Category Archives: Reviews

Cookbook Review: Ultimate Bread

Review of Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno.

This is one of the favorite cookbooks in my admittedly sparse collection. I always wanted to bake bread, and this was suggested to me as a good place to start. The book starts out with a mouthwatering “Gallery of Breads”, with pictures of breads from around the world and explanations of the various types. That’s enough to get your hands itching to get into some dough.

Next the authors explain all the tools and methods for bread-making, with large informative images that you will come back to again and again. As a beginner, I started out at the top, with their “Pan Ordinaire” or Basic Bread. It came out of the oven all golden brown and perfect. What a great feeling!

I moved on to several other recipes in their basic bread section, like Portuguese Corn Bread, Scots Baps and Country Oatmeal bread. Each recipe has a huge picture of how the bread is supposed to turn out. (and for the most part, mine looked pretty similar).

What I absolutely love about this book, aside from it’s great detail and pictures, is that it gives you a section called “Flavored Breads”.  I’ve never before seen a book with recipes for Carrot Bread (incredible, moist and dense and slightly sweet), Pumpkin bread,  Cheese bread (a flat bread a crunchy crust and cheddar cheese melted all over it), Walnut Bread,  Tomato and Red Onion bread, and even Dark Chocolate Bread! This cookbook really gets your imagination revved up, and I’m still excited by all the possibilities. Too bad it’s too hot to bake right now!

Oh, I forgot about the Rolled Stromboli- rolled hearth bread filled with smoked mozzarella and fresh basil. And the Foccacia filled with mozzarella and gorgonzola. Oh my! Imagine the entertaining you can do!

Next is the section on enriched breads, where you add butter, oil or eggs to make the dough softer. Here you have Brioche, Parker House Rolls and Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

The they take you through flatbread from Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Middle East. They go quickly through the quick breads and into Festive Breads. Here they show you how to make a Christmas Stollen, a Challah, Pan de Muerto and Epiphany bread.

It’s a trip through Breadland that you won’t want to miss, even if you don’t bake them. This book gets 5 stars!

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Reviews and Testimonials

Ok, I admit it, sometimes I get lazy and want our customers to do the talking for me. Here’s what some of them have had to say this year.

Chicken Montrachet
Chicken Montrachet

About our HomeStyle menu:

“You catered our Christmas dinner. The appetizer, side dishes, entree, and dessert were restaurant-class. Since we couldn’t be there in person,

you’ve now become Mom’s Mother’s Day meal!”~ Mike K.

“again you surprise me with even tastier dishes we have just tried….I shall be placing another order today with a repeat of some of the chicken dishes that have proven to be exceptional and to try again something new…….bravo” ~ Nancy H

Nancy also proclaimed about the Chicken Montrachet, “exceptionally good and am ordering again today….so delicious I ate it all and it is a large piece. Mmmmmmmmm”.

Tracy B said regarding the Chicken Ana Luisa, a customer favorite: “This is the first meal we’ve tried and were pleasantly surprised with the flavorful, freshness and quality of the meal. We paired this with the Lemon Risotto (also delicious!) Thank you ”
About the MK Special Diet menu:

“My 85 year old diabetic father-in-law was frequently having to go to the local hospital ER for poor health directly associated with eating improperly. My husband & I live 600+ miles away and needed to find a healthy and reliable meal service to provide for him. We have been ordering food on a weekly basis since February 2011. We ran into some difficulty in having the food delivered on the day that a health care worker could be there to carry it indoors and place in the freezer. So a direct phone conversation with Greg assisted us and he was very informative of the methodology that we would need to set-up for the proper delivery. My Father-in-Law truly enjoys the meals-(although the food is non-salted!) and prefers the beef meals over the chicken! Also he readily admits he doesn’t eat all the veggies! This has brought great peace of mind to us, and solves a family dilemna, and he has not had a diabetic complication since he has been recieving the regular meals. I highly recommend your meal service and will continue to use it for him, hopefully for a long time!”~ Lee V.

