Thursday, October 2, 2014


"The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something Great" by Food Network Kitchens

Never again let the question, “What's for dinner?” stump you. The Chopped Cookbook features secrets for combining pantry staples to make exciting meals.

If you’ve ever looked into your fridge, hoping for inspiration to strike, let The Chopped Cookbook help you shake up weeknight dinners. Just as each basket on Chopped has many tasty possibilities, so, too, do the contents of your refrigerator. By showing you how to spin your favorite ingredients into 188 fun, doable, and delicious recipes—including go-to guides for making salad dressings and pan sauces, four-ingredient market baskets that can go in many tasty directions, and ideas for ways to reinvent pasta dinners—the culinary masterminds at Food Network set you up for mealtime victory every night.

MY REVIEW:  The mischievous minds behind the popular Food Network Channel program, "Chopped", have put together a fun, user-friendly cookbook that makes the most of what you've got and offers suggestions for what you don't have. Carrying forward the spirit of the TV show, without the weird, way-out recipe ingredient combinations, the authors have come up with a handy, helpful, handsome volume of deliciously different dishes. While "The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something Great" is smaller in size than a typical cookbook, it is loaded with fabulous color photos of food that definitely looks good enough to eat. "The Chopped Pantry" section starts things off right by telling you which pantry staples will help you to achieve your culinary objectives like "Crunch", "Brothiness", or "Richness". There are helpful hints and cooking tips all throughout the book, but there are no nutritional breakdowns for the recipes. While I found much to like in every chapter, the vegetable recipes really caught my eye along with the short, simple guide to buying the pick of the crop. Here are some of the recipes that I found especially appealing: "Tortellini with Cream Cheese Alfredo and Peas"; "Grilled Chicken with Peach Pickle BBQ Sauce"; "Cumin Pork Steak with Grilled Savoy Cabbage and Apples"; "Moroccan Carrot Salad"; "Cremini Carpaccio"; "Tomato-Cheddar Gratin"; "Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Salad"; "Warm Salted Caramel Banana Pudding"; and "Mocha Brownies with Coffee and Cinnamon". Get "Chopped" now--what's in YOUR basket?

Review Copy Gratis Amazon Vine

"My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve" by Cathal Armstrong, David Hagedorn

The debut cookbook from Cathal Armstrong featuring 130 recipes showcasing modern Irish fare, along with stories about Armstrong's journey from Dublin to Washington, DC, and becoming an internationally recognized four-star chef, the owner of seven successful food and drink establishments, and a leader in the sustainable-food movement.

With its moderate climate and amazing natural resources, Ireland is a modern-day Eden, boasting lush, bountiful produce, world-renowned dairy, plentiful seafood, and grass-fed meats. In My Irish Table, sustainable food movement leader and four-star chef Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington DC, where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.

Featuring 130 delicious recipes—from Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips to Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Mam’s Apple Pie—My Irish Table draws on Armstrong’s Irish upbringing as well as his professional experience and French culinary training. In his hands, Irish food is comforting yet elegant, rustic yet skillful, and My Irish Table invites you into his kitchen to explore the vibrant traditions and rich culinary landscape of the Emerald Isle.

MY REVIEW:  Combining traditional Irish fare with French cuisine and his own creative blend of cultures and cooking trends, noted chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong invites all to feast from "My Irish Table". Along with contributor David Hagedorn, a recognized chef, restaurateur and food writer, Armstrong offers a compelling memoir and a fabulous, flavorful cookbook. At the heart of Armstrong's food life is his early childhood in Dublin with his family. His "Mam" was the baker supreme, and his "Da" was the avid gardener and cook. His father's love of gardening would literally plant the seed for Armstrong's involvement in the sustainable food movement and lead him to grow his own restaurant garden. Armstrong's lively recollection of his journey from cooking novice to acclaimed chef is quite entertaining. The side notes and stories accompanying each recipe add much to the enjoyment of this delightful book. Among the recollections and recipes: "Irish Breakfast"; "Potato and Leek Soup"; "Shepherd's Pie"; "Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce"; "Spiced Beef Sandwiches"; "Irish Caesar Salad"; "Irish Coffee"; "Brussels Sprouts with Bacon"; "Cauliflower with Toasted Garlic and Black Pepper"; "Potato Rolls"; "Irish Soda Bread"; "Scones"; "Mam's Apple Pie"; "Lemon Cake"; "Mincemeat" and "Mince Pies"; and so much more. The descriptions of Ireland and its natural wonders which make it an internationally renowned producer of cheese, butter, meats, produce and many other consumables are indeed enticing. Potatoes are my favorite food since childhood, and the recipes and notes involving potatoes and Kerrygold butter put me in a little "potato paradise" all my own.

