Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Cookbook: "Petite Treats"

by Christy Beaver and Morgan Greenseth
Ulysses Press

Have you resolved to stop buying pre-packaged, store-bought desserts? Are you determined that this is the year that you bake from scratch? Then, this new cookbook, Petite Treats, may be perfect for helping you keep at least one resolution this year.

New Year, New Cookbooks

by Teri Lynn Fisher and Jenny Park
Quirk Books

The new year starts tomorrow! I'm sure that many of you are busy making your resolutions. Some of you may be planning to diet, to cut your spending, or to cook from scratch. I'm resolving to do a combination of all three of those. If one of your resolutions is more cooking and entertaining at home, then Quirk Books has two new cookbooks that you may want to consider adding to your collection.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hot Chocolate Mini Donuts or Why Can't I Stop Baking with this Cookbook?

Hot Chocolate Mini Donut
from Mini Donuts by Jessica Segarra

I've already baked ten recipes out of this cookbook and I can't seem to put it away. Every time I pick it up to put it in my bookcase, I flip through it and find another recipe or two that I want to try. I have one mini donut pan that I use to bake these donuts. Two pans would be nice but I'm getting by with one. I don't know how many pans that Jessica Segarra from the Novice Chef Blog has, but I think it's safe to say that it's more than one.

A Guest Post from Author Cynthia Kallile of "The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook"

The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food with a Twist
by Cynthia Kallile
F+W Media


I can't think of a more perfect comfort food than meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and green beans. That's my favorite combination with extra ketchup for slathering over the meatloaf.

And, now there's a cookbook dedicated to that comfort icon, The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food with a Twist by Cynthia Kallile. Cynthia owns the Meatloaf Bakery in Chicago that is serving up meatloaf in every imaginable way possible. In the cookbook, Cynthia shares recipes from meatloaf classics and meatloaves with a twist to meatless loaves and seasonal specialities. You'll also find various recipes for mashed potatoes (what would a meat loaf be without those?) and the crowning touch, the "sassy sauces".  

If you're a fan of meatloaf, you'll love the creative ways that Cynthia cooks meatloaf from baking in muffin tins to grilling in the from of a "loafer" kabob. Fall is the perfect season to change up your cooking routine and try a new way to cook and old family favorite, the meatloaf.

I'm excited to present the following guest post by the author herself, Cynthia Kallile. For more information on the The Meatloaf Bakery, visit the web site at You can check out a sneak peek of the book here at:

Cynthia Kallile, Chief Meatloaf Maker, Owner – The Meatloaf Bakery, author of The MeatloafBakery Cookbook: Comfort Food with a Twist (F+W Media, November 2012)

Every time someone new walks into The Meatloaf Bakery, I’m asked, “How did you ever come
up with this idea?” And every time, I look around, chuckle a bit and say just about the same
thing. My mother was a wonderful cook, and she always made meatloaf (as well as countless
other delicious meals).

She loved to cook and entertain, and definitely knew how to please people with her culinary
talents. To me, going to Bischoff’s (our local grocery store), or the Lebanese markets in my
hometown, Toledo, Ohio, was a treat, not a chore.

Growing up, both my sister and I helped my mom in the kitchen. We picked, peeled, mixed,
tossed, and of course washed dishes. Because she was such an exceptional cook with high
standards, we had to do it “just right!” (I’ve highlighted many of these experiences and tips in
the cookbook.)

Fortunately, I inherited that same love for cooking and everything that it entails. So after 25
plus years as a hobby cook, I took the plunge in 2008, and created a business around meatloaf.
Quirky? Indeed! Delicious? You bet!

But back to the original question. Why meatloaf, and why do they look like cupcakes, pies, and
cakes? The recipe possibilities are endless; meatloaf is a favorite comfort food, and everyone
loves a good cupcake.

So I married the two, and created many variations on this theme, using all types of meats,
poultry, fish, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Each of my savory meatloaf cupcakes is topped with
a complementary side dish.

One of my favorites is Loaf-A-Roma®, which is crowned with angel hair pasta swirled in fresh
marinara. And of course, we have The Mother Loaf®, the cornerstone of our meatloaf buffet, in
honor of my mom and where it all began!

