Cookbook Review: Be Your Own Chef

Onion & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

Cooking is an art form. It’s not black and white. Be Your Own Chef provides a unique and fun spin on cooking from a cookbook. It inspires you to be creative with each recipe and cook to your own taste. You are the chef!

Karen Blake Peek

Be Your Own Chef is a great cookbook written by Karen Blake Peek. It’s not only a collection of recipes, it is meant to inspire you to experiment with your food and turn simple meal preparation into an art form. What is unique for this cookbook is that each recipe contains a table of alternatives to the most of the ingredients used as well as all kinds of those cooking tips that will make your life so much easier :)

I’ve prepared a couple of dishes so far and I’m sharing two recipes with you, just to show you how great this cookbook is. I’ve learned a new way to coat the meat. In Serbia, we first coat meat in flour, than egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Then, fry everything in a lots of oil. This recipe gives a way healthier alternative as it’s coated in oats and then baked in the oven.

Onion & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

60 g oats
2 green onions
1 small onion, diced
120 g mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
60 g Gruyere cheese
Dijon mustard
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (meaning you have 4 halves of chicken breasts)
ground black pepper

Process oats and green onions in a blender to make the crumbs. Place in a shallow dish.

Saute mushrooms and onion on olive oil until tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add grated cheese to mushrooms and onion. Cut a vertical hole down from the top center of the thickest part of each chicken breast, careful not to cut a hole through the bottom. Carefully expand the hole with fingers.

Stuff each chicken breast with cheese, mushrooms, and onion mixture. Close with toothpicks. Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Spread some mustard all over them, then coat in previously prepared oats and spring onions crumbs. Spray both sides of each chicken breast with cooking spray and lay in a baking dish.

Bake in a preheated oven on 180°C/350°F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Egg Salad

Egg Salad

8 boiled eggs, diced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp chives, chopped
about 4 Tbsp yogurt
ground black pepper

Line strainer with cheese cloth and place over bowl. Pour yogurt in to drain water and thicken for 15-20 minutes.

In a bowl combine eggs, strained yogurt, mustard, paprika, onion, chives, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Cover and keep in a fridge.

Serve on a slice of toasted bread. Or in a lettuce cup. Or as a side with your main dish… It really goes well with everything :)

Cookbook Give-Away

Be Your Own Chef Cover

In a collaborative effort both Correen, from FoodLoversWebsite and I are sharing our cookbook reviews of Be Your Own Chef. The author, Karen Peek, has generously given us a copy (PDF format) to give-away too! It’s easy to enter, here is the scoop…

Cookbook Give-Away

Simply leave a comment (automatically enters you)

Give-away Info…
– Cookbook give-away is open today 07/11/2011 until midnight PST on 07/19/2011
– Enter just once per e-mail address…thanks
– If you have a valid e-mail address you can enter (needed to send your PDF copy if you are the winner)
– Both Correen and I are giving away a cookbook – so visit both our sites, leave a comment and it gives you two chances to win ;)
– Winner will be picked with the true random number generator over at

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  • Donnie Maunakea July 11, 2011 2:12 pm

    Wonderful recipes, thanks for sharing, looking forward to trying more in the future:)

  • Tom July 11, 2011 2:36 pm

    Wonderful recipes and images Marija..
    BTW: If I lived closer that I would not have to cook :o)

    • Marija July 11, 2011 2:45 pm


  • Faye July 11, 2011 2:46 pm

    The chicken looks lovely! I love oats, but I’ve never thought of using them as a breading. I will definitely try this!

  • Susie July 11, 2011 2:59 pm

    I love egg salad the food looks amazing.

  • Correen July 11, 2011 6:17 pm

    Nicely done Marija. I almost made the egg salad for the review too…we have so many farm fresh eggs. Opted for a breakfast hash and used some of our quail eggs…mmm! I know that Karen is very pleased about our reviews of her cookbook. Best of luck to all that leave a comment – if you are the winner you will love, love this cookbook.

  • torviewtoronto July 11, 2011 7:52 pm

    lovely giveaway
    wonderfully flavoured delicious dishes

  • Ann July 11, 2011 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway – but I gotta tell you….coating the chicken with mustard and then rubbing in oats and onions? THAT’S the prize!!

  • Veronica July 11, 2011 10:05 pm

    Oh my goodness, do these look scrumptious or what?! It would be so wonderful to win a copy of this cookbook! I’m always looking for recipes to challenge my skills and tastebuds! :)

  • Irina July 11, 2011 10:06 pm

    I looooove egg salads :) And this one looks fantastic!

  • Shumaila July 12, 2011 1:09 am

    I love egg salad and will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenny K July 12, 2011 1:16 am

    Yum! I love egg salad and this one looks like a winner! :D

  • Petra July 12, 2011 2:24 am

    Adore egg salat. It looks yummy.

  • Marija July 12, 2011 3:06 am

    I’ll go for the egg-salad in these hell-hot BG days ;-)

  • Elodie Jane Amora July 12, 2011 3:21 am

    That stuffed chicken looks wonderful! :)

  • Josipa July 12, 2011 3:43 am

    Ovako ja zamišljam pravu kuharicu, ne s receptima koje ću doslovno slijediti nego koji će me inspirirati da stvorim neko svoje jelo. :)

  • Tamara July 12, 2011 4:20 am

    sviđa mi se!

  • Mariel July 12, 2011 5:31 am

    yummy! i would love to try this!

  • Diana July 12, 2011 8:14 am

    I’ve saved both of these recipes to try, they look delicious!

  • The Chocolate Priestess July 12, 2011 8:19 am

    Oh, good, I love it when cookbook reviews are based on actually trying some recipes. A cookbook may look good but have vague directions or just plain bad recipes.

  • Nevena July 12, 2011 9:40 am

    predivno jela, ma predivno sve, svaka cast, sve mi se jako jako svidja..

  • Ashlie July 12, 2011 5:33 pm

    My hubby loves egg salad, I’m going to have give that recipe a try very soon!

  • Ronda July 12, 2011 7:00 pm

    The egg salad looks awesome!!! Can’t wait to try it!!

  • Chris July 13, 2011 6:08 pm

    All your recipes look delicious!

  • Meghan July 13, 2011 6:10 pm

    Looks super yummy!!!

  • Brenda July 14, 2011 2:56 am

    Love egg salad and yours looks really special!!!

  • Holly July 14, 2011 2:27 pm

    Both recipes look fantastic! I would have never thought to mix the oats and green onions for a crumb coating. Egg salad is one of my husbands favorites. Both recipes sound/look like winners. I’ll have to make both recipes soon.

  • Livia July 16, 2011 6:30 pm

    Ah, you reminded me that I’ve been wanting to make egg salad :-)

  • Nelly Rodriguez July 16, 2011 8:07 pm

    Both recipes looks great!

  • Lori Hamilton July 17, 2011 6:06 pm

    I’m making the egg salad now! Thank you!

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