Saturday, October 31, 2015

Real Food Real Kitchens Blog Tour


"Real Food Real Kitchens prides itself on four words: family, food, culture and history."

In Real Food Real Kitchens, Craig Chapman invites us along to explore the kitchens and food culture of the citizens of New York. Within the book, we journey to kitchens in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

The book is divided by these areas of New York and each section features several families from that area. These families open their homes and kitchens to the readers and allow us to learn about their food culture and history while sampling a tradition recipe.

Each feature story contains a sample recipe along with photographs of the family, cooking process, and finished product. The photos are extremely realistic - no food styling here - and make you feel that you are actually standing in someone's home kitchen.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Party Style Blog Book Tour, Plus Giveaway

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Party Style: Kids' Parties from Baby to Sweet 16
by Gemma Touchstone
Cedar Fort Publishers
There are many books that get me excited, but some of my favorites are party styling books. I love to look at the recipes and tablescapes and imagine throwing my own parties. Because I am completely lacking in creativity when it comes to decorating, I surround myself and stock my library with party books for both food and decorating. Party Style by Gemma Touchstone covers both topics and is a welcome addition to my collection.

This book contains detailed information on planning and finding inspiration for your parties, including schedules, themes, invitations, and prep work. Now, as a foodie, I was most interested in the selection of recipes that were included in the book. I'm always searching for new ideas for appetizers and treats to bring to showers and work events. I found plenty of recipes here to satisfy children and adults alike.

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Some of the cute recipes that appealed to me were Circus Cake Batter Cookie Dip, Lemonade Chex Mix, World's Best Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip, Ritz Party Dip, Salad on a Stick, and Pizza in a Jar. All of these recipes seem simple to put together and will add a unique twist to a party spread.

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The last part of the book contained photo spreads of different party themes. As a mother of two boys, I enjoyed seeing the spread for a Mine Craft party. The ideas seem simple enough for even someone like me to pull off. I know my kids would love it! There are plenty of party ideas for both boys and girls. 

This book is perfect for anyone who wants to make a party special for their children. But, you don't have to have children to enjoy this book. You'll find numerous recipes and ideas that can be incorporated into other events that you may have in your life. I enjoyed reading the book and am looking forward to using the ideas featured here at my next gathering.

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More information about Gemma Touchstone's upcoming book tour events:
  • You can get over $2,500.00 worth of exclusive party printables with your Book purchase for download off of the web site 
  • Gemma Touchstone will be teaching pin worthy parties at the pinners conference in Salt Lake City, UT Nov 6th & 7th and you can save 10% on tickets with ticket code partystyle
  • Gemma Touchstone will be speaking at ISSE along with  Colin Cowie and some other amazing speakers and you can save $500.00 on your ticket when you mention PartyStyle Book Tour
  • Find Gemma at the OC DATE NIGHT MARKET March 11th
  • For more dates on her Tour around the USA Please visit the Blog 
  • Gemma's Next HOLIDAY HOSTESS is already in the works and will be out in time for the holiday season in 2016 
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For more information about the book:

For a sneak peek on Gemma's web site:

In celebration of the book's release, Gemma is hosting a giveaway of some great prizes. Enter to win at the widget below.

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Giveaway runs till the Blog Book tour is over from October 1 - November 15th. THE GRAND PRIZE is a kitchen aid mixer, IPAD Air, Honeycomb Decor Pack with multiple sizes and colors, Bakers Bling sanding sugar in several colors, $100.00 gift card to Home Goods, $100.00 Gift card to Michael's Craft Store and an Autographed copy to the book. 3 ft LOVE Balloon Set. These are Gemma's Must haves for the perfect party.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Alana Chernila's The Homemade Kitchen

As a fan of Alana's first cookbook, The Homemade Pantry, I have been beside myself waiting on the release of her second book, The Homemade Kitchen. And, while the wait was torturous, it was definitely worth it. Alana Chernila writes the blog, Eating from the Ground Up, which I have followed for several years now. Her writing style is beautiful and she joins two of my other favorites, Ashley English and Amanda Soule, as women I admire as writers and experts in their fields of interest.

