Poor Girl Gourmet Review

TITLE: Poor Girl Gourmet
PUB DATE: June 1, 2010
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel
PAGES: 222

Love eating well but hate paying a lot? Amy McCoy’s cookbook, Poor Girl Gourmet (based on her popular blog of the same name), features decadent and delectable recipes for foodies with limited budgets, but sophisticated tastes.

In Poor Girl Gourmet, McCoy breaks down the costs for each dish while also offering money-saving strategies, including tips for growing and preserving your own food, as well as ideas for quick and delicious family meals. Each recipe serves at least four people, so it’s perfect for families on a budget—because eating well while saving money is something that appeals to all of us. McCoy, knowing that a gourmet meal is enhanced by the proper wine, also reviews more than 25 affordable wine varietals and blends, with pairing suggestions for many of the dishes. And there is a chapter of splurges ($15 to $30 per entrée for a family of four) for when you’re feeling fancy.

Thank you to Tammi at Andrews McMeel for sending me this great cookbook to read and review. She knows how much I love cookbooks and always sends them unexpectedly to me. I love the element of surprise when I get packages from her.

As everyone knows I love cookbooks, love trying new foods and eating healthy and cheaply is possible. Growing up I have to admit my parents weren’t adventurous in there cooking and we always had the same thing every week on the same day (ie hamburgers and hotdogs on Saturday etc). I use to always question my mother because she always had a ton of cookbooks sitting on the shelf in our home why she never tried any of the recipes in them and her answers was always “What if we don’t like it and then we end up wasting food?” Well for me you never will know until you try it.

So moving out was a joyous event for me and to celebrate I had bought myself a cookbook and swore I would always try new foods and not stick to the same old thing.

Back to my review :)I loved this cookbook because as a parent I want to serve and eat healthy foods without spending alot of money but not scrimp on the taste of it.

In the book Amy talks about some key points you can do to save money. Here is a few of them:

  • Cook at home. (We all know sometimes its easier to make a quick run through the drive thru on the way home but just think of the money you could save?)
  • Don’t waste food and buy only what you need. (You can freeze left overs, stale bread can become croutons or breadcrumbs, left over vegetables can become a stock and compost.)
  • Plan your meals, shop the sales and use coupons.
  • Buy in season and locally
  • Buy in bulk. (Great for meat. I do this and I am amazed at how much I end up saving in the end)

Amy also includes a basic technique section on how to toast nuts, make crouton, breadcrumbs, kneading dough and a few other things that are handy to know.

There is roughly 84 recipes in the book and here is what I loved about that, there is a photo with every single recipe (BONUS for me) and with each recipe she has also broken down the cost of the items so it shows you what you end up saving on each meal.

The recipe sections are: Soups & Salads, Entrees, Vegetable & Sides, Bakery & Desserts, Splurges, Wines and Menu Suggestions. Know who doesn’t like a menu suggestion?

Since getting the cookbook I have made a veal stew, Perfect Roasted Chicken with Spicy Orange Sauce and Roasted Chicken Legs with Olives. Happy to say we enjoyed all three of these recipes and looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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The Children’s Baking Book Review

The Children's Baking Book
TITLE: The Children’s Baking Book
AUTHOR: Densie Smart
PUB DATE: February 2010
PAGES: 128

With easy-to-follow step by step instructions sure to inspire children to bake up brownies, breads, pastries, muffins, cookies, cakes, and more, the Children’s Baking Book features more than fifty fabulous recipes guaranteed to stir any baker. Full-color photos of each tasty dish help kids understand what to do, and make it even easier to follow the fun recipes. With twists on old favorites and delicious new ideas, tips and advice on preparation and cooking, the Children’s Baking Book will help budding chefs become brilliant bakers!


This is a great cookbook for kids if they want to help you in the kitchen. We found the recipes to be easy and quick when looking that them. Plus from Michael’s reaction I am sure they are all stuff kinds want to eat.

We loved how the book was laid out with tons of pictures to accompany the recipe. Each recipe gives you the level of difficulty (easy, medium and hard), the quantity, prep and cooking times. Besides the title there is a little info about the recipe. Also very helpful was pictures of the ingredients and tools that you needed to  prepare kids for the recipe so that everything will be right here instead of havig to stop to get things. Plus there was Chef tips and variations with the recipes. The chef tips offer useful cooking advise and the variations so that you can mix it up some. With the variations tip if the recipe happens to call for an example of this is the Scones we plan to make for Easter. Instead of making plain scones we can make fruit ones just by adding raisins, currants etc.

