December 12, 2008
Cookbook Review: FlavorDiva.com is all about encouraging women to reclaim the culinary talents of generations past and get back in the kitchen. Now I know how that may sound, and it may raise and scrunch up some eyebrows, but I’m not talking about restricting women to the kitchen or excluding men from the kitchen. I’m talking about women acquiring and perfecting a valuable and imperative skill that’s quickly disappearing despite the fact that cooking your own food can lead to better health for us and our loved ones.
The old saying, “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” may be a bit dated and not entirely true, but sayings don’t become clichés for nothing. They usually have some measure of truth to them. Based on feedback that Shakara Bridgers, Jeniece Isley and Joan A. Davis received when they surveyed men in barbershops, churches, chat rooms and bars, they found that most men are still interested in and attracted to women who can burn! So these three Get ‘Em Girls set out to share their wisdom and recipes for how to be a winner in the kitchen with their cookbook, The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine: Perfect Recipes for Spicing Up Your Love Life.
I stumbled across their book when its colorful and sassy cover design caught my eye in the bookstore. That same colorful appeal and playfulness continues throughout the pages of their fun and easy to follow cookbook.
The recipes featured in The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine cover a wide range of dishes from classic soul food entrées to “the morning after” breakfast dishes to Caribbean and Italian fare. The book does not fall short on variety. It also includes some low-refined carbohydrate and vegetarian dishes for good measure. Many of the recipes are already arranged in full menus for you so you don’t even have to do the work of trying to decide what to serve with what. The Get ‘Em Girls’ sexy desserts, dishes and drinks with names like “Put-it-on-him Cake,” “Kiss o’ Honey Potatoes,” and “Meet-the-Parents Carrot Cake,” will definitely inspire you to want to put together a tasty meal for your man, ASAP!
Aside from the recipes, which call for simple ingredients and techniques perfect for the experienced cook or the novice, Shakara, Jeniece and Joan also share important advice and tidbits pertaining to cooking and relationships. From how to know if a man is worth cooking for to aphrodisiac ingredient alerts to wine-pairing basics and more, these ladies make sure that you’re well informed before you begin to work your magic in the kitchen.
Out of the recipes I tried, their salmon with brown-sugar glaze, sautéed asparagus and kiss o’ honey potatoes, a part of their “so seductive” menu, came out very well and I found the directions easy to follow. I also enjoyed the cinnamon French toast recipe. I’m looking forward to testing many of the other recipes such as the Spanish-Style Paella, Balsamic-Glazed Roast Chicken, Coconut Shrimp with Honey-Orange Dipping Sauce, Bring-him Back Chicken Soup, and Tiramisu for Two. Getting hungry?
My only caveat to some of the recipes in the cookbook is that they sometimes call for ingredients that I think would be better substituted with healthier choices. For example, extra-virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil or all-natural whipped cream instead of cool whip. I plan to write a series of blog posts in January about choosing natural, high quality ingredients and which industrial, processed ingredients to stay away from and why. As for The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine, with some easy substitutions, most of the recipes are just fine.
This cute cookbook is definitely a winner, especially for a new cook, so consider ordering a copy for yourself or another Get ‘Em Girl! (Orders placed by Wednesday, December 17th via my Amazon store should be received in time for Christmas.) Try out my adaptation below of their kiss o’ honey potatoes while you wait on your book to arrive. Also, check out GetEmGirls.com. Shakara, Jeniece and Joan have expanded beyond a cookbook and provide a lifestyle website for “sassy, smart and modern chic” women of color.
Adapted from the Kiss ‘o Honey Potatoes recipe in
The Get ‘Em Girls’ Guide to the Power of Cuisine
1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a 9″ x 9″ baking dish and sprinkle the shallot, rosemary, salt and pepper over the potatoes. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, honey, dry mustard and garlic powder and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil-honey mixture over the potatoes. Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes.