Peckish Sister's Profile

From: Central, FL USA

Joined: December 11th, 2010

About me: I have always liked to cook, particularly breads, fruits, vegetables, vegetarian, poultry and lamb dishes. After marriage we cooked together progressively more difficult dishes with him doing the meat, grilling and frying, and I did the "dough" and the same type of things I had before. After children we started cooking more simply. After discovering the cause of my frequent migraines was an evolving long list of chemicals and odd ingredients, I began getting back to cooking from basic ingredients, and found I could be well again. I also try to cooking from what I can get in season at the ever present fruit and vegetable stands.

Favorite cookbook: America's Test Kitchen / Cooks Illustrated Books

Latest review:

May 20th, 2020

Manchester Stew from Skinny Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Cookbook

I switched up the vegetables and canned beans to reflect what I had on hand. It was my very first use of the Insta pot and I was skeptical of the 3 minute cooking time since I had increased the amounts... read more >

recipe reviews (465)
book reviews (18)
useful review votes (419)

Peckish Sister's Reviews

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Cookbook Reviews

18 books reviewed. Showing 1 to 18Sort by: Rating | Title

30 Delicious Dump Cake Recipes

By Lori Burke
CreateSpace - 2012

August 28th, 2012

I love being able to quickly put together a fruit-filled dessert. These dump cakes seem to be a real crowd pleaser and to be better than something I could buy at the store. Most of the recipes are based on pie filling, but some of them are solely fresh fruit like apple or blueberries. All the recipes use a particular brand of cake mix as it does not contain pudding. And they are all topped with thinly sliced butter. Many of the recipes are missing key ingredients or directions like baking time. However after you make a few; you can fill in the blanks. I thought it was odd that there was such a wide range of the amount of butter used. My recommendation is to start with 2 sticks of butter, slice them thinly the long way and as soon as the top is covered, put the rest back into the refrigerator for another use. If you want it to go farther or be a little more elaborate, top with ice cream. This was a free download from Kindle for me. I don't usually go in for 30 recipe cookbooks, but I have found this a useful little cookbook. I highly recommend it, particularly if you have to provide food for a large crowd.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

By Ina Garten, Martha Stewart
Clarkson Potter - 1999

October 19th, 2011 (edited 3rd November 2011)

The book as advertised has mostly simple to prepare dishes that produce large quantities and are ideal for entertaining. Many are classic dishes that most people have probably cooked before, but some were new and unique. I particularly like the soups as they were flavorful and lower in fat. I also like her appetizers partially because they produce a reasonable volume for a small family. The recipes worked well, or if they didn't it was my fault. Many of her recipes were much higher in fat than I would like to cook with like the mashed potatoes and the cookies The pictures are gorgeous, but I would like to have more pictures of food from the recipes and less generic produce pictures. This would not be a cookbook that I would turn to weekly even. But I will try more recipes for holidays or entertaining like her meat recipes, and I will look forward to cooking again the Schezuan noodles, curried cous cous, roast chicken and the soups.

Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever: Versatility and Inspiration for New Generation Machines

By Natalie Haughton
William Morrow Cookbooks - 1995

February 8th, 2011 (edited 9th September 2012)

The main draw back is that most recipes cook in less time than the average person spends at work. I solve that problem by either cooking them on the weekend when I don’t want to be fussing over the stove, or using a timer like you plug your lamps into. It is so worth it as these recipes develop complex flavors and most you would not guess came out of a crockpot. I asked my Dad for the same crockpot cookbook that he had cooked from and raved about for years. It was out of print and so he very carefully picked this one out particularly for the feature that it has a hidden spiral binding and lays flat. I have treasured this cookbook and always think of him when I cook from it. The recipes grab your attention with the unusual ingredients. The recipes I have tried usually are good the first time and only need minor tweaking. Most of the recipes make a large volume and work best for me in a 5 quart crockpot.

