Favorite Things Friday – Pie Books and My Personal Pie Quest

I am on a QUEST to become a “master pie baker”. That’s no joke… Ok – maybe I’ll never be a MASTER pie baker – but I at least want to be a very good one.

I’ve taken “pie lessons” with my Grandma Barbra – on several occasions (and even wrote a “CHEW THIS” column piece about one here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/01/18/chew-this-comedy-of-errors-apple-pie/) and let me tell you – pies are HAND MADE and HARD WORK. You can’t throw some things in a bowl – make a batter (cookies, brownies, fudge) and bake – you have to MAKE the pie crust (yes I’m aware you can buy one – but what fun is that!?) and you have to MAKE the filling – and then most times – BAKE the pie! There’s a LOT involved. Pie crust, filling, crimping, rolling, etc.

And the crust!? Whew…do you use butter? Shortening? Both? Do you add ice water? Buttermilk? Vinegar and water? Confusing!

And – don’t get me wrong – I know there is no “ONE correct recipe”. That’s what I love about cooking and baking – the diversity of recipes – and I genuinely appreciate that. But I want to make (and create) some of the best PIES that’s ever hit your lips.

So – on my quest – I’ve also been hoarding pie cookbooks and reading through them like novels.

One of my favorites so far (in addition to the five below) is the “Hoosier Mama Pie Company” cookbook (which I reviewed here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/02/04/cookbook-corner-the-hoosier-mama-book-of-pie/) because it has simple techniques, delicious recipes and straightforward instructions that get you from start to finish successfully.

Now – on to some other pie books.

I’m not going to lie. I love them all. But – all for different reasons.

Let me explain…

Pie Lesson Pie Books Blaise the Baker Blog

“Me, Myself, and Pie” By: Sherry Gore. This book is fabulous! Sherry takes readers on a trip through amazingly delicious Amish recipes and stories. Also included are delicious looking photographs of each pie – and let me tell you…I stopped marking recipes halfway through because for one thing – I was out of Post-It’s – and besides, I figured I might as well save time and just write “bake through this” on one Post-It and slap it on the cover. Sherry shares how to “blind bake” (page 10) and also shares her pie crimping techniques (page 12) which I found very appreciative – because I’ll be the first to admit – I can’t crimp. She even covers “wash recipes” – egg wash techniques – on page 14. Comparing the different techniques with different “brownness” of the crust. Let me stop right here. THANK YOU SHERRY!!! That’s genius. Just genius. Also genius – is how Sherry talks about different pie plates (page 16) and which ones work best for which pies. Recipes for different crusts start the book off – ️chocolate shortbread crust, chocolate cookie crust, all butter crust, shortbread crust, etc. Even offering a gluten free pie crust and a pretzel pie crust – delicious! I loved Sherry’s story (page 29) – her “pie story”. It really helped the book come to life. And I know what she means about the rubber cement – it’s happened to me before too… Ha! What do I mean!? You’ll have to buy the book to find out… The book contains delicious recipes for “Orange Pie” (page 39), “Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie” (page 48), “Praline Cream Pie” (page 60), “Raisin Cream Pie” (page 67), “Apple Skillet Pie” (page 80), “Concord Grape Pie” (page 91), “Sour Cherry Crunch Pie” (page 100), “Lemon Sponge Pie” (page 123), “Double Chocolate Chess Pie” (page 154), “Bob Andy Pie” (page 170) and even “Blueberry Turnovers” (page 205) and “Pie Parfaits” (page 209). Like savory pies? Quiches? Hand pies? Homemade caramel candy!? Yep – Sherry’s got you covered. I highly recommend this book for those who love great recipes, great stories, and Amish history of their culture and pies. AND the “pie contest” piece she wrote (starting on page 113), was one of the many highlights in this delightful book.

