Vibrant India

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Agrawal, Chitra. Vibrant Idnia: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Using seasonally fresh and healthy ingredients, chef Chitra Agrawal shares her South Indian family recipes for hearty yet light meals. With an introduction to Indian cooking, plenty of vegetarian ingredients and versatile options, this beautiful new cookbook also includes sample menus, grocery lists, Indian cooking techniques and tips, and explanations of the focused spices. Paired with appealing photography and pretty artwork, Vibrant India certainly does a complete task of celebrating the Indian culture and fare.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With a strong interest in trying Indian cooking, this newest cookbook arrived for the perfect opportunity. As a complete novice to this type of cooking, this book was thoroughly helpful while producing delicious results for me. Finding the information on spices intriguing and manageable, not only will I continue to incorporate the recipes into my menus, but also the methods into my everyday cooking. Lemon Peanut Rice, Summer Squash in Herby Coconut Yogurt, Chickpea Salad with Summer Vegetables and Avocado…I cannot wait to use the Farmer’s Market for these recipes. Healthy, bright, and interesting…the perfect combination!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Vibrant India from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

The Book of Greens

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Louis, Jenn. With Squires, Kathleen. The Book of Greens: A Cook’s Compendium. New York, NY: Ten Speed Press Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
With the purpose of bringing new greens into everyday meals, chef Jenn Louis takes the mystery and anxiety of new vegetables out of the forefront by explaining the nutrition, history, seasonality, and usage ease of many greens. Paired with 175 new recipes, an alphabetical index, scattered photographs, and tons of inspiration, The Book of Greens is a reference guide for the home cook.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already receiving notice this book was about to debut, I couldn’t wait to use it during the beginning of Farmer’s Market season. Trying to break out of the usual vegetable and greens groove, this beautiful and useful cookbook will definitely help me reach that goal. Full of everyday items and ingredients, this encyclopedia-type book is as interesting and charismatic as it is beneficial and valuable. Absolutely a book I will refer to repeatedly, my family can look forward to new entrees, sides and desserts centered around delicious greens.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Book of Greens from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Make It Yours

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Schmidt, Christine. Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours: Patterns and Inspirations to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your Stuff. New York, USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Cookies, furniture, accessories, pillows, pictures…they can all be stenciled, stamped and customized to reflect your personal style. Whether for your own home or as a gift for someone special, Make It Yours not only helps you do it with ease but also provides the necessary information to succeed. With included stencil templates, loads of ideas, well organized directions, material information and oodles of creativity, artist and founder of Yellow Owl Workshop, Christine Schmidt, shares her knowledge and passion in an inventive and inspirational manner.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Encased in a sturdy paperback book with lots of photographs, I found this book to be of high quality. Though not my favorite genre of crafting, even I was inspired to try a few of the items as customized accessories for my home. Absolutely perfect for the person who is a novice as well as the more advanced, Make It Yours would be a wonderful gift. Using paint, clay, dye, ink and a variety of other mediums, items such as chairs, clutches, envelopes, tiles, shoes, and flower pots are decorated. This book makes it easy to get in touch with your creative side.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Make It Yours from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Dinner

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Clark, Melissa. Dinner: Changing the Game. New York: USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
With the premise that each included recipe is meant to be a complete dinner by itself, author Melissa Clark shares delicious recipes, easily obtained ingredients, well organized directions, and beautiful photography in her new book, Dinner. Organized into categories, each recipe includes a personal thought, smart cooking tidbits, and lots of menu variety. Effortlessly able to be made and served, dinner is solved…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Definitely a spectacular looking cookbook, the recipes are simple though not necessarily what I was anticipating. Full of more ethnic recipes than I expected, this book is sure to tempt our palates and widen our tastes. While I may need to substitute a few ingredients (due to personal preference and healthy diet restrictions), I actually cannot wait to try several of the meal ideas. Under the basis of each recipe being complete, I did find either a salad or loaf of bread would complement the dinners perfectly. With many of the recipes accompanied by stunning photographs, this cookbook would make a wonderful gift for busy families, newlyweds, empty-nesters and cookbook lovers.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

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

One Pan & Done

Featured

Gilbert, Molly. One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals From The Oven To Your Table. New York, USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2017.

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SUMMARY:
Food blogger, former private chef and cooking instructor, and author of Sheet Pan Suppers and now her new book, One Pan & Done, Molly Gilbert helps keep it efficient, uncomplicated and delicious. With the goal of assembling (most) dishes right in the pan or pot, many recipes come complete with easy to follow directions, photographs and a personal story. Using items commonly found in a home pantry and either a baking sheet, a cast iron skillet, a dutch oven, a baking dish or a muffin/ cake tin, the prep is easy and the outcome delectable.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Arriving just in time for dinner, I chose a recipe from the book and had dinner made in no time (Quick Chicken Pot Pie). Though I tweaked a few ingredients due to my family’s taste and health preference, not only was supper savory and satisfying but quick to put together and resulting in very few dishes (yeah). Perhaps not full of elegant fare but definitely hearty and fulfilling meals, I may just find myself hooked on this new trend of cooking. With a new baking sheet on order and a grocery list ready, this is one book that will be used often in my kitchen.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of One Pan & Done from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

