Cookbook Review Blog…

Baking Class by Deanna F. Cook

 

Baking

 

Explore this extraordinary magical world of baking for kids, all rolled up in this new release, Baking Class! This baking book of fun recipes is so thorough with it’s baking tips, baking tools, baking lessons (with photos!), and ideas to make baking an exciting event. I think the author had WAY TOO MUCH FUN putting this book together, because it truly shows! From simple and savory baked items to pies, cakes and all sorts of various sweet treats, this book is on it!  Any child even with the slightest bit of interest in backing, will absolutely LOVE this book-even if just to flip through. A+ on Baking Class!

***PLEASE check out Deanna’s website

Available NOW on: Amazon/BakingClass

Author and Her Other Works: Deanna F. Cook Page

Author’s Website: deannafcook.com

***

The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking by Natalie Perry

 

Slow Cooking

 

***

Hard to beat Paleo in a slow cooker!

Wow-this book has it ALL, and the best part is that it focuses not just on Paleo cooking but Paleo INGREDIENTS which have recently been my go to for replacing foods that don’t agree with me.

I had a lot of fun going through this book. The recipes are appealing and pretty dang easy! It’s not just a “throw a bunch of recipes together” kind of book, it truly focuses on what it stands for and offers nice personal notes with each recipe.

From all the cookbooks for this months reviews, I chose to try the slow cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower (from page 106). Since it was totally on a whim, I had everything except the main ingredient-chicken. Turns out, I also was short tomato paste and 1 more Tbsp. of Cumin but I proceeded with the recipe anyway, knowing I could just freeze the marinade and red bell pepper sauce (separately) and then put it all together later. HA!

The day  before I made this Tikka Masala with Cauliflower dish, I defrosted both the marinade and the red pepper sauce. I added the raw boneless chicken to the marinade to let it sit overnight (to make the chicken more flavorful, as the recipe suggested).

This recipe did not photograph well AT ALL for me, so we chose to stick with making a video instead.

NOTE: We paired this recipe with a NON SWEET, more on the side of a fruit forward melon/papaya and fresh citrus zing Argentine Torrontés (white wine), and it was a PERFECT match!

A lighter and healthier recipe like this really pushes me to appreciate how fresh food and wine pairings can really highlight each other!

CLICK FOR VIDEO!

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***Please check out Natalie’s website

Available NOW on Amazon/BigBookOfPaleo

Author’s Website: Perry’sPlate.com 

***

The New American Heart Association Cookbook

 

Heart Assoc Cookbook

 

Even though this book is chalk filled with tons of recipes, I DO miss not getting to see any photos (except on the outside of the book itself). But I DO like how each chapter gives a rundown of the recipes coming in that particular chapter-especially since there are so many recipes IN each chapter.

I also LOVE that each recipe comes with a little “forward” to make the recipe a little more interesting….since the recipes to me are just not that-at least not for me.

Updated or outdated? The recipes themselves seem a bit “old” or from the past. I don’t mean the past of ham in jelly but more like 80’s’ish…if that makes sense. Just not very appealing or exciting to my own personal tastes, BUT there may be PLENTY of folks who DO love recipes like the ones in this cookbook, so of course, I encourage reading other reviews if you have an interest in this heart healthy cookbook.

So another big bit of a put off for me was that this book encourages the use of white flours, cereals, aluminum foil, vegetable oil, (Please check out this funny video, “Why Coconut Oil Kills”) low fat/fat free….free with additives (!)…it just seems so odd to me that in this day and age…could these recipes be stuck in old habits….old ways?

This book is indeed intended to be about heart health, but I ALWAYS encourage anyone I know and care about to not just get their doctor check-ups but to also stay food educated and to put more focus on what works, in regards to your own personal body. Doctors don’t know everything and that’s okay, that’s what nutritionists are for-and there are so many different ones out there to choose from. Simply put: Educating ourselves is KEY!

