Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cookbook Review: California Pizza Kitchen


Avocado Club Egg Roll

Despite living in California for a few years, I never ate at a California Pizza Kitchen. But I found I couldn't resist their new cookbook, California Pizza Kitchen Family Cookbook. It's a little dynamo: small, jam-packed, and happy yellow!

A tiny book, with almost sixty recipes, including basics. Ironically, I never did get around to trying a pizza recipe! Although I have the White Pizza with Bacon and the Chipotle Chicken Pizza marked for future use.

The recipes are all pretty easy, although many have that oh-so-fun recipe within a recipe. There's definitely a family vibe running through it.

Heavy on the chicken, and using lots of cheese, this isn't a low-fat book, nor is it a truly 'gourmet' tome, either. There's some store-bought help, and some recipes are a little too hotel buffet artery-clogging! But in general, it's a neat little book with some funky dishes.

And best of all...the entire proceeds from the sales of the book go to children's charities!

The first recipe, the Avocado Club Egg Roll, was pretty fantastic. Embarrassingly addictive, those things. Grilled & diced chicken (or Veat), crumbled bacon (or veggie bacon), diced Roma tomatoes, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and sliced avocado are layered on an egg roll wrapper. With an egg wash to moisten, roll up and seal, then fry about 1 1/2 minutes per side, till golden.
Serve with a dip of Ranch dressing, mayo and hot sauce.

Oh, it's good. I mean, the filling is just a club sandwich, right? Add avocado, almost...not quite but almost...over-kill. Then FRY it? Have mercy.

Curly Mac & Cheese

I made this primarily for Alex's benefit. It uses, and please don't take away my food blogging credentials for admitting this, Velveeta. (looks properly shamed)
Not exactly curly, eh? Couldn't find that new box of fusilli we'd just bought. So, used up the odds ands ends of pasta lying around.

It's just cream and processed cheese food spread (hee), melted, and pasta. It started out pretty good, actually. The cream really tempered the Velveeta (I can't believe I've typed the word 'Velveeta' this many times!), and it was a creamy sauce.
Of course, as it cooled down, it got...um, thick. My lips were sticking together, they were so coated with sauce. Best eaten HOT.

Honey-Dijon Chicken & Bacon Panini

Any excuse to use the sandwich press!

Italian bread, a mixture of mayo, Dijon, and honey spread on one side. Then, sliced garlic chicken (made ahead of time), bacon, and slices of Monterey Jack; grill.

Simply? Good stuff.

We're kicking off our fourth year of Blog Party by taking a look back at some of our favorite first-year themes. This month, we're revisiting a BP favorite, Retro Party!

We're doing a bit of time-travel, and bringing back some of the weird and wonderful dishes & drinks from the 20's through the late sixties. You won't want to miss it! R.S.V.P. no later than TONIGHT. Hope to see you there!

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8 Thoughts for food:

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Debinhawaii said...

I didn't even know they had a cookbook--I might have to check it out. So funny--I posted a recreation of their California BLT Pizza yesterday! Great minds! ;-)

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Deb, I think they have at least one other, as well.

I saw your post; it looked good! Grilled pizza just adds that extra something special, doesn't it?

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

The panini looks really delicious! We have a California Pizza Kitchen outlet here but I don't find their food quite as good. Give me homemade version anytime!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Sharon: Absolutely! Home-made trumps dining out, practically every time.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They actually have three cookbooks!

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Deb...I had no idea!

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would anyone be willing to share the recipe for the white pizza? That is one of my favorite pizzas from CPK and I would like to try it at home. Thank you!

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


I'm not sure if that's in the book, but I can try to dig it out & look.


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