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Four-Cookbook Prize Package Giveaway ReviewChristmas Cooking with Kids

Christmas Cooking with Kids by Annie Rigg simplifies classic recipes so that young children can make them without too much help from the grownups. These recipes make great edible crafts and tasty art projects that kids will love to make and eat at the holidays. Children can make Frosted Brownie Squares and Marzipan Christmas Figures as both gifts and decorations; they’ll be proud of their work and the whole family will be impressed by their innovation and expertise. The book even includes simplified versions of classic recipes like Pumpkin Pie and Easy Fruitcake for children who truly love to cook. Though some adult supervision is required, children can make the recipes primarily on their own, and they will produce a gorgeous and delicious result every time. I was particularly impressed by the Butternut Squash Soup with Cheesy Croutons recipe, and as a college student with minimal kitchen space and equipment, I have replaced my old, complicated recipe with this simplified one. Over the holidays, I can’t wait to show my younger relatives what all they can make from this book!

 

If you have kids, and frankly – even if you don’t – Annie Rigg’s Christmas Cooking with Kids is a real find!  Packed with adorable, everyone-will-love-them recipes for holiday cakes, cookies, and edible decorations, and Lisa Linder’s photography makes it a gorgeous read even if you don’t make a thing (but you should!).  Whether you’re big into baking (check out the French gingerbread cake on page 83) or not so much (just LOOK at those adorable marshmallow snowmen on page 24), there’s something for everyone in this cookbook.  Ms. Rigg offers handy tips and tricks for festive cooking, plus some basic recipes like yellow cake, buttercream frosting, chocolate frosting, and more to help make your holiday festivities yummy and easy to prepare for.  Find yourself a copy of Christmas Cooking with Kids.  It might just be the perfect gift for someone you know…or for yourself!

 

If you are a visual person, then Christmas Cooking with Kids is one of the best cookbooks for you. Every page features multiple eye-popping pictures, enough to make you drool with anticipation. The book covers all of the Christmas dessert basics, with a few surprises thrown in as well. Best of all, each recipe is specifically geared for children, meaning everyone in the house can enjoy these recipes. This cookbook fulfills a much needed holiday niche, showing you just how easy it is to get the little ones involved in the kitchen.



Super-cute Cookies

I could hardly put down Super-Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker once I had started it. I usually regard professional cookie designs with misty-eyed envy, while my own sag from the woeful clumsiness of my fingers. Coker’s chapter on design techniques was practically unforgettable, including information about working with fondant and detailing the uses of tracing paper and plunger cutters to make those oh-so-tiny designs plausible for even the likes of ham-handed bakers like myself. She also includes some original and detailed designs that I had never considered, like a set of teacup and teapot cookies decorated with icing cherries, or patterned cookie bunting with holes and real ribbon. The vintage corsage cookies are pure genius because they look impossibly complex, but Coker explains her process to the letter. With designs for every occasion, including wedding and baby showers, birthday parties, and holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July, these cookies truly are “super-cute” and so professional enough to make wonderful, heartfelt gifts. I can’t wait to try out some of the techniques!

 

Super-cute Cookies is far more than a cookbook, as it shows you how to channel your inner Martha Stewart to make cookies that look as good as they taste. Sure, this book does have plenty of cookie recipes. However, I think this book really shines in its ability to provide easy to follow decorating tutorials. If you are interested in learning about decorating any dessert, then you will love this how-to book.

 

Cookies are the perfect treat for any occasion or celebration, and Super-cute Cookies certainly prepares you for baking! From cookie dough recipes to icings, this book has got it all! I love that the book even includes tips on troubleshooting and equipment. If you ever had questions about how to make your cookies perfect, this book is a great guide.Who needs cake when you've got 35 recipes for cookies?

