Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cedar Fort Blog Tour: One Dirty Bowl (Review + Recipe + Pictures)


Here's a description of the book from Cedar Fort:

Create delicious desserts without making a mess! One Dirty Bowl indulges your sweet tooth while getting you out of the kitchen in no time. Whip up showstopping desserts like --White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes --Very Vanilla Brownies --Hazelnut Puffs --3X Chocolate Cookies. From Christina Dymock, author of Young Chefs and The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook, this cookbook will impress your guests and satisfy any craving. And these quick, tasty desserts only dirty one bowl, which means more time with your family and friends at the table. Fast desserts, faster cleanup—grab a bowl and get ready to bake!

My Review

One Dirty Bowl...but a wide variety of desserts! I enjoyed browsing through the bright, color-coded sections of this cookbook and peeking at the tasty-looking pictures scattered in between the recipes. The layout is simple and helpful: the ingredients are listed in an easy-to-see fashion, the amount each recipe will make is clearly noted under the dessert titles, and the writing itself is fun and flows well.

Some of the recipes require more ingredients and effort than what I'd probably invest at this particular stage in my life, but they still seem fairly simple, and something to try someday! (Maybe when I visit home and have access to my mom's fridge and dishes? *wink*)

What's missing: Well, I'd love for there to be pictures of all the recipes, and a little conclusion to wrap things up at the end would be nice. Otherwise (having tried one recipe so far, which was super easy and tasty), I think it's great, and there are even helpful measuring equivalents and an index in the back. Sweet!

*With thanks to Cedar Fort for providing me with a PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Now available on Amazon (hard copy and Kindle ebook) and Barnes & Noble (hard copy and Nook ebook)! 

My Cooking Adventure

I decided that in order to give an authentic review of a cookbook, I ought to try one of the recipes (and the author gave me permission to share one with you all). I picked something pretty simple that would be easy on the budget and on my time (not to mention the fact that it's chocolate - that seems like a no-brainer, right?). So here it is, with my comments in blue...

Chocolate Crispy Bars

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 25 large marshmallows
  • 4 cups crispy rice cereal
Crisp Rice Cereal from Trader Joe's and chocolate chips and marshmallows from Target


Spray a 9 x 9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Amber: I went with a larger pan. I think it's 13 x 9, but don't quote me on that. The reason I used it? My 8 x 8 still holds some brownies, and I'm working on building up my cooking resources, so I don't have a ton of baking pans just yet.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.

Amber: I can do this! LOL.

Add the chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir well.

Continue stirring until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Amber: I turned up the heat just a bit to speed up the process. I stayed in the medium-low range. It still took a few minutes, but not so bad!

Add the crispy rice cereal and stir to coat.

Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. You can spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray to press the mixture into the pan if needed. Allow to set before cutting.

Amber: I didn't have to spray my hands - the mixture spread without much struggle on my part.

The recipe is supposed to make 9 servings, but I guess I'm getting more (albeit thinner) bars this way. 

And the verdict? Yum! I confess I like how thin these are - I think it makes them easier to eat. Mine didn't turn out super sticky, and they came out of the pan nice and easy. I really like the texture, and - of course - the chocolatey goodness! 

And guess what? Besides the utensils/measuring cups and the baking pan, it only took one dirty bowl. *wink*

About the Author

Christina Dymock graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Public Relations. She has been published in Woman’s World Magazine and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and she is the author of 101 Things to do With Popcorn. She resides in Central Utah with her husband and four children. You can follow their cooking adventures at teachingyoungchefs.blogspot.com.


Julie said...

I meant to comment on this post the other day Amber! I really am quite curious to see your endeavors in the kitchen. I remember learning to cook when I was a young girl and baking was my "thing" I absolutely love to bake. Once I married it was hard for me to come up with ideas for cooking every single day of the week! Between my mom and my mother-in-law I have some pretty good family recipes, and over the years have consulted many cookbooks, magazines, websites and even facebook for great cooking ideas. My youngest daughter jokingly says that once she moves out she will be reduced to making mac & cheese and Ramen noodles since she has never had any interest in cooking. So I applaud your cooking endeavors and seriously hope you share your experiments with your blog readers :) Have fun!

Amber Stokes said...


