May 072016
 

51aw-5aBD8L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

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!

Thoughts
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
 

25614711

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.

Thoughts
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
Drinks
Sweets & Desserts
Acknowledgments
Index

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

 

Book-Nook-200

 

 

Jan 092016
 

17165895

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.

Thoughts
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

Tips:
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
 

23014004

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.

Thoughts
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

Tip:
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
 

sf

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.

Thoughts
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
 

22929168

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.
 

Thoughts
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
 

2460907

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.

Thoughts
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
 

13069213

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

unnamed

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

unnamed (1)

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
 

51F2yJuiP3L._SX490_BO1,204,203,200_

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.

Thoughts
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
 

22928863

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.

 
Thoughts
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
Fruit
Meringues and Souffles
Cookies
Tartlets, Tarts, Pies, and More
Little Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies, and Pastries
Cusards, Flans, and Bread Puddings
Cakes
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
 

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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.

Thoughts
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
 

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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.

 

Thoughts
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
 

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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.

Thoughts
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.

 

 

 

May 132015
 

 

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Series: Going Against the Grain – Italian Style!
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1499222432
ISBN-13: 978-1499222432
This two-part book is a vital adjunct to any home attempting to be gluten-free. The first part guides you through early diagnosis and is an essential guide for any beginner diagnosed with celiac disease or some form of gluten sensitivity. You will learn how to identify symptoms of the disease, how celiac disease is diagnosed, and the consequences if left untreated. It will help you to understand how to read labels and how to manage your gluten-free home in a shared environment. It outlines practical advice for parents of children with celiac disease as well as tips for eating out and dealing with social settings such as special occasions or when traveling. Honorary foreword provided by renowned Dr. Peter HR Green, MD – Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Growing up authentically Sicilian, Nuccia Ardagna thought that getting rid of gluten meant giving up her favorite traditional foods, but that could not be further from the truth! Nuccia combines her passion for eating amazingly Italian with her new dietary needs to bring you scrumptious, traditional Italian (and Sicilian) recipes. From simple, classic appetizers to decadent desserts you thought you could never enjoy, every recipe is easy-to-follow and offers beautiful full-color pictures throughout. You can feel confident about entertaining guests and family with these mouth-watering recipes. You can eat healthier, feel better, and truly enjoy living gluten-free while never having to sacrifice great taste! In this book, Nuccia not only shares her personal story with celiac disease but also the recipes she grew up with at home and uses to entertain guests. Look for the bonus section at the end of the book along with a section dedicated to her favorite links and resources.

We hope you enjoy the book and find it helpful in your journey.

Thoughts

I don’t have a problem with gluten but know a few people who do. I was surprised to learn through this book that if you celiac disease there is a lot more to managing it than just avoiding gluten.

The first part of the book is a wealth of information about celiac disease from the symptoms to how to manage it on a daily basis. The author tells what celiac disease is, what the symptoms are, about her diagnosis, how to manage it, how to read food labels, what other health problems can occur due to celiac disease and more.

The second part of the book is full of recipes that anyone can enjoy. They are all pretty easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find. The recipes range from starters to desserts and they all look yummy. Yes, there are color photos and they will make your tummy growl. I haven’t made anything yet, but do have a list of some I want to try.

Anyone who suspects they, or someone they know has a gluten intolerence should read this book.

Author’s Bio:

unnamed-32Nuccia Ardagna loves to travel to the place of her roots: SICILIA! Being Sicilian, she grew up with mamma, nonna and all her zie learning all the tricks of the trade and creating DELICIOUS Italian food from scratch. When diagnosed with celiac disease she was forced to learn new habits and, now, after trial and error and experimenting, wants to share her exquisite culinary creations with you.

She IS a true Italian to the core.

