Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Good + Simple by Hemsley and Hemsley

Are you ready for some back-to-basics cooking with a lot of nutrient dense recipes? I know I am! I was super excited to receive Good + Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. Once I got the book, I immediately choose some recipes to try out. I loved the Spicy Miso Salmon with Broccoli Rice. I left out the chili powder so it wasn't spicy for my family. The Avocado Boats 3 Ways was also a hit. I have one child who loves avocado and another who hates it. The child who usually hates avocado loved the variation with the drizzled honey on top of the avocado. I love how this cookbook has a number of recipes that shows you how to prepare it 2-3 ways.

We also liked the Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Canap├ęs. I love all the simple recipes that are quick to prepare but are also healthy for my children. It was such a nice surprise and a huge plus that the cookbook includes smoothies and healthy juice recipes. Truth be told, I was looking for a juice recipe book because I bought a juicer recently and really wanted to get in the habit of juicing to help get the nutrients in my family's bodies.

I loved reading about the Hemsley sisters' philosophy on food and all the little tidbits included in the cookbook. Most of what they mentioned, I already knew and follow, but it's nice to be reminded why I had originally followed certain routines (soaking nuts, make bone broth, cook with leaf lard). I loved how they mention that "fat is your friend". I've always felt that there is nothing wrong with eating lots of healthy whole fat (we cook with leaf lard, use a lot of pastured and cultured butter, drink whole raw milk); it's all the other processed junk food that is bad for us. But companies blame fat and have convinced so many of us to consume a low-fat diet.

I have not had the opportunity to try out the baked goods recipes. I'm not much of a baker. Probably because I hate baking! However, my children love it when we do bake so every now and then, I will try to indulge them and bake some cookies. With that said, I am delighted to see some baked good recipes that DOES NOT use refined white sugar. I cannot wait to try Nicky's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Instead of white sugar, the recipe calls for maple syrup as a sweetener. I've never had a cookie with maple syrup in it so I am a little leery but excited at the same time to try it. I usually use rapadura as a sweetener when I'm baking so I'm looking forward to try an alternative.

I can't wait to try out the recipes that use a spiralizer. The spiralizer cuts the vegetables so it looks like spaghetti noodles. My children LOVE pasta, but I am trying to not eat it so often.  I MUST HAVE A SPIRALIZER! Now I just have to convince my husband that we need yet another kitchen gadget.

I wished the photography was nicer like some of the other cookbooks I've seen. But I guess since the recipes are so healthy and basic, maybe it's hard to make them look super pretty. Still, I LOVE the cookbook because it's exactly what I'm looking for in a cookbook at this point...simple and healthy recipes.

Disclaimer: I received the above book from Blogging for Books in an exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Food with Friends-Leela Cyd

I'm not much of a cook or a baker. I view cooking and baking as a chore-something I have to do. I really wish that I enjoy cooking more because then my family and I would have more delicious meals to eat. When I'm looking for a recipe, I usually just look online. So it's that much of a shock that I don't own a single cookbook. Food with Friends by Leela Cyd is the first cookbook I own. Let me just start off that the photography is gorgeous. The pictures are so stunning that I want to make everything in the cookbook. Leela is a photographer, and her website has more of her beautiful photography of food and places she's traveled.

My favorite so far was the Beet Pickled Eggs. I have always LOVED deviled eggs but this recipe takes deviled eggs to a whole new level. The color of the red/purple-hued eggs are simply stunning. The recipe does require some planning ahead of time due to the pickling so if you are making this for a party, plan accordingly. Another hit with me was the Roasted Plums with Burrata. I was really surprised to like it. I'm not much of a cheese person, and I've never had burrata. But this was very tasty! I also really enjoyed the Muesli with Plums and Blackberry Mash sans the muesli. In the muesli's defense, I usually hate oatmeal and all things relating to oatmeal (granola, oatmeal cookies, etc). So I just make the blackberry mash without the rolled oats.

I am looking forward to trying the Lemon Lavender French Toast, Tartines and Small Toast, Chard Empanadas with Pistachio Crema, and Sugar Cookies with Edible Flowers (the pictures look AMAZING and my children would love it).

A side note: I never thought of using bee pollen as a garnish. I have some bee pollen, and I never know what to do with it so I'm glad to learn that I can use it as a garnish on dishes.

Disclaimer: I received the above book from Blogging for Books in an exchange for a honest review.