Cooking & Baking books for kids!

Kid Chef

 

“I’m always looking for fun new kid friendly recipes to cook with the kids”, says Unye the Unicorn. I absolutely agree, says me!

Kid Chef Every Day-The Easy Cookbook for Foodie Kids crossed my path so, of course, I had to pick this one up!

Uni

“Hi! I’m Unye!!!”

The contents are straight to the point. Part One: Cooking Class with Your Kitchen and Everyday Kitchen Skills, followed by Breakfast, Snacks & Small Bites, Soups, Salads & Sandwiches, Main Dishes and Desserts. There is also a cool bonus in the back:  Measurement Conversions (very nice)!

Unib

Photo by Unye

Lots of great tips and easy to follow instructions for successful cooking! I also like how they include equipment icons with descriptions. Author Colleen Kennedy also goes in to cooking eco-friendly!

Here is an example, using Lesson 1. It goes into Reviewing the Basics, Chef Lingo, Measuring Skills, Organization…all super great going over with the kids, before they get in to some habits that they may have to unlearn later.

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Photo’s by Unye 

Fun and playful!  Helpful hints throughout!

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Photo by Unye

I also like the recipes the author chose, for this particular book. They seem to flow well together. Maybe not ALL the recipes are kid friendly for my own kids, but they certainly found this recipe to make for us…

Ravioli Lasagna.

Note: This was the only ravioli I could find at our local grocery store. Also thought we’d give this three cheese spaghetti sauce from Trader Joes a try.

kitty

Kitty approves!

 

A kid friendly SUCCESS!

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Ravioli Lasagna photos by Unika

 

Fun fun! I highly recommend this cookbook for kids, especially as a gift- maybe along with an apron and a cooking tool! Enjoy!!!

Available at Amazon.com/KidChefEveryDay https://amzn.to/2CRF4EY

Colleen Kennedy’s Blog Soufflebombay.com www.soufflebombay.com

*** I received a review copy from the publisher.

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Baking for Kids

My kids and I are really enjoying this one! I appreciate the straight forward good basic baking skills, basic baking ingredients….and each recipe is organized by TOOLS/EQUIPMENT then INGREDIENTS. The photos  throughout the book are fun too, giving kids a simple example of what the end result could look like!

Kitty 1

Photo by Unye

I’ve baked plenty enough on my own, and I can already tell my kids will find this a pretty easy enough baking book to follow on THEIR own, which means….

Kitty 3.jpg

Photo by Unye

We’ll definitely be using this for our home school science classes….for sure! Hey, it’s science you can eat! Woohoo!

Kitty 2

Photo by Unye

My kids favorite recipes so far: Pull apart cheese bread, Strawberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake and the various individual frostings that follow…there are so many recipes for almost every mood and theme…

kitty.jpg

Photo by Unye

…even recipes absolutely perfect for serving with afternoon tea, like Thumbprint Jam Cookies, Mini Blueberry Hand Pies, Fruity Cereal Cupcakes, Brown Sugar-Pecan Scones…oh the list goes on and on..and should be for your own surprise, at this point! 😉

Definitely a keeper, this one!

Available at Amazon.com/SuperSimpleBakingForKids

Find out more on author Charity Mathews at Amazon.com/CharityMathews

*** I received a review copy from the publisher.

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Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to set up your Amazon account to Smile.Amazon.com, where Amazon will give back to your favorite charity!!! 

Thirty Minutes Past a Nightmare Before Dinner – Cookbook reviews Fall 2018

30-Minute Cooking For Two

Healthy Dishes Without All the Fuss

Author: Taylor Ellingson

30 minute cooking for two

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.

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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!!!
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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!) 
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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
By: MycholsFabulousKitchen
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!!!
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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.
Follow this wonderful author at TaylorEllingsonAuthorPage
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The Nightmare Before Dinner

Author: Zach Neil

 

Nightmare before
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….
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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. 
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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!
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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! 
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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!!! 
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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
Visit the author’s Amazon Page at Amazon.com/ZachNeil

🥂🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🥂

Hope you enjoyed these reviews!
THANK YOU FOR READING!!!
-Mychols Fabulous Playground

Camp-out Cook-in and Throw it in a Blender!

The Campout Cookbook
Inspired Recipes for Cooking Around the Fire and Under the Stars
Authors: Marnie Hanel & Jen Stevenson

The Campout

“Elevating the Art of Eating Under the Stars….for survivalists with standards”

 

I’m just gonna say it. “Party under the stars!!!”

First off, I LOVE how they designed each chapter on the contents page…what FUN!!!

This books starts off with scoping your campsite, basic essentials, smart packing, and much much MORE  short and to the point pre-camping planning! There are some really important packing tips going on this book that I wouldn’t leave home to camp without…especially the suggested tools and the WHY’s they are suggested!

CAR GAMES…CAMPFIRE GAMES….Yep..it’s all in here! They also have some great info about camping with your canine AND little kids!

You just cannot go wrong or mess up your camping experience when you’ve got a book like this one! (THANK YOU!!!)

As for the recipes….

OMG….EVERYTHING LOOKS SOOOOOOOOO YUMMYYYYYY!!!! I’m seeing Dutch Oven Roast Chicken, Chile Five Ways, Pudgie Pies, Pizza….and they include instructions on how to PRE prepare many of these recipes! There are SO MANY amazing looking recipes that I can’t even fit into this review!

