Down South Brings Southern Food to Your Kitchen {Book Review}

* Disclaimer:  I received Down South from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

About the Book

Perhaps best known as the James Beard Award-winning chef behind some of New Orleans’s most beloved restaurants, including Cochon and Herbsaint, Donald Link also has a knack for sniffing out a backyard barbecue wherever he travels and scoring an invitation to sample some of the best food around. In Down South he combines his talents to unearth true down home Southern cooking so everyone can pull up a seat at the table and sample some of the region’s finest flavors.
Link rejoices in the slow-cooked pork barbecue of Memphis, fresh seafood all along the Gulf coast, peas and shell beans from the farmlands in Mississippi and Alabama, Kentucky single barrel bourbon, and other regional standouts in 110 recipes and 100 color photographs. Along the way, he introduces all sorts of characters and places, including pitmaster Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, Louisiana goat farmer Bill Ryal, beloved Southern writer Julia Reed, a true Tupelo honey apiary in Florida, and a Texas lamb ranch with a llama named Fritz.  Join Link Down South, where tall tales are told, drinks are slung back, great food is made to be shared, and too many desserts, it turns out, is just the right amount.

My Review

Oh, this cookbook takes me home!  While I am no doubt a NY girl through and through, I do miss Southern food!  This book has so many yummy treats – from beer smoked beef short ribs to gulf seafood, to Mississippi Mud Pie this recipe has plays on old favorites and new, contemporary dishes that range from perfect for a fancy dinner to a weekday night family meal.  I also love the collection of recipes perfect for an “old school Southern cocktail party”.   My kids also really like this cookbook – and they REALLY want to try the recipe for Crisp Fried Frog Legs!  There are also many plays on traditional Southern treats, such as Bing Cherry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding (HEAVEN!!!)

One of my favorite things about this cookbook is the gorgeous photography – there are pictures of SO many of the recipes, which I love for plating purposes!  The only thing I don’t like is there are some recipes that are pretty far out there (at least for me) in terms of ingredient availability (where can I get frog legs?) but I can’t wait to try and find them!

 

 

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Review of Demon Stone by Chris Datta

Today I’m excited to bring you a Guest Post and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta. His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta

 

The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors. ”Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”

-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood

Review of The Demon Stone

 If there is something that freaks me out its demons and the supernatural – so I was really expecting to be frightened right of the bat here.  And in fact, there is a demon possessed idol that makes its appearance early in the story.  However, there is also a lot of real-world horror in this book as well.  The story follows Kevin (who got the idol in Africa) and his college friend Liz, and his daughter.  The point of view alternates between Liz and Kevin, which I like as a writing style, and I though the character development (especially of Liz) was brilliant. Chris Datta had you right in her mind as she struggled with her own sanity.

I highly recommend this book to fans of horror and mystery books.  You won’t be disappointed!

Giveaway

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About the Author

Debut author CHRISTOPHER DATTA is no stranger to civil conflict or the still-extant scourge of slavery. Most recently the acting ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan where he helped end a war in April of 2012, he has spent a distinguished career moving from one strife-torn country to another, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his research for Touched with Fire is exacting and based in part on a true story.

The Demon Stone – Interview with Author Chris Datta

Today I’m excited to bring you a Guest Post and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta. His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta

demonstone1
The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
“Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”
-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
Amazon.comBarnes & Noble

Interview with Chris Datta

Novel Publicity: What drew you to writing about spiritual forces, and could you explain how spiritual forces can be both real and supernatural?