Now I’m excited to share my inspiration and recipes with everyone through The Meatloaf
Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food with a Twist
(F+W Media, November 2012)


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a review copy of this cookbook; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mini Cake Doughnuts from "Real Snacks"

by Lara Ferroni
Sasquatch Books

If you're like me, you love to bake from scratch. And, even though I do bake a lot of desserts, I still find myself buying snacks, too. My younger son loves nothing more than snacking on a Little Debbie cake. But, I love the idea of being able to prepare any snack or dessert that I want from scratch right here in my very own kitchen. I've found the perfect cookbook for that, Real Snacks by Lara Ferroni. 

Blackberry Chicken

Blackberry Chicken

I've really enjoyed the cookbook, Too Hot in the Kitchen by Holly Clegg. There are so many recipes that I want to try. All of the recipes can be pulled together rather quickly so they're perfect for weeknight cooking.  The cookbook is filled with over 200 recipes and I'm planning to cook my way through most of then. I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Bake it in a Cupcake": The Review

Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats with a Surprise Inside

Bake it in a Cupcake
by Megan Seling
Andrews McMeel Publishing

The first thing that Megan Seling ever baked in a cupcake was a creme egg. From that point on, she was hooked on baking sweet treats inside of cupcakes. She loved the idea so much that she started a highly successful blog, And, the blog lead to this cookbook, Bake it in a Cupcake. Then, the cookbook lead me to open my mind to the endless possibilities of filling cupcakes with sweet surprises.

Cook it Forward: "My Year in Meals" by Rachael Ray

My Year in Meals
My Year in Meals
by Rachael Ray
Atria Books

Rachael's Ray latest cookbook is My Year in Meals. The cookbook is written in the form of a diary with a recipe for each day of the year. Recipes cover every course including appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, sides, and desserts.

Friday, November 2, 2012

"The Brown Betty Cookbook": Review, Recipe, Giveaway

The Brown Betty Cookbook
by Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat
Wiley & Sons

I've always emphasized the importance that food and family play in my life, how my family and childhood memories influence my cooking. The Brown Betty Cookbook: Modern Vintage Desserts and Stories from Philadelphia's Best Bakery by Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat, a mother and daughter duo and owners of the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique in Philadelphia, PA, give new meaning to family-inspired recipes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes": Review and Recipe

Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes
Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes
by Kelly Lester
Brown Bag Publishers

Until recently, I had never been to a Trader Joe's. Unfortunately, we don't have one in my area. But, on a recent trip to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, I insisted that we visit the store. I wanted to know what it was all above. After all, there are cookbooks dedicated to the store so it must be something special. Trader Joe's was quite the store filled with unique prepared foods and groceries. My husband was just as intrigued as I was and threw a few things into the basket himself. I bought a cinnamon and sugar grinder that I've grown quite fond of and wish I would have bought in bulk.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Well-Seasoned Journal

Thought I would add a journal to the blog so that I can record some of my thoughts...I'll try to keep it up on a regular basis.

October 29, 2012 - Thinking about Thanksgiving already...

I'm expecting a slow week here at A Well-Seasoned Life headquarters. I'm not waiting on any outstanding e-mail or review material. My goal is to get several reviews written and posted this week. As far as testing recipes for reviews, I have to cook out of four cookbooks to be done with the fall cookbook review season. My husband will be happy to know that three out of the four recipes are NOT baked goods. I find myself agreeing with him - I have had enough of sweets for a while. Didn't think I would ever say that!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I normally spend the day with my extended family but I'm thinking this year will be different. I'm considering spending it at home with my husband and kids. We'll smoke a turkey and I'll prepare a few sides and a couple of dessserts.

Here's what I'm planning:

Shrimp and Grits Dressing from Southern Living - I've made this twice before and it is DELICIOUS!! I highly recommend it.

Crabmeat-and-Oyster Dressing from Southern Living - Again, I've made this one before, too, and it is also WONDERFUL! I don't really know why this is called a dressing since it's really a rice dish but who am I to judge. In the past, I substituted shrimp for the oysters, but if I decide to cook both of these, I'll go with the recipe as it's written and add oysters.

Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Pie from Southern Living - I haven't made this particular recipe before but it looks delicious, doesn't it? I adore pecan pie and have made several different ones and shared them here on the blog. So, I want to give this one a try.

