Monday, July 14, 2014

A small Betty Crocker book with LOTS of good recipes

Betty Crocker : Quick Fixes

Why you should get it?


In this book lies tons of different recipes for lots of different occasions. It has salad bar recipes, great grains and pasta, easy chicken and meat, from the sea, Mexican night and make it meatless. I think that for recipes books and even for this small of one it has more variety then some. 


Almost every recipe is meant to be simple and quick; hence the title, of course. But all the recipes don't have complicated ingredients or even that many ingredients either. So each recipe is only about 30 bucks to spend if you don't have any of the ingredients to start with. I particularly haven't tried most of the recipes, but they do look delicious. 


My Favorite Recipe

But my absolute favorite recipe of the book is called mini meat loves. Personally I love this recipe is because it only takes about 40 minutes total to be ready to eat you don't need a ton of ingredients and is juicy, tangy and delicious.

1/2 c. ketchup
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 c Original Bisquick mix
1/2 t. pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. In small bowl, stir ketchup and brown sugar until mixed; reserve 1/4 c for topping. In large bowl, stir remaining ingredients and remaining ketchup mixture until well mixed.

2. Spray 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Place meat in pan; pat into 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise down the center and then crosswise into sixths to form 12 loaves. Separate loaves, using spatula, so no edges are touching. Brush loaves with reserved 1/4 c ketchup mixture.

3. Bake 18-20 minutes or until loaves are no longer pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center of loaves reads 160 F.

Similar Books you should check out

Betty Crocker Comfort Food
Betty Crocker Small Bites
Betty Crocker Party Food
Betty Crocker Chicken Tonight

Price Range


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Italians this is for you!

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Why should u care?

Because if your Italian and haven't grown up in Italy all you life chances are you don't exactly have authentic recipes on your brain. And you probably have no idea what to make if your craving Italian, well boy do I have the book for you! This book is huge and choke full of tons of recipes for that special Italian dish your craving. This book is perfect for beginners and everyday professional cooks and every level in between.

What does it contain?

This book contains a ton of recipe from desserts to appetizers. Soups, pastas, gnocchi, polenta, fish and shellfish recipes are all included. And that's not even all the kinds of recipes!This book is very detail orientated and explains how things like how to make pasta or things like how to carve the meat that you cooked. And not only that, but this book has little black and white pictures, which I like because it not only demonstrates easily how to do whatever it says in the recipe, but it also gives the eyes something to look at besides just pages and pages of words.

Pictures not from book

How did I get it?

I got this book for Christmas last year from my boyfriend because he knew how much I love to cook and how much I love recipe books. 

Price Range

More Books by the Author

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Oldest Most Horrible Cookbook EVER

The White House Cookbook

By: Hugo Ziemann and Mrs. F. L. Gillette

Why it sucks?


The book starts out by telling in detail on how to carve different animals like venison, beef and veal. I mean really?? Do you really need to read a whole ten pages on how to carve meat? And the extension of how many meats they describe is disgusting! Also the instructions for the recipes are not arranged in a list. 


The recipes itself are not as straight forward as they are now. I mean you practically have to read 3 to 5 paragraphs just to know what your going to do. And even the title of the recipes sound repulsive! Potted fish, Oiled lobster I mean EW! But there are no pictures of the recipes, just random pictures of women and cuts of meat in black and white.

The Weird Contents

Not only does it have recipes "For the sick" or "Dinner Giving". But some of the recipes inside have lard for ingredients because back then they didn't care about being healthy, all they cared about was eating in general. This was also a time where women slaved all day over a hot stove or whatever just so they could make their man happy. And the book that I have is so old that even it smells bad.


Why even bother? You can find this at goodwill! But I wouldn't recommend it

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Potatoes Potatoes and more Potatoes!

Cook's Library Potatoes

How is it useful?

I find this book especially useful because if your like me you love potatoes and everything about them. And you wish you could have more! It helps you come up with ideas on how to get rid of your rotting potatoes. Not only does it do that, but it lists delicious recipes for them too.

How I got it?

I got this for Christmas 2003 and the only reason why I know that is because my mom wrote a note on the front page saying, Alyssa, I hope you love to cook potatoes as much as you love to eat them. Love, Mom XO. I remember the whole year before that Christmas I always told my parents that all I wanted to was recipe book, any recipe book at all. And this was because I knew that I could use them in the future. But ever since I got this book I really have come to love potatoes THAT much more!

What kind of recipes are in it? (Pictures not from actual book)

Soups,salads, and appetizers

Fava bean and Mint soup

Sweet Potato and Onion Soup               

Light meals and side dishes

 Fritters with Garlic Sauce
Mixed mushroom cakes

Vegetarian and vegan suppers

Potato and Vegetable Curry 

Sweet Potato Cakes

Vegetables savories

Twice- Baked Pesto Potatoes, Potato and Eggplant Gratin 

Fish dishes

Broiled Red Mullet, Poached Rainbow Trout

Poultry and meat 

Potato and Turkey Pie, Potato Ravioli

Bread and cakes

Sweet Potato Bread, Fruity Potato Cake

Other Books Like it

Price Range

(4 on amazon)

Monday, July 7, 2014

THE Best Book for a Culinary Student

101 Things I Learned in Culinary School

By: Louis Eguaras with Matthew Frederick

Who is it useful to?

