Archive of ‘Book Reviews’ category

Molasses Caramel Cake + Review of Food 52’s “Baking”

This cake tastes like winter. I’m writing this as I look out the window at bright skies and a forecast of 50-plus degrees here in Michigan this weekend, but I made this a couple days ago when there was still snow on the ground and the sun was nowhere to be found. 

But this cake is the ultimate wintertime dessert. It’s cozy, served toasty in a cast iron skillet. Top it with some whipped cream or a rich scoop of ice cream for a supreme comfort-food experience. Use it to warm yourself up on a cold day!

molasses caramel cake.2The spices only add to the caramel decadence: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves…  (more…)

GF Cinnamon Cake + “A Modern Way to Cook” Review

This recipe has been in storage for a while, mostly because it’s the first video I have made for this blog and it took me a while to put it all together. Luckily, I had good footage and an amazing baking assistant (thanks Morgan!!), so hopefully you will enjoy this video! 

This gluten-free cinnamon cake is loosely based off a recipe from Anna Jones’ cookbook A Modern Way to Cook. I improvised a bit, using garbanzo beans instead of cannellini and all-purpose gluten free flour instead of almond flour. The result was great: a hearty, yet tasty and sweet cinnamon cake.GF Cinnamon Cake.1

A Modern Way to Cook is a thick, 300+ page cookbook filled with tons of inventive recipes and vibrant pictures. The book is mostly not desserts, but is filled with vegetarian recipes with a focus on wholesome eating. (more…)

Chocolate Snacking Cake + Fika Review

When it comes to cake, it really is no question that chocolate wins as the best flavor ever. Plus, there are so many different varieties and options when it comes to chocolate that it is impossible for a person not to find something they love.chocolate snacking cake.5

For me, just about any well-prepared chocolate recipe will do, but I think this one deserves a special place in my kitchen. To make this recipe, the eggs were whipped an extra amount, leaving the cake super light and spongy. The chocolate ganache adds richness to the cake, and the coconut adds another layer of flavor.IMG_4337

The recipe was adapted from a book called fika by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall. “Fika” is the Swedish coffee break and this book is full of recipes that will go great with an afternoon cup. (more…)

Golden Yogurt Cake + Yogurt Cookbook Review

Technically, summer doesn’t end until September 22nd, and summer berries are still at the grocery stores, so I’d say that now is as good a time as ever to take advantage.

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And if you decide to make this cake after berries have long gone out of season, don’t worry! This can be served with any of your favorite fruits, or you could even make a berry syrup from frozen berries. IMG_4258

But really, the fruit is just a side note. This cake here is the star of the show. It’s soft and spongy, due to a generous serving of yogurt in its batter. It’s also got a sweet, buttery, citrusy flavor to it. Basically, it’s a perfect coffee cake to have on any occasion. (more…)

Eggplant Rice Bowls + Salad Love Review

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Eggplant Rice Bowls: Unless you often make vegetables your main course, you probably haven’t tried this combination. The bowl has rice on the bottom (seasoned to your liking), a thick layer of eggplant cooked with onions and green beans, and is topped with sweet potato, to even out the flavors.

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It’s not exactly what I’d consider a salad, but the recipe is based off one found in Salad Love by David Bez. Maybe what makes this a salad is the fact that it has a dressing — olive oil infused with crushed red pepper. (more…)

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies + Cookie Love Review

Earlier this summer we gained new neighbors, but our street’s pretty quiet and my family and I hadn’t had a chance to meet the new kids on the block until this past week. Luckily for this family, I’m a baker and every time anyone new moves in nearby, they’re greeted with some kind of fresh pastry delivered to their doorstep.

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These neighbors really lucked out with these chocolate crinkle cookies. They’re similar to brownie cookies, with their slightly crunchy exterior and soft and fudgy center, but they’ve also got a coating of powdered sugar baked into them. This amazing concoction is adapted from a recipe from the book Cookie Love.

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Though the book is based on one of the most basic things you can bake, cookies are also one of the most versatile and adaptable pastries out there. They can be as simple as a three-ingredient shortbread, or as complex as Cookie Love’s cover photo of spiced double-chocolate cookies (and even more complex if you decide to make the marshmallows from scratch). (more…)

Lemon Meringue Tart + The Perfect Egg Cookbook Review

I’m a huge fan of lemon meringue pie, but it seems like it’s very difficult to buy it well-made. I’ve tried freezer-section versions and “fresher” grocery store versions, but nothing out there that I’ve tried seems to come even close to a homemade version.

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But this isn’t quite lemon meringue pie. Instead, it’s a lemon curd tart. It’s a lot like a lemon meringue pie, but the filling is much more flavorful and rich. It’s creamy and sweet and smooth and tart and sour all at the same time. It isn’t topped with a mountain of meringue, like most of the pies normally are, but just a light dollop. Instead of a pie crust, you’ve got two options with this tart: shortbread crust or almond crust.

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I made this a couple weeks ago when we had some guests over for dinner, and I’m often a bit apprehensive about making something new when we have guests, but this recipe did not disappoint! I was glad I made two tarts because everyone asked for seconds and the dessert was gone in no time. (more…)

Kale White Bean Stew + Clean Slate Cookbook Review

 

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Before it gets too hot outside, be sure to try out this super amazing Kale Stew! Normally, I feel like soups and stews are things that should only be eaten during the winter and fall, but I also think that there are always exceptions. Soups are ok in the spring so long as they’re light and not very creamy. They have to somehow taste refreshing. 

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This soup definitely meets the above requirement. It’s a bit like a lighter minestrone, as it has similar vegetables and beans, but this stew has bits of red potato and instead of pasta. And, of course, the biggest difference is that this recipe contains kale. Lots of it. But don’t let that scare you away! It’s the kale that adds the “refreshing” element to this recipe! Cooked and in the same spoonful with carrots and potatoes, the kale adds a nice, smooth crunch-like texture to the dish. And you can add more or less kale depending on your preferences since it’s the last step for this soup, so tell your picky eaters at home that they’ve no excuse!  (more…)

Lemon Pudding Cakes + Lighten Up Y’all Cookbook Review

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Maybe you’ve had a lemon pudding cake before. If you have, you already know how amazing they are: baked in a cute little ramekin with a water bath like crème brulee, tangy and creamy like lemon curd, and topped with a delicious and light lemon cake. I guess you could call this the original trifle, given its layers and depth (only that the preparation is a whole lot simpler for lemon pudding cakes). And maybe the comparisons that I’ve written makes it sound like this is a super rich, calorie-ridden dessert, but don’t worry, this is definitely not the case!

Some versions of lemon pudding cake are made needlessly rich and loaded with sugar, but this recipe limits unhealthy ingredients to a minimum while taste and flavor are kept to a max!

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This recipe is from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis, where all the recipes are made with both taste and health in mind. It features classic Southern recipes that most people consider too unhealthy for everyday consumption (like macaroni and cheese, potato gratin, or grits) and spins them around to make them lighter. (more…)

Fish Tacos + A Good Food Day Cookbook Review

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Now that I’m a fan of fish tacos, it’s hard to believe that there was a day that I used to not like them. Or guacamole. Now, of course, things have changed for the better and I’d be willing to have a fish taco for lunch and dinner any day of the week! These tacos are particularly amazing, with slightly crunchy but not fried tortillas, lightly seasoned fish, perfectly creamy guacamole and a crispy cabbage slaw to top it all off. IMG_1337

IMG_1348I made this recipe as a part of another cookbook review. A Good Food Day by Marco Canora isn’t just another healthy food cookbook. It’s an everyday cookbook for those wanting to lead balanced lives. (more…)

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