From CookBook to Real Life! Eating at HEARTH in NYC

On our recent trip to NYC, we made a reservation to eat at Hearth, Marco Canora’s restaurant in Manhatten. Last year I read Marco’s cookbook A GOOD FOOD DAY and loved loved loved it!

See my post about it here!

Since the rugrats were at summer camp, we figured this was the best time to have a new dining experience.

Hearth is located off First Avenue on 12th Street in a cute little brick building. It felt very cozy and was lit by candles (thus the dim pictures — sorry).

My husband ordered the Restaurant Week menu, which was prix fixe (it was “restaurant week in NYC when we were there). It included really yummy meatballs and a cheese course for dessert.

I ordered the grilled pork chop with pork sausage, summer kale, and peach balsamic. Yum!!


My husband and I shared a side dish of mushroom trifolati. That was a new term for me, and I always have to ask a million questions when we dine because I am allergic to some things. It means they were fried with olive oil, garlic, and parsley, and let me tell you – I wanted to lick the bowl! (but I didn’t..after all, we were in a nice place!).


For dessert, we shared a yummy piece of tiramasu cake:


And then – to my excitement, they brought out a chocolate tray with chocolates from around the world!


You could sample as much as you wanted – they all had differing amounts of cocoa in them. Of course, we were behaving, so we each tried two different ones. Yummy!!

Our server was super nice and took good care of me and my allergies (shellfish and cilantro). They also had a nice wine selection (we chose a Cote de Rhone I believe).

All in all, visiting HEARTH was a bit of a dream come true since I’m such a fan of Marco’s cookbook!

Check out Hearth’s website at You can read about their mission and philosophy of food.

Or even better — check it out the next time you are in NYC!

Quick Cookbook Review: The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters


If you know me, you know I love my smoothies!
This little book is chock full of amazing and yummy recipes for unique smoothies: 100 gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly recipes.
It is truly amazing!
Each one has a picture showing how good it looks and a visual guide to show what it supports (immunity, weight loss, etc.).
This gets two thumbs up from me — thank you to Blogging for Books for my review copy.

Cookbook Review: The Sprouted Kitchen: BOWL AND SPOON by Sara and Hugh Forte

Through Blogging for Books I received another great cookbook to review: BOWL AND SPOON by Sara Forte – pictures by Hugh Forte. This is part of the “Sprouted Kitchen” series and is subtitled “simple and inspired whole foods recipes to savor and share”.

I was drawn to this book as I like to be able to make fresh, healthy meals for my family, with a minimum of clean-up. I love the bowls of food in this book! They are straightforward and pretty easy. My favorites were the breakfast bowls and the “big bowls” (dinner). A few recipes include: pumpkin-pie steel cut oats (you had me at “pumpkin”),winter fruit salad with ginger lime syrup (because it’s often winter here in New England), mixed greens with beet and walnut puree (we are in love with beets around here), and creamy mushroom pasta with frizzled leeks (what can I say? the name says it all).

This was my first “Sprouted Kitchen” experience, but I know many people love the first book. Apparently Sara is a food blogger (sorry if I’m late to the party here – I follow mostly book bloggers).

Love the recipes and ideas in here — recommended!

Thank you for my review copy!

51F3EW14OkLbowl and spoon

image compliments of Amazon.

Review: THE BODY IN THE PIAZZA by Katherine Hall Page

I love Katherine Hall Page’s Faith Fairchild mysteries. They are cozies that combine some of the things I love most: family, food, and New England. This installment (#21 in the series) takes place in one of my favorite places: Italy.

Faith and Tom have gone to Tuscany on an anniversary trip, but it isn’t long before Faith has a dead body on her hands (a gentleman they knew from the tour) and her friend Francesca’s cooking school is in danger. Can Faith find the murderer before it’s too late?

This book has lots of fun characters and is Faith at her finest. Talk of the sights in Florence and Rome, the food, and the weather made me want to go back to Italy!

A solid contributor to this cozy series. If you like it, you should know that the latest, #22- The Body in the Birches, is set to publish in May.

I got mine via Amazon for my kindle.

Cookbook Review: LIGHTEN UP Y’ALL by Virginia Willis

If you read me regularly, you’ll know I’ve been on a cookbook kick. I love to cook and we’ve been trying to eat healthy, tasty recipes this winter.

LIGHTEN UP, Y’ALL has classic Southern recipes which are reworked so they are healthier. Virginia Willis is a Southerner and writer for the Food Network.  She has several other cookbooks out. This was the first one of hers that I’ve gotten.

I’ll be the first to say that I am not a girl of the South. I was born in RI, grew up in CA, and now live in MA. I’m sort of a blend of Yankee pot roast and good wine (and I have a shellfish allergy). But I’ve always been fascinated by Southern food. What exactly is okra? And are grits tasty ?? because they sound horrible. Virginia makes the point that in the past, the South was mostly agricultural, and meals reflected that by having a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits.

