Like pretty much everyone who knows how to cook, I love the Barefoot Contessa. I have already written about two of her cookbooks on the blog: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Cooks Like a Pro. When I saw that she had a new cookbook out, I immediately went and got it from the library. I made three recipes, all great, before I had to take it back. Then my mom gave me a copy for Christmas, so now I’m excited to make a bunch more of these rec...

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? Do you even know what you’re doing for Thanksgiving? We were supposed to host a small family Thanksgiving, but now it looks like it will just be the four of us. I love cooking for Thanksgiving, so I will probably cook too much anyway. I’m trying to keep it under control. 🙂 I picked up Antoni in the Kitchen at the library, and it has a great Brussels sprouts dish, perfect for Thanksgiving. Who is ...

I know everyone’s stress levels are through the roof right now, and I know what I do when I’m stressed. I eat chocolate! This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen Every Day, the second cookbook of O.G. food blogger Deb Perelman. I already reviewed her first cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, when I made Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs. They were so good that when I saw she has another short rib recipe in this cookbook, I really wa...

How is everyone’s stress level? I feel like mine has been through the roof because of getting ready for the school year to begin. I work in higher ed, so getting ready for this unusual school year has been a little insane. Also, I have two sons who still haven’t started school yet (it was pushed back to after Labor Day), and we don’t even know for sure yet what their schooling will look like. Anyway, all of that is to say I have...

I have had Sister Pie borrowed from the library for quite awhile (I checked it out right before my library closed because or COVID-19), and I kept avoiding it because I am not a pie baker. If I feel the need to make a pie for some reason, I usually just get a store-bought crust and call it a day. (My husband loves blackberry pie, and about the only baking he ever does is making homemade pie crusts.) But this book, which has a gorgeous cover, kept...

Previously I reviewed Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. Now Quinn, who worked for Martha Stewart, has a line of Mad Hungry cookbooks. I picked up Mad Hungry Family from the library (before it closed). This book seems pretty similar to the other Mad Hungry cookbook. It’s full of dishes that are simple and filling, so you can feed your family homecooked meals. Quinn is a big proponent of the family meal a...

So I already mentioned that i’m a big Emeril fan. The last cookbook of his I reviewed was all about comfort food. This cookbook is really the basics of Cajun cooking. I haven’t used it a lot, because my husband does most of the Cajun cooking in our house. The other day he make this gumbo recipe, but he always likes to tweak recipes, so I will provide info about that below. Six servings 2 pounds small okra 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups ...

My husband bought this The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (2001) at a used bookstore quite awhile ago, and I hadn’t made anything from it yet. So I sat down and looked through it the other day, and it’s full of good stuff. As I’m sure most of you know, America’s Test Kitchen is a real kitchen in Boston where they test recipes that they publish in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and demonstrate on their PBS show. B...

Ok, so since we are all cooking at home a lot, I thought I would go ahead and share some recipes. Canal House Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On by Christoper Hersheimer and Melissa Hamilton is one of those basic recipe cookbooks that are great gifts for anyone who is just starting to cook. A lot of the recipes are just variations on a simple recipe. The one I tried out, Pimiento Cheese, is about as basic as it gets. This is something my husband ...

I guess I have Food Network nostalgia, because here’s another TV star cookbook. Everyday Italian: 123 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Giada De Laurentis is true to its name. These recipes are Italian-American dishes that are quick and easy. She’s not trying to be super authentic or artisnal in her cooking, but she is trying to create dishes that are inspired by her Italian heritage that are easy for home cooks. I think she has succee...

Sweet Treats: Dorie’s Cookies
Cookbook Overviews / May 21, 2018

I have a problem when I go to my local library to browse the cookbooks, I always end up picking up baking cookbooks. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth! My latest baking cookbook find is Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. This is a huge, quite comprehensive cookie cookbook. So if you want any type of cookie recipe you will probably find it here. Greenspan is an award-winning cookbook author and columnist for The New York Times Magazine...

My Verdict: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Cookbook Reviews / May 18, 2018

Here’s my verdict on The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. To Read: Definitely. Deb Perelman manages to combine cooking expertise with self-deprecating humor in a way that will make you want to try every recipe. After reading the stories that go with each recipe, I was always convinced that I must make the recipe she is describing, and that it would be successful. She has great cooking tips with the recipes,  and I loved the section on h...

Bonus Recipe: Parsnip Puree
Recipes / May 17, 2018

I made this side dish from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook along with the Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs.  Parsnip Puree 2 pounds parsnips (about 6 medium), peeled, sliced into medium-sized chunks 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper In large, heavy pot,combine parsnips with enough cold water to cover. Pla...

Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Recipes / May 17, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I let my youngest son pick the recipe, so this week I let my older son pick a recipe for me to try from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. He’s a big meat eater, so of course he picked short ribs. I had never make them before, and I have to say I will definitely be making them again. Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs 5 pounds bone-in short ribs Salt Freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large red oni...

This Week’s Favorite Things, May 15
Favorite Things / May 15, 2018

Book: I am about half-way through Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Westover writes about growing up in Idaho with survivalist parents. She doesn’t go to school, instead she works in her father’s scrap yard, which is dangerous but even more so since her father doesn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. It is really fascinated, and she does a good job of trying to tell the story not just from her perspective, but also...

An Obsessive Home Cook: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Cookbook Overviews / May 14, 2018

I was super excited to finally take a look at The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Perelman is a popular food blogger and her cookbooks are often mentioned on lists of must-have cookbooks. There is no real catch to this cookbook or Perelman’s blog, except that Perelman describes herself as an obsessive home cook. She had no formal training, but she just loves to experiment with recipes until they are perfect. She cooks in...

My Verdict: Eat Like a Gilmore
Cookbook Reviews / May 11, 2018

Here’s my verdict on Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls. To Read: Yes, if you are a Gilmore Girls fan. Each recipe description includes a reference to a story on the TV show. Even if you don’t cook, you will enjoy these descriptions. If you are not a Gilmore Girls fan, you can probably skip it. There is not a lot of additional food or cooking content in the book, except in the cake section ...

The Birthday Girl Cocktail
Recipes / May 9, 2018

On the TV show Gilmore Girls, Emily (the grandmother) creates this drink for Rory’s twenty-first birthday, and they actually call it “The Rory.” Lucky for me, my very thoughtful friend Gwen made this drink on my birthday a couple of years a go. I think this cocktail is a good example of the fun recipes you can find in Eat Like a Gilmore. The Birthday Girl 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup granulated sugar Ice 3 ounces vodka 1 ounc...

Oy With the Poodles Already: Eat Like a Gilmore
Cookbook Overviews / May 7, 2018

This week’s cookbook is Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls. As I mentioned before, I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. But even if you have no idea what Gilmore Girls is, this is a fun cookbook. It’s written by Kristi Carlson, but has a lot of contributors. Carlson decided to write this cookbook because she was a GG fan who loved to cook and was fascinated by all the references to food on the sh...

My Verdict: Run Fast. Eat Slow.
Cookbook Reviews / May 4, 2018

Here’s my verdict on Run Fast. Eat Slow. : Nourishing Recipes for Athletes. To Read: Yes, if you are an athlete or want some inspiration, but it’s not a particularly interesting read for non-runners. It is interesting to read about the real-life of an Olympic athlete, and one of the authors, Shalene Flanagan, is an Olympic medalist. But there is not a lot of depth to what they cover, just a few interesting stories about the...