What? Not ready for camping in the GREAT outdoors at a real campsite just yet? Find out how to camp in your own backyard…yes-also in this book!

Well…I’m off to practice some camping! (hehe)

I’m going to stop here…although, just a heads up, there are a few extra fun surprise chapters also included in this book for the reader to enjoy that I did not share here! This book is extremely thorough and very inspiring, especially for a beginner camper like me…and I’ll admit…this cookbook almost made me cry. YES, real tears…of JOY!!!

Available 5/29/18 at Amazon.com/CampoutCookbook

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Fix Freeze Feast!
Authors: Kati Neville and Lindsay Ahrens

Fix Freeze COVER

 

A super cool cookbook to prepare home cooked sauces (like curries, stir-fry sauces, brown sugar bourbon for salmon), butter’s and pesto (like their chili lime butter for Halibut or Gorgonzola lemon butter for a wild pasta night…happy sigh….), breakfast burritos, Lemon Lavender Cookies…..I hope you are getting the idea! Oh, and they also have kid-friendly make-ahead dishes like the Sweet Asian Chicken for thawing later to cook either outdoors on a grill or indoor in a skillet. Fun fun!

This cookbook also offers tips on how to Thaw, Cook and Enjoy…because we all know that to enjoy is a major plus here! There is also information on how to make the most of limited freezer space, how to prevent ice crystals, being safe when it comes to storing glass in your freezer, and more!

So set the table like you are doing fine dining and bust out one of those fancy dishes you’ve previously prepared and prepare for one of MANY nights to remember. 🙂

Available 5/29/18 at Amazon/FixFreezeFeast

Freezer Labels (I really like these): Amazon/FreezerLabels

 

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Margaritaville: The Cookbook
Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise
Authors: Carlo Sernaglia; Julia Turshen
Forward by: Jimmy Buffet!

Margaritaville

So when I got to preview this book, they didn’t share all their recipes. This made it a little more challenging for me. What they preview DID share were things I would never both making…but they were fun to glance through, none the less. The pictures are really beautiful and inspiring…they bring a happy contentment with them.

By the time I’d reached the end, I saw drinks! But of course…drinks can’t be so hard! I figured I’d start with their Perfect Bloody Marias recipe. This served a lot more than 4 drinks for me…but maybe my these are made for extra large glasses, (teehee).

Margaritaville Blog

I admit that since I couldn’t find regular tomato juice at my local Trader Joes, I went for their low sodium Vegetable Patch juice. All the other ingredients I had.

What I really appreciated about this recipe was that it wasn’t the usual complicated recipe I keep trying to make…(which usually include all the condiments I can find in the doors of my refrigerator-!!!), but much simpler ingredients and it was a pretty good basic spicy Maria…but to mention again, I DID use a tomato juice mix, which may have made it in to an entirely different experience.

Blog fix

CHEERS!!!

Okay so my next attempt was their Jalapeño Margarita – which you will find in the variation section UNDERNEATH Jimmy’s Perfect Margarita.

I don’t know where my brain was that day I chose to infuse the tequila, but I thought I read to use thin slices of 1 Jalapeño when, in fact, re-reading it the next day (on that same piece of paper), to use 1 SLICE per the amount of tequila to infuse (oh Heaven’s To Betsy!)

Jalapeno

Since it was already too late to fix it, I figured I’d continue full steam ahead because…(BECAUSE!!!)……this recipe is SPICY as HECK but…(BUT!!!)….it’s REALLY flavorful..and I didn’t even have all the proper ingredients so YES, this would be worth sharing here!

SUBSTITUTIONS AGAIN…..

margarita 1

Since I didn’t have limes but tons of lemons, I juiced one large lemon (which was the exact amount called for in lime juice). Since I did not have Agave Nectar, I used some Agave Syrup I had on had…but I only 1/2 the amount that the recipe called for. (IT WAS PLENTY!)

I forgot to take a photo after I poured it in a glass, because I was kind of upset with myself but then…I got lost in the drink….(I think they call that, “Wasting Away…”? Ha, but I’m not really. As you can see, the ice has melted and I’m just sipping it, at this point…which makes this actually a GREAT sipping kind of drink…kind of like if one were to drink straight tequila! (I’m a sipper of that too!)

Sipper

This seems like a no fail kind of drink because even though my throat is currently on fire, it doesn’t really last that long…and it’s got a sweet thing going too…a nice fun sipping drink!

But alas….

…as I continued my journey through through Margaritaville, past the drinks, I started to feel sad…like, “is the party over so quickly?”

Luckily…no it wasn’t. They have a super cool section called Tailgating, along with Twenty Party and Menu Suggestions! (They brought my spirits back!) They even included, “Recipes Organized by Fun!”, as well as Practical Party Tips. What a nice way to wrap it all up!

So CHEERS and THANKS for reading!!!

Available at Amazon.com/Margaritaville

Margaritaville.com

Margaritaville/JimmyBuffetMusic.Charity

 

 

 

 

Cheers to Cooking in the Spring!!!

UNICORN FOOD
Natural Recipes for Edible Rainbows

Unicorn Food

Let’s start with unicorns!

