REALLY need are FAST, EASY, and DOABLE solutions to solve the challenge of feeding their families quick, easy, wholesome food that tastes great day after day, week after week—without falling into a rut and relying on the same handful of meals.

Ree Drummond transforms taking it easy in the kitchen into an art, giving readers her very best make-it-happen strategies, pulled from her own non-stop life as a devoted wife, mother of four, food lover, and businesswoman. Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes for a Crazy Busy Life includes more than 125 of Ree’s best food solutions for making filling, nutritious meals with minimal fuss, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

With a mix of flavors and dishes that will please everyone, Ree makes it easy to whip up delicious, simple, down-home recipes that go from stove to table in no time!

I’m a big fan of Ree Drummond’s books and tv show. She’s a loving wife and mom, has some fantastic recipes, funny, and I love they clothes she wears! So when I saw this book was available at my library I put it on hold. Two days later I had it in my hands.

The contents are:
It’s A Crazy Busy Life
My 20 Favorite Pantry Items
My 15 Favorite Freezer Staples
My 12 Favorite Fridge Staples
My 10 (Okay, 12) Favorite Cuts Of Beef

Then there is:
Lunches On The GO
Apps and Snacks
Under 40
Under 20
Take Your Time
Sheet Pan Suppers
Meatless Marvels
Sensational Sides
Bread, Baby!
Sweets, Glorious Sweets

Acknowledgements, Recipes For All Occasions,Universal Conversion Chart, & Index

There are photos and stories of her, her family & pets, and The Merc. The recipes have photos of each step which I really liked. I do wish the book included the nutritional info for each recipe though. Many of us are restricted on the amount of salt, calories, carbs etc. that we can have each day and that would make it easier to decide whether to try the recipe or not.

Speaking of recipes, a few I want to try are Overnight Muesli, Orang-Vanilla Monkey Bread, Tai Chicken Wraps, Pretzel Coated Fried Goat Cheese, Dinner Nachos. I also want to make many of the Take Your Time (slow cooker), Sheet Pan Suppers and Meatless Marvels recipes.

I love this book so much that I renewed the hold so I could keep it longer, and plan on buying a copy.

If you love Ree, recipes, or cookbooks, check this book out.

Counts toward the following challenge:

Foodies Read
Library Love


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Nov 042017

Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls

Eat Like A Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook For Fans Of Gilmore Girls
by Kristi Carlson

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 25, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 151071734X
ISBN-13: 978-1510717343

The infamous appetites of the Gilmore Girls are given their due in this fun, unofficial cookbook inspired by the show. Fans will eat up the delicious recipes honoring the chefs who fuel the science-defying metabolisms of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the scene, author Kristi Carlson invites you to pull up a chair and dig in. Luke’s diner menu, Sookie’s eclectic inn fare, Emily’s fancy Friday Night Dinners, and town favorites are the key influences behind these tempting dishes. One hundred recipes, covering all the bases from appetizers and cocktails to entrées and desserts, invoke key episodes and daily scenes in the Gilmores’ lives.

Prepare yourself for:
Salmon Puffs
Pumpkin Pancakes
Rocky Road Cookies
The Birthday Girl Cocktail
And many more!

With beautiful photos, helpful kitchen tips, and fun tidbits about the show, this cookbook is a must-have for any Gilmore Girls fan. Easy-to-follow recipes make it possible to cook and eat your way through Stars Hollow. So don your apron, preheat the oven, and put on your favorite episode. It’s time to eat like a Gilmore!

So many people I know watched and loved Gilmore Girls. I didn’t. Even after all the years since the series ended in 2007, they still gush about it. I kept thinking I’d watch and see what all the hoopla was about and finally decided it was time. So after waiting and waiting for all my shows to come back on, I started GG right before they started. Yea, I know. Anyway…


From the first episode, I was hooked! So much so that I didn’t watch anything else until I had watched all 7 seasons, and then I watched the “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life” and I’m hoping there’s a season two. This series is in my top 3 favorite series ever!

I loved everything about this show. Lorelai , Rory, Luke, Sookie, I loved them all. Well, Jess was iffy but by GG: AYITL I was a fan of him too. I love all the other characters (and boy were some of them characters), the town, and the small town feel.

Anyway, last week I was looking online for Gilmore Girl books and I ran across this cookbook on Amazon. I immediately ordered it.

I love this book. Lorelai and Rory didn’t cook much and so their main meals were from Luke’s Diner, Sookie, or from the Friday night dinners at Lorelai’s parents house.

I love that the recipes have a little background story from the show. There are so many recipes I want to try (I just got the book a few days ago so I haven’t tried any yet) like Banana Fosters French Toast, Roasted Duck In A Chocolate Orange Sauce, Zucchini Soup, Double Chocolate Chip Muffins. Everything sounds good.

I love everything about this book. I recommend it to fans of Gilmore Girls or to anyone who likes to cook, or just likes to collect cookbooks.



Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Sep 042017

Guy Fieri Family Food by Guy Fieri

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (October 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062244736
ISBN-13: 978-0062244734

The Food Network superstar and New York Times bestselling author dishes up flavorful All-American family-friendly meals for weeknights and weekends alike.

As one of Food Network’s biggest stars, Guy has taken America on a cross-country tour in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He’s challenged great home chefs at their culinary expertise in Guy’s Grocery Games. He’s shared his greatest hits in Guy Fieri Food, and went all out in the great outdoors in Guy on Fire. Now, in Guy Fieri Family Food, he brings fun to the table with delectable dishes everyone will love.