So, are you thinking about Thanksgiving yet? What are your Thanksgiving tradition? What do you have on your menu this year? I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Look Inside "The Picky Palate"

The Picky Palate
by Jenny Flake
Wiley & Sons

Is it OK to admit that this cookbook was my introduction to Jenny Flake and Picky Palate? I think it's OK because that means that you will get my unbiased opinion of this cookbook, The Picky Palate Cookbook. If you're already a fan of Picky Palate, you're going to love this cookbook. And, if you're new to the world of Picky Palate, you're going to love this cookbook, too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quick Chicken and Artichokes from "Too Hot in the Kitchen"

Quick Chicken and Artichokes

I've never considered myself a "light" cook. In fact, I've never been attracted to light cookbooks just because I thought that light recipes consisted of steamed veggies and sugar substitutes. But, when I flipped through Holly Clegg's Too Hot in the Kitchen, I was surprised to find so many recipes that attracted me and I realized that I do cook fairly lightly (most of the time).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Toffee and Brown Sugar Rice Krispies Treats

Toffee & Brown Sugar Rice KrispiesTreats

Believe it or not, there was a world of television chefs before the Food Network came along and elevated chefs from public television personalities to international superstars.

As a child, I remember sitting in my parents’ living room on Saturday afternoons watching PBS’s block of cooking shows. My parents and I loved watching Nathalie Dupree, Jacques Pepin (who could forget the shows featuring his doe-eyed daughter, Claudine Pepin), Martin Yan (he can cook), and the legendary Justin Wilson. “I’m glad for y’all to see me. I gua-rone-tee!”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reintroducing Myself and My Well-Seasoned Life

Sometimes, inspiration comes when you least expect it and you didn’t even know you needed to be inspired. Two summers ago, my son asked me what I dreamed of becoming when I grew up. I told him that I had dreamed of becoming a writer. His eight years on this Earth had turned him into quite the pessimist: “A writer?!? Who would read it?” A couple of weeks later, he brought up the subject again. “What was that dream you had, the one that never came true?” And, for the first time, I wondered how I would ever be able to encourage my children to follow their dreams if I didn’t at least attempt to follow my own.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Mini Donuts": Review and Recipe

Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your "Hole" Day
by Jessica Segarra
Published by Adams Media

So far, this has been a wonderful fall with beautiful weather and cool new cookbooks. It makes this hobby known as blogging so fun and interesting. I never know which cookbooks will arrive at my door. And, I was really, really excited to find this one on my doorstep. It had been on my Amazon wish list for a long time, but, to my surprise, the publisher sent me a copy of it to review and I almost screamed out loud when I saw it! Eek!!

What is all the excitement about you may ask? Well, with all the blogs out there, I can't follow all of them. There are only about two of the blogger-turned-cookbook-authors that I can actual tolerate (or enjoy) and one of those is Jessica at The Novice Chef. Jessica has some delicious but simple recipes on her blog so I knew that her new cookbook, Mini Donuts, would be wonderful, too. It is!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Product Review: Edgeware Angle Adjust Manual Sharpener

Edgeware Angle Adjust Manual Sharpener by Smith's

I will admit that I am not the knife sharpener in my house. In fact, I don't notice the dullness of a knife blade until my husband starts to use the knife and announces how dull it is. That may tell you a little bit about my knife skills. My husband sharpens our knives on a sharpening stone that, to be frank, makes my skin crawl to watch. It's like nails on a chalkboard.

So, when I got the chance to test and review the Edgeware Angle Adjust Manual Sharpener by Smith's, I was pleased to find a knife sharpener that I could easily use myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets": Review and Recipe

Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat
Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets
by Abigail Johnson Dodge
The Taunton Press 

I don't know about you, but I'm liking the new trend towards mini desserts. It's not that I'm in to small portions, but I like a mini desserts because they allow me to try a variety of desserts. Yes, I'll sample the  whoopie pie and the hand-held pie. One of the newest cookbooks on the market that celebrates the mini dessert craze is Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat by Abigail Johnson Dodge.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"No Whine with Dinner": Review and Recipe

No Whine with Dinner
by Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex

Many of you may be familiar with The Meal Makover Moms. On their website,, the duo of Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex focus on nutrition for the family and inspire readers to get healthy meals on the table. Their cookbook, No Whine with Dinner, focuses on healthy, kid-friendly and kid-tested recipes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Confessions of a Cookbook Nerd

I will readily admit that I suffer from OCD (Obsessive Cookbook Disorder). It’s not that I collect cookbooks, although I do have plenty on my shelves. No, I consider myself a cookbook nerd because I study cookbooks. And, it’s not just cookbooks, but I also study the cookbook industry. I research which cookbooks are coming soon and what are the “happening” trends in the industry. I often visit publishers’ web sites to learn about their books and authors and to see if they’re offering a sneak peek at the cookbook.

