The Dessert for Two Cookbook — A Review

WIN_20150502_064002 (2)
Contrary to what my mom thinks, I am pretty particular about the cookbooks I buy for my collection. I have a rather strict set of criteria a cookbook must meet before I buy it, the most important being will I actually use it. If it fails to meet two or more of my criteria it stays on the shelf.

I have been looking forward to Christina Lane’s Dessert for Two cookbook since she announced it last summer. I finally got to pick it up a few weeks ago. It meets every one of my criteria and it has the added bonus of being a small batch cookbook. Something I don’t get to see very often and recommend even less.

Here are some of the things I like about Christina’s cookbook.

1. The majority of recipes in her book have not appeared on her blog. There are some recipes like her chocolate chip cookies and her sugar cookies that have appeared on her blog but there are just enough repeats to make the cookbook feel homey and familiar to those of us who have followed her for years. There are more than enough new recipes to make those of us who have followed her for years curl up on the couch with our sticky notes and book mark page after page. Oh, maybe that is just me but I don’t think so.

2. Christina’s desserts use common, easy to find ingredients. I bet you have all or the majority of ingredients for at least some of the recipes in your kitchen right now.

3. Christina’s recipes are 100 percent reliable. I am a fairly competent cook and baker but I have had cookbooks where recipe after recipe I have tried fails and fails spectacularly. If you follow Christina’s clear, concise directions you will always have a great end product.

Just so you know, I have received no compensation of any kind for this review. I am just a big fan of Christina’s blog and book. She has inspired everything I do here on A Solitary Feast. I just wanted to let you all about an awesome blog.

Asian Noodle Salad

It’s weird how the mind works. I love my mom’s shrimp salad but I can’t stand her potato salad. Why is that weird? It is weird because I absolutely love potatoes and my mom uses the exact same dressing for both salads. Maybe it is because I am not a fan of mayonnaise in general. I just don’t know. Does anyone else have any weird food quirks?

This ramen salad is one of my favorites. It is quick, easy and there is no mayonnaise is site. You can cook the other half of the ramen noodles for lunch if you want. Random ramen fact: A package of ramen noodles is two servings, according to the package. Could anyone really be satisfied with half a package of ramen as a meal?

Asian Ramen Noodle Salad

8 oz shredded cabbage
2 green onions
1 package oriental ramen noodles, broken in half and crushed
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 ½ TBS sesame seeds
2 ½ TBS sunflower seeds

2 TBS sugar
2 TBS rice vinegar
6 TBS salad oil
½ pk of seasoning mix
Mix together cabbage and green onions. Toast the almonds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, if using. Crush half the ramen noodles. Add to the cabbage and seed mixture. Mix well. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients just before serving and mix well.

Photography 101 — Weekend #2

This weekend my friend, Steph, and I took my camera for a walk. Yeah, that is a real thing. We pick a direction, grab my camera and go for a walk, snapping pictures along the way. We get a lot of great pictures and explore some unexplored places in our hometown. On this walk Steph and I went north almost to the edge of town so we focused on nature.

Not all my nature resides outside. Parker and Milo are members of my flock of parrots.

IMG_0697 (2)

Beau showing Steph and I how fierce he is.
IMG_0715 (2)




Photography 101 — Big and Mystery

Today I am playing catch up on two assignments, big and mystery. I am really proud of myself that I have done something for everyone of the assignments even if it wasn’t in the most timely manner. Dang the rain any way.

The big picture is of the water tower not far from my apartment. I used my zoom lens to get as up close to the reservoir as possible, filling up my view finder.


The mystery picture is represented by a lone pink scrunchy lying on the side walk in the middle of nowhere.