Jen’s Deconstructed Sushi Bowls

Current mood: Sushi. Because I wanted summertime fresh and easy, I went with deconstructed sushi bowls.

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Jen’s Sweet Goat Cheese Apricots

Need a fabulous and easy party appetizer? Or an Apri-tizer? I’ve got you! Turkish apricots are one of my favorite things.

Jon Bonnell has a restaurant in Ft. Worth called Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, and it is outstanding. Everything. My husband and I have gone for many anniversaries and finally went there for a Christmas week outing with our girls last year. One is the appetizers is Texas Bruschetta – chips instead of bread, of course. It arrives with 4 small things to try, like Texas tapas – Savory herbal goat cheese, avocado and pecan relish (like guac), salsa, and caramelized sweet Texas onions. I’ve been playing with goat cheese dips ever since that first time. Here’s the result.

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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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Rainbow Swirl Bread recipe and cookbook review: Unicorn Food: Magical Recipes for Sweets, Eats, and Treats

#UnicornFood #RachelJohnson #SterlingEpicure #SterlingPublishing #unicorn #rainbow

51i96hVC0TLWhere are my unicorn people? I have the cookbook for you, Unicorn Food: Magical Recipes for Sweets, Eats, and Treats! While my kids LOVED everything we made in this, there are some adults-only recipes, too. This is such a cute book! It’s filled with rainbow food and has both healthy stuff and treats, so it can handle whatever your food mood is.

I’m going to share with you her recipe for Rainbow Swirl Bread. It’s a delicious, traditional, yeasted white bread, just a whole lot more fun! It’s surprisingly easy to make. A huge thanks to Sterling Epicure for letting me share it with you! I’ll tell you all about the rest of the book later, but first, that bread! Continue reading “Rainbow Swirl Bread recipe and cookbook review: Unicorn Food: Magical Recipes for Sweets, Eats, and Treats”

Elevated Party Mix recipe and cookbook review: Savor: Entertaining with Charcuterie, Cheese, Spreads & More by Kimberly Stevens

#KimberlyStevens #Savor #CiderMillPress #party

81G3Cxr1LSLDo you wish you could make all those fabulous gourmet goodies that you buy at a really good deli counter? Savor: Entertaining with Charcuterie, Cheese, Spreads & More is filled with them! She leaves lots of room for customization, so you can make everything your own. Kim Stevens will have foodies inspired to play. Everything we’ve tried has been absolutely delicious. And interesting. This is the book that will make you a cocktail party or picnic hero. Continue reading “Elevated Party Mix recipe and cookbook review: Savor: Entertaining with Charcuterie, Cheese, Spreads & More by Kimberly Stevens”

Christmas in Texas! Refried Bean and Chorizo Tamales recipe and cookbook review: Tamales by Alice Guadalupe Tapp. Stovetop steamer or Instant Pot.

#Tamales #AliceGuadalupeTapp #TenSpeedPress #Christmas #Texas

91oYyB11pFLAll across the state of Texas, tamales and queso are on every Christmas Eve table. I thought I’d start off December with a big tamalefest! I’ve been playing in Alice Guadalupe Tapp’s book, Tamales: Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals. This has been a very fun, yummy experiment, and it gets easier every time. Those fresh, delicious tamales are quite a treat!

I’ll tell you all about the book in a minute, but first, let me share the recipe for Refried Bean and Chorizo Tamales with you! A big thanks to Ten Speed Press for permission! Continue reading “Christmas in Texas! Refried Bean and Chorizo Tamales recipe and cookbook review: Tamales by Alice Guadalupe Tapp. Stovetop steamer or Instant Pot.”

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Orange Chipotle Sauce recipe and Cookbook review: Mexican Dinner Parties

71CP3tIxw+LEver walk out of a good, traditional-style Mexican restaurant and think you wish you could do that at home? I’ve got the book for you, Mexican Dinner Parties!

The author’s mother’s from Mexico and his father’s from Hungary. He grew up in Canada. His mom taught him to cook the family dishes to preserve their family heritage and now the author created this book for his kids as a family heirloom. It’s a charming story for sure, but it makes the book very special in another way. My kids are in the kitchen with me a lot, and they learn so much that way. They get coached and always hear what they’re looking for. The author does that in this book. It shows up mostly in the opening techniques pages. He doesn’t just give you the recipe for tortillas, he shows you photos of what your dough should look like, and also what it shouldn’t look like and why. It has that personal coaching feel. You will absolutely be able to master everything in the book with a little practice. Continue reading “Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Orange Chipotle Sauce recipe and Cookbook review: Mexican Dinner Parties”

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.”