Thursday, March 17, 2016

Favorite Flavors of Ireland: a (cook)Book Review

As a blogger, I occasionally get asked to review books. It's a pretty nice gig. I get free books that I can read at my leisure, and then post a review with my thoughts.

I was quite excited when into my inbox popped the opportunity to review an Irish Cookbook. Because, I'm Irish. And I love to cook. And, I'm a sucker for pretty cookbooks.

So, my copy of Favorite Flavors of Ireland arrived mid-February.

The first thing that struck me about this cookbook is it's plethora of gorgeous photos. Photos of the Irish countryside. Photos of the food. Full color photos on almost every page. It is so pretty.

I also like this cookbook because it is paper back, which may not seem like a good thing. But it has a nice binding that allows it to open and stay open.

There are more than 100 recipes included, which is quite something. Another feature that I'm really enjoying about this cookbook is the way the author, Margaret M. Johnson, organized these 100+ recipes. They aren't in the typical categories of breads, appetizers, soups, salads, poultry, beef, desserts, etc..

No. The recipes are arranged by season. Spring, summer, fall, winter. They are seasonally appropriate, plus they use seasonally available ingredients. What's your garden producing in April? That's what's in the recipes for spring. Such a great idea!

This all is what I liked about the Favorite Flavors of Ireland, even before I picked out several recipes to try.

Being limited in time before this review is supposed to be published, I picked out just four recipes to try.

Dubliner Colcannon Torte
Black and Tan Brownies
Shepherd's Pie
Brown Bread

They all turned out amazingly, and I am looking forward to trying many more of the recipes.

I love that the recipes use ingredients that are readily available-though I must admit that I did not spring for the Kerry Gold butter, nor the Irish rashers. I was especially thrilled that there were many recipes using Guinness Beer. I always buy a 4 or 6 pack for my SaucePan Guinness Cake, and then it just sits for months. This cookbook gave me many options for how to use my Guinness besides drinking it, which is a downright disgusting option...

The recipes were all easy to make, and they were delicious! I may share the recipes later, but for now, enjoy the photos. Or, you could purchase your own copy of the cookbook, and get the recipes sooner...

And have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!