May 30, 2016

New Website!!

I have a new website!!  I have finally made the plunge and created a traditional .com website.  Please feel free to visit and let me know what you think.  Sandra's Kitchen Nook  My latest review is on the cookbook review page there.

Happy Cooking!!

May 25, 2016

200 Best Sheet Pan Meals by Camilla Saulsbury

200 Best Sheet Pan Meals: Quick and Easy Oven Recipes One Pan, No Fuss!
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons


What's better than a one pot meal? As a busy stay-at-home, homeschool mom and blogger, being able to throw everything in one pot occasionally is wonderful. Here is a delightful little cookbook with quick, easy meals in one pan. Most of them have you line the sheet pan with foil, so clean up is a breeze as well!

I made the Italian Sausage and Pepper Supper for my girls last night and it was a huge hit! We love Italian any way, and the simple, but delicious flavors worked well. It was easy to make and very filling. I had a 2 lb package of Italian sausage, so I used half for this dish and will use the other half in the morning to make the Italian Breakfast Bake which is an alternate version of the French Country Breakfast Bake. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Whether you want a New England Clam Bake without the beach, or are in the mood for something different such as Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks, Moroccan-Spiced Chicken and Chickpeas or Peanut Butter Cookie Tart with Raspberries, you're sure to find something to eat here!

I received a copy of this book from Robert Rose, Inc. for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


I made the Italian Breakfast Bake this morning.  I used half Swiss cheese and half Asiago and just salted & peppered the eggs as I normally do instead of actually measuring it.  Otherwise I followed the recipe as printed and it was AMAZING!!  Even my youngest that isn't a big fan of eggs or breakfast casseroles enjoyed it!  We will be making this again!

Home Cooked by Anya Fernald

Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons


I love, love, LOVE this cookbook! Even the title spoke to me as I am a home cook. I've never had formal training and I don't claim to be even close to a professional. I just love food and cooking to feed my family. However, just because you're a home cook doesn't mean you have to stick to simple meat and veg type meals, and this book showcases that. While it includes great recipes for simple food, many of these recipes have inspiring new twists to them.

To pull you out of your comfort zone, the author includes delightful recipes for such things as Toma Cheese with Green Herbs, and Fresh Ricotta to introduce you to cheese making, or recipes for preserving your own food such as bone broths, canning tomatoes, making your own butter and buttermilk and more. The Fresh Ricotta is easy to follow with amazing results. I've made ricotta off and on for years, and this is a great recipe for it. There are recipes for making your own pasta, sauerkraut, confiting meat and so much more.

This book is high quality inside and out. From the binding to the photographs to the dishes themselves, this is a cookbook to cook from again and again. It has easily won its way onto my favorites shelf. I highly recommend you give this cookbook a try. It will not disappoint!

I received a copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Katie Chin's Everyday Chinese Cookbook by Katie Chin

Katie Chin's Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother's Kitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons


I thoroughly enjoy Chinese food, but we don't go out to eat often, and I don't like the large amounts of msg many restaurants add to their food. This book is a delightful alternative! All your classic Chinese dishes are here from General Tso's Chicken, Firecracker Shrimp, Potstickers, multiple dumplings, Crab Wontons, Mu Shu Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Cashew Chicken, Pepper Steak and so many, many more!

My husband and I are working on changing our eating habits, watching calories, fat, etc and generally trying to lose weight and get healthier, so I wanted to treat him with last night. He's a long time fan of Beef and Broccoli, so I whipped up a batch from Katie's book. This was my first time making it myself, and it turned out lovely!! The recipe says it serves 2 for a main course with rice. We actually only ate about 1/3 of the pot apiece and that kept the calories under 500, which I was very happy with! It was nice to feel like you were having a cheat meal, but you weren't even cheating!!

Along with the delicious recipes, there's delightful sections on Katie's mom, understanding Chinese ingredients, cooking techniques, as well as tools and utensils before it gets into the actual recipes. I love that it includes recipes for the different sauces as well so you don't have to always rely on store bought.

