Finding Lovely

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Papa the Veteran

Happy Friday.

One of the people I’ve known the longest in my life is my Papa.  For all but 8 months of my life growing up (until I went to college), he lived across the pasture from me.  He taught me to fish and make french fries from scratch.  He always called me Kimberly.  He taught me how to pick oranges and muscadines.  He fought in battles to make this country what it is today.  And at 93, he is still mowing his yard, and having conversations about the government or fishing to anyone who will listen.  Thanks Papa for serving our country!

You don’t need to be planning a wedding, or going to a wedding to enjoy these cocktails. On a side note, I got to hang out with Cathy this week at our Pursuit Communities Atlanta Friendsgiving.  I made a tart, did the place cards, many others brought yummy foods, Mandi hosted the event, we sat around the table discussing our craft, our families, our histories and our futures.  Thankful for this creative group.

All you moms out there – you need to read this.  So gospel centered and right on point.

I do love a good cookbook, but there are so many out there.  How do you pick a good cookbook?

Tonight, if it were just my mister and me, I would make this soup, and have some of this apple pie, and just hang out on the couch.

Raising kids makes me think about a lot: how I was raised, how I want to raise my boys, what does it mean to be a family in 2016 and beyond.




Victuals: a review

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I love Southern cuisine.  Currently, in my freezer, I have a bag of purple hull peas.  I mean, yes.  My Granny’s most famous recipes were her chicken and rice and corned beef hash.

A friend of mine once said that you aren’t truly a southern cook unless you have a jar of bacon grease in your fridge.  I actually used to – but butter is super good, too.

Victuals is a book that not only tells the history of Southern cuisine, the food that hales from each region, and people who have made it famous, but also it shares delicious recipes that were developed and perfected in Southern kitchens.

If you love history and a readable cookbook, this one will be for you!

Now, on to that bacon grease!

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book and all opinions are my own.

Eating in the Middle : a review

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Cookbooks are usually what I pick up when I just need something beautiful to look at that will also inspire creativity.

And this one by Andie Mitchell also inspires health.

I’m thankful for blogging for books who gave me this new collection of recipes.  All opinions are my own but seriously what’s not to like?  Health recipes, a healthy thought life about engaging w food, thoughtful and engaging writing, and pretty pictures. That’s what every cookbook needs.

Tasting Rome: a review

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It is no secret that one of the best parts of traveling is learning the culture.  And I think that the best way to do that is by eating the food.

Yes, food is a crucial part of traveling for me.

And in this new cookbook, Tasting Rome, I feel like I can travel to the city through the photographs and the recipes and the history.  While there may only be a few recipes that I want to try to make at home, I think this book for me helps me experience a country I might otherwise never be able to visit.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Bread for the World

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Who doesn’t like bread?  Ok – I know some people can’t eat it for health reasons or allergies, and some people don’t eat much of it because they don’t want to gain a lot of weight – but seriously – the smell of yeast in my kitchen mixed with melted butter, or garlic, or cheese – bread is a good things.

Blogging for Books gave me the book Hot Bread Kitchen – the new cookbook that not only teaches you how to make bread in many different forms, but also trains and helps women with skills that will improve their futures.

I love the philanthropic nature of Hot Bread Kitchen and what they have set out to accomplish.  And I can’t wait to try their breads.  The cookbook is not only a book full of recipes and pictures, but stories of women who make them and where they come from.

So, its a little bit of history, bread, photos, bread, women, bread, stories, bread.  Can’t go wrong?

Perfect Cookbook for the Adventurous New Cook

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The Homemade Kitchen

If you are looking for a great new cookbook that is going to be perfect for that new cook – but one that is looking for knowledge, adventurous recipes, and helpful information, and beautiful pictures – then this cookbook is for you.

I picked this cookbook out from my choices at Blogging for Books.  There are a couple of things I love about this cookbook (besides the recipes):

  1. The pictures.  I want to cut them all out and hang them in my kitchen.  Better yet I want to go take pictures of farm fresh eggs and berries and everything in between.
  2. The information.  This gives you ways to make a variety of the same things (like the difference between jams and eggs) – and teaches you the things you need to know when picking out poultry, or other types of foods, etc.
  3. I love the story-telling.  That is the best part of any cookbook.  I want to curl up on my couch and wrap up in a warm blanket – and sit down and read it word for word.


