Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Rebecca Review - Rebecca Johnson

Potato Soup and Mushroom Bread,
October 28, 2009
"Potato soup is one of my favorite soups. I worked on this recipe for about three months. I know my tasters were getting tired of it by the time I finally found the right combination. But now, everyone that has tried it keeps asking when I'm going to make more." ~ pg. 46

"Stir, Laugh, Repeat" is filled with tasty recipes that are easy to make. I made the Potato Soup and Mushroom Bread. I'd suggest that before you make the Mushroom Bread you put foil on the baking sheet. I didn't and lived to tell about it because the cheese gets baked onto the sheet. This is however a bread that is delicious and scented up the entire kitchen. My husband accused me of eating it all. Well I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and he just had it for dinner. I'd make one suggestion for the recipe - toss the garlic with the mushrooms and olive oil. If you use a garlic press like I do it will be almost impossible to "sprinkle" garlic on the bread.

The recipe I tried tonight was the Potato Soup. It is very easy to make and would be perfect as a first course to a dinner menu. It calls for six medium potatoes and I guessed correctly that this would be about 2 ¼ pounds unpeeled potatoes. The recipe calls for cheese so I assumed it was for cheddar cheese. Also I couldn't find any canned Portobella mushrooms so I just used button mushrooms. There is no need to cook up bacon if you just use Bacon Bits. While the recipe calls for salt and pepper to taste I found that it needed 3 teaspoons of Lawry's seasoning salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. I also added 2 teaspoons of chicken base to season the soup. You can really adapt this recipe to your individual tastes. I liked the addition of sour cream and dried onions, although I added the onions when I was cooking the potatoes because I figured they needed time to rehydrate.

So I can recommend those two recipes to you with a few adaptations. All of the recipes have little stories with them and also include a special kitchen tip. Some of the other recipes you may enjoy include:

Coconut Loaf Cake
Chicken Casserole for a Crowd
Key Lime Pie
Brown Sugar Banana Nut Bread
Pecan Muffins

I look forward to trying other recipes, especially some of the desserts. :)

~The Rebecca Review

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A cookbook with a personal touch - Review

A Cook book with a personal touch!,
October 22, 2009
As a very busy homeschool mom and business owner, I have to say that "Stir, Laugh, Repeat" by Martha A. Cheves is a true cookbook that never sits on our shelf! She shares her recipes with a very unique twist. The cooking tips are great and the personal touch of Martha makes this the top plate of any meal! I am able to create great family meals in a time saving way.

Thank you so much Martha for this amazing cookbook, my 11 year old daughter is learning how to cook and "Stir, Laugh, Repeat" came at a perfect time. She is able to follow the recipes and get's really excited about learning the tips, then makes sure that mom follows them!

Thank you for making cooking a family time event well spent!

Kathy Paquette
Hemet, CA

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stir, Laugh, Repeat Review by Matthew Smith

By Matthew Smith "Roger Mexico" (TN USA) -

I like this little cook book. With that said I will admit from the outset I am biased since I am Southern. These recipes hit close to home, and I enjoy the Southern influence. It is that comfort food that can get me into trouble if I am not careful.

I also enjoyed the anecdotes and tips that came with each recipe as well. It gives the book a personal touch. I don't know how exactly to explain it, but it is not as dry as normal cookbooks. It gives the book a personality.

Before I go on I will describe the one slight problem I had with this book, and that was the absence of a table of contents. This makes the book a little more difficult to navigate. It also means you are going to have to remember or mark where your favorite recipes are, or you will just have to thumb through every time you want your favorite dish.

With that said when I review cookbooks I tend to place much more emphasis on the actual recipes rather than the organization of the book, and these recipes are easy to follow and understand. I put a lot of emphasis on readability and ease with these types of cookbooks, and Martha Cheves has done a wonderful job creating the type of cookbook that anyone can use and enjoy. I have come across some cookbooks that ended up flung across the room way before the last ingredient was added. Whether you are a ranked amateur or a complete novice, there is something in this book you will enjoy.