Christopher Datta: I want to write books that matter and do more than tell a story, although I think that telling a good story is critically important. What could be more significant than exploring our spiritual lives and to look for purpose beyond unexamined living and consuming day to day? I want to ask questions and lead the reader on a journey so that by the end of the book he or she hopefully comes to a new understanding about life.
I read a great deal about new advances in theoretical physics. It is a fascinating field that increasingly shows us that the more we know, the more we come to see how little we really grasp about the mysteries of the Universe. There are things about the cosmos and our place in it that we may never fully understand; that are, in fact, beyond our ability as human beings to fully comprehend. In Demon Stone, I symbolically represent those mysteries through the supernatural.
NP: The two geographic locations in the book are very distant from each other. How did Africa & Minnesota become part of the setting for The Demon Stone?
CD: I lived for many years in Minnesota (I went to high school with Jessie Ventura!) and I loved camping in the isolated Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The wilderness is both a thrilling and at the same time dangerous and even alien environment, which again serves as a metaphor in the story for life. There is an incident with a black bear in the book that is close to something that really happened to me.
My career as an American diplomat took me to many places in Africa. The original inspiration for the book occurred when I was traveling through rural Uganda. I came across a hut with a hand painted sign advertising the services of a local shaman. Intrigued, I stopped and met the old man, who offered to cast a curse on any enemies I wanted eliminated. That got me thinking about what it would be like to have that kind of power, and what the unintended consequences of using it might be. The record of the human use of unbridled power is not very good. In my travels through many war zones I have seen incredible beauty and sacrifice as well as the most horrible and brutal acts of cruelty.
NP: Did you have to do a lot of research into different cultures and religions to write this book, and can we expect to delve into the differences between cultures throughout the book?
CD: I have lived and worked for many years in several African countries. I also studied the belief in demons in Africa, and Agbadofrom my story is a demon well known in Sierra Leone. My son is an adopted war orphan from Sierra Leone who has been with me since he was 14 years old and he was a big help with some portions of the book. Religion and culture play a big role in the story.
NP: How much of the book was inspired by your work overseas?
CD: I saw the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda, was in Sierra Leone at the end of the brutal civil war in that country, was the acting Ambassador to Liberia when the capitol was attacked by two rebel armies in a war that I helped to end and I was again the acting Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan when war broke out between that nation and Sudan. Again, I played a major role in helping to end that conflict. I have brought two African war criminals to justice and was active in a program to try to end the reign of terror led by Joseph Koney, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most brutal and deadly terrorist groups in Africa. General Mosquito in my book is based on a real warlord in Sierra Leone. I actually played a role in bringing him to justice. I have had to deal first hand with the bane of child soldiers and modern slavery in Africa.
NP: The Demon Stone seems to have everything from love & tragedy to religion and supernatural beasts. Can you expand a bit on your writing process, and how you were able to bring the characters together across vast distances and very different settings?
CD: That’s complicated! Many of the characters in the story are based on real people I have known. General Mosquito, for instance. Gem and Hampton, the two dogs in the story, are dogs I have known and loved very much. Basically, I took experiences and people from my life in America and in Africa, put them in an environment of my creation, and let them weave the story together. My books never turn out the way I think they will at the beginning of writing them. The characters at some point take over and they tell the story. Sometimes, in my experience, all a good writer has to do is listen carefully to what the people he creates are telling him. That certainly happened in Demon Stone. But that shouldn’t be surprising. If you are really on a spiritual journey in telling a story, and you do a good job of it, you should expect to wind up in unexpected places.
NP: Who were the easiest and toughest characters to write and why?
CD: The toughest character to write was Morgan. She is one of the main antagonists of the book, but I didn’t want her to be a caricature and there was a real risk of her being a two dimensional archetype instead of a real flesh and blood person. On some level, for an antagonist to work well in a story, the reader needs to identify or on some level sympathize with that person. Morgan does terrible things, but terrible things have happened to her. I hope that comes across in the story.
The easiest character to write was Hampton. He’s a dog, a very loveable, dopey and fearless dog. I enjoyed writing about him.
NP: People often talk about feeling like they’re being followed, especially if they have to walk through a secluded area by themselves. What gave you the idea to play on people’s fear of being stalked for this book?
CD: All the time I spent in the isolated Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. I love it, but there is nothing that will give you the heebie-jeebies faster than being alone in the middle of the deep forest in the middle of the night. I suspect thousands of years of human evolution dealing with the risks of being secluded in the dark in a wilderness just naturally puts the fear in us. We somehow intuitively feel the threat of being hunted.
NP: Demons are part of many religions and cultures myths. Was there a particular reason you decided to write about demons?
CD: We create demons, and we have always created demons. They symbolically represent the forces in life that we fear. A spiritual journey, which I hope readers of Demon Stone find the book to be, needs to confront those demons and the dark side of our natures.
NP: Symbolism plays a large part in The Demon Stone. The Demon within can sometimes be as scary as a supernatural being seems. Do you think that talking about human behavior through the use of symbolism makes talking about tragedies like murder easier or harder?
CD: The most frightening sections of Demon Stone are not encounters with the demon, but the real and terrifying things people do to each other, sections of the book based on real events. The demon Agbado is a symbol of that dark nature that haunts us, that leads some of us to rationalize the most horrible of acts andrepresents the loss of empathy that permits people to commit such unspeakable crimes as genocide, which I have personally witnessed. To me, the most terrifying story in the book is the tale of the child soldier Muctar. This story is based on a real child. The demon within is the real monster of the book. But yes, I felt the use of symbolism made talking about these horrors easier, just as Halloween or The Day of the Dead in Mexico make dealing with monsters and death easier for us to confront.
NP: This is a two part question. The cover of The Demon Stone is very unique and doesn’t focus on any particular character, rather an object. Who did you choose to do the cover art and why? How hard was it to settle on the cover, or was it love at first sight?
CD: The mask on the cover of Demon Stone is from my personal collection. I bought it in Rwanda when I was there helping to reopen our embassy directly following the genocide in that country. It was always in the back of my mind to use it as the cover for this book (and yes, I started this book that long ago). Finding that mask in Rwanda at that particular moment, and the way it looked, just made it seem right to me for this book.
This type of mask is actually from the Congo, and is used in coming of age ceremonies for young men. A good friend of mine, Don Hurlbert, is a photographer for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, and he took the photo. Mallory Rock designed the cover. She is a terrific graphic designer I know and I use her for all the covers on my books.
NP: Civil conflict and slavery were both a focus in your working life. Do you find that your writing reflects this in The Demon Stone?
CD: Absolutely. It is a major part of what this book is about, and not just in The Demon Stone. I also have published Touched with Fire, a novel set in the American Civil War inspired by the true story of a slave woman who escapes by posing as a man. She later joins the Union army disguised as a man so she can fight her way South to free her husband. That story is turning into a trilogy, and book two, Fire and Dust, will be out in November. It also extensively addresses the issue of slavery in America before and during the Civil War, but is told exclusively from the Confederate side of the war. Book three will be set in the Reconstruction period of American history and the characters from the first two books will meet.
NP: Survivors’ guilt can be devastating to many people who work in war torn countries and come back home to a peaceful life. Having worked overseas, and in war torn countries, do you have any advice for others. Would you say writing The Demon Stone has been a cathartic experience for you?
CD: I have been in some very tough situations involving life and death issues for sometimes thousands of people, as well as having been under fire myself. Sometimes I saved people, sometimes I couldn’t.
I have had to deal with instances of PTSD. It was never easy, and there were times I had to step away from Demon Stone because it was getting too deep into places I was not, at the time, ready to go to for the sake of my own well being.
What helps? Giving yourself permission to take the time to heal and being able to confront the demons with good friends are both important. Know and accept that you are not Superman, and don’t expect yourself to be. That’s not healthy. In the end, writing Demon Stone was cathartic, but there were times it was right for me to keep away from it until I was ready.

