Thursday, November 17, 2016

Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Review

Now here's a novel approach: Gather all your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo recipes. Arrange them by occasion. And then photograph each special meal with your family in your own home. Which is exactly what Danielle Walker did for her newest blockbuster cookbook, Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations.

Danielle highlights the following special occasions: New Year's Eve, Game Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday, Fourth of July, Summer Shower, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Each celebration features a menu that's not only healthy, but vibrantly beautiful, too! I can't wait to try her Butternut Sage Carbonara, Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower, Knife-and-Fork Pork Ribs, Mini "Corn" Dog Muffins, and Caramel-Pecan Sticky Buns. Who says healthy can't be decadent as well?

If you'd like to take all the thought, work, and planning out of each special occasion, and still guarantee its success, let Danielle be your guide in this fabulous new cookbook of hers.

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Inspiralize Everything: A Review

My kids got me a spiralizer for Christmas. And ever since then, I've been excited to try new dishes with it. So when I heard that spiralizer queen and blogger, Ali Maffucci, was coming out with a new book, I just knew I had to get it.  Inspiralize Everything is everything I was hoping it would be--and more.

Ali packs this book with more recipes than I thought possible using this unique machine. She organizes her table of contents by produce, from apple and pear, to beet, broccoli, sweet potato, and zucchini. She even includes some I never thought of, including celeriac, chayote, jicama, kohlrabi, and rutabaga.

Some of the more interesting recipes I want to try are Chai-Spiced Pear Oatmeal; Roasted Carrot Noodles with Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Creamy Herb Dressing; White Beans, Escarole, and Turnip Noodles in Parmesan Broth; and Bell Pepper Taco Skillet. There are tons of beautiful photographs and helpful how-to tips.

If you're committed to healthy eating and colorful dishes full of nutrition, this book's for you.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: A Review

Award-winning blogger and best-selling cookbook author, Gina Homolka, has a really loyal following. I should know, I'm a member. So I knew, just knew, her newest book, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, was going to be another winner. And boy, was I right!

This book is so full of not only great, healthy recipes, but a ton of other helpful information, too -- including:

  • Icons that indicate whether a recipe is quick (30 minutes or less), vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, freezer-friendly, or uses a pressure cooker or slow cooker
  • Nutritional data (calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, fiber, protein, sugars, sodium)
  • Serving suggestions
  • Helpful tidbits called "Skinny Scoop"
  • Each chapter being divided into "fast" or "slow" recipes
  • And much more!

Some recipes I can't wait to try are "Chicken and Couscous Bowls with Piri Piri," "Fork and Knife Cheeseburgers," "Veggie Stuffed Flounder Sheet Pan Dinner," and "Easy No-Cook Mango Fool." 

For health-conscious meals that are both delicious and beautiful, this book's the one.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Nourishing Meals: A Review

With buzz phrases such as "the power of food as medicine," "nourishing meals," "organic diet," "gluten-free whole food recipes," "great first foods for baby," and "healthy lunchbox" peppered throughout the preface of Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, I was intrigued. And I soon became totally hooked, too.

This hefty cookbook showcases 365 recipes that are simple, healthy, colorful, and delicious. Each recipe features icons to specifically indicate whether it's gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and/or nightshade-free. Most are all of them.

Granted, there aren't a ton of photos. But the ones it does have are both beautiful and enticing.

I'm getting ready to make many of the ones that are particularly appealing to me, including Coconut Rice; Vegetable Mushroom Broth, Carrot Almond Muffins; Blueberry Kefir Smoothie, and Eggplant and White Bean Ragout.

If you're committed to raising a healthy family, this is the definitive cookbook for you.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Martha Stewart's Vegetables: A Review

You can be sure any time Martha Stewart publishes a book, it's going to be extra fabulous. So it comes as no surprise that Martha Stewart's Vegetables does not disappoint. At all.

The chapters are cleverly divided into categories such as Bulbs, Roots, Tubers, Greens, Stalks & Stems, Pods, Shoots, Leaves, Flowers & Buds, Fruits, and Kernels.

The recipes are approachable and a beautiful blend of traditional and creative, from Salt-Baked Potatoes, Shallots, and Chestnuts, to Green-Pea Burgers with Harissa Mayo and Smokey Brussels Sprouts Gratin.

