I’ve been a fan of Joy Bauer for years from seeing her on the Today show and was excited to see this book was available for review from NetGalley.
MeaI’ve been a fan of Joy Bauer for years from seeing her on the Today show and was excited to see this book was available for review from NetGalley.
Meal planning for myself and my young adult son can sometimes be challenging since he’s not the biggest fan of “healthy” food. He is however, a big fan of junk food so turning “Junk Food to Joy Food” seemed like just the ticket to finding recipes we’d both enjoy.
In the forward, Joy writes “You will notice a drop on the scale and an increase in your energy levels”. Well…let’s be honest. Losing weight requires creating a calorie deficit so unless you’re paying attention to your calorie intake, it’s unlikely that just making a few healthy meal swaps is going to really make the scale move all that much. But, I’m all for making an effort to make better choices and in most cases, the “after” recipes look just as good as the “before”.
The book is laid out in your typical cookbook style with each chapter devoted to the type of food. Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups & Sandwiches, etc… There’s a page devoted to Joy’s “favorite kitchen gadgets” and while you don’t HAVE to have the tools she suggests; it does make preparing some of these recipes easier. If you don’t have a spiral veggie slicer yet…you don’t know what you’re missing. Whenever I get a new cookbook, I look through all of the recipes and bookmark the ones I want to try. One of the things I appreciated about his one was that there were no exotic ingredients that would be expensive or hard to find. Most will be in any well stocked pantry.
The first recipe I made was “Chicken Cacciatore”. I’ve made a version of this for years and it’s always a hit with the family. This recipe was very simple and easy to make. It was almost too simple, and since I like a lot of flavor in my food, I added some of my favorite all-purpose seasoning and some hot pepper flakes. This was really quick to make since you cut the chicken up in chunks and they cook quickly that way. The calorie savings comes from not using any oil in the recipe. A little olive oil would have added some more flavor without adding many more calories to the dish but I restrained myself and stuck to the recipe. Served with angel hair pasta and a simple green salad, this was an easy meal and perfect for busy nights.
Whenever my son and I order Chinese takeout, he always gets General Tso’s Chicken so making General Joy’s Chicken was a no brainer. This was my favorite of the recipes I tried and got a big thumbs up from him even though this was not the fried, sticky stuff that he usually gets.
All in all, this is a decent cookbook and everything I made was good, but not very inspiring. If you’re trying to lose weight though, there’s a school of thought that eating highly palatable foods can make dieting harder so eating things that taste good….but not OMG AMAZING, may be just the ticket to losing a few pounds. ...more
What a great story. Jason's vivid writing style takes you straight to small town Hog Mountain and immerses you into a culture that anyone who has spenWhat a great story. Jason's vivid writing style takes you straight to small town Hog Mountain and immerses you into a culture that anyone who has spent any time in the South can relate to. And if you haven't ever experienced sipping sweet tea on the porch while listening to a chorus of cicada's, you'll want to after you read this book.
What I loved the most was the way we see bad boy Cam's heart start to slowly thaw as he's not only accepted by the residents of Hog Mountain, but embraced by them. He doesn't WANT to feel an emotional attachment to the elderly couple who invite him over for dinner, or the cat who adopts him or the kids that help him clean up his yard. He doesn't think he deserves to be loved and he certainly doesn't expect to CARE about these people. But that's not the way things work in Hog Mountain where people look after their neighbors and even guys like Cam are seen as redeemable and worth saving.
Sheriff's deputy Jackson Rhodes knows a con man when he sees one and it takes him a little longer than the rest of his small town to see the good guy under the bad guy exterior. He certainly doesn't expect to be attracted to him and he certainly never planned on coming out of the closet for him. But Hog Mountain is a special place and stranger things have happened......more