Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway!
Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli



I don't have cable television, so I rarely get to watch the Food Network. But I couldn't help hearing about all the well-justified hubub that spread like wildfire through the vegan community in June 2010, when Chloe Coscarelli blew right past three other non-vegan bakers to take the championship title on the show, Cupcake Wars. I watched the video and just smiled when her exasperated semi-finalist competitor bemoaned, "I still can't believe vegan cupcakes won." I raised my own champagne glass to Chloe to celebrate both her victory and her enormous contribution to further debunking the myth that eating vegan means depriving oneself of all gastronomic pleasure.


That's when Chloe became one of my heroes. So when I was given the opportunity to review Chloe's Kitchen, I jumped at the opportunity! And I was delighted to discover within its pages, not only 125 delectable recipes for everything from simmering soups to toasted nuts, but also her award-winning recipe for Ginger Nutmeg Spice Cupcakes with Date Caramel Drizzle! I couldn't wait to make them. Here are mine. The frosting called for soy, rice, or almond milk, but you know I made mine with So Delicious Coconut milk! And yes, they certainly do taste award-winning!


But Chef Chloe's skills don't end at the oven door. Chloe's Kitchen contains a collection of tantalizing recipes for appetizers (Wontons with Apricot-Mustard Sauce, Black Bean Baby Cakes with Pineapple Salsa...), salads (California Chipotle Chop with Agave-Lime Vinaigrette, Mandarin-Peanut Crunch Salad with Crispy Wontons...), entr√©es (Moroccan Bistlla, Avocado Pesto Pasta...), and of course, desserts (Baked Sprinkle Doughnuts, Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls, and yes! more cupcakes!). And with such exquisite photography, readers are sure to be inspired to dive right into ALL of the recipes. The only challenge will be trying to figure out which one to make first. Peanutty Perfection Noodles looked and sounded amazing to me, and being a sucker for eggplant and Brussels sprouts, I was literally drooling over the images of Miso-Glazed Eggplant and Maple-roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazlenuts. But with a hankering for something a bit sassy and spicy, I decided to try Chloe's recipe for Mongolian BBQ Seitan. Made with a rich hoisin sauce with subtle hints of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, it sounded like a perfect choice for dinner on a cold, rainy day. The luscious results did not disappoint our palates!


To please the humble tastes of my Midwestern-born husband, I next chose the recipe for Country Meatloaf and Golden Gravy. To make his childhood memory complete, I served it with mashed potatoes. (All that wonderful golden gravy would not go to waste!) I have to admit that I'm not a huge meatloaf fan, so I would have been happy as long as hubby was happy. But using tempeh and brown rice as a base to make meatloaf is uniquely delicious, and it held together beautifully when plated. Meatloaf lovers take note: I thoroughly enjoyed eating this dish cold for lunch the next day! I surprised myself, but I'm really looking forward to making this dish again soon. Time did not permit me to also make the Orange-scented Cranberry Sauce that accompanies this dish. But it looks divine, and I plan to make it next time.


I'll always try out at least one of the pasta or noodle dishes in a new cookbook. Chloe's Penne alla Vodka boasted a rich, creamy sauce,  and served along with her recipe for The Best Garlic Bread in the World, the meal made for a wonderful feast! Who knew that nutritional yeast could add such a delicious dimension to something as already wonderful as garlic bread?


Do you love garlic bread? (I do!) Inside Chloe's Kitchen you'll also find a delightful recipe for Garlic Knots. I haven't made them yet, but they look incredible. Here's the recipe, reprinted with the very kind permission of Free Press. Copyright ©2012 by Chloe Coscarelli. If you make them, please let me know what you think!


Ingredients:

Flour, for rolling
1 - 1 1/2 lbs pizza dough
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush 2 large baking sheets with oil.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into two 12x10-inch rectangles. Working with one rectangle at a time, place the shorter side facing you and cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cus each half, crosswise, into about ten 1-inch-wide strips. Loosely tie each strip of dough into a knot, stretching carefully as needed. Place 20 knots, about 1 inch apart, on each prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes.

Combine garlic, oil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add warm knots to the bowl and toss until each knot is coated. Remove knots from the oil and serve warm.

If you're hungering for a wonderful cookbook to add to your collection, I highly recommend Chloe's KitchenEvery recipe I've tried so far has exceeded my expectations, and once you enjoy some of Chloe's recipes, I'm sure you'll quickly become a fan, too!

Update: Congratulations Millie! You are the lucky winner of a copy of  Chloe's Kitchen! Although I would have loved to pick you, you can thank the handy-dandy Random Number Generator at random.org. Please send me an email with your postal address, so I can get the book into your hands and you can start enjoying it! Thanks so much to everyone for participating. And please stay tuned for the next delicious giveaway!


Would you like to win a copy of Chloe's Kitchen? Here's all you need to do: Leave a comment below telling me why you'd like to win this book. Do you already know and love Chloe? Did one of the recipes mentioned or pictured above whet your appetite? Do you love collecting vegan recipe books? Please share what prompted you to enter this giveaway!

To earn additional entries, you can do one or all of the following, and please leave a comment for each one you complete:

1. Like Chef Chloe Coscarelli on Facebook.
2. Follow @ChloeCoscarelli on Twitter.
3. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through Networked Blogs.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
5. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of @ChloeCoscarelli's fabulous book, Chloe's Kitchen and make every meal a winner! http://bit.ly/IHcLIC #vegan #recipe #giveaway


Good luck!!!!!


*Sorry international friends. Giveaway is only open to readers with a valid US postal address.