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.***

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Modern Potluck! (Kristin Donnelly) Review

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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

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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.***