Connect with Nuccia: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Linking to Weekend Cooking

May 032015
 

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Donna Bell’s Bake Shop: Recipes and Stories of Family, Friends, and Food
by Pauley Perrette, Darren Greenblatt, Matthew Sandusky

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 147677112X
ISBN-13: 978-1476771120

The heartwarming story of how NCIS star Pauley Perrette and her two best friends created a Southern-style bake shop in Manhattan—a celebration of love and friendship with gorgeous photographs and delicious recipes.

Nestled in the heart of midtown New York is a little shop with a big story. An all-natural bake shop that specializes in Southern baked goods, Donna Bell’s is owned by Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby Sciuto on CBS’s NCIS, and her two best friends, Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky. It was named in honor of Pauley’s late mother, who is the beloved inspiration for everything they bake.

It all started in 1993, when Pauley met Darren in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, just blocks away from where the shop is currently located. The two became inseparable friends and Pauley’s Southern mom would welcome Darren to their home with mouthwatering treats. Darren loved this food and soon left his successful career in fashion to open a food truck that sold Southern desserts at the Jersey Shore. Eventually he wanted to expand and turned to Pauley and their friend Matthew—who worked in the Los Angeles food industry—for help. Soon Matthew was on his way to New York to open Donna Bell’s Bake Shop with Pauley and Darren.

With recipes for favorites like buttermilk biscuits, chocolate chip-almond scones, and peach streusel muffins; personal photographs from Pauley, Darren, Matthew, and Donna Bell herself; this is the story how one fantastic bake shop brings warmth and happiness—one treat at a time—to the urban jungle that is New York City.

Thoughts
As soon as I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. NCIS is one of my favorite tv shows and Pauley’s character Abby has such a quirky fashion style and personality that makes the show a lot of fun to watch! I loved reading how the bake shop came to be, the relationships between the authors, and the authors and their families.

The recipes look easy enough and the ingredients easy to find. But, the one recipe my son wanted me to make uses frozen cranberries, and I can’t find them anywhere.

The photos are great and make the book come “alive”. It is very well written and I enjoyed it from the first word to the last.

If you love to bake, love bake shops or just love Pauley, get a copy of this book!

I’m going to NYC later this year with my oldest son and his family and my youngest son. Donna Bell’s Bake Shop will definitely be one of the places I visit.

Question: Anyone have a suggestion of what frozen fruit to use in place of cranberries? I’m thinking maybe blueberries.

About The Authors
Pauley Perrette is one of the top Q-rated actors in television and film and is on her twelfth season playing Abby on the #1 TV show NCIS. She is also a producer, director, philanthropist, activist, songwriter, singer, and writer. Pauley was raised all over the south but considers Alabama her hometown. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Darren Greenblatt was a creative entrepreneur in the fashion industry for over twenty years. Darren’s exquisite talent for design and entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with being a lifelong foodie, was the spark that started Donna Bell’s Bake Shop.

Matthew Sandusky is coowner and head baker for Donna Bell’s Bake Shop. Matthew’s experience working in the food industry for many years and his natural talent for baking has helped Donna Bell’s flourish.

Thanks to Amanda @ Simon and Schuster
for sending me this book for review

Linking to Weekend Cooking

Mar 202015
 

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Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426213743
ISBN-13: 978-1426213748

It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.

Thoughts
I love memoirs, and I love cookbooks, so this book grabbed my attention right away. I loved reading about Sasha’s childhood. Her mother wasn’t your ordinary mother.  She was quite the character.  I loved reading about her, through the good and the bad.

Subsequently, Sasha and her brother had a very different  childhood from anyone I know. At times it was very good, but a lot of her young years were very bad, and had a lasting effect on her. She ultimately finds peace and forgiveness through her love of cooking.