“Vintage Pies” By: Anne Haynie Collins. This is a wonderful book filled with deliciously “old-fashioned” recipes. I loved looking over this book and seeing all of the pies I remembered from my childhood. Pies like “Pecan Pie” (page 35), “Boiled Cider Pie” (page 40), “Buttermilk Pie” (page 47), “Tears on Your Pillow Pie” (page 48), “Stack Pie” (page 54 – possibly one of my favorite pie recipes of all time), “Crumb Pie” (page 66), “Union Pie” (page 84), “Chocolate Cream Pie” (page 102), “Huckleberry Pie” (page 130) and “Mock Apple Pie” (page 148) all bring back delicious memories of watching my Grandma Barbra in the kitchen when I was younger. I recommend this book for those who want to add a perfect collection of old-fashioned and homespun pie recipes. This book is stained (chocolate cream pie) and will continue to get stained because it’s staying in my kitchen. Anne did a fabulous job putting together this delicious book of memorable pie recipes that will sure to be cherished.

“Ms. American Pie” By: Beth M. Howard. I loved this book from start to finish – which is how I read it – like a novel. Beth is a beautifully talented writer (I highly recommend reading her memoir “Love, Loss and Pie”) and her writing, along with the delicious recipes and beautiful photographs combined to make a beautiful – almost perfect – book. The beginning of the book “Make Your Own Damn Pie!” was a personal favorite of mine. She shares her personal journey – and anyone willing to share their journey gets a thumbs up in my book. Beth continues on with her “Pie-Deology” (page 14) and I agree with each and every one. Bravo! I also LOVED the part entitled “My Pie Principles” (page 16). Another part I LOVED!? Yes – I loved this book… Beth’s “Pie Myths, Busted” (page 19). My mouth literally dropped open – three times – when reading her myths – that she busted wide open. EVERYONE on a “pie journey” (like myself) needs to READ THIS! Buy the book – start on page 19… And continue right into page 21 – “Frequently Asked Questions” – also – life changing (at least to me) in the world of pie baking! Something else that changed my pie baking began on page 25. A section all about pie dough. Tips, tricks, tools needed, crusts, lattice variations and crimp crusting techniques – and all with pictures of each step – which I greatly appreciated for ease of use. Just a few of the delicious recipes that fill this book are “Cinnamon” (page 54), “Toffee Pecan” (page 62), “Mississippi Mud” (page 70), “Strawberry Rhubarb” (page 83), “Shaker Lemon” (page 90), “Avocado” (page 107), “Venison” (page 111), “Tomato Basil” (page 131), “French Silk” (page 156), “Banana Cream” (page 160), “Blueberry Crumble” (page 173) and “Pecan Oatmeal” (page 178). OH – and I can’t wait to try the “slab pies” (page 196) – I hadn’t even thought of making a pie like that before! Genius! I highly recommend this cookbook to those who want good quality, simple, delicious, sweet AND savory pies – AND love a cookbook with a delicious story of love, loss and healing. Beth’s book not only warmed my heart and soul – but warmed and filled my stomach. Congratulations Beth on such a deliciously fabulous book!

“First Prize Pies” By: Allison Kave. The first part of this beautiful book is filled with techniques, crust recipes, ingredient lists, tools of the trade and other essential information in making the perfect pie – which I really appreciated. You know – so many pie books just jump right into the recipes. And – I’m sure that’s fine for some – but I would prefer some instructors – some tips and tricks – to ensure that for one thing – I know what I’m doing – and for another – to help give me the piece of mind that I’ll end up with (using their recipe) the “perfect” pie. The book is sorted out into different seasons – love this! It gives you a “starting idea” of what to make just by simply looking it up BY MONTH! How genius is that!? March, for example, contains my favorite pie – “Samantha Bee’s Salty Caramel” (page 70). Why!? Delicious combination of sweet and salty and crunchy and indulgent – perfect! Some highlights from the book are – April’s “Avocado Cream” (page 82), May’s “Mint Julep Cream” (page 94), June’s “Hawaiian Delight” (page 106 and amazing!), July’s “Raspberry Vinegar Tart” (page 120), August’s “Banoffee” (page 136), September’s “Candy Apple” (page 144), October’s “Buttercrunch” (page 162), November’s “Sweet Potato” (page 179), December’s “Salty Dog Chess” (page 183), January’s “Oatmeal Molasses” (page 196) and February’s “Elvis” (page 208 – and a personal favorite of mine). And – of course – there are more recipes per month – I only listed my favorite recipe from each month…and that was hard to narrow down. This book had some of the most unique recipes I remember seeing in a pie book… I recommend this book for those who want to learn more about “pie stacks” and want a recipe outside the realms of “classic recipes”. This book thinks outside the box – and I appreciate that.

