Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How to Feed a Family Cookbook Review

My sister loves cookbooks. In fact she reads cookbooks the way the rest of us read romance or other books. So for holidays I can almost always expect to get a fantastic cookbook that she has spent hours checking out. This past birthday was no exception, I received How to Feed a Family by the creators of The Sweet Potato Chronicles, Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh. I don't know about the rest of you but I spent this past Saturday night with a small bar of dark chocolate, curled up by the wood stove reading it cover to cover. It was a lovely way to spend an evening.
The book has some great information regarding good foods and ways to be healthier. It also stresses the importance of food tasting good and spending time in the kitchen with kids. I absolutely loved the author's voices. I smiled pretty much the entire way through.
There are a lot of recipes that look tasty and most are very simple. There were a few things though that I didn't love: I don't keep a lot of the ingredients on hand such as fresh ginger or pumpkin or sweet potatoes so those would have to be added to our grocery list and I would need to plan ahead not only for buying the ingredients but also for making sure that I got only enough for the recipe or plan out other recipes to use up the extra. I am comfortable substituting for the often used almond milk because again, I don't keep that on hand. Also, looking at the recipes, there were quite a few that had ingredients that wouldn't all be in season at the same time. For most people that will probably be fine but since we try to eat from our garden and in season so that we can keep our grocery bill low, I can see where some recipes would require adjustments. 

Although the two items I listed above were just things I noticed, I did have one real complaint: out of thirteen dessert recipes, only two didn't contain white sugar: her pumpkin cheesecake (used brown sugar) and the peach frozen pops recipe. For me that was a real bummer, especially since she used maple syrup and agave syrup in a lot of the other recipes.

So now that I have made you wonder if this book is any good, please let me reassure you that it is. I listed my dislikes upfront so that now we can focus on the good things. The breakfast recipes are all pretty simple and there were quite a few I am looking forward to trying such as the Corn Pancakes, the breakfast shakes, Peanut Butter Pancakes, Lemony Yogurt Pancakes, Maple Scones (not in the cookbook but found trying to find the links for the recipes above), Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup, Beet Slaw and those are just in the first two sections. So this book is definitely worth checking out.

They also have a great little guide for figuring out which recipes can be made with kids, which ones take 30 minutes or less, which are meatless, which ones can me made ahead, etc.  Plus the photography is fantastic.

Their site is also pretty great. You get the same witty descriptions and stories plus even more recipes that the book can hold such as the Sweet Potato and Apple Soup. I might have to grow some sweet potatoes this year huh?

I ordered a bag of organic spelt flour from the distributor as soon as one appeared on their damaged/distressed list ($32 of this month's $150 food budget) and am looking forward to seeing how I can use it to replace so of our more processed organic all-purpose flour. Anyone know of a good spelt bread recipe?

Have you read How to Feed a Family or checked out The Sweet Potato Chronicles? What are some of the recipes you have discovered there?

This article was shared on From The Farm, Natural Family Friday,

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