This is such a good book! Not only does it have the fascinating story of Sasha’s life, it also had recipes from around the world. One that I’d like to try is Muamba de Galinha, which is a spicy Angolan Chicken Stew:

Muamba de Galinha
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
Generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
4-5 whole chicken legs
1/4 to 1/3 cup red palm oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 habanero pepper, as desired
1 cup water
salt and pepper
1 small pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds) to make 1 pounds cubed
1/2 pound okra (fresh or frozen) sliced in rounds

Mix lemon juice, zest, crushed garlic, salt and chili powder and rub into the chicken.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight
Add the oil to a large pot and heat on medium-high heat
Brown the chicken (avoid crowding) 5-10 minutes a side
Cook the onions until soft and beginning to brown
Add in the remaining marinade and tomatoes.
Slit the habanero in half and deseed (for more fire, just chop it) and add to mix
Add the water and season with salt and pepper
Cover and cook at a gently bubble for 30 to 45 minuets, or until the chicken is tender
Meanwhile, peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 1.5 inch cubes
Stir the pumpkin and sliced okra into the broth
Cover and cook until all the ingredients are cooked through (about 30 minuets)
Adjust seasoning and serve hot
*can be served on its own, with boiled yucca, or served over rice

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves memoirs or recipes.

About The Author
smSasha Martin is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an MFK Fisher Scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Keith and their daughter Ava.

Sasha’s work has been featured on NPR, as well as in Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, and CNNgo. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.

Her first book, Life From Scratch chronicles her lifelong struggle to find inner-peace, including the years she spent cooking the world as a new mother.

 

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Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
 
Author Links: Website, Global Table AdventureTwitter, and Facebook

 

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Feb 282015
 

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In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World 
by Gabriele Galimberti

Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804185557
ISBN-13: 978-0804185554

On the eve of a photography trip around the world, Gabriele Galimberti sat down to dinner with his grandmother Marisa. As she had done so many times before, she prepared his favorite ravioli—a gesture of love and an expression of the traditions by which he had come to know her as a child. The care with which she prepared this meal, and the evident pride she took in her dish, led Gabriele to seek out grandmothers and their signature dishes in the sixty countries he visited. The kitchens he photographed illustrate both the diversity of world cuisine and the universal nature of a dish served up with generosity and love. At each woman’s table, Gabriele became a curious and hungry grandson, exploring new ingredients and gathering stories. These vibrant and intimate profiles and photographs pay homage to grandmothers and their cooking everywhere. From a Swedish housewife and her homemade lox and vegetables to a Zambian villager and her Roasted Spiced Chicken, this collection features a global palate: included are hand-stuffed empanadas from Argentina, twice-fried pork and vegetables from China, slow-roasted ratatouille from France, and a decadent toffee trifle from the United States. Taken together or bite by bite, In Her Kitchen taps into our collective affection for these cherished family members and the ways they return that affection.

In Her Kitchen is an evocative, loving portrait of the power of food and family, no matter where in the world you sit down for dinner..

Thoughts
I absolutely love this book. The first thing that I noticed was how beautiful the cover is. It shows what a great photographer the author is. I love all the things he added to the book that makes it so special. At the beginning of the book there is a world map that shows where each grandma lives. There is also a photo of the author and his grandmother when he was a toddler. The first recipe is from the authors own grandma. Each grandma has a small bio with their age and where they live, a photo of them with the ingredients they use for the recipe, and a photo of the finished recipe.

I can’t imagine how much fun it must have been for the author to not only travel the world, but to meet such a diverse group of grandma’s and recipes. It is something that I would definitely love to do.

There are so many recipes that look and sound so good that I had a hard time picking a few favorites. Then, there are a few that I can’t imagine making, much less eating, like goat and caterpillars. I haven’t had time to make any of the recipes yet, but plan on posting them when I do.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

wkendcookingicon

Hosted @ Beth Fish Reads. Share anything book related whether it’s a Book, cookbook, movie, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.

 

Sep 062014
 

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The I Hate To Cook Book by Peg Braken

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 50 Anv edition (July 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446545929
ISBN-13: 978-0446545921

“There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don’t cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind…The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest.”
– Peg Bracken

Philosopher’s Chowder. Skinny Meatloaf. Fat Man’s Shrimp. Immediate Fudge Cake. These are just a few of the beloved recipes from Peg Bracken’s classic I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Written in a time when women were expected to have full, delicious meals on the table for their families every night, Peg Bracken offered women who didn’t revel in this obligation an alternative: quick, simple meals that took minimal effort but would still satisfy.

