I don’t know about your, but my family and I are bored with what we normally have for dinner. It seems like we eat the same things week after week. Even something as odd as spaghetti tacos is no longer thrilling for my kids (yes, we literally made spaghetti tacos).
I have several cookbooks, but my husband and I have been through them time and time again, and we usually pick out the same things each time. Or it’s a matter of he doesn’t like some of the ingredients (he’s actually the picky eater in the family). For example, mustard. He hates mustard. He can smell mustard a mile away. Any time I try and sneak mustard into a recipe (if it’s a required ingredient), he knows about it the moment he walks in the door. Sigh…
I was recently sent two really interesting and unique cookbooks. One if ideal for Halloween season, and the other uses an ingredient that I’m familiar with.
The first cookbook is called The Mayonnaise Cookbook, by Erin Isaac.
I used to be a brand ambassador for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, so I know first hand there are a lot of ways you can cook, even bake, with mayonnaise. Take for example chicken. You can use mayonnaise to coat chicken in anything you like (parmesan is my family’s favorite). My husband loves to make Ritz chicken, coating chicken with mayonnaise and then coated in crushed up Ritz crackers. It’s so good!
Inside the pages of this book you’ll find recipes that utilize mayonnaise. They don’t use a lot of mayonnaise, so if you have a family member who is not fond of mayo, chances are they won’t even realize it’s an ingredient in some of these recipes. Some are obvious, like Macaroni Salad (of course there is mayonnaise in that). Other recipes, like chocolate cupcakes, you would never guess mayonnaise is an ingredient. Mayonnaise makes baked goods very moist.
Inside the book you’ll find gorgeous color photography that is sure to make your mouth water just by looking at it.
I personally think that photos are needed for cookbooks. I don’t like cookbooks that are strictly text. It doesn’t pique my interest. When I see a delicious looking food in a cookbook, I am more likely to want to try and make it.
Just look at the above photos, and I’m sure that you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Another great book worth checking out is the Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook, by Bridget Thoreson.
Hocus Pocus is a popular movie to watch during the Halloween season. I think they play it a lot on FreeForm, especially during their 31 Nights of Halloween event.
If you are planning to host a Halloween party, or you just want to whip up some ghoulishly delicious meals for your family and friends, then you’ll want to check out this book.
The publisher was kind enough to send me some recipes to share with readers, to give you a taste (no pun intended) on the types of recipes you’ll find in this fun book.
Dead Man’s Toes, Dead Man’s Toes
Alas, it’s so difficult to find a good dead man’s toe these days, never mind keeping it fresh once you do. Though it certainly is easier than it was 300 years ago before the marvelous little invention called a refrigerator. The ancestors of today’s witches really were cursed with so many more struggles — how to keep potion ingredients fresh, how to hide their devilry from small-minded townsfolk in a tiny village, how to stay young and beautiful without the aid of retinol. But necessity truly is the mother of invention. And speaking of invention, with a good supply of dead man’s toes, you can conjure almost anything—including a hellishly spooky party. These appetizers are marvelously macabre. But if you’re interested in a less revolting refreshment, keep the mustard on the side and the hot dogs uncut.
Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes
- 8 hot dogs
- 1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon your favorite kind of mustard
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut the hot dogs into equal halves.
- Open the crescent rolls container. Unroll the dough and cut it so that you have 16 similarly sized triangles.
- Roll each hot dog half with a crescent roll so that the cut half of the hot dog is wrapped in the dough and the uncut half is sticking out fully exposed.
- Using a sharp paring knife, make two or three thin shallow slits in the top of the hot dog toward the middle right at the edge of the crescent roll dough (this will be the knuckle).
- On the top of the hot dog at the uncut edge, use the paring knife to cut half of a long ellipse out of the top of the hot dog so that it looks like the shape of a fingernail bed.
- Place the hot dog rolls on a greased baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes.
- When the hot dog rolls are done, use a pastry brush or small spoon to cover the nail bed of the hot dogs with the mustard or ketchup.
Variation: For a fancier manicure, you can make a mustard glaze by heating ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce, and ⅛ cup light brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the ingredients melt together and thicken. Brush on the nail beds before the hot dog buns go in the oven.
Bones of 100 Chickens
Is it a bit macabre to make references to eating children? Yes, of course. But these witches like what they like and have a sniffer finely tuned to wee babes. Like them, you won’t be able to resist the spicy smell of these hot wings, though I don’t recommend using the leftover bones to build your front gate.
Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 12 small chicken wings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Melt the butter in a microwave.
- Add the chicken wings to a mixing bowl and pour the olive oil, butter, and hot sauce over them. Mix well so they are all coated.
- Add the Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, and garlic powder. Mix well so the wings are all coated.
- Place the wings on a greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until browned and crispy.
The recipes in this book have a Halloween (Hocus Pocus) theme to them, but mostly it’s in the title of the recipes. The recipes found in this book can be made year round. They are not exclusive to Halloween time. I certainly have no plans on packing this away with our Halloween decorations. I am going to keep this out year round with the rest of my cookbooks.
Both of these books are published by Ulysses Press (UlyssesPress.com). They have other interesting cookbooks available, as well as books for children, pop culture, self help and more.
They have an ADORABLE book for children called Buckley the Highland Cow and Ralphy the Goat, by Leslie Ackerman. I was also sent this book to review.
I happen to love Highland Cows (they are the furry ones), and I think goats are funny (they are comical creatures).
I love this book! This book is so sweet.
Buckley gets separated from his mother on the farm. He is very lonely and sad, and the other barn animals don’t know what they can do to cheer him up. That is until a new farm animal arrive, Ralphy the goat. At first the farmer kept them together so they wouldn’t be lonely or scared. As time past, Buckley and Ralphy became the best of friends, and were always by each other’s side.
This book is part real photos, part illustrations. I love it!
I donate the books I am sent to review to the program I work in (children’s books). We have a “library,” so to speak, however, I let children take the books home and keep them if they want. I find it’s a way of encouraging reading.
This book was taken by a young girl the moment I placed it in our little library. She couldn’t get enough of it. It’s easy enough for her to read, but I think she was more enamored with the adorable images.
What do you think about these books? Would you like to add any of them to your home library or cookbook collection? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.