Archive for the ‘ Cookbooks ’ Category

Some of the Year’s Best Books Come Out Today: From Nia Vardalos’ ‘Instant Mom’ to Glennon Doyle Melton’s ‘Carry On, Warrior’

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Today, April 2, is a big day for new releases. I wanted to let you know about some cool stuff that just came out and wish the following awesome authors Happy Book Birthday! Really, these are all great reads, and I have reviews and author Q&As coming up on some of them.

Just this morning, I got to meet Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She’s got a sad, helpful and funny new book out about her journey through adoption. I’ll write up my interview on Instant Mom this week. I love her–and her warm and honest book made me adore her all the more.

And Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery? She’s been all over the talk shows this week–and she’s an amazing person. Props also to my friend Christina Baker Kline who wrote Orphan Train, an Audible and Target pick of the month. Want to laugh? Check out STFU, Parents. You must do so right now.

Happy Book Birthday to:

Instant Mom
by Nia Vardalos
The gist: Nia goes through 10 IVFs, and then finally her daughter comes to her through adoption.




Carry On, Warrior
by Glennon Doyle Melton
The gist: An extension of her candid, truthful blog that everyone I know adores.




Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline
The gist: Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Word on the street: This book is lovely.



Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir of How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs
by Tracy Beckerman
The gist: This popular writer tells how she lost her mojo and got it back as a mom in the suburbs–Beckerman is a blast to read.



STFU, Parents: A Guide to the Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare
by Blair Koenig
The gist: You will laugh out loud at the ludicrous mommy and daddy bragging in this book that’s based on Blair’s popular website.



The Yummy Mummy Kitchen
by Marina Dello
The gist: Stock up on some beautiful, tasty and kid-friendly recipes from this well-known food blogger.


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A Recipe from ‘The Big Book of Martinis for Moms’ to Kick Off the Holiday Weekend

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Are your kids off from school tomorrow? Mine are. *drink* Does the Easter weekend mean you’re getting together with family? *drink* Have you bought the Easter basket and all of its stuffing yet? *drink*

Author Rose Maura Lorre has the perfect solution to the many conundrums of parenthood–and adult life in general. She just wrote a luscious book–the recipes and photos require the use of this adjective–called The Big Book of Martinis for Moms. This chick knows what she’s talking about. Full disclosure: Rose was my summer house mate on Fire Island for a few years in our twenties (way before kids) drinking days. Her recipes were delicious–and they still are on her blog, The Five O’Clock Cocktail.

So make yourself and others happy. Buy the book for yourself and give one to a friend.

I asked Rose a few quick questions, and below those, check out her recipe for Mom Must Read–the Hemingway Daiquir-tini:

KK: Why do moms need your book?

RML: Since becoming a mom, I’ve found that a) I need a cocktail more than ever, but b) it needs to be just the right one, properly made and well chosen for my mood. The days of just indiscriminately having a few drinks at the end of the day are long gone, as I’m far too exhausted to tolerate more than one drink per evening. So what I like about the book is that it gives moms lots of worthwhile options, including plenty of classic cocktails, no matter what their cocktail-making skill level and whether they prefer their cocktails sweet, bitter, fruity, etc.

KK: How did you *drink* do your research?

RML: That would be where my years of pre-parenthood having a few drinks on most nights came in! I also write my own cocktail blog Five O’clock Cocktails where I do a lot of cocktail experimentation.

KK: Are cocktails a yes or a no at a playdate?

RML: A no, for several reasons. Firstly, playdates are usually during the day, and while I’m a firm believer in “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” (hence the name of my blog), I personally would find getting through the rest of the day a drag if I’m a little tipsy when it’s, say, 2 in the afternoon. Second, there’s no way I can foresee getting through a playdate without a spilled cocktail (martini glasses do not come with snap-on, spillproof lids!), and while I don’t cry over spilled milk, a martini’s a different story. Basically, I just think a cocktail tastes best when it’s a reward well deserved at the end of a long day and able to be enjoyed in relative quiet, with non-Wiggles music playing softly in the background if Mom so chooses.

KK: Which drink should Mom Must Read readers try first?

RML: Definitely the Hemingway Daiquir-tini

  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: lime wheel, 1 cherry

Pour everything but the garnish into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry.

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Food Allergy Mama Kelly Rudnicki Shares a Recipe from Her New Cookbook

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Food Allergy Mama, Kelly Rudnicki, is brilliant. Her legions of followers, including Martha Stewart, agree. Rudnicki just released her third cookbook filled with delicious recipes for kids who have allergies. She’s giving away two copies of The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast, Family Meals on her website right now, so head over there after you read this post. But don’t click away from me just yet. Rudnicki shares one of her most popular recipes below. (See the photo. Yum.) And if you order The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast, Family Meals from her website, she’ll send you a signed copy. Her new child- and mom-approved dishes include breakfast burritos and oatmeal fudge bars.

She’s recipe prolific, and I asked her where she gets her inspiration. “From my readers! For years I was asked to develop a delicious allergy-friendly macaroni and cheese, a classic childhood meal,” she says. “So I went to work in the kitchen to make a mac and cheese that kids could have, and that I would actually eat.” She also works diligently for her  son, John, the only one of her five kids with food allergies. “He will look around stores, restaurants or even his own lunchroom at school, and ask if I can make a similar thing for him,” Rudnicki says. “I developed my corn dog recipe after he came home bummed one day when all the kids at his lunch table ordered corn dogs and said how awesome they were. Little conversations like that fuel the creative fire in me to make new recipes all the time.”