Farmers Markets and Books

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a modern way to eat

Before I was married, I loved going to farmers markets.  I love going to them with my husband, too.  But with popular farmers markets these days, trying to maintain two toddlers by myself is not something I enjoy.  My husband usually works on Saturdays so I would have to take them with, so I just am putting my farmers market love to the side right now.  I’m loving all the summer instalove with the markets around the country.  Especially the berries, tomatoes, and flowers.

Anna Jones’ new book a modern way to eat is delightful and brings new recipes to mind for the vegetarian.  Being a vegetarian isn’t about only eating salads or being hungry all the time.  He new cookbook brings variety to the vegetarian palate – many things that you can get at your local farmers market.

There are many new recipes that I want to try – blueberry pie oatmeal, huevos rancheros (secret: I’ve never made them or had them at restaurants – even though I love everything that is in them).  SIlly me!  Her cucumber satay crunch salad and raw thai citrus crunch salad both bring a new twist on the plain salad.

One thing that let me down in this book was that it wasn’t about ingredients I already had on hand.  I don’t want to have to go buy a ton of new things (budgetary reasons) to use a cookbook. But, for now, I’ll try the recipes that I have the ingredients on hand – and then splurge every now and then to try new tastes.

Thanks Books for Blogging for the cookbook – and all opinions are my own.

XX Dinners (a review)

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I love walking through antique malls.  Shelf after shelf, booth after booth of other peoples stuff (or junk, or prized possessions).  I went through one this week in Chattanooga, and some of the best stalls had shelves lined with cookbooks.

Cookbooks to me have to be more than good recipes.  I can find those online.  Cookbooks have to tell a story, have to link me to the food through more than just my tastebuds, and have to make me want to cook most of the recipes in the book.  XX Dinners by Schori and Taylor entices me with craftsman pictures, gorgeous photographs that make me want to eat (especially the tomato section), and instills in me a love of new food – simple food, staple food.

I love having folks for dinner.  Whether it is simply a bowl of soup and hot crusty bread, or an extravagant lasagna and a glass of wine – or just a bowl of ice cream – you can learn a lot about a person by sitting around a table with them.  And I’m thankful that my husband joins in this love with me – a love of sitting, talking, eating good food, and looking at people in the eyes and leaning into their lives.

What I like most about this cookbook: the photographs, the wine/cocktail pairings, the menu sets, and the little blurb at the end of the book: “They (the authors) believe that great meals are as much about the people you cook for and with as they are about the food.”

Yup.  Sip something and cook something.  Its that simple.

(Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.)

Cookbook Review: Infuse

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I am a sucker for good cookbooks with great photography.  I usually use the internet, but give me a new cookbook, and I readily enjoy it while sitting down with a diet coke and a snack.

This one is definitely narrow in its field, but the dishes you can then make with its recipes is endless.  These are just basics that can be used for absolutely anything: paleo, whole30, deep fried, etc.  If you like to have a homemade cocktail or a bowl of popcorn or a fresh green salad – this book is your go to.  Just keep it open on your counter and mix away!  Or shake away!

Thankful for Blogging for Books so I can try new cookbooks.

Book Review: Everyday Italian (Giada)

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I was given two of Giada’s cookbooks and am almost done reading both of them – and salivating at the contents.  Here is one of them – the easier recipes of the two cookbooks.  This would be a good cookbook for a beginner, with some of the recipes not really needing to be in there because they only have like 4 ingredients or something and most cooks with any experience could put combinations together. 

Here are the recipes that I look forward to trying in Everyday Italian:

Marinara Sauce (though I’ve come to love mine, maybe I can comine the recipes to make a perfect batch)

Vodka Sauce (so yummy and simple)

Lemon Spaghetti (because it is perfect for this summer weather)

Pizza di Spaghetti (baked pasta – does it get any better?)

Chicken Cacciatore (to see how it compares to my favorite)

Stuffed Mushrooms (actually, I made these for a wedding reception recently: they were a hit and quick and easy)

Verdure al Forno (basically, baked veggies and cheese)

Grilled Pineapple with Nutella (perfect late pregnancy treat)!

What I’ve learned about Italian cooking: 3 key ingredients are really expensive: proscuitto, mascarpone cheese, and pine nuts.

Enjoy cooking fresh!