The Homemade Kitchen is a dense book that should be read slowly and intently. Yes, it is full of recipes, but it is the essays that come between the recipes that I enjoy the most. These essays give you insight into Alana's home and heart.

There were two moments in the book that I immediately connected to my own life. The first was, "Noodles. So many noodles? Can a person live on noodles and butter?" "Yes, they can." I am in complete agreement with Alana on this one. Yes, since my boys were toddlers, they have lived on noodles with olive oil and a sprinkling of garlic salt. We call it seasoned noodles and they still request it to this day. My 12-year-old tells me that he's going to need me to give him the recipe when he moves out. There is something so special about building memories with food.

In the opening of the chapter, Slow Down, Alana writes, "When I need to create time, I walk out the door and try to find it in the yard." This line really resonated with me because I, too, go out in my yard when I need to reflect on what my future could be. I walk through my back yard and dream of turning it into a homestead overflowing with fruits, vegetables, and possibilities.

After reading this, you may say that this should be a review of a cookbook not of my life. But, that's the beauty of this book. I was able to connect certain pieces of the book to my life which made me appreciate the recipes even more. I have only scratched the surface of this book as it is deep and rich and requires a long-term commitment to be fully appreciated.

More about The Homemade Kitchen: Excerpt below from the publisher's web site.

This book is a map for how, day in and day out, food shapes my life for the better, in the kitchen and beyond it.
—from the Introduction
Start where you are. Feed yourself. Do your best, and then let go. Be helpful.  Slow down. Don’t be afraid of food.
Alana Chernila has these phrases taped to her fridge, and they are guiding principles helping her to stay present in her kitchen. They also provide the framework for her second book. In The Homemade Kitchen she exalts the beautiful imperfections of food made at home and extends the lessons of cooking through both the quotidian and extraordinary moments of the day. Alana sees cooking as an opportunity to live consciously, not just as a means to an end.

Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.

In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Blog Tour: "Festive Feasts" by Jeni Potter Scott

When I read that there was going to be a blog tour for this cookbook, I jumped at the chance to participate. This book had been on my wish list for quite a while since I love cookbooks that focus on holiday menus. I'm happy to say that this book really lived up to my expectations.

The book contains recipes that cover the entire holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each holiday is divided into several sections:
  • Halloween: Haunting Treats, Festive Party Starters, and Bewitching Main Dishes
  • Thanksgiving: Bountiful Starters, Entrees Fit for the Pilgrims, Rapturous Sides & Salads, Sweet Endings, and Thanksgiving Leftovers
  • Christmas: Blitzen Breakfast and Brunch, Angelic Starters, Divine Entrees, Festive Sides, and Gifts from the Kitchen
The Halloween section contained many recipes that will delight children from the Chocolate Spider Cake, Witch's Finger Sugar Cookies to the Super Easy Owl Cupcakes and Mummy Dogs, among many others. I was particularly impressed with the pumpkin cheese ball that used a broccoli stalk as the pumpkin stem. Cool idea!

The Thanksgiving section covers classic recipes along with many new recipes that you can add to your current traditional dishes. I especially loved the recipe for the Festive Pumpkin-Shaped Rolls. I'm going to start practicing now so that I'll have these perfected before the big day. This section also contained my favorite dessert in the whole book, Disney's Caramel Apple Pie (Copycat). Any pie that starts with a sugar cookie dough crust that is filled with apples, caramel, and a crumb topping is going to rank high in my book.

It was refreshing to find the brunch recipes in the Christmas section of the book. Every year, I have this romantic idea that I'm going to prepare an elaborate brunch for Christmas morning. As of now, that dream has not become a reality; however, with recipes such as Overnight Blueberry French Toast and Lemon Blueberry Bread, the dream lives on again this year. We'll see.

If you're a holiday cookbook fanatic like me, you'll absolutely love having this cookbook in your collection. I suggest that you go ahead and buy it now so that you can start using these recipes just in time for Halloween.

Festive-Feasts-blog-tour-bannerDisclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cookbook Review: Treat

Treat by Stephanie Banyas

Treat is not only the name of the new cookbook by Stephanie Banyas, it's also the word I use to describe this sweet little book. This cookbook offers modern updates on that childhood classic, the rice cereal and marshmallow treat. 

