Tag Archives: cookbook

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


“Are We Having Any Fun Yet” Cookbook Review

I was given the opportunity to review Sammy Hagar’s cookbook, “Are We Having Any Fun Yet”  for H.A.G. and I have to say:

“I can’t drive….55!! “

Yep. That guy. Before you decide that this is not the type of book you would maybe like to get some great recipes from- let me tell you that this is one more instance where I was pleasantly  surprised by the unexpected. You know that I love it when what you see IS NOT what you get, right? I love being surprised when the surface stuff isn’t the whole package…This is it.  Not only can Sammy cook, but his book is a great inspiration to do what you love.

I know Sammy from Van Halen, as I am an ’80’s girl, but I  recently I saw him on Food Network with guy Fieri.  That was the first time I got an idea that Sammy Hagar wasn’t just a party animal, rock star who probably ate frozen burritos, did drugs and partied with lots of women.

Now, being a rocker, I am sure he probably did all those things, and more, but his book is about his journey with FOOD from it’s very basic beginnings to it’s very rich and worldly influences. “Are We Having Any Fun Yet” kind of reflects how Sammy’s life intersects with food, and how wherever he was, in his life, the food was changing too. There are lots of Southern Californian influences of farm-to-table cooking, where his life is now. And then there are Mexican, and Hawaiian influences too, as he spent so much time in those places. The constant with all the recipes is using fresh and high quality ingredients. Most of the recipe processes aren’t complicated, but they rely on this one principle of starting with great ingredients  and it makes so many of the recipes accessible to the general public- not just the celebrities of Sammy Hagar’s life.

Here are just a few of the over 50 varied food and drink recipes:

  • Sammy’s Asada
  • Dean’s Chicken-Fried Steak
  • Classic Margarita
  • Sammy’s Risotto
  • Tomato Bruschetta
  • Aloe Juice

Peppered throughout the book, there is of course, a lot of name dropping of both rock-stars and food-stars, that he either loves or doesn’t really like, but I think that is one thing that I did expect from the book, and if you can get over this one little annoyance, the book is very entertaining, and more importantly a really good cookbook!

Sammy Hagar is a Foodie for sure. But he doesn’t forget the recipes that he loved when there was no money coming in or when he was growing up “dirt-poor”. He has a real and hearty appreciation for good food and the people who enjoy it with him. Beautiful photos of scenery, food, and celebrity are all throughout the book making it an inspiring and fun read. It really is a “fun” book.  Yes, Sammy, we are “having fun” here!

Are We Having Any Fun Yet?: The Cooking & Partying Handbook by Sammy Hagar goes on sale, September 15, 2015.

I received a review copy of this book, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.