Culinary Expressions

By Normand J. Leclair
Normand Pub - 2002

September 5th, 2012

Do you buy those great big packages of chicken breasts and then wonder what to do with them? Maybe you always buy the salmon and are ready for something different than teriyaki or pesto? There are so many chicken and salmon recipes, all of them cook in 20 minutes. I have found it fun to see what I can make from ingredients on hand, and then to collect the ingredients for some of the other recipes that sound delicious. This is a book much beloved in RI where patrons of the former restaurants of the author, love these recipes. There are many layers to this cookbook. This man poured his whole life into this book. He wrote earlier smaller cookbooks, but this has everything – pearls of wisdom, cleaning hints and hilarious stories from his years running restaurants that will have you laughing so loudly, you will disturb those around you. The bread crumbs that are in most of the chicken recipes are really a mixture of breadcrumbs and other ingredients. Many of those ingredients are in Panko breadcrumbs and seasoned Panko breadcrumbs are a great substitute. He also has large appetizer and dessert sections including lots of fruit desserts.

The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea

By Michael Harney
Penguin Press HC, The - 2008

January 23rd, 2011

This is not a cookbook and there are not recipes. But if you are a tea lover and want to learn more about tea, it is an amazing book. It also does not have pictures of tea plantations. It was really interesting to learn how the tea is picked and cured. I cleared up some common misconceptions I had about tea. I used this book to learn where the tea I like comes from, what kinds of tea I like and suggestions for new ones that I haven't tried yet. Also I wanted to taste the components of my favorite tea blends to understand what I liked about them. The author also sells tea and you can buy and try some very specifically grown and processed teas. If you love tea and want to learn more about its complexities, I recommend this book.

Light Basics Cookbook: The Only Cookbook You'll Ever Need if You Want to Cook Healthy

By Martha Rose Shulman
HarperCollins Publishers - 1999

September 29th, 2012

This is a great cookbook for novices as like the name implies, there are a lot of basic cooking instruction. The version I had was spiral bound and laid flat. I found many recipes that I just couldn’t wait to try. There are no pictures, but the margins are filled with calorie and nutritional content, and helpful hints. Most of these recipes had a nice twist on an old favorite (like lentil soup with goat cheese garnish). For each recipe they tell you what equipment you will need, what of the prep to do in advance and also the nutritional info including fat, calories, carbs and protein per serving. This is definitely a cookbook for those who want to learn how to cook with a large introduction instruction section with easy basic recipes to start out on like tomato sauce and tossed salad with vinaigrette. There are also a lot of good recipes if your are not interested in the basic instructions. However many of these recipes are also found in her other cookbooks. This would be a great gift for someone who wants to learn how to cook, but does not know where to begin.

Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine

By Martha Rose Shulman
Rodale Books - 2007

September 25th, 2012

At first I did not find this paperback book without color pictures very appealing. But then I found I was cooking quite a few recipes. It is a very practical and usable cookbook. For example, I love buying big bags of pea pods, but would like to have them any other way but raw once in a while. Pasta with sugar snap peas and cottage pesto filled the bill. Many years ago I discovered the best French recipe for grated carrot salad, and then lost it for years. Here it is in this cookbook, very nice! Most of these recipes are simple with a minimal number of ingredients. This was a fun book to cook from and it was not noticeable to my family that the recipes were vegetarian or "healthy". It also was helpful in my goal to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our daily diet. However I do notice that some of these recipes (like the cherry clafoutis) are in her other cookbooks as well.

Moosewood Cookbook

By Mollie Katzen
Ten Speed Press - 1992

March 20th, 2011

This is a great vegetarian cookbook with a surprising wealthy of various recipes for all courses. These recipes have a big reliance on dairy-based ingredients like yogurt, cottage cheese, milk and different cheeses. The index is very useful if you are trying to find all possible recipes for a particular ingredient like zucchini or buttermilk. If you want to look up a particular soup or cake recipe, you may have to go to that section of the book to find it. Breads are the smallest of all of the categories, but soups, appetizers and main courses are well represented. Most recipes turn out quite well. With the emphasis on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, cooking from the Moosewood Cookbook is an easy way to accomplish that.

