Friday, August 21, 2009

Cookbook Review: Taste of Home Winning Recipes, Oikos Greek Yogurt Week #3, and Souper Sundays

Last week I received three new cookbooks in the mail. One of them was the Taste Of Home Winning Recipes. I ordered this through The Good Cook, which is a great cookbook club. I have never had a Taste of Home cookbook before, nor have I ever bought the magazine. I have noticed fellow bloggers referring to Taste of Home, so I decided to check them out. I reviewed all the Taste of Home cookbooks and the Winning Recipes had received the best ratings. Taste of Home Winning Recipes was given five stars on both Amazon and The Good Cook. No one had anything bad to say about it. I knew that this was going to be a solid purchase.

This is not a fancy cookbook by any means. You will not find fancy plating or fancy ingredients. What you will find are family friendly recipes that everyone is sure to love. In fact, there are 645 award winning recipes included in this book and there is a picture of every recipe! The book is broken down into seventeen chapters: Appetizers & Beverages, Salads, Soups & Chili, Sandwiches, Breakfast & Brunch, Beef, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Meatless, Sides, Quick Breads, Yeast Breads, Cookies & Bars, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Pies and Desserts. Each chapter will have many tasty recipes, such as:
Taco Meatball Ring
Hawaiian Egg Rolls
Orange Lemonade
Chicken Chopped Salad w/ peaches & peanuts
Chili Corn Bread Salad
Layered Fresh Fruit Salad
Creamy Celery Seed Dressing
Swedish Meatball Soup
Tasty Reuben Soup
Sizzling Rice Soup
Pepperoni Pizza Chili
Ultimate Grilled Cheese (made with cream cheese)
BLT Egg Bake
Bacon n' Egg Lasagna
Brunch Berry Pizza
Garlic Beef Enchiladas
Steak with Citrus Salsa
Cheese-Stuffed Pork Roast
Chicken in Basil Cream
Saucy Skillet Fish
Artichokes Au Gratin
Two-tone Baked Potatoes
Confetti Carrot Fritters
Whole Wheat Biscuits
Dijon Ham Muffins
Buttermilk Pan Rolls
Pull-Apart Bacon Bread
Mashed Potato Rolls
No-Fry Doughnuts
Triple Chocolate Kisses
Macaroon Brownies
Jewel Nut Bars
Fresh Grapefruit Cake
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Apple Meringue Pie
Caramel Pear Pie

Anyway, I'm getting carried away. The point is that when I sat down with this book I grabbed some paper and a pen. I started writing down recipes I wanted to try. Normally, I'll jot down a couple of recipes and ingredients and run to the store. This time I sat, for a long time, pouring over this cookbook until I had three full sheets of paper covered. All in all, I had written down something like 162 recipes to try!! There are just some fabulous, quick, easy and fun recipes in this book! Great dishes for entertaining, potlucks, church socials, bake sales, and gifts! I knew I was going to be happy with this cookbook, but I didn't expect it to be one of my all-time favorites!

