We love cookbooks! You should see Debbies collection! Mine is definitely not as extensive as hers, but I have a cupboard or two full. So when we got the opportunity to join a cookbook review club we thought that it would be fun for our blog! Every month, we will check out a new cookbook along with a few other bloggers, make a few recipes and see what we think of it. And of course, we will relay our findings to you 🙂 Hopefully you find this helpful, fun, and informative. If you love cookbooks like we do, I think you will like these posts. Not only will you get our opinions, but you will be able to see what the other bloggers in our club thought of the book as well. I don’t know about you, but I always read the reviews before buying a cook book.
To view the other posts and recipes that the other Awesome Bloggers in our Cookbook Review Club have posted on their sites, I have included a link to their posts at the bottom of this page. We are also giving away one of these beautiful books and you can find a link to the enter the giveaway also at the bottom of this post.
The cookbook is called “Homemade Summer” written by Yvette van Boven. It is a sequel to her other two Home Made books “Home Made” and “Home Made Winter”.
On to the book…
The one thing about this book that stood out to us right away was that every single recipe has a picture. We both love that! The food photography is beautiful and a lot of the other pictures are fun. You can tell right away that Yvette has a sense of humor and had fun with this cookbook. As we scrolled through, we saw that she includes personal stories that tie into her recipes such as one about her grandmother and how she cooks her white asparagus for her mother every year for her birthday. I really enjoyed reading the stories as they make the recipes come alive and the author more human.
There is a pretty big variety of recipes in the book and I like that. Everything from jam and smoothies to meat and dessert. Breads, pasta, risotto, pasta, appies, soups, salads…. Like I said, a little of everything!
We chose to make two of the recipes for this post, the Crab Cakes with Citrus-Tomato Mayonnaise and the Rolled Up Feta & Garlic Bread with Radicchio and Mint. The Crab Cakes turned out really well and tasted fantastic. We loved the mayo that you make from scratch. It was very easy and super flavorful. We also really liked the addition of tomatoes in the mayo for some added texture and a burst of flavor. These crab cakes are mostly meat and the bread crumbs just go on in a thin layer, but have just enough to get these cakes crispy. Here is the recipe as a little sneak peak…
Crab Cakes with Fresh Citrus-Tomato Mayonnaise
- FOR THE CRAB CAKES
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 Onion , diced
- 2 ribs Celery , diced
- 1 can or 6 oz of Crab Meat
- 1 3/4 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup Crème Fraiche
- a few fresh chives , minced
- a few fresh basil leaves , minced
- 1 large Egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- light oil for fryingFOR THE MAYONNAISE
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- juice of 1 Lemon , or 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tbsp strong prepared Mustard
- 2 cups Sunflower or Corn Oil
- 2 Tomatoes , seeded and diced
- 1/2 tsp Paprika , preferably smoked
- Salt and Pepper to taste
FOR THE CRAB CAKES
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery for about 4 mins, until translucent. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Flake the crab meat into a bowl and add the cooled onion and celery, half the bread crumbs , the crème freiche, chives, basil, and egg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Shape the mixture into about 8 little balls. Slightly flatten them and coat the patties all over with the remaining bread crumbs.
In a nonstick sauté pan, heat some oil over medium heat. Fry the patties for about 2 mins per side, until golden brown on both sides. Let them drain on a paper towel.
FOR THE MAYONNAISE
In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard and process until foamy. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a very thin trickle until the mixture becomes a thick mayonnaise. By hand, stir in the tomatoes and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the Crab Cakes.
The Rolled Up Feta & Garlic Bread with Radicchio and Mint were also delicious. They had a good crust, but were very soft on the inside. They smelled so good in the oven as they were baking! Debbies whole house smelled like fresh bread and garlic! Yum! Honestly, what is better than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven…? Nothing. That’s what! You could serve these rolls with anything that you would serve regular garlic bread with and they look beautiful when they come out of the oven so they would be perfect for company. They were also pretty easy to make. Here is the recipe so you can give them a try.
Rolled-up Garlic & Feta Bread with Raddachio and Mint
- FOR THE DOUGH
- 1 (1/4 oz/7g) envelope active dry Yeast
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) lukewarm Milk
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp olive Oil , plus more for the pan
- 4 cups (500 g) all purpose flour
- generous pinch of SaltFOR THE FILLING
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp (200 g) unsalted Butter , at room temperature
- 2 small cloves Garlic , minced
- 3 tbsp minced fresh Mint
- freshly ground black Pepper
- pinch of Salt
- generous handful of sliced Radicchio
- 2/3 cup (75g) crumbled Feta Cheese
FOR THE DOUGH
In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the warm milk, sugar, and oil and set aside for 5 mins until the yeast dissolves. in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. While mixing, pour in the milk mixture. make sure all the yeast comes along with it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead the dough until you have a nice supple smooth ball that is no longer sticky. you might have to add a little more flour.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let it rise for 1 hour.
FOR THE FILLING
With an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the garlic, mint, and pepper and beat well. you can add some salt if you wish, but remember that the feta is salty, so be judicious. Cover and set aside.
Blanch the radicchio in boiling water for 2 seconds and drain well in a sieve. Chop it even more finely.
BACK TO THE DOUGH
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Oil a 9 inch round pan.
Knead the dough briefly, then dust the counter with flour, shape the dough into a rectangle, and roll it out about 16 x 20 inches.
Reserve about 1/4 of the garlic butter, and spread the remaining garlic butter over the dough. Sprinkle with the feta and the radicchio. Roll up the dough from the long side and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the roll in the freezer for about 15 min to stiffen; cutting will be easier that way. Melt the reserved garlic butter in a saucepan and remove from the heat.
Cut the roll into 1 - 1 and 1/4 inch rounds. Arrange them close together in the baking dish; its fine if they touch each other. Brush the tops with the melted garlic butter and let stand for another 15 min. Bake for about 30 mins, until golden brown.
The only somewhat negative thing I will say about this book is that some of the ingredients would be difficult or imp0ssible to find on our side of the pond. Yvette is in Europe so there are some ingredients used that we had never heard of before. We googled one, samphire , and I found that they are sea beans and grow in the UK. Ive never heard of them here, or at all actually lol, but maybe they might be more available on the east coast.
There was also a recipe to make your own Quark. We are all for recipes that teach you how to make things from scratch that you would normally buy. However, we didn’t know what Quark was and the recipe doesn’t say. We guessed that it was cheese and we were right! Debbie actually found Quark in the grocery store as we were picking up ingredients lol. That said, we always like to expand our horizons in the kitchen so maybe we will give this Quark stuff a try 🙂
Even though some ingredients aren’t readily available here, there are always substitutions and Im sure the dishes that require them would be just as good.
If you would like to purchase this book for yourself and try out some recipes, I highly recommend buying this book through Amazon. I bought it from Chapters and it was double the price. You can use this link to get your own copy 🙂
Here is the link to the rest of the posts about Homemade Summer that the other Bloggers in our Cookbook Review Club have on their own sites. Be sure to check them out as well!
As I mentioned above, this month we are giving away a “Home Made Summer” cookbook to one of our readers. To enter the contest, all you have to do is follow the instructions on the box below. You can enter the contest via facebook or pinterest. Its a beautiful hardcover book and is well worth taking the time.
If you could scroll to the bottom of the box and enter the contest via Cooks with Cocktails, we would really appreciate it!