I take Mindy Kaling‘s advice very seriously (because even her “Don’t do this thing I’d do” advice is pretty damn fun). Recently on Instagram, Mindy gave a major shout-out to model/TV host/mom/cookbook author Chrissy Teigen. Along with an image of Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat ($18), Chrissy’s best-selling ode to grub, Mindy wrote, “Hands down my favorite cookbook… get this book and do a full Julie and Julia with it like I’m doing.” I’m on it, Mindy.
But it wasn’t just Mindy givin’ Cravings mad love. Chrissy’s cookbook was routinely popping up on my Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. It was like she and her delicious recipes were stalking me. I tend to avoid cookbooks penned by celebs. I figure that odds are they should stick with acting, modeling, singing or reality TV gigs and not attempt to wear another (chef) hat. But something about Chrissy’s cookbook and all the positive reviews had me way intrigued. I was in. Hello, Amazon Prime and a week of cooking like Chrissy.
THE RECIPES: PLENTY OF BUTTER AND SPICE
First, it has to be noted that even though Chrissy is a model (famous for her Sports Illustrated swimsuit pics), Cravings is not — I repeat NOT — a diet cookbook. Butter, bacon, more butter, beef, potatoes and even more butter are go-to ingredients. My fam (hubby and kid) tackled a mix of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes using Chrissy’s recipes and tips.
One of the best things about Cravings is that all the recipes are easy to make, relatively quick and are firmly placed in the comfort food realm (AKA *perfect* for fall and winter meals). “Maybe you’ve never cooked a meal in your life or maybe you are Chef Chefly McCheffinton,” she writes, giving Cravings a “this cookbook is for everyone” vibe, which makes the recipes extra fun to follow. These are dishes that are palate pleasers for the whole crew, except little ones. They might not be too keen on the spiciness of some of the dishes (for example, Spicy Tomato Skillet Eggs With Prosciutto, Pepper’s Spicy Clams and Pasta, Secretly Spicy Deviled Eggs and Spicy Cajun Sausage, Peppers and Cabbage). The girl likes it spicy. My kid? Not so much.
Our family’s faves (that the crew is already begging for again) include the Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts, BTI (Better Than Ina’s) Roast Chicken and Vegetables and Cheesy Cheeseless Scrambled Eggs. There were also a couple that will be one time deals for us, like the Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf (it gave me wicked heartburn) and the Hasselback Potatoes (they looked super cool, but I just didn’t think the work made them taste that much better than regular spuds).
THE WRITING: CAN WE BE BESTIES NOW?
Hilarious tidbits about Chrissy’s pre-kid life (baby Luna wasn’t in the picture when she penned the book) are sprinkled throughout Cravings. Chrissy is F-U-N-N-Y! Like, she should have her own sitcom funny. With most recipe books, I’d just go immediately to the meat of the matter (the whats and hows), but with Cravings, I’d read all the intros and her asides, often reading them to my man (with him chuckling alongside me).
Along with the mouth-watering photos of food, there are slice-of-life photos of Chrissy, John Legend, Chrissy’s parents and her adorable pups throughout the book. This is not like my life. I don’t have a pool to lay beside while chowing down on chicken wings. Her kitchen is way cleaner than mine. And I really, really don’t look as good in a halter and short shorts as she does. It also made me totally jelly for her marble kitchen counters, cute dogs and family bonding while cooking (she and her mom are adorable).
Besides all the recipes, I realized something. I want to be BFFs with Chrissy. We could braid each other’s hair, John would serenade us with sweet, sweet songs and we’d laugh so hard that our bellies would hurt. And then we’d fill those bellies with ALL THE FOODS. Could I cook with Cravings every day or every week? I don’t think so. But I’ll proudly put it on my cookbook shelf along with my other faves, because Chrissy is now part of the family.
Have you tried Cravings? If so, what’s your fave recipe? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know.
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(Photos via Sunny Chanel)