First up for us to try will be Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup, Pulled Pork Tenderloin with Red Pepper Vinegar Sauce, and Buttermilk Biscuits with Turkey Sausage Gravy. Mmm-mmm! (Of course these won’t be all on the same night!). The recipes look easy to follow and the pictures are beautiful. But note — there is not one picture for every recipe included (I know that matters to some people. Me – not so much as I’m not very visual).

I look forward to having this book in my collection!

Thank you, Blogging for Books, for my copy!

Find it at an indie bookstore near you — I am an Indie Bound affiliate.

Find it at an Indie!

Cookbook Review: SUPERMARKET HEALTHY by Melissa D’Arabian

I recently received the new Melissa D’Arabian cookbook from Blogging for Books. The subtitle is “Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well without Spending a Lot”. I enjoy watching Melissa on the Food Network and I had heard good things about her first cookbook – $10 Dinners – though I don’t own it.

This book is chock full of healthy recipes, all made with affordable ingredients found at your typical grocery store. I have a pet peeve: cookbooks that have strange, hard to find ingredients in them that cost a lot and we don’t usually eat. None of these recipes were like that! Melissa does give some suggestions of how you can substitute various grains, etc. in some of the recipes, to modify them. Most of the recipes were geared to four servings, which is perfect for our family. Melissa also has some “blueprints” which gives you a visual of how to create a staple dish in various ways.

There are lots of good sounding recipes, but the first on my list is the potato-cauliflower soup. It substitutes cauliflower to make the soup less starchy. There are lots of healthy suggestions/recipes like that in this book! There are some delicious sounding breakfast smoothies that we will be trying soon, too.

Fresh, affordable, and healthy — this book of recipes will be sure to be a staple in your kitchen!

Thanks, Blogging for Books, for my copy —

Find it at an independent bookstore near you:  (I am an Indie Bound affiliate)

Find it at an Indie!

Cookbook Review: A Good Food Day by Marco Canora with Tammy Walker

I received this cookbook through Blogging for Books. I’m a bit of a cookbook junkie and I love checking out new recipes!

The premise of this book is that food that is good for you doesn’t need to be bland or unexciting — it can taste good. That way, you can make every day a “good food” day!

At the beginning of the book, author/chef/restaurateur Marco Canora goes into his back story for a bit, telling how he really didn’t eat well or take care of himself until suddenly, in his 40’s, all his numbers were off and he was overweight and on his way to Type II diabetes. He moved to eating clean, wholesome foods – with lots of fresh veggies – and this book is chock full of his yummy recipes! (For instance, tomorrow for dinner I am making his pork tenderloin medallions, cook with a pan gravy that includes fennel, garlic, and white wine, with roasted lemon asparagus with pesto). His recipes are easy to follow and include what I would consider basic kitchen ingredients, assuming you have a well-stocked pantry/fridge. I haven’t seen anything I couldn’t pick up at my local grocery store or any recipe that should take hours to prepare (yes — some soups simmer for a while, but I don’t need to stand over them).

I’m so glad I chose this selection as it will be a staple in our kitchen!

Thank you Blogging for Books for my copy!

Find it at an Indie near you — I am an indie-bound affiliate:

Find it at an Indie!

“All Recipes” Magazine

In our house, we love food. We all enjoy watching the Food Network, and my daughter is completely obsessed with Pioneer Woman and her family (I can see why!). We love to cook, especially my ten year old. So, when I got an offer in the mail to order “All Recipes” magazine for a low price I did it.

Now I don’t usually review magazines, and I’ve only reviewed a few cookbooks, but I can’t express to you how much I LOVE this magazine! It has the BEST recipes, culled from the free All site. Most of them have been reviewed hundreds if not thousands of times, and they put the most popular ones in the magazine. Along with the recipe are reader comments and test kitchen notes. We have made several dinners, easily and quickly, from entrees featured and each one is a hit out of the ballpark (and I have two PICKY kids!). While I bought the magazine for $10/year, you can also just use the free site (I like the magazine, though, as it gives me suggestions; I often have a blank mind about what to make for dinner).

Anyhow, I just had to share my enthusiasm about our favorite cooking magazine. The best thing: we eat out less (in part because the recipes usually are comprised of things I have around the house). Even better, the kids actually ask me to cook and don’t want takeout!

Check it out at

All Recipes did not contribute to this post or give me anything for free (though I’m a happy taker of free things if offered!). They probably don’t know who I am unless they check their paid magazine subscriber roll (or they read my blog!).

Here’s their You Tube channel:

Quick Cookbook Review: “Soup of the Day” by Kate McMillan (Williams-Sonoma)

I had a chance to download this cookbook through Net Galley. I loved it so much I’m going to purchase it (and its companion “Salad of the Day” book).

This cookbook presents 365 soups – one for each day of the year – set off in calendars. As a very non-creative cook, I appreciated all the wonderful recipes and ways to create soup for my family. While some of my friends prefer cookbooks that show step by step prep with pictures, this book had one picture of the finished product for some of the soups (or at least my digital download did). I still really liked it and got some great ideas for soup beyond my two standards: pumpkin at Thanksgiving and chicken.

I’d be curious as to whether others have used and enjoyed this cookbook or its salad counterpart!

Thanks, Net Galley!