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Blurb: Canal House Cooking Volume No. 7, La Dolce Vita is a collection of some of our favorite recipes, the ones we cook for ourselves, our friends, and our families during the fall and right through the holiday season. These are recipes that will make you want to restock your pantry and refrigerator and start cooking.

Review: Tried Gianduia, Risotto Cakes with Anchovies and Cheese Straws.

First, the Gianduia.  While I had wound up over roasting the hazelnuts a little bit, the taste was very good in spite of that and it kept  very well in the pantry.  According to the recipe, the Gianduia will keep at room temperature for 2 weeks.  It does and a little bit long (although just barely).

Next, the Risotto Cakes with Anchovies.  The combination of risotto and Parmesan flavors were a nice blend.  Decided to opt out of using anchovies this time around, but might try the full recipe at another time.

Finally, the Cheese Straws.  The recipe calls for using either the Simple Puff Pastry that can be found in the cookbook or frozen puff pastry and finely grated Parmigiano Regiano.  As I had not tried my hand at the Simple Puff Pastry recipe included in the cookbook, I opted to use the frozen kind.  Of the three recipes I tried from the cookbook (and the least time consuming, relatively speaking, as the risotto for the cakes was also prepared same day the recipe was done, just allowed to cool), this one caused the most problems with the preparation.  The dough would not stick together and I wound up having to rework the dough to try to make something of it.  The recipe is a good idea, but I do not think it worked out quite the way it was intended.

All of the recipes sound good, but are time intensive and some are labor intensive.  The end is worth the effort, but a good portion of the recipes seem - to me- not to be "user-friendly" for the cook that may be short on time.

(Cover image found on; blurb found on

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I enjoy cooking and Cooking from the Farmers' Market provides many wonderful recipes with a broad range of fruit and vegetables from the farmers' market. What I liked about the book is that there is a good balance between dishes that involve different kinds of meat, salads, and fruit. While I wouldn't say that the non-meat dishes are fully vegetarian (based on what I know of that type of cooking), they can easily be used in vegetarian cooking. I also liked that the measurements were in both English and metric units as well as having "hints" as to what to look for when buying different fruit and vegetables and some basic recipes (such as Basil Oil) at the back of the book.

Recipes tried: Cannellini Bean Soup with Ham and Pasta, Bulgur Pilaf with Pumpkin and Raisins, and Cucumber Salad with Yogurt-Dill Sauce. The soup has a great blend of flavors and is very hearty. Perfect for a cold evening or a rainy day.

The Pilaf and Cucumber Salad were done as side dishes for pork chops. The Pilaf would also be great, upon tasting it and having a feel for the flavors, as a filling for stuffed pork chops or as a side dish or stuffing for poultry. Great dish.

The Cucumber Salad was good with a dressing that is lighter to the taste than a more traditional (based on my experience with this type of salad) one. The ingredients for this dressing involves yogurt, fresh lemon juice, garlic, fresh dill, salt, white pepper, and extra virgin olive oil as opposed to the sour cream, dill, vinegar, salt and pepper I am more familiar with. While I and my family liked this salad, we found that we prefer the other version by a very narrow margin.


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