This has to be THE most magical cookbook I’ve ever seen! The colors alone are creatively unicorn ALL THE WAY!

Recipes include Savoury and Sweet!

This cookbook also includes how to make super pretty colors that ANY unicorn would love!!!

To me, this is a really sweet and magical reading book for any little child who loves the magic of unicorns and the magic of life and all of it’s possibilities…a magical experience through a picture book of yummy looking dreams!

I wish there was a boxed meal service that offered Unicorn Food….ahhhh…yet another possibility that COULD someday happen!

Get your copy today at: Amazon.com/UnicornFood

Author book page: SandraMahut/Cookbooks

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The Family Table Slow Cooker
Author: Dominique DeVito

The Family Table

 

Springing in to potatoes!!!

I LOVE the title of this book, first off! It’s so comforting and appealing just to look at!

The photos within this cookbook look so good, I feel they DEMAND me to cook them for myself to convince me of how good they WILL be!

Recipes span from kid friendly (especially for my own picky kids!) to exotic (like Indonesian chicken curry).

I chose to test out the roasted potatoes because I wasn’t convinced I could actually pull off roasting potatoes in a slow cooker.  Roasted potatoes, at least for me, have always been SO COMPLICATED, yet they are one of my most favorite side dishes of all time…how can I never get them right?! From the preparation process to the par-boil process to the roasting process…ugh. I still never got it right and I’d always be exhausted from all the work they’d take.

Still, I was willing to chance trying this simple recipe out.

 

Slow Cooker 5

I used a Garlic infused extra virgin olive oil by a brand called, Pons. They offer a 3 pack (Garlic, Lemon and White Truffle. ***The white truffle is great to use when adding portobello mushrooms!) – all 8.4 Oz each on amazon at: Amazon/Pons.

These were a bag of small red potatoes. I used the recommended amount, but I had a couple small potatoes left over…I totally could have used ’em! Lots of yummy sauce to go around!

 

I used the high setting (hoping it would make them REALLY roasted). Boy oh boy, did this make my kitchen smell SO GOOD!!!! In fact, my Son kept asking, “Are they done yet? Are they done yet? I can’t wait anymore, I must have them now!!!” LOL, and you KNOW how good that might sound to a Mom’s ear of her super picky kid!

(tick tick tick)…

Finally they were done and ROASTED AS PROMISED!  The flavors were incredible and I am absolutely amazed at how easy these were, I’ll totally make them again and again!

I want to add here that that I LOVE that this recipe offered options with different oil combinations to use and when to omit something like fresh rosemary when using a specific oil-VERY helpful tips offered!

I’m looking forward to trying out the artichokes with lemon and herb next, in my slow cooker…what fun!

Hoping you have as much fun as I had glancing through this cookbook! Don’t forget sticky tabs to mark pages for your own favorite looking recipes!

Available NOW at Amazon.com/TheFamilyTableSlowCooker

Check out all the other AMAZING looking cookbooks by this same author at:
DominiqueDeVito/AuthorPage

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VEGAN COOKBOOK FOR BEGINNERS
Author: Thom Logan

Vegan for beginners

Springing in to a busy day weekend treat!!!

I swear! I think Vegan is silently following me around…I keep attracting it! LOL!

Seriously….look at this cover! Could vegan eating really be this exciting and YUMMY…and, of course, easy to prepare?

In a time where our planet’s consciousness has been on the rise, it seems more and more people are excited about the possibility of cleansing their own bodies to receive more clarity, lightness, more emotional well being, and better health down the road.

Consider maybe, rather than a harsh cleanse (which DOES at times have it’s own benefits), maybe we try a Vegan diet for a while to see how it might work for us?!

My thing is…MAKE IT FUN AND TASTY…a simple demand, really.

Well…the author DID it with this book-whew! These are definitely vegan recipes in this book that I’m already excited about! (CHEERING!)

I decided to test out the
Avocado Black Bean Burgers

Here are photos I took, so you can see how super easy and “tidy” these are!

 

Simple ingredients (including quick oats and chia seeds) mashed together!!! Mash, mash, mash… 😀

(Drain the black beans…I wasn’t sure but yes, drain them!)

Side note: I didn’t have fresh jalapeño’s and I don’t know if that was what was actually called for, but I ended up using jarred ones instead and it was ABSOLUTELY right on!!!

 

Make into simple patties on that wonderful non-stick parchment paper. I covered these with another layer of paper and then cut them to separate them, since I wouldn’t be using them till the next day.

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Coating the pan with olive oil…

Today was going to be a busy day in the recording studio, so I was VERY grateful to have these on hand and ready to go!

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As the pan was heating, I quickly prepped my presentation…SO EASY, right??? The salsa I am serving these with today is a fresh green “roasted tomatillo” salsa I got from Trader Joes..YUM!

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5-7 minutes on each side…

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Look how amazing these look! YES, THEY TASTE AMAZING, TOO! I think a dry champagne pairs REALLY WELL with this dish! My personal fave from Trader Joes is the inexpensive Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava (See below for more on that brand).

The author kept his word on how much the reader would love these! I absolutely would plan on making these on any busy weekend!

