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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2007
Just when I'd begun feeling the need to refresh my culinary repertory, Healthy Hedonist Holidays shows up on the bookshelves! Having made extensive use of the recipes in Myra Kornfeld's two prior cookbooks, "The Voluptuous Vegan" and "The Healthy Hedonist", I dove with excitement into this latest publication brimming with international flavors and time-honored, festive traditions. As with her prior cookbooks, fresh, natural and seasonal ingredients take center stage. It's full of cooking tips and invaluable prep notes that allow for advance cooking. Not only has Myra Kornfeld planned your holiday meal for you, but then goes on to lay out the cooking schedule. What's even better is you can make these exotic holiday dishes for dinner on weekdays or weekends, too. I do. The Pomegranate Chicken with Walnuts is already a favorite. I used all chicken thighs and dredged them in spelt flour. The pomegranate molasses gave the chicken outrageous flavor and the thighs came out mouth-wateringly tender, reminiscent of a meal I enjoyed in Marrakech. Same goes for the Breast of Duck with Port-Cherry Sauce. It looks impressive and yet you can make both the sauce and duck in an hour. I've already made both dishes a couple of times and everyone loved them. And the Baby Bok Choy Braised with Mustard Greens and Black Mushrooms is the way to eat greens. I'm looking forward to exploring many more of the recipes in this new book, but also still recommend some super favorites of mine from Myra's 2005 "Healthy Hedonist": Orange-Glazed Flounder with Watercress: flounder doesn't get better than this. Red Snapper Provencale, fabulous. The Wild Rice with Porcini Mushrooms, Pecans, and Dried Cranberries is a great Thanksgiving Day dish. Every salsa, sauce and chutney in that book can be mixed and matched with all sorts of meals making for great variety. The soups are luscious and the recipes work without the need for adjustments: Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Shallots and Sage! Moroccan Chickpea Soup! White Bean and Spinach Soup with Rosemary! Anyhow, obviously I've cooked enough of this author's recipes to whole-heartedly encourage everyone to explore them on their own.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2007
The Healthy Hedonist Holidays is an inspiration! I opened this book and immediately felt inspired to cook. In her latest book, Myra Kornfeld demonstrates a passion for fresh foods and quality ingredients. Celebrating our favorite holidays, this book features simple to follow recipes packed with authentic flavors from all over the world. The book is well organized into Holiday Menus that can easily be for a feast, or for just a weeknight meal that will impress anyone that sits at your table.

What is most impressive, is that the recipes work without any tweaking. I have made several recipes from the book and each one has come out tasting fantastic and looking beautiful. Even though I tend to prefer savory foods, the first recipe that I made was the Double Chocolate Cloud Cookies. I took them to the office and everyone inhaled them as if they were clouds! While we are on the subject of dessert, the Truffles are yummy and the Belgian Brownies are more than a little sinful.

Being a vegetarian, I really like that each of the menus has a main dish that is either Vegan or Vegetarian. The Golden Squash and Chickpea Soup with Roasted Chickpea Nuts is delicious with balancing flavors of spicy ginger and clean lemon, perfect for a cool autumn supper. The best Chickpea recipe I have ever tasted is the Charmoula Chickpea Strudel and it is so easy. It also freezes well. For a weekday brunch, I prepared the Cheese Pancakes with Zucchini and Walnuts. They are light and airy, almost like a soufflé. Everyone wanted more!

I recently returned from Mexico and needed a "South of the Border" fix. I made the Tortilla Soup, and the Asparagus Quesadillas with Red Chile Paste and the flavors were authentically recreated. I was back in the sun!

I read cookbooks like novels. I highly recommend actually reading this one from front to back. You will glean so much information about cooking techniques, ethnic flavors, and the role food plays in the celebration of our holidays through taste, smells and memory.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2007
Because of the way this cookbook is organized, it is easy to gather ingredients in advance, and the recipes are fast and easy to make. And because holiday foods are special and pretty, they are somehow extremely appealing to children to eat!

My five year old son and I made the Potato Latkes (light and easy with lots of carrots in the mix) and the Cheese Pancakes with Zucchini and Walnuts (scrumptious). He had a good time mixing the potatoes and forming them into small patties for cooking. The mama in me liked the fact of the "hidden" veggies that he wolfed down happily. We made the Mulled Cider-Cranberry Applesauce which my son informed me was "way better" than store bought applesauce: No Kidding! And it was so pretty!

The Pierogis were fun to make together, too, and the dill was a great addition to the Dilled Potato Cheese Pierogis. I love it that they can be made ahead and frozen. I doubled the recipe and filled the freezer with meal-sized bags of them.

The recipes are fantastic, but maybe the best thing about the book is the writing about the holidays inbetween. I love it that I can cook this food with my son, and also talk with him about who makes the same kind of food, and why and what it means to them. It makes the world seem a lot smaller, which can't be a bad thing in these troubled times.

We are looking forward to making the Pomegranate Chicken with Walnuts for Thanksgiving. Thank you, Myra Kornfeld, for another fantastic cookbook!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
i must have missed something here but i thought i was ordering a vegetarian cookbook for the holidays. The premise is great. I've spent 35 years making 2 parallel menus for every holiday to accommodate the family. I thought this would ease that burden. Not the case. It is not a vegetarian cookbook. There are a lot of veggie recipies and i look forward to trying them but chicken is not vegetarian. Chicken broth/stock is not vegetarian. Buyer beware. (I do want to repeat, it is a lovely holiday cookbook that covers MANY holidays, just not what i was expecting in terms of the vegetarianism).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2007
I received Healthy Hedonist Holidays as a gift from a friend who's a professional chef. She assured me this is one cookbook I'll want to use over and over again. At first, I was skeptical, (polite of course, but skeptical) but she was so right!

Here's what I love about this book:

1) It's a delicous read; just the titles of these international recipes are enough to send me to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

2)These obviously well-tested dishes makes me look like a much more sophisticated cook than I am. Example: Last Saturday night, I made the posh-looking Sunflower-crusted Salmon Pinwheels with Watercress Pesto, from the St. Patrick's Day menu ("Wow" factor: ten) My husband swears he's never seen his Mom look so blissed out. And she's not even Irish!

3)Thanks to this festive book, I don't have to stress over what to give for the holidays this year! I'm ordering gift-wrapped copies of Healthy Hedonist Holidays for everyone who adores exquisite food, year round. (And that's everyone on my list!)
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on December 30, 2014
Can't wait to try as many as I can find ingredients for...!
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