Daisy Martinez: Morning, Noon and Night

Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night (Atria 2010) by Food Network star Daisy Martinez and Chris Styler is not only organized around three meals a day, but also around the family trips that Daisy took with her kids and husband instead of buying Christmas presents.

It’s a good idea, if you can afford it – forgo all the toys, gadgets, and clothes, and take off to explore a new country:

Recapturing the flavors and dishes we shared when traveling as a family – and keeping those memories alive– was the inspiration for writing this book.

The aim of the book is to cover much of Spanish and Latin American cuisine, while focusing on easy, family meals. That ends up meaning some amount of simplification along with short cuts and substitutions. The Morning section starts with a Mayan Omelet (p. 3) in which Daisy substitutes a mixture of spinach and arugula for the Mexican green Chaya, which works well.

Daisy’s stories about her family are often very amusing, especially the story that goes with “Maybe This Will Shut You Up” Eggs (pp. 14-16) about one particularly angry argument with a hotel and its aftermath. The rich dish combines chorizo, eggs, avocados and tomato sauce in layers. She also includes a recipe for corn cakes called Arepas (p. 21) – South America’s answer to Southern biscuits. There is also a recipe for Mexican Churros pp. 22-23), the light, crispy cruller that is often eaten with Chile-Spiked Hot Chocolate (p. 12). On a cold winter’s morning, that combination can’t be beat.

Perhaps Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night is just another cookbook to go with a TV series, but it happens to be a good book for a family just starting to explore other cuisines. The recipes are fairly easy and Daisy explores many countries with enthusiasm.

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