Bouchon Bakery – Cookbook Review

The latest cookbook choice for The Seattle Cooking Club is Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery. I’ve had this cookbook on my shelf for awhile, so I was excited to dive back into it. But then work happened, and I started traveling a bunch. I got home from a trip just in time for the mid-term “dinner” and I was unable to attend. So I made a few attempts myself and came to the conclusion that as much as I love this cookbook, it’s not an everyday baking cookbook.


Thomas Keller – Bouchon Bakery

By Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel
Photos by Deborah Jones



  • Beautiful photos
  • I wanted to bake everything!
  • Then I decided I didn’t want to bake everything because I didn’t want to gain 20 pounds.
  • Then I realized many of the recipes require special equipment that I don’t have…nor want to purchase.
  • Other than the negatives, the recipes are clear and easy to follow.
  • The book really walks you through the process, and gives lots of amazing tips and tricks.
  • Very detailed and thorough.



  • Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies
  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Better Nutters
  • Shortbread
  • Bacon Cheddar Scones
  • Regualar Scones





I am intimidated by most of the recipes in this cookbook. Quite a few of them require special equipment (that I don’t have, nor do I need). I love some of the more basic recipes…but I don’t think I’ll become an expert croissant maker anytime soon. Other than that, the more realistic recipes are absolutely delicious. I have made the chocolate chunk cookies NUMEROUS times, and the Bacon Cheddar Scones are heavenly.


Food52 Mighty Salads – Cookbook Review

We have taken a summer break from Cooking Club, so I thought I’d increase my salad repertoire with this new cookbook from Food52. One of my all time favorite cookbooks is Raising the Salad Bar, so I thought another salad cookbook would just add to my love of making salads over the summer. Boy was I right! This cookbook is fantastic! If you like salads, this one has something for everyone.

Food52 Mighty Salads 

By the Editors of Food52, Amanda Hesser, & Merrill Stubbs
Photos by Rocky Luten, James Ransom, Bobbi Lin, and Mark Weinberg



  • Photos are great.
  • The recipes seem easy, manageable, and tasty.
  • There are “Genius Tips” throughout the book that are super helpful.



I have made a few salads so far, and all have been amazing. The

  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Endive & Apple Salad
  • Toasted Farro & Asparagus Salad
  • Spring Vegetable Panzanella
  • Lemony Greek Pasta Salad




Cooking Club visits The Pantry

The gals in my cooking club decided to sign us all up for a cooking class at the Pantry at Delancey last weekend. The classes at the Pantry are so amazing I didn’t even ask my friend what we were cooking…that is how much I trust this place. I knew whatever it was, it would be magnificent. And I was right! What was on the menu you ask? The Falafel Stand.

  • Pita bread
  • Falafel with Israeli Salad
  • Sabich with 5-hour eggs
  • Amba (Green Mango Sauce)
  • Hamutzim (Pickled Vegetables)
  • Hummus
  • Tahini Sauce

Along with our instructor Ari, and two volunteers…we had the place to ourselves. Such a treat! If you are a Seattle local and you haven’t checked The Pantry out…you must!

The Pantry at Delancey

Pita Bread





Time to eat!


Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California – Cookbook Review

The above is a quote from my friend Kelli, in regards to the dessert Carol brought to Cooking Club Mid-term Dinner. It was the Date Cake with Whiskey Sauce, and a side of Ginger Gelatto. Um yes…it was truly amazing. The perfect mix of sweet and spice. I’m not a ginger person…but I could have had seconds of that dish! I think this quote is a sign of GREAT things from this cookbook.

Gjelina: Cooking from Venice California


  • Photos are gorgeous. It makes me want to try everything in this book despite the fact that I don’t know what some of the ingredients are. :)
  • Quite a few of the recipes refer to other recipes in the book (which isn’t my favorite) but it’s just cause I’m lazy and I don’t want to make 3 recipes just to make 1.


Mid-term dinner consisted of the following…and ALL of the following (BTW) was fantastic. :)

  • Mushroom Toasts (worth repeating)
  • Arugula & Radicchio Salad with Crispy Shallots & Shallot Oil-Sherry Vinaigrette
  • Beet Carrot Soup
  • Grilled Summer Squash, Za’atar & Cherry Tomato Confit
  • Oven-Roasted Parsnips with Hazelnut Picada
  • Charred Blade Steak with Green Peppercorn & Sherry Pan Sauce
  • Warm Date Cake with Ginger Gelato (worth repeating)

Also made was the Pickled Red Onions. It might sound like a random thing to make on a Sunday afternoon…but there are so many things I can do with them! Top some smoked trout or avocado toasts, or in a lamb burger. They are quite delicious and super easy to make.

Other recipes that are on my list to make is the Grilled Kale with Shallot-Yogurt Dressing & Toasted Hazelnuts, Grilled Jumbo Asparagus with Gribiche & Bottarga (if I can find the last two mentioned ingredients) and the Butterscotch Pots de Creme with Salted Caramel.

I have lots of cooking to do!!! :)

Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings” – Cookbook Review

The cookbook Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat was a Christmas gift from my sister this past December. She is continuing the tradition (with me) that my Dad set for my Mom…which was buying her a new cookbook each year for Christmas. I was super excited she picked this one out because I have heard great things! Plus…I love Chrissy. :)


  • I love the photos! I admit that I’m a visual person…and I like photos of the food I’m about to make. It helps gauge if you followed the recipe or completely failed at it.
  • The format of the recipes are in a good format, and easy-to-follow. The designer in me craves good typographical layouts when it comes to information/instructions. Cookbooks fall into this category for me. There are some AMAZING cookbooks out there (I won’t name names) that drive me nuts because the layout and instructions are super confusing. I hate flipping back and forth to follow the recipe.
  • Lastly, I like Chrissy’s intros to each recipe. You can hear her playfulness in each description…and gives her readers a hint of her personality.


I tested out some of the recipes this past New Years Eve to enjoy during the 2016 Peach Bowl. Yes…my Dawgs played, and yes…they lost. :( Despite the loss, the food was good and this is what I fixed up for me and my friends:

  • Roasted Jalapeño and Chorizo Queso
  • Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon


The Roasted Jalapeño and Chorizo Queso was FANTASTIC. It definitely had some heat…and I even left one step out!  The recipe called for halving and seeding the jalapeños, but instead of tossing the insides out, it asked to stir it in at the end. I had a feeling it was going to be hot without this step and I was right. I left this part out and I was still happy with the result. The only other complaint (from a few guests) was that the chorizo I selected was too “cinnamon-y.” So next time I will find a chorizo less so.

The Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon was really good. I may make it next time without the bacon (for a slightly healthier option) but it’s definitely a close second to my Mom’s famous potato salad recipe.




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