SkinnyTaste: Fast and Slow


Slow cooker recipes can’t be beat.  They are time savers and one of my favorite ways to prepare a good dinner.  Is there anything better than walking in after work and getting hit with the aroma of dinner cooking.

There are 60 recipes for slow cookers as well as recipes that can made in 30 minutes.  This is definitely for the working person when you want dinner to be an easy affair after working all day.  All the recipes call for healthy ingredients so, no junk food to get your dinner on the table quickly. That’s a winner!

There weren’t as many vegetarian recipes as I’d hoped for  but there are some good ones I can adapt for our family.  Plus, since we eat fish, there are so many delectable meals there.  The photography is great.  I plan on the shrimp and avocado meal very soon!

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Author Bio

  • I received this cookbook free of charge from the Blogging for Books program.  I was not compensated and all opinions are my own.

Modern Potluck just wasn’t my cuppa tea

modern potluck

I saw the word Potluck and thought this would have an excellent selection of recipes. It does in fact have many recipes as well as wonderful glossy photos. The statement to give people “foolproof, crowd-pleasing” recipes fell short for me and my household in regard to taste preferences. I see many 4 and 5 star reviews and honestly, I am happy for those folks that this book was a success for them.

For me, the word Potluck inspires casseroles and easy to prepare foods that you know almost everyone wants to sample. You arrive with “the dish” and people say, yesssssssss….I love that or can’t wait to try it!

This wasn’t the mental image that came to mind as I turned page after page trying to find something I would cook. Something we would make over and over. In my opinion, this book is for people who are extremely passionate and adventurous regarding some out of the ordinary ingredients and combinations. An asparagus quiche sounds good but I’m not sure about the rye crust.

Tuna, capers and slow roasted tomatoes would work for me as would the deviled eggs. But I don’t need a cookbook to assist with deviled eggs or to come up with creative combinations to give them some zing. Same goes for the potato salad.

This book is well organized into sections for snacks, dips, drinks, main dishes, etc. Also it caters to a wide variety of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan. There are many recipes for meat eaters too.

It’s a pretty book, it’s just not for me so I will donate this book to the library.

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Author Bio

I received a copy of this cookbook through the Blogging for Books program.  All opinions are my own.

Tasting Rome

romeThe Ex-Pat dream… in another country and exploring the food, art and culture. This book isn’t an Italian cookbook. This is a memoir about life in Rome and it’s filled, chock filled, with recipes and history about the dish and the area. The photos are incredibly vibrant and you want to leap into the page, grab one of the savory pies (Tortas) and immerse yourself in the experience.

Of the many things I enjoyed looking through this book is the focus on using fresh and seasonal ingredients. I am a pasta addict and have to limit the number of times I could have it on our dinner table. There are enough pasta recipes to keep me going for a long time. I’ve made cacio e pepe before but never thought to use it as a filling for suppli. What is suppli you may ask? Fried rice formed in balls and filled with mozzarella or mincemeat or the wonderful peppery cacio e pepe. Roman street food. I want some.


Photo credit

The recipes are easy to follow and I love that they are titled in Italian followed by the translation. This book is certainly appealing to both the armchair traveler and those who love to cook. If you have an interest in Rome and the wonderful foods as well as a historical perspective, this is the book for you. It would make a great gift for someone who likes these topics.

I received this from the Blogging for Books Program.  All opinions are mine 🙂


Sweeter Off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season

sweeterYossy Arefi writes a regular column for Food52 and has been featured in Bon Appetit, Sauveur and Modern Farmer. In spite of her fame, I had not heard of her until I received this book.

The recipes are divided by season which is very handy. If you like cooking with ingredients as they are the freshest and in season, this is the cookbook for the dessert lover. The photos are out of this world beautiful. Look at page 125 – it seems you could wipe the water drops off the fruit, it’s that vivid.

For summer you have apricot and berry galette with saffron sugar,coconut cream fool with raspberries and chocolate celebration cake with fresh raspberry buttercream. Are you drooling? I am. Winter offers up blood orange old-fashioned donuts among other delectable sweeties. While the recipes are a bit ambitious for me, they wouldn’t be a problem for an experienced baker.




I received this cookbook from the Blogging for Books program.  All opinions, nice and otherwise, are all my own.

Pioneer Woman Recipes I have tried

I have bought quite a few of Ree Drummond’s cookbooks over the last year. Being one of the cheapest individuals on this planet I have only paid full price for the latest one, Dinnertime. It’s a great book and I have made several meals from it so far.


Besides the great photographs of the ranch, her kids and sexy cowboys you have easy to follow, step-by-step recipes that have always turned out well.

So many of her recipes are incredibly delicious and while they aren’t always low fat, your taste buds will thank you.

Here are a few I have made in these past few months.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad


Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

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Oven BBQ Roasted Chicken


Lasagna Rollups


By the way, my other Pioneer Woman cookbooks I grabbed from Thrift Books. Have you heard of that site? You can get any sort of book for a fraction of the going rate on Amazon. You can even start a wish list if the book you want is unavailable. Cool, huh?

To be forewarned, 98% of the time these are used books but the condition is described in detail. I am currently awaiting a copy of Tender by Nigel Slater.

Do you use any of The Pioneer Woman’s recipes? Any favorites you could share with me?


