home made indian food
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
Curry spices (see below)
1 1/2 pounds lamb or beef stew meat
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (depending on heat tolerance)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (seed and devein pepper to moderate heat)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and sugar
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 green or black cardamom pods, cracked open
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1. Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium heat; add onion and sauté until translucent to light brown. Add curry spices and stir well. Let spices cook, then add water sparingly to avoid sticking or burning—no more than 1 tablespoon at a time–throughout the cooking process, 6 to 8 minutes to develop flavor.
2. Add meat, stirring well to distribute; cook over medium to high heat until well seared.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add yogurt, tomato paste, and cilantro.
4. Cover and continue to braise for 40 to 50 minutes, until meat is tender.
5. Remove cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods.
TRY THIS: Substitute 1 whole chicken cut into generous pieces; braise until golden brown, then cook for 30 minutes.
Recipe and photo with permission from The Urban Forager: Culinary Exploring & Cooking on L.A.’s Eastside
By Elisa Callow Photographs by Ann Elliott Cutting
Prospect Park Books/March 2019

Southern Living- “What’s For Supper” 5-Ingredient Weeknight Meals cookbook review

I am not a creative cook.  At all.  What I am is good at following directions.

I live by my cookbooks- but some of them like to get all “fancy” on me, and during the week, who has time for that?  Really.  Not your average mom with kids, not your working parents- not many people.  Sure, you bust out the fancy cooking now and again, but for regular nights- you need something that is fast, easy, and that everyone will eat (but still has nutritional value and is good for them).

That’s why I love this particular cookbook- Southern Living’s new “What’s For Supper” 5-Ingredient Weeknight Meals compiles fast and easy meals for those busy weeknights spend doing homework, driving the kids hither and yon, and getting home from work later then we really wanted to (or in my case and the case of those who work at home, not getting it all done as fast as I had hoped to), and still trying to get the laundry done. This really is a “must have” for busy parents- yes, you can always play on pinterest or get your google on, but this is just so easy to have it all in one place for easy access- and the meals are so easy to prepare without having to have a culinary degree to make.  (Those books just make me nuts…I don’t have time to learn cutting techniques, I just want to get dinner on the table.)

If you are in the market for a new cookbook, want to try out some new recipes to shake up your dinners (hey, we all get in ruts), or just love to cook- try this one out, it has become a favorite in my house. (It really is fast!)  Pick yours up on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
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Simply Sweet ColorCakes

Disclosure: The Simply Sweet ColorCakes Cookbook was provided for me in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

ColorCakes_Final Cover Lo res

I love to cook, but even more importantly I love to bake. I was so very excited to receive this awesome new cookbook: Simply Sweet ColorCakes Cookbook.

About Simply Sweet ColorCakes:

Get stunning rainbow looks for your favorite desserts – amazing tie-dye, ombre, layered, and hidden “surprise inside” color effects for cakes, cupcakes, and more, made easy.

With Simply ColorCakes, you can tie-dye, layer, and sprinkle your way to baking bliss! From Polka-Dot Layer Cake to Rainbow Cake Pops, this complete guide offers over 100 recipes and incredible photos for creating adorable, bakery-style desserts at home.

ColorCakes includes tantalizing treats – cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops, plus cookie bars, ice cream treats, and more. Readers will find inspiration on every page, with a dramatic, beautiful photo of every recipe, step-by-step instructions for creating cool designs and cutouts, and techniques for customizing your color. Simply Sweet ColorCakes is chock-full of desserts to wow your family and friends. Everyone will be saying, “How did you make that?!”

photo 2

Rainbow Layer Cake: 

2 Packages white cake mix

Water, vegetable oil, and egg whites called for on cake mix boxes

Violet food coloring gel

Royal Blue food coloring gel

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The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens


I was sent this book for the purposes of this review. Although I was sent this book for free, all opinions are my own.

I was absolutely intrigued by the book, The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens. Being that I am from the Northwest and have always lived in this region, I do not know much about southern food traditions. I have never let Okra touch my lips and only in the past few years have I gotten very adventurous at all with my pallet.