Giveaway

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About the Author

Chris1Debut author CHRISTOPHER DATTA is no stranger to civil conflict or the still-extant scourge of slavery. Most recently the acting ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan where he helped end a war in April of 2012, he has spent a distinguished career moving from one strife-torn country to another, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his research for Touched with Fire is exacting and based in part on a true story.

Below the Surface {Book Review}

Disclaimer:  I received Below the Surface from BookLook Bloggers for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Book

Something is wrong with Cooper. He is plagued by a fear he doesn’t understand and can t control. Cooper just wants to escape, and a summer vacation aboard the restored cabin cruiser, The Getaway, with best friends Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk seems like the perfect way to do it. Two weeks of fun—with no mysteries or life-and-death danger. That’s the plan. But their plans are shattered the very first night when they witness a murder. Or did they? Despite their intentions of leaving the investigation to the police, narrow misses and creepy encounters lure them in. Is there really a body floating in the underwater currents of the lake? The closer they get to the truth, the deeper into danger they get. Too late they see the trap. Now each of them must face their own buried fears . . . just below the surface.

My Review

The publisher bills Below the Surface as Christian teen fiction, but frankly, I didn’t find this book overly preachy or religious.  What it did not have was a bunch of sex and bad language – so BONUS!  It focuses on handling fear – both religously and secularly.  This is also supposed to be a book billed for boys, but I think that sells it short – there is only one main female character though.  The general premise of the movie is that the group of teens think they witness a murder, but then the dead girl shows up.  So they continue to investigate, and basically get themselves into a whole mess of trouble.  The book is quite suspenseful, and the writing is competent.  There were some parts of the plot that seems a bit remarkable/unbelievable, but I don’t want to give away too much The book is very easy to read and I think most teens would find this an entertaining and engaging series.  I will likely be checking out the early books in the series.

