Review: A Foodie’s Take on The Food Lovers’ Gather

Make sure to read to the end of this post, where we’re giving away a copy of Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining!

Since we began Paleo Parents, we’ve been increasingly and routinely asked to review books and products by people in and adjacent to the paleo community. At this point, we get so many we are unable to actually do the reviews of the products in a timely manner! That’s why we recruited the Paleo Parents Review Team to fill in the gaps. Look forward to reviews on Tuesdays!

This week, our friend and Beyond Bacon photographer Aimee was given the task of reviewing Gather by Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate. She received this honor for a very obvious reason: her children are in the book! Aimee is well known to be passionate about food, but not very passionate about cooking it, the perfect person to tell you if all of the fantastic looking food in this book is actually re-createable.

We too have previewed this book and can assure you that everything we’ve tried is terrific. The General Tso’s is just as good as you have been led to believe and was a perfect Friday night dinner for us as well. Whether you are throwing a party or just want to eat a good dinner, this book will fit your bookshelf. Here’s the video of our boys finding themselves in the book (check page 198-199!).

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I was pretty stoked that Stacy offered me Gather by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley (The Food Lovers Primal Palate) to review. I’ve been tortured with gorgeous images of yummy looking food on multiple facebook pages for months now! I was lucky enough to be invited to the “Spooky Supper” menu photo shoot, and I got to see them in action—Hayley being a genius in the kitchen (sugar cookies!) and Bill being a genius at his Canon. (I’ll refrain from Canon bashing here…kidding!) They work together so well and seemed to have entertaining down to a science, so I knew if anything could help me with my horrible time management and entertaining skills, it would be this book.

The book is divided into seasons and different holidays that one might be celebrating. There is a tea party in the Spring section, a tropical menu under summer, a harvest meal, and of course a winter holiday feast. This isn’t the same old “This is what paleo is and what it did for me and here is some food you are allowed to eat” cookbook. This is about entertaining and enjoying food in spite of your dietary restrictions. I love that because that is where I am in my lifestyle– just eating real food and not worrying about dieting.

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Bill and Hayley go in depth into how to plan your party, when to do each task and how manage your time. They even give some hints for the less Martha Stewart-y amongst us for decorating your table. After seeing the incredible photos of their beautiful spreads, you’ll want to take any advice they have to give! The pictures are worth the price of admission even if you are more into cookbooks as art than as recipe books (raises hand.)

I am the perfect person for testing recipes. I am horrible at following them. I get lost, I measure wrong, I burn food while I am re-reading the recipe because I forgot what I was doing. My dinner every night is a defrosted meat thrown in a cast iron skillet with some kind of roasted veggie. So, OF COURSE I chose a very labor intensive dish to prepare.

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I have seen photo after photo of the General Tso’s Chicken from the “Takeout Fakeout” menu on Instagram and Facebook, along with statuses about lives changing after trying it. There was no doubt about what I would be making first when I got my hands on this book. I even made it while suffereing through The Great Northern VA Shortage of Coconut Aminos (seriously, who bought them all!?).

I measured out a perfect amount from my half empty bottle for the chicken and the Shrimp Cauliflower Rice. They are both idiot proof. I checked. I accidentally bought cooked shrimp, made dough instead of batter, and didn’t measure out my vegetables. Everything ended up looking like the photos and tasted as the legends had promised.

My daughter is famous for still considering herself a vegetarian (except for bacon, hot dogs and sausage,) and she cleaned her plate! That’s the first time I have ever seen her eat chicken! I am pretty happy that the recipes are portioned for a gathering—leftovers! Other recipes I am excited to make are the Meyer Lemon Tart, Yuca Con Mojo and Pumpkin Chicken Chili. I seriously encourage you to go buy this book. Now. CoughwithBeyondBaconCough.

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The giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Gather with this review! The giveaway is only for a single week and we promise you that any simple steps we ask you to take will be well worth this beautiful book! To enter, follow the instructions on the widget below.

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