Cookbook Reviews

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Homemade Summer by Yvette van Boven

Book: Homemade Summer
Author: Yvette van Boven
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: From Goodreads:
Home Made and Home Made Winter blew readers away with their stunning packages, delicious recipes, beautiful photos, step-by-step instructions, and hand-drawn artwork throughout. Now, in Home Made Summer, Yvette van Boven takes the same signature approach and presents her absolute favorite recipes for spring and summer. Inspired by her childhood in Ireland and her frequent sojourns in France, van Boven has created a collection of recipes that will truly inspire you to step into the kitchen. Using seasonal ingredients, such as freshly picked apples and berries, delicate summer lettuces and fresh herbs, she presents recipes for Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Snacks, Beverages, Appetizers, and Dessert. 

My rating: 3 Stars

My opinion: I found this book to have interesting recipes, but only a very small handful that I would say tickled my fancy or moved me to make them. The pictures were beautiful and I loved the "down home" journal feeling to the cookbook. As for recipes though, I preferred the book Paris to Provence more than this one. Both were from the same region of France.
Source:  Library
Would I recommend? : Take a look at a print one at a brick/mortar store or library first, but yeah, I would take a gander.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand alone

Michael Chiarello's Live Fire: 140 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors from California's Wine Country by Michael Chiarello

Book: Michael Chiarello's Live Fire: 140 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors from California's Wine Country
Author: Michael Chiarello
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: A collection of recipes specifically for all types of grilling. 
My rating: 2 Stars
My opinion: Not a book for novice chefs. I have to say that I am an experienced cook and, although the recipes looked delicious, these were more difficult to prepare. The recipes also screamed for higher end/more expensive ingredients. Even discussing the grills the focus was on more advanced units as most didn't call for the use of a "kettle" grill or "family size" gas grills. I must admit that the pictures in the book were beautiful and scrumptious looking, but totally unrealistic for everyday cooks.
Source:  Library
Would I recommend? : No 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Hawaiian Mimosa

My husband and I love Hawaii. I mean we really love Hawaii. Anytime we can head there or find some ways to celebrate this dynamic state...we are there.

I wanted to develop a mimosa that partners the two things that I live on when I head there. Pineapple and coconut is it. I found developing mimosas for Midweek Mixers a perfect opportunity to do this. So, here is another Naomi Blackburn Original...


So, let's get started:

This is SO simple!


1 can frozen pineapple juice, thawed
1 can coconut WATER (NOT MILK!)
Pink Moscato, WELL CHILLED!


1) In a container, combine the pineapple concentrate and coconut water. Stir to blend well. Then CHILL WELL! Mixture will need to be stirred. Chill flutes.

2) Pour two ounces of pineapple/coconut juice in chilled flute and top with Pink Moscato.

3) If desired, serve with pineapple wedge.

Citrus Mimosas

This month is Mimosa Month on  Midweek Mixers found only on Bette Lee Crosby's Words, Wit and Wisdom.

I have to admit that regular mimosas bore me to tears. Although, they are one of my son's favorite drinks, I could really do without them. I like the concept though and wanted to do something a bit more fruity or with nice varieties of tastes.

This month I will be featuring a number of Naomi Blackburn originals including:
  • The Citrus Mimosa
  • The Hawaiian Mimosa
  • The Jamaican Mimosa
  • The Holiday Mimosa-a step above the traditional mimosa
 So, toss aside that orange juice and come along for the ride.

The Citrus Mimosa is a nice blend of citrus fruits partnered with triple sec and a pink moscato. There result is a nice sweet drink that has a slight bite of grapefruit flavor to it.

Without further ado...

The Citrus Mimosa


1 grapefruit, juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 lime, juiced
2 ounces triple sec
Pink Moscato, VERY CHILLED
sugar for rims


1) Rim champagne flutes with sugar and place in freezer to set. This can be done ahead of time.

2) In a very large shaker or a pitcher, combine juices and triple sec. Shake well. Chill until ready to use.

3) Pour 2 oz of juice in prepared flute and top with the moscato.

4) Garnish with lemon and lime slices, if desired