Reviewed by Kristin
I love nothing more than reading a book that appears to be ahead of its time, and I found that joy in reading the Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2019. It’s almost Christmastime and no matter which holidays you celebrate, food is a common denominator in get-togethers with family and friends. Taste of Home cookbooks have an excellent selection of everything from soup to nuts, and even throw in bone-shaped dog biscuits for your best furry friend.
Now if I had to plan a meal exclusively from this cookbook….
We’ll start with the Roasted Red Pepper Triangles. Layering refrigerated crescent roll dough, cooked ham and pepperoni, cheeses, sweet red peppers and a Parmesan cheese-Italian seasoning-egg mixture, this triangle cut appetizer is sure to taste heavenly. Next, the inspirational page labeled “Say Cream Cheese” will provide a variety of options for dips and spreads whether our guests prefer savory or sweet. Throw in some cut veggies and crackers (homemade or not) and I think our munchies will be satisfied until the next course is rolled out.
How about the Skinny Cobb Salad to provide some tasty greenery for our salad course? The Greek yogurt, feta cheese, chicken breast, apple, onions, bacon, garbanzo beans and avocado sound like delightful toppings for the lettuce and crunchy coleslaw mix.
The Chicken with Peach-Cucumber Salsa stirs my taste buds as I imagine the fresh spices and crisp cucumbers topping the perfectly grilled chicken breasts. Or should I go with the Spaghetti Squash Skillet? (Perhaps leaving out the chorizo mentioned in the recipe, if we are looking for a vegetarian main course tonight.) The taco seasoning, tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions make this sound like a very tasty treat.
Ooh, the Zucchini-Crusted Pizza is another option, and with only 20 minutes to prep, I might just have to go with that. Combining shredded zucchini, mozzarella and Parmesan sounds like a yummy crust, with red peppers and more mozzarella crowning the top.
A whole section on breads and rolls? Breakfast and brunch too? And I’m only halfway through the cookbook? Uh-oh. Jalepeno Cornbread filled with Blueberry Quick Jam, here I come.
I’d better skip to the desserts. The Chocolate Cheesecake Bars would appeal to most everyone in my family and would only take 15 minutes to mix up and get into the pan. Although the Rustic Caramel Apple Tart would be both beautiful and delicious. Hmm, maybe I could combine the cheesecake and the apples. Maybe we need two or three desserts if I’m inviting a crowd. The more the merrier!
Who am I kidding? I am unlikely to coordinate my time, ingredients, and baking dishes well enough to put together this multi-course meal and serve it all before midnight. But maybe, just maybe, I can choose a recipe or two to serve to my family or take to a holiday carry-in dinner. (Check out the “Potluck Pleasers” which is called a unique chapter.) After all, it’s not all about the food and gifts, but about the togetherness that this holiday season brings.