A New Way To Dinner

Hesser, Amanda. Stubbs, Merrill. Food 52: A New Way To Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead. New York, USA: Ten Speed Press. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
With busyness surrounding us everywhere, everyone could use some help…especially when it comes to dinner. Authors and co-founders of Food 52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, set up dinner for each week with seasonal favorites, a grocery list, full weekday meals, complete recipes and accompanying photographs. With the premise of making a week full of meals on the weekend before, there are also informational tidbits, personal stories, additional recipes for the included ingredients and cooking helps. Printed on sturdier paper in a well organized manner, A New Way To Dinner may make life a bit easier and definitely more delicious…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
What a useful cookbook! With fresh recipes according to seasons, Food 52: A New Way To Dinner is a beautiful book sharing the necessities of cooking for the week on Sundays. Following the full menus is easy with creative recipes full of inventive recipes yet common fare. Perfect for busy families, traveling couples or retired seniors, it would make a wonderful gift as well as kept for personal use. Ease and innovation paired.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A New Way To Dinner from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Pure Delicious

Christo, Heather. Pure Delicious: More than 150 Delectable Allergen-Free Recipes. New York, NY: Pam Krauss Books. 2016.

puredelicious

SUMMARY:
Living with allergies affecting members of her family, Heather Christo, chef, caterer and creator of Heathermade, a line of allergen-free baked goods, shares her expertise and knowledge in her newest book, Pure Delicious. Paying close attention to ingredients yet not neglecting taste in the least, this perfectly organized, user-friendly, photograph-filled cookbook makes eating healthy, allergen-free, and tasty enjoyable and easy. With soups and salads, various sides, pizza and burgers, main dishes and delectable desserts, this book is sure to please most any palate, even those with dietary restrictions.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though my family does not have any food allergies, this cookbook was adorned with healthy recipes for everyone, beautiful pictures of most creations, cooking tips, and personal messages from the author. Easy to adapt to my family’s preferences, the ingredients are mostly well known and easily found in the market and/ or grocery store. With clear directions and tempting photos, perhaps the only thing missing is the nutritional value of each recipe. Pasta Verde, Sweet Potato Granola, Applesauce Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts and Veggie Summer Rolls with Spicy Sunflower Butter Dipping Sauce were my favorites.  Dinner is served!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Pure Delicious from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Modern Potluck

Donnelly, Kristin. Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food To Share. New York, USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2016.

modernpotluck

SUMMARY:
Certainly not your typical church-potluck cookbook, Modern Potluck brings the potluck supper current. With a modern trend toward sustainability, more vegetable and plant-based items in meals, and an open inclusion of food from around the world, food writer and recipe developer, Kristin Donnelly, shares her contemporary reinvention of the potluck supper. Included with the recipe instructions, there are also hints and tips, accompanying photographs, and personal briefings on each recipe. From snacks, dips and drinks, to salads, main dishes and sides, the recipes and ingredients span slow-cooked meals, casseroles, sauces, and of course, sweets.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the modern manner of eating changes, so too, must the cookbooks. As a result, author Krisitn Donnelly takes the stereotypic potluck suppers into the present stage of cooking. With added vegetables, less processed foods, creative ingredients, additional seasonings as well as family friendly options with ease, Modern Potluck looks and cooks differently. Allowing for special-diet options (gluten-free, vegan, low sodium), these recipes are easily adaptable to any lifestyle, needs and preferences. Favorites recipes? Green Things and Potato Salad (potatoes, asparagus, and sugar-snap peas in lemon sauce) and Sweet-Spicy-Salty Snack Mix (popcorn, rice cakes, pumpkins seeds and sunflower seeds in a delicious sauce). Absolutely a book I will use often and recommend.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

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

Food With Friends

Cyd, Leela. Food With Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings. New York: USA. Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2016.

*foodwithfriends

SUMMARY:
In a simple yet special compilation of sweets and treats for gatherings with family and friends, author, cook and photographer Leela Cyd shares her collected recipes from childhood and many travels. With an emphasis on food that looks and tastes good, healthy food is also a component of several of the recipes. With beautiful photographic artistry and tasty ingredients, Foods With Friends is the perfect accompaniment to those memorable get-togethers, both simple and elegant…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though many of the full recipes were a bit beyond my time limits due to busyness, I did find several tidbits to try and/ or add to recipes. A few of the included recipes are ones I will definitely add to my weekend menus (Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Blood Orange and Feta Stacks, Purple Cauliflower Hummus, Chard Empanadas with Pistachio Crema). Perfect as a gift, a planner for a bridal/ baby shower, or a casual gathering of friends, this inventive, creative cookbook is one to impress yet enjoy.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies.

*I received a complimentary copy of Food With Friends from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook

Wilson, Sarah. The I Quit Sugar Cookbook: 306 Recipes For A Clean, Healthy Life. USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2015.

iquitsugarcookbook

SUMMARY:
As an accompaniment to the New York Times bestseller, I Quit Sugar, author Sarah Wilson shares her deliciously healthy recipes for clean, healthy, whole eating. Including simple ideas (Kale Flakes), appetizers (Orange and Thyme Rainbow Chips), super lunches (Clean Bitters Bowls), hearty dinners (Sweet Potato Nachos) and satisfying desserts (Mug Cakes), The I Quit Sugar Cookbook ensures robust but healthful meals. With lots of personal commentary, ideas and suggestions along with easy to follow, complete directions, this new cookbook is thorough. The photography of many of the recipes only enhances the book even more…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a thicker, oversized, glossy-paged, beautifully photographed, choke-full cookbook of healthy recipes, this has to be one of my favorite cookbooks in the kitchen. Admittedly, I may not use every ingredient found within the recipes; however, they are easy enough to swap due to personal preferences of taste. (Sorry, no to sardines!) I have found many easy, truly healthy ways to improve my meals and snacks (Broccoli Bites and Skillet Fish With Superslaw are two of the best). Absolutely a book to gift as well as keep!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

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