Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cookbook reviews

So for the past two months, I have pulled a cookbook off of my shelf and cooked all of our meals from it for the month...so I thought I would post about the two I have done.
For May, I cooked from "It's All American Food" by David Rosengarten. It is funny, I bought this book YEARS ago because I saw the author on tv and he cooked one recipe...which EVERYONE LOVED...but other than that recipe, I had never made anything out of it before. So I made list after list until I had my menu plan in one hand and my grocery list in the other.
Here is what we LOVED:
Philly Cheesesteaks- I made, but did not "GET" the cheesesteak loaf...maybe you have to be in Philly to get it...save yourself the trouble and buy buns of some sort. Also, about the Velveeta...I would recommend using less than the recipe says.
Potstickers-GOOD, but VERY time consuming!
The Fried Chicken was good, but I would RECOMMEND using shortening or oil, not lard
The Carolina Pulled Pork Shoulder BBQ with 2 sauces was VERY GOOD...I liked it with the No. Carolina vinegar sauce, my hubby LOVED the South Carolina Mustard BBQ sauce (I didn't try that one)

What we didn't like:
The refried beans...too hammy...
Corn Dogs-not what we were expecting
The Epic 4 hour Tomato gravy/sauce- EPIC FAIL
Chicken Chow Mein-Dana liked this...the rest of us didn't
REAL Texas Chili

Many of these recipes included ingredients that were hard to find, like the rind of a pecorino Romano Cheese, and pork bones...many had HUGE ingredient lists with SPECIAL ingredients like Pho with dark and light soy sauce, fish sauce, whole star anise, etc...many of the recipes took A LONG TIME TO PREPARE or needed a special process...like bbq with wood chips on a certain side of a charcoal grill with a liquid below, etc...So overall, I think that this would be a great cookbook to see if you could try at the library before you buy it...There are enough recipes in here that we enjoyed and still want to try, that I will keep the cookbook, but now I know, this is for a special meal, not the Tuesday Special...and wanna know THE recipe that got me to buy the book in the first place? Boiled Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail...welll I have never made it into cocktail...just when we want to eat cooked shrimp (the large kind)...the recipe is on pg. 417. My family LOVES these!

The next cookbook is much MORE MY style..."Don't Panic, More Dinner's in the Freezer" by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell, and Bonnie Garcia which is our June cookbook (And since we are really just beginning, it will cover most of July too!). We have only had a couple of recipes out of this cookbook, but I can just tell...this is gonna be good!
So, over the course of about 4 days, we shopped, chopped, cooked and froze about 40 meals...maybe about 16 different recipes...and now I have a freezer full of dinners...
What looks VERY GOOD...
The 4 Cheese Italian Minestrone looks AMAZING
The Sausage Tortellini soup looks good...I think the tortellini should have been added when you are going to prepare the soup though...
Baked Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese has already been tried and is a keeper...this recipe made more than we thought it would, so we got and extra dinner out of it!
The Buffalo Chicken Soup sounded so good...I am not sure about it though...so we will see.
The Clam Chowder looks DELICIOUS...I never have frozen a cream based soup before, so that is making me a little nervous!
Beef Tacquitos- My husband REALLY LOVED THE MEAT FILLING...we haven't tried them all rolled up
Parmesan Garlic Chicken- This recipe made CONSIDERABLY LESS than expected
Santa Fe Chicken Nachos- I had tried this recipe before (as Nachos) and liked the flavor, but the chips were soggy...really ruining it for all of us. So we put this filling into tortillas and made burritos out of it and REALLY enjoy it that way!
Cinnamon Bread Souffle...SO GOOD! Like a french toast casserole
Elliot's Gourmet Burgers- Looks SO yummy! May not be for picky eaters though!

So far, I am really pleased with this cookbook and would heartily recommend it!

Enjoy!
C~



1 comment:

Lynn said...

Oh, Carrie, I had to laugh at this:

The Epic 4 hour Tomato gravy/sauce- EPIC FAIL

Yep, I have had epic recipe failures too. One comes to mind--a several hour attempt at something with chicken and lime in it. I think every single utensil in the kitchen was dirty. I was almost too tired to eat. And it was gross. My then-new husband and I just looked at each other. Never again...

Thanks for the inspiration. I really must cook more!

Lynn