Feeling excited to try more dishes out of this book now! The author has earned my trust!  😀

This cookbook also provides chapters available on vegan diet basics, physical benefits of a vegan lifestyle, handy measurement conversions, and a vegan FAQ, which really impressed me! Great for anyone entering a new vegan lifestyle…or re-entering it! Hey, good food is good food!

Available at Amazon.com/VeganForBeginners 

Thom Logan Author page: Amazon/ThomLoganBooks

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Thanks so much for reading! I hope you got some value in this review blog!

EXTRA LINKS:

ChampagneFreixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava ($9): Cava is another sparkling white made in Spain using the same method as Champagne, so it comes in at sometimes bargain prices. This bubbly is bright with fruit flavors that make it great for cocktails like mimosas, but it’s also quite the treat on its own.
Via Brit + Co : 14 of the Best Champagnes and Bubbly Bargains at Trader Joes

 

 

 

New Favorites New Comforts & Pesto!

New Favorites for New Cooks
By Carolyn Federman

New Favorites for New Cooks

A Parent / Picky-Kid Friendly Cookbook!

This is a perfect cooking book for my under 10 year old daughter and I to use together.  My children are pretty picky, and these recipes I absolutely approve of! They are exciting enough to keep my attention and simple enough to keep my daughter interested.

Our faves so far have been the Sweet and Salty Candied Walnuts, Piece-Of-Cake Lemon Cake, and Spring Pasta with Butter Sauce. These particular recipes are the more simpler of a vast array of other more adventurous yet still kid friendly recipes that the author has shared in this book.

Here are a couple snaps we took just for fun….


A Beautiful, Simple and LOVELY lemon cake! 

Lemon 2.jpg

Piece-Of-Cake Lemon Cake

There are LOTS of fun recipes in this cookbook to share with family and friends and I highly recommend it!

Please also check out the author’s profile (below) and her work with the Charlie Cart Project.

Available at Amazon.com/NewFavoritesforNewCooks

Author’s Amazon and Profile/Bio Page at Amazon/CarolynFederman

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Hot for Food
VEGAN COMFORT FOOD CLASSICS:
101 Recipes to Feed Your Face
Author: Lauren Toyota

Vegan Comfort Classics

I love the feel and weight of this book…I know I know…but what about INSIDE of the book! It’s pretty impressive, I’ll start with that!

The book takes us through badass brunch faves first, then straight to finger foods…(yep, they’ve tragically reeled me in already!!!), then the chapters head on over to veggie sides and salads, hearty soups, stacked sandwiches, oodles of noodles, main events, sweet things and then BOOM, sauces….sigh….

V pan 3

HOT BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

OH MY MY MY MY MY! Even my vegan friends would recognize this as a major guilty pleasure! (This was sooooo freakin’ good!)

It took me a little while to prepare, simply because my favorite part about vegan cooking is playing with all the ingredients! REALLY! When I first added the TVP to water, it felt really cool…like grape nuts! It was fun watching it get spongy for the next 10 minutes!

The vegan cheese, herbs and other ingredients were split in a couple batches but mixed well in my trusty NutriBullet! The TVP mixture sauteed with onions, garlic and other spices smelled REALLY good-especially once I added that magical buffalo sauce!

To the left is the photo in the book. To the right is mine! WOOHOO-SCORE!

V leftovers

This makes a lot so be sure to share it with your friends! Otherwise, be prepared to freeze those leftovers!

This is the GREATEST vegan cookbook EVER! It’s on the decadent side at times, but hey, ya GOTTA have at least one in your cookbook collection, right? GET THIS ONE!!!!

Can’t wait to try other recipes in this book like the Baked Jalapeno Poppers, Filet-o-Tempeh Sandwich, and the Bean and Cheese Enchiladas Verdes!

Available at Amazon.com/VeganComfortClassics

Check out the LaurenToyotaYOUTUBEChannel

Lauren Toyota’s FACEBOOK PAGE

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The Pesto Cookbook
Author: Olwen Woodies
The Pesto Cookbook

 

“Pesto is my obsession!” -Mychols 😀

This adorable author has created the most LOVELY cookbook here called, The PESTO Cookbook.

Through well thought out explanation, she takes us through the experience of enhancing and brightening flavors and variety – and with gloriously beautiful photos!

Colors and flavors indeed! This book was actually a LOT more than I expected, and SO…

I decided to try one out!

The beginning of a Rosemary Pesto romance!!!

Pesto 1.jpg

ROSEMARY PESTO:
Soooooo incredibly good! Highly recommended on chicken or fish…or whatever! I served this with crackers, just to try it out. (I could eat this by the spoonful!)

Pesto 2.jpg

As I continued reading on through this cookbook, it never once never lost my attention.

Not only were there an amazing variety of pesto sauces, but this cookbook also includes other recipes from salads and soups to fish and meats and even vegetarian dishes that can go with any of the pesto’s early on in the cooking book.

This cookbook gives some really fun and inspired ideas…and I’m sayin’ it again…dipping sauces!

This is a book that stays in my collection!!!

Available 4/17/18 at Amazon.com/ThePestoCookbook

For MORE books by this author: Amazon.com/OlwenWoodierBooks

 

***THANK YOU FOR READING! Leave your comments and/or questions below at any time! I LOVE your feedback and even more so, I LOVE connecting with you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncooking in the kitchen!

