(Cook) Book Review: Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Whiskey In A Teacup’

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I received Whiskey In A Teacup in a subscription box, but if I hadn’t, I’d have bought it anyway. I’ve been a big fan of Reese’s since the 90’s when I first saw her in the movies Fear and Freeway. I’ve also loved her in Cruel Intentions, Sweet Home Alabama, Walk The Line, Legally Blonde, Election, and several others. So when I heard she had a book coming out, I was ready to snatch it up.

The book is full of Reese’s ideas, thoughts, insights and traditions. It’s a nice, sweet, light read. It’s easy to just keep going once you start. I laughed at a couple of parts, and teared up at others, as nostalgia seems to make me emotional these days. Her stories made me think of my stories and memories of my childhood and my grandmothers. It was very enjoyable and fun to read.Even as a northern girl, I just love those southern girls and their traditions. I like to think I’m part southern girl, since my Grandpa Gerard hails from New Orleans.

Along with the text, this book contains beautiful pictures of Reese and members of her family. It also has fun little music playlist suggestions and an index for all of her recipes. There’s even a Metric conversion chart in the back, which is very helpful. The pictures of her food are also gorgeous, and the entire book is truly lovely to look at.

Now on my favorite part of reviewing books – the cooking. Reese fills her book with many recipes – some from her grandmother’s kitchen, some from her own, and some from other family members and friends. Out of the 48 recipes included, for everything ranging from drinks to main dishes to desserts to side dishes, I’ve tried several and liked them enough to try more in the future. But for now, I’ll share my thoughts on what I’ve made so far.

Dorothea's Corn Salad

Dorothea’s Corn Salad

This is probably my favorite of what I made. It’s DELICIOUS and really, really easy. My oldest son and I ate this until it was gone. It will definitely become a staple dish for us in the future!

Pop Pie

Reese’s Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

This is a tasty little dish. I, for one, however, prefer a mushy pot pie. Using fresh veggies makes it crisp, and that’s not my style. And I think we added too much onion when I made it. So I will try this one again in the future using canned veggies and less onion. It’s worth a redo!

Veggie Plate in a Jar

Veggie Plate in a Jar

This one is a favorite. It’s delicious and so good for you. Reese’s recipe for her dressing is delish. I love the idea of putting the food in these jars, however, eating out of them is super irritating. And since you put the food in in layers, it’s hard to get different items in one bite. I’ll make this veggie dish in the future, but I’m just going to put it all in one big bowl!

Pecan Chicken Tenders

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

This crust was amazing. And putting the chicken on a stick is super fun for kids. I actually got my super picky 5-year-old son to eat this chicken, and he loved it. I will definitely be making this again!

cake

Applesauce Cake

I have to admit, I was most excited about this one, and it was a disappointment. I think the main issue for us was the icing. It wasn’t a flavor we loved and it hardened up so much that it was almost a separate item from the cake itself. If I made it again, I think I’d try a simple vanilla glaze instead. However, I didn’t love it enough that I’ll make it again I don’t think.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecan Crust (shown full and plated)

This one is delicious, but not worth the effort. I’ll make it again in the future, but instead of purchasing fresh sweet potatoes and peeling and cooking and mashing them, I’m going to buy Bruce’s Canned Yams. It will remove most of the work, and I’m pretty sure it’ll still be just as yummy!

Chili Cornbread

Reese’s Corn Bread Chili Pie

This one we loved. I would say that it was my husband’s favorite recipe out of all of the ones we tried. It was a favorite for me as well because it was just so simple and delicious. This one will become a staple for us, hands down.

asparagus

Asparagus with Mock Hollandaise Sauce

This was good, but I couldn’t follow the recipe 100% and had to substitute the cayenne pepper and the mayo (with Miracle Whip) which I’ve learned, when you’re cooking, they aren’t the same. So I liked it enough to try it again the right way and see if we like it a little bit better.

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Frozen Fruit Salad

This is probably my favorite recipe in the book. It’s so good! And again, I can’t get over my love of these little jars! The only issue I had here was the pineapple. When frozen, it makes this a bit of a bear to eat, and the flavor just didn’t fit for me. In the future when I make this again, I think I’ll leave the pinapple out and perhaps just substitute with more banana.

In all, I’m loving the recipes in Reese’s book. They were not all winners for us, but I like them enough that I am excited to try more. And as I said, the book itself is so lovely to look at and fun to cook from, it will most certainly be a staple in my kitchen from now on.

