Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Hemsley and Hemsley Good and Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley

The British Hemsley sisters' second cookbook, Hemsley and Hemsley Good and Simple, came out April 12.  This is the latest in the photogenic blogger book deal trend that has been going strong for the last few years.  The Hemsleys focus on fresh, healthy food that can help you (read: women) lose weight.  Note that they don't come right out and say that their book and food are about losing weight, but it's definitely what this book is about.  Their basic message is get rid of processed foods, refined sugars, gluten, and grains.  It's an attractive package, and it clearly tries to make the most of the photogenic nature of the two authors, who are clearly meant to be proof of the fact that their methods work.  Like many of the more recent cookbooks that are veiled diet books, this one shuns low-cal, low-fat recipes in favor of fresh ingredients and whole foods.  Some of the recipes are a bit rabbit-foody, but for the most part, the food looks and sounds tasty, in addition to being nutritious.  I also like how many of the recipes are directly followed by a list of "good and simple tips," which clarify the recipes and suggest ways that they can be changed and reused.  Overall, this is a nice cookbook aimed at 20- and 30-something women who want to lose weight without sacrificing flavor or calories.

(I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd

The Kitchn contributor and stylist Leela Cyd's first book, Food with Friends, is now out from Penguin Random House.  This is a very pretty, and dare I say, feminine, book, chock full of pastels and flowers.  The food and styling are geared very much towards taking Instagram-worthy photos.  I think it's a very pretty book, although it's perhaps a bit too geared towards "girly" millennial get-togethers for my taste.  I think it plays a bit too much into a very narrow idea of entertaining and what women do and like (i.e. fussy and very girly).  Nevertheless, it's quite pretty, and the food is very attractive, as is the styling.  Every recipe has an interesting twist, and they often use fragrant and "exotic" additions, like rose, pistachio, and saffron.  The food is all very colorful and whimsical, without being in poor taste.  There are gorgeous pale smoky green Matcha Egg Creams, delicate pink ombré Orange Blossom Hagelslag (Dutch sprinkles that are meant to be sprinkled on buttered toast) on Toast, Purple Cauliflower Hummus, and perhaps my favorite: swirled pale pink and hot pink and white Think Pink Faloodas made of pearl tapioca, dry rice noodles, rosewater, pineapple, orange sherbet, grenadine, and rainbow sprinkles, in addition to only a couple of other mundane ingredients (heavy cream and whole milk).  It is a lovely and original book, and it is such fun to look at.  It provides plenty of inspiration for gently innovative treats.  All of the recipes are vegetarian, and they are all geared towards entertaining.  Think tea parties and baby showers.  

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.