No Recipe 
Cooking as Spiritual Practice
Author: Edward Espe Brown

No Recipe

How we value ourselves in the kitchen…what is the purpose…what is the intention, when cooking in the kitchen?

Turning the light inward, connecting with the outer world.

I myself have struggled with cooking  when all that’s running through my mind is, “I want it now!” So rather than being in the space of “IN” and NOW, I might end up reaching for an unhealthy quick food fix to feed my impatience until the actual meal is ready.

I’ve had many moments of stressing out in the kitchen…heck, even stressing out before stressing out…lol…preparing myself for, “I’ll probably be stressing out about something soon!”, only because it’s been a pattern for me that now I’m aware of it so now I can change it!

In reading No Recipe, I’ve already reached acknowledgement of my own issues and now, from here, I will always know when to recognize if I’m falling in to an old pattern or habit.

The author encourages the reader to trust in their own instincts and to “listen” to what speaks to them. The author also goes into how we seek pleasure to pleasure (as in avoiding pain or discomfort) when we “believe” in a task as some kind of trouble or burden.

Just like in conscious parenting, what may sometimes feel like a chore, that very moment of experience could also be experienced as a magical time of, let’s say, bonding…sharing…or as the author beautifully writes, “The activity is not in charge.” 😀

The author writes from real life experiences of Zen teachings.

What might have been a cool addition to this book (at least for me), would maybe be some kind of interactive exercises to go with it. To take what’s being read into being actively being practiced. Still, this is one of the coolest books I’ve gotten to read this year!

Available at: Amazon.com/NoRecipe 

Other books by this author: EdwardEspeBrownBooks 

Facebook page: EdwardEspeFacebook

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Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul

AUTHOR: Jenne Claiborne

Sweet Potato Soul Cover

I HAVE SO MANY PAGES bookmarked!!!!!

Sweet Potato Soul

This book totally called me by the title alone!!! I may not be Vegan, but I LOVE these recipes!

Highlights for me are the Sweet Potato Skillet Home Fries, Smoky White Bean Sausages, Tempeh Bacon, Hot Pepper Pecans, Jalapeno Hush Puppies, “Sweet Jesus Mac & Cheese” (HECK YES!!!), and that yum yum yum recipe for Sweet Potato Hummus! Seriously, there are SO MANY MORE great looking recipes in this book that I cannot wait to try!

Vegan or not, I recommend checking out this cookbook. Cook from it and your friends will thank you!

Check out the Sweet Potato Soul Website for some FREE RECIPES!!!

Available at: SweetPotatoSoulCookbook

Authors Website: SweetPotatoSoulPage

Authors Facebook Page: SweetPotatoSoulFB

 

New Year, New Reviews!

A new year…what to do what to do…??? 

Hey, I know! I’ll do some baking with the kids and Greta the Kitchen Witch for a new review…and then read up on some Swedish living!

I’ll start with….

Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts For Your Exes & Enemies

Sweet Revenge

“Stop your bitchin’ and get in that kitchen” – Heather Kim, Revenge Is Best Served Warm.

I couldn’t wait to open this book. My first thought was, “is this going to have like gummy worms coming out of a scary looking cupcake?” Haha…the answer is…NO! The author is lovingly baking sweet revenge on a very clever adventurous level! 

Mind bubble: “How do I heal all that unresolved emotional pain…..”

The author explains her point of view in “Revenge Is Best Served” and I have to admit…it actually made me cry-in a GOOD way.  She makes great points about what to do with the energy we sometimes misuse because we might be feeling THAT angry at someone else. Why not do something more constructive with it, all in the name of SWEET love!

Mind bubble: “I’ll be sticking it back to you with sugar and pickles-HUGS!”

Now I don’t consider myself a very gifted baker, but I felt VERY adventurously inspired to try at least ONE of these recipes…okay, maybe two. (Include the kids!)

Sweet Revenge Blog 4

The peanut buttercream frosting for “You’re Driving Me Bananas” was a HIT with the youngsters, “Give me more!”

I TOTALLY dig this! 

Sweet Revenge Blog 2

“You’re Driving Me Bananas” cupcake topped with candied bacon and a pickle!

Sweet Candy

Don’t be afraid to melt that candy down!

Sweet Bacon

The butterscotch candy actually DOES clean off pots and spoons easily! Make sure to use parchment paper when assembling!

The kids had a LOT of fun icing these cupcakes-I told my Daughter she would definitely be inheriting this book when she’s old enough! 

Sweet Kids Frosting

The kids did a great job on these!

NOTE for newbie bakers: Don’t forget to SPRAY THOSE CUPCAKE WRAPPERS BEFORE POURING IN THE BATTER – a lesson I myself learned today!

Mind bubble: “I once was emotionally hurt but now I’m…I’m….BAKING!!!!”

The second recipe…hehe….the author lovingly calls, Fruck Off.

Mind bubble: “I could have handled things differently, had I known better…”

This fab & fun recipe REALLY impressed my dinner guests from Europe the other night! They even stated, “This could be served at a restaurant!!!” (Hear that, Heather Kim? You have given us a very delicious GEM here!)

Fruck Off Candy

Seriously, over all the decadent and glorious desserts I tried to impress my guests (AND my kids) with. THIS was the #1 “go-to” winning dessert of the evening! 

