Friday, October 5, 2012

Cookbook Review (& Giveaway!) of Muy Bueno for the Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off

As I have mentioned before, I have an obscene about of cookbooks. They have grown beyond their shelves, floor stacks and are poised to stage some sort of coup over the household regime at any moment. In this mass of titles, the ones that pull me in and get them to open them over and over again have two things in common: 1) Gorgeous, clear color photographs that make me drool and 2) Recipe descriptions that tell me a story. I want to see what I am cooking and I want to know what makes the recipe special or good--the story behind it.

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor by by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangeline Souza, exceeds that criteria. It has such a crisp and clean yet warm and homey feel that it drew me right in. Written by a blogging team of a mother and two daughters from El Paso, sharing the recipes of their family matriarch, personality sings from every one of the 288 pages.

The book is divided up into 10 chapters starting with a Glossary of Chiles (very helpful if you get confused about them in the grocery store like I do!), followed by chapters on Tamales, Breads, Salsas, Drinks (including a sub-chapter on Aguas y Paletas), Appetizers, Soups, Entrees, Sides, and Desserts.  

Normally I would cook a bit more from a book before reviewing it, but my week didn't go as planned. However, the two recipes I made for the Cookbook Spotlight and Cook Off were both wonderful.

The first was selected by our Cookbook Spotlight host, Heather at girlichef, a flavorful Mushroom, Jalapeño, and Cilantro Salsa  (Salsa de Hongos y Jalapeños). I made this unusual salsa into a topping for bread, enjoyed a good portion and then took the rest to a meeting where it was devoured and praised by everyone--even the non-fans of mushrooms.

I didn't mean to stick with a bread topping theme, but the recipe I chose to make was this spectacular-looking and tasting Bruschetta Topped with Apricot, Melted Brie, and Pomegranate Seeds. My friend Julie was looking through the book and wanted me to try this recipe and when I located frozen pomegranate seeds I was able to give it a trial run for a potential holiday appetizer. These little bites are the perfect combination of savory and sweet with the garlicky bread and creamy brie nicely played off by the apricot jam and tangy-sweet pomegranate seeds. So good--these will be my go-to appetizer this holiday season.

There are plenty of other recipes I have tagged to make: Red Chile Sauce, Cheese with Roasted Chile Tamales, Jesusita's House Salsa, Persimmon Margarita, Warm Pear Cider, Horchata Popsicles, Corn in a Cup, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Lentil Soup, Green Enchiladas, Potatoes and Mexican Chorizo, Old-Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal, Cilantro Lime Rice, Mexican Bread Pudding, and Mango Upside-Down Cake witha Cajeta-Rum Glaze.

This cookbook is perfect for anyone looking to cook family-friendly authentic Mexican food, likes beautiful cookbooks or likes cookbooks flavored with family history.

***Giveaway Time!***
Muy Bueno's generous publisher Hippocrene, is making it possible for one lucky Kahakai Kitchen reader to win their own copy of this recently-released cookbook! Trust me--you want this one! To win, just leave a comment telling me that you would like to win and what family recipe you would put first in your own cookbook

This giveaway will run until Monday, October 8th, 11:59 (Hawaii Time). A winner will be randomly drawn  announced on Tuesday, October 9th. You must have a U.S. shipping address to win.
Good Luck!

This post is part of the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef 

Muy Bueno Cookbook Cook-Off and Spotlight (small)

Happy Weekend!


  1. Joanne (eats well with others)October 6, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I'm definitely going to be making that brie and pomegranate bruschetta! Everything I've seen from this cookbook has been absolutely delicious looking so I would love to win a copy!

  2. Awesome review, Deb...I'm happy that you've enjoyed this book. And thank you SO MUCH for being a part of this Spotlight :)

  3. Terrific review, I really would love to win this! The bruschetta and the salsa both look fantastic.

  4. I'd love to win this book! In my personal cookbook, I'd put in a recipe for lehmejun, an Armenian pizza of sorts, that reminds me of my grandmother. My mom makes it too, and I guess it's my turn to start making it.

  5. I'd like very much to win! In my own family cookbook the first recipe would be my nana's superyumful arancini. Cheers!

  6. I wonder to win this book! And in my own cookbook the first recipe is walnut cookies, because whole my family and all my friends loves them so much! =)

  7. I would love to win. The recipe we love to make and make as a family are hippie rolls. Our guest love them too!

  8. I would love to win this cookbook! The first family recipe I would pick is my Mom's Potato Salad.


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