Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking by LeAnn Bird

Check out the chiles on the cover of LeAnn Bird's cookbook, Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking. The title may say "Mexican," but that's perfect for a week celebrating Posadas County and New Mexico. Here's a hint. That's the meaning behind Steven F. Havill's Red, Green, or Murder - chiles.

Bird discusses Mexican cooking, saying her favorite recipes come from her memories of growing up in Arizona, and spending time in the desert. Her description of Arizona's desert matches Havill's Posadas County, "It's beautiful, wild, arid, and yet so full of life." Her Mexican food would be typical of a border county in New Mexico as well.

This book is called Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking because Bird says everyone can prepare Mexican recipes with basic ingredients, and they can be kept in a recipe. Staples of Mexican cooking include tortillas, refried beans, salsa, cheese, green chiles, corn masa, dried chile pods, rice, canned chipotles in adobe sauce, along with basic spices.

I was impressed with the recipes included in this book. The author breaks recipes down so they seem easy to make. She does recommend homemade flour and corn tortillas, but there are very good colored pictures in the book, showing techniques. Each recipe includes a colored photo. And, for the New Mexico connection, she recommends dried New Mexico chiles, particularly for the red color in her posole and Chile Colorado Sauce. And, of course there are traditional recipes for desserts, sopapillas and flan.

LeAnn Bird's cookbook is subtitled, "Economical Ways to Stretch Your Budget Without Cutting Back On Flavor." With 100 recipes, colored photos, and easy-to-follow recipes, Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking is a keeper.

LeAnn Bird's website is

Pantry-Friendly Mexican Cooking by LeAnn Bird. Outskirts Press, Inc., ©2009. ISBN 9781432740160 (paperback), 100p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.

Check out the other blogs participating in DETECTIVES AROUND THE WORLD. Jen has links to all of them, along with information about the scavenger hunt, here.


Beth F said...

Who knew that DARW week would be adding to my cookbook collection? This sound like a great book to have on hand.

Naomi Johnson said...

I haven't had breakfast yet and my mouth is watering. This sounds like a cookbook I need.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm with Beth--sounds like a good book to have on the shelf in case you need a quick, tasty meal. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...


I'm with you. I'm keeping this one. Sometimes I donate them to the library, but not this one.

Lesa said...

Well, I'm sitting her drinking hot chocolate with an enormous chocolate chip cookie, so I'm OK, but I still needed the cookbook, Naomi.

Lesa said...

Pantry-friendly, Elizabeth! Once you have the ingredients on hand, it looks like it's pretty easy to pick out recipes.

bermudaonion said...

I love Mexican food, so this cookbook sounds wonderful to me!

Lesa said...

I'm with you, Kathy. I love Mexican food, too.

Hog Hunting Texas said...

Its good to know the cooking it helps a lot. Thanks for sharing.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Hog Hunting Texas!

Jen Forbus said...

So Lesa, are there any recipes you're going to be trying soon in there?

I'm a sucker when it comes to Mexican food. Love it!

This is a fantastic compliment to Steven Havill this week.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the work you've put into this week. You have been invaluable to the project and I so appreciate you, my friend!

Lesa said...

There are some enchilada recipes that look good, Jen. I just don't know how soon I'm going to get to them. I love Mexican food, too.

I did a lot of work? Just look at the fantastic project you put together. Very nice! And, even off my blog, I had some nice emails from fans of Steven Havill.

Can't wait to see you at the end of August. Don't go planning an escape trip between Aug. 26-Sept. 2!