If you're feeling ambitious, you can make your own marshmallows. The first chapter of the book has recipes for homemade vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and cream cheese marshmallows. While the treat recipes do incorporate the homemade marshmallows, there is the option of substituting store-bought marshmallows or marshmallow fluff. 

The treat recipes are highly creative and spread out among five chapters: updated classics, candy-store favorites, fruity sweets, chocolate delights, and holiday & celebration treats. As I turned the pages, I was tempted by the likes of Toasted Coconut Treats, Toasted Marshmallow Treats, Salted Caramel Treats, Berry Cobbler Treats, and Orange Cream Treats. I'm really excited to get started in the kitchen. 

This cookbook is the perfect addition to my dessert collection. I'm a huge fan of the classic treat and know that I'll enjoy trying these recipes?

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Salsas and Moles

You may ask what would attract me to a cookbook that is dedicated to salsa. I chose to feature this cookbook because of my 12-year-old son's love of salsa and all things spicy. I contribute his love of Mexican food to the fact that I ate it a couple of times a week throughout my pregnancy with him. I realize that's not the case, but he enjoys hearing the tale. So, I knew he would enjoy reading this cookbook himself so he could learn about the various peppers used in the cuisine and find some salsa and pico recipes for us to try.

The cookbook is absolutely gorgeous! The vivid photos of the ingredients - bright red tomatoes and luscious green cilantro - will leave your mouth watering. The book begins with a guide to chiles and how to work with them. The recipes are spread out over five chapters: classic table salsas, hot salsas, mole and enchilada sauces, salsas for tacos, and chunky salsas and botanas.

One of the Mexican restaurants in my area serves what we refer to as "green salsa". I knew it wasn't tomatillo salsa (which I love) or guacamole (which I love even more). Through this cookbook, I have narrowed it down to Salsa Taquero (Spicy Avocado Sauce) or Salsa Mestiza (Avocado- Cilantro Sauce). I will be questioning my waiter on my next visit. 

I've never been happy with jarred salsa so I am thrilled to add this cookbook to my collection. With some much welcome experimenting, my family can have fresh salsas, pico de gallo and other unique sauces such as chimichurri, Salsa Gobernador (creamy sauce for fish tacos) and Creamy Lime Mayonesa. I can't wait!! If you're a Mexican food fiend like I am, you need this book!

Additional information provided by Random House: 

About the author:

DEBORAH SCHNEIDER is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, CA, and was dubbed “the reigning queen of San Diego chefs” by Bon Appétit. She is the author of the James Beard-nominated Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La PuertaAmor y Tacos¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge, which was one of Food & Wine’s Best of the Best of 2006; and is the co-author of Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking.

More information on the cookbook:

A collection of 60 authentic salsa and mole recipes from acclaimed chef/restaurateur Deborah Schneider, adapted for US kitchens. 

America has a new favorite condiment: salsa
And with good reason—a great salsa makes a big impression with just a little bite. In Salsas and Moles, award-winning chef Deborah Schneider explores a wide variety of favorites, from classic table salsas to mole and enchilada sauces, plus chunky salsas and snacks. While some people think salsa is all about heat, Schneider teases out fresh flavors from chiles, fruits, and herbs, creating authentic recipes that showcase the unique flavors of Mexico. 

With serving suggestions for each salsa, and recipes for popular sauces such as Salsa Verde, Enchilada Sauce, and Mango-Habanero Salsa, any salsa lover will be able to find their perfect match. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Southern Living's Southern Made Fresh

Southern Made Fresh is another beautiful addition to the Southern Living cookbook family. Written by Tasia Malakasis, the owner of Belle Chevre Creamery in Elkmont, Alabama, this cookbook features unique recipes that incorporate fresh from the farm (and creamery) ingredients.

Let's start the journey with breakfast and brunch recipes such as Mushroom & Green Onion Scramble, Spicy Andouille Spanish Tortilla, Grits with Red-Eye Gravy and Baked French Toast with Banana Brulee. We then move to an extensive selection of salads, dressings, and sandwiches. Light lunches are served in the form of various soups, a Tomato Pie with Fresh Corn & Herbs, and Pasta with Green Tomatoes & Goat Cheese.

