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Friday
Sep232016

Celebrations....Danielle Walker 

I would eat everything in this book.  Period.  The End.

Okay, okay, I’ll say a bit more (even though nothing else needs to be said).  Celebrations is broken up by various, well, celebrations. New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother and Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Haloween….you get the point.  This book is Paleo, which means that it is gluten-free, grain free, and diary free and focuses on meat, fish, veggies, and fruit.  Each and every recipe in this book is either comforting, enticing, or decadent.  I took several evenings and read through each recipe and consistently, my thoughts were:

  • ·         I can buy the ingredients at any grocery store
  • ·         The recipes look easy to handle
  • ·         All the recipes appear to have great flavor
  • ·         I don’t think anyone will miss the gluten, grains, or diary

There were so many recipes that I thought ‘ohhh, I want to make that right now…maybe for the family reunion on Sunday….’.

Seriously, I’m looking forward to making these recipes and maybe, just maybe, I will feel better for removing even more diary and gluten from my life (I can tell that I am always a little bloating after eating dairy….who needs that???)  I think I’m also going to pick up Danielle’s other two cookbooks.   Try this book – your family’s tastebuds, and their health, will thank you. 

Thursday
Sep012016

Super Duper Upsetting Book on Sandwiches

OMGosh!!  What a fun little cookery bookery on sandwiches.  This book isn't an easy book...in that, I mean, the recipes will take a while to fix.  But.Oh.What.Fun.You.Will.Have.When.Eatting.These.Sandwiches.

Let me delve into some of the condiment recipes:  Grape Jelly Mayo (yummo), Special Sauce (this one is special), Shallot-Ginger Vinaigrette, Leche de Tigre Mayo (be still my heart), and Dirty Tarter Sauce.  To name just a few.

Making a sandwich from this book takes a little back-n-forth throughout the book.  Sections of the book will instruct the reader on how to make beef sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, and so on but the reader (cooker) will have to flip around in the book to find the recipes that amp up that sandwich.  In this manner, the cooker can really make an undeterminable number of sandwiches.  Yes, I know, I know.  The number of sandwiches IS actually determinable...using data analytics or statistics...but the average cooker (reader) does not care about that.  Just enjoy this book.  I'm off to make the Chutzpah Expres!  

Go!  Go now!  Buy this book!  You'll love it as much as I do!!

Tuesday
Jun282016

Naked: A cookbook

I was excited to find this book on my doorstop and couldn’t wait to read through this book and find recipes to cook.  I was honestly surprised when I found that I did not like the cookbook.  For all of the recipes, I found only two or three that I was interested in making – I didn’t even use my accounting flags to mark the pages.  Recipes for broth, stock, and juices are recipes that, it seems, every cookbook has within their pages….so nothing new here. Other recipes were not exciting to me; perhaps because I do not overly like fish, beets, or dairy products.

What I did like about the book was the artistic nature of the book….the binding, the feel of the pages, and the quality of the pictures.

Unfortunately based on my initial thoughts and my perspectives being a small-town Southern girl, I would not recommend this book.

Monday
Jun132016

Food with Friends

This is a perfect little book for those times when you (or your husband) has invited friends over before you all are heading to dinner.  Or heck, invited friends over to dinner.  This is for those last minute times, such as when you were at your niece's dance recital all afternoon and had maybe thirty minutes before your friends arrived for nibbles.  Yes, take it from my experience.  I needed this book; I didn't have it that afternoon so I spent $53 at a pricey little French cafe on nibbles.  (However, I cannot complain about the salted caramel brownies I purchased - they were heavenly).

This book has recipes that combine ingredients that are already in your pantry and fridge.  This book gives you the nudge of the 'why didn't I think of that????'  Food with Friends has a taken a place of honor on my shelf of books - it is at the top of the heap and has loads of little sticky flags attached to its pages.  This is a book that will stand the test of time.....many friends, many recipes.

Monday
May302016

Home Cooked

This cookbook spoke to me and I read it like a novel.  Several years ago I became concerned with what the hubby and I put in our mouths.  I started my own small garden (organic) in the urban oasis of Charlotte.  And, I started visiting the regional farmers market on a weekly basis.  My momma taught me to can veggies using a hot-water bath and then pressure canning and then came buying an upright freezer so that I could freeze certain jams and veggies.

Heaving home boxes of tomatoes allowed me to can tomatoes, Sunday gravy (pasta sauce), and Mexican salsa.  I canned green beans and froze corn taken off the cob.  I’ve made strawberry jam that my niece loves, fig preserves, and make many iterations of pickles, including some with the hundreds of little Super Sweet 100 tomatoes that I picked off of one plant.

So when I saw Home Cooked by Anya Fernald, I knew I had to have it.  Anya’s recipes are home-made and she proves that a little prep ahead makes cooking dinner on those dreaded weeknights easier and tastier.  I love the recipe for the sofritto.  Why I never thought of making it ahead of time (other than making it to put it into the pasta sauce that I pressure-canned) and freezing it into ice-cube trays and then popping it out and putting in freezer bags, I’ll never know.  But this is now on my agenda this week….I just need to pop over to Target and buy a couple of ice-cube trays.  The sofritto will make beans pop!  Eggs pop! Weeknight pasta sauce pop!  I could go on and on and on and on….well, you get the picture. 

Anya’s book harks back to my grandmother’s time when real whole-food cooking was the way of the norm.  She has recipes for making lard; the good fat to cook with.  People, there is nothing wrong in cooking with good fats and eating good fats.  I know someone that eats low fat aaaaalllllllllll the time.  I have tried again and again to explain how unhealthy that is for her, that the body needs fat to survive and that low fat foods are pumped full of sugar and chemicals to make the food taste good and stabilize.  She’ll never learn but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us cannot enjoy great cooking and healthy cooking.   

Stepping off of my soap box now….

A couple (well, more than a couple) of Anya’s recipes that I’m flagging include bone broth, salsa verde, rough chimichurri (you know how I feel about chimichurri), barbadian hot sauce, pickled grapes (yum), chickpea torte, frittatina D’erbe, maltagliati (handmade pasta), tallowed fries, cracked crabs with lemon-chile vinaigrette (heck, I may make this vinaigrette for my salads..mmmm….this vinaigrette would be delicious on heirloom tomatoes), honey nougat, and panforte.  Just to name a few…..

 

Lemon-Chile Vinaigrette from Home Cooked by Anya Fernald

½ cup EVOO

½ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

8 cloves garlic, smashed to a coarse paste

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper

2 cups fresh parsley leaves

In a bowl, whisk EVOO, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Stir in the parsley leaves.  Gorgeous!