Aug 29, 2015

Southern Cooking & Everyday Detox Cookbook Reviews

It's a bit ironic that I am reviewing two different cookbooks today seeing as I have not really cooked anything in the past month. Ever since moving back in with my parents at the end of July, life has been a whirlwind with wedding planning, commuting to work one hour away, preparing for a garage sale, looking for nursing jobs and preparing for my move in Texas. Needless to say, life has been hectic and I've been pretty spoiled by my mom and grandma's Romanian cooking. That said, I am really excited to  start cooking with Greg once we're married. We typically cook together at least once during our visits and it's always fun to see how we work together during those times. He is the meat expert and I do the baking and salads.  When I saw these two cookbooks available for reviewing, I eagerly chose them and have been flipping through the pages, daydreaming of homemade meals in the apartment that will soon become ours. 

Southern Cooking For Company: More Than 200 Souther Hospitality Secrets & Show-Off Recipes
Nicki Pendleton Wood

How can you go wrong with a title like that?! This Northwest gal is making her way down to the South this autumn and she is ready to learn a thing or two about southern cooking, y'all! Some tasty down-home comfort food sounds like a fun challenge! I look forward to growing in hospitality, so this book is a treat. Greg and I are excited to invite people around our table and to share stories and encourage one another . . . and to fill their bellies with some good meals.

I love that this is more than just a cookbook about southern food. Each of the chapters (Appetizers; Burnch, Breakfast, & Bread; Main Dishes; Side Dishes; Desserts) starts off with a little blurb about making the home a warm and inviting place to share a meal. Nicki shares that "gracious hosting comes from a place of purposeful caring. The warmth you share with guests suffuses the part with a spirit of pampering and the generosity of an open hand". Gosh, I love that. Hospitality does not just happen. It is an intentional way of serving with your heart and your hands. 

Ok, so let's get to the food, shall we? YUM! I love that fresh fruit is a mainstay for lots of the recipes (there is even an easy recipe for strawberry milk!). Fresh-squeezed lemonade with blackberries and peaches (p.15) and winter hot spiced tea (includes peach and  cranberry and orange juice!) sound like the perfect way to cool down on a hot Texas summer's day. Or pick up some veggies and try zucchini fritters (p. 24), lemon guacemole (p. 39), black-eyed pea and edamame succotash (p/173), and lemon miso sweet potatoes (p.191). Don't skimp on the proteins: turkey pablano soup (p. 160), texas-style chili (p. 141), and crab cake mac & cheese (p. 156). Is anyone salivating yet? Save room for dessert with creations like a Tennessee jam cake (p.227), rhubarb crisp (p.263), and peach galette (p. 257). 

The recipes are easy to follow and the presentation is impeccable with mouth-watering food photography. I am looking forward to trying many of the recipes in this cookbook!

**** Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Icon Media Group  in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Everyday Detox: 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally
Megan Gilmore
Expertly combining the science of gut mechanics with the science of delicious cooking, Everyday Detox has delicious recipes that won't leave you feeling bloated or unhealthy. Each recipe has gut motility and overall gut health in mind, but don't let that sound like the recipes taste like cardboard. The look fresh and delicious! And there is a lot of great information about overall healthy eating with tips on creating naturally detoxifying meals and how to cook with all-natural, whole foods. 

I am excited to try the cauliflower flatbread pizza (p. 129), curried sweet potato bisque (p.102), almond butter freezer fudge (p. 147), thai-style lettuce wraps (p. 107), southwest stuffed sweet potatoes (p. 124), skillet fish tacos with citrus slaw (p. 109), and maple mustard glazed salmon (p.142) 

Many of the recipes are paleo and gluten-free, offering a healthy alternative to fad diets. These are principles and recipes that are not a quick fix, but a way of eating responsibly and purposefully without sacrificing taste. 

**** Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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