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Friday
Oct072016

The London Cookbook

I have always thought of English food as being dingy gray if you didn’t happen to be eating fish-and-chips….which is beige. So yes, I thought of English food as dull.  You can then imagine how nice it was to find that London is going through a food revolution!!  Perhaps, this revolution has taken place quietly and over some time; but just now, a wonderful new book ‘The London Cookbook’ will be published on October 11. I can only imagine how it will be drawing attention and acclaim (and an increase in the number of flights) to London.

Aleksandra Crapanzano’s (whew, say that five times fast!!!), new book ‘The London Cookbook’ provides a series of recipes from the hottest and best “restaurants, cafes, and hole-in-the-wall gems” in London.  I must say, whether or not one has been to London, one will have heard of these places….The River Café, Ottolenghi, St. John, Duck and Waffle, Ivy, Tramshed, and Spring.

Aleksandra’s writing brings the reader into the restaurants as if they are a little fly on wall.  The reader gets the sense, or the feel of the place, of the care of the chef, and of the excitement in the food movement.   The stories or tidbit snippets prior to each recipe increases the interest of the recipe.  Most of these recipes, in my opinion, need no help in piquing my interest.  Mung and Haricots Verts (with a medley of spices), Roasted Corn and Chorizo Chowder, Risotto All’amarone della Valpolicella with Spiced Pumpkin, Pappardelle al Fegatini di Pollo e Salvia, Polenta with Chestmuts, Ricotta, Squash, and Fried Sage, and Chocolate Marmalade Pudding…to name just a few. Oooohhhh, and the recipe for the famous Chocolate Nemesis from the River Café is included in the dessert chapter – first recipe, front and center.

Two things came out of me holding this book:  1) I cannot wait to slowly absorb this book and cook from it and become it's friend, and…….2) I have set my sights on London so that I can eat my way through this book at the very restaurants that have shared their recipes.

There is something in this book for everyone.  French, Indian, Italian, American South, Spanish

Bravo, Aleksandra.  Bravo

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.