The New Southern Table looks at traditional southern ingredients such as peaches, okra, greens and “flips” them. They are made in not traditional ways in order to create a whole new desire for the staple ingredients in the southern part of the US.
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The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook


About The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook:

Publication Date- November 15, 2013

Publisher- Fair Winds Press

For decades, low-fat and low-cholesterol diets have been touted as the way to prevent and reverse heart disease. In the groundbreaking book, The Great Cholesterol Myth, Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra debunked that assertion, arguing that fat—often curtailed on traditional low cholesterol “heart-healthy” diets—is not the enemy and may in fact be part of the solution. Now, in The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook, the authors and nutrition expert and whole foods chef Deirdre Rawlings, Ph.D., put their findings into action with a detailed meal plan and 100 delicious and nutritious recipes that will prevent and reverse heart disease and give you back the foods you thought were gone forever.

Brilliant Eats:

  1. Sweet and Spicy Beef or Chicken Stir Fry
  2. Veal Scaloppini Supreme
  3. Energizing Thai Spice Chicken Salad
  4. Luscious Lemon- Pineapple Yogurt Cake
  5. Hearty Hazelnut Rounds

What I Loved About It:

The book had amazing reference material about how a diet low in sugar and inflammatory foods and ingredients that are high in healthy fats, protien, antioxidants and key nutrients is the best course of action to prevent and reverse heart disease. My favorite section was “Foods For A Healthy Heart”. I learned that Sugar, Processed Foods, Trans Fat, and Processed Meats are the enemies when eating for a healthy heart. It gave you a detailed summary of exactly why these types of foods were bad for you and things to look for. Did you know that just because a label boasts “zero trans fat” that doesn’t mean it actually is? If you read the label and it has the words “partially hydrogenated” the product has trans fat and needs to be put back. Labels are your best friend and you need to read them carefully!
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Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook


Who doesn’t love comfort food?  How about a few of your favorites at the same time? I thought so. This cookbook is fun and has a lot of interesting recipes in it- jalapeno stuffed with mac and cheese? What?  Yes. It’s all true.  What’s not to love about this book?  Not much- most of it is pretty mouth-watering and enticing.  I won’t lie, nothing I made came out half as pretty as the things he cooked, but then, I’m not a professional (that’s what we are going with).  Most of it came out well, even my son and husband were happy with the results and glad guinea pigs.  Check it out for yourself- these recipes will certainly shake up your menu, and even offer cool ways to use your leftovers.
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Great Homemade Soups: A Cook’s Collection By Paul Gayler

I was sent a copy of the book, “Great Homemade Soups: A Cook’s Collection” by Paul Gayler in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own. This notice is in accordance to the FTC’s requirements for compensation in online advertizing.


One of the things I most enjoy cooking is soups and sauces. It is amazing to me how something so simple can really be amazingly filling and so rich in flavor. I was very happy to review the book, Great Homemade Soups: A Cook’s Collection by Paul Gayler as I am always on the hunt for new ideas when it comes to soups making. My husband has been a great guinea pig over the years at my soup attempts.

When I attended culinary arts school, I excelled at soup making. It was amazingly easy for me and I was a bit surprised that I enjoyed the art of a saucier so much. I have a great respect for any chef that creates works of art through soup making and opened the book to find I was not disappointed.
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Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate

I received a copy of Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate by William Curley to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.


Chocolate: it’s one thing most people love in an almost sinful way. You can make cakes, cookies, bars, drinks, truffles and treats of all kind with it. The art of skillfully creating with chocolate takes a certain type of culinary talent, not one that I posses. However, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a book on the subject.

Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate BY William Curley is absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring. The book contains recipes and techniques for tempering and creating some of the most decedent chocolate treats I have ever seen.

The Good:

Couture Chocolate is as beautiful as it gets. The photos are absolutely stunning and look like display pieces one would see in some sort of chocolate museum. They truly are works of art. William Curley is an amazingly talented chef and has truly mastered the technique of working with chocolate based on his creativity in this book. I enjoyed the little bit at the beginning about his experiences with working with chocolate as well as the many photos that show some of the most difficult chocolatier techniques to preform.
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