Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day
Cookbook Overviews , Cookbook Reviews / August 23, 2019

Many of my friends and family have heard me complain about how hard it is to feed two teenage boys without going broke. Recently I found a couple of good sources for inexpensive recipes. I have been regularly using budget meal plans from the Budget Meal Planner. You can sign up for a free weekly email plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas for $5 per person per day. I especially love this because it plans out the meals for the week and provides a grocery list. The recipes are pretty simple and usually quite good. In addition, I tried out Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. This cookbook by Leanne Brown includes lots of inexpensive recipes with estimated costs for serving. For example, you could make Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato, which my son made and was quite yummy, for $2.50 per serving or Broccoli, Egg, and Cheddar Empanadas for $.60 per serving. Brown says the she picked $4 a day because that is about how much money you would have per person, per day if you were on SNAP, also know as food stamps. I really admire her work on creating these recipes because it…

From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen

Ok, stay with me on this one, because this cookbook is a lot of fun! If you are a huge Martha Stewart fan, like me, then you know all about Snoop Dogg’s domestic skills. Snoop Dogg, a rapper and television personality, was a guest on The Martha Stewart Show (oh, how I miss that show!) a couple of times. I guess they really hit it off in real life, and later they did a show together for VH1, called Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner. That show is hilarious, and while watching it, I even learned a new technique for making bacon from Snoop. Who knew? So when I saw that Snoop Dogg had a cookbook out, I knew that Martha Stewart was probably a big influence. And sure enough, she wrote the forward to the book. From Crook to Cook is a lot of fun just to read, but it’s not exactly PG. There are quite a few references to marijuana, but it’s all said in a joking manner. It’s a pretty basic cookbook, with some soul food influence. So if you’re a food snob, this will not be the cookbook for you. I had a lot of fun with…

Damn Delicious Meal Prep: 115 Easy Recipes for Low-Calorie, High-Energy Living

I am super excited about Damn Delicious Meal Prep! I am always trying to eat healthier and trying to plan ahead. This cookbook helps with both goals. I already reviewed Chungah Ree’s first cookbook, Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes. In case you missed that one, Damn Delicious is a blog written by Chungah Rhee. Her recipes are simple but flavorful and include a nice mix of traditional American with Asian and Mexican inspired dishes. Just the type of food my family loves! So when I saw that she was putting out a meal prep cookbook, I was psyched! If you don’t know what meal prep is, it just means prepping meals ahead of time. Some people have elaborate meal prep systems which involve picking one day a week (usually Sunday) to cook and prep as much food as possible for the week to come. I actually did a meal prep system (where I paid for recipes and prep instructions) for awhile, and there were a lot of things I liked about it. I did enjoy spending most of Sunday cooking; that’s relaxing for me. And I loved not having a lot to do when I got home…

So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours

I picked up So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours at the library and knew that the guy on the cover looked familiar. Then I read the first page and found out the book is written by Richard Blais, a contestant on Top Chef. I haven’t watched it in years, but I used to love Top Chef; and I had a vague memory of this really arrogant Richard guy. Anyway, I started to look through this cookbook, and I would say that my first impression of a pretty arrogant chef was correct. Blais introduces this cookbook by saying that these are the types of things he cooks for his family, and the recipes don’t include all the experimental techniques that he showcased on Top Chef or in his restaurants. But as I was looking through the recipes, I was not finding a lot that didn’t have unusual ingredients or techniques. My son picked up the book and asked for me make the fried chicken recipe. I have never fried a chicken in my life, but I thought I would give it a try. Unfortunately, this is a pretty time-consuming recipe, and I just haven’t had a chance to try it…

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

I love everything that Ruth Reichl writes, and her cookbook My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life is no exception. I was introduced to Reichel by reading her wonderful memoirs about growing up with a mother who had no interest in food. Reichel went on to become the New York Times restaurant critic and then the editor of Gourmet magazine. This cookbook was written right after Gourmet was shut down, and she found herself suddenly out of a job. It’s a unique cookbook. I have read novels and memoirs (including Reichl’s) that include some recipes. I have also read cookbooks that have well-written introductions to each recipe. But this really is a combination memoir and cookbook. It’s written as a journal of the year immediately after the demise of Gourmet, where she had worked for ten years. Arranged by seasons, the diary and the recipes are basically interwoven, and many of the recipes are stories in their own right. The recipes are also written up in a totally unique way. She lists the ingredients as either “pantry staples,” which she defines in the introduction of the book or “special ingredients.” And the recipes are written more in a…