“The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book” By: Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. This book. Wow! It completely blew away all expectations I had about what a pie book is supposed to be about in terms of techniques and recipes. This book is filled with delicious looking pictures and way WAY out of the box recipes – which I immediately fell in love with. The book is divided into “seasons” and for each season there are a slew of amazingly delicious and “out of the box” pies. Here are some examples.

Spring – “Rhubarb Custard Pie” (page 79), “Wild Ginger Strawberry Pie” (page 82), “Chamomile Buttermilk Custard Pie” (page 84), “Derby Pie” (page 91), “Apple Rose Pie” (page 94), “Lemon Verbena Raspberry Galette” (page 97) and “Farmer Cheese with Thyme Pie” (page 101).

Summer – “Black and Blueberry Upside Down Pie” (page 111), “Lavender Blueberry Pie” (page 117), “Paprika Peach Pie” (page 120), “White Nectarine and Red Currant Pie” (page 126), “Muskmelon Chiffon Pie” (page 139) and “Sweet Corn Custard Pie” (page 142).

Fall – “Bourbon Pear Crumble Pie” (page 152), “Honeyed Fig Crumble Pie” (page 158), “Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie” (page 161), “Pear Anise Pie” (page 164), “Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie” (page 168) and “Rosemary Honey Shoofly Pie” (page 173).

Winter – “Egg ‘n’ Grogg Pie” (page 185), “Malted Chocolate Pecan Pie” (page 188), “Salt Pork Apple Pie” (page 192), “Black Bottom Lemon Pie” (page 199) and “Green Chili Chocolate Pie” (page 204).

AND listen to these crust recipes… How delicious do these sound…
“Lard and Butter Crust” (page 208), “Animal Cracker Crumb Crust” (page 209 and genius! Why didn’t I think of that!?), “Cornmeal Crust” (page 211), “Pecan Biscotti Crust” (page 214) and “Saltine Crust” (page 215).

I loved this book – and highly highly recommend it for those who want a pie book with “out of the box” delicious recipes… Buy it! You’ll be so glad that you did.

So – all in all – that sums up my latest “pie lesson / research” information. I’m always finding new pie books, new pie techniques, etc. I’m well on my way – but from what I’ve read and from what I’ve heard – experience matters most. So…I’ll get there – with just a little more practice.

Apple Pie Blog

To buy these books or to find out more information, please click on the links below…

“Me, Myself, and Pie”http://www.amazon.com/Myself-Pie-The-Pinecraft-Collection/dp/0310335566

“Vintage Pies”http://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Pies-Classic-American-Todays/dp/1581572646

“Ms. American Pie”http://www.amazon.com/Ms-American-Pie-Buttery-Recipes/dp/1937994686

“First Prize Pies”http://www.amazon.com/First-Prize-Pies-Deliciously-Inventive/dp/161769102X

“The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book”http://www.birdsblack.com/the-pie-book/

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to The Pinecraft Collection, Sherry Gore, Countryman Press, Anne Collins, Stewart – Tabori and Chang, Allison Kave, Race Point Publishing, Beth Howard, Grand Central Life & Style and Emily and Melissa Elsen for the amazing opportunity to review these wonderful books, as I continue my pie quest.

Blaise

Blaise the Baker Cookbook Reviews

Guess what? You can now check out ALL of my Blaise the Baker “Cookbook Corner” reviews (some before they’re even published here) as well as my exclusive “Instagram-only” reviews – on Amazon.com!

Bookmark it – for easy navigation back…

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A7RLSD9RSZ1G6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_pdp

Blaise

Cookbook Corner – Seriously Delish

Whew! This week’s “Cookbook Corner” is a GOOD ONE! Really, really good…

Seriously Delish Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Seriously Delish” By: Jessica Merchant

Jessica Merchant is the creator and author of the popular blog “How Sweet It Is”. Have you heard of it before!? I’m sure you have! I’ve followed it for awhile now – and it is a fabulous blog! (To view it for yourself and start following, click here – http://www.howsweeteats.com/)

I had heard amazing things about this cookbook long before it was released – which is always a god sign. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it…and once I did – wow! I love love love this book!