Family meal planning couldn’t be easier with Guy’s tips, fun-filled ideas, and best-loved recipes. Influenced by his Californian background, this full-color cookbook is packed with fresh, flavorful recipes, fabulous photos, and, of course, Guy Fieri flair. Every family favorite is here, from burgers and sandwiches to grains and greens to pasta and noodles. Guy even includes chapters like One for the Week, a budget-friendly big weekend cook “that keeps on giving through the hectic workweek”; All Hands on Deck, with Kebab Night, Pizza Night, and a Chili Bar that get the kids involved; and Under Pressure, where hearty dishes are made in the pressure cooker in a fraction of the time they usually take.

Whether it’s Turkey and Roasted Poblano Burger with Crushed Avocado, Fire-Roasted Fieri Lasagna, Buffalo Chicken Soup, Sweet Italian Pepper Poppers, Balsamic BBQ Short Ribs, or Deep Fried Ice Cream “Boulders,” Guy Fieri Family Food includes tasty, crowd-pleasing meals that make weeknights easier, weekends more fun, and everything more delicious!

Guy Fieri Family Food is illustrated with color photos throughout.

I love Guy Fieri. I’ve been watching him from when he first started out on tv. He’s funny, likable, and is very entertaining. I also love his books.

But…this book didn’t interest me much at all. I didn’t find many recipes that I wanted to try, and that shocked me. Was it  just the mood I was in? Maybe, but I love food so I don’t know. Was it the long lists of ingredients and too many steps? I like the opposite.

I did love the cooking info,  family photos, and the stories about his family. I may pick this book up again sometime in the future to try it again because I have loved every book by Guy before this one.

Jul 082017

Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook: Cooking, Writing, Family, Life

Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook: Cooking, Writing, Family, Life
by Diane Mott Davidson

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbook (September 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062194046
ISBN-13: 978-0062194046

The beloved New York Times bestselling culinary mystery writer delivers a cookbook packed with more than 160 mouthwatering recipes and charming anecdotes about her writing and cooking life.

Diane Mott Davidson is the author of seventeen bestselling mysteries featuring caterer/sleuth Goldy Schulz, a woman who “took the lemon that life had given her and made not just lemonade but Lemon Chicken, Lemon Bars, Lemon Cookies and Lemon Meringue Pie.” Each Goldy novel includes recipes for scrumptious dishes from the adored character’s kitchen. Now, Davidson has collected these treasured recipes and some brand-new dishes in one volume for the first time.

Here are recipes for Appetizers and Soups, Eggs and Cheese, Salads and Starches, Meat, Poultry, and Fish, Breads, Desserts, and finally Low-Carb Recipes (how Davidson lost thirty pounds and kept them off). Most of the dishes came from “playing around with dishes tasted in restaurants.” Others are family favorites, some came from friends, and a few are “happy accidents.” At last, fans can enjoy delicious fare such as Bacon-Wrapped Artichokes with Dijon Cream Sauce, Diamond Lovers’ Hot Crab Dip, Sweethearts’ Swedish Meatballs in Burgundy Sauce, André’s Coq au Vin, Ice-Capped Gingersnaps, Damson-in-Distress Plum Tart, and Dad’s Bread.

Part memoir, part writing manual, part cookbook, Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook combines the author’s gift for storytelling with her skills in the kitchen. She introduces the recipes with stories about how she came to create them, anecdotes from her experiences as a writer and home cook, and includes her joy at receiving a fan letter from the legendary French Chef herself, Julia Child.

Full of irresistible food, Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook is a must-have book for Davidson fans, food lovers, and cooks everywhere.

I saw this book posted on someone’s blog, sorry but I can’t remember who it was, and decided to read it. I haven’t read the Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery Series (17 books), but I have a few hardcover copies of some of them and may read them in the future.

The book is full of great sounding recipes, and stories about her life. I enjoyed reading about her life, her books, and learning how she came up with these recipes.

The Contents are:
Appetizers & Soup or How Do I Look? (And other stories About Food and Appearance)
Eggs and Cheese or My Agent Is Still A Vegetarian
Spuds, Salads, Etc. or My Editor Is Also A Vegtarian
Meat, Poultry, And Fish or The Heart Of The Matter
Breads or This Is Not Your Low-Carb Chapter
Desserts or This Is Not Your Low-Carb Chapter, Either
Enfin! Low-Carb Recipes or How I Lost Tiirty Pounds And Kept It Off

My favorite stories were that her dad eased his stress by baking bread, and about a blizzard her family went through in 2003 where they lost electricity for a week. I could related to that. Although I don’t ever remember losing electricity from a blizzard when I lived in Ohio, we have lost electricity many many times since I’ve moved to Florida. Sometimes from lightening, sometimes from a hurricane. A few times we were without power for a few weeks. It’s not fun!

I’m a steak lover, and it just so happened that the recipe that went along with the blizzard story is Love Me Tender Grilled Steaks from The Whole Enchilade, book 17 in the series. I haven’t made the steaks yet, but I will as soon as I get to town and buy the steaks.

