Cooking the Book, Vol. 4: Cravings: Hungry for More: A Cookbook by Chrissy Teigen


I know, I know, the last installment of Cooking the Book featured Chrissy Teigen's first cookbook. And here we go again with her second. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it was just too much fun cooking from Cravings 1. Cravings 2 has the same charm, and before I knew it, I had cooked my way through quite a few recipes. But how do they stack up compared to the recipes from the first book? 

Pepper's Garlicky Bacon Scramble: 4/5 stars. Chrissy claims to have eaten this her whole life. Well this is proof that she must be blessed with a metabolism from the gods, because this sure is a decadent way to start the morning. I guess I'm not used to cooking my eggs with this much bacon fat, since I felt like the flavors were a bit muted as a result, but the garlic was a great addition. Overall, a decent recipe for eggs.

Cheesy Spicy Breakfast Hash: 3/5 stars. This was a total gutbomb. Very greasy, cheesy, and sinful. The potatoes never really crisped up, and the finished dish was literally dripping in oil. After I ate it, I could actually feel the acid reflux coming on. Cut down the amount of oil by half, and this would be much better. 

Salted Maple Granola: 5/5 stars. I've written about my love for this granola and shared the recipe on this blog already. This is the best granola my husband and I have ever had. If you make one recipe from this book, it has to be this one. This went in my heirloom recipe notebook. 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad with Garlicky Honey-Dijon Dressing: 5/5 stars. Even though I deviated quite a bit from the recipe, I can still say this is such a good salad. Chrissy really knows how to make salads you actually want to eat. The honey dijon dressing recipe is brilliant, and is my go-to salad dressing now. The dressing went in my heirloom recipe notebook. 

Tangy Herb and Sesame Slaw: 4/5 stars. While this isn't something I would necessarily make again in a hurry, it was good for what it was--a light, refreshing, crunchy slaw. Since my husband hates mayo, I always appreciate a non-mayo-based slaw. This one won't weigh you down, and it pairs well with the BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches in this same book.

Pulled BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Pineapple Slaw: 5/5 stars. Sweet, tender, barbecuey chicken. I mean, how can this be bad? This is a nice alternative to pulled pork, and we'd definitely make it again. I did not make the pineapple slaw. 

Kung Pao Roasted Broccoli: 3/5 stars. As someone who makes roasted broccoli on the regular, I was excited to try this, but I found it too aggressively salty to be a side dish. My husband didn't hate it, but I wasn't really a fan and would not make it again. 

Pad Thai Carbonara: 2/5 stars. I was so excited about this dish that I actually made it right when the cookbook came out. I can't even describe what made us hate it besides that we found the overall taste unpleasant. My husband refused to eat more than a few bites. I mustered up the effort to finish two bowls, but most of it ended up going in the trash. Sorry, Chrissy. 

Thai Fishcakes with Spicy Peanut Sauce: 3/5 stars. I have always wanted to make Thai fishcakes, and this recipe was really accessible. It ended up being fine, but I would have liked it to have a bit more flavor (more salt and more curry paste). The spicy peanut sauce really saved it

Red Chicken Curry: 4/5 stars. I've made a lot of Thai red curry dishes over the years. This was somewhere in the middle for me--not the best, but not bad either. My husband said this was just alright for him, but I would say it was better than just alright. 

Chicken and Dumplings: 4/5 stars. Similar to the red chicken curry, I've made a lot of renditions of chicken and dumplings. This was somewhere in the middle for me. I do have to say that the chicken was amazingly silky tender, and the technique of making a broth while simultaneously cooking the chicken for the chicken and dumplings is smart. I wanted a little bit more flavor in the end result, and the dumplings didn't have the texture I was looking for, so this was just 4 stars for me. 

Simple Skillet Broken Lasagna: 5/5 stars. This was a lot of work for something labeled as simple. However, the lasagna was very tasty, and the leftovers were even better.

Shake & Bake Chicken with Hot Honey: 3/5 stars. I had such high hopes for this, but the breading and chicken weren't as flavorful as I had hoped. I didn't feel like the hot honey added a whole lot either. This is the rare dish that my husband liked a lot more than I did.

Twitter's (and Uncle Mike's) Banana Bread: 4/5 stars. I made this even before the cookbook came out, when Chrissy's banana escapades were unfolding on Twitter. With the vanilla pudding mix and loads of chocolate chips and shredded coconut inside, it's an extremely decadent, very moist banana cake (I wouldn't even call it banana bread), perfect for people who don't normally like banana bread. It's over-the-top and classic Chrissy. My husband and I prefer regular banana bread, but we wouldn't turn this down either. 

Average Recipe Rating: 3.9/5 stars

Amazingly, this got the exact same average recipe rating as her last cookbook! It's a worthy sequel to the first, full of creative ideas and fun recipes that will make you want to run to your kitchen. There are lots of solid recipes to make in here, and two of the recipes went in my heirloom recipe book. Another great effort by the social media queen.

I'll update this as I continue to cook from it. Here are some recipes I'm looking forward to making next:

  • Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes
  • Popovers with Brie and Blackberry Jam
  • Taters, Shrooms, and Peas with Parmesan Cream
  • Pepper's Grilled Eggplant with Crispy Shallots
  • Spicy Jammy Drummies
  • Skillet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
Did you enjoy this review? Here are my other previous Cooking the Book reviews:

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