The recipe  we decided to make was:

 We decided on this recipe to use up the apples we had sitting on the table. Michael helped to get all the ingredients together and the tools that we needed.

The only bad thing while we were preparing everything was the it called for 1oz (25g) of butter and 3oz (75g) of butter and I had to figure it out. I might have been a little off in my calculations. I checked the book to see if there was a conversion chart and there was nothing.

I peeled the apples and Michael chopped them up and put them in the casserole dish. In the bottom is the butterscotch mixture.

Michael loved making the crumble for the top.



This is what it looks like all assembled and getting ready to be baked.
Funny enough once this was done and in the oven my little helper vanished leaving me to clean up. Which I have to say I didn’t mind at all because not alot of stuff was used in making this.
Here is what it looked like once it was baked with vanilla ice cream. Made a great dessert after supper.

We are really looking forward to making many more recipes from this book so check back often when I share what we made.

If your looking for a cookbook to use with your kids then I highly recommend this to you.

Thanks to Chris at DK for sending this great cookbook our way. Michael is already planning what he wants to make next.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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Every Day Easy One Pot Review

Everyday Easy: One Pot
TITLE: Every Day Easy One-Pot
PUBLISHER: DK Publishing
PUB DATE: December 2009
PAGES: 224

Everyday Easy: One Pot is a one-stop cooking resource for delicious stews, soups, chilis, etc. Six “recipe choosers” at the start of the book act as an instant reference for cooks in a hurry. A useful techniques section covers all the preparation methods you may need step-by-step. Icons with each recipe indicate serving proportions, prep. time, cooking time, and – where relevant – low fat, low GI, special equipment, and freezability. Other handy extras include: “Prepare Ahead” information and “Good With …” tips.


I have to thank Chris from DK for sending me this great cookbook to read and review. I loved this cookbook and I know I will be using it alot in the very near future.

If you know DK you know that they make great books and this cookbook is no exception. I love a cookbook that has a photo to accompany it and this does as you can see in my picture:

As you can see on the recipe side of the page you have symbols which indicates the number of servings the recipe makes, how long it will take from prep to cooking, if you can freeze it, the equipement you will need to make it, some have a nutritional benefit and alerts.
Also include in the recipe book is useful information which talks about oven temperature, a freezer/refirgerator guide to let you know how long things can be kept for, volume and weight equialents.
Another featured I loved in the cookbook was the techniques section. They show you many things such as how to peel and chop garlic, seed and cut chilies, how to make stock, and more.
The cookbook is divided into five sections: budget, hearty, super quick, healthy and impress. All the recipes look very impressive and delicious when you see the photos with it. When looking at a cookbook you want to be able to make it cheap but yet still be hearty and healthy for us. I love super quick recipes because I hate spending alot of time making a meal and it was nice to see the vast selection of recipes in each section.
The first recipe I made from the book is called Chicken Paprikash which just happens to be a hearty Hungarian stew. I have always wanted to make this because my in laws are both Hungarian and my mother in law has made this on many occassions and we love it. This was good but just didn’t completely taste like my mother in laws. I would still make this recipe again.
As you can see in the above photo the ingredients are really simple and easy to find. The only thing that I did differently from the recipe was to substitute chicken thighs for chicken breast. If you wondering what that big bag of orange stuff is on  the left hand side, its Hungarian paprika. It came all the way from Hungary via my mother in law who goes back to Hungary every fall and brings back a huge amount for us.

I meant to take a picture of it once it was on our plates but we were so hungry that I forgot to snap a photo so this is actually taken when I was putting it away.

Chicken Paprikash can be served with potatoes, an egg noodle or any kind of pasta which is what my in laws use.

I am looking forward to discovering many new recipes from this book.

Thanks again Chris for sending this my way. I love it.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms Review

Title: Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
AUTHOR: Jane Doiron
PUB DATE: September 2009

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for allowing me to take part in this virtual tour of this great cookbook.

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook consists of 140 family-favorite make-ahead recipes, which are recipes that can be frozen ahead, assembled ahead, or cooked ahead and reheated. The cookbook’s recipes are a combination of all three.

The Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms cookbook includes recipes for freezable meals like Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs, Sloppy Joe’s, Chicken Noodle Soup and Hearty Chili. Recipes for frozen marinated meats such as Teriyaki Chicken, Thai Chicken and Taco Meat allow for quick meals on busy nights. The make-ahead strategy assures that with a freezer stocked with make-ahead meals, busy moms will spend less time at the grocery store and less money on unhealthy prepared or take-out food.

