Category Archives: Cookbook

Review: The Vegan 8 by Brandi Doming

The Vegan 8
100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less
by Brandi Doming
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Publication date: Oct. 17, 2018
Genre: Vegan Cookbook

Five years ago, popular blogger Brandi Doming of The Vegan 8 became a vegan, overhauling the way she and her family ate after a health diagnosis for her husband. The effects have been life-changing. Her recipes rely on refreshingly short ingredient lists that are ideal for anyone new to plant-based cooking or seeking simplified, wholesome, family-friendly options for weeknight dinners. All of the recipes are dairy-free and most are oil-free, gluten-free, and nut-free (if not, Brandi offers suitable alternatives), and ideally tailored to meet the needs of an array of health conditions. Each of the 100 recipes uses just 8 or fewer ingredients (not including salt, pepper, or water) to create satisfying, comforting meals from breakfast to dessert that your family—even the non-vegans—will love. Try Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins, Fool ’Em “Cream Cheese” Spinach-Artichoke Dip, Cajun Veggie and Potato Chowder, Skillet Baked Mac n’ Cheese, and No-Bake Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake.


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Review: Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian by Raquel Pelzel

Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian: 100 Recipes for Simple, Satisfying, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven
by Raquel Pelzel
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: Oct. 3, 2017
Genre: Cookbook

The magic of Sheet Pan Suppers is back, bringing its inspired one-pan approach to vegetarians, flexitarians, vegans, those following a gluten-free diet, and everyone who’s interested in adding delicious, meatless meals to their repertoire.

Not only is cooking on a sheet pan incredibly easy and convenient, but it uses three techniques—roasting, baking, or broiling—that intensify flavors, resulting in vegetable-forward cooking that has never tasted so good.

And never has cooking on a sheet pan been so creative. Here’s how to cook pasta in a sheet pan—like No-Boil Mac and Cheese or Orzo with Pan-Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mozzarella. How to cook soups, salads, and stews in a sheet pan—including Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Toasty Croutons, Chickpea and Squash Stew with Crispy Tofu, and Sweet Potato, Arugula, and Pecan Salad. Plus here’s how to make chips (Sesame-Miso Kale Chips), pizzas, pot pies, vegetable braises, risottos, polenta, granola. And desserts, of course, from a Pear Galette to Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Squares to an incredible vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Amazingly convenient, amazingly versatile, amazingly tasty, Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless reinvents plant-based cooking, making it easy for everyone to put vegetables front and center at the family meal.


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Review: Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce by Rachel Rappaport

20763932Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat
By: Rachel Rappaport
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Published: Sept. 30, 2014
Genre: Cookbook

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You know everything tastes better with Frank’s® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce. Pour it on pizza, drizzle it on nachos or douse it over your hot wings. Now discover how delicious it tastes cooked into your food with 65 sizzling recipes, including:

• Cinnamon Cayenne Buns
• Fiery Breakfast Sausage
• Atomic Wings
• Buffalo Fried Oysters
• Spiced Party Mix
• Smoky Hot Bacon Mac & Cheese
• Piquant Bison Chili Dogs
• Sizzling Sesame Noodles
• Zesty Cobb Salad
• Tangy Pineapple Pulled Pork
• Sugar & Spice Peach Crumble


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Review: Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella

18371512Mason Jar Salads and More
50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go
By: Julia Mirabella
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Published: May 20, 2014
Genre: Cookbook

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Discover the coolest way to pack a tasty, healthy lunch! Mason Jar Salads and More shows how to prepare on-the-go meals that are packed with fresh produce and whole foods.

The tasty recipes and gorgeous full-color photos in this book will show you how to create amazing dishes, including:

•Pomegranate and pear salad
•Pesto tortellini with cherry tomatoes
•Crunchy Asian salad
•Spinach, blueberry and blue cheese salad
•Curried chicken salad
•Kale and avocado salad
•Porcini mushroom risotto
•Overnight oatmeal with fruit
•Green bean and feta salad


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Review: The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods by Theresa Marrone

18229888The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods
Preserve Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, and Meat with a Dehydrator, a Kitchen Oven, or the Sun
By: Theresa Marrone
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Cookbook

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Drying is a simple and easy way to preserve fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs. This comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know to get started, whether you are using a dehydrator, your own oven, or the sun. Expert Teresa Marrone thoroughly covers the basic techniques, all the way through storing and rehydrating your dried foods. From apples to watermelon, asparagus to zucchini, basil to beef, you’ll find solid instructions that will ensure great results every time. Marrone also includes recipes for using your dried foods in a wide range of delicious dishes, from pies and cookies to stews and casseroles. There are even instructions for drying fresh pasta and making vegetable snack chips and baby-food purees.

1thoughtsThis is a great how-to for anyone looking to start dehydrating foods. I have been using my dehydrator primarily to make sweet potato and apple chips for my dog but never used it for myself. I had no idea that some fruits/vegetables need extra prep work before you dehydrate them. For instance there are some fruits that you need to blanch in a simple syrup instead of just putting it right in the dehydrator. I did not know this and would’ve done just that, put it in the machine and walk away.

