Voyage into the Night.

Daria Song has a gift of making beautiful artwork. Her drawings are incredible, and I cannot get enough of her coloring books. The most recent one I have gotten is The Night Voyage. The book tells the story of a girl who travels on a train full of toys, and helps a man deliver them around the world. The whimsical pages really take you into the world of Daria, and I would love to stay there.

The colorful cover, which can be removed, but why the heck would you. Is half colored with beautiful blues, pinks, and yellows with the star of the book with paper cranes. The “voyage” begins on the cover. The overall feel of the pages makes you feel like your coloring in a brand new textbook, ( do they even use books in school anymore?)

 

I love the intricate details on each and every page. You move with the girl through the pages of the book. Its truly a storybook that you get to color. The back of the book shows you by page what exactly the story tells. My favorite is by far the hot air balloons. I absolutely love this book. And Christmas is just around the corner, this is a perfect gift for the child, teen, or adult in your life. The best thing about this book, is the relaxing feeling you get when you color it. The whole world fades away and its just you and the pages.

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Buy it here:

Barnes & Nobles 

Amazon

 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Skinny? Not so much. Delicious? Of Course!

No I will admit it, I am no size 2, or 4, or 6. But if i can eat something that looks good, taste good, and is easy as heck to cook, I am going to do just that, when is healthy is a great bonus. There are many meals that I have made that are hearty and healthy. Within the next year, the meal plans have cleaned up a bit to be lower in sugar for my dad. When I saw this book, I knew it was a perfect match for my meal planning. Gina Homolka really hit the nail on the head with these recipes.

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The content page breaks the sections down, and there is even a section with zoodles, noodles but made of veggies, and even keeps the one bowl meals in a section of their own. A few pages later there is  a recipe key that each recipe has under the title.

Q – quick and easy

SC- Slow Cooker

V- Vegetarian

GF- Gluten Free

FF- Freezer Friendly

and a few more.

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Its so nice to know ahead of time that its a slow cooker recipe too, I have, more than I like to admit, been cooking a meal only to find out that I was supposed to put the frozen chicken into a crock pot, and not onto the stove. I have learned to read the whole thing beforehand. This cook book saves me the time. Its also perfect with thanksgiving coming up, a few members of our family, like to eat gluten free meals.

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This sanwhich on the back of the book looks so good, I almost took a bite out of the book. Since I love meal planning I was so happy to see that she made a month of good for you meals, that has breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and a treat for each day for five weeks. I was surprised to see a recipe for venison, which my husband loves.  Along with a bunch more.

 

But it here:

Target

Amazon

 

 

When In France.

I couldn’t put down this cookbook.

“To build the living room before the kitchen of the house would be ruin.” – Count of Neufchateau

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French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisoon is fantastic. Its a thick, and by thick I mean I almost lost a limb when I picked it up. It’s 336 pages of photos, recipes, wine notes, and even illustrations of the house her family lived in. The book its self is bound with a cloth binding on the spine, and the covers are thick and sturdy. The pages are thick as well.

The recipes contain both measurements so your not lost googling what 2 kgs are. By the way it’s 4.4 pounds.  Most of the recipes correspond with a the photos next to it.  Some of the ingredients confuse the heck out of me, but Mimi tells you how to make the item, or its simple to look it. I am very excited to try the butternut pancakes with sage brown butter. It screams Thanksgiving morning. Im sure that Quail is something that is very common in France if not many European countries, but where I live, not so much.

The contents are in english with french terms woven in. The cookbook feels and looks elegant. It will be great in the line of my favorite cookbooks that I use most often in my kitchen.

Also, there are dog photos all over this book! Cuteness overload.

 

Buy it here:

Amazon

Penguin

Jo

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

 

Lassen Sie uns backen!

What does an American living in Germany do? Learn to bake like a true German.

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This baking book is incredible. Really. Not only is there a pronunciation guide in the back of book, so you know what the heck it is your reading, but a guide for the measurements.  I have googled, mL to oz and kg/grams to cups and so on more than i’d like to. Since it’s almost, yes almost, time to think of the festive season that brings the white fluffy stuff, this book would not only be a great gift, but there is  a whole chapter on christmas baking!

The pages in this book are thick and matte, which gives this such a classic cookbook feel. There are photos of Germany, which I also assume Berlin specifically, since that is where Luisa Weiss (Author)  lives. He blog is filled with so many cool things that she cooks and sees traveling.  In the beginning of the book and each chapter you see more into Luisa’s life and Germany. I leaned many of our favorite/well used recipes originated in Germany. Like our love for Christmas cookies. Her father in law has his coffee break at 3pm every day which is a time honored tradition.  That is something I can get behind, and practice everyday.

I also learned that vanilla extract is very hard to get in Europe. They use some type of Vanilla sugar, which Luisa gives you a recipe to do. Many of the ingredients are ones that you’d usually have on hand or they are simple to find in a grocery store. Others like Quark (cheese) is much harder, if not impossible to find in the United States. This is also in the “Make Me” section. Who knew Quark was baked buttermilk?

Many recipes use poppyseed, which I personally enjoy, and seem to not use often. Until this book came into my life that is. If you see an item and have no clue where you’d buy it there are resource links in the back. For example: thetasteofgermany.com & fates.com have german specify cooking items. I would highly suggest this cookbook if you like to bake any time of cakes, bread, or cookies. Or bake in general.

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Also the cover has a little silver bundt pan embellishment which I find adorable.

 

Follow her:

Wednesday Chef

instagram :her insta in adorable, fun to follow, and her son Huge is so cute.