And the photography is stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Since I've been wanting to cook with more seasonal vegetables, this is the perfect book for me. I can choose between making any recipe as either a side or a main course. And I know it will always turn out perfect. Martha wouldn't have it any other way.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Taste & Technique: A Review

For all the hype and anticipation of Portland chef Naomi Pomeroy's premiere cookbook, Taste & Technique, I was expecting a lot. An awful lot. And after I laid eyes on it for the very first time, I can honestly say I was not disappointed. In fact, it delivers all that it promises -- and more. Much, much more!

This book is elegant, picturesque, and chock-full of classic dishes that anyone would want to perfect. But then Naomi goes a step further and adds her own unique, modern twist to them. What a surprise...and a delight!

I personally can't wait to get started on the many recipes I've bookmarked, including Bread Salad with Asparagus, Pickled Rhubarb, and Flat-Leaf Parsley; Fresh Corn and Summer Vegetable Succotash; Quiche with Wild Mushrooms, Gruyere, and Chives; and Pistachio Meringue Cake with Fresh Citrus, Candied Kumquats, and Cardamom Caramel Sauce. Oh, my!

The only (and I mean, only) disappointment was the point size of the type on each page. It is really quite small and a bit hard to read. I imagine the publisher wanted to cram as much as possible in this beautiful tome. Can't say I blame them.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Modern Way to Cook: A Review

This cookbook came just in the nick of time for the type of cooking I'm craving right now: easy, simple, quick, healthy, and vegetarian. A Modern Way to Cook by the talented UK food writer, Anna Jones, is brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Imagine choosing how many minutes you have to get something on your table. 10? 15? 20? 25? 30? 35? 40? 45? Yep, it's broken down that specifically.

Then choose the vegetable you want to cook. Leeks? Celery root? Squash? Kale? Carrots?  Sweet potatoes? Parsnips? Corn? Green beans? Tomatoes? You get the idea.

Then choose the dish you want to share with family and friends. Crispy chickpea and harissa burgers. Bloody Mary salad with black rice. Pan-roasted lime, feta, and chile greens burrito. Charred broccolini with cucumber noodles and peanut sauce. Plantain, avocado, and black bean bowl. Avocado, tahini, and olive smash flatbreads. Yummmmm!

So you see, this book is full of mouthwatering dishes that are healthy, vibrant, and quick to make. What more can you ask for in a cookbook?

Now excuse me for a few minutes while I go make one of Anna's delicious recipes.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Gluten-Free for Good: A Review

Even though I don't have to cook gluten-free, I certainly know it's a healthy way of cooking. And I'm excited to incorporate it into my everyday meals. Which is exactly why I wanted to try Gluten-Free for Good by Samantha Seneviratne (of the popular blog, Love, Cake). Boy was I ever glad I did!

This book is chock full of 100 delicious, easy-to-follow, quick-to-make recipes that don't require a bunch of expensive, packaged gluten-free ingredients that are often hard to find.

There are so many mouth-watering choices, I don't even know where to begin! Do I try Samantha's coconut-lime granola with cashews or her warm carrot and sorghum salad first? Or how about her white pizza with blistered tomatoes or her sweet pea and ricotta ravioli? Or even her caramel walnut clusters or stuffed dates with pomegranate and honey?

The photos are gorgeous and the directions very clear.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get started on one of these (or maybe all of them) right away!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cook Korean!: A Review

I have a confession to make: I've always wanted to learn how to make Korean dishes. But it always seemed so complicated and, well, pretty intimidating...until I read Cook Korean! by Robin Ha.

The super-talented Robin peppers her book with fun, quirky, and colorful illustrations for every step of every recipe. And what a wonderful collection of recipes, from Bulgogi Dupbap and Miyeok Naengchae, to Danpatjuk to Mulnaengmyun! I can now prepare all these dishes (even though I may not be able to pronounce them) with total ease and confidence.

If you've always wanted to try making some healthy and exotic Korean dishes, this is the ultimate cookbook to help you do just that!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Modern Potluck: A Review

I have a confession to make. I've always thought that the next cookbook I'd want to write would be on potluck dishes. Alas, Kristin Donnelly has beat me to it...and she's done such a marvelous job!

In her book, Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share, Kristin offers such a great variety of dishes anyone would be proud to bring to a gathering. They're unique, interesting, colorful, and delicious.

