What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook Club {skinnytaste FAST AND SLOW}

I have a new favorite weeknight cookbook thanks to Gaby’s March Cookbook Club.


I have been a follower for the blog SkinnyTaste for years and I was excited when Gaby featured her as her cookbook of the month.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve cooked several recipes and I’ve LOVED every single one.  Half of the cookbook is filled with quick-fix recipes and the other half is filled with slow cooker recipes.


The Slow Cooker Chana Masala is a meatless slow cooker recipe that was the first recipe I cooked from the book.  The chickpeas are spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masalas and cardamom.  This recipe made awesome leftovers and I found myself eating this all week long.


Last week I made Korean-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps when my sister-in-law visited and they were the perfect quick-fix dinner after an evening barre class.  The ground chicken is seasoned with soy sauce (or tamari), sesame oil, brown sugar, crushed red pepper plus some garlic and ginger.  The lettuce is topped with cooked brown rice, the chicken mixture and then a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds plus sriracha if you like some heat.  These eat-with-your-hands wraps are delicious!  Incredibly light yet satisfying.


And finally, the Egg Roll Bowls I made for Big Guy and I last Friday night.  I picked this recipe because it only made two servings and since we were heading out of town I didn’t want a lot of leftovers.  The flavors are that of an egg roll but without the weird ingredients and greasy egg roll taste you might find at a Chinese restaurant.  The bowl includes pork (I used 93/7 beef), onion, napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  The flavors come from soy sauce (or tamari), ginger, garlic, dry sherry and sesame oil  It was light but I loved that the portion size was huge.  I think we both loved the mushrooms the most.

There are so many recipes I have my eye on, including:

Spicy Seared Tuna Sushi Bowls

Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Rice Bowls

Spicy Lump Crab and Charred Corn Flaco “Tacos”

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump


Have you cooked from any new cookbooks lately?


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?



What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook Club {EVERYDAYCOOK}

When Gaby, over at What’s Gaby Cooking, mentioned starting a cookbook club I was ecstatic.  I mean, I love reading recipes and flipping through cookbooks.  At the beginning of October she announced the first cookbook and I immediately headed over to Barnes and Noble and ordered the book.


A little bit about this cookbook:

My name is Alton Brown and I wrote this book.  It’s my first in a few years because I’ve been a little busy with TV stuff and inter webs stuff and live stage show stuff.  Sure, I’ve been cooking, but it’s been mostly to feed myself and people in my immediate vicinity – which is really what a cook is supposed to do, right?  Well, one day I was sitting around trying to organize my recipes, and I realized that I should put them into a personal collection.  One thing led to another, and here’s “EveryDayCook.”  There’s still plenty of science and hopefully some humor in here, but unlike my other books, a lot of attention went into the photos, where were all taken on my iPhone (take that, Instagram) and are suitable for framing.  As for the recipes, which are arranged by time of day, their pretty darned tasty.

I looked through the book no less than 15 times before finally picking the recipes I wanted to try.  And this past weekend we whipped up several of the recipes from the cookbook.


The Tossed Beet Salad which was incredibly light and featured roasted beets, red onion, fennel, pear, jicama, goat cheese and a lovely red wine vinaigrette.


The Beale Street Cheeseburgers are absolutely insane and indulgent and you will never doubt a fried cheeseburger ever again after the first bite.


Along with the burgers, a batch of BBQ Potato Chips that could rival any Lay’s potato chips.

And for something sweet…


Brown on Blonde blondies that are perfectly nutty and buttery and chewy and crispy and SO GOOD.

Other recipes that I have my eye on:

Chicken Parmesan Balls

Oyster Po’Boy

Not Just Another Kale Salad

Green Grape Cobbler

Onion Oxtail Soup

The General’s Fried Chicken

Cider House Fondue

I absolutely love how this “club” is making me want to cook out of my cookbooks again.

Here’s what I like about this cookbook:

  • Alton is precise.  You know exactly what you’re supposed to do and don’t find yourself questioning the methods.
  • There are not a lot of weird ingredients.  Most of the stuff I can find in our small town which is nice – so many cookbooks have ingredients that I have to either order or drive to Raleigh to get.
  • I love the pictures in the cookbook.

And here are some things that aren’t my favorite about the cookbook:

  • Some of the recipes are so precise that you have to use a scale to measure (like the blondies) every.single.ingredient.
  • He has some kitchen tools that are necessary for some recipes that I just don’t have.  And I have a pretty well-stocked kitchen.

I can’t wait to see what cookbook Gaby chooses for November!  So go check out the cookbook, borrow from a  friend (or me) or purchase it for yourself and get to cooking!