Buy The Book Here:

target

amazon

 

Happy Cooking!

Jo

Vegetables from Martha.

It’s Martha Stewart. Need I say more?

 

I was extremely excited to find out I get to review this book, I know that its been out a little over a month, but it’s still exciting. I am a huge huge huge Martha Stewart lover. I used to watch her show all the time, I said used because we don’t have “cable” anymore and my DVR is gone.  So while I miss her show and a bunch of others, I at least get to enjoy the outdoors, reading, and cooking more. This book is by Martha & her team, and is filled with recipes for all the veggies you can think of. The photos are beautiful, and are exactly what you’d want to see. Its much easier to compare to a photo if something looks completely different.

Martha is known for, well, everything I suppose. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, and even her “jail stay.” She truly is the figure of Homemaking. I used to aspire to be just like her when I grew up and got married. Turns out, I do not have that much talent in those departments.

The book has this great recipe for spaghetti with mussels, lemon & shallots. I will more or less not spend the money on fresh mussels but have recently found a frozen option, that has 3 different types of mussels in sauces. I would swap the fresh for the frozen, unless I can splurge. 

I like that the categories in the book are labels based on the type of vegetable. It ranges from the generic root, bulb, and greens to others likes shoots, flowers, leaves.  Its a learning experience to see which category my favorites fall under.

The recipes in the book can be difficult or easy. I am looking forward to making the kale chips, onion rings, and corn soup. There are also recipes for things like pad thai, salmon chowder, and rutabaga apple mash. ( which sounds delicious)

 I must say the first recipe from this book that I am going to try is he braised celery. It seems simple but looks incredible. 


Each recipe has a photo to go with it, which I love! 
Buy the book!

Amazon

Penguin Random House

target

 

I received this book through Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.
Happy Cooking! 

One Pot Meal: Tomato Pasta

This is one of those one pot meals that really hit home. Its filling, and the cream cheese adds just the perfect amount of creaminess. The recipie says to serve immediately and there is no joke about it, the pasta soaks up all the water and broth and it becomes a sticky mess. Still delicious, just very sticky.  I’m sure if you add a little more water/broth maybe it would help. I didnt  have time to try it  since everybody had their plates full of the pasta. Needless to say there were no leftovers.

Adapted From: Diet Hood

Ingredients:

    • 12-ounces fettuccine
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 1/2-cup fresh basil leaves
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    • 1/4-cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste
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Instructions:

  1. In a stockpot, combine pasta, water, vegetable broth, onions, basil leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Cover, cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove cover and continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and almost all liquid is absorbed; stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and tomato sauce; mix until combined.
  5. Stir in grated parmesan cheese; taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  6. Serve immediately.

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Enjoy!

xo Jo

What Is That? HPBBQ Chicken

Lets just say the photos do not do the chicken justice. It was moist, delicious, and so tasty.  My family likes to BBQ ribs, chicken, beef, you name it. But while sitting around the house trying to figure out what the heck to do with this chicken breast I realized I could just make a  sauce and cook the chicken in it myself. We bought HP sauce, which is like A1 sauce, but better.  While we love our beef as well, steaks are not something commonly on the menu.

So I threw together a little sauce and set some aside to dip the chicken in.

 

You’ll Need:

3-5 chicken breast

1/4 cup of Hp sauce ( or A1)

3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. We love Sweet Baby Rays

Dash of Pepper

If this is too tangy for you add a small pinch of sugar.

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix sauces, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside

Set chicken into 9×11 baking dish and pour/ brush sauce over the chicken.

Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Take out of oven, make sure chicken is cooking through and serve.

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Enjoy

xo Jo

 

 

Eating: Poppyseed Chicken Casserole.

Here is another recipe I found on Oh Sweet Basil, for some poppyseed chicken. I didnt put too much poppyseed onto the casserole, not many people like it, and those little balls get stuck in your teeth……It is also my no means a health option. You can always half the recipe so it’s not so “rich” or only use 1 can of cream of chicken soup

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Ingredients
  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 Tub (16 oz) Sour Cream
  • ½-1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds (optional)
  • 1 Package Ritz Crackers
  • 1 Cube Butter, Melted (Used a half stick of butter)
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Instructions
  1. Heat Oven to 350
  2. Mix soup, sour cream and chicken together. Pour into a 9×13 in pan.
  3. Break up the crackers and mix with the melted butter . Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and place in oven. Sprinkle poppyseed over that if using.
  4. Bake for 30 min and serve over rice or just as is.

 

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Enjoy!

 

xo Jo

Feeling Veggie?

Vegetable soup is one of those soups that are versatile. Chicken soup must have chicken, tomato soup has tomatoes, the list can go on. BUT, vegetable soup can have meats in it, different broths, different vegetables, added tomatoes, spices, and herbs. Its a never ending list.

This soup was fun to create, and easy to make. Throw it in a crock pot, and let it get warm. If you add noodles let it cook for 30 more minutes.

 

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Ingredients:

1 Tbs tomato paste

1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5oz)

3-4 cups chicken broth ( or which ever broth you have on hand)

Random spices and herbs

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables You can always get the family bag and leave out the noodles

1 cup of cooked noodles ( I used these cute little tube noodles)

Directions: Throw it all in a crockpot EXCEPT THE NOODLES let cook on low for 3-4 hours add noodles and let sit until hot. Feel free to cook it on high but keep an eye on it.

No one wants mushy noodles.

Enjoy!

 

xo Jo