Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Everyday Homemaking Everyday Cooking Cookbook Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Everyday Homemaking is a website designed by Vicki Bentley. On this website she has created practical tools to help parents and caregivers teach life skills like: managing time, cooking, cleaning, planning, organizing, home education, etc. She is the author of a handful of books that teach these skills to others. These include Everyday Cooking and The Everyday Family Chore System. Vicki is a mother of eight children and a foster/adoptive mom of almost fifty. Her family knows well how to work with their busy lifestyle and still get things accomplished.

Everyday Cooking is Vicki's cookbook that she has just newly revised and expanded to include even more of her family's tried and true favorite recipes and helpful tips. Everyday Cooking is book one of the Everyday Homemaking Series. This book emphasizes whole foods and also contains pressure cooker basics, low-carb staples, sample menus, shopping and equipment tips, and even a few of Vicki's kitchen mishap stories. This comes either as a physical book with a glossy cover and coil bound pages or a digital e-book PDF. Both have 198 pages, except the print book has black and white pictures and the digital has color. You may choose from two different colors of cover (red or blue), though the content is the same.

Table of Contents:
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Time Saving Tips
  • Breakfast Ideas
  • Appetizers and Dressings
  • Bread and Grains
  • Main Dishes & Soups & Sides
  • Desserts and Snacks
  • Homemade Vanilla Extract
  • Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Pantry Helpers
  • Basic Measurements and Helps
  • Meal Planning and Shopping Hints
  • Sample Menus & Menu Planning Masters
  • Basic Cooking Skills Checklist
  • Basic Kitchen Accessories
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • The Tortoise and the Hare
  • Pressure Cooker Tips and Favorites
  • Index of Recipes
  • Index of Practical Tips

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We received the digital PDF version of the Everyday Cooking. I like color photos for the dishes so I opted for this version rather than the print that had black and white photos. I wish both had the color pictures because the print would have been nice for having instead of going back and forth to my computer (my printer is out of ink). I like the thought of having the coil bound pages and glossy wipe able cover so that it can be used right where you are cooking.

I like the layout of Everyday Cooking. It is pretty straight forward and has similar things lumped together in one chapter. After each chapter there is a section that you may write your own notes. I do wish there were more pictures of the recipes because I am very visual. However, the book does say you can visit their website and social media sites and see more of the color pictures of many of the recipes if needed.Some ingredients are also italicized so you know that they have a recipe in the book to make them from scratch as well. There are also "broken eggs" pictures throughout the cookbook that tell "oops!" moments that Vicki experienced and wanted to share. Grey boxes throughout the cookbook mention time saving or budget-stretching tips too. I love that she puts meal planning masters and checklists in the back so you can print them out and use them. There is also a Food & Nutrition Mini-Unit Study (1-2 weeks) towards the end for junior high/high school students as one portion of a home economics credit that uses the Basic Cooking Skills Checklist.

There are a lot of very simple recipes in Everyday Cooking. My teenagers and even my 9 year old could make a lot of these recipes themselves without any trouble. I like that most of these can be made in 30-45 minutes or less. I didn't know what parboiled or converted rice was and a lot of her recipes that call for rice call for this specific type. This is described in the Basic Measurements and Helps section. This type of rice is NOT minute/instant rice and has higher nutritional benefits than regular white rice and much closer to nutritional value of brown rice, I learned. Some recipes also called for margarine and canned mushrooms...I do not use that stuff, instead I use real butter and real mushrooms which seem to work just fine as an alternative. I like that she has how long to cook recipes with and without a slow cooker or pressure cooker. If you haven't done a lot of homemade breads this is an awesome cookbook for this because it has so many to choose from. It also has multiple ways you can make the main bread recipe into other breads, for example, sweet rolls. I also love that there is a recipe for homemade ricotta cheese, noodles, and pie crust...these are recipes that I would like to try some day.

Everyday Cooking Kielbasa with Kale & Potatoes

We made the Kielbasa with Kale & Potatoes in Everyday Homemaking one night for dinner. I had all the ingredients at home except for the red sweet pepper and McCormick’s All-Purpose Seasoning. I used a green sweet pepper and I looked up the ingredients in this seasoning and added a little bit of each to the pot. The kale we picked fresh from our garden. It had come back from last years planting and taken over almost a whole raised bed. I didn't know a lot of kale recipes and so because we have so much of it this year I wanted to use a bunch of it before winter hits. This recipe sounded really good and hearty. The only thing I would have added was the setting on the stove top when cooking (like high, medium, or low). It cooked fine, but I would have liked to know to make sure I had it on the right heat setting while it cooked. I am so glad I tried it out though because it was delicious! Even my daughter who does not really like kale loved this meal. I will be making the Kielbasa with Kale & Potatoes recipe again and trying it next time with the red sweet pepper!

I will be making more from this cookbook. We are excited to make the Chicken Cordon Bleu because it sounds so good with the alternate smoked Gouda cheese. I will be making this in the next week or so. There are a lot of recipes that sound like they would be wins for my family. These are all easy to prepare & make and don't take that much time to do so. I like cookbooks like this that are not too complicated, but also focus mainly on the healthy foods. I will probably use this as a credit for homeschool home economics for my teens as well. We can not wait to use it more.

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Get 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code to use is TOS10books -- apply it to as many books in your cart as you'd like, but make sure to shop first and apply the 10% discount code last. This expires Sept 5th.
Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Everyday Homemaking...
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

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Vicki Bentley said...

Your kale and potatoes looks yummy! Thanks for trying out the cookbook. As you mentioned, we have lots of photos on our FB page in the Food album, but would have to raise the price of the book if we had lots of color photos (and black and white photos in a cookbook aren't particularly appetizing! LOL). And on the margarine: Please let me know where you saw margarine listed -- it would have been an error, somehow, as we don't ever use margarine --would be butter--and I'll want to correct that. Thanks so much for reviewing the book! :)

Vicki Bentley said...

Aha...I see that I inserted an old family recipe for a farmer's frittata and at the time, we had used margarine (wayyyyyy back when!) and it didn't get changed. Have now changed that for future editions. The other place that has margarine is the cheesecake, which lists margarine or butter -- I'll pull the margarine option. Thanks for pointing that out! :)