Jane Doiron’s goal was to seek out main dish, family-favorite recipes that could be modified into make ahead meals without sacrificing the food’s taste and texture by freezing. After years of home-testing recipes, Jane has compiled this must-have cookbook with specific make-ahead directions. In addition, Jane includes her best recipes for clever side dishes, flavorful appetizers and luscious desserts. Imagine opening your freezer to pick out a family-favorite appetizer, main dish, or dessert, and all you have to do is thaw and heat it!

By making meals in advance, when time does permit, busy moms will be rewarded with quick home-cooked meals, appetizers, or desserts, when they really need them.

I am going to go on record and say I love reviewing cookbooks. I usually don’t buy cookbooks because they are expensive but when given the chance to review them I am all over it and can’t wait to get them.

I was so excited to get this one because this one says I could save time, money, effort and still have delicious meals. I love trying new recipes because it takes something ordinary like chicken, pork etc and turn it into something new and exciting.

Honestly if you are like me you get tired of the same foods and are looking for something new well this is the cookbook for you or even to give as a gift.

Not only does this book offer 140 recipes but also there are some helpful tips and measurement equivalents. Jane also breaks the recipes down into what you can make ahead of time and how you can freeze it.

Another great thing about the cookbook is the ingredients are all easy to find and if your store doesn’t have that extact brand or type you can easily substitute for something similiar.

The only down side of the cookbook was there was no pictures to accompany the recipes apart from the front and back covers. With that being said just reading the recipes you could picture them in your mind.

Jane as included recipes for appetizers, breakfast & brunch, desserts, soups, side and main dishes. I have tried several recipes and looking forward to the holidays when we have company over to try some of the appetizers.

To date from the cookbook I have made:

– Bruschetta (we loved this recipe)
– Banana Bread, Bran Muffins,
– Hawaiian Bread (for this I ended up substituting macadamia nuts for walnuts as I had everything on had apart from the macadamia nuts, it was still very good)
-Mini Banana Chocolate chip Muffins (although I made these in regular muffin tins)
-Strawberry bread, Chocolate Fudge (this recipe is very similar to the one I make every Christmas)
-Oatmeal Cookies,
-Chicken Parmesan,
-Meat Pies,
-Mini Meatloaves,
-Sloppy Joes (this was great to see in the book as we love Sloppy Joes and I can only find the cans in NB and in Ontario so I usually stock up when I got but now I can make it from scratch)

I am looking forward to trying many more recipes from this great cookbook.

Jane Doiron is a busy working mom of two boys. She is an Elementary School teacher with a passion for cooking and experimenting with recipes. With her busy schedule, Jane has found that make-ahead meals (meals prepared in advance) are time-savers, money-savers and are the best alternatives to eating “take-out”, which is not usually a healthy meal choice. Jane’s cookbook is the result of her years of seeking out new recipes, experimenting with family-favorite recipes, and turning them into make-ahead meals.

For more information visit: www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms.com

This book was provided for review by OUTSKIRTS PRESS .

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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School Days Lunches Review

PUB DATE: August 2006

I recently bought this one on of my journeys to Chapters with Donna.

I normally don’t buy alot of cookbooks because of their price but when I happened to pass by the bargain books I spotted this cookbook on sale for $6.99 (-10% discount with iRewards card) Which would normally sell for about $16. So that alone was a deal in itself.

With Michael in school its hard to pack lunches because the school he goes to has a no peanut policy so I can’t send him to school with a peanut butter sandwich or anything that contains peanuts.

Within a month he is tired of sandwiches, tomato pizzas and wraps so I am always trying to come up with new ideas so when I saw this I had to pick it up. Praying there would be some great suggestions that I could put in his lunches.

I love Company’s Coming cookbooks because the recipes are simple, easy to do and always has great pictures. There is well over a 120 recipes in the book.

So far I have managed to make: Hot Apple Cider (which is very similar to what I have at our monthly meet ups), tomato Beef Stew, Taco Chip Salad, Salami Cheese Sub, Taco Cheese Swirls and Oodles of noodles.

Michael didn’t really like the Hot Apple Cider, but then again I really made that for myself, and he did love everything else I made. Thankfully Michael isn’t a fussy child when it comes to food. He loves to try new things and doesn’t really care for left overs.

