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THE SELF TAUGHT COOK
5 Stars Out Of 5
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MOP TO USE THIS BOOK!
August 17, 2012
THE SELF TAUGHT COOK
Food Family Style is primarily a cookbook written for MOPS, which turns out to be Moms of Preschoolers. It's been years since I was a MOP; now I'm a GOB (Grandmother of Baby). But GOBs have to eat, too, so I happily agreed to review this cookbook. I assumed that any cookbook written for mothers (I cannot continue to say MOPs) would contain easy recipes with normal ingredients and I was not disappointed. Just because we're slightly middle-aged doesn't mean that we've developed into the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child. As the principle cook in the house, I still appreciate simple recipes, and as the wife of a veggie-hater (apparently some people never outgrow that) I am always on the outlook for ways to slip those veggies over on him. To be honest, cooking for my husband is like cooking for a gray-haired five-year old. But enough about us. On to the cookbook!
Chapters included are:
Kids in the Kitchen
Snacks and Beverages
Sandwiches, Burgers, and Pizza
Soups and Salads
Menus for Special Occasions
Back to Basics
We sampled several recipes and loved all of them. Now, this cookbook does not have pictures, and neither does my review, and I suspect it's for the same reason. These recipes, while very good, are not what I consider Kodak moments. Some foods just don't "snap" well. They're real foods for real people. I consider that a compliment, BTW.
One of the first recipes we tried was the Cajun Pork Chops on p. 174. Very good, very simple, and the really cool thing is the note that says the seasoning is also great for fish fillets.
With the chops, I served the Bacon Squash Saute on p. 196. Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables, and really, who doesn't love bacon?!? Enough said.
From there, we went to the Honey-Lemonade Chicken on p. 135. It tasted good, but Jorge wanted it to "look" different. I don't know; I'll play with that one until it looks to suit him, because it was SUPER easy. HINT: I used Wal-Mart's Great Value brand frozen lemonade concentrate to cut costs.
With the chicken, we had the Easy Green Beans on p. 202. This was a winner because Jorge doesn't like green beans, and he ate them happily. So, if you have a picky five year-old or a middle-aged man with a bad diet, bookmark this page.
And last but certainly not least, my absolute favorite vegetable is asparagus. So, when I saw the recipe on p. 210 for Roasted Balsamic Asparagus, I had to try it. I'm going to post it here, as a teaser for the book.
ROASTED BALSAMIC ASPARAGUS
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
4 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and arrange asparagus in a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle olive oil over asparagus and roll gently to coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Toss roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper; serve immediately. Serves 6.
Can you tell I loved reviewing this cookbook? It's 5 stars, or 5 wooden spoons, or something like that.
"Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
I LOVE cookbooks! Anything that can provide me with new menu ideas and great recipes, I am on it! "Food Family Style" is very well organized! It also shares which recipes can be doubled or reduced for less calories and fat. You will find Vegan options and even recipes that will allow your kids to come and help you. Leigh also provides "Conversation Starters," which is great for either dinner time or just hanging out in the kitchen while dinner is being prepared!
I decided to do a quick and easy desert and also asked my 15 year old Son to make this recipe with me. We made Mexican Cinnamon Crisp Sundaes. Anytime your children put their arm around you and say "This was fun Mom" it is sooo precious but when they are 15, it is that and so much more :)
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. Sugar
4 flour tortillas, cut into 1/2 in. strips
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 pint ice cream
1/2 c. fudge sauce
Melt butter and sugar in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tortilla strips and cook until crisp, turning several times, about 5 min. Transfer to paper towel & sprinkle w/cinnamon.
Scoop ice cream into bowls and top with warmed hot fudge and cinnamon tortilla strips.
They are sooo YUMMY! The only problem I had was that the paper towel stuck to the tortilla strips when placed on for cooling, which was a bit frustrating. I will definitely make these again but will probably use something else next time.
I look forward to coooking more recipes out of "Food Family Style!" I give this a 4 out of 5 â™¥'s :)
Thank you Donna @ Revell Publishing for allowing me this complimentary copy of this cookbook in exchange for my honest review!
Spending time with family is important and what better way to spend this time than in preparing and sharing a meal together. Food Family Style has a wide ranging assortment of recipes. Breakfast to dinner. Dessert to a new favorite drink.
Spending time with your children provides a stability that endures throughout their lifetime. Mealtime is the perfect forum to discus and listen. As an extension preparing meals together is an opportunity to learn and share together.
Chapter 5 is devoted to what you can talk about at the family table. With an assortment of 50 questions you're sure to have an enlightening dinner as you discover something new about each other.
Food Family Style even has a section for kid friendly recipes, so your younger members can create as well. There are recipes that are appropriate for those on a restrictive diet (gluten free or vegetarian). If your schedule is especially busy there are recipes that can be doubled, freeze well, and slow cookers.
For this review I required to make one recipe from this cookbook. Not an easy decision, but I used the weather to help narrow down my decision. With the unusual heat streak having taken hold of the Midwest and a family birthday celebration the Frozen Peach Lemonade was my recipe of choice. And was it a hit at the birthday party! The drink was very frothy and refreshing and was so well received I have agreed to make it again for future family celebrations!
Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. There were no expectations placed on this review other than to use at least one of the recipes.
When it comes to the kitchen, I love easy. And fast. And stuff that doesn't include ingredients that I need to go shopping for. The Food Family Style Cookbook is a book filled with recipes that are just that: easy, fast, simple and common ingredients.
Like most cookbooks, it is divided into segments. This one includes:
~Kids in the Kitchen
~Snacks and Beverages
~Sandwiches, Burgers, Pizza
~Soups and Salads
~Menus for Special Occasions
~Back to Basics
As you can see there are more than just recipes in the book! I liked the little quotes at the beginnings of each chapter too. For example, to kick of the dessert section the author quoted Bill Cosby (who doesn't love that man?) as saying, "Dad is great. He gives us chocolate cake."
The book is further organized by using code symbols: doubles easily, freezes well, gluten free, healthful, MOPs favorite, slow cooker, and vegetarian. I appreciate that because I can look at a glance to find what I'm looking for within each section without having to read through the recipe.
I have dog eared and am trying recipes throughout this book. The most recent one was for Honey Lemonade Chicken which was really good. Perfect for hot summer days.
Honey Lemonade Chicken
6 oz lemonade or limeade concentrate, thawed
1/4 C honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (I used chicken breast tenders)
Preheat oven to 350, and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. To easily mix the liquids without the lemonade thickening the honey, place the baking dish with the 4 liquid ingredients in the oven while it is preheating, then remove dish and stir ingredients together. Place chicken in dish, and turn to coat. Bake 15-20 min, until chicken is no longer pink. Serve over rice.
I give this cookbook a 2 thumbs up. For busy families or just families that has a mom who doesn't want to spend any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary, this cookbook is a great addition.
This book was given to me to review from Revell Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not paid to do this review. All opinions are my own.