Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 For Every Season Book Review #Cookbook #BookReview

Michael Symon's Cookbook Review.jpgI was sent this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

I first stumbled upon the chef Michael Symon on The Chew when I was still caught up watching Days of our Lives. He is the full of life, great big ol’ laugh, fun-loving guy who is always doing things the easy way.

One of my favorites on the show! When I was offered the chance to review his book I jumped on it. When it arrived I was like a kid at Christmas rushing to the door when the UPS driver arrived. I ripped open that booked and flipped through every page taking in the vivid, fresh photographs. I love that the book is broken up by seasons because I love to garden and eat what’s in season. I also really appreciate how every meal has half the ingredients dedicated to fresh fruits or vegetables. He even added some great holiday recipes and some that use leftovers from your ham and turkey for breakfast-genius! I have yet to complete one of these recipes in the book but I will very soon so keep an eye out on instagram, facebook, and twitter.

A few on my list to try:

Fried Eggplant Sandwiches with Harissa

Spicy Fried Shrimp

Sweet Corn Fritters

Chicken and Couscous with Snow Peas, Garlic & Ginger

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Asparagus with Sesame & Orange

Click here to get Michael Symon’s Book!

Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More From the Food Network Editors Book Review

 I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review and this post does contains amazon affiliate links which gives my site a percentage of your purchase. Sweet Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More Book Review

I grew up watching the Food Network with my grandmother and when I had the opportunity to review this book I jumped at it because I know first hand the Food Network’s dedication to great quality recipes and photography. I am so happy that I did, because I love baking with my children and this book is packed with great recipes to make with them. They also love to take baked goods to school events, and this book has great ideas to do just that. It is also filled with great ideas for holidays, special occasions, and weeknight desserts.

Sweet Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More Review

 It is easy to track down what your are craving in this book because the chapters are broken down by dessert type. They also have each section broken down with pictures! I LOVE this, because I often eat with my eyes first, and when looking for something to bake, presentation, usually pressures my choice.

Sweet Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More Recipes

 They also break down some of the recipes with step-by-step photos which is so great because I am so visual. In true Food Network fashion their directions are clear and easy to follow.

Sweet Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More Recipe Ideas

 A few of the great ideas a “Fake-Out” Pencil Cake, Salted Caramel-Pretzel Thumbprint cookies, and the Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate and Almonds.

Sweet Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More Christmas IdeasHere are a few Christmas ideas I fell in love with the Edible Trees and the Gingerbread People with many different decoration ideas.

This book will be used for years to come in our home. We just can’t stop flipping through it, trying to decide what to make first.

Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More

Paperback cover: 336 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (2014)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3768-3

The Great American Slow Cooker Book Review

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review and this post does contains amazon affiliate links which gives my site a percentage of your purchase. The Great American Slow Cooker Book

There are a few reasons I am in love with this book so let me just begin with the fact that it really does have 500 recipes (I read them ALL!) so if your family is like mine, picky, you will find recipes that they will like. The recipes vary from bold and daring flavor combinations to classic combinations. They also cover breakfast, soups, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, vegetables and side dishes, and desserts and party drinks.

IMAG1633The first reasons I love this book is because they give these handy little guides for cooking in three different sized slow cookers. So if I am cooking for the whole family I know the right amount of ingredients and if it’s June than I am usually cooking for two because the older kids are visiting their mom and my mom usually takes the girls which leaves me learning to cook for two.


The next reason I love this book so much is because the authors have these great little extras, the Tester’s Notes, the Shortcuts, and the Ingredients Explained section. As you can see above they use them to help you get the most out of each recipe. In the Chicken Jambalaya Recipe above the tips are very helpful for me because I do not often make Jambalaya and would not know the difference in the sausage needed.  They also offer a Serve It Up section which features ideas for sides with some recipes. Another great extra is the All-American Know How section which offers kitchen wisdom on things like how to clean leeks or cut pork butt across the gain properly.

The Great American Slow Cooker Book Garlic-Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

Lastly, I really enjoy this book because I have three kids who need my attention after school with homework, then football practice three nights a week, plus all the other mom jobs like cleaning, laundry, and cooking. This book is such a big help when I need a slow cooker meal for those busy nights at the football field. I just love the idea I can start dinner in the morning and it will be ready for my family when it’s dinner time without much hassle. I also love that this means less fast food nights for us too.

I highly recommend this book to busy stay at home moms as well as busy working moms!

The Great American Slow Cooker Book: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Paperback cover: 512 pages
Publisher: Clarkdson Potter  (2014)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0-385-34466-1

Do you have Kitchen Confidence?

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review and this post does contains amazon affiliate links which gives my site a percentage of your purchase.

Kitchen Confidence Cookbook Review

     If the women on the cover of this book looks familiar, it’s probably because you have seen her on the Cooking Channel, she is Kelsey Nixon and she is the cook on Kelsey’s Essentials. She recently released a cookbook, I happily had the opportunity to review thanks to Blogging for Books.

     Kitchen Confidence is truly an essential cookbook to have. Kelsey covers the essentials every cook needs from the pantry, to organization, and of course essential meals. I really love how she starts with the pantry because as she said, “having a well-equipped pantry is like having an insurance policy on dinner.” Genius right, and absolutely true. Her pantry list is also a great start and of course adding pantry staples of the things your family loves to have on a regular basis will really help out when you have an unexpected errand or school event your forgot about. For example, I would add jarred jalapenos, frozen green and red chile, and beef broth. She cover organization a bit too, which is very helpful because no one wants to cook in a messy kitchen. Next she covers the essential equipment and she believes in quality over quantity, which is a great motto to have because an over cluttered kitchen with tools that can’t do their job, just isn’t going to be a place you want to cook in.  The last thing she covers before moving onto the recipes is the essential techniques for complete kitchen confidence. These are the techniques she feel need to be mastered. I have to agree with her, being confident in these techniques will help you prepare many meals with ease.

Kelsey gives about a dozen or more recipes for Breakfast & Morning Treats, Starters, Salads, Sandwiches & Soups, Main Courses, Sides, and Desserts & Sweets. These recipes are all wonderful, but what I enjoy most is the her skill for variations, for example her Blueberry Muffin Recipe can easily be a Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Muffin, an Orange-Raspberry Muffin or a Blackberry-Almond Muffin. So many recipes like the Meatball Parmesan Heroes would be a winner in our home and I don’t know why they aren’t already on our easy go to meal list for menu planning.

I did get to try one recipe out so far the Berries and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast. It was so good! The kids loved it and EVEN MR. I DON’T LIKE FRENCH TOAST-liked it-Shocker! I can’t wait to add many of these recipes to our school nights. I am prepping now and will share more as I make them.

Stuffed French Toast

Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything
Kitchen Confidence Author:  Kelsey Nixon
Paperback cover: 224 pages
Publisher: Clarkdson Potter  ( 2014)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3699-5