Amy Tobin hosts a weekly radio cooking show, and acts as a culinary consultant for several major food companies. In short, this is a lady who knows her her way around a kitchen. She has put together a very approachable and useful cookbook, packed full of great recipes. I knew I would like Amy when she began her Breakfast chapter with “My morning routine is so important to me. My husband brings me coffee and the paper in bed, and I spend nearly an hour there…” Then she kicks it off with recipes for Tequila-Spiked Fruit Salad with Lime and Cinnamon Sugar Churros. Amy has some pretty great morning ideas, doesn’t she?
She also has some terrific ideas for later in the day, along with helpful party tips. The appetizers provided are specifically designed to be both simple to prepare and tasty, ideal for impromptu entertaining. While she makes a point of ease of preparation, these are by no means ordinary. I think her ideas are innovative and the finished dishes appear quite elegant. A wheel of brie gets a makeover with an edible flower petal and herb design, and her Asian Chicken Salad is anything but ordinary when peppered with water chestnuts and chopped peanuts, served on endive spears. If the soups and salads don’t win you over, the Seasoned Onion Straws will. Thinly cut Vidalia onions emerge spicy and crunchy – I could make a meal of these.
If you are a visual cook, you will be thrilled to hear there is a large, full-color, full-page photo of every recipe. These are telling me that I think I have finally found my recipe for Chicken Piccatta, chicken breasts pounded flat, lightly breaded and swimming in a sauce of lemon juice and capers. I also marked the Caramel Crepes with Brandied Caramel Sauce and Toasted Pecans, simply because you would have to be crazy not to. I was maybe most impressed by the last recipe – directions on making your own Limoncello. Wouldn’t that make a great hostess gift?
In addition to getting some fantastic recipes, the bonus is that all proceeds from the sale of Amy’s Table: Food for Family & Friends are being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of Amy’s mother and sister.
Jen lives in Michigan with her husband and six year old son. She writes reviews of children’s books on her blog, FIRR-Kids and loves filling her own shelves with cookbooks.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Orange Frazer Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.