Love Me Tender Grilled Steaks
4 filet mignon steaks (6oz. each,1 1/2 – 2 inches thick & prime grade if possible)
1/4 cup garlic oil
Kosher salt and freshly grownd black pepper

Allow the beef to come to room temperature
Preheat oven to 350° and have meat thermometer ready
Pat steaks on both sides with paper towels until they are thoroughly dry
Heat an ovenproof grill panon the stovetop over high heat
Lay the steaks in the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high
Sprinkle the steaks lightly with salt and pepper
Cook for one minute and turn off heat
Using tongs, flip the steaks and remove the pan from the heat
Insert a meat thermometer into one steak, place the grill pan in the oven
Cook until the thermometer reads 125° (for medium rare)
Remove the pan from the oven & loosely cover the steaks with foil
Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to everyone whether you read her Goldy series or not. There are some very interesting stories and the recipes sound good with not too many ingredients, or time to make them.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

May 072016


30 Minute Meals by Hannie P. Scott

Are you looking for delicious and quick recipes to feed your family? This simple and easy cookbook has step-by-step recipes that are easy to follow and only take 30 minutes or less to make! With a nice variety of recipes, this book is your “go-to” cookbook when it comes to cooking for your family and friends. This book includes recipes for any occasion!

I love recipes that are quick and easy. This book is filled with recipes like that. They all use ingredients that we probably have in our pantry or fridge already, and they only take around 30 minutes.

The book includes a list of abbreviations and conversions. There are a variety of recipes including Simple Shrimp Gumbo, Asian Meatballs, Sweet & Spicy Salmon, Creamy Chicken Spaghetti, Roasted Asparagus(love!), Sriracha Zucchini and Mediterranean Vegetables.

I’ve only tried one recipe so far, but as I was going through the book, I saw many that I want to try. Few ingredients and 30 minutes. I love this cookbook! It will be one I go to over and over.

If you like few ingredients, quick and easy, please check this cookbook out. I think you’ll love it as much as I do.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Mar 052016


Koreatown: A Cookbook by Matt Rodbard

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (February 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804186138
ISBN-13: 978-0804186131
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
This is not your average soft-focus “journey to Asia” kind of cookbook. Koreatown is a spicy, funky, flavor-packed love affair with the grit and charm of Korean cooking in America. Koreatowns around the country are synonymous with mealtime feasts and late-night chef hangouts, and Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard show us why with stories, interviews, and over 100 delicious, super-approachable recipes.

It’s spicy, it’s fermenty, it’s sweet and savory and loaded with umami: Korean cuisine is poised to break out in the U.S., but until now, Korean cookbooks have been focused on taking readers to an idealized Korean fantasyland. Koreatown, though, is all about what’s real and happening right here: the foods of Korean American communities all over our country, from L.A. to New York City, from Atlanta to Chicago. We follow Rodbard and Hong through those communities with stories and recipes for everything from beloved Korean barbecue favorites like bulgogi and kalbi to the lesser-known but deeply satisfying stews, soups, noodles, salads, drinks, and the many kimchis of the Korean American table.

Full of beautiful photos and lots of information, this book is a great place to start for someone like me who isn’t very familiar with Korean food or recipes. It starts out with an Introduction and then moves on to:
Ingredients & Equipment
Kimchi & Banchan
Rice, Noodles & Dumplings
Barbecue: Grilled, Smoked & Fried
Drinking Food: Pojangmacha
Soups, Stews & Braises
Respect: Guest Recipes
Sweets & Desserts

So much info and recipes. There are a good variety of recipes, from Kimchi Fried Rice to Ojinguh Gui, which is Broiled Whole Squid. I have eaten squid before at the urging of my late husband, but don’t think I’d like to broil a whole one, or serve it for a meal at home.

In my 20’s I lived on an Army base. The people who lived in the other half of the duplex we lived in were always making Kimchi, which we thought smelled terrible. It would stink up the inside of our house and even smelled up the yard. It sure did stink! I’m sure it tasted good though.

Since I’m a believer in trying new things, I thought this book would not only nudge me into trying to eat a Korean dish, but to also try making it myself.

One of the first recipes I want to try is Dakdoritang which is a spicy chicken stew.

I would recommend this book to any who loves Korean food, or wants to try it. But as a heads up, some of the ingredients may have to be bought at a Korean store, which is to be expected. I’ve never seen gochujang or sheets of toasted seaweed in the stores I shop.

I’m so thrilled with this book and so happy to add it to my cookbook shelf.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads





Jan 092016


The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation by Mollie Katzen

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (September 17, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0547571593
ISBN-13: 978-0547571591

With The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen changed the way a generation cooked and brought vegetarian cuisine into the mainstream. In The Heart of the Plate, she completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes — her “absolutely most loved.” Her new cuisine is light, sharp, simple, and modular; her inimitable voice is as personal, helpful, clear, and funny as ever. Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables. They feature layered dishes that juxtapose colors and textures: orange rice with black beans, or tiny buttermilk corn cakes on a Peruvian potato stew. Suppers from the oven, like vegetable pizza and mushroom popover pie, are comforting but never stodgy. Burgers and savory pancakes — from eggplant Parmesan burgers to zucchini ricotta cloud cakes — make weeknight dinners fresh and exciting. “Optional Enhancements” allow cooks to customize every recipe. The Heart of the Plate is vibrantly illustrated with photographs and original watercolors by the author herself.

My mom had a spiral bound copy of the Moosewood Cookbook by this author when I was young. I loved going through it and choosing recipes. This book has both vegetarian and vegan recipes. It also has a list for both with the recipes in the book that would go together as a meal. There are 20 for the vegetarian, and 15 for the vegan. For example, one of the vegetarian meals has Cumin Scented Black Bean Burgers, Chili-Cilantro mayonnaise, Strawberry-Avocado Saladita or Jicama-Pink Grapefruit Sladaita, Slaw and Warmed corn tortillas. An example of one of the vegan meals is Mashed potatoes made with olive oil-salt-and pepper, Seitan Medallions in Good Gravy, Green Beans with roasted almond oil and toasted almonds, Spiced Carrots in Thick Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette, and Crisp Ethereal Onion Rings. Yum!! None of the recipes in the book seem hard to make and you should be able to find all the ingredients at your local store.

