Friday, May 24, 2013

Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations: A Cookbook Review

About The Book:

Life is a gift from God, so why not celebrate?
The bestselling authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook return with a second course in their new Celebrations cookbook. From mouthwatering mini-muffins and succulent soufflé to campers' stew and lattice-topped grilled apples, the Mennonite Girls share recipes to honor all of life. Join the girls for brunch celebrating a child's birth, campfire cooking with family, and even the more somber celebrations of a life well-lived. Filled from cover to cover with devotional reflections, personal stories, and beautiful photos, this book contains much more than recipes--it will soon become your kitchen companion for life's celebrations.
Like their first book, Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Celebrations includes many gluten free adaptations!
Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a blog about recipes, hospitality, relationships, encouragement and helping the hungry. The first cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cookhas been a smashing success and has sold over 30,000 copies so far, with all author royalties going to feed hungry children.
Click here to read an interview with blog founder Lovella Schellenberg about the origin and goals of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
"No matter which way you look at it, wonderful things happen when people are given the opportunity to gather around the table—a chance to nurture and build relationships, fellowship and encourage one another and create a place of refuge for those who have had a stressful day."
—Charlotte Penner, Mennonite Girls Can Cook

About The Authors:
Mennonite Girls Can Cook comprises of a group of ten women that set out in 2008 to start a blog, sharing healthy recipes from their Mennonite Heritage. Little did they realize how successful their blog would become. Today it has grown to having 1,600 followers and over 1.4 million visitors overall.  Authors in the project include Lovella Schellenberg, Anneliese Friesen, Betty Reimer, Bev Klassen, Charlotte Penner, Ellen Bayles, Judy Wiebe, Julie Klassen, Kathy McLellan and Marg Bartel. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the WASH Project, providing clean drinking water in Africa through the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
My Review:
In 2010, I was introduced to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog, and it is the go-to blog for me when it comes to cooking Mennonite-style. I was thrilled to have been able to review the first Mennonite Girls Can Cook Cookbook, shortly after it's release in 2011 and it is the most used cookbook in my collection. I grew up Mennonite and with each recipe made, I am brought back to my younger days eating many of my Oma and Mom's wonderful treats and meals. When the opportunity arose to review the newest release from Mennonite Girls Can Cook, Celebrations, I knew I could not pass it up. 
The book is not only overflowing with delicious recipes, but the photography and "Bread for the Journey" devotionals round out the book. The book includes recipes for weddings, births, family, holidays, childhood, outdoors, community, hospitality, milestones, and life. There are 118 recipes in total, each with detailed photos and instructions. Perfect for a person like me, who while loving to bake and cook, requires details to make things work. A great addition to the book is also gluten free alternatives to many of the recipes. 
I have make a number of the recipes in the book, including the Citrus and Cranberry Mini-Muffins (p. 36), Mango Chicken Salad (p. 108), Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs (p. 116) and Strawberry Spinach Salad (p. 162). All the recipes were delicious and very easy to make. I actually doubled both the muffin and sauce/meatball recipes and each froze very nicely for additional meals. I will definitely be using the sauce/meatball recipe for making quick meals for families I know having babies soon! The book is organized in an exceptional manner, and I loved reading the authors reflections between the recipes. 
Celebrations would be the perfect gift idea for a new bride or new parent, and I know it will be right next to the original Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook as my most used for recipes that my family will cherish for years to come. Celebrations and the original cookbook remind me of The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes cookbook from many years back and have allowed me to truly embrace the Mennonite heritage that both my husband and I have. I cannot wait for the day that I can pass Celebrations on to my daughter's!
I highly recommend this cookbook (both actually!) and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations at your favorite bookseller from Herald Press, a publishing imprint of MennoMedia
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of MennoMedia and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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