Showing posts with label cook book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cook book. Show all posts

Book Review: Easy Frugal Cookbook: 100 Satisfying Recipes That Won't Break the Bank by Sarah Walker Caron

Easy Frugal Cookbook: 100 Satisfying Recipes That Won't Break the Bank by Sarah Walker Caron aims to give readers the ability to make hearty meals that are tasty, budget-friendly, and nutritious. Recipes include dishes like Crispy Coconut Drumsticks or Open-Face Turkey Sandwiches for everyone in the house for just $5. All it takes is the right recipe, a few tricks, and a little planning to make the most of your food budget. The cookbook offers budget tricks and tips to lower the cost of ingredients even further.

Easy Frugal Cookbook is a book that offered something very much needed, ideas for keeping your family fed for less money than you might expect. The recipes are easy to follow, practical, and include ingredients that are common and generally easy to get. I did find it to be very simple, and as someone that grew up in a very frugal home as a child and still of the same mentality, a little condescending. However, that could just be because of my mindset when reading and the fact that very little of the book was new to me. I think this book would be most helpful for readers that are just getting started in their adult lives, or those that have never really thought about cooking or a budget before. Some of the recipes gave me ideas, but for me including recipes like scrambled eggs, sandwiches, and wraps was a bit basic- although I know there people that need instruction for the things I no longer need to think about.

Easy Frugal Cookbook is a cookbook for those just starting out cooking and thinking about budgeting. This might be a good gift to those striking out as lone adults for the first time or adding members to their household and needing to readjust the budget.

Book Review: The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook: 60 Sweet and Savory Recipes for Your Oven and Mini Donut Maker by Sara Mellas

The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook: 60 Sweet and Savory Recipes for Your Oven and Mini Donut Maker by Sara Mellas is newly published cookbook. Who doesn’t love a good donut? From sugared or sprinkled to frosted or filled, donuts are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and sweeten your day. The best part is you don’t need to fuss with frying to whip up these fun, flavorful treats at home. Theses donuts can be made in an oven or donut maker, providing plenty of tried-and-true tricks and tasty recipes for beautifully baked donuts, donut holes, mini donuts, and more. From sweet staples, such as Old-Fashioned Cake Donuts to creative savory bakes like Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Donuts, this donut cookbook serves you dozens of delightfully simple recipes to match every craving, along with perfectly paired frostings, glazes, and toppings.

The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook is a cookbook for every donut lover, particularly those of use that do not want to fry. Spending the last twelve weeks or so home with my family I have made all of my tried and true recipes, ran out of flour and yeast, and resupplied while looking for new things to try. This book was well timed, and inspired me to make some donuts. I am lucky enough to have a donut pan, and plenty of other pans, and was happy to find some new things for my weekend baking. I thought the introduction, including the basic techniques and supply lists were nicely done, and as a fellow New Englander the explanation behind writing the book resonated with me. I thought the recipes were easy to follow, well labeled, and detailed. I like the variants and options were also included, because I love to fiddle with recipes and find these suggestions helpful both in deciding if my idea will work and if the author already came up with something even better. There are several recipes that really caught my eye, some I was ready to try right away and others needed a shopping trip to complete so had to wait a bit. I was impressed that there were gluten free, vegan, and boozy recipes. The classics went over the best in my house, like the chocolate cake and pumpkin donuts- but the glazed blueberry and several filled donuts were also well received. 

The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook is a great resource for bakers that want to try their hand at donuts, without frying anything. Frequent bakers might want to add this to their cookbook collection, dabbles might want to borrow it from the library for the first look through to decide if they will use it often enough- I have a feeling I will be needed a paper copy.

Early Book Review: Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible by Erin Gardner

Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible by Erin Gardner is currently scheduled for release on June 1 2020. Sometimes you need to take a mini vacation from the demands of daily life, and the kitchen is the best space for it. How can you return those emails when there’s dough on your hands? It would be counterproductive to handle clean laundry after dipping chocolates all afternoon, right? Whether you’re avoiding work, the news, or just trying to keep your hands busy, baking offers the perfect escape.