Not only does this tell you how to prep the foods you may use but there are also instructions on how to reconstitute it as well. I’m sure I would have figured it out eventually but there would have been some mistakes along the way. She also gives you recipes where on how to use your dehydrated food. You pretty much learn everything from start to finish with this cookbook.


The one thing that I thought was by far the coolest though is the fact that the book covers different methods of dehydrating. You don’t have to have a dehydrator to utilize the book because it has other options like using your oven or sun drying. It even tells you how to build your own dehydrator. This is definitely a nifty book to have in your back pocket for those of us who are just starting to get into dehydrating.

Review: Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond by Linda J. Amendt

17572498Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond
By: Linda J. Amendt
Publisher: Taunton Press
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Genre: Cookbook

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Breakfast is the favorite meal of the day for millions of Americans, but those with a gluten intolerance are out of luck, since many breakfast foods and baked items have been banned from their diet. They must find gluten-free alternatives or go without. For the rising number of Americans who are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet as a healthy lifestyle and for parents experimenting with gluten-free recipes for their families, they, too, are having to do without.

That disappointment will no longer be the case. In Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond, home cooks will discover a variety of gluten-free recipes for their family’s favorite breakfast foods. From light quick breads, muffins, biscuits and scones to tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee cakes and sweet rolls, this collection of 100 recipes will bring breakfast back to the gluten-free table. A tantalizing array of frittatas, quiches, and breakfast casseroles are perfect for any meal of the day. The recipes in Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond are quick and easy to make and yield delicious, satisfying results.
Recipes for homemade all-purpose flour, crepe batter, pancake batter, sweet roll dough, and biscuit dough will give every gluten-free cook the basics for creating delicious dishes of their own.

In addition to great recipes, Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond will provide cooks with the information they need about gluten-free ingredients, including ingredients to include—and avoid–in their diet and preparing and measuring ingredients. Each recipe chapter will begin with tips to help home cooks create great-tasting gluten-free breakfast specialties to serve from morning to night.


1thoughts I’ve heard this craze over a gluten-free diet sweeping the nation. Not because of dietary needs but just because. So I decided to give this book a shot. I’m a huge gluten eater. Sorry, but I am. I love egg sandwiches in the morning, pb & j for lunch and rolls with my spaghetti dinner. So for me, this was the ultimate test.

I tried the ranch rolls (rolls made with ranch packet seasoning) and although they lacked the ranch flavor (the Mr. and I put ranch dressing ON the rolls themselves) the texture was that of a normal roll. Just wish that it had more of that ranch flavor to it.

Next up, I tried a banana nut muffin recipe when my mom came to visit. Now, my family is always skeptical when I come home and say I’m going to cook them a meal. They claim I always cook some “funky shit”. Granted I did once make tofu fried rice, green eggs and ham (pesto scrambled eggs), and macaroni & cheese with winter squash mashed into the cheese. So I guess I could see their hesitation considering I grew up on meat and potatoes, never casseroles, rarely soup, just meat and potatoes on a plate.  So with that being said, I figured she’d be even more judgmental than I am. That was not the case at all. We loved them. They were good fresh out of the over, I think we ate 3 each that night, they are also great the next day as well. We were eating them all day long. I even gave one to my friend before we went hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, and she couldn’t believe it was gluten-free. I guess I’m not the only one who associated gluten-free with grainy and funky textured.

And lastly I tried the basic waffle recipe. Don’t ask me why, but while I was at work I smelled maple syrup and instantly started craving waffles. Now mind you, I work at the national park visitor center. Not overly sure where the maple syrup smell came from but I’m not questioning it because man were the waffles awesome. I was a little skeptical when I mixed the batter because it was very runny. However, what came out of the waffle iron was light and airy. They had a sweet vanilla flavor to them that I could see myself just putting some butter on them and calling it a day.

This is a great recipe book containing recipes for muffins, breads, waffles and coffee cakes. I like that right in the beginning it gives you a basic recipe for gluten-free AP flour which is basically used in all of the recipes. I wish it had pictures to go with every recipe but the recipes themselves are easy to follow. I still plan on trying out a few more because what I’ve tried have all turned out well, with the exception of the non-ranch tasting ranch rolls. I thought gluten-free was supposed to be gritty and tasteless but this was spot on with the normal stuff, and in some cases, like the waffles, even better. Who knows, I may just convert over to gluten-free with this book.




Since the banana bread was tested by three separate people and passed with flying colors, I’m gonna have to go with the banana bread recipe. It was easy to make, came out great and is a great recipe to have in your back pocket for both a breakfasts at home or to make for events.






Review: Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits by Andrew Schloss

17355265Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits
By: Andrew Schloss
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Published: Oct. 16, 2013
Genre: Cookbook

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What do you get when you add flavors and sweetener to vodka, brandy, whiskey, or rum? Homemade liqueurs! You’ll be delighted by how easy it is to make your own versions of popular brands such as Bailey’s, Triple Sec, and Kahlua, as well as dozens of original flavor combinations.

