Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Fool's Gold Cookbook

Let's get something out of the way right up front: I don't cook. I can (obviously since I'm still living) but I kind of hate it. There are a few recipes that are my specialities but for the most part my boyfriend is the one keeping me fed. So, it may seem strange that I'm reviewing a cookbook but I was intrigued by Fool's Gold Cookbook. The recipes were divided into seasons plus there was a short story included throughout as well. Then, when I got the book, I realized that Susan Mallery chose the recipes because of their simplicity. Simple? Sounds perfect for me!

Not only were the recipes divided by season but each season was subdivided by occasion: light meals, celebrations, breakfast and brunch, comfort food, and holidays are examples of what was included. You could find a recipe for almost any event and I loved that.

As I mentioned, the recipes in this book had been selected because they're quick and easy. However, when my boyfriend was making the Baked Potato Leek Soup (page 157) he found himself asking questions like: "Should the potatoes be peeled?" "Does the pot need to be uncovered or not?" He had to ask because the recipe was not clear enough And then he realized that there were no directions for the bacon. I had noticed a few recipes seemed overly simplistic in their directions so I worry this problem may come up again. These things aren't a huge dealbreaker but it's a problem for someone who doesn't cook ever (like me). Oh, and the soup? Freaking delicious.

Garnished with sour cream and green onions.
Also served with my homemade buttermilk biscuits!
I may not like cooking but I do enjoy baking. I discovered after finishing the book that most of the recipes I marked are those for something sweet. What can I say? I like my desserts. I picked one that I was most excited to try: s'mores bars. I adore s'mores so was looking forward to seeing how this recipe turned out. This was a crazy easy recipe to make, which was great. While the final product was pretty delicious, it fell apart a little bit. The graham cracker crumb crust probably needed a bit more butter and when my boyfriend was cutting his piece the chocolate layer came right off the crust. I think I'd also use a different type of chocolate chip instead of semisweet. Overall though, this is an easy recipe and a tasty one. I think it'd also be a fun recipe to make with kids. They wouldn't be able to mix the sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate chips over the stove or pour it on the crust but they could help press down the crumb crust and stick the marshmallows and crackers into the chocolate.

Dessert isn't complete without tea!
As for the story aspect of the book, I enjoyed it. I've never read any of the Fool's Gold stories before but I've wanted to. I love small town romances and when past characters pop up in a new story. Because this was just a short story, I wasn't too worried about being lost with the setting or characters. I especially liked that Ana Raquel and Greg had known each other as children. They were sort of rivals but it seemed like Ana Raquel disliked Greg more than he disliked her. In fact, he didn't seem to dislike her at all! The story was cute but there really wasn't much substance to it. I'm going to assume that had to do with the fact that it was so short and in a cookbook and not as a testament to the Fool's Gold series as a whole.

I'm looking forward to trying a few more recipes from Fool's Gold Cookbook and also checking out the whole series by Susan Mallery. I would have liked a few more pictures, more substance to the story, and more detailed directions, but, overall, this is a pretty good book. Who knows, maybe this cookbook will help turn me into a halfway decent cook! ;)

Happy reading...and cooking!

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. I hate cooking too! Yay for boyfriend's who cook for you though! And are definitely going to have to make those Smore bars for our future tea/book date haha!

    1. How do you feel about mint chocolate? I'd like to see what it tastes like with a combo of mint and milk chocolate.


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