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

 

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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!

LNT4

***Please check out Natalie’s website

Available NOW on Amazon/BigBookOfPaleo

Author’s Website: Perry’sPlate.com 

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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

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/

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.

Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.

                                                             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!)

Processed with Snapseed.

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.

Processed with Snapseed.

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.

Processed with Snapseed.

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.***

Modern Potluck! (Kristin Donnelly) Review

modern-potluck

Wow! A Modern Potluck cookbook! Well yeah, bring it on!

This book caught my eye and really inspired me to maybe break that habit and think about making future gatherings as a co-created event….with an inspirational recipe from this cookbook, allowing me to still be the highlight (hehe).

At my first reading through this book, I found it right off the bat to be elegant, artsy, and creative. The author’s intention feels approachable and definitely fits the place for those of us who want to “up” our usual tried and true (and sometimes less healthy) potluck dishes for something more memorable and unique that truly has the potential to stand out in a crowd.

The “modern” in this book focuses greatly in the time we are in now-more veggies, healthier locations for meats, dairy and eggs, with more adventurous ingredients and spices here and there. The author is also including being conscious of diet restrictions that may be among your guests.

I also found this book giving a lot of great tips and suggestions, like adding salt throughout a recipe, rather than all at once-it actually matters! Garnishing and finishing dishes and lots of “potluck” rules are also highlights for me in this cookbook.

Every recipe includes a “potluck tip”-a tip for the pre and post serving of each dish. The author is also very detailed with her recipes and guides which are better served with it’s appropriate season. That’s pretty cool!

My particular favorite chapters are the Baked & Savory, Seasonal Deviled Eggs, New Crudites, Potato Salads for Four Seasons and Roasting Vegetables.

I will most likely be using this book for exactly what it’s intended for-a modern potluck, but it really is also a great read for tips and suggestions that is for any time!

Now available at Amazon.com
About the Author: kristindonnelly.com

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

The Naked Cookbook (Tess Ward) – Review

the-naked-cookbook

I feel that themed cookbooks really have a knack for taking the reader away, regardless if they bother trying to create one or more recipes from it.

Low in carbs, free from processed anything, and no refined sugars. It’s not vegetarian, it’s not gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan. It’s about stripped down and naked ingredients.

This book as a whole didn’t really inspire me to want to re-create anything from it. For my lifestyle I’m looking for something I’m more aligned with that doesn’t involve tea soaked raisins (although it sounds great), and I suppose it’s slightly more challenging level makes sense because in the back of the book it’s noted that this author is a blogger herself and a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who has spent time in kitchens of River Cottage and The Ritz.

To me, these recipes seem better fit for special occasions like trying to impress my best girlfriends with, as opposed to every day cooking for me or my family. Also, it seemed like every recipe I considered making would be something I’d need to buy more than a few ingredients at a time for.

As a whole, and for the love and interest of cookbooks, I praise this book for it’s elegance, freshness, funky-feel of ingredients that bare all within pages of very beautiful photos. I also really like the “card-boardy” cover and simple design of this book-I think it would look great on a coffee table!

It’s my own opinion here, but if you love the art of slower cooking (not “slow cooking with a slow cooker”!) and eating clean, this could be a perfect book to add to your collection or to gift to a good friend.

Available now on Amazon/TheNakedCookbook

To see more of what Tess Ward writes and cooks about, here is her beautiful website:
http://www.tessward.net/

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

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches (Tyler Kord) – Review

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WATCH MY VIDEO TASTE TEST HERE: My Taste Test Youtube Video

This book has opened a creative part of me. It’s shown me something new. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves food and has a good sense of humor.

I’m just going to say it. I don’t like cooking difficult food. I’m a California girl who thinks East Coast food is kind of strange. I’m not a “sub” or heavy sandwich “sandwich” kind of person of any kind, but I LOVED the title of this book and felt very excited to blog about it!

When I first began reading through A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches, I found myself not feeling very good physically (I suppose my stomach was feeling a bit heavy and “upset” from the recipes, just like the book promised). But I really enjoyed the stories throughout this book, from the get go. Just be prepared for a bit of strong language here and there.

The recipes start heavy with meat, although the creator’s love is truly broccoli. The book goes through meats to vegetables and all the way to a veggie burger! He covers sauces, pickling, and….did I mention frying? Oh yes-that’s there! Each recipe also comes with either a fun story or something that was going on in the author’s mind. Are you feeling adventurous yet?

As far as making a sandwich from this book, the recipes seem time consuming to me. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe the author wants us to know these are the kinds of sandwiches you’d want to visit the No.7 sandwich shop for. The author might want us to realize how much work and love really do go into his creations.

All in all, I think this book makes an excellent gift and is really fun to read to friends. It’s genuinely funny and the recipes are real! I actually got the nerve to make the Zucchini Parm sandwich, with ingredients I could find. The end result? A little bit of work but the taste was actually quite “miam.”

More about the author: http://no7sub.com/about/
Now available on Amazon

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