Thank you so much for your support! I confess I haven't experimented a whole lot in my apartment kitchen yet... Partly because of laziness, I'm sure. :P It's just much easier and less time-consuming to open up a can of soup, a bag of Ramen, or heat up some frozen food...sadly!

However, my grandma was the one who really taught me how to bake, and I have such fond memories of working with her in the kitchen off and on. :) I do enjoy it when I take the time to just do it!

I hope that I'll learn to make more time for cooking, and eventually figure out some new things. I did buy some chicken at the grocery store yesterday, so I'm planning to do what I did a few weeks ago: coat the breast fillets in bread crumbs and bake them. :)

Anyway, yes, it is hard to think up new menu ideas - even when you're just cooking for one! But I so appreciate your encouragement, and the thought that there might be some readers who'd like to hear more about my cooking adventures. ;) Thank you!


Julie said...

My great-grandma lived with us for 2 years when I was 16 and she taught me how to make pies. She also taught me how to crochet. I loved those times in the kitchen with her.

I totally understand being too tired/lazy to cook! LOL! Cooking takes time. Maybe if you got yourself a little crock pot that would work? That way when you get home from work you are all set to eat instead of having to cook after a long day of work. You can put those chicken breasts in the crock pot with some bbq sauce and put on low before you leave in the morning then make up some minute rice(or boil in bag rice) when you get home and there is your meal. They have really small crock pots that are great for single serve meals. I know you are young, but eating all of that processed food(frozen food, boxed food, canned soups, etc.) will catch up to you eventually and affect your health...there that is the momma in me coming out :) I'm at the time in my life where I am trying to cut down on what I cook. Mostly it is just my husband and I. I tend to cook way too much! I should have company over every night! I am starting to get things put in the freezer for our daughter since she doesn't cook and we are going to be gone for a month so that helps when I make a big meal :)

But yes, I think there would be a big interest in your cooking endeavors. And remember...pancakes are good for dinner too ;)

Amber Stokes said...


Those are such special times! My grandma taught me how to cross-stich, in addition to showing me around the kitchen. :)

A crock pot... That's a good suggestion! My friend was telling me about how handy a rice cooker is, as well. Definitely some things to think about as I build up my kitchen supplies. :) And I think that's sweet that I've evoked the "Mama Bear" in you. ;) Thank you for caring - and for reminding me to be careful with what I eat!

I'm sure your daughter will appreciate having all that food on hand. It's certainly a struggle, even living on your own (or maybe especially?), trying not to waste food... It amazes me how fast it can go bad, even when you keep it in the fridge! It kind of frustrates me that I can't stock up as much as I want on certain things. Guess I have to make a trip to the grocery store every week, for the most part. ;)

Thank you once again for the encouragement! And yes, breakfast for dinner is always an option. ;)


Julie said...

I hear ya on the waste of food. I throw away way too much. I have to shop once a month and then make trips to the grocery store about once a week for things like milk and veggies. I have a lot of veggies that go to waste though. For some reason they look good when I am in the store and then they sit in the fridge and next thing I know they are soggy and bad. bleck! Take it from experience, I had to have my gallbladder taken out for eating food on the fly for too long. It definitely takes a toll on the body. Sadly I still love a good Big Mac now and again ;)Can you cook more than rice in a rice cooker? I might have to look into one of those :)

Amber Stokes said...


LOL - yes to the veggies! It's easy to buy them with good intentions, then not eat nearly as much as you thought you would. :P

I'm sorry you had to have your gallbladder removed! Thank you again for caring enough about me to want to see me make good choices. :)

Hmmm... Not sure about the rice cooker! Don't know much about them yet. ;) But it does sound like it could be handy!


Esther H. said...

Mmmm. I would love to try this recipe!

Also, I've nominated your blog for the Sunflower Blogger Award! My post:
Thank you so much for dedicating your time to make your blog be an inspiring and encouraging tool in my life! You're my hero! Faithful follower! Stay blessed! -Virginia Esther. :)

Looking forward to read your new book! Congrats! :)

Amber Stokes said...


It's a sweet and simple recipe! It barely takes any time or effort, so it's ideal for a quick dessert, in my opinion. :)

And that is so kind of you!! Thank you for thinking of me with this award, and most especially for those incredibly encouraging words. You have blessed me so much - thank you! ♥