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks
Cookbook Overviews , Cookbook Reviews / February 12, 2019

Things have been crazy around here! The weather is terrible every other day, which means lot of missed school and work. My oldest son just turned 16 and got his license, which is very exciting, but also very stressful. And I just haven’t had the time to try out new recipes. But if you are a chocolate lover, you might like Martha Stewart’s Salted-Caramel Chocolate Cake. My son asks for it for his birthday every year. It’s a pretty serious cake, but I make it a little easier, by just making it a three-layer cake instead of the six layers that are in the recipe. Now back to the cookbooks, I was finally able to peruse Ina Garten’s lastest cookbook Cook Like a Pro. Like most cooks on the planet, I love the Barefoot Contessa. I already reviewed The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook last year. The premise of her latest cookbook is that she is sharing some tips of the pros with home cooks. So what did I think? To Read: Yes. She does share a lot of tips in this cookbook. Since I read so many cookbooks there was not a lot that was new, but there were a few tips…

Cravings: Hungry for More
Cookbook Overviews , Cookbook Reviews / January 14, 2019

I was super excited to get a hold of Chrissy Teigen’s newest cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More. Just to make sure everyone is up to speed, Teigen is married to the R&B singer John Legend. She was a model and still does some TV appearances I think, but she is now best known for her social media presence and her cookbooks. Her writing is very informal (yes, that means there’s some salty language), very funny, and very honest. I had read her first cookbook, Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat, but had never gotten around to actually cooking anything from it. But I had heard from lots of people that her recipes are actually really good. I was skeptical that a former model and wife of a celebrity was also an expert in the kitchen. Well, you should never judge someone by first appearances, because I have already made two recipes from this cookbook that were quite good. I also have put post-it notes on a bunch of other recipes. Right now I’m snowed in and flipping through the book to see if there any recipes I can make with what we already have in the house….

The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures

Happy New Year everyone! I enjoyed a nice, long break from work and the blog, but now I’m refreshed and ready to start cooking. I plan on changing up the format a little this year, and I hope to publish more regularly. There are so many cookbooks I am looking forward to trying out, so let’s get started! As part of my new format, I am going to introduce and review the cookbook in the same post. On Wednesdays (and sometimes Thursdays), I will share a recipe. Friday will be a bit of a grab bag, where I will share other things I’ve been cooking, reading, or watching, and some of my favorite kitchen things. The Year of Cozy by blogger Adrianna Adarme is a book that I’ve had quite awhile, but haven’t ever cooked from. As the subtitle says, this book has more than recipes. It also includes some craft projects (I haven’t done any of those either. 🙂 ), and just some ideas about having a cozy life. The book is arranged by seasons, so I tried out a couple of the winter recipes that I will share with you this week. Here’s my verdict: To Read: Yes….

My Verdict: Damn Delicious
Cookbook Overviews / October 26, 2018

Here’s my verdict on Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes by Chungah Rhee. To Read: Yes, there’s not a lot to read, but you will want to check out the story of why she started the blog that led to this cookbook. To Look At: Yes. The photos are gorgeous, and there is a photo for each recipe, which I always appreciate. It probably helps that Rhee creates beautiful photos of her recipes every day on her blog. To Cook From: Yes. Even though I only had a chance to make one recipe from the cookbook, which didn’t turn out perfectly, I still recommend this cookbook. There are a ton of recipes that I want to try and plan on making soon. In addition, I have a couple of friends who highly recommend this cookbook, and I have had good luck with the recipes I have tried from the blog. I think this cookbook is a nice combination of healthyish and not-so healthy recipes that are quick and easy, but definitely not lacking in flavor.  If you’re not sure, check out the Damn Delicious blog and I’m sure you will get hooked on Rhee’s recipes. Well, the holidays are coming….

Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes
Cookbook Overviews / October 15, 2018

Thanks to the recommendation from a freind (Hi, Gwen!), I’ve been reading Chungah Rhee’s blog Damn Delicious for awhile. Her recipes are pretty simple with an emphasis on big flavors. She also really mixes it up with a variety of dishes, from comfort food like chicken soup to Asian-inspired dishes like Korean tacos. One of my favorite recipes from her blog, that I’ve made several times, is perfect for this time of year: Pumpkin Spice Latte Scones. These scones were popular even with people who would never pick up a Starbucks PSL. Another Damn Delicious recipe I have tried recently was the Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake. A great way to make breakfast for dinner! Needless to say, I am looking forward to trying out some recipes from the Damn Delicious cookbook. See you back here later in the week.

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