Milk Bar Life {review}

Christina Tosi recently published her 2nd cookbook Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories. Her first one was called Momofuku Milk Bar, which I have not read. After reading this book, I’m definitely going to have to get my hands on that one for sure! I love that the first chapter of this books is called “Hand-Me_Downs,” which are recipes from that have been passed down through her family, which covers a wide variety of recipes from Hanky-Pankies to Buckeyes. The next chapter is called A Cookie A Day and if this is any indication of what her first book was like, I’m going to love it! Mixed Nut Turtles on p. 51 and Citrus Cookies on p. 61 are two recipes that are calling my name. This cookbook is really like no other I’ve seen, at least no recently. Christina really shows her personality throughout this book with pictures of sitting on grocery cart at the beginning of her Supermarket chapter to her dressed like R. Kelly at the beginning of the Freakin’ Weekend Chapter.

I found this cookbook to be a refreshing change to the normalacy of the every day cookbook. From the aforementioned pictures and the cute chapter names, Christina really brings fun to this cookbook. I’m anxious to try several of her recipes, like the Overnight Chicken Soup on p. 152, the Banana Hammock Pizza on p. 235, and the Desperation Nachos on p. 132. Anyone looking for a fresh and fun cookbook should definitely check this on out!

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Cookie Love {a review}

Cookie Love by Mindy Segal is a book after my own heart. I am a cookie lover so this book is totally written just for me (and all the cookie lovers out there.) This book has over 60 recipes that will have your mouth watering as well as techniques to take your cookies to the next level! There are pictures for about a third of the recipes. The Chocolate Pretzel Shortbread with Milk Chocolate Caramel on p. 93 look absolutely deletable and I need them now. I love that she included a recipe for dog biscuits on p. 173. There are so many heavenly recipes in this book that I’m dying to try.

I really found the “My Cookie Pantry” chapter near the end of the book quite useful. I appreciated how she explained some of the differences in cookie ingredients. Another chapter that I needed to read was “Tools of the Trade,” where Mindy explains many of the baking gadgets that I thought I really didn’t need. I have learned from this chapter that a dough docker and an immersion blender could prove quite useful in my kitchen. I think this book could be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys making cookies.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Trisha’s Table {a review}

I recently started watching Trisha Yearwood’s show on the Food Network, so when I saw her book listed as one I could review I was super pumped! Trisha’s Table; My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life is a cookbook where Trisha puts her 80/20 rule into place, by making good, healthy choices 80%, while still allowing her to splurge about 20% of the time. Even with her healthy choices, she still finds way keep her recipes quite tasty and mouth-watering. The chapters in the book include breakfast, pasta, desserts, and much more.

This is one cookbook that I think I could actually cook every recipe in the book. Trish keeps it real with everyday ingredients, but also has a section on many recipes called “Trisha’s Tips” where she give you tips on how to take make it even healthier. The Power Balls on p. 57 as well as the Raspberry Chicken on p. 114 are recipes that I find quite intriguing and just a bit outside of my cooking comfort zone. The Billi’s Houdini Chicken Salad on p. 78 and the No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares on p. 211 look to die for and I can’t wait to get in the kitchen to try these! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cooking and would make a great book for a new bride.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Mastering Pasta {a Review}

Marc Vetri, an award chef, 3rd cookbook is called Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto. I was really excited to see this book come out and that I was going to get to review it (Thanks to Blogging for Books). The first couple of chapters, Marc discusses the tradition as well as the innovation of pasta through the years. The 2nd chapter dives into a hot topic these days and that is Wheat Flour and Gluten that is in different types of flours. Fresh Pasta is the title of the 3rd chapter, where he explains the ingredients used in pasta as well as cooking techniques from cutting to boiling to saucing. In this third chapter, he starts sharing some of his recipes, which are all centered around Egg Yolk Dough. From there, his next seven chapters talk about other types of pasta from Stuffed pasta to risotto. He end the books with a chapter on stocks, sauces, and basic need to knows.
This book is full of beautiful pictures of pasta along with the hands that made it as well as picturesque scenes from Italy. Like I said early, I was eager to get my hands on this book. Being married to Italian and having making homemade pasta (Cavatelli) part of our lives, I was curious to see if the Marc included the type of pasta that’s been passed down through Rob’s grandmother’s family. Cavatelli was a recipe that Marc shared, however, it is quite different from the recipe that we use. I am anxious to try a few of the recipes, but I’m afraid that many of Marc’s recipes use ingredients that would either be hard to find or too expensive (i.e. octopus, lamb, pig foot). The Tomato Risotto (p. 227) and the Garganelli Alla Carbonara (p. 37) look amazing and I would like to try those one weekend. I think for the average person, this book is over the top and would be only suited for those with advanced cooking skills as well as those who are used to complicated ingredients.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The Healthy Mind {Review}

The Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz is a book that really dives into how food effects our brain as well as our body. The 1st chapter called “Your Brain on Food” cover some important information about how food effects our memories, our stress levels, as well as other topics. The 2nd chapter called The Culinary Pharmacy, I found to be an information gold mine. It talks about how all of the ingredients that they use for their recipes help us. For example, did you know that one of the ingredients I use in nearly all my recipes, Onions, is known to help with our cognitive functioning, energy, focus, memory, neuronal health. WOW! I never realized onions were that good for you. The following chapters after that are the recipes, from Anytime Foods to Sweet Bites, Rebecca covers it all.

