Cookbook Review: Great Food! From Great News! Cooking School

It all started when Ron and Carol Eisenberg left the harsh winter life in Cleveland, OH to sunny San Diego, CA with their three kids and two dogs in tow. Ron, a pharmacist by trade, and Carol, greeting card department buyer, decided to open their own retail store called Great News! selling functional housewares and alternative greeting cards. In the 1990s, based on the trends and interest from his customers, Ron decided to focus on cookware and kitchen items. Around the same time, Carol was diagnosed with stage-4 terminal breast cancer. Ron began to research and learned to cook macrobiotic diets to help his wife fight the cancer. In May 1996, Carol passed away. Ron threw himself into the business to build his first cooking school, which is part of what Great News! is all about. During construction, he met Davora Safran. Devora is an artist, designer, and great home cook who loves to entertain. In 2002, Ron and Devon tied the knot. Together, along with a healthy list of contributors, they put together, Great Food! From Great News! Cooking School cookbook. One well known contributor is executive chef for SOL (Newport Beach, CA and Scottsdale, AZ) and Solita (Huntington Beach, CA), Chef Deborah Schneider.

The introduction is chocked full of information for the novice to the seasoned cooked – A Well-Stocked Pantry, Basic Cooking Methods, Useful Terms & Tips, and Measurement Equivalents. The book is broken up by season and then by menus.

In the Summer – Cooking with Beer section, Guinness Chocolate Brownies sounded scrumptious! From seeing sweet recipes and decadent concoctions made with Guinness, I definitely had to give this recipe a try. This recipe was created by Chef Phillis Carey. The recipe was fairly easy. If you don’t have a standing mixer, you’ll definitely need a helper in the kitchen with you when incorporating the wet and dry ingredients together. Helpful hint for the chopped chocolate, put your chocolate bars in a Ziploc bag and use a meat tenderizer or mallet to break into smaller pieces for the melting process. The brownies were a little crumbly, but had the texture of a chocolate truffle. The beer flavor was very subtle, but actually enhanced the dark chocolate flavor. The semisweet chocolate chips were a great touch, not too sweet. Vanilla bean ice cream was the perfect pairing adding cold creaminess to the mix. Whipped cream would also be a good choice too. Thumbs up!