Book Reviews

Miraval's Sweet and Savory Cooking

Miraval, Justin Cline Macy, Kim Macy

Diet/Fitness

978-1-4019-4190-1

Miraval's Sweet andSavory Cooking is a blend of two styles of cooking by Miraval Resort and Spa's Executive Chef Justin Cline Macy and Pastry Chef Kim Macy. Although they're from two very different ar... More

Feb 28, 2015 medsi
This cookbook contains a healthy balance of general cooking tips/information and recipes. As the name of the book adequately captures, the recipes are mostly sweet and savory. The pictures are vibrant and are sure to make your mouth water. Overall, I thought the recipes were just average, though. Based on Miraval’s philosophy on health and wellness, I was expecting the recipes to take a healthy (or at least healthier) approach to sweet and savory. The recipes were ladened with the traditional sugar and flour options as opposed to healthy, whole food alternatives to each. Even in my sweet and savory “indulgences”, I prefer to use more wholesome ingredients (even the gluten-free fudge brownies had more sugar in them than I care for). If you prefer to use standard ingredients, then I think you will find several recipes to enjoy in this cookbook. For me, this book was nice to look at, but I was not tempted to try too many of the recipes. Though I have not been to Miraval, it is definitely on my list of places to visit. The cookbook has not turned me off from that desire, but I will be sure to ask for a meal more in line with my eating philosophy when I go. A link to purchase the cookbook is below:

http://www.hayhouse.com/miraval-s-sweet-savory-cooking?utm_id=3313

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
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Apr 09, 2014 BethanyG
I love a good cookbook. Especially one that has wonderful recipes that I can use to entertain with. Miraval has come out with a new addition to there cookbook collection with Sweet & Savory Cooking by Justin Macy and Kim Macy.

The husband and wife team up to combine there two separate divisions of the kitchen to bring a book filled with a full table of food. You can design a menu from start to finish with just this one book.

What I love is that this book doesn’t just jump right in to recipes. It actually has a section at the beginning that gives you some tips and tricks that might come in handy. There is one tip that I have no idea about and it will be used quiet often.

Did you know that you could use your coffee grinder to grind up spices? I did, but had no clue how to get rid of the previous smells and flavors. Easy tip is…grind a handful of rice between each spice or coffee to eliminate the existing smell/flavor. Great tip!!!

The recipes in this book will have your mouth watering and will have you planning out your next dinner party.

But, the only thing that I really didn’t like was the fact that not every recipe had an image with it. I would have loved being able to see the presentation of every recipe to compare my own creation to. Other than that, I have no complaints about this wonderful, book filled with, dare I say it, food porn.

{Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hay House for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }
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Apr 02, 2014 judyshome

Wow. Just wow. This is such a comprehensive cookbook! It’s written by chefs from health spa, Miraval and you can definitely tell.

Impressive photos are woven throughout the book and the beautiful collection of recipes is simply amazing. My jaw dropped at the creativity and integration of so many wonderful ingredients. Very rarely do I see a single cookbook showing you how to work with such a diverse range of ingredients from gourmet truffle oil, to simpler foods like lentils to superfoods like quinoa.

Having said that, at times, it was a little intimidating to be expected to know stuff like how to prepare lobster for everyday home cooking! I was also a bit overwhelmed by the vast quantities of things I’ve never worked with: I still don’t know what “mâche” is…except in the sense of “paper mâché” – but that doesn’t seem very palatable. (As a side note, the book says it’s a type of green vegetable :D). So, for me, this becomes more of a cookbook for the entertainers and the dinner-party throwers and maybe not so much for the everyday cook. However, I could just be a country bumpkin who feels threatened when she doesn’t know what “cioppino” is.

I tried some of the simpler recipes like the balsamic reduction – this is the Best Thing Ever. For one thing, all it requires is simmering balsamic vinegar until it’s syrupy (It beat out my previous Simplest Recipe Ever – which included tossing coconut into a food processor to make coconut butter). When the balsamic reduction is finished, it makes everything you put it on fancier! For example, I drizzled it onto a made-from-scratch-pizza with homemade marinara sauce – recipe is also from the book.

Then other times, there are recipes inside of recipes inside of recipes.

One example of where this happens (i.e. recipes inside of recipes) is this arugula salad:
* first it directs you to the recipe for pear walnut dressing
* and that recipe directs you to the recipe for thickened veggie stock
* that one directs you to the regular veggie stock.