Also, I set up an elaborate system of wish lists on such as “Fall 2012 Cookbooks” and “2013 Cookbooks”. I then make notes such as publication dates and the name of the publisher. The books come and go on the lists according to my mood and any inside information that I’ve picked up along the way. I make full use of the “Look Inside” feature on the site. If I “look inside” and don’t like what I see, the book is off the list.

What would make me cut a cookbook from the wish list? Many things factor into my decision such as:

  • If the recipes include lists of ingredients that are long and painful such as specialized or unfamiliar ingredients
  • If I look through the index and can’t find a recipe that interests me, that doesn’t make me want to see the actual recipe
  • If I feel like I’ve seen the contents before in other cookbooks. After all, how many people can publish a recipe for garlic cheese biscuits and claim them as their own? You get the drift…
  • Finally, and I’m not being conceited when I say this, if I feel like I could have written a better cookbook. I think we’ve all read one or two of those…

If the cookbook has already been released and the customer reviews are posted, I always read through those to get a sense of what readers are thinking. However, I’ve found that you have to be wary of the blogger-turned-author reviews because they are inundated with dozens if not hundreds of 5-star reviews from blog readers. I can tell you from owning some of these cookbooks that not all of these 5-star reviews are well-deserved. I always consider the 2 or 3-star reviews because they can be a little more objective since the reviewer doesn’t have the emotional attachment that a blog follower does.

The true test for me in determining the quality of a cookbook is to take the cookbook and dissect it mentally by removing all of the photographs and the personal commentary. Now, what am I left with? Am I left with recipes that are tired or unoriginal and don’t show any inspiration other than a quirky camera angle and an elaborate tablescape? Or, do I have page after page of recipes with checkmarks by the recipes that I just have to try, recipes that take common ingredients and use them in new and original ways? 

Some of you may find the subject of cookbooks boring, but I know there are a few of you out there who share my obsession. Please comment below and let me know which cookbooks you have and love, which ones you hate, and which ones are on your wish list. If I’ve read them, I’ll chime in and give you my opinion on them.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Moufflet": Review and Recipe

by Kelly Jaggers
Published by Adams Media
There's only one problem I see with this cookbook. I just can't stop baking muffins and now I want to quit my job and bake muffins all day long for a living. Or, maybe I'll quit my job and test muffin recipes for a living. I baked four different kinds in one day. And, the following weekend, I baked two more recipes because I just couldn't get enough of these muffins and this cookbook, Moufflet, by Kelly Jaggers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Holiday Recipe Contest


I know how some of you love to enter recipe contests so I wanted to share this press release from the Tupelo Honey Cafe with you so that you can start planning your entries. If you're not familiar with the Tupelo Honey Cafe or its cookbook, you can find out more by reading my review here.

If you enter the contest, please consider letting me know by leaving a comment on this post. You don't have to share any information regarding the recipe. Thanks!

ASHEVILLE, NC (September 21, 2012) – Tupelo Honey Cafe, one of Asheville, NC’s signature
restaurants, is launching an on-line holiday recipe contest for home cooks who want to showcase
their own creative, flavorful dishes. A prize will be awarded in each of the three categories:

Holiday side dish
Holiday dessert
Holiday left-overs!
The contest runs from October 1 through November 16th with all entries judged by Tupelo
Honey’s Executive Chef Brian Sonoskus and his team of taste-testers. The three winners will be
announced December 3rd. Each winner will receive a $200 gift card redeemable at any Tupelo
Honey restaurant or in the Tupelo Honey Cafe on-line store at

In addition to the grand prize winners, a drawing will be held each week for a free copy of
Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook: Spirited Recipes From Asheville’s New South Kitchen.
All entrants are encouraged to submit recipes that reflect the creativity, layers of flavors, and
fun synonymous with the restaurant’s fare. For contest rules, visit
contest rules.

