Sandwiched: Grill ‘Em, Toast ‘Em, Stuff ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

SANDWICHED0202three-and-a-half-stars /5

No longer will you be a slave to the same old PB&J sandwich you’ve had for lunch every weekday since kindergarten. Break out your apron, pull out your pans, and turn on your stove, becauseSandwiched is about to bring new life to the age-old finger food, transforming your loaf of bread into a culinary meal the whole family will love. This cookbook features 57 recipes in four categories (Starter Sammies, Breakfast Sammies, Main Meal Sammies, and Sweet Sammies) for your finger licking enjoyment.

While I felt that some of the recipes were stretching the definition of “sandwich” a bit (is it really a sandwich if the bread is replaced with waffles, cookies, cake, or a tortilla?), most of the recipes were creative and simple to recreate. One of my favorites was the Pesto Veggie Sub. With a household full of meat lovers, an entirely veggie based meal didn’t stand much of a chance, but it was a hit with the whole family. I can’t wait for summer to come so I can try this sandwich with veggies fresh from the garden. We also enjoyed the Greek Meatball Sliders and I’m looking forward to trying the Chicken Parmesan Sliders just as soon as our store of bread is replenished.


Originally published on San Francisco Book Review.

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The Cookie Companion: A Decorator’s Guide

COOKIE_CHAMPION0202stars /5

The Cookie Companion is a true must-have resource for dabblers and cookie frosting veterans alike. Reminiscent of the Wilton cake cookbooks in Grandma’s kitchen, the cookbook will push your creativity into full swing. The book includes several ideal cookie and icing recipes for your cookie-decorating pleasure and continues to give detailed explanations of the consistencies of icing that are best for different types of decorating — pictures included. The color charts, in particular, are worth taking the time to go over before you start haphazardly pouring food coloring into your perfectly textured frosting. The decoration ideas themselves range from simple (Halloween eyeballs and birthday presents) to complicated and time-consuming (wood grain signs with personalized messages and painted ocean scenes).

I certainly, fall further toward the “dabblers” side of the scale, so this book has already been a great resource for me. I found the introduction, while a bit lengthy, to be very helpful. I recommend reading it before beginning, as I did. You’ll save yourself many mishaps. All of the decorating ideas are adorable, but it may take less experienced cookie decorators a few tries to get them right. Just make a few extra cookies, because you get to eat any that just don’t turn out quite right!


Originally published on San Francisco Book Review.