Stick around for the nibbles and cocktail sections of the cookbook. The Nibbles chapters includes the recipe that I've featured here, Chicken Rillettes. The Sips, Shakes, and Shines chapters features my favorite recipe from the book, Pickle-Brined Pan-Fried Chicken.

Our culinary journey through Southern Made Fresh concludes with supper recipes such as Spicy Ginger-Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Peanutty Braised Chicken, and Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie followed by desserts such as homemade Moon Pies and Banana Pudding Trifle.

Yes, the word "fresh" is in the title of the book, but it's also the first word that comes to my mind when I try to summarize the vibe of this cookbook. Fresh ingredients combined with the author's fresh perspective on cooking are brought to life through vibrant photographs that make me want to hit the fast forward button on my backyard garden so that I can bring these recipes to life in my own kitchen sooner rather than later.

Chicken Rillettes
from Southern Made Fresh
Recipe and photo provided by Oxmoor House


Rillettes is just a fancy French word for pulled meat that’s combined with flavorful herbs, butter or lard, and a little cooking stock. They are traditionally served in little jars, which I find both adorable and convenient. You can make them with almost any meat.

Serves: 12,Hands-on: 26 min.,Total: 4 hr., 36 min.

Chicken Rillettes

1 cup butter
1½ cups finely chopped shallots (about 6 shallots)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 (2-lb.) whole deli-roasted chicken, skinned, boned, and finely shredded
2½ cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. coarse-grained Dijon mustard
½ tsp. table salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Crusty country bread or baguette slices

1. Melt ¼ cup butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ¾ cup butter to skillet; cook 2 minutes or until butter melts. Stir in thyme, chicken, and stock. Bring to a simmer; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is moist and tender and liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat, and cool 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and mustard. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Pack chicken mixture into 2 (8-oz.) jars. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

3. Serve rillettes with crusty bread or baguette slices and pickles.

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

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Milk Bar Life

Of all the cookbooks I have in my collection, it surprises me that I don't own the original Momofuku
cookbook. Who knows how that one has slipped by me... Anyway, I don't think it's necessary to own the original Momofuku cookbook to enjoy this one. 

This cookbook had such a cool vibe to it from the funky photos to the party-ready recipes. Many of the recipes seem simple to prepare and remind me of the comfort and party food that I've enjoyed throughout my life. What would a gathering be without cocktail meatballs? I can't wait to prepare the chicken puffs for my next social event. 

Don't worry, cookie lovers! There are plenty of recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth. In addition to the classics, you'll find unique recipes such as Hijacked Biscoff Cookies, Ritz Cookies, and Salt-and-Pepper Cookies. 

Again, this is a cool cookbook to have if you want to find familiar recipes that have been kicked up a notch with a quirky ingredient here and there. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and can't wait to try out these recipes on my family. 

Additional information from Random House:

About the author...
CHRISTINA TOSI is the chef, owner, and founder of Milk Bar, sister bakery of the Momofuku restaurant group, with locations in New York City, Toronto, and soon Washington, D.C. She is the 2012 recipient of the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award, a finalist for the 2014 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Award, and a judge on Fox’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.

More information about the book...
Go off the clock with Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar as she bakes one-bowl treats, grills with skills, and embraces simple, nostalgic—and often savory—recipes made from supermarket ingredients.

For anyone addicted to crack pie®, compost cookies®, and cake truffles, here are their savory counterparts—such as Kimcheezits with Blue Cheese Dip, Burnt Honey–Butter Kale with Sesame Seeds, and Choose Your Own Adventure Chorizo Burgers—along with enough make-at-home sweets to satisfy a cookie-a-day habit. Join Christina and friends as they cook their way through “weaknights,” sleepovers, and late-night snack attacks to make mind-blowingly delicious meals with whatever is in the pantry.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gooseberry Patch Review and Giveaway: Mom Knows Best

It's always an exciting time when Gooseberry Patch releases a new cookbook. The first spiral-bound cookbook from Gooseberry Patch for 2015 is the Mom Knows Best Cookbook and it is filled with everything you've come to know and love from Gooseberry Patch. The recipes are simple and comforting and are created with easily accessible ingredients, the one thing I look for when choosing recipes to try. As you can see from these chapters, there are plenty of recipes to cover your cooking style.

