First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Leigh Oliver Vickery and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Food Family Style" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
When I received my reviewer copy of “Food Family Style” by Leigh Oliver Vickery, I drooled as I skimmed the entire book! Each recipe is marked by symbols that identify them as easy to double, good for freezing, gluten free, healthful, MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) favorites, for the slow cooker, and vegetarian. It’s always nice to know when something is easily freezable. The next thing I did was attach sticky notes to the pages containing recipes I wanted to eat right now! Sadly, my next trip to the grocery store was scheduled for Friday, so I got to drool a little more as I added items for my recipes to my shopping list and waited IMPATIENTLY for the weekend.
But this is so much more than a cookbook. There are tips for getting kids involved in the kitchen, which makes sense considering the MOPS favorites selections. Besides all of the recipes for snacks and beverages, breakfast, pizzas and burgers, soups and salads, main dishes, sides and desserts including more exotic fare featuring lamb, curry and quinoa, this book places a great emphasis on making mealtime a social family event. It contains terrific ideas for starting meaningful family conversations. There are also suggested menus for different occasions, lists of essentials for every kitchen, and a list of substitutions for ingredients.
My family tried the restaurant-style biscuits, beef stroganoff , magic beef stew and roasted maple butternut squash all in one weekend. Each dish was good overall, just not spicy enough for us. I would definitely consider using these recipes in the future with some modifications to add a bit more zip. Also, I would’ve really appreciated serving sizes and nutrition information for the recipes, but I suppose it’s better for me to do the math and be disciplined about my portion sizes. But those who aren’t actively managing their health and/or weight may be tempted to eat more than they should. However, the author specifically addresses proper portion sizes in one chapter later in the book.