The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year Of Holidays

Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year Of Holidays. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 2103.

SUMMARY:
reedrummondholidaysNew Year’s, Cinco De Mayo, Fourth of July, Easter…all special holidays which deserve extraordinary fare. Dinners, treats, snacks, and drinks for those memorable occasions are included in Ree Drummond’s new cookbook. With her usual hearty recipes, step-by-step directions, gorgeous self-taken photographs and user friendly layout, The pioneer Woman Cooks A Year Of Holidays is a visual delight as well as a recipe bonanza. Some basic, others more classic and yet still more with a bit of pizzazz, the included recipes are delicious, fun, and unforgettable.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Yet again, I absolutely love Ree Drummond and her cookbooks. Beautiful, useful, straight-forward and filled with hearty recipes, this is one of my favorites. Easy to substitute as needed, serve in large quantities, and satisfy even the pickiest, this book is perfect as a gift, personal use or to share with friends and family. As a Pioneer Woman fan already, I knew I would enjoy this book fully. Wonderful!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

The Hostess Twinkies Cookbook

Hostess Brands, LLC. The Hostess Twinkies Cookbook: Twinkies 85th Anniversary Edition: A New Sweet and Savory Recipe Collection from America’s Most Iconic Snack Cake. USA: Ten Speed Press. 2105.

SUMMARY:
TwinkieFilled with a bit of Twinkie history, easy and fun recipes, beautiful photography and tons of childhood memories, The Hostess Twinkies Cookbook features the iconic snack cake in new imaginative ways. From Pigs in a Twinkie, to Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake, to Twinkie Corndog and even Twinkie Sushi, this fun-sized and sweet-themed cookbook is sure to illicit fond recollections from years past to share forward.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Fun!! As a cookbook-fan and a (frozen) Twinkie-lover, I admit to indulging for a brief time with this super-cute book. Though I enjoy my Twinkies pure from the package, I am sure my teenage-son will be more than willing to try some of the included recipes (Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Chocolate-Covered Twinkies). Part nostalgic, part yummy, part iconic, part heartwarming, this updated Twinkies Cookbook is like a warm hug from mom packed in a lunchbox all over again! Enjoyed in moderation with sweet, sentimental memories…priceless!!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Hostess Twinkies Cookbook from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Cookie Love

Segal, Mindy. With Leahy, Kate. Cookie Love: More than 60 Recipes and Techniques for turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary. USA: Ten Speed Press. 2015.

SUMMARY:
cookieloveSwitching paths and following her true passion…cookies…Mindy Segal shares her talent, recipes, personal experiences and delicious outcomes in Cookie Love. Owner of an urban bakery in Chicago, Hot Chocolate, this cookie cookbook is full of exquisite pictures, product information, baking skills and followable directions for making absolutely scrumptious cookies. So inspirational, artistic and motivating!

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
What a beautiful book from an artistic chef who decided to follow her dreams! Though I was a bit intimidated upon first opening this cookbook, I soon applauded Mindy Segal for pursuing her passion of baking to be truly successful and obviously happy. Though not a book for everyone due to the depth of it (some specialized ingredients, piping of cookies, fancier shapes), I found the recipes were easily adaptable to a home-kitchen baker like me. Seriously, there are some great recipes in here…Hot Fudge Thumbprints, Blondie Butterscotch S’Mores, Shortbread…and even Pumpkin cookies for dogs! So glad I did not gloss over this cookbook and dismiss it too quickly, I actually thoroughly appreciated the story behind the book as well as everything contained within this wonderful cookbook.

RATING:

4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Cookie Love from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Midwest Sweet Baking History

Lewis, Jenny. Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan. Charleston, SC: The History Press. 2011.

SUMMARY:
bakinghistoryTravel back in time with author Jenny Lewis and discover how different ingredients, styles and traditions of many immigrants, entrepreneurs and chefs helped create the baking history of the Midwest. Full of pictures, delicious recipes and interesting history, Midwest Sweet Baking History helps demonstrate and explain how baking today emerged.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though not always a  fan of studying history, I do like the interesting tidbits on history, especially such relevant history as baking. I found the information included on the businesses very intriguing (the Kellogg Company, Hostess Brands, Karo Syrup), the simple yet delicious recipes enjoyable (Elephant Ears, Biscotti,Crullers), and the specific history of items to be compelling (Civil War Tastes, Flavorings, Fruits). Coupled with older pictures, I appreciated the timeline of the book showing the inventions, changes and generations of baking in the Midwest. Interviews with business owners from the past are also very engaging. Put together quite nicely with lots of fascinating information on a subject I fancy (baking).

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Midwest Sweet Baking History from The History Press for my honest review*

Bread Revolution

Reinhart, Peter. Bread Revolution: World-class Baking with Sprouted & Whole Grains, Heirloom Flours & Fresh Techniques. Ten Speed Press: Crown Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
breadCooking, baking and even breads have evolved in so many different ways, it can be hard to stay up-to-date. Taking the turmoil out of baking bread, Peter Reinhart offers helpful advice for both beginners and experienced bakers. Full of explanations, definitions, suggestions, and pictures, Bread Revolution will change the way you bake bread and how you view yourself as an accomplished chef…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Being newer to the bread-making scene, I was excited to find a book to make the process healthier while successful. With explanations of different grains, flours and techniques, I was able to decipher what I wanted to use while choosing my desired outcome for the bread. Though not a book for everyone, I found this book very educational albeit a bit involved for the average cook. Actually making a few of the recipes though intrigued me to further investigate other methods, tools, ingredients and recipes. A beautiful book for a bread enthusiast, a natural baker or pastry chef; although, sure to delight even a beginner baker with an interest and available time to explore the recipes..

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Bread Revolution from Blogging for Books for my honest review*

Stones for Bread

Parrish, Christa. Stones for Bread. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 2013.

SUMMARY:
breadLiesl McNamara loves bread. For as long as she can remember, bread has been a part of her life. After following her dream, she opens a bread shop named “Wild Rise”. But soon her life is turned upside down by new employees, unexpected friendships and being featured on the Cooking Channel. Liesl must make choices that will change her life forever. In order to proceed forward, she must trust God and those around her. Is it possible?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
This novel is beautifully written. Parrish mixes in historical context about bread, provides in- depth perspectives of her characters and creates a story that holds the reader captive. Liesl’s passion for bread becomes evident as the reader moves through the story. For those who love to bake as well as read, they will delight in the recipes that are included in the book. Who knows…you might just be inspired! I look forward to reading more from Christa Parrish.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Stones for Bread from BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson for my honest review*