The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking)

By Mollie Katzen

March 20th, 2011 (edited 20th March 2011)

This is a great vegetarian cookbook. If you are used to cooking from the classic Moosewood Cookbook, this will have recipes lower in fat, and has a surprising number of new recipes. This book is very helpful in showing how to cook dairy and egg-free for many of the recipes. If you are soy intolerant, the replacement of Tamari with salt is helpful, but in the sauce section, four sauces are converted to a base of tofu, so for me, the original recipes for those sauces worked better. I like the addition of many new recipes. I also like the fact that almost every recipe in the book has some changes which is probably why most of them turned out so well. Most recipes either have suggestions for variations or a range of certain ingredients so that you can make it to your taste. The problem this presents is that if you like how it turned out, it is important to note how you did it so you can recreate it. I like the fact that after cooking almost exclusively from this cookbook for over a month I still have a lot of recipes I look forward to cooking and many that have become family favorites. It would be very difficult to get bored with this cookbook. The emphasis on lightening the recipes with the reduction of fat used is great.
As Andrew mentioned in his review of the original Moosewood Cookbook and still holds true for this cookbook is that there is a bit of a repetition of certain ingredients and flavors. After cooking from this cookbook for the duration of the contest the recipes I choose to cook often had: apple cider vinegar, dill and parsley, or mustard and horse radish. But for cooking purposes, it was useful in stocking up ingredients: cider vinegar (I went through 2 bottles) instead of 5 types of vinegar, walnuts (I never got tired of the walnuts) yogurt, dill, parsley, mushrooms, lots and lots of onions, etc. The index is more traditional and straightforward than the original book which is organized by major food component, rather than by name or type of dish. The photographs of the food really help inspire you to want to cook the dishes. The New Moosewood Cookbook has such a wealth of delicious, healthful and unique recipes that it would make a great addition to anyone’s cookbook collection whether or not you are vegetarian and whether or not you own the original Moosewood Cookbook.

The Pie and Pastry Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Scribner - 1998

December 25th, 2011

This is a great book for learning pastry technique. However, it is not a cookbook for you if you like to whip something together in 20 minutes. It is important to read, read and read again. Reading the recipe, the background on that type of pastry and all of the additional information like Pointers for Success and Understanding can be critical for successfully completing a recipe. It will lead you to success and prevent mistakes. I suggest stocking up on Post-Its. Several times I started with the food processor method and ended up finishing the dough by hand as I skipped places in the book. Many recipes will take all day with repeated chilling times. So plan ahead to be sure you have all the ingredients and enough time. The directions are excellent, but again, only if you read them thoroughly. I love that she tells you how to make the dough using different machines or by hand; that is often the first thing that I will change in a recipe. I also love the option of measuring by volume or weight, for me it really helps with fruit and vegetables. I love the wonderful surprises in this book. Who would have expected meatloaf? I have so much left to learn and experience from this book and am really looking forward to trying to master the different types of pastries. My family has also enjoyed this baking experience and it makes a great project for the whole family. You may want to think twice about baking something to take to an event that your family does not attend; after watching you labor over something delicious all day, they may not let you out of the house with it. I also think it helps to make a recipe more than once, as everything seems to go smoother with familiarity with the recipe and practice. The pictures and diagrams are also inspirational. I really look forward to cooking through her other cookbooks.

Slow Cooker Revolution

By The Editors at America's Test Kitchen, America's Test Kitchen
Boston Common Press - 2011

November 2nd, 2011 (edited 24th February 2012)

So you don’t have a slow cooker? Even better, you can take advantage of their section on buying a slow cooker. I was chagrined to compare my two bargain models to their superior one, but I can’t see buying a third one. However, I am envious of the picture of a wall of slow cookers. Wouldn’t that be great for potluck meals at work or church?
I have learned the idiosyncrasies of the slow cookers that I have and try to use it to my advantage. These recipes are all for 5 quart Crockpots and they are usually filled to the top. This is now my favorite Crockpot cookbook. I used to buy the cookbooks based on the length of time that the recipes cooked; I wanted to be able to load up the Crockpot, and come back 12 hours later. So now I am more likely to use one of these shorter cooking time recipes on the weekend or when someone is working from home. These are not the standard fare of beef stew, baked beans, chili, etc. recipes that you would expect in this kind of cookbook. There are many that you would not think of as traditional Crockpot fare. I love the polenta recipe, not having to stand there stirring for 30 minutes. I like how they state how long the dish can stand after it is through cooking and what to do to return it to optimal condition. I hate searing meat at 4 AM, and these recipes have you skip that step but instead build flavor by microwaving onion, garlic, oil and spices instead. I love the little extras on most pages – a recipe for a quick side dish of slaw or couscous, or what to look for in buying polenta, etc. I have cooked over twenty recipes so far and look forward to cooking many again and continuing the exploration of this education and delicious cookbook. If I had to only pick one slow cooker cookbook this would be it.