So that is my review for The New American Heart Association Cookbook. Thank you so much for reading!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

More about the author: The New American Heart Association

Available on: Amazon.com

Attracting Miracles!!!

I had the great honor of meeting both Gregory Downey-The GREATitude Coach, along with Dr. Joe Vitale last year at a weekend retreat/live event. I am so excited now to see this new book release with both of their names on it!!!

There were so many great takeaways for me just in that one weekend but my hands couldn’t seem to take notes fast enough! I really enjoyed that live event, as both of these guys are exceptional live speakers!

Attracting Miracles Gregory

Stay tuned for my FULL review of this book! I’m already looking forward to learning more about how Gregory changed from a mindset of abusive surroundings to attracting miracles and where he is today. I know for a fact that he changes people’s lives-he’s certainly has changed mine, as my own coach!

Be excited like me Sunshine Face 2, as we venture in to his step by step, how to attract miracles in to our lives!

Attracting Miracles and my secret life as a miracles coach is now available on
Amazon.com

***I’ve also heard that this book will soon be available through Audible.com!

Like Money, Candy is Energy

It was through the passion of my ego’s annoyance that inspired me to write about the experience of last night’s adventure. It was through the observer, my higher consciousness, that I decided to write about the same experience and to release the pain I was choosing to experience.

Through this writing was when I discovered-or uncovered-the obvious. That like money, candy is energy!

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The story begins when my family went trick or treating. We had strolled peacefully through a few streets in our neighborhood while our kids gathered candy from the homes of strangers -ones who had made big candy purchases just to serve random people in costumes exclaiming, “Trick Or Treat!”…and of course adding the courteous, “thank you”, that comes after the magical candy drop.

 
After our hour or so of candy collecting and fun Halloween Decor visuals, we walked over to visit some friends who every year, pass out candy from their very own spooktacular decorated driveway.

 
It wasn’t long after we had arrived that our friends realized they were almost out of candy to pass out. Their street had never seen so much foot traffic on Halloween night.
My guess, is that it was because this year Halloween fell on a Monday night. People have to work, after all. I soon asked myself as I noticed the time, why the heck are all these kids and grown-ups still out walking around and gathering candy so late?

 
It was my 10 year old Son who stepped up and graciously decided he wanted to share his own collected candy to save the night. We all kept asking, “are you sure?” He was VERY sure. Our whole party felt so much inspiration from his selfless decision. Our host was even so inspired that he went and presented a gift to show gratitude for this boy’s beautiful act.

 
Love.

Ego.

My immediate experience of the moment was of course, witnessing the JOY of my Son’s act. He gave his candy away so lovingly and with so much care. He reminded me of a feeling. An authentic and pure experience in the act of giving. Giving from the heart before EVER “learning” anything else.

I remembered what it felt like before I learned what it was to be attached to “things”. Before fear and any sort of  “lack of” mentality mind-set came to be. Through my own programming, the ego would have something to say about this one. It would be taking notes to wake me up with in just a few hours. I would soon be teetering endlessly from JOY to PAIN.

I fell asleep remembering the cute appreciative kids that my Son gave his candy to, but soon the ego would come wide awake with IT’S say in the matter, and it was already remembering everything it didn’t like….

…everything like the witnessing of parents gathering candy for their 1-year old …and the other group with their newborn, admitting the candy was really for themselves. The ego remembered the several cars desperately searching for houses with lights still on. It seemed like they were searching for a candy lottery or something-in search of as much candy as they could get while they could still get it. They’d park…grab candy….say thank you, of course, and leave.

 
And there was my Son still giving his candy away…to them.

 
I was experiencing feelings of pain within myself of what I judged as greed from others. It was all going over and over in my head-and in my heart, reminding me of how people feel about politics-the assumptions…the judgments…the expectations of others….IT’S ALL THAT SAME ENERGY! Why do I feel so sure about it? Because it FEELS like the same energy-festering and vibrating on it’s extremely low and dangerous setting.

