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Taste & Technique Book Review


Taste & Technique was the first book I used for the cookbook challenge. I’ve had it a while, I received a free copy from Blogging for Books to review a few months ago (ok a lot of months ago…). It’s really a stunning book, it’s big and the pictures are all gorgeous. The recipes are well planned and cover a lot of ground and many techniques.

As a fan of creative cookery I was drawn to the detailed recipe instructions and sometimes elaborate techniques. This isn’t the book you want if you’re looking for quick and easy dinners on the table with one pot and one knife to wash. It is however perfect if you’re looking to improve your cooking technique and become a better home chef vs someone who just follows recipes. Not that there is anything wrong with cooking that way, I’m just a terrible planner and the better I am at cooking the more likely I am to get a meal on the table with the random odds and ends I find in my kitchen.

During the first week of the cookbook challenge we cooked several dishes from Taste & Technique:

  • Cabbage Veloute – we left off the fancy garnish but oh man… When you think sexy soupy goodness I know cabbage isn’t even close to the first thing on your mind. But the steaming process turns the cabbage and onion into a sweet soup base and the lemon and sour cream…. This is definitely on the list of dishes to make again
  • Escarole Caesar Salad – I’m not a rookie to the raw egg – homemade Caesar dressing but this was the first time I did it by hand. I think it was a touch to rich for me but it was good and I’m sure we’ll make this again with a little less cheese
  • Blistered Cauliflower with Anchovy, Garlic and Chili Flakes – Oh. My. Goodness. Hands down this is the favorite dish. I’ve even made it a second time already. Cauliflower is one of my true loves and when it’s browned under the broiler until it’s soft and sweet I practically swoon. The best part of this is the spicy paste you top the broiled cauliflower. My husband and I finished it off (literally 2 heads of cauliflower) with no leftovers and he doesn’t even like vegetables
  • Porcini Braised Chicken Thighs – Recipes like this really show off the true value of this book. The skin down searing followed by the slow braise in flavorful broth is a great way to turn chicken thighs into a fancy meal. As a family that buys chicken quarters by the 40 pound case having a new technique to cook them is a God send.While we won’t be following this recipe verbatim again we’ve already modified it once to cook up some chicken I accidentally bought.
  • Olive Oil & Black Pepper Crackers – I have a pasta roller, got it at my bridal shower. I’ve used it… three times? But now I can use it to make crackers. And make craskers I will. There is a bit of a break in the middle (there is yeast) but other than that they whip of quickly and bake into delightly crunchy, spicey morsels that disappear too quickly. Especially sereved with a nice cranberry sharp white cheddar

The Cookbook Challenge


Happy New Year! January is all about pretending to be better than you are and changing your life in positive ways. So what better time to start a fun challenge? I’m a hoarder collector of cookbooks. I have many dozens of them, I read cookbooks the way regular people read novels. Part of it is my love for strange foods (it’s not easy to find recipes for fresh currants or pawpaws) and the rest is my burning desire to read everything while not making myself sad (I take it hard when characters I love die, I’m still not over The Green Mile and Mr. Jingles). I’ve always been this way, I was the kid that read the cereal box 3x during breakfast. Anyway, if you’re here it’s probably not because you’re interested in my childhood idiosyncrasies but because you too have too many cookbooks hanging around so let’s get into the challenge.

Declutter your bookshelves and diversify your meal plan while having fun in the kitchen with the 2017 Cookbook Challenge! [Read more…]

Printable Christmas Crossword Puzzle with Key


Happy December everyone! I’ve got my Christmas Countdown on the wall, my tubs of Christmas ornaments at the ready and I’m just waiting for my family to wake up so we can go get our tree. It was a very, very long night so it may be noon before the first emerges (someone never puts the baby down and getting her to sleep on her own has been getting worse and worse and last night I decided to start fixing it). In October I put up a Halloween Crossword puzzle instead of my usual word search and it seemed to go over well so I’m repeating it now for Christmas. This years puzzle has the bonus of fun Christmas characters that you can color in when you get bored! I’m trying to move to printer/copier friendly decorations because I know a lot of teachers are using these.

Celebrate with a free & printable Christmas Crossword puzzle. It's a perfect way to keep busy waiting for cookies to bake or as a gift from a sneaky elf [Read more…]

Sparkling Pomegranate Apple Cider

Sip a glass of Sparkling Pomegranate Apple Cider this holiday season. Mix up the pomegranate cider ahead of time and top with champagne for a bubbly treat

The holiday season is the perfect time for sparkling drinks. Stressed out from shopping? Champagne. Forget to add the sugar to your gingerbread? Champagne. Family won’t stop asking what your six month old baby wants for Christmas? Champagne (baby doesn’t want champagne, mommy does). It’s an A+ holiday problem solver. And you don’t have to drink it alone, that might get boring (and you might get a little too tipsy). I’m hear with the perfect solution!  Sparkling Pomegranate Apple Cider is my new go-to holiday drink.

Sip a glass of Sparkling Pomegranate Apple Cider this holiday season. Mix up the pomegranate cider ahead of time and top with champagne for a bubbly treat [Read more…]

Christmas Countdown

Craft a Christmas Countdown Tree you can use year after year. Customize by changing the paper ornaments to fit your color scheme

I love Christmas and I really love Christmas Countdowns. Mostly because I never know what day it is and it’s the best way I’ve found to make sure I know when to let the holiday panic set it. You don’t want to panic too early haha. Almost all of the DIY Christmas Countdown projects I’ve seen require buying 25 of something. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough stuff in my house! This tree count down is a step up from the basic paper chain, and while it can be a tiny bit tedious if you’re a perfectionist it’s easy enough to throw together.

Craft a Christmas Countdown Tree you can use year after year. Customize by changing the paper ornaments to fit your color scheme

[Read more…]