Kirstin: I have to apologise for not cooking anything from the Hummingbird book. I forget how busy every May is with birthdays and half term. But you made lots from it Maureen. What did you think?
Maureen: All in all, another good effort from Hummingbird, but not my favourite book of theirs. They had some good recipes, but I think the last cookbook– or even the first one– was better overall. I feel as though the recipes are getting a bit repetitive now.
Kirstin: The Gwyneth book has been a total winner for me. I will take this book on holiday and if nothing else, just look at the inspiring photos. I didn’t give up the gluten and modified as I went along. And I’m still not sure what Gwyneth did about that parasite and the heavy metals in her blood. I do hope her Doctor has treated them. What about you Maureen? Did you like any of the recipes?
Maureen: I like what Gwyneth is trying to do here– get us all to eat better. I’m totally behind that. But what drives me absolutely crazy are the obscure ingredients she says I need to buy in order to get me there. Here’s some examples, just turning to three pages at random: gochugaru (coarse Korean red chili flakes), Vegenaise (Vegan mayonnaise– I have been unsuccessful in finding this brand in the UK), xylitol (I don’t even know what that is.) Also, there seemed to be A LOT of underlying smugness, which I didn’t like either. Needless to say, I have very mixed feelings about the book.
“The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home”
Overall Grade (A- F): B/C (Maureen) It’s not one of their best cookbooks, but it wasn’t a total disaster either.
Best recipes: Mississippi Mud Cake was a real favourite, and in fact, has already been requested again.
Grade for Photography (A-F): B from both of us.
Any disasters? The Grasshopper Slices. Never again.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: I should probably bake a few before committing to either of these options. Maureen: I’ll keep it, but it certainly isn’t High Rotation Shelf worthy.
It’s All Good
Overall Grade (A- F): A (Kirstin) This is a hard one, because on the eating better philosophy alone, I’ll give it an A, but the use of obscure and hard to find ingredients knocks it all the way down to a C. (Maureen)
Best recipes: Kirstin: Where to start? The roast chicken is amazing. I love the Thai burgers and the boneless chicken recipe. And I’ve yet to really tackle the fish recipes.
Grade for Photography (A-F): A (Kirstin) A, though it also induced serious lifestyle envy (Maureen)
Any disasters? Kirstin: No. Maureen: No, though the Chicken Francese wasn’t anything special.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: I shall be getting this on my Kindle and keep the book too. I’ve given it to several others too and they have all loved it, so a total winner. Maureen: I’m going to keep it, because I do think there’s some real winners in here, but I’m going to have to learn to stop griping about the obscure ingredients I need to find.