My Son was not suffering for his kind act. I was.

Through writing this blog post, I would understand that through those who accepted candy from this beautiful spirit of a kid, where accepting the candy for his benefit. The true and pure authentic JOY IN GIVING would awaken as the experience that this little guy chose all by himself.

Lesson learned, Mom. All is well.

Big Bad Breakfast, indeed!

And it’s a Big Bad Breakfast for ANY time of the day!

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My rock-star Husband got a hold of this book before me and he immediately LOVED it! LOL! Now THAT’S confirmation that this could be a FABULOUS book for the man in your life (friend or otherwise).

As for me, I LOVED the idea of this book, simply based on the cover and it’s title. Breakfast is not a course I usually tackle, but I was willing to take on a dish in this book- only because everything in this book looks worth making!
Reading through this cookbook the first time through, my eyes and my mind felt pure delight! The stories and the recipes have great themes to them. The pictures do a great job alluring the reader to want to attempt them all….well, in my world!
I also noted that the author really appreciates cooking from scratch as much as possible-which is something I usually cut corners in. Still, I feel many of the recipes in this cookbook are approachable for anyone who loves to cook, and there are so many highlights on flavor, via spices and fresh ingredients.
For our cookbook recipe taste test, I chose to take on a less traditional (and less ingredient) “breakfast” recipe called Shakshouka-a dish well known in the Middle East.

SEE VIDEO HERE
SHAKSHOUKA RECIPE TASTE TEST VIDEO

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The challenges I faced while making this recipe were the cooking times. The times of cooking listed in the instructions of the recipe were pretty much three times longer for me-each and every time! Maybe because I don’t have an industrial kitchen. Either way, the description of what the cooking should do FOR the ingredients were explained within the recipe-that was what I was going on at that point.
The end result was my presentation looking more like a fifties or sixties retro dish with my eggs more cooked than the recipe and the cheese more cooked than the recipe-hmmm…

As far as the taste of the dish-IT WAS AMAZING! It was still very flavorful (nothing tasted burned) and the food didn’t feel heavy at all! It was more filling, than anything else! Made a great lunch for the next day!

So….

Would I attempt another recipe from this cookbook? HECK YES! There are some FUN and more traditional/southern-style dishes going on in this book that caught my eye (and tummy) that I feel are worth attempting for breakfast, brunch OR dinner -egg bakes, Benedict’s, quesadillas, salsa/sauces, enchiladas, migas, scrambles, specialty brunch beverage favorites (with their own twists), all kinds of pancakes, breads and cakes…actually there is much more than that, and it’s NOT overwhelming at all. Just enough of everything that would look great on a restaurant menu.
I rarely eat meat and there were plenty for me to choose from, in this book. These are the kind of recipes I’d cook for beyond my own family-these are recipes I’d WANT to invite friends over for….a Big Bad Breakfast!!!

***I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.***

Big Bad Breakfast Cookbook available NOW on Amazon.com
John Currence Website: http://chefjohncurrence.com/
John Currence Restaurants: http://chefjohncurrence.com/restaurants/

Tips I learned from a 3-hour tour

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I’ve now been on 3 unconscious boat rides. Each one I was “there” at but not really “there” paying attention to how boat ride gatherings really worked. This time I made the decision to really pay attention. Would if I were hosting one of these fabulous boating trips

It’s true, though. I’ve been so scared of “out there” for so long, that I panic when I see someone else doing it. I’ve hosted plenty of parties and events in my own home, but never outside of it. Even gigs…they are always put on by someone else. I’d just show up as usual.

So today I took notes on how to properly host a boat outing with ease, just by watching our hostess. She is the QUEEN, in my book!

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TOOLS for a party of 4-8

Cooler on wheels! (preferably a soft sporty cooler. Nothing hard or bulky. You want to be able to get it easily in and out of the boat, while not taking up too much room.)