Culinary Students!

I bought this book to help me when I get out of culinary school and find myself struggling to cook something they way I want too. Or even when my mom will randomly ask me some culinary question that I just cannot put my finger on the answer. But this book for sure I find is very helpful for after culinary school just as a reference to come back too.


I think that it's useful to high school cooking teachers and maybe even the chefs at my school because they could have something to base their curriculum on. I mean not to say that they do need to have something to base off of, but...I'm just saying.

Anyone who loves to cook

This book can be used by almost anyone as long as you understand culinary speak and your a beginner you can use this book!!

How I came to find it

I was wondering around the culinary book section of Powell's and my step mom hands me this book and I think, "Huh, this would be useful for after culinary school!" 

A little bit about the author

Louis Eguaras
A renowned chef at the Le Cordon Bleu Program at the California School of Culinary Arts, provides readers with a terrific overview of what is truly involved in the preparation, cooking, and presentation of meals. He also provides invaluable insights into just what is involved in making this one's chosen profession.

Price Range

Well I got it at powells book store for 16$
But I'm sure you can get it anywhere else from $10- 20

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Just one more flavor book

The Flavor Thesaurus

By: Nicki Segnit

How this book differs from the others

Author's Style

She likes to explain why two ingredients go together in a funny way. She's a delight too read and she like to create a story around those ingredients. I especially like how she lists out a recipe using those ingredients and explains it without formatting it like a regular recipe.


She organized the book based on specific flavor. She has a whole chart that I displayed above that she follows throughout the book. For example she has chapters for roasted, citrusy, spicy and so on and so forth. And in those flavors there are certain food that taste like that flavor. I know pretty straightforward, but I know you wanted to hear it. But I really like how she arranges them into chapters based on their flavor so that it makes it easier for you to look up.


 This book is one of those books you can actually read; all of it if you wanted to, and I love it, just for that reason. Not only does she explain a time where she used these two ingredients together but how in history mankind have used them as well. She really like to go into specific details; sometimes a little too much to make me grimace. So far I haven't read the whole book, but if you just wanted to use it for a reference book you can do that too!

Why I like it

Like I said before I really like how she incorporates her personality into this book. Especially how she includes like blurbs of history that I didn't know before. Honestly this book both fascinates and intrigues me.

Other books you might like by her

Unfortunately there are none others, so she is a fairly new author. Which means for better reading! YAY!

Price Range

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Eat like a College Student

Eat Well on $4 a day: Good and Cheap 

By: Leanne Brown

The idea behind the book

The layout

It begins with tips on how to keep a well stocked pantry and tips for eating well and shopping well. Then she goes on to list recipes for each meal; breakfast, lunch, dinner and extras like snack recipes. 

Why she created it?

"It bothered me that so many ideas for fixing the food system leave out the poor: it seemed like they didn't have a voice in the food movement. I wanted to create a resource that would promote the joy of cooking and show just how delicious and inspiring a cheap meal can be if you cook it yourself." - Leanne Brown, Good and Cheap

Why read/buy this book?

Budget friendly 

This book is especially helpful for me because I go to school and work at the same time so I don't exactly have a ton of money leftover (most of the time) to spend on groceries every week. I mean I live with my mom so I don't have as many expenses as other college students have, but I do still have to pay rent. It really makes me feel grateful for people who have the same problem to create this.

Amazing looking recipes

Every single picture in this book drags me further and further into it. I mean I look at one picture and it makes me super hungry. And looking at the ingredients and instructions I'm like, "I can make that!!" But seriously I have to give props to her food photography, it really ties the books together.


Even I have to admit that she definitely took the time to create and review these recipes to put in this book. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I could never create such an amazing cookbook like this one. But that's besides the point. I really appreciate that she thought of this idea in a new way, I mean yes you can find other books like this, but I never really thought those other books really were "budget friendly."




Other Books by the Author

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I said, "Herbs,Herb!"

Spices and Herbs

By: Jill Norman

Why do I have two kinds of spice books?

Priority? I guess...

I was first recommended to this book so I got this one at least a couple months before I got the other one. So in other words It was just a impulse buy..


Honestly It also caught my eye because of the cover and the amazing pictures inside. I mean sure it may not have extensive information on each herb or spice, or have as many herbs or spices, but the pictures sure are pretty! And looking through this book I even discovered herbs and spices I haven't even heard of. And that's saying something!

Because I can

The more books in my culinary library the happier it makes me! It's amazing how much my library has grown even since buying this book.. The only sad part is I have exactly used this one...yet

What's the difference between books?

Well for one this one is more expensive comparatively because it's a hardcover and has a lot more fancy pictures. Another thing is that has less information then the other one. It only lists information like tasting notes,parts used, buying and storage, harvesting, and culinary uses.

