Monday, August 12, 2013

Cookbooks II: Let's Eat Some More

Icebox Pies, Lauren Chattman   
★ ★ ★ ★

"No Bake Pies"... wow, that sounds like something I can wrap my mind around.... but don't get your hopes up completely, because you'll still have to cook some of the ingredients/fillings to make them come out! LOL!

No Rolling pin Required: Simple Crumb Crusts; Cool & Creamy Mousse & Custard Pies; Chocolate Dream Pies; Fruit & cream Combos; Ice Cream Parlor Pies; I Can't Believe Its an Icebox Pie; and Dressing It Up.

So there is: White Chocolate Tapioca w/ Mangoes; Piña Colada; Espresso Mousse; Chocolate Cream Cheese; Lime Cream & Strawberry; S'Mores Pie; Maple Pecan Icebox; Ricotta Cream w/ Blood Oranges.....

Lovely, clear & easy to follow instructions.


Truck Food Cookbook, John T. Edge    
★ ★ ★ ★

OMG, what wonderful recipes....
Fried Green Tomato Salad, MickeyD's Cheesesteak Sandwich, High Noon Quesadillas, Saudero Tacos, & Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger....

The book also provides the food truck's locations and that is a plus.... So there is something here for most everybody.

However, from experience I know that it is more of a treat for me to actually eat the dishes at the original location. For no matter how faithfully I follow a recipe, it NEVER tastes the same, nor does making it myself accord me the full pleasure I derive from eating out.

Simple Italian Sandwiches: Recipes From America's Favorite Panini Bar, Jennifer & Jason Denton
★ ★ ★ ★  
I really didn't think I was going to be impressed with this book, but I have to say, I do like it.

The photographs are nice, the recipes are easy to follow and many include tips on finding & using the best/freshest ingredients.

Basics: Breads, Meats, Cheeses, Oils, & Vinegars

Condiments: Basil pesto, Sun-dried tomato pesto, Lemon mayonnaise, Balsamic roasted garlic, Sweet onions, Oven-braised fennel, & several other tasty items

Panini: Grills; Prosciutto, bel paese & sweet onion; Portobello & grana; Cacciatorini, goat cheese & black olive pesto; Atrichoke, fennel, & fontina. All of which sound good to me

Bruschetta: Caponata & goat cheese; Aperitivo (fruit & white vermouth); Asapragus, truffle oil, & Parmigiano-Reggiano; Roasted butternut squash, walnut & asiago. All these sound good, there were a few I thought odd.

Tramezzini (something in the middle): Mozzarella & basil pesto; Bresaola, arugula & grana padano; Cacciatorini, sweet onion & tomato; Shrimp salad & red pepper mayonnaise...

Anitpasti, Merende, & Insalate: Bresaola w/ arugula & Parmigiano-Reggiano; Fennel & arugula w/ goat cheese & aceto balsamico; Truffled egg toast; Fennel, red onion & goat cheese frittata... very mouth watering offerings.


 Party Appetizers, Tori Ritchie
★ ★ ★ ★ 

This is a very interesting book.... There are many ideas/recipes that allow for a wonderful appetizer party.... You wouldn't even have to serve dinner, just the recipes from this book and cocktails, would make for a lovely summer evening get-together.

Not every recipe is easy to make, but there are enough to make for a large & satisfying array of trays.

Tomato-Gruyere Tart Squares; Sausage Stuffed Cremini (mushrooms); Filet Mignon (or any good steak) w/ Horseradish Cream on Toasted Sourdough Baguettes; Crostini w/ Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper & Mozzarella; Mergues Meatballs w/ Yogurt Sauce; Roasted Vegetable Platter w/ Arugula Green Goddess Dip, Baby Artichokes w/ Lemon Mayonnaise, and Sugar & Spice Walnuts (or other nuts).

Lovely offerings that tease my taste buds


Friends At My Table: Recipes for a Year of Eating, Drinking, & Making Merry, Alice Hart
★ ★ ★ 1/2
-1/2 for difficulty & layout of menu title pages.

These are lovely recipes (even though I'd make changes/omissions to many of them) and in my opinion, they show a high level of caring & thoughtfulness if indeed you are making them for friends. They are not for the inexperienced cook, however they are for an adventurous cook.

There are many photographs, you know I like that... I do not like the text on the beige pages, it is difficult to read. Pages 26 & 27, GENERAL RULES when cooking for a crowd and then a tiny printed subtitle, the author uses nine (9) different fonts... Page 101 uses no less than six (6) different fonts.... All the different fonts make some parts of this book Really Difficult to read and the tips are not aligned, rather arranged in an "artful" manner.

The recipes are divided into 4 categories: Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter. There are additional sections: Introduction, Seasonality Chart, Equipment & Techniques... Extra Helpings, Index, & Acknowledgements.

The first menu I found to be very interesting & for the most part tantalizing: "Vietnamese Bridal Shower for 8"; Beef in Betel Leaves, Vietnamese Table Salad & Pickled Vegetables, Sticky Quail in Honey & Five Spice, Green Mango Salad, Baked White Chocolate & Rhubarb Custards, and Pineapple Ginger Fizz.

Other recipes include: Porchetta stuffed w/ faro; Summer grilled roast of lamb; Grilled artichokes w/ almonds; Basil limeade; Brown butter dabs; Fall panzanella; Chicken & wild mushroom pies w/ buttered kale; stuffed firepit venison w/ roasted pear port sauce; and Black forest sundaes.


