Monday, July 8, 2013

Cookbook Review: '4 Ingredients Christmas' by Kim McCosker

✰✰✰✰✰ With just four ingredients per recipe, author Kim McCosker has cooked up a winner. Busy cooks looking for quick and tasty recipes to celebrate the holidays need look no further; 4 Ingredients Christmas offers a variety of dishes from brunch fare to soups and salads. There are recipes for main dishes, sides, desserts, sweet treats, and drinks. Choose from Chocolate-Filled Crepes, Crispy Salmon Salad, Feta-Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Christmas Fruitcake, and many more.

The recipe directions are presented in short, easy-to-read paragraph form. The author also includes recipe options, tips, and hints to make your cooking experience even easier. A full-color, full page sized photograph accompanies each recipe illustrating what the finished dish will look like. Not only are these recipes easy to make, but the result is often a work of art as well. An index is included.

Taste Test Notes: I chose to test the Pancakes with Caramelized Banana recipe featured on page 24.  McCosker includes a simple 4 ingredient recipe for making your own pancakes; however, you can use store bought pancakes or your own favorite recipe. I used Hungry Jack Extra Light & Fluffy Pancake & Waffle Mix. I served the dish with scrambled eggs and sausage for a breakfast brunch that was out of this world.

Pancakes with Caramelized Banana: This recipe is super easy to prepare and yummy!
Nana's Cooking Tips: 1.) I cooked the caramel sauce first by slowly bringing the butter and brown sugar to a full boil. I let it boil for 1 minute before I added the bananas and gently stirred. 2.) Use ripe bananas that are firm, but not mushy. Overly ripe bananas will fall apart in the caramel sauce. 3.) For an extra special touch, garnish with whipped topping and a cherry. NOTE: This banana topping would be excellent on waffles too.

The Bottom Line: This cookbook offers plenty of variety. Since each recipe features just four ingredients (not including salt, pepper, and water), these recipes are simple, easy to prepare, festive, and yummy. Enthusiastically recommended for busy cooks of all levels everywhere. While this is a Christmas cookbook, it's important to note that many of these recipes could be used to celebrate other holidays as well. Finally, this is just one title in the series. For more recipes and information, visit 4 Ingredients.

Details: 4 Ingredients Christmas: Recipes for a Simply Yummy Holiday by Kim McCosker. Paperback published by Atria in 2012. 192 p. ISBN: 978-1-4516-7801-7

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