Other books by the author

The Cook's Book: Techniques and tips from the world's master chefs
Teas and Tisanes
101 Essential Tips: Cooking with Spices
Aromatic Herbs: How to Use Them in Cooking and Seasoning Foods 

Price Range

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The "Other" Bible

Spice and Herb Bible

By: Ian Hemphill 
with recipes by Kate Hemphill

Should you use it religiously?


This book is very very cool and is fantastically accurate and fun to look at! You should use it as you would the actual bible.


Wait, why would say no? Why are you even reading this blog? 

What is it useful for?


This books really helps you nail on what spice your using and what it's all about. It practically defines to a point on where you will have no questions after you read all the information on just one spice. They even include recipes for each and every spice in the book!


Looking for a new way to flavor your food? Well this book is perfect for that. It has literally over 100 spices and herbs for you to find while reading it. Not only does it help you find new herbs and spices it gives you pictures and great descriptions. 


Honestly looking through this book I guarantee you will find a spice or an herb that you have never ever ever heard of in your entire life! I mean sure it has all the common one, but it really opens up a new world for you. For every spice/herb it gives you it's botanical name, family name, names in other languages, flavor group, weight per teaspoon, suggested quantity per pound and even complements to that spice/herb. And that's not even all the information it gives you about one!

Other books by the author

The Spice and Herb Bible: A Cook's Guide
Spice Notes
Spicery: A Cook's Guide to Culinary Spices

Price Range

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Ultimate Culinary Book

The Flavor Bible

A peek inside:

What is it?

The whole book is about pairing food with other foods and what goes well with what. So you don't get stuck with trying to pair yogurt with mustard, you'll know in advance that it is not good! It basically lists all the pairings for a food item for example Raspberries go with almonds, apricots, blackberries and so on and so forth. The authors also took the time to list flavor affinities to name the flavors/foods that go especially well together. In addition to this they also list the season of the flavor, taste, weight, volume or even techniques to enhance this flavor.

Why use it?


This book tells you all their is to know about what flavors go together. And honestly I don't think there is a flavor that it misses. Look up any flavor or food your thinking of pairing and you can see what's best with it; and I guarantee that you'll find it.


Buying this book gave me inspiration for many dishes (that I have yet to create), but eventually will. But I really have to say just skimming through this fantastic book really inspires me to get off the couch and cook something! Now where to find the time....

Culinary School

I know I've said this a few times in the past, but being in culinary school you really need ideas and some ideas you can't always pull out from your butt. This book was recommended to me from one of my first instructors and even after I bought it they kept recommending it. This book was especially helpful if needed to come up with a dish fast. I can even remember bringing it everyday to school just in case I needed it.

Other Books by the Authors

Becoming a Chef
Culinary Artistry
Dining Out
Chef's Night Out
*What to Drink with What you Eat
The Food Lover's Guide to Wine

* = This is very similar to the flavor bible

Price Range

$20 - 30

Check This Out!

2 Inspirational Cooking Blogs

 Dishing out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday!

Oh no! It's already Summer and you've got nothing to do! What will you do with your time? Hiking? Camping? Sleeping? Or would you rather cook? Well I guarantee that if your look at this blog you aren't looking to do anything else but cook. If you check out this blog you can find daily ideas on something delicious to make. Need a good recipe for the best ribs in your neighborhood? Need a good recipe for Marconi salad? Not only does she has amazing pictures on her blog, she also has occasional giveaways. Then check this blog out! Here is just a few pictures from her website.

The Kitchn

Inspiring cooks, nourishing homes

On a budget? Craving something sweet? Or just searching for more recipes online? Then this is the place is to go! They have videos, lots of recipes for both food and drink and even kitchen advice! This website is very organized and is guaranteed to inspire even the boring people to get up and cook! They have a lot of articles/ recipes for how to ideas or something like how to cook tender and juicy pork chops. And if you not convinced to visit it yet here just a sneak peek. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Recipes the internet gave us for a reason

You have got to see these!

My Top 5 Internet recipes for your Sweet Tooth

1.Buttermilk Strawberry Shortcake

Fresh, juicy strawberries on a crispy crunchy shortcake all topped with luscious whip cream!

2. Blueberry-Lemon Crumb Bars

Yummy blueberries nestled in a crumbly top.

3. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Melt in your mouth chocolate peanut butter cups molded with crunchy cookie.

4. Coconut Macaroon Brownies

Regular brownies with a delicious coconut macaroon mixture in between. 

5. Pretzel Turtles

Easy milky chocolate pecan desserts, commonly called Turtles for their resemblance to the animal.

Another 5 recipes just for Summer!

1. Fruit Salad

Perfect for a hot summer evening or just when your craving fresh fruit!

2. Just for Summer Salsa

A sweet salsa with spice and a surprising tang!

2. Summer Squash Puffs

A corn bread like deep fried squash fritter.

3. Garlic Potatoes Gratin  

This rich and cheesy dish is sure to entice and amaze!

4. Barbecue Pork

Melt in your mouth pork shoulder slow cooked with lots of spices

5. Fruit and Feta Summer Salad

A perfect salad for cheese and fruit lovers alike.