I will say this though; I almost gave this book a three star rating because the author has a recipe for fried pickles in the book. My wife and son love fried pickles, but it is the one fried food I cannot stand. So for making me endure nights filled with the stink of fried pickles I almost went with my gut reaction, but instead I will recommend this lovely book. The book does have some healthy recipes in there as well, but if you are like me and love your comfort foods and Southern dishes then this is the book for you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stir, Laugh, Repeat - Review by Shala Kerrigan

13 October 2009 @ 06:44 am
Stir, Laugh, Repeat
I really think that comfort cooking is going to be the next big thing. People will still love their gourmet seasonings and all their foodie toys, but there will also be a resurgence in familiar favorites, the sort of foods that your grandmother or mother might have made for family and company.
That's what this cookbook is. Classic homestyle recipes that have stood the test of time. The author wants you to play with them, to find what works for you and your family. Some of the recipes in here I have my own versions of already, but a lot of them, I don't. The recipes are easy and there are a lot of tips for making your time in the kitchen quicker and easier.
Unlike a lot of my cookbooks, this one actually has lots of recipes I can see becoming a part of our regular menu. My husband is patient enough with my experiments in hummus, tofu and white bean chilis and that sort of thing but he really prefers American classic home cooking.
Monkey Bread was one of my mom's standbys, and it was nice to see it in here. My daughter will enjoy making that. My son will love the mushroom bread, and my husband is looking forward to me trying the chicken fried steak recipe because I've never made that for him before.

You can find recipes and more about the cookbook at the author's blog Stir, Laugh, Repeat


Monday, October 19, 2009

Review by Lou Allin

The Biggest Little Cookbook in the World,
October 19, 2009
By Lou Allin "Islander" (Vancouver Island)
For all those who find preparing meals a chore, here's a little cookbook with a big attitude. Martha Cheves finds "joy while playing in the kitchen." Every time she emerges with a brimming pan or pot, she brings another gem to save time and money while pleasing the palate. Her down-home southern commentary reads like a personal diary and gives a special touch to each delicious dish. In this compact book loaded with fail-safe recipes, Martha starts with a winner: Banana Puddin'. This wonderful dessert vanishes faster than spring snow and always leaves guests cleaning their plates. Artichoke Chicken, Meatloaf Muffins, Rabbit Food Sandwich, and Pina Colada Salad. The turn of every page leads to more fun, imagination and taste that won't quit. Especially helpful are the clever tips at the end of each offering. Who could have thought that sour cream works magic in scrambled eggs or that leftover pickle juice could make cucumbers sparkle? As the final page turns, there's only one request for Martha, "More, please?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stir, Laugh, Repeat - Review

My son has adopted your cookbook and I swear every other page is rabbit-eared. He absolutely loves it. He tried the pork chops with mustard. I must admit it was unusual, but I liked the different taste instead of it being bland. Yesterday, when I got home, he had made pulled monkey bread which was out of this world. Loved it!

Joan Carter

A Different Type of Cook Book - Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Type of Cook Book - Highly Recommended!, October 13, 2009
By CFH "chillnhill" (Blue Ridge Summit, PA USA) - See all my reviews
"Stir, Laugh, Repeat" is more than a just a great collection of practical recipes. In many cases, Martha Cheves has added personal comments and stories relating to the dish and has is also populated helpful tips after each recipe.

The structure of the book is different than I am used to seeing since there isn't a Table of Contents and the recipes are all mix up, with no real order. This was done to encourage the reader to actually read through the whole the book. Thankfully there is an Index so you can find the ones you like later.

Since I work from home most of the time and my wife works at our shop, I have been trying to make a few meals a week. This book has a lot of recipes that can actually be followed by someone with my limitted skills. Also, since I am not an expert in the kitchen, the included hints are very welcome and have taught me some very handy cooking tricks.

An enjoyable and practical cookbook! Highly Recommended!