I love the internet, obviously, and in the last few years I’ve relied on it for almost everything, including help with recipe inspiration. When Pinterest showed up on the scene, I figured I should just toss out all my cookbooks and rely on Pinterest for all my inspiration. (I didn’t.) I have multiple recipe related boards for all sorts of food. It’s handy when I’m in a rush but I’m missing out…I’m not always getting the full story behind a recipe or even the cook/chef who developed it.
When I was asked to review Sunny’s Kitchen by Sunny Anderson I said “yes” but I didn’t know what I expecting to get out of it, I had my Pinterest boards after all, but I’m so glad I did. I don’t think many people realize that there is a story behind each and every recipe in a cookbook that pieces together a novel or biography. Through her recipes, Sunny tells the story of her life growing up in a military family and then as an enlisted member of the United States Air Force. Sure there are actual passages about her experiences in different locations but the real story comes from the recipes; there’s huevos rancheros from Texas, blackened catfish sandwiches from South Carolina, Korean fried dumplings, and jaegerschnitzel from Germany. It’s a very personal story and one I’m glad she shared. (The foreword from her grandmother was incredibly touching.)
When reading her cookbook, I also picked up on Sunny’s style: daring but authentic. She wants you to try different flavors but you should make it work for you. There’s a whole host of tips and substitution suggestions to make a recipe appeal to even the finickiest eater. So far I’ve made two of Sunny’s recipes and they were huge hits in our house. The first was salmon wellington which intimidated me at first but turned out to be incredibly easy to come together. And for a not-so-fish-loving person, Tim ate a serving and a half and Sophia even enjoyed a few bites of her “pink fish” before just gobbling up the puff pastry. Riding the wave of confidence from my success with the salmon, I tried my hand at grilled lamb kabobs and cucumber mint sauce on pita bread. These sandwiches were AWESOME! The flavors reminded me of a gyro but fresher somehow and less time consuming. Tim took the leftovers to work the next day and declared lamb to be the microwave friendly meat since they reheated perfectly.
(Photo courtesy of Clarkson Potter/Random House.)
Sunny is now on tour promoting her book and signing copies. She’ll be in several military areas over the next few weeks, including Quantico, VA on Tuesday, September 24 and Fort Bragg, NC on Wednesday, September 25. You can review her full schedule here which includes dates, times, and locations.
Want a taste of the world according to Sunny? Enter below for a chance to win a copy of her cookbook, Sunny’s Kitchen. Contest will be open from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. Monday, October 1, 2013 (all times are EDT).
I was provided a copy of Sunny’s Kitchen at no cost in exchange for a review and an additional copy to giveaway to one reader. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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