Disney’s Festival of the Arts

I just turned 50 in January, and my hubby did back in August when travel was right out, so we headed to Disney last week for a big celebration. 8 glorious days. Two in each park. Perfect! We didn’t realize the Festival of the Arts was going on at Epcot! Even better! There are little stands scattered throughout the World Showcase that generally have 2 entrees, a couple of beverages and a dessert. They are little taster plates and mostly in the $6-$10 range, so you can have fabulous bites around the world, kind of like global tapas. We had a fantastic time. Let me tell you all about it!

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Baked Ricotta and Roasted Grapes with Balsamic Drizzle (savory cheesecake!) recipe and cookbook review: Rachael Ray 50

#RachaelRay @RachaelRay #RachaelRayShow @RachaelRayShow

Rachael Ray. That’s one polarizing name.

When my husband handed me a gift on our first Christmas together, I unwrapped it to find a cookbook, looked up and glared at him, and he ducked a little, laughing, “No! Open it up!” Tickets to Phantom of the Opera. Five years later, when our baby was tiny, and we decided I’d stay home with her, I was suddenly responsible for all things domestic with absolutely zero interest in cooking or cleaning anything. None. Then everyone in the playgroup started watching Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. She made everything look fun, doable, and yummy, and suddenly we were all cooking and doing a nice job of it. I’m so grateful that we all had her. I stumbled across this book and ordered it in a rush of nostalgia. I don’t watch daytime tv anymore so I had no idea what she’s been up to or what to expect. But now I can help you with that!

Rachael Ray 50 is filled with Rachael’s essays, a memoir of her life so far, and those are dotted with 125 recipes that mean something to her. Some of them are quick, but she’s not limiting herself to speed meals here. The pasta puttanesca was the only one that I remember from her early days. I flagged so many that I need to order more post-it notes! I’m really glad she made this one a hardcover, because it’s special.

The book is broken into three sections: Family, Friends, and Work.

I’m going to share her recipe for Baked Ricotta and Roasted Grapes with a Balsamic Drizzle. It’s like a savory cheesecake. It’s easy, delicious, and beautiful – perfect for all the upcoming holidays! Please note that there are two asterisked sub-recipes after the recipe that you’re going to want to deal with first, so that you’re just ready to go!

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Giant Cinnamon Roll recipe and cookbook review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier

#ReeDrummond @ReeDrummond #ThePioneerWoman #ThePioneerWoman #TheNewFrontier @TheNewFrontier

If you love Ree’s other books, you’ll love The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier, too! It has a great mix of comfort food and healthy fare, frequently with thoughtful ideas of how to make subs to suit to your eating style. She’s got some recipes for everybody’s favorite personal appliances like the Instant Pots and slow-cookers, but also gives instructions on how to cook it if you’d rather stick with the oven.  For the most part, she uses economical ingredients, but there’s a special surf and turf dinner with lobster tails and beef tenderloin. I love this one! But I’m most definitely already a big fan. 😊

Amazon affiliate link #CommissionEarned (I get a tiny percentage if you use my link to purchase.)

It was tough to decide which recipe to ask permission for. The Giant Cinnamon Roll is so good that it’s replacing the monkey bread I normally make on Christmas morning with Jacque Pepin’s quiche, bacon, and fruit salad, so I finally picked that one! And, you can make a lot of it ahead of time (Yeah, I marked it. Through step 8!) so it’s a great one for an easier morning! I love Scandinavian flavors at Christmas, so I may play with a little cardamom and orange in the icing then. Anyway, go make this and brighten your weekend! If you’re an espresso head like me, use espresso instead of coffee. Sooo good! A huge thanks to Ree Drummond for letting me share the recipe with you!

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Where the Crawdads Sing, Whiskey in a Teacup, and Crab Puffs

#WheretheCrawdadsSing #DeliaOwens #WhiskeyInATeacup #ReeseWitherspoon #BookClub #southern #crab

My book club recently read Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. I was hook, line, and sinker in love with that book. It’s the story of a young girl, who spends her whole life struggling against the current, trying to find her way. It has everything – beauty, scientific curiosity, adaptability, trust, distrust, murder, plotting, hope, hopelessness, love, rejectance <I’m doubling down on that being a word>, and acceptance. She has a profound love and appreciation for her marsh, deemed unloveable by everyone else, echoing the world’s view of her.

