Review: The Cottage Kitchen

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The subtitle of this book by Marte Marie Forsberg, is Cozy Cooking In the English Countryside. This book contains so much more than just recipes. The author captures your attention with her wonderful stories of her life and how she came to live and cook in her cottage kitchen. She shares how her style of cooking came about and those who inspired her. The intros to each recipe are also interesting to read. I’m loving spending time with this book and looking forward to trying some of the recipes soon.

In addition to being a wonderful author Forsberg is also a great photographer. She took most of the photos for the book. The food looks mouth watering and the scenery amazing. The recipes sound delicious as well. Some recipes that caught my eye to try are  No Knead Country Loaf, Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese, Tomato Tarte Tatin with Burrata, Tomato Olives and Mozzarella Baked Peppers, Steak & Cheese Pie, and My Mother’s Baked Skillet Apples.  I also want to try the following which she suggests serving together – Marie’s Meatballs with Parsnip and Cardamon Puree, Brown Gravy, and Creamy Cabbage Stew.

If you enjoy a good story along with your recipes then you’re going to want to check out this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for my honest opinion.

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/539829/the-cottage-kitchen-by-marte-marie-forsberg

 

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Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy

I’ve enjoyed watching Damaris Phillips since she won The Next Food Network Star and got her first show, Southern at Heart. I tried several of her recipes from the show with delicious results. I’ve always hoped she’d write a cookbook. I was a bit surprised that it turned out to be vegetarian, but love that it also has tips to change the recipes up for meat eaters as well. I’m not a vegetarian, but do occasionally eat vegetarian meals. Husband and son are both big meat eaters though, so I’ll usually be making the meat eaters versions of the recipes.

My husband  per-ordered the book from Amazon for me, so I got it on the day it was released and I’ve been drooling over it ever since. The photos are fantastic and the blurbs above each recipe are fun to read. Love the tips she also includes in many of the recipes. I’ve read a lot of it and made a grocery list to try several of the recipes.

The first two recipes I made were Classic Pimento Cheese and Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies. Both were delicious.

Then for our Sunday supper I made – My Old Kentucky Fried Chicken, Brussels Sprout Slaw with dried tart cherries & Pecans, Beer Cheese & Mac, and Cajun Hoecakes. All good but my favorites were the slaw and chicken. The mac and cheese recipe called for a Japanese spice that Damaris noted may be hard to find so she gave a suggestion of what spices and how much to use to make a good substitute. I found this to be very helpful and that’s one of the many things I’m loving about this book. Ingredients are  mostly not hard to find but if they are she gives you suggestions of what to use instead. The least favorite of the recipes I made for Sunday was the Cajun Hoecakes. I’m glad I tried them but we prefer my  recipe for hoecakes. My family and I are not fans of sugar in cornbread and this recipe contains sugar. Also I like them without the spices. Brussels sprouts for slaw is a genius idea and even my son who isn’t a brussels sprout fan enjoyed the slaw. He did pick out the nuts and cherries since he doesn’t care for them in savoury dishes but he said he loved the dressing.

I also have ingredients to make the meat version of her Sloppy Joes which  is on the menu for this week. Looking forward to trying many more of the recipes from this book.

Review: Cherry Bombe The Cookbook

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When I read the sub title of this book by Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu, “Recipes and Stories from 100 of the Most Creative and Inspiring Women in Food Today”,  I knew I had to check it out. I’m so glad I did. The book is filled with recipes I want to make. I love that most ingredients can be found in almost any supermarket. There is a photo for every recipe which is also nice. Those photos are a feast for the eyes. The story behind each recipe and often a little about the woman behind the recipe is enjoyable to read as well. I love how the book is laid out, with most recipes on one page and the facing page is a photo of the finished dish. Many of the recipes also include a tip from the author, which I find helpful.

Some of my favorite women chefs, bloggers and food personalities are included – Vivian Howard, Katie Button, Ashley Christensen, Melissa Clark, Joy Wilson, Tanya Holland, Chrissy Teigen, and Christina Tosi to name a few. There are others I’m not familiar with but after reading their recipes I’m sure to seek out more information about them and their recipes. I’m enjoying reading this one and looking forward to cooking from it too.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

 

Review: The Book of Greens

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The Book of Greens – A Cooks Compendium by Jenn Louis is a useful tool to have in a cooks kitchen. You can learn all about many types of greens. Some were very familiar to me such as Collards, Spinach, Kale and Mustard Greens. While some others were very unfamiliar to me, such as Agewtti, Tatsori,  Spigarello and Red Orach. I also learned that you can eat squash greens, sweet potato greens, and tomato leaves.

There is lots of interesting information on each of the types of greens and 175 recipes included. A handy seasonal chart can be found in this book, and although many greens are available in more than one season you can refer to the chart to find their peak season.

If you are a lover of greens, as I am, you need this book in your collection. For more information you can visit the following site,  https://tinyurl.com/ybag6njq

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest  review.

Review: Food52 Mighty Salads

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Since summer is just around the corner and we’re already having hot days in our area I sometimes hate to heat the kitchen up. This book offers up “60 ways to turn salad into dinner”. I’ve already tried two of them and they were hits with my family. For my work lunches and to share with my daughter for her lunches, I made Lemony Greek Pasta Salad, which is great at room temperature and straight from the fridge as well. Of course with this one you do have to cook the orzo but that doesn’t take long. Then one night for supper I made the Antipasto Chopped Salad which has an amazing Artichoke-Dill Dressing on top. A very satisfying, filling and quick work night supper and no stove involved.

