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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cookbook Review - Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night by Daisy Martinez

I was so excited when I was contacted about reviewing Daisy Martinez's book, 'Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night'.
If you've read this blog, or my other blog, Lola's Victory Garden, you know how I'm always looking for new recipes to try to change up our meals at home. Just because we can't afford to eat out in a restaurant, doesn't mean our meals have to be boring. You also know how I'm always looking for recipes that are frugal. Ms. Martinez's book fits the bill with several recipes for chicken dishes, roasts, ribs and shrimp. (Ok, shrimp isn't usually frugal, but a splurge once in awhile is a big treat.) I was doubly excited because I've always wanted to make Tamales and Empanadas.

Looking through the book I found so many recipes that I can't wait to try. Nearly every recipe has a photo, which I love because I always like to see what my dish should look like. The recipe instructions are well written and offer many notes for those who are not familiar with certain Latin foods and ingredients. There are even substitutions listed for some items which you may not be able to find at your local grocer.

The book divides the recipes into groups. Breakfast/brunch type recipes. Lunch and dinner type recipes. And yes, there are Desserts too! There is also a section for Cocktail Parties, Dinner Parties, Buffets and Menus.

There is even a section that goes over the Basics and Ingredients. Some of the recipes require advance preparation by the way of ingredients that require a recipe. What am I talking about? Sofrito, Adobo Rubs (wet or dry).

"The reason why everyone should own a copy of 'Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night' is because it really shows the diversity and the beauty of the Latin cuisina. So if you're thinking it's all about tacos and enchiladas, that's in there, but there's a whole lot more."

I made a batch of Sofrito, since as Ms. Martinez says, "In my house, sofrito makes its way into everything from yellow rice, black bean soup, sauce for spaghetti and meatballs to braised chicken and sautéed shrimp. Not only that, it freezes beautifully, so in about In 10 minutes you can make enough sofrito to flavor a dozen dishes. I’m telling you, this stuff does everything but make the beds. " I should warn you though I failed to pay attention that this made 4 cups and I used my little Cuisinart Food Processor and it was a bit overflowing, But it worked out fine.
I put 3 of the containers in the freezer and in keeping with Ms. Martinez's idea that you can use it in everything, I took a large oven roaster chicken, loosened the skin and spooned the Sofrito under the skin. I had a bit leftover and just spooned that into the cavity. I baked my chicken as I normally would. The chicken was the most moist, flavorful chicken we've had. My family loved it and can't wait for me to try Ms. Martinez's tamale recipe later this week.

A tip for the Sofrito recipe: You can find these Ajíes dulces in any mexican grocer. I had a lot of extra peppers so I just washed them and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer for my next batch of Sofrito.
'Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night' by Daisy Martinez is available March, 2, 2010 and is available for pre-order at, Barnes & and

Lola's Diner Disclaimer: I was given this cookbook to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Lola's Diner


soulful sepulcher said...

Nice job Lola!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Latin cuisine is on my list of things to more fully explore ... so this cookbook sounds like a good place to start. I'm happy to hear there are plenty of pictures, because that's important for me too ... I'm a visual person. :)

Love the idea of freezing the sofrito for later use ... have never thought of that ... and it sounds amazing with that chicken. Yum!

Thanks for the tip, I'm adding this one to my list. :)

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
I'm stopping by to thank you for signing up to participate in Blog Love Commenting this month.
Thanks so much!

Jen said...

That looks good. I might have to dig out the food processor and try that. I cook a lot of chicken but it is getting really boring. I'm gonna try this thing that I can't spell.

Lola said...

@ Stephany - Thank you!

@ The Diva On A Diet - Latin Cuisine was on my list too. I did not know I was missing such flavorful foods.

@ Harriet - Hey Harriet! How's it goin'?

@ Jen - Definitely try it. I think you'll really like it. I baked the chicken in an open roasting pan until it browned, then covered with aluminum foil until it was finished cooking.

Staci said...

How are the recipes for the cooking challenged? I can normally do tacos without screwing it up, but I've never been brave enough to try anything more complicated. I tend to burn things, have them stick together when they're not supposed to, fall apart, etc. It might save me some money and embarrassment for going to Taco Bell all the time if I could do these recipes. I just don't have that much faith in my own abilities in the kitchen.

It's genetic. My mom used to set things on fire all the time too.

Do you have to have a food processor? The closest thing I have is a blender.

Lola said...

@ Staci - Most of the recipes are very easy. Of course empanadas and tamales are more ingredient and labor intensive. I don't think you have to have a food processor, but if you used a blender I would think you would need to cut your ingredients smaller.

Dorothy Rimson said...

This is so perfectly performed

kamz said...

Hi Lola! thanks for dropping my site and for the comment. I think you'd better send a copy of the movie Stepmom to your ex's fiance... just for the fun of it.

anyway, i agree that meals at should not be boring... in fact, it should be the best meals ever so that the family won't have to think of eating out. that recipe book looks very interesting... my husband though is not very adventurous when it comes to food. he always prefers Filipino dishes but since I read here some similarities like the Adobo rub, I think I will have a look at Amazon. thanks for this great review!

Petula said...

Sounds like a great cookbook. I haven't been in the cooking mood lately, but this one does sound interesting and easy to use. I like cookbooks that have pictures - the ones that don't are a bit irritating! Good review.

Lola said...

@ Dorothy Rimson - Thank you so much!

@ Kikamz - You know, I'm just the kind of person to actually send her that movie. Lol! Many of the recipes call for Adobo rub, both wet and dry rubs. Thank you!

@ Petula - I have the same issue. If I don't have a photo, I'm lost and I'm not very likely to try a recipe, unless I already know what it should look like. That's what's great about this cookbook. Nearly every recipe had a photo. I love that.

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

Sounds good!

Katherine said...

You know what really struck me with this post? When you point out that even if you can't afford to go out, dinners don't have to be boring. You are so right... and I tend to forget that. This cookbook sounds really great - I might have to get it and make dinner a little more exciting around the house!

Lola said...

@ Diana - It was delicious!

@ Katherine - Exactly! We get tired of the same old thing, so I try to replicate what we get at the Chinese food place or the Mexican food place. But this was even better, because it's food that we're not that familiar with, living in the boonies. Living in Chicago, we had every type of cuisine at our doorstep practically. Now, we have Chinese, Mexican and Italian restaurants where we live. That's it. And it's totally boring.

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