The book is divided into thoughtful chapters that cover snacks, dips, drinks, salads, main dishes, casseroles, sides, sweets, and even condiments.

The directions are simple and clear. The photos are striking. And the information is very helpful.

I plan to turn to this book over and over again, not only for potlucks, but for my own family meals, too!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers: A Review

If you think this book is just about baby food recipes, think again. The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers by Drs. Anthony Porto and Dina DiMaggio (both pediatricians) is an absolutely comprehensive and in-depth guide to just about everything to want--and need--to know about feeding your little one.

Chapters are covered by age range, which is extremely helpful. And just some of the topics covered include:
  • Feeding options
  • Medical concerns 
  • Expected growth
  • Basic nutritional guidelines
  • Common gastrointestinal and nutritional guidelines
  • Allergic conditions and treatments
Any new parent would find this marvelous book to be a real must-have!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Plated: A Review

I had already heard of Plated, the food delivery service my daughter subscribes to in New York City. She is so impressed with them that I couldn't wait to get my hands on their brand new cookbook by the same name. Suffice it to say, I was not disappointed!

The cookbook Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine is indeed absolutely lovely! It contains more than 125 recipes that are broken down by Weekend Dinners, Great for Leftovers, Make Ahead, Weekend Feasts, For a Crowd, On the Side, and At the End. Wow! Something for everyone!

The recipes are clearly written, beautifully photographed, and very appealing. I can't wait to try the Phyllo-Wrapped Salmon with Spinach and Feta. And the Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragout. And their famous One-Pan Roasted Rosemary Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables. This last one actually gives you a list of different vegetables to try, depending on the season. How clever!

I couldn't be happier with this cookbook. And I know it will serve me well for years to come!

* I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Home Cooked: A Review

When I finally got my much-anticipated copy of Home Cooked by Anya Fernald in the mail, I couldn't wait to open it up. I was secretly hoping it would have the types of recipes I would want to try, clear instructions, and photography that would make my mouth water. I wasn't disappointed on any of these counts.

The book is divided into easy categories: Building Blocks; Snacks, Starters & Cocktails; Pasta, Ragu, Risotto & Eggs; Vegetables; Fish & Meat; and Desserts.

The recipes are on the unusual side, which I love. Techniques are clearly spelled out in both written and visual forms. And explanations abound.

Please excuse me now while I go make some of Anya's fabulous dishes from this book. I know I'm going to love them all!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Food with Friends: A Review

I didn't quite know what to expect before I opened the new cookbook by Leela Cyd, entitled Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings. But the title sounded interesting, and the cover was really eye-catching.

Once I started to flip through the pages, however, I was immediately smitten. Absolutely smitten. Every single page had something I would want to make right now. Right. This. Very. Minute.

Not only is the book divided by types of special events (like breakfast & brunch, teatime, happy hour, potlucks and picnics, and my favorite: desserts), but it's also chockful of dishes that are anything but ordinary. 

For instance, there's Blood Orange & Feta Stacks. Lemon-Poppyseed Dutch Baby. Purple Cauliflower Hummus. Polenta with Blistered Tomatoes, Walnuts & Thyme. And Blooming Flower Salad.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more. I would honestly be thrilled to serve any of them at a future function. 

The photography in this also book is beautiful. The instructions are clear. And the writing is very conversational (which I love).

This is a must-read book for any level of cook!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Eating in the Middle: A Review

I had been waiting to get my hands on "Eating in the Middle" by Andie Mitchell for quite some time. I read her earlier New York Times bestselling memoir, "It Was Me All Along," and loved her writing, her outlook, and her story. When I heard she was coming out with a cookbook, I got super excited.

I was not disappointed.

Andie's cookbook is chock-full of reasonably simple, visually appetizing, and extra delicious meals that are overall really healthy. These are meals you'd want to make both mid-week for family or on the weekends for company. The instructions are clear, and the photos are beautiful. There are even helpful nutritional stats included as well!

I would highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who's serious about getting healthy but not so strict that entire food groups are off limit. When flavor, quality, and simplicity count, this is the book for you!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Malibu Farm Cookbook: A Review

If I wanted to cook an extra special dinner that was super fresh, ultra healthy, and drop-dead gorgeous (yet simple at the same time), I would turn to no other cookbook than Malibu Farm Cookbook by the very talented Helene Henderson.