 


100 Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Pickles

100 Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Pickles by Gloria Nicol reminds me of the food my grandmother used to can after she picked it fresh from her garden. I remember the rich plum jellies, tangy peach preserves, and delicious chutneys she used to make, and I was delighted to find all of these and more in the book. Not only does Nicol clearly explain canning techniques, timing and more, but she also includes a series of surprising variations on classic canning recipes that I would never have considered. Dumpsideary Jam, which combines apples, plums and pears looks heavenly in the accompanying photograph. Plus, her chapter on nectars inspired a serious hankering for one of the delicious drinks, especially the Blackberry Nectar. I have never tasted anything like Apricot Curd, but I am dying to make it myself! Green Tomato and Onion Chutney sounds a bit odd, but the recipes made me want to try it all the more. Whether these recipes are meant to be spread on bread or incorporated into a recipe, I’m certain they will delight and satisfy with their old world charm. All in all, this book is full of tips for preserving homegrown happiness.

 

Preserving fruits and vegetables is an old-school practice, just one I don’t know much about. I am someone who buys produce and doesn't always know what to do with. And after reading Gloria Nicol's 100 Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Pickles, I found plenty of amazing recipes to preserve fruits and veggies long after they're out of season. In the spring, when rhubarb is ripe, I can make a chunky Rhubarb & Apricot Jam. In the fall, Pumpkin & Vanilla Jam makes great use of in-season pumpkin or butternut squash. There were also original recipes I'd never seen before, like Crab Apple Jelly - I never knew you could make jelly out of crab apples! Nicol, who has been jam-making 30+ years, also includes a helpful preserving equipment and preserving techniques section that is great for newbies. The lovely photography will also get you to try recipes you might normally shy away from!

 

As someone who has been making homemade pickles for a while now, I could not have been more impressed by 100 Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Pickles. If you have ever had any interest in home preserving, then you will love this cookbook. One of my favorite parts of this book is how thorough it covers the basics and necessities of home preserving, leaving no stone unturned. It has a fantastic variety of recipes in here, almost all of them focused on fruits. Each recipe provides a unique insight into the author's English kitchen, using ingredients I have never seen in the United States. If you thinking of getting into jelly and jam making, then this cookbook is for you.



Long Nights and Log Fires

With a stunning collection of soups, dinners, side dishes and desserts, Long Nights and Log Fires exemplifies comfort food. All I could imagine while looking through this cookbook was an expansive sofa and a roaring fire because every recipe is of the sort that slides down, rich and delicious, to warm your very toes. The soup section in particular caught my eye; Parsnip, Chorizo and Lentil Soup is just the warm, savory ticket for the dead of winter. Meanwhile, in the entrees, I found gems such as Tomato and Eggplant Gratin with Tomato and Chili Pesto and other such decadent dishes to soothe the soul. Who needs canned soup when you can have Lamb Tagine with Chestnuts, Saffron and Pomegranate Seeds? Even the cold side dishes like Winter-Spiced Salad with Pears, Honeyed Pecans, and Ricotta taste warm and comforting! The dessert chapter is full of mouthwatering, impossibly decadent recipes like a dense Chocolate Brandy Cake and (of course) a figgy pudding. Furthermore, all of the recipes in the book make plenty to share, fostering the community and good cheer of friends and family at the holidays. Raise a nice warm mug of hot buttered rum and toast the warmth that shields the spirit of friendship from the chill winds of winter.

 

It's true: when the weather turns cold, our food & drinks tastes differ. Hearty meals and warm soothing drinks are the classic comfort foods people crave this time of year. Long Nights and Log Fires is the perfect cookbook is you're planning a night in with family and friends. This collection features over 200 yummy wintry recipes, from a steaming bowl of Slow Cooked Onion and Cider Soup to a filling Chicken, Leek and Tarragon Pot Pie. My favorite section covered every kind of winter drink imaginable: classics like Egg Nog and Hot Buttered Rum, plus fun recipes for Glogg and Black Velvet. The pictures are really atmopsheric, so not only do they capture each recipe in all its glory, you can almost feel the roaring fire in the background!

 

For me, cooking in winter is often times the toughest season for me. When the weather is cold outside, I lose a lot of my desire to make anything interesting in the kitchen. I loved this cookbook, Long Nights and Log Fires, because it takes and finds beautiful inspiration in the colder months of the year. This is definitely a cookbook for serious foodies who are looking for dishes with real wow factor. I especially loved its collection of savory pies, although everything in this cookbook looks and sounds unbelievably good. The photography is unreal, making even pedestrian salads look yummy. If you are a serious foodie in need of recipes that are sure to impress even the most hardened food critic, then this cookbook is just right for you.

 


 

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