Tag Archives: cookbook

“Food52 Mighty Salads”: A Book Review

Have you been eating salads like crazy with the bounty of veggies from your garden? Then you might be the perfect candidate for the cookbook by Food52 Team called, Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad to Dinner. If you don’t know what Food52 is, I will tell you. It’s a food community site turned website and shop, which shares recipes from their editors and also runs contests for recipe contributions from their readers along with selling products and cookbooks that they put out.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book from Blogging for Books, and now I want to share with you my take on this not-just-summer cookbook.

What I like:

Being a salad lover, and also very sick of my same old recipes for salads, I am totally inspired by the recipes in the book. Don’t these sound yummy?:

Caesar-Style Kale Salad with Roasted Onions
Shaved Asparagus with Burrata, Radish & Cucumber
Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Endive & Apple
Fresh Corn Cakes with Crab-Tomato Salad

The contents are depicted by types of salad to make it easy to find a lot of variety:

Leafy Salads
Less-Leafy Salads
Grain & Bean Salads
Pasta & Bread Salads
Fish & Seafood Salads
Meat Salads

There are a lot of dressings recipes which I just loved. Sometimes I just want a new dressing for my salads, and I made this salad {Spicy Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles} specifically because the dressing of Lime-Sriracha sounded so good- and it was good. Not amazing, but very good. I made it with zoodles though and I liked all the textures and color to the dish quite a lot.Spicy Chicken Salad with Lime-Sriracha Dressing

I am a big fan of pictures if the whole book is about one type of meal {salads}. There are lots of pictures of the meals here {all the photos are done by James Ransom}, to give you an idea and some inspiration for what looks great to eat. This leads to:

What Bugs Me:

The pictures are dark. The intention and style of the book is farmhouse-rustic, so they styled the pictures in a way that feels dark and artsy instead of bright and inviting. To my eye, the food looks flat in a way that makes me not want to make it. However…I showed my sister the book and she found lots of recipes that she would make and she loved the darker style of the pictures, so I think this is a preference that I have, over what everyone would feel.

On another layout preference, I thought that overall the font is smallish and the sidebar that lists the ingredients doesn’t separate the salad from the salad dressing as much as I wanted- I was squinting. I don’t wear glasses, but I am sort of old…so that could certainly be it, but for even older, and blinder folks, just keep your glasses nearby!

As far as a peeve about the recipes…they many and varied.  I don’t stock my pantry with more than half of the ingredients, but as I said, my sister was all about the recipes as being up her alley. I found it inspirational but not practical for my everyday cooking. I had a hard time picking a recipe to make with ingredients that I had on hand. I chose the Spicy Chicken Salad because I had 90% of the ingredients on hand. Most of the other recipes, I would have to go out and shop specifically for.

Who Should Get It:

If you are a huge Food52 fan…and I know there are many! Also, if you love salad and need some new  ideas for making your regular old salads into something more of a meal, than there is a lot of great stuff here- Not just for vegetarians, the seafood chapter is super interesting and if you are a meat eater, there is a plentiful chapter for you too.

The Deets:

Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner- and Make-Ahead Lunches, Too
Editors of Food52, Photos by James Ransom
160 pages with photos.
Ten Speed Press, April 2017
Amazon Hardcover: $14

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you order from one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. See my full disclosure page.

Review for Mighty Salads Food52

Cookbook Review: Simple Green Suppers

Simple Green Suppers, by Susie Middleton, and photos by Bandi Baird
Description from NetGalley (thanks to them for my copy):

125 recipes for complete one-dish vegetarian suppers that pair pantry staples with fresh ingredients–perfect for nonvegetarians aspiring to eat a more plant-based diet.

Available on Amazon, April 11th
Paperback, Kindle

Thank You to Roost Publishers and NetGalley for my free e-copy. There are affiliate links in this post, meaning if you click on them, I am compensated. It in no way affects your costs or my opinions. Read my full disclosure.

Can I just say, if I could eat paper, I would eat this book! I love her pictures of beautiful food. I am always trying to eat more vegetables and trying even harder to keep it interesting- I seem to make roasted vegetables over and over, until now I am sort of just done with them! Vegetables can be sort of, well…boring. I needed some inspiration.

This book gave me just that. I love the sound of these recipes of hers:

Broccoli Raab and Creamy Goat Cheese Baked Pasta Gratin…YUMMMM

Quinoa & Bean Salad with Tomato-Nectarine-Curry Dressing…WhaaaT?

