22: The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair

Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen blog is one of my favorite food blogs and so I picked up her cookbook.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook has a nice design. It’s hardcover (with a dust jacket even; that might be overkill for a cookbook ;-)). Every recipe is illustrated with a photo of the finished dish. This makes for good inspirational browsing—perfect coffee table material.

It opens flat and stays open, which is nice if you’re actually using it to refer to while cooking. Wouldn’t want to get sticky fingerprints on these pages. (Always the dilemma with a shiny cookbook—who wants to sully the pages with cooking debris? Solution: pull up the recipe on the blog and sully your laptop instead! hah!)

Aside: all these food bloggers who take amazing photos make me long for better light so I could take better food photos. But alas. I will just have to do the best I can with my crappy light situation.

The book strikes a good balance between personality and practicality. Recipes range from appetizers to dessert and everything in between. I especially liked that there was a sauce section, as well as various sauces/marinades included throughout. I don’t have any qualms throwing together ingredients on my own, but some guidance in the saucy area is always welcome, since the right sauce can shift a dish from ok to awesome.

Inspired to make a few things I hadn’t thought of attempting before, like potstickers and spring rolls. On the other hand, I may also have to make the food court sweet & sour chicken, just because lol! 🙂

ETA: I did make the sweet & sour chicken, since I had pretty much all the ingredients on hand and it used up some of the ketchup that’s been languishing in my fridge. It really did mimic the flavors of the “classic” dish, but the sauce was too sweet for my liking. If I made it again, I’d cut back on the sweet and add more sour/salty/spicy flavors. Especially spicy! It was crying out for some heat. (ymmv, of course!)

Sweet & Sour Chicken

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