Andrew Schloss shows you the basic techniques for making a liqueur – typically as simple as combining fruit with liquor and sugar, letting the mixture sit for a week, straining, and enjoying – and then provides more than 150 recipes organized by types of flavoring, which include fruits, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, vegetables, coffee, tea, chocolate, cream, caramel, honey, and butterscotch. Schloss also shows you how to make infused spirits, which are flavored but don’t contain sweeteners.

And finally, he offers 80 recipes for irresistible cocktails you can make with your homemade liqueurs and infused spirits. Cheers!

1thoughtsThis book has a lot of recipes in it. The author not only gives you recipes but takes time in the beginning to go over the basics with you. We get the rundown of what glassware to use, shakers, utensils and he even goes over the simple syrups that you will be using for the recipes. He really broke it all down for you in the beginning before throwing you right into the recipes.

I found a lot of great recipes that I wanted to try but unfortunately wasn’t able to find the ingredients needed. I’m sure you can find them in other areas but with where I live, obtaining items like cacao nibs just isn’t happening unless I order them online. However, a lot of the recipes sounded delicious and I was able to try a few of them with ingredients I was able to find out here. I tried one called Orange Dreamsicle which was a creamy orange vodka and it tasted just like the popsicle. I’d say that one was my favorite.


This is a great book to have on hand if you are interested in creating your own liqueur. Not only is it self gratifying to know that you made it but I think it tastes a lot better compared to the stuff you buy on a shelf that’s been sitting there for who knows how long. It would also be an amazing holiday/housewarming gift to give someone their own custom made liqueur. I’d love to revisit the book again when I’m living in an area with more shopping options available.


1favepartThe recipes. HaHa There were a lot of various recipes and just about all of them sounded amazing.


Review: Waffles by Tara Duggan

Fun recipes for every meal
By: Tara Duggan
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Published: March 13, 2012
Genre: Cookbook

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A collection of 40 recipes that show waffles can be part of any meal. With classic as well as creative options, such as chicken & waffles, waffle sandwiches, and waffle sundaes, this new, beautifully designed and deliciously photographed title proves that waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore.Who can resist the aroma of freshly baked waffles in the morning? Watching with anticipation as thick pats of butter melt into the indentations, before pouring sticky-sweet maple syrup over the top? Or the moment your fork sinks into a stack of waffles, dripping with goodness, and you taste the first bite? With this book, you can re-create these delicious moments and dozens more.
Breakfast isn’t the only time to make good use of your waffle iron. With the recipes to prove it, this book shows just how easy it is to serve waffles for brunch, lunch, dinner—even dessert. Savory waffle sandwiches for a midday meal are a unique spin on classics like PB&J and BLTs. Or, try waffles studded with cheese and spinach or sweet corn and roasted red peppers for dinner. And for dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent chocolate or fruit-filled waffles topped with scoops of ice cream, toasted nuts, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Each recipe includes easy instructions for standard or Belgian waffle makers; some can even be made in a stove top Hong Kong–style waffle maker with delicious results. Filled with tempting full-color photography and lots of batters and toppings to mix and match, you’ll have plenty of inspiration for every occasion.

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Review: Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan

Soup of the Day 
(Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year
By: Kate McMillan
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Published: Jan 31, 2012
Genre: Cookbook

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A colorful, calendar-style cookbook, Soup presents 365 recipes—and daily culinary inspiration— for soups and stews to match any season, occasion, or mood. Lavish photographs and a colorful graphic design add visual appeal to these fresh and fabulous recipes celebrating a favorite dish.ENDLESSLY VERSATILE, soup is perfect for any season and every occasion. What better way to capture the essence of spring than by simmering freshly shelled peas and fava beans in a fragrant broth accented by bracing mint and refreshing lemon zest? In summer, a cool gazpacho made by whirling perfectly ripe tomatoes, juicy cucumbers, and vibrant red peppers is fitting for a hot and humid day—no pot necessary! When the air turns brisk, soup nourishes and satisfies like no other dish. In autumn, white beans mingle with sturdy greens in satisfying, peasant-style pots, and starchy squashes and root vegetables blend into silky purées. Winter brings even more soul-warming fare, such as chilis and stews featuring sausages and other hearty meats and thick vegetable soups scented with woodsy herbs.

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Review: The New Green Smoothie Diet by Hilary Greenleaf

The New Green Smoothie Diet
By: Hilary Greenleaf
Publisher: Self-published
Published: Feb 12, 2012
Genre: Cookbook

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The New Green Smoothie Diet by Hilary Greenleaf talks about the benefits of green smoothies and gives recipes and tips on making them. It goes over detoxifying the body, how to achieve increased energy levels, and how to incorporate green smoothies into a weight loss plan.
The chapters include recipes for
*Weight loss
*Detoxifying the body
*Increase energy
*Fight heart disease
*Prevent certain cancers
*Boost immune system
*Protect against diabetes
*Healthy skin and hair

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