The digital galley for Procrastibaking landed in my hands at the perfect time- as my family were stuck working and learning from home and not going much of anywhere. When better to turn math lessons into treats, or delay dealing with a problem that really should not belong to you than by producing edibles in the kitchen? I enjoyed testing and planning to try out some of these 100 recipes. Some call for an hour, some call for a weekend, and all end in something yummy to eat. I still have several of the recipes bookmarked for further testing. I enjoyed the small asides that were between the recipes. Sadly some of the suggestions, like running down to the store for the perfect fruit or gourmet chocolate were not a good idea when I was reading the book I still enjoyed the sentiment- and could spend that time to see if I could order the same things online for delivery. As a whole; the recipes were easy to follow, the tone of the writing was fun and conversational, and I really enjoyed this book.
Procrastibaking is a fun and well written collection of recipes to try, regardless of if you should really be doing something else.

Book Review: Beginner's Baking Bible 130+ Recipes and Techniques for New Bakers by Heather Perine

Beginner's Baking Bible 130+ Recipes and Techniques for New Bakers by Heather Perine walks readers through all the essential techniques they need to bake over 130 sweet and savory recipes.. For a beginner, baking might seem like magic: mix the right ingredients, add heat, and watch a transformation happen before your eyes. But you don’t have to be a sorcerer to bake a flavorful pie, decadent layer cake, or pillowy loaf of bread. Learn the tools and staple ingredients you’ll need for baking (don’t worry, it’s not as much as you think). Pick up building block skills like measuring, mixing, kneading, creaming butter and sugar, and whipping egg whites. Soon, you’ll impress your family and friends with muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, quiches, and even savory galettes. 

Beginner's Baking Bible is a well organized and written cookbook. I like that the author takes the time to share what different instructions in the recipes mean, like the difference between folding, mixing, creaming, and so on. So many people make the attempt to bake, follow the recipes as best they can, and little things like mixing technique or forgetting to grease a pan ruin their good efforts. I grew up in a house where baking and canning was the norm, so I have a good foundation and have been baking on my own for years and binge watch baking shows whenever possible. However, reading these reminders and basic baking information only served to refresh my understanding- it did not feel condescending or simplistic. There were also some measurement charts and information at the end of the book that readers might find informative. I also think that the photography is well done. I think the only change I would make is moving the possible substitutions or additions to recipes closer to the ingredients list to help bakers prepare accordingly- if you are missing an ingredient some bakers might just give up on the recipe rather than reading to the end to discover that they could still make it work.  I think that while this is a perfect book for those that have dabbled in baking and want some instruction to improve their skills and results. I think long time home bakers might get just as much out of a read through as new bakers. Sometimes we get moving too fast and forget some of the basics as we go about our day.  As I just got some new baking tools over the holidays, I have a list of recipes from the book to try out, for instance I see some garlic dinner rolls in my near future.

Beginner's Baking Bible is a solid resource for new and long time bakers alike, while knowledgeable bakers might want to check it out from the library and newcomers might want to add it to their home library. 

Book Review: 5-Ingredient One Pot Cookbook: Easy Dinners from Your Skillet, Dutch Oven, Sheet Pan & More by Linda Kurniadi

5-Ingredient One Pot Cookbook: Easy Dinners from Your Skillet, Dutch Oven, Sheet Pan & More by Linda Kurniadi offers readers a selection of one pot meals to help make meal planning and cooking easier, more enjoyable, and healthy. From waking up with a Tex-Mex Omelette to winding down your day with Chicken Cordon Bleu or a Ravioli and Spinach Bake for dinner, this cookbook offers low-effort, delicious dishes that need only one pot and 5 main ingredients to make. With most recipes requiring only 30 minutes or less to prepare, cook, and serve—and others that only take 20 minutes or less— the 5-Ingredient One Pot Cookbook gets you in and out of the kitchen in no time at all. The book also includes shopping and storage tips, along with an overview of cooking techniques for every piece of cookware. It is organized by cooking vessel and features skillet, saucepan, Dutch oven, sheet pan, baking dish, roasting pan, and no-cook bowl recipes.

