Monday, March 30, 2009

Soup's On Challenge Completed

This fun and flavorful challenge was issued last year by Ex Libris. Since I love reading cookbooks and occasionally preparing a recipe I find, I decided to join this challenge.

The challenge was to read 6 cookbooks and make at least one recipe from each. The time period was from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. As you can see I'm getting in just under the wire! I did post about three cookbooks, The Best Family Cooker Recipes, Taste of Home's Light & Tasty annual Recipes 2003 and Making Memories: the Dairy Keen Cookbook earlier in the year. That leaves 3 more to write about today - actually I have 4 more.

If you are interested in seeing any of the recipes you can click on the links. I have a small blog for recipes and brief cooking experience notes. That blog is called A Food Journal. The books I listed above are linked back to my reviews of those books on this blog. There are links to recipes in those posts, too.

The Marshall Field's Cookbook - This is a beautiful cookbook that I bought when visiting Chicago. Dolce Bellezza told us we had to visit Macy's, the site of the original Marshall Field's store and while there we needed to buy some Frango mints. That was some pretty terrific advice that I pass on to anyone going to Chicago. Thanks Bellezza.

I only tried one recipe, Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Basil Sauce. I printed all recipes on my food blog, A Food Journal. Very tasty and quite easy and fast. I will definitely make this again. I love looking through this book because all the recipes have pictures. The next recipe I'm going to try is Coconut Shrimp with Mango-Pineapple Sauce. Doesn't that sound heavenly?

Kosher by Design Lightens Up - I was lucky enough to
receive this Jewish cookbook as a review copy. There are pages of helpful information in the front with wonderful picutres. There are definitions for some popular terms that are being tossed around, such as antioxidants, curcumin, lycopene and ellagic acid. A page lists several of the superfoods that are creating a buzz along with their potent properties and health benefits.

There's a picture of healthy grains along with a write about each, including quinoa, brown rice, spelt and farro. Also, pages devoted to oils, anoter for sugars, another for seeds and nuts, and gadgets for healthy cooking. This reference section is great and easy to read and I love having the pictures. Each recipe includes a full-page picture.

Author Susie Fishbein includes a paragraph or two with each recipe that includes interesting tidbits. One of the recipes I tried and absolutely loved was Roasted Beet Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons. Here's the paragraph included with the recipe:
Many beat woup recipes begin with boiling the beets. When you do that, you lose nutrients, color, and flavor. I prefer roasting the beets - and I always make extra. The natural sugars in the beet caramelize and the texture is wonderful. Beets contain a wealth of fiber and are rich in folic acid, essential for preventing some anemias and neural-tube birth defects.
I like this recipe so much that I am going to include beets in my garden this year. I also tried the Faux Potato Kugel, Brussels Sprouts Poppers, and Teriyaki Butternut Squash Rounds. I'm going to plant butternut squash, too!

Make-A-Mix Cookery - This is a cookbook I used when I was a young wife with 3 young children and needed to budget tightly. I regularly used the Quick Mix instead of buy Bisquick. I also used the Pancake Mix, Granola Mix, Hot Chocolate Mix.
And I adapted a lot of the mixes to fit some of my own recipes. I love this cookbook. I had to order a 2nd one because mine was nearly in shreds.

One of our family's favorite is Puff Oven Pancakes. I've been making these for over 25 years.

I've enjoyed having this cookbook back in my hands. There are so many mixes I want to make and recipes I want to try. The first part of the book has the recipes for all the money-saving mixes. This is followed by recipes for breads, main dishes, side dishes, desserts and other goodies. There's a more current edition, but I wanted THIS one.

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two - I love using my
slow cooker. Nothing better than smelling those luscious aromas
all day and then putting it on the table hours after preparing it. I've only tried the Old-Fashioned Meatloaf. There are many more that I have marked. I just wish I cooked more.


Bellezza said...

Can you believe I don't own this bookbook? With the picture of my very favorite Walnut Room treat on it? (Chicken pot pie, I got it every single time we went to Fields. For thirty years.) I love your review, and now I have to go buy some of these cookbooks for myself. Especially since I just get hungry looking at them!

Staci said...

I loved each description of the cookbooks! The Marshall Field's Cookbook looks gorgeous...I love that potpie on the front. Kosher by Design...I love pictures too in my cookbooks, in fact, I don't think you could ever have too many pictures. The Make-A-Mix sounds great so that you can make your own mixes without having to rely on buying it from the store. And your last one I look forward to using when the youngest graduates and is off to college...just have to feed hubby and myself!! LOL!!

Great Post!

Framed said...

I have a bad habit of buying cookbooks which you know I'll never use. Why would I start cooking at this late age?