Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: Michael Symon's 5 in 5 For Every Season

I'm a big fan of Food Network shows (and cookbooks...but, I think that's obvious by my growing cookbook collection). I have learned quite a bit just by paying attention to some of these incredibly creative chefs. Putting many of the reality-type cooking shows aside, I have learned so much about basic knife skills, how to put certain flavors together, and simply create an elegant dish for any occasion.

However, one chef I haven't seemed to have followed quite as much is Michael Symon. I've seen him on Iron Chef America and known him as the guy with this crazy, infectious laugh who can turn deadly serious in an instant (particularly, when it comes to tasting and presenting food). But, other than that, I haven't had a chance to really experience his style - on TV or via a cookbook.

Until now.

Symon is co-host of a popular chef-driven foodie talk show, The Chew. Alongside, Mario Batali, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz, and Clinton Kelly, Symon cooks up all sorts of madcap food and fun in this popular daytime series. It sounds like a hoot!

But, I'll be honest.

I've never even seen the show.

It's not that I haven't wanted to, but really, how much time is there in a day? But, I know one thing for sure: Michael Symon can cook.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Blueberry Salad
That's why I chose this new cookbook to check out. It's full of fun, easy, fast dishes based off a segment on The Chew - 5 in 5. Five ingredients, five minutes. Done!

However, let's be honest: no one has a line of prep cooks and kitchen staff waiting with all your ingredients in the wings to get your dish done in five minutes flat. Or do you?

My kitchen staff runs around on four legs with a furry tail who refuses to even do the dishes. So, prep, cook, clean - I get to do it all!

Having said that, Symon is the first to agree - this book is meant to make mealtime fun, easy, and affordably healthy in the shortest amount of time possible. Cooking for the seasons and eating what's ripe at its top peak of freshness. From farm to table. So, prep staff or not, these meals may not be done in five minutes flat, but they can be prepped, cooked, and assembled in less than 20 minutes. From what I perused, most in less than that.

Lots of delicious, simple, and easy recipes, categorized by season, including a holiday category! This book gives you 165 ideas to make fast, easy, healthy foods that require very little effort. Sounds good to me!

Kielbasa with Apples and Onions

*This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review: The Time Garden by Daria Song

I have fallen for this adult coloring book craze. One of my last book choices was Daria Song's second coloring masterpiece. This is her first.

What a beautiful book.

The exquisite drawing, the sweet storyline, the amazing creation of things that make you want to color them. Or not.

The beauty of Daria's drawings and charming storylines is that they are equally beautiful in black and white, as they would be filled in with the colors of my choice.

The beauty of this book charms me. And while the storyline is sweet and equally charming, it isn't really necessary and falls a little short (where is the red-haired fairy that starts the whole fall-into-the-clock thing?). But, above all, the artistry supersedes everything else.

However, I am still slightly befuddled by one thing: in the back of Song's books there are visual indexes. I am not sure the purpose of these. I have looked on the publisher's website, the artist's website, and various other places - there doesn't seem to be an explanation. I like the idea - I'm just not sure what it is for. Visual reference? Maybe. Either way, it's a great way to enjoy more of the art that comes from the brilliant mind of Daria Song.

*This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.