There are sections on soup, salad, stews, Cozy Mashes, Rice/Other Grains, Pasta/Asian Noodles, Suppers from the oven, Burgers and Savory Pancakes, Vegetables, Suaces/VInaigrettes/Toppings, Deserts.

I like the variety of recipes in this book. The title is a bit misleading, at least to me it was, because it says ‘Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation. So I was happily surprised when I opened it up and found vegan recipes too. The fact that it has menu ideas is great too, especially for someone who, like me, is just starting out with these type of recipes. I really liked this book and will be going through it again to pick out all the recipes I want to try. I borrowed this book from the library, so if your interested in checking it out, you may find it at yours.

I love caramel, but would love to try a healthier version, so when I saw this recipe in the book I did the happy dance.
Soy Caramel
Makes about 1/4 cup- Vegan
3/4 cup agave nector
1/4 cup water
1/2 medium garlic clove
2 slices ginger (slightly larger and thicker than the size of quarters)
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine the agave and water n a small saucepan and whisk until uniform

Add the garlic and ginger and bring to a boil

Reduce the heat to a modest simmer and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes or until reduced by about one third

Add the soy sauce and let it bubble over low heat for another 5 minutes

Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and let cool and infuse for at least 30 minutes before finishing out the garlic and ginger

Store in a covered container at room temperature and serve as desired

This yeild may seem low but this is very concentrated, so a little bit will go far
Also, you can easily multiply the recipe
Store the caramel, covered, at room temperature, it will keep for a month


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 262015


Celebrating Family and Friends: Recipes for Every Month of the Year
by Kay Robertson

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476795738
ISBN-13: 978-1476795737

From New York Times bestselling author, star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, and matriarch of the popular Robertson family, comes a savory new collection of recipes that gives you and your family plenty of reasons to sit down together and share a meal, love, and laughter.

Miss Kay is a master of the back-country, home-cooked meal. She has been cooking ever since she was a little girl and has perfected her skills through years of practice on the Robertson clan. After sharing some of her family’s favorite recipes in Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen, Miss Kay has gone back to her cupboard and pulled out more of her down-home, mouthwatering recipes, this time grouping her recipes around reasons to get together—New Year’s Eve spreads, special Mother’s Day meals, Fourth of July picnics, Christmas dinners, church potlucks, and everything in-between.

In addition to more than one hundred recipes, Miss Kay opens her heart to share hard-won wisdom and special memories, along with beautiful full-color photos and family pictures. And true to the Robertson faith, you’ll find scriptures sprinkled throughout Miss Kay’s newest collection of recipes.

Take a peek into the off-camera life of America’s favorite duck-loving family, the foods they love, and the wisdom and legacy that make a family strong.

This book is full of recipes for every month of the year starting with January. It has all the big days like Valentine’s Day, Mother & Father’s Day etc., but it also has recipes for other days like Wedding and Baby Showers, Picnics and Summer Fun, Grandparent’s Day, Family Reunions and Potlucks.

This is a book that I’ll go to from time to time when I need a recipe for a special occasion, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

I’ve made a pot of Black Eyed Peas every year for New Years day with only a few years missed. So when I saw this recipe in the book, I wanted to keep a copy of it and maybe give it a try because it has more ingredients than the one I have. I don’t know about your but it sounds really good to me. Check it out:

A Pot Of Black Eyed Peas
1 lb. dried black eyed peas
1 tbs. bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small ham hocks
1 med. onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 green bell peppter, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken broth or water, plus more as needed
2 sprigs (3 inch) fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne, or to taste

Place the peas in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches
Let soak at room temperature overnight
Drain, rinse, and drain again
Heat the bacon drippings or vegetable oin in a large pot
Add the hock and sear until browned on all sides, about 1 min. per side
Remove from the pot and set aside
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper
Cook, stirring often until tender, about 5 min.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. more
Add the drained peas and enough broth or water to cover them by 1 inch
Return the ham hock to the pot and push down into the peas
Add the thyme nad bay leaves
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partioall cover, and simmer until the peas are almost tender, about 30 min.
Make sure the top of the peas don’t cook dry
Add more broth or water to keep them slightly submerged as they cook
Stir in the vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne, and continue simmering until the peas are tender and the liquid is thick and creamy, 10-20- min more
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves
Remove the hock and pull any meat from the bones (discard bones)
Finely chop the meat and stir into the peas
Check the seasoning and serve warm

It’s od to think that dried peas and beans can get too old, but they can. If they don’t get plump and tender enough to bite after soaking, then no amount of cooking wil make them fully tender.

A note from Miss Kay:
Black eyed peas are only one type of field pea. Try this recipe with others that you like, such as crowder peas or purple hull peas This dish is a must on New Years Day!


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 192015


Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill by Justin Smillie with Kitty Greenwald

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804186235
ISBN-13: 978-0804186230

A diligent crisping, a murmuring simmer, a slow roast, a ripping hot sear: mastery of the subtleties of heat and time is Justin Smillie’s hallmark. In this book, the celebrated chef of Upland explores the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling–and shows you how to see them in new ways, to learn the rules to break them.

The chapters begin with thorough lessons on these basic methods. From there, the recipes evolve to feature variations on the techniques, altering ratios of moisture, intensities of heat, reversing expected processes. Sometimes the techniques are surprising, like braising chicken leggs in the juices created by overcrowding a pan of peppers. And sometimes the results are unbelievable, like tender peppercorn-crusted short ribs, made by first steaming the ribs before searing them to a spicy crisp.

