Pros: Delightful range of fit-for-the-holidays recipes
Cons: Be ready to pack on the holiday pounds!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Seeing as Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman’s The Pastry Queen Christmas promises us big-hearted Holiday Entertaining Texas Style, it’s only right that we took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to test out this book for you. It’s a sacrifice we make, something we do out of the goodness of our hearts so you know which books will yield the best Christmas feasts.
Oh, who am I kidding? Reviewing cookbooks is the best excuse there is for cooking wonderful food! (You weren’t buying that ’sacrifice’ line for a minute there, were you? Yeah, neither would I in your place.)
The Pastry Queen Christmas unabashedly offers plenty of delicious, fattening holiday fare, both traditional and unusual, and every single recipe we tried was fabulous. My only reservation, in fact, was with respect to the green bean bundles—green beans marinated in butter and spices, then wrapped in bacon and baked. The seasonings were perfect, but it seemed like the recipe would have been even better with maybe half the butter. But then I’ve been trying to eat more healthily lately, so perhaps I’ve just lost my taste for the more fatty dishes! And at any rate, now that I know it’s too buttery for me, it would be easy to adjust the recipe.
The Mexican camp bread had us eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in just about every way we could think of. The cranberry-walnut scones had a ton of flavor, and perfectly balanced the tartness of the cranberries with a bit of sweetness. An apple pear chutney was the perfect foil to fattier, richer Thanksgiving fare, and a pear salad with pomegranate and chevre was positively to-die-for!
Whether you’re looking for homey fare such as savory rice balls in tomato sauce or fancy holiday specials like red velvet cupcakes with mascarpone cream cheese icing, you’ll find recipes in here certain to impress friends and family alike. More importantly, they taste wonderful!
The book is a large hardcover that lies flat easily, and it includes plenty of lovely photographs. The recipes are laid out very clearly, and often include personal notes from the author. This book would make a lovely source of recipes for your own holiday feast, or the perfect holiday gift for your favorite cook.