First of all – Jessica… Can I marry you!? Ha! 😉 After learning about her over the years – and more so in her introduction, she just seems like my type of woman. Well – everything except for her love of bacon. I…don’t like bacon. I know, I know – I’ve been called every name in the book – even “unamerican” for not liking the stuff – but I can’t help it…I never have. Can’t even stand the smell. ANYWAYS – other than the “bacon lover” thing – Jessica…be mine!

The book is beautifully put together and gorgeously designed. Just flipping through it will make you want to stop and lick the pages, mark recipes and want to seriously try everything…

Eight sections make up the book – along with “tips” from Jessica. Some of the delicious recipes just waiting to be make are…

BREAKFAST (…for dinner?)
“Baked Black Raspberry Oatmeal with a Brown Butter Drizzle” (page 44), “Baked Breakfast Risotto” (page 50), “Banana Macaroon Smoothie” (page 52), “Strawberry Coffee Cake Scones” (page 66) and “Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls” (page 70).

SNACK TIME (because I said so!)
“Brown Butter Banana Bread” (page 77), “Easy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter” (page 80), “Super-Creamy White Bean Dip” (page 94), “Grilled Scallion, Corn and Shrimp Quesadillas” (page 96) and “Grilled Fruit Salsa” (page 102).

SANDWICHES AND STUFF ON TOAST (and when salads aren’t enough)
“Hard-Boiled Egg and Hummus Chive Toasts” (page 108), “Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps” (page 114), “Green Grilled Cheese” (page 116) and “3-Bean Crispy Quinoa Skillet” (page 126).

SALADS, SOUPS, AND VEGETABLE-LIKE THINGS (ugh, if we must)
“BBQ Chicken Chili” (page 137), “Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup” (page 138), “Simple Asparagus Ribbon Pasta Salad” (page 147 and “Crispy Salt and Pepper Brussels Sprouts” (page 157).

TEX-MEX, BURGERS, PIZZA AND EVERYTHING ELSE (some fancy, some not)
“BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Pizza” (page 176), “Slow-Roasted Chicken Tacos with Gorgonzola Slaw” (page 183), “Roasted Pork and Pineapple Baked Taquitos” (page 188) and “Crunchy Baked Chicken Fingers with Chive-Honey Mustard” (page 200).

STUFF TO SIP ON (the happiest hour)
“Blueberry Limeade” (page 221), “Raspberry-Rose Sparklers” (page 223), “Watermelon-Mint Margaritas” (page 227) and “Frosty Mango Pina Coladas” (page 233).

LIGHTEN UP (just not too much)
“Homemade Tart Frozen Yogurt” (page 236), “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies” (page 239), “Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake” (page 247), “Oatmeal-Apple Butter Squares” (page 248) and “Olive Oil and Lemon Skillet Cake with Caramelized Meyer Lemons” (page 253).

CELEBRATIONS (for times when calories don’t count)
“Obsessed with Cheese Mac and Cheese” (page 270), “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies” (page 272), “Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower Dip” (page 280) and “Fleur de sel Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milk Shakes” (page 287).

Now, come on – I mean, really… How delicious and amazing do those recipes sound!?

Trust me – you NEED TO GET THIS BOOK! I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone who loves food!

To buy “Seriously Delish”, please click here…
http://www.howsweeteats.com/cookbook/

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Jessica Merchant for the incredible opportunity to review this simply delicious book.

Blaise

Fried Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Sandwich

I have always enjoyed Elvis’ famous “Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich” (so does Nigella, and here is her posting and recipe – http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/elvis-presleys-fried-peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwich-3106) so when Jan Lines, a friend and neighbor, introduced me to this NEW combination – of peanut butter and brown sugar – I KNEW I would love it…and I think you will too!

Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Blaise the Baker

Fried Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Sandwich

Much like the “Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich” I posted about earlier – this sandwich really depends on your particular taste. If you like a little more peanut butter – add it. If you want a sweeter sandwich – add a little more brown sugar. The recipe below is how I like mine – test it out and then change it to your taste…

2 slices white bread
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Start by melting 4 tablespoons of the salted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on the 2 slices of bread – one tablespoon per slice.

Spread the peanut butter on the other side of the buttered bread, and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top. Close the sandwich so that both buttered sides of the bread are facing out.