Check out her book. Read her super popular blog. And enjoy this Rudnicki recipe that’s guaranteed to please the whole family:

“Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic kids’ dinner. It’s also one of my most requested recipes,” Rudnicki writes. “I can get this dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, yet it tastes like it simmered all day long. The best part is leftover sauce and meatballs can be turned into a fantastic Turkey Meatball Sandwich.”

1 pound box allergen friendly pasta
For Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and gated
1 cup grated, peeled veggies (I like a combination of carrots and zucchini) simply omit if your kids aren’t thrilled with the veggies)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 3/4 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For Meatballs:
 1 lb. dark meat ground turkey (Do not use extra lean.)
3/4 c. panko crumbs (May use Gluten Free Panko or bread crumbs.)
1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients until mixed together. Use your hands to roll mixture into 1- inch balls and place on parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until no longer pink on the inside.
Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high heat for about a minute. Add olive oil and grate onion and/or veggies directly into pot. Add seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste and saute about five minutes or until onion is translucent. Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes (during the time the meatballs cook). Stir in the optional fresh herbs after 15 minutes.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions. When meatballs are done baking, add to sauce and simmer for five additional minutes. Drain pasta and pour into a big bowl, adding meatball/sauce mixture to spaghetti. Serve with allergen-friendly garlic bread and a salad.
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‘The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet’ by Dr. Barbara Rolls is Delicious–and It Works

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

If you like big portions and healthy food, Dr. Barbara Rolls‘ book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet is for you. I’ve been writing about Dr. Rolls’ advice for years for Cosmo and Glamour and other magazines. I follow it myself. There’s a reason why Dr. Rolls, a scientist at Penn State, is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Her basic idea is that you can find foods that satisfy your nutritional needs and your hunger. You get to decide what to eat based on how many calories you want to consume (calorie density). For example, for a 500-calorie lunch, you could have 1.5 tablespoons of peanuts, 2 ounces of pretzels and a cup of lemon-lime soda. Or you could choose this option: a large bowl of vegetable soup, a salad with vinegar and oil, a few pita chips, a large bowl of melon balls and a glass of water. I’d definitely go with the latter.

Dr. Rolls wants people to eat healthy, enjoy foods they want and still lose weight. She’s a researcher, and her methods are backed up by studies. Volumetrics is not so much a diet as it is a way of eating. Her latest book includes a 12-week plan filled with delicious foods. Here is one dinner recipes to give you a taste of what Dr. Rolls is all about. Click to the jump for a great pancake dish.

Below is her healthy take on General Tsao’s Chicken (and how much you can have pictured at left versus the portion you could eat on the right.) ”I enjoy making stir- fry dishes because they cook up so quickly and can be made with whatever combination of vegetables I have in my refrigerator,” Dr. Rolls writes. “Don’t be afraid to get the wok or skillet nice and hot.”

Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry with Water Chestnuts and Carrots (pictured at right)
Makes 4 servings (390g each), 11⁄2 cups chicken and vegetables plus 1⁄2 cup rice each: Good for leftovers

2⁄3 cup (125g) brown rice
2 large (950g) heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
2 medium (201g) carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
3⁄4 cup (180g) low- sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons (8g) canola oil
1 tablespoon (10g) finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 (9g) garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
12 ounces (340g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1- inch pieces
2 tablespoons (31g) reduced- sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon (20g) hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
One 8- ounce (227g) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1⁄2 teaspoon (3g) sesame oil
3 (45g) green onions (scallions), white and light green parts, thinly sliced

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, micro wave the broccoli, carrots, and 1 ⁄4 cup of the chicken broth in a large bowl, covered, for 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. Spray a wok or large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the canola oil in the wok over medium- high heat. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds to soften. Add the broccoli, carrots, and liquid from the bowl and stir- fry for 5 minutes, until just tender.
4. Add the chicken, the remaining broth, the soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often.
5. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Add to the wok along with the water chestnuts. Simmer for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with the green onions.

Serve with the rice.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 330 • CD 0.85 • Carbohydrate 43g • Fat 7g • Protein 26g • Fiber 8g

Traditional General Tsao’s chicken

How we lowered the Calorie Density
• Added more vegetables
• Reduced fat and sugar in the sauce
• Switched from fried, skin- on chicken pieces to chicken breast fillet
• Decreased the portion of rice and switched to brown rice


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Dr. Ian Smith’s New Diet Book ‘Shred’ Deserves Its Spot on the Bestseller List

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Ten days into January, and I haven’t blown my New Year’s resolution to keep a book journal. I keep my goals easy for a reason. I think the rest of the world, including my husband, has loftier ideas: It seems like everybody wants to crank up their diet and exercise mojo.

Just thinking about that makes me sweat.

I’m rooting for you if you’re on the brave health kick. So is Ian Smith, M.D., author of the brand new already-bestselling book called Shred: The Revolutionary Diet, 6 Weeks, 4 Inches, 2 Sizes. Dr. Smith, also the medical contributor to The Rachael Ray Show, has been all over TV this week. I saw him on CNN just yesterday. I used to watch him on The Today Show, and I’ve read his other bestsellers like The Truth About MenWhat can I say? He’s smart and handsome. I’m a big fan.

Shred is popular because it’s straightforward and simple (for a diet and exercise program anyway). Dr. Smith lists meal plans for every day of the six weeks. He tells readers when to exercise and exactly how much to do–even what to do. Instead of eating three times, Shredders get four times to dine. The foods are things we all like: oatmeal, pears, soup, shrimp, spaghetti and meatballs. On CNN yesterday, Dr. Smith (may I just call him Ian?) said, “This program is for regular people. If I can fix this food, anyone can fix this food. I want to make this easy for people because weight loss is hard enough in and of itself.”

And he delivers. If you’re dieting and exercising, check out Shred. It’s a fantastic program that is easy to do and sure to work. My husband already stole my copy.

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