There are photos included for all the salads. I love that many of the salads give you ideas for other ingredients besides the ones in the ingredient list. There are also tips to help you make the best salads and how to best take some with you to work. Looking forward to trying many more salads from this book this summer.

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/536117/food52-mighty-salads-by-editors-of-food52-foreword-by-amanda-hesser-and-merrill-stubbs

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

Cooking from Simple by Diana Henry

During the month of April we cooked from Simple Effortless Food, Big Flavors by Diana Henry in the Food52 Cookbook Club on Facebook. I ordered this book as soon as I found out it was our April pick since I already had one of her other books – Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Everyday and I loved cooking from it. When the new book arrived upon first flip through I didn’t see that many recipes I thought my family would enjoy. Just before the month of cooking from Simple began I took another longer look through the book and it was soon filled up with little post it flags of recipes that were calling my name. When the month was over I’d already made 25 of the recipes and still have more recipes posted to try in the future.

A few of the recipes I only made for me including several breakfast dishes. Some of them were good but I didn’t enjoy enough to repeat. My faves were: Asparagus Goat Cheese & Warm Butter; Greens with Chili, Olive Oil, Eggs, Feta & Seeds; NY Takeout Noodles with Cucumbers,  Baked Sweet Potato with Chorizo Mushrooms and topped with an egg and Leek, Feta and Sumac Omelette.

I’ve never cooked with Vermouth but my family and I loved most of the recipes I tried from this book that Vermouth was an ingredient. One thing I really like about this book is that ingredients are often used multiple times in different recipes. This makes it easier to use up an ingredient that you purchase for one recipe that might other wise go to waste. Family hits were: Korean Chicken Gochujang Mayo & Sweet-Sour Cucumber; Cool Asian Greens with Hot Asian Dressing; Chicken Piccata; Toasted Brioche With Boozy Mushrooms; and Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers. Vermouth was in the Chicken Piccata, Boozy Mushrooms, and Pork Chops with Mustard and Capers. It was also in a salmon dish but I was the only one who liked that one and it wasn’t a favorite.

Daughter and I enjoyed the Blackberry Caraway Slaw and the guys the Honeyed Sausages from Honeyed Sausages with Blackberry Caraway Slaw. The slaw was gorgeous as well. A couple more favorites of daughter and myself were; Orzo with Lemon & Parsley; and Goat Cheese & Roast Grape Tartine. Son and I enjoyed the Hard Cider Rarebit even though we’ve tried another Rarebit recipe we liked a little more we’d still be happy to eat this one again.

One recipe, Tomatoes Potatoes Vermouth with Basil Creme Fraiche was a super hit. One bite had my daughter exclaiming – Holy cow these are the best potatoes I’ve ever had. Most of the rest of the family including me had to agree they were delicious.

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Hope you enjoyed my favorites list of recipes I’ve tried so far from Simple. We’re cooking from Small Victories by Julia Turshen in the Food52 group this month (May). I also cooked from Small Victories during March in the facebook group – Cookbook Junkies Cookbook Club. Also during May in the CBJ cookbook club we’re cooking from My Two Souths by Asha Gomez. More about those adventures when I post about Small Victories and My Two Souths after finished cooking this month. My Two Souths is also in the running to be a pick for the Food 52 group in the coming months. If it’s picked I’ll wait till I’ve finished that month to report back about My Two Souths. If you’d like to join either group and are on facebook check them out. I’m loving discovering new recipes while having fun posting about our adventures in these two cookbook clubs. It’s also fun to see what other recipes members are trying and hear their thoughts about the recipes.

Cooking From Deep Run Roots

A couple months ago I joined a Facebook group called Food52 Cookbook Club. In this group members cook from the book chosen by the members for that particular month. I joined to late join in cooking from Kate McDermott’s Art of Pie but just in time to cook from Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots during March. I have enjoyed watching Howard’s A Chef Life on PBS and followed eagerly awaiting her cookbook. When it arrived I didn’t see a lot of recipes I though my family would enjoy, but once I took another look after joining the Food52 cooking club I started finding many to try. I look forward to trying her version of Tomato Pie later in the summer when I can get great ones at our local farmer’s market.

I ended up trying 18 recipes during March and still have many more marked to try in the future. Of the 18 there were only 3 that I probably wouldn’t make again. Some of our favorites were:

Charred Spring Vegetables with Creamy Scallion Dressing and Hushpuppy Croutons. Baked Pimento Cheese and Sausage. Blueberry BBQ Chicken.

Sage Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Bacon-Roasted Rutabags. Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd Pie.

Stewed Collards with Ham Hocks which I then morphed into Creamed Collards with Pickled Collard Stems

Two Great breakfasts  Cripsy Ginger Rice with Leeks Shittakies and a Fried Egg, and Stewed Tomato Shirred Eggs with Ham Chips and Fool Proof Grits

Grits and Greens with Hot Sauce and Pork Rinds.  Spice Rubbed Flank Steak with Cucumber and Charred Onion Relish.  Deviled Eggs.

And for dessert Blueberry Cobbler with a Corn Meal Cookie Crust.

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Looking forward to continuing watching A Chef’s Life, cooking from Deep Run Roots and maybe even someday eating at one of her and her husband’s two restaurants – Chef and the Farmer and the Boiler Room in Kinston NC. I’m also looking forward to all the other cookbooks to explore in the Food52 Cookbook Club.