I love trying new recipes and finding new sources for them. Often I look online, but every so often I find a cookbook I am interested in testing out. There have been cookbooks where the recipes look good, but after a few I find they just do not work for our family. There are other that I wondered how we ever got on without them.
When I was given the opportunity to review Kitchen Confidence by Kelsey Nixon, not only did the possibility of finding recipes appeal to me, but also learning a few new cooking tips.
Looking through Kitchen Confidence, I found 7 chapter focused on different food groups – breakfast, main course, desserts, etc. There were also 3 chapters dedicated towards tips and techniques. Once I started looking through all the recipes, making notes of ones I wanted to try, I found several pages scattered through the chapters giving additional tips.
One section I am going to revisit in the near future is Pantry Organization. I have tried to organize our pantry since we moved in a few years ago. While it is better than it was, there is still room for improvement. Kelsey gave several tips, and lists, that will help make it even better and easier to use. There were a few times I wondered why I had not thought of that item or idea. There were likewise a few that I knew would not work for us. Those items were ignored and life moved on.
The beautiful pictures made recipe selection this past week very difficult. I really wanted to make everything. Amazingly, most of the recipes called for items I normally would have on hand. No need for a special trip to the stores in a larger town to find a unique ingredient. This was a great start to reaching the goal of the book, as stated in the introduction, “(helping you) become a more confident home cook.”
Was it really possible for me to make some of these delicious recipes with things I already had?
After creating a list of several dishes, I did have to go to the store to pick up some fruit. Still, these were items our Small Town grocer had in stock easily. They are also in season right now and reasonably priced.
I am not a great bread maker, so was more than a bit hesitant to attempt the grilled bread recipe contained in the book. It looked so good, though, that I decided to try once more. With the page about “Working With Yeast Dough” in hand, to help me overcome some problems I had been having with dough, I attempted the recipe. It turned out great, surprising my husband who came home for lunch with no idea what we were having that day.
Meal #1: Breaded Minute Steaks (not a recipe in Kitchen Confidence),
Creamy Cauliflower Puree Cauliflower Soup, Grilled Flatbread, and Grilled Fruit Skewers with chili and lime
That evening, I used the leftover grilled bread in place of croutons for the tomato soup recipe also found in Kitchen Confidence. If all tomato soup recipes were this easy to make, there would be no need to can any up this fall. Instead, I could focus on canning whole tomatoes and make it as needed.
Meal #2: Roasted Tomato Soup with pesto, Grilled Flatbread
Kitchen Confidence is good for cooks who are just starting out, ones who know the basics but want to take it to the next step, and for those who may need to fill in spaces in their knowledge, like me and bread dough. There are recipes for game day as well as family meals. Oh, and in case you are afraid of failing, like I am at times, Kelsey reminds you that it is okay. Learn from your mistake, then order a pizza, as she suggests in the book. This week, I just changed the name from Creamy Cauliflower Puree to Cauliflower Soup; I added too much broth and not enough cauliflower. :)
I enjoyed Kitchen Confidence and would recommend it to those starting out, or looking to begin learning new cooking skills. In case this matters to you, the cover of the book is paper. It is a sturdy stock of paper, but it is not a hardback. I had no issues with it, but thought I would mention it in case someone might have an issue with that. There are also ebook versions available.
This week, I will be trying 2 additional recipes, ribs and blueberry muffins. I am getting hungry just thinking about them.
Last week, for the first time in months I attempted to go through the week without a meal plan. Bad decision, though not disastrous like some previous attempts. I had a rough idea of what I would be making, based on the schedule for the week – 1 day of babysitting meant pizza, 1 day of a friend visiting and the produce auction meant lunch out, 1 day of trying new recipes, Saturday in Big Town eating out, and the rest eating leftovers or from the freezer.
In some ways it turned out good, as I was able to use up bits of this and that as I found them. In other ways, I missed having a defined plan for the week. My husband also had no idea each day what he was going to be having for lunch.
- Blueberry Muffins
- Hot Rice Cereal with Nuts
- Eggs, fruit, biscuits, coffee/juice
- Eat Out
- Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, steamed carrots
- Ribs, cucumber salad, potatoes
- Spaghetti with meat sauce
- Curry beef with rice and veggies
- Watermelon, PB&J sandwiches
- Eggs, toast, grits, fruit
- Black bean soup, cornbread
- Harvest Medly soup, cornbread
- Spicy sirloin steak with noodles
- Sandwiches, veggies, chips
Linked up with OrgJunkie and Feeding Big.
For more ideas also check out This Week For Dinner.
Also check out Confessions of a Homeschooler’s July’s Monthly Meal Plan.
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I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.