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Jen’s Buffalo Joes – as in the meat, not the sauce ;)

Oh January, how I love you! After 5 fast-paced months, good old sleepy, relaxing January shows up, and I have very little to do. I love to really take advantage of it by getting double workouts in every day (well, 5 days a week), and go freezer diving for the dinner centerpieces. What do I find in that freezer? A lot of healthier cuts of meat that my well-intentioned self buys if I go to Costco hungry, and then they sit in the freezer waiting to become something.

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I have a massive food crush on Samin Nosrat. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

#saminnosrat #saltfatacidheat

I have a *massive* food crush on Samin Nosrat.     She has the enthusiasm and food joy of Julia Child.     She’s a natural teacher.     She doesn’t want to impress you, but rather wants to demystify everything about the kitchen so that you can cook well. And by you, I mean everybody.     She doesn’t want you to follow exact directions.     She wants you to actually understand. That’s pretty powerful stuff! Continue reading “I have a massive food crush on Samin Nosrat. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.”

Derek Bissonnette’s French Onion Soup recipe and Cookbook review: Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews

#derekbissonnette #soup #cidermillpress

71AlYWqoTvLIs there anything more wonderful when it’s cold outside than a nice hot bowl of soup?! I found the most amazing soup book, Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews! It really is the be-all and end-all encyclopedia of soup. If you love soup, you need this. It has everything. It’s got easy peasy soups for kitchen newbies and fabulous gourmet soups for when you want to stretch your culinary muscles. The recipes are perfection. Continue reading “Derek Bissonnette’s French Onion Soup recipe and Cookbook review: Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews”

Julia Turshen’s Scrambled Eggs with Cilantro + Coconut Chutney recipe and Cookbook review: Now & Again

#Juliaturshen #nowandagain #chroniclebooks

Now and Again_CVR_MechCorrex.indd

Julia Turshen’s new book, Now & Again, is absolutely amazing. I love everything about it. In one of her recipes she instructs, “Arrange the mango slices artfully-but not too preciously-on a serving platter.” That really captures the feel of the book. Everything has a breezy elegance to it and nothing is fussy. The recipes are global, and I adore that many of them are off the beaten path. I love being exposed to new things. The book is organized by season, and then menus for all different sorts of get-togethers. The recipes are casual, beautiful, interesting, nourishing, and delicious, and nothing’s difficult. She generally has you serving dishes right in what they’re made in. I’ve had the book in my hands for 3 days and I’ve made 4 meals from it already. <Minus the desserts. I already run 5 miles a day and don’t care to increase that – lol!> It’s a hard book to put down.

I don’t have a copy of her ridiculously popular book, Small Victories <I know!>, so I can’t make a comparison there. This has a gingham print detail running along the spine just like that one, so I’m betting it’s in the same vein. Feed the Resistance is a tiny book of hers focusing on food and activism, and that one’s terrific. And she worked with Gwyneth Paltrow on It’s All Good, another yummy, feel-good title.

My full review of the book with my pics and thoughts of all the dishes we tried so far, is at the bottom. But first I wanted to share with you her recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Cilantro + Coconut Chutney from her Sunday Morning Bangladeshi Breakfast menu. Continue reading “Julia Turshen’s Scrambled Eggs with Cilantro + Coconut Chutney recipe and Cookbook review: Now & Again”

Joanna Gaines’ Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad recipe (no fermentation!) and Cookbook review: Magnolia Table

#morrowcooks #joannagaines #magnoliatable

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Joanna and Chip Gaines fan? My husband bought me her cookbook, Magnolia Table, for Mother’s Day, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. I *love* this book! How is she so skinny?! Thank you to William Morrow Cookbooks for letting me share her recipe for Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad with you. If you haven’t made bulgogi before, it’s a really flavorful Korean beef dish. The beef is sliced nice and thin and then it sits in a delicious marinade while you go about your day. I love hers because you quickly grill it and pick up that gorgeous smokiness from the coal/wood instead of a skillet. The cucumber kimchi doesn’t require any fermentation, just a quick spicy pickling with rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, chili flakes, etc., and hangs out in the fridge while you grill. I’ll get to the review of the book afterwards – and you have to try the burgers with tomato bacon jam and that blueberry, buttermilk, croissant bread pudding – but first, let’s get that bulgogi going! Continue reading “Joanna Gaines’ Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad recipe (no fermentation!) and Cookbook review: Magnolia Table”