Going back to the salad page, you read the next ingredient and it is the Marinated Baby Artichoke
* the recipe is on the neighbouring page (thank goodness!)
* and that recipe leads you again to the thickened veggie stock
* which requires you to know the recipe for “regular veg stock”.
* For these artichokes, you also have to have on hand some Tarragon Infused Rice Wine Vinegar, which I didn’t originally notice, but then found the 4-line recipe imbedded in the blurb before the ingredients list,“You can make tarragon-infused vinegar at home by…”

LOL, the way I flip through this book is similar to that of a Choose Your Own Adventure Book (remember those??) And this is just to make a salad! LOL. I know, I know – two of the imbedded recipes simply point to the same Thickened Soup Stock, but still – it requires more pre-planning than the average book.

Finally, where I’d love more detail is in the fancy chef tricks. They have a recipe on Pretzel Bread Rolls. The photo is beautiful. Except I have no idea how they shaped and cut their dough to make these rolls so much prettier than the non-uniform mounds I’d end up with.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Mar 25, 2014 KaseyCocoa
I loved looking through the recipes and drooling over the beautifully done photographs. The recipes are easy to locate and have relatively easy to follow instructions but they are not for the novice in the kitchen. Most of the ingredients are easy to find if you live near a larger city. This would make a lovely addition to the bookshelf of someone who loves cooking. I received an evaluation copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. In no way has this influenced our opinion. Read more reviews, author interviews and enter giveaways on my blog.
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Mar 12, 2014 CreateWithJoy
Last year I had the pleasure of travelling – via armchair – to the Miraval Resort & Spa when I reviewed the book Mindful Living by Miraval. As I flipped through the pages of that book, I remember vicariously partaking in all kinds of amazing experiences, but the one thing that stood out to me – as an armchair traveler – was the amazing food.

So – I could barely contain my excitement when I learned that the Miraval Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Justin Cline Macy and Pastry Chef Kim Macy had thrown open the doors of their kitchen and created a cookbook that brings the culinary delights of the Miraval into our own homes!

I now hold that book – Miraval’s Sweet & Savory Cooking – in my hands and it is every bit as magical as I imagined it would be!

The first thing I want to share with you, as I flip through the recipes, is how good – how fresh – how re-creatable these recipes are. Sometimes, when you visit a fancy restaurant, you find strange dishes on the menu that you really have to be an adventurous eater to partake in. Not so with this book! If I had to characterize the recipes, I’d say the cookbook contains a lot of creative twists on everyday classics!

And the recipes themselves? They will make your mouth water! My husband cannot wait to try the Venison Chili and the Veal with Caramelized Pears and Sage. I’m looking forward to savoring the Roasted Corn Soup, the Roasted Vegetable and Sweet Potato Strudels, and the Trail Mix Cookies!

To sample a recipe, check out these Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes!

The book opens with some useful information from the chefs on:

    The Best Equipment For Sweet And Savory Cooking
    Kitchen Tips and Helpful Hints
    The Sweet And Savory Cooking Pantry

The recipe sections are divided as follows:

    Kim’s Breakfast Treats, Quick Breads, And Yeast Breads
    Justin’s Soups, Salads, And Appetizers
    Justin’s Main Dishess
    Miraval Basics, Accents, And Side Dishes
    Kim’s Cookies, Bars, And Baked Goods
    Kim’s Cakes, Custards, And Other Desserts

The recipes provide clear instructions and include serving sizes, calorie information, and nutritional breakdowns. The recipe photography is spectacular!

If you are looking for a cookbook that brings the delights of spa cuisine into your home – I highly recommend Miraval’s Sweet & Savory Cooking to you!
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Mar 06, 2014 blessedelements
I may never make it to Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona but I can now enjoy some of the food served at this resort, named Worlds Best Wellness Resort. Executive Chef of the resort Justn Macy and Pastry Chef Kim Macy, husband and wife, have just made that possible with their latest collaboration on their new cookbook called, Miraval’s Sweet & Savory Cooking.

Filled with information from topics of the proper tools, helpful hints and of course lovely recipes, this book is a delight for any one that would love to try cooking and baking some of the wonderful servings they would get at this resort. Healthy food with a mixture of sweet and savory appealing recipes are offered in this book.

The recipes begin with breakfast treats such as lemon-glazed blueberry scones and includes breads and yeast breads as well. I was delighted that I had most of the items already in my kitchen.

