Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cookbook Review: The Chopped Cookbook


How many of you watch Food Network? I'm guessing there are quite a few of you that do! One of my favorite shows to watch is Chopped, so I was excited to get to review The Chopped Cookbook. I do have a recipe planned to make from this book to share with you soon. I am hoping to get caught up on my cookbook review recipes by the end of next week. I have a recipe ready from each book to share with you, just need more time in the day!

One of the neat things about this book is that the recipes all seemed to have easy to find ingredients, so nothing crazy like the show. The book begins with a pantry list of items that are good to have on hand. There is a good variety in the cookbook with chapters on a variety of meals. The chapters that are included in the book are: Pasta Night, Chickens Gone Wild, Eggs after Breakfast, Flash in the Pan (meaty entrees), Completely Fun Ways to Cook Vegetables, All Things Ground: Beyond Beef, Big Salads: Hearty and Fresh, Fishing for Compliments, Great Grains and Short and Sweet: Easy Desserts.

One thing I really enjoyed were these go-to guides included along the book. One entitled Ten Fun Pan Sauces, helps you to create tasty sauces to go along with your dish. Then another is called Vinaigrettes & Salad Dressings, giving some quick recipes for making your own dressings. The third is called Cooking Grains and gives you different styles and ways of cooking grains, as well as recipes for several different types. Another section is called Getting Good Vegetables and lists a variety of vegetables. This guide helps you know what to look for, how to store the veggie and even what nutrients are prominent in the veggie. These sections were a great addition to the cookbook, especially for beginner cooks who might need more information.

If you love Chopped and the Food Network, I think you would enjoy having this cookbook in your collection. Lots of good ideas in here for meals that generally aren't very complicated. If you would like more information go here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cookbook Review: The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook


I recently received The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook by Alexe Van Beuren with recipes by Dixie Grimes to review from Blogging for Books. I'm planning on making a recipe from it to share with you a bit later. I still need to make one from the Irish cookbook I reviewed, but it's summer vacation and school starts back soon so I haven't had a chance to do it yet. I will try to asap though. :)

Anyway, back to the review. This is a very nicely bound book with a very neat cover that has a ridged feel to it. Very unique! The B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery is a store and cafe in Water Valley, Mississippi, owned by Alexe Van Beuren and her husband. Dixie Grimes is the chef for the cafe part of the store and cooks up many customer favorites. I have to say, that Mrs. Van Beuren made me fall in love with this little town. I literally read every bit that she wrote throughout this book, falling more and more in love with this town and it's people. I even had my husband do a trip calculator to see how far away it is. Only about six hours, so maybe one of these days I will be able to visit.

The recipes sounded very yummy. There are several that called for alcohol, and I am not big on cooking with it. I don't really ever have it on hand, but I am sure substitutions could be made. The recipes included everything from Chocolate Gravy, Roasted Pumpkin Soup, two versions of homemade pimento cheese to Shrimp and Grits. Many recipes had pictures and the book also featured pictures of various things/people from the town and store.

This really was an enjoyable book. The stories of this wonderful town were so enjoyable that the recipes were just an added bonus. I think it would be a great book for anyone's collection!

You can find the B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery on Facebook.

Read the first chapter here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cookbook Review: My Irish Table



I'm very excited to be back at my blog, and begin reviewing books! I recently signed up to be a book reviewer at Blogging for Books and received my first book to review. It is called My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn. Ireland has always interested me so it was a no brainer that I picked this book to review. I hope one day I can visit and explore the beauty of Ireland.

I want to begin with saying that the book itself is very beautiful. It's hardcover with wonderful pictures of just about every recipe in the book. I'm hoping to make a recipe from the book to share with you later this week. So make sure to keep an eye out for that post. There is a very neat introduction that gives Cathal Armstrong's story, and it is very interesting.

You won't find a bunch of processed, canned ingredients in this book. Recipes are from scratch. Armstrong informs you how to even make your own sausage and pork loin bacon. I was also very impressed with his instruction for each recipe. He breaks it into steps that are very easy to follow. Also accompanying each recipe is a short bit about what the recipe means to him or stories about his memories about that particular food. It really helps to invite you in and become a part of his experiences. He also includes step-by-step photos of certain recipes such as how to shuck an oyster or tying up a chicken to roast it.

I have to say that if you are interested in Ireland at all, I do feel that you would enjoy this book. With tidbits about his family (he was born in Dublin) and his experiences with food to the beautiful pictures of the recipes, I just can't recommend this book enough. I'm very glad to now have this book in my cookbook collection.

Want more info about the book? Look here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.