Two-Potato Red Onion & Bell Pepper Taco with Lime-Chipotle Sauce….The sauce alone, guys!

The Contents are separated into:

  • Noodles
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Leaves
  • Toast
  • Tortillas
  • Eggs
  • Broth

There is an intro and follow up in each chapter and the book for essential techniques…I didn’t love the overkill on this, as I sort of know how to cook the basics, but if you are a newbie, this would be really helpful information on the “how-to’s” of cooking vegetables and handling ingredients, like “Tips & Strategies for Tortillas.”

Because I am in LOOOOOVE with the toast chapter, I made this ridiculously good avocado toast- Now don’t be dismissive! Avocado toast recipes are a dime a dozen, right now, but this one is special: pickled beets and deliciousness abound. My hubs went crazy for this, and we had to have it two days in a row! So good:

Avocado Toast with Baby Kale, Blue Cheese, Pecans, Quick-Pickled Radishes, and Honey

Simple Green Suppers Avocado Toast

Ridiculous, right?! So freaking good. I don’t think my pics do this justice at all- I was rushing through taking them, so I could stuff this in my mouth! The blue cheese and pecans were deal breakers for me- this is my new toast.

If you need veggie inspiration like I did, then this book is for you. This book is going on my gift list this year for sure! For everyone.

You are welcome- and Thank You to Roost Publishers and NetGalley for my free e-copy. There are affiliate links in this post, meaning if you click on them, I am compensated. It in no way affects your costs. Read my full disclosure.



Cookbook Review: Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites

I love cookbooks. Old ones, out of date ones, full of pictures, or no pictures at all. I love them. I love especially, cookbooks that tell a story like these:

old cookbooks, review of Anthony Bourdain's Appetites

Yes, they are spiral bound. Yes, they may only have 1 or 2 recipes that I love. But they introduce most recipes or at least the chapters with a story.

Here are two newer ones that are particularly chatty:

old cookbooks, review of Anthony Bourdain's Appetites

These two, pictured above, are not only dog-eared for all the recipes that are so unique, and have turned out awesome, they also create a story around the food that makes me just want to make it.

That is why I LOVE Anthony Bourdain’s newest cookbook. Surprisingly, he’s kind of chatty.

I received a free e-copy to review, but I will be getting a print version on my own for sure. He is a master story-teller besides being an awesome cook. While Bourdain can be abrasive in his personality, his food is masterful. He spent 28 years as a professional chef, and then wrote Kitchen Confidential (2000) a tell-all about the “back of the house” in the restaurants we all adored. His shows on CNN, both No Reservations and Parts Unknown, which take viewers on an awesome foodie-ride across food cultures around the world show us his personality. And as we have seen it change all these years on TV, his manner has become less “drugs and rock & roll” and more “dysfunctional family-guy.”

Enter this newest cookbook, Appetites. In it, Bourdain gives us story after story, often about his family life, with each dish he creates. From macaroni and cheese or meatloaf, to a masterful Thanksgiving plan from A-Z, and ranging to Korean specialties like Budae Jigae. He is doing it all, and although he knows chef-techniques, this is a home-cookbook. He is clear in the instruction, and minimal in the necessary ingredients lists. I love that. I love that he is no-nonsense and gives it to us straight. He says in the book about making Thanksgiving:

“Preparing a holiday meal can be a stressful affair. It’s not mystery why murder rates spike between November and late December…No need…the key to a relatively easy, smooth-running, violence-free Thanksgiving is to adopt the following three-day strategy…” (p.185)

And then he does. He lays out a three day prep-ahead plan for a stress-free holiday meal. I love it. Seriously, love this.  There is so much packed in this book full of narrative, fun, clearly instructed meals along with more involved recipes: Examples of the “Poultry” chapter are Chicken Pot Pie, Korean Fried Chicken, Cast-Iron Grilled Chicken, Roasted Quail with Polenta, or Thanksgiving as I mentioned). All of it is easy to find with a great table of contents (not to be underrated) and index (always underrated, but super important in a cookbook!).

He is quirky and irreverant in his story telling, but also a superb chef and cookbook author. I may not always agree with his opinions on life, but in cooking, I am totally a fan.

Appetites: A Cookbook

By: Anthony Bourdain, Laurie Woolever
Synopsis: Recommend Highly
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 304 including illustrations, index
Sale Date: October 25, 2016