This is a book about delighting in the details, about cooking by hand, about learning to see and smell and touch like a modern master. It’s a book you will keep, read, learn, and cook from for years to come.

This book is big and heavy, and the photos are beautiful. It’s all about Mastering New Ways To Braise, Roast, And Grill. There’s info on Foundations and Finishes. How to choose the right pot etc. The recipes are a bit lot different than what I cook, but I do want to give some of them a try. Some take more than one day, and some of the ingredients aren’t ones I’ve ever eaten before, like quail and rabbit legs. The name of some of the recipes are a bit misleading if you don’t read the recipe. Shrimp and Prosciutto Tea sounds like a tea right? I wouldn’t want to drink tea that had shrimp and prosciutto in it. But it’s actually a braising liquid. The author explains that it’s called a tea because it’s more of an infusion than a stock. Interesting!

I love nectarines. They’ve always been my favorite fruit. There’s a recipe in this book for Pickled Nectarines! What? I have to try it to see how they taste pickled. There’s a recipe for Corn Milk. Never heard of that before, but it’s vegan. My son, his wife and kids are vegan. Wonder if they want to try this?

I love this book and think I’ll keep it handy so I can try recipes from it when I feel a bit adventurous in the kitchen. I’ll start out easy, and maybe try Braised Cranbery Beans. I’ve seen these beans in the store for years but never tried them. If you love to cook or want a different kind of cookbook with different recipes, try this.

Here is a list of random recipes in the book to give you an idea of what it’s about.
Lamb Stewed With Almonds And Tunisian Spices
Summer Clams In Corn Milk With Fresh Corn Relish
Olive Oil Cured Cod And Summer Tomato Panade
Chanterelle And Pea Conserva
Perfect Braised Chickpeas
Veal Meatballs With Gingered Buttermilk And Corn Two Ways
Grilled Lobster With Spiced Fried Rice

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 042015


Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0761184996
ISBN-13: 978-0761184997

A perfect and irresistible idea: A cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes created for everyone on a tight budget—and a cookbook with a strong charitable component: With every copy of Good and Cheap purchased, a second copy will be given to a person or family in need.

While studying food policy as a master’s candidate at NYU, Leanne Brown asked a simple yet critical question: How well can a person eat on the $4 a day given by SNAP, the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program informally known as food stamps? The answer is surprisingly well: Broiled Tilapia with Lime, Spicy Pulled Pork, Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas, Vegetable Jambalaya, Beet and Chickpea Salad—even desserts like Coconut Chocolate Cookies and Peach Coffee Cake. In addition to creating nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Ms. Brown gives tips on shopping; on creating pantry basics; on mastering certain staples—pizza dough, flour tortillas—and saucy extras that make everything taste better, like spice oil and tzatziki; and how to make fundamentally smart, healthful food choices.

Good and Cheap. Two of my favorite things when it comes to food. So when I saw the title of this book I placed a hold for it at my libray. Luckily they had a few copies so I didn’t have to wait to get it.

The books contents are an Introduction, Breakfast, Soup & Salad, Snacks, Sides & Small BItes, Dinner, Big Batch, Pantry, and Drinks & Desserts, Index, About the Author and Acknowledgments. There are also Conversion Tables for Oven Temperatures, Approximate Equivalents, Liquid Conversions and Weight Conversions.

There are bright photos to go with the recipe, and each recipes has a tab at the top of the photo that tells you how much the recipe costs per serving and the total cost.

I like this cookbook, it has many recipes I’d like to try. Some of them have a few ingredients, but most of them more than a few. The good thing is the ingredients can be found at a decent price, hence the “Cheap”.

Want a copy of this book? You can download a free PDF copy here

I downloaded it to my computer and then sent it to my Kindle so now I have it both places, which is very handy!


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Oct 312015


Better Homes and Gardens: Soups & Stews Cook Book
by Better Homes and Gardens, Doris Eby

Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Better Homes & Gardens Books
First Hardcover Edition edition (August 1978)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0696012855
ISBN-13: 978-0696012853

Over 200 tasty recipes – from appetizers to meal-makers. Plus stocks, noodles, and dumplings from scratch.

Delicious soups and stews for every occasion. With special “adapt-it-yourself” recipes for cream of vegetable soup, cold fruit soup, and stew and stock from on-hand ingredients. Bonus – sensible tips to help you take shortcuts, make substitutions, and serve soups with flair.

With colder weather about to hit us, soups and stews are always a hit.

The contents of this book are:
Satisfying Soups and Stews

Meal-Mate Soups which has hot and cold soups

Whole Meal Soups and Stews which has meat and poultry, fish and seafood, vegetables

Soup Making Basics has stocks, noodles, dumplings, crackers and croutons

At the end of each section there are “Quick” recipes
There are tips throughout the book.

I loved soup when I was a kid and have eaten Sirloin Burger Soup and Beef Stew on and off as an adult, but I’ve only in the last few years started liking soup and stews again. This cookbook has so many recipes that sound really good, but also a bunch that I’ve never heard of before and sound some that sound a bit strange. For example, there is a recipe for a Salami-Bean Chowder and Apple Raisin Soup which are hot soups. Cherry Wine Soup, Cottage Cheese-Tomato Soup and Orange- Apricot Soup which are cold soups.

Some of the other stranger ones are Chicken Cider Stew, Lentil-Pepperoni Soup and Chilled Beet Soup. Yuck!! I can’t stand beets.