Tupelo Honey Cafe offers scratch-made Southern cuisine with unique creative touches and a
panoply of flavors. With two locations in Asheville, NC, a third location at 1 Market Square in
Knoxville, TN, is scheduled to open October 12, 2012, and a fourth restaurant in Johnson City,
TN, is to open fall 2013.

Press Release provided by:
Leah Quintal

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Winner is...

The winner of Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites is PattyKaye! PattyKaye has responded to my e-mail and should be receiving her copy soon.

I am a facebook fan, blog follower and would LOVE to own this cookbook! Thanks for the chance to win! Happy Early Birthday to you (my middle daughter's is the 23rd!) .
Thanks to everyone who entered! I haven't offered a giveaway in a while but the response was so great that I will have another one soon. Keep checking back!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Buttermilk Biscones from "Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook"

Buttermilk Biscones
I'm working my way through The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day. This cookbook was released in March 2012 and I bought it as soon as it was released. Although I liked it immediately, it took a while for me to get around to actually baking out of it. But, recently, I've taken it on as a personal challenge to bake all of the recipes that appeal to me. So far, I've baked Blueberry Muffins, Drunk Blondies, Red Velvet Cake, Lavender Shortbread, and the Buttermilk Biscones.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Big Giveaway: "Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites"

Shadow Mountain Publishing
I'm so happy to announce that I got the opportunity to do an official review for this great new cookbook, Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites by Sara Wells and Kate Jones, published by Shadow Mountain. For my official review and a sneak peek recipe from the cookbook, check it out at my food column, My Well-Seasoned Life.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Reading Material: “How to Host a Fall Themed Dinner Party”

Over the past few years, I've hosted several fall-themed bridal showers. They're always a hit because they're so unexpected. Most people think they'll come in and be surrounded by traditional wedding decorations and, instead, they enter a warm and welcoming world of pumpkins and falling leaves.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I've been looking forward to it for the past two months. If you're ready for fall entertaining, you may enjoy this article from on How to Host a Fall Themed Dinner Party.

Edited to add: For those of you who are interested, here's the recipe to my Fall Snack Mix.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"I Love Cinnamon Rolls": Review and Recipe

I Love Cinnamon Rolls!
by Judith Fertig
Andrews McMeel Publishing

I've always held homemade cinnamon rolls up as the standard by which to judge myself as a baker. If I could pull off baking cinnamon rolls then I had arrived as an expert baker. Until the weekend when I made my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls, I had considered myself a baking failure not because I was unsuccessful at making cinnamon rolls, but because I had never gotten up the nerve to even try to make them. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Autumn in August: Apple Crisp Muffins

Apple Crisp Muffins

And, so Autumn in August continues with these Apple Crisp Muffins from Taste of Home's Fall Baking 2011. By the way, the new TOH Fall Baking for 2012 will be out at the end of August. I am beyond excited!! The 2011 edition is one of my favorite resources. It's littered with post-it flags. As soon as I layed my eyes on this recipe, I had to mark it. There was nothing about these muffins that I didn't like from the moist muffins filled with tangy Granny Smith apples to the creamy filling highlighted with maple and orange to the crunchy streusel topping. These muffins are delicious!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Autumn in August: Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Yes, Autumn in August is a one-woman celebration. I thought it might go viral, but no. Oh well, I will keep going. Keep trying to bring us all an early fall one dessert at a time. What would a fall dessert be without the use of pumpkin? I always feel that pumpkin needs a little something something to make it better. That something is this cream cheese filling.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Autumn in August: Caramel-Swirl Cheesecake Dessert

Caramel-Swirl Cheesecake Dessert

My husband's birthday was on July 29th. I didn't bake him anything for his birthday because we had to travel to North Carolina that weekend. But, although it was a little belated, I did get around to baking him a cheesecake for his birthday. Cheesecake is one of his favorite desserts. And, since I was celebrating Autumn in August, I decided on a cheesecake with one of my favorite flavors of fall - caramel. You can keep your chocolate sauce. I will take caramel sauce over it every time. I love the buttery sweetness of it. This recipe is from one of my favorite bookazines, Taste of Home's Fall Baking 2009.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Autumn in August: Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Hello, again! I hope that you've decided to join me for the Autumn in August feature here on A Well-Seasoned Life. I've been busy trying to find recipes that are rich with fall flavors. For this recipe, I jazzed up a recipe for raspberry-filled thumbprints and put a fall twist on it by adding apple pie spice and apple jam.

