30-Minute Cooking For Two
Healthy Dishes Without All the Fuss
Author: Taylor Ellingson
Perfect for one, two, or even more if you double the recipes!
Definitely my go-to cookbook going forward because the ingredients truly ARE simple! The recipes are thoughtful and already I want to make SO MANY of them!!!
My review here is more about what I ended making from this cookbook so far, because I love re-creating recipes to make sure a cookbook really delivers and earns my trust so…here we go!
The recipe I chose to make: Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada Skillet.
Since I’m totally obsessed with Mexican food and live in California where Mexican food RULES, I went straight for trying this recipe.
Side note: I feel that the recipes throughout this cookbook are really open for if there is ever a need to improvise, without ruining the recipe. Like, for instance, on this particular recipe we added one extra chicken breast to make the recipe a larger portion.
We also used a more of the green salsa in the sauce sauce and ended up rolling the enchiladas (dry-yes, it’s okay!!!), then poured the sauce and cheese on after, baking them in the end. (I mean, it was Friday night and all, lol).
This recipe was a major YES YES YES HIT!!!! The ingredients are what make this dish really stand out to be INCREDIBLE!!!
Husband and I even declared, WE DID IT! WE MASTERED ENCHILADAS!!! We agreed that we may never go back to take-out ever again!!!! (This is the absolute honest TRUTH!)
As I mentioned before, it WAS Friday night, so I decided to make a quick side dish to go along with these superb enchiladas (since it’s shown in the plated photo below).
Quick mexi-spanish style rice
1 Medium Sweet or White Onion (Diced)
3 Garlic (Minced)
10 oz can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 Cup Brown Rice (rinse, if needed) -I use the 35-40 minute style brown rice.
2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Drizzle olive oil in a small or medium sized pot and sauté diced onions till cooked and lightly brown. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more then remove both onions and garlic and set aside.
Place water in to un-rinsed preheated pot and allow the water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the canned tomatoes and bring them up to a boil.
Now add the 1 cup of rinsed rice and the sautéed onions and garlic and allow them to boil. Cover and cook 35-40 minutes (or as long as your rice directions say to cook.
Here is our final plated dish, where black smashed beans were also added. Woohoo, what a success! Now THAT is the best Friday night dinner event to experience at home!!!
Thank you to Callisto Publisher’s Club for providing me with a free copy of 30-Minute Cooking For Two Healthy Dishes Without All the Fuss, so that I could review it. 💗💗💗
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
The Nightmare Before Dinner
Author: Zach Neil
Making great recipes in the theme of spooky!!!!
I LOVE that this cookbook is truly dedicated to the fall season. Each recipe starts off straight to the point! Title of the recipe, prep time, cook time, servings and what the recipe is all about!
There are many Vegan options for a lot of these recipes.
There’s a great chapter dedicated to sauces!!!
I LOVE this author’s sense of humor! They get serious about the inspiration about a recipe and then BOOM, say something incredibly joyously funny just out of the blue! (Thank you for that!!!)
Occasional bad words are used perfectly and beautifully!!!!
Not a ton of photos, but the photos that ARE in this book offer great ideas for spooky inspiring presentation. In some recipes, they also give serving ideas within that particular recipe theme-major plus!
Pro Sriracha sauce!!!!
What really PULLS me into these recipes are the short intros to each one. Not only do they explain what sauces might be used for, but they also include inspiration for what to expect from that particular recipe. In other words, WHY should I make this recipe is ANSWERED!!! 😀
Bonus is that it starts with Beetle House Must-Haves…tools, ingredients, a whole page on how to “Veganize it”-great call on including that!
Their chapter on drinks “POISONS, POTIONS & ELIXIRS Deadly Drinks, Creepy Cocktails is really fun and super creative!
…or get this book just for the picture of their recipe called Big Fish Bowl…Hahahahahaha!!!! 🐟🐟🐟
The “Themed Parties” chapter is a nice touch to this book! Seriously, loved that chapter!
And now…what is it that I actually made from this book? Well, since I’m completely obsessed with sauces and cocktails, I went with the following….
I’ll start with the Soul Sauce
This sauce is supposed to be a Southern BBQ-ish sauce to haunt your dreams! A BBQ meets basting sauce.
The ingredients and recipe were very simple and includes bourbon and 1/2 a tangerine, which for me is already very adventurous and a must try!
Here is the sauce as it breaks down, cools off, and gets stored in to jars for our taste test later!
I also made the Edward Sauce. This was a sour cream/mayo type of sauce that I thought would be fun to sample with…well, french fries, of course!
Next, I created their cocktail The Beetle’s Juice.
This one uses blackberry schnapps and tequila (How very spooky of them!)
I couldn’t resist so I went out and bought most of the ingredients …apparently I forgot the cranberry juice that was supposed to go in it! I also left out the blackberries…oh, and since I had lemons on hand, I used lemon juice instead of lime juice.
Now on to the sampling….
The Soul Sauce (BBQ sauce) turned out to be a bit more on the Asian side-like a hoisin sauce. Husband said he would love this sauce with dumplings or egg rolls.
The Edward Sauce…oh wow…THIS one is especially YUMMY!!!! Husband said it tasted very classy and old school. To me, it tasted like an old school burger sauce.
Not but a moment after this sampling had I realized that I had forgotten to add in the freakin’ sriracha sauce!
The Edward Sauce was still amazing without the sriracha and after it was added in, husband said it went from it’s previous classy delicate English/French flavor to a more Southwestern type of sauce. Both ways certainly are winners and perfect to serve with french fries!
Not long after, I decided to mix the two sauces together (meaning the soul sauce and the Edward Sauce), and found the Edward Sauce brought a really nice flavor to the Soul Sauce so…
We are going to make burgers this weekend using BOTH sauces, either mixed together or layered! What fun! They will go perfectly!
As for The Beetle’s Juice…A WINNER WINNER WINNER for an inspiring and delightful aperitif!!! The flavor is spectacular, although I got a pretty big buzz from that little glass, lol!!! Husband said The Beetle’s Juice (without the juice, lol) tasted complex and sweet, spicy and mysterious!!!
This will definitely be our go-to cocktail for this fall/holiday season….WITH the cranberry juice!!!
So big kudos to author Zach Neil (and his mom!) and to ALL the co-creators that were a part of this very fun, wild and wonderful cooking/cocktail/party planning themed book! Definitely worth giving as a gift!!!
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
To visit Beetle House Restaurant and bar websites, go to
(Open in New York and Los Angeles with more locations to come!)
Follow Zach’s Instagram at @therealzachneil
Hope you enjoyed these reviews!
THANK YOU FOR READING!!!
-Mychols Fabulous Playground