REVIEW – Cooking With Love

Recently I was offered the opportunity to check out a new cookbook from Carla Hall, one of the hosts of the television show The Chew.

Cooking With Love book cover

Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145166219X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451662191
  • Cover price $30.00

ABOUT COOKING WITH LOVE

Not long ago, America fell in love with a popular D.C. caterer, Chef Carla Hall, as she cooked her way into the season five finals of Bravo’s Top Chef. With her trademark warmth and pizazz, she proved to be an unforgettable presence on TV, and soon after, was voted Fan Favorite of the 2011 Top Chef All-Stars season. Hall now co-hosts ABC’s daily lifestyle series The Chew. We’re thrilled to share with you here Hall’s debut cookbook; the title of which perfectly captures her signature food philosophy: COOKING WITH LOVE: Comfort Food That Hugs You (Free Press Hardcover / November 6, 2012 / $30.00). Hall believes that the only way you can make memorable and nourishing food is to cook it from the heart.

Hall grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and credits her grandmother’s love of cooking and the rich Southern food traditions she passed down as her main inspirations in the kitchen. As she says, “Every week of my childhood, I was smothered with a giant food hug at my Granny’s Sunday supper.” Hall’s unique take on soul food has expanded since those days, and her travels around the world since childhood have taught her that comfort can in fact
be drawn from all types of cuisines. COOKING WITH LOVE is a collection of Hall’s all-time favorites; or as she calls it, “an ‘all you’ll ever need’ repertoire of global comfort food.”

From country classics with a fresh spin like Country Greens and Chicken Pot Pie to simple, savory dishes like Rustic Mushroom Tart and Curried Beef Dumplings, to very special dessert offerings such as Butterscotch Mousse with Vanilla Salt served in Almond Tuiles, COOKING WITH LOVE has something for everyone with Hall’s beautiful, delicious, easy, and affordable recipes that revolutionize comfort food in healthful and surprising ways. And her enthusiasm for her work is evident from the first page and the fun “Catering Like Carla” tips that are peppered throughout. Comfort food has never tasted so good!

About the Authors

Chef Carla Hall is co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” and owner of Alchemy by Carla Hall, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory “petite bites of love.” Hall’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for twists on traditional favorites. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Hall received a degree in Accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food, and inspired a new career path. Hall attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, where she completed her culinary training, and went on to work as a Sous Chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. She also served as Executive Chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club and has taught classes at CulinAerie and her alma mater L’Academie de Cuisine. Hall lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Matthew Lyons and stepson Noah.

Genevieve Ko is a food writer whose cookbooks include, most recently, Home Cooking with Jean-Georges. She also has been a food editor at Good Housekeeping, Gourmet, and Martha Stewart Living.

MY THOUGHTS

I received a copy of Cooking With Love.

Chapters include:

  • Appetizers
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Side Dishes
  • Vegetarian Dishes
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Desserts

Each recipe is accompanied by history, a story or information about that recipe. Recipes are well written and easy to understand, but do not contain prep and cooking time. Many of the recipes have at least one photo, but not all of the photos are of the recipe. For example, there is a picture of a trout with the Smoked Trout Dip recipe. I find photos invaluable in  cookbook, not only to help me decide what looks good, but also to compare what the dish should look like with what it actually does look like after I make it. The book also contains tips if you are going to use recipes for catering purposes. Carla has put a lot of personal content in here, and her personality really shows through when reading many of the recipes. This book would be good for anyone that would like to expand their recipe collection or that is interested in entertaining.

The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This post has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

About the Author

I’m a Jersey girl, I was born and raised here and have lived here for almost my entire life. I’m a mom of 2 boys – TJ, a 21 year old, and CJ, an 18 year old with Down Syndrome. I am the oldest of four children. I am also a social media enthusiast, cat person, and Down syndrome advocate. I love coffee and milkshakes. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. I love rock music, tech, travel and food. And cheesecake. I HATE the misuse of the word retarded. I take it personally and find it very offensive. Did I mention that I love cheesecake?

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