This book intrigued me when I first read about it. I was curious to see it compared to other books I’ve ready about eating for better health. This book has beautiful pics, although not too many of them. When I analyzed the recipes as well as the ingredients used, I’m not sure I would find myself using this book too often. I think I could easily adapt many of these recipes, however, I would be defeating the purpose of being healthy. I am really wanting to try the Southwestern Sweet Potato Soup as well as many of the vinaigrettes. The Slow-Roasted Spiced Peaches look to die for on p. 211.

I think people willing to spend extra time looking for a few of these less common ingredients and are extra motivated to improve their overall health will love this cookbook.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Salad Love {Review}

David Bez (blogger at Salad Pride) is an Art Director/Graphic Designer who wrote a book called Salad Love, where he shares 260 Salad recipes. In an effort to add veggies to his diet, he challenged himself to find ways to make salad exciting. I love the layout of this book and how the salad recipe pages are all organized the same with beautiful, mouthwatering pictures for each and every salad. The first 30 pages of the book, David describes the “Base” of the salad and then gives important details about dressings and other key knowledge needed to make these salads. The rest of the book is divided into 4 sections based on the Season of ingredients. Many people will find his labeling system also super helpful. He labels each recipe with one of these categories (Omnivore, Vegetarian, Raw, Vegan, Pescatarian).

I’m super in love with this book because of the way it’s organized and the pictures. However, when I look closely at the recipes and ingredients, when I’m truthful about it, I’m not sure how many of these salads I’d actually make and eat. On page 12, David shows you how to assemble your salad and I love this ‘template’ for making a salad. I could totally see myself using this in the future (Base, Veggies/Fruits, Protein, Toppings, Fresh herbs, Dressings & spices). That seems like the key to making an amazing salad every time!

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller

Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller is a book about the trials of life; sometimes needing a community, while other times of our lives we providing the community. I loved the quote from the beginning of chapter 1 by James Baldwin that sometimes home is not a place but a feeling. As a daughter of a pastor, Anne experienced her home being picked up and moved far too often. In Part 1, she brings you through her ups and downs of becoming a woman, finding her husband, and all the aspects of that life brings. Part 2 talks about more struggles she experienced as a grown up, including a divorce. Near the end of the book, she said that as a woman, God had given her a passion for holy relationships. At times when she thought God wasn’t talking to her, he was just through her relationships.

Most anyone can relate to Anne’s sentiments that it feels like God doesn’t always talk to us. We wonder what we’re supposed to do and why he is not answering our prayers. I enjoyed this book, because I could relate to her in how she often wondered where God was when things seemed so bleak and she felt so alone. I was inspired by how she challenges all of us to start small and be faithful. Let God work through us to find and form those relationships that make a community we’re all hungry for.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Lighten Up, Y’all {Review}

Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis is a cookbook that reinvents many of the good ole’ Southern recipes. I am one of those people that is reads a cookbook like a novel; from cover to cover. Virginia’s introduction sucked me in right away by setting the stage as she shares about her youth leading up to her culinary experiences and the fact that she’s always thought of herself as “fat.” She tells that she recently lost a good amount of weight and fills amazing. After all the hard work that losing weight is, she found herself not wanting to deprive herself of all the Southern foods that she loved growing up. This book is the product of that desire.

I cannot wait to try many of the recipes in this book. The Bacon and Chile-Wrapped Scallops and the Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts sound a bit out of my cooking comfort zone, but ones that I’m anxious to try. While the Cheesey Jalapeno Beer Bread Muffins and the Sinless Seven-Layer Dip ingredients are already on my grocery list for next week.

This book is nicely organized with many beautiful pictures, although, not all the recipes have pictures with them, so you have to use your imagination for a 3/4 of them. I have been a fan of Virginia’s since I saw her on the Paula Deen show back when she was on Food Network many years ago. Getting to review her book was super exciting and Virginia did not let me down with her healthier version of good ole Southern cookin’.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Soul Food Love {Review}

Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams is a book with healthy recipes inspired by 100 years of cooking from a black family. The recipes from this book come from 5 kitchens, 3 generations that were overweight, and a 4th generation that refused to be overweight. This book starts off with several chapters of family history that was written in a way that kept me intrigued and interested. For those of you who are like me and enjoy reading cookbooks like they’re a novel, this book is totally for you.

This book is beautifully published in non-shiny cover along with non-shiny pages, which I found perfect for the theme of this book. The recipe sections in the book include: Sips & Bites, Soups, Main Dishes, Sides & Salads, Desserts, Crowns, and For a Crowd. I’m excited to try the Homemade Peanut Butter and the Southern Hummus. Grandma’s Bellini and the Chocolate Communion sound out of this world, and totally out of my comfort zone.

Most of the recipes go along side a picture of that recipe, which is always a great attribute in cookbooks. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes in this book. I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The Soup Club Book {Review}

soup_club

The Soup Club Cookbook by Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow, and Julie Peacock shares the idea of forming soup clubs with friends, coworkers, or neighbors. The idea is that at least 4 people make a schedule for one person from the group to make soup once a month and they make a lot; they make enough to share with their family as well as the other 3 families in the group. What I like about this idea is that there’s one night, three times a month that I wouldn’t have to cook, but I would still have a nice warm meal to eat. How great is that!

The Potato Cheddar Soup, Chicken Tortilla, and the Winter Minestrone sound right up my alley. You do have to remember that this book is meant to make a LOT of soup, so if you’re not making it for 4 total families. This book is “souper” helpful in giving tips for what to deliver with the soup and how to serve it. The Watermelon Gazpacho, Beef Mole Chili, and Italian Wedding Soup have me intrigued. I’ve just have to give those a try.

This book not only supplies soup recipes. It includes salads, veggies, bread, and other recipes that can be shared along the soup.

I am thankful for Blogging for Books who sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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