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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Croissants recipe, Jen’s sandwich, and cookbook review: Tartine

#ElizabethPrueitt #ChadRobertson #Tartine @Tartine #ChronicleBooks @ChronicleBooks

Wow! I have been playing in the most lovely posh baking book! Tartine has some amazing and gorgeous projects to tackle when you’re feeling like something extraordinary and going the extra distance, when taking on the learning curve sounds fun. There’s also some much easier fare with a special spin when you’d just like to keep it simple, and enjoy a really nice treat.

They give measurements in both cups and weights where applicable, so you can work with whichever you prefer. Although it’s a little extra effort, I strongly prefer weights because it comes out perfectly every time.

The croissants in this book are the best I’ve ever made. The croissant dough, once you master it, is the base of other recipes in the book, so I’ll be making it again next week to make their breakfast rolls. They look way too tempting to resist. Thank you to Chronicle for letting me share the croissant recipe with you, and after that, I’ll share my most decadent croissant sandwich. It may seem horrifying to slice that beautiful croissant in half, but I promise it’s worth it! I’ve added in drawings of the folds and cuts for visual shorthand.

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Fig Cake with Dried Cherries recipe and cookbook review: The Forest Feast Mediterranean

#ErinGleeson @ErinGleeson #TheForestFeastMediterranean @TheForestFeastMediterranean #TheForstFeast #AbramsBooks @AbramsBooks

My dog eats earbuds. I put between 5 and 15 miles on my sneakers every day, and love listening to audiobooks while I’m out there on the trail. I keep leaving those earbuds on my desk, and find them fully munched when I go to grab them, so I’m usually trapped in my own head. When my mind wanders, it’s usually food-related. One day, my fantasy tv show popped into my head. The host would travel the world, and visit people’s gardens, and then follow them into the kitchen to see what they do with their produce. No 3 different dish segment. Nope. Just a slow paced visit with a lot of vegetables, chatting, and coffee. Or tea if that’s your thing. Sounds flippin’ wonderful, doesn’t it? I found that in book form! Well, at least the Mediterranean. She’ll have to work on the rest of the world later.

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Green Springtime Pierogi with Spinach Kasza and Cheese recipe and cookbook review: Polska by Zuza Zak

#ZuzaZak #Polska #Polish #pierogis #QuadrilleBooks #HardieGrant

Polska is a wonderful book filled with gorgeous, inspirational photos, homey, delicious Polish comfort food, and special-occasion dishes. It filled our home with the inviting scent of marjoram and onions. Zuza’s tone is very casual and inviting, and her instructions are clear.

The simple and delicious Turkey Escalope is going to find its way to the table often in this house, but her lovely Green Springtime Pierogi with Spinach Kasza and Cheese were over-the-moon good. A big thanks to Quadrille for letting me share the recipe with you! I’ll tell you all about the other dishes we tried after the recipe.

Continue reading “Green Springtime Pierogi with Spinach Kasza and Cheese recipe and cookbook review: Polska by Zuza Zak”

Blintz Soufflé recipe and cookbook review: Little Book of Jewish Feasts by Leah Koenig

#ChronicleBooks #LeahKoenig #LindaPugliese #LittleBookofJewishFeasts #brunch #blintzes #souffle

Leah Koenig’s flavors are amazing! Just delicious! Little Book of Jewish Feasts is just a little bigger than my hand. There are 25 main dishes in it for holidays. There are no sides in it, but she does make some recommendations. The dishes are so special and are pretty easy. Some of her techniques are unusual, but absolutely brilliant for making a dish appropriate for feeding a crowd. We’ve loved everything we’ve tried and totally recommend it!

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Valentine’s Day! Nutella Cheese Ball recipe and cookbook review: Cheese Balls by Dena Rayess

#ChronicleBooks #CheeseBalls #DenaRayess #HeamiLee #Cheese #Dessert #ValentinesDay

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! What to make as a dessert? How about a glorious Nutella cheese ball with big fat juicy strawberries to accompany it! Thank you to Chronicle Books for letting me share the recipe with you!

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Jen’s Smoky, Cheesy, Bacon & Chicken over Spaghetti Squash with Lots of Complementary Vegetables. Mmmmm.

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Hug Day, and my birthday! And yesterday was National Cheese Lover’s Day. Time for a combination of two wonderful things: cheese and smokiness. I fell in love with a pasta dish from a recipe card that came with a Pampered Chef pan years ago, and have adapted it to my taste over the years. It’s pretty distant from the original, but that was the inspiration. Glorious inspiration. I hope you love it!

Continue reading “Jen’s Smoky, Cheesy, Bacon & Chicken over Spaghetti Squash with Lots of Complementary Vegetables. Mmmmm.”

Patty Melt Pretzel Buns recipe and cookbook review: Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles

#HardcoreCarnivore #JessPryles #AgatePublishing @AgatePublishing #carnivore #meat

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Are you a total meat lover? Hardcore Carnivore is an absolutely outstanding celebration of all things meat. Jess Pryles has a great BBQ reputation, but this book is not isolated to, nor emphasizes, BBQ. She approaches each dish individually, and cooks it by whichever method she prefers for that recipe – frying, roasting, baking, grilling, or smoking. The bulk of the book is meat dishes, just as you’d expect, and those are amazing, but don’t underestimate the supporting side dishes she’s got at the end. We loved those, too. This is a delicious book! I’m having trouble putting it down. Continue reading “Patty Melt Pretzel Buns recipe and cookbook review: Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles”

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”

California Dreaming Board recipe and Cookbook review: Platters and Boards. Vegetarian and Flexitarian.

#plattersandboards #shellywesterhausen #chroniclebooks 

You’re a total foodie, you love artful plating, and you’d love to entertain, but you just aren’t into cooking?! I used to turn my head at that “confused dog” angle when I’d hear people say they don’t cook. How do you eat? So many of my friends are foodies that don’t love cooking, though. I found the perfect book for you!!! Platters and Boards.

61WvNwCFZLL._SX364_BO1,204,203,200_There is just so much to love about this book. Entertaining has never been so easy. For each platter, she has *one* recipe to make and the rest is artful, but not fussy, plating. It is the perfect answer for foodies who don’t want to cook. Or me when I just wanna chill on weekends. It reminds me of Donkey in Shrek talking about parfaits, “You know what everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Heck no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious.” I think platters are the same way. Each one is visually appealing. People feel excited when they greet a generous platter. There are so many wonderfully creative platters in here. She’s an idea hamster.

This is my second Shelly Westerhausen book. I love Vegetarian Heartland. She’ll make you cook in that one, thp. She is on the foodie end of the vegetarian spectrum. In this book, she teams up with Wyatt Worcel, and he interjects meaty suggestions for the platters. Basically, everybody’s happy. Continue reading “California Dreaming Board recipe and Cookbook review: Platters and Boards. Vegetarian and Flexitarian.”