XX Dinners {a Review}

Twenty Dinners is a book written by Chris Taylor and Ithai Schori with photography by Nicole Franzen. I didn’t really know anything about this book when it arrived, but as soon as I started reading the introduction I was sucked in. I love the approach of the Chris and Ithai, whose cooking approach is to not cook for friends, but with friends. Professional chefs, they are not, but they are two guys that love to come together with friends, open a bottle of wine while creating amazing meals. Don’t we all enjoy doing that from time to time? I know Rob and I love doing that when we make his Great Gramma’s homemade pasta recipe. The authors share recipes and techniques that make many cooking skills that sound complicated easy.

This book is divided into 4 main chapters; Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer with 2 more sections that include techniques, terms, advice, tools, and ingredients. There are many pictures throughout the book. The pages of the book are non-glossy which I think goes perfectly with the style of photos and the feel of the book. Lillie’s Sticky Toffee Pudding on p. 137 is going to the top of my dessert list. The Peach Porch Punch on p. 162 sounds delicious along with Tal’s Potato Salad on p. 203. I love that the authors are down to earth, real people who just enjoy cooking. However, I found that many of the recipes would be beyond something you’d make everyday. For example; Duck Confit p. 105, Lavender-Infused Olive Oil-Poached Cod. Some of the ingredients are not ones I use often, so I’m not sure how practical this cookbook would be for many.

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

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Big Gay Ice Cream

Since we’re in the heat of the summer, when I this book; Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint, it could not get here fast enough! I’ve been really wanting to try homemade ice cream and I thought this book would be able to help me out with that. I cannot get over how much I love this book. It’s laid out in the format of a high school yearbook, complete with famous chefs and others celebrities autographs inside the front cover. The Chapters are:
Freshman Year – Ice Cream 101 – everything you need to know about the must have ingredients
Sophomore Year – Dress up your ice cream with homemade toppings and sauce – The Whisky Walnuts on p. 49 sound amazing, as well as the Blueberry-Balsamic sauce on p. 67.
Junior Year – Some assembly required-Sundays, floats, and shakes – My favorite chapter! Nuclear Winter Sunday on p. 97 and the Choinkwich on p. 120-121 are killing me right about now!
Senior Year – Let’s go all the way! Sorbets and ice creams – P. 142-143 features Cranberry & White Chocolate Sorbet that I know would have my family screaming it looks so refreshing. This is the chapter that I was hoping for when I found this book. I just need to get an ice cream makers first!

This book is no doubt one of the THE best ‘cookbooks’ I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It really makes me what to jump up and down and SCREAM for ICE CREAM!! Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a cool book and loves ice cream.

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

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Grill It, Braise It, Broil It {a review}

Grill It, Braise It, Broil It by the American Heart Association is paperback cookbook jammed packed with healthy recipes that cover 12 techniques. Slow cooking, microwaving, blending, grilling, stir-frying, braising, stewing, steaming, poaching, broiling, roasting, and baking are the cooking methods that are used for the recipes. With this being a cookbook that promotes good health, I really appreciate that they include the nutritional data. This book is completely black and white except for 3-4 page section with a few pictures. That doesn’t hinder my desire to cook from this book though, because the recipes sound easy and delicious!

I think this will become one of my go-to cookbooks, because the majority of the ingredients are ones that are not hard to find and I’m that familiar with. That is always an important aspect of a cookbook to me as well as the ‘cookability.’ These techniques can all be accomplished by beginner to intermediate level cooks. I’m adding the Southwestern Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooking chapter on p. 28, the Orange-Apricot Smoothies in the Blending chapter on p. 65, and the Green Beans in Spicy Sauce in the Stir-Frying section on p. 113 to my menu very soon! I think my husband will be anxious for me to try the Thai-Style Chicken Potstickers from the Steaming chapter on p. 163-164.

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 Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon {Review}

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon by Sara Forte is a book that celebrates “the bowl.” Yes, in this 225 page cookbook Sara shares recipes that all can be eaten in a bowl from Morning Bowls to Sweet Bowls there is a wide range of delicious recipes! There are lots of gorgeous pictures throughout the book that are really pleasing to the eye. The food pictures will have your mouth watering and your stomach growling!

In the Breakfast Bowl chapter, on p. 17 the Popeye Protein Bowl looks unlike your typical breakfast meal, but I’m curious to try it. On p. 98, Sara gives a template for how to make a bowl (grain, well-seasoned protein, greens, veggies, toppings, and sauce). I loved that she said you don’t have to have a recipe to have a good bowl! The Smoky Tortilla Soup on p. 149 looks delicious and would make a great lunch or dinner. In the Dessert Chapter, the Peach Derby Ice Cream on p. 182 looks scrumptious, for sure! While this cookbook has nice pics and a few of the recipes look delicious, I’m afraid that most of these recipes that just aren’t my cup of tea. Many of the recipes call for food items that I might have a hard time finding (i.e. persimmon, Asian pears, Cotija cheese.)

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

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Salsas and Moles {a review}

Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider is a small 150 page book about these Mexican Salsas. This was such an insightful book that covered the myths of salsa to 10 essential chilies. The chapters are:
– Classic Table Salsas
– Hot Salsas
– Mole and Enchilada Sauces
– Salsas for Tacos
– Chunky Salsa and Botanas
The Chipotle-Garlic Salsa sounds right up my alley, while the Pineapple-Cucumber Salsa sounds intriguing enough to try.

This such a cute cookbook. The cover is so inviting and it has several pictures throughout the book that are beautiful and eye-catching. I love that many of the Hot Salsa recipes have a Heat rating. The Volcano Salsa is one that I hope to try soon. It has a heat rating of 6 on a scale of 1-10.

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Sweetapolita {a Review}

The Sweetapolita Bakebook by Rosie Alyea is a beautiful cookbook with 75 fancy-dancy cakes and cookies. It’s also fill with tips on how to make and decorate them. At the beginning of the book there’s a whole section on how to make homemade sprinkles. How cool is that!

I adore this creative collection of cakes and cookies. On p. 19, Rosie shares a recipe that is calling my name and perfect for valentines day; Pink Cherry Party Cupcakes. They are so cute! I’m anxious to get in the kitchen and make the Sprinkle-Me-Silly Pizza on p. 22-23. Recipes that will take me out of my comfort zone would be The Coney Island Cheesecake on p. 32-33, the Birthday Cake Milkshakes on p. 44-45, and the Pop Rock Robots on p. 47. Practically speaking though, I, personally, do not have the time or patience to make such amazing creations. However, I know there are people out there who eat this book up! Literally.

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

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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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