Overall, not a winner. We were 1 for 3 on the recipes.
I put together some info about how I'll be reviewing cookbooks - Guidelines and Philosophy here.
First up, and our only hit -
No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares
These were AWESOME.
Super yummy, especially if you like sweet and salty. Peanut butter, pretzels and chocolate :) We ate the whole tray, I shared with my boss and co-worker - everyone really enjoyed.
It calls for two cups of thin pretzel sticks in the ingredient list. I ask you, how do you measure a cup of pretzel sticks? Do you stack them up so that they all fit in there orderly like, or do you just fit as many mish-mosh style in the cup as possible, or do you cram and crush until you get an even cup? I did the mish-mosh-guess-it-up style figuring that it goes into a food processor anyway as per the instructions (pulse pretzels into fine crumbs, about 2 minutes).
This takes WAY more than two cups mish-mosh style. In fact, I think the recipe should have been written TWO CUPS CRUSHED pretzels. because I ended up processing two or three handfuls of pretzels to get the consistency to where it could be smoothed in a 9x13 and cut into bars after chilling. I didn't pulverize all the batches of pretzels, so there were some little nuggets of crunchy pretzel goodness in each bite. I'll be making these again.
Next up, my shameful attempt at:
Now...I like chickpeas. I thought the ingredients in this were a little funky, but had everything on hand, so thought I'd try it for lunch recently.
Waste of an avocado if you ask me.
Trisha says to mash chickpeas with a fork for a chunky texture or puree for smoother. Since I envisioned eating this chickpea salad on toast, I pureed a bit.
This one bite was all I could handle. The ingredients included chickpeas, green onion, avacado, limes, mayo, mustard, garlic, salt/pepper and cayenne.
I thought the mustard/mayo and lime combo sounded suspect, and I should have listened to my intuition. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of lime juice (about 2 limes) and I think this is what killed it. I use lime in my salsa and guac, and usually only use 1 lime at the VERY most. I tried this after a 1/2 of one lime and it was 'meh', then added the rest which made it inedible.
I couldn't get a single person in my family to give it a try. I ended up throwing away the whole batch.
In a quote from my husband, "I'm sad when I eat them, but they don't taste bad".
Here's the thing, I like hummingbird cake (a cake with pineapple, bananas and pecans) so I thought these would be a sure hit. Unfortunately, whether the fruit provides too much moisture, or there wasn't enough leavening agent, or I over mixed...I'm not sure, but they were dense.
The other thing is that I think the pineapple didn't work for my families tastes. We like pineapple, but the warm, not-quite-crunchy, but not-quite mushy bits were a weird textural element that no one could get past.
I thought I'd try one more recipe to look for another winner, but I simply couldn't find anything that sounded good. I already have my own tried and true's for things like egg salad, chicken enchiladas, breakfast burritios, and beef stroganoff. Other options like Black-Pepper Tofu, Tofu Lasagna, Greens & Grits, Pistachio Cheese Dip, and Honey Marinated Steak didn't appeal to me.
Simplicity? A hit - easy to put together, no fancy techniques.
Instructions? Not complete. For just the recipes I tried, the heating time griddle prep was left out of the pancakes, the pretzel quantity was unclear, and I honestly think that 1/4 cup of lime juice far less than two limes.
Ingredients? Common, pantry oriented, I had most on hand.
Even though this book was a miss for me and my family, a big fan of Trisha Yearwood could love this book. There are a lot of pictures and anecdotes about her life and family. If you're a fan of her cooking show, a lot of the food is similar in feel. There's a balance of healthier dishes and cheat day dishes.
On to the next!