  • Grab & Go Breakfasts
  • Brown-Bagging It
  • Healthy Bites for Snacking
  • Dinners for the Daily Dash
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Sweet Treats
It was refreshing to see so many recipes for wraps, roll-ups, sandwiches, and salads - perfect for those of us who carry a lunch every day and need ideas to break the monotony. The comforting dishes are the ones that I associate more closely with Gooseberry Patch and you'll find plenty of those here, too - casseroles, soups, and stews abound in Mom Knows Best.

The recipe I chose to feature here, Balsamic Chicken & Penne, appealed to me because I love the flavor of balsamic vinegar plus my favorite vegetable is asparagus. All of the flavors combined well and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

Balsamic Chicken & Penne
Submitted by Mary Nehring
Belmont, NC

Balsamic Chicken & Penne

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. country Dijon mustard
2 T. sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8-oz. pkg. whole-wheat penne pasta, uncooked
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, chopped and steamed
Optional: shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large plastic zipping bag, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic and seasonings. Squeeze bag to mix well. Add chicken to bag; turn to coat. Seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours to overnight, turning bag occasionally. When read to prepare chicken, drain marinade into a saucepan; heat to boiling for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Broil chicken until chicken juices run clear, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. To serve, combine chicken, marinade, asparagus and pasta. Toss to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

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


Gooseberry Patch has provided me with a copy of this cookbook to give away to one of my readers. Please enter to win with the widget provided. Be patient. It may take a few seconds to load. Deadline for entering is March 28, 2015. Thanks! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cookbook Review: Lighten up, Y'all

Ten Speed Press

I'm always drawn to cookbooks that feature southern cuisine. It's the food that I'm familiar with, the food that makes me comfortable. I've been following Virginia Willis for quite a while on Facebook and Twitter and am happy to see that she has released a new cookbook.

In Lighten up, Y'all, the author introduces herself to readers by sharing her weight struggles and explaining the misconceptions that some people may have about southern foods being unhealthy. She then sets out to lighten up classic southern recipes with the goal of keeping the delicious flavors of the dishes intact. Recipes are divided into ten chapters:
  • Starters and Nibbles
  • Salads and Slaws
  • From the Garden
  • Grains, Grits, and Other Starchy Goodness
  • Seafood and Shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Pork, Beef, and Lamb
  • Soups and Stews
  • Biscuits, Bread, and Baked Goods
  • Sweet Indulgences
With easy substitutions of ingredients such as light mayonnaise, cheese, and Greek yogurt, the fat is reduced in classic dishes such as Sinless Seven-Layer Dip, Hot Mess Spinach and Feta Dip, and Lightened-Up Pimento Cheese. Vegetables and main dishes that are traditionally fried are prepared with a small amount of oil in a skillet or are baked in the oven. This cookbook proves that small changes can have a positive impact on your health without sacrificing flavor.

This cookbook is perfect for fans of southern cuisine as well as those readers who are trying to lightened up their cooking style.

From the Random House web site:

Virginia Willis is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all, which was nominated for the IACP Best American Cookbook award and voted the Comfort Food Book of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. She has been featured in Cooking with Paula DeenHouse BeautifulWashington PostHouston Chronicle, and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Willis has appeared on Real Simple TelevisionMartha Stewart LivingPaula Deen’s Best Dishes, and numerous local television shows across the country.

A graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, Willis has served as a television producer for Turner South and Shirley Corriher, was the kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television, and the executive producer of The Discovery Channel’s Epicurious. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at

For more information on this cookbook, please visit

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review: The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden
by Karen Newcomb

Over the past year, I have increasingly become more and more interested in gardening. My husband plants a few things every spring, but I haven't always shown an interest in it. Last spring, I named our backyard the Edible Acre and designated one area an orchard and another area the berry patch. I've already started making plans for this year's garden.