I wanted to get cooking right away, so I just worked with what I had on hand. This first recipe I made was this Aloha Bread from the Quick Breads chapter. I had never seen a quick bread quite like this before and was intrigued. It is essentially a banana bread with coconut, orange peel, pineapple, and nuts. This bread was enjoyed by all. It was moist and flavorful. Everyone loved the bread and commented on how they enjoyed the flavor of the orange zest in this recipe.
Next I made S'more Sandwich Cookies, which were every bit as delicious as they sound!! This was the first recipe in the Cookies & Bars chapter and I knew I had to make them straight away! It was marked as a first prize winner and for very good reason. They were excellent and disappeared very quickly!! The recipe is essentially a chocolate chip recipe with about 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs mixed into the batter. Once the cookies have cooled, you place a few of them bottom side up in the microwave, place a large marshmallow on top and microwave for about 10 seconds, or until the marshmallow puffs up. Then you top it off with another cookie and there you have delicious s'more sandwich cookie! These cookies are the ultimate in ooey, gooey and sticky goodness. They may even be tastier than a good old fashioned campfire s'more.Next I made Apple-Walnut Turkey Sandwiches. This is a perfect no-cook lunch or dinner that is quick to throw together. For this recipe, I replaced the mayo with my Oikos Greek Yogurt. I love the idea of using the greek yogurt to replace the mayo because the yogurt has zero fat, is lower in calories, and is much creamier than mayo!
Apple-Walnut Dressing:
3/4 cup mayo/greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 medium tart apple, chopped
The dressing makes 4 sandwiches. The recipe calls for sourdough bread, but I'm quite sure any bread is suitable. I think I would enjoy the bread toasted next time. This was sandwich was delicious, filling and just plain lovely. I really enjoyed the crunch of the celery, apples, and walnuts. This sandwich was so filling, I ate only one half and saved the rest for later. This sandwich represents all four food groups rolled into one and has a fabulous presentation. My picture doesn't do it any justice.
This is my entry for my weekly Oikos Greek Yogurt post and I am also submitting the above sandwich to Deb at Kakakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays. Head over to her site to see what everyone else made for Souper Sundays.
As I write this post, I have the cookbook sitting next to me and I'm pondering what to make next. I'm also extremely happy that I purchased this book. I'm not sure if I have ever bookmarked so many recipes to make from one book. I am certain that this is one of my top ten favorite cookbooks of all time. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys cooking and baking!

P.S. If you already have this book, let me know how you like it! I'd love to hear some of your favorites!!

Happy Cooking!


  1. My gosh, have you been busy. I think you talked me into buying the cookbook. All your choices look fab! Cant wait to see what else you make.

  2. Wowee0--you got a lot of use out of that cookbook already! I love when I find good ones!! I have the Taste of Home Baking Book. Love it!

  3. You sure have gotten your money's worth with that cookbook. I have fulfilled my obligations to the Good Cook and am considering quitting because they have sent me books I haven't ordered 3X. They're great about sending shipping labels to send them back, but it's a pain. The aloha bread looks really delicious.

  4. You certainly know how to use a cookbook. I used to but the annual Taste of Home and loved it for its quick and easy recipes and for the simple ingredients. I stopped when I knew that I already had too many Taste of Home books to make a dent in the recipes I wanted to make. They make it too easy for us.

    I love what you chose. Happy Taste of Home cooking.

  5. That is one fab looking sandwich daaaahling. If its too much for you, I can help you ;)

  6. The pull-apart bacon bread sounds interesting!

  7. OK, it's late at night and I am hungry! Gotta get out of here. And, BTW, you are gonna love that popcorn!

  8. Everything sounds wonderful, but those cookies- oh my!!! Yum!! Taste of Home sounds so familiar but I can't seem to place it, sounds like a winner!

  9. I used to subscribe to thta magazine and I have several of their cookbooks. There are a LOT of great recipes in there. They have a nice website where you can print out most of those recipes for a modest year subscription fee. I love comfort food. Happy TOH Cooking!

  10. I am going to have to look into this cookbook club business. You are tempting me to the dark side!

    I love cookbooks with pictures for every recipe, so this one automatically gets some stars in my book. And then after seeing the fabulous things you have already made - I am hooked!

  11. I LOVE Taste of Homes! I must have a dozen of their magazines that they put out every month that you can find at the cashier's booth. I don't have that book though..may have to buy it :)

  12. Those s'more sandwich cookies look amazing! Yum yum! This sounds like a fantastic book. I have three Taste of Home Cookbooks, but not this one. They really are good books. I love cookbooks where recipes are sent in by the readers; you know that people submit their family's very favorites so you're going to get some good ones. I don't know that I've ever had a flop with Taste of Home recipes.

  13. I finally made the Frisee with Pears, Goat Cheese, and Salted Pecans a few days ago. It was on my TODO list for long time.

    But was so good! I could not wait to let the dressing set over night but it was excellent any how.


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