The PTA has changed. Moving with the times, it has grown up and become sophisticated. If you're lucky to live near authors Anne-Marie Hodges and Pam Brandon, the PTA has become a place for gourmet treats that don't take hours in the kitchen, and certainly don't need a cookie sheet. Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas is not about bake sales, it is about delicious, gourmet foods.
In the introduction to Culinary Confessions, Brandon tells us "Our tale of food and friendship began with a grassroots crusade to uplift the status of dedicated teachers who spent nearly as much time with our children as we did." They began by hosting a small dinner for the teachers. Wanting to honor the teachers, they opted to make the dinner a treat. This was but the beginning.
The authors are gourmet cooks who are as short on time as the rest of us. But they are also fun-loving, as their photos in 1950's clothing tells you. The spirit of fun, of joy in what they're doing infuses this book. It suggests that cooking is fun and gourmet meals are not beyond the reach of the home cook. The authors give us gourmet recipes that are practical to make, not ones that require hours in the kitchen. These are recipes to use, and use successfully. The sense of fun is part of the success.
The recipes represent many nationalities. There are recipes for Chipotle Chicken and Rice along with Chicken Curry or African style Chicken with Tomatoes and Peanuts. There are seafood recipes such as "mango tango" Tuna with Chickpea Pate, and Tequila Shrimp in Avocado-Lime Sauce. You'll find a Japanese Noodle Nosh and a "thai-me-up" Caesar Salad with Smoked Chicken. There are no dessert recipes.
Throughout the book are side panels titled "I'm confessin'" which give you hints, tips, and the inside scoop on each recipe. There are photos throughout by Gary Bogdon.
About the Authors: Anne-Marie Hodges is a professional artist with a penchant for creative cooking, entertaining, and celebrating life. Pam Brandon is a foodie with a 30-year career in journalism. She is the author of The Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids, and The Unofficial Guide to Florida. She has edited numerous books for The Walt Disney Company. Her travel stories have appeared nationally, locally, and online.