5-Ingredient One Pot Cookbook was a well organized and useful resource. I like the way the book is organized, the information given on the different cookware, and how tips to adapt recipes to change ingredients or cooking tools can be done. Since I changed jobs this past summer, I have become more intent on meal planning and keeping the dishes simple, since my husband has had to take over the actual cooking part. I get the groceries, some of the prep work, and gather everything together for cooking ease. This also means a slow cooker meal about once a week. The recipes in the book help me get new recipes together, while not making my husband feel like a short order cook or under pressure to put together something complicated- while still mixing things up a little and making food the whole family will eat. It is hard to meet all those requirements in a single meal, but some of these recipes will fit the bill, or inspired me. The instructions and information is easy to understand and put into practice. I learned some great tips that I had never heard before, and am looking forward to trying out some new dishes.

Early Book Review: Double Awesome Chinese Food: Irresistible and Totally Achievable Recipes from Our Chinese-American Kitchen by Margaret Li; Irene Li; Andrew Li

Double Awesome Chinese Food: Irresistible and Totally Achievable Recipes from Our Chinese-American Kitchen by Margaret Li, Irene Li, and Andrew Li is currently schedule for release on February 9 2019. This book is from  three fun-loving, food-loving Chinese-American siblings--Margaret, Andrew, and Irene Li, the siblings behind Boston's acclaimed Mei Mei Restaurant and Street Kitchen--directly to your kitchen table. Their recipes take familiar dishes and add classic Chinese techniques, a fresh seasonal twist to beloved Chinese restaurant dishes, and layer of Asian ingredients into everyday family meals. Celebrate local veggies with a quick weeknight meal of Farmers Market Fried Rice or Summer Noodle Salad with Ginger Garlic Dressing. Invite all your friends over for an action-packed dumpling-making party featuring Sweet Potato, Feta, and Brown Butter Dumplings and the famous Double Awesome scallion pancake sandwich. Or go low-key and let the Five-Spice Pork Shoulder roast in your oven all day, transforming into a glorious meal for the whole family. The book offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a modern restaurant family, including start-up stories alongside go-to sauces to amp up any meal, and even vegetable-centric desserts. Packed with pro cooking tips, sustainable sourcing advice, and over 100 delicious recipes, Double Awesome Chinese Food will bring fascinating new flavors and crave-worthy dishes to your home kitchen.

Double Awesome Chinese Food starts with an introduction to the siblings that work, cook, and write together. I enjoyed reading about their family, philosophies, and how they got where they are. I also enjoy that they work so hard to be good to the environment and local food system, using local and sustainable ingredients. Including the use of quality and sustainable ingredients in their instructions to readers continues that trend. More experienced cooks might be tempted to skip the tips and tricks that are offered in the beginning of the book, but I highly recommend slowing down to read them. Some might seem obvious, like having a good knife and cutting board, but some others were so smart and simple I could not believe I was not already doing them. I found the information on finding the best ingredients useful as well, since have not been staples in my home and I want to make good choices when adding new things to the mix.

Now the important part, the recipes. I like that each section includes the story behind the dishes, and some options for changing things up a bit, as well as how to create the dish or sauce. The ingredient lists and instructions are easy to understand and leave readers hungry and willing to give it a try themselves. I have to admit to wanting to both run to the grocery store and get going in the kitchen as soon as I read each chapter, but had to hold myself back since I have to ease the picky eaters in my house into new flavors and trying new things.  I do plan on spending my next free day mixing up some of the basic sauces, and trying out a few recipes. There are some dumplings, fritters, and noodle based dishes that are the most likely (hopefully) to go over well with my family that I plan on trying. There are some great recipes that will just be for me, that I will gladly take to work with me and enjoy. I also liked the additional resources at the end of the book to help readers find what they need to achieve the best results. Readers that are looking to expand their cooking knowledge and skill set to include Chinese-n American cuisine will find what they are looking for here. 

