Cook your way through ‘Cravings,’ ‘Tasty’

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Chrissy Teigen’s famous banana bread is included in her new cookbook.
Chrissy Teigen’s famous banana bread is included in her new cookbook.
Lisa Boykin Batts |Times

I’ve enjoyed reading through two new cookbooks the last few weeks. The new releases are definitely worth your time if you enjoy cooking and trying new dishes.

“Cravings: Hungry for More”

This fun book is a follow to Chrissy Teigen’s first cookbook, “Cravings.”

Teigen, a cover model, is married to performer John Legend, and they have two young children. Beautiful family photos are sprinkled throughout the book along with some of the family’s favorite foods.

In the book’s introduction, Teigen said she’s not into gimmicky cookbooks, rather, she likes “books that sit on my shelf for years and years and years with sticky pages and balsamic fingerprints.”

She shares a variety of recipes that can take you from an indulgent breakfast of French Toast with Whipped Honey Ricotta Topping to a colorful Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad with Garlicky Honey-Dijon Dressing.

You can try her mom’s Tom Yum Noodles or Pad Thai Carbonara then treat the family to Skillet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies.

Teigen’s recipe commentary is lively and honest, and it reflects her colorful personality. It’s something her Twitter followers — including me — have come to expect and enjoy.

I remember reading Teigen’s ripe banana Twitter contest about a year ago. She needed six brown bananas to make banana bread and asked followers who lived near her for their help. In exchange for the bananas, she would give them a signed cookbook, a pair of her husband’s underwear and some makeup. It wasn’t long before Teigen’s assistant picked up some bananas from a Los Angeles-area resident.

As part of my Hurricane Florence preparation, I made the famous banana bread for my family. The bread is moist and delicious, and the coconut adds a nice flavor.

Next up for me is Spice-Rubbed Parmesan Chicken Breasts!

The list price is $29.99, but it is listed for less on online sites.

“Tasty Ultimate”

Buzzfeed’s popular Tasty videos have many of us trying new recipes after seeing one-pot meals come together in minutes or drooling over cupcakes topped with gooey frosting.

With the new “Tasty Ultimate,” you can follow along in print, with easy, step-by-step instructions and lots of bold photos. There are six photos to show you how to assemble Pepperoni Pizza Pull, for instance. The photos make the recipe seem easy.

I love the idea of adding cranberry sauce to the slow cooker recipe Sweet and Sour Sunday Brisket, and I know my husband and I would enjoy having a stash of make-ahead Baked Egg Breakfast Sandwiches in our freezer.

If you want to try something sweet, you can choose between the side-by-side recipes for either fudgy or cakey brownies or you can use the photos as a guide to impress your family with Mini S’Mores Eclairs.

Perhaps you are feeling very adventurous. If you are, try your hand at deep-fried deviled eggs. Or maybe you’d like to try Showtopping Beef Wellington or Baked Lobster Tails, again, with detailed photo instructions.

“Tasty Ultimate” includes 75 new recipes and 75 “fan favorites.”

The list price is $29.99, but it is listed for less on online sites.

Twitter’s (And Uncle Mike’s) Banana Bread

Chrissy Teigen’s banana bread is a delicious change of pace, made with chocolate chunks and coconut.

2 cups mashed very ripe bananas*

4 eggs

2/3 cup canola oil, plus a little more to grease the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting the pan

2 cups sugar

1 (3.5-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix**

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 (3.5-ounce) bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Salted butter, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs and oil. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well BUT GENTLY. I swear this came out differently when I used an aggressive electric mixer. Fold in the coconut and chocolate chunks.

Grease and flour a Bundt pan (that means wipe a little grease all over the inside of the pan, dust it with flour, and tip it upside down to shake out any extra flour). Pour the batter into the pan. (This can also make two 8X4-inch loaves, but it’s so much more moist in one Bundt pan!)

Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (Test it with a toothpick at around 50 minutes.) Let it cool slightly in the pan, then use a butter knife to gently release the cake from the sides of the pan and around the inner circle, then flip it onto a plate.

Let it cool and cut it into slices. Rewarm them and serve them with salty butter!!

*Get six brown bananas. Not four. Not five. Six. You will think you only need five because it looks like enough, but it will not be enough. You will get five, you will mash them, you will be about half an inch short and that makes a difference and you cannot get around it. Trust me.

**I won’t tell you what brand to use, but the right brand rhymes with smello. Don’t use banana-flavored pudding mix. I tried it. It is gross.

“Cravings: Hungry for More”