Frozen {plus a few of my favorite cookbooks}

You guys.  Cabin fever is setting in.  As I expected, the forecast for beautiful, majestic snow brought instead ice.  And lots of it.  We’re just starting to really thaw out at our home and tonights freezing temperatures means more ice tomorrow morning.  Staying at home hasn’t gotten to me…until today.

I couldn’t imagine being stuck inside for 48 hours with anyone else than Big Guy.  And thankfully we both enjoy cooking because we basically cooked, ate and hit repeat all weekend long.

I had to cancel my Saturday Sweat class but I pulled out my yoga mat and got in a great workout thanks to my PiYo videos.  After my workout, I got to work on Hot Orange Rolls for brunch.


And while the cinnamon rolls required a little bit of time, they weren’t very difficult to make.  Honestly, the waiting was the hardest part of this recipe.

We popped open some bubbles and enjoyed a “snowed in” brunch.

We also discovered On Demand.  Yes, we’re SO behind when it comes to t.v. and technology.  We binged on “This Is Us” all weekend long.  We finished the entire pilot season and I can’t wait for the next season to start (tomorrow!).  It’s such a lovely drama and I adore all the characters.  Seriously – if you haven’t seen it yet, you must.

After several hours of t.v., it was time to get started on dinner.  We made brisket with onions and leeks along with smashed chipotle sweet potatoes.

Sunday brought along another iced in day which meant leftover cinnamon rolls and more t.v.  We also had our first pizza night of 2017 and we made our first Chicago-style deep dish pizza.


This pizza is rather labor intensive including making the dough 24-48 hours in advance.  Thankfully all we had was time this weekend.  We were incredibly impressed with the end result.  Our pizza wasn’t quite as deep as the recipe depicted but I’m certain it’s because our new deep dish pan was a little bigger than the one they used.

Speaking of recipes, I apologize that I can’t link up any of the recipes from the weekend but it’s because I’ve been turning to my collection of cookbooks more and more.  I find myself cooking from my Cooking Light magazine collection and blogs constantly and wanted to give my lovely cookbooks a little love.  So I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite cookbooks as of late:

“Big American Cookbook” from Mario Batali  This was a Christmas gift and I’ve loved cooking from it!  This is where the recipe from the Hot Orange Rolls came from.  I can’t wait to cook many more meals from this huge cookbook.

Mario Batali’s delicious deep dive into American Regional cooking with 250 recipes—from San Diego Fish Tacos to Boston Cream Pie.

Over two years in the making, with Batali searching for truly delicious dishes from all corners of the US, this definitive cookbook features the best America has to offer. With over 250 simple recipes celebrating the treasures of the state fairs and the dishes of the local rotary clubs and ethnic groups. Batali has interpreted these regional gems with the same excitement and passion that he has approached traditional Italian food.

“Cooking for Jeffrey” by Ina Garten I purchased this book when Gaby featured it as the cookbook for December.  We’ve cooked numerous recipes from this book already and it’s filled with mouthwatering food.  It’s where our Saturday night dinner came from – and both were outstanding.  Note:  I have found one of her recipes to be super salty so I’ve started being a little conservative with salt with her recipes.

Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy.

“The Pizza Bible” from Tony Gemignani.  It’s no secret that we love pizza.  And while I love this cookbook, it’s not for the novice chef.  The recipes are super in depth and there are lots of special ingredients – we had to order an ingredient off Amazon last Tuesday night.

Everyone loves pizza! From fluffy Sicilian pan pizza to classic Neapolitan margherita with authentic charred edges, and from Chicago deep-dish to cracker-thin, the pizza spectrum is wide and wonderful, with something to suit every mood and occasion. And with so many fabulous types of pie, why commit to just one style? The Pizza Bible is a complete master class in making delicious, perfect, pizzeria-style pizza at home, with more than seventy-five recipes covering every style you know and love, as well as those you’ve yet to fall in love with. Pizzaiolo and eleven-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani shares all his insider secrets for making amazing pizza inhome kitchens. With The Pizza Bible, you’ll learn the ins and outs of starters, making dough, assembly, toppings, and baking, how to rig your home oven to make pizza like the pros, and all the tips and tricks that elevate home pizza-making into a craft.

There are quite a handful of other books I love to cook from but we’ll stop there for now.  What’s your favorite cookbook?  And if you’re not a cookbook person, where do you get your favorite recipes?




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