Anyway, there are beautiful photos throughout the book and I think this is going in my permanent cookbook collection.

My husband loved Brunswick Stew, and there is a regular recipe in this book and a quick version. I’m going to share the quick version since that’s the one I’d make.

Quick Brunswick Stew
1 large onion, cut in thin wedges
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1- 16 ounce can stewed tomatoes, cut up
1- 16 ounce can sliced potatoes, drained and cut up
1- 12 ounce can whole kernel corn
1- 10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup
1- 8 ounce can lima beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2- 5 ounce cans boned chicken, drained and cut up

In a large saucepan cook onion wedges in cooking oil until tender but not brown.

Stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, sliced potaotoes, undrained whole kernel corn, tomato soup, lima beans, salt & pepper

Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Carefully stir in the chicken and continue cooking until heated through.

Makes 6 servings

This is one of the cookbooks that belonged to my husband’s aunt


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Sep 262015


Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (June 26, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385342608
ISBN-13: 978-0385342605

This was the August/September book selection for Cook The Books, and the October selection for The Kitchen Reader. I was excited to read this because I’d heard so many good things about it. I wasn’t disappointed.

The book starts out when Marcus (Kassahun), his sister Fantate (Linda) and their mother all got sick during a tuberculosis epidemic that hit Ethiopia. The fact that his mom carried him 75 miles while his sister walked alongside them was very touching. It was Ethiopia. She was sick and it was a very very long way, especially on foot, and it was hot. But she had no choice, her babies were sick.

Reading how Marcus and his sister Linda ended up in Sweden with their new family was interesting too. I can’t imagine losing your mother at such a young age, and then being being adopted by strangers who live in a country you’ve never been to and not knowing the language. But both children adapted very well though I thought.

There are so many different stories in the book that I loved. One of my favorites was  of Marcus spending time with his Mormor (grandmother) in her kitchen. Little did either of them know that because of the time they spent together cooking, he would one day be a very accomplished chef. I also liked the story about when he spent time with his dad and uncle getting the boats ready, the friendship he had with Mats, the soccer stories… He really did have a good childhood. There were a few times in the book where he was disappointed, but in Marcus style, he moved on. I loved that about him. He didn’t let anything get him down for long.

I pretty much liked all the stories and the people who came and went throughout the book. One that didn’t make my favorite list, was Mr. Stocker. The incident with Gary, a friend of Marcus, made my jaw drop. Sorry, did not like him at all. But then there was Pig Food Mary. Loved her name and her story. I also liked his family, especially his Mormor.

I loved following Marcus as he traveled from Sweden to Austria, Switzerland, France and New York, as he honed his craft and learned so much. He also met some very important people in the food/restaurant business.

The personal side of his story was very touching and added another layer to his personality. Through it, we got to know him as more than a chef.

There is so much more to this memoir, I could go on and on. Instead, I recommend you pick up a copy and read it for yourself. I can’t imagine it disappointing you.

There are some photos included in the book and I liked seeing Marcus as a child, and seeing his family. This is a book I probably would not have read on my own, so I’m thankful to Cook The Books and The Kitchen Reader for choosing it.

The recipe I decided to make to go along with the book is from page 267:
In the book Marcus mentions this as a soup, but when I googled it more recipes showed up as stew. We like stew more than soup, so that’s what I went with.

Slow-Cooker African Groundnut Stew with Chicken


6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 lb)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3/4 lb)
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 can (28 oz) organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (3 medium), peeled, cubed (about 4 cups)
1 lb small red potatoes (about 12), cut into eighths (about 2 1/2 cups)

Spray 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray
In cooker, layer all ingredients, spooning peanut butter in dollops
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours. Break up chicken before serving

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You can’t get much easier than that. Cutting up the potatoes took the most time, but it was so worth it. As you can se in the photo, the chicken thighs weren’t thawed completely, but it didn’t matter. My son and I both liked it. Next time I think I’ll half the recipe unless I make it for when we have company over.

I choose this recipe at Betty Crocker because it’s made in the crock pot. I love my crock pot and wanted to use it for this recipe. Most of the other sites were made in a pot on the stove. I did substitute the chicken breasts for tenderloins, but everything else was as listed.

I loved the book and the stew!


wkendcooking     6869096026_76b1fea4e2_t     292735_232320110227886_909938742_n
Weekend Cooking                 Cook The Books         The Kitchen Reader

Aug 222015


Just Mini Cocktails: Cocktails and Party Drinks by Robert Zollweg

Photographs by Rick Luettke

Paperback: 127 pages
Publisher: Self-published (2011)
Language: English
ISBN: 878-0-615-49813-3

This book guides you with the proper glassware, tiered trays, recipes and, of course, presentation in the art of mini cocktails parties. This presentations are great for special parties.

I don’t drink, but some of my friends and family do so when I saw this book for only $1.00 at Big Lots I decided to get a copy. The book has quite a few sections. After an Introduction there is:

Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings
Martinis and Margaritas
Tropical Cocktails
Classic Cocktails
Party Punches
Smoothies and Non Alcoholic Cocktails
Coffees, Teas and Hot Chocolates
Beer and Wine Tastings

and then the index.

The author says “Just Mini Cocktails is a trendy way to serve ordinary cocktails at your next party or get together but adding a unique twist by serving them in little mini glasses for tasting or samplings.”

The first section on Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings will be a huge help to anyone like me who is not familiar with making cocktails. One of my favorite things about this chapter was learning which glassware to use for which drink.

