book club, food, holidays

Happy National Banana Split Day!

Did you know that today is National Banana Split Day? Well it is! And just in case you feel like celebrating, I have an amazing recipe to share with you from Taste of Home: Best Loved Recipes. If you haven’t gotten your hands on this cookbook yet, don’t delay, it’s seriously amazing. We have been trying dinner ideas from it ever since we got our review copy, and all have been hits so far. I can’t wait to make this desert though, doesn’t it sound delicious?

True, it’s not an actual banana split, but it’s close enough in my book! Enjoy!

Banana Colada Sundaes Recipe
Excerpted from Taste of Home: Best Loved Recipes: 1485 Favorites from the World’s #1 Food & Entertaining Magazine
By Taste of Home
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 medium bananas, sliced
½ teaspoon rum extract
3 pints vanilla ice cream
½ cup flaked coconut, toasted

Directions
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, orange juice and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until sauce is smooth. Stir in bananas; heat through. Remove from the heat; stir in extract.
Serve warm over ice cream. Sprinkle with coconut. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup ice cream with 1/4 cup banana mixture and 1 tablespoon coconut equals 398 calories, 22 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 159 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

About Taste of Home
Taste of Home is America’s connection to the personal recipes of people who cook at home as a way to bring family and friends together, particularly at the holidays. Each year, thousands of people from across the United States and Canada submit more than 40,000 recipes, of which 3,000 are published. Every recipe that is published is carefully evaluated and selected by the Taste of Home Test Kitchen, which ensures that it can be prepared with affordable, everyday ingredients. Taste of Home content is available in print; online at Tasteofhome.com; in books; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps and Kindle; and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Obtain a subscription www.TasteofHome.com or on your favorite digital download device.

For more information please visit http://www.TasteofHome.com, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

food, kitchen adventures, videos

Making mochi!

I was thrilled to see that my favorite online cooking show, Cooking with Dog, uploaded a new video! Not only was it exciting because the chef had been in a very serious accident and was in the hospital for quiet some time, and a new video meant she was back and well! But it was also exactly what I had been looking for!!! Mochi!

Since trying my first mochi at Happy Sumo, making it at home has been on top of my cooking to do list. Only problem was, I didn’t know how to do it. I can’t wait to give it a try! Here is the video, give it a watch, even if you aren’t planning to make mochi. It’s a pretty cute video, the “French” poodle makes me giggle every time.

food, reviews

Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures

I was excited to get a copy of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining for review, not only because I love recipe books, but also because there was an adorable dog on the cover. The author is an avid animal lover, and each and every recipe is vegan! What a lovely surprise.

The book is gorgeous, with ideas for entertaining in addition to recipes. There are also tips to show you how to incorporate affordable, cruelty-free eating into your daily life and to serve that luscious, wholesome food to friends. Organized by season, each part begins with a terrific meal — a light spring lunch of chilled asparagus soup and quinoa salad; an alfresco summer dinner of veggie carpaccio and stuffed squash blossoms; a fall breakfast buffet of pecan waffles, faux buttermilk pancakes, and raspberry muffins; and a cozy winter’s dinner of shepherd’s pie with a chocolate tart for dessert. Each seasonal section contains recipes for beverages, soups, salads, pastas, side dishes, main courses, and an abundance of desserts that everyone will love. Special sections feature recipes for grains, greens, and beans. In “Notes from My Friends,” which appear throughout the opening chapters, chefs, doctors, Cornelia’s favorite veterinarian, and other health and food experts have contributed tips, advice, and eye-opening information.

The images are colorful and inspiring, which is just what I love when looking at recipes. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes to surprise friends, especially when they find out the food is vegan!

Here is an example of the recipes you will find inside:

Zucchini Blossoms Stu?ed with Amaranth
By Cornelia Guest,
Author of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining

Serves 4
Total time: 45 minutes

Zucchini blossoms are so beautiful. This is so easy to make, and your friends will be very impressed.

You can make the stuffing the day before so you can enjoy your friends, stuff the blossoms and have a great lunch.

Amaranth is a gooey grain that works well as a stuffing. I serve this dish with iced tea with mint or a crisp white wine. Fresh tomatoes go well with the squash blossoms.

  • 3 cups amaranth
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant (you want to end up with 1-1/2 cups after its is cooked)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 large blossoms per serving
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add amaranth. Simmer and cook until water is absorbed, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Quarter the onion and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 minutes over medium heat until caramelized.

3. Dice zucchini and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Dice eggplant and garlic and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes.

5. Mix the cooked vegetables with the amaranth and add parsley. Fill the squash blossoms with the mixture. Serve at room temperature.

The above is an excerpt from the book Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2012 Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
Author Bio
Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining, is an activist, philanthropist, and businesswoman. In 2009, she founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies, catering charity and entertainment events with healthy, delicious vegan food. She is launching her own line of animal-friendly handbags, wallets, and dog accessories made with a vegan alternative to leather. She lives in New York.

For more information please visit http://www.corneliaguest.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

food, kitchen adventures, reviews

Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook


Whenever I get a new cookbook the first thing I do is flip to the back where the dessert recipes are. I love baking desserts the most of all, and I tend to measure how good a cookbook is based on what the dessert section looks like. Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook: 400 + Simple to Spectacular Recipes did not disappoint! Now that summer is here, the Lemonade Icebox Pie is on the very top of my “to try list”!

With over 400 recipes, ranging from simple to fancy, there is something for everyone. I love that it is packed with full color photos of the finished recipe (a must in my opinion), in addition to great instruction and helpful hints for how to cook. Taste of Home: Cooking School Cookbook: 400 + Simple to Spectacular Recipes is a great book for all levels of cooks, and even includes “Cheat It” recipes which require very little effort for big taste.

This would be a fun gift for anyone who wants to improve their skills in the kitchen, or anyone who just wants some fresh new recipes to try. There are a lot of fun new takes on old standbys like hamburgers and pizzas, and even Chinese “take out”! It has been a new favorite in our kitchen since it arrived.

About Taste of Home
Taste of Home is a go-to resource for the holidays and any time of the year for information on food, cooking and entertaining. Each year, thousands of great home cooks from across the United States and Canada submit more than 40,000 recipes, of which 3,000 are published in Taste of Home magazines and online, making Taste of Home one of the largest and most successful practitioners of user generated content. Before being published, every recipe is tested in the Taste of Home Test Kitchen to ensure that it can be prepared with affordable, everyday ingredients from regular grocery stores. Taste of Home content is available in print; online at Tasteofhome.com; in books; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps and Kindle; and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.