July 22, 2015

Chowderland by Brooke Dojny

Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides & Salads to Match
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons
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I dearly love a good bowl of chowder, so I was thrilled to get a copy of this book to review. There is a nice variety of chowders included and I enjoyed the book immensely. I have made the Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder and Classic Down East Haddock Chowder so far. The Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder only called for 1/2 t salt (plus more if needed). I know it says "more if needed", but that's way too little salt to even start with for a pot of chowder containing 1 1/4 lbs of potatoes plus the broccoli, cream, etc. I had to add salt 3 times to get it seasoned enough. I also added more cheese as you could barely taste the cheese the first time around even though I was using a good, sharp cheddar. The Down East Haddock Chowder was very enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to trying more of the chowders.

I was very surprised to find no recipes for making your own stock. In the beginning of the book she says "If possible, I call for a cooking method that incorporates broth-making as part of a chowder or seafood recipe", but most of the time she just calls for bottled clam juice and/or seafood broth. I would have loved to have had some good recipes for fish, shrimp, and or seafood broth made from scratch. I think it would have really added to the book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be cooking from it again. I have several recipes marked already such as Clam Fritters, Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Tart along with more chowders.

I received a copy of this book from Storey Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

June 20, 2015

Zing! By Gorji

Zing! By Gorji - New Mediterranean Cuisine: Bold, Balanced, Simple & Savory
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
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I love Mediterranean food and this cookbook brings a bold, fresh taste of the Mediterranean into your kitchen. Scallops and Gazpacho Salad (Oh, my! Amazing!!), Salmon Creme in Portobello Mushroom Cap, Cucumber, Tomato & Shrimp and more dazzle your taste buds and bring you back for more. Yes, there are some ingredients that may be hard to find for some recipes and there are some that I will not ever make (I'm not really into lamb brains!), but there's more than enough in this cookbook for anyone to find something delicious to cook.

The cookbook starts with Flavor Building Blocks and Tips, Techniques & Notes before moving into the recipes. Following the recipes are Some Basics on cooking gnocchi, pasta, boiling rice and preparing grape leaves as well as a couple of pages on Gorji Gourmet Foods--what there is and where to buy.

This is a lovely cookbook full of gorgeous photos and delightful recipes. I am very happy to recommend it to others. I have never been to Chef Gorji's restaurant, and maybe someday I will get to Texas and have the privilege of tasting his cooking first hand, but for now I can make his dishes in the privacy of my own home,

I received a copy of this cookbook from Word Slinger Publicity for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

May 23, 2015

BBQ Bistro by Karen Adler

BBQ Bistro: Simple, Sophisticated French Recipes for Your Grill
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
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It's that time of year again! Time to pull out the grills and enjoy time with family in the great outdoors. How about adding some French flair this year?! This fascinating cookbook combines classic French flavors with your outdoor grill to make some memorable meals. Why not try Croque Monsieur on the Grill Griddle or Ham and Gruyere Tartines? Maybe Grilled Lamb Chops Paillard-Style, Sweet and Sticky Ribs, Grilled Ribeye Steak Au Poivre with Onion Straws or Lobster Tail with Pernod Butter is more your style. Why not try your favorite grilled item with a side of Provencal Grill-Roasted Tomatoes or Grilled Ratatouille? Grilled Pound Cake with Strawberry Compote or Grilled Apricot and Plum Skewers with Almond Chantilly--or any of the other lovely desserts--will round out your meal nicely.

Get a little creative and have fun this summer with your family! Grill out with a French flair with this lovely cookbook. I definitely recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from Running Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cookie Craft by Janice Fryer

Cookie Craft: From Baking to Luster Dust: Designs and Techniques for Creative Cookie Occasions
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons
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Cookie Craft is not so much a cookbook as a diy type book. There are a grand total of 4 cookie recipes and 3 variations of royal icing. Fondant is talked about, but no recipe is given--if you want to use it you'll need to find a recipe elsewhere or just buy it. That being said, there is a cornucopia of information, tips, techniques and ideas in this book to make gorgeous cookies on your own. There's even information on how to store, pack and ship your masterpieces!

Photography and sepia sketches are used to show the steps to use and the finished products, and the finished products are gorgeous! Give yourself a crash course in making beautiful cookies on your own with this lovely book.

I received a copy of this book from Storey Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ciao Biscotti by Domenica Marchetti

Ciao Biscotti: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Celebrating Italy's Favorite Cookie
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
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My family is a huge fan of biscotti. We adore Italian food, and biscotti is quintessential Italian. I, personally, don't have a huge sweet tooth, so was thrilled to see savory versions as well. Go with a classic almond or hazelnut, branch out with some chocolate-almond with pistachios, stracciatella, coconut-lime, cappuccino or even crispy pancetta, almond and aged asiago or cornmeal with rosemary and parmigiano! A few non-biscotti recipes are included as well such as hazelnut meringues and nutella sandwich cookies.

Ciao Biscotti is a great cookbook for lovers of biscotti everywhere. Such a lovely variety of flavors and easy-to-read instructions combine with lovely photos to create a lovely little cookbook that I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book from Chronicle Books for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cooking Class by Deanna Cook

Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!)
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
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I am a firm believer in teaching kids to cook, and this is a great cookbook for doing just that! It's well and good to teach one on one familiar dishes; I think kids need to learn how to cook WITHOUT a recipe all the time, but they also need to learn how to cook from a recipe as well. One of my daughters just turned 13 yesterday and is passionate about learning to cook. This book works great for her as well as my younger daughter. It covers beginning cooking instructions, breakfast, lunch, snacks, veggies, dinner and dessert. From the supper simple such as how to hard boil an egg or mix and match sandwich shop or dipped strawberries to the more complicated such as crepes, spring rolls or meringue nests, there is something for every level of expertise in your little ones. I love that they can start simple and work their way to harder recipes all in one cookbook.

The photography is colorful and very informative. Step-by-step photos are included for many of the recipes helping the child follow the recipe even better. My older daughter just fell in love with California sushi rolls, so is thrilled to have the instructions to make her own!

I highly recommend this cookbook to families with kids. Even if they don't have a desire to learn to cook at the moment, this colorful, fun book just might be the inspiration they need!

I received a copy of this book from Storey Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

May 22, 2015

My Indian Kitchen by Hari Nayak

My Indian Kitchen: Preparing Delicious Indian Meals without Fear or Fuss
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
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"My Indian Kitchen" feels like an abbreviated "bible" of Indian food. It doesn't have the thickness of some of your more comprehensive tomes, but what it has is packed with goodness! I'm not talking a few yummy recipes and some pretty pictures. Techniques, ingredients, tools, spice mixes and so much more combine with delicious recipes and gorgeous photography to produce a gem for your kitchen. Tuttle has hit a home run once again with this cookbook!!

I received a copy of this book from Tuttle Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.