Buy It

 Buy Below the Surface on Amazon (Hardcover) for Only $10.75

The Demon Stone – Author Chris Datta Guest Post!

Today I’m excited to bring you a Guest Post and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta. His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta

The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors. ”Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon

Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”

-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood

Guest Post by Chris Datta

We’re coming up on Halloween and this is the book you need to read to get ready for the scare! But don’t take my word for it.

“Don’t read this one before you go to bed. And if you do, leave the lights on.”

—Hill Rag Magazine, Washington DC

The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, I spin a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors. When Kevin volunteered to travel to a war-ravaged country in Africa to help out his childhood buddy, Bill, now a physician with Doctors Without Borders, he knew he might face danger. But he could not have envisioned the brief, nightmare encounter that would rob him of his friend, his principles, and quite possibly his sanity. When he returns to his family in the United States, he carries with him not only survivors’ guilt, but, according to a grizzled old juju man in the service of a warlord, a powerful demon. Liz cannot understand why, precisely, she agreed to go camping with her old college friend Kevin and his sullen teenage daughter, but it was clear that in the wake of his sudden divorce and a horrific family tragedy, Kevin needed someone to lean on. The canoeing trip in the Boundary Waters was supposed to be an escape, an opportunity to bring back the old Kevin. But once in the forests, Kevin’s behavior grows increasingly off-kilter, and Liz feels a growing sense of unease, one that ripens into fear. As the trio glide further into the wilderness, it becomes clear that someone, or something, is stalking them.

I have been a civil conflict specialist with the U.S. State Department, last serving in the newly established embassy in South Sudan. In the course of a long and distinguished career, I have gone into places best known for genocide and bloody conflagration. This novel, which grows out of my experience in the field, is a provocative meditation on the nature of evil.

Giveaway

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About the Author

Debut author CHRISTOPHER DATTA is no stranger to civil conflict or the still-extant scourge of slavery. Most recently the acting ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan where he helped end a war in April of 2012, he has spent a distinguished career moving from one strife-torn country to another, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his research for Touched with Fire is exacting and based in part on a true story.

EatSmart Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer Review

* I received a free EatSmart Precision Elite Thermocouple Good Thermometer in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

 

I love cooking on my indoor grill throughout the year, and I love cooking pork loins throughout the winter.  The Precision Elite Food Thermometer is an amazing tool for chefs both inside and out!  I was super impressed with the Precision Elite Food Thermometer right out of the box.  It is very well made and comes with a black antimicrobial case.

The Precision Elite is super easy to use.  You just pop out the stainless steel probe, and insert it into the thickest part of the meat.  The probe is pretty small – it barely puts a hole into the meat, so all of the yummy juices stay inside your meat.

The best part of the Precision Elite Thermometer is that it is SUPER fast!  You can get a temperature reading in 3 seconds or less!  And the thermocouple sensor is super accurate so you going to get a perfectly grilled or baked dish!  It also has an extremely broad range of temperate – it will measure foods from -40F to 572F, so pretty much anything that you will cook will fall into that range.

You can purchase the Precision Elite Food Thermometer on Amazon.com for $39.95, and it is CERTAINLY worth it.  You will never struggle with taking your dinner’s temperature again with the EatSmart Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer!

 

 

 

 

 


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sweet Cookbook Brings the Best of Food Network Magazine to Your Kitchen

*Disclaimer:  I received Sweet from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are my own.

sweet

About Sweet

TAKE ALL THE GUESSWORK OUT OF DESSERT! Food Network Magazine editors have picked their all-time favorite treats and put them into one amazing book. In Sweet, you’ll find over-the-top brownies, super fun cupcakes, show-off layer cakes, one-of-a-kind cookies and so much more.

This great collection includes recipes for any occasion, with step-by-step instructions and full-page color photographs to help you along. You don’t need to be an experienced baker to get started. Every dessert in this book is easy to follow—and totally foolproof. Each recipe has been triple-tested, so you know it’ll come out just right. Flip through and you’ll find some fun surprises, too: a bowl made of chocolate, a spectrum of frosting colors and a cake that looks like a giant caramel apple. Check out what’s inside!