Mind bubble: “Fritos meets Reese’s Pieces…I thought it was crazy at first but…

…golly gee, am I pleasantly pleased with these results!”

Fruck Off Dish

Thank you to my friends for trying it and LOVING it!

Candy Friends

Grab a couple of recipes from the book at: RevengeIsSweet

Available at: Amazon.com/SweetRevenge

Another really good detailed review of this book at:
RetroFoodForModernTimes.com

Next up…..

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Live Lagum
Balanced Living, The Swedish Way

Live Lagom

Do you LOVE IKEA? Then you’ll especially LOVE this book!

The first magic that caught my eye here, is that I absolutely LOVE this vintage-like cover! It’s the most beautiful coffee table style book (that I actually really enjoyed reading), that I would also LOVE for my friends to be reading…you know…as they’re sitting on my couch waiting for me to get ready to go out…because it’s just that great of a sit down book. You can turn to any page and get something really cool, insightful and/or inspiring. 

My biggest takeaway here were on balance within extremes and coming from an unconscious excess and waste mindset-sometimes it’s just not our fault, if we are raised a certain way. For me, when I read books on mindfulness and any kind of personal development, I get moved into my own personal evolution via my own inspiration’s and takeaways. I can always make more positive changes. I can always make better decisions that make for a better life experience!

But WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!!

This book also features a chapter on “The Swedish Pantry” that features Swedish inspired mindful recipes…and they look SO GOOD! I get VERY excited when I see a recipe that goes deep in to culture, and these recipes I see myself making for my next tea party! This book is VERY special!

So yes! I REALLY enjoyed this book and I encourage you to at least check it out! Learn about the culture of Sweden! Inspire yourself in it’s playful pictures with words dedicated to a balance of work, home and life!

Available NOW at Amazon.com/LiveLagom

Anna Brones Website

Sign up for Anna Brones’ NEWSLETTER here

 

 

Greta, Magic Herbs and Cuba!

Snapseed
Greta is the name I gave this sweet lady, also known as Rosemary Kitchen Witch. This sweet kitchen helper is part of a collection by Witches of Pendle. She’ll most likely be making more appearances in these future kitchen blogs, so thanks for greeting her with an open heart!
Now moving on to some really COOL new reads for this month starting with….
Ten Spices for Health and Longevity
(REVISED)
By Valerie B. Lull
10 Spices
Hurray!!! Now THIS is the kind of information that seems to have gotten lost over the years that has lately been finding it’s way to us again!!!
Reflecting on reading through this book, it reminds me of an active mindfulness of actual ingredients…where energy gets infused simply by placing our attention to those ingredients and in our preparation of them!
Besides for household uses for the spices she goes into, the wonderful author also goes into traditional uses of each ingredient, followed by a few key recipes! Oh what fun I’ll have making some of these recipes, while practicing mindfulness WITH intention!!!
I love how the author also mentions possible issues with herbs and medications-let’s take back our health!
My first experiment was with the author’s recipe for CAYENNE TEA
Cayenne and Greta
I had been suffering from chest congestion from a cold and tried this one out. Just in the mindful preparation of it caused me to notice what I was experiencing from inhaling the steam from it…I was already feeling comforted.
Whether one believes or not, the energy we are feeling is the same energy we attract so…bring that on! (Achoo!!! Omg…it’s working!!!) Seriosly, even though it’s a spicy spice, it’s relaxing to me (especially after a night of restless coughing). I’m actually finally feeling sleepy!!!
I appreciated all this book’s fascinating and historical to present day uses of the 10 featured spices in this book, and found this book to be very fun AND useful!
I’ll try sage and fennel tea tomorrow (sore throat, colds, flu)
I feel the writer offers a lot in this book, simply through the ten spices for health and longevity she chose, and I feel it’s definitely worth the time to read.
An ideal gift not just for yourself but to a best friend!
**** GIFT IDEA****
A beautiful basket with labeled packets of herbs, Epson salts, a pretty tea cup and this book!!!
Revised version available at Amazon/10Spices
Author’s Website: valarielull.com
Valarie’s Blog: Simplewaystostayhealthy
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PALADARES
Author: Anya von Bremzen 
Paladares
Inspired by private restaurants of CUBA!
Cuban culture…Cuban history…
…an amazing book of stories and recipes, along with many vibrant and BEAU-tiful photos! (Well done, Anya Von Bremzen!!!!)
Of course I decided to try some of these recipes out, due to the fact that everything just looked REALLY GOOD (!) …plus, I feel that the author explained this book and the recipes well -which to me makes Paladares a nice and easy cookbook to follow!
My review here is all about the recipes so…
The first…..
Cuban Drink

Papa Doble Daiquirí

Ernest Hemingway’s regular drink, apparently. This one is called the Papa Doble Daiquirí. What I especially LOVED about this icy double is that there is NO added sugar -or any kind of sweeteners- in this one! A perfect drink for anytime, but especially during a chilly holiday season-one that I happen to be in now…so perfectly fitting!
Uh…
…although the results of my version came out a little bit foamy, it was probably due to my not so great blender. Still, the taste chimed, “Dazzling!” (Cheers to you, Ernest and Cheers to Anya and Paladares for sharing this drink recipe!)
Cuban Drinks
Next up, I made Potaje de Frijoles Negros, with sofrito. OMG…I wasn’t sure how eventful this dish would be but HEAVEN ON EARTH, these were amazing! This would most definitely make a meal on it’s own-very hearty and flavor-filled!
Cuban pre black beans

A photo BEFORE the magic of creaminess happened!

