I really like to cook and take liberties with what I am making changing up the same familiar recipes I have made so many times in the past. Sometimes those recipes, even though they are long time favorites, just don’t sound good. In fact they sound extremely blah. When I feel that way I start hunting for new recipes to make and have fun with.
Netgalley is one the resources I have for finding books to review. I receive them from the publisher in exchange for my honest reviews. I have to admit that I don’t often find negative aspects of the books but if I do I mention it. I mostly have fun reading and reviewing.
That said, my blog today is more books from Netgalley; cookbooks to be precise. I unfortunately have had to change up my normal recipes since I have been told to go gluten free from my doctors. When you are faced with changing your ways that have always been a part of you, I can say you seem lost. I have spent a lot of time looking through gluten free books and websites while having fun doing so. I do get to enjoy cooking with non-gluten free cookbooks such as the ones posted here. I have a son who is dating a wonderful girl that has some experience with cooking but not a whole lot. I choose these cookbooks to review because I look at it as what better way to find out if the recipes are easy or written well than to have a novice cook working through them. Besides it is fun being in the kitchen with someone else. And if she is reading this blog, then I hope she finds some new recipes for us to try!
What is it about a cookbook that makes me want to try it? For any book the cover has to be one that piques me interest. If it is colorful and shows a dish that looks appetizing most likely I will look further. I also search the recipes for foods I will like. I love spices and herbs but am selective on the dishes themselves as far as meats or certain vegetables. I love Broccoli but if it shows Brussel sprouts there is no way you will get me to eat it. I also take a look at the ingredient list for easy purchase. If it is a dish that calls for specialty foods I have to think over the possibilities of finding what I would need. I live in a small rural community and although I have access to larger cities where I could find everything I need, I am not sure I want to drive that far. I also consider if this would be a cookbook that I would bring out and use on occasion or use a lot and then figure the price into those concerns. Consideration of cookbooks that have enough selection to fit my family’s eating styles is important. As I mentioned, I have to learn gluten free cooking, but I also have two children to consider. My daughter will eat anything with fruit, dairy or vegetables but if it has meat then she won’t touch it. My son prefers the meat and potatoes style but loves a variety and is health conscious. Feeding a family isn’t easy but with careful consideration you can find something everyone will enjoy. Lastly, I like to read the introductions and what is behind the idea of the cookbook. Sometimes there are some wonderful stories that will help the recipes to stand out in interest.
The first cookbook I reviewed is one I couldn’t stop looking at is “Nashville Eats” by Jennifer Justus. Everyone has heard about southern hospitality and down home cooking which is exactly what interested me in this cookbook. Jennifer Justus has included in “Nashville Eats” many stories and snippets of food history within the chapters making her recipes more appealing. Not every recipes has a photo attached but is explained well. The ingredients are not specialty ones, but ones you can find in any kitchen. There is a wide variety of recipes held within ranging from dinner suggestions to picnics. If you ever find yourself going to a potluck and in need of a dish, there are several in this book that would be great options. The desserts are amazing looking and I can’t wait to try some of these great looking pies and cakes. “Nashville Eats” is so much more than just a book containing southern recipes it is a book that contains the people of Nashville and what makes them special.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1NFSztX
The second book is “The Violet Bakery Cookbook” by Claire Ptak. Who doesn’t love walking in to bakeries that are filled with delicious scents and mouthwatering treats decorated in wondrous display? The Violet Bakery is located in England and offers a variety of wonderful muffins, scones, and other items to their patrons and many of those are given as recipes in this cookbook. The ingredients are healthy and not heavily laden sugars. I was intrigued by some of the combined flavors that I had not considered before. The colorful photos which are beautiful enable to you to see what the recipe will look like. If you are searching for bakery items that are more health conscious and still meeting your tastes this is a great book to consider.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1NFSztX
Cookbooks offer more than just recipes for the reader to enjoy. If one takes the time to read the stories behind those recipes a whole new understanding takes over. I know of many people who say they collect cookbooks, but I never understood that until recently. I now see they can offer so much more. Next time you pick up a cookbook, maybe you will find yourself taking the time to read more than recipes so that when you pick the recipe to make it will be even more special in the process.