05 March 2016

Weekend Cooking: Sunday Dinners by Dina Crowell

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. 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.

Review: Sunday Dinners by Dina CrowellSunday Dinner, by Dina Crowell, the blogger behind Buttercream Bakehouse, is collection of the recipes she grew up on. Each one was handed down from her parents, and they recall lazy weekend meals when the whole family would be gathered around the table.

There are no real surprises or fancy dishes in this cookbook, but does all food have to be on the cutting edge? There is much to say for the down-home comfy meals that are spiced with love and laughter, friends and family. And that's exactly what Crowell shares with us in her new cookbook.

Family favorites in Crowell's universe include the expected chili, and mac n' cheese, and shepherd's pie. But you'll also find a world of flavors such as Cajun rice, picadillo, vodka penne, soy chicken, and Thai coconut soup. No matter the ethnic origin of the recipe, though, the ingredients are all commonly found in any grocery store around the country.

The recipes are dead easy to make, and several call for a slow cooker. In case it matters to you, know that Crowell doesn't hesitate to use premade spice mixes, frozen vegetables, and jarred sauces when it makes sense. Almost all of the recipes are accompanied by a full-page photograph of the finished dish, which I know is important to many cooks.

I don't have a lot to say about Sunday Dinners except this: If you're looking for a good basic cookbook with familiar foods to serve to  both family and company, then you should give this cookbook a try. I would also recommend it as a great gift for people just settling in to their first apartments. Sunday Dinners will get them through a lot of casual dinner parties.

A couple of warnings: If you're a vegetarian, you won't find many recipes that will suit your diet. In addition, if you have a lifetime of experience cooking roasts and turkey breasts and oven-fried chicken, Sunday Dinners might not have very many new recipes for you, so check it out before you buy.

Here's a very simple slow cooker recipe that I plan to try. (Photo scanned from Sunday Dinners; all rights remain with Dina Crowell.)

Firecracker Barbacoa
Serves 4-6
  • copyright Dina Crowell3 lbs. chuck roast, fat trimmed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 chipotles from a (7 oz.) can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 small white onion, finally chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 6-8 pieces Greek-style flatbread
  • Toppings: lime, cilantro, sour cream, salsa
Place roast into slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients (except bread and toppings) in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Pour over roast and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and falls apart easily when shredded with a fork.

Once beef is shredded, toss with its juices and let it sit 10 minutes. Use a pair of tongs or slotted spoon to serve the barbacoa on Greek-style flatbread. Top it off with lime, cilantro, sour cream,and salsa, if desired.

Published by Cedar Fort / Front Table Books, 2016
ISBN-13: 9781462117642
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


jama 3/5/16, 6:39 AM  

I'll look for this one in the library. I enjoy family recipes and comfort food and will have to try this chuck roast recipe. Thanks for sharing!

My Cozy Book Nook 3/5/16, 7:19 AM  

The Barbacoa looks delicious. I think I might be it trying soon.

While I have enough basic cookbooks in my collection, I love the idea of giving this one to newlyweds.

Tina 3/5/16, 7:23 AM  

Love a slow cooker, makes life so much easier. This is a great recipe, thanks for sharing, I will certainly make this coming up soon

Mae Travels 3/5/16, 8:07 AM  

It's a nice idea -- the family gathered around the table for Sunday Dinner, made simply and comfortably by (presumably) Mom. Is it real or a fantasy? I have no idea what people do!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 3/5/16, 8:24 AM  

It sounds like a good book for people who are just venturing into cooking a nice meal for others. Thank you for sharing it.


bermudaonion 3/5/16, 8:26 AM  

I like cookbooks like that that feature foods a family would eat.

Jackie Mc Guinness 3/5/16, 8:49 AM  

Sunday dinners is what I'm looking forward to when we get home. I've promised John a roast beef, Yorkshire pudding gravy, roast potatoes and mushy peas when we get home.

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/5/16, 9:03 AM  

I so enjoyed making Sunday dinners for my family when we all lived together, they are some of my favorite memories. I would have loved to have this book back then.

Kailana 3/5/16, 9:05 AM  

This sounds like my kind of cooking. lol I will have to see about getting a copy of this one.

Karen 3/5/16, 9:06 AM  

My take-away from that recipe is the photo showing flatbread used to make the "tacos"—I often forget that every cuisine wraps their food in something, and it's OK to mix and match.

Debbie 3/5/16, 9:30 AM  

You're right....not all food has to be cutting edge. Sounds like a cookbook I would love!

Katherine P 3/5/16, 10:01 AM  

This recipe has my mouth watering! It sounds amazing! Sometimes I need more basic cookbooks. It's nice to have a variety of recipes to go through when it's time to start planning dinner for the week.

Deb in Hawaii 3/5/16, 12:02 PM  

I think any book that encourages a Sunday family meal is always nice--especially for those just starting out. I'm not a meat eater but that barbacoa sure does look tempting. ;-)

Create With Joy 3/5/16, 4:18 PM  

Thanks for hosting Beth - great cookbook review - hope you'll join us at The Book Nook this month! :-)

Wendy Klik 3/5/16, 4:24 PM  

Reading cookbooks is one of my favorite pastimes and this recipe from this cookbook looks amazing.

Laurie C 3/5/16, 5:04 PM  

We like to have Sunday dinners in the early afternoon and a late, light snack or supper in the evening. I love the sound of this slow cooker recipe you've shared, but over all, it's probably not a cookbook that I need, because I leave most of the meat meals to my husband to make!

Vicki 3/5/16, 5:26 PM  

I'll be looking for a copy of this cookbook. Everything you mentioned sounds good, and I like that the recipes are not "cutting edge".

Trish 3/5/16, 7:59 PM  

Because of how my mom taught me to cook, I would say that most of our dinners are in the comfort zone. And while I make a big variety of foods, I always get the stink eye when I venture out of everyone's comfort. Ha! So, this is likely right up our alley! I'll have to see if my library will get a copy of it.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 3/6/16, 8:45 AM  

I like the sound of this cook book.... I prefer simple and delicious. The recipe looks delicious. I think I will make it tonight but switch the meat out for chicken. YUM.

Pat @ Posting For Now 3/6/16, 10:30 AM  

This sounds like the perfect book for me.

Amy CookingAdventures 4/2/16, 9:08 PM  

Sounds like my kind of book!

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