The book is filled with photos that are colorful and mouthwatering to go with the well-written recipes that are easy to follow. The index is comprehensive making it easy to find the dish you want by dish or ingredient, which is a definite plus when you don't know exactly what to cook, but want to find something to fit what you have on hand. I had a nice little flank steak that I was looking to cook and was thrilled to find multiple recipes of various sorts that I could use it in.

This is overall an absolutely delightful cookbook that is easy to use and a joy to cook from. Why not skip the Chinese restaurant next time and whip up a batch of your favorite food at home!

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

May 24, 2016

Sweet Mornings by Patty Pinner

Sweet Mornings: Breakfast and Brunch Desserts That Make Meals SpecialSweet Mornings: Breakfast and Brunch Desserts That Make Meals Special by Patty Pinner
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons


I'll be honest, I can't really handle sweets in the morning, but my 14 year old daughter absolutely adores sweet breakfasts! She doesn't get them often, so you can imagine her excitement when she found out I received this book to review! She latched on it and I practically had to pry it out of her hands to read it myself! She was over the moon when I allowed her to make the Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes by herself. They didn't turn out perfectly, but the pancake batter is so nice that with the addition of a touch of sugar (the original recipe doesn't have sugar in the actual pancake batter as there is the swirl AND an icing for them), it's become my girls' go-to recipe for making pancakes from scratch themselves, and they turn out very nicely.

If you love sweets, this is perfect for you. You'll find everything from muffins, to cobblers, fruit breads, tea breads, granolas, French Toast Casserole, cinnamon rolls and so much more.

If you don't love sweets in the morning, there are some savory recipes as well including Mrs. Ruby's Table-Talk White Bread. My oldest daughter and I made this, and it turned out wonderfully. There is also a Bacon Quiche, Biscuits and more in the savory section.

This is a lovely cookbook. It's a quality cookbook that I'm giving to my daughter to keep as she grows up and moves away. I know it's something she can use for years and years to come. I'm very happy to highly recommend it.

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

Sorry I've been MIA!

I know I've been missing in action lately, but I've been dealing with a lovely abscessed tooth.  It's hard to cook and review cookbooks when you're unable to eat!! lol  I'm doing so much better and ready to dive back into the cookbooks to share with you.  Enjoy!

May 11, 2016

Anatolia by David Dale

My rating: 5 of 5 spoons


"Beautiful" is the first word that comes to mind when viewing this book. From the gorgeous, padded cloth cover, to the high quality binding (with two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks) to the lovely photographs and delectable recipes, this book is beautiful inside and out!

I've always loved Baklava, so it was a treat to try a new variation of it (I'm used to the Greek style with walnuts and heavily scented/flavored syrup). The Traditional Pistachio Baklava is fiddly to make, but worth it! Each crunchy morsel is a delight sure to impress and delight!

Looking for something new to cool you off on those hot days of summer coming up? Try the Basil Lemonade for a new twist on an old favorite. Need a new dish for breakfast? Spicy Sausage With Eggs is a treat! Buy sucuk sausage if you can find it, or make your own version with the included recipe.

You can find a little bit of everything is this book from a light Watermelon and Feta Salad to the ...interesting Sheep's Head Soup. Bring home a taste of Turkey to your house tonight with some delightful dishes from the beautiful cookbook Anatolia.

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

May 10, 2016

Pimentos and Piri Piri by Carla Azevedo

Pimentos and Piri Piri: Portuguese Comfort Cooking
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons


Portuguese is a cuisine I have not had experience with, but this book is perfect to introduce someone to it. The recipes range from very easy to much more complex, and bits of history and information on culture and cooking techniques are included. The photos are gorgeous, though do not expect a photo for every recipe.

Make your own Quejio Fresco, a creamy fresh cheese traditionally spread on cornbread and served as a midday snack, or marinate your own olives. Try a lovely Fresh Tomato and Bread Soup, or the more complex Seafood Stew.

Portuguese Pulled Pork would make a lovely addition to your summer menu as would the Barbecue Chicken and Beef Skewers. Roasted Seasoned Potatoes will make a nice side dish as would Grilled Pineapple and Vegetables with Fresh Mint.

Pimentos & Piri Piri is a beautiful book filled with delightful recipes that will whisk you away to Portugal. Take a trip from the comfort of your own home with a mouthwatering menu from the beautiful country of Portugal.

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