Book Review- Power Vegetables by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach

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If you love the ridiculousness that is Lucky Peach there is a good chance you will love Power Vegetables! Turbocharged Recipes for Vegetables with Guts by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach. This book is quirky, silly, but also informative. The  premise of the book is to present easy, weeknight vegetable dishes with real flavor for people looking to eat meals that are more veggie centric. There are no pasta recipes, egg-on-it dishes, or grain bowls. There are plenty of those types of recipes out there in the world right now, and this book wants to be innovative, giving NEW ideas for dinner. That said, there is a note saying most anything in the book (or leftovers!) could be eaten over pasta or as part of a grain bowl. The author’s focus will just be on other things. The book also makes a point to say that from the author’s perspective fish and dairy are ok. While the author wants to show how awesome veggies can be this book is not a super strict “you must eat this way” type of book. Oh, and just in case you are a stickler for produce classification there is a note saying that fruits are vegetables as well. Cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, etc.- all are treated as vegetables for this book. That’s ok with me! Continue reading

Parmesan and black pepper sourdough

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My scoring went wonky again (I’m not surprised. I’ll get there.) but this bread is DELICIOUS. The texture is right, the flavor is right, the dough is only a little bit hard to handle. The crust is crispy and light, the inside is not super open but is definitely moist. I will add this one to my rotation for sure. Recipe below. Continue reading

Book Review- Food52 A New Way to Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

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The new Food52 book, A New Way To Dinner, is beautiful. The cover is heavy duty, the spine is textured, and the pages are not wimpy. The cover and the back are taken up mostly by beautiful food photographs, as befits a cookbook.

A New Way To Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs focuses on menus allowing for the bulk of the cooking to be done over the weekend. This eliminates the weeknight scramble and makes daily dinner preparations much easier. Pre prepping meals like this can help eliminate the accidental take out and going out for dinner nights that we all have as well, potentially helping the reader save money. Continue reading

Sourdough grilled cheese with salami and pickles

Hi friends! Did you know that you can add salami and pickles to grilled cheese? I didn’t! I saw a thing on the facebook page of Bon Appetit (the magazine). It doesn’t really require a recipe, but it did spark an idea.

I also recently learned that you can use mayo on the outside of grilled cheese sandwiches if you’re out of butter. Or if you just want to. There is a flavor change, but it’s pretty minor. The first time I read about that I thought it would make a terrible mess in my pan, but it didn’t. Worked about the same for me!

Pseudo recipe/stacking order

2 slices sourdough coated with butter or mayo on the outsides

thin sliced cheddar cheese

pickles sliced thinly

salami

more thin sliced cheddar cheese

put in a frying pan or on a griddle, cook on each side until golden brown and delicious.

Cut into triangles and serve. Or whichever shape you want, but triangles are better. Or don’t cut it- I’m not going to make you.

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Book review- Soframiz by Ana Sortun & Maura Kilpatrick

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Soframiz by Ana Sortun & Maura Kilpatrick is, like the cover says, a book full of vibrant middle eastern recipes from Sofra Bakery & Café. The recipes are varied, mostly middle eastern with some untraditional ones thrown in (such as earthquake cookies, pumpkin jam, and a few more.) Continue reading

Spelt and white sourdough with honey

My scoring went all wonky with this one too, but I kind of like how it turned out. And the color on the crust is so pretty!

These loaves are a white and spelt sourdough with a bit of honey. I made up my own recipe, which I would share, but the crust turned out really chewy like shoe leather. I’m not sure if it’s got something to do with the recipe I used, the new ingredients, or the fact that I did my second proofing on the counter instead of retarding it in the fridge, but I definitely need to play around with this one a bit. The spelt was nice! Flavor wise at least. And the honey was interesting. It was a little odd to mix in, but the flavor was subtle and I liked it. I will have to add honey to more of my breads and see how it goes.

Book Review- The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread 15th anniversary edition by Peter Reinhart

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Ok, this book is super exciting to me. Peter Reinhart is one of the most respected and commonly heard of names when it comes to bread baking. At least in the research I’ve done. I have checked out the Bread Baker’s Apprentice from the library a few times, but hadn’t gotten around to buying it. I’m kind of glad I waited, because this 15th anniversary edition is updated, albeit slightly, and has some extra info. Continue reading

Country Rye from Chad Robertson’s Tartine

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I’m a little disappointed. I finally got my scoring fairly consistently how I wanted it on my normal, knead forever, high hydration sourdough. Then I started experimenting, and my scoring on the higher hydration doughs are awful. I can’t even tell if I’m getting better or worse. Hopefully it’ll click in my head one of these days. Continue reading

Book Review- All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips

Hi friends! I haven’t blogged in awhile, but I’ve still been doing bread experiments. I swear I’m not going to turn into a cookbook reviewer only, I really do hope to get a chance to write about some of my sourdoughs soon, it just hasn’t worked out recently. I’ve also fell down the Instagram rabbit hole (there are so many pretty bread pictures! Who knew you could get totally inspired by a picture with a small caption? More experiments coming up!) and you can find me here.

Anyway, I recently received a copy of All Under Heaven, Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China in the mail. This is a meaty book! It’s heavy, long (514 pages!) and has such an elegant cover.

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Just look at how simple and beautiful that is!

The inside is a smidge disappointing, I do love colorful food photography and this shows only black and white line drawings, but there’s nothing WRONG with it. The recipes are sorted into chapters by geographical regions, and each chapter begins with some history on that region. There is a lot of good information here! Periodically there are also drawn illustrations with instructions on some of the more difficult or unusual techniques. For example, cutting squid blossoms and filling hakka tamales are explained both visually and by the written word.

Most of the recipes seem fairly approachable, but I’ll be honest, I haven’t cooked anything out of this one yet. The size and heft of the book alone are a little much for me. I am currently flipping through it again to write this review, however, and I’m being reminded that there are some interesting things in here that might be fun to make. If I can dig out of my sourdough place for awhile I will probably try a few.

Short summary- the cover is captivating, there’s lots of history, and a bunch of recipes in here. If this seems like your thing, definitely pick it up and give it a flip through!

Please note that I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.