Jamie Oliver


This is a pretty good book if you are aiming at super healthy fare. It’s certainly no meat-n-potatoes cookbook. I like how the nutritional information is broken down at the bottom of each page with a recipe. Also there is a time estimate to prepare the meal.

I love the photo of Jamie (page 277) standing in the water in Okinawa Japan. I don’t know why, it just made me smile. Sections in the back of the book are dedicated to specific topics such as drinking and the effects of alcohol on our bodies, milk and dairy, grains and so forth.

The index if very well detailed and my only complaint is how small the font is, very hard on my eyes. Overall, I didn’t see enough recipes to warrant me purchasing this cookbook. I was fortunate enough to get this copy from our local library and while there are a few recipes I have an interest in, I prefer his other cookbooks over this latest one.

not much of a review, just another opinion on a cookbook I checked out of the library.

Longevity Kitchen is more than a collection of recipes

Here comes another cookbook featuring healthy fare and recipes. Rebecca Katz addresses health issues and lists specific benefits to certain foods in the first several chapters.


This isn’t a typical cookbook layout where recipes start after a short introduction. I must say the first third of this book is very informative and interesting.

When the recipes are presented they are divided into the following categories:
Soups and broths
Protein-building foods
Nibbles & noshes
Dollops of yum
Invigorating tonics & elixirs
Sweet bites

There are substitutions you may make to adapt a recipe for vegetarians or vegans but meat, milk and butter products are certainly listed in many recipes. Overall a good book for reference as well as recipes. Great layout, good photography and index.


  • I received this book from Blogging from Books program.  All opinions, kind and otherwise, are my own. 🙂

Giada’s Happy Cooking …..not my favorite of her many cookbooks


This latest Giada book is just….ok.

I hate to say that because there are some great recipes in there but some things just didn’t make me happy. The photography is great, that is one of my positives.

Best to list them out, the pros and cons in my humble opinion Let’s start with Cons because I don’t like ending a review on negative note.

Small print. The text is small enough that I found myself staring hard at the page. Maybe it’s just my old eyes but other cookbooks don’t use that small text. That bothered me.

Food photos are not numerous but there are ample photos of Giada. Why not make the food the focus and use a larger photo. I don’t need to see larger photos of Giada smiling or talking a bit from a sandwich.

Too. Much. Kale. I know, I know, it’s healthy and trendy and everywhere these days. What is that about? If you love kale, good for you. I’m not a fan so when I see it crammed into recipes where, in my personal opinion, it doesn’t belong…that’s a detraction for me. She puts kale in lasagna. That’s just wrong.

Recipe Repeat. There are lots of recipes in here that are in previous books and her online magazine.

The mini eggplant parm is begging for me to make it. I love eggplant and this looks like a good recipe.

Well labeled for Gluten Free, Vegan and Vegetarian.

I was given this book through the Blogging for Books program and happy to have gotten it free of charge. This would be one I would have been happy to check out of the library, peruse and return. I have to say I would be disappointed if I’d parted with money for this Giada cookbook.

Sorry Giada! I like most of your other cookbooks but this one fell flat for me.

Nigel Slater’s Beef Bourguignon and Eating for England

I’ve been a fan of Nigel Slater for a long time. His writing, the humor, his recipes and gardening tips….I’ll read anything he writes. This collection of essays in Eating for England is top notch. As you read his very descriptive writing you can mentally see exactly what he’s talking about.


This particular book was published in England and isn’t an American edition. The quality of the actual book is fantastic. The paper is weightier, there is a silk ribbon attached into the spine to mark your pages and the jacket is heavy and smooth. It’s a gorgeous book.


If you are an Anglophile you’ll love this book for the description of everyday life; the shopping, getting tea ready, interactions in the shops, offices and home. I like this book even more than I did his autobiographical account in Toast.

This one will always have a place on my overcrowded boom shelf. Of all the meals, teas and snacks mentioned I decided to prepare Nigel’s Beef Bourguignon.

I wish were in England now…..would love to enjoy that cooler weather and a local ale or two.

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A boiled Bourguignon is a spoiled Bourguignon

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Nigel’s recipe may be found published in his cookbooks as well as in The Guardian HERE

Linking up with The British Book Challenge, What’s in a name Book Challenge, Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series and British Isles Friday

BBC pointed shaded

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


The Kitchen Matrix, Great Cookbook!

matrixKitchen Matrix is different from Mark Bittman’s other cookbooks. It’s just as informative and comprehensive as the others but this one is so visual. It’s colorful and super easy to view at a glance. There are so many different combinations to make a good meal. Suggestions and recipes are adapted to include vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free as well as recipes for meat and seafood eaters.

This is a hardcover, well produced book. Nothing cheap feeling about it and you know it will hold up to the abuse we give cookbooks on the counter. Here are some illustrations – don’t you think it’s a well laid out book? I do!

We don’t have deviled eggs often but I didn’t do more than use cream cheese and maybe some bacon before. Look at all these cool ideas – Soy pickled, beet pickled (those are good), tomato sauced, Waldorf style, and more.


The lobster photo here has my mouth watering. There are twelve suggestion on how to prepare.


The section on clams will get a bit of use. I really like clams. There are over 700 recipes with all the different combinations suggested. If you are a fan of Mark Bittman you will love this book!

More information at the publisher site HERE

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions, nice and no-so-nice are my own 🙂