Fry both sides of the sandwich in the skillet with the melted butter, flipping to brown both sides.

I like mine a little crispy – crispiness here is really up to you. Just keep an eye on it – and once it turns brown be careful – it can turn black quickly.

Once fried to perfection, remove to paper towel and allow to cool slightly.

Cut and eat.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239866527/

Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I am really beginning to LOVE roasted vegetables. Almost any vegetable you can think of can be tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper – and roasted in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Take this basic recipe, and accommodate it to your needs, and you have a hundred new recipes at your disposal. Know what’s even better than roasted vegetables?! Using them to make roasted vegetable SOUP the next day – but that’s another posting for another time…

Let’s focus on cauliflower for a moment. I HATE cauliflower… so I did some research on it, found a few recipes (including this one from the “Food Network” – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/mustard-parmesan-whole-roasted-cauliflower.html) and started experimenting…

What I found – was that cauliflower can be made to be DELICIOUS! Try this recipe and tell me what YOU think! 😉

Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower Blaise the Baker

Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons spicy yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Prep the cauliflower by removing the bottom leaves and stems. Cut the bottom part of the cauliflower off so that it’s “flat” on the bottom – that way it will set firmly on the baking sheet.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the olive oil, spicy yellow mustard, salt and black pepper.

Brush this mixture evenly all over the head of cauliflower.

Place in preheated oven for 60 – 70 minutes.

Once removed from the oven, sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese evenly all over the head and serve hot.

This is delicious cut into wedges, squeezed with lemon and eaten hot.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239866519/

Cookbook Corner – Teeny’s Tour of Pie

I’m on a “pie mission” to learn more about pie making – and I’ve been doing a lot of research. This book was one of the first places I looked – and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to find a lot of my unanswered questions, answered! No – it’s not Wednesday (when I normally do my “Cookbook Corner” feature) but I just HAD to feature this one. AND expect several other pie books in the future – I have a large stack I’m sorting over…

Teeny's Tour of Pie Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“Teeny’s Tour of Pie” By: Teeny Lamothe

I so enjoyed this “teeny” book of pies! The book is filled with delicious recipes, amazing photos – AND – one of my favorite parts about a cookbook – STORY! Teeny (yes – her real name) takes the reader on a journey from just starting out in the pie baking area, to coming circle by becoming a “professional baker” and cookbook author by crafting and sharing her OWN pie recipes, tips and tricks. The book starts out with some back story of the Teeny and her interest (and love) for pies. I appreciate her sharing her story and appreciate how she lets everyone know who she is and how she started – because you will see her evolve and grow throughout the book.

“Tools of the Trade” starts the cookbook off – and I love this chapter. It talks about what you need and don’t need in making pie. Do you really need a stand mixer to make pie? What about liquid and dry measuring equipment? Scales? Check it out to find out more. The next chapter is all about CRUST – which I find to be one of my favorite parts of a pie.

“The Elements of Crust” gives tips and tricks – as well as the “5 Commandments of Crust”. Starting on page 28, Teeny shares not one or two or even three pie crust recipes – but EIGHT pie crust recipes. Everything from “Whole Wheat Crust” to “Savory Pie Crust” to “Pretzel Crust” and everything in between – even a gluten free version. The book continues with “Crumble and Cream” recipes – all of which are delicious.

The book is then after divided seasonally. Fall – Winter – Spring – Summer. Which I appreciate because in pie making everything really needs to be the absolute FRESHEST it can be and how fresh can you get than seasonal fruit and seasonal ingredients!?

Fall consists of recipes such as “Green Chile Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust” (page 56), “Rosemary Caramel Apple Pie” (page 61), “Pumpkin Pie” (page 71) and “Browned Butter Pecan Pie” (page 85). Throughout each season there are also “journal entries” and recipes that go together with her travels and tracks around to different pie places. (For example she writes about “High 5 Pie” in Seattle, Washington on page 64 and then follows it up with a recipe.)

The winter season brings with it pies such as “Poached Pear Pie with Cinnamon Crumble” (page 112), “Orange Cream Pie” (page 126) and – possibly one of my favorites – “Peanut Butter Brownie Pie with a Pretzel Crust” (page 129 and a genius idea with a genius flavor combination)!