Spain and the World Table

By Martha Rose Shulman
DK ADULT - 2011

September 29th, 2012

This is a gorgeous large-sized, full-color picture for every recipe cookbook by the Culinary Institute of America with text by Martha Rose Shulman. These to me seemed to be in two categories: ridiculously simple (blue cheese on halved fresh figs) to ridiculously complex with hard to find ingredients. After pouring over it for a month, I still haven’t found one to cook. After spending a week in Valencia eating great food, I really wanted a Spanish cookbook (really one devoted to rice dishes). This is a beautiful and fun to look at cookbook, but for me, not a practical one.

Supper Club: Chez Martha Rose

By Martha Rose Shulman
Atheneum - 1988

September 29th, 2012

It is a shame to use this cookbook just for the recipes, many of which can be found in her other cookbooks. You really need to curl up by the fire and a mug or glass of something good and really enjoy her stories of entertaining in Paris. I wouldn’t recommend this cookbook without pictures, if you are just interested in the recipes. The three recipes I tried all turned out not quite up to expectations. Not necessarily bad, just not as good as anticipated. The recipes are by an entire meal with a theme and full menu. However, if you are wanting to get started giving dinner parties, she has a lot of advice for what will make them successful, even how to plan your day. Many of the recipes are do ahead, so there is a minimal amount of last minute cooking.

The Tea Drinker's Handbook

By Francois-xavier Delmas, Mathias Minet, Christine Barbaste
Abbeville Press - 2008

February 13th, 2011

This is not a cookbook and there are no recipes. But if you a tea drinker and want to understand more about how tea is grown, picked, processed, and how best to brew, evaluate and enjoy, this is a great book. I looked a long time to find a book like this and the pictures of each tea type and particularly of the tea landscapes, cultures of the people growing the tea and also of how to brew tea are beautiful, informative and enjoyable. This would also be a great gift for a tea lover.

Traditional Ukrainian Cookery ~ 1982 Thirteenth Edition

By Savella Stechishin
Trident Press, Ltd - 1982

January 23rd, 2011

I am sorry that this cookbook is currently out of print. Unlike some of the Ukrainian cookbooks that churches have put out and contain many popular American recipes of that time period, this focuses on classic Ukrainian dishes with many variations. I have had very good results with all of the recipes I have tried, even when they sounded strange like horse radish stuffed meatballs. I have been in the difficult position of cooking traditional Ukrainian dishes for real Ukrainians that unlike me, know what these dishes should taste like, and I have always received complements on the dishes I have cooked. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to master this cuisine.

Vegetarian Epicure

By Anna Thomas
Vintage - 1972

April 6th, 2011

This cookbook is incredibly similar to the Moosewood Cookbook. So if you like that one, you should like this one as well. The main drawback was that I often found myself wanting more precise directions both while cooking and afterwards while eating what I had made. Some of the recipes had complicated directions that did not seem worth the effort, and too many seemed to require vast quantities of dried “dark mushrooms”. Some of the recipes were heavy on dairy, but the Cauliflower Curry is a great example of a very flavorful and visually appealing dish without dairy, but with an excellent mixture of spices. There is a wide range of recipes and those we tried did turn out good tasting healthy vegetarian dishes.

Western National Park Lodges Cookbook

By Kathleen Bryant
Northland - 2007

February 13th, 2011

This cookbook has gorgeous pictures of selected National Parks, restaurants and their foods. We have been visiting Western National Parks the last two years and bought this book on our last trip so we were able to eat some of the featured recipes. I gave this book to my husband for our anniversary so it could be a gift that keeps giving as I cook the recipes out of it and we remember our trips and plan the next ones. I highly recommend this for yourself or as a gift if you have been or intend to stay at any of the featured Western National Park Lodges.

World Food Greece (World Food Series)

By Susanna Tee
Thunder Bay Press (CA) - 2003

February 11th, 2011

This book is wonderful if you have been to Greece and want to cook the food. It has beautiful and appetizing pictures of the food from the recipes and also enough pictures of Greece to bring back those great memories. I have enjoyed the recipes I have cooked and many of the recipes I had not seen elsewhere. I had initially bought this to give to my sister and couldn't part with it.