“I ordered the low sodium dinners for my mother and father. They are so thrilled with the quality and ease of reheating, they are spreading the word to their senior friends. Finally I found something FROZEN that they will eat and enjoy. It’s tough when your senior parents are 3,000 miles away! Thank you Magic Kitchen! ” ~ Wendy P

“I purchased these meals for my step dad while Mom is recuperating with knee replacement surgery. My brother tells me the meals look very fresh. My step dad who is 83, called to tell me that he really appreciated the thought and that the meals were delicious! That was all I needed to know.” ~Donna H

And finally. Maureen B. wrote, “Couldn’t decide what to get my husband’s grandmother who needs nothing and is continually trying to downsize; so we ordered her this meal pack. I have to admit myself, it was a great idea. She LOVED all of the meals and it was a gift that kept on giving. She has asked us to share the magic kitchen idea to other family members. Thank you Magic Kitchen!! ”

Melody
MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Review of MagicKitchen.com

A blogger- coupons are great recently reviewed us, and it looks like she thought we were a-ok!

One of the things that I know I didn’t even think about when I was expecting my first child was what we were going to do about dinners when we got home from the hospital.  As an expecting mom, the last thing on your mind is anything but getting to the point of holding that new baby in your arms and just enjoying your first few weeks being a parent.  The last thing you want to worry about when adjusting to a newborn’s eating and sleep schedule in those first few weeks is cooking for your family.  This time around I will be worrying about feeding a family of four while caring for a newborn, and I’m not really interested in having fast food and take-out each night.  That’s why I LOVE the idea of MagicKitchen.com.

Chicken Marsala Dinner

MagicKitchen.com is a company devoted to making lives easier for all of us by delivering healthy, chef-prepared meals to your door (all across the US!).   The meals are all prepared with top-quality fresh produce and ingredients and are delivered to your door frozen.  You thaw, heat, and serve them!  All the meals come with instructions on how to heat using either a microwave or oven attached to the product so there’s not even any thinking involved!  You can have a healthy, yummy meal prepared in no time with much less mess and hassle!

MagicKitchen.com sent my family of four the Chicken Marsala dinner to try.  It arrived via UPS in a Styrofoam cooler with dry ice and was still completely frozen.  We placed it in the freezer and then pulled it out and put it in our refrigerator the night before we planned to cook it.  The directions actually recommended the morning of, but I was afraid I would forget that morning (and the instructions stated the food would be fine in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).  I loved that each of the items was individually packed with cooking directions right on the front!

The chicken was already prepared so there wasn’t a 45-minute cooking time like I thought there would be.  I just placed the chicken, rice, and vegetables in oven-safe dishes and put them in our oven for approximately 15 minutes (the veggies went in for only about 6 minutes).  I was excited about our meal as soon as I removed it from the packaging as it smelled delicious and continued to fill our kitchen with a great smell as it heated up in the oven.  (All of the foods we received could have been warmed in the microwave much faster, but I love oven-cooked foods so I chose to take the longer route in dinner prep.)

Once it was heated, I placed it on plates and served it!  It looked like a meal I would normally spend over an hour between prep and cook time and yet it was finished in about 15 minutes with no mess in my kitchen!

My family loved the meal.  Everything had great flavoring and texture.  I have to admit that I’m a  picky chicken eater, and I was hesitant about the chicken.  I was worried that it would be more like “fake” chicken.  However, it was delicious and completely fresh-tasting chicken that I would have purchased and had to prepare from scratch.   Everything about the meal was exactly as MagicKitchen.com had described:  chef-prepared and fresh!

MagicKitchen.com even included dessert for us:  a super yummy brownie!  Now, I don’t know how they read my pregnant-craving mind but I have a huge weakness lately for

Double Fudge Brownies

brownies.  When my husband pulled our desert out of the fridge after dinner, it seemed hard and I was less-than excited about it, thinking it was not going to hold up to my cravings.  After letting it sit out for about 10 minutes, we gave it a try, and it was the BEST brownie I have had yet during this pregnancy.  It was the perfect consistency of fudge and chocolate and was soft and chewy.  I hate when brownies taste more like cake than a fudge brownie, but this was exactly as I always want my brownies to taste!  It did the trick for sure.  Too bad now I want another one.. and another… and another!

All in all, MagicKitchen.com was such a  great treat for my family.  It was so nice to not spend much time on dinner tonight.  Instead I had plenty of extra time to enjoy my family!

Even if you aren’t an expecting mom or new mom, this is a great gift for anyone!  If you have never ordered from them before, be sure to check out their First-Time Customer Discount!

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