Double Awesome Chinese Food is a well written and enjoyable cookbook to explore. I love Chinese-American food but have often felt too intimidated to give it a go. Even though I am no longer the primary cook in the house thanks to my work schedule, I fully plan on trying out a recipe (or two) for my next day off or inspired weekend of cooking.

Early Book Review: Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, Stems, and Other Odds and Ends into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, Stems, and Other Odds and Ends into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard is currently scheduled for release on October 16 2018. Do you want to stop throwing away food scraps or composting them? Well, you can start enjoying some of them on your table! This book is a collection of 80 surprising, creative, delicious recipes for anyone who wants to cook smart, sustainable, and impressive meals out of unused bits of produce, cheese rinds, stale bread, and other oft-discarded foods.
Cooking With Scraps is a well written and forgiving cookbook. I like that it opens with the idea that no recipe or person is perfect, or unchangeable. Doing the best we can in our shopping and cooking is the goal. I found the recipes to be well organized, in alphabetical order by the type of food you are using in the process. This makes finding a recipe to deal with a specific type of scrap easier. I like that there are alternatives and further suggestions for foods that can be used recipes as applicable. There are also some hints and tricks included through the book, some of which will be helpful to new cooks, and others that will be useful to everyone. Some I found to be common sense, but I also grew up in a household that saved everything, canned, and scrimped much more than I currently do. The instructions and ingredient lists are well written and clear, letting even new cooks keep up and find success in their cooking. While many of the recipes are thing that would not be well received in my house, there were some idea that I will be using and some changed I will be making to my cooking and baking habits. I found the read to be interesting, inspiring, and important to those that will make the effort to create as little waste as possible.
Cooking With Scraps is a valuable cookbook for those looking to save money and resources, while willing to put in the necessary planning and work. I found it interesting, and it helped me plan my meals with the idea of limiting the waste I produce.

Early Book Review: Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 101 Easy Activities and Recipes by Melanie Potock

Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 101 Easy Activities and Recipes by Melanie Potock is currently scheduled for release on February 6 2018. It features a year’s worth of family-friendly recipes along with strategies for helping kids learn to become more adventurous eaters over time. Parents will learn how to introduce a new vegetable every week, plus creative and engaging ways to expose their kids to new foods. The book features 20 vegetables, organized by season, each with activities and recipes highlighting the program’s three phases to vegetable love: expose, explore, expand. The kids are involved in every part of the activity process from washing the vegetable to eating delicious food they helped make. 
Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 101 Easy Activities and Recipes is a valiant attempt to help parents with children that boycott vegetables to give them a try, and to have some fun along the way. I like that the book is organized by season, which makes getting started and planning that much easier. I like that some of the activities give the chance for kids to feel, taste, and smell the veggies before eating them even becomes part of the conversation. I also liked the idea of getting the kids involved in the preparation and cooking of the veggies. I find that being included in the work and discussion makes most kids more willing to give something a try. I can see how it can, and would, work with many children. I also see how parents that are willing to go to these strides are already on the path to kids willing to try and do new things. However, I feel like there are too many kids that this will not work with, such as those with sensory issues. Of course, that being said my daughter would adore these activities, and some of the recipes, while my husband and son would run in terror since my husband is not a veggie fan and my son is very sensitive to flavors and likes things as bland and boring as possible.  

In short, for those that are willing to go all out in getting their families to eat better, particularly in the vegetable department this would be a great addition to a home library. For those just looking for some tools to get a few more veggies, and break down some barriers, I would suggest borrowing the book from the library and trying the suggestions that might work in your home.