50 years later, times have certainly changed – but the appeal of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK hasn’t.

This book is for everyone, men and women alike, who wants to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible.

Thoughts
I used to love to cook and bake. Now I only do it to keep us from starving and going broke from eating out.

This book is full of recipes that were popular in the 60’s. The book has many recipes that are quick, easy and have just a few ingredients, which are my favorite kinds of recipes. Many of the recipes use a “cream of” soup, but it would be easy to use healthier choices like “low fat” and “low sodium”, if you’re eating healthy. To make this cookbook even better, there is humor spread throughout it.

You might have to figure out other ways to make some of them too, since the appliances we use in the kitchen have changed some. Overall though, I think these recipes could be adapted so that they are easy and tasty.

I plan on making more recipes from the book, but so far I’ve only made one:

Florida Dip (page 119)
1 large rip avocado
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of Tabasco, salt & pepper
2 oz. can of diced anchovies
Mash the avocado until it’s lumpless.
Blend in everything else.

 

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Ok, I know you don’t “cook” this recipe, but since I live in Florida. and it’s called Florida Dip, I wanted to try it since I’ve never had it.

First of all, I used more than a dash of Tabasco. I used more like 1 tablespoon. I didn’t use anchovies because they are, well, just plain nasty. And I hear from the hubs who likes them once in a while with pizza (yuck!) that they are really really salty, even though I rince them a few times. Anyway, I can’t stand to look at them much less touch them ( always use a fork), so I definitely don’t want them in my mouth.

This was quick and easy to make, and while we all liked it ok, I think I’ll make it a few more times, using different amounts of the ingredients, until I get it just right. I want to love it, not just like it, and it’s not quite there yet.

 

I’m linking to:

Cook-it-up-ChallengeHosted @ Love, Laughter, And A Touch Of Insanity. Pull those cookbooks off the shelves or check out new cookbooks from the library. You make the rules!

 

wkendcookingiconHosted @ Beth Fish Reads. Share anything book related whether it’s a Book, cookbook, movie, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.

 

 

Jul 172014
 

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012

Amazon.ca * Cardinal Publishing * Amazon.com

 

Try One of the Recipes!

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

Ingredienti
For filling:
1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices

For chicken:
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
5 bay leaves

To serve:
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparazione
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)

The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?)

I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

 

Meet the Author

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal’s best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

 

An Interview with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

 

 

Thank you for supporting our authors!

 

Jun 212014
 

61M0vBDxm8L._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_

The History Lover’s Cookbook by Roxe Ann Peacock
Narrated by Dave Wright

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 5 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Roxe Anne Peacock
Audible.com Release Date: May 8, 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00KC3CL0M
Over 150 full-color photos inspired by nineteenth century recipes, anecdotes, and the Civil War

History Lover’s Cookbook will transport readers through the Battle of First Bull Run/Manassas to April 9, 1865, where General Robert E. Lee stood under an apple tree to dispatch his surrender to General Grant. Do you know what he was eating when he surrendered?

Prepare a picnic of lemonade, raspberry shrub, mint julep, fried chicken, ham sandwiches, potato salad with boiled dressing, cold slaw, soda biscuits and quince marmalade to observe one of the many Civil War re-enactments throughout the United States.

Enjoy eating tea cakes while viewing more than 150 full-color photos of replica Civil War items, re-enactors portraying Abraham Lincoln, Generals Custer, Lee and Grant, foods and recipes inspired by the nineteenth century.

Share in the Union’s Thanksgiving holiday by preparing recipes from the chapter, Siege at Petersburg.

Find out what General Grant ate every morning with his breakfast.