Autumn in August: Apple Crisp Pie

Apple Crisp Pie

I first saw this recipe when one of Goosberry Patch's biggest fans and recipe contributers, Lori Peterson, posted a photo of it on Gooseberry Patch's Facebook page. It sounded wonderful and I knew that it had to go on my list of recipes featuring fall flavors. While I don't have a copy of this particular cookbook, 101 Easy Everyday Recipes Cookbook, I found the recipe in the Recipe Box on Gooseberry Patch's website,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Introducing Autumn in August

Once the 4th of July is said and done, I start looking ahead to fall. I love fall decorations and fall flavors. Apples, pumpkin, and cinnamon...oh my! As of August 1st, summer is officially over at my house anyway as it's the first day of school for my children. And, although we're trying to survive the sweltering heat of August, I have fall on my mind. In the spirit of Christmas in July, I've decided to start my own holiday season known as Autumn in August.

So, for the month of August, I'll be celebrating the flavors of fall by featuring recipes that incorporate typical fall ingredients - apples, pumpkin, cinnamon, maple, caramel and such. I'll choose recipes  from some of my favorite sources: Gooseberry Patch's fall cookbook line and Taste of Home's fall baking bookazines. I may also include a savory dish or two. We'll just have to wait and see.

Here are a few of the popular fall recipes from the blog to get us started.

Join me this month as we celebrate Autumn in August. And, please share in the comment section some of the things that you're looking forward to the most this fall. I would love to hear from you.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

For you bloggers out there, did you ever think that there would be a time when you would stop caring about how many hits your blog was getting? When you wouldn't obsess about what you were going to prepare for the week, how you were going to photograph it, what props you would use to show it at its best? I didn't think that time would come for me, either, but it did.

Apple-Broccoli Salad

Apple-Broccoli Salad

OK, so I feel a little strange posting the title Apple-Broccoli Salad because I didn't actually use any apples in my dish. I'm on a low-carb diet so left the apples out. I would have used the apples had I not been on this diet. However, as you can see from the list of ingredients, there are also no raisins in my dish, either. There are no circumstances in this world that would warrant me using raisins in anything that I'm preparing. Yuck! But, you go right ahead and add them if you like that sort of thing. This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch's Big Book of Home Cooking.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever from "Savory Sweet Life"

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Yes, I'm still singing the praises of Alice Currah's cookbook, Savory Sweet Life. I've still got a few more recipes on my to-do list but wanted to make these this weekend for my kids. Oh, I may have tasted one or two myself.

Banana Pudding Cake

Banana Pudding Cake

Just a quick post to let you know what I made yesterday. I made this Banana Pudding Cake and it is wonderful! Because it's served chilled, it was the perfect ending to a hot, humid, 100+ degree day here in Georgia. This cake tastes exactly like banana pudding. But, it will hold up a little longer than a traditional pudding because it doesn't contain bananas which can get a little gooey. All of the banana flavoring comes from the pudding used in the frosting. You could also substitute the vanilla extract for banana flavoring in the cake if you have it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Still Enjoying the "Savory Sweet Life"

If you haven't bought your very own copy of Alice Currah's Savory Sweet Life, I think you should. It is an excellent cookbook. Every time I look through it, I find more and more recipes that I want to try. When I finally got the opportunity to do some baking this weekend, I pulled out this cookbook and found two recipes to try. So far, I've only tried the sweet side of Currah's life, but the savory side has got to be good, too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

King Arthur Flour Project: Basic Whole Grain Cookies

Basic Whole Grain Cookies

I'm trying to cover all of my bases with this whole grain baking project that I've been doing using products from King Arthur Flour. I thought that baking cookies using whole grains such as white whole wheat flour and oatmeal would be a good starting point. These cookies could have been made with or without chips, but I just had to add some milk chocolate chips to mine.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from "Savory Sweet Life" by Alice Currah

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
from Savory Sweet Life

Earlier this week, I received my copy of Savory Sweet Life by Alice Currah. I ordered it from Amazon after checking out the "look inside" feature. It was an impressive sneak peek and an even more impressive cookbook.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cookbook Review: "Baking with Kids"

by Camilla Perez and Lisa Flodin
Skyhorse Publishing

Are you trying to teach your children to bake? And, do you not only want them to bake but want them to bake with whole grains? Then, this may be the cookbook for you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

BBQ Sauce and "An Irresistible History of Southern Food"

Pork ribs with South Carolina/Georgia Golden-Style Mustard Sauce

I know that I've mentioned it before in the past, but I'll say it again. I'm Southern. I'm from Georgia and that's how I cook and eat - like a Southerner. I know what I like, but never questioned my culinary history. In Rick McDaniel's An Irresistible History of Southern Food, I learned where I came from and why.

