Review: Ciderhouse Cookbook by Jonathan Carr & Nicole Blum

Review: Ciderhouse Cookbook by Jonathan Carr & Nicole BlumTitle: Ciderhouse Recipes
Author: Jonathan Carr & Nicole Blum
Publisher: Storey Publishing LLC
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Inspired by the full flavors emanating from their idyllic ciderhouse located in the heart of a rustic New England apple orchard, Jonathan Carr and Nicole Blum’s recipes, developed in collaboration with chef Andrea Blum, celebrate the versatility of fresh cider in all its forms.

Ciderhouse Cookbook teaches home cooks how to make a full array of traditional cider products, including cider syrups, molasses, vinegars, shrubs, and switchels, as well as apple preserves. The 127 cider-enriched recipes that follow are simple yet elegant, ranging from Oven-Roasted Asparagus with Garlicky Apple Vinaigrette to Braised Lamb Stew with Apples, Switchel, and Yogurt Mint Sauce; Cider Mimosas; Apple Pommeau Cake; and Crêpes with Fried Apples and Cider Caramel Sauce. With beautiful photography that captures the ambiance of the ciderhouse, this book is a deliciously loving tribute to America’s favorite fruit.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Ciderhouse Cookbook by Jonathan Carr and Nicole Blum is a recipe book that really took me by surprise. There is quite a bit of history and backstory about the authors and their approach for a sustainable orchard. Admittedly, I did find this aspect to be a little to lengthy, but it is nice to understand the authors behind the recipes. Most of these recipes will require some special cider ingredients that you can either make yourself or purchase. If you are looking for traditional recipes on how to make things with apple cider, this book may be a bit more than expected. Continue reading

Review: Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt by Nicole Weston

Review: Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt by Nicole WestonTitle: Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt: 56 Amazing Flavors plus Recipes for Pies, Cakes Other Frozen Desserts
Author: Nicole Weston
Publisher: Storey Publishing LLC
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Goodreads
five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Learn to make frozen yogurt at home that’s just as light, smooth, and delightful as what you buy. You’ll use Greek yogurt as a base and a basic ice cream machine to make these 56 flavor recipes that range from traditional to artisanal, including black cherry vanilla, toasted coconut, peach Melba, chai spice, watermelon, maple bacon, chocolate malted, pistachio, and browned butter pecan. An additional 50 recipes for treats like blueberry sugar cookie sandwiches, brownie baked Alaska, Neapolitan semifreddo, cinnamon bun pops, and salted caramel swirl bonbons ensure this is the sweetest guide ever to making and enjoying frozen yogurt

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt by Nicole Weston is a staple that anyone with an ice cream maker will want in their recipe book collection. This beautifully illustrated book has recipes that can easily be followed by beginners. It also includes a range of simple to more complex desserts that will rival any frozen yogurt stand. Continue reading

Recipe Book Review: Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr

Book cover for Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr.

Title: Tanya Bakes
Author: Tanya Burr
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 30, 2016
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Following the phenomenally successful Love, Tanya, Tanya Burr is back with her very first cookbook. In Tanya Bakes, she shares her passion for baking along with all her favourite recipes. As well as cakes and bakes, readers will love Tanya’s delicious and simple puddings, loaves and pastries.

From everyday staple bakes to sweet treats for special occasions, Tanya’s got the perfect recipe, every time:
– Tanya’s Ultimate Celebration Cake
– Banoffee Pie
– Salted Caramel Cheesecake
– Rhubarb and Custard Muffins
– Earl Grey Tea Loaf
– Tanya’s Nanny’s Apple Pie
– Smarties Flapjacks

So make yourself at home in the kitchen with Tanya and treat yourself, your friends and family to something delicious!

Goodreads | Amazon

If you are a fan of YouTube, you have most likely become familiar with Tanya Burr and her hilarious and informative lifestyle channel. When I was asked by Penguin Random House Canada if I wanted to review this cookbook, I obviously jumped at the chance. This book has the most beautiful images, and it is one that contains some fantastic recipes that even the most inexperienced of chefs can attempt. There are also lots of personal stories attached to the recipes, which make for quite a fun and enlightening read. My only criticism of this book would be that for the average North American reader, this book contains British cooking measurements. This will require the user to convert measurements if the required tools aren’t at hand.

Tanya Bakes has got to be one of the most gorgeous cookbooks that I have ever seen, and I am quite a fan of the genre. The images are so full of life and the pictures just seem to pop with excitement. It is so enjoyable to flip through a book of recipes and see gorgeous images of how the recipe will look when it is all finished. Definitely my favourite aspect of this book.

What is really fun and interesting about Tanya Bakes is the narrative that is included in the book. Tanya shares lots of life stories and inspiration as to why certain recipes are included in the book. This is something that takes this book into the memoir or autobiography  genre, as readers learn little tidbits about Tanya’s childhood and present day life.