The Serving Preparation section shows how to use a variety of mini cocktails and appetizers on different platters and servers so that it’s pleasing to the eye.

The book includes well known cocktails like Whiskey Sour and Singapore Sling, but also has some I’ve never heard of like Mango Bellini. Of course I don’t drink so you may be familiar with it.

I’d like to try some of the smoothies and hot chocolate recipes. The first one I want to try is the Mad Max Cocktail:

8 oz. blue raspberry cocktail mix
16 oz. lemon lime soda, cold
1 oz. lime juice
ice cubes
orange and lemon slices for garnish
mint leaves for garnish (optional)
for an alcoholic cocktail add 6 oz. vodka or light rum

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher. Have an ice bucket full of ice available.
When serving on a tasting buffet, line the glasses up and add a few citrus wedges to each glass.
Let your guest add their own ice and fill the glasses.
This cocktail looks great in almost any sleek mini glass tumbler or stem.

I’m glad I bought this book, I liked learning about serving cocktails and see many I’d like to try. The photographs are great, just look at the cover and you’ll see what I mean.

 wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Aug 152015


Bake Happy: 100 Delightful Dessert Recipes to Rock Your World by Judith Fertig

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Running Press (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0762453796
ISBN-13: 978-0762453795
Colorful, flavorful home-baked treats just say “happy,” and Bake Happy is all about adding a bit of joy back into your kitchen. A sweet baking book that will bring a smile to the dessert table, Bake Happy includes 100 recipes for cheerful cupcakes and cookies, bars and brownies, tarts and turnovers, and delicious cakes that are speckled, marbled, and striped.

This cookbook can be used year-round and will satisfy your sweet tooth and your soul. Whether you’re in the mood for creamy chocolate, colorful cake layers, tasty cake batter, or special occasion desserts, you’ll find recipes for Citrus Glazed Sunset Cake, Rustic Cherry Pudding, Secret Filling Devil’s Food Cupcakes, and more. There are also various options for color and flavor combinations, and 30+ full-color photos throughout.

I used to love to bake but since my children grew up I have barely done any baking at all. Sometimes I’ll bake something for Christmas or other holidays or just because I feel like it.

When I saw this book the title reminded me of the fact that baking did make me happy and I wanted a copy of this book asap.

The book starts off with Acknowledgements, Introduction, and The Bake Happy Language Of Flavor. My favorite flavor is chocolate, and from the chart chocolate means risk taking, shoulder to lean on and indulgence.

There are eight chapters in this book:
Bake Happy Basics
Meringues and Souffles
Tartlets, Tarts, Pies, and More
Little Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies, and Pastries
Cusards, Flans, and Bread Puddings
and then the index.

Since my son loves brownies, the first two recipes I want to try is the Marbled Pumpkin and the Venezuelan Spiced brownies. Another one I want to try is Chocolate Chunk Cookies since my kids loved the Chocolate Chip Cookies I used to make. There are also some fruit and other recipes I want to get to soon.

There are “So Happy Together” banners throught the book. One example is from the recipe Chocolate Chunk Cookies that says “Chocolate Chunk Cookies + Affogato”. Since I didn’t know what “affogato” was I looked it up and the definition is a coffee-based beverage. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Some variations also include a shot of amaretto or other liqueur.

There are also variations included with some of the recipes and quotes by different people. One of my favorites was “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats” (Iris Murdoch, novelist).  I couldn’t agree more.

This book is a quick read with 240 pages, and it’s loaded with all sorts of yummies that seem easy enough to make.

If you are a baker or know someone who is, this is an excellent book to add to your shelf. It’s one you can go to over and over whenever you want something sweet. There are many different desserts and they all look good.


Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Aug 082015


A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd (June 19, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0007516703
ISBN-13: 978-0007516704

Packed full of delicious, healthy recipes that are quick and easy to make, A Modern Way To Eat is a totally modern take on vegetarian cooking.

How we want to eat is changing. We want to eat food that is a little lighter, healthier and easier on our pockets, without having to chop mountains of veg or slave over the stove for hours.

More and more people are looking to include vegetarian recipes in their life beyond a mushroom risotto or yet another red onion and goat’s cheese tart.

A Modern Way To Eat has over 200 recipes that are as simple to make as they are nourishing, satisfying and truly tasty.Based on how Anna likes to cook and eat every day, it covers everything from quick breakfasts to celebratory dinners, using different grains, nuts, seeds and seasonal vegetables whilst avoiding the usual vegetarian reliance on dairy, heavy carbs and stodge.

I loved looking through this cookbook and seeing all the different recipes. The photos were amazing, taking up a whole page each, and were bright and clear.

While all the recipes look good, the ingredient lists are long. I like my recipes to have fewer ingredients and be quicker and easier than most of these seemed.

Even though this cookbook wasn’t one of my favorites, I plan on keeping it and trying some of the recipes from time to time. I think it would be a much better match for anyone who truly loves to cook and/or vegetarians.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Jul 182015


Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385345283
ISBN-13: 978-0385345286

A photographer (who happens to be an ex-restaurant cook) and an indie rock star (who happens to be an avid home cook) show you how to slow down your life by cooking beautiful, straightforward, but sophisticated, food for–and with–friends.

When he’s on tour with his band, Grizzly Bear, what Chris Taylor misses most about home is the kitchen and the company. With his friend Ithai Schori, he cooks dinner parties for four to forty, using skills Chris learned from his mom and Ithai picked up working at high-end restaurants.

Their food is full of smart techniques that make everything taste just a little better than you thought possible–like toasting nuts in browned butter or charring apples for a complex applesauce–but their style is laid-back and unhurried.

