Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 is a Perfect Taste of the Season

Gorgeous food photos and simple but tasty recipes abound in Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season. In this follow-up to Symon’s bestselling 5 in 5 has taken his love of fresh, simple flavors, matched it with a passion for seasonal eating, and knocked it out of the park by making every recipe accessible for even the busiest or most beginner among us.

Filled with easy-to-follow recipes (that even you cannot prep AND cook in 5 minutes, you can do it in under 30) and winning meal-making formulas that you’ll begin to recognize as you make your way through the book. Before you know it you’ll be coming up with your own fantastic takes on the 5 in 5, creating your own variations without the book.

Which makes this tome not only a great recipe collection but also a wonderful teaching tool for beginners and a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.

Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.


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Tuscan Two-Day Christmas Soup

Taking its red and green hue cues from the season, this hearty Italian-inspired soup will warm your belly with sweet Italian pork sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, and ripe red peppers. 

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Holiday Tea at the Heathman

Each year around the holidays I try to do a little something special with my kiddo to celebrate the winter festivities. Here in Portland, there are loads of things to see, experience, and taste during the holiday season. We enjoy the magic of the Oregon Zoo's...

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The Skinny Gut Diet Reviewed

Skinny Gut Diet Reviewed

I signed up for Blogging for Books a while back (which is a super cool way to get to read books for free, as long as you review them on your blog) and chose The Skinny Gut Diet as my first selection. It has since taken me FOR-EVER and two days to get around to writing this review. The reason: the book (at least the first quarter of it) was dullsville.

I want to say right out the gate that I found the author (Brenda Watson) very knowledgable. It’s just that I wasn’t connecting with the material. And because I wasn’t connecting with it, it took me a long time to actually finish reading it. That said, it may just be a case of I’ve heard it all before and not really anything too bad about this book itself. For anyone familiar with gluten or any other food intolerance or who has tried any of the Paleo diets available out there, you’ve already been gut health talked to death. We all know: sugar bad, fat good, carbs bad, non-starchy veggies good. And Watson pairs this with good advice about healthful snacking to keep cravings at bay (haven’t we all heard about the 6 to 8 little meals a day to jumpstart your metabolism?)

But the big problem with all these diets is that they are so hard to maintain long-term, especially with a family and on a budget. The cost of supplements alone will kill ya! (To which some will say, “Learn to make fermented foods at home.” To which I will answer, you try raising a little, preparing three meals a day, running your own business, writing two blogs and just fitting in enough sleep, water and exercise and see if you wanna futz with pickling your own cabbage — which is horrible for IBS, btw.) Anyway, I digress.

The point is, like my dad (and the old testament) used to say, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

OVERALL RATING: *** (3 out 5 stars) Though it’s filled with good information about gut bacteria and resetting your metabolism and biochemistry by healing your gut health using probiotics, supplements, and a low carb lifestyle (repeated ad infinitum), I was just left with the feeling of — So? What else is new?  But if you’ve never heard about gut health affecting your health or weight, then this would be a good book for a beginner to start their indoctrination with.