I learned here that when they say to “simmer” until tender, that really means (at least according to my own stove), to simmer on medium heat where it’s slightly boiling (like a low boil). That gave the best results for me!
Next up, Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (Chicken & Rice). I was moved by the book’s photo of this dish! I was also intrigued by the Annatto spice, along with all the other interesting ingredients like wine, lager-style beer, saffron, capers, etc…
Oh wait…speaking of wine and lager-style beer, I think it’s time to try the other drink that I also bookmarked….the Mojito!!!
Yes yes-this particular Mojito tasted TRULY AUTHENTIC! Meaning not American-ly sweet and BIG STYLE minty. Still, the California gal in me just couldn’t resist muddling in a lot more mint in my glass. My guy chose to stick with the authentic recipe. Either way, this one was another winner for us both!
Mojito for blog

Mojito

Yum!
Now back to the Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera
I didn’t actually go for using the chicken thighs this recipe called for, due to I couldn’t locate any at the grocery store I was in, so I went for an already cut up chicken.
I’ve got to say that this dish was really FUN to prepare and cook. The whole experience reminded me of growing up watching my Mom make her famous Trinidadian curried chicken…..which at this point got me to look up that Cuba is only 1,327 miles from Trinidad via air travel.
Anyway…
By the end of my results….I recreated this REALLY BEAUTIFUL DISH…just don’t forget adding salt,  like I did…or maybe it’s the  kind of dish that’s even BETTER the next day where flavors get more enhanced! (Usually for me, these kinds of dishes are).
Still, the flavors DID stand out as a new and unique tasting experience for me-a total PLUS! Now I’m very much looking forward to trying the many other recipes in this book that I’ve already bookmarked!
Cuban Collage 2
That’s my review for Paladares! Many “Cheers!” to YOU for reading, and PLEASE feel welcome to share what YOUR favorite Cuban drink or dish is, in the comments below!
Cuban drink Tom

“Solud, por que la belleza sobra”, says Tom Richards as he holds up the Papa Doble Daiquirí

“Salud, por que la belleza sobra” means…
“To your health, since you’re already so beautiful”
– HuffingtonPostUK
PALADARES is available at Amazon.com/Paladares
For MORE books by Anya Von Bremzen, please visit AnyaVonBremzenBooks

QUICK LINKS

 

10 Spices

 Cuban Cookbook

Chef Style Munchies to 5-Sensory Eating

Munchies
Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs

by JJ Goode and Helen Hollyman

A book playfully put together by inspiration of Chef’s Night Out.

To note, a lot of these “munchies” are made from scratch. If it’s late at night and your looking for something FAST, I suggest you find something else to eat (and/or drink) and just read this book (ALONG with your other late night snack!) Seriously, though, I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a lot of fun reading!

You see, I mislead myself in thinking it would be filled with “easy munchies” recipes….but please know…it’s SO MUCH MORE!

The chapters go through drinks, sandwiches, things with tortillas (THINGS, lol), Morning After recipes and….uh…a chapter called Hardcore! There are 8 chapters total, all the way to desserts!

Munchies took me completely in to another fascinating world built creatively in it’s photos, storytelling and sometimes “strong” words (lol, again), and VERY INTERESTING ingredients! Be prepared-in a playful way!


I feel this book would make a FABULOUS gift to anyone who loves the art of cooking and who has a great sense of humor!

Highlights for me were-

How to make a burrito (the right way and the wrong way)

Poutine Your Way

Best Pizza

Available at Amazon.com/Munchies

EXTRA LINKS

More Munchies Recipes at MUNCHIES/Recipes

Watch Chef’s Night Out at ChefsNightOut/EPISODES

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VEGAN Instant Pot Cookbook

101 Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for your Instant Pot
Thom Logan

Vegan Instapot

For me, I think the recipe selections are GREAT in this book-nothing is too fancy or too “out there”, yet eventful and easy enough to cook in any instant pot! 

So if you have an instant pot, want to focus eating towards MORE PLANT BASED foods AND still want the PLEASURE of eating to be EVENTFUL, please consider this cookbook! 

Seriously, in my opinion, I really feel that the author did a beautiful job inspiring the reader on how EASY cooking can be with one instant pot and plenty of yummy nourishing plant-based ingredients!  

Available at: Amazon.com/VeganInstaPot

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How We Eat With Our Eyes And Think With Our Stomach

Learn to See the Hidden Influences That Shape Your Eating Habits

Melanie Mühl, Diana von Kopp

How we eat with our eyes

I LOVE…LOVE…AND LOVE the information in this book! It’s like mindful eating on speed!  I can’t imagine NOT telling someone to get this book!!! How We Eat… is heading for GREAT SUCCESS! 