Named for her restaurant at the end of a pier in Southern California with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, this cookbook is everything I'd hoped it would be. Diverse. Clear. Unique. And visually stunning.

I couldn't decide which recipe to try first. Ricotta and Pea Frittata? Butterfly Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish? Seared Fava Beans? Or Grilled Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce? In the end, I chose all three to create a dinner to-die-for.

I would definitely recommend this beautiful book for either yourself or as a wonderful hostess gift. It will be treasured by whoever reads it!

* I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Around the Fire: A Review

As a grilled-food enthusiast, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Around the Fire by the dynamic culinary duo, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton, both of Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Not one bit.

With uber clear and detailed instructions, breathtaking photography, and bold recipes that are anything but your dad's outdoor grilled fare, this book thrilled me on every level.

I can't wait to try their Coal-Roasted Oysters on the Half-Shell, Grilled Whey-Brined Quail, and Blistered Snap Peas. I'll probably add a dessert like Grilled Banana with Malted Chocolate Semifreddo and Sunchoke Chips. Any maybe even a cocktail like their signature Ox Blood (made from fresh red beet juice and bourbon).

If you're looking for unique, delicious, showstopper recipes that are undeniably beautiful, too, look no further. This book is for you!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Brodo: A Review

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Marco Canora's newest book, "Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook."

I knew it was a single-subject cookbook. I knew it was written by one of the best chefs in America. And I knew it was on a topic I was curious about and wanted to learn more about: homemade broth.

What I didn't expect was such thorough coverage in such a fun and enjoyable voice.

Yes, it's smaller sized. But don't let that fool you. It's chock-full of informative details on all things broth. From its history and health benefits to its versatility, I learned more than I expected. And that made me love this book even more.

Now I can't wait to try one of Marco's famous broths. The only question that remains is, which one do I start with?

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Fifty-Year Silence: A Review

In "A Fifty-Year Silence" by Miranda Richmond Mouillot, the history, love story, and mysterious estrangement between two brilliant individuals is slowly unraveled. And it is done so by their loving granddaughter, the author.

Mouillot is determined to address the estrangement between her grandparents as she revisits their past, which is also her family's unspoken past.

Written beautifully and sincerely, Mouillot ventures to the very place where the events took place during the Holocaust. She is on a mission to unearth the truth and to perhaps help make a difference. Maybe even reverse history.

You will feel tremendous joy, shed unexpected tears, and share the obvious love that is displayed throughout this entire story. It is a story not to be missed.

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Heart-Healthy Cookbook Is That and More!

Admit it. We all need to eat better. For our health. For our well-being. For our future. 

Which is why the newly revised and updated 5th edition of the Healthy Fats, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook by the American Heart Association is exactly what the doctor ordered.

With 200 recipes that are not only good for you but delicious, too, there's bound to be something to please everyone--even the pickiest eaters!

Take, for instance, the Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken on page 144. 

This is how the recipe is described: 

"This spicy, heart-friendly alternative to traditional fried chicken surprises your taste buds with a pleasant nip of ginger. Try it with Individual Corn Puddings (page 259), which bake at the same temperature, or with Sauteed Greens and Cabbage (page 261)."

Which is exactly what I decided to make. All three.

Not only was this meal attractive, easy to prepare, and heart-healthy, it really tasted great, too. 

The beauty of this cookbook is that for each and every recipe, it lists such helpful and useful information, from calories and fat grams, to cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein. Suddenly, all this data is right at your fingertips. No more guessing or estimating!

The recipes are nicely divided into categories and are even easy to mix-and-match. Oftentimes the headnotes will also give suggestions for pairings, which will make anyone's meal planning a whole lot easier.

The instructions are super clear. The techniques are extremely simplistic. And the ingredients are readily available at most all grocery stores. 

As an added bonus, the book also offers a variety of extremely helpful (and even critical) information, from healthy strategies for shopping, cooking, and dining out, to risk factors for heart disease and warning signs for strokes.

The only downside to this book is the lack of photos. However, the dishes are not so elaborate that it's impossible to picture what they would look like. I'm willing to forego this disadvantage for the wealth of information and quality of great-tasting recipes included here.

So whether you're watching your waistline or simply wanting to cook healthier, this is one of the best cookbook resources you'll find. I know it is for me.

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.