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I have to admit the apple is one of my all-time favorite fruits, but I’m not very adventurous or inventive in the kitchen, so I rarely eat them unless they are raw or baked into a pie or cobbler. Apple Delights by Karen Jean Matsko Hood has changed that for me, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
The latest in Whispering Pine Press International‘s popular Cookbook Delights series, Apple Delights arrives just in time for the beginning of autumn harvest and baked cool weather treats. Like all of Hood’s cookbooks, it is packed with over 200 mouth-watering recipes that cover every conceivable type of food, from main dishes to soups and salads–and of course, desserts and everything in between. There is also valuable information about the history and folklore of the fruit, as well as a selection of Hood’s internationally published poetry. I especially appreciated the section on different types of apple, since there are so many varieties that it can sometimes be overwhelming when trying to select the right kind for a certain recipe.
My family tried out the Chicken Apple Curry with a side of Apple Dumplings and Apple Tart Cookies for dessert. As always with Hood’s recipes, the directions were clear and easy to follow and the results were fantastic. The curry was very tender, more of a Thai red curry than the traditional yellow curry I expected, with hearty flavors from the tomato and cilantro, and a bright, pleasantly tart and sweet note from the apples. The Apple Dumplings were absolutely delightful, deliciously sweet and juicy, and my kids thought they were a blast. The Apple Tart Cookies were chock full of many different flavors that complemented each other in unexpected ways–I’ve had chocolate with coconut, I’ve had apples with raisins, but never have I had all of them together before. It’s a recipe you have to try to believe–an absolute knockout. And of course, with Apple Delights there’s so much more to look forward to, recipes for traditional goodies like homemade cider, caramel apples, and old fashioned applesauce that I can’t wait to try out, and intriguing new ideas like Apple Cheddar Cookies and Apple and Potato Chowder. No doubt about it: Karen Jean Matsko Hood has penned another winning cookbook that will revolutionize the way you see this humble fruit.
Right now, Apple Delights is on sale for only $9.95! Buy it today!
Apple Delights Cookbook – Comb Bound ©2004
Peach Delights by Karen Jean Matsko Hood is the latest addition to the perennially popular Cookbook Delights series published by Whispering Pine Press International. Like all of the books in this series, Peach Delights is packed with valuable information that goes far above and beyond mere recipes: interesting facts about the history and nutrition of the peach, gardening tips for growing your own, and detailed information for canning and preserving this delicious fruit. There is even a selection of delightful poems by Karen Hood, who has had her work published in numerous international literary journals. Recipes are laid out in a consistent manner and the instructions are clear, simple to understand and follow even for kitchen novices. The glossary of terms and measurement conversion chart in the back make it even easier for inexperienced chefs to succeed in the exciting world of cooking. With all this and more than 230 recipes at your fingertips, Peach Delights is a treasure trove of culinary inspiration and knowledge.
I tried out a several of the recipes from Peach Delights and was absolutely thrilled with the results. I have to admit that the peach is not my favorite fruit, and usually I only eat it in a good cobbler. This cookbook has entirely changed my opinion about peaches–maybe I still won’t like to eat them plain, but now there’s a whole world of possibility for using this fruit to jazz up my cooking! The Cranberry Peach Meatballs were simply incredible–I honestly don’t know that I could say enough things about them. What an innovative recipe, full of ingredients I would have never imagined putting into a meatball, and the result is so flavorful it knocked everyone in my family for a loop. If you need a simple but very impressive appetizer for a pot luck or family gathering, this is it.
We also made the Chicken and Peach Curry, another flavor combination that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. It was a big hit even with the kids, who don’t generally care for curry. One thing’s for sure: since the Cookbook Delights series has come into my life, my kids are no longer such picky eaters and are much more open to trying out new foods! We finished up our meal with Peach Cobbler, of course, and I can honestly say that that was one of the best cobblers I have ever had. It was very simple to make, with a sweet flaky crust and flavorful, succulent peach filling.
Peach Delights Cookbook – Paperback ©2010