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.


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.


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.

Review: Dinner Changing the Game

I fell in love with this book by Melissa Clark the moment I opened and begin flipping through the pages. I want to make and eat almost every recipe. The photos are so gorgeous I want to lick the pages. Most of the recipes are great for busy work night meals.  A complete recipe is on one page, no turning back and forth while cooking. This is a book I will cook from often. They are not the same old recipes you often see over and over in many books.

I decided to dig right in and begin cooking. For my first dive I made Black Bean & Roasted Poblano Quesadillas, which daughter and I loved.


Next I made Fresh Corn Cakes which were devoured by my daughter, son, hubby and myself. I used frozen corn and grape tomatoes. The fried sage leaves lend so much flavor.  I can’t wait for fresh garden corn and tomatoes to make these again as I know if possible they’ll be even better.


Next up was Kimchi Pork Chops. Wow! Loved the combination of flavors in the kale served with the pork chops. Kale, green onions, Kimchi, Fish Sauce, Sake, and Brown Sugar. After the pork chops are browned they are nestled back into the kale mixture and covered and cooked together. Hubby, son and I had a delicious supper that night. I just warmed up some leftover creamed cheese mashed potatoes and supper was ready in no time.


So looking forward to many more delicious meals from this book. I highly recommend for anyone looking for an interesting and inspiring cookbook to get you into the kitchen and cooking.

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

Weekends in a French Kitchen Dec.4, 2016

The group of bloggers that were involved in Weekends in a French Kitchen have mostly lost interest in continuing this challenge. One of the administrators of the Facebook page is discontinuing the project for lack of interest. The final recipe schedule was posted for Nov and Dec. Many of those recipes  were ones I just wasn’t interested in cooking. Things like Escargots, Pork Cheek Ravioli, Squab Pie with Foie Gras, Violet Meringues, and Chestnut Veloute. I do have some chestnuts in the freezer so I may give that one a go.  I have decided to go out on my own to continue cooking from A Kitchen in France and will now include Mimi Thorisson’s new cookbook French Country Cooking.

I’ve had my eye on the Oxtail Macaroni Gratin from A Kitchen in France since I first looked through the book and finally found some oxtails at one of my local supermarkets this weekend. The oxtails are cooked in a whole bottle of red wine which is flavored with some spices and herbs. The macaroni is cooked and a bechamel sauce made. Then all this is layered in a baking dish – 1/2 of the meat and its cooking sauce first, followed by 1/2 of the macaroni and then 1/2 of the bechamel, then repeat layers. It says to top with the cheese but the directions didn’t have you save any of the cheese from the bechamel, so I had to use some other cheeses I had on hand for the topping. I also used sour cream instead of creme fraiche.


Daughter and I though it was great, son wasn’t a big fan but he did eat two bowls. He’s not crazy about things cooking in wine nor meat in his mac and cheese but he does love oxtails. He usually requests oxtail soup if I’m lucky enough to find them.

If you’d like to try this recipe for yourself and don’t have a copy of A Kitchen in France, the recipe can be found at the following link on Mimi’s blog, Manger:
Also if you’d like to see what French recipes I decide to try please come back and visit my blog.

Until next time Bon Appetit!

Review: Shinnytaste Fast and Slow

I love the Skinny Taste blog and checked out her first cookbook from our public library and loved it as well. I enjoyed this one, but not as much as the first. Maybe a personal preference, but there were more recipes that called my name in her first cookbook.

I was eager to get my hands on a copy of this one since it contains slow cooker recipes as well as quick fix ones. Many of the  breakfast recipes were more like ideas than recipes to me.  For instance  stuff on toast.

I did try the Perfect Medium-Rare Roast Beef in the Slow Cooker, but after the suggested time my beef was still very raw in the middle. Then I think I might have gone a bit too long, as once it rested it was done and a bit on the tough side. It had a great flavor though. The gravy was way to thin. I had to double the flour to get it to a thickness a little more than water.  I did shred the left overs and added them and the gravy back in the slow cooked the next day. I cooked it for a few hours till falling apart tender. Then served them on rolls with some Provolone, and it was delicious.


Hoping to try a few more of the recipes soon especially some more of the slow cooker ones. There are gorgeous photos though out the book. I love that there is nutritional information for all the recipes.

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


Weekends in a French Kitchen Oct 30, 2016


This weekend is a cooks choice weekend so I decided to do a recipe I missed earlier in the schedule – Roast Chicken. If you’re sill with me I’m continuing  to cook through Mimi Thorisson’s book, A Kitchen in France with some other bloggers. We share our adventures, with each other on the Facebook group, Weekend’s in a French Kitchen. If you’d care to join is the link is:

I made this chicken when I was staying with my daughter after she had her baby. Son in law, daughter and I loved this chicken. I did use sour cream instead of creme fraiche though and my chicken was 5 pounds instead of 3 so I had to add some cooking time but it turned out delicious. I served it with the Potatoes al a Lyonnaise from page 92 and they went together great with some broccoli as another side.


Until next time.

Weekends in a French Kitchen Oct 23, 2016


This weekends recipe from A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson is Potatoes Al a Lyonnaise.  I made this recipe to go with the roast chicken from page 46 which I will be posting for a Cooks Choice weekend this month.

I only put caramelized onions on half of this dish since son, and son-in-law don’t enjoy cooked onions. Daughter and I loved the ones with the onions on top and son and son-in-law loved the others. Hubby didn’t eat any. These potatoes are cooked three times but worth it. Boiled, sliced, fried in butter then topped with the onions and baked in the oven.

”TammyIf you’d like to join us in cooking through this book please consider joining the Facebook group at the following link:

Until next time Bon appetit!