Category Archives: Cookbook Review

Around Here

Ellie spotted these ice skaters and after a few short minutes of watching tried to walk out on to the ice. Needless to say, we had to leave before she had any other big ideas.

I have been cooking from this non-stop since getting it for Christmas. Making lunch has always stumped me, but this cookbook makes it simple. Catherine McCord’s recipes are easy, quick and inventive. Weelicious Lunches is full of kid-friendly recipes adults can feel good about eating.

A few weekends ago, Ellie and I headed to Emporia without Keegan. He was tasked with switching the little one’s room with my office. Her room has shared a wall with our living room, and after watching TV for over a year at a barely audible volume, it was time for a change.

Whenever I’m in town, I try to swing by one of my favorite spots in Emporia the Sweet Granada. If you find yourself there, you should definitely check it out.

The room I stay in while at home has a wall full of books. Tucked in one corner are some of my favorites from childhood.

I had forgotten all about this children’s book until I started flipping through it. I remember trying to decide which character I wanted to be.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day early at Collection, Celina Tio’s new restaurant. It was fantastic. I wanted to eat everything on the menu. If you go, be sure to get the warm cookies as your dessert.

My littlest Valentine and I went to Dolce Bakery for a quick cupcake. It is one of my favorite places to go with Ellie. Here she is checking out her fellow customers.


Cookbook Review: The Food Matters Project

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So, this month I tackled Mark Bittman’s cookbook, The Food Matters Project and am completely obsessed. It is an amazing book that has given me some great tips and taught me a lot about food. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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If you’re not familiar with Bittman, he is a prolific food writer who’s written several huge cookbooks. This particular one focuses on eating more whole grains, veggies and fruits, while limiting meat. He doesn’t ask you to give up meat, but rethink how much of it you eat as a serving. He believes this way of eating will improve your health and the planet. It’s the kind of common sense nutritional advice that always has me slapping my forehead. I mean, we all know what we’re supposed to eat, but I have a hard time figuring out what to make. That’s where this cookbook really shines. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Nigella Kitchen

This month, I’ve been cooking my way through the cookbook Nigella Kitchen. I’m a huge fan of Nigella Lawson and have been for many years. I adore her cooking show and was excited to dive in to this one.


If you’re not familiar with her, here she is looking as beautiful as always.

I don’t know if it was the decadence of the holidays or what, but I wasn’t really in the mood for this cookbook. So, after a month of working my way through this, I have to tell you it wasn’t one of my favorites. The way it’s organized made it a little difficult to navigate, and she uses a lot of ingredients that I have a hard time finding, like smoked chorizo. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

I’ve been a fan of the blog Smitten Kitchen for a long time. Deb’s recipes are always fantastic. Her attention to detail and quest to find the perfect version of a meal means that any time I cook her food I’m floored with the fantastic results.


When I heard she was coming out with a cookbook, I waited and waited. And waited. It was released at the end of October this year, and I snatched it up immediately.

Let me start by saying, the photography is beautiful. The book is divided into seven sections: Breakfast; Sandwiches, Tarts, and Pizzas; The Main Dish: Vegetarian; The Main Dish: Seafood, Poultry, and Meat; Sweets; and Party Snacks and Drinks. I tried to make something from each, but missed a few.


I ended up made the following recipes:

  • Fingerlings Vinaigrette with Sieved Eggs and Pickled Celery
  • Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans
  • Slow-Cooker Black Bean Ragout
  • Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Queso Fresco
  • Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Rosemary
  • Buttered Popcorn Cookies
  • Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

In particular, I liked the crispy treats, kale salad and bean ragout. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: The Homesick Texan

Happy Halloween everyone!

This month, I’ve been cooking my through The Homesick Texan, Lisa Fain’s cookbook. Lisa is a New York transplant who shares her love of Texan cuisine through her blog, The Homesick Texan. Her cookbook came out a year ago, and I’ve had it on my shelf for about that long. I’d made a few items out of it, but hadn’t really cooked much from it. I chose this cookbook for October, because I thought it’s hearty Tex Mex fare would be perfect for crisp fall days and football season.

If you’re not familiar with her blog, here’s Lisa:

Cookbooks that feature a specific cuisine seem to get the least use in my kitchen, which is kind of silly. I always think of them for entertaining as opposed to regular life. It doesn’t make much sense, and after cooking out of this book, I’ve discovered some recipes that are favorites. The dishes in this cookbook are familiar and hearty and will fit in well with your day-to-day life. Continue reading