Category Archives: Reviews

She Cooks, She Scores – A Cookbook Review

I love cookbooks. Old cookbooks, new cookbooks, cookbooks that focus on a particular cuisine, or good old all-purpose cookbooks. I have several shelves dedicated to what my husband jokingly calls my “pornography collection”. He knows better than to try to purge them, though – the last time he did? I nearly filed for divorce. Naturally, when the opportunity to review the brand-new, just-released cookbook, She Cooks, She Scores by chef Jennifer Stoker, I jumped at the chance. What’s one more cookbook on the shelf, anyway?

She Cooks, She Scores

Let’s start with the good parts of this book. The food? It is DELICIOUS. I made several of the recipes, which received rave reviews from friends and family. The absolute hands-down favourite was the Bourbon Pulled Pork, though. I have always made a mediocre pulled pork, but using Jennifer’s recipe, I will never go back to my old ways. I’d like to try smoking this baby on a low & slow grill, but it was absolutely divine out of the oven. And I can definitely get behind anything that involves bourbon! {Mmmm… bourbon…}

She Cooks, She Scores

The Peanut Butter & Jelly truffles were likewise divine. I halved the recipe because having so many tantalizing chocolate treats in my kitchen is a sure recipe for gaining 10 pounds. I fed them to my husband, who immediately exclaimed that they were as good as the local truffle boutique, and why should he ever have to buy them for me again when I could just make them? Men. They miss the point sometimes! But the point is, they’re good. And they’re easy! A little time-consuming with the chilling and the rolling, but worth it for a special occasion.

She Cooks, She Scores

But here’s the bad news. As good as the recipes are, I just wasn’t drawn in by Chef Jennifer’s stories. It wasn’t that they were bad, they were just long. Really long. When faced with three pages of multi-column text with no breaks, it feels more like a textbook than a fun read. I admit, I zoned out and skipped over a few of the long ones.

The other thing I noticed was a lack of editing with the recipes themselves. I’m a pretty proficient cook, so I can read between the lines when a recipe omits specific directions for an ingredient. But I noticed that several of the recipes had this flaw, and it could be a serious stumbling block for someone who doesn’t have that kitchen intuition. It felt like the recipes were written, but not prepared all the way through with attention to the instructions. I also found that a few recipes were missing information on yield – it’s nice to know how much a recipe of barbecue sauce will make, for example.

Lastly, and this is a beef I have with a lot of cookbooks – there needs to be more photos. Every recipe should have at least one! I am so visually driven, it drives me insane to find recipes and no photos. This is absolutely not something exclusive to this cookbook, but if I could have my way, every cookbook would have loads and loads of photos!

Overall, I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 – and I would absolutely buy this for a kitchen-savvy girlfriend.

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In exchange for this review, I was provided with a copy of She Cooks, She Scores. All opinions are my own.

In Pictures: Out for Pizza

Thursday night, we took the family out for pizza. And I was totally one of those annoying social media peeps, snapping away with my trusty iDevice. We took the kids down to Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, one of my fave pizza joints in Calgary. I’ve been a loyal customer since they first opened in Mission, as I used to work just down the street!

Crazy girl, waiting for a table.

Crazy girl, waiting for a table.

The menu, as shot by a 5 year old.

The menu, as shot by a 5 year old.

Waiting for the pizza to arrive, with Rainbow Dash!

Waiting for the pizza to arrive, with Rainbow Dash!

My pizza, the Cavoletti. Yes, those are brussels sprouts on it!

My pizza, the Cavoletti. Yes, those are brussels sprouts on it!

My husband's pizza choice, the Siciliana.

My husband’s pizza choice, the Siciliana.

Quattro Formaggi for The Boy. The server was surprised that we didn't pass on the gorgonzola, but our little dude loves the blue.

Quattro Formaggi for The Boy. The server was surprised that we didn’t pass on the gorgonzola, but our little dude loves the blue.

Chowing down on a Ham & Pineapple pizza.

Chowing down on a Ham & Pineapple pizza.

A boy and his gelato. Chocolate, of course!

A boy and his gelato. Chocolate, of course!

All that remains.

All that remains.

Can I just say how much I love this place? We had a wonderful meal {my pizza even had brussels sprouts on it!}, and the service was fantastic. You really cannot beat a pizza with an authentic Napoli crust, hand-stretched and baked to perfection in a real pizza oven. And finishing the meal with a scoop of creamy gelato? Perfect. My husband and I ordered a regular pizza each {we probably could have shared, but we are gluttons}, and the kids each had a half-sized pizzetta of their own. Bonus: order a pizzetta for your kids, and they get free gelato afterwards! If you’re in Calgary {or anywhere else they have a location – there are others in Alberta, and some in BC and Ontario!}, try it. It’s damn good pizza.

A note: I was not asked to write this post by Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, nor have I been compensated for it in any way. I just wanted to share our wonderful experience!

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