I just love the Podleski sisters. I fell in love with them on their TV show Eat, Shrink and Be Merry and have been cooking from their cookbooks ever since. When their new cookbook came out in November, combining all the best recipes from their last 3 cookbooks, updating them so they weren't using out-dated "dieting" trends and giving us even more of what we loved from them before, I was sold. I bought my dad the cookbook for his Christmas gift (secretly hoping he was doing the same for me :). I was surprised to see that no one had reviewed this new cookbook yet, so I sent off an email to the sisters, hoping I could do just that for them. And to my surprise....they responded! And they said they would love to send me a copy of their cookbook! A week later when I was laid out on the couch in the worst pain of my life battling kidney stones, a package showed up at my door. My new cookbook was inside and it totally brightened my (pain-filled) day.
I have loved testing out recipes from this book. Of course, I had hoped to have reviewed this cookbook months ago, but passing kidney stones, being pregnant with baby number three, and working as a teacher full-time kind of dampened that thought. Nonetheless, I'm stoked to share this cookbook with you now. It's fabulous (as I suspected).
Any small beefs I had with their last cookbook was totally improved upon for this one: there are TONS of mouthwatering photographs to give you a visual as to what the finished dish should look like, it's laid out really nicely and well-organized and remember those cheesy punny recipe titles? Yep still there. But it wouldn't be a Podleski sisters cookbook without them! What they did do that I love though, is put the description of the recipe underneath the title in much bigger font, so it's easy to see what the recipe is.
For me, it all comes down to the taste of the food in the end. So how did these recipes measure up?
Beef Noodle Doodle (pg 75) is an Asian beef noodle soup full of flavor and nice textures. It cooked up quickly and gives you these great flavors reminiscent of beef pho on a busy weeknight. Another soup recipe I tried (from the "Ladle Gaga" chapter no less), was Rome on the Range (pg 68) which delivered delicious mini meatballs in a roasted tomato and red pepper broth. It was a great rich-tasting soup and a perfect use of my Farmer's Market veggies.
The Nutcrocker (pg 152) was easy to throw in my slow cooker and was a family-pleasing meal of peanut chicken served up on rice. All the ingredients were ones that I always have on hand like salsa, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce and orange juice and came together quickly in the morning before work.
Stick 'em Up! (pg 188) was another recipe I tried and I absolutely fell in love with these Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp Skewers. They are fantastically easy to throw all the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag (like lemon juice, garlic, honey, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil) and let them sit for an hour or so. Once you thread them on skewers they take only minutes on the grill and they are done.
Rice 'n' Easy Casserole (pg 260) Can you tell my theme for choosing recipes? Easy, easy, EASY! What was great is that I didn't have to look very hard to find easy recipes that I could still make when I was tired from a long day teaching. This Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower and Rice Casserole made a great side dish and potluck offering and of course was a cinch to throw together. It tasted great and I came home with a clean casserole dish!
A friend of mine bought this cookbook after she read my review of Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, and so I've got to taste even more recipes because of her. At our last Community Group dinner she made Mom's Famous No-Peek Chicken (pg 150). It is a Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole that she was able to triple and feed 20 people with almost no work involved! We all loved the comforting dish and it's one that I will definitely make again. At another get together, my friend brought cinnamon rolls with cream cheese drizzled all over the top. As we were all devouring them and exclaiming how great they were, she informed me they were Rolls Royce (pg 292) and they were made with whole wheat flour, flax and much less butter and sugar than you would think. Despite the whole grains they weren't heavy and they had wonderful flavor.
All in all, I am loving The Looneyspoons Collection. It's got more of the same great nutrition facts, food tidbits and comical humor as before, just with more pictures and (as always) awesome food. I definitely recommend this cookbook.
Since I love it so much I would LOVE to giveaway a copy to one of you. To win, just leave me a comment here and tell me: what is your favorite EASY recipe to make that is still healthy? The contest closes on July 4th, and I'll pick a winner at random and contact you via email, so make sure you have an email address in your comment.
P.S. This is my first giveaway!
Labels: Cookbook Review