This is about cooking not just for, but with, your friends, and so the authors enlisted their favorite pastry chef, mixologist, sommelier, and baristas to write detailed material on wine, desserts, stocking a home bar, mixing drinks, and buying and brewing fantastic coffee.

Through more than 100 seasonally arranged recipes and gorgeous, evocative photographs of their gatherings you fall into their world, where you and your friends have all day to put food on the table, and where there’s always time for another cocktail in a mason jar before dinner.


Don’t you love the cover? I know I do. That’s what first drew me to the book. Then I read the blurb and was sold!

The contents are…  Introduction, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Then there are sections that cover Techniques & Terms & Handy Advice, Tools & Pantry & Shopping For Ingredients, the acknowledgments and the index. The Introduction tells us how the authors started cooking together etc.

Right after the Introduction there is there Chris’s Story, which starts with “I swear, my mom could smell when I was cutting an onion wrong. I first learned about cooking by hanging out in the kitchen with her, an amazing cook who learned from her mom. No matter how high the tree I had climbed at the park or how much I might have wanted to stay out with friends, I always came home in time for dinner. I was always there to help my mom cook- preparing vegetables and meat by her specific requests. When I did it wrong she’d always notice and would patiently ask me to do it again, telling me why were cutting things up a certain way and how different cuts cooked at different rates, which is why you wanted everything to be the same size”.

Ithai’s Story starts with “Oh man, I used to make some of the worst food when I was a kid. My parents would go out for the night and I would try to cook something for my brother and me. An ambitious kid in a kitchen is not a pretty sight, and there were definitely nights when my brother went to sleep hungry. I think he still has nightmares from that time. I tried to make a stir-fry. I thought all there was to it was grabbing everything in the fridge, stirring it together, and throwing some soy sauce on it. I was wrong. Really really wrong. But over time, I got better”.

Some of the recipes were ones I’d never heard of before like Whiskey’d Burrata Toast and Duck Confit & Tagliatelle. I learned a few things from reading this book, one of them was that pasta water is an underrated ingredient. It’s a classic Italian grandmother’s secret to reserve some of the pasta cooking water to give sauce a little more body. And you can also add it to any pasta dish that’s a bit dry. I think I’ll try that next time I cook pasta.

This book was a joy to read. I loved the recipes and the photos were beautiful. There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try, but I decided to start with a simple and quick one, and since I’ve never tried pickling anything I thought I’d start with Sweet And Sour Pickle Brine. I was going to make it last night but our a/c went out and I’m not standing at a hot stove. The a/c guy will be here this afternoon thankfully. Anyway, I’ll make the recipe and post the review next week.

I love this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes Italian food or just loves cookbooks.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review


Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
May 232015


Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Good Read Mysteries; 1 edition (May 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983589178
ISBN-13: 978-0983589174

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job. Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact. There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes. The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book. You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books. Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves cozy books, food, or both. In this book, 128 Cozy Mystery Writers share their all time favorite recipes and I loved seeing what they all chose.

Table Of Contents:
Starters and Beverages
Soups and Crumbles
Salads and Dressings
Pasta and Casseroles
Main Course Dishes
Veggies and Sides
Desserts and Pies
Cakes, Cupcakes, and Frostings
Cookies, Bars, and BrowniesBreakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and Teatime
Quick, Easy, Quirky, Saucy, and Even Pet Treats

There is also a section called Cozy Author Biographies. There are so many other bits of information about these authors in the book, and I loved learning all these interesting facts. One thing I learned about author Joan H. Young, author of the Anastasia Raven Mysteries is that she has been writing stories about the outdoors since she was 7 years old, with “The Adventures Of Skippy The Field Mouse”.

Before each recipe there is a paragraph or two about the book the recipe is from. I’m not familiar with all the authors or their books, so I loved reading these.

There are so many yummy recipes in this book that it would be a very long post if I listed all that I want to try. I’ll give you the one I want to try first.

We don’t eat hot dogs very often, but when we do we like different toppings at different times…cole slaw, hot dog sauce, chow chow, relish etc. When we want hot dog sauce, I buy it in a can from the store (yeah, I know). The problem with that is that while it’s ok, it doesn’t have the taste that I remember from my childhood. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. In the snippet for this recipe it says “It surely tastes like what I remember!” That’s all I needed to hear! So here is the recipe:

A Michigan from New York (hot dog sauce)
from Death Dangles A Participle (Miss Prentice Mystery #2) by E.E. Kennedy
(page 161)
3 lbs. finely ground lean beef, sauteed and well-drained
10 ts. chili powder
14 oz. can tomato sauce (or less)
Scant 1/4 cup good hot sauce, NOT Tabasco!
3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. ground cumin
Make sure the beef is cooked into tiny particles.
(Hester used a pastry cutter to achieve this, chopping the beef as she browns it.)
Blend all ingredients well BEFORE cooking.
Add the tomato sauce, but sparingly.
The mixture should ultimately be just barely moistened.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
Results are best if you use non-direct heat, such as a crock pot on low for six hours or double boiler.There is some controversy about using tomato sauce.
Some say there should no tomato in this sauce, but this recipe turns out with a very authentic-tasting result..


My crock pot is my favorite kitchen appliance, so I love that this is best in a crock pot.

If you love cozies, or food, or both, this book is perfect for you. Not only will you find a bunch of recipes to try, you’ll learn about new to you cozy writers and series you’ve never heard of.

I would recommend this book 100%. It’s a book I’ll keep and go to when I want to try a new recipe.