Roxe Anne Peacock brings the nineteenth century and Civil War era to life through the wonderful photography depicted throughout the book.

Thoughts
This book interested me at first because I wanted to see what kinds of recipes people made in the nineteeth century. The book has so many that I’d like to try, most of them sound really good. Some were a little more complex than others, but all seem to be easily do-able.

In school I loved history class, but it’s been so many years since I was in school, and I haven’t been interested in reading about history since, so I really thought that part of the book would be somewhat boring to me. Man, was I wrong! What kept me interested far more than I would have imagined was the history and miscellaneous info. I was so engrossed while listening to those sections that it surprised me. I learned things about different battles, I loved learning that Custer went to West Point. For some reason that fact really surprised me.

Did you know that in the U.S., blackberries usually peak during June in the South and July in the north. I didn’t. I thought they peaked during the same month. I also learned that the medicinal plants have been used to treat a variety of ailments like dysentery, sore throat, gout, venomous snake bites and other illnesses. Another thing that I found very interesting was that coffee was scarce so some popular substitutes were roasted acorns, okra that were browned, dried sweat potatoes and carrots, wheat berries, barley, beans, beats, bran, cornmeal, cotton seeds, dandelions, peas, persimmons, rice, rye sorghum molasses, and watermelon seeds. Wow, I’d like to know how those substitues compared to the real thing.

I learned that Hardtack was a simple cracker or biscuit made only from flour and water. The only hardtack I’ve ever heard of was a hardtack candy.

There were notes and tidbits included throughout to give a little more interesting information on something that had been covered.

Since I listened to the audible.com version, I’m glad I also had the had the ebook version so that I could see the photos. There were many of them…food, items they used back then, battle re-enactments etc.

Also included in the ebook version was a Measurements & Substitutions Coversions. A few examples are:
1 jigger = 3 tablesoons
1 pony = 2 tablesppons
1 small pinch = 1/16 teaspoon
Indian meal = cornmeal
Gem = muffin or cupcake

The audio was narrated by Dave Wright and I thought he did an excellent job! His voice was smooth and calming. He talked at a pace that was slow enough for you to hear every word clearly, but not slow enough that you got impatient listening to him.

Roxe Anne Peacock did an execellent job with this book, you can tell she put a lot of time into research.

I love love love this book and would recommend it to anyone, whether they’re a history lover or cookbook lover, or both!

This is one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever read and know I’ll be going back to it over and over.

Here is the first recipe I want to try:
Potato Salad
10 large red potatoes (8 cups cooked)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Boiled Salad Dressing (recipe below)

Wash the potatoes in cold water; drain.
Place then in a large stockpot with enough cold water to cover them.
Cook the potatoes on medium heat until fork tender but before the skins burst.
Cool the potatoes by running cold water over them in a colander.
Peel the slightly cooled skins off the potatoes.
Dice the cooked potatoes into one-half inch cubes.
Place the chopped onions into the bottom of a large bowl.
Put the diced potatoes on thop of the onions.
Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups prepared Boiled Salad Dreesing to the potato salad.
Mix well to incorporate.
Serve immediately or refridgerate.
Best if eaten the same day.

Boiled Salad Dressing
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, salt and peppers in a medium saucepan until smooth.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; whisking continuously.
Add the heavy cream and unsalted butter; continue whisking until the butter has melted.
In a large bowl, have ready 4 slightly beaten egg yolks.
Slowly stir in small amounts of the hot vinegar until it is incorporated into the egg yolks.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Heat the mixture on medium-low and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Do not boil.
Transfer the Boiled Salad Dressing to a large bowl and cool uncovered until the dressing is room temperature.
Refrigerate covered if you are not incorporating the dressing into a recipe immediately.

This dressing is great for potato salad, chicken salad, lettuce salads and cold slaw.

Note: The common size of an egg in the nineteenth century was medium; now it is large

Tidbit: In the nineteenth century, recipes were known as receipts.

Weekend Cooking