Review: Kristen Kish Cooking

If you are participating in a Top Chef style food challenge, then you will find this book to offer some real inspiration.

On the other hand, if you are looking for some ideas for your meals at home, I feel like you’d be hard pressed to get value from this book.

Positives about this book:

  • The photos are beautiful
  • The recipes are detailed, thorough and come with detaled plating instructions
  • Ms Kish is certainly a talented chef with skills well beyond mine

Negatives about this book:

  • All of the dishes are so meticulously crafted and photographed that they present an incredibly high bar for the prospective home cook
  • Andrew Zimmern back cover text states that this is a “must-have book for any home cook.” I have to disagree 100% with that statement. I would say that this book is fun to look at for the home cook and potentially an inspiration for the professional chef.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Review: Taste & Technique by Naomi Pomeroy

 

This book is beautiful. The photographs accompanying each recipe are mouth-wateringly spectacular. The recipes are well-written and include all the detail you need to replicate the dishes at home.

So, why couldn’t I get into it?

I mean, I’ve had this cookbook for over a year and haven’t gotten around to writing a review until now. It doesn’t make sense because, again, this book is beautiful.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that I don’t need to produce beautiful plates at home. I need to put a delicious, well-rounded family meal on the table. This book is not intended for that purpose.

This book falls into that category of “know what you’re getting.” If you want to elevate your home cooking (as the tagline of the book suggests you will), I believe that cooking from this book will do that. If, howver, you are like me, and you need to make dinner in under an hour each night, well… this book isn’t for you.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This Week’s Meal Plan – 11/28

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you sick of turkey yet?

We had a great time making our annual Thanksgiving visit to Grandma and Papa’s house (currently located in Kalamazoo, MI — might it be closer in 2017?). The weather was overcast and drizzly pretty much the entire time we were there, but there was good food, good beer, good wine, good conversations and Rylie got to play games, do yoga, ask questions, do crafts, make up games and generally be the star of the holiday. It was awesome.

Now, we’re back home, and it’s time for a week of Fall cooking.

Dinners

To start – upon our return on Saturday, we made a pizza using one of the parbaked-then-frozen pizza crusts from last week’s pizza night.

Sunday lunch featured some pizzadillas from Cooking Light, then dinner was Fish Tacos from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook accompanied by Cilantro Lime Rice from How to Celebrate Everything.

The rest of the week’s plan:

Monday: Oriecchette with Sweet Sausage Bolognese from How to Celebrate Everything (I’m planning to make a double batch of the bolognese sauce and freeze the 2nd half for a future quick dinner)

Tuesday: Quiche with Wild Mushrooms, Gruyere and Chives from Taste and Technique

Wednesday: Roast Chicken on a Bed of Vegetables from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

Thursday: Leftover night (but, it’ll also be when I make homemade chicken stock from the Wednesday night carcass)

Friday: Chicken Soup with Dumplings from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home (using leftover chicken from Wednesday night’s roasted bird)

Baking

Chocolate Chip Scones from Cooking Light

This Week’s Source Material






This Week’s Meal Plan – 11/16

Last week was not great. Probably one of the more disheartening, faith-in-humanity-threatening weeks ever. I’m also thankful that Rylie is only 4, and that we chose to send her to a school where kindness is the rule and diversity reigns. She’s going to grow up to become an amazing, loving, caring, intelligent, open-minded, beautiful human being. And so are many of her classmates. We can learn a lot from them.

On a brighter note, we ate some good food.

Last Week

The French Toast Casserole made for a delicious weekend morning breakfast. Note for the future: Make this when guests are coming over because it could easily serve 8.

White Bean Chicken Chili was delicious — even Rylie liked it!

Sous-Vide Turkey Breast was awesome. Sooooo juicy.

Stir-fried pork with green beans and cashews – solid, although the beans were squeaky

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto – I have vowed to only make risotto in the pressure cooker. There’s so much less stirring. Kelley doesn’t always love the orange veggies, but when I mix them with risotto (unofficially one of her top 5 meals), it all works.

Hoison Pork Roast – what a great flavor, what a great smell while it cooked.

Seared Chicken with Saffron Couscous – The seared chicken part was delicious. The couscous, on the other hand, was tasty, but didn’t really highlight the saffron and required some additional cooking time beyond what the recipe called for (I imagine I used a different type of couscous than the recipe author used, but still it’s frustrating when that happens)

This Week

Baking

Banana Bread – from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

Dinners

Glazed Salmon with Couscous and Green Beans – from Cooking Light

Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Brussels sprouts – from Cooking Light This screams fall, right?

Rigatoni with Sausage and Chives – from Cook’s Country

Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup – from gimmesomeoven.com

Soy-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Asparagus and Scallions – from Bon Appetit Here’s our weekly Chicken thigh meal!

Turkey Taco Burritos – from Cooking Light

and… one of these days, we are going to have homemade pizza from my go-to pizza dough book:

This Week’s Meal Plan – 11/7/2016

Someone actually said they wanted a copy of our week’s meal plan. Once my ego got over the flattery, I thought, “Why not type it up and see if anyone benefits? Worst case, it’ll be a nice resource to go back to if we’re ever hungry for that thing we had three weeks ago.”

This plan includes 6 dinners, 1 breakfast and 1 bakery item. That’s not a hard-and-fast weekly rule, but maybe it should be.

Weekend Breakfast

French Toast Casserole – specifically, this one from Cook’s Country, Feb/March 2015

 

Dinners

Stir-fried Pork with Green Beans and Cashews – Cooks Country, June/July 2015

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto with Frizzled Sage and Brown Butter – Serious Eats

Hoison Pork Roast – Rachael Ray

Seared Chicken with Saffron Couscous – Cooks Country, June/July 2015 Aside: Rylie loves “orange” (Mexican, saffron, doesn’t really matter as long as it’s yellow-ey orange) rice so I think she’ll like this

Sous-Vide Turkey Breast with some mashed potatoes – using Sous Vide for the Home Cook by Doug Baldwin as a guide

White Bean Chicken Chili – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Baking

Banana Bread – Saveur