April 27, 2014

A Cook's Journey to Japan by Sarah Marx Feldner

A Cook's Journey to Japan: 100 Homestyle Recipes from Japanese Kitchens
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

Mmmmmmm! Luscious cookbook with luscious food!! This book is a delight to the eye, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Don't just stop with reading, though. Dive in and cook up some fabulous Japanese food! My husband loved the Sesame Seared Beef! Yakitori Chicken Skewers, Chicken and Vegetable Rice Medley, Breaded Pork Cutlets, Five Color Salad, Spicy Pan-Seared Eggplant and Toasted Sesame Cookies--there's something for everyone!

If you don't have a good Asian market, you might have some trouble getting some of the ingredients, so that dropped the rating a bit. However, there's still plenty in this cookbook to make you go back again and again. I definitely recommend it!

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

April 23, 2014

Bake: The Essential Companioin by Alison Thompson

Bake: The Essential Companion
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

I love baking! There's just something so satisfying abut making yummy, from-scratch baked goods for my family--like the Savory Scones (Cheese & Mustard version) I just took from the oven. Personally, I think the oven should be hotter. It says 15-20 min at 340F, but I cooked them over 25 min--the last 5 min bumped up to 350F--and they're still a tad doughy in the middle. The flavor is amazing, though!! I made the Cornish Pasties for my daughters for a picnic and they absolutely LOVED them...and so did I!

This cookbook is filled with scrumptious recipes and lovely photos. It's broken into sections from Breads to Cakes, Pastries, Cookies, Croissants and even a gluten-free section! There's lots more recipes I can't wait to try. I hope the flavors stay up the high standard these have set!  I did drop the rating a bit due to the uncertainty that all the temperatures/times will be accurate.

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

World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey

World Class Cakes: 250 Classic Recipes from Boston Cream Pie to Madeleines and Muffins
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

A feast for the eyes and the palette!! While definitely not for the beginning baker, this is a great cookbook full of recipes for amazing cakes. The book is divided into sections that start with Sponges & Layer Cakes and end with Celebration Cakes. Each recipe starts with a small blurb about the cake and its history. Several of the recipes have a page beside it titled "Where to Eat Cake..." and a location that gives multiple great places to find local baking. There are lots of pictures throughout the book, which is a big plus. It's always nice to know what the finished product is supposed to look like when you're making something completely new.

When I first get a cookbook, I usually flip through it and find a couple of recipes that I want to try the most. That was not possible with this book. If I had marked every recipe I couldn't wait to try, the book would look like a porcupine with markers sticking out all over! I started with Sonhos, Portugese "dreams" doughnuts. Oh, my! These were a HUGE hit with my girls!! I didn't use the optional 4th egg, and I'm really glad I didn't. I think these would have been to eggy tasting if I'd used the 4th. Make sure and cook them plenty long enough--they'll split slightly and puff up much larger than expected when they're done. My first batch I didn't leave long enough and they were slightly doughy inside, but all the rest were amazing!! Definitely try the Turkish Lemon Cake, Tippaleipa (Finnish Funnel Cakes), and the Devil's Food Cake!

One downside to this book is quite a few ingredients may be semi to very hard to find. If you live in an area with many specialty shops or are comfortable buying online, that may not be a big issue to me, but it was fairly frustrating to me.

If you are a beginning baker, you might have some trouble with some of these recipes, but if you're at least somewhat experienced I recommend this book! I gave it 4 out of 5 because of the more advanced nature, and the fact that there are many harder-to-find ingredients.

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

April 8, 2014

Kitchen Things by Richard Snodgrass

Kitchen Things: An Album of Vintage Utensils and Farm-Kitchen Recipes
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons

This is part art/coffee table book and part cookbook, but completely fun!! Great black & white photos of old kitchen utensils scattered with old farm-style recipes that can take you back to your childhood and beyond!

I've used many of the items in this book, saw my grandparents use others and there's even a few I've never seen before! The photos are great and it's a joy just to slowly look through this book.

Ummmm! Butterscotch cookies, cornmeal mush, baked beans, scalloped oysters, creamed potatoes, lemon pie.....need I go on?

If you're looking for a book filled to the brim with recipes, this is not for you. If you, like me, love all things kitchen & cooking and like vintage things, you'll love this book!!

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