August 26, 2013

Just a Little Preview!

Just thought I'd give you a small preview of  reviews to come! :-)   Some I'm already cooking out of (Yummy!!!), others are new arrivals, and I'm expecting a minimum of four more in the mail any time. 
Let's get cooking!! :-)

August 20, 2013

What a compliment!!

I had a nice surprise waiting for me this morning!  I checked my email as normal and found an email from Amazon stating that my review of "The Silver Spoon Cookbook" had helped someone, and a second email with a comment on my review.  It stated, "SandrasBookNook--You're making me so hungry, I'm ordering this book right NOW thanks to your wonderfully well-written review!"  Definitely started my day with a smile!

I love reviewing cookbooks, and have no plans to stop whether I know people are enjoying them or not (much of the time there is no feedback, so it can make you start to wonder if people are that interested), but it was such an encouragement that I actually influenced someone with my passion for cooking and cookbooks!! 

Happy Cooking!!

August 19, 2013

Mug Cakes by Leslie Bilderback

Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet ToothMy rating: 4 of 5 spoons

I am much more of a salty/carbs type of girl, but sometimes you just want something SWEET!! I don't like to make big cakes and desserts very often as we usually don't end up finishing them (I hate throwing half a cake away!), and we don't like for any of us--including our kids--to have a lot of sugar. These are perfect. Super quick and easy, and just the right amount to give everyone a little something sweet. Lots of great combinations. I tried the yellow cake first as I figured if the very basic of basics didn't come out right, it probably wasn't going to go well on the fancier ones! The whole family loved it! Most recipes make enough for two mug cakes which split nicely between the 6 of us. The cake was moist and had a great flavor. It's probably a tad heavier than a regular cake, but not by much. The chocolate mayonnaise cake was everything it should have been. I'm ready to branch out now. I just made the Nutella Cake. Oh my, my my!! A MUST for anyone that likes Nutella! I'm thinking of trying the lemon thyme cake next.

This is such a fun book! Lots of lovely flavors with something for everyone. Many recipes for toppings and garnishes, and a section of "not exactly cakes" that includes Lindy's-Style Mug Cheesecake (can't wait to try that one!), Pumpkin Mug Pie, Lemon Bar Mug and more. Definitely a sweet little book to add to my favorites shelf!

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

View all my reviews

August 15, 2013

All You Knead is Bread by Jane Mason

All You Knead Is Bread: 50 Recipes from Around the World to Bake & ShareMy rating: 3 of 5 spoons

I love bread. So many people are addicted to sweets, chocolate (ok, I do love chocolate), etc, but give me a nice, crusty loaf of bread and I am one happy lady!! I think the favorite meal I've ever had was the first evening of my first trip to Sicily when I was given a couple of thick slices of good Italian bread, three kinds of cheese and a big glass of ice water. I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven! My love for bread actually borders on addiction, so I couldn't WAIT to dive into this cookbook. I've been making bread for years, so I'm no novice, but I wouldn't necessarily call myself an expert, either.

I started with the Olive Oil Rolls. I love, love, LOVE Italian breads, so this was an easy choice. Oh, my! These were so easy to make, and a huge hit with my family. Next I went for the Bridge Rolls. Eh. Not so great. They were okay, but definitely not on my "Make these again!" list. I just made the Biovette. Yes, back to Italian breads. Unfortunately, they were another "Eh". I thought I might have made a mistake with the Bridge Rolls and accidentally added too much salt, but these were too salty as well. I did NOT like the method of looking at the dough like a clock and pulling pieces out until they were thin and gently lay them back on the main portion of dough. It seemed more work than necessary, and I didn't like they way the Biovette turned out doing that (I didn't bother with it on the first two breads). I've never heard of doing the dough that way, and don't plan on doing it that way ever again as I certainly didn't like the results.

I love the information given in the first part of the book; really breaking down all the ingredients and aspects of bread making. Unfortunately two of the first three recipes I made, I really wasn't impressed with the results. That coupled with so many of the breads needing special ingredients dropped my rating for it. This is not a book to go on my favorites shelf.

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

August 10, 2013

Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's KitchenMy rating: 4 of 5 spoons

I love cooking from scratch. As a stay-at-home-mom, you could say it's my normal. Yes, it's nice to be able to grab a mix or something sometimes when you're in a hurry or something unexpected happens, but I love making a good home-cooked meal. This book is right up my alley as it's not only about cooking from scratch, but cooking healthy as well. This is not a vegetarian cookbook as some have stated, but there are great notations at the bottom of each recipe for 30 minutes or less, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan friendly, make ahead, dairy free, gluten free, under 1 hour, etc. I love the fact that it uses fresh, healthy ingredients, whole grains and more. I am trying to cook healthier for my family as my husband and I try to lose weight--not so easy when you review cookbooks!! He is doing great, I am slowly moving along. Cookbooks like this are so much fun for me, though. There's some great, healthy ideas for vegetables to go so nicely with the light, healthy proteins I've been cooking. You MUST try the slow-roasted tomatoes and easy roasted vegetables. I would never have thought of "Rosemary & Pecorino Popcorn", but it was quite yummy! I'm dying to make the Roasted Tomato Soup and Beef Spezzatino as well as many, many others. I'll be going back to this cookbook time and again!

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