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  • Cloth tablecloth (Polyester checker design is always a great choice!)
  • Shatterproof stemless wine glasses (look for ones with the indentation-harder to slip from hands)

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  • Tupperware with lids (small sizes for dips, larger for pasta salads)

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  • Plastic reusable plates (I’d stick with white, on behalf of the color/pattern of your tablecloth)

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  • Plastic spoons and forks
  • Serving utensils (keep them small so they don’t blow away!)
  • Napkins (dinner size)
  • Speaker for music (Bluetooth or many times the boat has a mini-cable)

***NOTE: The boat you rent may also have it’s own built in stereo / CD Player.

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For your gathering

  • Food and drinks for your guests (simple, easy to serve food)
  • A great musical playlist that sets a good mood for your gathering (phone/ipod)
  • Ice for cooler
  • Bottle Waters
  • Wine (red/white/beer)
  • Trash bag
  • Recycle bag/things you take home to wash, bag

It’s absolutely cool and A-Okay to ask your guests to bring a dish and a choice of drink. We all share, but the host/hostess still makes sure the whole party is taken care of, and keeps their guests informed of exactly what they ARE bringing, so there are no duplicate dishes.

Our hostess brought a pasta salad, shrimp and sauce, crackers, cheese and wine. That left room for guests to bring appetizers like hummus, tortilla chips, desserts, specialty nuts, and more wine!

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It was truly a perfect mix of just about everything for a perfect 3 hour boat ride.

As far as who drives the boat, it’s almost certain that if you are hosting a boat ride, you already know how to do it. But it’s nice to invite your guests to take a turn at it.

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Obvious common courtesy’s during the boat ride

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Being courteous to other’s also in the same waters, keeping the volume of  music and voice to the boat, and to read whatever rules are posted at the boat rental facility. Also, dress cool! Just because you play in a rock & roll band, does not mean you need to dress like a rock & roller while cruising at 3 miles per hour through residential canals. (Really. No need for jeans, a dark shirt, another dark shirt over that and then a windbreaker on the side). Seriously, I forget that it doesn’t get cold like when your out in the ocean….sigh….I survived and with so much to write home about! YAY!

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Fab-Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Toast Points from Mychols’ Fabulous Kitchen!

Fab-Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Toast Points!
(Inspired by and Dedicated to my beautiful Daughter Vivienne)

Processed with Snapseed.Today I’m sharing a personal kid friendly favorite from my very own fabulous kitchen! I’ve even given it a fancy name. This recipe might be considered simple and common, but the preparation and kitchen tools involved here are key!

A good non-stick pan, A strong metal spatula with a rubber tip, a 2-cup measuring cup (for space to create bubbles in!), and a medium sized whisk.

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                                                             FAB-FLUFFY SCRAMBLED EGGS

                                                                                  1 Serving

*3 Eggs 
*1 Tsp Butter
*1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
*1/4 Tsp Sea Salt (We love Pink Himalayan Salt!)
*1 Splash of Water

Add the butter to your non-stick pan, over medium-high heat. As the butter melts,
crack your 3 eggs in the large measuring cup and add a splash of water to it. Add the garlic powder and salt next. Now whisk your egg mixture for about 30 seconds vigorously (we want bubbles. LOTS of bubbles!)

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Your butter should be nicely melted and slightly sizzle-y.

Next, turn the heat down to medium-low and add your whisked eggs to it.

Allow the eggs to simply sit till they look “set” around the edges.

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At this point you can lift, flip, and slide the “set” eggs carefully away from the hottest parts of the pan, letting the still “wet” parts of the egg fall in to the empty heated space so they can also “set”.

Cook and only carefully slide and/or flip your omletey-egg masterpiece until all the egg mixture is fully done to your liking. I like it to be fluffy, with a little “wet” look to them.

TIP: Keeping the lifting and flipping to a minimum will help keep the eggs in a nice fluffy consistency.

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Tip 2: I like to serve this dish in a 1-serving sized crock pot, because I find it keeps the eggs warmed longer.