My Review

If you love sweets, Sweet is the cookbook for you!  It is a collection of awesome sweet treats from Food Network Magazine.  There are several things I really like about this cookbook.  I love the way that the book is set up.  In addition to having good chapters, including Cookies and bars, Pies & Crumbles, Fake-Out Cakes, and Show-Off Cakes, the beginning of the book has a picture of each and every recipe!  This makes it super easy to take a glance through the amazing photography to check out which recipes you would like to try.

I also really love the range of recipes that are in the book – there are excellent cookies that are easy enough for beginning bakers, and then there are some recipes that are clearly for the professional – namely the “fake out” cakes which look like other food.  For example, there is a “Guacamole and Chips Cake” that legit looks like a bowl of guac you would get at your favorite Mexican food restaurant – a bit intimidating for a beginner baker like me – but AWESOME to see the technique that goes into it.

I also love the range of desserts in this book – in addition to cookies and cakes, there are also recipes for truffles, doughnuts, tarts, and other sweet treats that I don’t have experience in making.  I see these types of treats made on my fave cooking shows, and I’m excited to give them a try with this cookbook!

The only thing I haven’t like about Sweet is that one recipe I found (the Popcorn Cake) in the Fake-Out Section failed to list ingredients (fondant and caramel popcorn) that were needed for the cake.  They were probably pretty obvious, but sometimes I shop for a recipe before reading the recipe, so I might have missed these.  I haven’t found any other recipes with this problem but of course haven’t yet read every recipe.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

BY Sparkling Mousse by Framesi {Product Review}

* Disclaimer: I received free BY Sparkling Mousse by Framesi in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have super, super thick, heavy hair, so it’s tough for me to find hair products that don’t weigh down my hair or make it look greasy or sticky.  So I was excited to give BY Sparkling Mousse by Framesi a try.

One of the first thing that I look for in a hair care product (any beauty product for that matter), is a light, pleasant scent.  I don’t need to have something be odor free, but I hate chemically-smelling product.  BY Sparkling Mousse has a nice, pleasant smell that stayed in my hair throughout the day – this is a huge plus in this mousse’s favor.

framesi

 

Obviously the second thing that I look for is performance – I don’t want anything that weights my hair down or makes it sticky – I’m constantly playing with my hair, so anything sticky is OUT.  BY Sparkling Mousse is alcohol free and foamed up right away – it was super light.  It worked well into my hair and didn’t leave any stickiness or goopiness like gel does.  I blew my hair dry as normal and I noticed that it was shinier and had more body than normal.   It helped hold the slight curl that I put into my hair with my round brush as well – so this product is definitely a winner for me!  Give it a try if your beauty routine has been lacking!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
 

Fried & True Takes Fried Chicken to a Whole New Level!

*Disclaimer:  I received Fried & True from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are my own.

fried & true

 

 

About Fried & True

Whether you prefer it cold out of the fridge or hot and crispy on a buttery biscuit, you will find your new favorite fried chicken recipe in Fried & True, serving up more than 50 recipes for America’s most decadently delicious food.

Lee Schrager has left no stone unturned in his quest to find America’s best fried chicken. From four-star restaurants to roadside fry shacks, you’ll learn how to brine your bird, give it a buttermilk bath, batter or even double batter it, season with loads of spices, and fry it up to golden perfection. Recipes to savor include:

–Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
–Yotam Ottolenghi’s Seeded Chicken Schnitzel with Parsley-Caper Mayonnaise
–Marcus Samuelsson’s Coconut Fried Chicken with Collards and Gravy
–Jacques-Imo’s Fried Chicken and Smothered Cabbage
–The Loveless Café’s Fried Chicken and Hash Brown Casserole
–Blackberry Farm’s Sweet Tea–Brined Fried Chicken
–Charles Phan’s Hard Water Fried Chicken
–Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken
–Wylie Dufresne’s Popeyes-Style Chicken Tenders and Biscuits

Sink your teeth into Fried & True, the source of your next great fried chicken masterpiece and a tribute to America’s most beloved culinary treasure.

My Review

If you LOVE fried chicken, Fried & True is the cookbook for you!  This is a HUGE compilation of not only awesome fried chicken recipes, but also amazing side dishes that you will find accompanying fried chicken, like buttermilk biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and dirty rice.  You will also find recipes that have an ethic flair, such as Keralan Fried Chicken with Cardamom Waffles and Spicy Maple Syrup.

