Monthly Archive for March, 2009

Being Savvy Washington Gives A Review

At night, while relishing the peace and quiet that comes when her children are asleep, Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama assumes her alter ego while blogging and teaching online classes. A Bay Area local, living in DC, Leticia blogs for Tech Savvy Mama and DC Metro Moms. Despite all that she does, Leticia somehow found the time to cook and review ‘Taste This!’ and here is a bit of what she had to say:

Simple tasty food with fresh ingredients is the mantra in our house so I’m always on the lookout for wonderful new cookbooks that will meet my criteria. One new cookbook I adore is Taste This! Author Gina Von Esmarch’s new book is filled with delicious easy to follow recipes whose everyday ingredients are probably pantry staples.

I love that none of the ingredient lists for Gina’s 65 recipes are long. Being able to assemble my ingredients quickly makes it easy for the kids and me to cook up something delectable and fresh even when we are short on time.

We love popping the Parmesan Crisps in the oven to accompany a pot of soup like the Hearty Black Bean Soup made the day before. We keep frozen raw shrimp on hand so we can put together Gina’s Shrimp Scampi as an emergency dinner. Next on our list to try is the Italian Picnic Chicken which comes highly recommended by Being Savvy Newark City Editor, Vanessa.

To read her full article, go to Definitely Taste This!.

Bonggamom Finds Da BOMB

Bonggamom, Ana Picazo, reviews DaBomb (AKA Peanut Butter Cookie Bombs)

This is the dish – Bonggamom not only reviewed the Peanut Butter Cookie Bombs (on more than one occasion) but now she wants to have YOU pick what dish she should make next. Get ready set and VOTE to enter to win a copy of ‘Taste This!’

A brief excerpt from her article…and in order to understand HOW TO VOTE, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this page to

So far, every Taste This! recipe I’ve tried has been a success, and I’ve got so many more to go that I’m at a loss as to which one to try next. So I’m going to ask for your help, dear reader. Want to taste some of these awesome recipes yourself? Taste This! author Gina Von Esmarch is giving away a copy of this yummy cookbook to one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! But you’re gonna have to do me a favor first: to enter, you need to vote on which one of Gina’s recipes I should try next:

Pear Walnut Salad
Black Bean Soup
Potato Souffle
Linguine & Brie
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Divine Chicken Curry
Beef Stroganoff
Island Style Carrot Cake
Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cake
Peach Cobbler

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your email address, and tell me which of the recipes above I should try. Which one sounds the yummiest?

shhhhhhhhhhhhh- secret, she also tells you had to make extra entries to try to win the book!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all.

Laptop TV Mom Appetizer Rave-view

Review from Silicon Valley Mom’s Blogger Stacy Libby (AKA Laptop TV Mom). Ever since I can recall, and I guess I must confess, that is a long time back, Slibby (Stacy + Libby) and I have talked food and wine. I more food and her more wine. What a pairing we make. We’ve done the endless recipe swap, shared kid stories and life/work experiences and it was her prompting that encouraged me to talk to the world of Mommy Bloggers whom I am truly enjoying. You’ve seen them mentioned in the recent past on my site (or on Twitter) – This Week for Dinner, JerseyBites, Chefdruck Musings, Bonggamom, and Foodie Mama/Dirt & Noise and there are more to come..but today is about the Slibby review, which I have excerpted:

Let me just say this: when it comes to a dinner party, I am an appetizer girl because I believe the appetizer sets the tone for the evening. We always open our best bottle of wine first, so it’s important to serve good food from the moment a dinner party begins. Gina provides some great ideas, here are my favorites:

* Red Grapes & Red Onions – roasted grapes and onion, served on goat cheese, with crackers or bread. This dish is super-easy to prepare, with delicious flavors and perfect texture. Rave reviews at my last dinner party! (Recipe is on page 11of the book.)
* Cucumber Pillows — cucumbers, bread, spices (think funky finger sandwiches). Light, refreshing and beyond easy to make. (Recipe is on page 15 of the book.)
* Parmesan Crisps — bread, cheese, garlic, olive oil. This recipe makes little slices of cheesy-Heaven. (Recipe is on page 21 of the book.)