The spring chapter brings with it light and fresh flavorful pies such as “Strawberry Basil Pie” (page 164), “Banana Cream Pie with Vanilla Wafer Crust” (page 171), “Shoofly Pie” (page 181) and “Lemon Meringue Pie” (page 187).

Summer – perhaps my favorite chapter in the book, contains “Summer’s Best Blueberry Pie” (page 222), “Lemony Blueberry Crumb Pie” (page 226), “Strawberry Lime Tarts” (page 245) and “Teeny Summer Squash Pies with a Cracker Crust” (page 257).

The end of the book is a chapter called “The End, Which Is Actually a Beginning” which I found so fitting for the book and for Teeny’s pie journey. I highly recommend this book for those wanting a “pie journey” of their own – or to read about Teeny’s. Filled when delicious recipes and photographs – you’ll want to scoop this one up right away.

To buy “Teeny’s Tour of Pie”, please click here…
http://workman.com/products/9780761173366/

To order some of her AMAZING pies, please click here…
http://teenypies.com/

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to Workman Publishing and Teeny Lamothe for this opportunity.

Blaise

Cookbook Corner – The Paleo Chef

Happy Wednesday! Today’s “Cookbook Corner” may seem like an unusual selection for me…but before you start to wonder – let me tell you – I was really impressed with this book!

ALSO let me say – I ALWAYS try and be POSITIVE with my “Cookbook Corners”. No matter the book – I always try and find the positive. Sure there are books out there that I don’t like – I don’t review those… Ha! 😉

The Paleo Chef Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corner

“The Paleo Chef” By: Pete Evans

At first, I honestly wasn’t sure about this book – but I really really enjoy it. It’s given me a new “world” of food and food culture to explore, and isn’t that the purpose of “creating” something? To give someone a thought or a “lead” into something totally new and different…? This book did that for me.

Pete Evans has created not only a gorgeous book – but a book with amazing recipes and details on a lifestyle that may just be beneficial to everyone.

This cookbook provides recipes that are fast, easy and flavorful – and I don’t think anyone can ask anymore than that from a cookbook.

The book is recipes that are all gluten-free, grain free and dairy free. I know…close your mouths – and THIS coming from ME!? The “King of Butter” as some of my friends put it… 😉 Yes – and here is why…

The recipes in the book are easy to prepare, and don’t really require anything that you can’t find at your local grocery store. Almost every grocery store now has an “organic” section – so start there.

I admit that I sometimes browse that area, just looking for ideas and inspiration – and this cookbook is filled with tons of ideas and inspirations for you to uncover.

How do these recipes sound…

“Hazelnut and Banana Pancakes” (page 13), “Stir-Fried Beef with Basil, Chile and Fried Eggs” (page 21), “Sweet Potato Fries with Rosemary and Sage” (page 42), “Cauliflower Rice” (page 61), “Oysters with Ginger and Green Onions” (page 78), “Wild Salmon with Beet Salad and Fennel” (page 98), “Fish and Chips” (page 106), “Japanese Crispy Chicken with Miso Mayonnaise” (page 119), “Cauliflower Fried Rice” (page 128), “Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce” (page 147), “Chocolate Brownies” (page 176) and “Mark Sisson’s Chocolate Bark” (page 180)!

I mean – really, how delicious do those recipes sound!? And there are tons more too!

I actually DO have recipes marked to try in this book – and I will update this post as I make them. Most of them are in the “dessert” section – but wouldn’t it be interesting to at least live this kind of lifestyle at least once or twice a week? I am going to branch out and learn more about different food “lifestyles” and see where they take me. I really find them to be very interesting.

To learn more about Pete Evans or to buy “The Paleo Chef”, please click here…
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/241130/the-paleo-chef-by-pete-evans

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise

ASK Blaise the Baker 02/17/15

Happy Tuesday! Hope your week is going well. Here in Indiana it is a HIGH of a whole EIGHT degrees! If you are reading this from one of the places in the US being hit with this terrible cold wave – stay safe and warm!

I’ve been getting a lot of “ASK Blaise the Baker” questions, so I’m answering them here…

Ask Blaise the Baker Blog Logo

Q: Where can I find all of your “Chew This” column features and recipes?

