Tasting Hygge: Joyful Recipes for Cozy Days and Nights
Cookbook Overviews , Cookbook Reviews / January 28, 2019

I picked up this little cookbook because it’s the time of year when I become obsessed with hygge. Hygge is a Danish word that basically means coziness, but seems to be describing a mindset or way of life that is enjoyed in Scandinavia. At this time of year, when it’s so cold and the weather is often terrible, all I want to do is stay wrapped in a blanket, drink some tea, and read a good book or watch some Netflix. But I still have to eat, and sometimes even see other people! So Tasting Hygge by Leela Cyd is full of recipes for that state of mind. Here’s my verdict: To Read: Yes. Just reading about these recipes made me feel cozy, even if I knew I wasn’t going to make most of them. The author describes the idea of hygge and has personal stories to go along with the recipes. She organizes the chapters into warm, spiced, smooth, calm, and bright. I don’t know if those categories make complete sense when describing recipes, but I think it gives you the sense that these are all important hygge concepts. To Look At: Yes. It’s a very pretty book, lots of…

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys
Cookbook Overviews / June 26, 2018

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucinda Scala Quinn is another cookbook that I have had for awhile but haven’t cooked from much. Quinn is an editorial director for Martha Stewart, and she used to make regular appearances on Stewart’s live show, which I still miss. When Quinn came out with this cookbook in 2009 for feeding boys, I had to have it. I’m not sure there is that much difference in feeding boys than feeding girls, other than maybe volume; but as the mother of boys, I was still interested to see what advice she had. There is nothing boy-specific about the recipes, but there are a lot of tips and tricks for how to get home-cooked meals on your table as often as possible. There is also an emphasis on teaching boys to cook for themselves, which I think is one of the best strategies for dealing with kids who are constantly hungry. When it comes to feeding myself and my family, lunch is the meal I struggle with the most. Mad Hungry includes a chapter called “Lunch: It Really Matters,” so I might try out a lunch recipe this week. I will be back later in the…

My Verdict: The Beach House Cookbook
Cookbook Reviews / June 22, 2018

Here’s my verdict for The Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent by Mary Kay Andrews. To Read: Yes, if you are on or near a beach. Andrews writes popular novels, and she has some entertaining family stories to go along with each menu, which is how this book is organized. There are just a few descriptive sentences to introduce each recipe. Unlike a lot of cookbooks, there are no “cooking tips” or “essential tools” types of chapters. It might have been nice to have ideas about shopping and preparing to cook while on vacation. The most detailed recipe, including both the story to go with it and recipe instructions, is in the epilogue of the book, and it’s for biscuits. Not something I can see myself making while on vacation, but maybe that’s why it’s at the end. To Look At: Yes, there is a gorgeous photo for every recipe, with some family and beach photos thrown in for fun. If you are not at the beach, this book will certainly make you wish that you were. To Cook From: Probably, the recipes that I made were quite simple and didn’t even necessarily involve cooking. Personally,…

The Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent
Cookbook Overviews / June 18, 2018

No, I do not have a beach house, but a girl can dream. I do spend a lot of weekends at my mom’s lake cabin, and we vacation with friends at the beach fairly regularly. So to get some ideas for vacation cooking, I wanted to check out this book. The Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent is written by author Mary Kay Andrews. Andrews’ romance and mystery novels are New York Times bestsellers, whhich is how she got that beach house. This book is full of southern-inspired recipes (her beach house is in Georgia) to feed a crowd. The recipes are presented as menus, such as Low Country Boil, Beach Picnic, and Souper Supper. I am a sucker for menu ideas. I like that someone else has made all of the decisions for me, from what to drink to what to serve for dessert. In reality, I don’t think I actually ever follow any of these menu ideas verbatim. Regardless, The Beach House Cookbook contains lots of inspiration for summer cooking, so I look forward to trying out a recipe or two and reporting back later in the week.

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 where there are some decorating tips. To Look At: Sure. Each recipe has a photo, and they are well-done. But there is not a lot new here unless you want to see what your favorite food mentions on Gilmore Girls would look like up close, especially the beautiful cakes. To Cook From: Yes (except maybe the Santa Burger, which looks pretty gross). Besides the cocktail recipe I posted about earlier, I also made the Blueberry Muffins recipe, which was quite good. There is a pretty big range of recipes here, from basic to more exotic to just goofy. Let me know if you tried out any of the Gilmore Girls recipes. I would love to have a Gilmore Girls…

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 show. In addition, all of the contributors write short descriptions of their experiences with GG, which are really fun to read. (Yes, this is starting to sound like some sort of cult!) So why a Gilmore Girls cookbook? Probably because food is so important on the show. First, the Gilmore girls (who are single mother Lorelai and her daughter Rory) eat crazy amounts of junk food (of course through the magic of television they have no issues with their weight), which is a running joke on the show. Second, one of the most important characters owns a diner, which is one of the most important locations on the show. There is also a supporting character, played by Melissa McCarthy,…

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