February 16, 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
I've been fighting some health issues for some time, and in studying and researching natural ways to help I discovered bone broth. I wanted to give it a try and this book came along at the perfect time. I sourced some lovely beef bones and got started.
When I first started looking at the book I was taken aback at the amount of bones called for. I was afraid I would have trouble getting that amount together easily, but I was able to source all the bones I needed quickly. I left out the ginger as it and I do not get along, and added some carrots and celery along with the other ingredients and started cooking. Twenty hours later (Yes, you read that right. It simmered on low over night.) I had a lovely bone broth. After it cooled down it went in the fridge for a couple of hours. That solidified the fat so that it was easily removed (You can save the fat and make tallow for candles/soap, as that is covered later in the book.) and I was left with a beautiful bone broth. I felt it was under salted, but that's easily corrected.
There are recipes included in the book to use your bone broth. I've found that it works great to make a simple couscous with just some herbs added. I made an amazing beef stew the other night, and used my bone broth instead of a store bought stock. Yum! Next I'm on to chicken!
I received a copy of this book from Sterling Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons
This is my second cookbook by Maggie Beer, and I've fallen in love with her books. They can be interesting to cook from as she's in Australia and I'm in the US. There are ingredients that can be quite hard to find or flat out impossible where I live. There's also the seasonal issue--I'm reviewing her Christmas book in the winter, but over there it's high summer. That makes some of the recipes a little trickier as well if you're looking for fresh, seasonal ingredients, but I still love her books. I love the fact that the recipes typically serve more people--anywhere from 6-12. There are six people in my family and it gets old when I have to constantly double or even triple recipes just to make enough to feed my family.
The book is divided up into sections that vary from Crabbing at Port Parham (I'm jealous!), chapters covering various Christmas meals or events, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and Food for the Beach House. I drooled over all the lovely fish dishes, but most are either fish we can't get where I live, or are definitely not in season right now. That's okay. I'm hanging on to this book for more cooking later.
I love all the fresh dishes in here. Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean it has to be all heavy foods. I made the Fattoush for my family and they loved it even without having garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I'll have to make it again when my garden starts producing.
I definitely will be cooking more from this book as the years moves more to our summer time, but I didn't want to wait to get this review out let others know about this delightful book. From delectable recipes, fun menus and photos that make you want to reach in and sample the food shown, it will be a great addition to anyone's collection.
I received a copy of this book from Trafalgar Square Publishing through Independent Publishing Group for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.