I was excited to see that The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden was available on Blogging for Books. This is a pure gardening books. You won't find any recipes in here; however, you will find numerous ideas on how to turn any small space into a productive garden. I enjoyed looking through the postage stamp garden plans. It was fun to imagine these small gardens growing in my back yard. 

In addition to garden layout ideas, the book also includes advice on how to plant, water, and maintain your vegetables. You'll also learn which plants work well together in beds. Finally, you'll learn how to control pests and diseases. 

I'm looking forward to utilizing the plans in this book to create my own postage stamp vegetable gardens. I'm already envisioning these full yet condensed garden boxes scattered throughout my back yard. This is the perfect book to begin a collection of books in my newest area of interest - gardening.

For more information on this book, visit the Random House website.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cookbook Review: Supermarket Healthy

Supermarket Healthy
by Melissa D'Arabian
Clarkson Potter

Supermarket Healthy is a cookbook geared towards faithful fans of Melissa D'Arabian's cooking show on the Food Network. I found most of the recipes to be a departure from her the simple, $10 meal recipes that she features on the show. It is a dense volume of recipes that cover 11 chapters: breakfast, snacks, soups/stews, salads/wraps/sandwiches, veggie mains, pasta, fish/seafood, chicken/turkey, beef/pork/lamb, sides, and dessert. Each recipe features healthier alternatives for certain ingredients such as coconut or soy milk, low-sodium broths, quinoa and brown rice.
When I read the title of this cookbook, I assumed that the recipes would be highly approachable for the average home cook. However, my initial impression as I thumbed through the pages was that most of the recipes did not appeal to me as either a cook or an eater. Almost every recipe had a little twist to it (ingredient-wise) that made me shake my head and move on to the next page where the sentiment was repeated. Again, if you're a fan of Melissa's show or Food Network in general, you'll want to add this to your collection. If you're just a home cook looking for new, simple recipes that have easily attainable and affordable ingredients from your local grocery store, you may want to do a little more research before you decide that this is the cookbook for you.

Author Bio: (from the Random House website)

Melissa d'Arabian was a corporate finance executive before becoming the host of Food Network's Ten Dollar Dinners and Cooking Channel's Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping. She also developed the seriesThe Picky Eaters Project, serves as lead judge on Guy's Grocery Games, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners. Melissa has an MBA from Georgetown University, and lives with her husband and their four daughters in San Diego.

For more information on this cookbook, visit the Random House website.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Cookbook Review: The Recipe Hacker

The Recipe Hacker: 
Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain or cane sugar
by Diana Keuilian
Front Table Books

Diana Keuilian writes the blog, With this cookbook, she sets out to share her healthy take on classic, comfort food by recreating the recipes into healthier versions that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, grain or cane sugar. 

In the opening of the book, she explains that when you eliminate these ingredients from your recipes, you must fill in the gaps with healthier alternatives. Her favorite substitutions are flax meal, coconut flour, blanched almond flour, almond meal, coconut palm sugar, pure maple syrup, raw honey, coconut milk, and coconut oil.

This cookbook has five chapters which cover every meal of the day:
  • Breakfasts - Recipes for pancakes, waffles, and other baked goods along with hot cereal and egg recipes. Since I enjoy making homemade sausage patties, my favorite recipe in this chapter was Roasted Pepper Sausage
  • Appetizers - Vegetables appetizers, meatballs, pulled pork sliders, and dips
  • Main Dishes - Several pizza recipes featuring homemade pizza crust, numerous fish, chicken, beef, and pork recipes
  • Sides - A recipe for cauliflower rice that is featured in different "rice" dishes, numerous recipes for breads including tortillas, cornbread, flatbreads and biscuits just to name a few, vegetable dishes, and sauces
  • Desserts - The final chapter covers all of your favorite desserts - cakes, pies, cookies, and brownies
If you have decided to eliminate ingredients such as gluten, dairy, soy, grain or cane sugar from your life, you may want to investigate this cookbook to get ideas of foods you can continue to enjoy with just a few substitutions of ingredients.

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