BOOK REVIEW: DINNER by MELISSA CLARK

I don’t often see a cookbook that deals with specific meal of the day, or rather when I do, it’s focusing either on breakfasts or special occasion. It’s the first time I came across a book that is dedicated specifically to dinners. Melissa Clark, a writer for a number of cooking publications offers an astonishing collection of recipes that are meant to “change the game” of typical dinners by adding new flavors and giving new options to a home cook.

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The recipes are organized by main ingredient, which is helpful (although I’d prefer to have all the poultry in one section, rather than chicken separate). There is a good number of light dishes and a plenty of vegetarian choices. The author uses lots of ethnic flavors too. Most of the recipes are kid friendly. We tried a few simpler ones, and they turned out pretty yummy. Most of the ingredients look easily attainable.

Overall impressions: With over 200 recipes to choose from this book looks like a delight. It will take me a while to cook through it, which means lots and lots of new dishes for my family to enjoy. The recipes are easy enough to put together and directions are fairly straightforward. Gorgeous photography.

I received this book via Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review

School Year is finished+ round up of two weeks in May (5/11-5/24/2015)

Unbelievable, our school year is finished! The past two weeks were crazy, but we made it.

Photo of the week:

It's been wet and overcast  on and off for a couple of weeks now, yet I love it

It’s been wet and overcast on and off for a couple of weeks now, yet I love it

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this moment

Originally by soulemama

 {this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

spring pantry overhaul

spring pantry overhaul

Book Review: Relae: A Book of Ideas by Christian F.Puglisi

relae

Relae: A Book of Ideas is written by Christian F. Puglisi, the owner and chef of Coppenhagen restaurant Relae. When Puglisi first set the goal of opening his restaurant, he had a very clear vision of what a fine dining should be–a  simple setting for pure, unadulterated enjoyment of finest ingredients and their flavors. This philosophy is very appealing to me, so the book seemed doubly attractive. And, boy, it didn’t disappoint.

The format and content: This book, although has recipes in the back, is not a cookbook in a conventional sense. It’s a collection of essays on every subject regarding food that is prepared and served in Relae. It also talks about the workings of the restaurant and techniques applied to food preparation. It includes essays  water and natural wine, exotic ingredients and best way to bake bread etc. Each essay contains helpful tips that came from years of careful study of cooking and enormous love of the culinary art.

I have to say- this is the most meticulously organized book I have ever held in my hands! Every essay is cross referenced to other subjects touched in the book, the sections are color coded for easier search. It’s  amazing! There is no particular order of reading, no prerequisites. Pugisi suggests to just go ahead and explore the book and see where it gets us. The photography is simple and attractive.

There is a section with recipes in the appendix, each recipe has a thumbnail picture, so you know what it looks like without having to go back to the essay talking about the dish. The preparation process is clearly laid out in the recipe. The recipes themselves look do-able even if a bit intimidating to me , mostly because of ingredients that are not readily available in your typical American supermarket. However I am determined to try a few, that are more accessible, especially the Sourdough bread (Puglisi emphasizes the importance of good bread and I wholeheartedly agree).

Overall impression: Excellent book, a true treasury of gastronomic knowledge. I am excited to explore it more and see how it would influence my approach to food preparation (there is no doubt that it will). Five stars.

I have received this book for review from Blogging for Books

Book Review: The Portlandia Cookbook by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein with Jonathan Krisel

The Portlandia Cookbook is a companion to the popular TV Show, which I enjoy very much. I was excited when I heard that there is a cookbook, because having food inspired by a tv show/book adds another dimension to the experience of watching/reading. I also love Portland the city and bringing a little bit of its foodie culture to the table sounded quite appealing.

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The format: The book contains about 50 recipes, all contributions of Portlandia characters, including Kath and Dave, Nina and Lance, Mr. Mayor et al., oh, and even the rats. There are little Portlandia notes throughout the book, which made me and my husband laugh a lot (“want to make anything better? -put an egg on it”- best advice ever, on par with putting a bird on any piece to make it art ) , we giggled at “fart patio” like a pair of kids, no lie.

There are 5 sections in this book: Small Plates, Main Courses, Desserts, Drinks and Brunch. The recipes are nothing terribly special, yet look like fun and are completely doable. I put a bunch of bookmarks in  already, and will be trying to make some dishes soon. I loved that all the recipes are colorful, with a variety of (local!) vegetables. There are a few vegetarian options. Desserts are simple and probably something everybody has done before, so are the brunch recipes. Therefore, my primary interest lies in small plates and main courses.

Overall, I say this book would make a fun gift for a fan of the show for sure. It may not be “go for out of this world recipe” cookbook, but the content is good.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books.

Banana Bread

This post may contain links to sites I’m affiliated with, should you decide to make a purchase following a link I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you

We had a sudden drop in temperature two days before weekend (it has since picked up) and we craved something delicious and warm. I had some overripe bananas, so naturally Banana Bread it is!

The idea for this delicious Banana Bread originally came from Orangette’s Glenn’s Banana Bread with Candied Ginger recipe, it is wonderfully simple to make. This time around I didn’t have candied ginger, so I added walnuts and tweaked the recipe a bit (I just realized that the recipe she has on her blog is different from the one she has in her book (A Homemade Lifeindiebound) , so I’m doing the one from the book)

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