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Australian Toasted Banan Bread

I typically attempt a few recipes from the cookbooks that I am reviewing, as I find that the process is just as important as the layout. The instructions for the recipes are clear and concise. There are tons of different types of desserts and even some wonderful seasonal recipes to try. I did give the Australian Toasted Banana Bread a whirl, as the ingredients were something I had on hand and the result was phenomenal. Although, I do prefer it untoasted myself. It was a bit time consuming to convert the ingredients, though. There are some great converters online and I did find one site that I found useful for this recipe if you are interested in making something from a cookbook that has different measurements than you are accustomed to.

Tanya Bakes is a gorgeous book that is sure to be enjoyed by all of her fans and those who love to bake. I am looking forward to taking a look at Tanya’s newest cookbook as well, as it centres around my favourite time of the year: Christmas!

ARC Review: Sweet Revenge by Heather Kim

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Title: Sweet Revenge: Passive-Agressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies
Author: Heather Kim
Publisher: Switch Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2018
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 50+ killer cakes, cookies, and candies for your exes and enemies. Dumped by your beefcake boyfriend? BFF steal your one-and-only? Lab partner a more-than-periodic no-show? Don’t take these battles online. (Seriously, don’t do that, okay?). Get out your heaviest rolling pins, sharpest cleavers, and most blistering torches, and kill your enemies and exes . . . with kindness. That’s right – bake that loser ex a pan of Go Fudge Yourself. Gift your former friend a You’re the Devil Cake. And give that annoying admirer a Donut Call Me Again. Let them taste your over-them happiness and see what comes next . . . Pastry chef and tattoo artist Heather Kim serves up sinfully delicious recipes and bittersweet advice.

Goodreads | Amazon

You have most likely guessed from the title of this book alone that it is a fun way to take your heartbreak into the kitchen and work out some of your frustrations by making treats. Kim’s approach is one that is not a self-help book per se, but a book that can be used to get a little bit of “sweet revenge.” The act of mixing and baking has never had such a unique twist!

Sweet Revenge is a collection of recipes with some hilarious treats to make for that ex of yours (or yourself). There are cookies, bars, cakes and candies of all sorts to create. So many of the recipes are simple and have lots of interesting additions such as Doritos and Butterfingers. The images and the titles are so well thought out that they will make you laugh out loud, which is really the best therapy there is in my opinion. How can you keep a straight face while making a coffee cake entitled, You’re the Crumb of the Earth?

You've Lowered the Bar

I gave the You’ve Lowered the Bar (aka: Chocolate-Hazlenut Peanut Butter Bars) a try and they were so fast and easy to make. Personally, I wouldn’t give anything so yummy away to an enemy or an ex, so I enjoyed it with my friends instead. There is something about chocolate and peanut butter mixed together that can be quite satisfying.

This is one unique type of cookbook that has some fun and original ideas to help heal anyone’s heart. The images are whimsical and the recipes are perfect for anyone in need of a little revenge.

ARC Review: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

Title: Sweet
Author: Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): There’s nothing like a perfectly light sponge flavoured with spices and citrus or an icing-sugar-dusted cookie to raise the spirits and create a moment of pure joy.’

In his stunning new baking and desserts cookbook Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings – including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom – to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream.

Sweet includes over 110 innovative recipes, from Blackberry and Star Anise Friands, Tahini and Halva Brownies, Persian Love Cakes, Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread, and Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines to Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Walnut and Rosewater and Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs.

There is something here to delight everyone – from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children to showstopping layer cakes and roulades that will reignite the imaginations of accomplished bakers.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have never had the pleasure of visiting an Ottolenghi restaurant, however it is definitely one thing on my travel to-do list. When I saw this recipe book was available for request, I was instantly excited to give it a try. The images are stunning, the layout is simple, and the instructions are easy to follow. That being said, depending on where you live, some of the interesting ingredients required to create these unique treats may be hard to find.

Admittedly, I have quite a large sweet tooth, so a collection of yummy new desserts to make is something that brings me joy. Sweet is a collection of cookies, cakes, and more that can be made at any time of the year. Although the instructions are clear and concise,  these recipes are geared towards experienced bakers. The techniques and tools that are required do involve some prior training, and while the recipes could be made with the assistance of children, it may be a bit overwhelming to tackle.

I do enjoy creating interesting and new treats. One thing that I discovered about my own habits, however, is that simplicity is something I strive for. I found myself drooling over all of the recipes included in Sweet, but just didn’t have the desire to put in the effort required to create most of the desserts.

cookies

Orange and Star Anise Shortbread

I did opt to make the Orange and Star Anise Shortbread cookies. Sourcing most of the ingredients was fairly simple. The Italian and rice flours, vanilla beans, and star anise took me to 2 different stores to find. As the instructions are laid out quite well, these cookies turned out as expected and were absolutely an explosion of flavours in your mouth. The star anise is a very unique addition to a shortbread cookie and gives a flavour of liquorice to the cookie. Also, my entire house was filled with a wonderful aroma that was so enjoyable.

The citrus and spice combinations that can be found within the pages of Sweet are incredible. The book is a gorgeous addition to any baker’s collection. For those who enjoy a challenge in the kitchen, I highly recommend giving these recipes a try.