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

“My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories” by David Lebovitz

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

It’s been ten years since David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes.

In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

MY REVIEW:  Who better than acclaimed chef and writer David Lebovitz--living in France for the last decade--to give us an up-close, first-person view of the "food life" in Paris. "My Paris Kitchen" is filled with fabulous food, intriguing local flavors, beautiful photos, and a real feeling for the author's everyday life in "The City of Light". A gifted and entertaining writer, David Lebovitz invites us in, takes us on a taste-filled tour, and enlightens us with his culinary expertise and food insights. His knowledgeable, useful explanations for ingredients and kitchen equipment are a cooking course themselves. The recipes and recipe notes are equally delicious, and the accompanying stories are charming. The recipes range from rustic to elegant, and you will long to be seated in a real Paris kitchen--taking in the amazing scents, sights, and the sounds of the language--as you await an exceptional eating experience. Here are some of the wonderful recipes included in "My Paris Kitchen": "Salted Olive Crisps"; "Onion Tart"; "Fresh Herb Omelet"; "Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche"; "Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fries"; "Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic"; "Butternut Squash Crumble"; "Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse"; and "Paris-Paris"--a recipe for scrumptious éclairs. As the author says: "There are two kinds of butter in France--good butter and great butter."

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books

“The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours” by Lisa Fain

From beloved food blogger Lisa Fain, aka the Homesick Texan, comes this follow-up to her wildly popular debut cookbook, featuring more than 125 recipes for wonderfully comforting, ingredient-driven Lone Star classics that the whole family will love.

There are few things finer than a delicious, homemade meal shared with family and friends. Take it from Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan who loves to cook and serve up the best dishes her home state has to offer—even though she now lives half a country away.

The Homesick Texan’s Family Table showcases more than 100 of Lisa’s best and most-loved recipes, ranging from down-home standards (think cheesy nachos, comforting chicken and dumplings, and fiery wings) to contemporary riffs on the classics (who knew adding Mexican spices to a German chocolate cake would taste so good?).

All of Lisa’s recipes are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, yet still packed with real Texas flavor that will make your grandmother smile. Whether you’re looking for a party-friendly snack like Pigs in Jalapeño Blankets, a Mustard Coleslaw to bring as a side to your next potluck, a weeknight- and family-friendly meal like Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy, or a mouthwatering dessert like Ruby Red Grapefruit and Pecan Sheet Cake, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table has you covered. After all, with some mighty fine food and mighty fine people to enjoy it, any meal can be cause for celebration.


MY REVIEW:  Popular food writer and blogger Lisa Fain is known as "The Homesick Texan"--a seventh-generation Texan who now lives in New York City. Her self-titled blog and debut cookbook have been a great success, and she further delights and entertains readers and cooks with "The Homesick Texan's Family Table". Filled with beautiful color photos of fabulous food, pretty pastoral scenes of the Texas landscape and other subjects, and recipes that rock the house, this cookbook is also a memoir of why each recipe was included in the book. Beginning with an illuminating section on chile peppers--a Texas cooking essential--the chapters then lead us from "Breakfast and Breads" all the way through to "Sweets" and "Accompaniments". The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and tradition is often given a tasty tweak with a new spin on an old favorite. Good food just naturally goes with good company and good times. Here are some of the recipes that tempt and tantalize my taste buds: "Bacon-Molasses Breakfast Sausage"; "Bacon-Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits"; "Pico De Gallo Deviled Eggs"; "Apple-Walnut Salad"; "Chipotle-Blue Cheese Wedge Salad"; "Cowboy Beans"; "Balsamic-Tarragon Glazed Ham"; "Southeast Texas Gumbo"; "Coffee-Chipotle Pork Chops"; "Butterscotch Brownies"; "Mexican Chocolate Cake"; and "Cranberry-Green Chile Salsa". You will greatly enjoy sharing the many delicious recipes offered by Lisa Fain at your own family table.

Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books