To read her ENTIRE review and give her your ‘dish’ on the book, go to

Foodie Mama Ilina Ewen- Discovers Taste This!

Ilina took the book in like it was her own creation- she prepared and sampled THREE recipes from the book:
* Chicken Jerusalem
* Parmesan Crisps
* Needle in the Haystack

Some stories behind the recipes:

I remember eating Chicken Jerusalem for the first time at my friend Sue’s house. There was always a delicious something brewing at her home – and this dish is still a favorite of mine on a regular basis.

The Parmesan Crisps were my Grandmother Ginny’s favorite ‘keep on hand’ appetizer for those unannounced drop-by guests. If you are organized (I am not often in this category), you can make them before hand and keep them ‘ready to go’ in the freezer. They are featured on the front cover of the book and they are a MEGA CROUTON waiting to be devoured.

Needle in the Haystacks are just something I loved to eat growing up. No deep dark story here except for the variety of chocolate you use. Total salty-sweet combo. Wish I could whip some up now.

So what did Ilina have to say? I’ll share an excerpt from her review:
I have been a cooking fiend the last few days. I serendipitously received a new cookbook on my doorstep last Friday. I generally read cookbooks like they’re novels. I pore over them in the bookstore, thumb through dogeared pages among the racks at used bookstores, and spend hours gazing at recipes online. On rainy days, I curl up with a cup of Tension Tamer tea and browse through a stack of cookbooks. I clip recipes from the likes of Cooking Light , Food & Wine , Cookie , Bon Appetit , and Southern Living, all of which arrive in my mailbox monthly. You know what? I never make a single recipe. I use cookbooks, recipes in general really, as inspiration. I don’t measure a thing and am fond of substitutions when the recipe calls for something I don’t have on hand and can’t manage a trip to Harris Teeter. I joke that I am the queen of “kitchen sink cooking;” I can muster up a great meal with a dash of this and a dollop of that, whatever lurks in the back of the pantry or in the bowels of the freezer are fair game. I consult a recipe just to get ideas for spice blends, cooking times, food pairings, or menu options. It is rare that I cook with a book propped open.

Until I discovered Taste This! by Gina Von Esmarch.

If you want to know her detailed recap of the recipes, you must read her article, Taste This!.

JerseyBites – Features Taste This!

Not only did Jersey Bites review “Finger Lickin’ Chicken” she liked the book so much she wanted to give her readers the opportunity to win a book for themselves.

Deborah Smith writes:
What I love about her book besides the beautiful pictures are the completely easy, no fuss recipes. Last night I made her “Finger Lickin’ Chicken.” All of 4 ingredients including the chicken. So easy and so yummy. Had the leftover for lunch today.

If you want to try to WIN a copy of ‘Taste This!’ go to Jersey Bites

    Deadline for entries is Tuesday, March 10th at 11:59PM/ET.

And if you Tweet It (@jerseybites) or Blog it- You Double Down with an extra point! Don’t hesitate on this one because time is running out.

Chefdruck- Reviews Italian Picnic Chicken

Italian Picnic Chicken from Chefdruck's Review

Italian Picnic Chicken courtesy of Chefdruck

This recipe was one that I remember my Grandmother (Nonnie) making for those casual Sunday night family dinners and we used to all want to scrape the pan for the yummy breadcrumbs at the bottom of the pan (AKA midiga – in her Sicilian dialect). Needless to say, with a family as large as ours was, she made more than one pan and there was plenty of ‘midiga’ to go around.

This past weekend Vanessa Chefdruck tried out the recipe and wrote a review that has some nice twists to her version of the dish. I excerpted a glimpse of her piece:

I had a tough time choosing which recipe to feature today, and I ended up choosing the Italian Picnic Chicken. I had never tried breading chicken breasts with corn flakes and I was eager to try it. The chicken was a huge hit, not only with Steve, but also with the kids. It was juicy and crunchy. I’m making another batch tomorrow night. I served it with some sauteed broccolini.

You really should check out the full article, not to mention her site (if you haven’t been there yet- please do visit)! Chefdruck Musings