 

Cookbook Review! “True Roots” by Kristin Cavallari

If you’ve watched Laguna Beach or The Hills, you undoubtedly know who Kristin Cavallari is. If you haven’t, but you like football, you may know her as former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s wife. She recently re-upped her reality game in her new show, Very Cavallari, which chronicles her life now as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur as she opens her first store for her lifestyle and jewelry brand, Uncommon James. And somewhere in the midst of all of this, she wrote a cookbook.

To be completely honest, I never liked her. I thought she was kind of a bitch on her reality shows. Later we all learned that those shows were actually scripted, and she was playing a character, edited to seem even worse than she was. None of this has any bearing on why I bought this book though.

I was perusing for a cookbook that could get me eating more cleanly and more healthy. I wanted good, tasty, healthy food for my family. But I’m not a chef, and I’m just learning to cook. So I wanted something uncomplicated, easy to follow, and healthy. I stumbled upon this book (on Amazon) and it seemed like just the thing I was looking for. In the preview pages, Kristin listed the items she uses in the recipes and keeps in her pantry, refrigerator, etc. – which made it seem really streamlined and simple. So I ordered it, and here’s how I’m doing.

So far I’ve made several of the dishes and drinks in the book. I did have to do a little searching for some of the ingredients. I live in a very small town, and our little grocery store simply doesn’t carry things like oat flour and aloe juice. After some store hopping and a couple of Amazon pantry orders, I was ready to go. I started off with some recipes that seemed the easiest and went from there. I’d say I’ve made over 1/4 of the recipes so far (there are around 100 in the book). While I’m not a vegetarian, I do try to limit eating meat, and I have a rule. If I’ve never eaten it, I’m not going to start now. This only applies to animals. So several of the recipes for things like duck, veal and lamb, I will never make. Though someday I may decide to try the recipes on different meats.

In addition, there are several things in the book that I have substituted in lieu of creating my own for time and money purposes. For example, she has you creating Almond and Cashew milks from actual almonds and cashews. I cheated and bought the milks pre-made at the store. In addition, I bought minced garlic instead of mincing my own.

Of the recipes I’ve tried, my favorite is the Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce. The sauce is incredible and can be used on anything you’d want a sweet berry sauce on, including ice cream, pancakes, spongecake, etc. Another favorite of mine is the Creamy Cinnamon Smoothie. She almost didn’t include it in the book, and I’m so very glad she did. My least favorite are the Chia Parfaits. The taste isn’t bad, but I just can’t get into the consistency. I’m a huge consistency person, and this is not something that works for me.

I read a few reviews on Amazon prior to purchasing, and one person stated that there are a lot of pictures of Kristen in this book. They would have preferred more pictures of the dishes being prepared. I agree that there are a lot of pictures of her. But to me, I would assume that the people inclined to buy the cookbook would be fans of hers, who would enjoy seeing pictures of her. I could take them or leave them personally, but they in no way bother me or ruin the cookbook. The book itself is pretty and nice to look at. It’s designed well and has a very french-country feel. Very farm-to-table, which I personally enjoy. In all, I’d give it a 10/10. The recipes are uncomplicated, delicious, and healthy. Kristen sprinkles cute little personal statements and pictures throughout the book, which makes it fun to read. I look forward to making more of the recipes from it, and have already found some favorites that I’ll use forever. Below I’ll share my favorites so far, and pictures I took of my creations!

Get the book here:

https://amzn.to/2LV5PLL

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Creamy Cinnamon Smoothie
Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce
Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce
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Lime Rice
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Summer Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
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Apple Cider Fighter
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Chocolate Crunch Smoothie Bowl
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Creamy Chickpeas and Spinach
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Artichoke Hummus

Here’s a video of me creating the Honey Turmeric Latte from the cookbook. Enjoy!

 

Get my blender here!

https://amzn.to/2Ajswbl

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Honey Turmeric Latte

The verdict is in – It’s AMAZING!!!

 

 

 

Younique Makeup Review!

Hey guys! I did a blog on Younique makeup. I tried several of the products at an in-home party, but I didn’t order everything I tried. Here’s what I liked enough to order:

Splurge Creme Shadow in Unapologetic

Moodstruck Brow Gel, Moodstruck Precision Brow liner in Medium

Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick in Loaded and Affluent

Moodstruck Precision Pencil Lip Liner in Posh and Pouty

Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eye Liner in Perfect

Stiff Upper Lip Lip Stain in Sultry, Shameless and Sappy

Lucrative Lip Gloss in Lucky, Lucid and Luxe

Lip Bon Bons in Red Velvet Cake

My go-to’s for this brand have become the eyeliner and lip stains. They are my favorites by far!