Justin’s contributions come next in this cookbook, offering Soups, Salads, and Appetizers. I loved the variety of the recipes and again let me create them in my own kitchen with little shopping for added items. Wonderful recipes are great but if you have to go over your budget at the grocery store to acquire the ingredients then it comes to little use in the kitchen. I found the recipes I was intrigued to try both within my budget and expanded my knowledge of the types of foods out there to try.
The Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce was a favorite of mine and I will make that often for family and friends to enjoy.

The main dishes also created by Jason Macy were easy for me to switch into a vegetarian meal by omitting the meat and substituting it for something else. There are dishes that contained no meat such as the Lentil Portobello Roll-Ups with Feta and Tomatillo, Lime, and Roasted Corn Salsa and others.

The book ends with Kim’s Cookies, Bars, and Baked Goods which made my mouth water just looking at the photos. I can not even begin to describe all the wonderful desserts in this book and the ones I tried were delicious!

This is a great cookbook to purchase for yourself or for someone you know that loves to cook. It is well planned and will introduce the recipient to a wide selection of pastry and foods. This has an abundant amount of recipes to try and is a wonderful addition to any cookbook collection. The main thing I love about this book is that I haven’t found a recipe yet that I don’t want to try. So often I get cook books and only find a few recipes feasible economically to fix or are within my interest zone. I will probably be cooking new recipes from this book 6 months to a year from now as it is packed with great recipes that will suit different occasions.
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Feb 26, 2014 skiwee47

Miraval Resort and Spa Chef’s Justin and Kim Macy have collaborated on a cookbook with delicious recipes to be created at home. The foreward is penned by Michael Tompkins, CEO, Miraval Resort and Spa, “…a sweet and savory balance between the chefs on a personal level, too…Justin Cline Macy is Miraval’s executive chef, and Kim Macy is the pastry chef—and they’re husband and wife.”He also states, “Justin looks for ways to reduce added oil,…..Kim chooses to use smaller amounts of rich ingredients…”

The Chefs give their secret ingredients they like to use. Kim, “fresh seasonal berries”, and Justin, “Miraval’s balsamic reduction.” They belive some of the best equipment used in any kitchen is: blenders, coffee griners, cutting boards, fine mesh strainers and fish spatula to name a few. Their recipe book is divided into six sections with delectable sounding dishes. I picked a few recipes from each section:
Kim’s Breakfast Treats, Quick Breads, and Yeast Breads: Rosemary, Garlic, and Honey Focaccia; Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Scones
Justin’s Soups, Salads, and Appetizers: Scallops with Lemon Vinaigrette and Frisee; Roasted Baby Beet Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Justin’s Main Dishes: Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Fruit Salsa; Sear Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Sauce
Miraval Basics, Accents, and Side Dishes: Balsamic-Onion Relish; Parmesan-Sage Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Kim’s Cookies, Bars, and Baked Goods: Coconut Lime Bars; Mint Chocolate Macaroons
Kim’s Cakes, Custards, and Other Desserts: Tiramisu Torte; Low-Fat Lemon-Buttermilk Pound Cake; Meringue Tartlet Crusts

I recommend this cookbook for everyone who loves to cook. This would be a great addition to enhance your culinary skills.

I received this book free from Hay House Publications for this review.

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Feb 23, 2014 aimeeroo
I'm always on the lookout for a great new cookbook, and Miraval's Sweet and Savory Cooking fits the bill. Not only is it full of a great variety of recipes, it also has a lot of full color photos (a must for a cookbook if you ask me). As the title suggests, you will find a mix of both savory and sweet inside.

Miraval's Sweet & Savory Cooking features recipes from Miraval Resort and Spa's Executive Chef Justin Cline Macy and Pastry Chef Kim Macy. I had heard wonderful things about Miraval Resort, and this book certainly did not disappoint. The recipes are filled with fresh ingredients and healthy spa-cuisine techniques. There are even a few gluten free recipes, and low fat substitutions.

What I loved most was that the recipes are easy to follow, while still having some that are more unique. Many of the recipes look like something you would find in a very expensive restaurant or spa setting! It was exciting to have the chance to try some of these amazing meals out at home. Of course I was drawn to the sweet side first, a delicious vanilla coffee cake to be exact. Oh it was so tasty! And with the use of plain yogurt, it was friendly to the waist line as well as our taste buds!

I am also looking forward to trying more from the savory side, and for sure trying more of the sweet side too. Dinner and lunch ideas are always a bit scarce in our household, so it's nice to have a new cookbook to pull from. Especially when the cookbook has such mouthwatering photos inside. And it's even better to know that the recipes come from a reputable, healthy, kitchen.


I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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