"Hazan Family Favorites": Recipe and Review

Hazan Family Favorites
by Giuliano Hazan
Stewart, Tabori and Chang

By the time I got home from work one day, my husband had opened the mail and found a copy of Giuliano Hazan's Hazan Family Favorites. He was already eyeing the cover with its platter of Tagliata with Garlic and Parsley. Of course, he would naturally be drawn to the thinly sliced rib-eye steaks, cooked rare and piled high. It's the man in him.

Cookbook Review: "Grace's Sweet Life"

by Grace Massa Langlois
Ulysses Press

Are you a fan of rich and luscious Italian desserts? Would you love to be able to recreate those desserts in your very own home? If the answers are yes, then you may be ready for a taste of Grace's Sweet Life, written by Grace Massa Langlois and published by Ulysses Press.

Grace's Sweet Life is a user-friendly cookbook filled with beautiful and tempting full-color photos of classic Italian desserts. I say it's user-friendly because Langlois has exhausted every effort to write the most detailed instructions to assure that your desserts turn out perfectly. You will feel like she is right beside you in the kitchen giving you a gentle nudge in the right direction.

And, with so many recipes to choose from, I'm sure you'll be able to find one that appeals to you and is on your skill level. As you can see, Langlois starts with the basics - creams and pastry doughs - and takes you through a selection of desserts that range from rich and creamy to light and fruity.  
  • Basics - Pastry Cream, Chantilly Cream, Meringue, and Sweet Pastry Doughs
  • Cakes and Cheesecakes - Orange Cake, Puff Pastry Cake with Dark and White Chocolate Pastry Cream, Chiffon Cake with Orange Chantilly Cream and Orange Cream, and Tiramisu
  • Mini Desserts - Mini Chocolate and Vanilla Bavarian Cakes and Mini Lemon Mousse Cakes with Limoncello-Lemon Jelly
  • Cookies and Confections - Italian Waffle Cookies, Italian Peach Cookies, and Chocolate Salami
  • Pies and Tarts - Chocolate Truffle Tart with Chocolate Glaze and Tartlets with Pastry Cream and Mixed Berries
  • Pastries and Fried Desserts - Sicilian Cannoli, Italian Honey Balls, and Chocolate Eclairs with Pastry Cream
  • Creams, Custards, Mousses, and Souffles - Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly, Butterscotch Cream with Hazelnut Pralines, and Nutella Souffle
  • Frozen and Fruit Desserts - Assorted Sorbets (raspberry, lemon, and orange), Peaches in Red Wine, and Vanilla Poached Pears
This cookbook is a treat for your cookbook collection. Sometimes, you just have to invest in a speciality dessert cookbook, especially if you're a fan of Italian cuisine. These desserts will turn any ordinary occasion into a special one.

To learn more, visit Grace's Sweet Life.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of the cookbook, but the opinion expressed here is my own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recipes and Review: "Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?" by Lisa Caponigri

by Lisa Caponigri
Sterling Epicure Publishing

If you're stuck in a rut and trying to figure out a new and different menu to feed your family, you may be ready for Lisa Caponigri's Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?. The cookbook holds 52 menus, each menu contains an appetizer, main dish, side dish, and dessert course for a total of 250 recipes "that celebrate family."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Desserts are Better with COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Thank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms
To me, warm weather means cool desserts. And, whenever I think of cool desserts, I always think of COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. Using COOL WHIP in my desserts turns ordinary ingredients into an extraordinary taste sensation.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

King Arthur Flour Project: French Herb Bread

French Herb Bread

For the next installment of the King Arthur Flour project, I chose this recipe for French Herb Bread. The herb in this recipe is herbs de Provence. And, I just happened to have a jar of the herbs sitting in my cabinet waiting to be used.