What is great about this cookbook is not only is it good for school buts its also good for lunches and dinners at home. There are so many more recipes in the book that I can’t wait to try some more out.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom Review

PUB DATE: June 2009

Thanks so much to Jessica at Random House for sending me this great book to read and review.

If you would like to buy the book please head to the above link to do so.

How many minutes should you cook green beans?

Is it better to steam them or to boil them?

What are the right proportions for a vinaigrette?

How do you skim off fat?

What is the perfect way to roast a chicken?

Julia Child gave us extensive answers to all these questions–and so many more–in the masterly books she published over the course of her career.

But which one do you turn to for which solutions?

Over the years Julia also developed some new approaches to old problems, using time-saving equipment and more readily available products. So where do you locate the latest findings?All the answers are close to hand in this indispensable little volume: the delicious, comforting, essential compendium of Julia’s kitchen wisdom–a book you can’t do without.


Not only is this little book filled with great recipes but it also has great tips and techinques. It also has what kitchen equipement you should have and some handy definitions. Plus a few great photos of Julia herself.

I learned how to saute successfully and I realized a few mistakes I made when I did saute such as I over crowd the pan, how to make the perfect hard boiled egg, and quite a few other things I learned too.

I am a huge fan of making my own salad dressings and it was nice to see a few recipes for that. The only thing is I always end up fixing the recipe so that I make less as if I do the required recipe it ends up going to waste as it doesn’t last long.

Another thing that is great about the book is that all ingredients are easy to find in your local grocery store so you don’t have to run around looking for them in other stores. I love a cookbook like this. If I am required to go to more then one store I tend not to follow through with the recipe. I think all recipes should be easy to handle in preparing and making.

If you are looking for a great gift to give someone then I have to suggest this. Its a great little book. All the above questions will be answered for you in this book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook

PUB DATE: February 2009

Thanks to Anna at Hachette for sending me this book to read and review. Sorry for the delay in getting this review up but I wanted to try a few more recipes before I wrote this review.


During his forty years of medical practice and in his nationally syndicated column, Dr. Peter Gott has been asked constantly by patients and readers for a simple, foolproof way to lose weight. In response, he developed the No Flour, No Sugar Diet, which has prompted countless success stories from his patients, thousands of letters from his readers raving about their phenomenal weight loss, and his first New York Times bestselling book, Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet. And now, here are more than 175 new recipes promising rapid and effective weight loss.

It’s uncomplicated and inexpensive. It allows you to forget calorie counting and gram counting. Cheating is allowed! In this book, Dr. Gott shows how easy it is to experience a variety of wonderful meals (including dessert!) while eliminating flour and added sugar from your diet. Say good-bye to bagels and cakes-and enjoy lean meats; potatoes; rice; low-fat dairy products; vegetables; flourless, sugar-free cookies; and fruits. The inexpensive and nutritious dishes make maintaining this diet a snap for everyone, with recipes such as:

Faux French Toast, Spicy Scrambled Eggs, Potato Pancakes with Applesauce
Creamy Tomato, Turkey and Barley, Cuban Black Bean
Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms, Salmon Cakes on Spinach, Cheesy Eggplant Wedges
Asparagus and Chicken Pasta, Stir-Fried Beef with Bean Threads, Jasmine Turkey Rice
Fruity Rice Pudding, Blueberry Raspberry Crumble, Banana Bread, Mandarin Mousse…and more.

In addition, the book includes advice on stocking your kitchen, understanding healthy carbohydrates and how to incorporate them into your diet, and avoiding the dreaded yo-yo dieting effect. Eliminate flour and sugar from your diet-shed excess pounds and enjoy your ideal weight!


When I heard about this cookbook I wanted to read it. I have been trying to find ways to use less flour and sugar and for the purpose of trying to shed some weight.

The book is filled with over 175 recipes. At first I thought how am I going to do this and still have food that taste good? With alot of health problems in the family mainly on my mothers side (high blood pressure and diabetes) I grew up with not using salt and to this day it doesn’t bother me, although it does bother a certain member of my family.

When I started making the recipes I realized that I was worrying for nothing and the food taste delicious. From the cookbook I have made: banana oat muffins, spicy scrambled eggs, oatmeal meat loaf, Jasmine turkey rice and three bean salad. The only thing that worries me is the sugar substitute as there has been so many conflicting stories about it that it makes me worry.

Another great thing about the book its all laid out in simple terms and its easy to follow showing you how to read labels, show and what you need to have in your house and what to get rid of. Its a slow process but already seeing the difference.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.