This amazing book is so well written and covers SO MUCH about the psychology of eating, emotional connections with food, all sorts of sensory experiences associated with food, and illusions of authorities, how we think of ourselves around others, food noise phobias, music validations and how it can affect our time spent in a restaurant, what and how we order off menu’s, delights vs. disgust psychology, how forks may be more trouble than their worth, and so so so much more-and so much more that one review could possibly never cover! 

I seriously cannot put this book down and I HIGHLY recommend it both for yourself and every friend out there! 

Available NOW at Amazon.com/HowWeThinkWithOurEyes

Also available on Audible at: Amazon.com/HowWeThinkWithOurEyesAudio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mychols Monster alla Truck-ish Kitchen

Time for some new Cookbook reviews that include taste tests of monster drinks, sheet supper tacos and homemade taco truck pickles starting with….

…a cookbook exploration of, “Shut Up and Cook!” by Erica Reid.

Shut Up and Cook

This book starts with great healthy inspired food information and a nice look inside the author’s actual story, and why she calls this book, “Shut up and cook!”

As for the recipes, I admit that at the beginning, it seemed like the author was going in a direction of only vegan-ish recipes-but turns out, her recipes DO twist and turn quite nicely! I’m pretty dang sure anyone can find a nice handful of favorite looking recipes to bookmark-like I have!

All in all, this cookbook felt really personal to me. Her personality really shines brightly, bubbly and authentic. I felt like I was reading a book that a really good friend would have written!  I thought Erica Reid did a really nice job here with her BEAUTIFUL and HEALTHY intention!

Available at Amazon/Shutupandcook!

Erica Reid’s website Ericareidcooks.com

Next up…



 

A cocktail book that pairs up drink recipes with horror movies!
by Jon Chaiet (Author), Marc Chaiet (Author) 

Monster Smashed

I found this cocktail recipe book to be scary…lol-I mean, funny-scary…and sometimes a tad disturbing. Seriously, ready to be deliciously haunted by killer cocktails? This book offers a nice punch of everything entertaining so, of course, I had to try at least one out…just to make sure these authors were actually serious!

I chose THE SKIN SUIT from the Shots section of the book. (You’ll have to guess what movie THAT came from!)

Sep 2

This drink was SO EASY to make (hint-homemade Jalapeno Simple Syrup), yet so elegant at the same time! I chose to NOT put the pork rind garnish in…yea, I just couldn’t go there-but imagine how impressed your guests would be if you DID serve THAT at your next scary cocktail party!

I can’t say enough about this book except, “CHEERS…Bwahahahaha!!!”

Sep 1

Just in time for Halloween, right?

Available at Amazon/LetsGetMonsterSmashed

 



 

Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian
Raquel Pelzel

 

Sheet Pan Suppers Cover

 

Okay so I personally didn’t know that “sheet pan cooking” was even a thing, and so I was very excited to dive in to what this cookbook had to offer!

There are LOTS of great recipe ideas for food with family, food with friends, or even food for one, which obviously includes leftovers-YAY!

I’m not a vegetarian anymore, but I found PLENTY of great “event oriented” recipes to choose from for the brunch I made today! I went for ROASTED POTATO AND POBLANO TACOS with TACO TRUCK PICKLES.

Of course, what sometimes (or usually) happens to me, is that I wont find an ingredient or two…like on this one! But it was fine! I used Anaheim pepper’s instead Poblano peppers and it turned out GRRRREAT!

I threw these on a sheet pan along with the rest of the ingredients suggested, then went ahead to make the TACO PICKLES…

Sep 4

EASY!

As soon as the Taco Pickles and Potatoes (with the substituted Anaheim peppers) were all ready, I took a tortilla and just filled it up. As I was about to take that first bite, I realized…wait. There was no particular spices in this dish.

I continued on to that first bite anyway and…

YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM! This was so absolutely perfect, in it’s own whole and simple way!

What a PERFECT choice for a simple brunch right next to my Monster Smash jalapeno-tequila cocktail!

So YAY to ALL the authors here! Thank you for making books that are FUN to review and blog about! I wish each cookbook GREAT success!

(Pictured: Low carb tortilla, potato/pepper filling, taco truck pickles and fresh cilantro!)

Sep 3

Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian from Amazon/SheetPanSuppersVegetarian

Raquel Pelzel’s Website http://www.raquelpelzel.com/

All photos by Mychols/Richards

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How To SET A TABLE

How To Set A Table

I FEEL INSPIRED TO ENTERTAIN AGAIN!!!
I knew right away when I received this book that it would be exactly what I was hoping for! A book where I could never mess up my next table setting, haha!
Seriously, my Mom brought me up with how to set a table properly and yet this book is my forever refresher course and a book that I can hand down to my kids! To me, this is a really FUN book-AND elegant enough to sit beside the fancy dishes I display from my dining room! 😀
The greatest inspiration I took from this book, though, were the fun ideas it gave! I’m talking about the author’s eventful THEMES and IDEAS! OMG-I feel so excited to entertain again and I am so grateful to have found this sweet and perfect little set a table book!
Although I LOVE this book, I WISH it would have given more ideas on napkin folding. Still to me, it’s a GREAT TREASURE…
…and a perfect gift to give yourself and to pass down to family!
Available NOW on Amazon.com/HowToSetaTable

Thank you for stopping by Mychols Fabulous Kitchen Blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments and questions here with me! 

XO-
L Mychols