cookbook review

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

The Blender Girl

My beautiful friend Tess Masters has written a beautiful book!

I say this completely unbiased – The Blender Girl Cookbook is stunning – amazing recipes with gorgeous photography to match.

If you have a prized high-speed blender, you need this book. If you have a regular-speed blender, you need this book. Hitting the shelves today, this is a collection of 100 beautifully photographed recipes – super easy, super healthy – meals, snacks, desserts and drinks. From a Pineapple Salsa Smoothie and [click to continue…]


Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

spabettie is the next stop on the Rawsome Vegan Baking Un-Cookbook tour – and this recipe I chose to share? Oh So Good. Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling – a simple recipe with only four ingredients, but so much flavor!

First, the book. The deliciousness comes from Emily von Euw of This Rawsome Vegan Life. With stunning photos of seemingly every recipe, this book is fun to just sit and read, as you know I love to do.

Upon my first browsing, I immediately had a list of recipes I wanted to try – these cups were first.

I have also made the Boston Banana Cream Deep Dish Tarts, which were uuhhh-mazing. I WILL be making the Fresh Citrus Tart with Lemon Cream – sounds so fresh and bright, and the [click to continue…]


chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust

Some of you know I have a massive cookbook collection. I like to sit and read them like novels. I curl up on the couch with the dachshunds, a cup of green tea, and some dedicated time to savor a book – from beginning to end. I look at the photos and recipe choices on the first pass through, then go back and read more thoroughly the recipes that caught my eye.

…like just about every recipe in Angela’s brand new The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Angela was one of the first blogs I read, years ago. I had a twitter account before I had a blog, and got to know her as an Oh She Glows reader and through tweets. Her blog recipes were among my favorites, as they are not only creative, but always foolproof and delicious. Angela definitely makes plant based and vegan an incredibly flavorful experience.

From the book, the first recipe I made was  [click to continue…]


easiest almond cookies

My extremely talented friend Ricki just published a book, and based on three recipes I have already tried, it is a new favorite! My copy is already well worn, but I have a second brand new copy to give away to one lucky reader today!

I have several more recipes dog-eared to get to soon – from chocolate buttercream frosting and pastry custard to [click to continue…]


candy bar smoothie


It’s my third cookbook review of Mofo, and again, I am giving away a copy to a lucky reader!

I am also sharing with you a recipe from the book – for one of the best smoothies I have ever had. Really, Jason keeps asking for it, I keep making it. I mean, a candy bar smoothie?

Yes, it really tastes like a candy bar. Adding the protein is what we generally do, and [click to continue…]


pumpkin coconut caramel sauce


This caramel pairs well with just about anything.

As this slow simmered in my kitchen all day, the warm caramely scent was gloriously intoxicating. As soon as this caramel was done, I immediately made myself a cup of coffee to swirl it in.


pumpkin caramel recipe

This has since topped pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, and numerous coffees. My spoon is hitting the bottom of the second jar – it is time to make more.

My friend Kathy Hester has just released another fantastic book, Vegan Slow Cooking For Two or Just For You.

Once again, I have a copy to give away today!

Vegan Slow Cooking

This book has stunning photography, and the [click to continue…]


Hatch chile queso


This is by far the best queso I have ever had, anywhere.

I have already made it three times since I received The Sexy Vegan’s latest book, Happy Hour at Home. (Yes! Intrigued was I, as one of my favorite themes around here is my own Happy Hour at Home!).

I received Brian Patton’s book to review - Brian Patton is The Sexy Vegan – you may know him from

[click to continue…]


cholar dal

bengali five spice chronicles

I love cookbooks, and you know I love reviewing them. My original reason for accepting this latest book? Jason.

He loves Indian food, and I want to learn more about these flavors I enjoy as well.

The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, Exploring the Cuisine of Eastern India, is from Rinku Bhattacharya. Born in Kolkaka, India, she now lives in Westchester, New York. In addition to the book, she teaches cooking classes and writes a food blog, Cooking in Westchester.

The book title comes from the five-spice blend Bengalis call panch phoron. This spice blend consists of five whole spices in equal proportions: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds and is at the heart of Bengali flavors and the individual spices form the basis of the Bengali pantry.

Peppered with wonderful family stories. history and Bengali culture, this book is entertaining, educational and delicious. There are 180 easy to follow recipes – both traditional and contemporary – and a thorough guide to spice blends and pastes.

We have already prepared several recipes from this book, and I have many more marked to try. Everything has been fantastic – from tofu with tomatoes and bell peppers in cashew nut gravy and winter squash in spicy coconut mustard sauce to green plantain cakes and onion rings with nigella seeds. We have loved it all.

cholar dal from The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles

I handed Jason the book and asked him to choose the first recipe I’d make him. He picked a good one – this dal is warmly spiced and incredibly flavorful. Jason is requesting I make this weekly – in fact he said “I could eat this every day.”

This is buttery, with the perfect level of layered heat and complex flavors. I will not mind making this weekly.

dal with sriracha

Mesho’s Cholar Dal

reprinted with permission from publisher

makes 4-6 servings

2/3 cup dried yellow Bengali gram lentils (cholar dal), soaked overnight
1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste (instructions below)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 or 3 dried whole red chilies

Drain and rinse the lentils and place in a cooking pot with 3 cups water. Bring the lentils to a simmer. Add the turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper powder, ginger paste, garlic, and tomatoes and simmer on medium-low heat for about 35 to 40 minutes. The lentils should be soft and easily mashed with the back of a spoon; the mixture should be creamy and fairly thick but the lentils should retain their shape.

Heat the ghee in a small skillet and add the cumin seeds and chilies. When the seeds begin to sizzle pour the mixture over the lentils and serve.

ginger paste

Aada Bata

Fresh ginger is peeled and ground to a smooth paste for use in Bengali dishes. Look for ginger that is relatively young, smooth and without much fiber. The ginger paste can be made by processing ginger in a blender or wet/dry grinder.

*I shared this recipe as is from the book; I kept our version vegan by using dairy/soy free butter.

cholar dal

Are you a fan of Indian cooking? I highly recommend The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles.