Annemarie Rossi, the blogger behind Real Food Real Deals, recently achieved one of the “holy grails” of blogging: she published a book! I was excited to receive a complimentary copy of her book — “Conquering Your Kitchen: How to plan meals, shop, and cook real food with confidence and purpose!” — to review. After reading it, though, I would have been just as pleased to have purchased it for myself — a high compliment.
“Conquering Your Kitchen” is organized into two parts: get organized and get cooking. In the “get organized” section, Annemarie offers practical strategies for setting up your kitchen, planning out your meals so there’s always something delicious and healthy to eat, and surviving a trip to the grocery store without overspending. The second part, “get cooking,” is filled with accessible and yummy recipes. I have bookmarked almost of all them for my cooking “to do” list; the granola, the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, and the Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup are just a few of the many I want to try.
As a longtime reader of Annemarie’s blog, I embrace her focus on eating whole foods and eating locally. My family has moved toward this way of eating and cooking. My husband nourished an abundant garden this summer — we had so many peppers we almost ran out of uses for them! We also purchased shares in a CSA that is still — even in mid-October — producing bags of vegetables for us to incorporate into our meals.
I wish this book had been written when I was first living on my own! I might have eaten something other than pasta and yogurt during my twenties. After finishing “Conquering Your Kitchen,” I made some small tweaks to my family’s eating: good-bye to white flour, hello to white wheat flour, which offers more of the whole grain, and therefore more nutrition in our pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods. I’ve also starting experimenting with cutting the sugar in recipes to see if I can lower my family’s overall sugar intake. I also have been changing up what my kids eat for breakfast, and while my son may never eat eggs (so sad!), my daughter has, so far, been interested in alternatives to cereal.
One the strengths of “Conquering Your Kitchen” is the accessibility Annemarie brings to the task before her readers. Overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking healthy meals? Annemarie’s enthusiasm for making the kitchen a place of warmth and health makes you believe that you really can do it.
This book would be a great gift for someone who is living on their own for the first time (and looking to eat something other than spaghetti!) as well as the experienced cook who is seeking new recipes and kitchen management strategies. “Conquering Your Kitchen” is available on Amazon and through other retailers.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of “Conquering Your Kitchen” for this review. All opinions in this post are mine.