13 July 2013

Weekend Cooking: Relish by Daphe Oz

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Relish by Daphne OzI hope you won't throw me out of foodland if I confess that I've never seen The Chew. It's on during the day when I'm working, and I've never thought to record it or look for streaming options. As most of you know, Daphne Oz is a co-host of the show, but you might not have realized she has a book out.

Relish is all about embracing life and creating your perfect environment and look. Oz notes that she wrote the book for busy people who want to eat better, be better organized, and have better relationships. At the core of it all, she relishes her kitchen and feeding her loved ones.

Thus Relish is more than a cookbook; it's also a guide to putting yourself on the path to your dream life. Besides food and recipes (which I'll get to in a minute), Oz gives us tips on how to achieve physical and mental health, how to apply makeup, how to make your home both personal and inviting, how to balance work and play, and how to be a better friend.

In the food department, she goes beyond providing recipes. Oz helps us stock our pantry, negotiate a grocery store, make sense of food politics and nutritional information, and throw a party.

Yes, there's quite a lot of information here and much of it is useful. For example, I plan to try some of her green cleaning ideas. On the other hand, I'm not likely to follow her beauty and makeup routine. Other tips are ones you've heard before, such as culling your wardrobe every season.

I picked up Relish because it contains some of Oz's favorite tried-and-true recipes. I liked that she cooks with real food and unadulterated ingredients and avoids convenience foods. One of her goals, she wrote, was to help busy people eat better on a daily basis, not just weekends.

Oz sure knows how to eat and entertain! I loved the sound of almost every dish, from blueberry sticky buns to roasted cauliflower grilled cheese with jalapeno aioli to the chile jam chicken. The food stylist and photographer deserves major applause; all the recipes look so appealing.

Unfortunately, Oz sends mixed messages, and that bothered me. For example, in the introduction she specifically states that she uses full-fat dairy, but several recipes called for 2 percent milk. Other dishes don't easily fit into a busy weekday schedule. Poached eggs and roasted asparagus on whole wheat toast (complete with bread recipe) is not going to be my Monday morning breakfast, but I'd consider it for a weekend.

In addition, I noticed a few recipes were introduced with phrases such as "ready in 10 minutes," but the first sentence in the instructions would say something like "let soak for 20 minutes to 2 hours." That 10 minutes was a little misleading. Finally, although all the recipes are easy enough for anyone with some kitchen experience, some of the instructions were not well ordered in terms of efficiency. For instance, a quiche recipe has you saute veggies and then prebake the crust; I'd put the crust in the oven and then use that time to cook the filling.

Despite those quibbles, I've flagged several recipes that I really want to try. Besides the ones I mentioned, there's a fresh corn succotash salad that uses wonderful summer vegetables and a champagne vinegar dressing. It looks beautiful, and I know we're going to love it. Another is the vegetarian enchilada recipe, which would be great for family or for a party.

I also really enjoyed reading Oz's personal stories, including her early struggle with weight. She offers great tips for getting more out of life and creating a beautiful personal environment. I loved the many photographs, some of which show Oz's home and friends and family. I think Relish would make a wonderful bridal shower or graduation gift. [Photos from The Chew website.]

Here's a video of Daphne Oz talking about Relish.

HarperCollins / William Morrow, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780062196866
Rating: B
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright 2013 cbl for www.BethFishReads.com


rhapsodyinbooks 7/13/13, 7:59 AM  

I have never watched ANY food show, so I guess I couldn't even get a tourist visa to Foodland.

Rikki 7/13/13, 8:38 AM  

I have often noticed that those "ready in 10 minutes" meals are actually much more time consuming with preparational work. They must do that to sound more appealing, but all they do is get disappointed readers.

Alison Skap 7/13/13, 9:26 AM  

I have had this cookbook sitting on the counter for weeks, but every time I pick it up, I end up distracted and reading all but the recipes I was looking for! There certainly is a lot in the book, but I am looking forward to trying the actual, you know, food in this cookbook! Haha!

wanderinginthestacks 7/13/13, 10:04 AM  

Blueberry sticky buns sound AMAZING. And a lovely way to get in a serving of fruit ;-)

caite 7/13/13, 10:29 AM  

not only have I not watch The Crew..I never heard of it.
so if you get thrown out of FoodLand, you will not be alone! I'll bring the beer!

angrygreycatreads.com 7/13/13, 10:30 AM  

I have never seen the show, not really home for day time tv. But I will say that errors like you pointed out, the order of doing things really annoy me. Not for me, I am an experienced cook, but my daughters wanted to learn to cook and experiment by themselves and a poorly designed cooking plan was often causes disappointment. I don't see why those kinds of errors are not caught. I remember teaching myself to bake and none of the recipes ever mentioned that you needed to let the dough rest before rolling out the crust. I was really frustrated that my pie crusts didn't come out right. Then my grandmother mentioned one day that the order should be: make your dough, wrap it and leave it to rest while you prepare your filling or even longer. voila! no more problems. Such simple instructions are the difference between frustrating someone and success.

Susan Francino 7/13/13, 4:07 PM  

This is my first week doing this, so I'm really sorry if I did anything wrong! (We will work on getting the button!)

Susan Francino 7/13/13, 4:08 PM  

Also, this book sounds really cool--recipes PLUS getting on the path to your dream life? Um, yes please.

Linda 7/13/13, 4:35 PM  

I've never seen The Chew either. I've heard of it but never seen it. But I love the idea of Relish. Checking to see if my library has it now.

bermudaonion 7/13/13, 10:20 PM  

It sounds like the cookbook was rushed but still worth checking out.

Teddyree 7/14/13, 7:44 AM  

I haven't seen The Chew, nor have I heard of Daphne Oz *oops* and I do watch a lot of foodie shows. Maybe not a book for beginners in the kitchen but still worth a look.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/14/13, 8:10 AM  

I've been to The Chew a few times, and I have seen Daphne get more comfortable on camera over the last few months. She brings a healthier balance to the sometimes less healthy recipes of the chefs on the show. I'm looking forward to checking her book out.

Trish 7/14/13, 4:16 PM  

I used to watch The Food Network when I was in grad school (this was my creative outlet before blogging--Ha!) but I haven't watched it since. I do like the sound of an all-encompassing type of book, though. I typically get this from Real Simple each month but I'm curious. I did have to laugh about poached eggs and roasted garlic. Wonder if I could find someone to cook it for me on a Monday morning? #notlikely

Peaceful Reader 7/14/13, 5:39 PM  

My mother is a fan of The Chew so i have watched it a few times with her. It bothers me when conflicting messages are sent out and I wonder if those should be caught by editors as well as the author. I would love to take a peek at some of the other recipes so I may look for a copy at the library.

Gilion Dumas 7/17/13, 2:51 PM  

It still appeals to me, even with goof ups. I've never seen the show, but I like the idea of her holistic approach. I'll go investigate the book.

Sorry I am late to the game this week -- I forgot to link my post!

Jennifer 7/27/13, 7:38 PM  

I've never watched the Chew but I'm familiar with Daphne Oz. This book looks interesting. I love that the ultimate goal is creating sustainable change in your life not just a sometimes resolution. I love simple recipes that use fresh ingredients so it sounds like there are some recipes in this book I would definitely enjoy trying out.

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