A: You can find them in a number of places. I pin them on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/blaisethebaker), as well as here on my blog (search “Chew This” in my search box) – OR you can check them out on “The Courier-Times” website here – http://www.thecouriertimes.com/search/?t=article&nsa=eedition&q=blaise+doubman

Q: How much salt is in a stick of salted butter?

A: There is roughly 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a stick of salted butter. It really depends on the brand and quality of butter you use – but this is a rough idea. I use “Land O’Lakes” butter most of the time – but I also use different butters from across Europe.

Q: Why do you recommend your cookie dough be refrigerated overnight before baking?

A: I find that it really helps develop the flavor for a more flavorful cookie.

Q: What is your exercise routine? Do you have one?

A: I get this question a LOT – and I’m not really sure how to answer it. I don’t really have an exercise “routine”. I just try and move more if I eat more. I probably SHOULD have some kind of “routine” put in place, but I don’t. I also try and remember – everything in moderation – and that includes moderation! 😉

Q: What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

A: Baking SODA is known as “sodium bicarbonate” and contains one ingredient – itself. It creates gas that helps baked goods rise. Baking POWDER is actually a mixture of baking soda, acid and cornstarch. It’s all very scientific – which can be boring – so there’s a difference – use what the recipe lists.

Q: Do you always sift your flour?

A: Actually – no. I know everyone recommends it (some recipes are very specific about sifting the flour) but unless I’m making delicate types of pastries – I never sift the flour. I just “fluff” up the flour with my measuring cup before measuring. Oh – and when I have all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, I use a whisk and whisk the dry ingredients some – this has the same effect as sifting.

Q: How many cookbooks do you have?

A: Too many to count. And honestly – I don’t know what to know a number. If I were to guess though, the number would be well into the thousands.

Q: How do you melt chocolate for a recipe?

A: There are a LOT of ways to melt chocolate, temper chocolate, with a thermometer, without a thermometer, in a pan, on the stove, in a water bath, over simmering water – A LOT OF WAYS! But the easiest way and the way I ALWAYS do it – is in the microwave. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and place it on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir, and return to microwave for 15 seconds – and stir – and repeat until melted perfectly. Use as desired.

Have a question for me? Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com and watch here for more answers.

Thanks for asking!

Blaise

Chocolate and Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

I LOVE these chocolate “no bake” cookies – and have experimented with several recipes over the years. Usually they turn out too hard – I eat them anyways… or too soft – I cut around the parchment paper and eat them anyways – with a fork. They never go to waste… Ha! 😉 BUT I stumbled onto this recipe from FoodNetwork.com and thought I would give it a try. I’ve made this a dozen times and it works EVERY. TIME! It’s the perfect recipe.

I’ve adjusted the recipe to suit my tastes, and everyone seems to love them…

These cookies are NOT the best to be photographed. Please don’t leave your rude comments here. Instead – make these cookies and be delighted that you did. They are amazing!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies Blaise the Baker

Chocolate and Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

2 cups white granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats)

In a larger sized saucepan, combine the white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, unsalted butter and whole milk. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Let boil for 90 seconds exactly.

Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt and oatmeal. Stir to combine.

Next, drop tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture onto parchment paper and let cool.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239644133/

Chew This – Macaroni with Roasted Tomatoes

Happy Sunday! I’m still so excited about the whole GIVEAWAY energy surrounding my latest giveaway – that I feel like I’m flying! Ha! 😉 THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for entering and for all of the sweet comments! I really really appreciate each and every one of you…

Moving on to my CHEW THIS column (featured in TODAY’s Sunday edition of “The Courier-Times”) it’s a recipe that is FOUR generations old. It was passed down from my Great Grandma Viola, then to my Grandma Deloris, then my my Mom (Darla), and then to me… and now to YOU!

It’s a delicious “salad / side dish” and can be served hot, room temperature or chilled – it’s delicious anyway you make it and serve it. There can ALSO be crumbled cooked bacon added…

Blaise Doubman The Courier-Times

Macaroni with Roasted Tomatoes

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_6dd25a70-b09f-11e4-96c4-3f47367bb588.html

TRY IT! AND – as usual – let me know what you think! blaisethebaker@gmail.com I would love to hear your feedback! And send your finished pictures my way too! I love seeing the finished dish…

Blaise

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690239899625/