The book is arranged geographically, with sections on Southern Inspiration (featuring heavy hitters such as Paula Deen), American Originals, and Pacific Rim Flavors.  There are separate sections on Fried Chicken 101 (great for those of you who are frying newbies), as well as a separate sections on “Sandwiches, Wings, Li’l Bits, and Special Diets”. Special diets includes things like “vegetarian” chicken, gluten free, and baked chicken.

I really like this book – because I loved fried chicken.  If fried chicken isn’t your thing, steer clear.  But if you’re looking for a great way to learn and experiment with all the different ways that you can enjoy the yumminess that is fried chicken!

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

 

The Nourished Kitchen Bring the Farm to Your Table

*Disclaimer:  I received The Nourished Kitchen from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

About the Book

A cookbook from the author of the popular website Nourished Kitchen, featuring over 160 recipes based on the “traditional foods” philosophy of eating, which emphasizes whole grains, dairy, red meat, organ meats, and fermented foods.  

The traditional foods movement is a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense, real food, and values quality, environment, and community over the convenience of processed, additive-laden products that are the norm on grocery store shelves.

Based on the research of Weston A. Price, who studied the diets of indigenous peoples to understand the relationship between nutrition and health, a traditional foods diet avoids processed ingredients, but allows meat, animal fat, and grains. It embraces cultured dairy, such as kefir and yogurt, that contain beneficial bacteria; fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kombucha, that are rich in probiotics; and organ meats that are packed with vitamins and minerals. It also celebrates locally grown foods. By choosing ingredients from nearby sources, you create a stronger connection to your food, and have a better understanding what you’re eating and how it was produced.

In The Nourished Kitchen, Jennifer McGruther guides you through her traditional foods kitchen and offers more than 160 recipes inspired by  the seasons, land, and waters around her. In the morning, fuel up with Eggs Poached in Fiery Tomato Sauce. On a hot summer day, Cucumber Salad with Dill and Kefir is a cooling side dish, and on a chilly fall evening, Barley in Broth with Bacon and Kale offers comfort and warmth. Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf with Gravy makes a hearty family meal, while Chicken in Riesling with Peas can be the centerpiece of an elegant supper. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Maple-Roasted Pears, and quench your thirst with naturally fermented Vanilla Mint Soda. With the benefit of Jennifer’s experience, you can craft a loaf of Whole Wheat and Spelt Sourdough Bread and stock your kitchen with Spiced Sour Pickles with Garlic.     

The Nourished Kitchen not only teaches how to prepare wholesome, nourishing foods, but also encourages a mindful approach cooking and a celebration of old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for millennia. Whether you’re already a practitioner of the traditional foods lifestyle or simply trying to incorporate more natural, highly nutritious foods into your routine, you will find plenty to savor in The Nourished Kitchen.

My Review

I love this book – it is truly “old-school.”  One of my favorite books (still) is Little House in the Big Woods, and I love the part of the book that talks about how the family puts up all of their food, including fresh churned butter.  This book taps into that same part of me…the part that loves (when I have the time) to get my hands dirty and make food from scratch, from fresh, local ingredients.

There are some really cool recipes in this book – it teaches you how to make butter, cheese, and a variety of yogurt.  Some of them require raw milk (meaning not pasteurized), and I’m not sure where to get that just yet, but just ready about the techniques is fascinating!  The book is divided into sections, such as “From the Water” and “From the Fields” and has a HUGE variety of foods – from drinks, to breakfast, to dinner, to dessert.  The ingredients range from the somewhat-hard-to-procure but yummy sounding (Rabbit Pie with Bacon and Chantarelles – umm, yes please!) to the gourmet (Braised Short Rib with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Herbs), to the no-thank-you-but-interesting (Pickled Tongue with Mustard Sauce).  That being said, as with other cookbooks I have reviewed, this is NOT a cookbook where you can go to your pantry, grab a bunch of canned goods and throw together dinner – it’s recipes are thoughtful and soulful.

This is truly a cookbook that is a fascinating, beautiful addition to your cookbook collection, and gives you a blast from our culinary past.  It may make you want to move to a farm, especially if you are like me and are partially bent to that idea in any case!

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