                                                                         TOAST POINTS
                                                                                  1 Serving

Toast points are really just a fancy title for triangle shaped toast with the crust cut off of them. I LOVE toast points!!!

*Bread-2 slices
*Butter or Margarine

Toast bread to a light golden brown, spread with butter or margarine, cut edges off of each side of your toast, then cut diagonally for triangle shapes and serve with your Fab-Fluffy Scrambled Eggs!

Any leftovers can be offered to the hungry parent!

a modern way to cook (Anna Jones) – Review

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My taste testing videoYoutube 

*a modern way to cook, 150+ vegetarian recipes for quick, flavor-packed meals.*

Quick, being that if you have the mindset of the author’s prepping and cooking “practice” in place along with the proper equipment, yes-you CAN make quick flavor-packed meals!

I come from a traditional upbringing of cooking-meaning brought up in the seventies but raised from the influence of the sixties. The new “modern” ways of cooking is something I’m still catching up with.

I love the idea of cooking using fresh and healthy ingredients, I just don’t like having to go to the store all the time for them.

So, coming from a person like me, here goes my review.

The book itself is lovely in a farm-fresh/french countryside way.

I loved sitting down with this book The author writes and explains how this book will work for the reader. How the ingredients of her recipes will affect us and our lives.

A couple things I really loved about this book:

The author includes a nice paragraph before each recipe – like the history of where each recipe came from and how she has changed it in to something new, healthy and modern.

My other favorite highlights throughout this book are her pairings-like her 10 pairings of omelet fillings. She puts each pairing in six categories: Main Vegetable, Backup Vegetable, Accent Flavor, Backup Flavor, and Richness.

I also appreciate that even though the author uses a lot of healthy and fresh ingredients, you WILL still find some “fun” ingredients like sourdough bread and actual ….cheese! (NOTE: There are a few ingredients the author will suggest substitutions for, like for dairy, grains, etc.).

For me, I personally probably will not be using this book to cook from much. I like it more for reading and educating myself with. (Again, I’m still coming from traditional habits that I actually like.)

I did attempt a recipe from this book, for blogging purposes.

SMOKY PEPPER AND WHITE BEAN QUESADILLAS

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I chose this recipe because I personally love ALL quesadillas, and this one would only take 10 minutes! Well, prep alone (for me) took about 20 minutes and then cooking it and dishing it took a few more-but then I probably move slower than most.

As far as the ingredients went, the green onions, smoked paprika, roasted red peppers, lemon, parsley, and cherry tomatoes were no problem to obtain from my local store. What I DID end up having to substitute were the cooked white beans (SUBSTITUTED for red kidney beans), whole wheat or seeded tortillas (SUBSTITUTED Ezekial sprouted grain tortillas), and Manchego cheese (SUBSTITUTED sharp white cheddar cheese with hints of Parmesan).

The parsley that I bought at the store were truly a huge bunch but the packaging DID say that it was “technically” a bunch at 3oz. and so I used half of that bunch. It still seemed like an awful lot, but I trusted and proceeded anyway.

NOTE: the only parsley I could find for this recipe was the rougher “curly leaf” kind and not the Italian “flat leaf” kind. The recipe only called for …parsley.

So my taste tester and I found the recipe to be pretty good-he rated it at a 6, and I agreed. I LOVED the cheese I used and the beans seemed to make it a “meatier” kind of experience. The parsley was a bit rough, though.

This recipe was probably more trouble for me for the end result I got. Even if I had used a different or “softer” tortilla and less -or a different kind- of parsley, I’d still probably simplify this recipe, while in the back of my mind always remembering the initial recipe that inspired me! 😉

So to sum up my review of A Modern Way to Cook: the book is a beautiful read. It’s beautiful to look through and a GREAT cookbook to learn from-this coming from someone who is still used to cooking and eating the “old” way!

Thank you so much for reading my review of A Modern Way To Cook.

Available at Amazon.com

Authors Website: http://annajones.co.uk/

***I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.***