Tag Archive: Anne Burrell

Cooking like the Rock Star you are!

It should come as no surprise to some of you that I have a bit of a girl chef crush on Anne Burrell.  Her passion for food and cooking is not only adorable, it’s completely infectious. I almost wish I was a bad cook so I could go on Worst Cooks in America with the hope of ending up on her team.  Her tough love approach with her charges is no nonsense but kind of nurturing at the same time. But if you don’t respect the ingredients…watch it!

For Christmas, a friend who loves and knows me, gave me Anne’s cookbook called Cook like a Rock Star. Well ok Anne, I think I’m up for the challenge…when I have time anyway. I’ve managed to read the book and go through the recipes, but haven’t had a chance to make anything. I’m a busy lass.  Or, alternatively, lazy. You can decide…but keep it to yourself. I prefer to think I’m just uber busy leading my very glamorous life. So, this review is about layout and form moreso than the recipes. But let’s face it…they are not going to suck.

This book is gorgeous. It could be a recipe in and of itself, it looks that yummy.  It’s set up in a farily logical order of little nibbles (Piccoolini), Firsts, Pasta, Seconds, Sides and Desserts but with a little bit of an Anne twist. SIdes are known as the sparkle factor. And honestly…when you eat out, don’t sides play a big role in the decision making process? Or, is that just me? Anyone?

Moving along…

Here is thing that absolutely sends me over the moon about the book; at the beginning of the recipe, Anne lists what the Mise en Place should be.  For those that don’t know (and why don’t you?) mise en place is the organizing of ingredients in a professional kitchen. But you can do it at home and you should. It makes life a lot easier. I do this as a general rule, no matter what I’m making.  I also set up my ingredients before I start to actually cook. With most recipes/cookbooks, you have to go through the recipe and pull out your mise en place. Anne does it for you. That’s a big honking deal in my book. And it’s something that makes the book user friendly. See? Anne wants you to succeed.  She’s setting you up for cooking success.

She also introduces each recipe and her history with it. I like that. It’s kind of warm and friendly.  It also includes explanations on techniques like braising and browning, trusssing, pasta cooking, etc.  I like that too. I like learning more about techniques and learning new ones. Even if I don’t think I’ll ever do it (I am not sure I’ll ever need to truss anything but I guess you never know) but I like having the knowledge.

Here is my one problem with book; it makes me hungry. Seriously, everything in it is so appetizing to me and all of the photos look so good that it took me ages to read because it would invariably make me hungry.  And then my eyes would start to glaze over with throughts of zucchini and parm fritters, bucatini, spice roasted cauliflower and pear tarte tatin. For someone like me who thinks about food almost constantly (no, I really do…it makes Weight Watchers a challenge sometimes), getting through a book where almost everything appeals to me is a challenge. But, that’s a good problem to have.

So, there is some definite worth and fun and love of food to be had from Anne’s book. I highly recommend it!



You know people, I put a lot of thought into these titles….so, I hope you appreciate them.

I love cookbooks…I collect them. When I travel, I try and pick up a local cookbook if I can. It’s a reminder of where I’ve been, the food I’ve eaten and the people I was with.  They are also something I don’t feel translate well to a Kindle. That may change with the purchase (one day maybe) of an iPad, but I doubt it. I think cookbook pages need to be flipped through and used and they need to get stained.  For Christmas, my best friend got me this: http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Like-Rock-Star-Culinary/dp/0307886751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325273140&sr=8-1

I love Anne Burrell. She makes cooking like fun. She dresses in great colors and has awesome hair. How can you not love her? And it seems most people do. I grew to respect her a lot on The Next Iron Chef: Superstars because she did get nervous and worry about things, but she always put her heart on the plate and you can’t ask for more than that. She’s also great on “Worst Cooks in America” and it’s hard not to root for her team.

So, I am pretty excited about this book and will be trying recipes from it…and will post a review of the book itself soon.

Onto the holidays. I did a little more baking than usual. I hit sugar cookies, a chocolate chip cheesecake, raspberry squares, lemon souffle (or mousse if you’d rather either…which by the way, until I get a standmixer, I am not making this again. There is a HUGE amount of beating [heh] going on here) and the thing I was the most excited about; dark chocolate peppermint bark. I love bark. I love it because in general, I think I am the only one in the house that eats it, much like Peppermint stick ice cream. So, I used this recipe that my friend Christine posted from Bethenny Frankel. I love dark chocolate too so yay for this. I decided to try it. Here’s one thing that annoys me whenever I see one of Frankel’s recipes…she’s all about healthful eating and such, Skinnygirl…blah blah. Yeah, try and find nutritional info on her recipes on her site? Yeah…go ahead. I can’t find it…am I looking in the wrong place? I can’t even track her SkinnyGirl drinks because there’s no nutritional info. I gather it can’t be a lot…not the point. I don’t expect her to go all Hungry Girl and give us the points, but some info so I can figure it out would be nice. Bethenny, do a sister a solid and post some nutritional info every once in a blue moon.

Anyway…the bark is freaking delicious. Next year…I’m going to do it with white chocolate.  But, some photos of the process!

Crushing Candy Canes

It’s 10 candy canes in total…5 mixed in, 5 crushed on top…you can do them all at once or in 2 batches. However works best for yo

I melted some chocolate….I only had 10 ounces of dark chocolate chips, so I supplemented with 2 oz of semi-sweet morsels, because it’s what I had.

Before the melting

After the melting, but before the candy canes get mixed in

mixing in of the candy canes

It took me several minutes to figure this one out. It’s not on the stove and the bowl is floating in mid air?! Really?  I must be holding it in one and taking the snap with my phone with the other hand. It’s weird. But that’s multi-tasking for you.

And the finished product…trumpets sound!  Actually, they sound in my head whenever I finish something that turns out ok. I lead a very rich inner life.

Becoming Bark

FYI, this is totally a picture of the inside of my fridge.

Anyhoodles, it was a great deal of baking and with Christmas dinner to make…I’ve done practically NO cooking this week, save heating up some ham and potatoes and sauteeing some mushrooms.  I think next year, a smaller ham will do.   Of course, I am going to take the big ole  bone and make some split pea soup with it. Soon. Really. Soon.