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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Favorite Dictionary

The New Food Lover's Companion; Fifth Addition

By: Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst

Why do you NEED it?


Haven't you at some time in your life be curious about something related to cooking? Say you wanted to look up what thyme was? Or Barbecuing? This book helps with just that! It gives you the chance to discover more of the culinary world.

Culinary School??

And I'm sure if you have been or are in culinary school you at time have just not been able to quite figure out what something is. You think and think and think, but you just can't quite get your finger on it. Just being able to have something else as a reference or go to (besides your notes) is very helpful!

Interested in Food? 

Maybe you just have some interest in food and want to know more? Well your in luck, this book will compel you further pursue this interest. I know that when I'm at the book store any book that is about anything I'm even mildly interested in I will check it out!

Other Books by the Authors

The Joy of Cookies
Dictionary of Cooking Terms
The Wine Lover's Companion
The Cheese Lover’s Companion


$12.57 Barnes and Nobles
$12.01 Amazon Books

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Approach a Book without scaring it

The First Five Things I do Before I buy a Book

1.Double check I don't already have it

It's always good to check through your mind. Or double check your library at home before you leave the house. Make sure you know what books you have or don't have because I know how easy it is to forget.

2.Check out the description of the book  

I  like to read it because it gives me a general idea of what I'm about to get into. It also lets me decide whether I'm even mildly interested in it. It saves you a least a couple of minutes so you can use those minutes on other things in your life. If not to read the books you already use. 


3.Read the author's bio

Sometimes when I know it's the author of some previous books I've read I like to check out how he/she has written this new book. But even when it's a new author I like to discover more about them so I can possibly predict on how their writing might sound. 

4.Look at the Table of Contents 

Reading this also gives a general idea of what your about to read. It gives you the opportunity to skip to a certain chapter a skim to see if he/she is explaining something you don't already.  

5.Read a couple of pages

Finally I start to read the first few pages or maybe even the first chapter to decide whether I really want this book or not. Sometimes the author just ends up being so boring or creepy I set it down immediately!

My first recommendation

Take 5 Ingredients

By: James Tanner

Why I like it? and YOU should too!


Everything in his book is very easy to make and easy directions to follow. And the fact that he has 95 recipes in this book makes it EVEN BETTER! And in most of his recipes they are very common ingredients that you can buy at any grocery store.

Price for recipe's ingredients

Not only are there 5 to 10 ingredients to each recipe, the ingredients are generally inexpensive (depending on what recipe you choose) For example: there is a crab linguine recipe (that you can view on and we ALL know how expensive crab is these days. 

Great pictures and directions

His book has amazing detailed pictures that make your mouth water and help increase the chance that you WILL make it. Also his instructions for his recipes are extremely easy to follow.

My favorite Recipes

Green Curry

I love this curry recipe especially because it's so delicious and simple! I made it a couple times and every time it turns out perfect. It makes it so that you don't have to make curry paste from scratch and it only has 6 ingredients.

Gnocchi with Bacon & Peas 

I have not made this recipe yet, but I have made gnocchi before and it is very easy. And it only has six ingredients (including salt and pepper). I mean who can resist a recipe with BACON in it?

Other Books by the Author

  • For Chocolate Lovers - Published 5 October 2006, co-written by Chris Tanner
  • Ice Cream - Published 25 March 2008, co-written by Chris Tanner
  • James Tanner Takes 5: Delicious Dishes Using Just 5 Ingredients - Published 30 September 2010
  • Old Favourites, New Twists: 100 classic recipes with a difference - Published 11 July 2013

Price Range for the Book

$5-10 (Depending on where you look)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A little bit about me; And why I'm amazing!

Alyssa's Point of View

Why do I have so many culinary books?

Impulse buying 

Everyone likes to buy things on impulse! Remember that time when you just had to have something that you saw at the store? Ya... that's me with cook books. 

Recommendations from chefs

Culinary school means that you have a lot of chefs giving you their own two cents. (whether you like it or not!) And each one recommends some author or kind of cooking book you should read. Since I want the teachers to know I'm listening, I RUN to get them!


The books that I buy help inspire me to cook. I can just pick up a spice in my cabinet and look up what goes with it, what I should use it, etc. They also provide an easy reference source for all kinds of food, for me to refer too.


To Display

They also look very pretty when on display. They're so colorful!  Everyone, who loves to cook, gawks at my COOL books!!!

Culinary School

Being in culinary school  means that you have to learn more and more about food everyday. Having books that I can utilize just for that purpose is that PERFECTLY PERFECT idea.

Why do I like cooking?

My childhood

As a kid I remember the first thing my mom taught me how to "cook" was boxed Marconi and Cheese. Technically it wasn't cooking like I'm used to now, but it was still fun....for my age at the time.

My Mom

She has always helped me when I'm down and pushed me to strive toward my dreams ever since I was a kid. And cooking was no exception!  

The ENDLESS possibilities

It's always amazing to me how many different dishes you can make with just two or even five ingredients. Just by changing it a little, I can alter the dish entirely.

Why am I recommending books?

Because I'm me

I like reading and you should too! But in all being me, and I like to cook, and I love to read in my spare time) so why shouldn't you??

My Two Cents 

I'd like to think that people will read this blog and learn a little something, either about me or about the books I review and someday refer it to someone else...... and so on and so forth. 

To Inspire others

  in·spire:  to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create (definition from Webster)
I want others think they that can doing anything they can put their mind to. And writing this blog I hope will help with reminding myself that I can too!