April 1, 2016

Eating Appalachia by Darrin Nordahl

Eating Appalachia: Rediscovering Regional American Flavors
My rating: 3 of 5 spoons


Eating Appalachia is not really a cookbook, but more a collection of writings with a few simple recipes scattered throughout. It begins with an introduction on American Ingredients and cuisine before moving on to chapters covering key places in Appalachia:

• Albany, Ohio
• Richwood, West Virginia
• Prestonsburg, Kentucky
• Cairo, West Virginia
• Cherokee, North Carolina
• Colfax, North Carolina

The book ends with an epilogue, Toward a New American Cuisine. Each chapter includes information about the area and the produce found there. For instance, the chapter on Albany, Ohio includes information, history and recipes about the pawpaw, while the chapter on Colfax, NC is all about the persimmon.

If you’re interested in Appalachia and the food there, you should enjoy this book. If you’re looking for a cookbook packed with Appalachian recipes, this is probably not for you. There is only about 23 total recipes in this book, and most are fairly simple. Overall, however, I enjoyed the book and recommend it provisionally to others.

I received a copy of this book from Chicago Review Press through the Lisa Ekus Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Royal Heritage Cookbook by The Hon. Sarah Macpherson

The Royal Heritage Cookbook: Recipes from High Society and the Royal Court
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons


I love cooking, but I love history as well, so this cookbook is a great match for me. I'll be honest, I was expecting a lot larger cookbook with more recipes, but the more I read this cookbook the more I liked it. The book includes conversion tables, menus options, recipes and history. I love that many of the recipes show a photo of the original recipe along with it re-typed out and updated for today's cooks.

There is such a variety of recipes in here from the classic Chicken, Cream & Leek Pie which was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and known to be made as far back as 1580 (and is still delicious today!) to Thirlestane Castle Curries from the mid 1800's and Rich Fruit Cake possibly created for the wedding of King George III in 1761.

If you're looking for slick, perfect, modern cookbook, this is not for you. If you love history, are an Anglophile or just love cookbooks in general, this is a great choice for you. It's a great cookbook that I'm happy to recommend.

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

Savor by Ilona Oppenheim

Savor: Rustic Recipes Inspired by Forest, Field, and Farm
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons


To begin with, this is just a beautiful book! From the front cover photography, to the quality hardcover, sewn binding, to the luscious interior photos (most of them taken by the author!) and lovely recipes, this is definitely a book to delight all the senses. To make it even better, this is not a trained chef doing spectacular things outside of the skill set of most everyday cooks, but a mother who loves to fish, forage and cook for her family and just wants to share this with others. Don’t feel you can’t use this book if you don’t have a place to forage from. Most ingredients can be sourced in stores as well.

There is so much to choose from, it was hard to make the decision of what to cook first. I finally decided on the 24 Hour Onion Soup. How nice to be able to make a full-bodied, lovely onion soup that takes so much time, but does most of the work on its own in the slow cooker! Served with the crusty bread with toasted Gruyere…what could be lovelier?

The Roasted Chicken recipe is packed full of flavor. Serve the chicken with Crispy Roasted Potatoes with a side salad for a meal sure to delight your family. The Ricotta recipe makes it so easy to make your own ricotta cheese at home. Use it to make the Ricotta and Roasted Fig Bruschetta.

I was in the mood for a dessert, so I made the Pine Nut Cookies next. I love that these cookies are not overly sweet and have a light, delicate flavor. The down side is that they’re very addicting! I have a feeling that most of the desserts in this book will be the same. Emphasis is placed on flavor instead of just loading it with sugar, and the results speak for themselves.

This is a great cookbook for anyone interested in flavorful, healthy food. If you’re interested in foraging or sourcing from the wild, that just makes it more appealing, but I think anyone could use and thoroughly enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

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