Chocolate: Cooking With the World's Best Ingredients, Christine McFadden
★ ★ ★
If you happen to be a Chocolate Fanatic, then you might like this book quite a bit more than I did....

Introduction; The History of Chocolate;
Cultivation & Processing;
Taste, Quality & Presentation;
A World of Chocolate (Chocolate around the world); Physiology and Psychology;
The Recipes: Types of Chocolate;
Tea-Time; Cakes & Gateaux;
Special Occasion & Novelty;
 Hot Desserts;
Tarts, Pies & Cheesecakes;
Chilled; Ices & Sorbets;
Biscuits & Cookies;
Little cakes, Slices & Bars; Sweets,
Truffles & drinks; and sauces,
Frostings & Icings...
Addresses & Acknowledgements and Index.

Quite a lot of information, great photos, a wide variety of recipes using a wider variety of ingredients. These recipes are not for the first time baker, but are for someone more accomplished......

For my taste, there weren't enough recipes w/ coffee as an additional ingredient, but I did like the: Chocolate Coconut Roulade, Baked Chocolate & Raisin Cheesecake, and the Luxury White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Pleasures of Summer: a Coffee Cookbook, Mary Townsend
★ ★ ★ 

This is a Starbucks book, so there is an entire section on brewing and blending coffee... I had no idea there was such a thing as Cold-Water Concentrate (Cold water coffee makers producing a low-acid liquid concentrate)!

Some of the recipes are difficult to read for they are printed in a smallish turquoise print on beige paper. Some of the recipes are easy to make and have few ingredients, some are not. Most all have accompanying photographs.

Contents: Summertime Coffee (Six different coffees & Blending instructions)
Summertime Brewing (Iced treats)
Summertime Pleasures (Mountain Campfire Breakfast, Backyard Brunch, Beach Picnic, Poolside Afternoon Treats...)


Surreal Gourmet Bites, Bob (which spelled backwards is still bob) Blumer
★ ★ ★ 

If you want a cookbook w/ snarkily written side tips on every-single-page, small bites using animal shaped cookie cutters & really odd food combinations, well this is the book for you
Cowboy Cookies: Yams/sweet potatoes, New Mexican chili powder, filet mignon/pork tenderloin...chipotle aioli
Fois Gras & Jam: Just what it says...... Really?
French Fried Polenta
Bee Stings: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese & honey
Cucumber Shooters: Cucumbers, jalapeño, lime juice & mint
Fish Cakes: Salmon, panko.... topped w/ some type of whipped potato
Psychedelic Caviar: Salmon roe & green wasabi caviar on a slice of lemon
Cocktail Dates: Dates, Parmigiano-Reggian & bacon
And many more odd offerings

But there were some recipes that seemed more to my taste:
Haiku Halibut: Halibut, miso on cucumber "noodles"
Samurai Scallops: Scallops, sesame oil, cilantro, sesame seeds (the ginger, I'll omit)
Finger Lickin' Shrimp
Inside-out BLT: Tomatoes instead of bread....
Lucky Duck: Duck, Grand Marnier, green onions, & won ton wrappers
And many more delicious foods

cooking with love: comfort food that hugs you, carla hall (no caps were used on the book cover)   

What I want to know is: Where are the photographs and What makes you believe that because you've attended some fancy cooking school, that you know what is good tasting "comfort" food?

Let's just say: I am so Not impressed, and I wish I could share one of the photos (the author bending over a tray and oh-so-carefully & intently sprinkling whatever-it-is on top of whatever-it-is she is making)!

Recipes, they are not easy to make and they contain many ingredients:
Chocolate Espresso Napoleons: "when I was living in Paris...."
Grilled Cheese Trio: Broccoli Pesto & Cheddar; Sun-dried Tomato Pesto & Mozzarella; and Arugula-Artichoke Pesto & Havarti
Root Vegetable Ragout
Creamy Goat Cheese Grits
Watermelon Gazpacho w/ Cucumber, Jimaca, Sweet Peppers, & Basil
Cod in Papillote w/ Roasted Tomato-artichoke Ragout
Duck Ragu over Butternut Squash Grits

" Comfort Food That Hugs You"? Oh HAIL NO!
In my mind, "Comfort food", is that type of food (usually from fond memories) that makes a person feel good.... This stuff makes me cringe.....

Someone told me how they loved this woman on t.v.  Not only do I not own a t.v., but even if I did, I have to say, who has time to sit home & watch this stuff?  I work all day & at night I want to relax..


Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During & After Treatment, Holly Clegg & Gerald Miletello, M.D.
-1 ★
Do NOT Buy This Book..... Do NOT Use This Book
I do not know what the hell these imbeciles were thinking when they wrote this book, but it wasn't about eating healthy.

You Do NOT: make a pizza w/ Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough; eat Reduced Fat Peanut Butter; make a pie using Instant Chocolate Pudding; eat bottled Light Italian or Caesar Dressing; use packaged Low-Sodium Taco Seasoning; nor do you cook w/ Margarine......

Do you get the idea of what I'm ranting about? 99.9% of these recipes are made with FAKE Food products, which are chemical based.

Eating chemicals will NEVER make anyone healthier..... And the recipes in this cookbook are nothing but Poison!
SHAME on these authors!

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